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Rear-engined Sprint cars?


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#101 Bob Riebe

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Posted 16 October 2011 - 05:26

Sadly their was a now gone site on west coast super-modified cars and drivers, which had an abundance of pictures and info on both.
From what I remember, and there is, or was, still a not to good picture on the net if one does the right-- by guess and by gosh-- search of Piepers last super-mod, and it was very, very different from the early ones.

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#102 gfastr

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 00:12

It does, interesting Question.... I would think a rear-engine car would cause "over-oversteer" myself, though some would be negated by weight on the rear wheels handling more power. In the end, I'd guess it could be made to work, after plenty of testing "moments." :eek:


In the mid 1970s we built a number of mid-engined "mini modifieds" which were quite successful on dirt tracks in upstate New York.

They were tube-frame chassis, Volkswagen beam axle front end, and air-cooled VW engine and transmission (basically the same layout as Formula Vee). The engines put out plenty of horsepower -- we went up to 2 liters in displacement, four downdraft Webers for carburation. By playing with weight distribution and tire stagger front end "push" was virtually eliminated. The drivers with a keen sense of balance could power-slide them tail-out just like the more traditional front-engine cars.

At Lebanon Valley Speedway (West Lebanon NY), a high-banked clay half-mile, the mini-modified was only a second or two slower than the big-block DIRT modifieds.

#103 Michael Ferner

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:51

Hey, guys, where are your manners??? Let me finish my Sunday Sermon first... :(

Seriously, there are so many interesting points touched on by so many here, that it becomes difficult to stay focused on my "historical perspective" (which I still believe to be of some value).

But the real question hanging out there is about the term "big car". If you look back a few posts you will see our confusion.


Robby, your last post and my last edit overlapped, so perhaps you haven't seen it: the term "Big Car" (capitalized or not) was created around the mid-thirties as a catch-all phrase for "regulation size" Racing Cars, to differentiate them from the Midgets. Originally, it included all "proper", purpose-built Racing Cars, running at Indy, the miles and half-miles (smaller tracks were usually reserved for Midgets back then). Other terms were applied as well, but this "status quo" remained largely intact until the mid- to end-fifties, when the term Big Cars began to be mostly applied to USAC National Championship cars. But, even in the sixties, Sprint Car races were quite often advertized as races for Big Cars, Speedway Cars or even Indianapolis Cars!

To pick up the historical perspective again, one would think that the Contest Board of the AAA, the biggest and most powerful organisation in racing, would have been in a position to lead the way in nomenclature and rules before WW2, but in reality, in a country with such a huge population, spread over such a vast area, and a "free market" culture combined with an "automobile culture" like nowhere else on this planet, things "just happened". AAA had enough trouble to exercise control in its own backyard, and throughout the thirties, local exemptions existed in addition to the "General Racing Regulations" of the sanctioning body. Reading through official AAA documents of the era, it's striking how fuzzy many of the definitions remained for a long time: officially, there were Racing Cars (yes, "Racing", not "Race Cars"!) and Stock Cars (Midgets were basically ignored until it became impossible to do so any longer), but there was also apparently a desire to combine these two tribes. Case in point is the so-called "Junk Formula", an unsuccessful attempt to establish the (Semi) Stock Racing Car. It could well be argued that the Indy 500 was actually a Sports Car race during the years 1930-37, in the same way that there is still a lot of confusion about some "borderline" events in Europe at the time (1926 German GP, anyone?), but the term "Sports Car" was not yet in widespread usage anywhere, to the best of my knowledge, and even today it lacks proper definition - look at the various types of car that ran at Le Mans over the years, or even in one single year, it's mind-boggling! By the way, AAA Stock Car rules of the thirties were interesting, too, as they allowed removal of various parts like fenders, running boards, windshields etc. - it was an "open-wheel" formula!

