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Lakster or Dirt Track ???

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by exStreamliner, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I purchased this body in the late 80's at a Phoenix swap meet and never questioned its history... after starting a new frame and showing project pixs... I was flooded with questions... the body has unique mods; channeled over narrowed frame... doors welded shut... fully tubed eliminating turtledeck... reversed firewall (bolt-in)... subrails intact... holes in the doors for rear radius rods... exhaust hanger hole on passenger side... I know that doesn't seem like much but at looking through published event photos you don't see many channeled, non-turtledeck rods after the War... mainly due to racing restrictions of stock bodies for the roadster classes... I have seen early CA dirt cars with shortened pick-up bed which qualified as stock body... the well used rust free body and untold hours of gas welds will be preserved in the current build but it would be nice to know how it was raced... I know mixing current shot may confuse the issue but the car would have been six inches lower and the current Essex frame, 20 turtledeck, and Whippet grill were not originally with the car... any leads would be appreciated
     

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  2. No info, but I do like the 26/27 body with an earlier turtle deck.
     
  3. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    My choices were limited... the double tube around the upper beltline meant that a original turtle deck wasn't and couldn't be used without modifying the body... and since preserving the body was the main purpose of the build I had a choice of a shortened pick-up bed, just a gas tank (which is most likely the way it ran), or a smaller turtledeck... actually this one has a number of mods that a racer wouldn't have bothered with... the result is differant and I haven't seen it done before... but, it was using available parts from the time...
     

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  4. safari-wagon
    Joined: Jan 12, 2008
    Posts: 1,457

    safari-wagon
    Member

    Based on the mods, my guess is that it's an old dry lakes car & probably also ran on the dirt tracks, but who can confirm this? With all the historical knowledge hidden in the brain-pans of the HAMBers, we ought to be able to come up with a bit of history on this old race car.

    This car will be in the basement @ the Detroit Autorama in our club display. We'll be asking for input from all the HAMBers during the Meet & Greets.
     

  5. A Boner
    Joined: Dec 25, 2004
    Posts: 5,705

    A Boner
    Member

    Nice HOT ROD..........how about some more pic's.
     
  6. sota
    Joined: Oct 14, 2006
    Posts: 717

    sota
    Member

    Nice car,keep us updated.
     
  7. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I have plenty of pixs from the current build and I'll post a few more but I'm trying to find what it looked like when it raced... logically it wasn't a channeled street car and the only vintage pictures that come close are from the thirties which is somewhat logical since SCTA rules the stock bodies were required to qualify in a roadster class after WWII... why the reversed the firewall is a mystery too...
     

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  8. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,948

    RichFox
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I don't know how much work you have put into that body, but it seems to nice to have been a track car. With the deck on it reminds me of the Scottys Muffler Drag Roadster, but I remember that as being center steer.
     
  9. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    Thanks Rich... thats part part of the mystery... the body was virtually rust free... but, it was well used... every crack or seem was welded... it was reinforced in places I would have never thought about being a concern... and the workmanship is unbelievable - for exsamplethey removed the original firewall and reinforced the mounting surface with a band of steel, remounted the firewall in a reversed position... made bolt on mounting tab that connected to a tube that goes the full parimeter of the body and mounts to the tab on the other side... from the door back a secound tube sets in the channel for the turtleback and is welded to the lower tube that goes the goes the parimeter... and as far as how nice the body is - they didn't seem to care... the warpage from all the gas welding did a number on the body panels which they they used a peen hammer and dolly on both sides... I had it for years in primer and thought it was pretty straight... the closest thing to filler was dryied gum in the exhaust hanger hole on the passengers side... the rear panel had normal wear and tear dings that indicate a seat back wasn't used... the top cowl was the worst - it looked like they had trown everything but the motor on it while the were wrenching on it.... since I plan on painting it - we skim coated the upper cowl and lower panels with lead but the remained of the panel will remain untouched and fully exposed on both sides...
     

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  10. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I just posted a reference picture by mistake (I can only wish that was my car)... most pictures that look like mine before it was raised above the fram are in the thirties... but, while I'm reposting the correct body reference shots I'm posting a favorite Dick Kraft shot too
     

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  11. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,383

    -Brent-
    Member

    Do you have an overall shot of the car? It looks like a really nice set-up.
     
  12. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I have more shot of the construction than the whole car... and the whole car leaves an impression of the way it looks now instead of how it would of looked... think of it channeled 6" which wasn't practical for a guy over six foot to set in... the plans are for the car to maintain race car qualities more than practical/streetable... the 33 in the background doesn't get driven enough to even bother with another street car..
     
  13. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    User Error - the pixs didn't show up
     

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    Stogy likes this.
  14. krylon32
    Joined: Jan 29, 2006
    Posts: 6,528

    krylon32
    Alliance Vendor
    from Nebraska

    I can't keep my mouth shut. That is gonna be one bitching ride.
     
