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Projects The Original "Purple People Eater" dragster 1957

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Fast Elvis, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Ahhh yes the Dunville Slow Pokes...started in 1956...they were actually the very first club to host a NHRA santioned event in Ontario around I think 57 or 58.....maybe your dad is in the picture of the club members.
    slowpokes-then.jpg Slowpokes_Dunnville.jpg
    scott27, mad mikey, mgtstumpy and 4 others like this.
  2. Thanks Stogy for the help brother to answer quickchangeV8's question. Your right about your insight on the "Purple People Eater" quickchangeV8.... the body back then really stood out at the track and it was 109" wheelbase which was also ahead of the curve back then as alot of the early rails had 100" or less wheelbase. Check out this early Ontario rail job.... it ran a Packard motor ...the Tecumesh Valve Lifters built this and it ran at Kohler in those early days from 1956. Love the way the battery is just strappd to the frame

    scott27, mgtstumpy, loudbang and 3 others like this.
  3. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 10,935


    @Fast Elvis...Thank You for bringing some of the Hotrod/Race/Custom contributions of Ontario/CA to our attention...its great to see...and you're quite well versed in that history...
    loudbang and classiccarjack like this.
  4. I've always loved the early years of drag racing but growing up so close to where it started in Ontario certainly helped. Here's a few more cool pictures of those early drag racing days at Kohler Dragway in Ontario when the "Purple People Eater" dragster ran.

    8_Ball_c79fe_Large.jpg 14940112_1778852345715574_5897406436479709377_o (1).jpg 33045041_10155732986187809_5188348767337709568_n.jpg Testing_001_477e0.jpg
  5. Dropping the "Purple People Eater" off at the body shop..... Richard Hilton (Rich Refinishing A/B) another long time pal and ELTA brother will work his magic on bringing the old fiberglass body back to it's former glory.

    48404811_2286352048260391_4568147660069928960_n.jpg 48416024_2285408761688053_7745701380618190848_n.jpg
  6. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 10,935


    :rolleyes:...Damn that's Cool stuff...Elvis please enlighten Stogy...on the Kohler Dragway Location...
    I mentioned Cayuga thinking it had changed its name but I think I have erred on that...

    Questions about the last set of pics the racer with the 39 Ford Hood...what front suspension is under that?

    Last question the T that just a rad with no shell or otherwise? Thats a real awesome mean business Hotrod too...Where is it Now?

    Keep the History rolling @Fast Elvis
    this threads Rockin'

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    loudbang likes this.
  7. Kohler Dragway was a old WII training base and is located near Cayuga Ontario..... Kohler Dragway soon went after 1962 to have a number of different names... like Super Boss Dragway, 1320 Dragway, Cayuga Dragway Park and today its known as Toronto Motors Sport Park.
    45937832_469463530247300_296386278528647168_n.jpg FEx9rHKZQwiycRAm1UhIiw.jpg
  8. A few more random pictures of the old "Purple People Eater" dragster over the past year.

    37674773_2183346711894259_5883202887315619840_n.jpg 37782790_2187000824862181_9056818612479721472_n.jpg 31404044_2122145161347748_4143298394321846272_n.jpg 37647948_2183347041894226_1143640621446070272_n.jpg
    Butch M, scott27, mad mikey and 5 others like this.
  9. 328isJohn
    Joined: Feb 10, 2019
    Posts: 8


    I was reading about the fiberglass body on the "Purple People Eater" website and noticed this
    "Several of us were acquainted with Ron Coleman who was in the business of making fiberglass canoes. We had looked in at his shop and had observed the process of making a fine durable canoe."

    Up until a few years ago my parents still had the canoe my dad bought from Ron Coleman ...I would guess he bought in the late 70's early 80's.....My dad worked at Joy manufacturing and Coleman's was a block or two away.
    When it was sold it was still in great shape and I am sure Ron Coleman's input on building the body was why the body held up so good after all these years.
    Fast Elvis and loudbang like this.
  10. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 1,668

    from Oregon

    Okay this so over the top. Yes my Dad is in that club photo and has his club plaque to this day. I believe he has that club photo. There are still members around. They had their 60th reunion a couple years back. Thanks so much for all of this.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019
  11. Every year up this way, at the War Plane Musuem by Hamilton, they host a drag racing show and many times over the years the Slow Pokes C.C. have a display. The club still have their 32 Ford sedan that they raced back in the 50's. A really good bunch of guys. Your Dad was a part of that first wave of Ontario hot rodders that got drag racing up and going 41rooderz, you should be proud of your dad. You come from good stock and I see the apple didn't fall to far from the is your Dad still here in Ontario?

  12. El-Kabong
    Joined: Sep 4, 2016
    Posts: 5


    An exciting undertaking to be sure!
    I am thrilled to see such a unique car
    Restored! Look forward to seeing her complete!
    Fast Elvis and loudbang like this.
  13. I am late to the party. Just went threw the whole thread . WOW!! Fantastic. Congrats Mark on this historic undertaking . You are a real hero saving this important piece of drag racing history.:)

  14. Thanks El-Kabong...much apreciated brother....I see you have a rare and early 58 rail.....any pictures? Sounds like a match race some For your enjoyment's another classic early Ontario rail that the Brantfrod Piston Pushers ran back at the same time the "Purple People Eater" ran. Doug Woodley was the driver and is still going strong today at 85. Comes out to our ELTA Big Go Drags in his model A. He's on the front cover of this early 1961 Drag News issue.... he was a very good "Shoe" in his day in B dragster class.