At some point, probably during the thirties (other people may be better qualified for an exact definition), the "hot-rodders" became a decisive factor. Hot-rodders were mostly young people, with an enthusiastic interest in cars and engines, who would take an old Road Car (maybe the former "family car", after it had been replaced by a newer one), and use it for "traffic lights" competition, or, in other words, straightaway runs on public roads. Pretty soon, cars were tuned and modified, clubs were organized (formal or informal), and in many places, most notably in California, huge meetings were performed, often on dry lakes in the desert. An "anything goes" mentality saw to it that it became soon necessary to provide several classes for cars to compete in, and names like Roadsters, Modifieds, Jalopies and many, many more were used, depending on locality. Some of these hot-rodders even used former Racing Cars, modified or not, and in no time at all races were organized on fairground tracks for all of these vehicles. Roadsters now became Track Roadsters, and other popular names were Hardtops, Sportsmen or even plain Stock Cars. Some of these were essentially identical to the homebuilt Big Cars that were still the norm in racing, and some even did "double duty": with a single-seater body for regular Big Car races, and with a cut-up passenger car body (or whatever was required by local rules) for the other races, whether as a Track Roadster, Modified or whatever. Confusing? You betcha!

The next important step was the introduction of tubular chassis frames after WW2, first for Midgets, then Big Cars as well. Prior to this, most Big Cars had been built by using (more or less) modified Road Car ladder frames, with the exception of the "high-end" cars (a numerical minority) that used purposely built frames of the same type. Ladder (or, rail) frames phased out of the sport over quite a long period, lasting well into the late sixties or even beyond, due to the "hand-me-down" practice - cars that were no longer competitive in AAA or USAC would be used for many more years in IMCA, CRA, URC or other, local competition. Road Cars, on the other hand, went a different route, with unitary chassis construction becoming the norm in postwar years. With that, one may be tempted to think that matters become less complicated, but Pandora's Box was well and truly opened! For out-and-out Racing Cars, however, it meant that the days of using major "stock" components from Road Cars were over, except for engines when rules designed to keep costs down favoured them over purposely built power units. But, "hot-rodders at heart" continued to build and race whatever they desired, and as long as two or more agree to compete with each other, there's no reason why anything shouldn't go in a free market! Whether the public supports it or not by paying admission to watch, is an entirely different question, though...

So, what we have now (post-WW2) is a relatively clearly-defined field of Big Cars, with Sprint Cars (in the forties/fifties) and (Dirt) Champ Cars (in the sixties/seventies) splitting off from the main tree, the Midgets (which did survive despite some heavy jolts in the late forties) and the confusing and chaotic world between them and the Sports and Touring Cars, which are not really Stock Cars either - in its truest sense, the word "stock car" suggests an ordinary Road Car with competition numbers, and I don't think such an animal was ever raced in earnest in more recent years, beyond a few solitary events. What constitutes what is a question that can often only be answered by studying actual rules in detail. For example, I've seen countless references to the Jerry Hansen Lola, competing at the Minnesota State Fair races, as being "outrageously illegal", but if that were the case, anyone finishing behind it that day could and should have protested it, and the matter would've been settled! Even the IMCA, which admittedly couldn't have cared less about such "silly" things as rules before WW2, was at that time a reasonable and respected organisation which would have taken action. I don't for a minute buy the story that nobody did so in spite of the car being illegal, this being a professional sport, with vital prize money at stake - c'mon, you must be joking! To me, it suggest that most people who say these things do not have a clue about actual rules and regulations, much like the casual fan, they only express their wishes. But, any sport, and especially one that is so dependent on machines like motor racing, needs rules and the enforcement of the same. So, to the question if the Hansen Lola was a rear-engined Sprint Car: if it was accepted at scrutineering and not disqualified after the race, then of course it was!

Reading between the lines, one can already sense where this is leading to: One, racing is expensive, so it can only survive as a professional sport. Two, a professional sport needs bums in the seats before anything else. Three, a majority of fans dislikes the rear-engined cars, and "wants" them to be illegal. And four, the free market prevails... We have already seen that even the AAA, in its heyday, never had the power to establish rules that were universally accepted. USAC, on the other hand, was in a much weaker position in the seventies: the IMCA, in pre-war years merely a travelling circus show with very little actual impact on the sport, had grown to be a major rival throughout the sixties, and other local groups like the CRA and NARC on the West Coast, URC in the East and ASA, ASCoC, BCRA, NCRA, UMCA etc. etc. etc. were all running traditional Sprint Cars in direct competition with USAC, more often than not totally eclipsing the "mother of all sanctioning bodies" on their own turf. Add to that the world of Modifieds, Super Modifieds, Super Sprints and what have you, all sufficiently close to Sprint Car specifications that even the most seasoned veteran has a hard time telling them apart. Many tracks were running weekly shows with cars that would not be accepted at the pit gate in the next town, let alone the next state, and some of those tracks had five-figure crowds night after night! Sure, USAC could have allowed the rear-engined Sprints to stay, and it would have ended up with Formula Super Chevy, read: Super Vee with a few extra horses. Would that have survived any longer than Super Vee did? Hardly.

