Our own Movie Star

Our Cascade group has its own Movie Star. Have you seen the movie The Mountain (2018)? Look closely at the panel van…look familiar??

Our own Gordon Harper was asked to bring his 1935 Ford Panel Delivery van down to the set. We have been hounding the news outlets and madly trying to get a copy the movie to capture this historic moment. No luck yet. Sigh.

We sat down with Gordon about his experience on set…..

…. More to come at a later date.

Traveling in Style - Bruce Arnold

Here's my 1950 Ford 2 door, stock flat head engine, converted to 4 wheel power disc brakes this past September.

I purchased the car two years ago, and we took our first trip with club to Montana, Glacier Nat'l park and other sights. The following year 2017 was to Joseph, Oregon for their car show where I receive 3rd place for unrestored classic car, then in September on to Winthrop for another show, then to Salem Oregon for nationals. This past summer we went to Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone and other sites.


For the Cascade Regional Group of Western Washington, even in August it seemed traditional o begin a club tour in the rain! And so it was on Sunday, August 13 as eleven V-8’s and two modern vehicles set out on a seven-day journey around the “Selkirk Loop”, from eastern Idaho into British Columbia, in the northern Rocky Mountains, planned for us in every detail by our President and First Lady, Gerry and Jo Herber. After the morning’s wetness, our cars suffered from western Washington sunshine, a tail wind, and the slow speeds of an earlier accident backup, causing several of us to roll to a stop, hot and dribbling, to wait it out. The breeze cooled us, but not our cars! We enjoyed a mid-afternoon picnic lunch at Moses Lake, and continued west. Sage puffs and plowed fields and gray metal silos slid behind us: 54 miles per hour was just right! The afternoon events included a split radiator hose, a stop to relatch a popped hood, and a truck lid left open when radiator water was dug out. We hoped this would be the end of our misadventures for this trip!

By 9:00 on the second day our line of old shine rolled north on route 9, and in twenty miles turned east toward the southern, deeper end of Lake Pend Oreille. Our destination was the Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center. Hidden in acres of wooded seclusion high above the lake were hangars, shops, and warehouse sized metal buildings filled with the artifacts and memorabilia of the passions of Dr. Forrest Bird. He was an aviator, and inventor of a series of respirators and pediatric ventilators used in hospitals all over the world. Also on display were airplanes, helicopters, military aviation history, and inventors’ official prototypes of products we all recognized, such as the Apple computer, Tidy Cat, and Jiffy Pop. After lunch we had the rest of the day to explore the Sandpoint, Idaho area, so about half our group did so on board the lakeboat “Shawnodese”. For an hour and a half we enjoyed sunshine, crisp freshwater breeze, and stories from the Fist Mate about resident osprey and bald eagles, which were able to spot twice on our cruise. We learned also about the geologic history of Lake Pend Oreville, the second largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi! In ancient time Glacial Lake Missoula covered thousands of square miles, held back by a vast ice dam, which, when it broke up, raced through Idaho and eatern Washington, gouging its way to the Pacific Ocean through the Columbia River Valley.

Of course an old car trip really does require time at the end of the day for sharing and reliving our adventures, so as soon as we could gather our snacks we met around the hotel pool: a few feet were dangled in, wine poured, and a row of us collapsed into colored lounge chairs in the shade. Day three began with staggered start times: it was an “all skate” day, with events and intervals determined by the tourers. The air was noticeably hazier, and the hillsides got grayer as we drove north, due to the great number of forest fires in southern British Columbia this summer. North of Bonner’s Ferry the views wee more rugged, with sudden, high mountains rising on both sides of a wide and undulating valley of fir corpse and wheat fields. It was peaceful and little populated farm and ranch landscape. We crossed into Canada in the afternoon and spent the night in Creston, where a few of us found two of the local wineries and enjoyed tastings of estate grown white and fruit wines.

