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History The Life Of A Race Car

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Dec 19, 2018.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,394

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    The Life Of A Race Car


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    HunterYJ, bonesy, LOU WELLS and 8 others like this.
  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,394

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Just found this shot from Dick's time on Kustomrama:


    Di-Gammas was his car club... they helped financially and as a result got to vote on the paint color.
    EVL401, RustyDogg, bonesy and 7 others like this.
  3. Sometimes a detail just jumps out at you. The tuck and roll strips on the toneau cover are such a cool idea. I have snaps for one on my RPU. I think I'll have to steal this idea.
  4. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 819


    I love that little car. Dick was my little brother's route master for the Seattle Times, really nice guy. I got to see it run at S.I.R. and I'm so glad I did!
    kidcampbell71 and HEMI32 like this.
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  5. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,140


    Most of the real race cars I have been involved with, were pretty rudimentary and crudely built. Dad has a few that he always comments on the quality. He calls them "High dollar cars". Probably by today's standards they were pretty standard.

    He still talks about a chopped 36 pickup that showed up from California when he was in high school. Said it was the main reason he decided to chop his. In Oklahoma, California cars were the gold standard of the day.
    classiccarjack likes this.
  6. Interesting the switch to the motorcycle wires. Sorta reminds me of when Barris got the Christman Coupe.
    Weight savings for drag racing? Or a style upgrade?
  7. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,524


    "The life of a race car has always fascinated me. Most often they are built from a pile of parts for the short-term, perform their duty, and then become a pile of parts again to be divvied up and used to birth another. As such, most of them don't lead full lives but instead become particles in many lives through time. It's a weird zen thing in a way..." -- Sez Ryan in the above post.

    Like others I'm sure, my coupester was first built from cast-off race car parts. It was at one time a really gaudy bright yellow and had had every possible bit of weight removed from the body including ALL inner structures and body opening lips. It was nothing more than the outer shell of a body.

    But somebody in the car's deep misty past decided to return it to the street by parking the abused body shell on top of a bent and cut-up Model A frame, cobbling up some inner bracing and using a bunch of mis-matched old street rod and race car suspension pieces to get it back on the road. It was pretty awful.

    When I bought it several years ago it had already gone through a number of owners, each of whom had done more work on it - most of it bad - by mudding up the body, adding 'glass fenders and painting it a nice shiny black. Looked pretty good...but still evil underneath and drove like absolute dog shit thanks to its race car heritage, bad workmanship and indifferent ownership through the years.

    Coupester make-over 97.jpg

    I've had it apart four times to various degrees during the time I've owned it, attempting to remedy the original race car sacrileges as well as the interim shoddy workmanship, and it still needs another go-through to fix the stuff I chose to ignore the first four times. It's a never-ending process, but at least this old race car is getting another chance at life.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  8. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 23,825


    I saw that car run a time or two at SIR/Pacific Raceways back when the track first opened and maybe on the opening weekend when they ran a round robin of different racing events to show what type of events they were going to have there including drag, sports car road race and bike road race.
    Somewhere I have a snapshot of it at the Seattle car show around 1960
    I've seen it a few times since and it is one of my all time favorites and never looks tired or neglected.
    These shots complete with cluttered car show background from the 2014 Portland roadster show. Kalvido roadster.jpg IMG_2435.jpg
  9. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 12,657

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    One of my top inspirational.
  10. I've always loved that car! I remember seeing it years ago for the first time as well at the NHRA Museum and having my mind blown.
    mad mikey and Stogy like this.
  11. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,157


    I remember Kalivoda bringing the car out for a nostalgia event at Seattle also. They ran the little car way off on the side of the track, way out of the "groove"; they did't want to risk breaking anything by getting traction in the sticky stuff. It was just a couple of years later that Dick got back into Top Fuel, only with his son at the wheel of a new car. I have some old newspaper type magazines that were put out by Flyin' Phil Elliot; the little car is in them, and it was the first time I saw the car. Still have those magazines stashed somewhere. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
    catdad49, mad mikey and Stogy like this.
  12. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 3,685

    Marty Strode

    I had a discussion with Dick about the car being a Track Roadster in it's first life, he didn't want to hear it. I mailed him a copy of the first picture taken at the Scappoose Drags in the early 50's, showing the car with slicks on the front, side nerfs and a front bumper, items that would not have been on a purpose built drag car. Maybe Pete 1 will chime in, he was buddies with Buck Strieber back then. The second shot was taken at McMinnville, Or in 1960. BTW those M&H slicks on the car now, used to be mine, they got a good home ! kalivoda 1.jpg Kalivoda 1960.jpg
  13. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,793


    Happens in the world of dirt tracks too. Here is a picture of the first Thurmer Bros car, with a stock dimension Model "A" tudor body. The second picture is the second (actually third because I had to restore it) version of the car, with a narrowed and shortened '34 Chevrolet body. The first version wasn't very successful, but the second (being almost 400 lbs lighter with a more sophisticated suspension) was very successful, winning the Minnesota State Stock Car championship in 1966.

