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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. Chet Wilson got my dad started in midgets in 37. The first midget dad ever drove was Chet's # 5 car, powered by a Star 4 at the time. The name Gary Mc Henry is written on the first pic. Don't know who he was, maybe another of Chets followers. According to dad, in Lincoln, Chet was The Man!
     

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  2. Hardly!! In 1994 Arlen Kurtis dusted off his dad's midget blue prints, and tooled up for a run of 10 cars. Sort of a continuation series, like when Shelby mysteriously finds enough pieces to do a few more "continuation" Cobras. Arlen used dad's 93 car for building the jigs, and dad got the first frame. Even with a gratis frame, dad still had over 20 large in a body, engine, rear end, wheels, tires, and everything else to finish the car.
     
  3. 19Ardun46
    Joined: Apr 24, 2008
    Posts: 29

    19Ardun46
    Member

    My friends father even ran the car with the number 5 still on the car. I have never heard the name Gary McHenry before, but that doesnt mean much, as I am still a young pup, when it comes to these old race cars. I just talked to my friend and she told me to come down to her office and take some pictures of the car, and post them here, if anyone is interested.

    I have the book "The Mighty Midgets" and I have always been curious about the location of where the photograph of your father, sitting in his race car, was taken in Lincoln. Any ideas?
     

  4. Yes Maxwell did work at Nance. Right along with Dale Parson in the early '70s. Maxwell went to Lincoln, Parson went to OkC, where with a little push from Maxwell, and measurements from Oppermans Speedway Motors ride, Parson established once and for all 4-bar suspensions as the way to go in the NCRA. Many have went to school there.
     
  5. I would love to see some current pics of Chet's midget. Please post some if you can. I think dad mentioned once that the picture was taken at the photographer's house. I have other pics with the new owner and driver in the car taken on the same day. Stamped on the back of the pics is "Elmo George Photos", 344T Street, Lincoln, Ne. Some of the other pics are from different angles, and the location was in the driveway of a home. I don't know if it is the T street address, or if the photographer had a store front location in town. We took a lot of vacation trips to Lincoln when I was young. I would like to know more about the location too.
     
  6. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 522

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY

    HA! I had more fun than you guys last weekend;)...... I got to strap on my new Watson roadster for about 50 laps!:D:eek:
     

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  7. lrs30
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 2,206

    lrs30
    Member
    from Kentucky

    Congrats, great looking car..
     
  8. Isn't that the George Saligh car? I think I saw that at the Peterson museum on display several years ago. Dan Fink and I went over there and they had at least a dozen Indy roadsters on display as a tribute to the car builders in the LA area.

    This car was my favorite. True laydown Offy engine and that fin on the tail tank was killer. Didn't this car win the 500 with Sam Hanks and then Jimmy Bryan?


     

  9. Yes, yes, and yes. George Saligh's signature is on the picture. In the mid 90's there was a roast honoring Sam Hanks at the Justice Bros. headquarters. I was fortunate enough to attend. Sam was most gracious, and talked with people for hours. That inovative roadster started the true laydown engine design. Aero was a plus, but Sam said the low CG was the real key to the cars sucess. it handled better than any open wheel car he had ever driven.
     
  10. Speedrome
    Joined: Mar 22, 2007
    Posts: 607

    Speedrome
    Member
    from Irving, TX

    Dean,
    Thanks so much for all the info. Those scans of the old docs are great!!

    I'm still searching for info about my Hillegass midget. Found out today one of the guys who drove it is still alive and in Tulsa.

    Bart
    www.manifoldsonmain.com
     
  11. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    You guys are doing GREAT keeping this post going.. Keep it up!


    The phone has been ringing a bunch and I'm in full throttle "Build mode"

    I have been spent some time making templates for the kick-up, all boxing plates, tabs, brackets, EVERYTHING.. Then I spent last week plasma cutting a big first batch while they are getting layed out in the computer to be laser cut..

    Once I had a good supply to build 4-5 frames.. I went at it Monday morning.

    I found out that I can build one of my "basic" frames (Rails, spring pearches, and body mount "lip") ..in two days.

    Here is frame #3.. More to come.

    [​IMG]


    I got this front curve down now..

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I weld my rear cross member to the outside rail, then I box it...

    [​IMG]

    By building my Kick up in four pieces.. I can weld it inside as well..

    [​IMG]


    Thanks.. See some of you in Louisville.

    Joshua Shaw
     
  12. The first two pics are at Willow Springs in 87. Dad is making laps in 93 again after 40 years. Took a long time to wipe that grin off that 70 year old man's face. The white # 2 car is the Kurtis I restored, pretty much as it came from Stan Lobitz in Pensy.

