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Old 07-10-2014, 08:18 PM   #2401
frank spittle
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Some of you will remember me recalling the great times I had at Daytona Speedweeks when we used a closed airport for drag racing near Daytona. I met several guys there that became great friends to this day. One is J.B. Smith from Roanoke Rapids N.C.

J.B. had a very lightweight big cubic inch Sportster and asked me to ride it. This was in 1967. Man, that was almost 50 YEARS AGO. I don't recall ever seeing any pictures posted on the net that were taken at those races....until now. J.B. ran across some he took there.

That is me with the red shirt on his gold Sportster. My opponent was Jim Whitener on his extremely lightweight big cubic inch Panhead. Jim was a real character and a heck of of a drag racer. You can't see it in this picture but his bike was originally a police bike with the foot clutch and hand shifter. To this day I have not seen anyone who could handle that setup like he could. He was really tough to beat and shocked a lot of guys who had never seen him. He could leave the starting line with a hand clutch bike and speed shift it with only his throttle hand on the handle bar. I still can't believe how competitive he was.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #2402
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:47 PM   #2403
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Fuckin' wicked, you guys aren't even wearin' gloves...Hah! Frank, do you remember how many cubes each bike had?
Jerry
Rhode Island
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:41 PM   #2404
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Fuckin' wicked, you guys aren't even wearin' gloves...Hah! Frank, do you remember how many cubes each bike had?
Jerry
Rhode Island
J.B. told me recently his engine was 80 plus cubic inches. That was HUGH for a Sportster in '67. Jim's Panhead was in the 80s also.

Dragstews, I don't remember getting beat on that bike. It was bad ass. But Jim was right there with me. He knew how to build a badass Panhead and that's all I remember him racing. I was racing him on my 75 ci Sportster at a local 1/8 mile track in about '66 and he beat me. When we got back to the pits Jim started apologizing for beating me. He told me he was not using gas. It was alcohol with a shot of nitro. He is actually the first person I know that experimented with it. Looking back I wonder why he didn't use a higher percentage when we all started using it. He passed away a few years ago so I will never know.

Here is another pic from Daytona. It was outlaw drags so sometimes we lined up with three. It's Jim and I and an unidentified third rider in the middle.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:45 AM   #2405
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Frank,
Great pics from Daytona. What kind of carb is being used on the Sportster. It looks like an Amal TT or GP with a Delorto remote float. If I remember most Harley-Davidson guys were using S & S carbs for drag racing.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:13 PM   #2406
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Frank,
Great pics from Daytona. What kind of carb is being used on the Sportster. It looks like an Amal TT or GP with a Delorto remote float. If I remember most Harley-Davidson guys were using S & S carbs for drag racing.
This was about the time Leo Payne and George Smith were experimenting with the first S&S carb. I ran twin Linkerts but some guys used Dellorto carbs. That is one on J.B. Smith's bike.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:16 PM   #2407
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

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Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
Takes a Heck of a Man, and a dang good Sportsman to apologize for winning...

Ya know, back in the Sixties, wasn't alot of Big Inch Sporties running around..
If you ran acoss one back then.... Most likely names like Doc Dutch, Smith & Smith Cycles, perhapps Ron Trock had a hand in it..

Those were the days.....

Nowadays a small cube motor don't have much of a chance to see the "Winners Circle" unless it's sporting Fuel Injection, Blown and a Heavy mix on the Fuel, kinda like the bike guiltyview posted....
Bet that bike hauls the mail...!!!
Not much Vintage there, Cam cover, Ironhead cases, Shovel heads is a big +, Way cool none the less.... Can you imagine campaigning that bike in the 60's..??? Whoa..!!
............Bring on the Harmons.............

from what I am told, the cases weren't even sportster-- they were made from billet
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:07 PM   #2408
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

That's Ray Prices' blown Funny Bike he built in the late '70s or early '80s trying to compete with the new blown 4 cylinder bikes. During our conversation I recently posted here this bike was brought up. He said it made gobs of horsepower but couldn't finish a race due to something breaking.

Here's another picture of it.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #2409
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

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Originally Posted by frank spittle View Post
That's Ray Prices' blown Funny Bike he built in the late '70s or early '80s trying to compete with the new blown 4 cylinder bikes. During our conversation I recently posted here this bike was brought up. He said it made gobs of horsepower but couldn't finish a race due to something breaking.

