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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. OldBill
    Joined: Jul 15, 2008
    Posts: 130

    OldBill
    Member
    from PA


    Sorry to be so late responding to this one. It was at Williams Grove, Oct. 8, 1961. Billy Wentz in Steffen 24; Leon Clum in Gutzwiller 19.
     
  2. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    Thanks,

    The original poster of the photos on the WGBB listed them as 1962,apparently in error.
     
  3. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    I hate to report that Crocky Wright passed away today, there will not be a service as that is what he requested.

    He will be creamated and his ashes will be sent to the Eastern Museum Of Motor Racing at Latimore Valley.
    I will miss you Crocky
    R.I.P.
     
  4. Jim Dieter
    Joined: Jun 27, 2008
    Posts: 387

    Jim Dieter
    Member
    from Joliet

    Sad news...great man.
     
  5. Blacki-Suede
    Joined: May 19, 2008
    Posts: 202

    Blacki-Suede
    Member

    Crocky was one of the 'originals'. I knew him in the 70's when I promoted the 'Burg, then we crossed paths recently when I retired to Florida and he and I wound up members of the Living Legends of Auto Racing (Daytona Beach). Crocky lived up to the billing - he truly was a legend.

    RIP Crocky

    Blacki-Suede
     
  6. indybigjohn
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,713

    indybigjohn
    Member Emeritus

    A lot of us are going to miss Crocky. It was always entertaining to be around him. Crocky didn't make any bones about his preferences. He didn't like cars with fenders and/or wings, and he didn't like engines in the rear. RIP old friend.
     
  7. lloyd roberts
    Joined: Jan 2, 2009
    Posts: 14

    lloyd roberts
    Member

    Crocky was truly unique and whilst legend is a term that is often over used, he was a legend. My dad first met him in the mid 60's when he came and stayed in Adelaide (Australia) for a while and back when keeping in touch was a bit more involved than message boards etc he stayed in contact for over forty years. There werw many great Crocky quotes but my favourites were the picture of him jumping a bike through the wall of fire and the business card he gave me that said "the only man ever fired from Indy for going too fast".
    The Benny family will miss him. RIP

    Rang my dad to tell him, he reminded me that Crocky would refused to go to heaven because angels have wings!
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  8. ZOOOM
    Joined: Aug 8, 2008
    Posts: 40

    ZOOOM
    Member

    Last year I managed to finish the history of the Bettenhausen family, "GO!".
    Through out the book flows the story of "Crocky Wright".
    His real name was Ernie Schlausky. While racing motorcycles he deceided to run an outlaw race and needed a different name so he wouldn't get caught.
    He chose the name Wright from a passing delivery truck from Wright Truck Lines...

    He DID get caught, but he apparently liked the name...

    ZOOOM
     
  9. 48jeep
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66

    48jeep
    Member

    I am curious if anyone remembers a Ford powered sprint car out of the San Diego area in the late sixties nicknamed the Flying Ford. It used a 427 high riser engine.
     
  10. Jerracer
    Joined: Feb 16, 2008
    Posts: 124

    Jerracer
    Member

    I remember that car. I believe it was driven by Jim Wood who I just recently saw at the Walt James memorial at the Petersen Museum in L.A.
    Haven't seen any pictures lately, but I'll keep my eyes open.
     
  11. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 800

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    This one made me smile on a gloomy day :)

    RIP, Crocky!
     
  12. Ken_Schou
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 822

    Ken_Schou
    Member

    A copy of my posting on the Cageless Midget Thread.

    Myself .. I first got to know Crocky in the 60's, I believe "Dutch" Schaefer probably introduced me to him. .. When I saw Crocky, I always enjoyed his company, his stories as well as his books.

    I haven't seen a picture of Crocky in a midget in a long time. Maybe someone can find one & post it?

    Yes, Crocky used to kind of brag about being the ony one to be fired at Indy for going too fast!! (Driving the tour bus around the track - with passengers in it. :) ) It's a fact that he had that on his business card and he made sure you read that staement, if he didn't know you and gave you one.

    I always listened with great interest about the stories he'd tell about all the race cars (especially midgets) hidden away in the basement of the Indy Museum.

    I've heard that Tony Stewart had been quietly caring for him for awhile now. I also heard that somehow in recent years Crocky would somehow drive & find his way to racing flea markets & things in the Indy area, to sell his wares & see his friends, but would sadly need help in finding his way home again.

