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The 1966 'Shrike'


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#1 brickyard

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Posted 05 April 2005 - 20:47

Hi,

today, my daily thread is about the pair of Shrikes that J.C. Agajanian entered at Indy in 1966.

I'm trying to trace their racing records but there are (at least) two misteries for which I could't find no answers yet.

It seams that two cars were buit (by whom??). Those cars were entered at Indy with numbers 97 (for Dick Atkins) and 98 (for Parnelli Jones) as "Agajanian REV 500 Specials". (Indy 500 Chronicle has a photo to prove that there was two cars)
Only Parnelli got into the race finishing 14th. Atkins didn't make it.

After Indy, only one car apeared at most races with #98 for Atkins, the only exception being Parnelli driving at Phoenix latter in the Year.

In 1967 again one car (#98) at almost every races of the championship driven by Jim McElreatyh at Phoenix, then Ronnie Duman for four races, and Billy Vukovich the next seven races.

That brings the first question/mistery:
What happened to the second car? Was it destroyed at Indy by Atkins in 1966? Or somewhere else? Or the team keep it as a backup car, and didn't entered it in any races?



Then in 1968 and 1969 the misteries are bigger:

For 1968 Phil Harms reports #98 being:

a Shrike (Wagner Lockheed Spl.) at Indy 500, Milwaukee, Mosport 1, Langhorne, Michigan, Phoenix and Riverside;
a Mongoose (Wagner Lockheed Spl.) at Hanford, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Trenton, Milwaukee, Trenton and Hanford
a Brabham (Wagner Lockheed Spl.) at Mosport 2, Castle Rock, IRP 1 and 2 and Langhorne 1 and 2.
In all those races the driver was Billy Vukovich.

Please noticed that at Mosport's Heat 1, the car was a Shrike, and at Heat 2 became a Brabham, which I presume was impossible, as they couldn't change the car entered. Or am I wrong???
In case the Brabham was really a Brabham, which model would be??? An Hayhoe?? Or the car was always the Shrike and there's an error on Phil's data? Anyone has proves?


For 1969 the #98 was either a Shrike, a Laycock, a Brabham or a Gerhardt driven in all those cases by Vukovich.
The only certain I have is that the #97 at Indy (Bobby John) was realy a Shrike (I have a photo), and again with #97 there was a Shrike racing at Phoenix latter that year with Lee Kunzman at the wheel. I presume it was the same car. Here we can ask the same question again, any proves?

In 1970 the only time I've found a Shrike was at Phoenix, #98 Wynn's Spit-Fire Spl, John Anderson. I assume that it was really a Shrike.

Who built the cars?
What happened to them?

Any comments?

Thanks

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#2 fines

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 14:43

The 1966 Shrike was also called the J. P. Shrike, as opposed to the Halibrand Shrikes of 1964. It was built by Parnelli Jones (the "J") and Bob "Rocky" Philipp, or possibly Jud Phillips (the "P") - I haven't yet been able to clarify this point beyond all doubts. About its race record, I'll have to check with my database, but I'm sure I haven't worked this out completely, either. The second car? Well, not sure, but I believe there was only one used after Indy.

Since these cars had the relatively rare supercharged Offy, it shouldn't be too difficult to track them, but possibly they got a Turbo-Offy later - will have to check on this. The Aggie "Brabham", I believe, was a '67 Mongoose in reality (this was a very close BT12 copy).

So much for now.

#3 brickyard

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 16:35

:up: Tahnks Michael.

The supercharged Offy could indeed be a usefull clue.

The Aggie "Brabham", I believe, was a '67 Mongoose in reality (this was a very close BT12 copy)



So you are saying that the Team had two cars: a Shrike and a Mongoose, and Harms sometimes called Brabham to the Mongoose?
It makes some sence since there was only one Brabham BT12 (used only in 1964) and the 1968's BT25 doesn't fit here, neither the Hayhoes. Or not?? :confused:

#4 fines

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 17:14

Dick Atkins was 1st alternate starter in '66, so he qualified 34th. I have no other entry for #97 in that year, but it was entered in the 1967 "500" again, though apparently not used. #98 was driven by Atkins and Jones on the miles, with P. J. wrecking it at the season's finale after an engine failure. Apparently, damage wasn't too serious.

