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History Vintage "Cageless" Midget Picture Thread

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

  1. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    No, they didn't always have in/out boxes. I suspect in 1935 there were few if any available production boxes and that it wasn't until a few years went by that the myriad of the combination of in/out and over and under and sun gear style gear change boxes started to appear.

    Likewise, I'm lead to believe that the first quick change rear axle (Voelker?) didn't appear until perhaps 1939. So there was a transition from the in/out change box to the in/out only box used with a quick change rear, to today's quick change with the in/out shifter function now incorporated in the unit housing.

    The transmission, was also used (and is in Vintage cars) sometimes with a clutch, and sometimes not.

    Not having a clutch and flywheel let the engine rev up quicker, eliminated possibility of an exploded clutch or flywheel, but created the need for a coupler from the back of the crankshaft to the transmission input shaft (clutch shaft).

    Perhaps someone on here has an Ambler, or similar in/out box with change gear section that can measure the distance from the mounting flange to the center of the torque ball housing for you...I have only a Halibrand in/out, no change gear section, that measures 6 inches.
     
  2. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Head rest style tails appeared on a few midgets starting about 1937.

    When Frank Kurtis designed his post war midget "production car" he incorporated features from other midgets such as the head rest, slanted nose, tube frame, etc. into a very visually pleasing, well performing package that many other builders followed, partially or totally. I would suggest that only a few flat tail cars were produced post war, however Kurtis did produce one without a headrest, which a contributor to this site can expand on.
     
  3. wynns #1
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 206

    wynns #1
    Member

    Hi Guys,
    I have a photo of Bob Tattersall in the ex Howard Linne Kurtis/ Mattoon Motors car. I can barely make out the lettering, but Bobs name is there as the driver and the mechanics name is Linne. I can not read the first name, which is not Howard. Did he have a relative on his team? Thanks!
     
  4. Me in dad's Kurtis, Huntington Beach, 1947. This is the only post war flat tail Kurtis that Frank built. The car is still in the family, and currently resides in the Justice Brother's Museum.



    [​IMG]
     
  5. CTtoPA
    Joined: Jun 17, 2008
    Posts: 252

    CTtoPA
    Member

    Does it say "Buster"?
     
  6. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Later day picture of the Lowe Kurtis in the Justice Brothers Museum and diferent number.
     

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  7. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Found one more of the Lu Holland 21 at Webster City IA 2008
     

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
  8. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member

    thanks for the info, it helps alot! I was at a guys house yesterday that had parts for in & out box's (early stuff) but they are for box's I have never seen. none of them had an markings and they didn't resemble parts for an ambler or CAE type box? the guys father restored midgets for a hobby and passed away in '07. since then he's been selling off stuff that was collected,his problem is alot of it is in peices and he doesn't know what the stuff goes to. his father had 6 complete offy engines done by ken hickey that he sold off over the last 5 years as well as 3-4 ambler box's & Offy engine parts! the stuff is everywhere in the garage's- lots of gears rear QC gears, in/out gears/ ring & pinion gears,drive shafts,fuel tanks,linkages,magneto's (4 cly type) springs,front & rear axels,body parts,wheels etc etc etc. i wish I knew what alot of the stuff was (so does he) so it can be id'd and sold. he also has a restored offy midget & trailer and a restored sprint car that he and his dad used to vinatge race in the 1980's, now he just shows them. really neat guy with alot of vintage parts, wish I had met him years ago before he sold off the other stuff...LOL

    Paul
     
  9. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    Shadow:
    I have an old pre-war 1937 midget. The in-out box is a forward or front quick change built by Bell Auto. I will measure and get back to you. The rearend is a Model A with Model T Hubs. NO quick change. I was told that Casale? spelling, was building quick change rearends in 1938. Not sure how many sold before the war but he did well after the war. The forward quick change box's are a pain to change the gears and many were removed and thrown in the trash can and used only the in/out portion of the box while adding the quick change rearend after the war. These forward quick change box's are rare and hard to find. I have not found another Bell forward quick change box.
     
  10. Shadow, since you are in Pennsylvania, you need to contact Stan Lobitz. What Stank knows about vintage midgets could fill a book, and he's got a pretty good collection of vintage stuff too.
     
  11. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member


    i have heard about him from some of my buddies as well as you guys on here. I am about 45 min to 1 hr south of where he is located I believe?

