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Thread: Old '53 or '54 Stock car from South Bend Speedway

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    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    Old '53 or '54 Stock car from South Bend Speedway


    I was looking through some old racing photos and came upon this photo of what appears to be a '53 or '54 Stude. going around the high banks of the South Bend Motor Speedway, my home track! This track is still in existance, and almost literally my back yard. I have rode my bike to it. Unfortunately, the tracks future looks pretty shakey as it is in danger of facing the wrecking ball.[V] It is in a way much likt the engineering building, still has a lot of life left in it, just, yeah...[V][B)] Still, thought this was a cool old pic![8D]

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    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    I love these old racing pictures. Tracks all over the country are threatened with extinction. Too bad the one in South Bend is one of them. I don't understand how you can have a track that has been there for many years with no problem, then somebody builds a house next door, knowing that auto racing is noisy, and complains loud enough to take the speedway away. Maybe I am missing something....

    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Editor of "The Down Easterner"
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    quote:I don't understand how you can have a track that has been there for many years with no problem, then somebody builds a house next door, knowing that auto racing is noisy, and complains loud enough to take the speedway away.

    I dont understand this at all myself but seems to happen all the time
    Tom


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    Our kids and some of their friends would load up and we would all go to the track for an evening at South Bend Motor Speedway. It was great fun.

    "It's like deja vu all over again."--Yogi Berra

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    President Member raoul5788's Avatar
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    quote:Originally posted by JRoberts

    I love these old racing pictures. Tracks all over the country are threatened with extinction. Too bad the one in South Bend is one of them. I don't understand how you can have a track that has been there for many years with no problem, then somebody builds a house next door, knowing that auto racing is noisy, and complains loud enough to take the speedway away. Maybe I am missing something....

    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Editor of "The Down Easterner"
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter
    It's like people that move next to a farm and then complain about the smell. Morons!


    Chip
    '63 Cruiser daily driver
    '57 Packard wagon on the road!

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    President Member klifton1's Avatar
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    We lost both drag strips in Minneapolis for that reason.
    Klif

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    Speedster Member Eugene's Avatar
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    Love it Cris, Keep it coming,

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    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    Actually, this track is not going not because of complaining neighbors, but poor up keep. The track needs work. The grand stand(s) need not only painted, but new boards put in place, the restrooms are a mess, the concession stand needs to be brought up to date, and the track needs to be repaved. It could easily be done. Every time they have a (once yearly) race, they would ask for volunteers to clean the track, and bunches of them always show up to work and show support for the track. Just another structure I would love to see saved.[V]

    Chris Dresbach

    1940 Champion two door.
    Parts of the 1952 Model N

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    Stude @ South Bend Motor Speedway

    Cool Picture, I have a photo from that speedway dated 1956, it shows the 101 car ('37 Dictator) right in front of the # 300 car on it's lid, at speed!

    Anyone tell me how to post attachments here I'll share it with you.

    Joe Jackmovich, Rapid City, SD

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    I have one from Soo Speedway, Souix Falls S.D. taken in June of 1956. It appears to be a 47/48/49 Commander, #88. I would be happy to post it if I only knew how.....which slot do I insert the photo? I tried the "C" drive, but it didn't fit....
    Lou Van Anne

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    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Chris: I believe I've only been past the SBMS once.

    Is it on the southwest side of town, just north of the new U.S.20 bypass somewhere? BP

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobPalma View Post
    Chris: I believe I've only been past the SBMS once.

    Is it on the southwest side of town, just north of the new U.S.20 bypass somewhere? BP
    It is SW on SR 2. With development through the years it might be considered W now. It used to be on the outskirts of the city.
    "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I ended up where I needed to be." Douglas Adams

  13. #13
    President Member Chris_Dresbach's Avatar
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    From the bypass, if you are heading toward the proving geound you can't miss it.

