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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. rat deuce
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 188

    rat deuce

    I'm posting this pic for a Standard 1320 member who is following this thread but is not a HAMB member. It's from his personal collection and wanted to help...

    Attached Files:

    HEMI32 likes this.
  2. A VERY experienced 400mph guy pointed me towards certain design aspects of the Markley Bros tank when asking him about lakester design. 280 in 63 shows they knew what the heck they were doing!
  3. "Standard 1320 member" (& @rat deuce) -

    Very cool! ... thanks for sharing!

    Here's a couple more (circa 1959) pics of the #128C "MARKLEY BROS. ~ FLYNN" tank:

    128C (from Dreams of Legends).jpg

    128C with Bob Summers Crewing (from Dreams of Legends).jpg
    images from the Dreams Of Legends website
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  4. craig hoffman
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 2

    craig hoffman

    THE time slip

    Attached Files:

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  5. @craig hoffman -

    Fantastic first post! :cool:

    About a year ago I stumbled upon your HAMB username in the members section ... and was hoping that someday you might post in this thread! :)

    I assume you are Harry Sr.'s grandson?

    Please feel free to post more pics of the Markley's belly tank ... and/or correct any mis-information posted in this thread.

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  6. craig hoffman
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 2

    craig hoffman

    Funny. Harry Sr. is my dad not grandfather. Big age gap between Harry Jr. and I. I will see what I can dig up at Charlies tomorrow.
  7. Clysdale
    Joined: Jun 16, 2006
    Posts: 270

    from Vista, CA

    Man....this is such a great thread. Thanks to everyone who contributed, it's like a kick ass lesson in belly tanker bliss!
  8. I guess that's what I get for assuming! :eek: :D ...

    That would be awesome!
  9. Time for some updates? Anyone?
  10. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,790

    from Tampa, FL

    This story is crazy cool. Just wonderful. Gary
  11. jipp
    Joined: Jun 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,112


    such a nice missile. these cars just ooz cool. looking at the crash, its good thing they updated the safety stuff per the rules or someone could of got hurt.. well i can only assume the new stuff they added made it safer.
  12. These pics were taken by Barry "Burly" Burlile (@36hplandspeedracer) ...

    ... in 1962:

    Bob Markley D Lakester @ Bonneville 1962 (by Burly Burlile).jpg

    ... and in 1963:

    #360 D @ Bonneville 1963 (taken with Burly's 1921 Kodak Pocket camera).jpg

    #360 D engine @ Bonneville 1963 (by Burly Burlile).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
    402BOSSMAN likes this.
  13. Duane Cole (@LVSALT's father) shot these photos ...

    ... of the #360 D lakester:

    Markley Bros #360 D (by Duane Cole).jpg

    Markley Bros #360 D head-on (by Duane Cole).jpg

    ... and of the #360 C Lakester:

    Markley Bros #360 C (by Duane Cole).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  14. Here'a a shot of the #360 C belly tank taken by Glenn Freudenberger (@derFREUD):

    #360 C (by Glenn Freudenberger).jpg
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  15. That last batch is GOOD@!
  16. The "Spirit Of Bonneville"

    Spirit of Bonneville (by Riley Player).jpg
    photograph by Riley Player (@RodandRelic)
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  17. Dennis Varni's #909 Belly Tank in the Pits
    #909 in the pits (by Riley Player).jpg
    photograph by Riley Player (@RodandRelic)
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  18. 36hplandspeedracer
    Joined: Apr 28, 2009
    Posts: 23


    Whats amazing is the photos by Riley Player and Duane Cole were taken at almost the same time. The 120 modified roadster and the streamliner are in both shots. Now, fifty years later the photos are together..........................
    What a coincidence!

  19. LVSALT
    Joined: Jan 2, 2011
    Posts: 13


    The 120 Modified is B&N automotive, driven by Noel Black 260mph+.
    pretty neat how those photos ended up here.
  20. That is quite a coincidence! ... and here's another ...

    The streamliner (outlined in red) in these two photos is the famous #999B "Herda~Cagle~Knapp" 'liner ... built & driven by the late great Bob Herda:

    #999B \'liner in background (by Riley Player).jpg
    #999B 'liner under tarp (by Duane Cole).jpg
    Fast forward 45+ years ... and the Markley's old Belly Tank and Herda's old 'liner are once again sitting next to each other ... in Dennis Varni's "Speed Nymph Garage":

    #999 'liner tail @ Speed Nymph Garage - Aug '11 (by HEMI32).jpg
    #999 'liner & #909 Lakester @ Speed Nymph Garage - Aug '11 (by HEMI32).jpg
    #222, #999 & #909 @ Speed Nymph Garage - Aug '11 (by HEMI32).jpg
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  21. 36hplandspeedracer
    Joined: Apr 28, 2009
    Posts: 23


    Thats fantastic! But I must admit, the red graphics in the Varney pic on the Markely tank does not elicit the same emotions as the black #360!