    Old 102.jpg Arlington IMCA Oldtimers 1999.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  14. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 9,108


    Purpose built Art...Simplicity with an eye catching look and mechanically crafted to deliver the punch. $650.00 will get you a thrill that's for sure...
    catdad49 and mad mikey like this.
  15. I am familiar with this car as well as Marty Strode. My father, Terry Seaholm, was quite active with NDRA and vintage nostalgia in the mid 80's. I was at all the vintage drag races with Old Timers NW. The car was languishing in Dick Kalivoda garage and at the continually urging from my father is was completely refurbished and made race ready again. Dick was an exceptional human being and I liked him very much.( I heard he passed on a few years back RIP) Both he and Hamlin were having fun with the car. I was lucky enough in my mid 20's to be apart of it all. Dick asked me to flag start him and the Glass Slipper(I believe. Memory is a little hazy) at Seattle International Raceway . He instructed me on the proper procedure for flag starting. I did get some serious height on the starting line. I wish someone would post a video(or picture) of it if it's out there. And let me tell you it's not anything like is done at TROG or Dirt Drags. This little Desoto powered T is so badass. It's one of the best out there.
    classiccarjack, Stogy and catdad49 like this.
  16. Man, that is one good looking roadster. Love the hood treatment.
    My 34 body also started out as an abused old stock car racer. Wasn't able to save any of the body except the top.
    Those old cars led a hard life and most were abandoned and left to rust in a field. Both my 32 five window and my 34 were. 34B4.jpg ROCKYS32INYARD.jpg
  17. Taboo56Chevy
    Joined: May 21, 2018
    Posts: 146


    It always been fascinating how short of racing career most cars had. My grandparents 55 that they bought in the mid 70's had already been a drag car in the 60's as the quarters were cut out and then patched again because it was at that point becoming a full tilt show car by 1972.

    You also see this same trend with customs, though I would be willing to thing more parts off the race cars lived on past the full cars life, where a custom was built, showed, then either revamped again or sold off and eventually scrapped.
  18. Circle track cars sometimes had about nine lives to them, following some pages on Facebook that cover the Dirt coupes I read how this car had three different bodies on it or that one was sold to this guy who then sold it to a third guy who all raced it. In one instance a guy was killed because his car had been burned in a hot fire and it destroyed the integrity of the cage, and he was caught up in a crash in it.

    Even some of the newer Nascar racers got handed down to ARCA or other circle track stuff. Buddy has one that has two or three liveries visible through the cracked filler. And another chassis that's supposed to be a '70s era Grand National car but has the interior tubbed in in a way Nascar never did.
  19. rudestude
    Joined: Mar 23, 2016
    Posts: 1,615


    Was going through some of my old Hot Rod Magazine's from 1958 and run a cross this.. I saw the pictures in the previous post but I didn't know if the actual article was posted..... IMG_20181219_230643~2.jpeg IMG_20181219_230620~2.jpeg

    Sent from my QTASUN1 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  20. catdad49
    Joined: Sep 25, 2005
    Posts: 2,447


    What a sweet little beast and a runner, too! It's one of those cars that, even if you don't recall all the fine little details, sticks in your mind for a long time. Thanks to all for filling in the blanks and Ryan for bringing it up to the top. I wonder who had the pleasure of drilling all the lightening holes?! Carp, out.
  21. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,166


    Kind of overdone, but in a beautiful way.
  22. Yes, It is an exceptional car that I would love to own. It is really something to see in person.
    mad mikey and Stogy like this.
  23. classiccarjack
    Joined: Jun 30, 2009
    Posts: 927


    Some race cars look really nice. Some guys really know how to be outstanding showmen.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    mad mikey likes this.
  24. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 4,277

    Staff Member

  25. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 3,685

    Marty Strode

    Track Roadsters were the perfect race car to have a second life, two of my favorites went on to be Drag Roadsters. Jack Gillis built and raced the first example in 49, and it was converted in the mid 50's, and raced until the early 60's. It still exists, in a neglected state. The Spalding Bros was completed and raced Bonneville, El Mirage, and ovals in 49 as well. It was last seen at the drags in 52-53. The good ones had all of the elements to make the conversion, center steering, light weight construction. I remember seeing Tommy Ivo racing one with Buick power, and a meat cleaver welded into the turtle deck, just to piss off the Officials at one of the strips! Gillis '49.jpg Gillis Roadster 1955.jpg Spalding 4.jpg Spaulding.jpg
  26. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 10,565

    from oregon

    And Marty knows a thing or two about meat cleavers too!
  27. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 3,685

    Marty Strode

    Yeah, like 180 at last count ! IMG_0034.JPG
    mad mikey likes this.
  28. Marty, I like that. Neat. ---Dale Seaholm
  29. This one has family history for me.

    This car started as Dick Dickson MRK (a New England section for new stock cars) it was than raced by Ed Patnode.
    It was sold to Bill O'Rourke(?) who entered it in the Latemodel/Sportsman race at Daytona with Maynard Forettie as the driver.
    It ended up in Round Lake N.Y. North West of Albany. A local bought it to build a latemodel to run Fonda Speedway. My father helped bring it home. That car was never built.
    The car was than sold to my Dad's 1st cousin who skinned it with a 63 T-Bird (this car appeared in StockCar Racing Magazine in the late 70's early 80's.
    The car than sat behind our cousin's house in town until about ten years ago, when my cousin's son in law was ramming and jamming with a loader and broke the chassis half and it ended at the crusher.

    I do not have any photos handy of it as the T-brid.
    upload_2018-12-22_12-34-30.png IMG_1559.JPG IMG_1560.JPG
    mad mikey likes this.
  30. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 5,157


    • I actually love this little car. BUT, like most race cars, it's been through a LOT of re-do's. modifications, and applications in it's time on this earth. BUT, it has also STOOD the test of time!!! If Ryan wants the articles/magazines I have, I'll gladly send them; just send a name/address to me in a PM. I really have no use for these "magazines"; other than it's been part of my presence on this rotational, conglomerate, gravitational influenced, rock, in outer space. If you want it, I'll dig it up, literally. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.

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