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Travelon Trailer Special

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  • Travelon Trailer Special

    Just found this while searching for turbine race car video. Looks like the same meet, but, different shots. Appears somebody liked Jim Hurtubise, in copying his car.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S71spG9NMhM

    --

  • #2
    That's a beautiful copy. 2 questions: 1) what happened to the original?, 2) am I remembering correctly that this was the same car under different ownership that Ed Elisian was killed in?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tpeterson View Post
      That's a beautiful copy. 2 questions: 1) what happened to the original?, 2) am I remembering correctly that this was the same car under different ownership that Ed Elisian was killed in?
      It was a Watson clone that Barney Christiansen built, all under the same ownership.
      "In America, the winner goes to Victory Lane, everybody else goes to the garage and should soak their tears in their beer and figure out how to be faster next week."
      Eddie Gossage

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tpeterson View Post
        1) what happened to the original?, ........
        The original is still around. It has been restored and is owned by a man in (I believe) the Fresno, California area. It has appeared at IMS on Carb Day a couple of times in recent years. Other than its moment of glory with Hurtubise qualifying that particular car never had much success although it ran in five 500 Mile Races and on the Championship Trail off and on for several years after that. BTW, this car was painted green when it was new and it was green when Elisian had his crash.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by indyrjc View Post
          BTW, this car was painted green when it was new and it was green when Elisian had his crash.
          I was hoping that I had remembered correctly about the original color and the car's history. Thanks for your help.

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          • #6
            Always one of my favorite cars.

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            • #7
              clone

              It's nice enough for a clone- the ALFA engine and the wheels are the giveaways-you'd think with the money invested in the paint and chrome that an Offy and the correct Halibrands woudn't be that much of a stretch, but that's just my opinion.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pete366 View Post
                It's nice enough for a clone- the ALFA engine and the wheels are the giveaways-you'd think with the money invested in the paint and chrome that an Offy and the correct Halibrands woudn't be that much of a stretch, but that's just my opinion.
                It might bethat Offy engines and Halibrand wheels are not that easily obtained.

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                • #9
                  i think some people RESTORE racers to original condition as a labor of love. Replicas are a rolling TRIBUTE... conjures images of the original.. which may or may not be possible to restore.
                  Alfa engine and different wheels and tires.. i still wanna take it for a few laps of the brickyard.
                  Shoot.. i built my first OLSONITE EAGLE .. out of plywood !
                  Some People Race For A Living
                  I Live To Race
                  http://s210.photobucket.com/albums/bb87/Rickysuave44/

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                  • #10
                    ...'You guys are probably referring to vintage car collector, Bob Nielson in Ukiah, CA. Bob owns the Christiansen built, Travelon Trailer Spl., along with the Travelon Trailer Shilala dirt car as well as the ex-Agajanian Rev500/KingO'Lawn Watson dirt car that now has a Ford DOHC engine and the original Hardwood Door Offy midget made famous by Shorty Templeman. Bob and his son run these cars often in Northern California at selected vintage events. The best thing about Travelon Trailer was it's owner, Ernie Ruiz from Modesto, CA. Ernie was a very polite and generous man that was always quick to elevate the careers of northern California drivers, including Mike McGreevy, Chuck Booth, Don Meacham, Gary Patterson and Johnnie Anderson, among others.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LittleFauss View Post
                      ... The best thing about Travelon Trailer was it's owner, Ernie Ruiz from Modesto, CA. Ernie was a very polite and generous man that was always quick to elevate the careers of northern California drivers, including Mike McGreevy, Chuck Booth, Don Meacham, Gary Patterson and Johnnie Anderson, among others.
                      And a lot of people don't remember that A.J. Watson worked briefly for Ruiz as chief mechanic on the Shilala dirt car in late 1958. This was when he was between his John Zink and Leader Card jobs so Ruiz got him to run his dirt car for him at Sacramento and Phoenix with a rookie driver named Bobby Grim.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LittleFauss View Post
                        ...'You guys are probably referring to vintage car collector, Bob Nielson in Ukiah, CA. Bob owns the Christiansen built, Travelon Trailer Spl., along with the Travelon Trailer Shilala dirt car as well as the ex-Agajanian Rev500/KingO'Lawn Watson dirt car that now has a Ford DOHC engine and the original Hardwood Door Offy midget made famous by Shorty Templeman. Bob and his son run these cars often in Northern California at selected vintage events. The best thing about Travelon Trailer was it's owner, Ernie Ruiz from Modesto, CA. Ernie was a very polite and generous man that was always quick to elevate the careers of northern California drivers, including Mike McGreevy, Chuck Booth, Don Meacham, Gary Patterson and Johnnie Anderson, among others.
                        Steve Bonesteel on the left, Bob Nielson on the right
                        Fontana HCICA 2007
                        photo by Ike Smith
                        Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                        • #13
                          Beautiful car. I wonder, Alfa engine and all, what it could do as far as a fast lap around IMS, given it were geared properly. No knck intended, is it "just" good looking?
                          A book fell on my head, and I only have my shelf to blame.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fasteddy View Post
                            Beautiful car. I wonder, Alfa engine and all, what it could do as far as a fast lap around IMS, given it were geared properly. No knck intended, is it "just" good looking?
                            I've seen Alfa engined roadsters turn 130 MPH laps on banked tracks in the past. The stock Alfa engine doesn't have even one half of the horsepower of an Offenhauser but it is certainly lighter. And many of the Alfa reproductions are designed around the usage of modern rubber while many of the Offy roadsters are using tires of the same design as those in the period which hurts their cornering. Plus the guys with the Offies are usually taking things pretty easy since parts are so hard to come by if something important breaks.

                            And as for reproductions versus original cars you can probably count on one (maybe two) hand how many actual roadsters are still around. Most roadsters were long gone and completely cut up and missing by the 1970s but many of them have miraculously reappeared in recent years. Most of today's roadsters are basically recreations using period parts and very minimal pieces of the original car. And that includes some of the cars in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway museum. Don't get me wrong. It's great that people have taken the time to build these cars and get them out in front of the public. But a large number of the "original" roadsters out there today are for all practical purposes new cars. Very few were found intact in the proverbial barn and just rebuilt.
                            Last edited by indyrjc; 09-22-2010, 12:34 PM.

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                            • #15
                              But...But...But... The roadster that that guy found in a chicken coop in the movie Speedway...
                              That REALLY WAS mario's car wasn't it???

                              ZOOOM
                              "Doc, just set them fingers sose I can hold the wheel"
                              James Hurtubise, June, 1964

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