Our fourth day was filled with amazing sights and artisan shops and fewer than sixty miles on the road. North of Creston a sign directed us to the “Glass House”, perched on the solid rock edge of Kootenay Lake. But we were heard to call it curious, peculiar, fanciful, and bizarre! Built by one man in the early 1950s of over 500,000 empty, square embalming fluid bottles he had collected in his trade, it contained a round kitchen, living room and bedroom, a patio, and a maze of landscaped steps and walkways clinging to the lake view. The builder’s son and family sill occasionally stay in the home. After another short drive we were beckoned by the “Gray Creek Store”, an old time general store that has remained in the same family since 1913, and is ready to sell you any nut, bolt, fastener, or hand tool you could need, a 1950s used hardback book, or any Jotul stove ever produced! In a few more miles our parade of V-*s pulled into Crawford Bay, an art and crafting community stretched along the highway. Here we found blacksmiths, potters, weavers, jewelers, and the “North Woven Broom” workshop, proud makers of 00 of the “Harry Potter” movie’s Quiddich flying booms!

And the excitement was not over! Just around a corner and down an 8% grade to Kootenay Lake was the longest free ferry ride in the world! We enjoyed the fresh breeze, the views of glaciered mountains, and the glint of afternoon sun on our old cars. This day ended at the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, where hot mineral waters gush directly from a mountainside spring into the pool. A few of us even braved the cave tunnel, an arched passage waist deep, dripping, walls shining with cream colored calcium deposits. It was one-way walking, all bodies sloshing together, sometimes passing heads along the sides that we quickly understood were attached to persons who were sitting on benches to cook in the 100-plus degree water!

After a final mineral soak we started day five, with somewhat clearer views of the mountains across this narrower end of the lake. We stopped for coffee and a meander in the restored heritage village of Kaslo, took advantage of the Visitor Center bathrooms (“washrooms” here, eh?), and admired the “S.S Moyie”, the world’s oldest intact passenger sternwheeler. Our history lesson continued in New Denver at the Nikkei Internment Memorial, and intact collection of buildings constructed early in WWII to house Japanese Canadians. It is one of the only locations of Japanese relocation evidence that the Canadian government ha allowed to remain. We relaxed with a “share-lunch” picnic on the shore of Slocan Lake, and continued the journey, south now: a few ups and downs, stunning scenes of the lake, and a lot of heat! But by 5:00 most of us had checked into the elegant, restored Hume Hotel in downtown Nelson: dark wood, sinky carpet, three restaurants, and vintage wrap-around photomurals on the stairway landings. Happy Hour conversation focused first on possible alternate routes for tomorrow, since forest fires were intermittently closing our intended border crossing at Nelway. But fun prevailed, and soon we were singing Happy Birthday to one of our members, and to our President’s 1951 Mercury!

It was in the breakfast room that we learned how day six would unfold: the expending fore had pushed our route west, to a quiet border crossing south of Rossland. And there was the site of our first all stop, hood up, dead car event of the trip. A ’36 Fordor that had been consistently reluctant to start now refused all efforts, including a bag of ice cubes on the fuel pump! So scene 2 opened with four old guys bent over the rear bumper, running. Not enough slope. Scene 3: a big yellow tow rope appeared, and in 200 feet we heard, “He’s got is started!” Not to appear too cooperative, that same ’36 surprised its owner with a flat rear tire at our lunch stop in Colville! With the usual jump-in-and help efforts of several members the tire was removed, transported, fixed, and replaced in short order. But the afternoon of tribulation continued for some of us as we headed for the last hotel night. We had one stop for a boiling radiator, one car that couldn’t stop for any reason, and a confusion of road signs, road Ts, maps, dropped phone calls, and walkie-talkie fadeouts. In frustration three of us hesitated at a Y, and one member flagged down a slowing vehicle to plead for directions. The driver said, “Sure, follow me!”, so we did! After twenty miles in the wilderness the huge, black Chevy pick-up dustclouded into a pullout. Three doors flew open, two guys reached to the floor, then swung out onto the gravel. The thin faced driver with a four day scrubbed face cane around, blue Bud Lite can in hand, and the three of them stood beside us, grinning. “Cool car!”, said one from under his cap. In the next three minutes we were told that they were soon going to take another road, and here’s how to get to Post Falls from here! Just another adventure on the V-8 road!

