Legends & ’68 Camaros

Ya gotta admire the guys that set the trends rather than just following along. The fearless “free thinkers”. The guys that march to a different tune. The guys that really don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. Smokey Yunick and Duff Burgess were two guys like that. Yunick you may have heard of, Burgess is my best friend Drew’s older brother. Both became legends among their peers. Oh, and both built race cars out of ’68 Camaros.

Yunick survived fifty plus raids piloting a B-17 in World War II. After coming home he set up shop in Daytona Beach Florida where a fledgling racing club called NASCAR was just getting started. His first winner was a Hudson Hornet but it didn’t take long to draw the attention of the big wigs from Chevrolet. When the small block V-8 was introduced in 1955, Yunick was in charge of research and development. His race cars were always competitive. Over the years Yunick became better known for his ingenuity (and creative interpretation of the rulebook) than winning races. Some of the stories about his escapades became part of racing folklore. The most famous of which involves a rigorous inspection wherein the officials required Yunick to remove his racecar’s fuel cell. Certain that the car was somehow carrying more than the legal amount, the tank was confiscated pending further inspection. Outraged, Yunick reportedly jumped into his racer, fired it and drove off, leaving the officials gas tank in hand. Another tale involved a 1966 Chevelle that supposedly was constructed at 7/8 scale. It turns out that Yunick had moved the body back on the chassis to improve the center of gravity and for that reason, it failed to fit NASCAR’s template.

It is known that Yunick was provided with at least three ’67-’68 Camaros from the factory to rebuild as racecars, only one of those cars exists today. That car was stripped to the bare bones and rebuilt on a rotisserie so that Yunick could get at it from any angle. The body panels were all acid dipped to reduce weight. The windshield was laid back and composed of a thinner safety glass. All bolt-on components were either shaved down or rebuilt in lighter versions. Knowing that he couldn’t get away with altering the stock engine location, Yunick instead Z-cut and lowered the chassis around the motor giving the Camaro the lowest profile possible. As sleek and slippery as the finished racer looked, it was just as aerodynamic underneath.
Yunick set off for Bonneville but when he heard that the factory Cougar team was testing at Riverside (CA), he couldn’t resist taking a detour. With slicks mounted all around and Indy car driver Lloyd Ruby at the controls, the Camaro promptly shattered the track record. Yunick loaded back up and continued on to Utah leaving the Mercury boys in an uproar.

 At Bonneville the car broke several FIA records but Yunick refused to dumb it down enough to pass road race tech. The Camaro was sold to fellow racer Don Yenko who made the required changes and won races in the car including the Daytona GT race in 1969. The car remained a competitive SCCA club racer (still in Yenko’s stable) for another ten years until it was literally falling apart. A decade after that, historian David Tom found the Camaro and restored it to its former glory. Today the Edelbrock family owns and races the car in vintage events throughout the country.

Looking back, Duff Burgess wondered if he’d had A.D.D. as a kid (“hyperactivity” they called it in my day). I’d known him as long as I’d known Drew and we’d struck up a friendship in kindergarten. I don’t remember anything unusual about Duff’s behavior. In fact in my opinion, Duff was cool. He was upbeat and funny. He was always goin’ but it wasn’t “willy-nilly”, Duff always had a plan. If we were drawing, he might sit down and draw with us. Or he might plop down in front of the upright piano and hammer out a little boogie woogie. Usually though, he was building something. I was a night owl but there were nights when I could hear Duff in the next room toiling away into the wee hours.

 Drew and I were H.O. slot car nuts and one morning Duff emerged from his bedroom, his latest creation cupped in his hand. It was a Camaro stripped of all chrome and windows and painted a deep metallic purple. The most impressive feature was its rake- nose to the ground, tail way up. On the rear were mounted the largest sponge slicks I’d ever seen…Ever. Like, wrong scale to be honest but when you’re twelve years old, you don’t argue. Duff casually planted the well lubricated machine on the track and grabbed a pistol gripped controller. What Drew and I witnessed next was unprecedented. Whereas our best racers skittered around the track, chattering like little locomotives, Duff’s Camaro flat git! Effortlessly, almost silently, it glided. It was easily the fastest slot car we’d ever seen. Duff laid down a couple quick ones then put down the controller.

