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  • Boyle Racing Headquarters - Indianapolis

    Hello Im John and Im new.
    I am involved in rebuilding Boyle Racing Headquarters and the 1934 Boyle Racing Headquarters Diamond T race car hauler which carried the Boyle race cars. (Yes we found it .... .a story in itself.. missing for 63 years) It carried 1934 500 winner Wild Bill Cummings #7 Miller and Wilbur Shaws winning Maserati in 39'&40' ..... A extremely historic, unique and unequalled specialty built truck for Boyle by Guedelhoefer Wagon Works in Indianapolis.

    I noticed interest on the board in the project and thought perhaps it would be a good idea to log on fill everyone in on the project and answer any questions.
    Its exciting Stuff!!!

    A future date folks may be interested in is May 12th 2016.
    We are having an event called "a Night with Umbrella Mike" at the Dallara Factory.

    We are fortunate the family members with first hand accounts will be there from the family of Mike Boyle, Wilbur Shaw, the great Cotton Henning and others.
    Their contributions letters and personal momentos have been remarkably revealing.

    The project is far from being about simply a building but a race team their motivation and a story that has never been told.

    How did this get fired up??
    The members of the Boyle Racing Headquarters Foundation are spin off of members from The Landmarks of Indiana Group "Indiana Automotive" whose general constitution is to save, recognize and aid historic automotive buildings in Indiana.
    The real spark that got the ball rolling occured at an IA event featuring Donald Davidson at Landmarks. A couple of us already having interest in the headquarters building asked Donald advise regarding the viability of the project. Distressed and perhaps even broken hearted over the almost certain loss of the building and its history Donald exclaimed "Its through - you can't save it" For us it came across as a call to action. Donald had no idea how we were affected by his words. So from that moment we were off on our journey. Many of us in the group share long careers in commercial real estate, development and revitalization/ reuse of historic and early structures. We have experience with projects almost in this bad of shape Fortunately the Boyle building has an extreemly simple structure. Its a Flitch beam roof structure with simple structural block - an architecturally simple 1930s factory building that made our interest doable.
    The project however presented too much liability for Landmarks so with our "never say die" mentality a couple of us started a new organization just for the Boyle Building. The building was almost impossible to get! The property left derilict had a large unpaid tax bill reaching back to 2005. The Marion County treasure had to go through a years long process to attempt to recover the tax money but instead ended up with title. It was an up hill battle. The property was slated to be wrecked for the new 16 Tech initiative in the neighborhood. With the advocacy of Landmarks for our Boyle Organization and their valued advice, the County Commissioners saw fit to turn the property over to The Boyle Racing Headquarters via Landmarks. Since that time which is only several months back we have taken steps to stablize the property and landed a remarkable tenant for a portion of the building. The Boyle Racing Headquarters Foundation is a non-for-profit - the lease payments will go toward future operating expenses and development refinements in an effort to assure its future.
    Currently we are raising money for the reconstruction through donations and we loosely project the structure being ready for occupany 1st Quarter 2017.

    A little on Michael J Boyle -

    The 1926 Indianapolis 500 saw a new type of team owner. He wasn’t a Automaker, Mechanic or Parts Manufacturer..... he was a Union Boss. Umbrella Mike Boyle was the head of the Chicago IBEW and one of history’s most powerful Labor Leaders. For "Umbrella" Mike, as he was known, this wasn’t enough. Umbrella Mike was after something in even greater in life... Winning the Indianapolis 500.

    Umbrella Mikes Race Team was comprised of Todays Legends. Names such as Cliff Woodbury, "Wild Bill" Cummings, Wilbur Shaw, Chet Miller, Ted Horn and Harry “Cotton” Henning made the Boyle Racing Headquarters a driving force in Indianapolis. These men built a race team of *unequaled mechanical advancement and fierce competitiveness for their time.

    Umbrella Mike created a company to sponsor his racing interests. That company was Boyle Valve Products. During the late 20's 30's and 40's the famed Boyle Red Triangle, the Racing Wings and Celtic Harp, the Clovered Pipe of the Maserati years or the moniker of the IBEW was always affixed to the side panels of Umbrella Mikes legendary cars.

    Umbrella Mikes first win came in 1934 with Bill Cummins piloting a Miller powered Boyle Valve special. A few years later "Umbrella" Mikes most notable wins came in 1939 and 1940 as Wilbur Shaw dominated in the Legendary Maserati 8ctf Boyle Valve Special. Cotton Henning working from Boyle Racing Headquarters at 1701 Gent with Wilbur Shaw refined and readied the Maserati. 1701 Gent is where all the magic happened.

