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tether car racing in the 1940s

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Foul, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Foul
    Joined: Mar 25, 2002
    Posts: 643



    I didn't realize there's such a fan base for tether car racing until I was contacted randomly by a woman looking for one of two tether cars her father-in-law built in the late 1940s. She mentioned having some pictures from that time, so I thought I'd try to help her out and share some of the pics at the same time:

    I need to follow up on the comments that some guys have left already, but if anybody else knows anything about that particular tether racer, let me know.

  2. Sealed Power
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 627

    Sealed Power
    from TN

    Looks like a Dooling Frog, made by the Dooling brothers in the 40's. Reproductions of that model are available and good originals are not that hard to find but can be pricey. Of course if she is looking for the exact one that her father built that will be a lot tougher.

    I know most people here don't like ebay but there are several guys that deal in tether cars on there you might check with some of them.

    And try this guy. He can probably tell you who the dealer was at Hershey
  3. cabriolethiboy
    Joined: Jun 16, 2002
    Posts: 838


    I live in Anderson, Indiana and we still have track here. I don't race but I have stopped and seen them run during one of the meets they have there. I have heard it is a pretty well known track because there are entrants from all over the world. They are amazing to watch. If you have never seen them you probably won't belive me but they are so fast you CANNOT see them. I saw one run 201 MPH. The pictures I saw on one of the websites where they were racing in what looked like a parking lot looks pretty dangerous. They are so fast you would never know what hit you if it came loose. I'll try to take some pics this summer if I can catch when they run.
  4. touchdowntodd
    Joined: Jan 15, 2005
    Posts: 4,034


    and i thought the planes were kinda cool i saw tihs summer with bob and johnny..

    those are real cool
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  5. hiboyroadsterboy
    Joined: Nov 16, 2003
    Posts: 1,793

    from Mass

    Those are cool,we have a friend around here who restores those things,and I guess they are racing them again somewhere in newyork,theres a track.
  6. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,431


    There's a track in the Whittier Narrows park area, near where we had a HAMB BBQ a couple years ago.
    I've seen them run there, or seen the blur of them running at 200 ± mph.
    They're having a "fun run" and swap meet there this Saturday 1/12/08 according to the site below.

    Check here:

  7. terrarodder
    Joined: Sep 9, 2005
    Posts: 1,102

    from EASTERN PA

    I remmber seeing them in the 40s, there was a amusment park in Bethlehem PA. called Central Park that had a track. I would like to see them again, I though they were cool when I was a kid.
  8. justanotherguy
    Joined: Apr 19, 2007
    Posts: 186


    Hmmm... well, here ya go:

  9. ArtGeco
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 754

    from Miami

    I know it's off topic but, I'm always amazed at how thin people used to be.
    Not a fat person in those pics. We "were" a healthy nation.
    Kan Kustom likes this.
  10. El Gordo
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 433

    El Gordo

  11. RugBlaster
    Joined: Nov 12, 2006
    Posts: 563


    I had a McCoy ("The Real McCoy") tether sprint car from that era. My wife had bought an old oak chest of drawers from a lady and she threw the car in on the deal.....I sold it on Epay for almost $1000.00 biggies to a feller in the Pacific Northwest.....before my time, but some people apparently really get into it.
  12. Mercmad
    Joined: Mar 21, 2007
    Posts: 1,388

    from Brisvegas

    No,it was combination of the effects of the great depression ( malnutrition) and cigarettes,amazing how thin you stay when you smoke and in those days a non smoker was about as common as a ham sandwich in a synagogue.

    And this is Brisbane Australia..up beside the motorway at Caboolture just past the bribie island turnoff.
  13. Kiwi Kev
    Joined: Apr 24, 2006
    Posts: 7,340

    Kiwi Kev

    Mechanics Illustrated, Sept' 1955........



  14. Here's one that belonged to a friend of mine. Unfortunately, when he died his wife gave it away. Made by Ohlsson and Rice, Los Angeles. The thing weighed about 3 pounds.


  15. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 22,393


    They ran them on board tracks too! This shot was in the National Speed Sport News June 1944 Racing Album #2 sent out to GI's durring WWII.