  15. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    Well, a 375 HP Y Block, Zypher gears, and 3:54 gears should get her down the road but I'm mostly excited to see how a full three point suspension makes her handle
     
  16. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,383

    -Brent-
    Member

    Wow, man... you weren't joking in your PM! Holy cow, you've got to have a brass "set" to hammer the throttle in that thing!

    The car looks fantastic. What's the wheelbase? I love the look of the steelies.
     
  17. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    My Essex frame that was Z'd and set up for three point suspension was done in Springfield, OH... Bill Metz of Bill's Rod & Custom had also built the closed drivetrain chassis for my 33 in the 70's and has done a lot of Sprint related repairs and the years... he was responsible for the 95" wheelbase... I didn't want it that short but I'm growing used to it... the steelies are 16" Lincoln 41 rear and 15" 42-48 fronts both 5" wide... funny thing was I have Chrysler Imperial wires that were for the car but the fronts needed new 4.5" rims laced to the Imperial centers - they turned out great but I didn't get done in time for the Chopper's show so the Lincoln one got cleaned and mounted
    <!-- / message -->
     
  18. 41 Dave
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 2,594

    41 Dave
    Member

    Thom, All I can say is - "WOW !". That roadster is quite the machine. Bet that is one healthy Y-Block.
    I am using a complete Marine Y-Block in my '31 "A" Coupe. Love the way these motors look.

    41 Dave
     
  19. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    This thread is starting to go more about the car... but thats OK since I'm meeting new friends from it... the ol 312 was originally a 120 over 12.5 to 1 built in the 60's but I went to 60 over 10.5 when it went into my wagon... most of the HP was from the induction and head work... the intake is a factory 2-4 with 56 Cad El Dorato factory dual carbs... T Willy custom ground the cam and a FE Late model distributor filled the bill... I put 40K miles on it and loved it... but the 57 Wagon was blown apart for paint and hasn't been on the road in years... the the motor is going from the machine shop into the 27 which makes it nice since I know what to expect and the drivetrain in basically the same as the 33 so life should be good...
     

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  20. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    Formost and the reason fro the post was to try to identify the racing history of the body that ended up being a car... curious car guys (myself included) tend to pick up on everything related to our hobbies... so in response to many PM's respecting the intent of the thread but still would like to know; Yes the car has been a shop hopper - I could only wish I had the talent to pull this off... I roughed in the design and collected the parts and photoshoped the intended build... next it went to Bill's Rod & Custom to turn an Essex fram into my design... then it went to Hensel's for the tube work and (due to being laid off) I was able to work with Dan on changes to the chassis along with the belly pan... the end result is what is shown at the Chopper's Show... the next phase was a "gift"... long time friend, restorer & rodder careyohio who doesn't due customer work decided to make a first base car into a home run... every detail and remaining fabrication has been at their hobby shop which normally is dedicated to their vintage drag racing projects... I love this hobby... friends help friends - I hope that anyone attending the Detroit Autorama will get a chance to look at more than the pictures... the 27 will be in front of the Singlefinger Speed Shop Garage on the lower level... thanks for the PM's and I appreciate input into the suggested origin of the body
     
  21. nsaylor
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 2

    nsaylor
    Member
    from ohio

    looking forward to seeing some more mods on this car. hopefully it turns out as nice as the 33
     
  22. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I'm getting some interesting info PM'd to me and I was hoping someone might have pictures of the car that is referred to in this message:

    Were you aware that the Reggie Schlemmer built/owned '27 "T" that graced the cover of the very first Hot Rod Magazine was a dual purpose car? It spent more time on round tracks than it ever did on the dry lakes. By the time the magazine was published (months after the lakes event) the car had already been torn up in a circle track show and hsd hsd the neat "Kurtis" style nose replaced by a '32 DeSoto shell. The summer of '48 saw Schlemmer and Co. invade the Midwest with two cars (the other was the '23 "T" bodied car) and run in Hurricane and Mutual shows. Thr "cover: car was sold in Indiana and never returned to Cal. It seems to have dropped out of sight after the '48 season. Numerous inquiries have failed to turn it up. convent

    I have seen the frontal shot but I can't remember if it had a turtledeck

    I haven't picked up a copy of Rodder's Journal's reprint of Throttle Magazine but the covers shot shows a channeled/non-turtleback car that would have been built like mine (wrong year) and I've ran arcross several frontal shots that make it hard to see if a turtledeck was used?
     

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  23. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I've had a couple of PM's about the conditionon of the body when I got it... it was in primer and I haven't discovered any traces of a previous paint work... here are a couple of shots from the mock-up
     

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  24. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I was referred to a past thread that seemed relevant to the dirt track era:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=165164&highlight=reggie+schlemmer

    Dale Fairfax "Trying to find a real track roadster in a barn has been a dream of mine for may years. I think the problem relates to the evolution of the breed. Their brief flirtation with fame expired in about '53 (at least in the Midwest). The reallywell built cars at that point became sprint cars; the rest put out to pasture while the "Hard top" and sportsman stock cars took over the scene. It wasn't long however before the cheaters in the stock ranks pushed the rules envelope so far that "modifieds" popped up. This gave a lot of guys an excuse to resurrect their old roadsters and turn them into Modifieds. So, the roadsters either returned to the wrecking yards they were born in or evolved into other forms of race cars. I believe that's the main reason track roadsters are seldom found. It's too bad you didn't develope this interest a little earlier-you could have visited the old Dick Frazier #32 while it was on display at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing at Latimore Valley-not far from you. Alas, the car is now back in the basement of the Smithsonian where it will probably remain out of view for the next 50 years."

