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Howie's '68 world record TQ at "Cough City"


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:41 PM

"CALL THE PLUMBER!"

 

This build is a tribute to Howie Ursaner’s 1968 Cobra Invitational car he World Record TQ’d at Buzzarama in Brooklyn, NY.

 

It is going to be a team effort with:

 

Howie Ursaner - Team Leader

Steve Okeefe - Master chassis builder

Joe “Noose” Neumeister - Painter extraordinaire

Rodney Chew - Expert vintage builder and tuner

Sandy Gross - Cobra teammate and supplier of rare NOS motor parts

and Captain Rick putting all the pieces together

 

Here is Howie’s account of the Buzzarama race:

 

The Cobra Invitational race at Buzzarama in Brooklyn, NY, was a race held by Cobra, my sponsor, in 1968. It was one of the first big races after switching to anglewinders. This race attracted 116 racers from around the country. About every pro out there was in attendance. My car that I built for this race was one of four at this race using the latest plumber construction. I ran a Lotus 30 body and a production Cobra motor. Throughout 1968 Lou Graziano, head honcho at Cobra, forced me and Sandy to run production motors. I told him there is no way we would win any races and he said he didn't care and we had to run them. I did and was plagued at every race. What was happening is that they would get so hot the motors were melting.

 

Mike Morrissey, in Model Car Journal, described Buzzy's on this day as "Cough City". The power was so dirty, and the winds were getting so hot that almost all of the motors were blowing. I did TQ at this race with a time of 5.30 that Mike Morrissey claimed was a new world record for a King track. It was amazing that so many big names were not in the A Main. In the race I was in trouble quickly as there was no way to keep the pinion on. I was installing with high temp silver solder and in this race the pinion kept unsoldering itself and coming off. I never had pinions come off before this.

 

Brady had hooked up with Phil Ingles when he had no motor for the Main after running the Consi, and Semi. Phil was building great motors that ran cool. That is how he won this race. After this, and a few more like it, Lou wanted me to win so I went to running Emott chassis and Kean Cans. Bob was building a lot of his anglewinders and we won on Sunday and he sold on Monday. Sandy was under the same restrictions in this race and it shows in his finish as well. Sandy had pretty much disappeared at college at this time. Things were changing. Partying and girls had come into the picture and I was getting pretty distracted, and stayed distracted for 42 years.

 

Below I’ve included all eight pages of Model Racing Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1, as it's a pretty cool issue. The race report starts on page 1 and is titled First Cobra Invitational, Jerry Brady Continues New York Dominance”:

 

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

 

MRJ V1N1 p1_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p2_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p3_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p4_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p5_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p6_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p7_small.jpg

 

MRJ V1N1 p8_small.jpg

 

We have one very dark and very fuzzy picture of Howie’s car to work from:

 

MRJ V1N1 p5 Howie Car.jpg

 

Thank goodness we have Steve! He will be doing a post soon with all the chassis details he worked out with Howie and several of his wonderful Excel chassis drawings.

 

Stay tuned!


  • slotbaker, Pablo and Jencar17 like this

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
The Independent Scratchbuilder
There's much more to come...





#2 slotbaker

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:52 PM

:popcorm1:


Steve King


#3 Richard G With

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 04:01 PM

Excel chassis drawings?

 

The answer to the "why plumber" as I recall is that it looked like a "plumber's nightmare" with wires and tubes running every direction imaginable.


We must all do what we must do, for if we do not, then what we must do does not get done.  Chung Mee

      Parkes, W. (Producer) & Meyer, N. (Director). (1985). Volunteers.[Motion picture]. United States: HBO.

 


#4 SlotStox#53

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:21 PM

The channel is locked and will be listening out for updates :D ;)

#5 Pablo

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 09:27 PM

Should be a simple build, Rick. Just find a vintage motor marked "Uncoughable" and you'll be good to go :good: :laugh2:


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Paul Wolcott

#6 Bill from NH

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 10:26 PM

Excel chassis drawings?

