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Bobby Ball 150 non-starters, USAC Phoenix Oct 1971


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#1 Allen Brown

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 14:27

I've been working with Michael Portaro at Artemis to identify some of the cars that didn't start at Phoenix in October 1971.

USAC's list of non-starters is:

7 - Gordon Johncock
17 - Denny Zimmerman*
21 - Cale Yarborough*
23 - Mel Kenyon
35 - Eldon Rasmussen*
37 - Bruce Walkup*
46 - Jimmy Caruthers*
61 - Max Dudley
72 - John Martin*
73 - Karl Busson
76 - Johnny Parsons
79 - Tom Sneva
89 - Don Brown*
90 - Arnie Knepper
99 - Bob Harkey
150 - Crockey Peterson*
220 - Don Hawley

Most of these are fairly straightforward

21 - Cale Yarborough - his usual Mongoose
23 - Mel Kenyon - the Kenyon-Kuzma
35 - Eldon Rasmussen - the Federal Eng Gerhardt
37 - Bruce Walkup - the Caves Buick Gerhardt
46 - Jimmy Caruthers - the spare works Gerhardt
61 - Max Dudley - his usual Gerhardt
73 - Karl Busson - the Cavanaugh Gerhardt
79 - Tom Sneva - an old Vollstedt
89 - Don Brown - the Epperley roadster
99 - Bob Harkey - yet another Gerhardt

The ones that are slightly harder are:

7 - Gordon Johncock - presumably his McLaren
17 - Denny Zimmerman - identified by a photo as the Vollstedt
76 - Johnny Parsons - the Webster maybe?
90 - Arnie Knepper - no idea whatsoever
220 - Don Hawley - no idea whatsoever

For the last two mystery cars, the #72 of John Martin and the #150 of Crockey Peterson, Artemis have pictures which they have kindly allowed me to reproduce here.

Posted Image

Posted Image Posted Image

Can anyone tell me what these are? Martin had a Surtees in F5000 around this time but I don't think this is a Surtees. Peterson ran a Coyote in USAC around this time but is that really a Coyote?!?

Thanks

Allen

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#2 gbl

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 17:41

This is what I've found out so far with the artemis images:

http://67.18.8.78/re...r=38&y=1971&s=1

Sessions' car must have been the Lola-Colt (with a Ford engine) and Martin's car looks like another Lola T150 (unmodified) with a Ford engine. Petersons car looks like a Coyote from 1967-70 (I think there was only one Coyote model up to 1970). Zimmerman's car looks older than the #7 that Johncock had at Rafaela, so it should be the 1966 car, with a Ford engine. Allen, you list the one Federal Engineering Gerhardt a 69 model. All other 69 built Gerhardt car were wedge shaped, could it actually be an older one?

Did all you "non-starters" appear at the track (then I'll also add them)? - I don't want to add someone who was only at the entry list.

#3 Gerr

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Posted 21 September 2005 - 17:46

#72 looks like the Agajanian-Faas Lola/Colt-Ford. Possibly Sessions' #98 at Indy. Think it says "King O'Lawn Spl." on the side, which was Leonard Faas' company.

#150 certainly looks like a Coyote to me.

#4 Allen Brown

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:04

Originally posted by gbl
This is what I've found out so far with the artemis images:

http://67.18.8.78/re...r=38&y=1971&s=1

Where does your lists of DNSs come from? That's not from the Harms data? Did you get it from Autoweek?

Originally posted by gbl
Sessions' car must have been the Lola-Colt (with a Ford engine)

Originally posted by Gerr
#72 looks like the Agajanian-Faas Lola/Colt-Ford. Possibly Sessions' #98 at Indy. Think it says "King O'Lawn Spl." on the side, which was Leonard Faas' company.

There is a puzzle here as Sessions is listed by Harms as driving a #11 King O'Lawn Lola-Offy and we also have Martin here in a King O'Lawn Lola. I'm wondering if it's the same car? Practiced by Martin as the #72 but taken over for the race by Sessions? But why #11 instead of #98? If it's not the same car, then Martin's looks a lot like the Indy entry so what was Sessions driving? Sammy also had a car at Michigan in July which he failed to qualify and is in the Harms data as unknown number/unknown team/unknown car/unknown engine. He also failed to qualify a #98 Agajanian-Fass unknown car/unknown engine at Ontario.