    Attached Files:

  16. There's a vintage Dooling tether car on that auction site right now with a Buy It Now price of $9,950 :eek: :confused:
  17. Zombilly
    Joined: Sep 5, 2006
    Posts: 351


    Resent for the sake of clarity. Great picture, 37Kid.

    Attached Files:

  18. Zombilly
    Joined: Sep 5, 2006
    Posts: 351


  19. Yeah, I saw that on another board and loved it.
  20. E Burfield
    Joined: Dec 31, 2006
    Posts: 130

    E Burfield

    I Currently Run A Car At Whitter Narrows. It A Class 9. Which Is 7.5cc Motor . It's A Beginner Class And Last Year I Was Able To Take 2nd At The Nationals. The Car Went 121.mph Not Bad For Rookie.
  21. skincat
    Joined: Jun 30, 2007
    Posts: 78

    from kokomo, in

  22. AltKind
    Joined: Apr 25, 2008
    Posts: 25


    Anyone out there able to forward scans of plans for tether cars. I'm after a project for me and my son.
  23. <FANG>
    Joined: Feb 7, 2008
    Posts: 532

    from W.L.A.

    Mine,I use it for a paperweight<a href="" target="_blank">[​IMG]<[​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2014
  24. SteveDrake
    Joined: May 2, 2011
    Posts: 1


    I am writing about this car. I have one like it complete I have had since I was a kid and my uncle had when he was a kid. I don't know much about it. I thought you might help. It is missing the steering wheel and hand brake. Needs cleaning and painting.
    Maybe you can give me an idea of its value?
    Steve Drake
    Madison Tennessee
  25. DustyBarnfinds
    Joined: Mar 16, 2011
    Posts: 65


    Steve, if you take some photos of it and send them to Kirk White, he can telll you virtually everything there is to know. He is currently recognized as one of the leading experts in tether cars and has the largest collection of them. He's also an active byer and sell of them, so he knows what the market is for each one. Go here:

    As an aside, few people remember that when Roger Penske ran a Ferrari in sports car races Kirk White was his sponsor along with Sunoco.
  26. ironfly28
    Joined: Dec 22, 2003
    Posts: 924

    from Orange, CA

    Great!! Something else to spend my money on.
  27. I just acquired a 1939 Dooling Frog. It was found in Peeble Beach in a basement of an estate being cleaned out. The 95 year old owner had deceased and was the original owner. It was believed to have been raced in the early 40's and put away in a locked race kit box since the mid-40's. Unbelievable find. The box was locked and this jewel was discovered, once I picked the lock. Definitely a once in a life time score.

    Attached Files:

    turboroadster likes this.
  28. Aero
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
    Posts: 13

    from Portland

    Here is one I've just finished. A representation of, what in my opinion, was the golden age of tether car racing - the 30s and 40s when the cars were still intended to resemble full sized race cars of the day. Other than manufactured items such as the engine and gearbox the car is hand-built utilizing only a drill press and hand tools.

    The body is hand formed from .065, 3003 aluminum, torch welded. The frame is built up from 6061, corrosion resistant aluminum. The header style fuel system is patterned after the Dooling F car. The engine is a Hornet, the gearbox a Gary Barns unit. The car is restricted by its "display" tires, one of which was ruined in testing and had to be replaced. The flywheel is brass with a steel drive insert - farmed out to a machinist, but designed for this car. The exhaust pipe is steel, chrome plated. The finish is automotive urethane, sanded and buffed.

    This is a hand-built car, and nothing is perfect, but it's one-of-a-kind. There's only one of these.

    Now I have to find a buyer.
    DSCF0101.JPG DSCF0121.JPG DSCF0247.JPG DSCF0256.JPG DSCF0280.JPG DSCF0290.JPG DSCF0343.JPG DSCF0360.JPG DSCF0365.JPG DSCF0396.JPG DSCF0815.JPG DSCF1084.JPG DSCF1201.JPG DSCF1204.JPG DSCF1318.JPG imageedit_1_2031979437.jpg imageedit_1_5417071167.jpg imageedit_1_5873455166.jpg imageedit_1_6302889756.jpg imageedit_1_9898458026.jpg lunapic_136926053292444_2.jpg lunapic_136926094147780_2.jpg
    Dean Lowe likes this.
  29. Big Al
    Joined: Dec 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,371

    Big Al

    Very nice.

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