Drew and I were just coming to grips with the reality that we were never going to win a race again…when fate intervened. As he plucked the oily Camaro from the track, it slipped from his fingertips and did a full gainer into a poorly placed bowl of decal water.
Turns out, Drew and I had nothing to worry about because the Camaro never ran again. In all likelihood it was taken back to the bedroom and disassembled and Duff moved on to something else. Why wouldn’t he? He had nothing more to prove. Like Yunick at Riverside, he’d shown us who was fastest without even racing us. That’s how legends roll…

1960 Rolls Royce Hot Rod

Remember the story we did on the big block Rolls, build-in-progress some time back? Well, it’s down on all fours now, it runs, goes, steers and stops. But there is no place to sit, unless you count the up-turned 5 gal bucket and the floor. Now it is going to Ross’s Upholstery, 514 S. McLoughlin Blvd., Oregon City, awaiting it’s new interior install. Look for another feature on this one later.

Salem Roadster Show

Dan & Karen Fitch's 1936 Pontiac, slant back sedan, '61 389 Tri-Power engine, "Slim Jim" auto trans, 51K original miles.

Dan & Karen Fitch’s 1936 Pontiac, slant back sedan, ’61 389 Tri-Power engine, “Slim Jim” auto trans, 51K original miles.

I’d been telling people I’d never been to the Salem Roadster Show. Then my wife overheard me and reminded me that we had. “Remember when we got to meet Paul Le Mat from American Graffiti?” she asked. “They had a replica of his yellow hot rod and the black Chevy that Harrison Ford drove.” She was right again, of course. Wives are great for remembering stuff like that. Man, how many years ago was that? Did Le Mat actually work more than one show?

Well, this year the cars were the stars but the venue was unchanged. What used to be called the Jackman Long building is now the Americraft Center. Like before it was jam packed with an eclectic mix of vehicles. Old and new (thanks to sponsors Weston Kia and Withnell Dodge), from trailer queens to race cars. At one end of the spectrum had to be Don and Teresa Lulay’s Vanderbeck built ’41 Willy’s- truly a show stopper. At the other end, track fresh racers. A NAPA Late Model rental car provided by the GASS series, a mind blowing, front engined Corvair gasser and a ’28 Ford track roadster…cool stuff.

Around the perimeter of the building were a couple dozen vendors representing everything from a local bank to a transmission shop. So if you had a question, there was likely someone on hand who could answer it.

Admission prices were reasonable for the quality of show presented (It is an invitational by the way) and it was refreshing not to be charged for parking! And how about this to get the younger enthusiasts to come out? FREE ADMISSION up to age 17! Good thinking.
Okay, it had been a while since I’d been to Salem. I can tell you it won’t be long before I return.

Photos by Cora Veltman

2015 Winter Rod & Speed Show

Dell Bartolome's 1956 Chevy PU

Dell Bartolome’s 1956 Chevy PU


This show is billed as the “First car show of the Year” and it has happened the first weekend in January for a while now, at the fairgrounds in Albany. It’s a one day show and it draws a lot of really neat cars from around the area. This year’s show was dedicated to Mike Vogler, the founder of the car club, The American Street Masters and lifetime car guy. He passed away in November 2014. Mark your calendar to plan to attend next years’ Winter Rod and Speed Show.


The Vanishing ’26 Ford Model “T” Coupe

Bobs-model-T
The year is 1959. Oh Yes! The summer of ’59. It was hot like a waffle iron, no matter where or what you touched it was hotttt!

I finally got the model “T” running pretty good, at least you didn’t have to push it to get it started now. A flywheel with some teeth in it helped a lot and a rebuilt starter didn’t hurt either. Thanks to Mr. Schmedding at the gas station for all his help on the “T” plus he gave me a part time job pumping gas. Wow! Pumping gas back in 1959 was like being a “Rebel with a Cause” . . . ’cause those super hot days and nights in the Spokane Valley were about the time those male designers of female fashions introduced the infamous mini skirts and mini shorts.

I’m telling you up front there was not a car that left our gas station that didn’t get the oil checked, the radiator checked, even the water in the battery was topped off under that hood.  Plus all windows were washed at least once inside and out for all female customers. Oh baby the view from that windshield area in those days was almost too much for any red-blooded American boy to handle. But getting back to the vanishing Model “T” update, in those days it was not uncommon to be working two or even three part time jobs. So on the nights I wasn’t pumping gas and falling in love, I was parking cars at the country club out at old Liberty Lake and my third job was helping out at Mom’s CV Diner.

