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Paul Newman sponsorship?


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#1 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 13:39

I've seen a picture (sorry, I'm not able to post images) of the Honker II Ford that Mario Andretti drove at Bridgehampton, in the 1967 Can-Am.
The picture was b-w, don't know the color of the car. It sported the race number 17, a big Ford blue-oval on the rear, an STP sticker and a "Holman&Moody" painted on the side.
And in the nose of the car it was painted: "PAUL NEWMAN'S"

:confused:

Was he THAT Paul Newman?

At the time, 1968, he was involved as "Frank Capua" in James Goldstone's movie "Winning", I think.

Edited by Nanni Dietrich, 05 November 2012 - 13:54.


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#2 kayemod

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 13:49

Was he THAT Paul Newman?



Yes, but the car was crap.

Driver Mario is famously quoted as having said, "Why don't you paint my name across the nose and get Paul to drive it?"

#3 arttidesco

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 14:01

I've seen a picture (sorry, I'm not able to post images) of the Honker II Ford that Mario Andretti drove at Bridgehampton, in the 1967 Can-Am.
The picture was b-w, don't know the color of the car.

:confused:

Was he THAT Paul Newman?

At the time, 1968, he was involved as "Frank Capua" in James Goldstone's movie "Winning", I think.


Here is a link to a colour photo of the vehicle in question.

Great name for a car shame it turned out to be a bit of a lemon.



#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 14:06

Also see this earlier thread:

Holman Moody Honker and Honker II

and this photo of Newman, Andretti and Honker (originally linked by Arttidesco here in the Can-Am thread).

http://www.leblogaut.../Mario_paul.jpg

#5 hamsterace

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 14:16

As an aside, the car is currently for sale with Morris & Welford in the US following the untimely death of Tom Mittler.

I believe it may have been seen once or twice in the UK when it was over here having some work completed.

Edited by hamsterace, 05 November 2012 - 14:19.


#6 kayemod

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 14:41

Great name for a car shame it turned out to be a bit of a lemon.


Seeing how successful the fairly new Can Am series was proving to be, Ford decided they should get in on the act to try to stem Chevy domination, but the only real success they ever achieved was a single win for Dan Gurney's Ford-powered Lola T70. For the 1967 races, they financed the building of three new Ford-powered cars that they dreamed would carry all before them, of which the infamous Honker was the least unsuccessful. The others were a re-bodied J-Car called the G7A, and one other whose name escapes me. They were referred to by some in the business as the "Honker, Bonker and Clonker".


#7 RA Historian

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 14:53

, and one other whose name escapes me.

Might that have been the "429er", a modified McLaren M6B with the big aluminum 494 (+/-) ci Ford V-8 that Holman and Moody ran occasionally for Mario in 1969? Or perhaps it was the "Alan Mann Open Sports Ford" that ran a couple times at the end of 1969. In any case, none were successful, largely IMO because Ford never bothered to properly prepare/engineer/finance/etc them.
Tom

#8 kayemod

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 15:58

Might that have been the "429er", a modified McLaren M6B with the big aluminum 494 (+/-) ci Ford V-8 that Holman and Moody ran occasionally for Mario in 1969?


No, that was much later. It's just come back to me, and the third one in the 1967 Ford "Honker, Bonker & Clonker" threesome was the Shelby King Cobra. Surprisingly considering its provenance, this was the least successful of the trio, it had a slightly weird transverse springing arrangement that just didn't work. We all thought it was remarkable at the time that a global organisation like Ford could have got things so wrong with their Can Am efforts, as well as being misconceived and underpowered, their 1967 efforts were all massively overweight, about 30% heavier than the McLarens and Lolas they were competing against.


#9 RA Historian

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 20:25

Ah yes, the King Cobra. That thing was such a flop that I completely overlooked it, which in a way proves the point.

Tom

#10 bradbury west

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 20:37

...the third one in the 1967 Ford "Honker, Bonker & Clonker" threesome was the Shelby King Cobra. Surprisingly considering its provenance, this was the least successful of the trio, it had a slightly weird transverse springing arrangement that just didn't work. We all thought it was remarkable at the time that a global organisation like Ford could have got things so wrong with their Can Am efforts, as well as being misconceived and underpowered, their 1967 efforts were all massively overweight, about 30% heavier than the McLarens and Lolas they were competing against.


I cannot help thinking you veer from the misleading to the inaccurate a bit there, Rob. None intended, btw.
I cannot comment on the modded J car without going through the books,. The Newman car was Holman and Moody designed and built. Mario said it would not go, did not stop, and was averse to turning, there was nothing about it that was right, possibly the worst car he ever drove. QV Gordon Kirby's Mario biog.

The other car was the Shelby Can Am car, the King Cobra being another beast IIRC. The Can Am car later gained the soubriquet Shelby Cougar by the time Symbolic had it for sale in 2004, restored as you would imagine. Its weight then was cited as 1435 lbs dry, so the others must have been pretty slim if it was 30% overweight. It had an aluminium monocoque. It has been written up variously over the years, but, as it was a Len Terry design under his TAC operation, it is covered in some detail in his book.