 

Check the Independent Scratchbuilder forum here on Slotblog. You'll find numerous examples of Excel chassis drawings. :)


Bill Fernald
 

How old should a highway be before you tell it, that it has been adopted?


#7 Steve Okeefe

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 11:18 PM

A few months ago Captain Rick asked me to produce a drawing of one of Howie Ursaner’s first plumber chassis from 1968.

 

The drawing was to be based on a single photograph published 48 years ago in the Model Racing Journal.  The photo itself is terrible; almost all of the finer detail is simply absent.  In fact, the photo looks like it was taken in the same dark room where the film was processed.

 

Fortunately, we have a secret weapon on this project; Rick has enlisted the help and support of the original builder.  Now we have a much better chance of puzzling out all that missing detail with only a minimal amount of guesswork.

 

Through a series of PMs we decided the chassis would be built as an analog copy rather than a replica or re-creation.  Not only is the completed car to be a potential museum-piece, but we all wanted it to be a functional slot racer as well, with speed and handling characteristics equal to or maybe even better than the original.

 

Mechanical style drawings of chassis have always fascinated me, so when I build a historically accurate pro chassis I also do a drawing of it to compliment the photos.   Being too cheap to buy CAD software, and too lazy to learn how to use it (my hobby is slot cars, not computers), I figured out how to use the “drawing package” in Microsoft Office, and specifically MS Excel, to make full color renderings to a fairly high degree of accuracy.

 

One giant advantage to creating a digital drawing is that you can email it to other people, in this case the original builder, and sort out even the most complex details (dimensions, angles, proportions, relationships, etc.) before cutting the first piece of brass or piano wire.  I’ve done this on past projects and it has worked great.

 

Howie was very patient with me for a couple of weeks while I bombarded him with a series of “what’s this?” and “how did you do that?” questions.  Between what we could figure out together, what Howie could remember directly (it was 48 years ago after all), and after dozens of large and small changes to the drawing, here’s what we came up with:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (a).jpg

 

Subtracting the motor and running gear (another advantage of a digital drawing) here’s the bare chassis:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (b).jpg

 

To better show detail, here’s the center section:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (c).jpg

 

And finally the plumber and side pans:

 

6808 Ursaner Plumber (d).jpg

 

In addition to the drawing, Rick has asked me to build the chassis for this project car.  So, that will be the subject of my next series of posts.


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#8 don.siegel

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 05:44 AM

You guys are amazing.... 

 

Don 



#9 dc-65x

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 12:06 PM

Amazing detective work and a great looking set of drawings Steve! :good:

 

I needed to send Steve the goodies needed for him to begin the build, but we had a problem.......

 

We needed a 1" wide Cobra stamped drop arm. I had a new 1 1/4" wide arm but I hated to cut it up. My buddy Martin Windmill came to the rescue sending me a 1" drop arm. Here it is before sprucing up next to the new 1 1/4" arm:

 

drop%20arm%208.jpg

 

I had to square up the overall length which was cut at an angle and re-cut the chamfers. But the biggest problem was with the guide flag hole. It had not only been enlarged but it was now off center. Mr. Milling Machine got the hole back on center and I machined up a little bushing for the new hole:

 

drop%20arm%207.jpg

 

The guide tongue was also reshaped and 2 notches cut to more closely resemble Howie's. Here it is all buffed up and ready to ship:

 

drop%20arm%2012.jpg

 

Here are the goodies I sent Steve to work his chassis fabrication magic. Included were the Korrect size Riggen wheels/tires (though not the ones we'll be using) a Mura 16D jig motor with motor bracket, a Weldun 64P spur gear and the Cobra drop arm. :

 

Parts%20For%20Steves%20Build.jpg

 

We're off and running! :dance3:

 

 


  • Pablo, Jencar17, Howie Ursaner and 2 others like this

Rick Thigpen
Check out Steve Okeefe's great web site at its new home here at Slotblog:
The Independent Scratchbuilder
There's much more to come...


