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History Specials

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ned Ludd, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. rivguy
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 136


    Circa-1912-National-Racing-Car-1 - Edited.jpg I've thought that a speedster style special could be built. I was at the Petersen museum a couple of years ago and saw a Stutz Bearcat on display, I was impressed. Perhaps built on an early truck chassis, imagine a vintage straight eight engine. I've thought that I could build one on my '51 Jaguar MarkVII chassis, which has a very sturdy ladder type frame. This is the "feeling" that I would like to evoke.
    Jet96, Old Dawg, Ned Ludd and 4 others like this.
  2. motoklas
    Joined: Dec 17, 2010
    Posts: 634

    from Bern, CH

    Hello, Ludd and SR100,
    and thank you on clarifications about Bolster Brother's Bloody Marry!
    A lot of us think that about this legendary one-off special we know everything, but - nice to read some precise information at one place.
    From teenager years I dreamed (dreamt?) to make such a car for myself even before new that it exists or any anything about other of British specials (no foreign books and magazines in old Yugoslavia in that time) - for trials, hill-climbs, sprints - or any DIY automobiles at all, or replicas, or......
    I must say that my favourite version was the first one sketched and built by Bolsters in high school... I suppose that there are more variants than could be listed in one post here... Also, I think that from the original didn't stay one part or component unmodified or unreplaced...
    Something like Trigger's only one and the same broom used for 25 years for cleaning streets, with dozens of replacements of two main parts... (British legendary TV-serial "Only Fools and Horses")...
    --- ---
    For a shown replica, everybody could think and feel different... Somebody despise replicas in general, some people only of pathetic creations, but some like them as they are or as a special class of oldtimers (some are 50 years old now?), or as a practical replacement for the elusive original...
    To me, this one looks to be quite well-made and worth 10 thousands of $$$ - and, I would like to have one for boozing across and around Bern. Anyway, nobody could have an original?
    --- ---
    Nice to mention Bolster's masterpieces, from time to time...

    Old Dawg and Ned Ludd like this.
  3. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,080

    Ned Ludd

    Tidy Model A special posted on Facebook today:
    Model A special.jpg
    Chili Phil, Jet96, Stogy and 15 others like this.
  4. This a photo shot by Jim Sitz at the races at Pebble Beach of Ken Miles in his second MG special. They now call it "The R2"; "back in the day" it was known as "The Shingle". It was the epitome of Miles' engineering expertise; it was very fast! Notwithstanding Miles' outstanding driving; "The Shingle" wasn't as successful as Miles' initial offering some years before. The reason of it's lack of wins was the introduction of the factory offerings of OSCA, Porsche and Cooper into the "Under 2500cc Modified" Race Group. Also Miles through his employment at Gough Industries, a major Nuffield distributor, was able to receive the latest MG performance equipment. He was the first that I know of on the West Coast to use the 1466 cc XPEG MG block. The rest of us had to make do with shoving 2 1/2 litre Riley sleeves into XPAG blocks; to be sure a dubious way of making "hand grenades"! I shattered more than my share of those early blocks!
    Ken Miles (5).jpg
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  5. 64 DODGE 440
    Joined: Sep 2, 2006
    Posts: 4,159

    64 DODGE 440
    from so cal

    That was a fun time to watch the racing. Always loved "The Shingle". I have fond memories of going to the races at Palm Springs and Pomona with my brother and dad.
  6. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,803

    from Tampa, FL

    I've never seen a wide variety of shots of the Shingle. Anyone know how it looks from the rear, for example? Or of the cabin or engine bay?
  7. Here you go, Gary! The first time I saw "The Shingle was at Willow Springs. It was great watching Miles "Sashaying" the car up the hill to the top of the course; both rear tires smoking. It was the first time out for the car; but he had to retire it early for something not right!
    An additional photo is of R1 which surprised everyone at Pebble Beach; and then dominated the Under 2500 cc Modified Group for several years!
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  8. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,803

    from Tampa, FL

    Thanx, Dawg! That butt is fantastic.
    Old Dawg likes this.
  9. Ken Miles, when in the employ of John Von Neumann owner of Continental Motors constructed another "Special" when he put together a Cooper chassis and a four-cam Porsche factory race engine! Doing so, Miles "suck'd the goggles off" all the drivers of Porsche 550's; including those of the Porsche factory! It so pissed off the Porsche factory that it threatened to cancel Von Neumann's Porsche Distributorship unless he got his employee outta THAT CAR! (though the car was actually entered by Dick Troutman) Below is a photo I shot of the Cooper-Porsche (it was never called a "Pooper"; that was reserved for Pete Lovely's push rod Porsche in a Cooper LSR car). the pic was taken at the 2nd running of the Pomona Races in October of 1956. I shot it with my "Trusty" Kodak Hawkeye!

