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Technical The Mabee Special

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Ryan, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. swimeasy
    Joined: Oct 17, 2006
    Posts: 1,067

    swimeasy
    Member

    My family spent a lot of time in Midland and I remember that strip, we also chumed with Windecker and drove over to Hobbs to fly sailplaines at the old airstrip (drag strip). Thanks for the memories , Ryan !!!
     
  2. Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 970

    Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    Member
    from Dixie

    When I was 16,I got to drive a 33 Willys A/Gasser. I remember pulling up the revs and dumping he clutch and having the G forces push me WAY back into the seat.:eek:
     
  3. Scott K
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 824

    Scott K
    Member

    Ryan,

    Great story and a great lesson in the Mabee's seeing the big picture with Shelby.

    Hot rods, drag cars, warbirds....the stuff of dreams..well, my dreams anyway.

    I've heard of the Mabee's thru the Warbird forums. Sounds like an incredible collection and some real characters. Something similar in Big Spring's at Connie Edwards' ranch.
     
  4. george775
    Joined: Sep 29, 2006
    Posts: 85

    george775
    Member
    from Nor Nev

    We got to meet the present owners at Amelia Island this year where they were showing the freshly turned out roadster. It is truely inspirational.
    Here's a couple of attached shots to stew those gray cells!
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Kiwi Tinbender
    Joined: Feb 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,155

    Kiwi Tinbender
    Member

    Wow. Probably the one car from back in the day ( if I could only choose one..) would be Denny Larsen`s Dreamliner...My Dad came home with the Fawcett book `How to Build and Race Hot Rods` when I was 11 or 12...the first American Hot Rod book I had ever seen. The picture that stuck in my mind, and does so still, is the shot of the Dreamliner being pushed off the Start line at Bonneville, taken from the push truck. Such a small thing to define life`s direction.....as it must have been for you, Ryan, to get that first drive of a real racecar..
     
  6. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,735

    50Fraud
    Member

    I remember the Mabee Special from Bonneville coverage the first time around. Always thought it was one of the best looking cars ever to use a Victress body.

    Ryan, did you ever cross paths with Jim Hall, Hap Sharp, and the Chaparral operation?
     
  7. seatex
    Joined: Oct 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,660

    seatex
    Member

    Damn. what a great story. Almost makes you miss Midland......:)
     
  8. Ryan,
    Just a quick note friend.
    I'm probably still too busy trying to discover myself to actually go looking for a bit of history.
    But, I just can't help commenting on the positively most important thought in the entire piece. Isn't funny how when we are young the hotroddings most influencial charactors are just friends of DAD. Just goes to prove that the folks that bump into your life are never just folks that bump into your life. Fame is just a matter of perspective I guess.

    Well sidetracked as usual all I ment to say is,Good Read friend.
     
  9. MabeeSD
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 3

    MabeeSD
    Member
    from Spring, TX

    Another "Mabee special"...... circa 1973.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. tandacorona
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 2

    tandacorona
    Member

    In 1953 I was gofer working on collector and sports cars for Fred IGE in west L.A. I was still in high school .A fellow came in the shop on Iowa ave.and started a conversation. He was looking for someone to ride shot gun and help him take a car to the salt flats in Utah. I have had a license and have been driving since I was 14. I took Him home with Me and He got permission from My folks .I wish I could remember His name! We went to Ray Browns shop ,in the Hollywood ares, and picked up the Mabee Special and took it to the flats on a tralier.It was the first time I had been to Nevada or Utah or towed a trailer , pretty heady stuff ,To Me in those days. I remember a shopping trip I went on a few days before We left. The Mabees took the entire crew to an exclusive department store in Beverly Hills. I was born in West Los Angeles and had only read about Sax Fifth ave. Guy was shopping for a gift for Hie wife. The clerks were falling on Us with service.It was memerable stuff for Me . Afterwords We all went to Armstrong and Schroders, a B.H. restaurant , for lunch. I remember the trip as being an adventure thru these 16 year old eyes, at the time. There were no freeways and the desert was ,to me, like in the covered wagon day compaired to today. La Vegas was a wide open wild west show and the roads were pretty rough in the hinterlands of Nevada and Utah. I remember Elko Nevada as being like something out of a Louie Lamore paperback. The meet was like organized chaos, to Me, every crew was trying to make there performance window and there were some real shoe string operations in those days that, looking back,there were very colorfull and memerable cars and people. The mabees were real down to earth people that you woul never pick out of a crowd as wealthy. Ray Brown I remember as being a cool ,organized Guy with a talent for fine tuning. The trip back to L.A.was a blase. I remember the heat and lack of support services in Nevada. There were plenty of Berma Shave signs and other distractions though. I would do it again !!
     
