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Hot Rods Push Trucks

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jetnow1, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. jetnow1
    Joined: Jan 30, 2008
    Posts: 1,536

    from CT
    1. A-D Truckers

    In Ryans recent post re Hot Rod covers there are many old Lake cars and drag cars that would have used push trucks, yet we rarely see them. How about a thread for these
    often utilitarian but needed vehicles.
  2. steveabilly
    Joined: Apr 29, 2007
    Posts: 47


    Not really a truck but here's Gil Ayala's Mercury being a push car

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
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  3. Here's one working

    Here is a more modern version waiting to work


    And here's one playing

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  5. A few from HHR in Kentucky
    IMG_1194.JPG IMG_1196.JPG IMG_1199.JPG IMG_1200.JPG
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  6. steveabilly
    Joined: Apr 29, 2007
    Posts: 47


    Deuces and exterminator like this.
  7. steveabilly
    Joined: Apr 29, 2007
    Posts: 47


    Chavezk21, Deuces and AVater like this.
  8. 1174.jpg
    A little push from a Ute
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  9. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,092

    Atwater Mike

    My '55 F100 did that duty...and more. Still!
    Love those 'utilitarians'...
  10. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,645


    The Push Truck guy's have never received much credit for their time and efforts IMO. Speaking as someone that was involved in open wheel dirt track racing for many years, there were times, at some tracks, push trucks were in short supply and drags things out as all the cars were push started (16/20 car feature w/ 4 push trucks) In my vast racing Pic collection, have only a few Pic's of the unsung hero's of dirt track racing that packed the track and pushed us off. Back in my day, a free pit pass was there only pay, today I'm told they get paid a few bucks, but it's still for the love of the sport as it was for the owners/drivers.
    Speedwrench likes this.
  11. Model A Gomez
    Joined: Aug 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,237

    Model A Gomez

    Not exactly a push truck but My brother ran an X/F dragster at MoKan in the mid 60's and the Buick hearse in the background is his push car. Was handy, piled fuel, tools, parts and people in it, towed an enclosed trailer with no problems.

    Attached Files:

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  12. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    upload_2018-4-9_5-20-28.png upload_2018-4-9_5-20-44.png 1959

    Being upstart teenagers, we were into drag racing of all kinds. When we were told that Art Afrons was bringing the Green Monster out west to Lions sometime in 1959. We could not miss this event. We were fighting for a front row position on the spectator’s side low fence. That was a ring side seat for us.

    If I had a zoom lens, the movies would have been life size. But, we cope with what we have. It was a great place for an all day stay, as our 58 Impala was right behind us full of a cooler of my mom’s great cooking. But, it was still a short walk to get those famous, "Lions Pits" hot dogs and drinks.
    1959-60 LIONS the boys on the spectator side 50s-60's garb

    The Green Monster was an unusual set up, not anything like all of the other dragsters that were racing during this time period. It looked like a pure homemade race car. (It was) The sound was like an airplane because it was an Allison V-12 airplane motor. It did go by in a flash and not as loud as the top FED+ racers of the time. (Sidewinder, Kenny Lindley/Don Hampton, H&H Garage Lefty Muddersbach, Dragmaster, etc.)

    The Green Monster at Lions total:

    "Number 11 was probably the best running of all the cars, but by the time of its performance, aircraft-powered dragsters were relegated to the exhibition classification."


    In 2017, at the Price Transfer Lions Dragstrip Museum Cacklefest in the rear parking lot, a Green Monster with a cool looking push truck, similar to the 1959 version (#5 vs#11), made the big, extremely loud fire up show. Those Allison motors are unique to the drag racing scene.
    The Ford push truck had a similar look to the 59 version, with the exception of the unusual decals on the door.

    upload_2018-4-9_5-25-16.png upload_2018-4-9_5-24-46.png
  13. ...probly the most memorable push truck from the Meltdown drags...
    meltdown 7-22-12 090.jpg meltdown 7-22-12 038.jpg
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  14. Dave Mc
    Joined: Mar 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,981

    Dave Mc

    My Dad used to Build Hardtops back in the 50's and built this Ten Wheeler to do the Pushing , also a shot of My Mom in her 40 Ford and a pic of my Sister and Me with the Lil Truck,he built three trucks like this the last one in 97 Mom-PowderpuffDerby.jpg Dadz Truck Sis & me.jpg our pic`s 181.jpg IMG_0189.JPG IMG_0188.JPG
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  15. Puyallup Wa.