    The last times I saw Crocky was some years ago at the couple of annual "Old Timers" affairs that I attented at Stan Lobitz's catering facility in Hazleton, PA. As always, he made me smile & laugh. I plan to attend next year and was hoping that somehow he'd be there.

    A true & loveable character that was a real a part of midget racing history, he WILL be missed by many.

    RIP Crocky!!!
     
  13. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    LLoyd, are you part of the Gordon Benny Family? Crocky spoke of him often
     
  14. lloyd roberts
    Joined: Jan 2, 2009
    Posts: 14

    lloyd roberts
    Member

    Yes Roy,
    Gordon is my dad, Crocky introduced me to you on my first trip to the states in 1989. Dad said he had been trying to reach Crocky by phone this week for their christmas chat. Crocky was with my dad when I was born, and has been in regular contact since that time. I joined this thread to enquire about his health last year because he was unwell when dad visited last summer and (dad) was having difficultly contacting him. Thank you for your reply then and for passing on the sad news today.
    It is a pitty Crocky wasn't into message boards, his historical knowledge, the stories he could and his dry witt would have sat very well.
    Aaron Benny
     
  15. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    RIP Crocky..

    Crocky was a great treasure to us younger guys that can only enjoy the "way back" days through stories told by the men that survived it. You will be missed.

    ...anyone here know who lit the LAST "wall of fire" Crocky crashed through?

    I'll give ya a hint, don't spell his name wrong!





    Joshua Shaw
     
  16. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    I`m sorry that I only got to know of Crocky through his writing,and the recollections of others.
     
  17. indybigjohn
    Joined: May 22, 2008
    Posts: 1,713

    indybigjohn
    Member Emeritus

    Thought a lot about Crocky last night. Roy, you were probably there the night we let him do the motorcycle jump and flaming wall crash at IRP. Unfortunately, the NHRA brass was also there and they didn't take kindly to it. Some people have no sense of humor. I graciously allowed the general manager at the time to take credit for the idea.

    I also remembered the time we were on the H.A.R.F. board of directors together. That's about the time he began telling us about this kid Tony Stewart who was going to be big. Crocky knew I'd be interested because I had flagged the TQs in the early 60s.

    Once again, RIP old friend.
     
  18. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,198

    Jim Nise
    Member

    Crocky was a family friend from the late 50's. i remember when he owned a Sinclair gas station in Doylestown, Pa. He quickly went out of business as he was never open enough going to everyrace possible, be it ARDC, or USAC.

    He had no time for "taxi cabs", the rear engine revolution and emigrated to Australia to get to where racing was done correctly, and has been noted in posts previously.

    He started writing to books first as a way to generate money for drivers/families injured or killed. his first book was The Flying Scot, Johnny Thomson, then The Rex Easton Story, all proceeds were passed on to the families. I sold the books for him at langhorne, hatfoeld, Williams Grove...


    Then he did his midget books, Hinchcliff, etc.

    i presented Crocky with the Checkerd Flag Fan Club Johnny Thomson award at the annual Banquet in I believe 1964. he was caught completely of gaurd and didn't know what to say in accepting.

    I talked to him last when he was in the hospital (2009)when a phone number was posted at Trackforum. Although we hadn'e seen or talked for 40 years it was like old times.

    He was a treasure, and will be greatly missed by the generation represented by the fantastic thread.



    I hope all here have a wonderful holiday season

    niseguy
     
  19. jimg12
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 307

    jimg12
    Member

    RIP Crocky. Tony bought the house for Crocky to live in. Crocky put out the first postcard with Tony on it, showing Tony in several different cars inclouding a TQ and a Silver Crown car. Tony and Crocky were real close. Crocky and I drove a Red/Black midget in Zephyrhills one year that was from up east. I saw him every year seneral times, I will miss him a lot.
    Merry Christmas everyone and a better year next year than this one.
    Jim Graybeal
     
  20. okbob
    Joined: Nov 2, 2008
    Posts: 11

    okbob
    Member
    from Hanover pa

    race cars 2.jpg

    001.jpg

    I am somewhat of a rookie at this ,but I will try.In regards to the Flyin Fords that Jim Woods drove in the early sixties with the 427 FE's,these are photos that Dan Williams sent me of when they were first raced in Las Cruces. Donnie Byers (sp) and Ivan Coffman ran. I believe the t roadster with the Ford was the car he won the 1st Pacific Coast Open at ASCOT.The Sprint Car with the Chevy in was the sister car ,both built by Hank Henry.Noted photographer Bill Taylor talked to Jim and confirmed that the bubbles on the hood indicated it would also accept a FE under the hood, My dad bought the Sprinter and I raced it at Horizon Speedway in El Paso before taking it back to pa. to race and stay forever. Van May
     
