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Meadowdale mayhem, 1962


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#1 RShaw

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 22:31

Meadowdale Raceway in Dundee, IL, not far from Chicago, earned something of a reputation as a track difficult for a driver to deal with, only part of which was due to the peculiar Monza Wall. I attended a number of events there, and in August of 1962 a couple of interesting things happened right in front of me.

The first involved Baltimore, MD, driver Ed Astri and his Fiat Abarth.

First we see an unsuspecting Astri circulating comfortably.
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A few laps later, Astri has experienced an inadvertant upset of his vehicle.
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Astri recovered from his experience, no thanks to his roll bar.
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One of the magazine accounts said Astri "crashed and burned". Crashed, yes, burned, no.


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#2 RShaw

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 22:45

The second event involved Triumph driver Bill Morrison of Milwaukee, WI.

In this picture we see Morrison, in Triumph TR4 #31, just peeking his nose into the frame behind Clarence Moerwald, also of Milwaukee, in Lotus Elite #97, and Jay Signore, of Elizabeth, NJ, in Elva Courier #88.

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Some laps later, Morrison has gone off track and collected an unidentified corner worker on his hood. Alfa Romeo #95 driver Glen Branstad, of Peoria, IL, looks on incredulously

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A PA announcement later in the race said the corner worker had been transported to a local hospital, but had suffered no serious injury. Hopefully that was correct.





#3 RA Historian

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 23:53

As Ron's photos show, Meadowdale was indeed a difficult track! No runoff area, dirt embankments, corner workers standing in unprotected areas, and so on. To this day I am amazed that the toll at this track was not way higher than it was. Amazing to me, there was but one fatality at the track during its 12 years of operation.
Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 10 September 2009 - 23:57.


#4 ZOOOM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 01:00

I'd be willing to put money on the statement that the "Jay Signore" eventually went to work for some guy named Rodger...
ZOOOM

#5 ZOOOM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 01:03

Tomorrow, I'll show you a shlamozzle in a stock car race at the same track...
I just have to get to the photo...

Anybody comming to the Meadowdale 50th. year reunion on saturday the 19th of this month?
ZOOOM

Edited by ZOOOM, 11 September 2009 - 01:04.


#6 ZOOOM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 13:33

Meadowdale racetrack was known for limited runoff areas and an almost total lack of spectator safety.
One of the last corners was called Doans hairpin. It was (really) a 280 degree hairpin around an 8' high plateau. It was absolutely blind, and had no room to run off.
It was very difficult for the "sporty car" guys and almost impossible for the USAC stock car guys who ventured into stock cars at a road course.
First, the way it was supposed to be taken...
Harry Heuer in the second built Chapparal I:
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Then the stockers at the same place:
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Notice, I took the pictures from the mound in the middle of the corner and was less than ten feet from the action!
ZOOOM

#7 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 14:39

Meadowdale racetrack was known for limited runoff areas and an almost total lack of spectator safety.
One of the last corners was called Doans hairpin. It was (really) a 280 degree hairpin around an 8' high plateau. It was absolutely blind, and had no room to run off.

As Zooom mentions, Doane's Corner was a hairpin that one entered from a straight, turned left, then swung back 280 degrees to the right, exiting onto a straight that ran parallel, and only a couple feet apart from the straight entering the turn. !! It was a tight turn, much smaller in area than the Carousel turns at Road America and Mid Ohio. Amazingly enough, spectators were allowed inside this hairpin, although I cannot recall if access was reached via a bridge or tunnel. I'm sure somebody will remember and can post it here. At any rate, one could get inside this almost circular turn and stand only a few feet from the track. Like Zooom, I have photos I took there with a primitive fixed lens camera where the image completely fills the frame---no telephoto! Again, we were all crazy to have stood there, but what did we know back then?
Tom

#8 Luca Pacchiarini

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 15:07

Meadowdale Raceway in Dundee, IL, not far from Chicago, earned something of a reputation as a track difficult for a driver to deal with, only part of which was due to the peculiar Monza Wall.



What was the Monza wall, and why was it so frightening?

