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George Reed's 'Race Rats'


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#101 Vettefinderjim

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 23:41

In 1960, GEORGE REED and his RACE RATS fielded a 1960 Corvette. It was a heady duty factory fuel injection car with the special racing brakes, suspension and the special 24 gallon gas tank. The car ran the March 1960 SEBRING event with BILL FRITTS and CHUCK HALL as drivers and finished 1st in class and 16th OA, the best for a Corvette that year.
The car was originally ordered by REED at NICKEY CHEVROLET in Chicago and race prepared by their famous mechanic and crew chief RONNIE KAPLAN. The car was one of only 10 cars made in 1960 with the special 24 gallon gas tank needed for these 12 hour and 24 hour races in America and Europe.

The car, vin #00867S1004420 was found in its 2nd owner collection in the midwest in 2004, and restored to original SEBRING race condition. The engine was built to original Vintage Monterey Historic specs, and it is ready to see the track again. However it never made a vintage race debut, but went into the show circuit. It was awarded the NCRS HERITAGE AWARD in 2009 and now is in another collectors hands in the Santa Barbara, California area.
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04

Edited by Vettefinderjim, 05 February 2012 - 00:18.


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#102 dhmoody356

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Posted 19 February 2012 - 22:46

This Corvette is going to be auctioned at Goodings at Amelia Island on March 9th. I corresponded with it's previous owner/restorer a few years ago giving him (Vic Priesler of California) as much information as I could about this car, including a scan of an original "Reeds Race Rats" decal. I was at the '60 Sebring race and have a few pictures of it that I took there. Vic told me last week that he'd sold the car a few months ago. I'd post a picture or two but am unsure how to do it to this forum..............Dale


In 1960, GEORGE REED and his RACE RATS fielded a 1960 Corvette. It was a heady duty factory fuel injection car with the special racing brakes, suspension and the special 24 gallon gas tank. The car ran the March 1960 SEBRING event with BILL FRITTS and CHUCK HALL as drivers and finished 1st in class and 16th OA, the best for a Corvette that year.
The car was originally ordered by REED at NICKEY CHEVROLET in Chicago and race prepared by their famous mechanic and crew chief RONNIE KAPLAN. The car was one of only 10 cars made in 1960 with the special 24 gallon gas tank needed for these 12 hour and 24 hour races in America and Europe.

The car, vin #00867S1004420 was found in its 2nd owner collection in the midwest in 2004, and restored to original SEBRING race condition. The engine was built to original Vintage Monterey Historic specs, and it is ready to see the track again. However it never made a vintage race debut, but went into the show circuit. It was awarded the NCRS HERITAGE AWARD in 2009 and now is in another collectors hands in the Santa Barbara, California area.
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04
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By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04



#103 Jerry Entin

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 18:00

Very nice pictures Jim.
The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:

Well, let's not exaggerate the state of preparedness when the #6 Corvette arrived at Sebring in 1960.

From Murray Forsfall's column in the Dallas newspaper after the 12 Hours:

" Bill Fritts went to Sebring to help in the pits on the Cooper Monaco which Jim Hall and Hap Sharp drove. He was expected to work lap charts for 12 hours. 'Thursday afternoon at about 4 o'clock I came back to the pits with a load of tires,' Bill recalls, 'and Hap told me, 'Grab your helmet and go down to Chuck's [Jim Hall's little brother] pit. There is something wrong with his Corvette.'

Chuck Hall, 21 years old with a newly acquired FIA license, had rented a new Corvette brought to Sebring by Reed's Racing Rats from Chicago. It had not been fully prepared to race at Sebring or anywhere else. 'Take it around the course and see what's wrong,' the young Hall said.

Then, and not until then, did Bill know that he had a ride. But his heart sunk after driving the car around the course twice. 'The first lap out I knew something was wrong. There was no way anyone could drive that car for 12 hours.'

Fritts informed Chuck of the fact. 'There is a mechanic and the car,' Chuck said, 'Go, get it ready.' Then Hall left to look after his Formula Junior, which was to race of Friday. It left Fritts with half an hour's day practice remaining, a night practice session and then one night and one day in which to get the car ready. The mechanic was a Ferrari man, who was not particularly interested in working on American Corvettes anyway.

