View Full Version : Joe Giba

Mitch G.
10-14-2009, 07:08 PM
Joe Giba's great grandson is looking for photo's and info on his great grandfather, he originally posted on big west, I told him to come to this site. I'll start with this one, and post what I have in my stuff. This is Joe Giba in the ex-Kenz & Leslie, Johnny Tolan (Continental Airlines) RMMRA championship car from '46 and '47. This is in Lafayette, IN in 1952, from Bill Hill's "Decades of Daring".

10-14-2009, 09:11 PM
I'll add a photo of Joe
Location and Date unknown
Photo by Don Surles of Denver

10-14-2009, 09:50 PM
Joe Giba is a popular topic today. I combined the two Joe Giba threads into one.

Thomas E
10-15-2009, 06:18 AM
Joe Giba was in an article in Life Magazine in 1971. Googled, Joe Giba Life Magazine.

Joe Giba working as master machinist at Merrill Engineering Laboratories has Fridays off
re: article on 4-day work weeks.

Location: Denver, CO, US
Date taken: 1971
Photographer: John Dominis
Size: 844 x 1280 pixels (11.7 x 17.8 inches)

Joe Giba's photo and Life Magazine flag (1971)

Terry Von Tilius
10-15-2009, 06:21 AM
Joe was one of the nicest "gentle" men I ever met. I remember showing him a model of a midget I built when I was a kid. He took such an intrest in it. He was at the house to visit with my Dad. But took the time to give a little kid some attention.

He bought a new Datsun 1200, probably in 1971, (remember those?) from the dealer where my Dad worked as the service manager. He would ONLY let my brother, John, do the service work on it. I think he must have put over 200,000 miles on that little car.

I just remember what a great, nice man he was. He would not come to any of the his friend's funerals... It would break him up too much. That was just Joe.

I would love to hear some Joe Giba racing stories, if anyone has some.

10-15-2009, 08:05 AM
I posted this Lakeside trophy dash action shot on another thread, but as it was autographed by Joe, I thught I'd repost here. The other shot is from Englewood. Both are from the early 60s. I know I have more shot yet to be scanned... dang work keeps getting in the way of these all scanned and stored.

10-15-2009, 09:30 AM
The Lakeside picture was taken in '63, and the Englewood picture was taken in '58. Gentleman Joe was truley an nice guy and a great racer. when Joe built the new car Ozzie Osborn and a few others sat on the back chute grandstands at lakeside and were Joe's fan club complete with portable boat air horns!! I sat with them alot because Ozzie would let me blow the horn once in a while. I watched Joe break a number of offies in '58 and I beleive that is what prompted the outboard.

Mitch G.
10-16-2009, 07:46 AM
I heard this story years ago, Dennis Hall the life long pal of Duane Harr, told this story. One night at Lakeside Speedway, in the late 1960's after the drivers meeting prior to a RMMRA show, Joe Giba asked if he could have the attention of the drivers as they were leaving the meeting. Joe said to the drivers he was short of funds, and was going to have to win the feature that night, and hoped the guys wouldn't hold it against him. The other drivers kind of scoffed, and laughed it off, but they all respected Joe and said they didn't mind. Well Joe went out and won every race he was in that night, I think it was the last main event he ever won. Not sure how true it is, but Dennis made a great story out of it. This is my favorite photo of Joe Giba, it's from a "Center spread" out of a 1968 RMMRA program. This is the neat little midget Joe had built for his Johnson Outboard, some guy in Oklahoma City built this car. Anyone know the story of the #11 in the background? No listing for a #11 in the program, must have been a out of town driver.

Terry Von Tilius
10-16-2009, 08:00 AM
The little story, above, about Ozzie and the Jiba fan club, made me laugh out loud. THAT was Ozzie. I wouldn't be surprised if he blew off a few fire crackers, up in those stands too.

10-16-2009, 08:26 AM
The little story, above, about Ozzie and the Jiba fan club, made me laugh out loud. THAT was Ozzie. I wouldn't be surprised if he blew off a few fire crackers, up in those stands too. Terry, we could tell many stories about Ozzie. He truley was a clown.

10-16-2009, 01:55 PM
Mitch, I remember that #62 that Joe Giba drove. I believe it was yellow and maroon wasn't it? I just lived east of the track on Utica and could just walk to the track and back. The program I have shows Ed Jackson and #5 in the center spread. A nice variety of engines that year, maybe a few more Chevy IIs, but still half a dozen other makes. Rooted for Joe's outboard powered car, but he wasn't only one with one, couple others listed in the program.

Reminds me, anyone remember OVAL magazine? A short lived regional publication, from sixties or seventies, maybe only three issues, at least that's how many I had. Anyway, nice feature about Joe and his Johnson Outboard. Can't seem to find mine, must have given them to someone when I moved. Pretty sure I wouldn't have tossed them. Anyone have any?

Mitch G.
10-18-2009, 09:29 AM
Don't remember Oval, but I've got one issue, July 1977 of Colorado Speed Journal, they covered all tracks in Denver, and the Springs, plus tractor pulls, hill climbs, and drags. I've also got 9 Issues of RPM, put out by Colorado Association for Motor Sports. This was distributed during 1978, it covered all types of motor sport across the front range as well. Oh yeah, the Giba car was yellow and purple.

01-30-2010, 03:04 PM
I remember:It was a good site for Colorado midgets(I don't know what was the name?:coloradoracingmemories???)and I saw there a good photo for him.
Somebody don't have this photo?

