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Chevy Powered Midget
Topic Started: Feb 1 2014, 12:04 AM (5,636 Views)
Bayouman
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OK, now, for something a little different. After having built no less that six of these great kits, I decided it was time to do something a little different. So, last year at the Inboard National Finals in Morgan City, La. I saw this strange little inboard powered hydroplane boat in the 2.4 liter class with a Chevy Bowtie on the side - Curious, I went through the pits to find the boat - there, in the engine compartment was a strange lookin 1/2 V-8! Inquiry time - they lopped of one side of a 265 V-8 making a 132.5 cu in 4 cylinder, refigured the intake, and, viola, a four cylinder Chevy that wasn't an original 4 banger! Cool, so, I thought this would make a perfect midget engine. Here is my start of the project.....
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Thanks for looking!

Dave B - Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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sentsat71
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now that is cool...... rrr jsm fbr

will look forward to seeing this one done!!!!

That is something I had not even considered for this kit, though I now have 5 midget kits, thanks to one of the model car club memebers dropping 3 midgets in front of me a few months ago....
my mind is on what I can stuff into a Grant King sprint/supermod kit...like a 426 Hemi.....and a DOHC Ford Indy engine....the latter was used in USAC, but very rarely, as the DOHC Ford was more common in the Dirt Champ cars.....in the early 1980's a team tried the 426 Hemi in a sprint in Southern California's CRA, primarily at Ascot...

If you want to try a different version, back in the early 1970's when I attended the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Ascot, there was a V-4 Chevy engine that was tried, but cutting the block in half crossways. The V-4 definitely ahd it's own unique sound.

Think the V-4 was tried in later years, somewhere, just have to find the issue of Open Wheel to find it again, as I just came across that story....

Also in the 1970's, the style you're building their I THINK (I could be wrong), were called Chevy II's and I THINK (could be wrong there too) evolved into what were called Sesco's, which were the hot set up until the Volkswagon air cooled engines came along...These gave way to the Cosworth Ford inline 4 cylinder which may have started by cutting the Cosworth engine just like had been done with the Chevy engine...

It seems the midgets were known for engine innovations, and could probably still be, as I have not followed any racing in the past several years, much less read about it. Sure do miss the old Open Wheel mag...

If I'm wrong, feel free anyone to correct me, I won't mind....

Sorry for hijacking your thread... will sepu now
Ed K
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Bayouman
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No problem Ed! I hear ya about the old Open Wheel Magazine! What a GREAT publication, I had the first seven years complete collection for quite some time. I recently sold a bunch of them , and probably should not have, especially now that I have found this great forum. You are right about the Midgets and engines - I really want to build an ESCO, which is actually an Evinrude outboard engine - there is one on Youtube that actually runs - talk about a fun sound, and tons of smoke! I think the Chevy II engine you are talking about is actually an in-line four cylinder - an engine available in the early - late sixties in the Chevy IIs and some small vans. It is also the basis for Mercruiser Inboard/Outboard engines that are still available - they came in 100, 110, 120 and 130 hp options - GREAT boat engine, and a GREAT Midget engine as well. We had a 120 MerCruiser in a 1967 19' Aristocraft boat - man, that thing would run ALL day long on 20 gallons of gas, pulling skiers and cruising wide open at 47knots!!! There are some other engines that Midgets had too that would be fantastic modeling subjects in the Kurtis Kraft!!! We will watch for em!!

Thanks,

Dave B - Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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krwasson
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:))) :))) rlr
Kevin
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ronr
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B) :))) :))) pecce
RON ROYSTON
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carl
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:))) jump rlr
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Bayouman
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Well, had some time while the BORING super bowl was on this evening - Go 'Hawks! (Just cause they beat the Saints in the playoffs) So, with some suggestions from some other friends, I decided that the carbs on this engine need to lay down so that the hood is flat with no holes in it, so, here is the progress. My purple paint messed up in the humid air, so a repaint is in order, but this'll give you an idea of what direction I am goin. Also, I was able to turn my scratchbuilt intake tubes over, which layed them down at just the right angle.....
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Thanks for lookin, more to come....

Dave B - Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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sentsat71
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That is coming along just fine!!!
Just sitting here waiting for your updates!!



Oh.....forgot to mention a couple of other engines, though one, was strictly a Southern Calif car that was powered by a Ford Pinto engine...Don't remember how that engine did, but IIRC, it did win a race on a small track at least once (think it was the little El Toro bull ring, another track that did not make it out of the 1970's)

And how about an Olds Quad 4 as a midget powerplant....which was basically a stock block engine from Olds that in a street form was found in the Olds Alero (same catagory as the Pontiac Grand Am)..

Speaking of Open Wheel mag....saw a couple of GK kits that someone had modified to more modern looking, including one that used the supermodifed hood and upper nose piece, that fit like the sprint hood did....just wish the pictures had been larger, so one could have gotten a better look....

