Jump to content


Photo

Ed Rahal RIP


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 25 December 2009 - 23:05

Edmund E. Rahal, Sr. - SAVANNAH - Edmund E. Rahal,Sr. 84, of Savannah, passed away Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at Candler Hospital. Edmund Rahal was one of Savannah's hidden treasures having served in the Marine Corps with distinction seeing combat in World War II storming the famed Island of Iwo Jima in the Pacific campaign as well as The Korean War fighting in the bitter cold at the storied battle of the Chosin Resevoir. He ended his career as a drill instructor at Paris Island, also known as "The Rock". Semper Fidelis. After leaving the Marine Corps, Edmund Rahal made a name for himself in the auto racing sports world winning the ABC Wide World of Sports Television Classic in his now famous D-Type Jaguar. He was recently inducted into the Greater Savannah Sports Hall of Fame prior to his death. He owned and operated Handi-House of Savannah for 28 years. He will be missed by both his family and those who knew him. He was a compassionate, caring, generous and, sometimes, eclectic person whose love and laughter has left an indelible mark on thousands of lives. He is survived by his wife, Brenda Rahal, 3 sons, DR. Edmund Rahal, Jr. of Tampa, Florida, Michele Rahal of Tampa Florida, Anthony Rahal of Savannah, Georgia, 1 daughter, Betty Jane Rahal of Atlanta, Georgia, sister Georgia Skallet of Hanahan, S.C., and a step-son Scott Chisholm of Savannah, 4 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews and his dear friend Carlos. Visitation will be held on Friday, December 18th from 6-8 PM at Fairhaven Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 11:00 AM also at Fairhaven Funeral Home. Remembrances: South Newington Baptist Church, 453 John Carter Road, Bloomingdale, GA. 31302. Fairhaven Funeral Home & Crematory 2794 W. Highway 80 Garden City, Ga. 31408 912-964-2862

Advertisement

#2 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 25 December 2009 - 23:18

Posted Image
Ed Rahal with his Chrysler Crossfire
This photo was taken in Ed Rahal's driveway in Savannah, Georgia


photo- Willem Oosthoek

#3 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 26 December 2009 - 23:05

Posted Image
Warsaw, Indiana, June 1956.
Three freshly painted Arnolt-Bristol Bolides lined up in front of Wacky Arnolt's shop. From the right: Savannah SCCA official John Rueter with Ed Rahal's Swiss mechanic Henry Huber, Ed Rahal with one of Wacky's mechanics, and Savannah Sports Car Club benefactor Robert Roebling and his wife Dorothy.

Robert Roebling's great grandfather built the Brooklyn Bridge. In 1956 Robert's foundation financed Roebling Road, the private racetrack near Savannah. In addition, Roebling paid for the entire purchase of three Arnolt-Bristols. After picking up the cars at Wacky's showroom in Chicago, the team made a stop at his body shop in Warsaw, where the cars were sprayed in Savannah team colors [red with a white stripe] and mounted with magnesium Borranis. They drove the cars home to Savannah. Except for minor overheating in Cincinnati's rush hour, they performed perfectly.


all research Willem Oosthoek
photo- Ed Rahal Family collection
scanned for site Laurie Williamson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 01:19.


#4 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 26 December 2009 - 23:13

Posted Image
Mansfield, Louisiana, August 5, 1956
Ed Rahal's Arnolt-Bristol leading the Healeys of Bill Hopkins and B.E. Petty, and Rusty Wright's Porsche

After a successful July 1 introduction at Courtland, Alabama, where Ed Rahal won his race and EP class, followed by 6th overall and 1st in EP in the Feature, the Savannah team made the long trip to Mansfield's DeSoto Airport. Again the cars were driven in convoy on the public roads.


photo-Ed Rahal Family collection
all research Willem Oosthoek
photo scanned for site Laurie Williamson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 12:50.