    Paul
     
  12. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member

    what companies made in & out box's besides CAE, Ambler & halibrand, were there more?
     
  13. gearguy
    Joined: Jan 27, 2010
    Posts: 286

    gearguy
    Member

    We had a Tomsche "front mounted"QC in our old Hamburger-Chevy II. Fred Tomsche was a Milwaukee area car builder who made a number of trick parts for midgets. The car had Tomsche aluminum front hubs with dust caps; bolt on wheels instead of knock-offs. It also had an aluminum two piece diff housing for the Model A ring and pinion. When we finally blew up the diff housing and got a Halibrand QC we removed the front QC section and kept the in/out mechanism. Same spline; just a bolt on Halibrand flange.
     
  14. I believe Stan is in Hazelton, Pa.

    Casale made in n out boxes. All the tooling was sold to the late Ted Cornis in San Bernardino.
     
  15. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,079

    SUHRsc
    Member

    This box has "Greer Manning" written on it...
    [​IMG]
    Ambler in/out
    [​IMG]
    Ambler change boxes
    [​IMG]
    Can anyone Identify these?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This one is steel
    [​IMG]
     
  16. DocF
    Joined: Feb 22, 2011
    Posts: 120

    DocF
    Member

    My buddy, Dennis Stephen, had a Chevy II powered car that had a Cragar in and out. It was an exact copy of an Offy/Hallibrand. He had another Chevy II that had an in and out that was made by Hank Geer.

    Another friend, Max Wenzel had an in and out that was made by someone near Detroit. No markings on it at all. His car was a 1937 Hilligas that he found still in a crate. He put a brand new 30 year old race car on the track in the late 60's. He dropped a Studebaker in it as they were cheap to run.

    Doc
     
  17. deuce354
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 304

    deuce354
    Member

    Hey Zach, the second one down that you want ti identify is a Progressive In & Out Box, it bolts on the front of a Progressive quickchange. The little dogs engage the driveshaft to the pinion. I had one in a hillegass midget, worked real slick
     
  18. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    These are pictures of the Bell front quick change prewar. Hope this helps
     

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  19. SUHRsc
    Joined: Sep 27, 2005
    Posts: 5,079

    SUHRsc
    Member

    thanks, do you happen to have any photos of the one you had, installed?
     
  20. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Zach and Sideways27...this wonderful picture and cutaway of the Bell box shows the in out section to be aft of the change gear section.

    The Ambler box Zach is picturing on what may be a Henderson engine, I am unfamiliar with but may have change gears in the cylindrical area aft of the engine or that could be an adapter and/or clutch in there.

    However the other Ambler photo Zach is showing is two of the same separate change gear sections which mounted aft of the in/out section which is not pictured. Unlike the Bell shown, the Ambler had a special coupler gear with external teeth bolted to the crankshaft rear flange and what I think was a Model A Ford 2nd and 3rd gear shifter fork, sleeve, and hub that had internal teeth that meshed with the coupler gear to engage. I believe the shaft the hub and sleeve turned on was a modified trnsmission input shaft from the Model A also.

    It is possible that the reason for the change gear section to the rear of the combination with in-out was to make gear changes easier. My Ambler box had the words "QUICK CHANGE" cast into it but believe me, there was nothing quick about it.

    The problem was when you took out the four bolts to slide the change section back to access the gear, the drive shaft end would hit the cross in the u-joint limiting the amount of opening you had to get your hand in there and slide the single change gear off the stub shaft coming out of the in-out section. Then came the problem of blindly trying to line up the very shallow splines of the new gear to that shaft.

    After fighting that war several times I found it was quicker to put a jack under the rear bumber to support the car, disengage the two tie rod ends locating the rear radius rods, unbolt the rear cross spring shackles, and roll the whole rear end backwards to the extent the brake hoses allowed to accomplish the gear change.

    And if the truth be known for Vintage racing, you use a gear that that is suitable for a 3/8 mile track and used it for 1/2mile and 1/4 mile as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  21. deuce354
    Joined: Feb 9, 2005
    Posts: 304

    deuce354
    Member

    NO Sorry i dont
     
  22. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member

    so in these photo's I am looking at an ambler in & out box with a quick change gear box in the rear? also in the picture it looks like the box is mounted to a metal 'mid plate" then to the block that had the bell milled off...where's the flywheel?

