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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. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    If you look closely at the hood the engine is offset to the left just the way it would have been as an indy car so the driveline is under the driver's left elbow. It may not have been as good in right turns but it was obviously effective on road courses anyway.

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

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    The Griffith connection seems likely. And assuming it is in fact the Bardahl car you can see the Buick has been moved to the center. With the Offy in it, the torque tube would have run just to the left of the seat. I'm just not seeing how the driver could sit that low and still clear the drive shaft with the Buick in it. rir 3.JPG rir 4.jpg
     
  3. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384

    29AVEE8
    Member

    Eagerly awaiting more on this. Good job Carl.
     
  4. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  5. sideways27
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 285

    sideways27
    Member

    Rootie, It could have had an off set 1to1 box in it that would have allowed the drive shaft to be moved to the left of the driver. By the way Hi hope you are doing well.
     
  6. slobitz
    Joined: Feb 1, 2008
    Posts: 245

    slobitz
    Member
    from drums, pa

    Folks. I am having trouble getting on this site. I could not find any new posts here for over a month. Ben Cook told me he posted on here Sunday so I checked and found my last post from over a month ago. Iwas able to see all the posts since then even thou some were formated that I could not read them. I will try this again every day to see if it works again.
     
  7. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

    Just in from Dave Sweeney:
    "The 5 Car pictured was a KK500B built in 1954 for Ed Walsh .The driver was Scotty Cain.
    The early information I have was told to me by Frank Kurtis when he took me under his wing, for what reason I never fully understood.
    The roadster had 4 laps of practice at the Speedway before it was badly damaged by getting into the wall. Don’t know who was driving. It was sent back to Glendale where Ronny Ward undertook to convert it into a road race sports car. The frame was stretched 4” and was perfectly repaired. Somewhere along the line an unknown Jim Williams bought the car but was unwilling to replace the proper running gear, substituting stock hubs, steering gear, Ford rear end etc. He would not go along with Ward’s plan to restore the body or fuel tank so they parted ways with the car half done. Williams made a deal with Hal Grist, a CRA driver, and he brought the car to me. I installed a Buick 322 and the then-new 4 speed Corvette gearbox fresh out of the crate. I was 20 years old. Gary Potter <
    coachcraft2@msn.com>;Gary Potter <coachcraft2@msn.com>;
    Frank found bits and pieces in his shop and would come over to my garage behind my apartment in Van Nuys and show me what to do. Rip Eriksen built a neat tilt bed trailer since I was working alone. By 1956 I had it ready to take to Paramount for shake down. Williams was scarce since he would duck me when I needed money, which was constant. He was one of the original “all hat but no cattle” guys. So I scrounged and put my own meager money into the deal.
    Hal and I ran several successful races in Cal Club/SCCA, against guys like Mickey Thompson/Fritz Voight and Eric Hauser/Max Balchowsky, until I got us thrown out of amateur sports car racing. Another story, for another time.
    Riverside had recently opened and Memorial Day weekend 1958 featured 3 back to back 500 milers- Nascar stockers, URA midgets (!) and CRA sprinters. Walt James, forever on the hunt for car count, agreed to let us run, with a couple of safety mods needed. My strategy called for a large fuel tank, and running on pump gas. The program called for a mandatory pit stop at halfway but I knew everyone else, running alky, would need a whole lot more stops than that. This created a problem since we had zero dollars. Williams was once again conspicuous by his absence. Walt talked to Scotty, who said he could come up with what we needed, so he got the ride.
    Qualifying was a week before the event and we were in the middle of the pack. He had never driven the car before he took the green, so – not that bad. We ran the 20 gallon tank while a fabricator friend of Cain’s was making the 80 gallon +/- replacement. I picked it up with time to spare – 6 PM the night before the race. I presumed it had been checked for leaks. I was wrong.
    We all had breakfast in Riverside and then the main group headed to the track while I and a helper stopped to buy a load of Chevron’s best Ethyl. We had about 5 gallons in when I noticed “the puddle” growing on the ground under the tail. When the tank was exposed we could see “weeping” at the many welds. No pouring leaks, just a growing wetness that would then condense and drip. I thought we were done for the day. But the attendant came to the rescue. He tore blue windshield towels into small patches, then applied Permatex #2 and lit them on fire. [Way away from the scene]. Blew out the fire and applied, like when one cuts themselves while shaving. All weeping stopped. This excursion took the better part of an hour so when we arrived late, Scotty was beside himself. Turns out he was not the calmest cat in the litter anyway, so this didn’t help. The field was already on the parade lap and I had just calmed him down and gotten the race face back, when who shows up unannounced? Williams. He leans in to Scotty (who he had never met) and says “Sweeney tells me we have this in the bag, so you will come in 2 laps before the end and I’ll get in to take the checker”.
    Anyone who knew Scotty can just imagine how that movie played out.
    By mid race he is leading by a lap and his time is 3+ seconds faster than qualifying. I’m giving him the E-Z pit board and he is giving me the single digit salute. Our relationship is deteriorating.
    The photo in the LA Times shows the crash at the top of the esses. Paper says he was about to go up by another lap. We were running counterclockwise for obvious safety reasons, so he came uphill and then had to turn left to go down the esses. A film shows him with all 4 wheels off the ground at the top of the rise, so he cocks the wheel to the right to try to dirt track it to miss the fence. Doesn’t work and he nails the end post just inside the end of the axle and shears it off. The track was built to run clockwise, so the fence end was not protective at all. The assembly, which includes the torsion arm and everything else heads right at him. It breaks the first 3 header pipes but number 4 holds. This deflects the tire upwards enough that while there is a perfect Firestone Supersport SS170 treadmark on the top of his hat (!), he is dazed, but unhurt. He gets out and wanders across the track and we have a great picture of Rip Eriksen in Bert Spenser’s Jimmy with eyes the size of pie plates. How he missed him, we’ll never know.
    I had already told Williams I was done after his conversation before the green. I’m told he sold the car/trailer to some fan at the track.
    A few years later I saw a picture of it running as a sports car in Virginia. Never heard about it again.
    PS – This is the first time I’ve seen this photo – have no idea how the windshield was broken…
    PSS – Race was won by Buzz Rose in Joe Gemsa’s “To Please A Lady” – Clark Gable car. Probably the best way to end this watershed race. Note it is not in the program."