    Attached Files:

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  16. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,947


    Fun thread, I've always wondered why some of the guys who go to Bonneville to spectate and do the "look at me" thing with their fake race numbers on their cars don't instead do up a simple "push truck" to actually look the part. Find a low buck racer there by himself with no support an it might become a real push truck./chase truck.
  17. 0ldracer
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 522


  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    1964 Lions Dragstrip: Silver Dollar Willys pick up? with a matching silver 57 Nomad push car.


    When I went back to Lions in 1964 for a day of documenting my friend, Atts Ono’s debut of the red 40 Willys coupe, it was the first time since 1960. Atts Ono had just finished his immaculate Willys build and wanted me to document his first day at the drags. It wasn’t just a normal Saturday drag race day, but all of the big names in the Gas Coupe and Sedan Class were there to race. What a tough day for a debut. The Lions Dragstrip event was open, only to Gas Coupes and Sedans. What a show it was…

    The big names were all in attendance in various forms of their builds. Later on, I noticed that the early version of the Silver Dollar Willys (or what looked like it) was in the Lions Dragstrip pits. The truck was pretty radical for the times, chopped roof, short bed, etc. But, the look was accentuated by the cool looking, matching silver, 57 Chevy Nomad push/tow vehicle. It looked nice going to the start line and on the return road.


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  19. hdman6465
    Joined: Jul 5, 2009
    Posts: 652


    A fun day with old friends. HPIM0199.JPG Old Car Drags Cincy08005.jpg
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  20. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    upload_2018-5-31_3-46-0.png 1959 Lions Dragstrip Pits "Dragster" lane

    In the old days, the FEDs, Modified Roadsters, and Altered Coupes/Sedans needed some help in getting started. Before the rollers and before the electric blower attached, starter motors, the motors needed a certain speed to pop the clutch to start. Some of them had to be pushed down past the tower to turn around and start. This lengthened the eliminations as two racers pushed down the strip to do their thing.

    Lions Dragstrip had a "Dragster" staging lane from the back area of the pits just for these race cars that needed a push to fire up. The short distance to the starting line area was just enough to fire up and be ready for the upcoming race or timed run. Many used this fire up method. The Ford pickup trucks were very popular. (three in the same photo)

    Of course, some “street” Gas Coupes/Sedans/Roadsters that were used mainly at the drags had their own push/tow trucks and cars to get back to the pits or home. But they did start on their own.


    What crazy photographers won’t do for an action shot or two… danger lurks inches away.

    Kenny Lindley/Don Hampton coming at you !

    Kenny Lindley/Don Hampton actual sound Lions 1959.
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  21. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    1959 Eldon Dye/Donnie Hampton

    When we arrived at Lions Dragstrip back in 1958, there were all sorts of race car designs. The hot rod coupes, roadsters and sedans being the most popular in attendance, had the “race what your drive” mentality. But, there were other cars just built for racing on the Dragstrip. The Eldon Dye/Donnie Hampton Team combination, always had an unusual array of race cars during this time period.

    1958-59 Lions, root beer painted Bantam body, Cad motor, 57 black Ranchero
    Their root beer color Bantam coupe with a Cad motor raced against the best of the FEDs in the Top Eliminator class. They did well against those sleek bodied, FED racecars.

    Over the years, during our own dragstrip days, this team had some nice push trucks to get the Cad/Bantam started. In late 1959, the color and build changed, along with a new Ford Ranchero for a push truck/tow vehicle.

