The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Joshua Shaw, Jan 17, 2008.
Elmer George, Sacramento 1960.
Hey Gang, In case you didn't know Warren Sentivany passed away and his celebration of life will be this Friday September 16 starting at 4:00 pm at Holmes Funeral Home 400 Main St. Manchester CT.
Harold Shaw in Honore's #2 at Franklin In. circa 1940.
The H.B.T. Special was actually an Al Dean entry as already mentioned. "H.B.T." stood for Howard B. Turrentine who was Al Dean's attorney. Turrentine went way back with Dean to the days when he had started out with a National Van Lines moving agency in San Diego.
The car itself was built by Lujie but I'm confused by what appears to clearly be a Agajanian front bumper. And if the car was sold during May just who bought it? I haven't been able to figure that out yet either but I'm asking around.
BTW, while Cheesbourg may have lost his ride early that May the fact that he was able to pass his Rookie Test was still a big plus for him. In those days just having the test behind you opened up a lot of potential rides when you came back to try again.
And Cheesbourg has to have had some of the most diverse rides ever during his years at Indianapolis. He drove upright dirt cars, roadsters, rear engine cars, the Novi, both the Zink and Demler turbines, and the twin engine Porsche.
Bill "They always call on me to drive the weird stuff" Cheesbourg.
As to who bought the HBT, it may well have been Art Koopman already. The car ran CRA several years - I'm away from my records right now, but I'm sure it was at the Riverside 500 in '58, for instance.
The Art Koopman entry, in the 58 Riverside 500 appears to have been a Hemi powered Kuzma, possibly a ex-Aggie car.
Perusing the CRA Race Roster presumably from 1958...
...pleasing how many old engines were still participating with the new wave of OHV engines of the day.
9 Offy's, one presumably a supercharged midget engine, 3 Arduns, 3 Rangers, 3 GMC plus a Wayne Chevy, and one each Maserati, Hal, Miller, Sowers and a Hudson.
Loved those varietal days.
While awaiting separation the USAF on Memorial Day 1960, I got to see Danny Jones win the second half of a split 200-mile CRA champ car race at Vacaville.
You are right, I was wrong. But three months later, at Ferndale, the car was described as an Offy, and again 1959 Apr
1 at Ascot.
Koopman's car was called a Lesovsky in some races in 1961.
Our history is a little spotty!
28Dreyer: That supercharged "midget" Offie was Actually a 'one-of' motor that Leo Goosen designed as an "Indy" car motor. Floyd Glidewell(who was somehow related to the Offenhauser family, which was how he got the motor), had a driver named Ray Horst(now deceased) who knew the car well. He said the reason they never went to Indianapolis was due to politics & not the car. He related to me that it was a 5-main block with the supercharger driven off one of the camshafts(it projected partially into the cockpit). The motor was only 90.5 cu.in. & developed over 600hp(at somewhere near 10,000rpm??) on the Offenhauser dyno. The motor was eventually sold to Art Shanoian to be used(minus blower) as a midget motor. After that it seems to have disappeared.
The Stahl 36, Davis 24 and unknown 18 in the infield Dayton 1968.
A note from Dave Sweeney regarding #5 and the May 58 Riverside race. "
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 ;Gary Potter ;
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."
About what year were the KK3000's built? It looks like one of the Gil Pierson front wheel drives could be in the back ground of one photo?
I believe 1950 was the first year for the 3000 series.
We see Frank scratching his head in the last photo. Cool!
rootie, more, more of the kk3000 porn.
Rootie, what year were these cars built / run? Thanx, Gary
NNNNIIIICCCCEEE!!!! Did you post these on your build thread, too? First seen for me. Just wonderful. Gary
From about 1950 to 53 with the IFS then some were converted to straight axle and ran a couple more years. Pretty much obsolete by 1955.
Thanx... they sure were pretty cars. Gary
How about some KK4000 bones.
I find it interesting that Kurtis appears to be using fiberglass body components that early in time. I wouldn't have thought fiberglass would have achieved that level of acceptance for another ten or fifteen years.
Ditto that Speedwrench you would have thought that all of his cars had hand hammered alum bodys
FIBERGLASS!! I don't think Kurtis ever used fiberglass on his race cars but certainly not in the early 50s.
Look close and you can see the tool marks from working the metal.
If you are referring to the last photo, look a little closer. You can see what appears to be a weld bead around the front face of the tank and the two small patches (front above the radius and on the side above the mount bracket) also appear to be welded. The actual tail section of the body would also have been aluminum and would cover the tank and the frame section that is exposed in the photo. All the body panels in the rest of the photos are definitely aluminum.
Don't know much about this little gem but what I do know, is that Studebaker powered sprint cars are pretty few and far between.
There were a small number of supercharged Offy "midget" engines developed by several different people. Might they have also been based on this 5 main bearing crankcase?
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