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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 03-28-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
cemar
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Default Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

Maybe I've lost it but my mind is telling me back in the early 60's those silly people that live on the west coast were experimenting with aircraft engines in their Sprint Cars.
Anyone having one of those old guy moments as well?LOL
I'll do some checking and see what I can find.
cemar
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
indybigjohn
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by cemar View Post
Maybe I've lost it but my mind is telling me back in the early 60's those silly people that live on the west coast were experimenting with aircraft engines in their Sprint Cars.
Anyone having one of those old guy moments as well?LOL
I'll do some checking and see what I can find.
cemar
If this is an old guy moment, I've had one, too - but not on the west coast. I can recall Ranger engines in sprint cars. One in particular was Bert Hellmueller of Louisville, Ky., who ran with IMCA back in thos days.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:25 AM   #3
LittleFauss
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

.....'You guys aren't having anything of the sort. You're both right on the money. Before one of the greatest ever, Jan Opperman, left Hayward (CA) for the midwest and IMCA and the KARS Circuit in Penn., he drove the Hank Hanastad Ranger-powered sprint car in northern California's NARC sprint car organization. There are plenty of pics floating around.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
cemar
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

Just love this place, to think it took me so long to find it.
Everyone is so helpful.

Got an email from someone who just looks on here from time to time, telling me how to find more info on this.

Here it is.
This is from 1960.
Only a few had been run in the northern part of the west coast at that time.
However, they held every track record they ran at.
The PT 19 Ranger layed in the Sprint Car sideways and put out 425 hp (remember, this was 1960).
Engine wieghed in at around 309 pounds and cost (not including labor) was $4,000.
Here are a couple pics.
The engine in the photo is upside down, having the bottom cover put on.
Not sure who the driver in the car is.
They sure didn't look like a Sprinter.
cematr
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Old 06-23-2013, 05:58 PM   #5
Ranger Roadster Project
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

The driver in the roadster/ranger is the late Dell Fanning.
Still building them! see below:

Below are the project highlights.
The crew listed at the bottom of this page are all oval track racing veterans. All started in the 1950s and each has driven, built and/or owned oval track racecars. These include Sprint Cars, Midgets and Modifieds. Although considered senior citizens, they have not lost their desire or abilities to promote auto racing through the building of the only type of racecar that is affordable today, a vintage oval Sprint Car.

The chosen engine is also affordable. It is a Ranger aircraft engine built in the 1940s by Fairchild Aircraft. In the 1950s, this engine regularly beat the famed Offenhauser engine in Sprint Cars running primarily in the Northwest and Midwest. At that time, the Ranger engine was only slightly modified to run in a race car.

The chassis is the creation of Jerry Day, DBA Ram Race Cars, a veteran Northwest designer and chassis builder. His cars have won many championships with Jerry and others driving, notables were Bobby Marshall, Dub May and Jan Opperman, Jerry has chronicled the building of this racecar as a continuing monthly feature in the national magazine “Vintage Oval Racing.” Perhaps this monthly article will give racecar builders direction and encourage the proper methods of construction, which has become an almost lost art.

This project car will resemble a 1960s Indy style Offenhauser roadster, reflecting the creative artistry of those 50s and 60s craftsmen; unlike the buy-and-bolt-together “kit” cars and “crate” engines that are now prevalent. The engine will use modern alloy pistons, camshaft, interior engine coatings and lubricants. Those modifications cost more than an entire 50s racecar.

Now, the senior citizens could use some help. It costs more money today to build even a vintage racecar. In short, they need some sponsors. This project is looking primarily for parts and equipment sponsors. Will you consider assisting with this project by being a sponsor?

We urge you to subscribe to Victory Lane and Vintage Oval Racing Magazines, one of our national sponsors, who have donated a portion of new subscriptions to this project. Please tell them you want the Ranger Roadster Project credited. telephone 650-321-1411

Vince Lazore

310 505-3100
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:23 AM   #6
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

I've been following this build in "Vintage Oval Magazine", it's fascinating and educational as well. Jerry Day is doing a wonderful job, can't wait to see the finished product.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:59 PM   #7
nitro4dave
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

JUST FIXED WING? THERE IS A PIC FROM THE COPPER WORLD WITH THE STEVE BOLAND BLUE #1 THAT WAS POWERED BY A HELOCOPTER TURBINE THAT WAS RATED AT 450? HP THE CAR WAS CONSTRUCTED BY BILL HITE IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY, HAD 4WD BUT WAS ONLY ALLOWED TO COMPETE WITH THE REAR HOOKED UP AS A 2WD. WAS A TOP 5 CAR WHEN RUNNIN' GOOD AND MAN DID THAT VACUUM CLEANER SOUND KOOOOOOOOOOOLLL!
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:52 PM   #8
J Ellis
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Default Re: Aircraft engine in a Sprint Car

I remember when the Novatny's in Casper ran a straight 6 GMC engine in one of their cars. It would pretty consistently run and win right with the Chevy V-8s and 220 offys.
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