Thankfully, the seventh and final day of our journey, we across the heated flats of eastern Washington, was uneventful. Once again our classic cars and their arm-strong drivers got us home safely.

Oregon Mountain Cruise

Notes from my journal – Kris Rolstad

Oregon Mountain Cruise

Joseph Tour, June 2017


This is the Cascade Regional Groups’ 5th consecutive Oregon Mountain Cruise which while not as well attend as in previous years, but we had a solid tour group of nine cars that made the trek.  They were Tour Leaders Eddie & Barbara Akers in their modified ’28 Graham Fordor and original Mullins RedcapTrailer, Tom & Donna May Bewley in their ’37 Ford Tudor Slantback, LD Charf & Reneey O’Reilley in their ’40 Ford Tudor Modified, Bill & Sandy Michler in their ’39 Mercury Fordor, Robin & Paula Ordonez in their ’36 Ford Cabriolet, James & Rolstad in their ’39 Ford Tudor, Bruce Arnold in his ’50 Ford Coupe, Bill Ozeroff in his ’53 Ford Coupe and Chris Michler and Jacob Moore in a ’64 Malibu Convertible.

June 8, Thursday, 6:50 AM:  It's raining--it must be a V-8 road trip.

9:30: We leave our meeting place at the North Bend Outlet Mall with Eddie leading, eight old cars roll east on I-90, past a jack knifed semi truck 13 miles up, and to the first rest stop at Indian John by 10:35.

11:30:  The rain has left us. We grab a quick Burger King lunch and gas up in Ellensburg, then soon wave good-by til tomorrow, as Rolstads & Akers look forward to a leisurely drive to Pendleton and the rest beeline for Enterprise, Oregon.  But all is not to be as pleasant as we had hoped.  The Mother of All Thunderstorms hits the Pendleton group shortly beyond Umatilla. A dark-to-the-ground wall moves from the southwest and envelops us. Tree-bending gusts grab and jerk our little cars back and forth between the fog line rumblebumps and the speeding semis. Hard, huge, hand-holding rain-rocks pound the pavement and push into every opening of our cars, and the co-pilots soon are torn between catching the underdash flood and wiping the fogged windshield. The inches of water flooding across the lanes slow the cars as the tires grind and growl through. Down to 45 mph, we can't see the lines. Eddie says "don't pull over!" there's a line of cars following us in the slow lane and all but the crazy truckers are content to be there! 5.3 miles to our exit; 1.7 miles to go...finally off the freeway, we plow through a lake at the bottom of the ramp, the cars gurgle and cough, three more lights, more fording, at last to the hotel portico with the wind still tearing at our car doors.

3:30:  Time for a nap before our soup and salad and free wine in the hospitality room: we're all ready for an early night.

The day group decided to drive to Enterprise in one day continued through the Yakima River Canyon to Walla Walla and the further east we drove, the darker the clouds.  We had heard the Pendleton Group encountered heavy rains with thunder and lightning as well.  Unfortunately, we too hit the Mother of All Thunderstorms and torrential downpour.  That was the worst storm that I had ever encountered driving my V8.  The rain worked its’ way into our cars as well and a number of us had wet shoes and pantlegs for the remainder of the day.  LD & Reneey, Bill & Sandy and Paula and I got lost during the rainstorm and missed the turnoff for the mountain pass.  After about 15 minutes we finally caught up with the group and we were off on the climb to about 5000 feet at the summit. After the summit we cruised down into Elgin and then to Enterprise to our hotel at about 6:30.  

June 9, Friday, 9:20 AM:  The Pendleton group starts day two in sunshine! 