    The next pics are from the last ASCOT old timers night in 89. I had finished the 2 car, and it was voted best appearing by the writers, and broadcasters group. We ran with the WRA from 87 to 93. Running on the track with dad was an experience I'll cherish the rest of my life. But in 93, dad thought he should slow down, he was over 75 years old, and I had had enough of dodging the guys who always wanted to drive a race car, but didn't have a clue, so we hung it up.
     

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  13. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    Steves32
    Member
    from So Cal

    Last month, our car club meeting was at Justice Brothers in Duarte.
    OMG!!!

    And where was the camera? At home!
     
  14. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    [​IMG]


    Its got the right number!!!


    Great pictures.. Keep em coming!

    JD
     
  15. I'd really like to say I did it for you, but actually it was one number not being used by any WRA cars at the time. Tom Welch had the # 22 on his Kurtis 60 that Roy Prosser was driving, and I liked how the 2's looked on the Kurtis tail.
     
  16. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    This is a little off topic and I don't know how many area (Co.,Kan., Ok. etc.) people are following this thread, but I wanted to mention this. As you may know, Nascar bought Pikes Peak Intl. Raceway several yrs. ago and closed it down, for their own 'head up their ass' reasons. Well, it appears that, in very recent developments, it now has new owners that want to keep racing there and not develop the land. :) They seem to be very receptive to public input on the type of racing/events that they would like to see held at the track. In the past, along with IRL, USAC shows (btw-the usac sc/sp/midg shows were GREAT) they had vintage car displays/laps. I think this would be a great venue to hold a Millers at Milwaukee type event for the central/western state vintage guys. As this is a very recent development their website is only a phone # and e-mail link but you may want to drop them a line. http://www.ppir.com/
     

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  17. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 522

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY

    Rootie, This is very significant news. thanks! It appears they had some top level vintage cars on display there including some Tom Malloy cars. More pix would be appreciated, if possible.
     
  18. Heres another pic in front of Eddie Meyer's shop. Dad is in the white T shirt. I've seen that look on his face a few times when he had more "help" than he needed. He is just about to "unload" on the crowd, and clean house. He could be short fused at times. The boats are Eddies V8-60 powered 135 hydros. At the time, 1946, they were the two fastest in the class.

    The second pic was taken in 99. Dad was 81 years old. Note the differance from the young man in the first photo. That is what 50 years, 2 strokes, and a heart condition will do to a man. The pic is at Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino. A friend runs a couple of Legend cars, and invited us to bring the midget out when he rented the track for testing. When I picked dad up in the morning, he had his helmet bag in hand. I ask whte he was going to do with that. "Make some laps in my race car, what the hell do you think" was the reply. When we got to the track, I helped him pull his suit on, he strapped in, and ran 15 laps, pulled in, and said "that'll hold me". Less than two years later, he was gone. I love the pic because it was the last time he ever sat in the car, and I can see the same fire in his eyes as in the 46 pic. I hope I've got that fire if I make 81.
     

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  19. This is second generation KK midget number 1. Dad put it together in 94. This is the only pic I have of it, and it was given to dad by Ed Justice Sr. after he put his JB stickers on it, and put it in his museum. It wasn't even finished, and Ed started hounding dad to buy it. Dad finally gave in when the money got really stupid.
     

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  20. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Here's a few more, taken approx. 02-03 in conjunction with a IRL race.
    The buzz on the local vintage sports car club forum is that the new owners are quite positive on having them run the infield road course, on the 09 schedule, so that tells me they may be "vintage" minded.
     

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  21. I don't think these pics are too OT for this thread as there have been some other 1/4 midget posts. This is Kurtis Kraft 1/4 midget number one, built late in 1955. In the first pic I'm hot lapping at Joyland Park in Wichita Kansas, June, 57. The second pic is qualifying at our home track, Upland,Ca. This little car was one of the few that could carry the left front because of the flexability of the Kurtis 4 bar chassis. The third pic is me two years ago with Doug Schiller's beautiful restoration. I'm holding the very first National Quarter Midget Championship trophy that I won with the car at Blakeley Staduim, Phoenix, Az in December 1957. Yup, I was the very first 1/4 midget national champ. That means a lot to me because I was racing some kids that grew up to be mighty fine USAC drivers. Guys like Jimmy and Danny Caruthers, their cousin Lonnie, Bobby and Mike Olivero, Rick Goudy, Dean Thompson, Buster Vernard, to name some. Those guys stayed with circle track, and I went straight line racing. Sometimes I wonder what might have happened if I'd have stayed with it? The last pic is a recent shot of two of dad's midgets, and my 1/4 midget in the Justice Bros. lobby.
     