Originally posted by gbl
Petersons car looks like a Coyote from 1967-70 (I think there was only one Coyote model up to 1970).

Originally posted by Gerr
#150 certainly looks like a Coyote to me.

Thanks chaps.

Originally posted by gbl
Zimmerman's car looks older than the #7 that Johncock had at Rafaela, so it should be the 1966 car, with a Ford engine.

Does it? The wedge bodywork has gone and been replaced by the 1972-style rear wing and it's acquired some fashionable but tacky sidepods but otherwise it looks the same car to me. Why do you say it looks older?

Originally posted by gbl
Allen, you list the one Federal Engineering Gerhardt a 69 model. All other 69 built Gerhardt car were wedge shaped, could it actually be an older one?

Kenyon's Krohne Grain car was also a 69 and that didn't have wedge bodywork. I've got the impression that Gerhardt's 1969 customer cars were a development of the 1968 model but the works car and one or two other favoured customers (e.g. STP) got wedge bodywork in time for the 1969 Indy. The #35 car doesn't have wedge bodywork in any Hungness yearbook pictures despite being described as a 1969 car by the 1970 Hungness.

Originally posted by gbl
Did all you "non-starters" appear at the track (then I'll also add them)? - I don't want to add someone who was only at the entry list.

No idea I'm afraid. The information came from USAC via Artemis and I want to follow up and find out more.

Allen

#5 gbl

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 10:32

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Where does your lists of DNSs come from? That's not from the Harms data? Did you get it from Autoweek?


I just used all pictures from Artemis, they must have been at the race if a photo is available ;) .

Originally posted by Allen Brown
There is a puzzle here as Sessions is listed by Harms as driving a #11 King O'Lawn Lola-Offy and we also have Martin here in a King O'Lawn Lola. I'm wondering if it's the same car? Practiced by Martin as the #72 but taken over for the race by Sessions? But why #11 instead of #98? If it's not the same car, then Martin's looks a lot like the Indy entry so what was Sessions driving? Sammy also had a car at Michigan in July which he failed to qualify and is in the Harms data as unknown number/unknown team/unknown car/unknown engine. He also failed to qualify a #98 Agajanian-Fass unknown car/unknown engine at Ontario.
[/B]


If #72 and #11 would be the same car then they would have added a new nose with front wings and changed the color from purple to blue (compare the pictures...), so I'd say there were two cars. #11 looks more modern and Sessions already had small front wings at Pocono, so #11 should be the Colt-Lola and #72 something else.

Originally posted by Allen Brown
Does it? The wedge bodywork has gone and been replaced by the 1972-style rear wing and it's acquired some fashionable but tacky sidepods but otherwise it looks the same car to me. Why do you say it looks older?
[/B]


That's my impression, it would also make sense that the #7 would be the 1967 model and #17 the 1966, maybe you have some more pictures from #17 at Indianapolis to compare this.


Originally posted by Allen Brown
Kenyon's Krohne Grain car was also a 69 and that didn't have wedge bodywork. I've got the impression that Gerhardt's 1969 customer cars were a development of the 1968 model but the works car and one or two other favoured customers (e.g. STP) got wedge bodywork in time for the 1969 Indy. The #35 car doesn't have wedge bodywork in any Hungness yearbook pictures despite being described as a 1969 car by the 1970 Hungness.
[/B]


That means that STP also didn't have a wedge bodywork before Indy 1969? I haven't got any idea yet but If you say so then I'll keep this in mind since I'm currently adding some 1969 information.

#6 Allen Brown

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Posted 22 September 2005 - 11:17

Originally posted by gbl
If #72 and #11 would be the same car then they would have added a new nose with front wings and changed the color from purple to blue (compare the pictures...), so I'd say there were two cars. #11 looks more modern and Sessions already had small front wings at Pocono, so #11 should be the Colt-Lola and #72 something else.