    Paul
     

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  23. "Doc" Parsons
    Joined: Jun 26, 2005
    Posts: 342

    "Doc" Parsons
    Member

    They don't use flywheels
     
  24. Grinderspark
    Joined: Aug 12, 2006
    Posts: 213

    Grinderspark
    Member

    I see that there are alot more people posting on this thread, so I'll repost a request I made nearly a year ago, hoping someone can help.

    My wife's brother in law was Richard Lefever, and he drove a midget that was purchased out of the Maryland area. When he raced, he lived in the Woodbury area of South Jersey.

    The first car they bought and ran was a red Offy Meyer-Drake motored car that was purchased from Dave Welk, and repainted brown with the
    # 49. The car actually belonged to an older businessman named Hargas.

    The car ran namely in the Williams Grove, Reading, Mason-Dixon Speedway, Tequay Speedway, Hatfield, Susquehanna, Lincoln, Syracuse, Port Royal, Atticca, Old Bridge, Flemington and Bridgeport circuit.

    The second car they bought and ran was a Red/White/Blue Curtis Offy #21, and ran primarily the same circuit. He drove primarily in the 60's and 70's, and later was a car builder and co-manager of Flemington Speedway for a couple of years along with Joe Hall. He also drove quite a few modified races during the Budd Olsen days.

    Rich passed away a couple of years ago, and I was looking for copies of any old photos, newspaper clippings, etc. with him in it, that I could possibly give to his widow Debbie.

    Thanks!!
    Bryan
    Spring Hill, Florida
     
  25. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Found a photo of one I sold on e-bay six or eight years ago. Your front section is either an earlier version or another make that the Ambler change section was adapted to, judging by the ribs on your casting. Notice also the cast mount for the shift lever pivot where yours may have been broken off or otherwise removed.

    The part of the in-out section forward of the mounting flange only came in close proximity to the rear main bearing cap face of the engine and had a large fat O ring to butt to the bearing cap.

    The batch of gears at the top are the change gears and the one with only 3 segments of teeth is the blocker gear which effectively had the same number of teeth (36) as the internal gear which gave you no gear reduction in the change box so your final was whatever the ring gear and pinion were, 4.11 or 3:78 commonly.

    The gear furthest to the left with the flange is the crankshaft coupler gear which bolts to the crank flange. Notice the bushing in the middle for the modified transmission cluch shaft used with the hub and sliding gear I mentioned in the earlier post.
     

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  26. 28dreyer
    Joined: Jan 23, 2008
    Posts: 1,167

    28dreyer
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Here's another in-out box that came with my car project in 2002 and was incomplete and of dubious origin. Looks like a home brew made from a large diameter piece of steel pipe and a decently made flange welded to it, with a torque ball housing off a Ford transmission.

    There were no guts with it.

    It went away the e-way.
     

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  27. slobitz
    Joined: Feb 1, 2008
    Posts: 245

    slobitz
    Member
    from drums, pa

    Zach,
    I have a bunch of early in/out boxes. I have the last Hillegas made and it has the progressive in/out on the front of the rear. they were clumsy and fragile, I have some busted ones. i have a few Ambler and other make front quick changes,gear an early Pappy Hough gear change that was part of the torque tube,a very nice in/out box of cast aluminum that says perlis ind. cast on the bottom in a willy`s midget that was built in 37. If you get down to EMMR in the Hillegass display I have the patterns and some castings of one that Hiram made . we did assemblea new one. Its prettyneat. If you ever get up to my place we coud look around and find some of them.
    You spoke about a track roadster with an in/out, most track roadsters used ford top ahift trannies. mine has one. In fact I have never seen a track roadster with an in/out box. My T.
     

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  28. racer8
    Joined: Jan 17, 2009
    Posts: 54

    racer8
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    A great in & out gear box was made by Hank Gear I believe he was in Peoria Ill, I due know that was the only one Max Reichenbach used in th menny midgets he built. BK
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  29. the shadow
    Joined: Mar 5, 2005
    Posts: 1,104

    the shadow
    Member

    I am giving up searching for one ( i am always a day late & a dollar short!) I was offered this ARC box, it has no internal gears but would work for a static display & let me finish my project. anyone got any input on this box, what year it was from, would it be used with a
    v8-60 etc?
    Paul
     

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  30. hugh m
    Joined: Jul 18, 2007
    Posts: 2,143

    hugh m
    Member
    from ct.

    Stan, if you come across the Pappy Hough quickchange I'd love to see what it looks like...Thanks, Hugh
     

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