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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. Jim,

    Thanks for posting! The second car looks fantastic- would be great to see the original parts married with it as you said. Right after I worked for Bob Robinson in the mid 90's, he had a car come in that was claimed to be the Gray Wolf (as a Packard specialist, he was extremely skeptical)- will have to get ahold of him to find out whatever happened with all of that.

    Thanks again, Bill
     
  2. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    Packard Factory Photos of the 1923 Indy racer in bare metal.
    The lower photo includes the 1919 Speed Record car on the Rt.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    GREAT Report Jimdillon.. That's interesting! When I was at the Packard Museum last Friday, they mention something about the Grey Wolf beeing in "non-working/running" condition and that it it needed "correct" parts that they have in there stash to make it right.. At one point they even mentioned it needed a different engine..? :confused: I wondered what they ment, but now I know! Thanks!

    That's SOOO cool that your family has been involved with so many wonderful race cars with that kind of history. They said it was restored years ago. They made it sound like it was all there though, just needed freshened up. It looks great now! It's worn just enough to look killer!


    I new the Indy car had made it's rounds. Zakira Jim looked at it years ago as well, for $30,000. He passed. The museum stepped up (a lot) and puchaced it after that. I'll snag some pics of it next trip. it has a funky red and black paint job that looks "racey" but not correct. They have some front and 3/4 pics of it displayed, but thos erear shots of it I had not seen. Very cool!

    Thanks guys,

    JD
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  4. Spike Ruth
    Joined: Aug 4, 2008
    Posts: 440

    Spike Ruth
    Member

    Bob Williams owned this car. It was driven by Larry Rice, from New Jersey until he was killed in a midget crash.
     
  5. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    1923-Indy Packard Team Ralph De Palma Seated in the car. 1924 Indy Winner Joe Boyer on the left,and on the Rt. is 1916 Indy winner Dario Resta.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the team and one of the Indy Packards at the plant in Detroit.

    [​IMG]

    There were at least 3 of these cars built,I guess two of them are gone.

    Unfortunately all three had mechanical failures in the 1923 Indy 500.
    Head gasket failures for De Palma and Resta and the differential for Boyer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  6. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    Hey Buildy you forgot the guy in the suit and he is arguably the most important in terms of Packard getting involved in racing, Jesse Vincent the chief engineer. Although he was a boat racer (gold cup winner) he liked to go fast and build things that did go fast. Good guy. Reading his diary on the building of the 23 racers is good stuff. Cars were automotive jewelry by all accounts under the hood although such pictures are as rare as hen's teeth. Too bad they crushed the majority of the cars and parts. Even the stuff that is in exisence today is from two of the cars. I have tried to figure out the pic with the 23 next to the 905 record car as the cars were shipped back from Earl Anthony's in California not long before the race in pretty good condition (or so I thought). The bodywork on the tail is a curiousity and the lack of paint throws me a bit. Just not sure of the date of that pic and I asked Robert Neal and he is at a loss and thinks that something is amiss since he thought that Packard had sold the 905 in 1920 or 1921 (they sold the two man body in 20 or 21, I forget which year without looking thru my notes).

    Buildy or anyone out there with theories on the date of the photo and what's up with the lumpy tail? I kind of wonder if they hung onto one of the cars longer than history has told us?-Jim
     
  7. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    Yes,I was going to Mention Mr Vincent,but overlooked him inadvertently.

    As far as I know,the bare metal photos were as the cars were being finished before the 500 in 23.

    It looks to me like Packard kept the 905 at least until 1923.



    These were Packard factory photos. I`ll see if I have anymore photos in my collection.

    BTW-did you say you have the 299?

    What kind of shape is that in??
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  8. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    Here is Dario Resta at Indy in 1923 in one of the Packards.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    Buildy, I realize the photo of the 905 and 23 is at the factory but have never figured out the photo. The 23 racers were built at Earl Anthony's dealership in California and were shipped and unloaded at the Packard plant I believe April 8, 1923. I would not have expected them to look that rough as they were claimed to be "beautiful" which of course is open to interpretation. Probably is during mid April but I do not understand the photo. My grandfather worked at Packard in the experimental department on the teen racers and one thing that I came away with from our conversations is that Packard was not cheap in building their racers and I do not believe they built cars like they were akin to K-Mart blue light specials.

    As Gary Doyle points out in his book on DePalma, Robert Neal and I have a difference of opinion on the 905 racers. I believe they built two, a two man car in 1917 and a one man car in 1919 in preparation for the land speed record at Daytona. After all of Gary Doyl's research I was glad to see he agreed with me. Vincent's diary points out that they sold the "905" in 1920 or 1921 (I forget which year right now) and I believe this car went to Jesse Lasky. The 905 single seat record car was kept by Packard and we can see at least until 1923 (or maybe longer-I am not sure).

