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Art & Inspiration Quarter Midgets from the 50's & 60's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by KGB911, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. KGB911
    Joined: Feb 22, 2011
    Posts: 37

    KGB911
    Member

    How about sharing old memories of your childhood racing quarter midgets!
    Pictures tell a thousand words!
    Danny Ruth
     

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  2. Himee
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 50

    Himee
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    This is the one my Dad put together. He left the front bumper off because he didn't like the way it looked.
     

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  3. Yes, they do! Here I am in 1957. This is Kurtis Kraft 1/4 midget #1, the prototype. I won the first ever national 1/4 midget championship in this car at Blakley Stadium, Phoenix, Az, 1957.



    [​IMG]
     
    ROSEWOOD likes this.
  4. My little brother, Jack, in his Kurtis, 1958.


    [​IMG]
     

  5. My Kurtis beside my Dad's '47 Kurtis V8 60 midget, currently in the loby of the Justice Brothers Museum.


    [​IMG]
     
  6. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,381

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    Grandson wishing and waiting in a '59? Wahlberg...........
     

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    mercman@bulldog likes this.
  7. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,915

    Ebert
    Member

    My Dreyerette...built by Pop Dreyer & Junior Dreyer in the early 50's. I had this car finished last year and only need to add the chrome spinners which Junior cast from the original molds!!!
     

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  8. Offy 220
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 255

    Offy 220
    Member

    Dean,

    Great photo! :) I have a question - How many midgets did Frank build that did not have a head rest?

    Thanks,
    Bruce [Offy 220]
     
  9. casper
    Joined: Apr 27, 2005
    Posts: 974

    casper
    Member

    Wow! great thread. Dean and Jack are quarter midget legends !!! These have been posted before, but here are a few in the corner of the garage. I have a Speedway and a nice original Moss brand also.
     

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  10. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,915

    Ebert
    Member

    Way cool, Casper!!!! You da MAN!!! Dean & Jack, you guys rule! TRUE legends! Ebert
     
  11. Bruce, my Dad's 93 , Chassis # 121, is the one and only. Dad had Chassis #4, and sold it to Frank Armi in the summer of '46. When he told Frank he wanted the next one without the headrest, so he would have something different, Frank refused at first. He didn't want to "spoil" his design. Since Dad had got Frank the tubing and aluminum sheet on a "war priority" in '45 for the first tube frame car, Frank relented, and formed the tail himself, without the headrest. After he finished the tail, Frank told dad "now we're even".
     
  12. Himee
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 50

    Himee
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    The chassis number of the Kurtis I posted is #434. My dad also has chassis#64. What would that early midget look like? He has no bodywork for that chassis number.
     
  13. Allard Register
    Joined: Jan 13, 2010
    Posts: 31

    Allard Register
    Member
    from Fresyes

    Going through some old Kurtis photos I inherited...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,
    Colni
     
  14. A Kurtis 1/4 midget chassis #64 would look like the one Allard Register posted. The body pieces pic he posted is first generation, like the body on mine. The second generation bodies began around chassis #30.

    If the pic you posted is actually a Kurtis, it's like none I've ever seen.
     
  15. Himee
    Joined: Oct 30, 2006
    Posts: 50

    Himee
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    The midget posted is indeed a Kurtis. The nose is a replacement that was sold in the 70's. The number stamped on the motor plate is 434. Thanks for the info.
     
  16. Offy 220
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 255

    Offy 220
    Member

    Dean,
    Thanks for the background information regarding your dad's Kurtis. I saw your car years ago - noticed no headrest and always wondered what was the story behind it. Beautiful car! :)
     
  17. ZomBrian
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    ZomBrian
    Member
    from in IN

    My FAVORITE Quarter Midget photo! Great issue with a great write-up on all the available makes of the time.
     

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  18. fatman1
    Joined: May 18, 2010
    Posts: 15

    fatman1
    Member
    from hiram ohio

    I have a midget racer built in 1959, powered by a Triumph cub motor supposed too have came from a factory sponsored race bike runs on alcohol. Body is aluminum loooks hand formed and gas welded great workmanship. Came with two spare engines and alot of spare pistons and cams. also came with two 12hp Wisconsion engine one is supposed to have been modified with model A valves and lightened flywheel original owner said that he broke his arm starting that one. I would like to know if it is a TQ or 1/2 midget he said TQ but it looks small and engine is in the back
    <!-- / message --><!-- attachments --><FIELDSET class=fieldset><LEGEND>Attached Thumbnails</LEGEND></FIELDSET>
     
  19. Offy 220
    Joined: Sep 29, 2009
    Posts: 255

    Offy 220
    Member

    Dean or anyone else who may know,

    When I was a youngster, I used to go to Trojan Speedway in South Gate, Cal. on Sundays to watch TQ and possibly 1/4 Midget races. Our neighbor around the corner from us was a flagman - first name was Bob, don't know his last name.

    He had a Crosley-powered TQ or 1/4 midget. My question - What is the differences between the two car classes? [Engines, wheelbase, etc.] Also, do you know the years Trojan Speedway was in existence and when it closed?

    Thanks,
    Bruce [Offy 220]
     
  20. racinman
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 952

    racinman
    Member

    Im still in my childhood...
     

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  21. I don't know the specs, but a TQ, like a 1/4 midget, is what the name implies. 1/4 and 3/4's the size of a full midget.

    The car with the Triumph engine probably is a TQ. The limit for a TQ engine always was 750cc's.
     
