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  • Peter Magel

    Peter Magel 1952 Starlight coupe The Maggot made it to the indy national in 69 to race the chicken hawk in its original form. I never knew his personally but I think he deserves a place on here. Feel free to add to this post.

    MAGEL - Peter J. Of Clarence, NY, passed away August 11, 2014. Peter was born in Clarence on June 18, 1938 and was the son of the late Carl and Alberta (Pflieger) Magel. Peter lived on Bodine Rd. in Clarence and ran an auto repair facility on Saw Mill Rd. While he did some service work, his main source of income was the prize money he earned racing a 1952 Studebaker and a 1952 Hudson at various racetracks around the country. He was seldom, if ever, beaten at Lancaster, Niagara Falls, Cayuga, Ontario, Muncie and Indianapolis, IN, etc. tracks, with his racing confined to the Eastern U.S. and Canada. He placed as high as second in the "Nationals" at Indianapolis. As he had little money, he engineered and sometimes built his cars in his Clarence garage. Consequently, he was a crowd favorite as the working man's racer. Peter is survived by his brother Carr Magel and his wife Barbara of Auburn, NY, his nieces Tamara Magel of the Hamptons, Jamie Rathbone (Shawn) of Auburn, and nephew Jason Magel (Michelle) of Glendale, AZ, along with their children. He was predeceased by his parents and brother John Magel. As it is a family practice to donate their bodies to medical school science, Peter's body was donated to the University of Buffalo. Because if these circumstances, there are no funeral services. Contributions should be made to a
    charity of choice
    and are deeply appreciated. Online condolences can be made to carrmagel@gmail.com who will share them with the family.

    Published in the Buffalo News on Aug. 24, 2014
    - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/buf...EUWc.dpufMAGEL - Peter J. Of Clarence, NY, passed away August 11, 2014. Peter was born in Clarence on June 18, 1938 and was the son of the late Carl and Alberta (Pflieger) Magel. Peter lived on Bodine Rd. in Clarence and ran an auto repair facility on Saw Mill Rd. While he did some service work, his main source of income was the prize money he earned racing a 1952 Studebaker and a 1952 Hudson at various racetracks around the country. He was seldom, if ever, beaten at Lancaster, Niagara Falls, Cayuga, Ontario, Muncie and Indianapolis, IN, etc. tracks, with his racing confined to the Eastern U.S. and Canada. He placed as high as second in the "Nationals" at Indianapolis. As he had little money, he engineered and sometimes built his cars in his Clarence garage. Consequently, he was a crowd favorite as the working man's racer. Peter is survived by his brother Carr Magel and his wife Barbara of Auburn, NY, his nieces Tamara Magel of the Hamptons, Jamie Rathbone (Shawn) of Auburn, and nephew Jason Magel (Michelle) of Glendale, AZ, along with their children. He was predeceased by his parents and brother John Magel. As it is a family practice to donate their bodies to medical school science, Peter's body was donated to the University of Buffalo. Because if these circumstances, there are no funeral services. Contributions should be made to a charity of choice
    and are deeply appreciated. Online condolences can be made to carrmagel@gmail.com who will share them with the family.


    Published in the Buffalo News on Aug. 24, 2014
    - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/buf....VjrTEUWc.dpuf



    MAGEL - Peter J. Of Clarence, NY, passed away August 11, 2014. Peter was born in Clarence on June 18, 1938 and was the son of the late Carl and Alberta (Pflieger) Magel. Peter lived on Bodine Rd. in Clarence and ran an auto repair facility on Saw Mill Rd. While he did some service work, his main source of income was the prize money he earned racing a 1952 Studebaker and a 1952 Hudson at various racetracks around the country. He was seldom, if ever, beaten at Lancaster, Niagara Falls, Cayuga, Ontario, Muncie and Indianapolis, IN, etc. tracks, with his racing confined to the Eastern U.S. and Canada. He placed as high as second in the "Nationals" at Indianapolis. As he had little money, he engineered and sometimes built his cars in his Clarence garage. Consequently, he was a crowd favorite as the working man's racer. Peter is survived by his brother Carr Magel and his wife Barbara of Auburn, NY, his nieces Tamara Magel of the Hamptons, Jamie Rathbone (Shawn) of Auburn, and nephew Jason Magel (Michelle) of Glendale, AZ, along with their children. He was predeceased by his parents and brother John Magel. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/buf....Ajxwhaso.dpuf

    MAGEL - Peter J. Of Clarence, NY, passed away August 11, 2014. Peter was born in Clarence on June 18, 1938 and was the son of the late Carl and Alberta (Pflieger) Magel. Peter lived on Bodine Rd. in Clarence and ran an auto repair facility on Saw Mill Rd. While he did some service work, his main source of income was the prize money he earned racing a 1952 Studebaker and a 1952 Hudson at various racetracks around the country. He was seldom, if ever, beaten at Lancaster, Niagara Falls, Cayuga, Ontario, Muncie and Indianapolis, IN, etc. tracks, with his racing confined to the Eastern U.S. and Canada. He placed as high as second in the "Nationals" at Indianapolis. As he had little money, he engineered and sometimes built his cars in his Clarence garage. Consequently, he was a crowd favorite as the working man's racer. Peter is survived by his brother Carr Magel and his wife Barbara of Auburn, NY, his nieces Tamara Magel of the Hamptons, Jamie Rathbone (Shawn) of Auburn, and nephew Jason Magel (Michelle) of Glendale, AZ, along with their children. He was predeceased by his parents and brother John Magel. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/buf....Ajxwhaso.dpuf

  • #2
    Peter has had a tough go of it for quite a few years, now.

