Tag Archives: Arnadin

$150 Silver Dollars And An Avanti – 1962 Indianapolis 500

$150 Silver Dollars and a Studebaker Avanti were among the prizes taken home by two drivers from the Indianapolis Month of May in 1962.

On Pole Day the track temperature was measured at a scintillating 142° F / 61° C but amazingly this did not stop Parnelli Jones, in his Watson Offy, becoming the first man to average over 150 mph for his 4 qualifying laps to claim pole and an impromptu prize from a rival car owner of 150 silver dollars.

Indianapolis 1962

In Ed Arnaudins photo above a Studebaker Skylark Convertible passes the white Watson Offy of Shorty Templeton as is pushed to its outside second row grid position and the black Phillips Offy of Bud Tigelstad making its way to an inside forth row grid position.

Shorty and Bud would finish the race in 11th and 15th places respectively.

Indianapolis 1962

As the Skylark pace car returns to pit road Parnelli Jones from the inside of the front row leads Roger Ward, Watson Offy, Bobby Marshman, Epperly Offy, and the rest of the field to the start line. Rookie Dan Gurney in the middle of the third row seems to be struggling to get his rear engined stock block Thompson Buick up to speed.

Parnelli Jones led the first 300 miles comfortably before experiencing problems including coming to rest in the pits. AJ Foyt, Trevis Offy, was second in the early running until losing a wheel. And so Roger Ward came through to chase Jones down and take the lead, heading his team mate Len Sutton across the line for a Leader Card 1-2 victory at a new record 140 mph average for the race.

Watson Offy, Indianapolis 1982

In Ed’s photo above Roger is seen driving the #3 Leader Card Special during the 1982 pre race parade. Roger won a £125,000 and became the first owner of a Studebaker Avanti which was part of his prize package.

My thanks to Ed Arnaudin and his son Steve for today’s photographs and to E.B and Brian at The Nostalgia Forum for their help identifying Roger and the two racing cars in the top photo.

Thanks for joining me on this “$150 Silver Dollars And An Avanti” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a trip through the National Motor Museum. Don’t forget to come back now !

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AAA Champion – Stutz White Squadron Racer

Moving forward a year from yesterdays post today we are looking at this well known 1915 Stutz White Squadron Racer thanks to another photograph by Ed Arnaudin.

Indy64 8s

The Ideal Motor Company was founded in 1911 by Harry Stutz who entered a vehicle called a Stutz powered with a Wisconsin Motor in the very first Indianapolis 500 in 1911.

Despite having under gone no testing of any sort in preparation for the race Norwegian Gil Anderson started in tenth, qualifying was decided by the order in which the entries were received (!), and completed the full 200 laps in a creditable 11th, the first finisher not to receive any prize money. The entrepreneurial Stutz claimed the result a victory with the strap line ‘the car that made good in a day’.

In 1912 Charlie Merz brought his Wisconsin powered Stutz home in 4th and in 1913 went one better with a 3rd place finish. For 1914 Barney Oldfield brought his Stutz home 5th in the ‘500’ again using a Wisconsin engine.

Harry Stutz developed an engine based on the classic 115hp 1914 Mecedes Grand Prix car complete with single overhead cam and 4 valves per cylinder in 1915 and it is this type of vehicle we see in Ed’s photograph taken in 1964.

This car was driven and later owned by White Squadron driver Earl Cooper who’s story is no less fascinating than his cars. Nebrasken Earl got into racing by borrowing a customers Maxwell in 1904 after the proprietor of the Maxwell dealership Earl was working for refused to sponsor him.

Cooper won first time out beating his boss in the same race which earned him a victory garland and unemployment in the process. Earl decided to pursue racing and by 1912 formed a successful partnership with Stutz securing his first of three eventual AAA National Championships winning 5 out of 8 road races in 1913.

Sidelined for most of the 1914 season and a good part of the early 1915 season for some, as yet unknown to me, medical condition Earl came back strongly with a forth place at Indianapolis going on to win one of two events held at Elgin, IL and a 500 mile speedway race at Snelling MN to take his second championship aboard this particular Stutz.

After winning the war interrupted 1917 Championship Earl retired from full time racing in 1919 only to return in 1922 taking five wins in 1923. Cooper led much of the 1924 Indy 500 only for two separate punctures to force him to settle for a second place finish.