Bill consulted Zora Duntov, who made some able suggestions. Fritts and the mechanic carried them out. By race time at 10 a.m. on Saturday #6 was in position ready to race. 'We weren't trying to do anything but win class,' Fritts said. 'We knew we couldn't outrun the other five Corvettes, so we set out strategy to outlast them.' "

Comparing the Corvette times indicates that the fastest lap of #6 was some 20 seconds slower than Delmo Johnson/Dave Morgan in the fastest Corvette:

Fastest laps:

#5 Johnson/Morgan 3'34"10
#3 Gamble/Jeffords/Wuesthoff 3'41"05
#2 Thompson 3'43'44
#1 Cunningham/Fitch 3'44'59
#4 Jefford/Gamble 3'52"20
#6 Fritts/Hall 3'55"33

As Hap Sharp said to Fritts during the race: 'Hey, what's wrong! You're driving like you were driving on eggs. Get out there and go!'

But perhaps that was how a Corvette should be driven to finish an endurance race in 1960.

all research: Willem Oosthoek

#104 Vettefinderjim

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 20:36

Very nice pictures Jim.
The following comes from Willem Oosthoek:

Well, let's not exaggerate the state of preparedness when the #6 Corvette arrived at Sebring in 1960.

From Murray Forsfall's column in the Dallas newspaper after the 12 Hours:

" Bill Fritts went to Sebring to help in the pits on the Cooper Monaco which Jim Hall and Hap Sharp drove. He was expected to work lap charts for 12 hours. 'Thursday afternoon at about 4 o'clock I came back to the pits with a load of tires,' Bill recalls, 'and Hap told me, 'Grab your helmet and go down to Chuck's [Jim Hall's little brother] pit. There is something wrong with his Corvette.'

Chuck Hall, 21 years old with a newly acquired FIA license, had rented a new Corvette brought to Sebring by Reed's Racing Rats from Chicago. It had not been fully prepared to race at Sebring or anywhere else. 'Take it around the course and see what's wrong,' the young Hall said.

Then, and not until then, did Bill know that he had a ride. But his heart sunk after driving the car around the course twice. 'The first lap out I knew something was wrong. There was no way anyone could drive that car for 12 hours.'

Fritts informed Chuck of the fact. 'There is a mechanic and the car,' Chuck said, 'Go, get it ready.' Then Hall left to look after his Formula Junior, which was to race of Friday. It left Fritts with half an hour's day practice remaining, a night practice session and then one night and one day in which to get the car ready. The mechanic was a Ferrari man, who was not particularly interested in working on American Corvettes anyway.

Bill consulted Zora Duntov, who made some able suggestions. Fritts and the mechanic carried them out. By race time at 10 a.m. on Saturday #6 was in position ready to race. 'We weren't trying to do anything but win class,' Fritts said. 'We knew we couldn't outrun the other five Corvettes, so we set out strategy to outlast them.' "

Comparing the Corvette times indicates that the fastest lap of #6 was some 20 seconds slower than Delmo Johnson/Dave Morgan in the fastest Corvette:

Fastest laps:

#5 Johnson/Morgan 3'34"10
#3 Gamble/Jeffords/Wuesthoff 3'41"05
#2 Thompson 3'43'44
#1 Cunningham/Fitch 3'44'59
#4 Jefford/Gamble 3'52"20
#6 Fritts/Hall 3'55"33

As Hap Sharp said to Fritts during the race: 'Hey, what's wrong! You're driving like you were driving on eggs. Get out there and go!'

But perhaps that was how a Corvette should be driven to finish an endurance race in 1960.

all research: Willem Oosthoek

Thanks for the update Willem. I know RONNIE KAPLAN well, and I will get him to comment on what ever preparation his job was for the car. It originally was sold by NICKEY CHEVROLET, and Ronnie was the crew chief for NICKEY and JEFFORDS back in the 1958-60 era. It sure is fun following these old cars.

Craig McCaw, Bruce's brother bought the car in December 2010. It is going to the Amelia Gooding Auction March 9-10. Currently, the original 1959 restoration race 283 fuel injection engine is being installed back in the car. It was pulled to save for vintage racing, and a crate 350 was installed for street used these past 14 months.

