Old Negs And Prints And A Little Shooting…
June 4, 2012
Last week we gave you a sneak-peer at one of the cool Duane Carter Estate negs that we got from Randy Chenowth that went by the number RCC_011. It was an unknown until we just happened to find another picture of the car in Tom Motter’s history book on the Oakland Speedway that gave up some details on the car. Seems Duane drove the in the 100 mile race at Oakland on March 28, 1937 and it was called the Western Welders Special. Now all we have to do is get some race results to see where he finished in the race.
A few weeks back David Erazo had brought by some things for us to scan. For the most part we had finished up everything so I called him to let him know his goodies were ready to pick up. As happens all the time when someone pick up their stuff they have invariably found more goodies to lay on us and that’s what happened with David. I did a quick look-see and found an interesting one right up our alley. Better yet when I pulled it out of his binder it was one of those rare shots that had a caption on the back. We present for our first shot this week DEZ_035. The back read- Dick Tobins ’29 on ’32 Highboy. Chris Craft Boat windshield. Riley 4-port engine. We don’t know the location but the 9G painted on the side is a big clue. Doing research earlier in old copies of Drag News it was discovered that a lot of the early drag strips used their own class ID’s. All we have to do now is match up some airport drag strip with the G class symbol and we will hopefully discover where the shot was taken. Our only hint as to a date is that their is a ’53-’54 Merc in the background.
During the week I bopped up the coast to visit old friend Terry Baldwin and show him some of the booty that is awaiting scanning on our end. It’s also nice to get a different perspective on the rides in the shots and even get some of the obscure ones ID’d. One of our shots was taken at Herman Giles repair shop in the mid ‘40’s and showed a big car being attended to. It was confirmed that the car in the shot was former S.C.T.A. Board Member Mel Leighton’s car. It’s nice to have smart friends.
It turned out that Terry had a couple of old photo envelopes sitting around with negs in them. Two of them had dates from ‘51 written on them and the others had nothing. Being mystery solvers I got to bring them back with me to try and discover the shots locations. He also had a shot he received many moons ago from another friend named Duane Steele who for years owned and operated Automotive Obsolete down in Santa Ana. The shop’s specialty was vintage Chevrolets. Duane just happened to be at El Mirage back on May 7, 1950 to capture Dean Batchelor flipping the So-Cal Streamliner. Up until now the picture has appeared hundreds of time in multiple publications and the photographer has never been given credit for taking the shot. Let the record read Duane Steele took the Batchelor flip shot (TBC_001).
As I mentioned earlier two of the photo envelopes were dated so we grabbed one, cleaned a neg and scanned it. To start with we had a date of 4-2-51 and also a 4-1-51 Pomona. It took a bit of searching before we discovered that there was a race held on the Pomona Fairground’s horse track and that the car in the center of our newly scanned shot was Gordon Reid’s number 7 Kurtis-Kraft (TBC_002). Now all we need to find are some race results so we can figure out who was in the number 36 car and in the rest of the unscanned shots.
The above shot was kind of an easy challenge with a date and all so it was grab another envelope without any info attached for a real challenge. Our next scan is TBC_003 that shows a Stock Car and a top heavy babe that distracted us for a moment. Once back to reality the thinking cap went on and we remembered that Bill France had brought his circus to town (L.A.) in the early fifties to a track called Carrell Speedway. To make our job a little easier we figured out the year of the Hudson Hornet with the trophy on the hood, it was a ‘52 model. There were a couple of races that year at the track so we thought we were real warm on solving the mystery. Only problem was there were no number 39 car matches. That left us to check out the May 30, 1954 race and we hit the jackpot. Welcome to the trophy presentations after the 500 lap, 250 mile NASCAR Grand National race held at the track. We see Danny Letner, son of Bert Letner of Elco fame, getting up close and friendly with the trophy girl after finishing in third place in the Joe Bearscheck entered Hornet. Danny completed 490 of the laps, lead 105 of them and went home with $600 and maybe a phone number.
Meanwhile back at the Randy Chenowth scans, our next shot (RCC_021) from a negative exposed on May 6, 1934 shows two roadsters roaring around the Oakland Speedway in a AAA Sanctioned 250 mile Championship Stock Car Race. On the left sporting a number 21 that’s hard to read is Riverside, California boy Rex Mays in his ’34 Ford Roadster sans fenders. Right behind him is Danny DePaolo, Peter’s brother, in another Ford V8. He’s sporting a blurred number 2. Mays lasted until the 186th lap when his right front spindle broke. Danny came home a brilliant third. Now we have to figure out another half dozen blurred numbers on blurred cars before we can share them with you.
18 hours ago I took a little ride out to Irwindale Speedway and took in the The 39th Annual Antique Nationals Drag Race and Car Show. It was a gas. There were cars everywhere and lots of friends to tell lies to, I mean bench race with. If you like old iron you’ll like the nationals. Here are a couple of shots to look at. JMC_3698 shows a sinister looking ‘39 Willys coupe in black up against a beautiful ‘40 Ford Standard. Behind them waiting to run is one of Henry’s Model T’s.
All sorts of interesting old and new cars are coming out of the woodwork like this ‘48 1/2 Crosley Station Wagon that is anything but with the driver way in the rear (JMC_3696). It was caught early in the day waiting to be inspected.
Last up is JMC_3694 that shows the extremes in car construction that shows up at the Nationals. This super sano Deuce belongs to Tom Leonardo and would be right at home in the Rodders Journal.
Jim’s Hot Rodding News
- May 20, 2013
The Termites were nice to us
- 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