The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
It just make a person wonder how many cars that lasted a few years did NOT kill anyone.....
Kelly Petillo and L. H. Miller? Oakland 1932.
Although it's not widely known Don Brown probably drove a Novi as fast, or faster, than anyone else.
In 1959 and 1960 Brown worked for Jean Marcenac during the period that the Novis were missing the 500 and experiencing multiple carburetion and ignition issues. Brown and a CRA buddy of his put in lots of extra hours working on the problem and did all of the fabrication to adapt a new carburetor setup.
Because of what had happened in 1959 Marcenac decided to test the car at El Mirage Dry Lake before going to Indianapolis in 1960. Everyone expected Dempsey Wilson to do the driving and I think he even showed up at the shop to see if he was needed. But Marcenac surprised everyone by telling Don that he was to be the driver at El Mirage; basically in return for all of the extra work he had done.
Many years later Don relayed the story to Mac Miller and myself and it was a real hoot. Brown said the car was really flying when he started noticing that the front end was porpoising up and down slowly as air under the car picked it up and then put it back down as the air spilled out. Just about the time he thought he should slow down the car when into a spin and veered off of the course.
Don said he ducked under the cowling and grabbed onto the torque tube and held on while it seemed like forever for the car to stop. When it finally did stop he got out and found he was all alone. Several minutes later Marcenac drives up asking about both Don and the car. It turned out neither was really hurt so Jean and the crew got the car back on the course and told Don to make another run.
Brown ended up making a couple of more passes and the engine seemed to run fine during those high speed runs so everyone went back home thinking their problems were over. But it was a different story at Indianapolis that May when Wilson had to get in and out of the throttle as the carburetion problems came back and the Novi team missed the show again.
Clay Corbett, Winchester 47.
Ted Horn, Indy 41.
I always seem to get the Thorne Engineering cars mixed up.
Is the car Horn is driving the same one that Harry McQuinn is sitting in in the earlier 1946 photo?
Michael Ferner at the moment is sound asleep in Bitburg so I think it's safe for me to interject his comment, along with those of John Glenn Printz from a few years back:
Originally posted by john glenn printz “Joel Thorne entered two cars, the Big Six for himself and a Little Six for George Robson. Although wealthy, Thorne was an irresponsible spendthrift, who was always in need of more funds. To raise some quick cash Joel had sold one of the Little Sixes to Robert Flavell. Flavell nominated Harry McQuinn as its driver. The totally irresponsible Thorne, on 21 Feb. 1946, had crashed into an automobile while riding a motorcycle in Los Angeles. Throne broke both legs and suffered a fractured wrist. The Speedway officials were dumbfounded when Thorne, still in a wheelchair, named himself as the driver of his own "Big Six". Art Sparks, Takeo Hirashima, and Eddie Offutt prepared the two Thorne Engineering Specials for the 1946 running of the "500".
From Michael Ferner
I believe, although I'm not yet sure, that the Flavell Sparks was the one Ted Horn had raced in 1941, then owned by Art Sparks and not Joe Thorne. Thorne and Sparks split in 1940, but during the war combined again until their final split in 1946.
Thanks for that interesting history of Fred Winnai. I never knew any of that information (aside from the photos and stats from the Indy 500 book by Jack Fox). I really enjoy the interesting stories and info that you guys all provide. Thanks!
Sometimes you just have to pack it in. The Sarkes Tarzian Lesovsky 1964.
It ended up with a Watson style body and was the car that Mel Kenyon crashed at Langhorne the following year, suffering severe burns in the process. Here it is in its original 1962 body configuration and color scheme after I worked on the restoration back in the early 90's.
Marshall Teague heads out to practice 1957.
Watson, Rathmann, et-al appear to be a bit flumoxed 1950.
June 2012 Auto Club Speedway - Historic Champ/Indycar Group with new owner Tom Malloy
Watson, Rathmann, et-al appear to be a bit flumoxed 1950.
View attachment 3224308
Any idea what spindles these are? They look like 32-35 ford with the built in steering arms but the arms look thicker and the zerk fittings are in a different place. It could just be the angle of the pic, but I didn't think they ran passenger car spindles on champ cars. They are not International spindles. The axle appears to be 32-36 Ford passenger car.
Looks to me like early v8 ford axle and spindles with lincoln brakes, low budget for sure.
Long before he was Chief Steward at Indy, Harlan Fengler was a pretty fair wheelman hisself.
George Lynch's Auto Shippers Spl. after he bounced it off the wall on the second lap of the 1949 500.
Any idea what spindles these are? They look like 32-35 ford with the built in steering arms but the arms look thicker and the zerk fittings are in a different place. It could just be the angle of the pic, but I didn't think they ran passenger car spindles on champ cars. They are not International spindles. The axle appears to be 32-36 Ford passenger car.[/QUOTE]
They are Ford truck spindles and need a spacer to make them work. Yes, heavy duty !
Thanks for all the reply's! I was always curious what spindles they used on the Ford axles, I knew the normal passenger car spindles were not strong enough. I heard once that Ted Horn used passenger car spindles and that is what caused his accident.
Years ago I read a quote by Jimmy Wilburn where someone had asked him what was the most dangerous thing about dirt track racing in his era. "Ford spindles", was his reply. Apparently there were a lot of accidents caused by broken spindles.
Gee, do you think Troy got all the "Good" out of that right front? 1952.
Pat Flaherty hikes the l/f on his way to winning 1956.
Kelly Petillo goes out for some practice 1940.
Anybody still on this thread?I grew up with Mike shaw,and went to a lot of races with him when He was driving TQs and midgets for Don Ladue and when He was driving Louis Centers sprint car.I recently bought an old TQ,that looks to be the # 58 that Kenny Gidney drove.Any body seen this thing?
Marshall Teague pit stop 1953.
Bayliss Levrett, Palmer Spl. 1950.
Sam Hanks, Indy 54.
Beautiful car body form.
When I think of all the time it takes to form an aluminum tail piece I cringe when I see one bashed in. Its gonna take a special long picking hammer to bump it back out. (You can tell I grew up in my dad's body shop.)
Anyone here know anything about the old Jungle Park Speedway ? It was a 1/2 mile banked dirt track located near Rockville Indiana from 1926 to 1960 and said to be the most dangerous tracks in the country.
1941, Mays in the Stevens Bowes is the meat in the Maserati sandwich with Rose on the pole and Shaw outside. Note the swoopy Chrysler dual cowl phaeton pace car.
vintage track time at indy may 25 2016
Jungle park is discussed early in this thread.
enjoy the search!
Bob Scott leads Chet Miller's Novi, Indy 52.
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