Yeah, I know....cannot keep on topic!!!
The "problem" with the local model car club group....not that many into building race cars, but then, racing in Albuquerque isn't what it used to be back in the 1970's and earlier...
Ed K
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Bayouman
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Hey Ed - No problem, that is one thing I really like about this forum. We can talk about race cars and racin all day long! And, I have an extra overhead cam Ford four cylinder that would make a great midget engine, but I hafta build a new style frame for it, maybe a Beast! Are you from Albuquerque? Guess what? I was raised in Las Cruces, NM in the mid 60's! Lived there until we moved my Junior year in High School in 73 to Louisiana. We went to the race track EVERY weekend during the season! In fact, one of my family's great friends was/is Ivan Coffman, Super Mod/ Sprint car champ for many of those years. He had the only full on dyno in Las Cruces, right down the street from out house. My brother and I used to hop on our bikes and go down there to see what was runnin on the dyno - we could tell when it was a racin car cause we could hear them running at the house! We were able to see the progression from Coupes, to Full Bodied V8s, to modifieds, to super modifieds and on to Sprint Cars. Some of the guys from Southern New Mexico used to go to Albuquerque on a regular basis - see if you recognize any: Ivan Coffman, Donnie and Lonnie Beyer, Lawrence Cooper, Willie Nunez, Sonny Holden, Gus Carney and others. One of the guys lived right next door to us : Rick Zeil. We regularly went to races at Mesilla Valley Speedway (now Southern New Mexico Speedway) and Horizon Speedway in El Paso. All cool stuff! Thanks for the memories!

Speaking of GK supers, here is mine from a few years ago:
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Lemme know what chall think!

Thanks for lookin and listenin to an ol' sentimental dude....

Dave B2 - Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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krwasson
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:))) :))) rlr
Kevin
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Bayouman
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Well, I didn't like the purple on the midget at all, so I changed the color. I think it will fit in better with the scheme that I have in mind anyway.
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Made a little more progress on the engine - moved the #2 & 4 plug wires up top per Ed K's suggestion! Looks way better...
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Thanks for looking, more to come..

Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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Old Sprinter
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You guys are talking my talk. That supermodified looks great. The midget is turning out good too. I thought that the Chevy motors cut in half like that were called Sescos. They even cut some the other way making a V4 but hard too balance, I'm told. Igrew up around midget racing and saw so many different power plants from outboard motors (we called Smokey Joes) to Offys, Ford V8/60s, Pintos VWs and even a Datsun and Toyota. Today midgets are almost as much as a sprinter to buy and race. The purses aren't equal though. The one thing I really enjoy about the Chilli Bowl is all the different car designes and motors with the "Run What You Brung" format. The Swindells have special cars just for that race. It's not just the tail that's different; the frame and cage are a much lighter wall than what would be allowed anywhere else. Look at some of the creations that show up like Johnny Murdock's car and a few others.
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sentsat71
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Like the color!! Sure looks brighter than the purple.... rrr B)


Wasn't it Mel Kenyon who introduced the VW engine to USAC racing?
He even tried a Suzuki V-8 in his cars.
Finally met Mel Kenyon after the 2000 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale. If I remember, this was his first trip back to the West Coast after his wife had gotten hurt riding her bicycle around 1991. He told me that she had died not to long before he made the trip west. Bought his book at the same time, which he was kind enough to autograph for me.
I don't think he even qualified for one of the preliminary races for the final starters for the 100 lap main.
It was also my last Turkey Night Grand Prix as 6 months later I moved to the Orlando, FL area, then just over 4 years later, we ended up in Albuquerque and now my former roommie has been working and living in Australia since August 2008.

Ed K
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sentsat71
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Dave...

Have lived in Albuquerque since 2005, before that, 4 years in the Orlando area, and the Los Angeles area from 1972 to 2001, but was born and raised in Northern Iowa.
Did not start watching races until the summer of 1968 after my older brother got out of the Army. Most of that year was spent at the Algona, Iowa, then 1/4 dirt track. 1969-1971 most of that time was spent at the Fairmont, MN big half mile dirt track, with maybe one or two trips to the Algona track, as by then, Fairmont and Algona both ran on Fri. nights.
Think some of the later races at Fairmont I started driving myself as my dad was finally letting take the car, but until then, most of the races I rode with my brother. If he didn't go, I didn't go.
In 1971 I went to the Fairmont track quite often on my own, though a few times I went with my brother. However, he was the one who drove the nearly 60 miles to the half mile track in Jackson, MN where they still ran modifieds (though the modifieds were starting to use sprint type chassis, but still had bodies around the drivers, some of which were now being special made as well). I had to depend on my brother for the Jackson trips, as my dad would not let me drive that far on my own at that time. For the modifieds, I watched the likes of Jim Edgington, Les Wilden, Jerry Fransten, Marv DeWall, Dick Forbrook, Darrel Dawley and a young Doug Wolfgang, driving Dawley's old modified, as Dawley was running his sprint at Knoxville, IA.....
1971 was also the only time I've ever been to a race at the famed Knoxville half mile, back when they ran sprints under the IMCA banner. But that was in part because my oldest brother was home on vacation that summer from SoCal and he decided to go see a race at Knoxville with me and my other brother going along...