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    Chris, I think your '53-'54 "Sedan" racer, is a Land Cruiser with the glass and vent window pillars removed.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner



  16. #16
    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeRich View Post
    Chris, I think your '53-'54 "Sedan" racer, is a Land Cruiser with the glass and vent window pillars removed.
    I think you are correct on this. That rear side window is pretty large. Could this be a '55 as well?
    Joe Roberts
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    Silver Hawk Member Bob Andrews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRoberts View Post
    I don't understand how you can have a track that has been there for many years with no problem, then somebody builds a house next door, knowing that auto racing is noisy, and complains loud enough to take the speedway away. Maybe I am missing something....
    Nope, that's just how people are these days- self-centered and spoiled, no common sense or care for others, or even their country. Look at what happens whenever anyone is asked to make even ONE compromise- they shriek like babies. History will look back on present times and "The Embarassing Period"...

    Oswego (NY) Speedway has been operating since 1951. It's an historic track known around the world. It has always played host to the fastest short-track cars in the world, the Supermodifieds. Many superstars of racing have turned laps here, incluing Indy competitors. Situated on the Eastern edge of the city of Oswego, it has been an integral part of the city, and the area, for six decades, and brings loads of commerce for local businesses every summer.

    About 15 years ago, an upscale housing project was built a few hundred yards off the third turn. They knew the track had always been there, and that 15 or 16 Saturday nights per year there would be racing. The back grandstands are clearly visible from most houses on the street.

    So what happened? The 20 or so houses were built and sold. Before long, the owners started whining to the city about the noise. To my ear, 25 fuel-injected 467 Chevies on alcohol turning 7500 RPM is some of the sweetest music there is; to this day, if I don't go to the races I can't stand to go by and hear them because then I have to drop my plans and head in! But these arrogant pricks not only don't appreciate it, they think everyone must bow to their childish whims and CLOSE THE TRACK. As it stands today, there exists a delicate symbiosis- the track built a big fence along the property line to the specs of the house owners, and there is an 11PM curfew; and they still nip at the heels of the owners occasionally. It really angers and frustrates decent people, but it's the way of the world. Moreover, oval track racing has been the center of my entire life since about 8 years old; I don't know what the snooty people live for, but I can guarantee I won't try to getting in the middle of it. Live and let live.

    Not the way people are today.
    Proud NON-CASO

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    Silver Hawk Member Bob Andrews's Avatar
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    Another note: I was thinking how funny-looking 50s cars look as race cars. That prompted me to share this picture of my friend, the great Bentley Warren, 1965. Ben turned 70 last week (what a party!) and still can wheel a Super competitively- and is still one of the funniest guys you could ever meet!



    A page from a program, a few years later:



    Long live Bentley, and long live Oswego Speedway!
    Proud NON-CASO

    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Ephesians 6:10-17
    Romans 15:13
    Deuteronomy 31:6
    Proverbs 28:1

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    Golden Hawk Member BobPalma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Andrews View Post
    Another note: I was thinking how funny-looking 50s cars look as race cars. That prompted me to share this picture of my friend, the great Bentley Warren, 1965. Ben turned 70 last week (what a party!) and still can wheel a Super competitively- and is still one of the funniest guys you could ever meet!



    Long live Bentley, and long live Oswego Speedway!

    Bob: I note what appears to be a Chevy truck from a Dan Castello(?) Used Cars pushing Bentley off. Would that have been one of your Dad's competitors? BP

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    I'm trying to work a deal with a fella in Sioux Falls SD, to purchase his '57 Silver Hawk and turn it in to a period correct dirt track car for Black Hills Speedway in Rapid City, that track has been open since 1949.

    Lou Ann, Soo Speedway is no longer there, the current track is on the outside of Sioux Falls, in Brandon, Sd and the track is called Huset's Speedway. WISSOTA Auto Racing and IMCA are the two biggest sanctioning bodies in our neck 'o the woods. Haven't been to SB Motor Speedway since the early '60s. The old man used to run at Playland Park back then too, I believe it's a golf course now?

