Early in the week, we continued to plow through old 35 mm slide saying to ourselves don’t get bored yet when there are hundreds more waiting behind the one you’ve just scanned.
More than that the rumpus-selection gets a little sore so that’s a good excuse to go out and find some more goodies so you can once again be seated to do them. A nice vicious circle, huh. A ten-minute ride to our favorite used bookstore solved the problem of more new old stuff to present to you. After BSing for a while, it was time too to do wonders never cease to happen. The last couple of weeks we’ve been talking about the Pacer’s altered, so what do I find in a two-foot stack of random magazines than Volume 8, number 10 of Cars magazine published in October 1965. On the cover, we just happen to find the “Tasmanian Devil” owned by Pacers Auto in Oceanside, New York that we’ve been talking about (JMC_4437). The AA Altered that was run by Charlie Dodge and George Snizek just happened to be sponsored by the Magazine, hence the cover shot. Power plants were a 392″ and 460″ Chryslers. We also discovered that the car was originally featured in the February ’65 issue of CARS and was voted Best Appearing Car at the Ceci County NHRA event. It was also quick with an 8:81 ET.
Now, all we have to do is find info on the hundred or so other cars we shot in New Hampshire.
In the same stack of magazines, another one said buy me too. It was Volume 65, Number 4 of Floyd Clymer’s Auto Topics from April 1965 (JMC_4438). On the cover is Paula Murphy who drove Walt Arfons’ Jet Dragster “Avenger” at Bonneville during USAC time trials held on November 12, 1964. Having never been in the car she did a first lap at 236 mph flat. On her return run, she ran a more conservative lap at 217.50 mph for an average of 226.37 mph for the mile. She also set a two-way record for the kilo during the same runs at 227.38 mph. Her fastest speed was recorded at 243.44 mph that made her the world’s fastest woman driver. Andy Granatelli’s STP/Studebaker tie-up made this ride possible for her. The great thing about all the obscure articles is it helps us fill in so much forgotten history.
The good stuff didn’t end there. While paging through a publication dated March 5, 1936, we made another find great find on old-time go-fast speed equipment (JMC_4404). This ad is for the then-new McCulloch Supercharger for Ford Flathead V8’s. Imagine with this simple bolt-on you could take your old 75 hp boat anchor and turn it into a 124 hp monster, all for a mere $84.50. Affording it was an altogether different matter if you were pumping gas for 25 cents an hour.
We know the above stuff is cool but let’s get to one of 20 new pictures we got along with the above magazines.
Our guess is most of you like other forms of sports that don’t include wheels or motors. So how about if we mix a little ball and stick with a little Alcohol (in the cars). This photo was taken at Seal Stadium in San Francisco in late 1945 (JMC_4440). Promoters Art Driefer and Damon Miller brought a bunch of dirt into the stadium and covered part of the playing field. Then they had it paved over and voila, a 1/5 mile race track. Step right up for you a beer, a dog and some peanuts. From November 3rd to December 9th there were a total of 11 races held on the track. Our driver Mel Hansen is seen in the car Clyde Adams built for Harry Stephens back in 1941 and forgot to paint. Mel’s Offy powered ride won four of the races held there before the track was taken out due to lack of spectators. He went on to become the West Coast Blue Circuit Season Champion and pocketed $7,542.50 in purse money that year. On March 17, 1946, after the car was painted a dark red Mel was captured in more than one famous photo flipping in this car at the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of 35,000 spectators. After a trip to the hospital, he returned to the track later in the day. In our shot, the car was running Rose Rebuilt Tires. Leslie Schlom just happens to be the son of Max Schlom who founded the Rose Company and is one of our valued AHRF contributors. Small world huh!
