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Wolverine Can Am car


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#1 MOTOFORZA

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 15:59

Hi All race fans !

Posted Image Posted Image
Wolverine Can Am Car and Jerry Hansen

My friend Mogens Christensen has the Wolverine Can Am car of Jerry Hansen.

Can anyone help him with history and photos of this very special racecar ?, PLEASE !

Kind regards Vagn. DENMARK

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#2 Rosemayer

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 18:08

Here are a few.


http://lynndalefarms...om/photos2.html

http://www.tamsoldra...2Mystery44.html

http://www.racingspo...6-04-photo.html

#3 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 18:29

Vagn

I believe the car in your photo is Jerry Hansen in the ex-Jerry Grant Lotus 19-Chev, same car as in the photo in the second link Rosemayer gave you. And I don't see a photo of the Wolverine in Rosemayers' third link.

Vince H.

#4 RA Historian

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 00:40

I agree completely with Vince.

Vagn: On the second link, provided by Rosemayer, the Tam's site, there is a brief history of Hansen's cars in the sixties. The Dykstra designed Wolverine was used by Hansen only for part of 1966. While waiting for the Dykstra designed car to be built, Jerry drove the Lotus 19-Chev, ex-Jerry Grant, that is pictured in the first post and also in the second link.

After Hansen the Wolverine was driven by Frank Opalka of Chicago, and then later by Jim Place. What happened to it after that, I am afraid that I do not know.

Tom

#5 martin Borch

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 08:00

Hello Vagn

Please look after Jerry Hansen in " Search BB " . all the historie of Wolverine is there.


We did got all the historie and we also have contact whit Lee Dykstra and George Anderson some built the car in 1966.

Kind regards

Martin Borch-Christensen

#6 RA Historian

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 04:07

If this thread still is alive with anyone trying to get more info on the Wolverine, Frank Opalka, who is a TNF member and who posted on the magazine collections thread today, owned the car in the late 60s. I would imagine Frank would be delighted to share his experiences.
Tom

#7 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 03:57

My sponsor (Owen Rutherford) bought the Wolverine from Jerry Hansen for me to drive and maintain. After many DNFs with Jerry and Skogmo group I went thru the car and fixed the problems. They would come by and congratulate me for finishing! We ran SCCA and USRRC, in the USRRC 500 we thru a rod and DNFed, Car was good to drive but needed bigger tires as I saw when following McLarens. Also needed a big block engine as I saw Mark fly by with the Sonoco Special T70. Money was tight but we picked up a sponsor, "Miami Serpenterium" This required us to paint snakes all over the car but you have to do strange things to get sponsor money if you want to keep racing. At RA Owen arrived in a station wagon loaded with poisonous snakes. That would have not been too bad but a Cobra, (not 289) got loose and bit my sponsor, he was taken to the hospital and was on the evening news that nite as we watched the news from Seibkens bar. He recovered but Bud Severens coundnt figue how a cobra got into Wisconsin. We sold the car to Jim Place and I see him occasionally at car events, the Wolverine ended in Bisbee, Az where I saw it almost finished and filled in the owners, It sold on Ebay to Europe and thats my story and Im sticking to it, was a great time.

#8 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 04:43

As my old brain cells get fired up I recall how the Wolverine came to be built. Jerry had just bought a new McKee Chevette, we all were racing at some track I dont remember, 3 guys showed up with a frt engined chev mod car they had built, in the race they blew Jerry away easy, when the race ended Jerry drove to their pit area and asked who they were, "3 engineers from Detroit", they said. asked why they didnt build a mid engine car, they said they didnt have money for the transaxle. Jerry whipped out his ck book and said, "build me a mid engine car".

#9 pete3664

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 06:37

Those three guys were, I believe--- Lee Dykstra, Don Gates(later one of Penske's guys) and Bob Stout who I worked with at GMC truck, all I think had gone to GMI--- altho my memory isn'tas good as it was.

