The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
Hard to believe it was 20 years ago today that Billy Vukovich was killed at Mesa Marin
my uncle ran an in & out box on his hilligess midget in 56-57, I don't know what type it was? how many types were there back in the 50's that would have run on midgets? I have seen ambler box's are they from that era?
Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I found this site a couple weeks ago and have been consumed ever since. My dad, Luke Easter, drove supermodifieds and later sprint cars with IMCA. He and Dean Mast drove team cars for Bob Howell from Coshocton, Ohio. Dad set a World Record at Winchester in 1967 in a 10 lap heat race - had to be the high point of his career. I've spent the last 2 weeks going through every post (615 pages) and have waited until the end to get involved. Enough for now - but Thank You to everyone who has posted and has shared their memories with us. I'll be back.
By the way, I was in the Marine Corps so I know what "FNG" stands for. That hurts.
The first picture on post #11530 shows Dad's 1967 Winchester World Record run. But, he's not in the picture - he's out front. This is turn #1 on lap #1 of a 10 lap heat and Armin took the picture from the steps of the old bridge over turn one. I have the full picture here and will get it posted. I was only eleven and was standing inside turn #1 and remember every moment. Dad was chasing Karl Busson in the feature when a lapped car blew a motor on the front straight. After spinning in the oil Dad got t-boned by Curley Boyd in the Black Duece. It's a UPI photo. I never really liked that Black Duece after that. Things went bad for a bunch of guys. I remember Bob King signing an autograph for me and got some blood in my book. That's a nice guy!
Here's more of IMCA in the day including Benny Rapp's CAE Chevy.........got any more pics from the day?
I purchased the #14 a year ago and am part way thru getting it back on track.
Very graphic description of your dad's racing history..........more please.
Yes I do have photos. I've moved a couple times in the last few years, so most everything is still boxed. I have some IMCA photos from Winchester, Tampa, Topeka, St. Paul, Anderson, and some odd and ends from whenever. I miss those days - I guess because I was too young to realize we were poor. Opp hugging my mom, Reichert's crew cut, Woodside's cowboy hat, Ray Lee Goodwin's kindness, Thad Doshier's daughter (I was only about 12 or 13 and she was cute), Adamson's height, and Busson's squared roll bar - those are things I miss, too.
Welcome EASTER. Look forward to hearing from you and seeing some pics.
Car Owner Marty Himes, Himes Museum of Auto Racing Nostalgia
Offy Midget, former driver Mario Andretti at Fort Dix Speedway, NJ
Driver-Rick Holmberg at Riverside Park Speedway, MA 1987?
Here is Dad's McDowell sprint car. The best of everything..Dayton wheels & knock-offs, original Hartford shocks. chrome radiator shell with detachable bar grille. All aluminum body, without an ounce of Bondo filler. I was always expecially impressed with the carb "bump" in both the hood and the side panel. It is all welded -in aluminum with the extra channel work on the top of the side panel, then filed smooth so no filler-blended in. SR Winfield carbs. Still have it in my garage. with some others..
And here is shot of it "unbuttoned" with the pretty rare McDowell Overhead. You can see the original Hartford shock in lower left. Dual Winfield SRs. Completely overhauled.
*Interesting note on this engine. It came out of a two-man Miller race car. John Enright bought the Miller car project and sold us the engine, (which we then, completely overhauled for this car.) then he sold the Miller car to someone else.
Here are some more photos from my files...can anyone identify the first two (#11 & #50) drivers?
easter, welcome to the thread. Don't worry about the FNG. We were all there at one time or another.
Miller27,Found this shot the other day of Buck running with URC at middletown back inthe early 80's.....Rich
I maxed out my lathe on this one, but learned alot! I shortened the right side of my rear axle 3" and then re-threaded the end. I have never cut threads on a lathe before let alone left handed. It turned out perfect.
While I had it apart I noticed that one of the axle seals was spinning in the side bell under the bearing race. It is a new seal and race, rebuilt 10years ago and never ran. I was thinking about using some loctite retaining compound keep it in place. Is this a bad idea? I would rather not have to remove the race. Any suggestions?
I've seen the picture of the 11 posted elsewhere and nobody has been able to put a name with it.
To hazard a guess, I'd say that the 50 car is Johnnie Cougan. Not sure if I spelled the name correctly.
There was a lot of discussion about these photos at the links below. #50 is Coogan I believe.
Bad Idea. A little warmth and the race drops out;then fix the seal recess properly.Or maybe a larger o/d seal! John
Step up for an Aliance membership and the FNG goes away instantly.
How do you "step up" to an Alliance membership?