  11. oldspert
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,259

    oldspert
    Member
    from Texas

    Don't know how I missed this original post. I have been at the Mabee ranch many times. My brother in law went to school with "Little Guy" and his brither John. Bro in law lived on the ranch and worked cattle for them for a few years. I was in one of the hangers one day and happened upon crates of brand new, still in cosmoline, Rolls Royce Merlins. At least ten. Also about six Allisons, same condition. They had a very low mile 70 Boss 429 as well as a 70 Camaro RS with a dealer installed aluminum block 427.
     
  12. Ryan,thanks for sharing such fine memories,of wonderful people like the Mabee's. It helps us all relate,to the fine person you became,thanks to these influences.
     
  13. MabeeSD
    Joined: Oct 24, 2007
    Posts: 3

    MabeeSD
    Member
    from Spring, TX

    bump....

    Has anyone have information of the white SD455 Formula that MAY still be in the Mabee family?
    It was purchased along side of the red "Mabee" SD455 trans am shown with my previous post and would like to find out more about the cars history.
     
  14. oldspert
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,259

    oldspert
    Member
    from Texas

    Next time I'm in Midland, I'll ask John or Guy if they know what happened to it.
     
  15. ogracer
    Joined: Nov 24, 2008
    Posts: 1

    ogracer
    Member

    Can anyone tell me how I can contact the present owner of the Mabee Special? I may be able to fill in a very small part of it's history.
     
  16. diceman
    Joined: Apr 10, 2007
    Posts: 27

    diceman
    Member

    ogracer, Please email me. rlow@petroleummuseum.org
    Ron Low
    Chaparral Gallery
     
  17. Joe Drisdale
    Joined: Mar 31, 2012
    Posts: 1

    Joe Drisdale
    Member
    from Austin

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font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> Wow. That brings back memories! I was about six or seven (possibly in ’59 or ‘60) when that car sat in our El Paso carport for more than a year. I don’t remember my father ever racing it though, or why he even had it. What I do remember was that my younger brother figured out how to open the fuel latch one day and started breathing the fuel. My mom looked out the kitchen window and spotted him right as he passed out. When she got there, she thought he was dead because he was face down on the pavement with blood trickling from his head. So the last thing I remember was mom screaming about that “damn car” and “damn racing” and dad calling Pa Unser right after and asking him to take it off his hands. I suppose since your article states the car was raced at Pikes Peak, that’s how it came about.
     
  18. Special Ed
    Joined: Nov 1, 2007
    Posts: 6,506

    Special Ed
    Member

    Nice push car.... ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Pete1
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,905

    Pete1
    Member
    from Wa.

    Thanks for the memories Ryan.
    I watched that car run and met the Mabee's at Bonneville.
    My racing partner at the time had a home made sports
    racing car that had a Victress body on it and a Chrysler
    engine so the Mabee's were quite interested in how we
    had set it up as compared to theirs.
    Great people.
     
  20. Retroline
    Joined: Aug 20, 2002
    Posts: 1,121

    Retroline
    Member

    The story itself is amazing, true inspiration in many forms. I love the look of that body as well, and to see the muntz as a push car is awesome. I had the chance to purchase one on a trip over in 2000, during our last trip, I had to make the call back but seems it had vanished.
     

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