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Features VINTAGE SPRINT CAR PIC THREAD, 1965 and older only please.

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. revkev6
    Joined: Jun 13, 2006
    Posts: 3,345

    from ma

    are you sure that car had both torsion tubes across the front?? I can't see the torsion stop for the RF torsion bar on the left side of the nose?? Looks more like a modern sway bar setup to me??

    BTW, I've used dual rate coil springs on the front on slick tracks before. they aren't that hard to setup and really help to transfer that weight coming off the corner
  2. LittleFauss
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 272


    'macmiller: You owe us a book!!!.......On all of the behind-the-scenes secrets you know.
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659


    I'd Buy It!!!
  4. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 519

    mac miller
    from INDY

    How about an article I wrote a while back????

    Armstrong Mould Racing 1978-1980
    by Mac Miller
    As I look back upon my time with the Armstrong Mould Racing Team through the focus of reality, I realize that most of the
    legends and myths about the team are true.
    Armstrong Mould Racing was quite a remarkable team. Our inventory included four Indy cars, two dirt champ cars, two
    pavement sprint cars, two dirt sprint cars and a midget. These cars were all raced at every opportunity by a crew of only six
    to seven guys. In 1979, Armstrong Mould Racing fielded over 100 race entries in all USAC divisions.
    The Armstrong Mould Racing shop was one of the best in the business and included a full machine shop, full fabricating
    shop, full engine building shop with dyno, magnaflux and zyglo shop, Bear alignment rack and electronic scales.
    I joined Armstrong Mould Racing in 1978. My job was to build gear boxes for the four Indy cars. My job soon expanded to
    chief mechanic for one of the Indy cars and managing an inventory of more than 150 wheels and tires necessary to run all of
    our cars.
    As good as the shop was, the personalities were even better. I had the opportunity to work with two of the great curmudgeons
    of the sport. Wally Meskowski was the shop manager and Paul Leffler was the team manager. These guys knew about
    winning attitude and made sure that everyone on the team knew it too.
    Anyone on the team with an idea about going faster was given the opportunity to try their ideas out. A perfect example of
    this and also an opportunity for a little “horn tooting” was an idea I had to control tire pressure buildup. Within a couple of
    days, I had created what was the first tire pressure “bleeder” valves.
    The Armstrong Mould Racing, USAC sprint car record between ‘77 and ‘80 shows thirty-four feature wins, two car owner
    championships and two driver championships.
    Our regular drivers were Tom Bigelow and Greg Leffler. Bigelow was a “seat of the pants” type racer while Greg was more
    of a technical type of driver. I liked working around both of them because they were fast, winning drivers. Tom won the
    championship in ‘78 and Greg won in ‘79. Tom is still the winningest driver in USAC sprint car history with fifty-two
    feature wins. Our biggest rivals in those days were Steve Chassey in the Jet Engineering roadster on pavement and Bubby Jones
    driving the Siebert sprinter on dirt.
    Here are a few of the more humorous anecdotes from the sprint car wars. Of course the most famous story is about Sherman
    Armstrong getting caught drinking a beer in the pits. The USAC official told Sherman the infraction was going to cost a
    hundred dollar fine. Sherman gave the official six-hundred dollars and told him he was going to finish his six-pack. The
    official walked away shaking his head.
    Another great story involves sprint car driver Chuck Gurney. At some pavement races, Paul Leffler would enter a third car
    (one of the dirt track cars) just in case something went wrong with Bigelow’s or Greg’s car. One day at Winchester, Paul
    hired Chuck Gurney with instructions to get the third car qualified for the feature, in case it was needed. Chuck obviously
    didn’t understand his assignment of a supporting role. He qualified toward the front and won the feature in the dirt car,
    beating both Tom and Greg. Paul was so mad, he wouldn’t even speak to Gurney after the race.
    Here’s a Pancho Carter story. We were racing sprint cars at New Bremen. The Armstrong cars were pitted at the end of the
