Jump to content


Photo

Ralph Salyer RIP


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 02 June 2010 - 01:01

Posted Image
Ralph and Virginia Salyer with son Mark and daughters Cindy, Kathy and Lisa

I am sad to report that Ralph Salyer passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday May 30, 2010.

His Funeral service was held in Hammond, Indiana on Tuesday June 1, 2010.

Ralph had raced Corvettes and McKee and McLaren and Cheetah race cars. He had a long partnership with the late Gene Crowe. Ralph was 88 years old.

photo: Salyer Family collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 03 June 2010 - 22:00.


Advertisement

#2 raceannouncer2003

raceannouncer2003
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 02 June 2010 - 01:15

I found this link to his obituary. It looks like the funeral is tomorrow:

http://www.legacy.co...p;pid=143229909

Some car photos at this link:

http://www.racingspo...Salyer-USA.html

Vince H.

#3 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,420 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 02 June 2010 - 13:40

I understand that Ralph had been in poor health for a long time.

Ralph Salyer was a fixture in midwest sports car racing in the 1960s. He ran a fine operation out of Hammond, Indiana, with his friend and head wrench Gene Crowe. They called their operation "Cro-Sal Racing". Ralph's cars always were dark blue with white trim, all except for his last car, which was white.

I first became aware of Salyer in 1962 when he ran a Corvette in class B Production. He was quite successful, with a string of class wins.

Salyer stepped up to an A Production Corvette Stingray for 1963. Success eluded him, however, as that was the year that the Cobras were unleashed on the racing world.

The next year Ralph made the step up to the sports racer ranks as he and racing buddy Budd Clusseruth bought Cheetah coupes and raced them together as a loose team. Salyer scored a somewhat fortuitous overall win in the 1964 Road America June Sprints, taking the lead on the last turn of the last lap as Roy Kumnick's leading Cooper-Ford broke down. Salyer complained of the intense heat buildup in the cockpit of the Cheetah, so Crowe got out the hacksaw and off came the top. The now "Cro-Sal Special" Cheetah roadster continued to race that season, with Salyer scoring his second overall SCCA National win, taking the August Lynndale Farms National.

Salyer continued into 1965 with the Cheetah roadster, but during the year took delivery of a McLaren Elva Mk I (M1A). This was powered by a small block aluminum Oldsmobile V-8, starting a relationship with Oldsmobile which continued for the rest of his racing days. Ralph has some success with the McLaren, but not as much as hoped.

At Riverside in early 1966 Salyer had a 'big one' with the McLaren, destroying the car. Thus began his association with Bob McKee, which lasted the rest of his racing career. Salyer took delivery of a McKee Mk VI and won the SCCA Class C National Championship, winning the Runoffs at Riverside that November.

Midway through 1967 Salyer traded the Mk VI to McKee for a new Mk VII. At this time Ralph stepped out of the cockpit and hired Charlie Hayes to drive the car in the Can Am. They had some decent results, but were outpaced by the latest from McLaren, Chaparral, et al.

The Mk VII was converted into the wedge shaped Mk X for 1968, and Hayes again drove the car. Results were mixed. The following year was the last for Salyer in racing as he attempted to run the somewhat outlandish Mk XIV, a twin turbocharged, 4wd McKee. Alas, funding did not come through as anticipated, and the operation was shut down.

Salyer was a plumbing contractor in Hammond, and all his cars and vehicles carried the "Salyer Plumbing" logo. A good man who added a lot to the sport in his day, a fine competitor, and someone on whom I will look back with affection.

Tom

#4 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 02 June 2010 - 21:04

Posted Image
Ralph Salyer and his Cheetah/Chevy, the Cro-Sal Special, on their way to victory in the 1964 June Sprints at Road America.

Photo: Willem Oosthoek Collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 02 June 2010 - 21:07.


#5 Manfred Cubenoggin

Manfred Cubenoggin
  • Member

  • 804 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 02 June 2010 - 22:34

Through the pages of SCG magazine back in the day, I became very familiar with the name, Ralph Salyer. Always a top gun in SCCA racing.

RIP, Ralph.

#6 fbarrett

fbarrett
  • Member

  • 1,001 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 03 June 2010 - 00:06

Hammond, Indiana, the gritty steel town that was also the hometown of Jean Sheperd. Shep was a car guy, too, so I hope they knew each other. No doubt they are comparing notes about Oldsmobiles up there today.

Frank

Edited by fbarrett, 03 June 2010 - 00:06.


