The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
Looks like Bugatti blue, maybe a works car as they used a lot of camber too ?
would anybody on here know any history of this car or the two guys that owned and raced it.
Ed Jensen and Ed Fagan
they were from the Chicago area and the car was worked on by Jara's auto rebuilders in chicago
I have gotten the car running again and would like to take it to car shows but would like to have some history to share about the car and drivers. by the way I do have the rest of the lower body panels and axles for those of you who pay attention to the details.
Rootie, looks like the number is 88. Engine a straight eight???
In 1948, Manny Ayulo's rookie year, he was a DNQ in a car carrying the #88. Like Jim Nise, I believe the number to be 88. Ayulo later drove a #88 in '53 and '54 if my memory serves me correctly. I'll check my records to see if I can link this car to Ayulo.
Doesn't look like this is the car Ayulo tried to qualify in 1948. Records indicate a Mercury powered car owned by Connie Weidell. So back to the drawing board!
Rootie Could this possibly be the car that Joel thorne entered for the 1951 race as the Thorne Engineering Adams chassis with a Sparks engine.
That's definitely Thorne in the cockpit.
As for the car it looks to me like a Mercedes-Benz W154 Grand Prix car. Clyde Adams (who built Thorne's earlier Indianapolis cars) likely re-bodied the car and changed it to accept the Sparks 6 engine. Here's a photo of a W154 for comparison; especially pay attention to the front suspension and brake covers.
If true, there must be an interesting story as to how Thorne got his hands on this particular Grand Prix car. Could it possibly be the old Don Lee Mercedes?
I think you guys got it with the Thorne connection. Still haven't found another picture of it but I did come across this and it pretty much confirms it. Thanks!
Pat O'Conner Indy 1956.
Please help educate me. Why would lots of positive camber be good for handling? On a turn It seems like it would unload the outer tire and transfer more of the load to the inner tire, but with subsequently increased outer tire wear, no? The only other thing it could possibly help is to get the kingpin axis to intersect the contact patch. Dunno.
FYI the reworked F1 front axle I'm using also has significant camber.
Amazing stuff guys.
Here's the thinking at the time:
Quote from The Grand Prix Car: Volume Two (1954): "Positive camber is preferred because it allows for a smaller contact patch on straights, and therefore less rolling resistance. Under braking and through corners, the weight transfer allows for more tyre on the track and more grip."
Straightaway top speed was considered most important in those days because basically no one's car really cornered all that well. And remember that there was a ton of suspension travel in those days so the outside tire picked up camber as it was loaded so that more tire tread area came into contact with the road in the turns. Considering tire construction and the rock hard compounds being used there must have been merit to the idea. That was the standard road racing suspension design for almost 50 years.
I think it was mainly Euro/road race thinking. At least it seems Frank Kurtis didn't subscribe to the theory.
Walt Ader in the Olson Spl. 1947.
Bobby Unser in the Colvin/Shepard K-E-Y spl.
Still the best sprint / champ car thread on the net.....
Page 423 of the "Miller Dynasty" suggests that is exactly what occurred. There is also a Wiki mention of it here, for whatever it is worth.
Thank you for providing the link. Here's some interesting info from Wiki:
"The ex-Don Lee W154 made one final appearance at Indianapolis in 1957. The car was now owned by Edward Shreve, and had a Jaguar straight-six engine fitted. Danny Kladis drove the car, but failed to qualify for the race."
James Edward Shreve was the man from the Safety Auto Glass company in Indianapolis that later had the Jones & Maley Kurtis roadster put up on the roof of his building where it sat for decades. I had no idea that he also owned the old Don Lee Mercedes as well. The car would have been almost 20 years old in 1957.
Len Sutton had a tough rookie experience at Indy 56.
I see Herb (horsepower) Porter on the left rear in picture number 2.
Who is the driver watching Len pull the stripes?
That's Jack Turner on the right. The fellow in the checkered shirt, standing to Suttons left is Wally Meskowski, the head wrench on Turner's Travelon car that year. Both Sutton and Turner came out of the PNW so I suspect they were friends, explaining their involvement in the tape pulling.
My grandpa Bill Steely at Jungle Park Speedway 1947
Bill Steely at Jungle Park Speedway 1947
Thanks for the great photos, please keep em coming.
Now that's a sprint car!!
Here's a shot of Turner after passing his rookie test, same year, along with Wally. I don't know who the fellow is who's shaking his hand but I've seen him a lot of post rookie test pics, often with a clipboard, so I assume he was probably in charge of the rookie tests.
That is Paul Johnson who was a long time AAA/USAC official. He was involved in Rookie Tests well into the 1970s IIRC. As you say he shows up in a lot of "Rookie Stripe" peeling photos.
Many of the earlier cars had just half a tread and were smooth on the left side. Do you know what they thought that would do for handling or tire life?
It was for monitoring the tire wear. As the tread part wore down it would indicated it was time to pit for new tires.
Is the #3 Shepard/Colvin sprinter the former Platoleen 500 that Roger McCluskey drove?
I am going by the injection stacks.
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