    pit toward turn four. Pancho was having great fun running through a mud puddle “accidentally” splashing our cars when he
    came off of the track during practice and hot laps. Sherman sent word down to Steve Stapp to “ask” Pancho to “please” stop
    running through the mud puddle. To insure that Pancho got the message, Sherman sent a guy with a drain pan full of mud
    down about five or six cars, with instructions to dump the mud in Pancho’s lap as he passed by if he splashed our cars again.
    Pancho ran through the puddle and got the mud dumped in his lap. The heated confrontation never came to blows. Pancho
    knew what he had done and he knew that Sherman had taken his just revenge.
    The Indy cars were a fairly major undertaking, running between two and four cars at each even. Our regular driver was Tom
    Bigelow and our other drivers included Gary Bettenhausen, Roger McCluskey, Jerry Sneva, Howdy Holmes, Greg Leffler
    and Janet Guthrie.
    The cars we had included a 1976 Wildcat with a DGS Turbo Offy and three 1979 Lola Turbo Cosworths. Our cars were
    always well done, fast and reliable. We normally ran in the top five at all of our events and rarely had a DNF.
    A couple of our more notable races were the 200 miles at Milwaukee in August of ‘79 and the 1980 Indy 500.
    We qualified four cars at the Milwaukee race with Bettenhausen in the Wildcat and McCluskey, Bigelow and Guthrie in the
    Lolas, At the end of the race the results were McCluskey 1st, Bigelow 2nd, Bettenhausen 5th, and Guthrie 6th. A great day!
    At the 1980 Indy 500, we again qualified four cars with Bettenhausen again in the Wildcat with Jerry Sneva, Bigelow, and
    Greg Leffler in the Lolas. We had another great result with Bettenhausen 3rd, Bigelow 8th and Leffler 10th. Sneva crashed
    out of 5th place on lap 130 after qualifying 5th fastest. I believe that Gary’s 3rd place was the last Offy appearance at Indy.
    The formation of CART in 1979 gave Sherman the opportunity for mischief during the month of May at Indy. Sherman, a
    staunch USAC supporter formed his own anti-CART group called FART (I don’t think it was an acronym for anything). He
    started selling FART t-shirts and everyone in the garage area was wearing Sherman’s “Don’t FART with CART” buttons.
    I am certainly glad that we were still working in the old garages in those old days instead of the super sanitized garage area
    they have now. What incredible history happened in those old garages. The spirits of the past were very strong there.
    Probably, the funniest thing that I remember during the Indy car days was something that happened to me in the shop. Paul
    Leffler was very particular about the way things were done so when he wanted something special made he would assign his
    best guy to do it, which was me (LOL, just skidding). One day he told me to make some front brake air scoops for the Indy
    cars. I thought about how to make them for a bit and finally decided to use some aluminum tubing. I worked all morning
    fitting, cutting, and welding my air scoops. After a hard mornings work, I went to lunch.
    Upon returning from lunch, I started laughing hysterically! My air scoops were laying on the welding table smashed flat.
    Paul Leffler, came up to me and told me he didn’t like my design and maybe I should think about it and try again.
    I just realized how long this is getting but I certainly could go on and on with Armstrong stories.
    As I have discovered over my years in racing, a group of guys with the right chemistry is a rare occurrence and a group of
    guys can only be held together for a maximum of three years. Living around each other all week, late hours and racing all
    weekend, eventually takes its toll. The Armstrong team was no different and the original group split up late in 1980. The
    team continued with different guys but it was not the same.
    Where are they now? Well, Paul Leffler and Wally Meskowski are deceased. Greg Leffler is in business in Fort Wayne,
    Indiana, Tom Bigelow is retired, living in Winchester. Sherman Armstrong is still in Winchester.
    The rest of us are still involved in racing.
    Thanks to Sherman Armstrong, Paul Leffler, Wally Meskowski, Greg Leffler, Tom Bigelow, Bob VanNote, Randy
    Skinner, Phil Shuler, and Tom McGriff
    These guys were the heart and soul of the Armstrong Mould Racing Team.
  5. oldebob
    Joined: Oct 21, 2008
    Posts: 782

