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Old 01-22-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
Jerry Lee
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Default Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

I wasn't sure which forum to post these type of cars in, but I would like to know more about them. I ran across a bunch of great old pics of these Roaring Roadsters which mostly came from old Englewood Speedway programs.

I believe the photos are all from the Denver area in the mid to late '40's, and ran at tracks like Englewood, Adams County Fairgrounds in Brighton, Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Littleton, and possibly some other Colorado tracks. I have no idea who most of these drivers are or who to credit the photos to. I'm hoping some of you ARM members might be able to shed a little more light on both the history of these type of cars and maybe some of the images.

All I know for sure is that the golden age of the Roaring Roadsters was pretty much phased out by late 1950 (at least in the Denver area) when Jalopy racing started to become popular.

Enjoy and discuss.....



(J.L. McGuire collection) The Roaring Roadsters line up for a race at Englewood Speedway
in the late '40's.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Richard Codner once told me that this photo was from the very
first race at Englewood on Memorial Day 1947. The car had just lost a radiator.




(Photo by Leroy Byers) A great pic of Roadster action from possibly the track in Brighton.
This could be Don Padia in the Charlie Codner #99 Roadster on the outside.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Here's Don Padia in the Codner #99 from '49 or '50. This car took
the Roadster championship four years in a row with Red Fitzwater at the wheel in '47 & '48
and Don Padia in '49 & '50.



(J.L. McGuire collection) #00 and crew from the late '40's.



(Sonny Coleman collection) Sonny Coleman's Roadster from 1947.




(J.L. McGuire collection) This driver looks to be pretty popular with the babes.




(J.L. McGuire collection) This 1948 Englewood Speedway ad
features some of the top Roadster pilots of the day.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 01-22-2012 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's


(J.L. McGuire collection) A pack of Roaring Roadsters comin' at ya! Looks like the
Codner #99 leading the way. Anyone one know what track this might be?




(J.L. McGuire collection) This Roadster takes a spin at Englewood Speedway. The
Warren St. Thomas Tropics was a pretty swanky place on Morrison Rd. back in the day.




(J.L. McGuire collection) A hot '40's photographer babe snaps a shot of this driver.



(J.L. McGuire collection) The driver of this #6 seems to be a popular guy.




(J.L. McGuire collection) The pits at Englewood are a hive of activity.




(J.L. McGuire collection) #3 and crew at Englewood.




(J.L. McGuire collection) No time to paint the sponsor's name on the side of the car.
Just tape it on!
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:02 AM   #3
Thomas E
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post

(J.L. McGuire collection) A pack of Roaring Roadsters comin' at ya! Looks like the
Codner #99 leading the way. Anyone one know what track this might be?
I thought, it's a track in the Brighton area, the Ranch? I've seen photos with the K and L #6 roadster with Willie driving it.



"Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing" ~ Sid Collins

LAKESIDE - Late at night by the old Lakeside Speedway, you can hear the ghosts - The barking, crackling "Flathead Fords", the zinging "Chevy Stove Bolt's", The rumbling of the "KK-Offy's", and the snarling "Ford V8-60's". Listen and faintly hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the line up for the trophy dash," and the place would erupt with the mix echoes of cheers and boo's...Remember...
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #4
Thomas E
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

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Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post

(Sonny Coleman collection) Sonny Coleman's Roadster from 1947.
Left to right, unidentified, the Coleman brother's dad, Everett; Clarence, and Sonny seat in #21 roadster, Evertt said Mrs Coleman (Dorothy I believe) called #21 Mrs. Colman's headache.

In the 80's I caught up with Everett and Dorothy(?) Coleman at Cheery Park Manor Nursing home where I was a visiting chaplain, we had some good visits, Dorothy(?) passed away before Everett did. We also talked with Sonny and Clarence a few few times as well.



"Stay tuned for the greatest spectacle in racing" ~ Sid Collins

LAKESIDE - Late at night by the old Lakeside Speedway, you can hear the ghosts - The barking, crackling "Flathead Fords", the zinging "Chevy Stove Bolt's", The rumbling of the "KK-Offy's", and the snarling "Ford V8-60's". Listen and faintly hear the announcer say, "Ladies and gentlemen, the line up for the trophy dash," and the place would erupt with the mix echoes of cheers and boo's...Remember...
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Jerry Lee, as usual you devise some fantastic threads, the "Roaring Roadster", are a nearly forgotten division in American auto racing. My dad actually had a roadster in his possession and was going to race, but was drafted and sent to Korea. When he got back, his mom had moved to a different house, and sold his roadster!! These cars were extremely dangerous, very little rules and poor design....just look how high the driver sticks out of the #39 roadster "Englewood City Service" car in your 3rd photo, I think it's Buck Russell, I'll check. When I get a chance I'll post some more Roadster stuff, Gage Ranch was barely a race track, no guardrails, I don't think there were any grandstands. Brighton was more of a real track, actual grandstands, some guard rails, etc.

Roadsters at Gage Ranch, not sure where it was in relation to the city of Denver.
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #6
Digney in Burnaby
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

The no. 6 car might be the Kenz and Leslie car. And the no. 39 was driven by T.E. Russell.

But I'm just trying to match numbers from the two Roaring Roadsters books that Don Radbruch published through Tex Smith. Wish Don was still around, he'd love this stuff.