So, was it a mistake by USAC to ban the rear-engined Sprint Car? In my opinion, definitely not. It would only have driven the club into a corner, and it wouldn't have helped its drivers one bit to make it to Indy. As has been mentioned elsewhere, there were other factors at play, perhaps too numerous to recount here. Probably the most influential was the resurgence of dirt track racing in the late seventies. The World of Outlaws (WoO) started in 1978 almost exclusively on dirt tracks, and in no time at all became the leading Sprint Car series in the US - that was no accident! Some track operators dug up the pavement which had only been laid a decade earlier. Would rear-engined cars have come to dominate on dirt, too? Difficult question. Probably not, given that track size began to tumble, too. A rear-engined car winning on a one-third or even one-quarter dirt track is hard to imagine. And would anyone care to watch? Let's face it, Sprint Cars are perhaps retrograde technology with their rudimentary tube frames, beam axles and primitive transmissions, but they're still fun to watch. Well, except that they look more like farm equipment than racing cars, these days. But once they start churning up the dirt, adrenalin takes over - and that's what really counts!

Edited by Michael Ferner, 17 October 2011 - 14:09.


#104 Bob Riebe

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 21:38

This is from Sports Illustrated.
Their ignorance sadly is boldly displayed by the comment on Offenhausers and gasoline.

There is one clue. In 1973 Hansen built a rear-engine sprint car out of a Formula A Lola and ventured off to the USAC races to take on the Offenhausers, most of which were front engined. He showed up at the Minnesota State Fair for a paved half-mile race, qualified on the pole and won his heat before the USAC officials, much to their chagrin as the story goes, realized what was happening. Here was this outsider, not a good ol' boy from the sideways set but a sporty-car type with clean fingernails, an amateur—and a rich one to boot—driving a car with a stock-block, gasoline-burning, V-8 engine stuck in the wrong end. Shortly before the main event (and long after the car had passed tech inspection) Hansen was told that his roll cage didn't have enough support. Lindorfer hastily welded on a jack handle to satisfy the officials. Then, as Hansen was walking toward the grid, they told him his two-piece driving suit wouldn't do (after he had worn it in the heat race, of course). A USAC driver named Bruce Walkup lent Hansen a one-piece suit. Overcoming these hassles, Hansen had a couple of problems of his own to deal with, namely a fever and nausea from the flu. But after a seesaw dice with Tom Sneva he won the race. The next year, USAC banned the rear-engined sprint car.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 17 October 2011 - 21:39.


#105 Allen Brown

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 07:39

Hey, guys, where are your manners??? Let me finish my Sunday Sermon first...

Great sermon Michael! I try to learn something new every day but it's only half past eight and I'm done for the week!

#106 Bob Riebe

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 18:10

Michael:

This is not to start a Smiles-Buford spat with a bad ending, but do you ever get over here, Mid-Amereica, to any of the Museums where old sprint cars are displayed or old drivers visit?
Especially the Museum down at Knoxville, Iowa where Hall of Fame memebers are inducted.

History is dying with them.
I am now reading the book on the early years of the URC and even though it concentrates on the good and only gives brief mention to diagreements, one can see from reading that there is a huge story untold behind the brief comments on inter/a-sanctions politics, driver relations etc.

Don Capps is also a great historian, but says he is over-whelmed just trying to get in print what he is doing.
As hindsight is twney-twenty, and time is not anyone's friend while writing history, I am just curious how over-loaded you are trying to accdess information, as even people living in the middle of the U.S. have to travel thousands of miles to cover a small short-track racing region. [i ] ( I .e., if I could afford to try put in print the history of the one -half mile tracks that were with- one hundred and fifty mile radius of my home town, which once had a one-half mile trac that was part of the county fair circuit, the round trip would be over one thousand miles.)[/i]

Bob
If this should be its own thread, someone please move it.

Edited by Bob Riebe, 19 October 2011 - 14:39.


#107 RStock

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 20:00

...Many tracks were running weekly shows with cars that would not be accepted at the pit gate in the next town, let alone the next state, and some of those tracks had five-figure crowds night after night!...


Thanks Michael for the response and for putting things in a historical perspective. And no, I did not originally see your answer to the "big car" question but I do now.

