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Peter Megel's 52 Studebaker Maggot

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  • Peter Megel's 52 Studebaker Maggot

    I'm sure there are some "older " quarter mile fans that remember Peter Megel and his 52 starlite Commander coupe called the Maggot ?
    When I was a teenager I used to go watch him win every sunday at Kolher dragstrip , which is near my home town . Back then I had a 52 Champion starlite and Peter had this white 52 Commander who I idolized. Guys like Ted Harbit most likely know him , I'm sure.
    Anyways I've been talking with his brother the past few months , Peter is in a nursing home now and Peter has 2 Studebakers in storage out in western NY which I finally got to see today .....and low and behold one of them is the Maggot ! Gosh it was nice to see it but its been stored in this building for over 10 years now and its showing its age . It sure brought back some old memorys for me .
    I did take my camera but the owner of the building wouldn't let me take any pictures because of other cars stored in there. I was disappointed not being able to get pictures because I know a few old racers around these parts that would of liked to see the car.
    Anyways it still exists so thats a good thing for sure and it was a pleasure for this guy to see it !
    Last edited by 2R5; 09-02-2011, 01:25 PM.
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    Home of the Fried Green Tomato

    "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

    1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

  • #2
    Indeed, Ted Harbit does remember Peter Magel.

    Some time ago, Ted told me of running Peter one time in the eliminations in class at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The win light came on in Peter's lane even though Ted had clearly won that round! Peter was gentleman enough to call it to the tower's attention so Ted could stay in the eliminations!

    Here is what Ted had to say in his return e-mail this afternoon:

    Bob: Yes, I remember Peter and his car the Maggot. He only came to the Nationals that one time as I recall and he did go to the tower and admitted he crossed the line second even though his win light came on. I'll never forget that as I'm sure there aren't many that would admit that and the fact that he came all the way from New York to run.

    At the time, someone mentioned that a piece of paper or ??? might have blown in front of one of the win lights. Or maybe the win light malfunctioned. For years NHRA denied that was possible but just a few years ago at the Nationals there was a picture of a motorcycle crossing the line first but the other guys win light came on.

    Then NHRA had to admit it was possible to malfunction unless a foreign object blocked one of the win lights.

    Muncie has this happen quite regularly. I've been on both ends of this various times as well as John Feistritzer has in his supercharged '57 Ford. The strip managers said it was impossible and I even started videoing the finish line and was able to prove it but the managers still argued it was an optical illusion or something and wouldn't admit it until it happened at the Nationals.

    I ran against Peter another time at the SpringNationals in Englishtown, New Jersey. I think it was 1968 but not sure. [Edit: Yes, Ted; it was 1968 and you won your class at The SpringNationals. BP] I thought we might have some really good close runs but his car was having problems and wasn't running good at all.

    I remember Peter called the Muncie strip MOONcie.

    Sorry to hear he is not well. TH
    Last edited by BobPalma; 09-03-2011, 07:44 AM. Reason: spelling
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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    • #3
      Bob you sound a little disapointed with the car,was it too far down the road for restoration,too much $$$ for what it was.Give us details !

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      • #4
        Kevin , its just too much story here to talk about ( I can't type that much )
        Long story we'll have to sit down and talk about it someday .
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        Home of the Fried Green Tomato

        "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

        1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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        • #5
          There is a thread on the H.A.M.B. forum that may have a picture of the car for which you are looking. I know there are some '52's I have seen there. It will take a while looking through the thread as it is long and has been around for a long time. I have not looked there recently. It is titled something like "NHRA Junior Stock." I think if you use this in a search you will come accross it.
          Joe Roberts
          '61 R1 Champ
          '65 Cruiser
          Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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          • #6
            Here's a picture. It's spelled Magel, btw:

            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

            Illegitimi non carborundum

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob Andrews View Post
              Here's a picture. It's spelled Magel, btw:

              Thanks, Bob; spelling corrected in my post above.

              Did anyone notice "off" being misspelled "of" in the photo's caption? And that was before spel-chek! <GGG>

              How close to your place is that drag strip, Bob? Is it extant? BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              Ayn Rand:
              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BobPalma View Post
                How close to your place is that drag strip, Bob? Is it extant? BP
                If you mean me, not very close. I know there's a Cayuga Speedway where I raced in the 80s which is a paved oval It was the site of the first ever DIRT on Asphalt series race (dirt mods on pavement). Don't know if it had or has a drag strip, or if it's even the same facility.
                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

                Illegitimi non carborundum

                Comment


                • #9
                  This thread started out talking about a 52, but the car in the picture is a 51. Did he change to a 52 at some point?
                  sigpic

                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  Searcy, Arkansas
                  1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                  1952 2R pickup

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 52-fan View Post
                    This thread started out talking about a 52, but the car in the picture is a 51. Did he change to a 52 at some point?
                    I have no idea. I just binged Pete Magel and found this picture.
                    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

                    Illegitimi non carborundum

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is not the person or '52 you were looking for, but it is a picture of Ted Harbit taking on a '52:



                      "The M/Stock class final. Here's Ted Harbit proving to Bill Wendt that the bullet nose Studebaker's
                      aerodynamics were better than the Studebaker Commander to the tune of 16.57 @ 80.50 mph and a class
                      win."
                      Joe Roberts
                      '61 R1 Champ
                      '65 Cruiser
                      Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                      • #12
                        I couldn't find a picture of Peter Megel's Stude but it seems it made a very good impression on his fellow junior stockers of the day. Lots of comments about how he was one you would have to deal with as you went Stock Eliminations. Here are a couple of clippings that I think go with the picture Bob posted earlier:



                        Joe Roberts
                        '61 R1 Champ
                        '65 Cruiser
                        Eastern North Carolina Chapter

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                        • #13
                          Bob Andrews ...thanks for that picture ! Thats the Maggot alright and 52fan it is a 52 in the picture it just has had all the hood and trunk chrome removed and the tailites are 51. The car looks just about as good as back when this picture was taken but the printing on the sides have been removed.
                          sigpic

                          Home of the Fried Green Tomato

                          "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

                          1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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                          • #14
                            Very cool. It would be fun to restore it to it's best racing condition, including authentically recreating the lettering.

                            Is it for sale?
                            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

                            Illegitimi non carborundum

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              By the way Cayuga drag strip in that article is the one near me that I used to hang around when I was a teen.
                              I really wouldn't restore the car just maybe mechanics and put that lettering back on for sure. I think the car can be bought .
                              I see in that picture the hood is up a little on the passenger side hinge....well it still is like that , one arm on the hinge is missing and there are no hinge springs on either side.
                              sigpic

                              Home of the Fried Green Tomato

                              "IF YOU WANT THE SMILES YOU NEED TO DO THE MILES "

                              1960 Champ , 1966 Daytona , 1965 Daytona Wagonaire

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