10:20:  Rolling out of LaGrande, north on I-82, through Island City, Alicel, Imbler, Elgin, and all points north and east! Beautiful drive through the Wallawa Mountains, and into Enterprise by 11:45, with a free afternoon to rest and have a snack in our rooms before driving the six miles to Joseph for the evening.

The day group awoke on Friday morning and after breakfast most of us washed our cars and split up and some folks went to Joseph for the day and some of us went to visit former Cascader, Roy Obenchain.  Roy is the son of long time members John and Geneva Obenchain.  Roy used to be member who had a 50 Ford Fordor in his early years.  Roy and his wife Valerie moved from Seattle about 3 years ago and bought 80 acres of pastureland with a house and several barns. Roy gave us a tour of his ranch and showed us what he had done with the place since moving there.  We also noted that there was a buffalo ranch right across the street from Roy’s place that had about 300 head of buffalo in their pasture. I hadn’t seen this many buffalo since our tour to Steamboat Springs for the V8 Meet in Colorado. The folks that decided to go to Joseph for the day enjoyed the day visiting the shops and many quaint restaurants in town.  In addition, there is a local museum that is located in what once was the towns’ bank.  It houses many local treasures as well as the towns’ many local antiques.

 3:30:  This is the "theme dress up " night, and most of us are decked out in our flowered version of "Surfin' USA". Registration for tomorrow's car show begins at 4PM, and there is a line at the Community Center well before that, because we all look forward to the "snacks" (pulled pork sandwiches, barbequed chicken, and salad!), the free refreshments, and the 50's dance music of  "The Senders", who have played at this event for several years. The dance crowd is not large, and there's plenty of room on the floor for swingin' & swayin', but we're all done in by 9:30, with only enough stamina left to find our way back in the total country darkness with old-car headlights--big day tomorrow starts early! 

June 10, Saturday, 7:00 AM:   Our group parades out of the parking lot in a light rain, on the road to Joseph once again, hoping for a short wait in line for our places together on Main Street for the car show. As soon as we're parked towels appear, raindrops and the remains of yesterday's mud are wiped off, and the weather improves! The day is chilly enough for a coat in the shade, but there's no howling wind as in other years, and at least we don't need our gloves! We have a day filled with shopping, eating, picture taking, car gazing, and engine talk. A few of us even checked out the Stein Distillery at the north end of town, leaving them with some of our money and taking away five year aged bourbons and the story of this family's migration from grain farming to distilling, right here in the Wallawa Valley. Throughout the morning James encouraged a voting frenzy in our group on behalf of our cars, hoping to help us snag a few awards--we'll find out tonight if it worked!

3:40:  Clouds hovering over the Wallawas to the southwest finally arrived to dump a hailstorm on the valley, but we were all safe in our rooms after the parade from Joseph to Enterprise.

4:30:  Our first "breakdown" of the weekend: Tom and Donna May got all the way to Joseph, but are discovered at the curb two blocks from the Community Center. The toolbox on the sidewalk is all Eddie and James needed to notice, so they drop off Barb and Kris and return to help. Along with Bill Ozeroff it doesn't take long to change the coil and get them to the banquet on time! And that was a meal not to be missed! Prime rib slices as big as the plate, crowding the baked potato, beans, salad, and roll into a pile, then an assortment of cheesecakes at the end, and of course more free refreshments. The evening is topped off perfectly when our group wins four awards! Bruce Arnold gets his first ever plaque, at his first ever trip to Joseph, for 3rd place in "Original Class";

LD receives a 3rd Place award for "Best Hot Rod"; James is awarded first place in the "Moonshine Runners" class; and one of the two most prestigous trophies of the show is received by Eddie Akers: he is "King of the Mountain" for 2017! This is a category that is voted on by participants at the show, rather than chosen by the committee, so this is a real honor! His ’28 Graham and Mullins trailer will be featured on the poster, advertisements, and T-shirt design next year, and will be displayed in the center of Main Street at the 2018 Oregon Mountain Cruise! Let's all tour to Joseph next year!