#9 ZOOOM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 15:55

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Built by Leonard Besinger in 1958, Meadowdale Racecourse was located in Carpentersville Illinois.
One of the most famous turns was the dreaded "Monza Wall", coppied after the more famous Monza Wall at the Monza Autrodomo in Monza Italy.
The "wall" was built up from dirt and then paved with a black top road paver. It was never very smooth .
Besinger wanted to out do the original Monza wall by making the turn banking several degrees higher.
It was supposed to be banked at 48 degrees!
I don't think anyone actually measured it, but the drivers all feared it!

ZOOOM

#10 MCS

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 16:08

Most of it still seems to be there - in amongst all the houses.

http://maps.google.c...f...l=en&tab=wl

What was the biggest race there?

#11 WDH74

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 16:32

Most of it still seems to be there - in amongst all the houses.

http://maps.google.c...f...l=en&tab=wl

What was the biggest race there?


The Wall is long gone-it was taken down while the track was still active. Google Earth shows a very clear outline of the course, but a good chunk of it is dirt (Doane's if I'm not mistaken, its been a good few years since I hiked it), plus a creek washed out a part of the main straightaway as well as part of the pavement near the Pure Oil Silo. A section near the south end of the track is also gone, having been covered with fill years ago. There are no structures left, save for the silo (which was repainted to it's Meadowdale livery a couple of years ago), and a vehicle bridge at the south end of the track. The skeleton of a pedestrian bridge stood over the main straight until a couple of years ago, when it was (sensibly, I suppose) taken down.

Oh, if you are down around the starting line/pit area you can still see the markings painted on the pavement. That's kinda cool.

-William

#12 RShaw

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 16:36

I believe this is the corner ZOOOM is referring to. The track loops around the concession stand, mound and elevated flag station, then continues on to the Monza Wall and onto the start/finish straight. It appears that access was gained inside the corner by means of a tunnel and the dirt road leading up the mound. Looks like the tunnel went under both the entry and the exit from the corner.

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RonS.

Edited by RShaw, 11 September 2009 - 17:15.


#13 S A Dunbar

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 17:53

Meadowdale racetrack was known for limited runoff areas and an almost total lack of spectator safety.
One of the last corners was called Doans hairpin. It was (really) a 280 degree hairpin around an 8' high plateau. It was absolutely blind, and had no room to run off.
It was very difficult for the "sporty car" guys and almost impossible for the USAC stock car guys who ventured into stock cars at a road course.
First, the way it was supposed to be taken...
Harry Heuer in the second built Chapparal I:
Posted Image

Then the stockers at the same place:
Posted Image

Posted Image

Notice, I took the pictures from the mound in the middle of the corner and was less than ten feet from the action!
ZOOOM


#54 - Whitey Gerkin of Melrose Park, IL......


#14 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 18:16

Posted Image
Built by Leonard Besinger in 1958, Meadowdale Racecourse was located in Carpentersville Illinois.
One of the most famous turns was the dreaded "Monza Wall", coppied after the more famous Monza Wall at the Monza Autrodomo in Monza Italy.
The "wall" was built up from dirt and then paved with a black top road paver. It was never very smooth .
Besinger wanted to out do the original Monza wall by making the turn banking several degrees higher.
It was supposed to be banked at 48 degrees!
I don't think anyone actually measured it, but the drivers all feared it!

ZOOOM

That is my recollection too. The wall was very rough, and after the first couple years hardly used as the drivers by and large tended to run down low rather than up on the banking. It was so rough that suspension breakages were common.

The photo that Walt posted is of Jim Jeffords in the Nickey Scarab at one of the 1959 USAC races.

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 11 September 2009 - 18:16.


#15 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 18:19

I believe this is the corner ZOOOM is referring to. The track loops around the concession stand, mound and elevated flag station, then continues on to the Monza Wall and onto the start/finish straight. It appears that access was gained inside the corner by means of a tunnel and the dirt road leading up the mound. Looks like the tunnel went under both the entry and the exit from the corner.

Posted Image

RonS.


That is it, Ron, Doane's corner. You can see the track at the left, making a left turn into the long, long right before coming back right at us. Note the two straights side by side, but going in opposite directions! Ron's photo also answers my question as to access. There is a tunnel under the track near the entry and exit from the corner. No bridge visible.

Note also the spectator proximity to the track. I would venture that Ron was not using a long lens here, but a normal camera. If a car went off, the chicken wire fence would not have been much help...

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 11 September 2009 - 18:20.


#16 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 18:40

What was the biggest race there?

Probably the August, 1964, USRRC.