#10 Jerry Entin

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:46

Posted Image
Wolverine as raced by forum member Frank Opalka
This was of course before the snakes were painted on it.



photo Tom Schultz - copyright 2007 Tom Schultz.

#11 RA Historian

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 14:58

Originally posted by Jerry Entin
Posted Image
Wolverine as raced by forum member Frank Opalka
This was of course before the snakes were painted on it.
photo Tom Schultz - copyright 2007 Tom Schultz.

Ah, look at all that smoke coming from the bratwurst stand on the hill overlooking turn seven! My mouth is watering now in anticipation of the coming season when I can pop a couple of those babies down my gullet each day I'm at the track! (picture smiley face icon with drool..... )
Tom

#12 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 17:31

Brats, beer and beautiful women, those were the best days, ty for the pic, still go to Vintage RA with my Iso Grifo. This yr is the 50th anniversy of my winning Sept RA National in DP with my AH LeMans. :clap:

#13 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:42

Posted Image
Wolverine as it looks now.

Posted Image
Front view of Wolverine.
Car is currently owned by Matin Borch-Christensen of Copenhagen, Denmark.

photos - Martin Borch-Christensen collection

#14 xkssFrankOpalka

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 02:50

Jerry: That looks like the car when I sold it to Jim Place. The car was sold to others ans ended up in Bisbee, AZ. I saw the car there and helped with info to the owners at the time. From there it was sold to Europe and they contacted me later. I enjoyed the car and all that went with it.

#15 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:04

Posted Image
Rear view of Wolverine

Posted Image
Chassis of Wolverine

Martin Borch is currently trying to secure his FIA Papers. They are asking for, Evidence of period specification:

For chassis, bodywork, suspension, engine, gearbox, final drive, brakes, fuel feed, ignition, wheel size, wheelbase, and track, and what the weight was.


photos- Martin Borch-Christensen collection

#16 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 13:32

Posted Image
Seating area of Wolverine

Posted Image
Engine and gearbox of Wolverine


photos- Martin Borch-Christensen collection

#17 Osteguf

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 09:58

Hi guys.
There's a big problem with the car, we hope that some of you can help?
One of the shafts in the McKee gearbox broke, this saturday, and the car needs to ready for a race, next weekend.
We are in a bit of hurry, the car ships wednesday, if it's ready to race.

In danish, the shaft is named high level gear shaft, I can't find the correct english word, but I hope that you know what I mean.
Can we replace it with some kind of a standard part from a common car?
McKee gearboxes are NOT that simple to find parts for.
As a machinist, I can make the axle, but the splines and the hardening can not be made in 3 days :-(

Martin is looking forward to any reply we might get on this.

Regards, on behalf of Martin, from Kai.

Edited by Osteguf, 27 June 2010 - 10:25.


#18 David Birchall

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 15:36

Try contacting Adrian Ratcliffe at k&aratcliff@telus.net
He used to have a complete spare box but not sure if he still does.

#19 arttidesco

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:17

Does anyone recall why Jerry Hansen took part in only one Can Am race in 1966 ?

Seems odd Jerry won with the Wolverine first time out SCCA National Greenwood, then went to St Jovite finished 20th from 25th on the grid and then nothing is heard of the Wolverine until 1968 when Frank Opaika acquired the car.

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#20 Duc-Man

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 14:59

The car is on the entry list for Nürburgring this weekend but wasn't there yesterday.

#21 Osteguf

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 18:25

I'm not sure, but Wolverine were built when T165 was ordered, maybe there has been some kind of overlap in time?

#22 RA Historian

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 21:11

The week before Ste Jovite, one of Hansen's friends and a fellow resident of Minneapolis/St Paul, Minn., Don Skogmo, was killed in a vicious crash at the Road America 500. Hansen was quite affected, and immediately withdrew from the event. He raced the following weekend, but was under strong family pressure not to race. Perhaps Hansen gave in to this pressure and sat out the balance of the year.

