The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Goldy, Feb 21, 2013.
Picture of our first check out pass at the 2014 - New England Hot Rod Reunion.
I have been to March Meet, and a few of the Hot Rod Reunions as a spectator. June of this year I made the trip to Bakersfield again, this time for Saturday Night Nitro. We rented Jerry Darien's A/FD and completed a license test for Joe Morrison with a 5.37 @ 269.89mph at the Saturday Night Nitro event. So that was pretty cool because I was part of the action out on the track.
Last year, Ted Brine and myself made plans to tow the 134 AA/Fuel Coupe across the country to participate in the 2014 CHRR. When we built this coupe 27 years ago I never expected that we would someday get to run it at the Patch. That is like a bucket list thing ! So on Oct 10th, I left Philadelphia for the trip to Bakersfield. First stop was Pittsburg on the other side of Pa. to meet up with Ted Brine and Pete Coffield. So the three of us started our long tow to Las Vegas to meet up with my son Rick. From there we would go to Famoso on Tuesday to set up our pit area and get the car through tech inspection. Mark LaBranche would fly in from New Hampshire and meet us at the track.
Steve Gibbs invited us to Cackle the Fuel Coupe at the Induction Ceremony at the Double Tree Hotel on Friday night along with five dragsters. That was an awesome experience. Although we planned to be in the Cacklefest on Saturday night and we planned on making exhibition runs during the event, we were honored to take part at the Double Tree Hotel.
We developed an issue with oil pressure that forced us to make soft runs down the track. We still ran a high percentage of Nitro but chose to pedal it easy and only run 1/8 mile, as opposed to not run at all. This way we kept it alive for the Cacklefest and had some fun with it too. Also we kept it in one piece so we can fix it for another day.
All in all it was a fun trip, we got to run the car at the Patch and hang out with some of the legends of this sport. We got to see some friends and meet a lot of really great people. We are already talking about a return trip.
You will see Ted Brine in the white T shirt and I am in the black shirt assisting with the change over from Alcohol to Nitro in the video.
Some pictures of us in the staging lanes, waiting for the signal to fire and making the run on Saturday night.
The sequence starts in the staging lanes with my son Rick in conversation with the well known chassis builder "Rooman"
Kieth, AKA "Rooman" was hanging out with us for a while and came to the starting line with us.
A little squirt of fuel into the injector hat, and then - - " Fire in the hole ! "
A roll through the water and light em'up, Ahhhh, the sweet smell of NITRO!
Pedal it, and keep those slicks a smoookin' !
Into reverse and backing up
A little guidence to get Ted back into the tracks
Bringing Ted into the staging beams
The Launch !
The slicks are wrinkling up - Hooked ! !
Tripping the the Sixty foot clocks
Heading for the eighth mile mark
Come to a stop after the run at the top end of the track
Ted Brine is standing up through the hatch while the crew gets the Fuel Coupe ready to tow back.
Rick has the job of steering the Fuel Coupe up to the scales and back to our pit area.
The weight on the scales is 2,420 lbs.
" Yo Rick, are you ready to tow back" ?
Returned to our pit area on the main road.
Thanks, Goldy. That's a very cool and quick '34. Great history.
How you been? Haven't notice you posting in too long.
At the recent Riegelsville show and swap meet I saw what I'd consider an old school Phila area hot rod. Cool guy from Jersey just across the river from there.
good stuff!!! thanks for sharing Goldy!
Wow great job guys. I met Ted while working as an engineering intern at Alcoa RPC in Leetsdale PA. Ted is a super nice guy and great to work for. I loved hearing his old school racing stories. Does he still have his GT 40??
No GT 40 ! , He did recently acquire his original 1969 Hemi Road Runner that he raced back when he bought the car brand new. Perfect condition, the way it was !
Hi Nick, I think I remember that car from the fifties, sure is beautifully kept !
