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'Lucky' Casner?


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#1 Buford

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Posted 04 July 2002 - 11:01

So tell me a story. Tell me about Lucky Casner.

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#2 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 04 July 2002 - 12:31

Maybe someone knows if this book is available in English??

"Lucky - L'histoire de Camoradi et de Lucky Casner", by Michel Bollée, 1999 in France
ISBN 2-9513642-0-2

#3 Barry Boor

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Posted 04 July 2002 - 19:14

Although far from a biography, there is much about Lucky Casner in the Maserati Birdcage book by Joel E. Finn. You will certainly get a good insight into the way Camoradi was financed and the state they got into when Maserati were on the way out.

#4 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 13:56

Yeah, why not take out this old thread. I looked through the Oosthoek books on the Tipo 61 - 65 models and the 450S book. I wondered if any of the TNF-ers have some knowledge about who Casner really was. In person I mean. He was a fast talker and not a poor racer.

But was there more to the man?

#5 WINO

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 14:59

There happens to be an eleven-page article on the man in the July/August 2005 issue of Vintage Motorsport.


WINO

#6 Seppi_0_917PA

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 15:29

Originally posted by WINO
There happens to be an eleven-page article on the man in the July/August 2005 issue of Vintage Motorsport.

Make that "an excellent eleven-page article"! If you only buy one issue of Vintage Motorsport this year - buy the July/August 2005 issue.

#7 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 16:03

OK, than I need to find a good outlet for this mag in Holland. Thanks for the tip! :D :up:

#8 Mac Lark

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 20:18

Originally posted by Buford
So tell me a story. Tell me about Lucky Casner.


He had a pretty wife

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 21:47

Without pics...

Whoops! Wrong forum!

#10 WINO

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 22:15

Shirley Casner was a model and airline stewardess. Quite a knock-out in the fifties.


WINO

#11 Scribe06

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 17:24

Originally posted by Buford
So tell me a story. Tell me about Lucky Casner.


As in the instance of why didn't the dog bark, that no one picked up on this invitation and told Buford the story of Lucky Casner is pretty remarkable.

As mentioned, the article in Vintage Motorsport is excellent and does justice to dear ol' Lucky.

Whatever else one might say or think about Casner, he was certainly someone whose passage through this corner of worldly activities was something that folks couldn't quite grasp while being utterly fascinated by the guy.

They don't quite come like him anymore....

#12 Lotus23

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 23:34

I concur: the Vintage Motorsport article is excellent. A well-researched, nicely-balanced piece on a real character.

While I never met Lucky, I did get to see him run at LeMans 63, both on April test day and the race itself in June. He and Andre Simon shared a monster 5-liter Maser coupe which went like the hammers of hell until its transmission gave up in hour #4. They finished 40th of 48 starters.

Somewhere in the hall closet there's a 35mm color slide or two...one of these days I've gotta dig those out and dust 'em off. Hard to believe he's been gone 40 years now.

#13 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 17:14

:wave: In Road & Track August 1960 was a 4 pages + article on Camoradi Casner. I seem to have lost the "+" (continued at page 85) side/sides. Can anyone please supply the missing ?

Regards Bjørn Kjer

#14 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 15:34

:cat: Has anyone got any knowledge on how Camoradi got their F1 cars to the tracks?
Regards Bjørn Kjer

#15 JB Miltonian

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 04:41

Bjorn, I'll send you the missing page from the R&T article.

#16 PonysiteEd

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 19:38

If there happens to be anything about Lucky Casners Shelby relation or activities or a friend in Berlin/Germany, pls. let me know.
I'm still researching this car driven by the Huth family.
Huth Shelby imported by Casner

#17 Jerry Entin

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 22:55

Posted Image
Lucky Casner and long-time Camoradi driver Masten Gregory at the Nurburgring in 1961. Photo lent to site by Willem Oosthoek

#18 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 23 September 2006 - 07:18

:wave: I would love to have the Birdcage article, anyone willing to send a copy of the mag ? Not available here and never seen in any way , will pay!
Regards Bjørn Kjer

#19 Jerry Entin

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 00:05

Posted Image
Thinking BIG even then! At New Smyrna Beach in February 1957, used Cadillac dealer Lucky Casner entered two MGA's prepared by Lee Lilley. Three years later the name Casner Motors Racing Division would be known worldwide. Photo lent site by Willem Oosthoek.

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#20 Barrie Hobkirk

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 04:33

Hi Bjørn,

This is how Camoradi got their F1 car to the track.

http://www.coldplugs...rock_park01.htm

See 250F picture under "The Race" heading.