    From Carl:
    See the last 7 photos and descriptions:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/91981316@N06/sets/72157633528002567/
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  8. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Looking at the photo again I still think that there is more hood opening for the carbs on the left side of the hinge than the right which would indicate at least some offset in the drive line.
    Thanks for the background info Carl.
    Rootie, Bill Akin has a Bardahl car (#15 ) which in the photos I have appears to be a dead match for the #24 in the photo (apart from the number) so that appears to confirm Carl's research and Dave Sweeney's information. Maybe someone could get in touch with Gary Potter for confirmation on the driveline offset. I find it hard to believe that they would move the motor to the car centerline and if you have ever sat in a roadster you know that there would be no room for the bellhousing for the Corvette box that Gary installed, even with the 4" chassis stretch. In the early 90's I worked on the restoration of the Sarkes Tarzian #21 and at that time I found out just how little room there is for the driver's feet in a roadster, even with the offset.

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

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    That's a great story Carl, thanks for sharing.
     
  10. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Yeah, it's probably a mistake to try to determine anything from that pic that was taken from a kinda odd, skewed angle. I suspect in a different view things would look more reasonable. The fact it was built on a budget tells me it didn't have any kind of trick offset drive line, that would have been VERY expensive back in 58.
    The no. 15 Bardahl car was originally Pat Clancys 500B car driven by Jimmy Davies in 53. It last raced in 56 in Bardahl colors when Al Herman tagged the wall during the race.
     

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  11. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 969

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    Good observation, Roo. The Akin car is the old Pat Clancy 500B so it would be identical to the Walsh 1953 Kurtis as well.
    And this may be completely off the wall but is it possible that the Buick engine in the car is actually tilted slightly to the right? That front header pipe looks abnormally long and depending on how the engine was tilted it could have moved the driveline several inches to the left. I'd like to see a photo of the car's right side to see if the exhaust pipes come out in the same relative positions as those on the left. And if the engine is slightly tilted the intake manifold could have been fabricated to level everything out. I know it probably sounds crazy but as noted there really isn't much room in a roadster for the driveline with an inline four so when a V-8 is installed something has to change. Maybe Carl can see if there is more info on the engine mounting and just how the driveshaft was run.
     
  12. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    To put it in perspective, here's a shot of the cockpit of Ray Crawfords 500B. Obviously there isn't a lot of "wiggle" room there. Makes me wonder if the cockpit isn't bumped out on the right side to fit the seat in.
     

