The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Robert J. Palmer, Mar 13, 2022.
Williams Grove speedway PA in 1961-Johnny Mackison and Bobby Hersh
This is my favorite, I'd love to build one street legal to drive everyday (with a few changes )
Look at the offset Engine/Driveline and Fuel tank to the left driver to the right to aid in cronering.
"Little Joe" D'Avignon in a chopped model A at Fairmont (VT?)
Couple from the track in Bismarck, Mo. I used to go to as a youngster.
Unlike the hot rodders, the stock car guy's didn't hide their work.
View attachment 5349537
Unless they were cheating.
My first Super Mod had similar frame covers disguising an all tubed frame chassis. Track I raced at required full automotive frame rails. There was even caulk duplicating the welds on those fake rails. Upper cage was muffler moly with washers welded inside to increase thickness at the inspection holes. Full torsion bar suspension the driver could change from his seat. Old timers told me the car was kinda successful, and the owner/builder/driver was some sort of oddball 'off the wall' master fabricator who didn't mind bending the rules. They remembered he would show up alone, never had a crew or helper, no sponsors of any kind and was always arguing with tech over something stupid, but easily fixed. They said the car was a hell of a qualifier (lots of #1's and some track records) but at mid-season if it was in the top three(which it usually was) he'd start packing up and leaving before the main. They remembered there were times he'd show up, qualify at #1 and then just load up and leave.
I just told my driver to take second.
Yes, that would be me I was ignoring this thread...until you baited me back in..
This is a hot rod forum and my only contention is, stock car racing was NO "friend" to our hobby.
I've never been able to afford a '32-'34 Ford coupe, mainly due to supply and demand. A lot of things reduced the supply over the years...this was one of them.
And if you do happen to find one, it's usually a gutted used-up hulk.
That's the legacy Stock Car racing left for us Hot Rodders
Jack , feel your pain. Couple dirt tracks racking them up when I was very little boy.
Neighbor’s Welding Shop, had coupe & sedan bodies stacked 3 high behind the fence.
O ya , and a big Azz unchained Shepard on Patrol.
I now know what those 30’s, 40’s & 50’s bodies could be today . $$$ .
But Jack Sir , we can not be mad at history. That’s what folks did in their day.
A lot of you are going to hate this story! The time frame is early 60s. They raced the coupes at our local track until 1966 (I was 10 years old). In 67 the track closest to us went with just late models, 1950 model year cars and newer. A couple other tracks semi local ran the coupes and the late models for another year or two.
My dad's buddy, Bill, had a bulldozer and a dump truck, he made his living doing excavating work. He was a race car owner and favored 33 and 34 Ford coupes and he ran flathead v8s at 3 different dirt tracks close to us. He always had (3) 33 or 34 coupe bodies sitting on top of box van boxes in his side yard. There were strictly for using as a race car.
I happened to be at his place with my dad one evening when some guy showed up and wanted to buy one of those coupe bodies. He had money and was flaunting it around. Money didn't impress Bill much, he had plenty of his own.
I remember that conversation like I heard it yesterday. Bill was getting pretty upset, the guy was being a pretty big ass. He was hounding Bill "You got three of them, just sell me one, you don't need three."
Bill's reply, "I told you, I found these cars on my customers property, and the only reason they would sell them to me was if I promised I would not resell them, and would only make them into race cars. I made that promise to each one of them, and told them I would crush them if I didn't race them. I will not break my promises."
I remember Bill telling that guy the same line at least 3 times before he suggested the guy leave while he could still move on his own. That would have been about 2 years before they quit running the coupes at our closest track.
Fast forward, to the end of the coupe racing at the last of the local tracks. Bill had an 18 year old son, and he is into hotrods, and dirt track racing. His son junked cars to fund his racing habit. One day (when I was there) Bill told his son to pull the coupes off the van box roofs and run the Cat D9 over them, crush them, and haul them in for scrap!
His son went nuts, "Do you know how much those bodies are worth? Lets just sell them, no one will know the difference."
Bill calmly stated, "I know what they sell for, but I also know what my word is worth. I promised those customers that I would only use those cars as race cars, or I would crush them, the day they sold them to me. Since we can't race them anymore, we will crush them."