#5 jockellis

jockellis
  • New Member

  • 12 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 27 December 2009 - 05:01

I saw Ed race his D type at the old WW II army aircorps training airfield in Vidalia, Ga in , I think, 1967. Then I saw it for sale in Autoweek. The racing was great although a BP Shelby 350-GT won both the five-lapper Saturday then squeaked by Ed on Sunday in the 15-lapper after taking the Ford V-8 to 7800 rpm. In the late '80s, I wrote a column in the Waycross Journal-Herald but I don't know how many people read it; it was published the day the Challenger exploded.
Killing time in 1984 while my TRS-80 Model 4 computer was being fixed in Savannah, I drove to a place where I had seen a bunch of English cars. Ed and I got to talking about racing and I told him I'd seen a D at Vidalia. "That was me," he replied.
I've been meaning to Google Ed for some time. As often happens, I did too late.
Jock Ellis
Cumming, GA

#6 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 27 December 2009 - 12:44

Posted Image
Mansfield 1956: Ed Rahal with the checkered flag after winning Sunday's race 3
Note the lethal looking spinners on the Borrani wheels.

The following is from Willem Oosthoek:
Jock, when I last talked to Ed he remembered the Vidalia event well. It was his very last race before quitting. The D-type had previously blown one of its spark plugs and at Vidalia the problem resurfaced. Running on five cylinders, the D-type finished second to the Shelby Mustang.



All research Willem Oosthoek
photo Ed Rahal Family collection
scanned for site Laurie Williamson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 12:49.


#7 AlMark

AlMark
  • Member

  • 82 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 27 December 2009 - 15:23

I see one of his surviving sons is Michele Rahal. Is this the same person whom I have heard on a Sunday radio show commenting on NASCAR?

Gil

#8 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 27 December 2009 - 15:53

One and the same, Gil. After a budding race career Michele Rahal is commentating these days.
Here is a Radio call in by Michele Rahal talking to his friends about his dad.
http://www.podcastdi...odshows/6363422

As Michele put it " It was a hell of a ride, and it was quite a Party."

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 18:48.


#9 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 27 December 2009 - 18:43

Posted Image
Ed Rahal received national exposure when he appeared on the cover of the October 1959 issue of Sports Car, the SCCA magazine. The reason was his D-type victory in the first SCCA race held at the Daytona Speedway in September 1959.



At Boca Raton in March 1957 Rahal blew the engine of his Arnolt-Bristol. He campaigned the rest of the year with a new AC-Bristol, while the Arnolt was rebuilt with a Corvette engine in its bay. In May 1958 Rahal bought a 3.4-liter Jaguar D from fellow Savannah resident Harry Rollings. It was chassis XKD 553. Its first outing at Chester in May 1958 was disappointing after a fuel line broke while the car was leading, but Ed claimed subsequent victories at Walterboro [July], Cocoa-Titusville [July], Courtland [August] and the Prelim at Venice [October].

In 1959 Rahal raced the former George Koehne Maserati 200SI and the Arnolt/Corvette, but both cars were often unreliable. When the SCCA announced the September 4-5 Daytona event, he decided that the D-type was the ideal car for the high banks.

Rahal barely made it. On Wednesday the D-type was still completely apart, with Ed and his mechanic working through the night to get the car race ready. After leaving Savannah at 4:40 AM on Saturday, the team just made the 10 AM registration deadline in Daytona.


all research Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 21:47.


#10 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 27 December 2009 - 18:50

Posted Image
Start of the 3-lap qualifier on Saturday, when it rained. Rahal [#100 D-type] in a drag race with Art Huttinger's new Bocar XP-5. Partially hidden behind Rahal are David Lane [Ferrari 250TR] and George Metzger [Ferrari 375Plus], with Chuck Cassel [#16 Porsche 550RS] on the right.

Ed Rahal scored three times that weekend. In Saturday's qualifier, which determined the grid positions for Sunday, he finished first at 88.5 mph in the rain. Next came Cassel, Huttinger and Metzger, while Lane spun out.