    ` KenMilesPorscheCooper.jpg
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  10. Hey Gary! Here's a shot of Miles in the nude "Shingle"! I don't know the origin of the photo!
  11. Jet96
    Joined: Dec 24, 2012
    Posts: 1,177

    from WY

    Old Dawg- that's a really good shot with a Hawkeye!
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  12. Yeah! I'd get one or two good negatives out of a roll! I had to REALLY aim and pan! Then I had access to a darkroom to recover many of them. and finally with computers I was able to do more final cropping and enhancement! I'd post more but they're not "Specials"; moreover guys have "Hijacked"some and they wind up in Pinterest! When Pinterest gets hold of them I have lost control of them!
    Jet96 likes this.
  13. A "Special" that came out of Pasadena Calif. was the Follmer Lotus-Porsche, George Follmer had been very successful running his 356 Porsche "Speedster" in West Coast Production Class racing. To step up to the Modified Group he bought a Lotus 23 without an engine. He figured he'd put a Corvair engine in it. Not a mechanic; George cast around for someone to do the job. He found a friend of mine by the name of Bruce Burness. Bruce, though a year or so behind me in high school, was the "Go to Guy" for those of us who struggled along with a pair of pliers, an adjustable hex, a screwdriver and hammer. I won't even mention welding. Bruce had it all, including a roller box and Whitworth size wrenches! He had the knowledge and innovation to go with it! "Cutting to the Chase", Bruce talked George otta using the Corvair engine. The two went to Tom Nichols the owner of Trans Ocean Motors, the local VW/Porsche dealer. Nichols ordered them a four-Cam Factory Porsche engine. Meanwhile, Bruce got on the Lotus. Taking it apart, he redid the whole chassis. The Space Frame design was changed including stronger (bigger) elements, widening the track, and with the stronger frame structures, eliminating the solder joints in favor of "Arc Welds" (TIG & MIG were not yet available). In other words, Burness built another "Special". He of course had to reconfigure the body panels to fit the differences in the frame. When it was finished George Follmer set off to beat a bunch of participants in United State Road Racing Championship (USRRC). In fact in 1965 George Follmer won the USRRC with the car (#16) BTW, The Porsche Factory wanted the engine back! Nichols told 'um to "Pee Up a Gum Stump". Trans Ocean is in Pasadena to this day. (Sorry I don't have the name of the photographer)
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  14. I should have said "Braized Joints" instead of "Soldered Joints"!
  15. Stueeee
    Joined: Oct 21, 2015
    Posts: 233

    from Kent, UK

    Over here we would probably say Nickel Bronze welded joints. Done correctly they are incredibly strong. However, only the guy who did the work would know whether he he had just the right amount of heat to sweat the bead forward before depositing more Nickel Bronze. This is how it should be done:

    He's almost certainly using a gas fluxer on that kit which does make it a lot it a lot easier to see what you're doing without the yellow "flare" from dobbing the flux on.
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  16. Exactly right! Our problem in the US was that not only was the procedure generally unknown; but the "Welding Sticks" were impossible to obtain (I believe I had heard that they were banned here). Bruce Burness told me, in later years that HE could do it; but it was a lot easier to reconstruct the whole chassis the way he wanted (engineered redesign) with stronger material! Many of us who drove earlier Lotus' found out "The Hard Way" how fragile their construction was! (photo was taken of me in the Ex-Frank Monise Lotus 11 Le Mans)
    LotusSLO (2017_06_30 03_13_08 UTC).jpg
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  17. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,080

    Ned Ludd

    Searching for other stuff keeps turning up specials. Today I was reading up on the history of timing belts and discovered that the first recorded instance of their use appears to be on a 1954 Devin-Panhard special:
    Devin Panhard engine.png
    The 750cc engine is "cammy" Norton cylinders and heads on a Panhard flat-twin crankcase. The car was FWD and used a Panhard transaxle and front suspension.
    devin_panhard_1953 01.jpg
    devin_panhard_1953 02.jpg
    devin_panhard_1953 03.jpg
    A few cars were built. I find no modern photographs of the OHC engine, and suspect that it no longer exists. The surviving cars all appear to have OHV Panhard engines. The cars have glassfibre bodies made in moulds pulled from a 1953 Deutch-Bonnet barquette, and modified slightly. Bill Devin would of course subsequently become a major figure in the early glassfibre kit-car industry.

    If you'll indulge the tangent, belt-driven OHC would not appear on a production car for another eight years, when the 1962 Glas 1004 was introduced in Germany:
    Pontiac, Vauxhall, and Fiat all introduced belt-driven OHC engines in 1966.
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  18. Jerry Fairchild operated a Machine Shop in Pasadena California. He developed and produced DOHC cylinder heads, with two plugs per cylinder and 9.5 to 1 compression for the two cylinder Panhard Engine . The first of four fiberglas bodied cars were designed and built by Murray Nichols. Perry Perrone was one of the first to campaign a Nichols Panhard with the California Sports Car Club (CSCC). Dr. William Molle, a SoCal Dentist, acquired and raced the depicted car ( chassis #1) to a CSCC Class H Modified Championship in 1958. This car is currently run in Vintage Races (photos from
    NicholsSpecial.jpg NicholsSpecial(2).jpg
    Ned Ludd, motoklas and Six Ball like this.

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