#7 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 03 June 2010 - 10:42

Posted Image
Ralph Salyer and his driver Charlie Hayes


photo: Mark Salyer collection

#8 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 03 June 2010 - 10:54

Posted Image
Alan Connell leading Dick Thompson and Ralph Salyer in the blue#25 Corvette
This is from 1962 at the Wisconsin Grand Prix, held at Meadowdale Raceway. This photo was from practice session.


photo lent site: Willem Oosthoek collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 03 June 2010 - 10:55.


#9 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:13

Posted Image
Charlie Hayes driving the Ralph Salyer owned McKee Mk 7 to a fine 10th overall in the 1967 Elkhart Lake CanAm

This car was prepared by Gene Crowe and Bob McKee.

photo : Tom Schultz

copyright: Tom Schultz

Edited by Jerry Entin, 03 June 2010 - 11:14.


#10 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:21

Posted Image
Ralph Salyer with Bob McKee and Gene Crowe and driver Charlie Hayes
On the other side of the wall are Wesley Sweet and a young Mark Salyer

photo: Mark Salyer collection

#11 S&M Minis

S&M Minis
  • Member

  • 102 posts
  • Joined: December 06

Posted 03 June 2010 - 14:25

Sorry to hear about Ralph's passing, I also followed his exploits via SCG and ocassionally saw his cars at the track. I believe Ralph is standing at the back of the truck in this shot from Mid Ohio in 1965. I was not concious of the Salyer Plumbing logo that Tom commented on, but there it is on the McLaren and the truck. In retrospect it looks like a plumbers truck too.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#12 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 4,636 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 03 June 2010 - 23:16

Randy: Very nice picture. Ralph is in the white hat the closest to the McLaren the other fellow in the other white hat in the middle is Gene Crowe. That car is now owned by Edie Arrowsmith of the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 03 June 2010 - 23:17.


#13 Manfred Cubenoggin

Manfred Cubenoggin
  • Member

  • 804 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 04 June 2010 - 10:40

Jerry:

I don't know whether or not you could confirm this or not.

I recall an issue of Road & Track magazine of decades back when they ran their Photo Contest in assorted categories. Action(B&W and colour), concours(B&W and colour), personality(B&W and colour), etc. etc... There were many categories. In the Action(colour)group, I believe that the winner was a stunning photo of a Group 7 sports racer mid-crash and I seem to remember that the driver was Ralph Salyer. The car was high in the air trailing a massive blue cloud of smoke and positively disintegrating. The driver was periously exposed and hanging on for dear life. The photo caption or body text mentioned that the driver survived.

Any chance that you...or anyone...could verify my recollection? Copywrite probably precludes posting the shot here but man, it was a stunner!



#14 crosal19

crosal19
  • New Member

  • 1 posts
  • Joined: June 10

Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:47

Jerry:

I don't know whether or not you could confirm this or not.

I recall an issue of Road & Track magazine of decades back when they ran their Photo Contest in assorted categories. Action(B&W and colour), concours(B&W and colour), personality(B&W and colour), etc. etc... There were many categories. In the Action(colour)group, I believe that the winner was a stunning photo of a Group 7 sports racer mid-crash and I seem to remember that the driver was Ralph Salyer. The car was high in the air trailing a massive blue cloud of smoke and positively disintegrating. The driver was periously exposed and hanging on for dear life. The photo caption or body text mentioned that the driver survived.

Any chance that you...or anyone...could verify my recollection? Copywrite probably precludes posting the shot here but man, it was a stunner!

The crash happened at Riverside on or around April 19, 1966. something in the rear suspension had broken and sent the car off track. The car rolled up a hill before coming back down to a stop, according to my father it went nose over tail about 9 times. The only thing he was thinking at the time was "is this thing ever going to stop?" Funny side note to the crash. After being checked out by medical Dad realized he had gone to the track in his drivers suit and had no clothes to change into. The drivers suit was soaked in gas and covered in sand and the only person close by with a change of clothes was Dan Blocker, Hoss from the TV show Bonanza. Dad put them on, I wish I could have been there to see it. Ralph Salyer stood only 5' 6". Mark Salyer

Edited by crosal19, 04 June 2010 - 12:50.


#15 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,420 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 04 June 2010 - 16:01

Mark's description of his Dad's crash at Riverside is quite accurate. But I believe that the photo to which Manfred is referring is not of this crash, but rather is of the crash at turn 12 at Road America at the 1969 Can Am in which Stan Burnett (IIRC) destroyed his Burnett Special. That was a spectacular end over end, car destroying crash and that is the photo that was in Road & Track.