    Boyle Racing Headquarters was not only a place of Legendary cars but also of Legendary men. If it were not for the victories Wilbur Shaw achieved, he never would have had the notoriety to influence the future of the track.

    The Legacy left by Umbrella Mike Boyle and his Boyle Racing Headquarters may be nothing short of the existance of the Indianapolis 500 today.
    Last edited by Boyle Valve; 02-11-2016, 02:42 AM.
    https://m.facebook.com/boyleraceshop
    www.boyleraceteam.org

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  • #2
    Welcome aboard
    There's really no such thing as Gary the Moose, Sybil.

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    • #3
      Thanks, Trying to familiarize myself with how to post photos of progress with the truck, building and events we have had so far.
      https://m.facebook.com/boyleraceshop
      www.boyleraceteam.org

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      • #4
        This might help: http://www.trackforum.com/forums/sho...-Sticky-Please
        There's really no such thing as Gary the Moose, Sybil.

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        • #5
          .
          Last edited by Boyle Valve; 01-19-2018, 02:43 AM.
          https://m.facebook.com/boyleraceshop
          www.boyleraceteam.org

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          • #6
            Our next Donald Davidson Event at Landmarks is Apr. 6th

            Last year we were sold out with more than 600 people in attendance .... it will be sold out this year .... reserve your ticket now.

            https://www.eventbrite.com/e/donald-...32?aff=efbnreg
            https://m.facebook.com/boyleraceshop
            www.boyleraceteam.org

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            • #7
              any pictures of how the truck looked when you found it?

              the picuture of boyle in the suit looks similar to john barnes to me.

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              • #8
                Sure plenty of pictures .... and that is definitely Mike Boyle. Infact that image is from a larger picture in which he is standing next to the Miller 8 Big Car.

                The truck was in terrible shape. It had been thrown upside down into a ravine on a northern Indiana farm 63 years ago .... but finding it was not that simple.
                Bill Shaw one night last October commented to me "its too bad the truck is in such bad shape" Bill had seen it 20+ years earlier. I asked where it was and he had no memory except that it was on a farm and there was a stand out in front that sold concrete. Bill could not remember even if it was Northern or Southern Indiana.
                A couple weeks later I figured it had to be outside Shelbyville or Crawfordsville. In the early 50s Wilbur Shaw bought a farm outside of Crawfordsville for his Mother. I called a friend in Crawfordsville asked him if he ever knew of a place like this and his wife suggested a place that use to be in Parkersburg Indiana. With google maps I could see that there was only one business in Parkersburg. Sheets Body shop. I called Sheets and explained what I was looking for. He had heard about something like this but wasnt sure. A couple days later I drove up with another Boyle Member. It was a Saturday Morning at Sheets Body Shop and folks from the area were milling around kind of like a barbershop atmosphere. There were about a dozen guys there and we were telling the Boyle story and looking for clues but no one knew anything until a grey bearded fella with a trucker cap and cowboy boots walked in. I was introduced to him and he said, "Im Calvin Cochran, and I know what your lookin for" and began to tell the story.
                - It was 1951 and Wilbur Shaw was building a new House in Indianapolis on Springmill Rd. He called his friend Forest Detro of Bainbridge (a mile from parkersburg) to have him bring in a load of gravel to the new house. When Forest arrived at Wilburs place Forest commented on the tires of his dump truck being worn out. Wilbur pointed over at the 34 Diamond T Boyle Race Car Hauler that was had been using at his house and said "Forest you can have those tires, there new, but you have to take the whole truck" Forest hooked a chain from the back of his Dump Truck to the front of the Diamond T and dragged it all the way back to Bainbridge. Once on the farm Forest took the wheels off and pushed the truck off into a ravine upside down and against a tree and thats where its been ever since.
                It was Forests son Danny Detro who had contacted Bill Shaw 20+ years ago.
                We dug the truck out one week later had a impromptu get together at Capri Rest. And brought the nose of the truck with us. Immediatly we got to work on rebuilding and recreating the truck. Less than a week after getting the truck out of the ravine we were able to find a 34 W211 FF Diamond T with a Chassis serial number about 100 off the Boyle truck and restored ... infact its the only other known 211FF identical to the Boyle truck. Very Lucky!

                We are glad we have the original truck - without it we would never be able to recreate it. Mercedes Benz has there 53 car hauler that they actually crushed in the 60s. They recreated with nothing in the 90s. Our Boyle Truck will actually have parts on it from the original truck and the rest of the truck will be a static display.


