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Folks Of Interest RIP ... Fred Lobello

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. We've lost yet another Hot Rodding Pioneer ...

    Long time member of the San Diego Roadster Club and Dry Lakes "Hall of Famer", Fred Lobello has passed.

    Fred Lobello.jpg
    Fred Lobello
    December 31, 1921 - February 23, 2015
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2015
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  2. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 27,033

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Sincere sympathy goes out to his Family, and friends
     
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  3. San Diego native Fred Lobello bought a 1932 Model B (4-cylinder) Ford full-fendered Roadster in July of 1941 for $65.

    In the summer of 1942, a car smacked into his roadster and ruined the left rear fender and door ... Instead of repairing the body, Fred bought a another Deuce (V-8) Roadster (for just $40) and swapped bodies ... and his 4-banger roadster has been a highboy ever since!

    Lobello Roadster (with bathing beauty).JPG
    Fred's highboy with a bathing beauty

    Fred served in the US Army during WWII ... In 1944, he was part of the infamous "10th Mountain Division" that fought in the rough mountainous terrain of Italy (i.e. the Alps) ... and was awarded the Bronze Star!

    Lobello Roadster (Army).JPG
    Fred put his roadster into storage during the war

    In August of 1945 (after US dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki), Fred was granted leave from the Army ... and returned home to San Diego.

    On September 16th 1945, he joined the San Diego Roadster Club ... and on October 7th 1945, he & two other SDRC members ran their cars at the first post-war meet (a Pacific Coast Timing Association sanctioned event held at El Mirage dry lake) ... Fred's roadster ran 85 MPH.

    Fred continued to race his (4-banger powered) roadster at several Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) 1946, 1947, & 1948 Dry Lake meets.

    Fred Lobello Deuce Highboy (San Diego Roadster Club).jpg
    Fred (left foreground) with his Deuce Roadster at the Dry Lakes

    In 1947, the 4 banger was equipped with a Winfield head, a Clay Smith cam, two Stromberg 97s, and Mallory ignition ... and the roadster ran a respectable 96.35 MPH.

    Fred Lobello #478 B Roadster.jpg

    In 1948, he switched to a Cragar head and managed to break the 100 MPH barrier.

    Lobello #344 B Roadster at El Mirage - 1948.jpg
    Fred Lobello's Model "B" turns a 101.01 MPH at El Mirage Dry Lake, 1948

    Fred Lobello in his Dry Lakes Deuce Roadster.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
  4. Fred attended the first meet at Bonneville in 1949 ... where he assisted Chief Timer J. Otto Crocker with timing & recording.

    Fred Lobello - 1949.jpg
    Fred Lobello (circa 1949)


    In 1950, he was back at El Mirage running a Lakester that he had built using the small (165 gallon) steel drop tank from a Navy F4U Corsair, painted white, and christened "The Lady Bug" ... It ran 116 MPH with the Winfield headed 4-banger from his roadster (i.e., the 96 MPH engine).

    1950-motorama-lobello-ladybug.jpg
    1950 Motorama


    In 1951, he teamed up with the legendary John Vesco and driver Jack Harvey ... and ran a best of 146 MPH using Vesco's 4-Port Riley engine.

    1951-lobello-ladybug.jpg
    Bonneville 1951


    By 1954, Fred had his own 4-Port Riley.

    From the WAYNE KOEPPE Collection.jpg
    image from the Wayne Koeppe Collection

    1954 Belly Tanks @ B\'ville starting line (by JR Eyerman).jpg
    1954 Fred Lobello Bellytank LadyBug (by JR Eyerman).jpg
    Bonneville 1954 - by J.R. Eyerman (for LIFE magazine)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015

  5. From 1958 thru 1967 Bob Myers & Bill Taylor shared seat time in the Lakester.

    In 1963, on 50% Nitro, the "Lady Bug" Lakester ran 181 MPH ... becoming the World's Fastest (Iron Head) Riley!

    #51 XL Lady Bug Bellytank - 1960s.jpg
    #51 X/L - circa '60s
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  6. In the late '60s, Fred "rebuilt" the Lakester using a Convair B-58 wing tip tank ... In 1978, it set the V4F Unblown Fuel Lakester record at 180 MPH!

    #200 Lobello & Myers Lakester.jpg
    #200 Lobello & Myers Lakester - circa '70s
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
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  7. Fred was one of the good guys. His lakester with Model B power was always at the top of the class. RIP Fred
     
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  8. Tim (@notrod13) Sutton's pics of Fred Lobello's "Lady Bug" streamliner (#51 X/Lakester) on the salt in 2011:

    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (1).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (2).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (3).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (4).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (5).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (6).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (7).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (8).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (9).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (10).jpg
    Fred Lobello Lady Bug by Tim Sutton (11).jpg
    all images by Tim Sutton
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
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  9. ... and Tim (@notrod13) Sutton's video interview with Mr. Lobello:

     
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  10. R.I.P. Fred Lobello, another pioneer & 49er has left us to race the big dry lake in the sky. That video Tim Sutton filmed is now a priceless piece of history.
     