The track opened in Sept. 1958 with an SCCA Regional, won by Chuck Daigh in a Scarab. 1959 had three big races, all professional USAC Road Racing Division events. The first two, in May and July, were won by Jim Jeffords in the Nickey Scarab. The Sept. pro race was taken by Augie Pabst in the Meister Brauser Scarab.

1960's biggest race was an SCCA National in July, also won by Pabst in the Scarab.

1961 had a similar schedule, with the July SCCA National the biggest event of the year. This race had a stellar turnout, as this was during the infamous SCCA-USAC war period when SCCA suspended a number of its top drivers for running in USAC events. Somehow or other the Milwaukee Region got by with inviting all the suspended drivers to run as "guests". Many did, and a great race resulted. The winner was Roger Penske in a Maserati T-61, who pressed leader Peter Ryan mercilessly, finally forcing him into a mistake on the last lap. Penske finished just ahead of the Sadler Mk V driven by Ryan. Following were Pabst, 2.5 Ferrari; Bill Wuesthoff, Porsche RS-60; Fred Gamble, Maserati T-61; Dan Shaw, Sadler Mk V; George Reed, Ferrari 250-TR 59; Bob Donner, Porsche RS-61; Pete Harrison, Lister-Chev; and a mess of more Porsche Spyders and other exotica. A memorable race.

1962 had a similar schedule also. The SCCA National was won by Harry Heuer in the Meister Brauser Chaparral 1 after Alan Connell's leading Cooper Monaco T-57 broke its gearbox with only a few laps to go. The Porsche RS-60s of Bill Wuesthoff, Ernie Erickson, and Lee Hall followed, with MRJ Wyllie fifth in a Lola Mk I and Wayne Burnett sixth in a Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (#0714, just sold for an incredible amount of money).

The 1963 SCCA National was again taken by Harry Heuer in the Meister Brauser Chaparral 1. This year he led the race start to finish. Bill Wuesthoff was second in his Porsche RS-60 with Don Devine third in the Meister Brauser Scarab. Bob Holbert took fourth in a Porsche RS-61 with Lee Hall fifth in a Porsche RS-60 and Dick Doane (yes, Doane's corner was named after him) sixth in a Corvette Grand Sport.

One big race in 1964, the above mentioned USRRC event. Great field, many big names. Ed Leslie was on the pole in a Shelby American Cooper-Ford T-61. The win, though, went to Jim Hall in a Chaparral 2, with Roger Penske second in a second Chaparral 2. Dick Thompson was third in Dick Doane's McKee Chevette, George Wintersteen fourth in a Cooper-Chev T-61, while Ken Miles was fifth overall in the same Cobra 289 with which he won the morning's 120 mile GT race. Under two liter cars followed, with Joe Buzzetta, Bill Wuesthoff, and Ralph Treischmann 6-7-8 in Elva Porsches. Besides Leslie, DNFs included Bobby Unser in the Arciero Lotus 19, now with a Chevy V-8, Skip Hudson in the Nickey Cooper-Chev T-61, and Al Unser in the Arciero Lotus 23 with a 2.0 liter Climax four.

Things tailed off markedly after that. Essentially, only club racing ran at the track from 1965 through the track's demise in 1969. One exception was in July, 1968, when a Trans Am race was held, won by Mark Donohue in a Penske Camaro.

There was an occasional USAC stock car race, details of which I do not know as I did not follow them. Also a drag race may have been held on the long front straight. Perhaps Zooom or Ron can fill us in there.

Tom

#17 MCS

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 19:02

It had its fair share of name drivers then and just over twenty miles from my company Chicago office...


#18 ZOOOM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 20:23

Posted Image
Here is the arial survey of the course. Doans corner is up at the top left. It really does look like a hairpin. Tom, you can see the access road running left to right under the track.
The big curve inside tha track after doans would be the Monza wall. Go counter clockwise around the Monza and you arive at the main straight. It's almost a mile long and halfway down it the road drops maybe 100 feet!. It rises back up just in time for the right hand "Little Monza" which falls away down to the right.
Then through several switchbacks to end up climbing back up towards the main straight again (callel the uphill). This is where Pedro Rodriquez rolled his Porsche.
After several nondescript corners we get to the back straight. This is the long straight along the left side of the picture. Just where it almost touches the Monza was an area called the "Jump". The roar rose all the way along the back straight to that point and then leveled off for the run to Doans. Some cars actually took flight here.
On the whole, a very technically difficult track made worse by absolutely no run off areas and very poor spectator safety.
But, boy was it fun to watch a race at!
ZOOOM

Edited by ZOOOM, 11 September 2009 - 20:38.