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  13. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Rootie,
    as we know from Carl's post the car was put together (with the Buick) on a limited budget so I think that it would be unlikely that the original motor plate ( magnesium in a Kurtis ?) was replaced as it is a big chunk of metal with lots of things hung off it (pedals etc). I think that it was more likely that they modified it to suit the Buick and 4 speed bellhousing. The Buick probably did not run a dry sump so that would have opened up space (where the tank is in your cockpit photo) for the bigger bellhousing as well. Looking at the two photos it appears that the added 4" in length may have been in this area which would have helped too by moving the driver back so that his left foot did not have to fight with the bellhousing for space. As it appears that the original offset quickie was replaced with a regular rear end I would expect that the builder shortened up the left side to narrow the track for the roadster width and that would have put the pinion in the correct place. Plenty of people were narrowing rear ends for dragsters by this time so it would not have been difficult in SoCal to get that done.

    Roo
     
  14. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,386

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    Maybe the driver's left foot was left-of-center, on the opposite side of the driveshaft. no? The photo with the driver in the car has his shoulders canted to the left.
     
  15. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    Some Oakland Stadium cars from the late 40s-early50s:
     

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  16. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    I think that he is just leaning into the turn.Trying to work the clutch with your leg draped over a four speed would be near impossible. I still think that the engine was in the same location as the Offy as there is no other way that the package would work even with the extra 4" in the frame.

    Roo
     
  17. BZNEIL
    Joined: May 28, 2005
    Posts: 659

    BZNEIL
    Member

    I would love to see a pic inside that Buick car. Buick's are super wide. We tried to put one in a standard sprint car frame and it was way to wide. If the Buick was in the same spot as the offy I think it would be hanging out the left side of the car. I think the Buick was actually put in the car more towards the center to get it inside the frame. The Buick to Chevy trans adapter was not as common as the Buick to Ford. So you could go Buick to Ford then the Ford to Chevy, I have seen this done before. The Buick engine and the Buick to ford adapter could have been put in front of the motor plate with the ford to Chevy and Chevy 4 speed behind. This plus the 4" stretch would have put the end of the trans in front of the seat towards the left. The 4 speed was probably not converted to torque tube so it could of had a drive shaft with 2 u-joints angled to the off set ford rear end. A torque arm off the rear would easily take the place of the torque tube. The early Kurtis roadsters were wider than the later Watson type roadster so that would give you a little more foot room around the bell housing. The only down side to this would be the live drive shaft spinning right next to you. That is my guess, Plausible?
     
  18. hardysmodela
    Joined: Oct 16, 2012
    Posts: 57

    hardysmodela
    Member
    from colorado

    This was one of my grandfathers cars he raced back east. He raced them in the late 20s and 30s ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407978623.569514.jpg his name was Henry ziegenthaler ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407978719.268566.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407978738.384818.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407978791.368139.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1407978827.568057.jpg if you guy have any more info on my grandfather please message me.


    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
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  19. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,980

    s55mercury66
    Member
    from SW Wyoming

    I'm not getting the notifications all the time like I used to. Sometimes I will, and other times, like today, I do not. That happens with all the threads I am subscribed to, not just this one.

    This is in reply to slobitz' statement that he was not receiving notifications when the thread is updated. The reply was supposed to quote his original post, sorry for any confusion.
    Don
     
  20. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

  21. carl s
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 741

    carl s
    Member
    from Indio, CA

  22. ........you guys are priceless.........who needs CSI ...?
     
  23. ......found this....did they all have broken windscreens? :) 10527412_785083198179726_6241973061757535854_n.jpg
     
  24. Joshua Shaw
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    Joshua Shaw
    Member

    FACEBOOK and the NEW FORMAT HERE...

    Good discussion on both venues. The ease and speed of using Facebook to share Vintage Sprint car Information does trump this discussion here, however... as with EVERYTHING on Facebook, the uneducated masses pour in due to that "ease". On this site, and in this thread I consider 95% of everyone posting here a TRUSTWORTHY and EXPERIENCED EXPERT on Vintage Open Wheel racing, and since the beginning a few years ago this thread has been a very useful TOOL in the restoration world. Not only Pictures, but amazing FIRST HAND information about cars, chassis, drivers, and car owners.
    The Facebook page (like this thread) caught on quick and EXPLODED with interest and new comers.. The amount of never seen before PICTURES that have been posted is mind blowing.. However, no matter how hard Rich and the other administrators have tried, it seems that the (Technically) Uneducated "fan" creeps into that venue with "OFF TOPIC" pictures and remarks far more than here... What I mean is: I'm not calling any race fan "Dumb".. It's just that on here everyone involved with a particular discussion knows the INNER WORKINGS of a vintage Sprint car and the components.. To where on FACEBOOK, you will have a Multi Comment discussion going on about a particular car and it's driver that can lasts DAYS... but NEVER answer the original question like: "What kind of brake set up was Vogler running here."