On this given night I was parking cars and as the midnight hour approached my old buddy Donn M. who also worked part time at the country club,  suggested we should take a little break from all this work and stop and have an A&W root beer at the new stand on Sprague Avenue as it was somewhat on our way home. Now Mr. M drove the sweetest little 1930 Chrysler Coupe with a smooth running 4 cyl. for power with three on the floor, that to my surprise got up and turned some numbers. So you guessed it the bet was on.
The loser buys the A & W root beer…

I’m not sure just how fast that stock MoPar and that not so stock Model “T” were moving in a MPH gauge but the competition was getting a little heated. At first I thought my little Flathead V-8 was kinda playing with that straight 4 banger but as things progressed that little MoPar was holding its own and maybe Mr. M was kinda playin’ with us. We had reached Sprague Avenue in Greenacres and we were still bumper to bumper with only about two miles to go to the A&W root beer stand, but for all intensive purposes nobody would be buying root beer on this night as we just flew by a Spokane County Sheriff’s vehicle. We both saw him and were sure he saw us as he turned the red lights on and was in the process of turning around when Donn yelled at me to head to the Albertson’s parking lot and pick him up.

Now Donn turned his lights off and was driving pretty much by feel, and it looked like he might have done this before so I followed his lead and went dark also, getting as close as I could to that old Chrysler. He pulled in and parked just like he owned the place and jumped out of his ride and into mine and we headed right back the same direction with the lights on this time, and it came to pass that driving a 33 year old car might come in handy on this given night as we were just about three blocks from old Mackeys Used Cars and Auto Repair shop. Now using the description used cars might have been abusing the english language a bit as one would have thought to imply used cars, that at least one of them on the lot would have to actually start, but not once in all the years I tried to buy a car in there, not once did they ever actually run.

He had cars and trucks that were from twenty five to forty years old and priced accordingly. $25 to $500 each, you pick it and then they fix it. Just about this time that same Spokane County Sheriff’s car goes by heading towards Albertsons. Well he spotted me about the time I spotted him, but before he could get those red lights on and turned around I was at Mackeys’ and boy the old Model “T” fit right in amongst those oldies. I, of course turned off the lights and headed around back where he had twenty or thirty old beater cars and trucks of all makes. It looked like these may have been the parts cars for all those repairs needed to be done on the cars in the front row.

Well I pulled right back there between a couple of trucks and an old John Deere tractor and ran right over those two to three foot long weeds that were growing up and it appeared the old Model “T” Ford had been there forever.  Donn and I crouched way down in those Model ”T” seats and didn’t move a muscle. Now that excellent Spokane County Sheriff Deputy should have gotten a medal for endurance as he sat out there in his patrol car spotlighting every car on that lot as I’m sure he knew we were in there he just couldn’t find us. He gave us the better part of an hour and then drove off. We left the car there and headed on foot to the A&W for one of the best Root-Beer Floats of all time.  It was the summer of 1959 and we truly made the ‘26 Ford Model “T” Coupe Vanish amongst some of the best of them for a little while in the Cops mind anyway. Oh Ya!  As I recall we went Dutch on the Root-Beer Floats that Night.

P S: The year is now 2015 and the old 1926 Ford Model “T” Coupe just had another Birthday recently and is not looking too bad for a cool 89 years old.  We have created quite a friendship these past 58 years and as you can see she wears a Fresh Moderately New Candy Midnight Blue Paint Job with some High Dollar Class.  The question is why didn’t you hold on to that first car you bought way back then??? I guess it must have vanished with all the rest of those neat boy toys you use to have. Woulda!  Coulda!  Shoulda!

Bobs-model-T-2

What’s It?

whats-it-web
Do you remember the two “what’s its”? Well just a little update. We don’t have anything new to report on the little gray car. We did get a ton of info from all over on this car though. I was trying to find out more about the claim that it was built kind of like a “shop truck” by the employees at Freightliner in Portland but as of yet, nothing new. I also was hoping to be able to report that I had received a response form the Crosley club, but not so far. I’m still working on it.

The red and white “Custom,” seems to have hit a dead end completely, not one response to it as of this writing. I was hoping someone would see it and know all about it and would share that info but, nothing.

Based on the almost over whelming response (thank you) to the little gray car I had hoped that I’d get additional pics and info from all of you on interesting cars you had seen. Even if you know what it is and it’s unusual and you would like to share your knowledge and pictures for publication, send them in for consideration. Any submissions can be mailed to:

Roddin’ & Racin’ NorthWest
“What’s IT”
17273 S. Steiner Rd.
Beavercreek, OR. 97004

If you send in pictures that you want back please send in a self-addressed STAMPED envelope, so your pictures can be returned. Thank You. Ed.

