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Bonzai !!

Old 02-09-2007, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by SSB
I can chip in on this one as I worked for Shelly Ward and saw the Studie at his shop in Aqua Dulsea (or however one spells that). I was told at the time that Shelly drove it in the La Carrera.

I also saw the Caddy Seville Banzai car parked at Willow Springs one time. Now I'm wondering if the two cars were one in the same as the sheet metal was not structural on either car. Turbo Big Block on a Banjo Mathews chassis. Simple and effective.
I emailed Shelly and Mike at his shop in the valley. Inquiring minds want to know!
Old 02-09-2007, 02:03 PM
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I was reading up on the Lola T70's. Dan McLaughlin did a lot of mold work for AIR and other team cars. According to the T70 forum if a T70 had a double humped dash (could be switched to right or left hand drive) Dan probably made the molds and bucks.

This article goes with car below:
They made a big spash in 1984 with an article in ''Road and Track'' about a Lola T165 built for the street. They claimed in the article that Lola was supplieing new tubs for their project. Unfortunatly the truth was they had commisioned John Collins of Santa Ana , Calif. to copy a Lola T165 Chassis (SL165/25) and build up street cars on the lola replica chassis. John Collins is a great guy ,a team fabricator for Shelby American on the GT40 program. He was simply the fabricator of the cars . Someone in a post on this thread referred to the RandT article as a spyder chassis that had been couped. That is only partially correct as the chassis used to build the yellow car in RandT never was in the Lola factory. Now to your cars connection to this storey..... Your car was delivered via John Mecom/ US Lola distributor to Dan Gurney . I do not know the interim owners between Gurney and the Bartz bros. but I do know they ended up with the car in the 70's . Why did they convert it to a coupe? During the late 70's and early 80's there was in LA a group of legendry adrenalin junkies known as the ''Banzai Runners'' It was a very exclusive club , to join you had to achieve 200 mph on an LA freeway!!!!!They had a measured course and they would go out and run their cars at 3:00 A.M.. About the only cars that could qualify were T70 coupes and GT40's . Since Lola T70's were worthless to race they became the preferred platform to build up a 200 mph ''Banzai Runner''Such notible figures as ''Dan Haggerty'' of ''Grizzly Adams'' secured Lola chassis to convert to a ''Bonzai Runner''.The magazine ''Californian'' even did a story on these guys . In one article a Calif Highway Patrolman was interviewed about the Bonzai Runners . When asked what he would do when blown past by a 200 mph car his answer was ''nothing we don't even have a fixed wing plane that could follow them.''
Any way back to your car....
Why the double hump dash? ... Your body is not a Maurader body , It is actually a body that was produced off one of my cars in which a mold was taken. The mold was produced in conjuction with Danny McLaughlin owner of the X james Garner ''American International Racing IE AIR



Jeff Hail
Old 02-09-2007, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Hail
During the late 70's and early 80's there was in LA a group of legendry adrenalin junkies known as the ''Banzai Runners'' It was a very exclusive club , to join you had to achieve 200 mph on an LA freeway!!!!!
WTF?!?!?!
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lfot
WTF?!?!?!
Imagine going down the 170 between Sheldon to the Ventura Freeway at 200. Everything coming enters the eye then the brain process's it -by that time what you saw is behind you. The street lamps and anything else on the side is a blur.

Imagine the guy in the slow lane doing 55mph (it was 55 back then) that just got passed and hit with the air wash. Thats WTF.

Jeff
Old 02-09-2007, 02:34 PM
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Steve Sannett and his brother had 2 T-70 coupes- The yellow was bought in texas or registered there. Pantera transaxle and Vega tailites ! it was a bit kit car-ish being converted to street use. They had another T 70 (or later chassis) with a Mk3B nose- same front end as the Penske cars
The Sannetts participated in the overly hyped Banzai night runners article- it was pretty much a bunch of hooey made up like there was a club of these guys that did this.

Tabloid journalism for cars

Did people go out and haul a** to see what their cars would do? Sure... how many Sunday afternoons did i buzz Sepulveda paralleling the 405 with my Daytona to do a "speed check"?
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:43 PM
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Re: Only Slightly Off Topic

Quote:
Originally posted by t6dpilot
Hey Milt,
You worked at LeGrand? My uncle (Laguna Beach resident) got his start in open wheel cars running a LeGrand MkV (I think). He continued on to race in FA in the mid and late 70's against many famous names - Gloy, Rosberg, Rahal, Sullivan, Villeneuve, ect. That LeGrand was supposedly a factory assembled car - I guess some were customer assembled according to him. I think it was in orange and blue livery back in the late 60's or early 70's. He and I tracked it down several years ago, but some gentleman in SoCal was having it restored to F3 specs in driver Bruce Eglington livery. Anybody familiar with the car? Sure would like to own that someday...