In May 1925 Cooper became the first man to lap Indianapolis at over 110 mph he started that race 4th but finished 17th after leading 4 laps and eventually crashing. Despite starting on pole for his final race at Indianapolis in 1926 Earl’s car suffered transmission failure and by 1928 he had retired for good aged 42.

Earl became a team manager building Cooper front wheel drive racing cars, one of which competed at Indianapolis into the the 1940’s. He also reacquired the car seen in this photograph in 1938, restored it and then donated it to the Collection of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles who appear to have loaned the car to the Petersen Museum in LA where it is mostly to be found on display.

My thanks to Steve Arnaudin for sending me the scan of his Dad’s slide and to E.B. of The Nostalgia Forum for identifying this vehicle.

Hope you have enjoyed this AAA Champions edition of ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at the first of two very different Studebakers. Don’t forget to come back now !

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Stovebolt Special – HWM Chevrolet #49 ?

HWM Stovebolt Special, Pebble Beach, Carlyle Blackwell

Photo Carlyle Blackwell, Publised Courtesy Blackwell Archive, for sales enquiry’s please e-mail infoATpsychoontyres.co.uk and your contact details will be forwarded to the Blackwell Archive.

On Wednesday when I started today’s blog I thought lovely black car rare make, probably not too much history. As you’ll see below I could not have been more wrong in my assessment of the task ahead.

Hersham and Walton Motors (HWM) acquired an Aston Martin Dealership in 1951 reputedly making it the oldest such franchise.

Racing drivers & HWM owners George Abecassis and John Heath first built a streamlined body on an Alta sports car chassis in 1948.

The first proper HWM’s were also 4 cylinder Alta powered and built for the second tier European open wheel series called Formula 2 in 1950.

This is one of those 1950 open wheel cars allegedly driven by none other than Sir Stirling Moss at the start of his career.

Thanks to information passed on by David McKinney, it appears that this vehicle still fitted with an Alta engine was purchased in 1953 by 20th Century Fox and used in the film ‘The Racers‘ staring Kirk Douglas and Bella Darvi, this film was also known as ‘Such Men Are Dangerous’ in some countries.

During filming the car was heavily damaged, later Tom Carsten purchased all the vehicles from the film, selling most of them on, but keeping the HWM because it had independent suspension and fitting it with a 302cui /4900 cc Chevrolet V8 which was then bored out to 4994 cc / 305 cui by Edelbrock.

The car was also fitted with a quick change rear axle and experimental disc brakes by Hallibrand.

Bill Pollack, seen in this photograph by Carlyle Blackwell, confirmed as having to be at Pebble Beach by Bill himself, is known to have driven the at least twice in 1956 during which time chassis acquired the nome de course ‘Stovebolt Special’.

Bill was a regular winner at events such as Pebble Beach (two times), Golden Gate Park, Reno, Torrey Pines, Stockton, Madera, Willow Springs, Palm Springs, and the Santa Barbara road races, the most famous of which was in an Allard J2 at Pebble Beach from which his book ‘Red Wheels and White Sidewalls‘ takes it’s title.

JB Miltonian informs me that a version of this photo with the driver in an obviously retouched red shirt appeared on the cover of Sports Car Illustrated in September 1956 with the caption “Rounding the last turn at Pebble Beach is Bill Pollack in the latest Carstens bomb, the HWM-Chev V8. A complete breakdown of the car starts on p12. Ektachrome is by Carlyle Blackwell.”

The Stovebolt Special is known to have been raced until at least 1963.

In 1980 John Matherson restored the car which appeared in the Pebble Beach Concours in 2003.

HWM Stovebolt Special, Alan Raine

As seen in this photo by Alan Raine most recently the Stovebolt Special has reappeared in the UK driven by Simon Taylor.

According to one source Simon’s car is now listed as having a 5737 cc / 347 cui motor.

There is some disagreement as to the chassis number of the Stovebolt Special with options including #49 – 001 ,49/02 and even FB 102, should Simon Taylor get in touch I’ll ask him and add a post script.

My thanks to Carlyle Blackwell for the photo, Ed and Steve Arnaudin who kindly sent it on to me and TNFers David McKinney, Alan Raine, fnqvmuch, Tim Murray, Roger Lund, Mark Godfrey, JB Miltonian, and Vince H, who helped reveal the story behind the ‘Stovebolt Special’.

Please keep the Arnaudin family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Stovebolt Special edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

28 07 12 PS My thanks to Pamela Blackwell who has kindly retrospectively given me permission to post the photo’s her father took.

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