Then Bill got on the Cat, pulled all 3 off the box van roofs and set them side by side on the ground, and smashed the roofs down and ran them over until they were pancakes. Then he loaded them on the roll back he owned, and took them to the crusher himself.
Whine and cry all you want, had Bill not bought them and kept them to maybe race someday, they would have well rotted away by now. None of the original owners wanted to see them in the hands of hot rodders, and made that very clear to Bill. Bill made the promise to all 3 of the original owners, and he kept that promise to each of the them. People of integrity do as they promise, even if its not what some people think should be done. Gene
And 1/4 elliptical springs, too.
I was referring to crude badly done work, not hiding things to fool the tech guys.
When I lived in RI I lived 4 houses down from that car. Nice guy, I forget his name. He built that in the driveway and in his 1 stall garage.
It's like I have said before those cars were by no means rare or hard to find or even anything people wanted, they were. just old cars.
These guys didn't hold guns to anyone's head and take the cars to build stockcars out of them.
Like I said my dad's first late model was a 64 Chevelle two door hard top a highly sought-after car today but in 1970 when he found it was just a 6 year old car with a Powergilde with a bad 283. The man was more then happy to sell it because it was just a used car with a bad engine that he wanted out of his yard.
My father tells the story that two guys he was going to college with need an engine for their Willy's Jeep so they bought a 41 Willy's Coupe pulled the engine and scraped the coupe!
NASCAR always had a rule all cars had to have a factory steel roof (the tracks had some the finally say on this rule so there were a few earlier Ford and Chevy bodied but not many) in the earily day most NASCAR Sportsman/Modified were 37,38, and 39 Standards. Often considered the ugliest Fords of all time and by no means the most desirable cars even back then.
Those cars were 10, 20, 30 year old used/junk cars back then and where headed for scrap to be crushed!
Stock Car as well as Hot Rodding and Drag Racing gave these cars another chance at life.
Today there is interest in 37-39 Standard Ford but even 10-15 years ago many people turned their noses up at them,
and the only reason some would build one was because they couldn't afford or find a 35/36 or a 39 DeLuxe or 40.
Steve Danish was a Machinist and it showed in his workmanship
Pete Cory was a jack of all trades, running his own body shop most of his life.
You need to take your comedy show on the road.
Click the following link>>>Permatex Studebakers<<<
Yes, my family has a long history with oval track racing dating back to pre WW II when my Great-Uncle Don Weyl (Married my paternal grandmother's older sister) crewed on Sam Crafts A.A.A. Big Car.
Uncle Leslie Kellerhouse (My paternal grandmother's younger brother) was a NASCAR official chief steward at Fonda
My father has been going to the races since 1961, has crewed on cars and built chassis on and off since 1970 or 71.
I was born in December 1981 and was in pits at my first race (1/2 mile dirt) March 1982.
I became interested in period correct hot rods(I have never had any interested Pro-Street/Pro-Touring. Billet laden sit in your lawn chair Tech-NO crap!) in my early teenage years because the price of oval track racing forced my family out!
I began to study the history of hot rodding talking to and becoming friends with the real deal 40s 50s and 60s hot rodders, going to events just for period correct hot rods and began to collect parts to build a period correct hot rod, Now I have been forced out of period correct hot rodding due to the price caused by the trend chasers who 20 years ago sat in their lawn chairs behind there Boyd wannabe billet wagons complaining about the young people with cars in primer that were ruining hot rod, who now have to have a "traditional hot rod".
Everyone knows flat black paint make every car traditional.
I have returned to oval track racing with vintage cars. This is real racing not pace laps, but I am doing it as period correct as I can. Other then modern safety and the Clifford intake.(We are limited to single carburetor) For display I have three widen Buick wheels and stock Ford wide five center (I need to finish) that I plan to put Towel City dirt recaps on and a stock V8 60 16" wheel for the left front.
Period correctness isn't a trend for me it's what I do. Whether it's hot rodding, drag racing or oval track I always want my cars to be as period correct as I can make them.
When someone starts bashing on oval track racing, whether it's just to get my goat, a misguided sense or ignorance of the full history I view it an attack not only on me but also an attack on my family and our history!
Uncle Don hamming it up.