    As to the 299 all that is left is the engine and the first radiator they ran on the car. There is a rear spring that I got from Brad Skinner but it did not come on the car originally. I have had too many other projects going to get serious on "recreating" the car although hopefully I will get going on it within the next year again (I have fabbed the main portion of the chassis although I am not happy with it as yet). And by the way its runs great and like all Liberty aero engines it is one noisy work of art. Peter DePaolo in one of his articles said when he went to the track to watch his Uncle Ralph race before he became his riding mechanic that it was the loudest car on the track and I believe it.-Jim
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Ebert
    Joined: Feb 13, 2006
    Posts: 1,915

    Ebert
    Member

    Way cool information on this Packard story...thanks for sharing!
     
  11. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
    Member

    Jim, I always enjoy your posts on race cars. I really miss the annual meeting of Brad Skinner at Hershey, how long has he been gone now? If my memory is right the engine to that car was found under a front porch in Detroit by Dick Merritt. Sure hope the parts becone a car once again, Bob
     
  12. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    37, Brad was a really great guy and I forget how long ago he passed on but I thank him for digging up a bunch of great Packard stuff. I only wished he had lived to see the Packard racer that was discovered in South America that is in my post above. I told him that this car was built and I showed him in his notes where Jesse Vincent's brother Charles who joined Packard in 1918 said that there were some racecars minus engines under tarps in the back of the experimental department. Many Packard "experts" told me for years no such Twin Six racers ever existed. As to Dick Merritt you may be correct and he is credited with stumbling on a bunch of stuff but I would have to check my notes from Brad to follow up on exactly how he found the 23 stuff. He did track down the family of the guy that raced the car in the late forties and into the early fifties.

    Dick Merritt name gets tossed around a bit was he not mentioned as well in regards to the Miller aluminum four that ended up in Buck Boudeman's Sub?-Jim
     
  13. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
    Member

    Jim, I think you are correct about the Miller engine in the Sub being a Merritt discovery. I don't know what the differances are but seam to remember the Merritt engine was an Aero engine, the original Sub engine was car only. I find these chats on internet Forums very interesting, so many pieces to history are floating around, and it just happens to fall into place, or someone new has a missing link to add.
     
  14. Bill Van Dyke
    Joined: May 21, 2008
    Posts: 810

    Bill Van Dyke
    Member

    I still say this thread should be made into a book. You guys are fantastic!!
     
  15. Picture request-

    Dick Fries from CA, IMCA days in the early 60's, specifically a yellow and black #3 Hank Henry built sprinter. Anybody got any?
     
  16. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    37 I believe you are right that the Miller 4 that is now in the Sub was set up for aero although that is and was easily remedied. Buck has been known to stretch reality a bit in this regards and has made a few people raise their eyebrows I suppose. That being said I am a huge fan of what he has done with the Sub. I know it is not the real car but then how can it be when the real car burned up in a garage in Illinois in the thirties? Without his time and money and effort none of us would have been able to enjoy the sights and sounds of this great racing piece. Here is a pic of the Sub racing the 299 Packard at Milwaukee in 1917 during a whirlwind tour of match races between the two cars and colorful drivers-Oldfield vs DePalma.-Jim
    [​IMG]
     
  17. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
    Member

    Welcome to the HAMB, nice to have a new member close by. As the hobby gets bigger, cars get more valueable, and the ability to build anything from scratch we will see more questionable cars. Most guys I know are up front about what they had to start with, but once they are gone unless many people know what is under the finished paint there could be problems. I think what we say here on the HAMB helps educate people on the topic. The original whatever totaly restored is a a thing of beauty and preserved history, but on the other hand I'd rather see a clone/replica built from original parts than seeing parts on a shelf. There are several famous cars in the UK that were built out of one car, all three owners claim to have the "Real" car. I watched a GP Bugatti win a vintage race at Lime Rock last year only the transmission and bits of the rear axle ever saw the inside oif the Bugatti factory.
     
  18. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
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    Jim, Somewere on the web there is a website with a ton of Midwest dirt cars from the 1920's, one has a note on it stating that the car had the engine from Oldfields Golden Sub. I know I should have printed it out, but didn't. Wonder if it was pulled before the fire or after?
     
