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

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Not many of them around I suspect. I believe Roger Ward had one in his midget when he was road racing it and Halibrand used them in his Shrikes and I recall that B. Unser jr. may have had one in his hillclimb car. Never seen the guts of one but I'm guessing they had 2 sets of spur gears of different ratios and a way to engage them through syncros or a slider of some kind or another. :confused:
     
  2. trentesept
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 120

    trentesept
    Member
    from Australia

    Here are a couple of shots of my Halibrand two speed unit.
    It is dog engagement change more like a Hewland than the synchro style on the CAE gears shown.
    I was lucky enough to get a full set of ratios from Tom Brawner out of the Brawner Hawk so it has every speed from about 80 mph up to close to 180 mph.
    These units are truly a tour de force of the pattern makers and foundryman's art and are an absolute pleasure just to look at.
    It is fitted to my '67 Curtis
    Does anyone else agree that the CAE in the shot looks like it is clad in late '60s Gerhardt body panels and down force duck tail?
    44 degrees Centigrade down here today so enjoy the cool wherever you guys are!!
    Cheers Greg
     

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  3. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 968

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    Yes, it would. And somewhere along the line I heard a story that there might have been a second one built but I doubt anyone knows for sure at this point in time.
     
  4. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Yes sir, that's some real race car porn there!
     
  5. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 529

    oldtom69
    Member
    from grandin nd

    CAE catalogs also show a rear cover that moved the lower QC gear in and out to use with rear engine direct drive sprinter.this was long before the modern "shifter" rear with a two piece lower shaft
    trentesept-whats the history on your 67 Curtis?was this the one that was for sale in northern Minnesota for a few years?whats the indy history?
     
  6. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Anybody have pics or a link?
     
  7. vintageracer37
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 103

    vintageracer37
    Member

    This is my latest project. It is a 1975 Stapp that is supposed to have been a "house" car used by Pancho Carter. I haven't been able to verify this, but that is the story the former owner gave me. I can verify that it was owned by Russ Polak in 1976 and driven (as a back-up) by Larry Dickson. Jim McElreath (Sr.) drove it once at the Indy Fairgrounds. Steve Cannon used the car with USAC in 1977. I got the frame,the glass body parts and front end. The rest I fabricated. Here is what I have so far. I'm planning to debut the car at Belleville,KS July 27, 28 during the vintage event our club (Colorado Vintage Oval Racers) is doing this summer.

    That's the plan anyway :)
     

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  8. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659

    BZNEIL
    Member

    WOW, that is my all time favorite Sprint car, a 75' spring front Stapp. I have always wanted one of those, but yet to find one. Any pics of the chassis without the panels?
     
  9. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    vintageracer, was that car equipped with a DOHC Ford/Foyt? I think there are some pics denracer posted of it on Jimmies Old Time Racing on the Larry Dickson page. I might be confusing it with a Champ car that Larry drove for Russ Polak.
     
  10. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,175

    Jim Nise
    Member

    Vintageracer, looks like the yellow Dobbins Chevrolet #6 in the Don Smith collection.
     
  11. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    I hope this is not old history and some of you may already know the history but some of you may be interested in the first Gapco history. While doing research regarding Jack and Howard Gardner I purchased a book Roaring Roadsters to Indy by Dick Wallen. While reading thru the book I came across a story about one of Jack’s roadsters. As the story go’s Jacks dad purchased a Kurtis Kraft midget from Frank “Satan” Brewer after Frank put it thru the wall at Orange Show Stadium in 1949. The car just set in the corner of their garage until one day Jack said lets make it a Roadster. The midget was streached to 88” and made into a Roadster with a Flathead Merc installed. Jack raced this car until 1956 also he took off the roadster body and replaced it with a sprint car body (This was the future of the CRA going from Roadsters to Sprint Cars) In 1956 he sold the car to Red Amick who took it back east and replaced the motor with a Hemi and raced it for a while before selling the car to Rufus Gray. Rufus Gray replaced the big Hemi with a Chevy and the car became known as the Gapco sprinter with Johnny Ruthford and Mario Anddretti doing the driving.
    I hope this is info you may be interested in as I know when I showed Arlen Kurtis he was surprised how well the car held up with all those years of racing.
     
  12. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    That is interesting, I knew of Gardners T roadster but had no idea it eventually became the Gapco car. Thanks!
     

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  13. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659

    BZNEIL
    Member

    I love those headers!
     
  14. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    You can get them for $6.98 down at Pep Boys. :D
     
  15. vintageracer37
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 103

    vintageracer37
    Member

    Mine too! Actually, my all time favorite sprint car is the 1968 USAC championship Stapp #27 that Dickson drove. To me the ultimate sprint car: The "grunt" of the V-8 without a cage. Those guys had b***s! I plan on posting pics as I go, so if the future I will post a pic of the bare frame.
    That was probably the Champ car. Polak also had an Indy car. Dickson won the USAC sprint championship in 1975 in the Ernie Ensign Leffler (Meskowski) car. In 1976, Polak (who owned this Stapp car with Dave Gable as driver) partnered up with Ensign and Dickson so that Dickson could run Indy (as well as the sprint and champ cars). They used the Stapp car as a back-up to the Leffler car.
    I spoke with the gentleman that owned my car when Steve Cannon ran it in USAC, and he swears that my car is the #6 car. I'm pretty sure it isn't since I have seen the pictures of the Don Smith car, and I have heard that Steve Stapp says he still owns the car. The guy I bought the car from says that Carter used this car in 1975, but I haven't been able to verify that. At any rate, I am going to paint it up as a Pancho Carter "tribute" car and leave it at that :)
     
  16. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,175

    Jim Nise
    Member

  17. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    [​IMG]
    Rootie, Yes that is the car with the Roadster Body in 1954. Won a lot of races and looked great.
    Here is a picture out of the book Roaring Roadsters to Indy by Dick Wallen. Another story I was told by Jack himself last year at Perris Race Track. Jack came up to me as I had my sprinter on display with old pictures on the table of its history and he asked who is that in this picture. I said it was Wayne Weiler and Ronnie Duman. Jack told me that Wayne was Ronnie Gardner grandfather on his wifes side of the family. Wow that is a lot of history in one family going back to the 20's and 30's up until today.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  18. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    That race track I belive is the old Agora Park race track aka Paramount Ranch 1953 to 1955. It was a dirt 2 mile road course that ran roadsters and sprinters.
     