For Sunday's 15-lap preliminary the weather had cleared but the result was the same. Rahal won over Lane, Cassel, Huttinger and Metzger. Rahal's average speed increased to 94.1 mph, although Lane recorded the fastest lap [96.7 mph] in his duel with Cassel.

In the early stages of the 40-lap feature Lane's 250TR put up a fight, taking the lap record to 96.8 mph. The chase turned out to be futile when the Ferrari blew its engine on lap 8. Rahal reclaimed the fastest lap with 97.4 mph and when he pitted for fuel on lap 32, Cassel and Huttinger had dropped out as well. Metzger was second overall now, although two laps down.

It seemed like easy sailing from here on, but with four laps to go the D-type's oil pressure began to drop. On the next-to-last lap it had hit zero. Easing the Jaguar around the final lap, Rahal maintained his lead over Metzger, but did not dare to do a victory lap. He stopped immediately after taking the checkered, with smoke pouring from the D-type's hood. His time was 1 hour, 40 minutes and 5 seconds. His average speed was 91.4 mph.


all research Willem Oosthoek
photo- Art Huttinger collection
photo scanned for site Laurie Williamson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 18:56.


#11 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 27 December 2009 - 21:53

Posted Image
A delighted winner collects to Daytona silverware from Miss Southland, as Central Florida Region SCCA execs Ed Ziesing and Dick Dungan look on.

Pennzoil capitalized on Ed's victory in one of their promotions, quoting him: "I broke an oil line during the race and won with my oil pressure showing zero. Thanks to Pennzoil Z-7's tough and lasting film, my engine did not freeze up."

In the November National at Daytona, the Pennzoil touch could not rescue Rahal. He dropped out after 23 laps, victim of the same broken oil line. It proved to be too long, vibrating heavily. Ed had asked the Cunningham team, also the Jaguar importers, for a replacement before the race, but -perhaps for competitive reasons- was turned down. They supplied the item after the race.

Photo: Ed Rahal family Collection
all research Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 27 December 2009 - 21:53.


#12 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 28 December 2009 - 22:17

Posted Image
Last Jaguar D-type victory in history?
Ed Rahal beats Jim Gammon's Porsche Abarth and Paul Wood's Shelby Cobra at Montgomery, Alabama, on June 19, 1966.
During the early sixties Ed Rahal took out his old D-type once in a while, just for fun. In June 1966 he entered the old warhorse in the inaugural Commissioner's Cup race at Montgomery Industrial Terminal. Wood's Shelby Cobra led the first six laps until Rahal took the lead. A three-way duel developed that included Gammon's Porsche Abarth. On the back straight of the final lap Rahal used all the D-type's available horsepower to beat his opponents across the finish line. In the process the car blew one of its spark plugs.

photo Rahal Family collection
all research Willem Oosthoek
photo scanned for site Laurie Williamson

Edited by Jerry Entin, 28 December 2009 - 22:17.


#13 AlMark

AlMark
  • Member

  • 82 posts
  • Joined: February 09

Posted 28 December 2009 - 22:29

I didn't find the answer to this anywhere in the thread: Is Bobby Rahal part of Ed Rahal's family tree?

Gil

#14 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 28 December 2009 - 23:15

Gil: Ed Rahal and Bobby Rahals father Mike were cousins.

Edited by Jerry Entin, 29 December 2009 - 04:30.


#15 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:47

Posted Image
Montgomery City Mayor Earl James presenting Ed Rahal with the 1966 Commissioner's Cup for his feature win.
In a 2007 interview Ed Rahal remembered: "It was probably the most enjoyable race I ever ran. We raced through the city streets, over railroad crossings, between warehouses, bounced off curbs. It was a great day."




photo Rahal Family collection
all research Willem Oosthoek
photo scanned for site Laurie Williamson

#16 philippe charuest

philippe charuest
  • Member

  • 701 posts
  • Joined: March 01

Posted 29 December 2009 - 15:31

Edmund Rahal made a name for himself in the auto racing sports world winning the ABC Wide World of Sports Television Classic in his now famous D-Type Jaguar.

that event wwos classic , can you give more detail . was it an annual event or or a one time operation a scca race sponsored by ABC


#17 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 29 December 2009 - 15:58

Posted Image
The former Rahal XKD 553 as offered at Quail Lodge by Bonhams & Butterfield in 2006.