I didn't know there was a picture of the #11 on Artemis :blush: . I agree that they are quite different cars. So what is this car? Could Fass have had two ex-Parnelli Lolas? Gerr - can you identify this one?

Posted Image


Originally posted by gbl
That's my impression, it would also make sense that the #7 would be the 1967 model and #17 the 1966, maybe you have some more pictures from #17 at Indianapolis to compare this.

You're not forgetting their McLaren M15A are you? The McLaren would typically have been the #7 and 1967 Vollstedt would typically have been the #17. Johncock used both cars in 1971.

Originally posted by gbl
That means that STP also didn't have a wedge bodywork before Indy 1969? I haven't got any idea yet but If you say so then I'll keep this in mind since I'm currently adding some 1969 information.

Sorry - I was merely hypothesising that the wedge bodywork might have later than some of the 1969 customer cars. I really don't know when that bodywork was first seen.

Allen

#7 fines

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 12:28

I am far from my records and books so I can give only little input here: the Peterson car sure looks like a Mk 1 Coyote (the Lotus 38 copy) with a Chevy engine and some mods.

"King O'Lawn" was, as far as I know a Leonard Faas company, so this should be an Agajanian-Faas entry.

#72 looks "Lola-ish", but I'm not quite sure - there were lots of copies around those days.

I have a pretty clear picture about early Vollstedt cars until the late sixties: the 1960 dirt car was owned by Tassi Vatis into the seventies, the '64 car was a Richard Compton entry when it disappeared ('67 or '68), the '65 car was apparently fitted with a TCO and owned by Hayhoe/Cleaver-Brooks in '67 and perhaps later, the two '66 cars remained with Jim Robbins Co., the two '67 cars were the two works entries for the rest of the decade, I think.

#11 - shouldn't that be a Vatis/Finley entry (from memory)?

#8 gbl

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 17:55

Vatis had #11 in the late 60s.

fines can you confirm the early Coyote models:

Mk1/1967
Mk2/1971
Mk3/1972
Mk4/1973
Mk5/1974
????

Don't know how they went on later or if the 1974 car was a modified 1973 one

Allen has #7 Wally Dallenbach as a 1967 Vollstedt and he lists the #17 car as a 1966 model somewhere else.

#9 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 20:55

The Vollstedt book describes these years very well. Rolla did buy back one of the 1966 cars at one point as he was running out of cars but I don't think that car ran after Rafaela. When Rolla and Johncock tied up together the McLaren M15A became the team's main car with the 1967 Vollstedt as a spare. If you look at the results after the 1971 Indy 500, Johncock's #7 and Vollestedt's traditional #17 appear on both the McLaren and the Vollstedt.

Allen

#10 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 21:02

I have never heard of Coyotes having "Mk" numbers or serial numbers either. There were the initial Lotus 38-based car which went through various modifications and I don't know if the 1971 car was radically different. He built new cars every year - typically a couple.

In 1972 he built something that looked a bit like an Eagle but was useless. He then built another new car later in 1972 which sucked too. Then he got Riley to design him the 1973 car and he built several more to that design up to 1978. The 1974 car was just the 1973 car with different radiators.

Allen

#11 Scribe06

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 21:16

At least one of the Laycock notecards records a serial or chassis number for a Coyote, the car used at the IMS in 1972. Apparently Foyt retained the "R" nomenclature from the 38s and used it on the Coyote cars as well. It is somewhere here on TNF in a thread.

#12 Allen Brown

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 21:43

Are you refering to the card that Don Capps once posted? The number on that is a USAC reference number, not a Coyote chassis number. Comparison with other cards makes that very clear. Sorry - that was a red herring.

Allen

#13 Scribe06

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 10:02

I have to plead ignorance concerning information about this "red herring." Lacking access to the Laycock notes, I did not realize that the apparent "chassis number" was in reality a Laycock/USAC reference number. Accept my apologies since I missed this vital bit of information and not would not have otherwise piped up. I bow to the real pros.

Of course, I have to ask if the Laycock/USAC Reference Number could actually be used to "reference" and/or track anything.