I didn't see where this body was identified. It appears to me... to be a Solar Midget body, crafted by Solar Aircraft, co. after WW2 in San Diego, Cal.
Search "Solar Midget" or Wikipedia for history.
<iframe title="YouTube video player" class="youtube-player" type="text/html" width="480" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zEcYruCeD0g?rel=0" frameborder="0"></iframe>
I haven't had a chance to sit down and type before this .. and better late than never.
THANKS to Stan Lobitz for another GRRRRRRREAT shindig. I truly enjoyed myself.
I'm sure that I'll forget a few, but I enjoyed meeting folks from here on the HAMB like Rich Bunning (RABs32), Joe Fiore (Wynns #1), mlight9, the late Jerry Karl's nephew - Tony De Seta (Buildy), Spike Gilespie and others.
Rich gave me a CD that I haven't had a chance to slip into this machine yet, but i KNOW that I'll enjoy!!! I'm guessing it's some of the superb pictures that were taken over the years by Rich and his Dad. (THANK YOU Rich!!!) .... Spike had some wonderfully detailed models (open cockpit of course) that he made.
It was great to see folks like Doug Post (Sprinter 2), Denny Zimmerman, Billy Courtwright, Ken Brenn, Johnny & Dottie Mann, Dick Peterman, Jimmy Maguire, Tom Cochrane, Marty Himes and again others.
90 year old Chris Ecomomacki hasn't missed a beat!!!
Although we were both there all day, somehow Frank Filocamo and myself missed one another. Understandable because the turn out was so LARGE!!!
I didn't know Harley Gene was there. I sure would have liked to have met him. .... Maybe next year?
What rounded my wonderful day off was the ride up & back with Irwin .. who owns a former Rollie Helmlings midget that was driven by Kenny Schrader, a young Jeff Gordon and other famous chauffers .. plus an Edmunds sprint car and the former Ken Brenn #20 (later the #1) Edmunds midget and the multi talented Harold Seaman. .... Harold spent a good part of the day giving tours of the infamous Lobitz barn, that is stacked high with vintage race cars. You may have met him?
The only thing I don't like about Stan's parties, is that each time I go there are fewer of us grey &/or bald headed folks (from my era - so to speak) with our toes still on the green side of the grass. But that makes it even MORE IMPORTANT to attend.
If you haven't attended one of Mr. Lobitz's affairs yet (or in awhile), start making plans to attend next years .. which will be (as always) the second Sunday in November.
Once again THANK YOU .. Stan Lobitz!!!!!!!!!
Hey josh thought you might think this was interesting. Head over to www.darfnews.com go to the racing history section. My uncle just started posting old collections of photos on there from the local ohio and indiana tracks all vintage. You really need to see the ed griffiths sprinter from 1965 at eldora..............kyle zero
The #25 pictured was one of the two Gene's (Celeberti - spelling?) Offy team cars from here on Long Island, NY and is in "as run" condition. The other was numbered 52 and is/was the car that Larry Rice (NOT the California one) was killed in at the Islip (NY) Speedway.
The #25 was once owned by Smokey Secundo (spelling?) from upn the north east. It has a some what shorter wheelbase than most midgets.
The late Roger Bailey, from Patchogue, NY, often drove one of the team cars when the ARDC ran weekly at the Old Bridge (NJ) Speedway in the 60's, if I remember correctly.
I do not know if Mario Andretti ever drove either of these cars, but I guess it is possible?
Marty Himes knows the complete history of the #25, from the day it was built.
I'll have to ask Marty about Mario driving that car? I'm gettin old so I may have dreamed that part up? LOL But I know my brother sure had a blast hot lapping that car with Marty that day!!
Ps. Thanks for the info about that car Ken.
also a shame that car received some damage in the fire at the museum a few years back.
Click on "Alliance" at the top of the page. If you appreciate what Ryan is providing for us with the HAMB, show your support and join.
Had a few hours spare this week,so made some engine mounts and mounted the new shortened gearbox.......a few more jobs off the list...
Ken, I didn't know you were at Stan's either. You must have not stayed for the banquet. Stan got me up front to say a few words and had the Racing History group banner photo. Next year for sure. Stan has offered me a huge amount of ............. to come back....lol
Gene,I didn't know you were there either. Me and RacerBillyC,stayed for the banquet and the award to Earnshaw,but left just as you guys were setting up for you photos.We always put the Lobitz Catering name on our midgets and sprint cars to Honor Stan for being the Great friend he is. And can't wait til next years Get together.....Rich
Sounds like Stan is going to pay you what your worth Geno.
Separate names with a comma.