    from Spokane WA

    Great Mac! Thanks for taking the time to write it. OB
  6. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 7,919

    Rootie Kazoootie
    from Colorado

    A good read, Mac, thanks.
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659


    Great article!!!
  8. LittleFauss
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 272


    WOW!!! 'That's exactly the kind of stuff I was talking about. 'macmiller, I can't thank you enough. I really appreciate it and anytime you chime in on TrackForum or here, it definitely gets everyone's attention.
  9. ZOOOM
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 40


    Rootie.... Is that Nutley Nj. on the top left?
  10. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 7,919

    Rootie Kazoootie
    from Colorado

    Dunno for sure, but it sure looks like it.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,850


    Sweet package 8889!
  12. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218


    Tom didn't Gary come from 33rd to 3rd? I am pretty sure he was at least in the last row. And to add to what Tom said my dad also said Gary would have won a lot more races if he just drove the car and didn't try to engineer it, he was driving our midget indoors at the Indiana State Fairgrounds once and he kind of tried to over rule my dad on the set up he almost missed the show, I remember us changing EVERYTHING on the car and My dad telling Gary to just drive the f*cker, we changed the bars shocks, and my pop set the corner weights, about the same thing as the Armstrong Indy car, he started last and lapped the whole field once and most of it twice. Oh yea and i will never forget when I won the Hoosierdome Invitational Midget race I was lapping Gary and man was he blocking, I had just passed Johnny Parsons in traffic and he was right on my ass and there was no way I was gonna not win this race if I could help it, I ended up spinning Gary B. out and I came around on the yellow and there he was flipping me off with his bad arm, kinda hard getting flipped off by one of your heros
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  13. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 519

    mac miller
    from INDY

    Actually, Gary started 32nd and drove to 3rd, which in any other year, would have given him "drive of the race" honors........ but, unbelievably, Tom Sneva started 33rd and finished 2nd:eek:

    I remember when Gary was driving for Doug.... Always fun to see a strong willed, veteran owner team up with a strong willed veteran driver. Makes some interesting fireworks sometimes, doesn't it??:D;)

    Roy's HoosierDome victory was, truely, a great drive. He beat the best in the business, that night. straight up, no excuses.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  14. Yep....and I was glad I was there to see that. :)
    Joined: Jan 25, 2008
    Posts: 62


    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  16. ronny
    Joined: Jan 2, 2009
    Posts: 4

    from troy ohio

    where is the kenny weld pic from
  17. 4tl8ford
    Joined: Sep 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,087

    from Erie, Pa

    Mac Miller
    Thanks for the write up only problem were the years you kept referencing "They's too soon to be long ago" Hell I seem to recall some of those mentioned were no older that a popcorn fart.
  18. Spike Ruth
    Joined: Aug 4, 2008
    Posts: 440

    Spike Ruth

    I do remember Will Cagle in the Pizza Hut 55 once at Syracuse. Not a good day; seemed that Will didnt enjoy a car like that. lol.
    But i also recall a driver who loved that great machine. The Champ Cars were at the half mile at Williams Grove and Ron Shuman was in the #55. He ran away and hid from the field for 90 laps, when a borrowed set of change gears threw in the towel!! The Shoe had that one bagged.

  19. Now those stories like you just posted are what I crave most. The kind that just never seem to make it to the books we read about the good old days. You get in the mood to be long winded again, I'll read every single word. Thanks Mac
  20. PK
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 192

    from Ohio

    Thanks Mac, for taking the time...

  21. I noticed you're from Ok. Where are you out of?
  22. racinfool
    Joined: Mar 19, 2008
    Posts: 190

    from Indy

    I also seen him give the Fiore #8 some good rides too.
  23. Circletrack 40
    Joined: Mar 4, 2008
    Posts: 103

    Circletrack 40

    Hey MacM, How ya doin? Great story, keep em comin. Dave CT40.
  24. indybigjohn
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,714

    Member Emeritus

    I have to agree, Roy's win in the 'dome was a real pleasure to watch.
  25. weathrmn
    Joined: Apr 15, 2008
    Posts: 305


    Good picture of Kenny Weld. A well respected driver and builder, flushed it down the toilet for dope.
  26. chicken coupe cook
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 220

    chicken coupe cook


    Hall of Famer Gordon Woolley
    Love those uniforms!

    For more sprint pics/stories and
    vintage race cars, go to:

  27. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,916


    Stopped by Turner's Auto Body in Kenosha, WI to see my friends Gregg Kishline and Lance Turner who are restoring my Dreyerette. Many of you in the old openw heel days probably know Gregg and Lance....two GREAT guys and they are still at it. While I was there, I introduced them to the HAMB and this thread and they were naturually blown away. We can look forward to them joining in and providing us some great stories, pictures and insight. Come on, Gregg & Lance....stop lurking and jump in!!!!
  28. Hey Guys, went down to Cincy to visit Ole Corngrower for a couple of days, Here's what he has been up to. He has put together a fine display of a variety of cars for 'real car guys" to enjoy.
    More to come soon.
    HG ;)

    Attached Files:

  29. A few more from Cincy 1-8-09
    HG ;)

    Attached Files:

  30. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,916



    Great pics..THANKS! I am damn confused...your earlier posts of pics on the other show thread were following a bunch of March '08 posts...and i thought Josh's thread about the Cincy Custom Cavalcade show stated it was THIS coming weekend...the 9th, 10th & 11th of January. Was it LAST weekend???? Hope you are well....

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