#14 Allen Brown

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 12:29

I don't have access to this card index but it is my plan for 2006 to find a way of getting at it. It should be possible to use these numbers to track cars from season to season in the same way we can use Hungness for Indy 500 starters.

We know that Lotus, Lola, McLaren, Eagle, Parnelli, Edmonds (Lightning), Penske and March used chassis numbers but that Watson, Vollstedt, Brawner and King didn't. Foyt may have done and some Wildcats did. I think this is just a difference between the F1-bred constructors and the Indy-bred builders. Eagle, Parnelli and Penske were US teams but both had design teams brought up in the world of English constructors so I guess that's why they took on the habit of numbering their cars.

Allen

#15 Scribe06

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 15:42

Allen,

Best of luck on getting access to that information, since you will probably need lots of it.

Actually, AAA recorded such information as chassis and motor numbers on its registration forms as far as to the formation of the Contest Board in 1908. Perhaps even the Racing Committee did this in the prior to the Contest Board, but I have no idea since the records are pretty sketchy on that sort of thing.

Although something of a headache or nightmare at times since so many of the records are so incomplete, especially the entry forms, cars could and can be tracked at least during a season since the AAA assigned a registration number to each individual car on an annual basis. However, many of these plaques were collector items and often parted company from their original chassis. The AAA plaque on the Murphy Duesenberg is among the few that seems to be the original for that chassis/car, and it is the registration plaque for 1922 when it had the Miller engine.

So, if nothing else, these numbers can provide a means of tagging the individual cars during at least a season using something that is already in place and which can allow identities to be allocated to cars without serial or chassis numbers.

All of which is a big DOH! or Blinding Flash of the Obvious, but it certainly beats the alternatives and allows at least a taxonomy to be established when referring to various cars versus the current Let A Thousand Flowers Bloom approach we are currently using.

#16 Allen Brown

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Posted 26 September 2005 - 16:05

Well Scribe, I agree with you completely on that.

I'm a newcomer to USAC/Indy racing and I know that I'll have to modify the research techniques that worked so well for F1 and Tasman and worked pretty well for F5000 and Can-Am. I started in F1, where virtually every car has a chassis plate and Jenks would fill the gaps if one didn't. So the chassis number was the obvious identity to use when tracking a car. I learnt to be more flexible when I got on to F5000 and adopted a technique used on the early Millers of labelling a car 'the Jones car' or 'the Smith car' or even, as Doug Nye used on the Lotus 29 replicas, 'the Silver car' and 'the Green car'. As long as that gave you a unique handle for a car, it worked well.

On some F5000 cars, especially on Lolas built from 'kits', I have used the SCCA ID - such as Briggs and Briedenbach's cars that start 33-NNN and the Polley '76-13'.

On the Indy cars, the first USAC ID number to appear on a car will do perfectly well. I don't yet have access to these records and it will be a big project to corral that information even if I do get access but that is the future for this research.

Allen

#17 fines

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 14:17

All you need is a handle to work with - I, for example, use 'virtual' chassis numbers which work very well for me: I can mix them with real serial numbers w/o trouble, the only difference is brackets around the virtual ones. It's a lot more practical and more efficient than The "Jones car" vs. the "Smith car" 'cause you may find that Smith and/or Jones drove both cars at one stage or another! Also, it's easier to find mistakes in 'traditional' sources if you use a different terminology!

#18 fines

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 14:22

Originally posted by gbl
Vatis had #11 in the late 60s.

fines can you confirm the early Coyote models:

Mk1/1967
Mk2/1971
Mk3/1972
Mk4/1973
Mk5/1974
????

Don't know how they went on later or if the 1974 car was a modified 1973 one

Allen has #7 Wally Dallenbach as a 1967 Vollstedt and he lists the #17 car as a 1966 model somewhere else.

gbl, the first Coyote was built in 1966 and gives me endless headaches because it is so often confused with the three Lotus 38s that Foyt had the same year! Even in photographs it's often hard to spot the difference, apart from which I don't have that many pix from that year. Then in 1967 a second chassis was built, and the '66 car rebuilt to '67 spec. That's as far as I got till now, I'm presently too busy with other stuff.