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Temple Buell


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#1 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 20:21

I have seen the name "Temple Buell" crop up time and again mainly with reference to his connection to the Maserati 250F's which he campaigned as a quasi-factory team in the late 1950's predominately through the connection with Masten Gregory. I have also found several references to this gentleman as a sportscar driver in the mid-50's.

Some references point to Temple Buell as a Texas oil millionaire, a google shows a Temple Buell as a Denver architect.

Does anyone have any information on the mysterious Mr. Buell?

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#2 Ray Bell

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 21:15

No doubt Joe Fan has...

I think if you did a forum search on his name you'd find at least something.

#3 cabianca

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 21:55

The Temple Buell who was involved in racing was indeed from Denver. However, it was his father who was a well-known architect and real estate investor there. The younger Temple lived in Denver, not Texas. After his racing days were over, he lived out his life in Santa Barabara California. Buell had several cars. He had a 450S that he entered for Carroll Shelby, sometimes in a partnership with John Edgar. This was a different car from the 450S that was entered for Shelby solely by Edgar.

#4 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 20:44

:smoking: I hope to get a bit more info on this team , especially there F1 adventure ,where did they camp , was it a bit of a semi/works team,how did they get to the races , who ran the team , any hints someone or Jerry ?

#5 ReWind

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 21:23

SSDI knows two men called Temple Buell, one b. 09 Sep 1895, d. Jan 1990, and the other b. 23 May 1923, d. 09 Jan 1990.
According to this obituary Temple H. Buell, the architect, died on the Friday before Jan 9th, 1990, which means on Jan 5th, at the age of 94. So he is the first one from SSDI.
According to that article he was survived by a son, Temple Jr., of Santa Barbara, Calif.
If the second one from SSDI is this son then he survived his father by just 4 days. Is this second one „our“ Temple Buell of motor racing fame?

#6 Jerry Entin

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 21:44

Temple Buell and his father did die just days apart. His father was the inventor of Cherry Creek in Denver. This is what the modern day shopping center is based on. That isn't where the real money in his family came from. His mother's family owned Household Finance. That is an American banking concern. If you want the whole story read the fine book by Michel Bollee and Willem Oosthoek entitled "Maserati 450S The fastest sports racing car of the Fifties." It tells all about him.

#7 cstlhn

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 22:24

This is a Maserati 450S owned by Tempel Buell and driven by the chicken farmer.

Posted Image

David

#8 David McKinney

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 22:41

Two English cars, one Italian and one German in the background - taken in the Bahamas?

#9 Jerry Entin

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 23:50

Very nice picture David: I have a good picture of Shelby in Buell's car also. It is in California and I am in Michigan now. The Fiat in the background was called something like a Jolly Beach Buggy. They usually had wicker seats. They rented them out on the Islands. They also rented out mini mokes.
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Anyone ready for a ride to the Beach?

#10 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 00:08

Temple Buell also owned and raced, in 1955, one of the new Abarth 207A 1100 Boano Spiders. I seem to remember it having white-wall tires.

#11 Graham Gauld

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:57

I met Temple Buell in Modena in 1958 around the time he bought the Maseratis He was accompanied, as usual by the ubiquitous Hans Tanner who was clearly on a back hander if he helped sell the car. Buell was a rotund and cheery guy who appeared very laid back My most amusing moment came when we came out of a restaurant where there were two hugh Alladin pots with palms in them. Temple thought they were great and Hans immediately jumped in with " I know where I can get you a pair". Great operator, Hans.

#12 Alan Cox

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 15:11

Is there any family connection with the Buell motor bike company?

#13 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 10:08

:wave: And a good new year to all. A bit thin this thread , hoping for some more infos, I put the Sheldon infos here :
58 Portugal GP Shelby , Q9 , highest 5 , finish 9 , brakes/crash
58 Italy GP Gregory , Q11 , highest 2 , finish 4 ,disq. due to Shelby releasing unauthorized
58 Morocco GP Gregory , Q11 , highest 6 , finish 6

There were some co work in 57 with Centro Sud and Bonnier , also in 58 ?, and Temple Buell perhaps ? or stepping in instead of Bonnier? On my behalf couriosity and trying to find some logic transportation.(?)

