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The Meskowski Dirt Champ Cars


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#1 brickyard

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 19:58

Hello,

last year I've tried to sort out all the Watson Dirt Champ Cars built. Now I'll try to do the same, but this time with the cars built by Wally Meskowski. I think it could be one of the hardest tasks ever performed here at TNF as I know that some cars were perfect copies of the Meskowski cars and sometimes are called the wrong way (Kuzma, Silnes, …) but I'm sure Fines will drop by here and correct all the stuff :cool:

So Let's start the mess:

Car '1' :
1959 #7 Competition Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Eddie Sachs
1960 ?
1961 #44 Competition Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Bobby Marshman, Chuck Hulse, Jim Hurtubise
1962 #8 Competition Engineering Special Meskowski-Chevy – Bobby Marshman, Elmer George, Bobby Marvin
1963 #9 Competition Engineering Special Meskowski-Chevy – Eddie Sachs, Jim Hurtubise

Car '2' :
1959 #63 Wyandotte Tool Special Meskowski-Offy – Cotton Farmer, Lee Drollinger
1960 #53 Wyandotte Tool Special Meskowski-Offy – Lee Drollinger, Bill Homeier, Jim McWithey
1961 #72 Wyandotte Tool Special Meskowski-Offy – Rex Easton, Ronnie Duman
1962 #91 Wyandotte Tool Special Meskowski-Offy – Ronnie Duman
1963 ?
1964 ?
1965 #91 Bursac Special Meskowski-Offy – Roger McCluskey


Car '3' :
1960 #5 Bowes Seal Fast Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1961 #1 Bowes Seal Fast Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1962 #1 Bowes Seal Fast Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1963 #2 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
sold at the end of the year but I don't know to whom. Raced during all the 70's.

Car '4' :
1960 #14 Bill Forbes Racing Special Meskowski-Offy – Bobby Grim
1961 #7 Bill Forbes Racing Special Meskowski-Offy – Dick Rathman, Shorty Templeman
1962 #4 Bill Forbes Racing Special Meskowski-Offy – Shorty Templeman, Jim McElreath
1963 #8 Bill Forbes Racing Special Meskowski-Offy – Jim McElreath
1964 #18 Bill Forbes Racing Special Meskowski-Offy – Lloyd Ruby

Car '5' :
1961 #45 Bardhal Special Meskowski-Offy – Jack Turner, Dick Rathman, Jim McElreath

Car ‘6’ :
1962 #14 Thompson-Rotary Special Meskowski-Offy – Bobby Marshman, AJ Foyt
1963 #12 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – Lloyd Ruby

Car ‘7’ :
1962 #21 HOW Special Meskowski-Chevy – Elmer George
1963 #21 HOW Special Meskowski-Offy – Parnelli Jones
And latte in the year became #21 Pfrommer Trucking Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Tinglestad, Johnny White
1964 #3 Pfrommer Trucking Special Meskowski-Offy – Jim McElreath, Bob Harkey, Tommy Copp, Ronnie Duman

Car ‘8’ : the “Gordon Van Liew car”
1963 #29 Vita Fresh Orange Juice Special Meskowski-Offy – Lloyd Ruby, Bobby Grim, Roger McCluskey
1964 #8 Vita Fresh Orange Juice Special Meskowski-Offy – Johnny Rutherford, Bobby Unser, Roger McCluskey
1965 #88 Vita Fresh Orange Juice Special Meskowski-Offy – Bobby Unser
1966 #7 Vita Fresh Orange Juice Special Meskowski-Offy – Bobby Unser, Joe Leonard, Larry Dickson, Ronnie Duman
1967 #22 Vita Fresh Orange Juice Special Meskowski-Offy – Larry Dickson

Car ‘9’ : the “McDermott car”
1963 #66 Lil-Beenie Special Meskowski-Chevy – Mickey Shaw, Jerry Daniels
1964 #44 McDermott Special Meskowski-Offy – Eddie Sachs, Jud Larson, Ralph Liguori
1965 #19 McDermott Special Meskowski-Offy – Carl Williams
then became #19 Seymour Enterprises Special Meskowski-Offy – Chuck Rodee, Gary Congdon

