In my last post, I tried to give you some insight into how my life in racing was “back then”. There was too much to say so here is Part Two of my days involved with circle trackin’.
The Jalopy was either a ’39 or ’40 Buick Roadmaster coupe with a straight eight engine. Bill (Adair) had Jack Engle, (Engle Cams in Santa Monica) grind a cam for it and other than a 3 carb manifold, I think the engine was pretty much stock. We reworked the undercarriage a bunch and that thing was heavy. It was heavy and FAST! It was fun running it as most of the other cars were Fords and the fans loved it. We would usually qualify well and win a few heat races but I don’t remember ever winning a main event.
The Sprint car was … hang on now … are you ready for this? … a Hemi! Yes it was a Hemi. The car came from back east and looked like a Kurtis Kraft (it wasn’t). It had been stretched 6inches and had a DeSoto Hemi engine in it. It was a pretty car and except for a 220 lb. driver (Porky Rockowitz – you’ve probably never heard of him), it was a haulin’ son-of-a-gun and I’ll tell ya, that guy could drive. The car was fun to be associated with and Porky was fun to watch. We didn’t travel a lot with that car but always qualified well and won our share of races.
For me, it was as if time stood still; it was a great time, a time that was easy to live. We were too busy racing to get into trouble and the only things we had to worry about was getting the car ready and getting to the track on time. No troubles, no hang-ups, no drugs, there were girls but Bill was married and I was too involved with racing to get serious, heck we didn’t even drink back then (not yet). The circle track era of my life phased itself out when Zeke became interested in drag racing and my friend and neighbor, Hank Bender and I decided to follow, as we were also interested and “somewhat” already involved. So it was the end of my circle trackin’ and the beginning of my future in drag racing and what a ride it’s been! I’m still lovin’ it and still doin’ it. I hope to have a Nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster running by next year. Hope springs eternal.
For all the time I volunteered as a crewmember, Bill gave me a ’34 Ford 3 window coupe (no engine, trans, or interior but everything else) and a ’40 Ford coupe that had the engine compartment and hood modified to accept a Blown Oldsmobile, motor mounts and all but no engine. Years later, maybe 1958, Mike Sorokin (“Sork”) of Skinner, Jobe and Sorokin “Surfers” Top Fuel fame, bought the ’34 and I think it was Mike’s first car (street rod).
Thanks for visiting and …
See you at the races!