Just curious, anyone know my uncle? He was pretty involved in the car scene in SoCal back then (but probably not Mulholland). His name is Cliff Hansen. Long shot, but I am curious.

Thanks and sorry for the digression. Back on topic...
Well, I don't know if your asking is that OT. This thread has as much to do with the whole scene as anything. There was a thread before this:
"Mulholland Drive/racing history"thread
and I asked about LeGrand and Ramsey. No one knew then. Now, we have Jeff.

Someone contacted me as a result of my mentioning LeGrand on that earlier thread and they have the "other" car. AFAIK, there were only 2 small block V8 cars. The rest were FF or similar, and sports racers.

I don't think I ever met Cliff, but again, my center of the universe at the time was Long Beach and the various people who at one time or another had something to do with Mickey Thompson, who was the big operation around here along with Bill Stroppe.
Old 02-09-2007, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TRE Cup
Steve Sannett and his brother had 2 T-70 coupes- The yellow was bought in texas or registered there. Pantera transaxle and Vega tailites ! it was a bit kit car-ish being converted to street use. They had another T 70 (or later chassis) with a Mk3B nose- same front end as the Penske cars
The Sannetts participated in the overly hyped Banzai night runners article- it was pretty much a bunch of hooey made up like there was a club of these guys that did this.

Tabloid journalism for cars

Did people go out and haul a** to see what their cars would do? Sure... how many Sunday afternoons did i buzz Sepulveda paralleling the 405 with my Daytona to do a "speed check"?
So the Banzai Runners thing is more hoopla than history?
I hope so.
Sounds like a bad 80's movie.
"You can't join our club until you stare death in the face."
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lfot
So the Banzai Runners thing is more hoopla than history?
I hope so.
Sounds like a bad 80's movie.
"You can't join our club until you stare death in the face."
LFOT
Yup, it was a bad movie.
At least with KOTM I could watch it in my den since I had this new service way back when called "On" cable. Remember "On" and the Z channel Dave?




I think there were only say 10 guys tops playing the Bonzai game.
Everyone else was either straight line street cars or up on Mulholland. You get caught going 60-70 in a 35 back then you got a ticket. You get caught going 150 plus and they wait for you to come home for a behavioral conference. Delicate cars with a lot to lose if you make a mistake.

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff Hail; 02-09-2007 at 03:56 PM..
Old 02-09-2007, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Hail

When is a well written, accurate movie about street racing going to be made?
Hint
Hint
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:49 PM
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I do remember all of us going to Hollywood to watch the premier of Gumball Rally on Hollywood Blvd at the El Capitan theatre- we sat thru it twice.
The Cobra in it was real. It belonged to the guy we later bought our GT 350 from. Started out black with GT40 wheels, but got repainted for the movie. Messed up in the L A river scenes, and they paid him a large chunk of money for doing so

Then later on it was King of The Mountain, Two Lane Blacktop, One by One, and other foggy memories
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Hail
LFOT
Yup, it was a bad movie.




At least with KOTM I could watch it in my den since I had this new service way back when called "On" cable. Remember "On" Dave?

Jeff

OHhhh...sheeeeeeee' I LOVE THAT MOVIE
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:53 PM
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Gumball and the Cannonball movies were sort of accurate in the elaboration of actual events that happened during the races.

Still wouldn't call them good movies though.
I'm thinking something like Dazed & Confused... in which it's not really a deep plot, just about the scene and the people within it. A string of stories, collection of thoughts....

Unless the secret screen-writer is already working on all of this?!
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lfot
Gumball and the Cannonball movies were sort of accurate in the elaboration of actual events that happened during the races.

Still wouldn't call them good movies though.
I'm thinking something like Dazed & Confused... in which it's not really a deep plot, just about the scene and the people within it. A string of stories, collection of thoughts....

Unless the secret screen-writer is already working on all of this?!
Gumball Rally ? Na.. how about the real Gumball Rally. ((Cannonball Baker Sea To Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash))
Tony Adamowicz, Oscar Koveleski and Brad Niemcek in a van packed with 5-6 drums of racing fuel, sleeping bag and a case of Baby Ruth Bars.