Ted you have done a great job with the car and it really brings back wonderful memories. Best of Luck
Jim Hill Nostalgic Racing Decals
I reciently read an article in Area Auto Racing News about Hatfield Speedway. I though that I would pass along the information that I read in that article. Hatfield was the first track that I raced on, I attended races there for ten years from 1956 untill 1966 when it closed. The track opened up in 1921, it featured horse racing and auto racing on the same dirt track. Many famous people raced at Hatfield in midgets and stock cars on the oval and various class cars on the dragstrip. Mario Andretti was famous for winning three races in the same day, two of them were at Hatfield. Richard Petty raced there in a stock car and Len Duncan in a midget. On the dragstrip were, Dick Belfatti " the Shadow", Billl "Grumpy" Jenkins, Ken "Mr.555" Montgomery, even Don Garlits.
The rumer has it that Hatfield booked in Big Daddy Don Garlits with his Swamp Rat front engine dragster to break the track record in 1964. That record of 99 mile per hour was set by Mike Drill in a short wheelbase rear engine Buick powered dragster in 1957. I know , I was there to see the record set that day. That record was never broken.
In 1962 I raced at Hatfield with my first dragster, which was a modified 1937 sprint car powered by a nail head Buick engine with six carburetors. I ran 99 mph on that tenth mile strip to equal that record. I never beat the record.
I was in the Navy when Garlits ran at Hatfield so I did not see him run there. People wrote to me saying that he smoked the tires all the way and ran 99 mph. Mike Drill's record stood when the track closed.
Is there anyone out there that saw Garlits run at Hatfield ? If so, please post on here what you remember of that day. I have a lot of fond memories of Hatfield how about you ?
A group of us took our girlfriends to Hatfield one night to watch the circle track Stockers. The Moore Brothers tangled on the track which led to a brawl involving the pit crews right there among the mangled cars. Some of the spectators were hollering about who ran who into the fence. A kid about 19 or so seated a few rows in front of us told an older heavy-set woman behind him, who was really yelling, that he didn't think either brother did it on purpose. She hauled of and punched him right in the face. The girl I was with said loudly "Did you see that?". Needless to say, I immediately found something of interest to look at in the other direction. Those stock car races could get pretty wild at times. On the drag race side of things, I had heard Ed Hildebrand (?) took out some fence and a ticket booth with a Hemi Dodge sometime in the mid-sixties. I think that was the powertrain that ended up in his 39 Chevy.
Goldy - good to run across you on the net... I always tell friends you were instrumental in teaching me auto mechanics and "Hot Roddin'". In 1995 they found my `57 Chevy "The Godfather" outside a barn in Bucks County. I dragged it back to Florida and currently restoring it. You can see the progress at http://cruisinstyle.com/projects/100017/ Do you still drive the AA?
Yo Ray, Good to here from you after all these years. Tonight I am going to a neighborhood party at Rocco Giovinazzo's. Rocco is still racing too. The party is for North Hills, Ardsley, and Roslyn folks. You would fit right in.
I am writing articles for Rod&Kulture magazine, the article is "the way it was" The issue will hit the news stands in April, check it out, it is all about cruising Old York Road back in 1958.
Ray, I checked out your site. It is great to see the "Godfather" again. Where are you located in Florida ? My brother lives in Orlando.
Kirk Martin from New Zealand asked me a question about the Mike Drill rear engined dragster that set the track record at Hatfield Hi Speedway drag races in July of 1957. Hatfield drags was a 1/10 th of a mile drag strip on the straight way of the 1/2 mile oval track. The record set was 99 mph. and that record was never broken. I raced my first dragster at Hatfield, it was a 1937 sprint car that I converted into a dragster using a nail head Buick engine. I also ran 99 mph but I never beat Mike Drill's record. Hatfield Speedway was sold in 1966 and turned into a housing developement.
Kirk, I did not know Mike Drill personally and never got to talk to him. If I remember correctly, it was the forth of July weekend in 1957 and I was only 13 years old and in 7th grade. I used to hitch hike to Hatfield from North Hills, Pennsylvania every Sunday to go to the drags, about a 25 mile trip. Hatfield held a championship race that day and Mike Drill competed and set the record. He was from Allentown, Pennsylvania. Bear in mind this is all from memory and that was 58 years ago. I don't ever remember seeing Mike Drill or his car after that day.