Car ‘10’ :
1964 #1 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1965 #1 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1966 #2 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1967 #14 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1968 #1 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Offy – AJ Foyt
1969 #6 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Ford – AJ Foyt
1970 #7 Sheraton-Thompson Special Meskowski-Ford – AJ Foyt

Car ‘11’ :
1964 #15 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Tinglestad
1965 #10 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Jud Larson
1966 #22 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Sam Sessions, Bud Tinglestad
1967 #10 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Tinglestad
1968 #10 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Tinglestad
1969 #31 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Tinglestad, Bill Puterbaugh
1970 #31 Federal Engineering Special Meskowski-Offy – Jim Malloy

Car ‘12’ :
1965 #52 Zink-Urschel-Slick Special Meskowski-Offy – Jim McElreath
and latter became #52 Vargo Excavating Special Meskowski-Offy – Bob Harkey, Carl Williams
1966 #52 Vargo Excavating Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Randall, Billy Foster
1967 #52 Vargo Excavating Special Meskowski-Offy – Bob Tattersall, Al Loquasto, Carl Williams
1968 #52 Vargo Excavating Special Meskowski-Offy – Carl Williams
1969 #52 Koscot Special Meskowski-Offy – Bob Harkey
1970 #52 Bob Harkey Special Meskowski-Offy – Bob Harkey

Car ‘13’ :
1965 #3 Bryant Heating & Cooling Special Meskowski-Offy – Billy Foster, then #24 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Wally Dallenbach and #30 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Larry Dickson
1966 #124 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Larry Dickson, Wally Dallenbach, Greg Weld, Norm Brown
1967 #57 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Bob Harkey
1968 #57 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Rollie Beale, Bill Puterbaugh, Larry Dickson, Bruce Walkup
1969 #57 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Wally Dallenbach, Lee kunzman
1970 #57 Ken Brenn Special Meskowski-Offy – Jimmy Caruthers and Leigh Earnshaw

Car ‘14’ :
1966 #20 S&D Special Meskowski-Offy – Arnie Knepper, John Hollansworth, George Snider, Ronnie Duman, bob Tattersall
1967 #20 S&D Special Meskowski-Offy – Greg Weld, Mickey Shaw, Al Miller
1968 #20 S&D Special Meskowski-Chevy – Arnie knepper, Don Thomas, Rollie Beale, Jerry Daniels

Car ‘15’ :
1966 #61 American Eagle Special Meskowski-Offy – Gary Bettenhausen
1967 #61 American Eagle Special Meskowski-Offy – Gary Bettenhausen

Car ‘16’ :
1968 #12 Kilman Special Meskowski-Offy – Rollie Beale
1969 #40 Kilman Special Meskowski-Offy – Rollie Beale
1970 #46 Kilman Special Meskowski-Offy – Rollie Beale and #46 McClung Adv. Special Meskowski-Offy – Merle Bettenhausen

Car ’17’ :
1968 #68 Maxson Special Meskowski-Offy – George Benson
1969 #89 Maxson Special Meskowski-Offy – Bobby Hogle, Bruce Walkup
1970 #89 Quickick Special Meskowski-Offy – Roger McCluskey

Car ‘18’ :
1969 #20 Seymour Enterprises Special Meskowski-Chevy – Jerry Daniels, Bruce Walkup, Carl Williams
1970 #39 Seymour Enterprises Special Meskowski-Chevy – Johnny Parsons Jr.

Car ‘19’ :
1969 #37 Curtis Auto Center Special Meskowski-Chevy – Wib Spaulding
1970 #37 Green Construction Special Meskowski-Chevy – Bud Tinglestad and #37 Wib Spaulding Special Meskowski-Offy – Bud Tinglestad

Car ‘20’ :
1969 #82 G.C. Murphy Special Meskowski-Offy – Roger McCluskey
1970 #82 S&W Racing Special Meskowski-Offy – Carl Williams and #82 Mid-American Truck Special Meskowski-Offy – Carl Williams

That’s all I have. It’s a mess? Yes, but I hope to sort the things out. Off course I know that there weren’t 20 cars but I cannot sort out the latter cars.

