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History Vintage "Cageless" Midget Picture Thread

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by KKx125, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 6,087

    Marty Strode
    Member

    Speaking of Rex Easton, I remember seeing a famous picture of him holding on to a rear radius rod that had broken off at the chassis, still hard on the throttle. It didn't appear to slow him down at all, that is when "men were men".
     
  2. I believe the correct spelling, and name, was JOHNNY PAWL.
     
  3. monkaz
    Joined: Oct 6, 2011
    Posts: 203

    monkaz
    Member
    from gilbert,AZ


    If you really want to pick nits, his name was Johnny Pawlowicz. His father was Russian and his mother was Austrian.
     
  4. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,719

    verde742
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. a veteran died today

    Some you guys might want to call a guy in Gresham, Oregon, He has a lot of Midget history, and had some Offies, Ford 60's parts, etc. Havin' a tuff time, maybe buy some parts from him. Maybe even an old car.
    Does not do "puter stuff " word of mouth only, city won't let him have a sign,, Name is Jack Corley @ 503-667-1725
     
  5. Surfref32
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 61

    Surfref32
    Member

    Can anyone explain the story behind the hand brake on the old cars?

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  6. I appreciate the correction and never knew of his ancestry.
     
  7. Butch Evans
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 115

    Butch Evans
    Member

    I not sure if I'm right, but my personal experance with an Offy was the engine had enough compression to slow you in a race unless you were in crash mode or coming in the pits and it made it easy to unload. :confused:
     
  8. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    How old is old?

    All of the above reasons plus in the case of many pre-WWII and some post war, there was only a drum brake on the left rear and it has been said that applying the brake helped to get around the turn. Maybe with a diferential, but with a locked rear axle, I would need to be convinced.

    Now coming down a straight and using the brake to help pitch the car would be a diferent story.

    Today the brakes are also for starting the engine by locking the wheels to minimize the driveline shock from the push truck getting you rolling. The real early cars were either pushed by your pit crew (some had clutches) or towed with a rope, there were no rear push bars.
     
  9. TommyA19
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 240

    TommyA19
    Member

    I had also heard that after Bill Schindler lost his leg in 1936, his car owner put a hand brake on the midget.
     
  10. DocF
    Joined: Feb 22, 2011
    Posts: 120

    DocF
    Member

    A lot of the early midgets did not have a foot brake; I remember an old rail frame Ford 60 that Johnny Logan, the supermodified driver from Charlotte, MI, picked up somewhere in the 60 never did get a foot brake on it.

    Our old rail was set up so the hand brake only actuated the rear brakes and the foot brake hit all four wheels. This was really for push starting the car, but it could be advantageous on some tracks during the race.

    Doc
     
  11. doctordarryl
    Joined: Apr 14, 2011
    Posts: 17

    doctordarryl
    Member
    from NJ

    I have no experience with the 1/18th scale GMP midgets (I build in 1/25th scale) but I know several friends and builders who love them as well. I understand that since GMP went out of business, their midget kits are getting hard to find.
     
  12. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Again, how old is old.

    I would guess that almost all pre WW II cars had mechanical brakes and on the left rear only, or both rears only. It was originally easy to route a pull rod from a hand lever on the outside left of the car to the left rear.

    Later we see the outside lever connected to a shaft going across the chassis with a pull rod on both sides. Then came conversion to hydraulic on both sides, with the outside handle now operating a push rod to the master cylinder which was commonly mounted outside the frame rail and then again later, inside the frame rail, but still mostly no inside brake foot pedal.

    My updated old pre War V8-60 had only the outside handle operating an inside the rail frame master cylinder with Airheart single piston calipers on the rear only. While running a Vintage meet on a 1/3 asphalt track I had the throttle jam going into a turn. While honking on the bake lever with my left hand, I had all I could do to turn the car with my right hand while flipping the kill switch with my fingers and still needing to uncog.

    That is why when I did my current pre War car, I put in a foot brake that operates the master cylinder but retained the outside brake handle to operate the brakes mechanically (it has rear only) as an option to remain classic and for brake operation when off loading from the open trailer.
     
  13. memaerobilia
    Joined: Mar 24, 2004
    Posts: 191

    memaerobilia
    Member

    It was the most common practice to use adapted Model T Ford Brake handle, cross-shaft (with the "U" shape in center, to clear the drive-shaft), bottom rail mounting brackets, and outer cross-shaft, brake-link cast ends. It was more common to use both rear brakes than one. This set-up was commonly used on Both pre-war midgets AND sprint cars. The cast brackets (in which the cross-shaft rotated) that mounted to the flat bottom of the rail frames, could be easily slid inward or outward to match the width of the frames. Actually this photo would be a Reverse, or the mounting, as the long brake handle would almost always be on the left side of the car.
    Many of the pre-war midgets also used a cut-down/narrowed (about 3.25 inches on EACH side) Model T rear end. Almost always from the 1926 and 1927 Model T, that had the Larger brakes. Many of the early, pre-war Sprint cars used a Model A rear end, and this Model T handle and cross-shaft also worked with them too.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  14. racer8
    Joined: Jan 17, 2009
    Posts: 54

    racer8
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    The first Midget I drove for Max Reichenbach At Joliet Ill. was a Ford 60 with a hand brake only and a hand fuel pump, BK
     
  15. TommyA19
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 240

    TommyA19
    Member

    As nice as the GMP cars were, I'd venture to say that they came around at the wrong time and at the wrong price, which, it sure seems could be the reason for their demise?
     