June 11, Sunday, 9:00 AM:  This morning's frost on the windshields has warmed to shirtsleeve temperature and the sky is blue! We enjoy a beautiful drive north through the Blue Mountains, Walla Walla and Waitsburg, and arrive in Dayton about 12:30. Too early for rooms to be ready at the hotel, so most of us end up at the Moose Creek Cafe downtown, with our cars in plain sight along the curb. And that soon provides the answer to the question: what will we do this afternoon? All those shiney old Fords attract the attention of local resident Gary Lowe: with his permanently attached cowboy hat, silver-buckled jeans, and big smile, he saunters in to "talk car"! And of course he is excited to lead us all to his garages and show us his cars! We follow his 1957 red Thunderbird convertible a mile or so south through town, past tree shaded streets of 1800s homes, then rolling wheat fields, to a left turn up a gravel road, and the first right at 110 Davis Hollow Rd. A 1960s ranch style home overgrown by its landscaping sits beside several garages; he and his wife Donna recently returned from winter in Texas. Locked shed doors are cracked open and we step past a pecking chicken and tall dry grass to peer at dusty cars and cluttered interiors. Inside he hides a 1932 Ford Tudor that I believe he purchased for $200 when he was about 14.  He converted it to a street rod in about 1990 and he also had a 1965 Datsun Fairlady (sports car) along with a various assortment of tools and parts.  In another garage he has a 1987 Buick Grand National and several other vehicles including a couple of Studebaker Larks.

He opens the house garage door for his finale presentation: a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, the next to the longest car ever built. He purchased the car along with another identical Coupe de Ville from a lady who had gotten both cars from her father who had bought them new.  He had to buy both cars and take them away.

Upon request it is carefully backed out so pictures can be taken. He shows photographs, tells stories of his four helo side gunner days in Vietnam, and passes around a painting of Jesus on black velvet. There is an afternoon of old-car-guy talk that soon includes his Harley-driving neighbor, who couldn't resist the parade of antiques past his house. Donna arrives home, not at all surprised to find a yard and driveway filled with vintage cars and meandering guests. Groups of strangers regularly follow Gary home, we learn.

3:30:  We're ready to find out if our rooms are ready, so we say good-by, agreeing to see Gary in an hour or so: he wants to show us a couple of local special features!

5:00:  Gary and Donna and the Caddy rumble in under t portico, usher Robin and Paula into the back seat, and lead us east out of town to a Lewis and Clark heritage site. From an overlook onto a few grassy acres by Patin Creek we see where the Expedition camped on their shortcut to the Snake River. Two talented Daytonites have recreated the scene in life sized standing steel cutouts, all silhouetted against the yellow grass below us. There's time in the warm late afternoon sun for more exchange of stories. Gary soon produces a well-worn scrapbook and the men gather around the red hood. Size of the Caddy impresses the men so they decide to park Tom and Donna May’s ’37 Tudor slantback next to it and find that the Caddy is a full 5 feet longer and about 18 inches wider than the Ford! The women chat with Donna, enjoying her Texas drawl and southern-marinated stories. Our tour hosts join us for dinner at Fiesta en Jalisco, and lots more conversation! After gas stops there is still daylight left for one last sight. We drive a short distance back toward Walla Walla to investigate an image that tourists passing through Dayton might attribute to a visit from aliens. But we know the truth: a number of years ago our new friend Gary made an homage to the once huge employer in this area, the Green Giant Vegetable company, by building a hillside-sized Jolly Green Giant out of green paving brick. The Jolly Green Giant is 300 feet long and was built on the hillside with the help of some local high school students over about a 3 year period. And at night his image is outlined in lights

June 12, Monday, 9:00 AM   Our train is once again rolling, north on two lane blacktop past more fields and farms. A beautiful day, slight overcast to start, then warming to blue. Across the Snake River and up the hill toward Palouse Falls we hear Donna May's voice over the radio: their car is missing badly. Eddie says "don't stop!". Then she says the car has quit! Coast down this hill, there's a pull-out at the bottom. The guys know: it's the coil again.