01-31-2010, 01:31 PM
Hello, I am with the Colorado Motosports Hall of Fame and we are inducting Joe Giba in April. We are looking for Family contacts. Can you please have his Great grandson contact me 720-297-5362

Thank you

01-31-2010, 01:32 PM
I also have some picture of him. He was one of my dads favorite racers. My father was Bart Lyons. He raced at Englewood Speedway and various others. He raced modifieds in the 60's

02-17-2010, 06:15 AM
The legendary Sonny Coleman contacted me yesterday, he is looking for relatives of Joe Giba, if anyone can help out contact me and I will put you in touch with him.
Thanks Bruce "rapid30" Rhoades

02-25-2010, 08:03 PM
http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5415&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5415') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5416&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5416') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5417&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5417') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5418&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=388&pictureid=5418') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1943&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1943') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1944&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1944') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1945&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1945') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1946&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1946') http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1947&thumb=1 ('http://autoracingmemories.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=192&pictureid=1947')

02-25-2010, 08:10 PM
Thanks, racefan2, that's the issue. Still looking for mine, has to be here somewhere, and I thought I had this stuff organized? Ha!

02-11-2012, 03:55 PM
We just scanned a few more photos of Joe...
I like the one signed by "Joey"

Racefan 777
02-11-2012, 10:38 PM
I to was a Joe Giba fan. Thought his purple and yellow car was the best one there! Any color pictures of that car? Also looking at those last pictures I thought a mustang would run in the latemodel class.

Wayne Arner
02-12-2012, 10:54 PM
"Gentleman" Joe Giba was indeed a Denver Midget Racing Icon. From his humble beginning at Merchants Park, to the Indy 500, where he slid 500 feet backwards, down the Backstretch, he established himself as a proficient driver, mechanic, engine builder and engineer extraodinaire! My favorite picture of him is attached, where he is changing the right rear on his #62, all by himself. He never seemed to have any help, but didn't need any. Notice the axle jack, he built these for raising the front or rear just enough to remove the wheel, just by positioning it and stepping down on it! Very clever and innovative, much easier to use than a floor jack. Notice the tube shock, much ahead of what many used for this era, and the vent hose from the "puke" tank, pointed away from RR wheel to prevent spilling water under the wheel. He deserves all the accolades he will get when inducted into the CMSHOF this year!

Wayne Arner
02-12-2012, 10:56 PM
Well the picture didn't get thru this time either! Let's try again.

RJ Butz
05-13-2012, 03:14 AM
My Uncle Dick still speaks highly of Joe "Geebah" as he says his name. Here's another pic from his collection, with Ed. RJ

RJ Butz
07-14-2013, 02:00 AM
Hey, all. just wondering which issue of LIFE magazine was Joe featured. Want to get a copy if I can. Think his car was yellow/purple. 1971 also year he retired (racing). Uncle said he would retire racing when age was his car number! :chuckle: Also uncle remembers those jacks - no pit crew needed! Just checked online and multiple sources have Life Magazine dated January 8, 1971 as the issue I'm looking for.

Mitch G.
07-15-2013, 09:08 AM
Got this note from Mike Dire over the weekend.

I am 99% sure that #11 car pictured in the ARM Joe Giba thread, belonged to a fellow named Barney Manley, and the driver in that picture was Frank Manley. Barney had 3 sons that I can remember, Bart Manley, Frank Manley, and I can't remember the third one's name. I sure your aware of Bart Manley racing success, but Frank never really went very far with his career. Frank would bring that car out every once in a while, and had a lot of bad luck, I think it was built with a bunch of parts that Barney had laying around, and never ran very well.

Fills in the blank about the #11 car finally, been trying to I.D. that car and driver for years!

RJ Butz
05-27-2014, 12:41 AM
Here's that great color pic from LIFE Magazine with his yellow/purple and maybe orange pinstriped Johnson outboard powered midget. Great combination I might add!

Mitch G.
05-27-2014, 08:53 AM
Great shot RJ! Did you find a copy of the magazine?

RJ Butz
05-27-2014, 01:04 PM
Yeah, had it a while and finally able to get back on here to post it. I know some people remember the photo and wanted to see it again. Glad to be back!

05-28-2014, 06:29 AM
Great photo, thanks RJ.

J Ellis
03-16-2016, 03:56 PM
I well remember Joe winning the feature one Saturday night at Lakeside in his outboard powered number 62. If memory serves me right he was sponsored by Harry's Motors.
That morning Howard Pettit called our house and asked if my sister would be the trophy girl that night. She was, Joe won. I lost that picture many years ago. If anyone has it, I'd enjoy seeing it again.
I remember my sister had her heart set on Eddie Jackson winning. She was disappointed but the rest of us was happy for Joe. He was a great guy!
Another memory of the old 62, was one night Eddie Jackson turned a few hot laps in it. It went around the track fast.......Eddie Jackson style.

Mitch G.
03-17-2016, 06:18 AM
Found this elsewhere on the internet, not Colorado but it's Giba's car in the early 1960's, sponsored by "Harry's Motors", looks like Joe in the blue coveralls. Not sure where this was taken, or what year it was.

Johnny Calvaresi
07-07-2016, 11:52 PM
Please see my post as a new member. It tells a great story about Joe sneaking me into the pits when I was 16. He was a really kind hearted and lovable guy! I will always remember him as giving me my first pit pass and getting me into the pits for the first time!