#14 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 11:23

Originally posted by Alan Cox
Is there any family connection with the Buell motor bike company?

I hope that there is a connection - we have many Buells coming to our circuit for a track day on January 21. I will ask the company who are orgainising the meet.
The photo of Temple Buell's 2534 on page 80 from Graham Gauld's Modena Racing Memories and the one on page 81 of Masten Gregory calmly shielding his eyes from the sun on the long straight after the Vialone curve are just superb ..................

#15 David McKinney

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 11:37

Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
:58 Italy GP Gregory , Q11 , highest 2 , finish 4 ,disq. due to Shelby releasing unauthorized

Not disqualified, though neither Gregory nor Shelby were allowed WDC points

#16 Jerry Entin

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 14:54

Posted Image
Here is a Ferrari 290MM that Temple Buell entered at Nassau in 1957. Stirling Moss drove it to victory in the 1957 Nassau Trophy Race
photo lent site John Miller family collection-research Willem Oosthoek.
There is no connection between Temple Buell and Erik Buell the inventor of the Buell Motorcycle. Erik Buell invented the Buell motocycle model RW750 in 1983. He was a motorcycle racer himself and this was his idea of a superior race bike. He later sold 49% his company to Harley Davidson in 1994. Temple Buell was born very rich. He never had to work a day in his life. Apart from owning a Plymouth dealership in Denver he made no effort to make money on his own. He did have four sisters. But, If they had children their name wouldn't have been Buell. Temple enjoyed racing his Ferrari's and Maserati's and from what I hear of him he wasn't against eating.


#17 David M. Kane

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 15:48

Where does this Willem live? I want to meet him.

#18 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 14:26

Temple Buell jr. was 34 years in 1957 from Denver , Colorado , son of a rich architect. Money for his racing came from his mother, whose sisters son by the way was Marquis Alfonso de Portago.
He bought Maserati 4508 (450S/Tipo54) and raced it from 1957(late) through 1959 when it was sold to Jim Hall, also involved in F1 racing in 1958 with Maserati 250F1s("piccolo"). More in the great book "Maserati 450S , The fastast sports racing car of the 50s , a complete racing history from 1956 to 1962" by Michel Bollee and Willem Oosthoek. Large format, glazed paper , full results, over 200 pages and more pix in b/w and colours!

#19 HDonaldCapps

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 14:47

Originally posted by David M. Kane
Where does this Willem live? I want to meet him.


In the house with the Maserati GT parked out front on nice days....

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#20 Jerry Entin

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 00:24

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Dave Kane: Willem lives in North Carolina, here is Willem's 3500GT Maserati on one of those nice days sitting in front of his house. Exactly as Don Capps has told you.
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Here is a picture taken several years ago of Ferrari racer and later Maserati importer Bob Grossman next to Willem's car.
photos lent site Willem Oosthoek

#21 Jerry Entin

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 00:44

Posted Image
Temple Buell liked the good life and he could afford it. His preference for large steaks was well known. Here he poses behind chassis 4508. This is one year before Shelby damaged the car's left front fender. As seen in post #7. This photo was taken in 1957 at Nassau, where Masten Gregory raced it. Dave Kane: I am sure Temple would have loved going to Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse with you. And he wouldn't have to worry about them cutting off his necktie. As you see in the photo he was a very casual guy.
photo lent site Willem Oosthoek- all research Willem Oosthoek.

#22 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 07:40

:wave: Beautiful Maserati! And great to put a face on those guys! Thanks a lot!

#23 Gil Bouffard

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 19:44

The Temple Buell 450S Maserati driven mostly by Masten Gregory had been bored out to a 4.7 liter when it raced in the Times Grand Prix at Riverside. Gregory comprehensively rolled the car at Caracas, Venezuela, in 1957. The bonnet bulge is larger on this car than normal a 450S. Neither the headrest nor the exhaust heat deflector were standard issue for Maserati

If it hadn't been for a roll bar under the headrest, Gregory would have suffered more than the cut he received over his right eye. Temple Buell was a keen supporter of Masten Gregory.