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  11. Well said!

    As always... God speed Fred!
     
  12. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,408

    clem
    Member

    Condolences to his family and friends. Thanks Hemi 32 for posting the history and photos. A nice tribute.
     
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  13. Wow, great tribute, Hemi32.
    RIP Fred.
    I didn't know you, but it sure looks like you lived the dream.
     
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  14. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,138

    deucemac
    Member

    I had the pleasure of knowing Fred for over 40 years. At one time he was the machinist for Paul Shieffer. When Shieffer moved to Monterrey Park, Fred set up a full machine shop in his garage! Did beautiful work. At one end of the garage sat Fred's roadster body up on end on the firewall. Didn't get to see Fred much except for B'ville in later years but ALWAYS had a great time with him. He leaves a void in our world. If you thought the video was good, it was nothing compared to listening in person when Fred would share stories. He complained that he only loaned his camera out twice and both times the borrower made national news. One time was when the shots of Rex Mays fatal crash at Del Mar and the other when the deuce raced the quarter horse. Both shot with Fred's camera and Fred no where around. RIP my my friend, Bonneville will never be the same without you!
     

    Attached Files:

  15. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 5,079

    pitman

    Thanks for introducing us to him Hemi! Sounds like he made his own way into the record books.
     
  16. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,535

    Mike
    Member

    Sad, sad news.

    Godspeed, Freddy Lobello.
     
  17. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,757

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Our crew stood near Fred and his "Lady Bug" during the driver's meeting in 2011, and spoke with him about the car, which I've seen pictured in many of my old books and magazines. Very nice and interesting man. RIP Fred.
     
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  18. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling
    Member

    Nice tribute to yet another "Founding Father" of the pastime we all enjoy.
     
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  19. In January of 2012, Fred was invited to display his roadster at the Petersen Automotive Museum ... for the "Deuce Week" (80th Anniversary of the '32 Ford) Celebration:

    Fred Lobello & his \'32 Roadster @ Petersen Auto Museum 80th Anniversary of the Deuce (Jan \'11).JPG
    image from the March 2012 issue of the San Diego Early Ford V8 Club newsletter

    Fred Lobello\'s \'32 Roadster @ Petersen Deuce Week (by Howard Gribble).JPG
    image by Howard Gribble
     
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  20. Here's three (circa 1951) color pics of "The Lady Bug" Lakester:

    1951 Bonneville (still from 57 mark of video).JPG
    1951 Bonneville (still from 59 mark of video).JPG
    1951 Bonneville (still from 258 mark of video).JPG
    NOTE: These images are stills from some vintage Bonneville movie footage
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
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  21. Here's a couple cool B&W photos of Lobello's #431 C Lakester:

    Fred Lobello Tank.jpg
    image by unknown photographer

    B\'ville 1960 (photo by Lynn Wineland).jpg
    1960 photo by Lynn Wineland
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
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  22. In 2009, Fred's #51 X Lakester was on display at the San Diego Automotive Museum:

    Lady Bug @ San Diego Auto Museum - January 25, 2009 (by MR38).JPG
    image by "MR38"

    Lady Bug @ San Diego Auto Museum - February 2009 (by denis4x4).jpg
    image by @denis4x4
     
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  23. Here's Fred (holding his "49er" plaque) on the salt in 2013:

    Fred at Bonneville (August 10, 2013) with 49er plaque.jpg
    Fred\'s 49er plaque.jpg
    image(s) by Michael Foyle
     
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  24. Another legend leaves us, RIP Freddy
     
  25. Here's some (circa 1960s) vintage B&W photos of Fred's Riley 4-banger powered Lakester:

    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (3).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (4).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (5).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (6).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (7).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (9).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (10).jpg
    The Lady Bug by CR Chenoweth (11).jpg
    all images from Randy (@BIGDADDYUSMC) Chenowth's photo archive
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
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  26. Fred's old Business Card:

    Fred\'s Business Card.jpg
    image from Randy (@BIGDADDYUSMC) Chenowth's photo archive
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2015
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  27. volvobrynk and Jimmy B like this.
  28. That 478-B photo is great, likely taken at the Sept 21 1947 SCTA meet
     
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  29. Just an FYI ...

    Fred's funeral service will be held this Thursday (March 12th) @ 1:00PM at:

    Holy Spirit Catholic Church
    2725 55th Street
    San Diego, CA 92105​
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015

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