Tag Archives: Chevy

Drawin To It – Little Hotrod

In 1947 a two year old Charlie Lindmar was taken by his Dad to the races at New Jersey bullrings that included Hinchcliffe and Dover. He claims not to remember anything about these events as around that time he fell out of a 2nd story window and landed on his head !

The flowing year his Dad built a race car up around a red ’37 Ford with yellow wheels on to which Charlie’s Mom painted the #69, it was around this time Charlie got into drawing race cars an activity he has continued to this day.

Charles Lindmar, Limited Sportsman '37 Ford

While the car was being prepared Charlie would sit in the seat making car noises and it was not long before the crew working on the car gave Charlie the “Little Hotrod” nick name.

Limited Sportsman '37 Ford

Charlie’s Dad, who worked at an oil terminal near Linden airport only raced the #69 once and after starting and finishing last he decided to enter the #69 for better drivers most often at Rupert Stadium where he once earned $140 after a particularly good meeting.

'37 Limited Sportsman Ford

After moving the #69 had to take a back seat while Charlie’s dad was busy making a living, but even then Lindmars kept going to see the races. In 1953 Charlie’s Dad registered to enter his ’37 Ford as the #56 to race on the new 1 mile Old Bridge dirt oval, but he never did get around to taking the #56 car to the track, although the family regularly spectated at events there.

While a Senior at High school, where Charlie was especially good at art, he started drag racing a ’53 Mercury and working at a Sunoco gas station before taking a course in auto mechanics which got him a job at the Linden GM plant. By 1964 the 19 year old Charlie started building a race car up from a rough ’37 Chevy Coupé and like his Dad picked the #69 to go on the doors.

'51 Ford Pickup, '39 Chevy Limited Sportman.

With a ’52 Ford, Bonus Built F1, Pick Up that ran on only seven cylinders to tow the car Charlie’s first couple of meetings were steep learning curve experiences. He broke a drive shaft first time at Wall Stadium and forgot to check the transmission fluid the second time at Weissglass Stadium on Staten Island in New York.

At Ft Dix Charlie finally made the races and eventually had a career best 2nd place finish in a semi feature there. One time Charlie arrived early at Ft Dix and his truck overheated while waiting for the pit boss to show up, when he did eventually show Charlie had to push the truck, which refused to start, into the garage area with his race car !

In 1965 Charlie took his #69 Chevy to the Garden State Classic at Wall Stadium where he started his heat from the front row, but was punted off when his motor would not pull cleanly on the green flag. Later in the summer Charlie had the most fun when he raced at East Windsor.

Last time out at East Windsor Charlie qualified for the 100 lap final, even though he had not taken any account of the centrifugal forces acting on a new fuel tank in the turns which resulted in the tank slipping through it’s longitudinal securing straps and on to the track. He retired from the race because he ran out of time to secure the fresh race battery properly.

Joe Racz Headstone By Charles Lindmar

When Uncle Sam called on Charlie he joined the US Marines and the #69 Chevy was sold after Charlie’s Dad insisted he would not look after it. Charlie became a tractor trailer instructor before his enlistment ended in 1969.

Charlie never got back behind the wheel of a racing car, but instead got into making a living driving tanker trucks, getting married and starting a family. Eventually Charlie took his son to Wall Stadium.

After retiring from long haul driving Charlie returned to drawing old race cars, after cleaning his truck while waiting for lab tests and paperwork during loading or unloading for short hauls.

One day he was at Racz’s Garage which had been home to Joe Racz’s yellow #41 cars that Charlie had seen as a kid. A friendship between Joe’s nephew, Tom Rhodes and Charlie ensued which led Tom to commission Charlie to make a drawing for the headstone of his Uncle Joe’s grave many years later.

Charlie now has a web site for his art and his interest in drawing scenes from early stock car racing has led to him being invited to see the France, as in NASCAR dynasty, family archive.

Charles Lindmar, '39 Limited Sportsman Chevy

In 2010 Charlie was reunited with his old #69 Chevy, which in his dreams he had never sold or stopped racing, at an Old Bridge reunion after it had been sold for a $1,000 to the good home of the Allen family, some of whom Charlie had met long before the sale.

My thanks to Ray Miles at the Limited Sportsman Racers site and Chalie Lindmar, who’s erudite and unexpurgated story can be found in the “Articles” section of the lsracers site.

Thanks for joining me on this “Drawin To It” edition of “Getting’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Saturday Night Racer – #27 Ray Miles

Late in 1960 Ray Miles had a date that would alter the course of his life, his date Linda lived near Pleasantville Speedway in New Jersey, as Ray heard the roar of the track his curiosity was aroused and they ended up going there on their first date. Ray was hooked immediately and never missed a race after that and Linda soon decided her future lie elsewhere.

Working for a Ford dealer, Ray found a ride in the 6 cylinder #52 Plymouth Coupe owned by Pete Hearon of Goshen NJ, running at Vineland on Friday nights. Ray finished the 1962 season which he describes as a ‘learning experience’.

Vineland closed down at the end of 1962 so Ray headed back to Pleasantville known locally as P’ville and bought a ’39 Chevy Coupe for $400 from Harry McConnell. The car had a 4,277 cc / 261 cui 6 cylinder Chevy motor hooked up to a 1 ton International rear axle from a postal truck, as Ray says “nuttin’ fancy” .

Ray painted the car school bus yellow and put the #27 on. In 1966 Ray Bartling from the Sears Automotive Centre In Cardiff NJ where both Rays were working got involved with the #27 and became crew chief. The two Rays stuck together from 1966 through to 1975 when Ray hung up his helmet.

In 1967 P’ville was a NASCAR sanctioned track where Ray finished 3rd in points, 11th in the State of New Jersey.

Running on a tight budget if the team did not win enough money they would either make or borrow the parts needed to get to the next race. Eventually the chassis was replaced with a used one purchased from the legendary and much missed Tom Skinner this chassis was eventually fitted with a stock 5,276 cc / 322 cui Buick wrapped up with Rays original #27 Chevy Coupe body.

Towards the end of his driving career Ray drove several other vehicles including the Ed Browns #14 which Ray describes as a “fast mammy jammy!”

Today Ray has retired with his wife Suzy, and 5 Cats to Palm Springs where he has learned to play boogie woogie piano.

Keeping in touch with his racing buddies and keeping the memory of many others alive he started running the excellent Limited Sportsman Racers website where there is a wealth of information on the whole P’ville scene including the drivers, crews cars and some rare video footage. Look out for Bobby Isaacs doing a demonstration at P’ville in his #71 K&K; Insurance Dodge Charger Daytona with the 23 inch wing on the back !

Ray goes to reunions with his friends from P’ville at Harry Flemmings Pumpkin Run in Egg Harbour Township which comes highly recommended during the first weekend of November.

Slightly Off Topic

I’d like to wish David Piper who played an important role in the making of the film Le Mans subject of Sundays blog and in the building of the Ferrari 330 P4 # 0900 subject of yesterdays blog a belated Happy Birthday he turned 80 yesterday.

Hope you have enjoyed todays Saturday Night Racer blog and that you’ll join me tomorrow with another racer of a very different kind of vehicle based in New Jersey. Don’t forget to come back now !