9:50:  Hood up, trunks and doors open, tools out. Bill Ozeroff offers a coil, James provides a tube coil adaptor, tarps and fender covers appear, and Robin and Eddie dive under the hood. It's a peaceful farm road, the morning is warm, and we know the fix will happen. Sandy Michler wanders up a dusty drive and discovers colts in a corral over the hill.  Near the other side of the road is a ranch, where a young boy is perched on a fence. It isn't long before our encampment draws him to saunter down the drive and across the field for a closer look. Not more than a dozen vehicles pass in our hour and a half here. With windows open, drivers of trucks give us a wave. Windows up, car drivers go on by. And then one stops. The man approaches with two cameras draped on him, greets James, and asks if he can take some pictures. He is from Minneapolis on his way to a convention in Moscow, Idaho, taking the scenic route. We become part of his scenery: photos of all our old cars, interiors, hubcaps, and us!

11:20:  Driving on toward Washtucna, where we coast to a stop along the main street curb. We invade the one cafe, where they kindly allow us to use their bathrooms, but agree that if we want to eat lunch there it would be a long wait for our large group. Meanwhile Tom's hood is up again, and Gary Duff evidently is agreeing by phone: something about bypassing a wire and cutting the voltage!

High noon:  out across the field-land on Route 26. A misunderstanding about a rest stop: Eddie and two others don't, the rest of us do. But we meet up for gas in Othello and lunch at the Burger King.

1:30:  Struggling west at 55mph against gale force winds: small old cars bouncing back and forth, pushing ten miles UP the Vantage hill, arms aching, rest stop at the top.......WHEW! Ahead of us is an afternoon of fighting that wind.

3:15:  Gas stop at Ellensburg, where it isn't Tom and Donna May who need help this time! Approaching the on ramp we hear from Robin: LD's car is leaking, no spraying, water and antifreeze everywhere, including all over poor Reeney, who has retreated to the relative safety of the back seat!  LD and Robin check the radiator and found that it was at least a gallon down.  The passenger compartment has water/anti-freeze all over the carpet and upholstery.  Eddie calls and was wondering why we hadn’t caught up to them for the trip home.  First we try to block off the heater hoses and then Eddie asks LD to drive up the ramp to Eddie’s car and tool box.  Eddie jumps in on the passenger side and understands why Reneey was in the backseat.  After a little investigative work, Eddie discovered that one of the heater hose clamp is loose.  Eddie laid down on the seat but didn’t want to lay on the anti-freeze soaked carpet so Robin grabbed his feet and Eddie tightened the cla

4:00: We 're all functioning and westward bound. Over the pass about 5PM. A few take an ice cream break at North Bend, the rest wave as they roll on home. Despite rain torrents to begin this road trip, and headwind to end it, the 2017 Joseph Tour has been another one to remember. A bunch of old cars and a bunch of old friends pretended it was the good old days out on the road; we had fun, helped each other, drove over a thousand miles, and got home safely once again!

We had a fun and challenging tour and suffered only a couple of minor problems on our 1000+ mile tour.  Eddie was not only the King of the Mountain, but was the King of the Tour as he was not only the Tour Leader, but the chief mechanic as well.  Hail to the King!

Indianapolis 500 - 2017 trip

It has always been on my bucket list to attend the Indianapolis 500 and this year I had the opportunity to make the trek with several of my friends from Puyallup.  There were three couples and our tour guide Mike who has attended the Indy 500 race at least 15 times.  It is great to have someone who is an avid fan to show you the ropes so that you get the full benefit of being at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.  

We obtained tickets for the race and also got special pit pass tickets as well.  Our seats were in Section 53 in the Tower Terrace about 40 rows up from the Pits which was on our side of the track.  We were positioned about 2/3 of the way between turns #1 and #4 so we had a good view of the straightaway.  We arrived at the track on the day of the race at 8:00 AM and the race didn’t start until after Noon.