The quote from your post above is why I stay on the question of whether there was ever a rear-engined sprint car that was ever successful on dirt, even for a short time before being banned. As you point out, the wide diversity in American racing would seem to have led to a lot of experiments. I mentioned earlier a local fellow who built a rear-engined modified (not a super modified) but it bombed and he gave up rather quickly.

That was at a track that had it's own rules, which there were and still are thousands of here in the US. I'm hoping someone out there has a story of one since even though USAC, WOO, whoever might have banned them, there were still places they could compete. I'm hoping one comes out of the woodwork somewhere.


#108 Michael Ferner

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 16:36

Bob, I'm not sure I understand. Overloaded? Hm, yes, I spend a lot of time with this, but it is my pleasure. I just love doing the research, stilling my curiosity. Actually, it's fun. I guess somebody has to do all the dirty work... :lol:

Getting things in print is a problem, yes. It's definitely got to be done, but it's also a very frustrating process. That's why I use this (and other) fora (forums?), to get things out into the world. I'm not súre if I will ever get to be writing a book, but much of my research needs to get published, one way or another. It's far from ideal, doing it like this, but I guess it's better than nothing.

As for visiting your country, yes, I have been "over" this summer, but only for ten days. I had quite a heavy schedule, so unfortunately I had to skip Knoxville and several other sites. I will very probably do this again in the not so distant future, as it has been a great experience. Doing research via internet or books and documents is comfy, but there's no substitute for "the real thing", even if it takes quite a bit of money and several hours of air travel. Hopefully, they'll invent teleportation, soon... :D

#109 martyk

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 00:16

Here's an article from 1975 where Todd Gibson ran his rear-engine car on the Dirt at Clovis (I use the term "dirt" rather loosely, as the Clovis track was so hard packed it practically was pavement most of the time) during the Golden West Classic. As I recall, one had to try and run all the races to get points (and $$) for the series. Must have been an interesting race, as you had the likes of Rick Ferkel and Roger Rager in dirt sprint cars, Howard Kaeding, etc in pavement super modifieds, Bob Frey in a pavement sprinter, and Gibson in his rear engine car.
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#110 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 10:59

The Super DIRT series, formerly DIRT, use tube frame chassis now as does the mod revival series in the Texas, Arkansas,Louisiana area, but IMCA mods and others of that ilk that make up by far the vast majority of the Modifieds being raced now, still use OEM frames.

2011 IMCA rules

2. FRAME: 1964 or newer OEM perimeter American rear-wheel drive passenger car frame only. No sports car frames. Frame must be full and complete, cannot be widened or narrowed, and must be able to support roll cage on both sides, exceptions are: weight jack in original center line of spring tower allowed; frame may be cut a maximum 36 inches forward from center of rear end housing; horns may be removed in front of steering box and notched maximum one inch at bottom for tie rod clearance; front crossmember may be notched and boxed for radiator and/or steering clearance; maximum seven inch wide opening in side of spring tower for spring removal. Maximum two inch wide by four inch tall frame stiffener may be welded directly to outside of left side frame rail. See www.imca.com for OEM frame dimensions. Minimum wheelbase 108 inches, maximum 112 inches, both sides. Maximum overall width shall not exceed 78 inches from outside of tire to outside of tire. No part of frame can be lower than four inches from ground except front crossmember.

https://imca.com/rules/modified/

Sounds much the same as AMCA here in Oz, though they are based on the HQ holden front chassis and use the 253 Holden V8.
But bear little resembalance to a 60s Supermodified here or in the US.

#111 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 11:20

I actually looked at Don Edmonds website last week. He was a proponent of rear engined cars. I think he even built one.
He also built the roadster midget that was in effect banned soon after it first competed and ended up here in Adelaide racing on dirt. It may have been a bitumen car but a dirt car it was not.And was VERY iffy for legality here in Oz too. Since the rules here were basically USAC rules in those days.

As others have said really rear engined Sprinters were never really Sprinters except for a couple of purpose built cars that were fairly 'iffy' for legality and did not hang around very long.
As for a 5000 masquerading as a Sprinter it was exactly that. And only on bitumen tracks, not dirt which is and was the 'real' deal for a Sprintcar or midget.

And for weight distribution, rear engine means really mid engine with the engine in the centre of the car and the driver sitting in the front, closer to the accident!!
A road race car will have the gearbox out the back whereas the 'purpose built' Sprintcars I have seen pics of just hooked the engine to a quick change. So it will be a 'tight' car not loose in basic characteristic. As is really a modern Sprint.