  21. LittleFauss
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 272

    LittleFauss

    .....'Wow! Way to go Van! My girlfriend and I met you and Dub and your Dad when a lot of us stayed at the Desert Inn in Phoenix for the 1976 Western World at Manzanita. You and Dub towed the #28 car all the way out from Pennsy, picked your Dad up in El Paso and it was HE that compained what a long drive it was out to Phoenix!....'Pretty darn funny!
     
  22. GOSHOW
    Joined: Dec 26, 2008
    Posts: 14

    GOSHOW
    Member
    from Dover

    Don't post on here much but I read this board all the time and LOVE it. Just want to wish all of you and your families the most very Merry Christmas. I consider myself a little knowlegable attending races for over 50 years, but you guys just blow me away.
    I love the fabrication work of some of the true craftsman out there. Have a great day.
     
  23. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! I worked till 1:00 am tonight...:rolleyes: Me and Santa pullin the long hours.

    So, I needed a "blister" in the belly pan under the engine for clearance. My buddy "Hammer Hank" came in town on Tues. to have me Pinstripe a Cedar Chest for a Christmas gift, and I said "AH HA! Hank, bring your hammers and sand bag"

    It took me about an hour to stripe the chest, and when I finished Hank (24 years old) had this done!! :eek:
     

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  24. PK
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 192

    PK
    Member
    from Ohio

    Merry Christmas gentlemen... I hope everyone has a blessed day.
    PK
     
  25. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 800

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Welcome to Van! :cool:

    Have a nice Christmas, everyone! :)
     


  26. I knew you'd end up having some bad ass metal work on the belly pans....looks killer....





    t.h.
     
  27. Happy holidays to all on this site as it is a treasure and a christmas gift that keeps giving on a daily basis.

    I am an old Modified owner from the Reading PA Fairgrounds but grew up as an open wheel fan. Former midget driver Kim Trout drove for me for many years as did Gary Gollub of sprint car fame from time to time.


    My uncle was one of the main forces / drivers behind the Berks County Micro Midget club that ran weekly at Dreamland Park PA and later the Leesport Auction in Leesport PA both just outside of Reading PA in the 50's. This is the club where Red Reigel got his start and as a youngster Red would let me sit in his car and steer it when it was loaded after the races.

    Was also able to see so great many open wheel races in our area....Reading, Allentown, Hatfield, Nazareth, Langhorne, Trenton, Grandview, Flemington, Bloomsburg Fair, Dorney Park, Pocono

    Just wanted to drop this post to thank all of you for all your posts and keeping the best of times alive!!!

    Thanks
     
  28. 48jeep
    Joined: Apr 3, 2009
    Posts: 66

    48jeep
    Member

    Van - I remember Donnie Beyers trying out that sprint car on El Paseo street one afternoon. He must have passed me going close to a hundred mph one way then turned around and went the other way just as fast.
     
  29. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    I know this isn't an Open Wheel Car but I don't consider this off topic, This is Crocky at IRP July 31 1996 he was 77 years old, I tried to talk him out of doing this, everyone else was always encouraging him to do it again but I remembered how he fell when he did it at the Speedrome and I was always worried he would hurt himself. Josh I didn't light the wall the last time he did it, but I did light it at Putnamville, I loved Crocky and am really going to miss him. This picture hangs on the wall above my desk which is reserved for only a few of my heros, my Dad, Rich, Crocky, Gene Romero, Jackie Howerton, Don Brown, Jerry Weeks and Jimmy and Danny are the only ones that will ever be on this wall.


    I "borrowed" this article from Dave Argabright's site I hope he doesn't mind

    AMERICAN SCENE

    "Crocky Faces The Wall Of Death"

    July 1990 - NATIONAL SPEED SPORT NEWS

    Roy Caruthers leaned toward the gasoline-soaked wood panel with his torch, the flame flicking in the gentle night breeze. In moments, the main straightaway surface at Lincoln Park Speedway would be illuminated by the inferno. Crocky Wright, who has seen seventy-one years, was ready to face the wall of death.

