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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 01-23-2012, 09:29 PM   #11
numbbers
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Lee View Post
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.
I believe the 74 may also be my dad, as this looks like his first car. But, I was only three at that time, so I can't be sure.

Also, the number three car, that you have posted in the gallery, but not here, is a photo of my uncle, Bob Russell.

I have tons of these old photos, including programs and news articles. I just have to get time to post them.



Thanks, Dave Russell

Last edited by numbbers; 01-23-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:44 PM   #12
Mitch G.
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Here's the program. The page "Victory Smile is actually page 3, I put it in out of order.
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #13
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Rest of the program, you got your money's worth with this program!
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Thanks for reposting that Mitch, that's just a super cool old program and helps to identify a few of these pics. I noticed Joe Garrone had a Roadster as well.

Just a few more I found....


(J.L. McGuire collection) Not sure where this cool '40's pit shot was taken, maybe
Englewood.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Here's Hub Cook with the ladies in a Mercury powered Roadster.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Slim Roberts in the Harold Miller Roadster.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Bob Jergenson and crew in a Nash powered Roadster.




(J.L. McGuire collection) Looks like the front bumper has fallen off the front of this
cool Roadster!




(J.L. McGuire collection) Don Padia is listed as driver for the Clover Glass Roadster in
1949. Wonder if he was doing some double duty in the Codner #99 that year?


Hey gang, CLICK HERE to see all of the great Roadster pics in my photo album. There are some in there I haven't posted.

Enjoy, and thanks for all the feedback! Can't wait to see what you have to add!

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 01-26-2012 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #15
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

Here's some more Denver area track roadsters. #50 was owned and built by Burt Blanot on the left. Moving to his right are crew members Emmett Cale, Sammy Gallo and Jim Lamanna. The driver is Jim Steel. Seems like Sammy Gallo also drove this car once. Anybody know for sure?

Can't seem to put my hands on the program copy that I have somewhere, so don't know who is in the #1 roadster.

The good looking T-bodied #24 Roadster photo is from 1950 at Englewood and was driven by Clarence Coleman. The owner was George Freeman shown in the middle. George had the CARC number 24 for most of the track roadster era plus carried it on with the stock cars both at Englewood and through the mid fifties at Lakeside Speedway. This car was unusual in that it had a home made chain driven quick change rear end. Lots of ingenuity during those days. George also earlier fielded another nice looking T roadster that was driven by Tommy Rice, later sold to Don Clark. Unfortunately, that photo was shown on the old CRM site and is now long gone, unless someone out there got a copy.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

If you look at the driver listing in the program, you will see three Russells listed. T.E., my dad, Bob, my uncle, and Glenn, also my uncle. Three of the five "Racing Russells."



Thanks, Dave Russell
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's


(J.L. McGuire collection) From 1946, here are a couple of the Ace High Auto Top Roadsters.
On the left is Dick Isaac #7 and on the right is T.E. Russell #8 (ARM member Dave Russell's dad).
This was the first year that the Colorado Automobile Racing Club was in existence.



(Photo by J.L. McGuire) I snapped this pic at a small car show in Golden a few years back.
This could be the Dick Isaac #7 Roadster restored, or one that was painted up to look like
the original car. I'm not sure. They look similar except for a few things on the newer version.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:09 AM   #18
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

One of the most popular Roadsters that ran in Colorado during the 1940's was Charlie Codner's yellow #99. According to locals the car boasts four championships (three with the Rocky Mountain Hot Rod Assoc., and one Four-State championship), and was piloted by Red Fitzwater in '47 & '48, and Don Padia in '49 & '50.

Once the heyday of the Roaring Roadsters had passed after 1950, Charlie Codner kept the #99 out by the side of his motor rebuilding shop, and on occasion during the '50's would have it make a few laps around the Englewood Speedway oval to the delight of the crowds. Charlie passed away in March of 1961.

For decades the "old #99" sat around decaying in the elements and was once even half buried in thick mud after the big flood of '65 ravaged the Denver area. After generations of rotting and rusting away, Charlie's wife Marion decided to have the mud-packed racer hauled off to the shredder in the late '90's, and NO ONE was going to talk her out of the decision. It seemed the fate of this piece of local racing history was sealed, gone forever.


(J.L. McGuire collection) Red Fitzwater in the Codner Special circa '47-'48.



(J.L. McGuire collection) Don Padia in the Codner Roadster circa '49-'50.


For many years Joe Rosenberg (son of Ivan Rosenberg, who helped Charlie on the #99) tried to buy the historic Roadster from Marion Codner but she wouldn't budge, the "old #99" was destined for the shredder and THAT WAS THAT!

From what I've heard, this is when Betty Ruth Codner (wife of the Codner's eldest son Don) made a gallant decision. She knew what historic value the #99 Roadster held and secretly arranged for Joe Rosenberg to haul it off, but not to the shredder. Marion was told different. Ironically, Marion's daughter Charleen happened to spot Rosenberg towing the car on a trailer down Federal Blvd. and told Marion about it, but it was too late, the car had been saved!!!

Joe Rosenberg restored and repainted the famous #99 back to it's original glory days and now shows off the car for future generations to enjoy. A true piece of Colorado auto racing history, here's what the "old #99" looks like today......



(From a Codner Special giveaway promotional card)



(Photo by J.L. McGuire) The bent rear nerf bar of the #99 shows battle scars from it's '40's heyday.

Last edited by Jerry Lee; 02-25-2012 at 03:01 PM. Reason: ....love these happy endings!
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Old 02-25-2012, 07:03 PM   #19
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's




Thanks, Dave Russell
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Roaring Roadsters of the 1940's

A few more things came to mind when I was once talking to Joe Rosenberg about the Codner #99 Roadster.....

The reason Codner had it numbered 99 was because of its 99 inch wheel base......When Joe went to restore the car he discovered that the floor boards were cut from some old metal signs......Apparently Charlie Codner used to try and reuse anything he could. When Rosenberg was a kid, Charlie used to have him go out and gather up discarded old spark plugs from around the pits which were cleaned up and reused on the Roadster......Betty Ruth Codner once mentioned that Charlie had a special fuel formula that he used in the car. He wouldn't tell anyone how he mixed the fuel and took the secret formula to his grave.
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