Last edited by Jeff Hail; 02-09-2007 at 04:12 PM..
Old 02-09-2007, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Hail
Gumball Rally ? Na.. how about the real Gumball Rally.
Tony Adamowicz, Oscar Koveleski and Brad Niemcek in a van packed with 5-6 drums of racing fuel, sleeping bag and a case of Baby Ruth Bars.

YES!!!

Jeff, have you read the book "Cannonbal" by Brock Yates???

Amazing book.
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Old 02-09-2007, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lfot
YES!!!

Jeff, have you read the book "Cannonbal" by Brock Yates???

Amazing book.
Ernest G. "Cannonball" Baker

Man among men, lunatic among lunatics

If there was ever a role model for an outlaw cross-country race, it was Cannonball Baker. He had a thing about driving cross country that bordered on obsession. He did it numerous times and was the first to do it on a motorcyle in -- ready for this? -- 1914.

Jeez, 1914. Woodrow Wilson was the new president, we hadn't yet been sucked into the Great War, and it had been only six years since Henry Ford delivered the first Model T to a customer. But there was Cannonball, astride a big, 61-cubic inch Indian V-twin, laboring mightily across the continent in abominable conditions. Twice he had to shoot pursuing dogs with a handgun, once he pushed his out-of-gas heavyweight for miles in 119-degree heat, and he routinely wrestled with muddy roads that he described as "plowed fields." It took him 11 days, 12 hours and 10 minutes to travel the 3,379 miles, most of them standing up -- the Indian's "suspension" consisted a semi-flexible frame designed to soak up shocks.

Why did he do it? Well, why not?

He also did it on four wheels, which must've been a piece of cake compared to the bike ride. In 1915 he drove from Los Angeles to New York in 11 days. The next year he dropped his record time to seven days. In 1922 he teamed with a mechanic and drove a Templar racing prototype across country in six days, 17 hours and 16 minutes.

In 1933, at the age of 51, he did it in less than three days, a remarkable achievement. To quote Brock Yates:

". . . Nothing even approaches, in my opinion, the incontestable pinnacle of transcontenental driving--the run of the marvelous Ernest G. "Cannonball" Baker in the spring of 1933. Then aged 51, Cannonball drive a new supercharged Graham from New York to Los Angeles in 53 hours and 30 minutes. Alone! Yes, driving singlehanded, without the benefit of a centimeter of Interstate, and enjoying very little in the way of smooth pavement, plus having to traverse every blasted small town along the way, he made the trip at an average speed in the neighborhood of 60 mph!"

Baker also competed hillclimbs and races, including the Indy 500, finishing 11th in 1922 driving a Frontenac. He was later the first commissioner of NASCAR and presided over the early wild and wooly days of the circuit. Can't think of anyone more qualified.

Cannonball Baker died in 1960 at the age of 78. He is buried at the Crown Hill Cemetary in Indianapolis.


The man who started it all



Really good book.
Jeff

Last edited by Jeff Hail; 02-09-2007 at 04:21 PM..
Old 02-09-2007, 04:17 PM
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Brock Yates

Speed is freedom.
Freedom is speed.
A buck is a buck.

Okay, so that isn't really Yates in the picture. But give me a break. I needed something up there or I would've offended the graphic gods. I tried to liberate one from the Car and Driver web site, but his column shot is really a crappy mess. Not finding another in my thin file of celebrity images, I substituted this one, which I took along Highway 23 near Paynesville, Minnesota, one summer while masquerading as the local newspaper editor. Don't know who this guy is, but you could smell him a long time before you could see him.

I've never met Yates, but from afar he appears an interesting fellow. He once wrote a good book about renting a ride in the old TransAm series and has done a couple of stints on the staff at Car and Driver. He's the brains guiding the annual One Lap of America, a gig that succeeded -- but most assuredly did not replace -- the original Cannonball. Yates is a terrific writer, but you need a thick skin and a resilient sense of humor to appreciate it. He spews out humor and invective in equal doses, and learned his political philosophy at the knee of Ghengis Khan. And that's a philosophy he isn't shy about sharing. I once got so miffed at his rants and Patrick Bedard's broad-brush misreadings of the political landscape that I canceled my subscription to Car and Driver. I still fondly recall his story about the staff running a group of test vehicles down the Baja, though. Great stuff.