  19. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I was thinking it might have been Bonelli, but I think you're right.
     
  20. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    It dawned on me that you 're refering to the car Truchan has. While it may have been built by Wally/Leffler it doesn't appear to bear much resemblence to Wallys original Indy roadsters. In the first pic you can see one of his bare Indy frames in the background. Also his roadsters really were'nt much more than a slightly wider dirt car with a offset/angled engine.
     

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  21. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    That 21, is one beautiful super. He can park that in my shop anytime.
     
  22. RABs32
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 807

    RABs32
    Member
    from new jersey

    Vintageracer, Are you on Facebook.If You are, I started a group called Vintage Sprint cars from the Beginnings to the 80's, Steve Stapp's son Andy and his daughter Susannah are members. If you are a Facebooker you might try messaging Andy and You can check with them. Andy helped verify that the sprint that I have is a 74 Stapp and gave Me the history on it as to what it left the shop with and what stuff was changed. When Andy called Me the friday night before Christmas to tell Me about what he found out from His Dad, I was listening to Steve in the background giving Him the play by play about it. And according to what I heard I have the last single tube cross spring that Steve built, Steve was building the space frame 4 bar cars only during this time period but the original owner of My car talked Him into building this one. Steve had to rummage and dig out the fixtures and plans to build it........................................Rich
     
  23. trentesept
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 120

    trentesept
    Member
    from Australia

    I am sure I have posted this before but as we are knocking on the door of 1000 pages ,I cant remember where!
    The Curtis was built in '67 by Frank Curtis of Hewlett NY
    Its drivers were :
    Wilbur "Bay" Darnell
    Al Loquasto
    and Dee Jones.
    Entered for Indy '67 and '69 both DNQ.
    '67 I dont know why ,but '69 crashed the week before and couldnt be repaired.
    Does anyone have a copy of the speeds in May of '67&'69?
    No great mover and shaker on the Champ car trail, but it survived Super Modified and is on its way back to '69 spec with a 318 Chev and a two speed.
    Total racing miles (from all Champ Car Stats) including DNFs :570 miles
    Highest place 9th
    Always #37 I got it via Blackie Suede from Rich Hadley ,Lansing ,Michigan
    I believe he got it from a guy named Rolf Ottum if that helps.
    It looks like a Brabham type copy but has all Gerhardt hardware.
    Its a tough old thing, I have pictures of three crashes it was in ,and apart from a repair where a suspension pick up pulled out ,the frame is as straight as a die.
    The final problem, fitting a starter in the Halibrand trans without compromising the small diameter casing has been solved , so hopefully back on the track this year after 44 idle years!!
    Cheers Greg
     

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  24. vintageracer37
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 103

    vintageracer37
    Member

    Some pictures of my Stapp car back in the day. The first two are Steve Cannon at Salem and Terre Haute (1977). The next is Larry Dickson when the car was owned by Russ Polak. The other is the Leffler Polak "team" car to the Stapp car (1976). Sorry for the poor quality. I took these with my digital since my scanner shot craps :(

    Rabs: I'll check you out on FB
     

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  25. vintageracer37
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 103

    vintageracer37
    Member

    Rich,

    I didn't know Stapp built single tube cars. Do you have any pictures? (your's or others). I have the plans for the single tube Edmunds midget and some components (body, rear, steering, hubs etc.) I plan to build one...............Someday:)
     
  26. RABs32
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 807

    RABs32
    Member
    from new jersey

    Vintage,Here's a few shots of of mine. There's one shot from Susannah of Steve and His son Andy, checking out the shots of My car..............Rich
     

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  27. vintageracer37
    Joined: Sep 22, 2008
    Posts: 103

    vintageracer37
    Member

    Very cool Rich! I have always thought the Stapp cars were the best looking of the bunch. I had no idea he built single tube cars, and I just wonder; in all these years of looking at them, how many were single tube cars!

    You learn something new every day!

    Sean
     
  28. Sedan Man
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 7

    Sedan Man
    Member

    This will be a good event to attend this Summer.
     
  29. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659

    BZNEIL
    Member

    Damn I can't stop looking at all these Stapp pics. I might have to clone one of these. I really like the single tube version. Any body have a Stapp chassis just laying around?
     
  30. RABs32
    Joined: Nov 14, 2009
    Posts: 807

    RABs32
    Member
    from new jersey

    Sean, It was pretty cool listening to Steve describe what was on the car when it left His shop and the changes they made to it by the time I got it. He described it like it left His shop last week, Items like the front axle and spring, changes they made to the frame, like the sissy bars they added in '78, He was glad I cut them out. He got a kick out of some items like the right side steering box mount, and the bolt holder on the right side birdcage. I could go on about what We talked about the car during the 1 1/2 hour ride home in a snow storm that normally takes me 15 to 20 minutes but it eased the anger of dealing with the idiot's I was dealing with during the trip..............Rich
     

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