    The best way I can explain it is:

    FACEBOOK takes place in the Grand Stands.
    The HAMB takes place in the PITS!!


    --Some of us spend time in both, some don't.


    As for the new format on here... I'm not a fan, but I know Ryan is a VERY sharp guy, and the changes were put into place to make the entire site run smoother. NOT just the Vintage Sprint Car thread. (Keep in mind, we here in the VINTAGE SPRINT CAR PICTURE THREAD family are merely "Piggy-backing" on the HAMB page.. that was designed for VINATGE HOT ROD DISCUSIONS ONLY!!

    Bottom line is this: Good or bad, HAMB or FACEBOOK, 10 short years ago there was NO WHERE online to turn too, or follow TRUE VINTAGE OPEN WHEEL RACING like you guys have provided here. Be it FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, or what ever else might come down the pike, YOU ALL WERE THE FIRST Vintage Open Wheel discussion board that really took off and grew it's own legs.
    I'm very proud and happy to have been a part of it with all of you.

    Keep posting your amazing pictures and stories! While I do not post here much anymore, I do keep up with it and thoroughly enjoy it!

    Thanks,

    Joshua Shaw
     
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  25. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 4,052

    rooman
    Member

    Good thinking Neil. I just measured one of my nailheads and it is just under 22" across the outside of the heads. As noted the Kurtis frames were wider than the Watsons and the photo of the Bardahl car seems to indicate that the motor may have been a little further inboard (looking at the cam clearance bump in the hood) but it still probably would not have been far enough to make the Buick fit. That also dovetails with the photo of the car with the Buick installed as the right bank carbs are still to that side of the hood hinge by a couple of inches.
    MacMiller's repop roadsters have exactly the driveshaft package that you describe so we know that would work if my theory on the narrowing of the rear end is off base.
    Roo
     
  26. indyrjc
    Joined: Nov 8, 2008
    Posts: 969

    indyrjc
    Member
    from Indiana

    I checked on one of those people finding sites and found that a 92 year old James A. Williams is shown in Baxter Springs, Kansas. There is also another of the same name at age 71. Of course, you have to pay extra if you want more info. You never know, but I guess it's possible one of these is the same guy from the Riverside 500 story.
     
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  27. Rootie Kazoootie
    Joined: Nov 27, 2006
    Posts: 8,134

    Rootie Kazoootie
    Member
    from Colorado

    A car that comes to mind is the Ross Page Spl. that Kurtis built in 46. Looks to be a little wider than a 500B, but not a hell of a lot. Wouldn't take much to bump out a 500B and achieve the same effect.
     

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  28. LEE GREENAWALT
    Joined: Mar 3, 2010
    Posts: 322

    LEE GREENAWALT
    Member

    check this out...
    I just got a 1967 Oswego Speedway program for the July 16th USAC sprint show...
    ticket prices for that years International Classic were only $6.00 for general admission $1.00 for kids and a reserved seat would set you back $8.00...
    lots of cool pictures...
    enjoy this piece of racing history on...

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  29. I do not use Facebook, I have never driven a race car, I have never wrenched a race car but I do consider myself TRUSTWORTHY and EXPERIENCED not in restoration but in remembering racing for the past 68 years.I got to watch Ted Horn, Rex Mays and Mauri Rose run the Indianapolis 500, 'big cars' at Winchester, Dayton, Salem and Ft.Wayne, midgets at the old original 16th street speedway and Armscamp and the roaring roadsters at Sun Valley. I have been to Knoxville, El Dora, Manzanita and the old Plant half miler in Tampa. I do not rely on this thread to learn how to rebuild a carburetor but read it to learn about racing from those of you who have the talent for restorations and rebuilds. With that intro I hope I fall into the %95
     
    Black vette 59 likes this.
  30. 29 Speedster
    Joined: Aug 2, 2011
    Posts: 157

    29 Speedster
    Member
    from Colorado

    image.jpg Attended the Colorado Vintage Racer Display last Saturday at Colorado National Speedway. There were 27 Racers; 60s-80s Sprint Cars, Offy-V60-Elto & VW Midgets, "40s to 60s Stock Cars", and 60s & 70s Super Modifieds at the Track. The best part of the evening (other than track time) is getting to talk to the men that were part of Colorado Racing from 30s to present days. Very good time with these guys, they all have interesting stories to tell, some were part of the Indy 500 scene in the 50s & 60s. image.jpg
     
    Al Consoli likes this.

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