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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 Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,206

    Jim Nise
    Member

    At the 1959 champ car race at Williams Grove, Ed was there driving Koopman's car. The race was halted because of rain on lap 13. The rain was extremely heavy. Ed helped every car owner get their cars on to their trailers in the rain and mud.

    I watched it! He may well have been all the things stated, but that day he was something else.
     
  2. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    I believe Elisian was no Choir boy,but he was not the villain he has been portrayed to be,either.

    For that matter Dick Rathman was no Choir boy,either.

    Roy,I`d be interested if you ever get to talk to AJ Watson about Elisian.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
  3. easter
    Joined: Nov 25, 2010
    Posts: 554

    easter
    Member

    On the previous page in the picture with Elisian, I hope to God that woman wasn't the Queen he had to kiss. It would make me want to run second.
     
  4. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    According to my friend Pat York, this was taken at Baer Field near Ft. Wayne Indiana it was either an IMCA or MARC event, the previous picture with Honore's car was taken there also the same day. sometime in the mid 60's
     
  5. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    These are the pictures I referred to in last post
     

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  6. monkaz
    Joined: Oct 6, 2011
    Posts: 203

    monkaz
    Member
    from gilbert,AZ


    Roy,

    I don't mind people quoting things that I have said but I do mind being misquoted. Please take the time read what I have actually written.

    I never said Ed Elisian was responsible for the death of Bob Sweikert. On the contrary, I stated that Freddie Agabashian, told me, when asked about Bob's fatal accident that: "Sweikert's ego killed him". That is the quote that got everybody tipped over.
    The snippet of film showing the Sweikert fatal, taken by Dale Mueller (outside the track) and Jimmy Reece (from the infield) only tells part of the story. Sweikert got boxed by Elisian on the inside and Pat O'Connor in front. This went on four three laps before the incident caught on the film.

    In Buzz Rose's Book, "King of the Hills", on page 187, Buzz Rose writes:"Bob Sweikert died in a totally unnecessary accident at Salem on June 17th. Bob fell victim to his own ego when Ed Elisian began to edge by him on the 4th. lap of the feature race. Bob absolutely detested Elisian and the idea of being passed by the man was more than Sweikert could deal with."
     
  7. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

     
  8. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    Who can beat Racer5c to this?

    Name the Driver AND the car owner...

    ROY... Give em a chance!
     

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  9. Degenerate
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 239

    Degenerate
    Member
    from Indiana

  10. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 802

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Ed Elisian was a very fine racing driver - he may not have been a champion, but he tried very hard to be one, competing in more than 100 AAA Big Car races, of which he won four and finished second or third at least a half dozen times. That's not a bad record to have, driving against the likes of Jimmy Bryan, Tony Bettenhausen or Tommy Hinnershitz. Many of his contemporaries, who are still fondly remembered, had far less success on the track.

    I have never seen any allegations that he was a "dirty driver", at least not from anyone actually competing against him, and he had very few accidents during the twelve years he drove Sprints and Champ Cars - again, very much unlike some of his rivals. So, Sweikert aparently didn't like him, but so what - some people are hard to get along with, and the 1955 Indy winner was often described as being a bit "aloof". I mark that down as a Sweikert idiosyncrasy, if anything at all.

    If any one person had reason to be upset about Elisian, it was Andy Linden. The two were teammates in the Sprint Cars, driving for Lee Elkins in 1957, and Linden was leading the points race going into the final round - all he had to do to win the Midwestern Championship was to finish 4th, but he missed out by one position. Guess who finished just ahead, in that elusive 4th place? Yes, it was his own teammate, Ed Elisian! Was he angry, did he complain? Not to the best of my knowledge. He was a racer, and knew perfectly well that, as a Champion, he should have been able to do it himself, not by relying on outside help. Sadly, his career ended three weeks later after a devastating Midget crash, and he would never get another chance.

    But there was more to that, because Elkins was seemingly so upset about the outcome that he sold his Sprint Cars, and was ready to get out of racing. Then there was that Watson "spare car" sitting in Gasoline Alley the next May, officially entered by A. J.'s buddy Hank Blum, but with a price tag on it instead of a driver behind the wheel. Dick Rathmann pestered Elkins long enough for the Michigan multi-millionaire to finally relent, and the rest, as they say, is history...

    Was Elisian perhaps trying to "pay back" his former team boss for selling his ride when he charged down Rathmann's inside into Turn 3? Hardly. For one thing, Elkins was a well known nutcase - an eccentric with a weakness for booze and a love for snap decisions (a book could, and perhaps should be written about his racing antics alone). If he ever cared about the lost championship, it was in all probability long forgotten in a sea of alcohol and spur-of-the-moment acquisitions. Secondly, Elisian himself seems to have brokered the sale of "his" Sprint Car, because he continued to drive it for its new owner, Homer Allen. And thirdly, he also drove Elkins's Champ Car later that year, so there were definitely no hard feelings.

    What really happened on the Northeastern corner of the IMS property that day was probably just a gutsy move that didn't come off. Racing drivers are duly admired for continually flirting with disaster, driving on the ragged edge - and sometimes, things go wrong, just like that. Perhaps it was silly to try and win the big race on the first lap, but wouldn't we all rejoice in praise for that gutsy move if it had been successful? I'm sure we would! Imagine a picture of Elisian, all crossed-up, taking the lead in one of the greatest passing moves in the history of the '500'...