#112 mac miller

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 03:20

Actually, I was working on USAC sprint cars during their 1973 “rear engine” season. The rear engine cars that competed at the USAC pavement races were:

The #35 Roahrig Chevy was a tube frame car built and owned by bros, Stan and Dave Roahrig from northern Ind. Dave drove the car to the very first USAC rear engine win at Cincinnati O. on July 4th . It was his only win. They finished 22nd in points.

The #52 “Siebert Olds” Chevy was a tube frame car built and owned by Paul Leffler of St.Paul, Ind. This car was driven by several different drivers including Greg Weld, George Snider and Johnny Parsons Jr. It crashed a lot and finished 18th in points.

The #4 “MidWest Manufacturing” Chevy, owned by Carl Gelhausen of Jasper Ind, was a highly modified, 1966 Huffaker “MG Liquid Suspension Spl.” Indy car. It was a monocoque chassis but used standard coil springs & shocks in place of the “liquid suspension” and a Chevy engine replaced the OFFY.
Tom Sneva drove this car to 6 wins at Hartford, NewBremen, Toledo & Cincinnati, O. and St.Paul, Minn. He finished 7th in points.

The #46 “MidWest Federal” Chevy, owned and driven by Jerry Hansen from Minneapolis, Minn, was a modified Lola T190(or 192) F5000 car. Jerry had a 2nd place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park and a win at St.Paul Minn. He placed 41st in points.

I also recall Gary Bettenhausen showing up for a late season race at Winchester Ind.with a ’68 Eagle. He spun into the front straight wall and knocked the wheels off. The owner may have been John Mahler.

At the end of the season USAC banned rear engine sprint cars claiming financial distress on the owners of having to own separate cars for dirt and pavement….. A few years later the roadster style pavement sprint cars showed up making it necessary to have two cars anyway……. Was it a good idea to ban rear engine sprint cars from USAC?????? Frankly, considering what INDY has turned into, a much better idea would have been to ban rear engine cars from The INDY 500………..

mac miller in INDY

Edited by mac miller, 23 October 2011 - 13:51.


#113 E1pix

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 04:23

I actually looked at Don Edmonds website last week. He was a proponent of rear engined cars. I think he even built one.

I presume you're speaking of rear-engined sprints cars specifically, but for clarity Don (Edmunds with a "u") also built two or possibly three versions of pretty successful Formula Super Vee cars as well: http://donedmunds.co...ervee/index.htm — several of which I liveried and lettered in second hands.

[Apologies for the incidental, clarifying OT]

Edited by E1pix, 23 October 2011 - 04:30.


#114 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 07:42

I presume you're speaking of rear-engined sprints cars specifically, but for clarity Don (Edmunds with a "u") also built two or possibly three versions of pretty successful Formula Super Vee cars as well: http://donedmunds.co...ervee/index.htm — several of which I liveried and lettered in second hands.

[Apologies for the incidental, clarifying OT]

Yes he built some road race cars, and I believe a rear engined midget? Plus ofcourse the roadster midget.

#115 Allen Brown

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 16:08

Actually, I was working on USAC sprint cars during their 1973 “rear engine” season. The rear engine cars that competed at the USAC pavement races were:

Very interesting post Mac!

The #4 “MidWest Manufacturing” Chevy, owned by Carl Gelhausen of Jasper Ind, was a highly modified, 1966 Huffaker “MG Liquid Suspension Spl.” Indy car. It was a monocoque chassis but used standard coil springs & shocks in place of the “liquid suspension” and a Chevy engine replaced the OFFY.
Tom Sneva drove this car to 6 wins at Hartford, NewBremen, Toledo & Cincinnati, O. and St.Paul, Minn. He finished 7th in points.

If I've got this car right, it never did have an Offy engine, only ever a Chevrolet. It was originally the #63 car allocated to Masten Gregory at Indy in 1966 as part of Kjell Qvale's team but did not make the field. Bob Veith also used it in practice. It was next seen in 1968 as Frank J. Fiore's #34 Speedy's Broasted Chicken Spl entry and made its first race start at Hanford Motor Speedway that November. It was at Indy again in 1969 but again failed to make the start and was then taken over by Carl Lee Gehlhausen's Midwest Manufacturing and driven by Tom Bigelow later in 1969 and again in 1970 and at the two Rafaela races in early 1971.