  22. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,249


    I did not know that the Herda streamliner had been of best engineered cars at Bonneville, saw it there in '59.
  23. drofrockology
    Joined: Sep 17, 2008
    Posts: 238

    from Reno, NV

    i used to know the director of the national automobile museum. herda's 'liner was in his museum and went into storage after most of it was sold off and, what was left, became exhibits in nam. i heard that they were putting the herda car up for sale and i was putting in bids, per jim lattin, on the car at the same time varney was bidding on it. i cannot remember how much those bids were as it was around 10 years ago.

    was the rollcage restored? it and the fairing had to be torched-off and harrah's never did anything with it.
  24. Here's a short video clip of the Markley Bros BELLY TANK @ Bonneville:

    captured from Alex Xydias' classic 1984 film, "THE HOT ROD STORY"
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  25. ... and some stills from the video:

    The Hot Rod Story 2642.JPG

    The Hot Rod Story 2645.JPG

    The Hot Rod Story 2651.JPG

    The Hot Rod Story 2659.JPG
    images from "THE HOT ROD STORY" by Alex Xydias
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  26. dudley32
    Joined: Jan 2, 2008
    Posts: 2,100


    what a great thread...thanks for all the contributions...
  27. Here's some more video footage of the Markley Bros BELLY TANK @ Bonneville:

    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  28. Neighbor
    Joined: Mar 19, 2012
    Posts: 1

    from Nevada


    Thank You Very Much for posting this online!!

    Why? I was a kid living next door to these guys when growing up in Portola Valley, California!

    One Spring-to-Summer back in the mid-1960's ( I keep thinking it was 1965 since my grandma was still alive, which made me 11 years old at that time) I hung-out in the driveway of their house, watching the guys prepping the Belly Tank for competition.

    Bones was a relaxed and laid-back of the two brothers. Charlie was a patient, but intense guy from what I recall.

    Allow me to give you a bit of background of the place they resided at:

    The Markley brothers lived in a house that was originally a summer home, at the corner of Canyon Drive and Crescent Avenue, that had a log-cabin appearance to it. It was one of the smaller property lots in the neighborhood.

    And the house was the smallest in the neighborhood, too. It consisted of few rooms. A main room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.

    I recall one "wall-hanger" decoration they had in their house was a deactivated water-cooled Maxim machine gun of World War I vintage.

    And, they had several trophies from their past successes displayed in the main room, too.

    Their garden consisted of little: a small front lawn, a small rear lawn , BUT, they had twin pine trees in their front yard THAT WERE HUGE! The tree trunks were four-feet in diameter, with a height of over 100 feet each.

    There was one guy, among the crew, that I got along well with. I cannot recall his name, but he lived on Vera Avenue in Redwood City, which was a block away from where my grandma lived at.

    I recall Charlie telling me one time not to get chatty with his guys . . . he did not want me to distract them from their work.

    Another time Charlie said that he thought my dad was calling and I should leave. It wasn't the case. I was being annoying as kids can be, and Charlie wanted me to leave.

    In a way that was tactful of him doing so. He could have been mean-spirited and said something nasty, or chase me away, but he never did.

    Much of the work the Markley Brothers crew did for prepping went into late-night, too. On some days I recall my Mom telling that things must have been busy over at the Markley's place the night before, since she heard the bass tones, resonating on her bedroom wall, from the music played at their place. My Mom was a good sport and had no issues from the noises they made.

    Whereas they played some loud music, one aspect the Markley Brothers were mindful of, and that was not to indiscriminately fire-up the engine during their prep work.

    Even as a kid, it surprised me that I never heard them firing up the engine. Whereas, other hot-rodders of that era, including my older brother a few years later, were predisposed with wanting to make such noises.

    My dad worked overnights, so the late-night noises never bothered him.

    And come to think of it, this was all happening prior to 1966, since my Mom was a "stay-at-home" during that time, and in the Summer months, she could sleep-in as what us kids did, too.

    I vividly recall that Hot Rod Magazine cover from that issue. My brother was an aspiring hot rodder at that time, so the magazine issue was in our house.

    One bit of trivia I also recall from the Markley Brothers days in prepping for Bonneville: They used a borrowed 1962 Ford Country station wagon that was painted red. The wagon was used as a support vehicle at Bonneville. I thought is was very cool having a red-colored wagon . . . and the 1962 Ford Country wagon style was very nice.

    In fact, I recall getting some of the Bonneville salt from that wagon's fender wells when the brothers returned from Bonneville. As kids can be, I was interested with the "salt" because of its novelty appeal, from Bonneville.

    So, Thank You! for posting the Markley Brothers Belly Tank Bonneville special they built and maintained next door to me back in the 1960's.

    402BOSSMAN and DB28704 like this.
  29. drofrockology
    Joined: Sep 17, 2008
    Posts: 238

    from Reno, NV

    thanks for sharing that bit of insight, neighbor!
  30. @Neighbor -

    Welcome to the H.A.M.B.!

    Thanks for sharing your memories of the Markley Brothers ... I'm sure Charlie will get a kick out of reading your post! :)

    If you have any old photographs of the Belly Tank, Bones, or Charlie; please post them here!
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014

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