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'Ol' Calhoun'


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#1 mac miller

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:52

Just a light duty question....... Do any of the esteemed historians here know the origin of the name, "ol' calhoun", given to Parnelli Jones' 1963 INDY winning Watson roadster???? Who came up with the name? Why? When?

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#2 fines

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 16:18

I don't claim to actually know anything, but it is my understanding that "Old Calhoun" was (is?) a popular Whiskey brand in America, and noted for its ripeness.

#3 m.tanney

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 16:53

I've seen that question on a couple of other forums. No one had an answer. All I can offer is this Sports Illustrated article by Sam Moses from 1976.

There is a fellow dinosaur in Jones' life, housed in the Speedway's new infield museum. Age hasn't withered it one whit. It's still as gorgeous as the day it was born, long and sleek and shapely, armored in pearlescent lacquer and gold leaf. A name like Agajanian Willard Battery Special just isn't right for a thing of such beauty. Watson-Offenhauser isn't much better. Even Ol' Calhoun, the sobriquet Jones gave it for no particular reason other than affection, doesn't really fit.

In his book, The Watson Years, Gary Wayne writes that the name was first used during the 1961 season.

#4 Marc Sproule

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 16:11

And speaking of Calhoun......

Parnelli mentions it but it doesn't answer the question. Still this short piece is a great read....

http://www.motorspor...parnelli-jones/

#5 Jim Thurman

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 16:44

And speaking of Calhoun......

Parnelli mentions it but it doesn't answer the question. Still this short piece is a great read....

http://www.motorspor...parnelli-jones/

A great piece, but sadly, Parnelli is misremembering the Riverside stock car incident. It was 1970, he didn't win (Foyt did), Goldsmith had retired from racing, but...the tire situation and, more importantly, his gesture toward the press box where all the NASCAR big shots were - including Bill France - is completely accurate :D

I've been trying to get that story out there, because it's a classic and it's almost lost to history. I believe Competition Press & Autoweek made a veiled reference to the incident (something along the lines of Parnelli pointing out what position he was in), but no one else did.

#6 d j fox

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 17:14

According to this article in the US magazine Sports Illustrated " ... Ol' Calhoun, the sobriquet Jones gave it for no particular reason other than affection...."

http://sportsillustr...91090/index.htm

However SI covers mostly Baseball, (American) Football and seemingly endless basketball and their motor sports coverage is sketchy at best...so I'm not sure how true this is!

David Fox

#7 wenoopy

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Posted 29 April 2010 - 00:12

This quest is a bit like asking a child "Why did your parents call you......". It just seemed like a good idea at the time.

But how about the car being named after a movie star : Rory Calhoun ("The Texan" - TV 1958-60ish), or a vice-president - John Calhoun (1817-1821).



#8 Graham Clayton

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:14

Parnelli says the name came from an old football joke about a fast running back called Calhoun who repeatedly fails to take the ball. The coach, despairing of losing the game, asks the quarterback why he doesn't give Calhoun the ball. "But, coach," says the quarterback, "Calhoun don't want this sonofabitch."

http://www.motortren...un/viewall.html

#9 Jerry Entin

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 23:47

Here is the real answer. In the day there was a joke, that no matter how tough a job was, A fellow by the name of Calhoun could do it. So Parnelli and the crew named the car Ol Calhoun, because it could always get the job done.