Here's another picture of it.
I remember him running this bike at Connecticut Dragway in the eighties. I thought I posted some pictures from there on this thread, maybe it was a different thread. Always one of my all time raves.
Jerry
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:39 AM   #2410
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Ya gotta love the L series. I still run one on our gas bike.

I talked to Glen Kerr last night for a while, they are getting ready to take off. Heading to MI for the concours show and then meandering their way out to Sturgis.

I have to tell you, the conversations with him are some of my favorite ever. I am so honored to get to share with him, the stories of the history of this great sport. When I see his name pop up on the ol caller ID, I get as giddy as a little girl!
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:42 PM   #2411
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Here is one last Daytona pic. It's the Frankie Spittle (my old friends still call me that)/Jim Whitner race but J.B. Smith is in this pic giving me some advise and an unidentified person is in a panic to tell us something. Maybe the law was on the way. Or I didn't have a helmet on.

It might have been outlaw drag races but we had a professional flagman.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:34 AM   #2412
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

If you look close, it appears that the unknown person may be bringing your helmet.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:47 PM   #2413
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Here is one last Daytona pic.
Love those pics Frank, thanks for sharing them!
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:24 AM   #2414
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Thanks epinut,

Pictures from those days are precious these days. I am so happy J.B. saved them. As I said earlier those are the only pictures I have seen of those outlaw drag races. I hope more will turn up from others who were there. Especially some of Zach Reynolds and his twin engine airplane he zoomed us with to let us know he was landing.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:43 PM   #2415
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It's hard to believe a year has passed since I made the announcement about the Concours D'Elegance of America show in Plymouth, Michigan but it is upon us. I have been in touch with all the guys who entered and they are all going to be there. Here is the list:

1) Clem Johnson's "Barn Job" Vincent presently owned by John Stein
2) Perry & Scott "Stage Fright" twin engine Triumph also owned by John Stein
3) Bud Hare's "Dubble Trubble" twin engine Triumph owned by Glenn Kerr since 1960
4) Pete Hill's blown Knucklehead Harley
5) Ray Price's Harley Funny Bike
6) Larry Welch's "Heavy Trip" Rocket Bike
7) E.J. Potter's "Bloody Mary1" Chevy V-8 bike presently owned by Clyde Hensley
8) E.J. Potter's "Widow Maker7" Chevy V-8 bike also owned by Clyde Hensley
9) Elmer Trett's "Pure Pork" twin engine Harley renamed "The Freight Train" presently owned by Frank Spittle

This will be the first time all these legendary drag bikes will be together at one time. This show will be at the St. John's Inn in Plymouth, MI. Sunday July 27th.

There will be a "Meet & Greet" at the St. Johns Inn on Saturday July 26th 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM in one of the banquet rooms. There will be memorabilia displayed of the above bikes and John Stein will be signing copies of his great book MOTORCYCLE DRAG RACING: A HISTORY. We will start setting the bikes up on the show field at 3:00 PM. Admission is free and open to all for the "Meet & Greet" on Saturday. Admission to the show on Sunday is 25.00. If you have a passion for these bikes and want to meet some of the guys who raced them I hope you will come out both days. If you come on Sunday you will also get to see some of the rarest and most valuable cars in the world.
EDIT: I AM NOT SURE THE SHOW FIELD WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC WHEN THE BIKES ARE BEING SET UP ON SATURDAY
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Old 07-23-2014, 04:49 AM   #2416
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Have a good weekend Frank. am sure you will!

Attached is a link to a report and pictures on the Dragstalgia meeting at Santa Pod the other weekend.
It was a great weekend for nostalgia race fans - and the predicted bad weather stayed away!
http://www.dragbike.com/dbnews/templ...29536&zoneid=2
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #2417
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Have a good weekend Frank. am sure you will!

Attached is a link to a report and pictures on the Dragstalgia meeting at Santa Pod the other weekend.
It was a great weekend for nostalgia race fans - and the predicted bad weather stayed away!
http://www.dragbike.com/dbnews/templ...29536&zoneid=2
Thanks Keith, those pictures and video are amazing. It is almost unbelievable to see all those legendary bikes back on the drag strip again.

I will post pictures of the show and give a report when I return.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:51 AM   #2418
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I found this photo taken at LIONS, but don't know who it is?
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:26 AM   #2419
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Default Re: Vintage Fuel Drag Bikes

Dick Rios
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:07 AM   #2420
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Mr. Ray Price at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St John's, Plymouth, Michigan, with his original nitro funny bike. Yes, he did start it up and it sounded great.
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