The Lola T-165 was a 1970 car so it did not figure into the Wolverine sale at all.

For the 1967 season Hansen bought a new McLaren Elva MK III (M1C) which he raced all season until the year end Runoffs, where he ran a Lola T-70.

#23 arttidesco

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 18:37

Thanks for your insight again Tom :up:

#24 group7

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Posted 08 August 2015 - 19:47

this thread has been dormant for some time, but I just came across two images of the Wolverine from either the '68 or '69 Chicago auto show. about half way down the page in the link, click the photo to enlarge.

 

http://www.curbsidec...-show-part-1-3/

 

Mike (group7) in Canada


Edited by group7, 08 August 2015 - 22:12.


#25 group7

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 01:28

I have just come across this image at the 2:11-2:22 range in the link. this is Pete Dawson (builder of the Ferret specials) in the PMD Special-Hemi, which ran in A-sports. to me it resembles the Wolverine, which is the subject of this thread. I could not find any mention of this car in a search of the net, and going through my reference materials. if this is a Wolverine, is this a part of the cars history that is unknown (by me) maybe Jerry Entin or Pete Lyons might have more information ? could someone grab the photo from the link and post it here ? I can't do so  ):

 

 

Mike (group7) in Canada


Edited by group7, 18 December 2015 - 01:57.


#26 proviz

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 11:55

As Wolverine was a big Can-Am car credited to Lee Dykstra and Ferret was an earlier front-engined car reputedly built by Peter Dawson and Chris Kennedy and powered by 1-litre McCulloch outboard engine, I find it difficult to see a connection.

Or am I misinterpreting something here?


Edited by proviz, 18 December 2015 - 11:57.


#27 group7

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 13:36

proviz,click the link and  go to the 2:11-2:22 spot in the video, the Wolverine, or its look alike is there. in hindsight I do think it is the Wolverine. perhaps a missing link in the cars history ? I think there was only 1 chassis built, I have heard rumours of as many as three, but have nothing to back that up.

 

group7



#28 RA Historian

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 14:47

I agree with Proviz. No connection whatsoever between these two cars.

 

Only one Wolverine built.

 

Tom



#29 proviz

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 16:46

proviz,click the link and  go to the 2:11-2:22 spot in the video, the Wolverine, or its look alike is there. in hindsight I do think it is the Wolverine. perhaps a missing link in the cars history ? I think there was only 1 chassis built, I have heard rumours of as many as three, but have nothing to back that up.

 

group7

Ahh, yes, absolutely! Don't know what was wrong with my screen at the first time of looking, but I didn't even realize it was video clip - it just appeared like a regular still photo! That car definitely seems to have the same bodywork as Wolverine, at the very least.



#30 RA Historian

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 14:52

Assuming we are looking at the same photos, the white car at the Chicago Auto Show is the Wolverine as liveried and raced by Frank Opalka.



#31 plus

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 17:02

My Wolverine is now in US and it is for sale. I have make the entry for CanAm ReUnion in Road Atlanta, Mont Tremblant, Road America and Laguna Seca. You shall be welcome in my Pit, I will enjoy that. Please take a look here: Ultimatecarpage.com and search Wolverine.

See You

Mogens Christensen 



#32 RA Historian

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 14:18

Hi Mogens, we talked last July at Road America. At that time I confessed to having been around long enough to have seen the Wolverine race in the 1960s with Jerry Hansen, Frank Opalka, and James Place. Have a couple photos that I took in my collection..See you this July.

 

Tom


Edited by RA Historian, 06 March 2016 - 14:18.


#33 JacnGille

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Posted 22 April 2016 - 23:12

My Wolverine is now in US and it is for sale. I have make the entry for CanAm ReUnion in Road Atlanta, Mont Tremblant, Road America and Laguna Seca. You shall be welcome in my Pit, I will enjoy that. Please take a look here: Ultimatecarpage.com and search Wolverine.

See You

Mogens Christensen 

It was nice to meet you today but not to hear of you engine trouble.