The #46 “MidWest Federal” Chevy, owned and driven by Jerry Hansen from Minneapolis, Minn, was a modified Lola T190(or 192) F5000 car. Jerry had a 2nd place finish at Indianapolis Raceway Park and a win at St.Paul Minn. He placed 41st in points.

Definitely a T192, chassis HU23. The ex-Lou Sell car.

I also recall Gary Bettenhausen showing up for a late season race at Winchester Ind.with a ’68 Eagle. He spun into the front straight wall and knocked the wheels off. The owner may have been John Mahler.

John Mahler did indeed have a 1968 Indy Eagle, chassis 401, but I never thought to ask him if his car had gone Sprint car racing! Originally the Lindsey Hopkins G. C. Murphy #8 entry for Roger McCluskey in 1968, it was the car that Jerry Hansen raced in 1969 with Pacesetter Homes backing before Mahler bought it from Hansen for the 1970 season. Mahler kept the Eagle as a backup in 1971 after he bought his McLaren M15A and it was present at the Speedway in 1972 as his #78 backup.

Is it possible to get the dates of these appearances? I'd like to add the races to the record of each of these cars.

#116 E1pix

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 19:04

Yes he built some road race cars, and I believe a rear engined midget? Plus ofcourse the roadster midget.

Thanks, Lee, that would be a question for Don, he was quick to reply to an email I sent him last night. To be honest, I only knew him as a road-race builder (of an extremely-high caliber!) so it's interesting to know more about his history. Please let us know what you find, I just looked again at his site and don't see a rear-engined midget.

[Jerry Hansen's] ....Definitely a T192, chassis HU23. The ex-Lou Sell car.

Sorry to re-visit this Allen, likely my error.... but I understood the "caged" car to be the same ex-purple car Hansen ran fresh from the box at the Road America Pro F5000 race in '71, but No....?

EDIT: My mistake, I just re-read your site, Allen. My error was I thought the "purple" T192 was brand-new when Hansen raced it at RA in 1971, definitely read that somewhere (in the 1971 RA Can-Am program IIRC).... "brand-new to him" seems the case now.

Carry on, on topic, apologies....

Edited by E1pix, 23 October 2011 - 19:11.


#117 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 19:42

I also recall Gary Bettenhausen showing up for a late season race at Winchester Ind.with a ’68 Eagle. He spun into the front straight wall and knocked the wheels off. The owner may have been John Mahler.


The owner was one John Kemerly, from Indianapolis, 49th in points, and I believe the car was orange. Don't know anything else about the car or owner, perhaps he was related to the Richard Kemerly who once bought the Hulman Roadster?

At the end of the season USAC banned rear engine sprint cars claiming financial distress on the owners of having to own separate cars for dirt and pavement….. A few years later the roadster style pavement sprint cars showed up making it necessary to have two cars anyway……. Was it a good idea to ban rear engine sprint cars from USAC?????? Frankly, considering what INDY has turned into, a much better idea would have been to ban rear engine cars from The INDY 500………..


:lol:

With all due respect, Mac, but that would've been a disaster! I still consider the Roadster era to be the least interesting in the 500 history, and if they'd still run these lumbering whales there in the seventies, I for one would never have developed any interest in Indy Car racing, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one! Front-engined Sprint Cars may be all right for dirt track racing, hell yeah, but on a paved super speedway? :yawnface:

#118 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 19:51

Is it possible to get the dates of these appearances? I'd like to add the races to the record of each of these cars.


October 14, 1973. Winchester Twin 50 on a paved half, Gary B was 5th in the first half and 12th in the second. Hold on a second, I just realize that this would've given him more points already than the car had in the end-season table, and that without the heat results. Perhaps the results were revised? Someone with the USAC Yearbook may be able to answer that question. :confused:

EDIT: Do you mean the other rear-engined cars, too? That'll take a little more time...

Edited by Michael Ferner, 23 October 2011 - 19:54.