All three cars were ordered and funded by Ford for the 67 season, being signed off. The problem for all of them was that after Ford's le Mans joys - a vanity trip perhaps , "whupping Ferrari" - they chose to concentrate on stock cars etc, win Sunday, sell Monday etc. Seemingly a simple commercial decision. The cash was just stopped, and all three operations were left high and dry.

The problem was they decided to do something too late, when the McLaren Chev. train, et al was in full sway. All three teams had huge pressure on them to deliver. The Shelby car was done in scheduled time but the Gurney Weslake engines were not ready, and never used in it, so some 351in, 5.7ltr pushrod units were drafted in. It did not help that in testing the first 2 engines failed in succession within a few laps, Len believing the oil not fully warmed up. The roller-spline couplings did not materialise so it was run with solid splined type which tended to lock up under high torque unsettling the car and Jerry Titus, who condemned the car for its suspension.

This was an upgrade of Len's original effective system on the mk6 Terriers, good enough for Brian Hart to succeed with, among others. The concept, used widely these days, was to separate the spring and damper function, the roll controlled only by the anti-roll bar, necessarily stiffer than some might have understood...........

The drive shaft problem led to eery handling at times, and perhaps Titus was not sophisticted enough in engineering terms to know what was really happening, so the horizontal springs were junked for coil-overs and a range of canard ?? fins appeared on the front and a large balancing spoiler on the rear, under the direction of Phil Remington. 3 steps forward 5 backwards, perhaps. All the time Ford were demanding results. Len recalls sitting on the pit wall for the best part of 2 weeks in testing waiting for the car to be ready to run for more than 3 or 4 laps. They were reluctant to heed his set up advice, much easier to censure the designer. By that time the money had stopped and Len came home as he had work waiting. When it did race the water pump failed ISTR.

Shelby had other work and sold the car off to a club racer who put it back as original and is quoted as being reasonably successful. There was nothing wrong, certainly it was not weird, with the suspension concept, Len not being the first to separate functions thus, as more modern designs have shown.
In addition to Len's book and some articles, incl Victory Lane Dec 1997, I take Len as my primary source.
Roger Lund

#11 kayemod

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:19

I’d tried to keep my previous post brief, accurate and relevant Roger, and I’m puzzled as to what you found either misleading or inaccurate in it.

You’re quite wrong about the Honker, Honker II to be precise, as Holman & Moody only commissioned and ran the thing, it was designed in England by Len Bailey, and built by Alan Mann’s organisation, then after testing at Goodwood it was shipped out the US for H & M to start struggling with it.

The Ford Mk4/J Car based G7A was designed around Ford’s Calliope engine which we’ve discussed here before, and it was additionally cursed with a manually-shifted two speed semi-automatic transmission, which gave as much trouble as the engine. Added to that it was the heaviest of the three at a claimed 1900lbs, though it was thought by some to weigh even more than that. The Honker II and King Cobra were relative lightweights, though still too heavy for the available power, in comparison a McLaren M6A weighed around 1350lbs.

You’re also wrong about the Shelby car. Although they’d used the name before for their Cooper Monaco based effort, this car was launched at Riverside 67 as the Shelby American King Cobra. It lasted just three laps and never appeared again. I’m not a chassis expert, but I don’t see how that layout could possibly have worked on a car with low roll centres, the single coil spring at each end acted on the wheel on the other side, it wasn’t even fixed to the chassis, so that the only roll resistance was provided by an over-sized roll bar, so as I said, weird. This system failed disastrously in testing, and the car had fairly conventional spring at each corner layout when it eventually made its brief race appearance. If the car was later further modified and re-named, that was probably to spare some embarrassment to some of those originally involved, low-level club racing must have been a bit of a come down after what had originally been claimed for the design.

The point I was making was that after their success at Indy where they’d overcome 30 year old engines in antiquated roadster chassis, and LeMans where their approach and sheer weight of funding defeated the oppositions’ small capacity high-revving engines, they thought that Can Am would be easy. All three Ford efforts were late, under-developed, misconceived in varying degrees, and eventually under-funded.

I rest my case.


#12 bradbury west

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:12

The point I was making was that after their success at Indy where they’d overcome 30 year old engines in antiquated roadster chassis, and LeMans where their approach and sheer weight of funding defeated the oppositions’ small capacity high-revving engines, they thought that Can Am would be easy. All three Ford efforts were late, under-developed, misconceived in varying degrees, and eventually under-funded. I rest my case.


As indeed was the point which I was hoping to make. I was ignoring the Honker as such, but further reading of the Mario biog would have clarified the point. ISTR it was at Goodwood in all its restored glory a year or three ago. The name King Cobra ISTR was discussed on TNF under the Cooper Monaco devices a while back. I was not there at the time so cannot comment further, and it is a matter of relative inconsequence to me.

