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History The Markley Bros BELLY TANK: A Pictorial History

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Peter (@psychocross) ...

    Thanks for the link to your "Bonneville" Picasa Web Album ... very cool stuff!

    I hope you don't mind ... but (for convenience & archival sake) I took the liberty of resizing some of your Markley Bros Belly Tank images ...

    ... a couple of B&W photos:



    ... a couple of color Post Cards:

    PostCard Charlie.jpg

    Bonneville Slat Flats PostCard.jpg

    ... and this Acknowledgment of the 1963 World Record:

    Doug Smith Gus Mozart Announcement of 1963 World Record.jpg

    I assume your father (Douglas Smith) was working at the Gus Mozart Volkswagen-Porsche-Audi dealership in Palo Alto?

    Thanks again! ... and feel free to add more pics and/or info to this thread.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2020
    402BOSSMAN likes this.
  2. draginsteel
    Joined: Oct 21, 2007
    Posts: 462


    I now only live about 5 hours from Bonneville, so it is in my plans to go this summer. Any thoughts if the true spirit remains or like everything it's becoming another commercialzed festivus?
  3. pastlane
    Joined: Oct 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,063


    crappy pic but this is the second poster I reproduced way back in 1990. The original was loaned to me by a good customer that grew up next door to the Markley Brothers. They had given him the original.

    Attached Files:

  4. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,968


    So far the sprit remains. However your definiation of the sprit may differ from someone elses. For some the "Car show" in front of the Stateline is a big part of the fun. Some old foggeys may feel it is out of place. But I think what ever your tastes run towards, you will find it quite well worth the trip.
  5. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,985

    Member Emeritus

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread. I can't get enough of anything "Bonneville". My bucket list still has a trip out there on it so I have something to look forward to.

  6. I bought one of those from you, it brought back great memories of my very first trip to Bonneville in 64.

    Attached Files:

  7. cwikstrom
    Joined: May 6, 2009
    Posts: 32

    from Edmonds

    I was afflicted with Salt Fever several years ago, and have been back every year since. Some people in the U.S. think it may be too far to attend, but I have met spectators from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, And all over Europe. 2 years ago I met a group of guys from Finland that brought their small Motorcycle, and side car to the meet in pieces, each one brought on the plane as a "Carry on", and stowed in the overhead. They set a record. Then there are the Legends of our sport you may bump into. I've chatted with Tex Smith, Boyd Coddington, Bill Burke, Mickey Thompson's kid, Jerry Kugel, Roy Fjasted, and on and on... Stop dreamin' and make some solid plans. There's so much more than just the racing to see there. In Wendover is the old Army Air Corp base that Col. Tibbets trained his men of the "Enola Gay". You'll come back year after year. It'll change your life.
  8. acerods
    Joined: Apr 10, 2008
    Posts: 66

    from CALIF.

    Early 60's: We would drive by the Markley Bros house on Cordilleras Ave in San Carlos, Ca. Every spring we would see them working on the tank in the drive way.
    RIP Bob.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  9. psychocross
    Joined: Oct 31, 2009
    Posts: 12

    from Seattle

  10. Peter (@psychocross) ... Great stuff! ... even a couple of pics of the belly tank the year it got Ernie into the 200 MPH Club:

    1977 - #543 (by psychocross) 1.JPG

    1977 - #543 (by psychocross) 2.JPG
    1977: Ernie Pereira set a (2-way avg.) record of 201.367 MPH in his #543 X/FL (302ci Jimmy I-6 Fuel Lakester)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  11. Peter ... I also noticed that you've added some very cool pics of the Markley Bros #128 & #360 belly tank in
    your "Bonneville, Chrome Yellow 360 & More" Picasa album:










    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
    402BOSSMAN likes this.
  12. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,271


  13. deathmobile
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 112


    got a pic of the 543 f/xl at bonneville in 61' just gotta get the scanner to work

    anyone know an rad cat named doug hardy..he was in the crew for the brothers, was actually next door neighbors..
  14. Slim Pickens
    Joined: Dec 15, 2008
    Posts: 3,342

    Slim Pickens

    Killer stuff Hemi32. Thanks again. Slim
  15. psychocross
    Joined: Oct 31, 2009
    Posts: 12

    from Seattle

    Thank You for the location info. As far as I know my dad (Doug Smith) took most of these.