Regards
Luis

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#2 ZOOOM

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 00:56

Wally must have been doing SOMETHING right.

Just... look... at those...Drivers!

Talk about a dream team....

ZOOOM

#3 Buford

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 01:12

I remember he was a mean SOB. Typical USAC - treated even those drivers like children and dirt.

#4 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 15:58

Originally posted by brickyard
That’s all I have. It’s a mess? Yes, but I hope to sort the things out. Off course I know that there weren’t 20 cars but I cannot sort out the latter cars.

Yes, what a mess - a real Mess-kowski! :lol:

Well, I don't know if I can "correct all the stuff", but I will tell you what I think I know about the Meskowski Champ Cars. And yes, there were probably fewer than a dozen of them, all in all! By the way, Luis, you really have a knack for planning how I spend my evenings! :drunk: Don't worry, it's alright, you know I like to do these things, don't you?;)

To start with, I have to say that I don't know that much about Wally himself...

Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:29.


#5 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 17:56

Apart from his new job at Schmidt's team, Meskowski also...

Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:29.


#6 brickyard

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:20

Originally posted by fines

Yes, what a mess - a real Mess-kowski! :lol:

By the way, Luis, you really have a knack for planning how I spend my evenings! :drunk: Don't worry, it's alright, you know I like to do these things, don't you?;)


But off course I know you like to do these things! :lol: and BTW, don't you think that's a good way to spend an evening? ;) Well, I know there are other excelent ways to spend an evening too :lol:


Thank you for the first informations. The reason I haven't include this two cars is that I have them as Silnes, not Meskowskis, but as you've said previously, it seams there's a split personality among some cars from that era. :drunk:

#7 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:40

Actually, only Phil Harms (and the not so small group of people copying his data) has them as "Silnes", and I really can't figure out why! It is quite possible that Joe Silnes did the bodywork for these cars, for example, but so far I haven't seen any evidence for that, and from the looks the cars are certainly 100 % Meskowski. From my correspondence with him, I got the feeling that Phil wasn't terribly interested in the cars, his main aim being the accumulation of race results for the drivers. Apparently, he had input from several people about the chassis identities, and I'm not sure who was "responsible" for what, but the Wallen books mention Bob Mount as his main source for this kind of data. Yet Mount has also identified the cars as Meskowskis for Paul Sheldon's "Black Books"...

Mind you, Wally Meskowski was known for turning out unfinished cars, and I have seen references to cars being finished off by Eddie Kuzma, or the teams that purchased them. This is a mine field, at the very best, and there's no easy answer to any number of questions, but to me it is utterly incomprehensible to take the very car which introduced the four-bar suspension to dirt track racing, universally attributed to Wally Meskowski, who was also the chief mechanic on that same car, and then NOT call it a Meskowski!!! :drunk:

#8 brickyard

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 18:57

Originally posted by fines
Actually, only Phil Harms (and the not so small group of people copying his data) has them as "Silnes", and I really can't figure out why!


:blush: OK, OK I'm guilty on that one.
I didn't have the chance to make a research on Dirt Champs as I would like, so I used the Harms results to make a starting point. You have to agree that it's a good starting point, don't you think?;)

#9 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 19:04

For 1960, Wally built two Indy Cars, and one more Champ Car. The Indy Cars weren't successful, but this was more than offset by the Champ Car which went ot George Bignotti and his Bowes Seal Fast team, with driver A. J. Foyt. This combination won no less than 13 races over the next four years, which contributed heavily to three National Championships for the driver. Apart from Foyt, only Bobby Marshman and Lloyd Ruby drove this car, the latter only once, after Foyt changed to a new car late in 1963. Marshman's stint came about because of a temporary bust-up between Foyt and Bignotti, which ended in the latter selling his team to Shirley Murphy and Bill Ansted, yet within three months driver and mechanic were united again.