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  22. hot rod surplus
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 44

    hot rod surplus
    Member

    looks like i have got acepted to the big darlington vintage race with the flat tail . anybody else going ???? what a long drawn out thing to get in .send paper work to office just to be considered then more about the car and pics and then a hole bunch of rules . but it i guess it will be cool .this is the big show done by vintage oval magazine in august . tim
     
  23. mac miller
    Joined: Jan 13, 2007
    Posts: 522

    mac miller
    Member
    from INDY


    We are considering going with a couple of cars, but my concern is that considering the track and area, the meet will be over run by stock car people and the open wheelers will get screwed. On the nascar broadcasts, they are already talking about the big "vintage stock car meet" in Darlington and all of the stock car celebrities that will be there. I would love to go to Darlington, as I have never been there,but considering the cost and distance from INDY for, probably, a couple of half hour sessions is not worth it.
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I am sensing that this meet will be commandeered by the stock car crowd and the open wheelers will be second class citizens.
     
  24. hlfuzzball
    Joined: Jan 27, 2005
    Posts: 215

    hlfuzzball
    Member
    from Michigan

    Thanks Dean Lowe, for posting all your Midget, and especially the Quarter Midget, photos and story.

    I think it's outstanding that you had Kurtis: Full Midget No.4,Quarter Midget #1,and Continuation Midget No.1 in your family.

    That's a claim that NOBODY else can come close to making!

    We all know it takes valuable time to make posts such as yours, and we really appreciate seeing all these neat things. (Keep 'em coming)

    Regards,

    Tom
     
  25. Thanks for the kind words Tom. If things would have worked out a bit different, dad would have had KK midget number 1. When he came to California to stay in 41, he brought his first home made midget along. He looked up Frank Kurtis to see about having a better looking tail made. Frank told him he should wait because midget racing was about to go on hold 'till after the war, and he had an idea for a tube frame midget that he though might work. They stayed in touch, having lunch regularly, and B'sing about the new midget. Early in 45, Frank told dad he was anxious to start the new car, but any kind of metal was off limits to anyone not making stuff for the war effort. Dad was working in a machine shop that had some good government contracts. He had the buyer order some chromoly tube, and 2 sheets of half hard aluminum, and they got it! When he took the material to Frank, he was shocked. He couldn't believe dad came up wioth the material to build the midget. Frank went to work, and soon had midget number 1 ready for an engine and a rear end. Dad's old midget had a Model A rear end, and he wanted to use a quick change in the new car. "Squeaky" Casale was working on his new quick change, but hadn't gotten production going. Frank was hot to get KK #1 out there to test it, and hopefully take orders for more, so dad actually let the first three go to other customers. When #4 was out of the jig, he said screw it, and put the old Model A rear in it so he could go racing. He discovered that a mismatched Auburn ring and pinon would work in the A banjo, and yield a 5:37 ratio. They just changed rear tire diameter for different size tracks. So, if dad would have made that decision a few weeks sooner, he would have had KK midget #1. He didn't really need another midget when Arlen started on his 10 continuation cars, but he said I missed Frank's first midget, but at least I'll have the first one his son built. Dad getting the material for Frank's first tube framed midget cemented a friendship that lasted almost 40 years.
     
  26. hot rod surplus
    Joined: Jan 10, 2008
    Posts: 44

    hot rod surplus
    Member

    hey mac miller

    i talked to the guy who is putting it on today and and they have quite a good mix so far they have about 150 cars out of those there is about 70 to 80 that are open wheel . i thought the same thing you did and the whole goal of this show is yes stock cars but how they got there and the indy car thing is pretty strong so dan told me . any how just thought i would ask should be a some what off a decent meet . he told me there have ing a good size swap meet to . so we will see hope to see you there tim
     
  27. Stude-sled
    Joined: Sep 24, 2006
    Posts: 678

    Stude-sled
    Member

  28. While looking through dad's scrap books, I stumbled on the snapshot of Joe Gemsa warming up his D-O Cragar at Corona in 1946. I love this pic because it is so like Joe. It's hard to tell, but Joe has a cigarette hanging from his mouth, no gloves, and sun glasses instead of goggles. Obviously form the flying mud, Joe is gettin' it on. The car is very cool too, wire wheels and all. Joe lived around the corner from our shop over 50 years. A more laid back individual you'll never meet. RIP Joe.
     

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  29. These pics are from a set my mom bought at Gilmore just before the war.No tube framed KK midgets here!
     

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  30. Hey Dean that 1/4 midg is cool as hell. What's the story about Wichita??>>>>.
     

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