Don has the Colorado Auto Racing Club Champions as:
1946 -- Keith Andrews (in his own '32 Ford Roadster)
1947 -- Fred Massey
1948 -- Red Fitzwater (Charlie Codner V8)
1949 -- Red Fitzwater (Charlie Codner V8)
1950 -- Don Padia (Charlie Codner V8)
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:03 AM   #7
Jerry Lee
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Thanks for the feedback on these cars fellas!

Digney, what little info I'm going by is what I've read in these old programs, and I've found that they aren't always accurate. Thanks for the research, the two Radbruch books would be a gas to root through.

Mitch, it seems I remember you posting a 1949 RR program from Englewood a couple years back, but I can't seem to find it. Any chance you could repost some of it in this thread? Would love to see the driver listings and anything else you would like to add.

Meanwhile, here's some more images from that golden age of the Roaring Roadsters in Colorado......



(Sonny Coleman collection) Looks like Sonny Coleman #21 is trying to move the #74
out of the way at this old dirt track.




(J.L. McGuire collection) I was once told that this could be Charlie Codner's wife Marion
posing with what might be Don Padia at Englewood Speedway.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Roadsters line up for another run at what might be the Englewood oval.




(Eddie Biondi collection) Another late '40's Englewood ad. Man, only 83 cents for a great
night of Roadster action! (Plus tax)




(J.L. McGuire collection) The Codner #99 and another Roadster tangle into the infield
dirt mound.




(J.L. McGuire collection) #48 and crew.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 01-23-2012 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Jerry Lee, another outstanding thread that you started. Even though I have both of Radbruch books I don't think I've seen all of these photos. My introduction to the world of auto racing was with the track roadsters, called simply "Hot Rod Races" in eastern Nebraska during the late forties. Somewhat crude in the beginning, they evolved into pure race cars by the late forties and early fifties. During those years, Hot Rod Magazine covered them a lot. The west coast cars always looked the best. Even showed some in that old movie with Mickey Rooney. (Forget the name of the movie)

Those photos you've shown are of the CARC when they originated. I believe that the first place they raced was on top of Table Mountain in Golden, that I read somewhere was an early Jefferson County Fairgrounds. From what I read it was a pretty crude track. The fairgrounds track in Brighton was also used before landing on the 'new' Englewood Speedway. The CARC raced roadsters at least through the 1950 season, and also began stock car racing at Englewood that same year. Two divisions of racers during the same year!
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post
I wasn't sure which forum to post these type of cars in, but I would like to know more about them. I ran across a bunch of great old pics of these Roaring Roadsters which mostly came from old Englewood Speedway programs.

I believe the photos are all from the Denver area in the mid to late '40's, and ran at tracks like Englewood, Adams County Fairgrounds in Brighton, Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Littleton, and possibly some other Colorado tracks. I have no idea who most of these drivers are or who to credit the photos to. I'm hoping some of you ARM members might be able to shed a little more light on both the history of these type of cars and maybe some of the images.

All I know for sure is that the golden age of the Roaring Roadsters was pretty much phased out by late 1950 (at least in the Denver area) when Jalopy racing started to become popular.

Enjoy and discuss.....



(J.L. McGuire collection) The Roaring Roadsters line up for a race at Englewood Speedway
in the late '40's.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Richard Codner once told me that this photo was from the very
first race at Englewood on Memorial Day 1947. The car had just lost a radiator.




(Photo by Leroy Byers) A great pic of Roadster action from possibly the track in Brighton.
This could be Don Padia in the Charlie Codner #99 Roadster on the outside.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Here's Don Padia in the Codner #99 from '49 or '50. This car took
the Roadster championship four years in a row with Red Fitzwater at the wheel in '47 & '48
and Don Padia in '49 & '50.



(J.L. McGuire collection) #00 and crew from the late '40's.



(Sonny Coleman collection) Sonny Coleman's Roadster from 1947.




(J.L. McGuire collection) This driver looks to be pretty popular with the babes.




(J.L. McGuire collection) This 1948 Englewood Speedway ad
features some of the top Roadster pilots of the day.
The number 39, in the third picture is my dad, T.E. Russell. On the program, Bob Russell, is my uncle.



Thanks, Dave Russell
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
numbbers
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post

(J.L. McGuire collection) A pack of Roaring Roadsters comin' at ya! Looks like the
Codner #99 leading the way. Anyone one know what track this might be?




(J.L. McGuire collection) This Roadster takes a spin at Englewood Speedway. The
Warren St. Thomas Tropics was a pretty swanky place on Morrison Rd. back in the day.




(J.L. McGuire collection) A hot '40's photographer babe snaps a shot of this driver.



(J.L. McGuire collection) The driver of this #6 seems to be a popular guy.




(J.L. McGuire collection) The pits at Englewood are a hive of activity.




(J.L. McGuire collection) #3 and crew at Englewood.




(J.L. McGuire collection) No time to paint the sponsor's name on the side of the car.
Just tape it on!
The number 8, on the outside front row, in the first pic is my dad, T.E. Russell. He is also in the number three in the sixth picture. The J S (John Sobilla, not sure about the spelling) car. The last pic is my Uncle Buck Russell, in the five car. He was killed at Englewood.



Thanks, Dave Russell
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