Diggin’ Out Some Old Stuff!
July 17, 2012
Not that its ever slow around here but every once and awhile its fun to look through some of the older stuff to re-remind ourselves of what we’ve managed to find. It also makes our job easier when we get some new shots of vehicles we already have done research on to save us a little research time but I’ll get to tat in a minute.
With Bonneville just around the corner and us being at the salt for a couple of weeks that means prepping in advance some photos of the day. Most of this past week was spent prepping shots that you haven’t seen for that task. Once you get on a roll it seems you can’t stop so there are over a month’s shots that will be loaded within the next few days.
The cool thing about storing all our shots and continuously getting new info is that is that we end up having more details on specific cars so we get to update our captions when prepping some the older shots for the photo of the day. It’s also a good time to fix any info we got wrong the first time around.
This week we’ll show you some of those older shots. Lets start with a great shot that Gene Burkland scanned when he was going through some of his health problems (BFC_001). It shows the family’s famous Datsun B-210 the first time it came to the salt. The Class D Comp Coupe and Sedan had a little 182″ Chevy tucked under the hood. They brought to do some test laps and that they did. At the end of the week the car had coasted down the track at 94.936 mph. More would be heard and seen of the car in the future. The great thing is that the build, arrival and sequence of events that took place at Bonneville that week were all captured on film an we have to thank Betty for sharing them with us.
Another great set of shots came to us from Bruce Hand (BHC_155). An underhood shot of the Novi engine that powered Dempsey Wilson’s no. 47 Kurtis at Indy in ’60. He was to slow to qualify. Chief Mechanic Jean Marcenac crouches by the right front wheel. This and another Novi powered car were entered by the Novi Racing Corp., Inc and the second car with Paul Russo behind the wheel was also to slow. The next year a new owner would try his luck with the cars. He was Andy Granatelli. We have found that when the shot was taken the Novi’s home shop was in Burbank, CA where Marcenac and his team worked out of Lou Branch’s machine shop on the corner of Empire Avenue and Hollywood way (the building’s still there). A cool side story goes like this. The engine was on Branch’s dyno and just wouldn’t make any HP. That night when Jean was at home the crew came in and changed out the valve springs that had miraculously never been changed since the first assembly. The next morning when Marcenac came in and they fired up the dyno again the engine somehow managed to produce about 70 more horsepower that it did the day before. Needless Jean was quite confused about the whole thing while the crew had a hard time from breaking out laughing.
Dusting off some more cool old shots we ran across this one of of Vic Edelbrock Senior standing next to his Deuce way back in 1940 (EDE_066). A check reveals that he ran Arco heads at the May 19th meet and his fastest speed that day was 119.44 mph. The rest of the year the programs listed his engine as the Edelbrock V8 so we don’t know what go fast parts he was using. In June he turned 118.26 mph to finish second in class behind Clint Seccombe in his Cad V-16 powered roadster. In August he ran 117.34 mph, in October 118..75 mph and in November 119.52 mph to finish the year off in third place in points. One day with luck and some more old pictures from that year we might be able to tell you who’s car is in front of Vic’s.
A few years back Roger Morrison lent us his swap-meet found scrapbook of unidentified lakes shots from before the war. Recently he lent the same scrapbook to the boys at the Rodders Journal and you will find some of the shots in it in the Journal’s new hardcover book. RMO_029 shows you a really cool shot that reveals goings on at Muroc that you won’t find any place but here. We don’t know who owns the winged wonder but we’ve found quite a few others like this that show our gow job boys were into aviation as well.
We’ve mentioned in the past that we’re more than backlogged on contributions to the Foundation so that’s a perfect excuse to scan a few more of them now for you to see. DCC_463 shows you Carlsbad Oilers member M. J. Collins Deuce he ran back in 1948. The Fire Wagon StroKer was channeled and had the doors welded shut and filled in. A 221″ ’41 Merc replaced the original 21 studder. The only hop up to the motor it received was a Kenny Harman cam. In June he ran 102.04 mph. In July he ran 101.35 mph. He was also entered in the August, September and October meets but they don’t list any results outside the top 20 in that class. The hardest part with these old shots is nailing down what meet they were taken at. We’ll keep trying.
This last weekend the S.C.T.A. had another meet at El Mirage. I got to take care of impound this meet as Dan Warner who usually is in charge was off with his wife having a good time. Hence I didn’t have much time to take any pictures. One car that said you have to get me was Ed Van Scoy and his wife’s Vette that showed to do a couple of test runs to check out the new intake system (JMC_3781). Note their new friend and Corvette endurance racing buddy gracing the intake’s cover. Cool. Didn’t get a chance to ask if the experiment worked so we’ll have to wait for Bonneville to see.
A few weeks back I was talking to the un-official “Mayor of El Mirage”, George Callaway. The former Burbank resident has been a lakes runner for years (Season Champion in ‘05) and a certified car nut forever. Like most of us he has many past lives and one of them was photographing race events. Anyhow our weeks back conversation included him offering some of his old shots to us. Never one to turn down car stuff I paid a visit to his casa after the meet for some bench racing and to pick up his old stuff.
Guess that’s a good segway into one of “The Mayor’s” shots (GCC_001). Long before he became the voice at Indy and on the Speed Channel Sam Posey actually raced cars and he was fast and aggressive. George captured our man Posey at the Fourth Stardust Grand Prix in Las Vegas, Nevada way back on November 11, 1968. He was driving his own Lola T160 chassis number 2 powered by a Chevrolet and entered by Autodynamics Corp. Sam started the race in fifth place after qualifying at 1:31.470 and finished in fifth one lap behind winner Denny Hulme in a McLaren. Posey was originally slated to drive the Caldwell D7 but switched to the Lola. (Side note: Caldwell built Formula V’s and lived near Posey In Connecticut. Posey invested money and they created some fast cars like the D7.)
A quick look through George’s pix revealed a few more Gems in the guise of a bunch of negs shot by Lester Nehamkin. So lets go to Bonneville in ‘62 to see what Lester captured for us. Listed in that years Program we find a John W. Edmunds entry. His car was a radically chopped Stude Coupe that was powered by a monster 455″ Chrysler and was after the SanChez-Callahan-Lacosta record of 230.587 mph set in 1962. At the end of the week John’s car was now known as the Edmunds-Cagle-Alpenfels entry and went home with a new Class A Comp Coupe record of 232.784 mph with Mr. Edmunds doing the shoeing. (Another side note: Nehamkin was a prolific shooter and quite famous. When he passed away his wife dumped all his worked in el trashcano so to find some of his negs is like finding gold. There’s no way to thank George enough for saving them and passing them on to the Foundation.
Jim’s Hot Rodding News
- May 13, 2013
Some lost to history, some found
- May 6, 2013
The more we know, the less we know
- April 29, 2013
This week we get everything and the Kitchen Sink
- April 22, 2013
Just more old stuff and cars
- April 15, 2013
I guess once you are a car nut you are always a car nut