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Old 06-01-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
t-head
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Default Model T Racing Thread

I thought I would try to start a T racing thread as it is very easy to add pictures into the discussion on a thread. The Model T in racing went on to incredible heights in part because of Henrys lightweight design and the use of strong vanadium steel and the clever speed equipment manufacturers.

It won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1922 and finished 5th at Indy in the 20's. There was an incredible assortment of racing equipment manufactured that even went as far as turning a T ford engine into a 16 valve DOHC engine.

So lets try to keep this thread focused on old T racing photos along with copies of speed equipment catalogs and the like, T speedster photos and information are also welcome. I do not mean to take away from the speedster social group but think this would be an easier way for us to add photos and keep the discussion going daily. Welcome to all of you, lets try to turn this into something special.

I am going to start out with a David versus Goliath photo. Noel Bullock drove his Model T Ford dirt track racer to Pikes Peak in 1922 to enter the hill climb. Everyone there laughed at him and his beat up little Ford. He persisted and was finally able to enter his home built special. Noel went on to prove them all wrong and went on to win the Hill Climb!!!!! The following year they established a minimum weight so that the big boys would not be embarrassed by a mere little Ford again.

Last edited by t-head; 06-12-2011 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

This sounds like a great thread, hope to meet some new T Speed Equipment and race car collectors. I've always thought it would be nice to have an original T race car, they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOO rare. This is a section from a Morton & Brett flyer, one of my favorites because of the green ink used on the body illustrations. Nice body for $125.00 or $90.00 if you were a dealer.
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Old 06-01-2010, 08:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

Have you read the disputed T bill thread? This one beats it! Ficher & Jacobs was THE place to have a T race car built in Phidelphia in the 1920's. this bill is for work on RAJO powered #24 owned by H.D.Carpenter. I totaled the itemized bill items and got a total of $142.89........they got $224.44 plus a balance if $293.00, for a total of $517.44. Racing was never cheap.
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Old 06-01-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Very cool, I will follow this thread!
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by t-head View Post
Elmer Spatz from Los Angeles in his racing car with what appears to be a BB Rajo.

Note that he has front wheel brakes which is unusual.
Looks like the hand brake on the side controls just the rear brakes,
and a foot brake for the front.? I could be way off.
What would have been adapted to create the front brakes?

Jeff
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Old 06-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

Jeff,
Why does something have to be adapted? These aren't!
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
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No marking on them and I have never seen an ad for this type either. They use 1926-27 Model T rear wheel cams and levers and shoes and drums.
They are not McNearny ( made in San Francisco and external contracting) nor are they the set on page 174 of the book " Model T Ford in Speed and Sport".
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:18 AM   #8
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Jeff,
Why does something have to be adapted? These aren't!
Well I learn somthing new everyday. Thanks.


So how fast were these T racers going? Wern't some of these races about endurance over speed?

Jeff
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Old 06-03-2010, 12:25 PM   #9
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Jeff.... I think I have read were the T that finished 5th at Indy was lapping somewhere in the 80 + MPH range. It think a really well built car with a good racing overhead might be able to hit 90-100 MPH on a mile track?

Most of the races that T's ran in were fairgrounds dirt oval short sprints 25, 50 miles at the most. Although I am sure there were some longer ones. If they did not have a special racing crankshaft odds are the crank would break in a long race. Some racers were know to but in a new crankshaft every week as an insurance policy.

Maybe Spatz was using his four wheel brakes to go into the corners faster than others as he had more braking power which may have given him a quicker lap time?

Does anyone else has any references to speeds at some of the 1/4, 1/2, and mile tracks?
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Old 06-04-2010, 05:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

Here are a few photos of my BB-R Rajo for inclusion with the paperwork posted by T-head.
In the photo also is a Stutz-Delco dual ignition to fire the 8 spark plugs.



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Old 06-04-2010, 07:26 AM   #11
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

These may be from an early (1930's) Midget race car. The wheels on the early cars were made by welding a 12 inch rim to a 1926-27 T brake drum. The six bolt hub pattern for the T wood wheel then became the standard for all Midget wheels to follow.
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Old 06-04-2010, 11:38 AM   #12
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3 spring frames were available from the racing parts suppliers and aftermarket longitudinal spring setups were offered for stock Model T's but I think this frame and front axle are Scripps-Booth.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #13
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3 spring frames were available from the racing parts suppliers and aftermarket longitudinal spring setups were offered for stock Model T's but I think this frame and front axle are Scripps-Booth.
Thanks.... that makes sense as I have seen several in photos just like this car, post # 11 above maybe the same set-up. The Scripps-Booth was a light weight car also with fours? And a small V-8.
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Old 06-04-2010, 03:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

Quote:
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Jeff.... I think I have read were the T that finished 5th at Indy was lapping somewhere in the 80 + MPH range. It think a really well built car with a good racing overhead might be able to hit 90-100 MPH on a mile track?

[...]

Does anyone else has any references to speeds at some of the 1/4, 1/2, and mile tracks?
If I recall correctly, according to The Dust And The Glory, A Racing History By Leo Levine, Winfield [Ed or Bud?] was running over 130 mph in his flat headed T engine powered racer. I think that was the legendary "two-up, two-down engine". I don't know what length track that was on...but the book may say. I don't have a copy of it anymore.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

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If I recall correctly, according to The Dust And The Glory, A Racing History By Leo Levine, Winfield was running over 130 mph in his flat headed T engine powered racer. I don't know what length track that was on...but the book may say. I don't have a copy of it anymore.
Thanks for the info......In posting the Rajo head info yesterday I ran into a reference from the Rajo Co. of cars with their BBR heads being capable of 100MPH.

Winfield's car with his incredible flathead was probably he fastest T at the time or ever on an oval, I do know that he raced at Ascot a lot but I don't think the track was long enough to get up to that speed. I will look around and see what I can find.
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Old 06-04-2010, 04:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

I just found an article where Winfield states he was on his way to a race in Bakersfield coming down off of the Grapevine and he states that he opened it up and was doing 130 and in his words "without exaggerating anything" for a minute or so. A cop and a friend were after him and he slowed down and it took them a long time to catch up. The cop knew he was on his way to a race so he let him go with a warning.

So in his words he told us how fast his car could go. My question is I believe that it is all down hill on the Grapevine into Bakersfield, could he have been going down hill at the time? Can anyone fill us in on that road at the time?
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

The original Winfield engine does exist, and a very nice clone of the car was built by Pete Eastwood, wonder if they've tested it yet?
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:19 PM   #18
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Do a HAMB search and a feature will pop up. I really like the looks of this car. Bobtails always looked neat to me.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

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The original Winfield engine does exist, and a very nice clone of the car was built by Pete Eastwood, wonder if they've tested it yet?
The engine was test run first and then installed in the car. The owner ran the car at the Monterey Historic races and afterward said that it is faster than many other cars of the era including some of the exotic foreign cars. He told me last winter that it is unbelievably fast.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: Model T Racing Thread

For those of you that have not seen them before, these are photos of Winfield's 2-up 2-down engine. He built a special crank to change the firing order so that he could get a better charge into each cylinder. With the standard firing order the second cylinder in the order would get a weak charge.

Also note the cam that he made and the roller lifters. The third photo shows the original crank which was replaced due to cracks. The last photo shows the original car and Ed Winfield.

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