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PAS 1972


see86go

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I ran across these color photos from 1972 recently. They are all square, as they were all taken with an old instamatic camera and then trimmed slightly to fit in a photo cube. J thought people may be interested in these since they are in color, and most of the photos from that era that I or others have posted are black and white.

 

The first is of Todd Ford.

 

77color.jpg

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The last one is of my uncle, Fred Elbel, Sr. Fred's wife's name is Wande, and when an old hairspray commercial featured "Wanda the Witch" Fred painted the name on his cars. My aunt made a big fuss about it, but I think deep down she liked it.

 

22color.jpg

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The last one is of my uncle, Fred Elbel, Sr. Fred's wife's name is Wande, and when an old hairspray commercial featured "Wanda the Witch" Fred painted the name on his cars. My aunt made a big fuss about it, but I think deep down she liked it.

 

22color.jpg

note the sheetmetal work not many drivers did that back :) then .btw nice chevy.

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Craig

Great to see some color pictures ....... reminded me of the other day when one my kids asked if I remembered when the world was black and white. I remember there was an Elbel Garage on Basse Rd maybe it was a radiator shop. Racerjim might remember it too.

Dad and I were talking about the wide tires they were running at the time, he said they were rough on the equipment and he was glad when they went to the smaller tires.

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Tom - That photo makes me realize what daredevils those guys were. No roll cage, no floor in many of the cars and those little helmets! When a car flipped, they had to try to roll up in a ball or lay over to the side. I don't know the whole story, but I do know Fred suffered a broken collar bone in one of those cars.

 

Don - You are referring to Elbel Radiator, which was owned by Harry Elbel, who was Fred's brother. Harry did race too, but I don't know a lot about it. (We are related to Fred on m ymom's side of the family.)

 

The cars look really sweet with those wide tires, but I do remember Fred flipping a couple of times with them. I seem to remember the wheels being a real hassle, too. It looks like a lot of those wheels were homemade, and I bet they weighed a ton.

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Craig - Very neat pictures, it is amazing how much you forget over time. I had forgotten that Harold's car had that color scheme (and I was on the crew), that Bubba ran a '57 in that time frame, and that Fred Sr's cars were so clean.

 

Yes, those wheels were homemade, there were no "storebought" ones then, and they did weigh a ton. Harold made many of them, I built my adolescent muscles hefting those suckers around. I do believe most people, especially those who could handle without them, were glad to see them away.

 

The flush-with-window firewalls weren't that unusual, seems like cars were evenly split between having them there and at the back seat.

 

Which cars are being referred to as having no roll cages or floor boards? All of the cars in this era had them. No firesuits or full face helmets though.

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Bobby,

 

The roadsters were actually a little before my time too. They were run for the most part after WWII up into the early 50's, if there weren't any midgets around to race. My impression of them is that they were a kind of "poor man's midget"...... The first of the "Jalopies".

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Yes, those wheels were homemade, many of them by Harold, and they did weigh a ton. I built my adolescent muscles hefting those suckers around. I do believe most people, especially those who could handle without them, were glad to see them away

 

I have been involved with Lee Machen's racing since the 70's, and you old timers will remember his parts/tire truck, and the old style manual tire changer he had.

Those damn homebuilt wheels almost made you cry when you had to change one of them.

First, ya had to heft it up on the changer, then manually break the beads. Then take that 6 foot bar and dismount the tire; remember, you also had to turn it over during all this. Having a stiff-wall Goodyear made it even funner. Or a tire that had been on the wheel for months; back then, some guys wore them to the cords.

Then you had to heft it off the changer. Now multiply all that by 30 or 40 times a night, and what an effort they were.

Had double hernia surgery in 83, and I swear the cause was those heavy wheels, and breaking them down. And to this day, Mac still has that dang manual changer.

 

But I still see a few of those wheels to this day. Find a piece of drill-stem pipe, and a piece of plate, and they make great stands for drill presses, grinding wheels, etc.

 

If ya'll look back at the picture of Harold Oatman's Camaro, do you notice the kinda blue splotch at the edge of the asphalt. The right edge of the picture.

If you remember, the track had an artesian well under it, and that portion of turn 4 was always wet there. Made a mess every time someone spun down there.

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Tom - Breaking those tires down is something else I had forgotten. I remember a lot of cursing and sweating involved with those things, on both mounting and dismounting.

 

On mounting, the problem was how to get the beads out to meet the rim, so it would take air. One method was to cinch the tire around the circumference, another, which didn't work, was to try to temporarily seal the gap, getting your hands out of the way at the last minute if at all possible. I seem to recall tubes being used at least for a while, but I don't remember if it was the ultimate "way to go".

 

On dismounting, I remember a lot of work with a truck tire hammer, or driving a vehicle up onto the sidewall to break it down.

 

A fine point regarding these wheels - For roughly the first year of the 18" wheels we made them with the gussets which extended the full width of the wheel. Over time the gussets got shorter and eventually disappeared entirely. People decided it was preferable to bend a wheel rather than an axle or spindle.

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Bobby,

Here were a couple things we did for tire mounting.

One was a big 2 inch diameter rubber ring, looked like a big o-ring. you'd lube it up, slip it over the back side of the wheel, and as you got the tire to seat, it would slip off. Needless to say, it had a rather vulgar slang name I won't mention here.

 

Another involved a can of ether starting fluid and a match.

You'd spray ether in side of the tire, and throw a match at it. The tire and wheel would jump off the floor with a resounding "BOOM", but it usually worked. Did it a lot for the Longhorn Late Model Racers who would use an 11 inch wide wheel for the left side to get more stagger. (shorten the tire a little bit).

 

We were doing this one night, when all of a sudden, several Travis County Deputies came roaring into the shop. Someone had called that a shooting was in progress. Mac knew most of them, and they settled down a little when they saw none of us were bleeding. They asked the source of the noise, and we did a tire mounting demonstration. They made a hasty exit, stating they didn't care if we killed ourselves, they didn't want to get caught up in it!

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Remember the lug wrenches required to change one of those wide tires? three even sides and one long one. Bobby didnt we have to put 2 inner tubes (side by side) in those tires? But the best thing about those wide tires was once they were no good for racing ........................... putting your little brother in one and rolling him down the driveway

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Bobby - My reference to the "no roll cages"' etc. was to Tom's message above aobut the 1946 photo of Fred Elbel, Sr's. jalopy, and "Elbel Garage" on the door.

 

Guys, it's great reading these stories about the wheels. I was in my early teens at the time, but I can remember that it seemed like my Uncle griped about them quite a bit, and I can see why now.

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Don - I don't remember us doing that. Where would you put the second valve stem - out the backside? Were there actual purpose-built tubes for these tires? Seems to me there were, although of course we tried every other tube we could think of first!

 

Tom - since you were the tire guy you probably remember this without me mentioning it, but do you see from the pictures that tires would be easier to mount on Carl's wheels than on Fred's?

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The other thing I remember about racing at Pan Am was no window nets. My grandma bought me my first driver suit in '76 or '77 but half the time I wouldn't wear it because it was too hot, prefering my lucky T-shirt instead. Gary Banks later changed my mind.

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