Cheers,
Barrie

#21 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:47

:clap: Hello Barrie, I was in fact thinking of F1 in Europe why didnt I write that?), but this site I never found , great , thanks Barrie , many other good pics from that time too.!

Kind regards Bjørn Kjer

#22 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 07:26

:clap: And thanks to Jerry for those great pics!

To anyone of interest I would like to sum up the Lucky/Camoradi material :

Article R&T 1960 by Bob Morrison
Article Autosport 1990 by ?
Article Sports Car Int. 1992 by Joe Scalzo
Article Vintage MS 2006 by W.Oosthoek

Besides the Birdcages books by Joel Finn and Willem Oosthoek there is Michel Bollees "Lucky" (in french but lots of pics)

The film "Pit Pass" 1960

Other books with Maserati themes as well as race reports the Internet with Maserati sites AND the TNF.

And it still comes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#23 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 14:55

:blush: I have been asked to correct my list above:The Vintage MS article is 2005, (not 2006)and the date is Jul/Aug issue, the the 60 article is Aug ,the 90 is Dec 20/27 and the 92 is Sept. , sorry!

Further I would like to add that having read the newest article by OOSTHOEK , I must say he has dug some new infos out ,and written a more in depth article than "just" race reports; and putting some of the other stuff between, you have I think a very "complete" story of LUCKY and his team.

I do have the Bollee book "LUCKY" but not speaking french I have to be content with the lots of great pictures and the english captions.

Regards Bjørn Kjer

#24 Jerry Entin

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 19:55

There are two more articles to be found on Lucky Casner. Today's Motor Sports, April of 1961 Camorad-One year Later by Charles Wick and another is Autoweek March 14, 1994, Lucky's Charm by Pete Lyons. I am going to try and put the Todays Motor Sport Article up here now.

#25 Jerry Entin

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Posted 25 September 2006 - 21:15

Posted Image
Here is the article by Charles Wick.

#26 Jerry Entin

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 20:39

Posted Image
LeMans, June 1960. Ruining his expensive Italian Loafers in the Torrential rain, Maserati's chief mechanic Guerrino Bertocchi tries to get his point across with Lucky Casner. Casner's co-driver in the Birdcage was Jim Jeffords, with Ian Burgess in reserve. Photo lent to site by Willem Oosthoek

#27 Lotus11Register

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 00:31

Posted Image

This would have been a triumph of sorts for CAMORADI, but rules are rules. This is the Lee Lilley / Fred Gamble Corvette on its way to finishing 10th overall at LeMans, 1960. The car was full of GM parts developed for NASCAR and ran without a hitch. One problem in practice was Lilley spinning at Indianapolis when he followed Taruffi's advice and held too high a gear. Later it was explained to Lee that Taruffi's experience had come in a much slower car. At least that was the story.

The rules that kept this pair out of the recordbooks? Depending on who remembers it: Lilley had driven the car for too many hours; the car hadn't completed enough laps for its engine size; or it hadn't spent enough time qualifying. But after the race they were disqualified.

Lloyd Casner deserves more credit than he gets for making such an impact in the world sports car scene. His team was the last big hurrah that Maserati had in sports car racing, and was the team that brought Goodyear into international racing. Both Lee Lilley and Fred Gamble were real gentlemen, talented, hard-working men who with so many others were drawn to Casner's big ideas.

#28 Jerry Entin

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 14:29

Posted Image
Here is Lee Lilley in the ex Fangio Maserati 250F after Lucky Casner bought it for the Team. Photo lent to site by Jay Sloane

#29 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 00:10

Posted Image
Lucky Casner's son Perry Casner, at home in Charlotte, NC.

#30 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 00:16

Posted Image
Lucky Casner's favorite photo of himself. Taking the Karussell at the Nurburgring. The image was often used to answer fan mail. Casner won the 1000KM in 1961 with Masten Gregory, but this photo was taken during practice. What happened to the roll bar on the Birdcage?
photo lent to site by Willem Oosthoek.

#31 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 07:24

Great picture , I cannot remember having seen it ever, , interesting point with the roll bar , and notice too ,the small distance between the track(cement) and exhaust pipes,its really hard driven here.....

#32 Tmeranda

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 19:53

I would say the roll bar is still there, but hidden behind the drivers helmet because of the angle of the photo. It was a very narrow roll bar.

#33 Jerry Entin

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 22:41

Posted Image
Based on this photo showing the same Tipo 61 chassis # 2472 with Casner's co-driver Masten Gregory on his way to victory in the 1000KM Race. I would say it was unlikely that the rollbar was hidden in the previous picture.
photo lent site Willem Oosthoek

#34 PonysiteEd

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 05:31

Posted Image
Excert found at an exhibition in Geneva, no copyright mentioned at least.