After its last appearance with Ruby, I can find no trace of racing activity for this car. Waldo Taylor, despite his many failings, posted on this board not long ago that Foyt still had a Sheraton-Thompson dirt car in the eighties, and if that's true it must have been this one. On the other hand, Luis, you wrote: "sold at the end of the year but I don't know to whom. Raced during all the 70's." - what's your source for that?

1960 - Bowes Seal Fast #5
1961 - Bowes Seal Fast #1
1962 - Bowes Seal Fast #1 => Thompson-Rotary #14
1963 - Sheraton-Thompson #2 => #12

Originally posted by brickyard


:blush: OK, OK I'm guilty on that one.
I didn't have the chance to make a research on Dirt Champs as I would like, so I used the Harms results to make a starting point. You have to agree that it's a good starting point, don't you think?;)

Yes, definitely! Don't get me wrong, that was NOT meant as criticism! :)

#10 gbl

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 19:38

The owner of the Sclavi car thinks it was built in 1961 and call it a Silnes:

http://www.conceptca...-Champ-Car.aspx

Another mistery owner info:

http://motorcities.c...E420005505.html

#11 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 19:47

Two cars in 1961, the first the "works" car for...

Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:30.


#12 gbl

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 19:49

Another mistery owner info:

http://motorcities.c...E420005505.html

#13 brickyard

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 19:55

Originally posted by fines

Yes, definitely! Don't get me wrong, that was NOT meant as criticism! :)

I know that :up:



Originally posted by fines
On the other hand, Luis, you wrote: "sold at the end of the year but I don't know to whom. Raced during all the 70's." - what's your source for that?


From here !

#14 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:03

Originally posted by gbl
Another mistery owner info:

http://motorcities.c...E420005505.html

Hm, history sounds verrrrry fishy. The Foyt/Weld/Pizza Hut connection exists, but not like that - see following posts. Looks a bit like a Sprint Car, and the front treatment is... um, "interesting"! :D

#15 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:11

Originally posted by brickyard
From here !

Hmm, that's what I feared! I have the Harrison car as Foyt's 1963 Meskowski, mostly because it fits better into that car's history. The trouble is, I have only seen one picture of the car in the seventies, and it's far from clear - from what I've seen, it could be either, yet in both cases there would have been changes, but nothing out of the ordinary, and the only info I have simply says "ex-Foyt". :(

#16 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:16

Originally posted by gbl
The owner of the Sclavi car thinks it was built in 1961 and call it a Silnes:

http://www.conceptca...-Champ-Car.aspx

Well, that picture looks more like a McLaren to me! :lol:

To make it clear: the article is wrong about the year of manufacture, unless Sclavi had an exact duplicate of his earlier car built in '61, and it is also wrong about the last race (1968), since I have it clearly identified in a 1971 picture.

#17 brickyard

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:24

Originally posted by fines

Hmm, that's what I feared! I have the Harrison car as Foyt's 1963 Meskowski, mostly because it fits better into that car's history. The trouble is, I have only seen one picture of the car in the seventies, and it's far from clear - from what I've seen, it could be either, yet in both cases there would have been changes, but nothing out of the ordinary, and the only info I have simply says "ex-Foyt". :(


I presume you asked for this one ?;)

#18 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 20:37

Exactly! So, Senter had the 1963 Foyt Meskowski?!! Funny, I had him tentatively linked to the other 1963 Meskowski, the ex-Vita Fresh/Darwin Maxson car! I had both of them free after 1970, except that I thought that the Foyt car became the Harrison in '72...

What do I learn from that? You can't believe anything this blathering Haiku subject uttered! :mad::mad:

#19 fines

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Posted 14 April 2009 - 21:40

Alright, one more before :yawn:, and I'll tackle the more contentious issue of the Foyt cars tomorrow.

The 1962 car of the HOW team is possibly the...

Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:31.