#24 David M. Kane

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 20:07

Jerry Entin, Bob Grossman was a pretty good driver in the day.

#25 Jerry Entin

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 22:26

Gil: While it is true none of the works 450S Maserati's were equipped with headrest, the six customer cars did have them. Chassis 4502-Tony Parravano, Chassis 4504- Jim Kimberly, Chassis 4506 John Edgar, Chassis 4508 Temple Buell, Chassis 4509 Ebb Rose and Chassis 4510- J. Frank Harrison.
all research Willem Oosthoek.

#26 SHRAEL

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 02:31

Originally posted by vintageautomobilia
Temple Buell also owned and raced, in 1955, one of the new Abarth 207A 1100 Boano Spiders. I seem to remember it having white-wall tires.


indeed temple not only owned an Abarth 207a... he owned 2 of them in 1955.
the story goes that he bought 2 from Tony Pompeo in jan 1955. one he kept original (light brown btm/lighht red on top) with a 1100 fiat engine, in the other he installed an osca 1100 engine (red btm/white top), with white walled tires and a large hood scope. He raced both cars sometimes letting Ben Brown and Dabny Collins join in the driving duties. IB late 1955 after the California season was over he sold the fiat engined car back to Pompeo in exchange for a Ferrari Barchetta. he kept the osca engined car untill the end of the following season (1956).
a picture of the two Buell cars in Seattle seafair races: ( the fiat car actually won the G-mod race)

Posted Image

so how do i know all this?
well i own the fiat engined former Temple Buell car (chassis number 10) - the one on the right

rgds
elad

#27 Jerry Entin

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 06:44

Welcome to the forum SHRAEL or elad. Very nice pictures you have posted for the members to enjoy.

#28 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 06:44

:wave: Good info , the outfit with the trailer could look to be for the 2 Abarths ?

#29 RA Historian

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 13:22

Aren't those pretty little cars ! :up:

#30 David McKinney

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 13:33

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, RA :lol:

#31 RA Historian

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 15:46

Originally posted by David McKinney
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, RA :lol:

No argument there!

#32 vintageautomobilia

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 20:02

Originally posted by SHRAEL


indeed temple not only owned an Abarth 207a... he owned 2 of them in 1955.
the story goes that he bought 2 from Tony Pompeo in jan 1955. one he kept original (light brown btm/lighht red on top) with a 1100 fiat engine, in the other he installed an osca 1100 engine (red btm/white top), with white walled tires and a large hood scope. He raced both cars sometimes letting Ben Brown and Dabny Collins join in the driving duties. IB late 1955 after the California season was over he sold the fiat engined car back to Pompeo in exchange for a Ferrari Barchetta. he kept the osca engined car untill the end of the following season (1956).
a picture of the two Buell cars in Seattle seafair races: ( the fiat car actually won the G-mod race)

Posted Image

so how do i know all this?
well i own the fiat engined former Temple Buell car (chassis number 10) - the one on the right

rgds
elad


Hi Elad,

Good to see your comments and the wonderful photo. As you know, I owned a 1955 Abarth 207 Boano spider 1100, chassis number 007, for over 30 years. Anyone who doesn't think these are very good looking cars probably thinks a Plymouth "Hemi-Cuda" convertible is really worth every penny of $2.4 million.

#33 David McKinney

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 20:18

Originally posted by vintageautomobilia
Anyone who doesn't think these are very good looking cars probably thinks a Plymouth "Hemi-Cuda" convertible is really worth every penny of $2.4 million.

No, I don't :lol:

#34 Alan Cox

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Posted 05 April 2007 - 22:10

Can't say I would cast my vote for them being "pretty". Quaint, maybe, but as noted above, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Nice photo, SHRAEL

#35 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 17:21

For RShaw etc.