    It’s been a long time since Crocky tried the wall. Sure, he had the stunt mastered when he performed with Putt Mossman’s International Daredevils way back in 1951. But considerable sand has passed through the hourglass since then, and his last attempt in 1981 was not completely successful.

    But this time would be different, Crocky vowed. When intermission finally arrived at Lincoln Park on Saturday night, he was ready. He wore an ancient checkered helmet, a remnant from his days racing midgets, big cars, and bikes all those years ago. He paced nervously, directing the crew of helpers as they placed the wall on the track, pouring a white line from the center of the wall down the track toward turn four. When a man faces the wall, we can assume, he wants to see where he’s going.

    Finally, the old Honda was fired. In his jackboots and leather jacket, he looked like a cast member from an old Hollywood flick. He revved the engine and began a parade lap. The crowd stood and began to quiet. In the infield, racers and spectators stared and smiled.

    As he twisted the throttle down the backstretch, maybe on this cool Indiana night it was like 1951 all over again. He was a young man, the wind in his face. He was the star. That’s how it once was, so long ago. What man, who has stood and faced the cheers, does not want to hear them again, just one more time?

    While his life hasn’t gone exactly as planned, it isn’t far off course. Long ago, he wanted to go to Indy. While he enjoyed moderate success on motorcycles, and loved racing midgets and big cars, he was never successful enough to find the Brickyard.

    There were chances at marriage, but women just didn’t understand why Crocky wouldn’t give up some of his racing. The jobs came and went through the years, because employers didn’t understand why Crocky needed so much time off. So the small kid born Ernie Schlausky seventy-one years ago has spent his entire life doing exactly whatever he wanted.

    On this night, he wanted to beat the wall of death. As he brought the bike to a stop coming out of turn four, he looked toward the wooden structure in the middle of the track and thought of 1981 and the Indianapolis Speedrome. He tried the wall then, but things didn’t go according to plan. He made it through the blazing structure, but wiped out and nearly broke his ankle. At seventy-one, he probably doesn’t heal very quickly. He gunned the engine.

    The signal was given to start the fire. An official poured gasoline on the structure, and stepped away. Caruthers, who came along as Crocky’s assistant, fumbled with a lighter. His hands trembled as he tried nervously to light the torch that had been prepared. Finally, it caught, and he stepped toward the wall.

    He reached out with the torch. Ambulance attendants looked on. When the small flame licked toward the gasoline-soaked wall, it ignited, and for a moment Caruthers himself stood too close to the blaze, his feet surrounded by flames. He dashed away, and people nearby stepped back and shielded their faces from the heat.

    Crocky lowered his head. He snapped the Honda in gear, and gassed it. As he approached the wall, his tires ran along the white line that had been poured moments before. He lowered his head, and the Honda begged to be shifted to a higher gear. Every eye watched, every breath was held.

    The front wheel hit the mark dead center. For a split second, Crocky and the bike were consumed in the hot, orange mass of fire. The wood shattered, with sparks flying, and in another moment it was over. There was Crocky, unscathed, racing toward turn one. The water truck rolled forward and crew members began spraying the flames, transforming what was the wall of death into a docile pile of smoldering wood.

    Crocky made his way around the track and back to the main straightaway. The helmet came off, and friends and onlookers embraced the hero. The crowd cheered, and as the announcer struggled with a wireless microphone, Crocky was interviewed. He stepped through the gate at the flag stand, into a crowd of excited young children, all reaching to shake his hand, to touch the man of the hour. Crocky smiled and thanked them.

    The track crew climbed into their equipment, to work the water that had doused the fire into the track. Racers and crews walked toward the pits, to ready their cars for the features soon to follow. After all, wall of death or not, it was Saturday night at Lincoln Park, and there were races to run.

    Minutes later, when the leather jacket, boots, and ancient helmet were replaced with a light brown jacket bearing his name, Crocky again waded through the crowd of admirers near the concession stand.

    "What a neat old guy!" exclaimed a kid of about ten years old to his buddy as he examined the autographed card Crocky had just given him. On the card were pictures of long ago, pictures of a young man aboard the racing machines he hoped would propel him to stardom. Tonight, it seems, they did just that.

    Crocky Wright, star of stars. Yeah. What a neat old guy.

    You had the Crowd on their feet Crocky I'll never forget you
     

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