#35 Jerry Entin

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 18:57

Posted Image
Camoradi Corvette in the day.
Posted Image
Team station Wagon seen at Nurburgring in 1960. He ran a Corvette but used a Ford station Wagon for the Team personnel.
photos found for site by Michel Bollee.

#36 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 08:29

Great pictures ,and on the last one from Nurburgring ,just above thewindscreen in the background can be seen Team Elites Bedford transporter with the 4 wheel trailer on the car.

#37 Loren Lundberg

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Posted 17 December 2006 - 21:32

Originally posted by Lotus11Register
Posted Image

This would have been a triumph of sorts for CAMORADI, but rules are rules. This is the Lee Lilley / Fred Gamble Corvette on its way to finishing 10th overall at LeMans, 1960. The car was full of GM parts developed for NASCAR and ran without a hitch. One problem in practice was Lilley spinning at Indianapolis when he followed Taruffi's advice and held too high a gear. Later it was explained to Lee that Taruffi's experience had come in a much slower car. At least that was the story.

The rules that kept this pair out of the recordbooks? Depending on who remembers it: Lilley had driven the car for too many hours; the car hadn't completed enough laps for its engine size; or it hadn't spent enough time qualifying. But after the race they were disqualified.

Lloyd Casner deserves more credit than he gets for making such an impact in the world sports car scene. His team was the last big hurrah that Maserati had in sports car racing, and was the team that brought Goodyear into international racing. Both Lee Lilley and Fred Gamble were real gentlemen, talented, hard-working men who with so many others were drawn to Casner's big ideas.


The three Cunningham cars received significant modifications via GM Engineering - to the extent that they all raced with different motors than they had been built with. When they returned to Momo's garage in the US, the three race motors were removed and returned to Chevrolet for evaluation. Rumor has it that when the original motors would put back in, two of them got switched....long before "numbers matching".
The Camoradi Corvette was almost embarassingly stock. It was a "PR" presence, as Casner and everyone else knew that if they were to "win", it would be via the Birdcages. Perhaps due to the association with the lightweight 'Cages, the car did get lighter - 150 lbs lighter than the Cunningham cars according to Karl Ludsvigen.
The front and rear motor mounts, the quick steering adapter, the clutch/brake pedal assembly, the frame
crossmembers have all been DRILLED with holes of varying sizes - the ones in the "X" are 2" in diameter.
The French created the Index of Performance standard so as to possibly have something to point at for the generally speaking smaller engined French cars. The formula in place in 1960 was: cylinder capacity (cc's) minus
125; this number was then DIVIDED by cylinder capacity (cc's) PLUS 150. The Index for the 4637cc Corvettes thus
resulted in 3770.2 kilometers. Cunningham #3 did 3782; Camoradi di 3713. The winner of the "Index of Performance" in 1960 was a 702 cc D.B. Panhard.
There was also another "Index"; that of "Thermal Efficiency", won by a Lotus Elite.
But no one ever ignored the "overall" finish results.
Hope this helps.

#38 Jerry Entin

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 18:11

Posted Image
Here are two members of the Team Camoradi- Bob Wallace and Fred Gamble
photo lent site Dave Kane

#39 Loren Lundberg

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 20:02

Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
:cat: Has anyone got any knowledge on how Camoradi got their F1 cars to the tracks?
Regards Bjørn Kjer


I'm unaware of how the F1 cars were moved, but I know of a picture of a truck with two birdcages on it - one on "2nd story" metal floor above the top of the truck's cab. I thought I had it here, but a quick look didn't bring it to hand.

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#40 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:03

:wave: Hi Loren , good info on the Vette!
As to transporters , Camoradi had their own in the US , a Chevy (bonneted) with a big semitrailer. In Europe they had no team transporters , but lend or rented some. Apart from the Ford Station wagon for personnel , I have seen the one I believe you mean. Its a Bianchi medium truck with open 2 stage build up for 3 cars. Dark red it was with no names on ,seen first time at Monza 1959 (not Camoradi). They used it at least for 60 & 61 at Nurburgring and Le Mans. Sometimes the T61 were nose to tail or nose to nose,but at LM61 they HAD to do it nose to nose as they were so long with the LM tails. Also at 61 Nurburg the T63 was on an open small trailer behind a Jaguar Mk.2 , on the way to be returned to the factory (propably not even tried out here ,having more or less ran out of money). At LM61 their Vette was driven to the race , raced , and driven back !