#19 Gary C

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 20:42

Isn't aerial photography a wonderful thing?

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#20 ZOOOM

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 20:44

Isn't aerial photography a wonderful thing?


Yeh.... but prolly only if it's spelt right!

ZOOOM


#21 RA Historian

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 20:48

]But, boy was it fun to watch a race at!
ZOOOM

You said it! I went to five races there in the years 1961-64 and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. I was able to take some great pictures, simply because I was able to get so close to the track. I was limited in my attendance by the fact that the track was 100 miles from home, I was in school, had no car, had parents who did not want to know, so was dependent upon mooching a ride from someone from the area who went.

Please note on the photo of the track layout: the straights that run into and out of Doane's Corner are just a couple feet apart, running in opposite directions, with only a low concrete barrier separating them! It was insane!

One can see to the immediate right of Doane's Corner that some clearing had been done for another turn, in anticipation of adding an oval to the layout. This never was finished.

Tom

P.S. It was Ricardo, not Pedro, who rolled a Porsche RS Spyder at this track in 1959.

Edited by RA Historian, 11 September 2009 - 20:50.


#22 Lotus11Register

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 22:55

There is a story somewhere about Meadowdale claiming one of the most famous Lotus Elevens ever built, destroyed in a racing accident in July 1961 by owner Jim Kaser. A photo of the remains would be wonderful but does anyone even remember this happening ?

Edited by Lotus11Register, 11 September 2009 - 22:56.


#23 ZOOOM

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 01:28

P.S. It was Ricardo, not Pedro, who rolled a Porsche RS Spyder at this track in 1959.


Tom, as usual you are correct....
All I remember from fifty years ago was that it was one of those little mexican guys...
ZOOOM


#24 grandprix61

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:32

You said it! I went to five races there in the years 1961-64 and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. I was able to take some great pictures, simply because I was able to get so close to the track. I was limited in my attendance by the fact that the track was 100 miles from home, I was in school, had no car, had parents who did not want to know, so was dependent upon mooching a ride from someone from the area who went.

Please note on the photo of the track layout: the straights that run into and out of Doane's Corner are just a couple feet apart, running in opposite directions, with only a low concrete barrier separating them! It was insane!

One can see to the immediate right of Doane's Corner that some clearing had been done for another turn, in anticipation of adding an oval to the layout. This never was finished.

Tom

P.S. It was Ricardo, not Pedro, who rolled a Porsche RS Spyder at this track in 1959.

That was one wild place for the weekend racers. I am not sure of the year but a A-B-C production race had to be red flagged because all of the wrecking trucks were out on a corner somewhere picking up after a crash. Here is a shot of Ricardo coming into the pits after practice. Notice he has the nose banged up on the car. A new one was on for the race the next day. Ricardo and Jeffords exchanged the lead a number of times on every lap until Ricardo flipped the car coming up the hill from the Silo area. Come on out on Sat. Sept. 19th for a Reunion of sorts and a car show. Some interesting iron is scheduled to show up. Also, if you all would like to see over 100 images of Meadowdale go to my web site - www.prairiestreetart.com and go to The Meadowdale Gallery page. I'll be at the track on the 19th with a tent and stop by if you are there. drop me an email for more information. ron@prairiestreetart.com http://img30.imagesh...odriguez961.jpgPosted Image

#25 grandprix61

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:46

You said it! I went to five races there in the years 1961-64 and thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. I was able to take some great pictures, simply because I was able to get so close to the track. I was limited in my attendance by the fact that the track was 100 miles from home, I was in school, had no car, had parents who did not want to know, so was dependent upon mooching a ride from someone from the area who went.

Please note on the photo of the track layout: the straights that run into and out of Doane's Corner are just a couple feet apart, running in opposite directions, with only a low concrete barrier separating them! It was insane!

One can see to the immediate right of Doane's Corner that some clearing had been done for another turn, in anticipation of adding an oval to the layout. This never was finished.

Tom

P.S. It was Ricardo, not Pedro, who rolled a Porsche RS Spyder at this track in 1959.