After Montgomery Ed Rahal raced his D-type one more time, at Vidalia in Georgia. The spark plug repair did not hold and the car was bested by a Shelby Mustang. It was the end of Rahal's race career and he sold XKD 553 to the Vintage Car Store in Nyack, New York. Ed received the same sum he paid Harry Rollings in 1958, $6,500, and put the proceeds to work in the stock market. Unfortunately, his investments did not do very well.

Ed would have done better to hold on to the D-type. In 2006 the car generated $2.1 million at Quail Lodge.


all research Willem Oosthoek

Edited by Jerry Entin, 29 December 2009 - 16:06.


#18 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 29 December 2009 - 17:11

Philippe:

The obituary, which came from the Savannah newspaper, is wrong about the TV coverage details.
The Daytona race was an SCCA Regional held on January 30-31, 1960, one of the events leading up to the Daytona 500.

On Saturday Ed Rahal's D-type won the 15-lap prelim, beating Art Huttinger's Bocar by six seconds, with David Lane's Porsche RSK third overall.

Sunday's activities were broadcast by CBS's "Speed Spectacular" program. To accommodate nationwide coverage the feature race was shortened to 12 laps. Huttinger led the opening lap, but Rahal caught him on lap 2. The D-type crossed the finish line some 400 yards ahead of the Bocar, with Bob Kingham's D-type next.

CBS also televised the next race that day, a rather bizarre one-lap Exhibition Race that started with a Le Mans start. Promoter Bill France had arranged a Lotus 11 [Lucky Casner's?] to be driven by world heavyweight boxing champion Ingemar Johanson. However, the Swede's insurance company objected and Johanson only action on Sunday was waving off the drivers.

Ed Rahal made a perfect start, while Art Huttinger was slow getting away, never able to make up the difference. Rahal's D-type won its third race that weekend, with Kingham's D-type second overall. I don't think the format was ever repeated on CBS.


all research Willem Oosthoek

#19 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,547 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 11 June 2010 - 17:30

Posted Image
Ed Rahal received national exposure when he appeared on the cover of the October 1959 issue of Sports Car, the SCCA magazine. The reason was his D-type victory in the first SCCA race held at the Daytona Speedway in September 1959.


Belated condolences to Michel Rahal and the Rahal family.

I hope you will forgive my ignorance here but I was under the impression all US Ovals run anti clockwise, which means that all vehicles photographed from the infield, as this one on the cover would appear to be, should run from right to left, or have I overlooked something really obvious ?

Advertisement

#20 RA Historian

RA Historian
  • Member

  • 3,805 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 11 June 2010 - 19:14

I hope you will forgive my ignorance here but I was under the impression all US Ovals run anti clockwise, which means that all vehicles photographed from the infield, as this one on the cover would appear to be, should run from right to left, or have I overlooked something really obvious ?

First of all, yes, all US oval races run in a counter clockwise direction. But having said that, sports car or road racing on a combined oval/infield course is not bound at all by oval tradition. Hence, most early sports car races at tracks that had infield road courses tended to run in the traditional road race style, with more right turns than left. The very early sports car races at Daytona, as the cover of Sports Car shows, ran in this manner. At Daytona this happened only for a year or two before they switched directions. I suspect that this switch was not so much a conformance to oval track tradition as it was a function of existing pit placement and it entrance and exit roads.
Tom

#21 Jerry Entin

Jerry Entin
  • Member

  • 5,920 posts
  • Joined: December 02

Posted 11 June 2010 - 19:32


In the early years of sports car racing [both USAC and SCCA] at the Daytona Speedway the cars ran the track clockwise.


all research Willem Oosthoek

#22 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,547 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 12 June 2010 - 01:52

Thanks for your insight Tom and Jerry :wave: