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Sprint Cars & Champ Cars The big brother(s) to the midget these open wheel beasts have a rich heritage in our auto racing memories.



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Old 07-01-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
Mitch G.
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Default the Charlie Musselman flip

O.K. for those of you not too familiar with east coast sprint car racing, here's a real amazing story. Charlie Musselman was one of the best east coast and AAA sprint car drivers of the 1950's. Was he tough? yes, a WWII vet, he came home to be a tavern owner, and race driver, and never would hesitate to participate in fisti-cuffs, one tough dude. September 1, 1957 the AAA big shots are at the notorious one mile dirt circle Langhorne Speedway, the deadliest track in the country at the time. The next series of photo's made a one page spread (of which I have an actual page from that issue) in Life Magazine. Walter Chernokle, and RN Masser are credited with these photo's.

Pre race in Sam Traylors beautiful sprint car

This is the one page Life magazine photo spread (this one page removed from the magazine has been in my family since 1957!)

It's about to get ugly, and Charlie is bracing for impact

It don't get much uglier than this, now Charlie is preparing for final approach

Charlie's out cold, but no broken bones, or serious injuries, his shoes stayed in the sprinters cockpit!

You can't see it in this photo, but the car was pinched closed in the driver area, it's probably a good thing Charlie got pitched out, in this case.
Incredible photo's from an incredible era of American auto racing, that's Joe Mattera slipping by in the #88, "Deer Lake Inn Spl."
Here's another sequence I found in a old "Motorsport Pictorial", look close you can see where the cockpit area gets pinched closed.


Last edited by Mitch G.; 07-01-2009 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 03:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

Wow!!!

And I though this was the most amazing sprint car flip ever....
(I stand corrected)

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Old 07-01-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
Mitch G.
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

Webby, I've got a video of the Musselman flip, I'll send it to you and you can post it, how's that?
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

Here's a picture of Charlie Musselman and his son taken at Williams Grove.


(Jim Nise Collection)
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:58 AM   #5
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

Yeah, WOW!, is about all I can muster up to say! These are spectacular!

You guys might have heard this one before, but Gary Martelon once recalled a story that he had heard from Harold Maynard many years ago about Bert McNeese (I hope my spelling is correct).

One night in 1940 at Lakeside, McNeese had flipped his Midget, was ejected, and flew way up in the air. On his way down he grabbed on to the shoulders of Bill Logan who just happened to be speeding by. I once saw a photo of it that Martelon had, and it looked like some guy trying to wrestle a speeding car. Very bizzare! I hope sometime that pic surfaces here. Maybe Mitch might have that one somewhere?
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:57 AM   #6
Olen McGuire
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

This is not the one that Jerry Lee mentioned,but it's a neat shot
of Bert McNeese taken from Register.com:

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Old 04-06-2013, 09:29 PM   #7
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

In celebration of ARM's (5th?) birthday this month, I'm bumping up a few great old threads that have gotten buried over the years. Happy Birthday ARM!

This thread is just.....WOW!
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

what's interesting about the high-speed sequence by Walt Chernockle is that he took those pics with a homemade motordriven camera he built himself IIRC

Nikon was still years away from inventing their mass produced motordrives for pro photographers

any other sequences you see of auto racing wrecks in those days was simply someone snapping and cocking the shutter manually

IIRC Walt took a similar sequence of sprint car flip around that same time where the driver lost his leg and one can see it clearly flying through the air above the car and driver- I think those pics were in Life too- the driver survived the wreck and IIRC raced again!
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Old 11-17-2013, 11:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: the Charlie Musselman flip

I got to know Walt when I was a young lad starting out in racing photography.That old man had some great stories, and taught me some neat stuff. On top of that , he was really good at what he did.
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