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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

    Don't know much about the wheel widths, but I suspect if you put your w/b at 86" it will be about what 90% of all sprint cars were that have rolled onto a race track. I don't know the specifics but I believe 50s-60s IMCA rules were much more "run whatcha brung" as ex-Indy roadsters often ran with the sprint cars.
     

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  2. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,194

    Jim Nise
    Member

  3. guffey
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 881

    guffey

  4. larrypfitz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2009
    Posts: 43

    larrypfitz
    Member

    The 11X car in Rootie's photo (May 1964, Winchester?) is the former Watson/Hopkins/Rathmann "Simoniz Spl." Following five years on the Championship Trail, it ran IMCA for one year, retaining its full 96" wheelbase.
     
  5. ..now a friend of mine on our Turbosports site,pointed out the GMP kit on the bay,and suggested I get it to try out colour combinations before painting the 1:1......now he really has caught the sprint car bug,and every time he finds something ''sprint'' he thinks of me.He just sent me these from a collection of programs he has just found.I love the Kurtis......and the painting is cool..any info on these two ?
     

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  6. unassembled
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 103

    unassembled
    Member
    from San Diego

    Thanks chrys58! Ojai is hop skip and a jump from me so I'll give them a call.
     
  7. unassembled
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 103

    unassembled
    Member
    from San Diego

    Paul, Thanks for the info. Greatly appreciated!
     
  8. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    The red and white champ car is the SAC (Stratigic Air Command) turbine powered "Fireboid." A ex-Indy car that the Air Force used to promote recruiting. Never raced as such, just display and exhibition laps.
     

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  9. Rootie I knew I could rely on you.....its a pity it never raced.....its a really nice looking car...
     
  10. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I may have worded that wrong. It actually did race when it was Offy powered. Jim Rathman finished 2nd at Indy in 52. Firestone then bought it to use for tire testing and in 55 they loaned/donated it to Air Force general Curtis LeMay to use with the turbine.
     

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  11. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,194

    Jim Nise
    Member

    Black Vette 59, the painting captures Jimmy Byran winning, driving the Dean Van Lines Kuzma. He would take the checkered flag with both arms in the air. Represents either 1957 or 1955 when he had number 1. He won many of the mile dirt races! I do not know who painted it.
     
  12. Speedwrench
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,030

    Speedwrench
    Member

    The painting looks very Ron Burton-ish.
     
  13. trentesept
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 120

    trentesept
    Member
    from Australia

    Thanks Bill and Rootie.
    Am I correct in assuming that there were no classes with wheelbase between the Sprint of 90" and the Indy of 100" then??
    Or would Champ, or Silver crown cars sometimes be in the middle of the two for asphalt??
    Scalzo has early Chevvy engined cars running as high as 356 or 357 Cu IN in his book
    "The American Dirt Track Racer" which sort of idicates "run what ya brung" ,and given that, were wheelbases a "fashion " sort of thing to be changed between tracks and surfaces??
    I just dont want this thing to be too short so it will step out on me!!
    Cheers Greg
     
  14. wilburshawfan
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 27

    wilburshawfan
    Member
    from Indiana

    Isn't strange that the KK3300 Jim Rathman finished second with at the Speedway in '52 and later was the STC turbine car. Was owned by The Granatelli Bros. who brought the turbines to Indianapolis in 1967 and 1968.
     
  15. jjones752
    Joined: Apr 3, 2008
    Posts: 205

    jjones752
    Member
    from Indy

    100" was likely the maximum W.B. for the Champ Division, there was probably a minimum as well; current Silver Crown rules state that "The wheelbase must be at least 96 inches", with no maximum. Sprint car specs are "at least 83 inches and no more than 90 inches", so there's a six-inch "No-man's Land".

    Displacement limits varied depending on sanction, or lack thereof, with USAC generally the most restrictive. For many years the CRA had no displacement limit, so you'd see all manner of engines; Ranger aircraft engines were common in the early days. Ol' Bub ran a Big Block Chevy in the Kazarian Gas-Chem car for a while, and there were a few attempts at supercharging SBC's, with little success.
    World of Outlaws was unlimited cubes at first, too, and may have been one of the first Assn's to set the limit at 410, although I don't remember the exact year...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  16. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Yes you're correct the Indy/dirt champ and later silver crown have always been 96"min. As far as USAC (and CRA etc.) goes the sprint cars have always been in the 84min. 90max. range I believe. Not entirely sure of 50s-60s IMCA though. My experience is that asphalt cars like a little more wb, closer to the 90" max. and dirt cars closer to the min. with 86" fairly standard.
     
  17. ..thanks for the info guys.....(learning all the time)...
     
  18. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 972

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    I think you are correct about IMCA being more open.

    Here's the USAC rules as of 1969:

    Championship Cars:

    Wheelbase 96" minimum
    Tread 47" minimum
    Wheels: Rim diameter 15" minimum/Rear 14" max rim width; front 10" max width
    Weight: 1,350 lbs. minimum dry

    Sprint Cars:

    Wheelbase 84" minimum
    Tread 47" minimum
    Wheels: Rim diameter 15" minimum/ 9.5" max rim width both front and rear
    Weight: No minimum weight requirement

    Midgets:

    Wheelbase 66" minimum and not more than 76"
    No Tread requirement listed
    Wheels: Rim diameter must be either 12" or 13"/ 8" max rim width both front and rear
    Weight: No minimum weight requirement
     
  19. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 972

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    It's hard to tell from the photo. Part of the photo looks like glass but another part of it seems folded up and reflective the way that aluminum would be. If it was fiberglass it makes you wonder why they didn't just repair it at the track. Instead they reportedly removed the tail and just painted and numbered the fuel tank and ran the race that way. And notice in the first photo that Christiansen has built his rear bumper from (at least) three separate pieces of tubing. I've never seen that before on a roadster.