UPDATE JAN 12, 2013. THE CAR WAS SOLD at Amelia Gooding Auction and is now in Rhode Island in a Corvette Race Car collectors hands who has some of the best of the best Corvette race cars of the 50's and 60's

Edited by Vettefinderjim, 12 January 2013 - 16:38.


#105 Vettefinderjim

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 22:54

Ronnie jusr sent me this,......more of the story

"Jim,

I knew George Reed and enjoyed his friendship. I was surprised when Triple R decided to do a corvette for Sebring because George had been a Ferrari guy and had a super Ferrari mechanic named Chas Prichard working for him. I remember getting calls from both Jack Stephani and George Reed seeking my help in preparing the car. I went to Lesovsky's shop in LA at the end of January to build an Indy car for Kelso Auto Dynamics (Margaret Bowden) so I couldn't really do the complete prep that they wanted. I did have a pair of heads, cam and injector on manifold with distributor that were prepared and ready to go racing which was made available to them. Other than that, my contribution was just many hours on the telephone attempting to explain or describe the various treatments required to meld the engine and chassis into a race machine.

Ronnie"

Edited by Vettefinderjim, 12 January 2013 - 16:43.


#106 Mike Argetsinger

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 23:57

By vettefinderjim at 2012-02-04

No intention to sideline this terrific thread -- but I was delighted to find among the photos posted on February 4 by vettefinderjim an image of the number 6 Corvette following my father's Alfa Romeo Veloce in the 1960 12 hour race. Cameron Argetsinger and his friend William F. (Bill) Milliken drove the Alfa to a 27th place finish and fourth in class -- eleven laps behind the 16th place finishing Number 6 Corvette. As evidenced by his distinctive helmet, it is Bill in the car when this picture was taken. It was the final race in the driving career of both men.

Edited by Mike Argetsinger, 21 February 2012 - 01:57.


#107 TEDD

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:24

Tom:
Puzzling indeed! The only still-living Reeds Race Rats are me and Lindy Willis and I believe Lindy wasn't along that time at Milwaukee so I'm sure he would be of no help. I am still in frequent contact with Lindy however.
One thing I did notice on searching the archives, was that there is a paucity of reliable information on entrants, car numbers, finishing positions etc. And why should there be? None of us were keeping track of that sort of thing as well as car serial numbers and the like. All I can say to all this is that I know I was there for whatever the race-occasion was; I took the picture myself with my Leica IIIF and I only attended one other event held on the road course at the Milwaukee Mile. That other time Berk Charvoz drove his ex-Fred Wacker J2X Allard to and from the races from Flossmoor where he and his, then, wife, Dody, lived. The weather turned cold and rainy and Berk drove back to Flossmoor in near-snow conditions with Charles Harrell as co-driver. I am out of further ideas, at least for now............Dale


Any recolitions about Berks Lister Jaguar ?

#108 TEDD

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:24

Tom:
Puzzling indeed! The only still-living Reeds Race Rats are me and Lindy Willis and I believe Lindy wasn't along that time at Milwaukee so I'm sure he would be of no help. I am still in frequent contact with Lindy however.
One thing I did notice on searching the archives, was that there is a paucity of reliable information on entrants, car numbers, finishing positions etc. And why should there be? None of us were keeping track of that sort of thing as well as car serial numbers and the like. All I can say to all this is that I know I was there for whatever the race-occasion was; I took the picture myself with my Leica IIIF and I only attended one other event held on the road course at the Milwaukee Mile. That other time Berk Charvoz drove his ex-Fred Wacker J2X Allard to and from the races from Flossmoor where he and his, then, wife, Dody, lived. The weather turned cold and rainy and Berk drove back to Flossmoor in near-snow conditions with Charles Harrell as co-driver. I am out of further ideas, at least for now............Dale


Any recolitions about Berks Lister Jaguar ?

#109 RA Historian

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 16:32

Any recolitions about Berks Lister Jaguar ?