Lost, but Found!

Famous-Cuda-1

If you have ever “lost” something you’ll know what I’m talking about.  I parked my pickup in the driveway one night and didn’t go out again until the morning.  As I walked out to where I thought I had parked my truck I became confused, it wasn’t where I thought I left it.  I turned and looked around at other places I sometimes left it but no, it wasn’t parked elsewhere either.  I stopped and thought for a few seconds. . . what had I done, did I drive something else and forget?

One day I came home from somewhere and as I was parking my car I noticed the front door of my house was ajar.  It wasn’t closed.  I hadn’t been gone a long time, had I forgotten to close it completely?  In both of these incidences, as reality started to set in, I began to be overcome with a sinking feeling, a very scary vulnerable feeling.  I was at first confused, then in denial, then angry, then afraid, “What if the burglar is still here?”  “What if I never get my truck back?”  I didn’t like what was going on nor did I like being victimized.

In March 1970 Rick White went to Westway Chrysler-Plymouth Inc. in Beaverton, Oregon to order his new car.  He didn’t pick one off the lot he wanted it equipped the way ‘he’ wanted it, he wanted it to be special. What he ordered was a 1970 Plymouth, Barracuda or ‘Cuda.  This car was to have a 440 cubic inch engine with three 2 barrel carburetors, a “Super track Pak package, a 4 speed transmission with a Hurst shifter, a console, a Dana 60 posi-traction rear end.  Spoked road wheels, a Shaker hood package, a full lighting group etc.  It was just the way Rick wanted it.  The car arrived at the dealership in April 1970 and Rick picked it up.

Over the years he met and married Jackie, started a family, worked in the construction business and as a family and with a partner they drove and raced the ‘Cuda at PIR and Woodburn Drag Strips.  When the expense of racing got too much for him the car was stored many years until it was retro-fitted back to its stock configuration so it could be driven on the street.  Rick registered the ‘Cuda in his and his sons name because he never intended to sell it, it was always going to remain in the family.

On April 18th 2001 Rick experienced that sinking feeling I described above when he discovered the garage door where the car was stored had been extensively damage and the ‘Cuda was GONE!  Unfortunately Rick did not have the car insured for theft because it was safely tucked away out of sight in a garage.  They reported it stolen, ran ads offering rewards, passed out flyers, literally went looking for the car but it had completely vanished.  His beloved Factory Ordered, one owner Muscle car was apparently gone forever.  Years passed with nothing surfacing on the ‘Cuda.

Fast forward to June 14, 2014 they receive a letter from a lien company saying a local towing/storage company was going to hold lien auction for one Plymouth ‘Cuda for accumulated storage fees amounting to four thousand plus dollars.  Rick and Jackie received the lien auction notice because the registration was apparently still in the glove box where Rick had put it years before and it had his name and address on it.  This was their missing/stolen 1970 Plymouth ‘ Cuda.  Missing for more than 13 years.  Very odd.  Where had it been for all those years?

Rick contacted the lien company who told Rick the name of the local towing company that had the car.  Rick call the towing company and was told yes the car was there, yes it was in pretty fair shape and together with towing company representative confirmed the license number and descriptive information via the phone.  Rick informed the towing company that it was his car, and that it was stolen, and that he, Rick had the title and file full of proof it was his car.  Rick told them not to do anything with the car that he was going to contact the police and send them there to see about the car.  Rick called the police and an officer responded to his house to verify the paperwork and proof of ownership of the car.  Rick showed them the title, original order forms, keys etc.  The officer called the towing company only hours after Rick had talked to them and was informed that the storage fees had been paid and the towing company had delivered the car to the man that had paid the fees.  The officer got the contact info for that person and called him saying he was coming to see the car and was he going to cooperate.  The policeman was told ‘Yes’ the man who had the car now, would cooperate.

From this point onward the story takes many turns.  KATU Channel 2’s Kerry Tomlinson picked up the story and did several prime time news reports on what had transpired.  If you go to their web site you can learn more.  (Visit www.katu.com/news/problemsolvers/ and search White’s Cuda Story for more info.)   Lars Larson from KXL Radio, here in Portland picked up the story, talked to the man who had the car on his live radio program, asking qu-estions like “Where and when did you get the car?”  “Did you get the title?” “The car was reported stolen, twice.”  “Shouldn’t you give him his car back?”