As a recognised non-engineer I cannot comment either on the technicalities or potential of the Terry suspension concept, other than to say that many others have followed a similar pattern to separate bump and roll, incl group C and F1. A new approach, or something different, perhaps, but not weird. It was seen as a potentially good enough system for legendary engineer and talented driver Brian Hart, a good friend of Len's, to race as the mk6 Terrier in 1962 to good effect. I am sure BH would have suggested to Len if he had any doubts. It was also successful on the mk4 DRW variant of the mk6 in period against 23s etc, and Geoff Miller managed to set a hillclimb class record in his mk6 ISTR. None of those was a big budget operation either.
The problem with the Shelby car in practice was that it had not been installed correctly, end of story. Coupled with components which were unsuitable for it, it is no surprise that the design did not work, esp perhaps with someone like Titus at the wheel. They also wanted to run it too low at the front, plus the fins, which impacted on the flow to the layflat radiator. Len told them what was needed for the basic set up but they seemed to have known better.

The way they meddled and altered so many variables before establishing a base line doomed it, notwithstanding the engine problems, and seems contrary to what I always understood to be the fundamental of setup and testing.

With the H&M problems too it seem to reflect badly on all of the teams.
But you are correct about too late, too little time, and the pulled funding. If you recall anything else about the testing period let me know and I will ask Len as he probably still has his notes. He may recall seeing you there........
Roger Lund

#13 AJB

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:21

Yes, but the car was crap.

Driver Mario is famously quoted as having said, "Why don't you paint my name across the nose and get Paul to drive it?"

And on being asked (by Mario?) for his thoughts on the new car, Jim Hall is alleged to have replied, "It's perfect."
And when it didn't do too well in Practice, Jim said, "I didn't say it was perfect, I said it was purple!"

#14 AJB

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:51

And the other strange part of the Ford CanAm effort is that McLaren were looking for Ford backing for their own CanAm project. Both McLaren and Amon had been involved in the GT40 project and of course they developed the "lightweight" GTX-1 in 1965, which won at Sebring in 1966 as a GTMk11 Roadster. The suits at Ford though that the amount of funding McLaren required was far too low for it to be a serious effort with a good chance of success and turned them down. And so they turned to Chevrolet instead; probably a wise move, with the benefit of hindsight.

Alan

#15 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:45

I’d tried to keep my previous post brief, accurate and relevant Roger, and I’m puzzled as to what you found either misleading or inaccurate in it.

You’re quite wrong about the Honker, Honker II to be precise, as Holman & Moody only commissioned and ran the thing, it was designed in England by Len Bailey, and built by Alan Mann’s organisation, then after testing at Goodwood it was shipped out the US for H & M to start struggling with it.

The Ford Mk4/J Car based G7A was designed around Ford’s Calliope engine which we’ve discussed here before, and it was additionally cursed with a manually-shifted two speed semi-automatic transmission, which gave as much trouble as the engine. Added to that it was the heaviest of the three at a claimed 1900lbs, though it was thought by some to weigh even more than that. The Honker II and King Cobra were relative lightweights, though still too heavy for the available power, in comparison a McLaren M6A weighed around 1350lbs.

You’re also wrong about the Shelby car. Although they’d used the name before for their Cooper Monaco based effort, this car was launched at Riverside 67 as the Shelby American King Cobra. It lasted just three laps and never appeared again. I’m not a chassis expert, but I don’t see how that layout could possibly have worked on a car with low roll centres, the single coil spring at each end acted on the wheel on the other side, it wasn’t even fixed to the chassis, so that the only roll resistance was provided by an over-sized roll bar, so as I said, weird. This system failed disastrously in testing, and the car had fairly conventional spring at each corner layout when it eventually made its brief race appearance. If the car was later further modified and re-named, that was probably to spare some embarrassment to some of those originally involved, low-level club racing must have been a bit of a come down after what had originally been claimed for the design.

The point I was making was that after their success at Indy where they’d overcome 30 year old engines in antiquated roadster chassis, and LeMans where their approach and sheer weight of funding defeated the oppositions’ small capacity high-revving engines, they thought that Can Am would be easy. All three Ford efforts were late, under-developed, misconceived in varying degrees, and eventually under-funded.

I rest my case.


What a small world! The 1967 "Shelby King Cobra Can-Am" is the "Pick of the Liter" on page 118 of the Nov/Dec Vintage Motorsport. You are fairly close on the history, correct on the Riverside debut and flop. The car then crashed at Las Vegas on went into private hands, eventually getting a Chevy and being re-named he Terry T-!0 Chevy. I'm just at this point in the Shelby biography and it says 3 chassis were built, a complete car, an almost compete car, and a spare chassis.


#16 WDH74

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 00:34

I've nothing to contribute informationally, but something to add visually.

Posted Image
Honker II by William 74, on Flickr

Posted Image
Honker II #2 by William 74, on Flickr