The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by KKx125, Feb 22, 2009.
DeJongs "baby nailhead" circa 1962.
Thanks for the full explanation on the Kalitta oval race team, DocF. Don became a good friend, as did Doug while he was running the midgets and sprinters. One night he came from behind the inverted fastest six cars to win the midget feature in one of those Thursday night ESPN shows. When I interviewed him about it on the PA later, he said, "I guess I'm just not a good qualifier."
Speaking of oddball V-8 midgets: About the same time, 61/62, Mickey Thompson put this rig together and put Herk in the seat for the Ascot winter races. No idea how he got a 326 (I assume) pumpjack down to midget size, but it doesn't appear to have a full compliment of plug wires on the right bank, hmmm
In spite of what the caption says it looks lmore like one of those slant fours derived from the Tempest V8. The breathers on the drivers side sit lower like they may be mounted on a valley tray and the injectors do not appear to hav an equal and opposing banl on the other side
No, it was a V-8 here's a shot of the left side showing the valve cover and headers.
.....'First of all, Rootie! It is SO good to see you back on the HAMB! 'Believe me, you were very conspicuous by your absence on here. 'Hope everything's goin' good. And a special salute to you and all of our other Viet Nam veterans.
Yeah, the Frenchtown Flyer is probably referring to that BIG 4-banger Tempest that some of the midget guys ran back in the late 60's and early 70's. Popular southern California driver, Duane Sears ran one for the Lynch family in USRC competition. USRC was one of the first midget organizations to allow a 200 CID limit for their engines. For some reason, no one seemed to be able to make the little 215 CID all-aluminum Olds and Buick V8 engines successful in the midgets???
Dejong in the Bob Rosen car checking the ride hight
OK, You've convinced me - V8 it is.
Now that Rootie is back, where is OldBill?
There were a couple of very fast Buick's that ran around the midwest back in the late 60's and early 70's. Vergil Welch ran very well with IMCA and outlaw with the late Bud Hoppe. Another one was Frank Faul from Columbia Mo with SLARA in the 70's. If I remember they were known to run very HOT
Thanks LF, Given the tire/chassis technology back then, stuffing big motors in little cars might not have been as good a idea as might have seemed. If you can't get them hooked up and steered good it really doesn't do much good. Sometimes less is more.
In the Midwest, we had several cars with the 215" BOP engine running quite successfully. In the USAC legal ranks, there was Ward Bush's destroked Buick, which still holds the track record at Onekama, MI. Also, Professor Harry Mark from the University of Michigan ran one that was both destroked and sleeved. His car ran fairly well when he hired a real driver. Full size ones ran with the open displacement clubs. Virgil Welsh had one with Jimmy Hines driving and Harold Lane ran an Olds with a home built throttle body injector. He used several drivers, but mainly Bob Dempsey. There were several others, but my old mind is hazy on the details.
In the Badger Midget group [mid 1970s] there were only two or three regulars with th aluminum V-8s. Frank Kater's Hillegrass #77 won the 100 mile race at the Milwaukee Mile in 1968 (?) and continued to race until possibly 1980. It is in the process of being restored. Marty Davis handled the majority of the work with an assist from Gregg Kishline. It still has the "bobbed" tail it got late in its career following a wreck. Not a good look in my humble opinion. Frank was an early adopter of the roll cage; so early that the club made him take it off!
The other Badger V-8s were run by Vern Kompa and Greg Nelson; both were Oldsmobiles.
I'm a huge Buick fan. I'd love to see more pictures of midgets with Buick power.
Here's one from this summer at Latimore Valley
That #21 was one of the few cars i ever sold, I bought it from Randy Mausteller, an ARDC owner driver.
It was built by denny Lott.
I knew that car looked familiar despite many changes over time. We raced against (with) Denny Lott back in the days when we had Studebakers.
Stan...I'm sure that was because it was caged. LOL
That looks suspiciously like a Van's Craft bolt on cage (or a close copy thereof).
a question about slicks: why are they flared on one side & what side does the flare go onto, what does it do? by the looks of my midgets slicks + the direction arrow on them the flare is on the inside of the tire....why?
Asphalt or dirt tires will round off on the right side of the tire regardless of what side of the car it is on and flair up on the left side of the tire. So on a right side tire the flare is on the inside and on a left side tire the flare is on the outside.
Back in the olden days (1940s and 50s prior to the M&H tires dominating midget racing) the Firestone Ascots, Stuby recaps and Ingleside recaps all were made with a very rounded right side and a square left side. This worked just fine. The M&H tires had a more square profile on both sides of the tread. Bobby Grim did not like that so he took a grooving iron and rounded off the right side of these tires.
The Buick at Angell in the 80,s
Thanks for posting that picture Mr. Blatz!
I never knew Frank Kater ran a later car. His Hillegrass was, of course, a large single tube frame car like a Kurtis. The car you posted is a much later space frame design.
We have a late 90s Ellis chassis that Frank's good friend Norm Swartz ran as #77 in tribute but know the history of that car back to its days with the Lamers team.
I moved out of Milwaukee in 1979 and lost touch with the midget guys for 20+ years. I'll see what they remember about this space frame Buick.
Kater's Hillegass is being restored in Racine, Wisconsin. Marty Davis did a major resurection of it with an assist from Gregg Kishline during the winter of 2010/2011. They had to reconstruct major portions of the frame as the car was extensively modified following a big wreck late in its career. Gregg is hoping the car's owner will commission a replacement aluminum nose but the cost is a deterent. The tail was bobbed before the nose but can probably be saved.
I have pictures of the work in process but lack permission to post them. I'll see if I can get an OK.
Thank you 28Dryer and R B Blatz! A little searching revealed that April 3, 1947 at Phoenix speedway Bill Putney won the feature in the Root & Harper #16 1/2 Buick powered midget. I suppose someone cut a straight 8 in half. I had no luck finding any pictures or any other references to the car.
A reminder to all of those here in the Northeast:
22nd Vintage Racing Celebration
Thursday, May 10 - Sunday, May 13, 2012 8:00am-6:00pm
Oval - 5/10, 5/11; Road Course - 5/12, 5/13
The Vintage Racing Celebration recognizes the roots of auto racing in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:smarttags" /><st1lace w:st="on">New England</st1lace>. The four-day event features some of the racing community's earlier car models.
The event kicks off with two days of oval racing on Thursday, May 10, and Friday, May 11. The oval days will feature midget, sprint, champ, Indy, modified and stock cars that will put on an exhibition of vintage racing.
On the weekend, the track will be reconfigured to the 1.6-mile road course for May 12-13. Several associations will invade the track for racing that will include formula and sports cars, as well as motorcycles.
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Also: On Sunday of the Labor Day weekend, another “Racing Expo” is scheduled for Hinchliffe Stadium, in <st1lace w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Paterson</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">N.J.</st1:State></st1lace> Last years expo was hurricaned out, if you recall.<o></o>
Here's a link to the Texas Open Wheel site featuring midget video from 1937. Great stuff if you haven't seen it yet.
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