Going into Doane's corner was a pretty fast right hander and you came out going into that Monza Wall. If you thought it was a little tight take a look at the traffic the U.S.Auto Club stock car race had going thru there. Don Devine was in the race along with Harry Heuer and Dick Thompson. I believe Dan Gurney was also in the field and I am sure a bunch of other big names. Don told me he started around the 33rd spot and got up to about 9th before various problems dropped him back. Ronhttp://img132.imageshack.us/img132/8692/meadss96030.jpgPosted Image for a lot of Meadowdale Photos go to www.prairiestreetart.com and the page titled The Meadowdale Gallery thought you TNF fellows will enjoy. and Tom. send me an email. Ron N

#26 RShaw

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 04:08

Please note on the photo of the track layout: the straights that run into and out of Doane's Corner are just a couple feet apart, running in opposite directions, with only a low concrete barrier separating them! It was insane!

Tom


A picture of Loyal Katskee (I think) in a 121LM Ferrari on the straight heading into the Monza Wall. The track running in the opposite direction can be see just over the divider. Spectators are securely located behind a chicken wire fence atop the dirt embankment.
Heck, I was one of them, so I guess I can't waggle my finger at anyone.

Posted Image
Ron Shaw Photo

#27 Pedro 917

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 07:34

Here's an article from a magazine (unknown) that someone sent me a long time ago.
It reports the Meadowdale Grand Prix of 1959 (30-31 May) :

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and a picture of Ricardo in the Porsche RSK on the banking (copyright unknown) :

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Edited by Pedro 917, 12 September 2009 - 07:34.


#28 ZOOOM

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Posted 12 September 2009 - 12:51

I can remember an article in R&T about Katske and the Ferrari. Towards the end of the race he said he deceided to take the Monza wall at full speed around the top... He said "I just took my last brave pill and did it".

GREAT pictures!

ZOOOM

#29 Paul Medici

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 18:18

I agree - wonderful photos, especially the one of Ricardo on the banking.
Hope to meet some of you tomorrow, looks like great weather for the event.


#30 Aero426

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 03:47

The show there today was wonderful. Perfect weather, cars on the race track, over 200 show cars, nice people. You could not have asked for more.

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1958 Souvenier flag signed by Jimmy Bryan, Chuch Daigh, Dan Gurney, Fred Lorenzen, Ralph Moody, others.

Edited by Aero426, 20 September 2009 - 03:51.


#31 WDH74

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 04:27

Shoot, I missed it. Had a previous commitment to be at the hot rod show down in Joliet. Knowing that the Meister Brauser Chaparral was there hurts!

-William

#32 ZOOOM

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 01:34

Here is the engine compartment for the Chapparal I, small block Chevy:

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Here is the drivers compartment. Notice the two fuel tanks in the doors that are interconnected with a clear plastic tube. Tom Hoefelder, the current owner says they only use one tank and have a bladder in it now.
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There was a private clone of the Corvette Grand Sport. Beautiful workmanship...

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It even has a 377 cu. in. small block with the original style cross ram Webbers!

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There was a real honest to goodness Shelby 427 Cobra. (real, I mean it!)
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Thal about beautiful engine compartments!
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Great show. Those drivers there were: Don Devine, Harry Heuer (Scarabs) and people like Tom Destafani, Bob McKee, and even Ronnie Kaplin!

The show cars were driven up past the silo, up through the uphill area to the cut off for the main straight, then down the main straight to the start finish line!
What a great show, beautiful weather, great people, and GREAT stories!

ZOOOM

#33 WDH74

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 22:56

Nice photos. I've seen the Chaparral several times, but have only gotten a few photos of it up close. (click the link at the bottom of the page and you can have a peek at one or two of them)

How'd they get the cars past the wash-out near the silo? Or has that been fixed? I've not been in a couple of years now (right around when the silo was repainted).

-William

#34 Aero426

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 23:52

Nice photos. I've seen the Chaparral several times, but have only gotten a few photos of it up close. (click the link at the bottom of the page and you can have a peek at one or two of them)

How'd they get the cars past the wash-out near the silo? Or has that been fixed? I've not been in a couple of years now (right around when the silo was repainted).

-William


There is a new bridge that has been put in place near the silo. It is "just" wide enough to drive over.