The police said the statute of limitations had expired on the original stolen car report so Rick filed a new stolen car report hoping the police would be able to impound the car.  As time always does, it marched on and the car didn’t get it impounded until July and when they went to pick it up it was completely dismantled.  Many of the parts were “missing,” They got some of the parts back over time but it took quite a bit of time.  Some parts are specific to this model as originally built and many of those parts remain missing.  Because they are specific they are rare, hard to find and very expensive.
Famous-Cuda-12
Rick finally got the car and parts back from the sheriff’s impound on November 14, 2014, 13 years, 210 days after it first vanished.  Because the story had received wide spread coverage, a number of people locally and worldwide had gotten involved sending money, volunteering to help with the reassembly of the ‘Cuda.  Mopar/restoration experts stepped up to help the Whites, who are now retired and simply can’t afford the cost of repair and reassembly of the car.

Dave Lentz spear headed the rebuild which began on November 15th when he picked it up on his old “Rat Roddish” tow truck.  Rod Hardison and Dave co-directed the rebuild with the help of Chris Border and Dan Wendland making up the mechanical crew.  Other Technical assistance was provided by Steve Canton, Randy Emery-Bad Boy Toys, (@13635 SE Division, Portland, OR. 503-477-4347) Ralph Albrich, and Sean Machado.  Parts and services were donated by:

Get Bent Mandrel Bending, 10315 SE Highway 212, Clackamas, OR. 503-607-0443
Finishline Coatings, 2889 SE Silversprings Rd. Portland, OR. 503-659-4278
Parts-Mike Parker
Totally Auto-Shaker paint
Advanced Letterpress-Bill Washburn
Craig & Brenda Satalick
Gene Prein

Other Donations; George Denson, Dyre Vaa, David Annin, Vitamins N Things, Bob Land, Christopher Okeefe, Steve Canton, Robert Rice, Tom Nolen, John Lindback, Timothy Hatley-Smith, Scott Luinshi, Kenneth Mutschink, Angela & Ken Jones, Charlie Keel, Michael, Foster, Michael Brinkman, Kirsten Miller, Dave Pilcher, Mike Spooner, Mike Boyce, Mike Foster, Bill Brown, Gary Wade, Jeff Currie, Reed Herring, Stan Ochs, Rian Hamby, Dan Osborne and Bruce Gibson.

These kind and generous folks rebuilt/reassembled the White’s ‘Cuda and it runs, drives, and sits at home in their garage because of their generosity.  The White Family thanks all of those involved for their time, work and aid in the ‘Cuda Project.

Mandrel bent exhaust by GBE Mandrel Bending

Mandrel bent exhaust by GBE Mandrel Bending

All for the love of Street Rods and Custom Cars

Car-Crazy-Best

What do you get when you take a guy like Mr. Jack Jothen, who All for the Love of Street Rods and Custom Cars became a charter member of the Multnomah Hot Rod Council in 1956, not because he had a million dollar show car, in fact he had a sweet and neat, always show class clean, 1950 Chevy Business Coupe that turned a lot of heads in its day? What we all got out of this caring and sharing quality guy was the story of his son David and his beautiful wife Diane.

Chevy Business Coupe with stock 6 cyl power and three on the tree tranny. Super old school stance. This classic 50 Chev spent a lot of time cruising Broadway and at Jim Dandy’s on Sandy Blvd in Parkrose.
We at R&R publications NW are proud to bring you the automobile creations of David & Diane Jothen, plus their two Keeshonds Loki & Winnie.
1955 Chev OLD School Resto-Rod
2 Year Build Time
This ‘55 150 center post 2 dr. tribute to David’s dad is as clean and sweet as they come. Running a ZZ3 350 ci 375 hp for power, turbo 400 tranny, Nova Rear-end with Camaro clip. Its shaved nose and rear deck with a Nomad rear bumper, makes this de-chromed beauty second to none in its class. It’s taken home its share of hardware to prove it. Watch out Harrison Ford here comes David and Diane.

DSC_0620

1953 OLDS 98 Holiday Coupe
10 Year Build Time
This original Pacific NW 98 features a 303 Rocket V-8 for power and a Hydra-matic Tranny. It came with everything on it that was featured in 53 including power seats, window, steering and brakes, plus the stock two-tone paint job and an interior that looks like it just came off the assembly line a few hours ago.