Tom

#16 Manfred Cubenoggin

Manfred Cubenoggin
  • Member

  • 804 posts
  • Joined: October 02

Posted 04 June 2010 - 22:55

Thanks for the correction, Tom. No, I wouldn't have thought it to be Riverside as I seem to recall a lush background...and that certainly wasn't Riverside! :)

Mark:

Thank you for your post and welcome to the forum. Please accept our condolences on the loss of your Father.



#17 SteveKrinsky

SteveKrinsky
  • New Member

  • 2 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 21 November 2010 - 06:55

Posted Image
Ralph and Virginia Salyer with son Mark and daughters Cindy, Kathy and Lisa

I am sad to report that Ralph Salyer passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday May 30, 2010.

His Funeral service was held in Hammond, Indiana on Tuesday June 1, 2010.

Ralph had raced Corvettes and McKee and McLaren and Cheetah race cars. He had a long partnership with the late Gene Crowe. Ralph was 88 years old.

photo: Salyer Family collection




Hello to all here.

I found the topic of Ralph's passing and commentaries by folks including Mark Salyer here on the "Autosport.com Bulletin Board" while wandering around the Internet. I immediately joined this site.

I never met Ralph, but I'd like to extend my condolences to Mark and his family about Ralph's passing.

My name is Steve Krinsky, and I'd like to introduce myself to Mark and others as the person who did the chassis-up restoration of Ralph's #26 McLaren M1A...one of the "Cro-Sal Specials" for the then owner.

I completed the multi-year restoration project in May 2008, it was a labor of love and determination for me with a marvelous result.

The car is currently owned & raced by Ms. Edith Arrowsmith who brought the car to the Monterey Historics this past summer.

I found a few photos of the car racing there at Laguna Seca.......in the Corkscrew. I'd love to find a video of the car racing if one exists!

So that part of Ralph is still living, as is Ralph's Cheetah which is currently owned and has been for many, many years by Mr. Al Bahoric.

Best regards,

Steve Krinsky

sh.krinsky@att.net







#18 SteveKrinsky

SteveKrinsky
  • New Member

  • 2 posts
  • Joined: November 10

Posted 21 November 2010 - 07:01

Posted Image
Ralph and Virginia Salyer with son Mark and daughters Cindy, Kathy and Lisa

I am sad to report that Ralph Salyer passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday May 30, 2010.

His Funeral service was held in Hammond, Indiana on Tuesday June 1, 2010.

Ralph had raced Corvettes and McKee and McLaren and Cheetah race cars. He had a long partnership with the late Gene Crowe. Ralph was 88 years old.

photo: Salyer Family collection




Hello to all here.

I found the topic of Ralph's passing and commentaries by folks including Mark Salyer here on the "Autosport.com Bulletin Board" while wandering around the Internet. I immediately joined this site.

I never met Ralph, but I'd like to extend my condolences to Mark and his family about Ralph's passing.

My name is Steve Krinsky, and I'd like to introduce myself to Mark and others as the person who did the chassis-up restoration of Ralph's #26 McLaren M1A...one of the "Cro-Sal Specials" for the then owner.

I completed the multi-year restoration project in May 2008, it was a labor of love and determination for me with a marvelous result.

The car is currently owned & raced by Ms. Edith Arrowsmith who brought the car to the Monterey Historics this past summer.

I found a few photos of the car racing there at Laguna Seca.......in the Corkscrew. I'd love to find a video of the car racing if one exists!

So that part of Ralph is still living, as is Ralph's Cheetah which is currently owned and has been for many, many years by Mr. Al Bahoric.

Best regards,

Steve Krinsky

sh.krinsky@att.net







#19 ZOOOM

ZOOOM
  • Member

  • 517 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 22 November 2010 - 14:58

Mark's description of his Dad's crash at Riverside is quite accurate. But I believe that the photo to which Manfred is referring is not of this crash, but rather is of the crash at turn 12 at Road America at the 1969 Can Am in which Stan Burnett (IIRC) destroyed his Burnett Special. That was a spectacular end over end, car destroying crash and that is the photo that was in Road & Track.

Tom


Tom, I remember that crash very well. I was standing at Canada corner at the time. I can remember seeing the car arrive at Canada corner about 10 feet in the air, upside down, trailing smoke and pieces!. I had my camera but was so mesmerized by the site I never thought to use it.

ZOOOM