#36 RShaw

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 18:06

Bjorn Kjer

Thank you for resurrecting the Temple Buell thread. I had done a search on his name but had not completed reading all of the occurrences.
Since the most recent responses were about the Buell Abarth 207A(s), I'll relate a story told to me by Dabney Collins regarding his first race in it, and the aftermath.
Buell had entered the Abarth in the Ft. Sumner, NM races in May of 1955. Dabney, at the time the service manager at Denver Imported Motors, an MG/Jag dealership he had been an original partner in starting, agreed to drive the car from Denver to Ft. Sumner. Whether there was any prior agreement for him to drive the car in the race, or only provide wrenching services is not clear to me at this point. In any event, Buell decides he can't comfortably drive the car, being almost the same size as the cockpit, so he suggests Dabney drive it. Dabney proceeds to "drive it's little heart out", blowing the head gasket in the process, but leading at the time.
This was a promising DNF to Buell, and after an evening of refreshment he and Dabney decide that the best course of action is a trip to New York ASAP to get hold of a real race car, like maybe a Ferrari. A couple of weeks later the trip is in fact underway. After visits to both Chinetti and Briggs Cunningham, they end up in the company of Sherwood Johnston, who just happens to have available Cunningham's old chopped-up Ferrari 375MM, AND a trailer, AND a pickup to tow it with. A deal is consummated, and a week or so later Dabney drives the whole rig back to Denver, thus providing Scuderia Buell with it's first race car.

RonS.

#37 Milan Fistonic

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 01:28

... Buell was a rotund and cheery guy who appeared very laid back ...



Posted Image

Edited by Milan Fistonic, 17 March 2010 - 01:31.


#38 RShaw

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 17:20

Marvelous picture of Buell, Jr., and Shelby. Few photos of Buell exist as "Temp" didn't like to have his picture taken, according to a family member I have talked to. Consequently there didn't seem to be anyone hanging around the team taking pictures most of the time. Presumably the photo would have been Monza in '58???

It is difficult to call the later years ('57-'59) of the Buell effort a "team" as the term is typically used. During the 1955 - 1956 period he had a headquarters shop in Denver (two different locations), a couple of open trailers, a Ford station wagon and a Ford pickup for tow vehicles to support the Abarths and a couple of Ferraris. The team was called "Buell Equipe" at that time.
By the latter part of '57 and into '58 he seems to have become averse to capital investments in the "team", having closed up the shop in Denver. Often he rented, leased, borrowed, or otherwise made agreements with his contacts in the racing world to piggy-back onto factory (Maserati), or semi-factory (Chinetti) teams, using their cars, transport and pit crew resources. As such he might better be described as a "sponsor" rather than a race team owner. Nevertheless the "Scuderia Buell" efforts had a pretty good run in international sports car racing in 1957. Buell seems to have had similar arrangements with John Edgar in '58 and perhaps '59.

By the end of the ’50s Buell had tired of the racing game and spent his remaining days (thirty years worth of them) in Santa Barbara, although he continued to have family and business interests in Denver. Buell was one of the host of "gentleman racers" that populated SCCA racing during the 1950s, along with Kimberly, Spear, Wacker, Cunningham and Edgar, to name only a few. When professionalism came to big-time racing in the late '50s and early '60s, American road racing lost the "right crowd and no crowding" character it had enjoyed since the ARCA days of the 1930s, and with it many of the early important participants in the sport.

As has been mentioned in other threads and posts regarding Buell, he was a "cousin" of Alfonso de Portago. Portago's mother was the second wife of Frank Mackey, the founder of the consumer lending firm Household Finance. Buell's mother was Frank Mackey's niece through her mother, Mackey's sister. Following Mackey's death in about 1927, Olga Leighton Mackey married the Marquis de Portago. Son Alfonso was born in about 1930. Portago was a somewhat distant cousin, but the Buell family did refer to Fon Portago as "cousin" and apparently knew him well. Well enough that Buell's mother was disappointed that he did not give up racing following Portago's death.

Below is a previously unpublished photo of Buell's first driver, Dabney Collins, in the Buell Maserati 450S, at LaJunta, CO , in 1958. Photo used by permission.