DSC_6797

1951 Chev ½ ton PU
Two Restorations 5 year total Build Time
In 1979 Diane and her Dad Chuck Howell found this old Chevy ½ ton in a farmers field down in the Turner area south of Salem. A Hundred Dollar Bill closed the deal and Chuck was in hog heaven as he was finally going to be building an automobile with one of his kids. Diane was the youngest of three daughters and she was also the most savvy when it came to mechanics even at age fourteen. They worked on that truck together with such dedication and focus to keep as much of the PU as stock as they could and still be a safe ride for Diane. They rebuilt the 6 cyl 216 ci power plant, the tranny was three on the tree and Diane mastered it with class. Painted it a bright red color really made it come alive and her senior year, Diane’s ride was picked the best Truck at Cascade High. The second restoration in 2008 changed the color from Red to Butternut Yellow, updated it to a 12 volt system and a 308 late model Chev Rear-end, replaced some chrome, and lowered her all the way just around a few inches. Thirty Six years and Diane still would not part with it for anything, and it’s still winning trophies everywhere it goes.

VID314

1968 Chev Camaro RS
A work in progress–their latest creation
350 crate V-8 for power and 350 turbo tranny. A delicious black and white hounds tooth interior and a gorgeous bright white pearl with black stripes exterior finish.
David is a 1978 graduate of Parkrose High, then attended Mt Hood CC and U of O, earning a degree in Media/Communications. For those of you that have enjoyed the Summer Cruz-Ins at Billy Bob’s in Gresham, sponsored by the Pharaohs, appreciate David’s communication skills handing out the trophies with a professional flair. He originally joined the MHRC in 1979 and today Co-Chairs the Portland Roadster Show with Duane Caseday. He also has been the official photographer for the show for the last 3 years. David owns PDX CarCulture.com and is a commercial and residential realtor in East County. He also is the president of the Pharaohs Street Rodders, and under his leadership the club has become one of the leading charity fund raising car clubs in the Portland area. Dedicated to helping Veterans through MIAP and the Lines for Life programs. They are also big supporters of the MHRC and the Portland Roadster Show.
Diane graduated from Cascade High in 1983 and then degreed in Machine Technology at Chemeketa C.C. She then became a certified Precision Machinist. David and Diane met while working at Boeing Portland. Their paths crossed and the rest is history. They married in 1988 and have a home in Damascus with their two beautiful pet buddies. Diane left the trades in 2003 and opened PUP Scrub Self Serve Pet Wash, and has never looked back. They have a 24×48 shop/garage that they built themselves to handle their gorgeous rides. All for the Love of Street Rods and Custom Cars. Thanks for sharing your story with us here at R&R NorthWest Publications.

Local Favor

bardahl

If you’re a motorhead and you’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for any length of time, you’ve undoubtedly heard of Bardahl.

Founded in Seattle in 1939 by a Norwegian immigrant, Ole Bardahl’s line of engine additives became world renown by the early 1950’s due in large part to racing sponsorships. Looking back, an unlimited hydroplane christened “Miss Bardahl” was likely the most famous of the racers to fly the company colors but there were literally hundreds of others. Bardahl sponsored competitors at Indianapolis beginning in 1950. As sports car racing grew in popularity, Bardahl saw the value in supporting those competitors as well and the drag racing crowd wasn’t far behind. Midget auto racing became hugely popular after World War II and Clark “Shorty” Templeman was a Northwestern superstar. After arriving on the scene in 1954, Templeman made “short work” of his competition and quickly rose to pinnacle of his division. He is best remembered for his many victories in Bardahl sponsored cars- some painted in a split emerald green and black livery (like the early cans) or a brilliant yellow. Ultimately Templeman won five Washington state Midget titles and another three in Oregon. Proving this was no fluke, he then joined the USAC National Tour and won three consecutive championships in 1956, ’57 and ’58. Once he became a known commodity, Templeman transitioned easily to the larger, more powerful “Big Cars”. He drove in five Indianapolis 500’s scoring a career best finish of fourth in 1961. Interestingly in all of his appearances at the Speedway, Templeman never drove for Bardahl. Sadly, he met his demise in a Midget race in Marion County, Ohio in the summer of 1962.