I saw the Berkely Charvoz Lister race in 1958. He sold the car to Nickey Chevrolet which was going to put a Chevy into it and run it for Jim Jeffords. However, when they bought a Scarab the Lister became redundant and they never used it. It was sold to Milrace Motors in Thiensville, Wis., and they ran it for Fred Rediske in 1960. From there it went to Howard Quick, who replaced the anemic 3.0 Jaguar six with a 3.8 liter unit. Quick ran it for a few years before it went to Dick Dagiel, who finally put a Chevy into it. I saw the car raced in the midwest by Charvoz, Rediske, Quick, and Dagiel, after which it was retired to the vintage arena. It resided for a long time in the garage of Tom MacArthur, before becoming part of the Syd Silverman collection of Listers. Syd held onto it for a long time before selling it a couple years ago to Tom Malloy.

#110 dhmoody356

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 20:21

I saw the Berkely Charvoz Lister race in 1958. He sold the car to Nickey Chevrolet which was going to put a Chevy into it and run it for Jim Jeffords. However, when they bought a Scarab the Lister became redundant and they never used it. It was sold to Milrace Motors in Thiensville, Wis., and they ran it for Fred Rediske in 1960. From there it went to Howard Quick, who replaced the anemic 3.0 Jaguar six with a 3.8 liter unit. Quick ran it for a few years before it went to Dick Dagiel, who finally put a Chevy into it. I saw the car raced in the midwest by Charvoz, Rediske, Quick, and Dagiel, after which it was retired to the vintage arena. It resided for a long time in the garage of Tom MacArthur, before becoming part of the Syd Silverman collection of Listers. Syd held onto it for a long time before selling it a couple years ago to Tom Malloy.



Confusing history of Berk's Lister as I am sure I remember seeing it in his (Premier Motors - ?? - on Speedway Avenue) showroom in Tucson when I visited him there in about 1965. I think it already had a small block V8 in it then. Johnny Miller also put a small block in Berk's J2X before Berk moved to Artiona. I rode in the J2X with Berk on a "test drive" one night after several libations at the Homewood Garage Our route was westbound on the old 183rd Street towards Tinley Park. The Lucas electrics were true to form in that visibility seemed about two car lengths. At 100 mph it could have been greater. I also have some photos of George's No. 6 Corvette that I took at Sebring in 1960 if I knew how to post them.........Dale

#111 dhmoody356

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 20:23

I saw the Berkely Charvoz Lister race in 1958. He sold the car to Nickey Chevrolet which was going to put a Chevy into it and run it for Jim Jeffords. However, when they bought a Scarab the Lister became redundant and they never used it. It was sold to Milrace Motors in Thiensville, Wis., and they ran it for Fred Rediske in 1960. From there it went to Howard Quick, who replaced the anemic 3.0 Jaguar six with a 3.8 liter unit. Quick ran it for a few years before it went to Dick Dagiel, who finally put a Chevy into it. I saw the car raced in the midwest by Charvoz, Rediske, Quick, and Dagiel, after which it was retired to the vintage arena. It resided for a long time in the garage of Tom MacArthur, before becoming part of the Syd Silverman collection of Listers. Syd held onto it for a long time before selling it a couple years ago to Tom Malloy.



Confusing history of Berk's Lister as I am sure I remember seeing it in his (Premier Motors - ?? - on Speedway Avenue) showroom in Tucson when I visited him there in about 1965. I think it already had a small block V8 in it then. Johnny Miller also put a small block in Berk's J2X before Berk moved to Artiona. I rode in the J2X with Berk on a "test drive" one night after several libations at the Homewood Garage Our route was westbound on the old 183rd Street towards Tinley Park. The Lucas electrics were true to form in that visibility seemed about two car lengths. At 100 mph it could have been greater. I also have some photos of George's No. 6 Corvette that I took at Sebring in 1960 if I knew how to post them.........Dale

#112 TEDD

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 08:48

Confusing history of Berk's Lister as I am sure I remember seeing it in his (Premier Motors - ?? - on Speedway Avenue) showroom in Tucson when I visited him there in about 1965. I think it already had a small block V8 in it then. Johnny Miller also put a small block in Berk's J2X before Berk moved to Artiona. I rode in the J2X with Berk on a "test drive" one night after several libations at the Homewood Garage Our route was westbound on the old 183rd Street towards Tinley Park. The Lucas electrics were true to form in that visibility seemed about two car lengths. At 100 mph it could have been greater. I also have some photos of George's No. 6 Corvette that I took at Sebring in 1960 if I knew how to post them.........Dale



