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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. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 775

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    I think "Old Bill" has the best knowledge about this era, and I'm happy to agree with him - I don't think there was a third or even fourth HOW Sprint Car. About the 1952 McDowell Champ Car being cut down for the 1953 HOW Sprinter, that's an often repeated story, so there must be a kernel of truth, but generally I see two different cars. Maybe they used a few leftovers from the McDowell wreck, but it can't have been much. The McDowell wasn't damaged beyond help from the pictures I've seen, but it was said to have handled very badly, so perhaps they cut up the frame to use the tubes for the frame of the Sprinter - not the same as "cutting down", the way I see it.

    This car debuted in June of 1953 as an unpainted and unnumbered car for Jerry Hoyt, and soon became the HOW #55. Eddie Sachs drove it as #18 in '54, then Bobby Grim, Tony B. and Sachs again as #2 in '55. Elmer George took over in August of that year, and apart from a short stint by Don Branson in early '57 ran the car until the "Tony's" was built, and the further history as per "Old Bill". I think Bob de Bisschop did this car over in the winter of '55/6, but it was always the same old car.
     
  2. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 775

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Elmer didn't need no subterfuge to run IMCA in '59, he was a "proper" outlaw then! :D He used his own name, and the "HOW Special" to finish 19th in IMCA points that year. And yes, he won an AARC race at Dayton Speedway, July 12, Nelson Stacy was second.
     
  3. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    Thanks for the well wishes on Amelia Island!

    ------------------------------

    CarlS Yes!! We got an E-mail with that for sale a couple weeks back. It's a beautiful piece!! I hope we get the project too!

    -------------------------------

    Michael Ferner- Your Dosier on the Loco-Mobile was INCREDIBLE to say the leats. The Car Owner LOVED it!! Amazing amount of Information in such a great, easy to follow order! THANK YOU!!

    ---------------------------------

    Okay.. LOOKING FOR RESEARCH PICTURES again from you guys. We've talked about the #59 Andy Granatelli MILLER/FORD before here numerous times. The car has sat untouched awaiting restoration for years.. Well, The time is HERE!
    As stated before, we WILL NOT be re-painting the original areas, nor will we be refinishing ANY original finishes on components.. We are just going to get the entire car in Running, racing order.

    What I'm looking for is ANY and ALL pictures you guys might have that have NOT been widely circulated.

    BE carefull, and pay attention to detail- There were multiple Granatelli MILLER/FORDS and multiple paint schemes..

    The YEAR we are looking for is 1948. The car Qualified for the race, spun once without hitting anything.. Then was spun a Second time during practace and smacked the outside wall with the Right side of the car.

    THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.. You guys never sease to amaze me!

    J Shaw

    Here are pics of the car in it's current state. (Last week pre-dissasemble, and today)
     

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

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    EVEN if you think your pistures HAVE been circulated, post them again.. Ya never know! ;)

    Thanks!

    J Shaw
     
  5. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    Well after spending many hours doing research from my books and the internet I found out the history of the first 3 race cars that Mari had. The first one was with the partnership of Roger Walcott KK chassis 367 that he purchased from Frank Kurtis to replace the one that Johnny McDowell had his accident in. When he teamed up with Mari to go into partnership building her first race car. That chassis was going to be rebuilt into a Indy Champ Car but Tony Hulman told Mari she would never bring a car to the speedway so they built a sprint car from the chassis and parts from the KK 350 this was the HOW #55. Can be seen and documented from the book “Indy Racing Cars of Frank Kurtis” written by Gorden White on pg 68. It ran as the Hulman-Wilcott H-O-W SPL. The second car she purchased was a Midget in 1954 and ran it with out much luck and sold it in 1957. The third car was the Springfield Indy Champ car #16 that was purchased from Bessie Lee in June of 1955 chassis 349 with Offy #132. This car was raced from Oct 16 1955 until Nov 19 1961 it is documented on the following site.http://www.ultimateracinghistory.com/racelist2.php?uniqid=4893
    There is a picture of all three of these cars in the book “United States Auto Club 50 Years of Speed and Glory” written by Buzz Rose on pg 4 bottom right hand corner. The caption states that Bob DeBisschop had built these cars, I think what he ment to say was that Bob had made changes to make them look alike from the paint to the nose and grills. Bob was Maris chief mechanic on these cars. I feel that after the 1961 season the champ car was worn out and not competitive and was replaced with the 1962 Mesdowski D8/Offy and the 1962 Lesvsky5/Offy. As for the old Springfield car it was sold to someone or Leonard Surdam on the west coast. Leonard shortened it into the #41 sprint car and replaced the worn out Offy with a new Chevy motor and ran it until 1968 when Hank Henery had his accident in the car. This car was documented by the CRA Assoc. "#41 Leonard Surdam Chevy Surdam Spl Ex HOW Spl CH TR Car shortened in early 60's was #16 Paoli Springfield Welding Spl. in 1953 "500" & took P.2."
    As for the story that was told by Carl Adams regarding the car being cut up and buried in the desert I feel that Leonard did not want anyone to know where the car was and did not want to be bothered by people wanting to see or buy it. Leonard knew how much history was in the car and still had the original Offy motor. As has been said here with pictures the car resurfaced in 1990 and was restored to the 1953 colors and #16. I hope this helps some people out there as I have been to other sites where they did not put this together. As for the rest of the race cars I am going to try and do more research which some of you have already done.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  6. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,043

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Don Branson in the HOW 21 circa 1957:
     

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  7. 32STUPRES
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 363