Ole Bardahl clearly enjoyed the exposure the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” provided his growing line of automotive additives and continued to sponsor racers there for the next twenty years. Typically the Bardahl entries were painted black but there were exceptions. In 1969 Bobby Unser qualified and finished third in a striking yellow and black checkerboard Bardahl Special. Along with the obvious benefit of promoting your product at a venue of this magnitude, Ole Bardahl used Indianapolis as an opportunity to network with other automotive professionals from all over the world. In the early 1950’s he forged relationships with people like Enzo Ferrari (even sponsored his entries) and Argentine world driving champion, Juan Fangio. It is no coincidence that eventually Bardahl opened manufacturing plants in Italy and Argentina as well as in France, Belgium and Brazil. Curiously, the Bardahl brand today maintains very low profile here in Pacific Northwest where it originated. Much of what is bottled in Seattle is shipped to Central and South America. In 2015 sales of Bardahl products in foreign countries far exceed what is sold domestically. 

1969 WMRA Champion Kenny Petersen drove the Power Punch midget at Tacoma. He is flanked by Bill Siedelman, Tom Glithero and Bob Halmer.

1969 WMRA Champion Kenny Petersen drove the Power Punch midget at Tacoma. He is flanked by Bill Siedelman, Tom Glithero and Bob Halmer.

A contemporary of Bardahl’s (and fellow Seattleite) was a bathroom chemist named Clinton Morey. In 1952 Morey invented a thick, honey-like oil supplement he called Power Punch. Morey wasn’t one to spend much money on advertising or sponsorships but he made a good product and it sold readily. A network of wagon peddlers was established and eventually Power Punch was being sold by route salespeople throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and down into Northern California and Nevada. Third generation owner Peter Morey was a boat guy and spent a good chunk of change sponsoring race boats like Bardahl had before him. As far as “wheeled billboards” were concerned, Morey’s preference was drag racing so the few sponsorship dollars he dealt out, went in that direction. The one exception to this rule was Bremerton short tracker Craig Moore who has beat the drum (and the competition) on behalf of Power Punch these past couple of seasons in the Modified ranks.

When shown a photo of the “Power Punch Offy” taken in the late sixties, Morey was puzzled and had no recollection of the car whatsoever. He suggested that the sponsorship was between one of his former wagon peddlers and the car owner- not the factory. Likely, the sponsorship was for free product rather than cash. Regardless, the relationship was short lived.
A bigger mystery was the “Dexson Special” which made its appearance at Northwestern racing venues in the early 1950’s. McClure Distributing Company of Portland produced a fuel additive for passenger cars and chose to promote their product by painting Bud Kinnamin’s Midget to match their retail can. Though the violet and gold livery was distinctive, it didn’t stand out on the racetrack (especially at night) and the Offy didn’t maintain those colors for long.

Unlike Bardahl and Power Punch, Dexson is no longer in business so all that remains are a few old photographs and the cans themselves. Portlander Delbert McClure who owns short track race cars to this day, denies knowing anything about the McClure that spearheaded this ill-fated endeavor.

Forest Grove's Palmer Crowell displays a trophy won in the Dexson Offy.

Forest Grove’s Palmer Crowell displays a trophy won in the Dexson Offy.

 

Feature Car of the Month

Car-of-The-Month-T-Bird-047

“Classic Old School” 1956 “T” Bird Owners Janet and Larry Lundbom

This candy apple red Bird has quite a history. It seems that Janet Lester’s Dad Harry, first owned the car and Janet drove this little beauty, which was pretty much stock back then, to Centennial High School in 1965 & 66. The big transition her dad made to the car was, he had a deep diamond tucked leather interior added to the seats, dash and to the stock Ford continental kit out back.
Larry and Janet met in 1967 and one common interest was both of their dads loved older Ford classic “T” Birds. Later when Janet’s father decided to sell his ‘56 Larry turned his dad onto this cool Bird that was for sale and Wally added it to his collection.

The car was originally Ford “T” Bird Red and Wally decided to turn it into the Candy Apple creation that you see today. The Candy Apple exterior, complete with the highlighted dark lace scallops really compliment the Deep Diamond Tucked Interior that Janet’s Dad had done 10 years earlier.
The sweetness of the story is Larry and Janet Lundbom still own the car, after all these years, that both of their fathers played a role in making this the super classic show car that it still is today. We at R&R NW Publication are proud to make this our March 2015 Featured Car of the Month. Thanks to the memory of both Wally Lundbom and Harry Lester for their individual contributions to this classic automotive creation.

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