    178dondoug-vi.jpg Drag News 1961.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  15. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 10,935


    Fast Elvis I just posted this pic with a link in @bgaro's thread as it really looks a lot like what he's creating...

    Is this at Kohler?​
    Butch M, loudbang and Fast Elvis like this.
  16. Too kind Mike....thanks...just very fortunate that my hunt turned up the old dragster and the owner was happy to let me take her home to restore. I did also find a second rail sitting in the same field. Here's a early picture of this next project... it's the Gray Yanocko "Flying Carpet" dragster which was one of the first nitro cars at Kohler going back to the late 50's using a 1948 A90 Auston 4 cyl. motor running low 12's. Here's a picture of the rail from around 1958 1513173_10206285273002712_6409395696359257757_n.jpg .
  17. Here's another picture (colour) of the car in action at Kohler Dragway running the "Zoro" dragster.
  18. Stogy
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 10,935


    Too Damn Cool that is...thanks @Fast Elvis...your thread is again a real historic journey...priceless stuff.

    Do you by chance know what motive power it had?

    @bgaro check this out...:rolleyes:
    Butch M, mad mikey and loudbang like this.
  19. Wonderful story and a great job on the car.
    loudbang likes this.
  20. I may be wrong but I thought it might have been Olds power Stogy.
  21. Thanks Mike....just trying to keep the history alive.
    Butch M, scott27, mad mikey and 2 others like this.
  22. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,214


    Some guys don't like being photographed..........
  23. least most of the the guys back then were happy to pose with a smile.
    374132-zorro2a.jpg 374683-T 4 2 b.jpg 33317279_2134319436796987_2695488798858412032_n.jpg
    Butch M, scott27, Stogy and 4 others like this.
  24. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,219

    rd martin
    from indiana

    its funny to look back how simple it was to go racing and have fun. you could build a car and have fun, without the stress, and deep pockets. and now its who has the most money, and who can tune the best computer!
  25. Those were the days your car in your laneway or home garage or club shop on your budget/smarts. Then show up to have fun and learn some new tricks from other racers in the pit's. All you had to do is get your car thru those early saftey lanes. When I spoke to some of those original track officials from Kohler Dragway.......they would chuckle about when they ran the saftey lanes the biggest thing that they check was retorking those lung nuts on the wheels. A wheel coming off was the biggest thing most of them would worry then some of the old racers would tell me, after racing that day, they had one hell of time getting their wheels off due to the safety guys torquing them way too

    1ce0bbcb-af0d-406d-96db-c45e4b1a4e16.jpg img261.jpg img262.jpg
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  26. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,219

    rd martin
    from indiana

    really kool pics! my first trip down a dragstrip was 1n 68, at age 15 with moms 63 ford. I borrowed it from the garage.:rolleyes: the only thing tech was worried about was getting the 10.00 out of my hand!;) things have changed. I know the guys in your pictures were having fun! the top classes nowadays are not having any fun, because there going to dam fast!:eek:
    loudbang, Stogy and Fast Elvis like this.
  27. I hear you Rich......thats why at our anual ELTA Summer Bash & Big Go's run what you brung...heads up racing where there's no trophies or preasure to win only put on a great show and have FUN all weekend for the crowds. I find most of the hardcore racers that show up are so relax because they don't have to pull valve covers off to find another 1/10 of sec. to beat the other guy between passes but to relax and hang out with friends, family and take in the event.... alot more smiles all weekend.

    2018-elta-big-go-drags-10.jpg 38908268_2053844211334577_2008427471837331456_o.jpg 39053853_699291957085817_1946684550998392832_n.jpg 39243152_2128409487181514_6830424286264557568_o.jpg 39147788_10216217882697455_7767171316540506112_o (1).jpg
    Butch M, scott27, loudbang and 4 others like this.
  28. 31Apickup
    Joined: Nov 8, 2005
    Posts: 1,758


    Nice history lesson of Hot Rodding in Ontario. You mentioned to my brother and I to come over to the ELTA meet before, looks like a good time.
    Fast Elvis, loudbang and Stogy like this.
  29. This year it's our 15th year of the doing the ELTA Summer Bash and Big Go's always a fun weekenend brother. I know last year people started showing up at St. Thomas Dragway on the Tue. night for the Friday evening ever think about coming..... we are known for our wonderful hospitality. Here's a few pictures from last summers ELTA Big Go.
    2018-elta-big-go-drags-8.jpg 2018-elta-big-go-summer-drags-dave-thomas-24-1200x800.jpg 38071833_2193331717562425_8215185724622766080_o.jpg 38934612_10156522588487497_7253072063445860352_o.jpg 38894220_1811750772235393_4677258551150772224_n.jpg 38901166_2205151459713784_1650336437549137920_n (1).jpg 39012968_10160812814810224_3612981696904822784_o.jpg
    Butch M, Thor1, scott27 and 2 others like this.
  30. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 1,668

    from Oregon

    Dad's in the U.S. .I was talking to him and he remembers your car and some of the names on "the faces of Kohler", Purples driver. He was talking about the Brantford Piston Pushers, London Modifiers etc. Something about Mellenbacher and wondering if you have heard of the name Don Swanson. There is a story or two about putting on the first NHRA show.:D
    Fast Elvis likes this.

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