The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
I'm new to this but information on Bruce Johnston who was killed at Muroc can be found in Tex Smith's "Hot Rod History Book One" by Tom Medley. Chapter 6 is an interview with Bruce and it deals mostly about his dry lakes racing but he does talk about his running a midget and also "big cars". He mentions Dempsy Wilson and Mac Hellings driving for him and talks about running a blown Offy midget engine in a sprint car.
I used to go to lunch regularly with Bruce 35 to 40 years ago and at that time he owned the Bud Rose car (pictured in post 22477) and a couple of 220 Offys and misc. Miller parts
I remember that he talked to Myron Stevens about building one last race car to sell as a collector car and Myron told him that he had already built his last race car.
Bruce also talked about working with Sandy Belond on a race car but I don't remember which one. He also talked about running Pikes Peak.
I hope this helps answer some questions about Bruce Johnston.
Thank you, TDBV, for the additional and personal information. It is much appreciated.
And your note that Bruce owned a couple of 220 Offenhausers makes me wonder if his stretched sprinter/Champ car used the same 220 engine that it had been running all along. It wouldn't be the first time that had happened.
I'll just have to keep looking for even more background on this car as well as Johnston himself.
Mother don't let your sons grow up to be racers.
Steve Waugh, Larry Pfitzenmaier, Ray Alcaraz and Don Robertson - Havasu Fairgrounds 11-5-2011
This is kinda interesting, Louis Tomei 1946. Wonder if he had a spotter on top the grandstand too?
Rootie Was this the experiment for the 2-way radio?????
I really don't know any details. But Raytheon was a military aircraft supplier during WW2 so I assume they were using some kind of surplus aircraft equipment. And it appears this wasn't even the first attempt at using a radio in a race car. Back in 36 it seems Deacon Litz had some kind of radio in his car but I know nothing about it either.
Chet Gardner and the Sampson team used radio communication in 1933. Before you ask, I don't know if that was a first.
you have to wonder about the vibration and heat issues with the track all brick.
That's what I was wondering - '30s would have been vacuum tubes and rheostats - no transistors or diodes.
They barely worked on our stationary TV.
At some point they installed a radio in J.P.s Belond car in 1954. Looks to have been a pretty hefty, elaborate piece though. Must have ditched it for the race as he was back wearing the Cromwell type helmet then.
Michael, it's been many years since I read this but somewhere I found an article stating that Ray Harroun had experimented with an early Marconi radio in a race car. This was reportedly when he was managing the Maxwell team at Indianapolis in 1914.
Neat photos, Rootie!
The track looks like Winchester but I sure don't recognize either the car or the driver.
It looks like the rear end was independently sprung too. Note the half-shafts behind the shock levers. I wonder if all those suspension pieces came off a production-based car?
I love to study the details of these old builds.
I believe the driver is Eddie Ostwick but I don't know anything about the car. Euro influenced I would say. That setup was used on some road racers over there and I think Duntov's Indy Talbot had a similar deal, not to mention the original production Fiat 500s.
Wylie Coyote's ACME BOMB CO. Spl.
I'm having an old age moment and need some help.
Who was the driver who had his foot cut off when he dumped the roadster he was driving at IRP in a USAC champ car road race.
The car got up on the guard rail which cut through the belly pan and let his foot hang out of the bottom of the car.
Been following this thread for a while.Just want to thank all the contributers for the history and photos.
Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
Rootie's right on Norm Hall. It happened at the southeast corner of the property, outside of Turn 6. They were using the road course running counter-clockwise because of the number of roadsters still running at the time. Norm eventually lost his life to cancer. I understand his widow, Marie, still has a boutique in the Speedway area, and also stocks some racing-themed products, including diecasts. Really nice lady.
Thank you Rootie and indybigjohn.
This getting old is not all that it was cracked up to be.
I worked for Norm on some underfunded Indy efforts that he was managing in the late 1980s and got to know him pretty well at one point. He was a very bright guy whose love for racing never seemed to diminish. He came from a family that seemed to be into all kinds of interesting things so his upbringing was pretty wild. His father was Bert Hall who flew with the Lafayette Escadrille in WWI and was pretty much the black sheep of the outfit. Norm's family was later involved in Hollywood work and I'm pretty sure that he worked on the Mickey Rooney "Big Wheel" movie. Norm was also one of the original investors/partners (I'm not sure which) in a Los Angeles company called Jet Delivery which I believe is still around. Again, I'm not sure but I had the feeling that he sold whatever his share was to go racing.
He also shared an apartment in the old Georgetown Apartments (now part of the IMS property) with A.J. Foyt for a couple of seasons in the early 1960s so he had some great Foyt stories. Right after Foyt won the 500 for the first time he had to run the Championship car race at Langhorne (which he won) so he let Norm take his Bowes sprint car to the USAC race at Salem, IN which ran on the same day. It was by far the best sprint car that Hall ever drove and he brought it home in 4th.
Miller-Ford at INDY, I think they all had those gas tanks. Bob
Kind of a fun pic. Perry Grim, Eddie Haddad and Bob Pankrantz. I suspect the little guy is probably Wally.
Rootie, I'm not denying your caption because you're nearly always correct. But at first glance the man on the far right looks like Swede Lindskog; at least to me.
I think you're right, they all drove for Balch at one time or another. Haddad and Pankratz are easy to identify but I kinda took a guess on Grimm.
Those gas tanks were pretty much standard equipment during the years of fuel limitations (1933 to '36). The Miller suspension was not!
Yes, it's Lindskog, and the little guy is, indeed, Wally, taking his first test ride...
Separate names with a comma.