    Peter Smith
  16. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,847

    from Tampa, FL

    Nice thread. Wonderful car and team. Gary
  17. BLAINE 816
    Joined: Jan 6, 2007
    Posts: 243

    BLAINE 816

    Great pics, many thanks for your efforts.
  18. geezerkat
    Joined: Mar 12, 2005
    Posts: 71


    Wasn't there someone that was making fiberglass repos of these tanks afew years ago?
  19. Found a couple more pics of the Markley's #360D tank on the salt ...

    ... sans the HEMI:

    #360D on the Salt - sans HEMI (Doug Hartelt Collection).jpg
    image from the Doug Hartelt Collection

    ... and thrashing in the pits:

    #360D - Thrashing In The Pits (Doug Hartelt collection).jpg
    image from the Doug Hartelt Collection
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  20. Candy-Man
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,713


    There are two I believe. Forgot the company name on the west coast.

    On the east coast, Scott Leber O/O of "Scott's Rods" purchased the molds from Rods 'N Race...

    (419) 706-5850

    Great history on this tank.......
  21. B Crall
    Joined: Aug 20, 2010
    Posts: 3

    B Crall
    from Nor Cal

    I was one of the crew members on this car in its last few years of running. I have quite a few pictures of it. If there is interest I can post them.

    I know the car quite well if you have any questions.

    Here is a sample. It is the car just after seperation from the push car in the tanks last year on the salt. It was taken leaning over the guy in the window seat of the Cad Limo shown in some other pictures.

    That year we had a pass at 264.984

    Charley Markley would often drop by the pit and look over the car, have lunch and tell us stories of the cars early days. He's as great a guy as everyone here has said. It was great fun working on a car with the history that one has. Whenever I see it I still take a minute to stop and look and remember all the great times. I suppose thats why Charlie always stopped by at the salt.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2010
    HEMI32 likes this.
  22. Brian (@B Crall) - Welcome to the H.A.M.B. !!!

    Yes ... please feel free to post any pics of the #909 belly tank that you might have handy ... and it would be really great if you could share any stories / experiences you had crewing on the car.

    Although this thread is primarily about the Lakester when it was campaigned by the Markley Brothers, Varni's version is definitely part of the tank's rich history ... so the more pics & info, the better!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  23. B Crall
    Joined: Aug 20, 2010
    Posts: 3

    B Crall
    from Nor Cal

    Quite a few of my pictures of the car were lost in a computer meltdown a few years ago. Now everything is backed up but.... Horse out of the barn and all that. Most of the pictures I have in my possesion are from 06. I knew Dennis was retiring the car so I took as many as I could when I wasn't actually working on it. That trip is very possibly the last time the car will be on the salt. Here is a smattering of them. One good side view from a distance shows just how low the car is. Also, compare these with pictures from the cars early life and you will see the proportions changed quite a bit. Over it's life it has been stretched twice. I dont know how well you will be able to see it but in a high res you can see one of the frame mods. In a left side view, right under the front spark plug wire you can see the end of one of the tubes slid over the original frame tube to stretch the car. There is another set in the cockpit. You might also notice that after the accident the swing axles went away. It has a quick change solid axle mounted directly to the end of the frame now.

    I saw it Sunday when I was down there helping Dennis move the streamliner for the TV show. It's still a treat to see the car. My jobs on that car were a lot more work than the streamliner but I do miss the sound of it.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
    HEMI32 and volvobrynk like this.
  24. @B Crall - Great stuff ... thanks for sharing your pics ... and for keeping this old thread alive!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  25. drofrockology
    Joined: Sep 17, 2008
    Posts: 240

    from Reno, NV

    by request and at my pleasure.

    Attached Files:

    volvobrynk likes this.
  26. Thanks for a great, timeless, thread!
  27. I started this thread 2 years ago today ... and thought I should give it a bump to see if we can't uncover some more pics of this historic record setting Belly Tank Lakester.

    If anyone has photos of the Markley's #360 belly tank (or the #128, #543 or #909 versions), please post 'em here!

  28. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247


    Thanks for putting this thread together and bringing it back, great stuff.
  29. deathmobile
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 112


    only took me a year to relocate the photo...taken from the dash of the push truck when it had the 6cyl in this pic from Doug Hardy crew chief for a number of years

    Attached Files:

    HEMI32 likes this.
  30. @deathmobile - That's a very cool pic of Ernie Pereira's #543 X/L tank pulling away from the push truck ... Thanks for "relocating it" and sharing it here!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014

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