Back from the store and into the butt tiring seat again, it was forget slides for the moment and set up the scanner for some reflective art (that means photo prints). After capturing the mag covers, ad and Hansen shot digitally there were a 100 or so really old shots from our slide lender that had been patiently waiting for us to get after. Let’s look at two of them hot off the pixelator. Let’s venture back to 1931 and a place called Legion Ascot Speedway that was world-famous as the home of some of the hottest cars and drivers in the U.S. This picture taken in pit lane showing Arvol Brunmier, one of the top five hot shoes of the day at Ascot (DBC_799). The car is the Gilmore Lion Special and was owned by Danny DePaolo. Arvol’s nickname was the “Whittier Shiek” and the magical name must have worked to his detriment, he got hooked by a cutie named Clara Smith. In front of a filled grandstand in ’32, they got married and he promised to quit the race game after that evening’s race. He won and quit. For a while that is. There is a great shot of him going over the wall at I think Huntington Beach after WWII. He quit again. What’s even cooler is awhile back we got a call from his great-granddaughter looking for info on Arvol.
Race cars of the early ’30s that ran on the bull rings sometimes didn’t last too long, and Ascot took its fair share of them. George Duncan owned what is left of this number 43 Fronty powered Inglewood Auto Special that was based on Model T parts (DBC_800). Seems his driver Earl Farmer was a little too aggressive going into turn one, skidded quite aways and careened over the crash wall. The car dropped about 20 feet into a fence and Earl didn’t survive. Looks like the Franklin front axle has a broken right front spindle. Now for the fun part, zeroing in on the crash date. One book says it was New Year’s Day, 1931 and the same book also said it was February 2. A clue on the wreck date said that Ernie Triplett had won the 100 lap race in front of a crowd of 12,000 12,000 spectators. Doing a little investigating we found the last 1930 race was on December 21st and that ran 100 laps. January 11th was the first race of the ‘31season. It was 100 laps and Triplett won. The next race was on January 25th and it was also a 100 lapper but this time Shorty Cantlon won. The next race was February 1st that was 40 lapper that Bill Cummings won. The last race in February was on the 22nd and Triplett won the 40 lapper. All evidence is pointing to the January 11th race as the actual crash date at this time.
We just have to show you one of the slides scanned before the bookshop adventure. Neal East’s Doane Spencer car was photographed at Indian Dunes, around the corner from Magic Mountain in Valencia back in April 1977 (DBC_799). At the time Neal drove the car everywhere and was the Editor of Old Cars Illustrated. He just happened to show up to do a story on the new Walt James Built circle track and watch a bunch of old and new cars run around in circles on it.
Earlier today (Sunday) we sauntered over to the 2013 edition of the Throttlers Picnic held in Johnny Carson Park. Bruce Meyer is snapped in one of his cool rides at Picnic (JMC_4401). I was wearing my El Mirage 200 MPH Club shirt and he just had to point out that he was wearing, his Bonneville 200 MPH Club hat. That’s called one-upmanship and that’s what car guys do. A connection to the above shot is that Bruce ended up buying the Doane Spencer-Lynn Wineland-Neal East owned car and having So-Cal Speed shop restore it a few years back. Our hat is off to you.
More Throttlers picnic attendees were (JMC_4402) Vic Cohn’s flat-motor powered channeled ’27. It sounded bitchen as he took off after the show. Behind it is our own David Steele’s ride for the day. The car is Henry Astor’s Dave Crouse built Deuce that Dave gave a road test to while he’s working out some bugs in his A V-8 at home. The wildly painted Deuce roadster in the background is famous artist Robert Williams’ ride.
We don’t know anything about this Model A on Deuce rails Picnic Car except that it looks just right (JMC_4403). A real decal on the front window says Roadsters Riverside so that puts this car in the “it’s been around awhile” category. It would look even better sitting in my driveway but that’s another story.
To close out this wordy episode today lets have a look at a real period rod that was snapped way back in 1940 by Riverside resident Leonard “Whitey” Johnson (LWJ_050). Note the Duke Hallock windshield (this one has a little bear decal on it) and the ’33 Ford bumper that kept the Fuzz off his case. At the present, everybody’s stuck in the post WWII period when it comes to building retro rides. Some of the pre-war cars that we’ve seen pictures of like this one bristled with dare to be different ideas that really set them apart from the only lights I can use are “Guide’s” crowd. End of “Soapbox” for this week.