    (1959 December Riverside, blue painted Bantam, 671 Hemi power black Ranchero)
    As our drag racing adventures expanded, so did the Dye/Hampton race car and push truck. We traveled to Riverside Raceway in 1959 and Bakersfield Smokers March Meet in 1960 and saw the changes in this race team. As always, the look/design and power was outstanding.

    1960 March, Bakersfield, a 1959 Ranchero

    Hampton-Dye total

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  22. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    upload_2018-7-10_3-18-50.png upload_2018-7-10_3-19-3.png
    Gary Cagle-Herbert Cams Special at Lions: 1960 Chrysler 300 push car


    What is more fitting than a Chrysler Hemi powered, FED, old time racer being started by a classic Chrysler 300 D, 380 HP, Hemi push car? Or was it the 300F dual quad, Cross Ram, Wedge motor? Whatever the case, that Chrysler 300 had a ton of style, class and power for this cool job. A local Chrysler sponsored car perhaps? The Gary Cagle driven, Chet Herbert Cams Special record holding FED was fast, loud and won a lot of trophies.


    “The 300 "letter series" cars were among the vehicles that focused on performance built by domestic U.S. manufacturers after World War II, and thus can be considered one of the muscle car's ancestors, though full-sized and more expensive.”
    upload_2018-7-10_3-23-4.png upload_2018-7-10_3-23-29.png
    Record holder, Gary Cagle-Herbert Cams Special
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  23. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    upload_2018-9-19_4-59-54.png Glen Stokey FED

    For all of the times we saw this red FED at Lions Dragstrip, we thought it was the Clay Smith Cams Special. We did see it at the Clay Smith Cam Shop, just several blocks away from our Westside Long Beach home. But, when we saw it at the Dragstrip, everyone said it was the Clay Smith Special FED. We did not know Glen Stokey at the time.
    The red woodpecker sponsorship logos were evident. We all saw the mean looking woodpecker with a cigar as the FED rolled by or was on a hard charging run down the strip. Red car + the woodpecker…instant recognition.

    This bright red, FED was one that always needed a “push” down the track to fire up. That push truck/car show was almost a standard item in these early days of Lions Dragstrip and at other dragstrips across the nation.


    Lions had a staging/fire up lane that ran alongside of the pit row lanes, just for altereds. modified roadsters, and FEDs that needed an open road to fire up. But, firing up along that narrow road was a little harrowing for all. The bright, open Dragstrip just gave the audience, “a show before the show…”
    Glen Stokey 1959-60

    As short as the fire up lane in the Lions Pits was for most, there were some of the top FEDs took the narrow fire up lane as a means to show the competitors how it is done. Push trucks and all… Don Hampton driving the Kenny Lindley "Misfire" race car. It was an "up close and personal" way to connect (scare the $#!&) out of the nearby fans and racers.

    Kenny Lindley/Don Hampton

    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  24. WZ JUNK
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,650

    from Neosho, MO

    1FATGMC at Bonneville. Pushing off for a record return run as the sun is coming up. Making memories. studebakeratdawn.jpg
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  25. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,549

    Bandit Billy

    ^^^^^^great photo!!!!!!!!!!
  26. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,509


    upload_2019-4-29_3-45-9.png Tapia Bros. Collection


    In 1959, during the humble heydays of drag racing in So Cal, a lot of people towed their race cars to the dragstrip. But, for those that are creative with a lightweight race car, perhaps this is a good method of drag race car transportation. No worries about cross winds, blown out trailer tires, bent tow bars, inconsistent tail lights, or out of control braking, etc. Just drop the tail gate, roll it into the bed, lift it up, shut the tailgate and off to the drags.

    A lot of drag racing motorcycles did just that scenario, but a lightweight FED? That is some drag racing creativity and ingenuity in action. Never challenge a hot rod/drag race form of ingenuity from back in those great, old So Cal days.

    upload_2019-4-29_3-49-20.png Tapia Bros. Collection
    Tapia Bros at Lions Dragstrip
    Some kid in a red Pendleton going eye to eye with the Tapia Bros FED race car.

    Good old times, indeed!

    Sky Six likes this.

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