    I attached photo that has me wondering how may channeled roadsters were used on the circle track... imagine this ride with the body lowered 6" like mine was - the driver wouldn't have much protection... they placed the radius rods to the outside (mine were mounted through the door like the one on the Throttle cover shot) but you still had the torque tube through the center which didn't give a driver much space... and when I tried to mock mine up that way the trans and pedal positioning was uncomfortably high... plus I wanted a full three point suspension system and it was like fitting ten lb of stuff in a five lb bag as it was...
     

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  25. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    Keep one thing in mind re severely lowered cars and early Ford drive line. With center steer and centered seat the driver's feet were down in the belly pan. His butt was just a few inches above the torque tube and he probably had only two pedals to be concerned with: stop and go and they were on opposite sides of the bell housing. If it was a track car there was no clutch-just an in/out box. If it was a lakes car with a three speed, the clutch could have been operated by a hand lrver.
     
  26. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    Dale... I can't tell you how much I've appreciated your input... you seldom ever see interior shots... I did every thing I could to keep mine low without splitting the bones... and I'm at 38" to the top of the body and a 6" channel would have put the car at least 4" lower... a wild ride even by todays standards... there are a couple exsamples in Muroc When Hot Rods Ran that they were bending down to push...

    A lot of us younger guys didn't have the opportunity to witness this generation of cars and drivers... we can find limited first-hand info on the 40's and should all be thankful on the efforts of many to document the 50's but info from the 30's has a lot of voids... I hope everyone reading posts about the vintage race cars truly appreciate the contribution of input of the people who have been there - done that... I almost wish I could start over to get it right
     
  27. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    I have been fortunate to have so many PM's with comments or suggestions for additional sources... I thought I would post some of the feedback as well as a couple of additional pictures just take to help in the ID... keep in mind this body was channeled 6" first pic shows back panel that was cut out in relationship with the frame, second shows top of back with welded double tubes, and third the reversed bolt in firewall (this is a replacement)

    Aprreciated comments:

    I've been researching your original questions re the body you have. I've been thru 4 of Don Montgomery's books, Wallen's Road to Indy, and Al Drake'sand have not found a '26/'27 "T" with the radius rod mounted thru the door. Amongst the Track cars there was seldom a "deeply channeled" body unless it was mounted on a tube frame and then the radius rod was covered by the body. This was true as well with all the lakesters and modifieds I saw in the dry lakes shots. In the track car photos, there were several of the early style "T"s that had the lower rear portion of the bucket cut away to clear the radius rods but even then the mounts tended to be covered by the body. Interestinly enough, there were quite a few of the track cars that had nerf bars penetrating the body-thru the door, below the door, and thru the cowl. Dale Fairfax

    I think the y-block looks great in the car. They are a stylish looking engine, although it sounds as though that one could lay quick waste to the tranny you're using. Sane useage will be the order of the day...hummm, trouble brewing. Charlie Chops 1940

    There was a tomato soup red 27 here (AZ) in the fiftieswith a Dodge turtle deck and a race car nose. The only other 27 I remember was the famous dragster "old noisy" run by the Lords car club. I think the red T was somehow connected to an old dragster driver/builder named Red Hensley. Hazy on that, Bill Van Dyke

    I don't know anything about it's history, but it is shaping up to be a really a nice little T. I agree with some of the comments that it probably served multiple duty- lakes, drags, etc. The dirt track scenario seems unlikely to me, because most of those cars were considered disposable. Yours just has too much quality work into the body mods. Jay Jive-Bomber

    could be either a lakes car or a dirt track, or just an old hot rod body. most likely a dirt track car, as most lakes cars would have provisions for a tonneau cover. alot of the dirt track cars also had easily removable turtle deck/ beds that weren't bolted to the body, just 4 bolts/ pins to the frame/rollbar for fast access to the rear end or gas tank. Justin B

    I apreciate any or all feedback... I was around back then and wouldn't have considered mounting the turtle deck separate or a common practice of nerf bars through the door... I'm just looking at parts and making assumptions - I could be wrong and therfore looking for the wrong things... so any idea helps
     

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  28. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    Channeled 27's
     

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  29. Got me thinking about an early turtledeck...
     
  30. exStreamliner
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,544

    exStreamliner
    Member

    the rear body panel was cut out 6" for the frame but someone questioned if that may have been part of the kick-up... I dug out the front body mounts that came with the car... the rear mounts were the bottom of the subrail and the fronts bolted on top of the subrail and into the reversed firewall... the three angles give show the relationship and mounting... anyways the combined drop (mount to the bottom of the subrail) is 6" too
     

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