Posted Image

Edited by RShaw, 18 March 2010 - 16:33.


#39 fbarrett

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 18:50

Ron & Others:

Thanks for all the information about Temple Buell. Having lived in Denver since 1970, I've always been curious about his racing. I recall the old Buell Mansion, just east of University Blvd. and Cherry Hills Country Club, but it's probably gone now, replaced by McMansions.

Frank

Edited by fbarrett, 17 March 2010 - 18:56.


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#40 David Manton

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 20:06

Ron & Others:

Thanks for all the information about Temple Buell. Having lived in Denver since 1970, I've always been curious about his racing. I recall the old Buell Mansion, just east of University Blvd. and Cherry Hills Country Club, but it's probably gone now, replaced by McMansions.

Frank


Temple Buell Junior and his buddy Hans Tanner made quite an impression amongst conservative New Zealand motorsport circles in 1959. Buell Senior later formed the Temple Buell Foundation and bequested several fortunes to worthy community causes. The highly respected Buell Foundation of Denver, Colorado today has a large continuing role in helping meet educational needs for deprived children throughout the United States.

#41 RShaw

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 20:43

Temple Buell Junior and his buddy Hans Tanner made quite an impression amongst conservative New Zealand motorsport circles in 1959. Buell Senior later formed the Temple Buell Foundation and bequested several fortunes to worthy community causes. The highly respected Buell Foundation of Denver, Colorado today has a large continuing role in helping meet educational needs for deprived children throughout the United States.


I would be interested in hearing how Buell and Tanner "made quite an impression" in New Zealand. I cannot think of a more conservative bunch than the Buell family ... although there are the stories about Buell, Jr., and his buddy John Edgar on board the ferry boat to Nassau ... Anybody with a ounce of knowledge about Edgar can imagine what that must have been like.

Buell, Sr., did bequeath most of his fortune to various Foundation entities. Most of it ($27 million worth) originally went to Colorado Women's College in an agreement made in the mid-1970s, resulting in renaming the school Temple Buell College. Unbeknownst to other CWC contributors, the college didn't get a dime until Buell, Sr. died, which he didn't do for another 15 years. As a result, all of the interim funding dried up completely. The College ultimately renounced the bequest, but the damage had already been done and the school closed it's doors I believe in the late '70s or early '80s.

#42 Jerry Entin

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 15:02

RShaw:

The photo of Dabney Collins in the Buell Maserati was actually taken at La Junta during the Memorial Day weekend in 1958. Dabney Collins made it to the first turn on Saturday and subsequently lost all oil pressure. It was his only ride in the car.


all research Willem Oosthoek

#43 RShaw

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 16:35

RShaw:

The photo of Dabney Collins in the Buell Maserati was actually taken at La Junta during the Memorial Day weekend in 1958. Dabney Collins made it to the first turn on Saturday and subsequently lost all oil pressure. It was his only ride in the car.


all research Willem Oosthoek


Jerry,
Thank you for the correction. I have edited my original post to include the correction.
RonS.

#44 klemcoll

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 00:51

Here is a photo of Buell with his then driver, Masten Gregory, taken at Thompson Raceway in 1956. Copyright is The Klemantaski Collection.

Posted Image

#45 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 07:14

Thanks for that , and Gregory without glasses ?

#46 David McKinney

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 11:26

Optical lenses in his goggles?

Or he took his glasses off while he was putting his helmet on?

#47 RA Historian

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 14:04

Optical lenses in his goggles?

Or he took his glasses off while he was putting his helmet on?

I would think the latter, as Masten was blind as a bat without his specs. He used the big, wide goggles for the most part, in order to cover the glasses.
Tom

Edited by RA Historian, 13 April 2010 - 14:05.


#48 RShaw

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 03:10

Can anyone identify the lady in the Klementaski Collection photo?
If not IDd otherwise, my guess would be it is Buell's future wife, June. They married in '58. I have not previously seen a photo of her, if indeed it is June.
Ron Shaw