News like the above is welcome as is that the Forest Preserve is going to transplant a bridge over the main washout. More troubling are news reports from September 4th that a 10-12 foot paved bike path has been approved and funded to the tune of $200,000 to "follow" the path of the old course. My fear is that it means existing pavement will be ripped up.

#35 ZOOOM

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 00:29

There were several people there from the Park District. They gave a small presentation on what they intend to do. Yes, there will be a new smooth bike trail done but down the center of the existing roadway. The old roadway is to remain but the new bike path will be installeddoen the center of the old track surface.......
I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope......

ZOOOM

#36 SaturnVUEguy

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 18:53

I missed the show last year since I had to work on the rain date, but was able to make it out this year. I took a lot of pictures! One thing that is confusing me though, is I took pictures of a '63 and a '67 Vette convertibles, but the hoods are either on the wrong cars, they put the tags in the wrong windshields, or the two cars "have each other's hoods". Anyone with more info?

Edited by SaturnVUEguy, 25 September 2009 - 22:30.


#37 Aero426

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 00:57

There were several people there from the Park District. They gave a small presentation on what they intend to do. Yes, there will be a new smooth bike trail done but down the center of the existing roadway. The old roadway is to remain but the new bike path will be installeddoen the center of the old track surface.......
I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope......

ZOOOM


Ross Fosbinder has just posted on his Meadowdale website that the main straight asphalt is G O N E.

"Saturday, September 19, over 200 cars assembled on the main straight pavement of Meadowdale Raceway for the MIRPA Car Show. As of now that straightaway is no more! Pavement grinders moved in this week and have already stripped the asphalt from the old dragstrip and main straight."

#38 Aero426

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:08

Text from the Daily Herald suburban Chicago paper.
Raceway Repaving

Just like many roads in the area, the former racetrack in Carpentersville's Raceway Woods Forest Preserve is getting a much-needed resurfacing.

Work is underway to clear a 20-foot-wide swath of the original 3.27-mile Meadowdale International Raceway for upgraded bike and walking trails, said Jerry Culp, director of planning and development for the Kane County Forest Preserve District.

The $260,000 project is the second phase of a five-year plan to improve the entire loop of the now-deteriorated racetrack that operated from 1958 to the late '60s. The 90-acre parcel was designated as a forest preserve in 1994.

"This is part of the master plan, to get walking trails in," Culp said. "It is a start in moving the project forward."

Material removed from the original track will serve as the base for the path, which is 10 feet wide with restored vegetation on both sides. Sections of the 50-year-old track will remain, Culp said.

Forest preserve district board member John Fahy said the restoration is an extension of the successful push two years ago to preserve the Raceway Woods Silo in the same preserve.

"We wanted to preserve the history and this is like a rebirth of the track," said Fahy, a Kane County Board member from Dundee Township.

The next phase includes connecting the main straightaway over a ravine using a 200-foot bridge recycled from another county project. Culp said a bridge near Dunham Road and Route 25, scheduled for removal as part of the Stearns Road Corridor project, will be relocated to Raceway Woods sometime next fall.

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Edited by Aero426, 29 September 2009 - 03:14.


#39 Tom Smith

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 03:40

[quote name='Aero426' date='Sep 28 2009, 20:08' post='3891233']
Text from the Daily Herald suburban Chicago paper.
Raceway Repaving

Just like many roads in the area, the former racetrack in Carpentersville's Raceway Woods Forest Preserve is getting a much-needed resurfacing.

At least they're not building a Lowes Home Improvements shopping center etc. or what ever is was they built on Riverside raceway.

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#40 RA Historian

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 15:27

At least they're not building a Lowes Home Improvements shopping center etc. or what ever is was they built on Riverside raceway.

Yes indeed. When you stop to think about it, it is somewhat remarkable that a government entity is actually preserving an old/obsolete/out of service race track rather than just having the land sold off to some developer for yet another strip mall of one sort or another. This does not happen very often, I dare say.
Tom

#41 Aero426

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 01:24

There are many places where the track needs work, but the south portion of the main straight was not one of them. Here the old pavement as of two weeks ago, was in very good condition. I am not against the resurfacing in areas where the old asphalt was long ago removed. But it seems very unnecessary to destroy what was the best remaining portion of the track. It should have been left alone. The new path and green belt on each side will most likely prevent the ability to hold any future car shows on the main straight.