In '67, #98 was driven by McElreath, Duman, Hurt and Vukovich, always with the s/c Offy. For the last race, Vuky had a Mongoose/Ford DOHC (we discussed that in the Rafaela thread). No more entries for #97 after Indy.

In 1968, Pikes Peak specialist Grier Manning used an "Agajanian Wagner Lockheed Special" at the climb, #98 and Offy engine - my money is on it being a Shrike, turbo-/supercharger perhaps removed. Before that, Vuky ran the #98 Shrike (now Turbo-Offy) at Indy, Milwaukee (Rex Mays) and Langhorne, later at Michigan and Phoenix (Bobby Ball). The Mongoose/Ford was used for the Road Circuits. He also had a Mongoose/Drake-Offy for several races (one photograph exists from Milwaukee/Tony Bettenhausen); also (according to my records) at Hanford, Phoenix (Jimmy Bryan), Trenton, Langhorne, Trenton and Hanford again.

In '69, I have a Shrike for Johns at Indy and Kunzman at Phoenix (Bobby Ball) as #97, for Vuky at Milwaukee (Rex Mays), Langhorne and Milwaukee (Tony Bettenhausen), perhaps Manning at Pikes Peak again as #98. Last entry for #98 Anderson at Phoenix (Jimmy Bryan) in 1970, accident!

:( I'm afraid that's all rather messy, and lots of question marks!

#5 fines

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 17:28

Originally posted by brickyard
Please noticed that at Mosport's Heat 1, the car was a Shrike, and at Heat 2 became a Brabham, which I presume was impossible, as they couldn't change the car entered. Or am I wrong???

I'm pretty sure he had his Mongoose/Ford there. And, of course, you're not allowed to change cars in a two-heat race, only drivers.

Originally posted by brickyard
For 1969 the #98 was either a Shrike, a Laycock, a Brabham or a Gerhardt driven in all those cases by Vukovich.

Dave Laycock built the Mongoose for Gene White.

#6 Gerr

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Posted 06 April 2005 - 19:18

Brickyard, I was going to reply right away to your question when I first read it. Then decided to check a couple of things first.....

And the lid blew off the can of worms.

1966, Indy. PJ (98) and Atkins (97), the new Shrikes appear indentical, both have inboard front springs (this is important).

1967, same cars entered at Indy. Duman's 98 has inboard front springs. I don't know about 97. I haven't found a photo yet.

1967, June 16th, Duman at Mosport, qualified 18th. AW has his car as a Cecil-Ford. Race postponed.

1967, June 18th, Duman in 98 Shrike at Langhorne.

1967, June 22nd, Rodger Ward tests a number 98 at Westwood, British Columbia, prior to a demonstration run at the Player's Pacific, Sunday the 25th. The local paper says it is Duman's Indy ride. The pictures show a Shrike, with a super-charged Offy, number 98...but it has been converted to out-board front springs.......?

So....there is another mystery.


Michael, the P is for Rocky, not Jud.

#7 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 17:05

This is interesting:

From http://sports.groups...y/message/34273

How many Shrikes were built?

First off, the cars were built on work orders and without serial
numbers. It was just a temporary venture to develop a line of
components to be available to other race car builders, like Watson
and Epperly. These components happened to be mostly magnesium alloy
castings which brought the weight of the Offy car to just over 1100
pounds.

As we completed the basic design on structural pieces, prints were
shipped off to Fred Gerhart in Fresno where his group of cars were
fabricated by Phil Casey. I have no clue as to how many they
constructed. I do know that because of the complexity of the cast
circumferential members used in the monocoque construction we did
not send those drawings to Fresno. We sent an envelope drawing that
indicated much of the detail and Casey fabricated them out of steel.