  16. gearguy
    Joined: Jan 27, 2010
    Posts: 286

    gearguy
    Member

    We've begun work on a history of Max Reichenbach, noted Chicago area car builder, in cooperation with his family. It would be great to hear from any of you with stories of Max, his son-in-law Bill Krueger, or the cars he built.
    I only met Max once, in the early 1970s, when I borrowed my father's station wagon to pick up a cage kit for our crashed Hamburger-Chevy II.

    Chuck Schultz
    Winfield, Illinois
     
  17. Zoera
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 200

    Zoera
    Member

    Tom, these GMP midgets are quite nice, and you can find them quite reasonable on ebay, as well as at various swap meets. GMP made a lot of these, and collectors who bought up all the variants are starting to sell off their collections. I have a few, but I would never pay the list price for any of these fine diecast cars (I paid three bucks for the Caruso Offy).
    Here's a sample:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. bobjeffreson
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 56

    bobjeffreson
    Member

    I have the complete run of GMP midgets and will not parting with any for $3....LOL
    My favourite GMP releases are the 1/12th dirt champ cars. Having never seen a champ car in anger on dirt, I just sit back ...look at my model and wonder what it would have been like.
    Here's 1 of mine. I recall purchasing this by Fax from GMP on the day it was released as they weren't available in Australia back them.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Zoera
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 200

    Zoera
    Member

    I wouldn't mind finding one of those monsters in 1/1 scale that runs! Great model, though I'd be afraid to ask what the price was. If you go to Youtube, you can find old films of dirt champ cars in action.
    How many GMP midgets were in the series?
     
  20. 1936chevytruck
    Joined: Jan 20, 2011
    Posts: 3

    1936chevytruck
    Member

    gotta be tough to drive it. Very cool great post.
     
  21. Surfref32
    Joined: Sep 25, 2010
    Posts: 61

    Surfref32
    Member

    Thank you Joe, and all others. Now I understand.
     
  22. indybigjohn
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,713

    indybigjohn
    Member Emeritus

    Bob, I can understand your wondering. I watched this car win at the Indiana State Fairgrounds mile dirt with Al Unser Sr. driving, from the inside of the fourth turn. It was really something to see those things go by.
     
  23. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    The Lu Holland V8-60 at Webster City, IA 2008.

    Notice the identically painted and numbered sprinter in the background.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  24. gtxrider
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 74

    gtxrider
    Member

    This is a hand made (no kit) of Johnny Ritter's 3# my uncle made.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  25. Zoera
    Joined: Nov 3, 2008
    Posts: 200

    Zoera
    Member

    That is a truely nice one-of-a-kind replica. Congrats to your uncle on some really fine work.
     
  26. monkaz
    Joined: Oct 6, 2011
    Posts: 203

    monkaz
    Member
    from gilbert,AZ


    Here's the real deal - Johnny Ritter in his own Offy.
     

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  27. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    My 1937 midget has a kill switch on the top of the brake handle and I am sure it was placed there for the reason you stated (throttle sticking open).
    While racing in the 60's I had my throttle stick at the start of the race, I was on the pole going into the first turn and before I could hit the switch while my foot was pushing the brake to the floor the car's right front wheel climbed the car next to me and went over his hood. Lucky for him he had a roll cage. Im not sure of what would have happend but it would have not been good.
     
  28. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

     
  29. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,105

    the shadow
    Member

    Since you guys are talking pre-war midgets, did the always have in & out box's on them? the midget I have is from that time period and judging by the space I have between the back of the un-cut V8-60 bellhousing & the end of the torque tube an in & out box would have to be pretty long in length or as long as a v8-60 trans. I have a stock v8-60 trans but hesitate to install it if it was not common to have one in a midget? I guess back then as well as today there were always guys who could not afford to run the best stuff & substituted it for OEM stuff? Just want your opinions I have to lay out the re-assembly of my midget based on the shortened T-tube that came with it & engine placement based on the body/firewall location.

    paul
     
  30. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,105

    the shadow
    Member

    This information really helps me with dating my midget I am glad you guys brought the hand brake topic up. My midget is a rail frame, narrowed model A rear (5 pin) with model T spring & left rear mechanical brakes only, the front end is a narrowed model A i- beam with 5 pin hubs as well. the original nose was one of theose box'y type but is now a conventional midget nose (1950's), the body (tail) is also more like a 50's High tail.
    from what I am reading & seeing if it was pre-war wouldn't the tail be flat with no top on it? Maybe someone rebodied it at a later time.

    paul
     

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