The various local entities paid many millions of dollars for the land. They have a responsibility to make it enjoyable for all the users of the space who enjoy it for different reasons. The naturalists would prefer it all be returned to prairie. Just the same, I'm concerned the political deck is stacked against the faction of race and historyfans.

Living 100 miles away, the track and its ghosts have been a destination for me over the years. I am sure the "improvement" will be "nice", but the reality is that a little connection to history has been lost. I am sure I will feel a little sick the next time I see it.

Edited by Aero426, 30 September 2009 - 01:47.


#42 ZOOOM

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 01:33

While I applaud the Park Districts' preservation of the land, I must say that the layout of the track, with the ups and downs and hills in the imediate area, left a parcel of land that was almost of no use to a builder. This is why Besinger allowed the track to be built where it was. Even HE couldn't find use for the land as a homesite...
ZOOOM

#43 SaturnVUEguy

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 18:42

I went to the track this past Monday and saw how much re-paving they have done, I thought it was going to be just a little bit down the center of the track, instead they are re-paving a roughly 10ft wide path. The entire north end, from the end of the straight around to the Silo or so was graded and ready to be paved. South of there nearly to Doanes corner has been paved, and most of the south end of the straight has been too. I have mixed feelings about it. I do like the fact they are preserving the track, but I liked walking on the actual track pavement itself, made it feel that much more real to me. I've lived close to the track my entire (short) life and was only able to get in there for the first time this year for the Meister Brauser car show, then 2nd time on Monday. I'm just glad I got to walk on some of the original track in Sept before they re-paved it.

I will upload some pictures later. I have some questions about stuff I found there. But for now, I have a crying baby to go feed.

#44 Aero426

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 04:39

I will upload some pictures later. I have some questions about stuff I found there. But for now, I have a crying baby to go feed.

Please post your pics when you can. Would like to see what is exactly happening. My understanding is the pavement will be 10 feet plus five of grass (or gravel in some spots) on each side. I am told by the MIRPA folks that the odds are good for another car show next year.

Edited by Aero426, 15 October 2009 - 04:41.


#45 SaturnVUEguy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:06

Please post your pics when you can. Would like to see what is exactly happening. My understanding is the pavement will be 10 feet plus five of grass (or gravel in some spots) on each side. I am told by the MIRPA folks that the odds are good for another car show next year.

I hope to get around to it tomorrow. Been busy today, and its about bedtime

#46 -Jesse-

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:34

Yeh.... but prolly only if it's spelt right!

ZOOOM


And especially if you buy the BIG(!) images from USGS :cool: Here's a tiny part of the whole 1,13Gb image.

The start/finish area of Meadowdale in 1962/07/01

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#47 SaturnVUEguy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:35

Ok, decided upload a few pictures tonight, before I re-name and organize the pics in the computer.

First picture I took of the day, which I believe is looking toward Carl's Bend. Looking in the direction of traffic, to where the workers left off.
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And this picture from the same place (from what I remember) looking in the opposite direction against traffic.
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Now a couple pictures of the Serpentine section.
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And finally looking against traffic toward the bridge. Was the bridge used to get the cars into the track? I traced what was the road leading up to it all the back out through the main gate and the main entrance to Rt 31
Posted Image

#48 SaturnVUEguy

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 05:37

And especially if you buy the BIG(!) images from USGS :cool: Here's a tiny part of the whole 1,13Gb image.

The start/finish area of Meadowdale in 1962/07/01

I want the fullsize version of that picture


#49 RA Historian

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 14:51

And finally looking against traffic toward the bridge. Was the bridge used to get the cars into the track? I traced what was the road leading up to it all the back out through the main gate and the main entrance to Rt 31

My memory is that the bridges were just spectator bridges. There were tunnels under the track for vehicular traffic.

Of course, that was over 45 years ago and I could well be wrong. Zooom, Ron, what do you think?

Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 15 October 2009 - 14:52.


#50 ZOOOM

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Posted 15 October 2009 - 15:37

Tom, I would think that bridge was located just after the track left the area where it touched the main straight.
It was a pedestrian bridge across the track and allowed access to the Meister Brau Beer Garden and when walking north
from there, accessing the bridge over tthe up hill.
All the bridges (accessed by climbing up on to them), were pedestrian bridges. If you remember,
It looked just like the bridge over the main straight.
ZOOOM

Edited by ZOOOM, 15 October 2009 - 15:38.