Saturday, May 28, 2016

100th running of the Indianapolis 500 Tomorrow

                      The Indy 500 is without a doubt the greatest motor race in the world .
Tomorrows running of the 100th attests to its exciting racing through the years. This years race is sold out with the greater Indianapolis bursting at the seams with the throng.
The Indy 500 never fails to supply intrigue and nail biting tension and pure joy for 500 very fast miles.  Watch Sundays ABC coverage from at least an hour before the 9:15 am start. You will witness a big slice of Americana. This years pole sitter, Canadian James Hinchcliffe showed tremendous commitment and resolve when he came back from a devastating wreck in practice for last years race.
In the wreck, a suspension piece pierced his leg and he came close to bleeding to death before medical assistance could be rendered. Thankfully he survived and came back full steam this year. In spectacular fashion, he won the pole as the last driver in a 9 man shootout on Pole Day and won the coveted starting position with a four lap average of 230.760 for which he won $100,000.
Parnelli Jones celebrates the first 150 mph lap. A huge milestone that a few years prior was though to be impossible.
Rufus "Parnelli" Jones, American Hero, won his first and only 500 in 1963 driving J.C. Agajanian's Ol' Cahoun. This was the last front engined Roadster to win at the Brickyard.
In '63 Jim Clark and Team lotus showed up with their Ford Mustang V8 stock block powered rear engined car and changed the whole concept of getting around the 2.5 mile track
Parnelli Jones again baffled Fans and competitors with the STP Turbine in 1967.
The car was silent and super fast and I remember being confused and annoyed with this thing.
I thought this could be the end of what we love about Indy, the screaming internal combustion engine, flat out and wide open for 500 miles. Parnelli lead with just a few miles to go and looked invincible but, God looked down and saw what was happening and made a 10 cent bearing seize in the motor and P.J. pulled to the side of the track, victory wrenched from his hands. I thought really bad for my Hero but loved seeing the Whooshmobile smoking motionless by the side of the track. Turbines were tried a number of times but fortunately never succeeded.
Jim Clark was a big winner at the Brickyard and hugely popular and Lotus was always a leader in innovation including this off-set design that did not work.

All kinds of ideas have been tried including these wacky wings on the Vel's Parnelli Jones Special, even with Mario Andretti at the wheel it was slow.
They took the side wings off and the car came alive.

Here is Sunday's event schedule prior to the 500.
Unfortunately Jim Neighbors wont be singing " Back Home again in Indiana" but when you here that beautiful song , it is time to tighten down the belts and get ready for the greatest race in the world.

  • 8-10 a.m. - Borg-Warner Trophy March to the Bricks
  • 8-9:15 a.m. - Parade of Bands
  • 9 a.m. - Celebrity Red Carpet - Pagoda Plaza
  • 9:45 a.m. - 500 Festival Princess Lap
  • 10:06 a.m. - "On The Banks of the Wabash" performed by Purdue University Band
  • 10:25 a.m. - Green Flag Delivered to Turn 1 by IU Health Helicopter
  • 10:40am - Former Indy 500 Champion Laps
  • 11 a.m. - Decade Car Laps
  • 11:10 a.m. - Military Silverado Laps
  • 11:38 a.m. - Driver introductions
  • 11:52 a.m. - "America the Beautiful" - performed by Military Trio with Purdue Band
  • 11:54 a.m. - Military Speech - General Anderson
  • 11:55 a.m. - Presentation of Colors
  • 11:56 a.m. - Invocation - Archbishop of Indianapolis
  • 11:57 a.m. - "Taps"
  • 11:58 a.m. - "God Bless America"
  • 12:01 p.m. - "National Anthem" - performed by Darius Rucker
  • 12:03 p.m. - Military Flyover
  • 12:12 p.m. - "Back Home Again in Indiana" - performed by Josh Kaufman and ICC
  • 12:14 p.m. - "Drivers Start Your Engines"
  • 12:19 p.m. - 100th Running of the Indy 500 - 200 Laps

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Double Knocker Norton

 The Original Manx Norton, 500cc Double Knocker, Garden Gate Frame.
This was the beginning of many years of the Norton Manx dominating in 
Road Racing world wide in the 50's and early 60's. The Featherbed followed this model.
 This particular Manx was found in San Diego and after some investigation was found to be the 1950 Daytona Winner of Billy Mathews AMA #98. Billy's Grandson had inherited all his Grand Dads collection and had no real interest. Fortunately it was saved and will be preserved for ever.

 Billy Mathews, Dick Klamforth and Bill Tuman 1950 Grand National Champion

Norton always wanted to impress at Daytona , America being it's best market by miles.

 Bobby Hill Grand National Champ 1951-1952 and Mr and Mrs Klamforth.

This lucky fellow has his own early Double Knocker Street Racer in a Featherbed frame.

Harley's Water Cooled Flat Track Racer

Davis Fisher's XG750R which the Motor Company says is derived from their street version of the Revolution X 700. Young 18 year old Davis has been tempted into the Factory Rider position with the task of developing the made in India machine. It has proven to be about as unreliable as Brad's XR750. The 700 and 500 Street Bikes look and feel really cheesy and I am amazed anyone would buy one but, a version that looked like this would be an instant hit. Lets hope the XG750R comes alive for Fisher at this weekends Springfield Mile. The kid deserves a super competitive mount to match his incredible talent.