We built two cars for the 1964 500. The American Red Ball Transit
car driven by Sachs was powered by one of the four cam Ford engines
and made the race. The second car that had a 255 Offy engine (and
used a magnesium alloy skin as the wrap around for the monocoque
structure) was test driven by Duane Carter but did not attempt to
qualify. As I recall the reason for this was that Wally Meskowski,
Chief Mechanic for the Sachs car, always kept Bruce Bromme involved
in sorting out the problems with his car rather than letting Bruce
sort out the Offy, which was Bruce's work assignment. This really
pissed Ted off...I can still hear the words burning through the air!
The Offy was sold to Bill Forbes after the 500 and was driven by
Lloyd Ruby for the 1964 season. He did pretty well and won the
season final race at Phoenix that year.

We rebuilt the Forbes tub at one point during the year when an
electrolytic erosion problem surfaced between the mag alloy used on
the skin and the fuel bladders.

We also built a car for Herk, later in the season and a development
test car that was driven by Foyt on at least one occasion.

In 1965 we built seven cars for the 500 of which all but one made
the show and we refurbished the 1964 house car and sold it to Wally
Weir and it too made the race.

We may have made a couple of other cars in that year, but I cannot
recall any that were significant.

Several years later, we assembled six or seven "rollers" that were
sold at a give away price of $6,500.00 through one half page ad in
NSSN. These cars had a modification to the rear of the tub that
permitted the installation of a rocker arm V8 engine. Most ended up
in the Modified Class.

Much later Ted traded all the tooling he did not need any longer
along with what ever parts remained, including the assembly
tooling, to Ralph Thornerose for the installation of a new air
conditioning system in his home in Palos Verdes.

Thornerose completed one car with a Chevie small block and intended
to enter it in one of the final races at Ontario Motor Speedway
when a heart attack took him out. That car is making the collector
rounds with a glazing history of wins, when in fact it never turned
a wheel in organized competition.

In 1966 we built two cars for JC Agajanian which were driven by
Parnelli and Dick Atkins. Atkins didn't make the show and Rufus
damn near won the 500. These cars were quite different than the
earlier cars but they were very good aerodynamically.

Later on we may have made one more centerline car, or modified an
existing car from offset to centerline arrangement.

Does this help?

Bob Falcon

#8 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 17:57

For anyone struggling to understand this story, there is further worthwhile reading on this old thread.

Allen

#9 brickyard

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 21:35

Adding some informations about the cars:

from Joe Scalzo in C.P. & AUTOWEEK, April 16th 1966

"... the electrified atmosphere in the block of white buildings at Halibrand Engineering is strictly up-tempo. ... It has been thus since Feb. 1, when Jones (Parnelli) and his former car owner and now partner, J.C. Agajanian, invaded the area, rented a portion of it, and set up headquarters.
What they are doing is assembling two Jones-designed, rear-engine monocoques, into which they will drop a pair of the startling blown Offenhauser engines.
The first car is nearly complete. Both it and its mate (to be driven by team stringer Dick Atkins) will be called Shrikes in tribute to Ted Halibrand , now out of the car building wars, but still giving Jones unlimited open-door assistance. ..."


So, that confirms two cars in 1966, and why they were called Shrikes.

#10 Gerr

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 16:36

Chris McCall in C/D, June '66 wrote virtually the same thing.

"The Jones-designed cars are called Shrikes in tribute to Ted Halibrand, who is assisting Agajanian in many areas."

...................................

More Shrike bits:

HRM, May '66.
"Halibrand has discontinued the cast magnesium bulkhead monocoque Shrike and sold the car building operation to the Agajanian/Jones combination. Rocky Phillips and Don Borth are busy building three cars for Parnelli, two Offys and a Ford. Halibrand is supplying all the components. "

M-T, June '66.
"Parnelli Jones-J.C.Agajanian effort will be based on three cars for Jones and Dick Atkins......Two of the machines will be second generation Shrikes, but bear little resemblance to the original Halibrand cars. Alloy steel bulkheads replace the cast units formerly used. Aerodynamicist Elmer Kasari got in on the early design so the car is very clean and, by wrapping fuel tanks 3/4 of the way around the driver, it was made narrower than the '64 Lotus---the third and back-up car for the team."

#11 Allen Brown

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 19:41

Was a third car ever built? I thought there were only two.

#12 Gerr

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 20:20

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Was a third car ever built? I thought there were only two.