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#20 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:15

Well, I looked into it once again, and I'm sure the auction articles are right about the Harrison car being the older one! I wasn't looking properly the first time, probably confused by the wild goose chase induced by :rolleyes:, but it does actually fit even better into that car's history (which I had also restored by Lynn Paxton!), except for the fact that I don't know what happened to it for the small matter of eight years - another candidate for the McManus and Kilman cars, here! So, let's try again:


For 1960, Wally built two Indy Cars, and one more Champ Car. The Indy Cars weren't successful, but this was more than offset by the Champ Car which went to George Bignotti and his Bowes Seal Fast team, with driver A. J. Foyt. This combination won no less than 13 races over the next four years, which contributed heavily to three National Championships for the driver. Apart from Foyt, only Bobby Marshman and Lloyd Ruby drove the car for Bignotti, the latter only once, after Foyt changed to the new car late in 1963. Marshman's stint came about because of a temporary bust-up between Foyt and Bignotti, which ended in the latter selling his team to Shirley Murphy and Bill Ansted, yet within three months driver and mechanic were united again.

1960 - Bowes Seal Fast #5
1961 - Bowes Seal Fast #1
1962 - Bowes Seal Fast #1 => Thompson-Rotary #14
1963 - Sheraton-Thompson #2 => #12
1964 - ...

Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:32.


#21 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:20

Another new car for Gordon van Liew in 1963, main drivers...

Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:33.


#22 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 10:47

A few loose ends, i.e. cars that were probably second hand, but that I can't get sorted, mainly because of missing photographs. Typically, none of these cars look exactly like the next, so photographs are a huge help - if anybody out there has any photographs of one of these cars, please say so, and I believe we can get this finished. :up:

... Read on at http://www.oldracing...indy/meskowski/

Have I dealt with them all, now?

Edited by fines, 01 September 2009 - 13:33.


#23 brickyard

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 19:34

:clap:

I say, GREAT JOB Michael, great job!

I don't know if you have noticed this before, but you have there 274 pages of Dirt and Sprint car photos to explore. Maybe there we caould find some answers we need. I'll take a look.

Well, I guess it's time to update my database, :lol:

Thank you.

Regards
Luis

#24 brickyard

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 20:38

Michael,

please take a look at the legend of this photo . "The car's builder Dave Laycock" ? What's he doing there? Isn't it a Meskowski, or I'm missing something :confused:

#25 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 20:50

Originally posted by brickyard
I don't know if you have noticed this before, but you have there 274 pages of Dirt and Sprint car photos to explore. Maybe there we caould find some answers we need. I'll take a look.

Yeah, I know the site. I go and visit the thread every now and then, there's tons of interesting stuff, unfortunately nestled within lots of useless things, so you always have to "weed through". By the way, the guy who has started some threads here such as this one has posted some pics of his work in progress there, see page 269.;) Looks good! :up:

#26 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 20:57

Originally posted by brickyard
Michael,

please take a look at the legend of this photo . "The car's builder Dave Laycock" ? What's he doing there? Isn't it a Meskowski, or I'm missing something :confused:

Yes, it's a Meskowski - Laycock was the Forbes chief mechanic, and later built the Mongoose cars (as I'm sure you know ;)), and apparently the guy writing this caption put one and one together... Mind you, chief mechanics often did a lot of work on those cars, and Laycock in particular modified this Meskowski quite a bit over the four or five years he "spannered" the car! I'm sure you'll find out about what I'm talking, without me steering you in the right direction...;)

#27 gbl

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 21:06

That's a nice link, here is my favourite:

http://www.jalopyjou...&postcount=4545

#28 brickyard

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 21:14

Originally posted by fines
... and later built the Mongoose cars (as I'm sure you know ;)),


Is that so? ;)

(well I guess I didn't noticed he was the Forbes chief mechanic; thank you :up: )


Originally posted by fines
I'm sure you'll find out about what I'm talking, without me steering you in the right direction...;)


Yes, but mind you that this thread isn't a dialog between us, and some members will apreciate it ;) :lol:

Regards
Luis

#29 fines

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 21:27

Hey, don't be lazy! Show me what you've learned... :smoking:

#30 Allen Brown

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 20:26

I knew there was a reason I should work back through the last few weeks TNF threads to see what I'd missed :)