  22. Aman
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,522

    Aman
    Member
    from Texas

    I rememberd those from the late 60s and early 70s. There was a little track outside of Coffeeville, Kansas an 1/8 miler, I believe. We used to go watch them and I met a guy who had about 4 of these. At the time I was ass deep in my 55 Chevy/BBC project and couldn't afford both on my $1.25/hour job. Nevertheless, it would have been a blast to race them. There is a track around here (Corpus Christi, Texas) some where, I think it's in Odem, Tx. I really need to go over there and check it out. Then again I have a new 55 Chevy project going on right now so I won't be buying one any time soon. Thanks for the memories, I didn't mean to hijack your thread. Aman
     
  23. Gabby_Illinois
    Joined: Apr 18, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Gabby_Illinois
    Member

    Back in the 50's I was too young to race our quarter midget here in the Quad Cities, and by the time I was old enough, the racing had died out. However, my two older brothers raced it and did pretty well, well some trophies and T-shirts anyway.

    I've been wondering over the years who might have built it. Can anyone tell? It looks pretty close to KGB's, but I really can't be sure. Thanks. Gabby

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Couldn't even guess without a picture. :confused:
     
  25. Gabby_Illinois
    Joined: Apr 18, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Gabby_Illinois
    Member

    Sorry, I linked a pic and I saw it in preview so I'm not sure what happened to it. I see it when I look at the message right now so there must be something I'm missing for posting a pic. Maybe it's max file size, every forum seems to be different.

    Gab
     
  26. KGB911
    Joined: Feb 22, 2011
    Posts: 37

    KGB911
    Member

    Dean: I have read many of your various posts and I am sure we raced against each other as kids. As with you, my first real car was a Model A Roadster pick up. Although not as cool as yours it was none the less a great tool for learning the trade! I only wish I had pictures of mine when it was sold. Dad had gone to the Speedway in 68 and brought me home some Indy car rears and I had LA Wheel make me some rear wheels using Kelsey Hays centers to fit those huge tires. I wish I had that Truck Today.
    Are you going to Pomona for the Fathers day show, if so maybe we could meet?
    Dan Ruth
    Pacemaker #1
     

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  27. Dan, I plan on being at the LARS all weekend. I never ran Panorama, but if you ever ran at Upland, Firestone, Los Alamitos, Little Ascot, San Fernando, Azusa, Cornell Corners, or Vegas or Phoenix, between '55 and '59, then we could have raced each other. Jack and I raced with a lot of kids 55 years ago, some names I remember, a lot I don't.
     
  28. Gabby_Illinois
    Joined: Apr 18, 2011
    Posts: 3

    Gabby_Illinois
    Member

    Ok, lets try this again....

    <HR style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #e5e5e5; COLOR: #e5e5e5" SIZE=1>Sorry, I linked a pic and I saw it in preview so I'm not sure what happened to it. I see it when I look at the message right now, so there must be something I'm missing for posting a pic. Maybe it's max file size, every forum seems to be different.

    Does anyone know who might have made this quarter midget, let me know if you can't see it:
     

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  29. KGB911
    Joined: Feb 22, 2011
    Posts: 37

    KGB911
    Member

    Dean: Dad and I will be at LARS with his 33 Roadster and we are going to stay in the motorhome lot on the grounds, it would be fun to hook up, pm me with your number.
    I raced at Firestone,Los Alamitos, Fernando, Azusa "The Kart Track", Cornell Corners, Vegas " The Hacienda" and many others like, Camarillo "The Looney Farm", Northridge, Fresno and I remember with great memories the Special Event tracks set up at Fairs as they were always 1/10th miles and SPEED was always good when you had an Ernie Bose engine and a Pacemaker.
    My kids ran 1/4's also in Nor-Cal with a Kurtis FX and a Rice. I am helping a neighbor who just got into the sport as it is today with there Stanley 1/4 midget and I have warned them to allow time for other activities but it's to late they are hooked and possessed by the race demons.
    Dan Ruth
    Here is a pic of Dads 33
     

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  30. gearguy
    Joined: Jan 27, 2010
    Posts: 286

    gearguy
    Member

    I sent a link to this forum to my good friend Gregg Kishline, a noted 1/4 midget restorer. He sent me this response plus the photos:


    Chuck,

    We built this 10 yrs ago. I'm not a HAMB member, but maybe the regulars would like to see a new 'old' quarter (...a 1/2 midget actually, with its 51-inch wheelbase).

    I restored and built it with Lance Turner, Harry Turner's son. Harry owned/drove/raced midgets for 50+ years and was inducted in the Midget Hall of Fame a few years back.

    Lance and I bumped into a sad re-pop body at a flea market back in 1999. Eight months later we had the #82 Turner Offy, a car modeled after Harry's late-40's Offy midget, from photos. It's tight seating, but an adult can shoehorn into it and it is FUN to motivate around the asphalt.

    Power is from a 60's-era Honda 90 3-speed automatic. We've never found a place big enough to explore all of third gear, but she does go quickly. We followed conventional design and building techniques, out of respect for Carl Schiller (Offyette), Frank Kurtis (Kurtis Kraft), and Doug Caruthers (Viking Craft). They started it all.

    Carl had one son, Doug, who is now a retired industrial arts teacher, living in TX. In the 1950's, Doug helped assemble Offyette kits and drove dad's 1/4s on Long Island, including an East Coast championship. Doug stays active, restoring 1/4s and 1/2s, today. See if you can prompt some recollections from one of the few remaining guys who built and drove vintage 1/4 midgets, when the sport was new. Roy Caruthers (Doug's son) is still active in the Indianapolis area, as well.

    We couldn't afford 1/4s when we were kids so - here in our 60's - we figured why the hell not? (Lance is wearing the baseball cap)

    gk

    Chuck Schultz
    Winfield, Illinois

    PS: Turner Autobody in Kenosha Wisconsin also restores larger race cars.
     

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