  19. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

  20. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    I love e-bay sometimes. I found this photo of a Bob Tail Miller. I believe it is the Sig Haugdhal
    Miller. Ex Indy 500 car. Ralph De Palma Sig Haugdhal and Leon Duray(George Stewart) are in the photo. It says Jack Pickford is seated in the car. I never heard of him,don`t know if he was a driver or just a celeb.
    If anyone knows where and when on this one I`d like to know the details.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  21. Spike Ruth
    Joined: Aug 4, 2008
    Posts: 440

    Spike Ruth
    Member

    Does anyone have pics of Comp. Eng. bare frames with only roll bar, no cages? Since the roll bar went down into the tail section, theres no way to see how they were fastened to the main chassis frame.
    I remember one time when the Smiths showed up at East Windsor for a URC show with their Meskowski car.
    The state Motor Vehicle guys couldnt see how the bat was fastened, so the car didnt run.
    Besides that deal, i have always been curious just how they were attached; welded, or bolted on.
    Thanks for any help.
    If possible, pics of Sprint Car and Champ Dirt Car.
     
  22. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    The Sub motor could have been pulled at one time prior to the fire-who knows for sure. During one of my conversations with Bill Castle who owns the Miller Baby Chevrolet (with the oldest Miller racing engine left in existence that I am aware of-183c.i. 8cyl) he told me that he watched the garage burn that contained the Sub, the Cadwell Miller and the Sig Haugdahl Rocket car. He worked down the street and was at the movies with his wife (girlfriend at the time) and when they came out they saw the fire and they went and watched it. Nothing survived of the parts. He recently had a conversation with a guy from down south that said he retrieved the steering wheel from the Sub after the fire but Bill said that was not possible. It had a dirt floor and had a bunch of grease and oil and everything burnt to a crisp. Sad that three pretty neat cars met such a fate but then again tons of these cars met a fate that I do not believe they deserved.-Jim
     
  23. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,189

    Jim Nise
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    Spike,
    I'm pretty certain the Meskowski roll bars are just frame. By the time wally was producing his own cars roll bars were mandated. So there was no bolt ons, or other support. It was just a short hoop in the frame not requiring the forward or rear supports to the nerf bars etc.

    Over to racer5c or Superduke to confirm.
     
  24. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    If his sprint cars were built like his champ cars, I'm curious as to why they just didn't unsnap some upholstery and show them :confused:
     

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  25. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
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    Buildy, That is another great photo that you have posted! Somehow that looks like a Hollywood movie set in the background to me. Wonder if Jack Pickford was related to actress Mary Pickford? The extra side tubes on the radiator should help ID the MILLER, I've seen then in other photos. Bob...................just noticed the steering arm on the right side of the cowl, another ID clue.
     
  26. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    My guess is it is one of the Millers from 1923. Possibly one of the Durant team cars.

    The Hollywood guess is a good one-could very well be from an early racing movie from the 20s.
     
  27. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
    Member

    Checked my Fox INDY 500 and Dee's MILLER Dynasty and it looks like that car is a modified Cliff Durant team car, could be one of three cars that had right side sterring and the outside tubed radiators. Frank Elliott, Harlan Fengler and Leon Duray drove these cars in the 1923 INDY 500. Since Duray is in that photo with the Bobtail, maybe it is his old 183CI MILLER.
     

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  28. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,092

    jimdillon
    Member

    Looked up Jack Pickford and he was Mary's brother. I guess he was a train wreck in his private life. After looking thru his movies I cannot see if any were auto racing movies. Is the notation on the rear tire referring to Jack Pickford special? The rear bodywork seems a bit strange and I wonder if it was used in a movie? The three racers were never above hanging out with movie stars it seems.

    If it is a Miller I wonder if it could be one of the 1922 183s. Durant had six built but three converted to 122s for the 23 race. That would leave three outdated 183s I suppose. You could be right Buildy but I am not sure Durant who fielded 8 cars for the 23 race let any of them go easily (unless you read something I have not).-Jim
     
  29. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    Good job,even the exhaust pipe has the same bend.

    I`d say it is one of the Durant cars.


    I don`t know,but my gut feeling is this is probably around 1925 or so.

    The Bob tails were common for short track Dirt racing such as the original Ascot track.
    Many of the old Millers were run to death on the lesser circuits after their glory days at Indy.

    The writing on the rear tire is white Ink to identify the photo,not on the actual tire.
    Looks Like J.P.181
    Probably from the Movie Studio or the photographer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  30. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 28,062

    The37Kid
    Member

    This ex Ira Vail MILLER 183, belonged to George Taytor, and is photographed in front of his Dodge dealership in South Salem, N.Y. Buildings look the same today, business is run by his grandson, may be the oldest Dodge dealership in the country founded in 1914.
     

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