Rick Ziel rings a bell, as a driver by that name ran at Perris Auto Speedway just south of Riverside CA.... Also saw Richard Griffin in action at The PAS as well. as he's from Silver City, NM....

Back in the late 1970's saw Bobby Unser, Jr run at Ascot and by the early 1980's, Al Unser, Jr, driving the Larry Dill owned Pennzoil team sprint.

Since leaving SoCal, I have only been to races at Jackson, (2002), The PAS, (2006), Clay County Fairgrounds, Spencer Iowa, (2007), and Fairmont, twice, in 2011, one a regular weekly show and a USMTS modified mid week race. Never saw a local racing show in Florida while living there, and have yet to check out the two tracks on the far west side of ABQ, (both on the same property, one paved and the other dirt). Don't even know if those tracks are still running as I have not checked for over 2 years now.....
Ed K
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sentsat71
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Dave...
Thanks for posting that GK supermod again, is one of my favorites of your builds!! I can look at that build all day!!
Ed K
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Bayouman
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Thanks Ed! That Modified is a favorite of mine as well - modeled after a car that ran at Manzanita in Arizona, can't remember the name, but I remember the car from one of my Open Wheel Magazines. Rick Ziel has been all over the country running Sprints, so he probably does ring a bell with ya! I never forget coming home from a camping trip in about 1970, and there, in the driveway next door was a sprint car! The Ziels had moved in. He would push that car into the garage and we would help. Neat stuff! The track at Las Cruces, Mesilla Valley Speedway was a 1/4 mile high banked oval. We used to go all the time on Friday nights, then travel down to El Paso at Horizon Speedway. Every now and then, when Mom and Dad would let us, we would go to Juarez Mexico to their track. Wow, that was an experience! Since we moved to Louisiana, we have found some great tracks around here. Baton Rouge Speedway, mostly late models, but when they do have a sprint show, the place always sells out. Pike County Speedway in Magnolia Mississippi has hosted the World of Outlaws five times - AWESOME SHOW! The track has been sold, so not sure what will happen. Bunch of other local tracks close by - fantastic racing! Anyway, looks like you have been to some of the premiere dirt tracks in the country! Jealous am I!! Anyway, gotta get back to the midget, and I will try to get on track again!

Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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krwasson
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Kevin
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Bayouman
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Here is a short update. Getting some decals on, and working on finishing up the Midget....

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Thanks for looking, more to come...

Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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ronr
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B) :))) :))) :))) That turned out great!
RON ROYSTON
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sentsat71
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Oh Ho!!!

NOW I can see why you changed the color on the midget!!!

All I can say is: rrr rrr B) B) fbr jsm
Ed K
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sentsat71
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Dave,

Think I may have run across the supermod you're talking about, but now will have to page through a number of OW mags to find it again...lol

Still trying to find the issue that had a small pic of 2 GK sprints, but have found the issue talking about a gentleman by the name of Ron McCaw, that OW had a article on about scratchbuilding current (as in early to mid 1980's) sprints and even an Oswego type supermodified. According to the article, he had numerous conversations with Monogram and was most likely the one who got Monogram to bring out the Gambler and Challenger sprint kits....Of the 3 cars pictured, you can tell he used the GK tail and push bar for the 2 sprints pictured, though these tail pieces became actual "fuel tank"s, just wish they would have posted more pics.
Ed K
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Old Sprinter
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That midget turned out nice, man. I love the truck and trailer too. You do some cool stuff there, build more out of the box things. I find them a lot more fun than the everyday race cars. Whatever that is. Maybe a wild supermodified or that computer sprint car from the early 80 that some guy named Johnson built and raced with the WOO at devil's Bowl. Wing all goofy with the down tubes and fiberglass cross springs. Kenny Weld's last sprint car was way out there as well. I like your work and thanks for posting it.
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krwasson
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Kevin
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Bayouman
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Thanks a lot guys! I really appreciate it, especially from Master Builders like yall! WOW....And, Old Sprinter - I remember that sprint that you are talkin about - had an article about it in Open Wheel Magazine. Seems like I remember that it had the radiator mounted sideways and the top wing was all at a crazy angle. Wasn't there one too that had three wheels on the outside and one on the inside? I think they were running that thing in Knoxville, but that's all I remember. But maybe it was a super at Oswego perhaps....... And Ed, seems like I remember that the articles about the GK sprints and that modified.....gots ta build one of those one of these days!!! Thanks yall for all the great and kind comments...Working on the trailer now...more to come..

Bayouman
Laissez les bon temps roulet - "Let the Good Times Roll!"
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Old Sprinter
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Tommy Johnson's creation that did run at the Nationals. It wasn't the A main but he did run a few of the prelim races that year. He ended up selling it to Bobby Marshall's Dad who converted it into a roadster type sprinter and then the thing almost was burned to the ground in a freak accident.
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Here's Kenny Weld's last race car. It has that side mount radiator also; just can't see it in this picture.


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And the last is the 3 wheeler. Never got to race; banned before it ever made a heat race. Scary as HECK looking and Oswego was the track it tested on, I believe. Tim Richmond was the driver while it lasted.

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