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Roy Richter photos, National Rail Track Champion & Creator of Bell Helmet Co. & Cragar Wheel Co.

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Photographs1452 of 2892Young Boy in Pedal Car circa 1950BLACK AND WHITE PICTURE OF TANK
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Posted 2 years ago

Email

packrat-pl…
(261 items)

I came across these photographs in a box of stuff I acquired, and am rather intrigued by them.
Here is some info I received by email:
" Yes these are pictures of rare gas-powered hobby cars from the late 1930s through 1950s. Most were handmade, some were made by Cox. These things go 70 to 100mph!!
Some were run as "tether cars" or "spindizzies" with a wire to a center post, others ran on a track with a raised center rail, like in your pictures.
Look up The Dooling Brothers, who became famous racing these cars. Maybe that's one of the Doolings in your picture? I don't know, we'd need a real expert.
Aha, here it is:
http://www.vintageracer.net/dooling-bros.html
That website should let you connect with one of experts on these cars. Also look up something like "Thimble Drome" on google or ebay and see more."
Here is the closing chapter to this amazing story. I just received this email:
"The photos you have sent me are of Roy Richter. On December 7, 1941 Richter won the 1st National Rail track Championship (67.08 mph) in Los Angeles with cabin car #102 pictured with the trophy. He was a very successful racer in the early 1940's as evidenced by the other photos with winning cars. Richter is better known as the creator of BELL HELMETS (Bell Equipment Co) and CRAGAR WHEELS (Cragar Equipment Co)!!"
What a great ending.
enjoy

Comments

  1. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    I thought it could have been tether car racing, but I see that there are two cars on the track.
    Could the antennae, actually be a shut off valve & or timing trip device.
    There appears to be an exhaust port just forward of the wire.
    Intriguing!
  2. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Could be a diesel rail racer.
    Quote from this link;

    "A desire to run races with multiple cars, coupled with the emergence of small engines, of 1 to 2.5cc, resulted in Rail Tracks and Rail Cars. The track would consist of I section rails and the cars would sit over them, one car per rail, guided by ball race carriages."

    Link to pictures;
    http://www.slotforum.com/columns/JeffDavies/Diesel/index.htm
  3. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    walksoftly,
    Thank you very much for the link, very interecting, I had never heard of that type of racing before. I sent them an email and attached the pics, so if I get an answer, I will update the posting.
    That sure looks like them.
  4. mrcolorz mrcolorz, 2 years ago
    Hi Packrat place used to live in Houston, running out of finds here in maine...
  5. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    My pleasure, we'll be watching!
  6. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much for the kind words BELLIN68. That was a great link walksoftly provided, hope to get an answer soon from those people.
    Thank you very much for the love BELLIN68, Manikin, walksoftly, mrcolorz, officialfuel, AmberRose & miKKoChristmas11.
  7. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    @ vetraio50 this is the same link you added to another post.
  8. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Hi packrat-place. My apologies.
    Check out this site for info and more pix of tether car tracks!
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=280837&showall=1

    I reckon if you contact them they might even know who this young man was.
    It's a really long page/blog ..... go down to 07 -- 22 -- 2008 for another picture f the track.
    The photos go on and on and are really quite relevant.

    Can you delete my other comment? Apologies again!
  9. gargoylecollector gargoylecollector, 2 years ago
    Their AWSOME cars!!!!!!!!!! Hope that helped!!
  10. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much gargoylecollector & vetraio50. I have some emails out, if I get an answer, I will update the posting.
  11. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much Trey, bottle-bud , scottvez & mrmajestic1
  12. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much Flanker
  13. Signaholic Signaholic, 2 years ago
    Very cool photos packrat! I see that beautiful old Coke sign in the background of the first pic too.
  14. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much Signaholic, I figured you would notice that!!
  15. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    The more I dig into this, the better it gets.
  16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Any updates on the cars?
  17. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    UPDATE.
    Please check out the latest update in my posting.
  18. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much AR8Jason & officialfuel
  19. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much bratjdd
  20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Found these pix:
    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2008/01/08/tether-car-racing-in-the-1940s/