Allen,
You have to read between the lines....HRM gives the impression that three new Shrikes are under construction, one with a Ford engine. Not exactly, it says they are busy building three cars. The M-T article makes it reasonably clear that the third car is a 1964 Lotus. I assume that would be PJ's Lotus 34 that became his and Agajanian's 1966 entry ....number 57...that never showed up at Indy.

#13 celdd

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 04:29

Originally posted by Gerr
Chris McCall in C/D, June '66 wrote virtually the same thing.

"The Jones-designed cars are called Shrikes in tribute to Ted Halibrand, who is assisting Agajanian in many areas."

...................................

More Shrike bits:

HRM, May '66.
"Halibrand has discontinued the cast magnesium bulkhead monocoque Shrike and sold the car building operation to the Agajanian/Jones combination. Rocky Phillips and Don Borth are busy building three cars for Parnelli, two Offys and a Ford. Halibrand is supplying all the components. "

M-T, June '66.
"Parnelli Jones-J.C.Agajanian effort will be based on three cars for Jones and Dick Atkins......Two of the machines will be second generation Shrikes, but bear little resemblance to the original Halibrand cars. Alloy steel bulkheads replace the cast units formerly used. Aerodynamicist Elmer Kasari got in on the early design so the car is very clean and, by wrapping fuel tanks 3/4 of the way around the driver, it was made narrower than the '64 Lotus---the third and back-up car for the team."


Elmer Kasari was my Dad. He was sent to University of Texas at Austin and University of Colorado at Boulder by the Navy during WWII to be an aeronautical engineer as part of the V12 program - the first government program that made college available to average people. After graduation, the war was over, and he went to work for Hughes, then Douglas/McDonald Douglas and spent his whole career designing fighter aircraft for the Navy (A4 Skyhawk (old Blue Angels plane) was his baby).

He was very excited to be asked to help refine a race-car for Parnelli Jones. He spent all his spare time for several months helping to make the car aerodynamically clean - with no financial compensation. He enjoyed the association, and expected at least he would at least be offered tickets to the Indy 500 where the car was to be raced. That didn't happen. They said thanks, goodby. They used his expertice and then rejected him. He was fully taken advantage of. His expertise was used for the compensation of being able to rub shoulders with a famous person or two. In the end, he was embarrassed that he was so nieve to expect that he would be appreciated or be compensated.

#14 thunder427

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 05:07

GEEE!!, I'm Glad nothing has changed since 1966 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!.........If Labour and love were money, I would be a Wealthy Man,.....celdd; I'M sure your Dad is not alone,whats interesting, ( I'm sure your Dad would agree),that when these people ask for your advise, because 'they don't know', they want to argue the point with you,they rebuff the Idea/concept,only to use it in full when your no longer on the scene,"Wow I've got a good Idea" !!!....ETC.............

#15 Flat Black

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 16:10

I have nothing consequential to add here, but I would like to nominate PJ's '66 Shrike as the most beautiful car ever to run in the Indy 500. If it still exists, I would love to see it up close and personally just for drooling purposes.

#16 John M Cannon

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 17:34

In a small world, I'm looking out my window at a derelict Shrike as I type this. It's on Gasoline Alley, here in Indy, awaiting restoration at Van's place. Apparently, it's owned by John Mecom and was found hanging on bar ceiling. (The roll hoop was cut off as the taller patrons often banged their heads on it as they walked in.)
If you want any more info, I could wander over and ask a few questions.

#17 Flat Black

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 17:43

By all means please do. That it could be PJ's '66 Shrike would be too much to hope for, though.

(I hope, nevertheless.)

#18 John M Cannon

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Posted 10 July 2008 - 17:58

I'll wander over later today and see what I can find out.

#19 David M. Kane

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Posted 11 July 2008 - 00:15

Elmer that was not cool at all! Is he stll alive? If so, I appreciate his effort! :up:

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#20 Donnakasariellison

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 16:44

Elmer that was not cool at all! Is he stll alive? If so, I appreciate his effort! :up:

My sister must have posted about our dad. He passed away in 1974 at the age of 48.
death cert. says heart attack (no autopsy), but in hindsight we believe he died from sleep apnea.