    It didn't help at all, that Pat O'Connor, who died as a result of some incredibly complex accident "logic", was one of the most popular drivers of his day. And, it didn't help that Elisian was involved in another fatal wreck within a month. The papers had a field day, with a racing driver (right next to a commy or a murderer in the popularity list of the Fourth Estate, back then) "causing" a homicide, getting banned and then reinstated only to "kill" the next one right away! But everyone in the racing community knew it wasn't Ed's fault, as Jim Davis had lost control and slid into the path of the hapless Elisian. It was a rookie mistake, nothing more, nothing less - shit happens.

    The notion that Ed Elisian's death was (at the very least) helped by his fellow drivers refusing to slow down to let a fire truck or ambulance come to his aid is the most ridiculous, yet monstroulsy shocking thing that I have ever heard. Just trying to imagine the cold-bloodedness and downright cruelty of such an act is extremely chilling. Does anybody really believe that people like Rodger Ward, Eddie Sachs, Tony Bettenhausen or Len Sutton could have been capable of such despicable cowardice? I, for one, couldn't stomach reading or hearing a single word about those "racing heroes" if it were true. NONSENSE!!!
     
  11. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 802

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Looks like Jud Larson to me... in a quarter midget??
     
  12. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    NOT Jud or Troy. :p

    (Hint.. I'm dozing off thinking of the drivers name..)
     
  13. jmcintosh
    Joined: Mar 1, 2008
    Posts: 35

    jmcintosh
    Member

    I was at the 1958 race standing on the backstrech at the point where the cars normally backed off for turn 3 neither Elisian nor Rathman back off an my thoughts were they aren,t going to make it. I had benn to the track almost every afternoon that May an those two guys had been going at each other all month.
     
  14. RicSchwarm
    Joined: Feb 16, 2009
    Posts: 12

    RicSchwarm
    Member

    Ok Josh, how about Sleepy Trip.
     
  15. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 802

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    ... and then the car owner is probably Doug Caruthers!
     
  16. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    Ding ding ding we have a winner, I bet no one gets the car owner though
     
  17. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    Man I thought Michael new everything, close but no cigar
     
  18. Bob Cicconi
    Joined: Nov 29, 2010
    Posts: 107

    Bob Cicconi
    Member

    Hey- Thanks to all the great answers you guys gave me concerning Ed Elisian. Great info!!. Roy- I don't remember the incident at Winchester you related. Was I there that day? Were they runnung midgets or sprint cars?
     
  19. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member


    Midgets, I think it was in 91
     
  20. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 802

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Okay then, Red Caruthers? ;)
     
  21. godspeedbear
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 261

    godspeedbear
    Member
    from golden

    This is the #33 car that came into the shop for a complete rebody.. The new owner found it cut in half behind a barn. From what he was telling me it was the car to beat in southeast Iowa..
    It's running an A/C tractor motor that all souped up.
    The #1 car is the sister car and we know that it's restored and who owns it.
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    Do you guys have any more info?
     
  22. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 802

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Ahhh, the "Farmer's Offy"!!! :D

    After WW2, a number of impecunious drivers and owners in the Western Illinois/Eastern Iowa area banded together to form the Mississippi Valley Auto Racing Association. There was no money in the bank, so running a state-of-the-art Offenhauser was out of the question, but farm equipment was in ready supply, including Allis-Chalmers tractor engines that became quite popular. The guys may have had no dough, but a lot of humour as there was also a "Dusty Offy" in the fields, powered by a flathead V8.

    The #33 was probably a prewar car, owned by Ken Frye from Sherrard (IL), and driven to three feature wins during the 1946 season of 13 race meetings, propelling driver Charlie Irons (also from Sherrard) to a close second in points behind Al Ketter, who was easily the class of the fields in his own Ford V8. Elwin "Al" Ketter and his younger brothers, Clarence "Beef" and Harold "Hal" Ketter ran a semi-professional operation out of Oglesby near La Salle, later Quincy (IL). All three ran with other independent clubs here and there, and Al finished 9th in IMCA points in 1947, his best year, just twenty points behind Bob Frame, the son of the 1932 Indy winner.

    That year, Charlie Irons drove a new car, owned by Lyman Whan of nearby Preemption (IL), the #1 "Miss Allis", also powered by an AC engine, and won two out of 13 races on his way to 1st in MVARA points. The #33 was meanwhile driven by a number of other drivers, but mostly by Allan "Dutch" Morehouse of Mendota (IL), already disappearing into the consies. I have nothing on the car after 1947.

    There is an excellent book on the MVARA and other, similar clubs of the area, "Racing in the Heartland" by Ken Paulsen, with lots of pictures - recommended!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  23. easter
    Joined: Nov 25, 2010
    Posts: 554

    easter
    Member

    Michael - "impecunious?" Stop it. I went to LSU, not Yale.
     
  24. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    I`d have to break out the dictionary for that one!
     
  25. rrbrucea
    Joined: Mar 2, 2010
    Posts: 646

    rrbrucea
    Member

    He couldn't just say "poor" ya know... LOL!
     
  26. Is that really English?:confused: all jokes aside awesome.....
     
  27. Buildy
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,521

    Buildy
    Member

    I think if Michael called AJ or Parnelli impecunious, Michael might have taken a right to the snoot-LOL.

    All in good fun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  28. godspeedbear
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 261

    godspeedbear
    Member
    from golden

    Thanks for the info... It will help add to the history of this car, and give me further places to research.

    I'll get the book to. :)
     
  29. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 802

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Don't ask me, I'm just a furriner... LOL
     
  30. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    great Info Michael!! and YES!!!

    RED CARUTHERS is the car owner.
     

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