Must have been a different Lister in Az, have pics / slides dated from 66 when my father Rich Dagiel got the car (bhl112) from Quick with a Jag engine still in place however he did eventualy put a 327 in it.
History is well known and RA historaian is spot on!
Was mostly looking for a Berkely - 58 Sebring connection of the car (112)
do know it was at Road America racing in DM class with 3.0 motor (fia spec) in 58
when my father owned it the story was that it was a factory mag body car brought over for Sebring, ran in practice but did not race

so did Berk plan to run it at Sebring or did he aquire it after that

#113 dhmoody356

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 20:07

Must have been a different Lister in Az, have pics / slides dated from 66 when my father Rich Dagiel got the car (bhl112) from Quick with a Jag engine still in place however he did eventualy put a 327 in it.
History is well known and RA historaian is spot on!
Was mostly looking for a Berkely - 58 Sebring connection of the car (112)
do know it was at Road America racing in DM class with 3.0 motor (fia spec) in 58
when my father owned it the story was that it was a factory mag body car brought over for Sebring, ran in practice but did not race

so did Berk plan to run it at Sebring or did he aquire it after that


Not sure but I don't believe Berk ever raced at Sebrng in anything. Got to see if I can find the photos I took of his shop in Tucson. Maybe one from inside the showroom. Will adivse if I find them.............Dale

#114 RA Historian

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 18:23

Somewhere on this forum there are photos of the Charvoz Lister just after it was acquired by Nickey. It is in the Nickey shop still with the Charvoz numbers from the 1958 RA 500. As has been documented, it was then sold to Milrace, to Quick, to Dagiel. It had a Jag six of various displacements in it until TEDD's Father put a Chevy into it.

Tom

#115 Tim Murray

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 19:21

Somewhere on this forum there are photos of the Charvoz Lister just after it was acquired by Nickey.

This one, perhaps?

As noted above, during the '59 season, Nickey Chevrolet owned a lister.
In 1959, I was 14 years old....
A friend and I stopped by Nickey and visited the service department.
Posted Image

Yup.... That's me. IIRC the lister even at that time, was a sorry piece of used racing equipment.
Right next to the Lister is the B production SCCA winner, the Nickey "purple people eater"
corvette of Jim Jeffords.


from this thread:

Lister sports-racing cars in the USA

#116 RA Historian

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 00:29

That's it; thanks Tim!

#117 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 14:17

Posted Image
Crew member with Red hat is Chas Pritchard next to the Chuck Hall driven Corvette
Chuck Hall's co driver Bill Fritts checking front tire
Posted Image
Crew member Pedro Mendez during night pit stop

The following comes from Dale Moody:
" That is Pedro Mendez kneeling down along side during a night pit stop (I rode with him in his car from Chicago to Sebring that year).
If I remember correctly, George drove the Corvette back to Chicago after the race. I think it was registered in the Bahamas and, if George were stopped for speeding (not an uncommon occurance), he would present his Nassau drivers license and use his Bahamian/Brit accent to get out of it.
"Man, I don't understand, we got no speed limits where I come from!".

photos: Dale Moody collection

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 January 2013 - 17:25.


#118 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 17:38

Posted Image
Sebring 1960: Bill Fritts holding the trophy after winning his class with Chuck Hall in the RRR Corvette leased by Hall from George Reed

Thanks to Dale Moody, the other people on the podium can be identified. From the left, Pedro Mendez [#6 Corvette mechanic and normally the semi driver for McCook Windows Co, George Reed's company], Freddy Woods [pit crew], Bill Fritts and Barney Stuart [pit crew and a good friend of John Miller]. For some reason Chuck Hall went missing. In regular life Fritts was the Dallas sales rep for a North Carolina furniture manufacturer.

all research: Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 January 2013 - 17:40.


#119 Jerry Entin

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 17:53

Posted Image
Sebring 1960: relaxing next to the new RRR Ferrari California are [from the left] Richard Macon [tall, white shirt], George Reed, co-driver Alan Connell [straw hat], C. J, Habich [Reed's business partner in RRR], Barney Stuart, and Emile Erbacher [Connell's mechanic].


George Reed took the start, and he and Alan Connell took the California to a 5th overall finish.


Photo: Bob Jackson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 13 January 2013 - 18:16.