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Post-War 'Hot Rods' at Indy

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, May 31, 2013.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,582


  2. kenmo
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 1,040


    Thanks very much for sharing... Looks to be a very interesting article... Off to read it now...
  3. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792

    Member Emeritus

    Great list, but it could have stopped at 1959, style wise. The Foyt car is cool, but at that point, with the nose change, the early style was all but gone.

    Getting into cars during the mid-sixties, I used to love Indy cars and dirt cars. The early cars influenced the soap box and go carts my friends and I built. By the mid 70's, the thrill was gone completely.
  4. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    from Colorado

    The Blue Crowns arrive at Indy 1948.

    Attached Files:

  5. I like them all, thanks for sharing.
  6. Terry Buffum
    Joined: Mar 20, 2008
    Posts: 298

    Terry Buffum
    from Oregon

    A minor addition/correction.

    "1952: Troy Ruttman in a Kuzma/Offy car. Troy was only 22 when he won Indy (still the youngest racer ever to do so). The Agajanian Special #98 had a beautiful track nose and a fantastic red flame job over cream paint. It was one of the earliest racers to use disc brakes converted from military aircraft"

    The pre-war Gulf Miller cars had disc brakes. They had essentially a clutch disc pushed by a bladder against the face of a "drum".
  7. IMHO any list of post-war Hot Rods at Indy should include:

    1: Any car that attempted to qualify that was built on 'Thunder Alley' in Culver City.
    2: Any Mickey Thompson effort.
    3: Any stock-block effort including Smokey Yunick and yes, even Dan Gurney's stock-block efforts...JIC you forget, Gurney employed Phil Remington-a Hot Rod pioneer.
    4: Any Indy car that John Buttera worked on. He may not be a pre-64 guy but surely a supremely talented fabricator.
    5: Any Indy car that Dean Jeffries painted.
    6: Any Indy car Larry Shinoda crewed on. Shinoda owned and dragged the 'Chopsticks Special'.

    I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting a bunch more...:rolleyes:
  8. blktie
    Joined: Aug 26, 2007
    Posts: 325


    This hangs in my office at Bettenhausen Automotive. The caption reads:

    "Tony Bettenhausen - former AAA Champion. One of all-time greats of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. His eight championship wins in 1951 set a record for the most races of that type won in one season. To date, he has been victorious in 16 such events."

    circa 1952

  9. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    I've always loved the older Indy cars.
  10. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 5,821


    Great stuff, Bomber. Thanks
  11. 3 Dueces
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 6

    3 Dueces
    from kansas

    Its interesting to look at the stands behind the cars and see how they changed over the years. Also the non electronic leader board.
  12. 231ramona
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 274


    For stunning looks and performance, you just can't beat the 1956 rear wheel drive Novi. Paul was showin em a thing or two till his tire blew out.

    Attached Files:

  13. BrerHair
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 4,824


    Ho hum . . . just some gorgeous Indy racers . . . tough crowd to stir up, I guess.

    Interesting how a few of them have the body tucked behind front tires.

    Great stuff Jay, thanks.
  14. 231ramona
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 274


  15. 'Mo
    Joined: Sep 26, 2007
    Posts: 7,431


  16. Airhead Roadster
    Joined: Sep 26, 2012
    Posts: 106

    Airhead Roadster

    I've been studying these cars and am fascinated with the diversity of their designs.
  17. Having recently attended the Amelia Island Concours D'Elegance, I was filled with a new appreciation for these early Indy cars. Yes, the "Millers" were primarly pre-war, but there was a few later models on display.

    My Hot Rod Uncle and his pals would make the annual trek to Indy, throughout the 50's and 60's, for time trials week. Remember seeing his 8mm home movies, at Sunday gatherings. My aunt said that a horrific crash (and 4 children)made her stop going.

    My involvement in proffessional motorsports, also allows me to make a comparison between then and now. Modern day race cars are like space ships, where carbon fiber rules, chrome and fancy paint are too heavy. Weight is the enemy. Our Bimmer' and Aston Martin are "wrapped" instead of painted. As beautiful as some of the F1, Indy cars and Prototypes are...they don't have the flash that those Watson era Roadsters did. Indy is actually one of the tracks on my "Bucket List". Heading to Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glenn in the next few weeks. Will share this story with our crew cheif.

  18. 4-port Riley
    Joined: Oct 20, 2005
    Posts: 303

    4-port Riley

    Paul Cantarano ran his car in 1950. He and I visited Indy in 2000. We parked our RV's in A.J. Watson's yard. At that time AJ was building replicas of his roadster, using Offies that he was resurrecting from broken parts, quite ingenious!
  19. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,199

    from pgh. pa.

    Make sure you visit the Indy Speedway museum.

  20. Indy Bones
    Joined: Jul 8, 2010
    Posts: 107

    Indy Bones

    My own list would have included J.C. Agajanian's "Ol' Calhoun," driven by the great Rufus Parnell Jones. That thing makes me shiver ... Parnelli led the 500 with that car as a rookie in 1961, says '62 should have been the easiest win of his life before the brakes went AWOL, won in '63, and blew up leading in 1964.

    So fast, AND so pretty: Ol' Freaking Calhoun.

    The beauty is, your list is YOUR list. We can all drool over the cars of our own daydreams, while appreciating others. And THANKS for the piece that kicked off this thread!

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