#10 SlotStox#53

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Posted 13 March 2016 - 03:47 PM

Howdy Steve :D

Amazing bit of detective work & designs :good: Great collaboration & team working all the details out. Going to be one sweet car!!

Nice little package you're sending off Rick.

#11 Half Fast

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 10:00 AM

What a difference a year makes!

 

Compare this angle winder chassis to the 1967 jail door chassis as recreated by Rick and Pablo. Amazing development in a very short period of time.

 

Build on.

 

Cheers


Bill Botjer

Faster then, wiser now

 

 


#12 endbelldrive

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 04:20 PM

Thanks to the the team of Rick and SteveO for keeping it alive!


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#13 havlicek

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Posted 14 March 2016 - 05:21 PM

Lovely!  Rick & Steve is a pretty danged world class team!

 

-john


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#14 Noose

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 07:02 AM

I'm still cracking up over the Tony P chassis ad on Page 5 that says $14.95 Postage Included. 


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Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
Noose Custom Painting - Since 1967
Chairman - IRRA® Body Committee - Roving IRRA® Tech Dude - "EVIL BUCKS Painter"

"Team Evil Bucks" Racer - 2016 Caribbean Retro Overall Champion
The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#15 SlotStox#53

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 07:33 AM

I'm still cracking up over the Tony P chassis ad on Page 5 that says $14.95 Postage Included. 


Wonder if that price is still valid? :laugh2:

#16 tonyp

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:05 AM

Not that far off. It's worth 105.00 in today's money,

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#17 Don Weaver

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:41 AM

Noose,

 

Were the $3.95 painted bodies with free lettering your work?

 

Don


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#18 Noose

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:45 AM

Probably.  But they may also been Mike Tango's wife Connie's work.  I was cheap but not that cheap. The ting that throws it off is the free lettering. So maybe they were mine because Connie never did lettering that I can recall.


Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
Noose Custom Painting - Since 1967
Chairman - IRRA® Body Committee - Roving IRRA® Tech Dude - "EVIL BUCKS Painter"

"Team Evil Bucks" Racer - 2016 Caribbean Retro Overall Champion
The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.


#19 NY Nick

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 08:48 AM

When the car is done you going to run some laps at Buzzarama?

Looks like a nice project thanks for posting it.


Nick Cerulli

#20 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:56 AM

Not that far off. It's worth 105.00 in today's money,

More like $150 in todays money 


Howie Ursaner

#21 tonyp

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 09:58 AM

Guess I need to raise my prices. Lol
  • Howie Ursaner likes this

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

1965 "Evil Bucks Racer" Team
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American King track single lap world record holder & 40 minute total lap record
First IM Nationals Champion
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#22 Bill from NH

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 10:06 AM

I recall when the $25 chassis got free postage. :laugh2: If you bought them at C&C, you didn't have to pay CT sales tax either.


Bill Fernald
 

How old should a highway be before you tell it, that it has been adopted?


#23 Pablo

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 12:52 PM

Guess I need to raise my prices. Lol

I'll second that :)


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#24 Uncle Fred

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 02:41 PM

On page 2 the Calendar list a Car Model race at Glen Oaks the say's " No Sidewinders".


Fred Correnti

#25 Noose

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Posted 15 March 2016 - 03:01 PM

On page 2 the Calendar list a Car Model race at Glen Oaks the say's " No Sidewinders".

That's because it was a "GP" race.


Joe "Noose" Neumeister
Sometimes known as a serial despoiler of the clear purity of virgin Lexan bodies. Lexan is my canvas!
Noose Custom Painting - Since 1967
Chairman - IRRA® Body Committee - Roving IRRA® Tech Dude - "EVIL BUCKS Painter"

"Team Evil Bucks" Racer - 2016 Caribbean Retro Overall Champion
The only thing bad about Retro is admitting that you remember doing it originally.






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