    Notice that the photo showing the tail damage was taken with the car on a wrecker dolly with tow truck still up front. This photo was taken after a First Day of Time Trials morning crash and the car has been towed back to the Mobil building in the Garage Area to have the fuel pumped out of the tank. This was a safety procedure which was mandatory after any contact at IMS.

    Also, in the photo there are two #16's on the left rear of the tail. I guarantee that the roundel toward the rear was added to make USAC happy. They were always coming around, even in Practice, and telling you to move a number around or paint a different background around it so that their scorers, on the inside of the track, could see it better on race day. And in this case the forward #16 is pretty much blocked by the exhaust and left rear tire.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  20. guffey
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 881

    guffey

  21. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 972

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    It's not clear whether or not this car had air jacks or not. I guess we'll have to find some race day photos of the car in the pits. But it does have what looks like a jacking tube on the left rear in at least one of the photos. Like Rootie, I wondered if the hole on the right cowling could be for an air jack connection. The only thing was that usually an air connection was on the left side of the car so that a hose didn't have to be drug around on a pitstop. And roadsters generally had three separate jacks (two in the rear near the motor plate and one in the middle near the front axle) that lifted the entire car.

    The thing that kind of shoots down the hole being used for an air jack connection is that when the photo is enlarged whatever is in the hole appears to be hexagonal. I don't know of any quick connect air fittings that are hexagonal; not today's slide collars or any of the earlier twist connectors.

    Because the location of the hole is also pretty close to where the throttle rod (on the backside of the motor plate) that connects to the injector linkage is I'm starting to think it might be for an external throttle. Since it is hexagonal all you would have to do would be reach through the hole with a standard socket, probably welded to a short handle and the chief mechanic would warm up his engine without having to either open up the hood or sit in the cockpit and work the throttle. That doesn't sound like much but an Offy wouldn't really get any heat on methanol at idle so you had to keep the throttle moving on warmup. Hilborn injection worked great at full throttle but there were always dead lean spots in between so the standard procedure in those days was to warm the engine by keeping the throttle moving up and down without stopping in any one spot for too long. With the external connection a mechanic could do this by hand with the hood closed.

    I know it's kind of an educated guess at this point but until I can find a photo of the car during a pitstop on race day I'm leaning toward an external throttle connection for Christiansen instead of the hole being for an air jack system. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  22. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    I'm curious, is this the Ruiz/Travelon spring front car you have?
     
  23. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Yes, that could very well be, I really have no idea, just guessing. But I was actually thinking a mechanical jack but using over centering/ eccentric type of leverage kinda like they used front/rear. Years ago I use to use a overcenter type jack/ lift that would nest under the lower frame tubes to lift the sides up. But, of course, with a belly pan that wouldn't be possible hence the "reciever" (think VW beetle)
     
  24. guffey
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 881

    guffey

    guffeystuff 004 (2).jpg

    guffeystuff 006.jpg

    guffeystuff 012 (2).jpg
    I thought I would add these. Not the best photos but shows some of those things
     
  25. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 972

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    The third photo shows the air jack hose being connected to the small hole on the LEFT SIDE of the cowling. After seeing that photo the idea of an external throttle connection for warmup going into the hole of the right side makes more sense to me. :)
     
  26. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    Member Emeritus
    from Caro,MI


    I grew up in Elmira and raced the local dirt tracks in the 60s. The only guys that I know of from Elmira area that had supermodifieds were Norm Evenden and Ernie June. Norm is still around but Ernie died but his son Bobbie is still around. I knew most of racers from the area (Bodines, Osgoods etc) but I never heard of Jim Leonard. Norm and Bobbie live in Big Flats NY just outside Elmira. I'm sure they would know.
     
  27. guffey
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 881

    guffey

    I don't think Leonard had the car for long, I suspect he bought it from Edgar Stone in Boston or maybe Joe Barzda (California Speed and Sport in New Jersey) and I think he was pals with Bryan Osgood ??
    From the looks of things the nose for the car probably was hanging on a nail in that area, mavbe the Halibrands were stacked in a corner?
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  28. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    Member Emeritus
    from Caro,MI

    As you probably know Bryan has passed away but his brother Vern (who had a sprint car that Harry Benjamin drove) may still still be around. You might ask somebody at:
    Bobby Osgood Auto Sales

    3161 Lake Rd, Horseheads, New York 14845. 888-791-9061
     
  29. guffey
    Joined: Mar 23, 2008
    Posts: 881

    guffey

    Thanks I will see what I can find out. The tail, tank and probably the cowl ended up being replaced by Bruce Kraft in Rochchester about 72 or so ??
     
  30. Jim Nise
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,194

    Jim Nise
    Member

    Indyrjc, all the starters from 1960 on had onboard air jacks.
     

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