There was a lot of tradition with marching bands and of course the parade laps of the sleek race cars.  The race lasted about 3 hours due to some spectacular crashes which took out the pole sitter Scott Dixon on Lap 56 and another driver as well as Scott. There was another crash on Lap 67 which took out two more cars.  Then on Lap 184 the last crash took out another 5 cars.  All the crashes were out of our view and we had to watch them on the big screen.

The finish of the race was spectacular as 3 time winner Helio Castroneves was in the lead when Takuma Sato passed him with two laps remaining and he held on to win.  It was truly amazing how the race ended in such a dramatic fashion.

Traffic around the track was horrendous both before and after the race and it took us 3 hours to get out of the parking lot and on the road to our hotel. They didn’t announce the attendance at the race but it was our understanding that it was in excess of 300,000 people.  

While it was fun to be at the race for all the festivities, there were other things that as it turns out was just as interesting if not more so.  We went to the track on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the race.  There was the Indianapolis 500 Museum which featured A.J. Foyt with quite a few of his race cars and memorabilia throughout his racing career from all the different types of racing that he did throughout his career as well as many other 500 winning cars and engines on display.

In addition, there was a display of vintage race cars from the very early years of Indy 500 racing to cars that were 20 or 30 years old.  I came upon one of the 10 original  1935 Miller-Ford race cars in the vintage car display/pits on the side of the museum.  I spent quite a bit of time talking to the owner trying to get as much information as I could about his car.  You see, I remembered a couple of articles that I had read in the V8 Times several years ago.  As it turns out those articles were in the Sept./Oct. 1988 and May/June 1991 V8 Times.  I hadn’t realized that almost 30 years had passed since I read the articles and when I returned home from Indianapolis I went through my old Times and found the articles.  I believe the 1935 Miller/Ford that I saw, Number 23, didn’t participate in the 1935 Indianapolis race as only 4 cars actually qualified for the race.  Nonetheless, the car was spectacular and I got to see it up close and personal.

After returning home, I read the May/June 1991 article and I highlighted some very important points and they are included here:


Construction didn’t begin until March 12, 1935 – Tucker-Miller Factory 79 days to build and test the cars before the race. Henry Ford was reluctant to cooperate with his sponsorship and it is rumored that the Ford Dealers Association sponsored the cars.  The cars were never really tested and they just made it to the track for the end of qualifying.

Initially the Ford Team drivers were: George Barringer, 1925 race winner Pete DePalo, veterans Cliff Bergere, Bill Winn and rookie driver Ted Horn.

Cliff Bergere quit the team because he felt the Fords were under powered.

DePalo quit the team before the race because he felt the cars were unready and as such unsafe.

Johnny Seymour, L.L. Corum, Bob Sall George Bailey and Wes Crawford joined the team.

On May 27, 1935 Ted Horn qualified his car at a ten lap average of 113.213 mph black and white #43.  Then Johnny Seymour qualified his car at 112.7 mph the blue and aluminum #42.  George Bailey qualified at 113.432 the unpainted #35.  Bob Sall qualified at 110.5 mph in the gold colored #46.

Laps:  Ted Horn – 145 laps  George Bailey - 65 laps  Johnny Seymour – 65 laps  Bob Sall 47 laps

The engines were 221 cubic inch stock blocks and 85% of the engine was stock.  Stock crankshaft, connecting rods, valves and pushrods.  Non stock were a special camshaft which was a different grind, and the pistons which were of special construction having four rings and a greater height from head to pin that increased compression to 9.5:1.  The oil pan capacity was enlarged to hold two gallons and was finned for cooling,  A continuous tube oil cooler was used.  The most significant change was that the engine was rotated 180 degrees and installed backwards as the car was front wheel drive.  One water pump drove off the camshaft from the front of the engine. The water outlets on the Bonnalite Aluminum heads are really on the back of the engine facing the radiator.

The cars weighed 1950 lbs as compared to a stock Ford Roadster which weighed 2597 lbs.