    32STUPRES
    Member

    Hey Josh, congrats on your/Zakira's success at Amelia Island...both awards were well deserved...Akin and I are going to the Hot Rod Homecoming in Pomona next week and will have his 32 roadster and '40 coupe on display..See you at Indy or Bowling Green and possibly Milwaukee....Joe
     
  8. 15ASedan
    Joined: Mar 16, 2010
    Posts: 198

    15ASedan
    Member

    From the 2007 Monterey Historic
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,043

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Different car, apparently this is one of 2 :confused: restored champ cars that was originally the Springfield Welding car once owned by Bessie Paoli. Don't ask me to explain because......well.... I can't!:D
     

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  10. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 932

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    Thanks for the information, Michael. I hadn't thought about Elmer going "outlaw" for years. And it took all of the posts about the HOW cars to jog my memory about my friend's story. BTW, I actually got to speak with Elmer as a teenager in Terre Haute on a couple of occasions. The first time was by accident when I happened to sit next to him at lunch in a restaurant and he happened to overhear me talking to a friend about racing. I was in the same place a couple of weeks later and that time he called me over and we talked some more. I mostly just listened to him but now I can think of a lot of things that I should have asked him. Thanks again. :)
     
  11. 15ASedan
    Joined: Mar 16, 2010
    Posts: 198

    15ASedan
    Member

    My scribbled notes say this car was run in 1956 and your post that I tagged on to indicates 1957. Thanks
     
  12. LittleFauss
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 272

    LittleFauss

    ...'Rootie, 15ASedan quoted you in the last post as saying, "Don't ask me to explain because......well....I can't!" And, that's the best attitude to have and I'm glad you're not losing anymore sleep! It's impossible to keep up with all of the cars that the big-money teams went through over the years and where they ultimately ended up. And Mari Hulman George was no exception.

    Some arguements ensue regardless of what documented history or info is provided. And the Springfield Welding car from 1953 and all of the H.O.W. Specials that followed, are no exception.

    If anyone would like more "fuel for the fire" regarding the Springfield Welding car, here is a clip from Tim Kennedy's, 1968 CRA Sprint Car Yearbook in reference to Leonard Surdham's sprint car that Hank Henry lost his life in at Ascot Park in April of 1968. This is the car that after the fatality, Carl Adams, who was working for Hank Henry, supposedly cut up the chassis and buried it out in the California desert.
     

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  13. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 775

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Well, when the Springfield Welding resto appeared on the market a few years ago, I thought of it as a replica, because the HOW car was then already up and around. But I haven't seen much about that one's more recent history (i.e. between 1968 and, say 2000), so I really don't know. Both claim the same history, ergo one of them must be "less than original"...
     
  14. Michael Ferner
    Joined: Nov 12, 2009
    Posts: 775

    Michael Ferner
    Member

    Josh, many thanks for that!! It was a real pleasure working with you guys on that one, I sincerely hope we can do that again. :D Your work is remarkable, so it needs something useful to go along with it. ;)
     
  15. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    Rootie you always amaze me, you can find more information that really puts a damper on this car. Just when I thought I found all there was to this champ car this pops up. My feeling is that the restored Red and White Springfield Welding Smith Spl. Would be the real car as the Pebble Beach Crowd usually scrutinize the car very well before presenting it to the public as such. Which I would think this would also include checking for the proper numbers on both the frame and engine. I wish someone who knows the owner of this car would answer this question. This would solve the mystery here.
     
  16. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,043

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    ...
     

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

    sideways27
    Member

    Yea Rootie,

    Thoes are the first 3 cars. I think that is Bob DeBisschop in the Midget, Mari in the Sprinter and George in the Champ. This picture was taken in 1956 after Bob made changes to both the Sprinter and Champ cars.
     
  18. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    I just found this information on this website. This sounds like the real deal but still not sure. Must have the right numbers.
    http://www.smithspecial.com/
     
  19. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,043

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Actually, George is in the midget. Let's see, a midget a sprint car and a champ car- a 4 stall race shop- a attractive, rich wife who's dad happens to own IMS.......I mean, just how lucky can one man get????:D
     
  20. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659

    BZNEIL
    Member

    In the end not so lucky I guess!
     
  21. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,043

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Elmer in the champ car, copping a feel, it would seem.:eek:;)
     

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  22. check pg 148, in american dirt track racer/scalzo.
    real cheesecake pic.
     
  23. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    Rootie, That picture is amazing!
     
  24. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member


    That's the RESTORATION shop today outside of turn 2 in the Southeast corner of the Speedway!! I've been there many a times. Wow! That's cool. :eek::eek::eek:
     
  25. racer5c
    Joined: Nov 30, 2002
    Posts: 2,218

    racer5c
    Member

    and that pic is outside what is now the speedway museums restoration shop
     
  26. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,043

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Though it could be said that sucess at 'gun fightin' is more a matter of skill than luck. :rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  27. gcrparts
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 37

    gcrparts
    Member
    from ohio

    Anyone recognize the car? or Know anything on this Ol' Girl[​IMG][/IMG]
     
  28. gcrparts
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 37

    gcrparts
    Member
    from ohio

  29. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 478

    oldtom69
    Member
    from grandin nd

    looks like a Trostle from the cage and bumpers.Any numbers or tags?Bob keeps pretty good records of the cars he built.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  30. oldtom69
    Joined: Dec 6, 2009
    Posts: 478

    oldtom69
    Member
    from grandin nd

    if the dash tag isnt there with a ser.#,check the cross tube at the bottom of the motor plate-usually had the number stamped there also[probably 3 digit]
     

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