#119 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 20:02

Hansen Lola/Chevrolet

Aug 26, Minnesota State Fair (USAC), QP 1 (18.82" USAC track record), Heat 1 (10 laps) 1st, Main (50 laps) 1st
Aug 27, Minnesota State Fair (USAC), DNQ
Aug 31, Minnesota State Fair (IMCA), QP 1 (19.09" IMCA track record), Heat 1 (6 laps) 4th, Main (30 laps) 1st
Sep 1, Minnesota State Fair (IMCA), QP 1 (19.21"), Main (200 laps) 1st (1:13'25") - there were no heats, just a consy

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#120 Michael Ferner

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 20:37

Gehlhausen #4

Larry Dickson:
Mar 18, Salem, Consy 5th, Main (40 laps) 19th, retired
Apr 1, Rossburg/Eldora (dirt!), Main (40 laps) 5th
Apr 8, Winchester, Consy (12 laps) 4th, Main (40 laps) 16th, retired
Apr 22, Cincinnati/Westchester, Consy 1st, Main (40 laps) 9th
Apr 29, Rossburg/Eldora, Heat 2 (8 laps) 4th, Main (40 laps) 20th, retired (accident on 1st lap)

Ralph Liguori:
Jun 8, Indiana SFG (1-mile dirt), QP 30 (36.45"), Consy (15 laps) 12th, Main (twin 50 laps, driven by Jerry Poland) 22nd & 13th

Tom Sneva:
Jul 4, Cincinnati/Westchester, QP5?, Main (40 laps) 3rd
Jul 8, Salem, Heat 1 3rd, Main (40 laps) 3rd
Jul 13, Sharon/Hartford, QP 1 (19.88" TR), Main (40 laps) 1st
Jul 14, Toledo, Main (40 laps) 1st
Jul 22, New Bremen, QP 9?, Heat 1 (10 laps) 1st, Main (40 laps) 1st (11'58.78" TR)
Jul 27, Pittsburgh/Carnegie/Heidelberg, QP 1 (18.54" TR), Heat 1 (10 laps) 1st, Main (40 laps) retired (accident on 1st lap)
Jul 29, Winchester, Main (twin 30 laps) 3rd & retired (oil line)
Aug 18, Toledo, Main (40 laps) 4th
Aug 27, Minnesota State Fair, Main (twin 50 laps) 1st & 4th (1st overall)
Sep 29, Cincinnati/Westchester, QP 1 (17.47"), Main (40 laps) 1st
Sep 30, Salem, QP 1 (16.97" TR), Main (40 laps) 18th, retired
Oct 7, New Bremen, QP 1 (17.43" TR), Main (40 laps) 1st
Oct 14, Winchester, Consy 1st (TR), Main (twin 50 laps) 3rd & retired

Jerry Sneva:
Aug 26, Minnesota State Fair, QP 5?, Heat 2 (10 laps) 2nd, Main (50 laps) 2nd

All tracks were paved half-miles, except where noted. I suppose you don't need the Roahrig and Leffler specials...

Edited by Michael Ferner, 23 October 2011 - 20:43.


#121 RStock

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 23:52

With all due respect, Mac, but that would've been a disaster! I still consider the Roadster era to be the least interesting in the 500 history, and if they'd still run these lumbering whales there in the seventies, I for one would never have developed any interest in Indy Car racing, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one! Front-engined Sprint Cars may be all right for dirt track racing, hell yeah, but on a paved super speedway? :yawnface:


I don't know. If we had ended up with something like this (without the engine offset of course) it might have been worth it.

Posted Image

#122 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:35

Thanks Michael

I suppose you don't need the Roahrig and Leffler specials...


Correct - I'm just looking to continue the story of any formula (or sports) car into whatever category of racing it may attempt.

#123 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:37

I don't know. If we had ended up with something like this (without the engine offset of course) it might have been worth it.

Posted Image


That's brilliant! It's amazing what you can mock up in Photoshop nowadays.

#124 RStock

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 15:33

That's brilliant! It's amazing what you can mock up in Photoshop nowadays.


That's not a mock up, it's an actual car. A pavement supermodified.

#125 David McKinney

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 16:23

I think he was joking :)

#126 Graham Clayton

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 03:45

I stumbled across the following picture (please excuse the poor quality):

Posted Image

The image name is 62bellinger, so I presume that the car/driver is Bellinger, and it dates from 1962.

Does anyone have any more information about this car?

#127 RStock

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 19:26

Can't give any info about the car but I'm sure that would be Eddie Bellinger, a long time racer, checking Oswego Speedway cars might help. I'm guessing that's where that photo was taken.

EDIT: Found it here, the last car he raced. Scroll down mid page.


http://www.oswegospe...llinger-Sr.html

Edited by RStock, 24 February 2013 - 19:29.