    Joe Jackmovich, Rapid City, SD

    South Bend

    Clay High School class of '72

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    President Member StudHawk60's Avatar
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    As stated above, SBMS has been purchased by a family who is dedicated to rejunvenate the track.

    http://racesouthbendmotorspeedway.com/

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    President Member raoul5788's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Andrews View Post
    Nope, that's just how people are these days- self-centered and spoiled, no common sense or care for others, or even their country. Look at what happens whenever anyone is asked to make even ONE compromise- they shriek like babies. History will look back on present times and "The Embarassing Period"...

    Oswego (NY) Speedway has been operating since 1951. It's an historic track known around the world. It has always played host to the fastest short-track cars in the world, the Supermodifieds. Many superstars of racing have turned laps here, incluing Indy competitors. Situated on the Eastern edge of the city of Oswego, it has been an integral part of the city, and the area, for six decades, and brings loads of commerce for local businesses every summer.

    About 15 years ago, an upscale housing project was built a few hundred yards off the third turn. They knew the track had always been there, and that 15 or 16 Saturday nights per year there would be racing. The back grandstands are clearly visible from most houses on the street.

    So what happened? The 20 or so houses were built and sold. Before long, the owners started whining to the city about the noise. To my ear, 25 fuel-injected 467 Chevies on alcohol turning 7500 RPM is some of the sweetest music there is; to this day, if I don't go to the races I can't stand to go by and hear them because then I have to drop my plans and head in! But these arrogant pricks not only don't appreciate it, they think everyone must bow to their childish whims and CLOSE THE TRACK. As it stands today, there exists a delicate symbiosis- the track built a big fence along the property line to the specs of the house owners, and there is an 11PM curfew; and they still nip at the heels of the owners occasionally. It really angers and frustrates decent people, but it's the way of the world. Moreover, oval track racing has been the center of my entire life since about 8 years old; I don't know what the snooty people live for, but I can guarantee I won't try to getting in the middle of it. Live and let live.

    Not the way people are today.
    It doesn't really matter the situation Bob. People will complain whether it's an existing track like you mention or like I said, the moron who moves near a farm and then complains about the smell. How people could be that way is beyond me. I live behind a middle school and love to hear them playing baseball and softball there. I'm close enough to the baseball diamond that I occasionally get a foul ball in my yard. Who wouldn't love that!
    Chip
    '63 Cruiser
    '57 Packard wagon
    '61 Lark Regal 4 Dr Wagon

  23. #23
    Silver Hawk Member Bob Andrews's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobPalma View Post
    Bob: I note what appears to be a Chevy truck from a Dan Castello(?) Used Cars pushing Bentley off. Would that have been one of your Dad's competitors? BP
    I would guess not, based on a few assumptions:

    1. In the 60s Dad was operating about 30 miles away from Oswego, in Syracuse. In those days that was a 'fur piece'.

    2. I'm assuming Castello's was from Oswego, but actually they could have been from anywhere.

    3. That truck would be pretty new in that picture; so it must have been a pretty substantial business that could dedicate a truck that new to race track duty. Were it local, I might have heard of it.

    4. Even if they were 20 or 30 miles away, while that's local today, it would not necessarily have been in the days before internet and wide-spread TV.

    Of course, the definitive answer passed on May 5, 1984 with my dear Father.

    I'm curious about the wheels on that truck...

    A unique thing about Oswego Speedway and push trucks: The headline class, the Supermodifieds, have always been without battery, starter, or clutch. The cars are pushed to the staging area; the driver then engages the in/out box; the pit steward rocks the car back and forth to assure it's engaged; then the push truck pushes it off. This is the case with every car, so there is always a whole contingent of maybe 20-25 push trucks- just regular fans with their own pickups, with push bumpers installed. Mostly they're modern trucks, but in years past some have built customs like 'The Pig Rigs'; two trucks built by The Hogman, Pete LaFave, in the early 80s. One was a 58 Ford, one a 59 Chevy, both short-box half-tons, both white with flames. One had a 455 Buick, one a 455 Olds. Pete drove one, and his daughter Lisa drove the other (yes, I dated her for a while, but that's another story). When it was time to go, they would bake the rear tires off those trucks getting the cars underway, and the crowd LOVED it. To this day, when the feature field is pushed off, many of the trucks spin their tires too.

