The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
What is that rope he's holding? A tow rope maybe? Sure as hell hope is isn't to steer with!
He's getting ready to be pull started. That was the standard way of starting big cars until well into the 1950s. There was usually a pickup or tow truck doing the pulling. the rope was wrapped with one loop around the front axle with the driver holding the other end. Once the engine started the driver let go of the rope and it just fell off of the axle. There was someone in the back of the tow vehicle that pulled in the loose tow line on the way back around the track to get ready to start the next car. This method of pull starting was even used at Indianapolis during the roadster era when someone spun out or stalled and wanted a restart.
I gotta see the Sprint car since paint!
Thanks indyrjc for the scoop. I've seen them tow the modern Indy cars that way, too, but around a rear roll bar and the rope was twisted over the driver's head. I can only imagine some of the problems that came up from "tow starting" a car. Although, I've seen my share of "push start" problems as well. How many times have you seen a car on a greasy track turn sideways and the push truck climb his rear wheel and maybe even tear up the tank? Seems to be more racecar vs. safety vehicle stuff going on these days, too. Not only in stock cars, but remember when Sammy Swindell slammed that push truck on the front stretch? I think it was in PA somewhere. The down tubes there saved him. I'll bet there's a bunch of situations that have happened at The Little 500. I know back in the '60's it was nuts out there. Push trucks were going right around the apron during the race, guys pitting in an open area with no wall between them and the track, push trucks also running fast through the figure 8 infield - crazy.
Great stuff Carl!!
btw: I recently purchased a digital copy of the 1940 Thompson Speedway Scrapbook from Yale Univ. here's a link to it-
You can maximize photos and download what you wish.[/QUOTE]
Didn't they also sell infield tickets back then? I seem to remember reading that in Open Wheel...
That I'm not sure of, but can't imagine where there was room. I wouldn't doubt it though, based on the decision making back then by Sun Valley Speedway: like the high school kids sitting in turn #4 used as the official scorers. No matter what, it's always been one hell of a race. Everybody involved had balls of steel - everybody - even mom.
While on the subject of the Little 500, here's a shot of Clair Lawicki in Hoy Stevens' old 37. The 37 won 3 times, 1957, with Johnny White, and 1959 and 1960 with Ronnie Duman. Is that a rail frame holding a Jimmy?
I agree, Easter. Hardly any room at all. I worked the infield for Rex Robbins a couple of times, handling yellow, black, and red flags on the backstretch. The first time, he told me to be careful on the radio, and I said I had my spot picked out. They were gonna have to go through a stack of mounted tires, a porta-jon, and a wrecker to get to me.
Once Rex called "yellow" and I stepped out on the track with my flag. Here comes Frank Riddle with everything from the cowl on back in a ball of fire. I hastily stepped back in the infield until he passed. Frank pulled it in and was OK. After it was all over, Rex jokingly asked me why I didn't put the yellow out for Frank, and I told him I figured he already knew about it.
Was that #6 in the background driven by Jay Woodside?
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Easter, that pic is from 1966, if that helps any.
Any Identifying info to go with this photo?
I wonder about that photo being 1966.
When I was a kid we scored from a booth all along the back straight-away at the top of the stands.
Pretty sure this is from the Monadnock speedway in Winchester NH- the photo was shot by Bob Bonin
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Thanks again for your contributions.
I'm pretty certain that was the date on it when I found it. I'll go check. Wish I could have been a scorer there.
Here's the link; http://jimmiesoldtimeracing.mywowbb.com/forum3/484-9.html
Well I tought I would try this one more time, I want to get in contact with some of the Kurtis Roadster owners and need some help. I am offering the origional Frank Kurtis Sign that was on the outside of the Kurtis Shop in Glendale that Frank built himself. This was the shop where the Indy Roadsters and Kurtis Sports / Racing cars were built. Arlen took it down in the mid 80's and kept it. Now it will be offered for sale to the right person. This is a real piece of racing history. I have posted a picture of the sign but you have to be signed in to see it.
I made a push-off board for my replica champ car's push truck. Now I am trying to decide if it needs to be distressed to look "used". I was thinking of taking a length of logging chain and wailing on it for a few minutes so it looks like it has been used to start cars. (My car is self starting so the board is decorative, not functional.)
Whaddya think? Leave it or beat it up?
More photos from the Northeast 1940s
Bill Corrette's Racing Photos Courtesy Jeff and Jen
Thanks for posting this link Carl. I couldn't stop looking at the quality of those midgets. Some of them appeared brand new, but the attention to detail was amazing. I remember Dad saying a few times: "That's the best car out here." I'd say: "But, it doesn't win." He'd come back with: "It's not all about winning. Being able to drive a car of that quality, that's safe, competitive, spotless clean, beautiful - people are still looking at you even if you aren't up front. There's a real satisfaction in driving a car built and maintained with that much pride."
Man, times have changed. All flat panels with a midget tail stuck on the back. Everything covered with so many colors, graphics, numbers, sponsors, lettering of every kind - you can't even see the car loan enough the driver. And, if you don't win, somebody gets fired, sponsors leave, fans don't follow, and then you don't race. Is it still fun?
I have to agree, Easter. The drivers are pretty well hidden, although they are driving a safer, faster car than yesteryear, and I don't like the look of a car that is covered with what amounts to a huge sponsor decal. I've attached a pic of JD Leas in the Long Bros car, way back in 1970 for contrast.
Guys...Just wanted to show all you a couple picture of my Dad in the 77 Slim Gutnecht car. This was at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and this crash almost cost him his life. It took him some time to recover from this one. I am also posting a picture of the car racing at Knoxville Iowa in 1964 before the crash. It is a posting of the after and before 77 car. They use to call this car Bullwinkle because of the screen on the front nose area sticking out.
I am putting in a picture of the 23 Car he is driving at Knoxville Iowa and he is running next to Earl Wagner in Slim's car that Bob Trostle build for Slim. Ths last picture is around 1965 I think and this is the Logan Light car with Logan and his Dad. My Dad drove for Logan and that is him standing in the back. I have alot more pictures to post since I figured it out...Hope some of you remember Dad and his racing years.
The Lou Moore built Wynns/ D-A spl. of 53-54. Never did much but it was good looking car. Potsy Goacher knocked the l/f off trying to make the 500 in 54 and was a dnq. In the second pic it appears to have sway bar on the rear which I can't say I've seen before in that era.
Some years back, the reminents of it, came up for sale in Denver, but I have no idea what became of it.
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