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The Watson Roadsters


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#1 McRonalds

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Posted 20 July 2002 - 16:40

I've heard about a book called 'The Watson Years' by Gary Wayne but haven't seen any serious info about it. It's about A.J. Watsons famous roadsters.

Beginning with Pat Flaherty's Indy-winning John Zink Special in 1956, master racing mechanic and builder A. J. Watson built 23 Indianapolis roadsters. His cars won the Indianapolis 500 six times between 1956 and 1964. Watson himself served as chief mechanic on three of his winning cars.

Where can I get such a book (especially in Germany!!!) and is it worth buying it? I'm sure some of the members in this forum will know the answers.

Thanx :)

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#2 Don Capps

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Posted 20 July 2002 - 16:52

Excellent book. Gary lays out the story of each of the 23 Roadsters and the production of the book itself is excellent. Lots of work went into this book. Gary was selling them form a web site he set up so try searching for that.

#3 McRonalds

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Posted 21 July 2002 - 14:28

Thanks Don. At least and after a bulky search I found his web site - it's really hard to find...

http://home1.gte.net/res0fsoe/

...but unfortunately no eMail address :(. Here from Germany this would have been the easiest way to contact Gary. Anyone who know his eMail address? Of course if he runs a website he surely has one...?!

#4 fines

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Posted 21 July 2002 - 15:49

wayne.mail@verizon.net

I contacted him last September, and he was willing to send the book to Germany at a reasonable price (44 USD), but wouldn't accept credit cards, just a money order. Unfortunately, this is far too expensive to do from Germany! :(

#5 paulhooft

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Posted 21 July 2002 - 19:52

This is a very good book..
Another very good book on Watson Roadsters is the book INDIANAPOLIS Roadsters 1952-1964 By Joe Scalzo.
It reads like an adventure story.
And dont forget to buy Gordon Whites , Kurtis Kraft book is the same series
And..
Well, buy these first!
Paul :wave:

#6 Henri Greuter

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Posted 22 July 2002 - 13:22

To McRonalds & fines:

the last Gary Wayne's email addres I know is:

Wayne.mail@verizon.net

What worked for me when I bought a copy of it is: ask him the rate including postage and send it as US banknotes in a letter.

it's a neat book when you are in about the cars only. There is not so much on the drivers who drive the cars but read Scalzo's "Indianapolis roadsters" tome for that. If it comes to the register of the individual watson's, Wayne's work is unsurpassed.
Value for money.


Henri Greuter

#7 paulhooft

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Posted 22 July 2002 - 15:22

Hi Henry!!
Now and again... there are 2 Ddutchmen answering questions about American Indianapolis racing cars....

Is everything failes:
He announced The book at the American Racing history Forum about a year ago.
I am sure he is still a member, so think you can reach him there

http://groups.yahoo..../RacingHistory/

Greetings

Paul

#8 Don Capps

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Posted 26 July 2002 - 12:45

Many years ago, I attempted to figure out the various Watson Roadster chassis and simply missed the mark due to not having the detailed records which now seem to have surfaced, basic ignorance which made me miss some of the more obvious clues, and correctly figuring that someone much smarter than me would eventually wrestle this critter to the ground.

Gary came up with 23 Roadsters that A.J. Watson built, which initially surprised me since I thought there were more -- turns out that I was counting the clones and copies as "Watsons" as well before I figured that one out.

At any rate, I used the system to identify those Roadsters I found based on the one which was moreorless used by the constructors and the Scribes as a relatively painless way of sorting out the various chassis -- the date the chassis was made (56) and then assigned a number in that years build (56/1). I was close to what Gary has in some cases, but completely missed the boat in others.

Here is what I am using based on Gary's wonderful work:


Wayne	Capps 	First Appearance

1	56/1	1956/May/30	No. 8, John Zink Special, Pat Flaherty, Indianapolis 500

2	57/1	1957/May/30	No. 52, John Zink Special, Troy Ruttman, Indianapolis 500

3	58/1	1958/May/30	No. 16, John Zink Special, Jimmy Reece, Indianapolis 500

4	58/2	1958/May/30	No. 97, McNamara Special, Dick Rathmann, Indianapolis 500

5	59/1	1959/Apr/04	No. 16, Simoniz Special, Jim Rathmann, Daytona 50

6	59/2	1959/Apr/04	No. 5, Leader Card 500 Roadster Special, Rodger Ward, Daytona 50

7	60/1	1960/May/30	No. 1, Leader Card 500 Roadster Special, Rodger Ward, Indianapolis 500

8	60/2	1960/May/30	No. 4, Ken-Paul Special, Jim Rathmann, Indianapolis 500

9	60/3	1960/May/30	No. 9, S & R Racing Special, Len Sutton, Indianapolis 500

10	60/4	1960/May/30	No. 98, Ajajanian Special, Lloyd Ruby, Indianapolis 500

11	61/1	1961/May/30	No. 2, Del Webb’s Sun City Special, Rodger Ward, Indianapolis 500

12	61/2	1961/May/30	No. 41, Leader Card 500 Roadster Special, Johnny Boyd, Indianapolis 500

13	62/1	1962/May/30	No. 17, Bell Lines Trucking Special, Roger McCluskey, Indianapolis 500

14	62/2	1962/May/30	No. 3, Leader Card 500 Roadster Special, Rodger Ward, Indianapolis 500

15	62/3	1962/May/30	No. 4, Bill Forbes Racing Team Special, Shorty Templeman, Indianapolis 500

16	63/1	1963/May/30	No. 1, Kaiser Aluminum Special, Rodger Ward, Indianapolis 500

17	63/2	1963/May/30	No. 14, Konstant Hot Special, Roger McCluskey, Indianapolis 500

18	63/3	1963/May/30	No. 16, Coral Harbor Special, Jim Rathmann, Indianapolis 500

19	63/4	1963/May/30	No. 32, Sheraton Thompson Special, Ebb Rose, Indianapolis 500

20	63/5	1963/May/30	No. 45, Bardahl Special, Chuck Stevenson, Indianapolis 500

21	63/6	1963/May/30	No. 46, Racing Associates Special, Ebb Rose, Indianapolis 500

22	63/7	1963/May/30	No. 7, Leader Card 500 Roadster Special, Len Sutton, Indianapolis 500

23	63/8	1963/May/30	No. 9, Bryant Heating & Cooling Special, Eddie Sachs, Indianapolis 500

I hope this helps some of you. Needless to say, Gary's book is a great resource and cleared up more than a few mysteries for me.

#9 Henri Greuter

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Posted 26 July 2002 - 13:08

Hi Don,

I have tried to do the same, using Scalzo's "Indianapolis Roadsters" book and the Clymers.
That only helped for the cars that qualified, the DNQ's were almost impossible to allocate.

Was a fun job to as I remember. But consulting Wayne's book was a lot quicker and more complete.

Henri Greuter

#10 Don Capps

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Posted 26 July 2002 - 13:50

Originally posted by Henri Greuter
Hi Don,

I have tried to do the same, using Scalzo's "Indianapolis Roadsters" book and the Clymers.
That only helped for the cars that qualified, the DNQ's were almost impossible to allocate.

Was a fun job to as I remember. But consulting Wayne's book was a lot quicker and more complete.

Henri Greuter


My hat is off to Gary :up: since he did something that just stumped me for years since, as Henri points out, those DNQ's really made life difficult. I tried it do this originally in the 1980's, so really hit a brick wall in some cases or went waaaaaay up some box canyons trying to round up these doggies....