    As for the Hogman, he's retired from pushing, but is as cantankerous as ever. And Lisa? You gotta love a motorhead chick that's cute and digs race car drivers, but long about 1985 Miss Linda Annal done stoleded my heart
    Proud NON-CASO

    I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

    If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth—let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

    GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Ephesians 6:10-17
    Romans 15:13
    Deuteronomy 31:6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapidcityman View Post
    >>>Haven't been to SB Motor Speedway since the early '60s. The old man used to run at Playland Park back then too, I believe it's a golf course now? Joe Jackmovich, Rapid City, SD South Bend Clay High School class of '72
    Joe, the racetrack is gone …the golf course is gone too ...BUT the Grandstand still stands ...or at least the concrete portion does.

    To add a little "Studebaker" content, Playland Park is where Studebaker held the company picnic during the 50's.

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    President Member starliner62's Avatar
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    At least they don't have to dodge bullets. by the way the next time I come over, I'm wearing Kevlar

    Quote Originally Posted by JRoberts View Post
    I love these old racing pictures. Tracks all over the country are threatened with extinction. Too bad the one in South Bend is one of them. I don't understand how you can have a track that has been there for many years with no problem, then somebody builds a house next door, knowing that auto racing is noisy, and complains loud enough to take the speedway away. Maybe I am missing something....

    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Editor of "The Down Easterner"
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter
    Jamie McLeod
    Hope Mills, NC

    1963 Lark "Ugly Betty"
    1958 Commander "Christine"

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    Silver Hawk Member JRoberts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starliner62 View Post
    At least they don't have to dodge bullets. by the way the next time I come over, I'm wearing Kevlar
    Joe Roberts
    '61 R1 Champ
    '65 Cruiser
    Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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    Rapid City--

    Like this?

    ...seen in northwestern Ontario this past summer...

    S.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Welcome View Post
    Joe, the racetrack is gone …the golf course is gone too ...BUT the Grandstand still stands ...or at least the concrete portion does.

    To add a little "Studebaker" content, Playland Park is where Studebaker held the company picnic during the 50's.
    Help me out on the location of Playland Park? Could it be near the zoo?

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    President Member Deaf Mute's Avatar
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    Perhaps we should support the South Bend race track and attend the race while we are in town for the annual spring swap!

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    "cept mine will be the stock steel body and the cage will be a little shorter in height so I can lower the top a little bit, those B-pillars look a little tall but that is what I have in mind. I'd run a two tone paint with hood and fins the same color.
    Last edited by rapidcityman; 12-16-2010 at 11:48 PM.

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    That's the spirit Duane, I support speedways where ever I travel. I hope to be in South Bend in 2012 and would make time to attend the races.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Bryant View Post
    Help me out on the location of Playland Park? Could it be near the zoo?
    Location? Go to this site; click on “Playland Park” and then zoom in to suit your fancy to see where it “WAS” located:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?t=m&q=ht...D6082%26ot%3D3

    For more about Playland Park in South Bend, with a little “Studebaker” content, click here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqAYO5QhiV4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Welcome;

    For more about Playland Park in South Bend, with a little “Studebaker” content, click here:
    [url
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqAYO5QhiV4[/url][/COLOR]
    Jim: Thanks for the info. Enjoyed the youtube on the park. I guess cities in that era usually had an amusement park. As a kid we really looked forward to visiting Swinney Park in Ft. Wayne which was similar and probably long gone.

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    Seems like the river was closer to the track in my memory. I remember crossing a bridge to the East of the grandstands built in to the hill, we heading North to go home, but then that was back in the Jurasic period!!

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