Uncle Leslie Kellerhouse chief steward at Fonda speedway. Uncle Leslie Kellerhouse in victory lane with Lou Lazzaro at Fonda Speedway
Why would you do this? Old racecars whether it's an oval track car or a drag race should remine a race car.
Just as an old hot rod should remine an old hot rod, or an unrestored original car should remain unrestored or a restored car should not be cut up.
My dad remembers locally several yards full of 55-57 Chevy, Chevy IIs, Chevelles, one full of 30s squarge coupes/sedans and 40s cars just getting crushed.
Far more early Fords and Chevy, 55-57 Chevys just plane old got cut up for scrap or crushed then ever got used for stock cars.
Thankfully this hot rod was saved from suffering a horrible end at the hands of a "circle track racer". Some of the old coupes racing round and round were beautiful cars. There was a lot of talent building those "period correct" cars back in the day.
I don't want to start a war here I like period correct hot rods and drag cars too.
There is so much revisionist history when it comes to the early days of hot rodding, drag racing ang oval track racing.
I want to show that there were nice well built oval track cars and document the true history.
And old men's faded and/or embellished memories.
Look, I'm NOT anti-stock car. I lived in Owego NY as a teenager, home of Shangri La Raceway and was at the races EVERY Sat. night. I even lettered stock cars for "book (beer) money" when I was in college...including some Bodine Bros cars, before they made it to the "Big Show".
Back then (mid-late '60s) they were cutting up mostly '37-'40 Fords and Chevys. Someone would show up to the track with a new car/body and all I could think was..."That's another cool old car that is totally ruined". Even back then I had that hot rodder's mentality toward old cars...make it better, nicer, faster.
I know a lot of HAMBers (including me) have fond memories/experiences with circle track racing...but these ARE NOT traditional hot rods.
Perhaps this vintage stock car stuff should be in the "Antiquated" section with other HAMB interests that are not traditional Hot Rods or Customs.
Thanks for the link. Hadn't seen that info on Studes before. Was aware of studes circletracking, just very few particulars.
As for why rebuild/refurbish an old racer to the street? Raw material is where you find it. & when not much is around your area(that you want to build) much less affordable, you look elsewhere, if there is an elsewhere. Not knocking you or your hobby(ies) or reasons. I know they were mostly just old cars & not worth much back then. It's today, or even in the 70's I was referring to, from my own viewpoint formed by my personal experiences. Finding decent stuff, that (was)is affordable, to build something that is wanted, is getting harder & much more expensive. For me. I'm quite familiar w/the concept & physical reality of getting priced out of things. Racing? HA! I could barely afford a hotrod build, n an old DD, nevermind racing - I did know about the racing costs, even though I never experienced them. Apparently others have virtually unlimited time, talent, financial resources, & connections. Good for them. I'm not going to argue about this, as it was not an attack, only a comment - w/o malice. Old racers sometimes provide good hi-po parts that get used on the street. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose. Things change w/time & use - if nothing got rebuilt - there'd be no hotrods, streetrods, racecars. I do enjoy seeing old cars brought back to life. Good on you for keeping the old racers alive.Glad some folks could race, let's the rest of us watch... .
This shot was taken around '57, this 3 window had a Desoto set so far back, it was hidden. Top quality workmanship, as the builder was Keith Randol, who would build the "Orange Crate" a few years later. He would also go on to work his magic on every thing from A/FX Plymouths, to Midgets, Sprints, Champ Cars and Indy.
With the push truck I am guessing no starter and an in/out box?
I don't know, just more of the questions I should have asked Keith.
That is one nice car. Was it used on dirt or paved tracks? & how well did it do? Any more pics?
Parker Bohn (The Grandfather of bowler Parker Bohn the third) 302 GMC bored out to 323 cubic inches with a Wayne head. Won races well into the 60's
Another myth that drives me crazy is that stockcar racers took no pride in their cars or equipment.
Rene Charland driver Fred Rosner was involved in the car very skilled chassis builder
On the outside pole with a whole field of other well built cars.
Rene survived the “ French BBQ” because ( ? Driver ? ) pulled him to safety while race car went up in flames ?
Rene went on to manage the I-87, Exit 11 Grand Prix Tuck Stop for many years. Located 5 miles south of Albany/Saratoga Speedway.
Separate names with a comma.