    He was one helluva Studebaker competitor against Ted Harbit, and Ted will hopefully post the story of competing against Peter at The National Drags in Indianapolis that proved what a decent man Peter was.

    RIP, Peter. 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.

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    • #3
      I loved the indy story, The maggot is what peaked my interest in studebakers. The little details of the car is wild so many little touches done to the car to save weight where ever he could. I had it running last year, just down to needing a new drivers side header, hoping to bring the car back to life, leaving alone as much as possible on the car. I know how much time he spent on that car I consider myself the caretaker of the car for now, in time I would eventually like to see it at a museum.

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      • #4
        [QUOTE=BobPalma;897706] Peter has had a tough go of it for quite a few years, now.

        He was one helluva Studebaker competitor against Ted Harbit, and Ted will hopefully post the story of competing against Peter at The National Drags in Indianapolis that proved what a decent man Peter was.

        RIP, Peter. BP[/QUOTE:

        Sorry so late in answering this but just saw it.

        Back in the early 1960's Peter and I exchanged letters (I remember sending them to Clarence, NY) since we both ran the same class and both ran 232 Studes. Peter is a very special individual and when I tell you this story, you will have to agree.

        In the mid '60's, Peter towed the Maggot from New York to Indy for the US Nationals. I don't recall the exact year but we were paired in what I think was the trophy run against each other. We had a very good race and when we crossed the finish line Peter's win light came on. I felt sure the Chicken Hawk crossed the line first but wasn't going to say anything since it was close.

        When we got back to the pits Peter come over and asked what happened. I didn't know what he meant, then he said, "You crossed the line first but my win light came on". I said I didn't know what happened but it was a close race. Peter said let's go to the tower. When we got there Peter told them his win light came on but he had lost and that a paper or something must have blown in front of his light to trip it.

        They checked the et and speeds and the Chicken Hawk did do slightly better but they said that didn't prove who crossed first but if he was sure he lost they would declare us the winner. At that time they did not have the reaction times.

        Now how many people do you think would tow all the way from New York to Indy and go to the trouble to be sure the right car got the win? I'll never forget that. I considered Peter a good friend but that was something that really stood out in my memories of Peter.

        A couple years later I went to Englishtown, NJ for the Springnational Meet and Peter was there but he was having some trouble of some kind with the Maggot. If I remember correctly, I think it was something to do with the valves and his car was not running nearly as good as it should. I really felt sorry for him as he worked hard on the car and to have it run so good normally and at this meet it just wasn't doing well at all.

        I really don't know much about the car as I only saw it those two times, once at the Nationals in Indy and the other time at the Springnationals in NJ and being close to 50 years ago I just don't recall much. I have trouble remembering last year, let alone 50 years ago but I know Peter was a special individual.

        Ted

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        • #5
          Vintagestitch, your quote "I consider myself the caretaker of the car for now, in time I would eventually like to see it at a museum." caught my eye. I think the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend might have room for a car with that history. I, personally, had never heard of the car; but would like to see it someday (especially since the Chicken Hawk is now history and future generations will not "know" what competition they provided to the "brand X cars" on the strip).

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          • #6
            I have to be careful what I say about Peter and the Maggot as I as biased in that Peter was my kid brother who I loved very much. Anything I have been able to do to get him the recognition he deserved I did but it was difficult as I was never close to that part of his life outside of buying him the garage in Clarence N Y ( did not live close and had a family ) .
            I was recenly over joyed to be contacted by Peter Crisitello with the Studebaker Drivers Club who is doing a Rememberance Project and was looking for some Picts. Of Peter and the Maggot together. I can't find any ( any help ?)
            in fact in family Picts. I can't find any thing of him over 15 yrs. old.
            When the Maggot was sold I thought I had control of the car as he was depressed after the demise of Jr. Stock ( his life )
            And I was selling the Maggot and his other Studebaker project on Consignment. That never happened and the Maggot was sold with out Peters or my permission for some give away price ( couple of thou) to what I believe is the present owner
            who was un aware of the situation.
            As iCannot do any thing more to honor Peter and the Maggots history I would be overjoyed if the present owner could
            achieve his desire to get the Maggot into a museum as that would take Peter with it.
            The support from many people before Peter died ( Ted Harbit, Bob Palma, Neil Smedly for x ) was over wheel ing but all pass ons to Peter did little good as to how he was feeling as Jr Stock and the Maggot were gone and he knew he was dying.
            I'm not sorry he did the right thing with Ted and the Chicken Hawk as with any sport if you don't keep it right it turns to crap ( Peter and the Niagara raceway a great example of that but no room here ) but that would have been a great win for him and kept him in the record books for all x ( second doesn't last to long ) Maybe now people are doing for him what I
            Was unable to do.. To them my heart felt thanks. Carrw If any body has Picts. carrmagel@gmail.com
            Last edited by Carrw; 02-15-2015, 01:27 AM. Reason: Few errors

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