I do remember some things about the car that he ran that day. It was a short dragster in the range of 100 to 110 inch wheelbase. Not much of a body covering it, just a flat panel going down from the drivers cockpit to the front axle. Behind the seat was a nail head Buick v8 engine. So it would be considered a rear engined car. Sorry but I don't remember what carburetion was on it and I dont recall whether it was direct drive or used a transmission. I kind of remember an early Ford banjo type rear. Also, if my memory serves me well, it was painted white with a blue stripe up the center of the flat panel. Basically, it had the appearence of a go Kart. A rear engine dragster was an unusual design for that era. Actually they were still referred to as "Rail Jobs" in 1957.
we need to sit Goldy down with a recorder and squeeze all of theses stories and information out of him!!!
I would like to publicly thank Goldy for taking the time to reply to my question. If anyone has a photo of the Drill car, it would be great to see it on this forum. The HAMB is a great place to learn about the forgotten cars or drivers of U.S. drag racing history, and it would be great to capture as much history on these drivers and cars as possible.
Charlie Wise's roadster he was the first president of the Philadelphia Modifiers
NICE! HRS, do you know what engine he used?
Read this entire thread and no one has brought up the subject of Hurst/Campbell in Warminster, PA. My brother who has recently pasted away ran a 1969 Z/28 that was sort of unofficially sponsored by Hurst. They would come up with new test products and they would need a Guinea Pig and I guess my brother was one of their pigs. How he got involved with Hurst was he worked at the ESSO Gas Station at the corner of Street and Jacksonville Roads in front or what use to be Hurst/Campbell Performance Products across from the now close NAWC Navy Base. The owner of the station at the time ran a Red tri-5 Chevy Gasser that was also unofficially sponsored by Hurst. I'm guessing the big wigs at Hurst would bring their car to the station for service and that is how the relationship got started.
Check this out very cool video of the original Hurst Hemi Under Glass.
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Sorry to hear of your brothers passing.
Do you have any more details about the gas station and/or the red '55? Any pic's Wondering if it the '55 my uncle, Edddie Woodland worked on.
The building is still there but they don't pump gas any longer. The pumps have long been removed. The sons and grandsons of the original owners Pop and Dill Coffman still operate auto repairs from the same location. Sorry don't have any pictures and I really don't know a lot of details about the Tri-5 other then it was a Red Gasser with tilt forward fiberglass front fenders and hood. Not sure what year the Chevy was a 55 or 56. I know it wasn't a 57. I worked there for a while in the mid to later 70's part time and weekends pumping gas, changing tires and doing tune ups. My bother worked there full time into the mid 70's as a mechanic until he got hit buy a car at the gas pumps pumping gas in a customer’s car. He had his right knee crushed in the accident between the bumps of two cars. My brothers are the persons who sparked my interest in Hot Rods. I use to help passed brother and my other brother who is 10 years older than me work on their cars when I was a youngster. My brother who passed away had a green 69 Z/28 and a gray Model A Coupe. The Coupe was put together with a Corvair front end, center section rear not sure if it was a Chevy or Ford rear and a 289 Engine. My bother sold the Coupe to someone in Willow Grove and the person he sold it to still owns it. I know the car is still in Willow Grove because I see the current owns cousin every once and a while and I ask him about it. If given the opportunity or chance I'd buy the car back. Don't know what happened to the Coffman's Tri-5 Chevy or my brothers Z/28.
Wow what a great shot...My next door neighbor Tom Meers talked a lot about this car and when they reworked it for Charlie's widow. Wonder where it is now..
Lived in Horsham in the 80's and 309 Cinema (Welsh Road/Route 63 and Route 309) was one of the places we would occasionally go to hang out with our cars other then Hatboro.
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