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View Full Version : Old '53 or '54 Stock car from South Bend Speedway



Chris_Dresbach
03-01-2010, 11:35 PM
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/racing54-1.jpg
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]:)

Chris Dresbach
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/Studebaker%201/ModelN-1-1.jpghttp://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/40champion-1-1.jpghttp://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/Studebaker%201/N10-1-1.jpg
1940 Champion two door.
Parts of the 1952 Model N

JRoberts
03-02-2010, 05:33 AM
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

COMMANDERPINK1
03-02-2010, 06:05 AM
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

http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/xx240/TOMLSEXTON/Iowa036.jpg

Bob Bryant
03-02-2010, 09:22 AM
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

raoul5788
03-02-2010, 09:24 AM
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!

klifton1
03-02-2010, 10:26 AM
We lost both drag strips in Minneapolis for that reason.
Klif

55 Speedster
63 Avanti R2
63 Lark R2

Eugene
03-02-2010, 10:31 AM
Love it Cris, Keep it coming,

Chris_Dresbach
03-02-2010, 09:47 PM
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
http://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/Studebaker%201/ModelN-1-1.jpghttp://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/40champion-1-1.jpghttp://i768.photobucket.com/albums/xx323/chris_dresbach/Studebaker%201/N10-1-1.jpg
1940 Champion two door.
Parts of the 1952 Model N

rapidcityman
12-13-2010, 07:20 PM
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

Lou Van Anne
12-13-2010, 07:55 PM
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

BobPalma
12-13-2010, 08:55 PM
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

Bob Bryant
12-13-2010, 09:40 PM
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.

Chris_Dresbach
12-13-2010, 09:45 PM
From the bypass, if you are heading toward the proving geound you can't miss it.

Welcome
12-13-2010, 10:13 PM
Good news!!!

http://www.wndu.com/localnews/headlines/Racing_will_resume_at_South_Bend_Motor_Speedway_111691259.html

StudeRich
12-14-2010, 01:54 AM
Chris, I think your '53-'54 "Sedan" racer, is a Land Cruiser with the glass and vent window pillars removed.

JRoberts
12-14-2010, 05:13 AM
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?

Bob Andrews
12-14-2010, 05:24 AM
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.

Bob Andrews
12-14-2010, 05:32 AM
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!

http://i712.photobucket.com/albums/ww124/supermt04/21car2.jpg

A page from a program, a few years later:

http://i712.photobucket.com/albums/ww124/supermt04/69Pocono2.jpg

Long live Bentley, and long live Oswego Speedway!:cool:

BobPalma
12-14-2010, 06:03 AM
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!

http://i712.photobucket.com/albums/ww124/supermt04/21car2.jpg

Long live Bentley, and long live Oswego Speedway!:cool:


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

rapidcityman
12-15-2010, 10:23 AM
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

StudHawk60
12-15-2010, 11:17 AM
As stated above, SBMS has been purchased by a family who is dedicated to rejunvenate the track.

http://racesouthbendmotorspeedway.com/

raoul5788
12-15-2010, 12:24 PM
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!

Bob Andrews
12-15-2010, 03:34 PM
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:)

Welcome
12-15-2010, 04:10 PM
>>>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.:cool:

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

starliner62
12-15-2010, 05:35 PM
At least they don't have to dodge bullets. by the way the next time I come over, I'm wearing Kevlar


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

JRoberts
12-15-2010, 06:07 PM
At least they don't have to dodge bullets. by the way the next time I come over, I'm wearing Kevlar

:( :( :( :( :(

Steve T
12-16-2010, 01:53 PM
Rapid City--

Like this?
http://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll260/StudeSteve/Some%20Other%20Studebakers/100_1588.jpg
...seen in northwestern Ontario this past summer...

S.

Bob Bryant
12-16-2010, 02:08 PM
Joe, the racetrack is gone …the golf course is gone too ...BUT the Grandstand still stands ...or at least the concrete portion does.:cool:

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?

Deaf Mute
12-16-2010, 02:17 PM
Perhaps we should support the South Bend race track and attend the race while we are in town for the annual spring swap!

rapidcityman
12-16-2010, 10:39 PM
"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.

rapidcityman
12-16-2010, 10:52 PM
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.

Welcome
12-17-2010, 06:46 AM
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=http://www.rcdb.com/coord.kml%3Fno%3D6082%26ot%3D3

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

Bob Bryant
12-17-2010, 09:27 AM
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.

rapidcityman
12-17-2010, 06:03 PM
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!!