    I also saw a picture of the three Dooling brothers at the jalopy side and the bloke in your photos is not one of them.
    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=280837&page=3
  21. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    vetraio50,
    That is really great stuff!!! I had no idea those tracks were that large. Thank you very much for the links, love the photos, a real step back in time.
  22. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! I have an answer to who this man is!! I just received this email, check this out racing fans.
    "The photos you have sent me are of Roy Richter. On December 7, 1941 Richter won the 1st National Rail track Championship (67.08 mph) in Los Angeles with cabin car #102 pictured with the trophy. He was a very successful racer in the early 1940's as evidenced by the other photos with winning cars. Richter is better known as the creator of BELL HELMETS (Bell Equipment Co) and CRAGAR WHEELS (Cragar Equipment Co)!!"
    Is this amazing, or what!
  23. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    Wow, that's a lot of history from mystery photo.
  24. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    Amazing is all I can say at this point!!!
  25. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    I had to look up the info on him, I have heard of both companies, amazing where the love of cars & racing took him.
    Amazing, you have something special there.
  26. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    I think I heard you up here.
  27. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    walksoftly,
    You probably did hear me!
    Yes, I definately feel I do also.
  28. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Congratulations, packrat! There's one of his hand hammered cars on ebay at the mo'. Item no 270711397212. Given the details there you might even have a photo of this car in the centre. Not the names behind him ..... Clarence Felker is mentioned in the description of the car for sale atn$45,000.

    Up for sale is this one-off Roy Richter hand hammered tether car with a Batzloff motor.

    Of the 5 known Richter cars, this is the only one with a Batzloff motor.
    The Batzloff motor is super rare in and of itself. But to find one in a Richter is the “holly grail” of tether car collecting.

    The original photo shows Clarence Felker's Richter Hassad Schock powered car.  You will note the two holes inside of the hand hammered hood as well as the "bump" on the top of the hood.  The car at the time had what appears to be a Dooling Mercury frame.  Bill Batzloff purchased the car in the mid-1940s.  Bill converted the car to a front drive cable car to accomodate his own engine.  This engine is serial #114.
    At the same time he used a new frame which the car still has today, and which appears to be a one-off.  We have not been able to identify this frame as it is longer than a Dooling Mercury, and the rear rails differ.
    The front "grill" is also a one-off being fashioned out of a single casting with no detachable grill.  The wheels are Richter "modern bullet" type.
     
    This car was purchased by Bob Murphy of San Diego from Bill Batzloff's estate in the mid-`1960's.  Bob Jaquez purchased the car from Murphy in the late 1980s.  I purchased the car from Bob in 2005.

    I have a history file on this car, including the book on Roy Richter (the founder of Bell Helmets), and a sprint car racer.
    It seems that in the late 1930s, when one of his sprint cars was wrecked, he took the remaining sheet metal, and hammered out a tether car body from the remains.

    Only 5 or so of these cars were ever made........
    Based upon a review of Rail & Cable magazine, and other publications during the 1940s, 1950s, etc. approximately 5 Roy Richter "hand-hammered" cars have been seen.
    Of those 5, only 2 are presently known to exist; the one here for sale and the other which is in a prominent collection in the southeast.
    This car was acquired from noted tether car collector, and expert Bob Jaquez, who is more than willing to discuss it with any interested buyers.

    In the Richter book, “Striving for Excellence” by Art Bagnell, Roy states that he built only a few of these cars. There is a chapter in the book on the Tether Cars he built, these first super rare pieces, then the Richter Cabin car which was a cast piece.

    Simply put, this is the most desirable tether car on the planet.
    Pre-WW2, and made by the master himself, Roy Richter, with Bill Batzloff’s first engine, that is in and of itself very rare.

    The car is genuine and represents the "Ultimate" collectible tether car for the finest collection.

    All files go with the car, as well as the book on Roy Richter’s life.
    Photo #2 - This picture was taken by Dick Hulse then President of the AMRCA at the Clover City track.
    Roy Richter's "Home" trAck as seen in the Roy Richter book."

    This photo may relate to your third photo too!
  29. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    vetraio50,
    Thank you very much for more great info. I sent a note to the ebay seller, telling him what I had. This whole thing is getting more interesting all the time. Not bad for being in a "junk" box! It seems I have photos of some vary rare cars.
  30. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    I agree, mate. I wonder if these photos were in roy Richter's book " Striving for excellence"? Perhaps the date of dec 7, 1941 is possible for photos 2&3?
    Can I ask do you think it should read Culver City or Clover City track?
    I have the suspicion that your photos might have been taken by Dick Hulse at the "Clover City" track. It's the same fence in the background of photos 2&3 to the photo 2 in the ebay listing. Even the trophy looks the same.
  31. packrat-place packrat-place, 2 years ago
    vetraio50,
    I cannot find a Clover City, Calif., but there is a Culver City. You are correct, the fence looks identical. I have more email "feelers" out and will keep you posted. I had a photographer friend of mine examine the photos this morning and he said the way the photo was taken and the paper stock appear to be period correct. They are not recent copies.

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