The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gold Dust, Feb 16, 2015.
I know the car and owner. I would love to see it again!
tell the stories. we are all still here.
In 1966 and about half of 1967 I became a garage rat and got to hang out at Ted's shop. I also got to make a couple of road trips with him and Chuck Grimsley. I wasn't an insider but I was excited to just hang around these guys.
Just before I got there Chuck and come up from Texas with the Pasadena Dodge. Ted had built engines for them and with Chuck's divorce he decided to settle in Wichita and hang with Ted. About that time Chrysler had pulled out of race car/team sponsorship but knew that Ted was a genius with their hemi engines. NO ONE could dispute that. From time to time a engine block or a set of heads or maybe even a long block would show up at Ted's door no charge to keep him doing the Hemi thing. He also aquired a Dodge Crew Cab truck with a hemi (of course) and a torque flight. Word I got was it was used by one of the other sponsor teams and handed down to Ted.
As Chuck's dodge continued to gain success, Ted decided to build the Kansas Badman to travel with it. The whole sit in the back seat with that 8' steering column raised a few eyebrows but fast it was.
The one trip I remember the most was a trip to Union Grove Wisconsin. Ted build as new motor for the Dodge and we left Wichita without even starting it. Who would do this? Ted! He didn't need to start it. He knew it was right! We drove all night a arrived at the track at about 11:30 Sat. morning. As we were walking around checking out the competition, an official asked Ted where we were from. Wichita Kansas he said. "Long way to come not to race isn't it". Ted: "What do you mean not race". Official: "Qualifying is over at noon". Ted: We're funny car, we don't qualify". Official: "Here you do or you don't race"!
We all headed back to the car at a run! One putting oil in the car, another putting water in it. Pushing it to the line while Chuck was putting his fire suit on. We were laying down liquid traction as well a traction powder for a burn out while Ted and Chuck fired the brand new engine for the first time. Ted never used a timing light. Always did by ear. He let the engine warm up to set the injectors and it was time to go. One burn thru, maybe two and it was less than a minute to go. This was "go big or go home" before it was popular! Chuck pulled to the line and let the hammer fly! Set Low ET of the meet! Wow! This kid was in heaven!
There is more to the Union Grove story if you want to hear it. I can get long winded, but I get excited remember to days. Hope you enjoyed.
union grove is my home town track. i would like to hear the rest.
sorry racer-x. You may not like the way it ended.
lets hear it. I was born in 66 so I have no ties to the track back then. just want to hear about the history of the track.
Finish the story.
I would like to know the rest. Shit Man, the suspense is killing me!
Hope I didn't build it to much.
The Dodge did great. Took first place in the class. After the race us roadies started loading up while Ted and Chuck went to the tower to get the winnings. Before long they came back and were HOT! The owners told them they were not going to pay that money to some out-of- town guys who got lucky and there wasn't anything we could do about it. We were out numbered and not good fighters anyway.
So, we loaded up and, being a holiday weekend (fourth of July I think) headed to Springfield MO. and another race. I don't remember exactly who else was there but I do remember it was some great names and competition. Again, the Dodge ran well and took second losing the drive shaft on the final run. Couple of interesting side notes, at least to me. The drag strip was built on the top of a mountain with a shut down area that was gravel and made a sharp turn to the left after you crossed the finish line. The year before a famous name driver was killed there in a fuel dragster after barrel rolling off the track.
Another roadie, Jerry Sutton and I packed the parachute which was a first for me. After the run we were going to pull the Dodge back up the return lane. But we drove farther and farther down the return shut down lane without seeing the Dodge. We were worried because it always stopped quickly with brakes and the chute. We got to the end of the road and there was the Dodge sitting with the front bumper about 3' from the guard rail with the pilot chute hanging off the rear bumper. We had packed it crooked and the pilot chute hung up and never got enough air to deploy the main chute. CHUCK WAS HOT! I thought we were dead. With choice words he told us how lucky we were.
On the next run which was after dark, I was sitting in the chase car behind the Dodge while he was doing his burn outs. Chuck would open his door to back up staying in his tracks without the use of another person to guide him. Again he won and again it was time for another come to Jesus meeting. I had forgot to turn off my headlights and he was blinded when backing up. Again, if he had lost..........
I was so jazzed to be able to hang with these guys I would have done anything. Jerry Sutton was already on scene when I joined in. My name is also Jerry and Chuck thought that another Jerry was confusing so he called me Jerry Squirrel. Or mostly just Squirrel. Of course I didn't like it much but that was the price.
Hope I didn't bore you, but it is great memories.
If I remember right the ignition switch was 3 foot long. I think a dipstick soldered to the key!
I believe Mr Jerry Sutton past early this year.
Baby Boomer, get ahold of me, I'm in Wichita
Gold dust who are you?
That is not Ted!
That is not Ted
Steve and Chuck Grimsley
Thank you so much for putting up pictures of my Dad (Ted DeTar). It is so nice to see his cars and a picture of him looking right at me (which I have as my screen saver on my iPhone. How wonderful that is! I have memories of being in his shop while he worked on his cars. I still love the smell of oil and engine parts. Our family went to many of his races, and back then we were allowed to stand right on the drag strip, talk about rumbling your whole body and Loud, OMG, it was loud. We stayed all night until the races were done. I miss my Dad! I was 11 years old when he passed, so it is really nice to see pictures and have the memories of my Dad come back to life. Thank you, Terri DeTar
One more thing, my Dad is and always has been my Hero!
Thank again for the pictures!
That is how I remember my Dad, always working on cars! Had no idea how famous he was when I was a little girl. If he had lived, he would have smoked John Force. Funny car racing today doesn't compare to how it used to be! Back in those days, it was all ingenuity, and how good you were at fine tuning a motor. Bless you for posting pictures of my Dad and some of the cars he built Hemi Engines in. If I find some pictures of my Dad, I will post them. Terri DeTar
The picture of my Dad bending over working on a car with the blonde standing in the background is Janie, she unfortunately was my Dad's girlfriend while my Dad was still married to my Mom! My Mom loved my Dad dearly, even raced one of his cars for him when he was booked on the same day but different places, and she won! She stuck it out for a very long time (years) waiting on my Dad to come to his senses, but he never did.
It was very sad to see him leave and even sadder to find out he was killed in a freak accident only a few months later. I think the car he was test driving was sabotaged, but it has been too long and whatever proof may have been left is long gone. Thank Heavens my Mom was still married to my Dad when he passed away. I miss my Dad! Terri DeTar
Thank your for a wonderful story about my Dad, Ted DeTar! From his daughter, Terri DeTar
well,between baby boomer and terri detar,i think we have a whole prime time movie script....thank you both!!-that was fun!!
We spent many hours here fighting over who was going to get a soda pop!!!
The www.kansasbadman.com don't work anymore here's another
That's not Janie according to Walt Ramsden, the car your dad is setting the floats for.
such cool stuff and great stories
Awesome stuff, more please
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