Lately he seems to be trying to make some money off the Cannonball legacy, which at first struck me as a violation of the race's spirit. There was some something so, uh, pure about the Cannonball. No rules to speak of, no prize money, just a challenge met with good humor and innovation and just plain gall. But we now live in an era when Black Sabbath music is used to sell cars on television, so I guess times have changed and I'll just have to live with it. Check out his scheme to extract $5,000 from each entrant in some bizarreness billed as the "Cannonball Classic" as it appeared on his official One Lap page.

I'll forgive Yates these transgressions because he is The Man Who Dreamed Up The Cannonball Baker Sea To Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. Along with his son and a couple of cohorts, he ran the first Cannonball in 1970 in the immortal Moon Trash van, then organized a couple more before the attention of the nation's constabulary effectively killed it. He tried again in 1978, labeling it a frivolous adventure for those who love cars, and a serious act of civil disobedience to protest the absurdity of the 55 mph speed limit.

But even then he was scheming to cash in on the Cannonball, plotting to write a screenplay and film a movie about it with Hal Needham, noted Hollywood stuntman and director of Smokey and the Bandit, among other flicks. I suspect that was his primary interest in putting on another race. You can almost hear the gears spinning in Yates' head as he ponders how his movie will appear on screen and solicits entries from "(1) a monster, dual-axle, sleeper cab tracter to run "bobtail," (2) a grand national stock car converted for road operation, (3) a motorcycle, (4) a stretched limousine, (5) a techno-miracle car, loaded with every conceivable anti-Smokey ECM gadget, (6)a unique old car, say a 1930s sedan with modern running gear, (7) a very strong pickup truck and, perhaps, if anyone has the nerve to drive it, a full-dress pimp Cadillac. An authenic taxi would also be welcome."

(A couple of movies did get made about the Cannonball, but they were the irredeemably bad Cannonball Run, and the spectacularly wretched Gumball Rally.)

But, so what, he tried to make a buck off his own deal. That's okay, cuz it's America and he's The Man whose 1971 scheme allowed me to live vicariously through the shenanigans of a cast of characters only congenital miscreants and serial speed limit offenders like me could love.

Good going, Yates.
Brock Yates auditions for the role of Bert Reynolds in the forthcoming move, "Brock Yates: A man, a bicycle, and a dream



Old 02-09-2007, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KevinP73
Here is the scoop on Dans RSR
In the early 1970s, the FIA decided sports car racing should use cars that more closely resembled production vehicles. Using the Carrera RS 2.7 as its homologation platform, the 2.8 RSR developed 300 (DIN) hp with the use of a twin-plug ignition, hotter camshafts, higher compression pistons, and many other enhancements.

The car offered here was sold to Bob Hagestad of Denver who used it to take part in IMSA and Trans-Am races including: Road Atlanta Trans-Am, April 15, 1973, R. Hagestad/P. Tracey, 8th; Lime Rock Trans-Am, May 5, 1973, R. Hagestad/Bobby Allison, DNF; Watkins Glen Trans-Am, R, Hagestad, 7th.

The car was crashed in July 1973 during practice at Trois Rivieres. Although not extensive, damage repair was time consuming, so Hagestad bought another RSR from Peter Gregg. After repairs to 0782 were completed, Hagestad sold the car to Michael Callas of Houston. Callas later sold the car to George Valerio who drove the RSR home from Texas to California without problem. After this, 0782 was sold to Dan McLoughlin who kept the RSR awhile before selling it to the Matsuda collection in Japan where the car spent many years on display.

Recently released from the collection, 911 360 0782 is one of the very few RSR 2.8 Carreras to have escaped the modifications made to keep these race cars competitive.





Jeff Hail

Last edited by Jeff Hail; 02-09-2007 at 04:42 PM..
Old 02-09-2007, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lfot
When is a well written, accurate movie about street racing going to be made?
Hint
Hint
Did anyone actually get any work done this week? I didnt.
Jeff Hail
Old 02-09-2007, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff Hail
Gumball Rally ? Na.. how about the real Gumball Rally. ((Cannonball Baker Sea To Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash))
Tony Adamowicz, Oscar Koveleski and Brad Niemcek in a van packed with 5-6 drums of racing fuel, sleeping bag and a case of Baby Ruth Bars.

So that's where they got the 2 guys in the grey van filled with gas in the movie!

To get back on topic, I have a story about a U-haul van, a Chevy Luv, an E-brake turn and the cliff just after the lookout observing the Hollywood Bowl on Mul. East.

Old 02-09-2007, 09:52 PM
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