                Bill Shaw and Danny Detro December 2015 Capri Restaurant.
                [IMG][/IMG]



                WFYI is producing a documentary on all of this. The Building the Truck the Cars and the People.
                Last edited by Boyle Valve; 02-11-2016, 01:35 PM.
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                www.boyleraceteam.org

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                • #9
                  I'm intrigued by the photo of the Diamond T with the "Bowes" decal on the door. I have a book at home that has a shot of Leon Duray's Bowes Seal Fast Special on the back of a hauler. Was there a connection? I'd have to look at the photo again - could very well be a completely different transporter...but was the Boyle transporter at one point used by Duray? In the second shot, the Diamond T appears to be repainted and it has a Boyle decal on the door.
                  Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                  • #10
                    http://www.trackforum.com/forums/sho...ighlight=boyle

                    https://www.facebook.com/boyleraceshop/?fref=ts
                    Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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                    • #11
                      Very Good Question.
                      I asked Donald Davidson the significance and he was unsure. The simple assumption would be Seal Fast provided some sponsorship .... but that is really unlikely.
                      Its also possible the two teams teamed up on the dirt circuit ..... Its still a real curiousity. Post your photo it may give a big clue.

                      The truck is being rebuilt to the 1939 photo so sealfast will be on the door ..... but we certainly do not yet understand why. It is possible one member of Mike Boyles family knows but he has not been asked yet

                      This is how we believe the truck was painted studying the layers of paint-
                      1934 truck was White with Boyle in Red
                      1937unchanged but the team cars switched to silver with celtic harp and racing wings.
                      1938 unchanged but team cars were Deep Red with IBEW
                      1939 Truck painted deep red to match the new team colors
                      1946 unchanged but the maserati was painted purple ... Mike Boyles Daughter was at Northwester and it was a nod to her.
                      1947- 48 painted black by Cotton
                      1949 - 51 (Cotton Dies December 1948) Jan 7 1949 bought by IRC with all the Boyle cars and equipment still black ends up in Wilburs driveway.
                      The truck in 51 had some patch panels coving rusted panels in 51 so it was in rough shape when Wilbur gave it away.

                      In 1928 Boyle bought his first truck a 1928 Diamond T with body by Guedelhoefer. No one knows what happened to it when Boyle bought the new 34'
                      Boyle also had 2 common Model A flatbeds with stake sides
                      Last edited by Boyle Valve; 02-12-2016, 02:43 PM.
                      https://m.facebook.com/boyleraceshop
                      www.boyleraceteam.org

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Boyle Valve View Post
                        Very Good Question.
                        I asked Donald Davidson the significance and he was unsure. The simple assumption would be Seal Fast provided some sponsorship .... but that is really unlikely.
                        Its also possible the two teams teamed up on the dirt circuit ..... Its still a real curiousity. Post your photo it may give a big clue.

                        The truck is being rebuilt to the 1939 photo so sealfast will be on the door ..... but we certainly do not yet understand why. It is possible one member of Mike Boyles family knows but he has not been asked yet

                        1934 truck was White with Boyle in Red
                        1936 unchanged but the team cars switched to silver with celtic harp and racing wings.
                        1939 painted deep red to match the new team colors
                        1946 unchanged but the maserati was painted purple ... Mike Boyles Daughter was at Northwester and it was a nod to her.
                        1947- 48 painted black by Cotton
                        1949 - 51 (Cotton Dies December 1948) Jan 7 1949 bought by IRC with all the Boyle cars and equipment still black ends up in Wilburs driveway.
                        The truck in 51 had some patch panels coving rusted panels in 51 so it was in rough shape when Wilbur gave it away.

                        In 1928 Boyle bought his first truck a 1928 Diamond T with body by Guedelhoefer. No one knows what happened to it when Boyle bought the new 34'
                        Boyle also had 2 common Model A flatbeds with stake sides
                        I'll post the photo when I get home tonight.
                        Real drivers don't need fenders!

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                        • #13
                          Bowes sponsored a lot of cars in the thirties, amongst them the Duray team in 1935 and '36. I don't see why it should be unlikely that they also sponsored Boyle - certainly not as unlikely as Duray and Boyle teaming up!!

                          I think I know the photo Pelican Joe remembers, it's in the Illustrated History of Sprint Car Racing (p48). I have no knowledge of trucks, but I'm pretty sure it's a different truck from this one. There's also a pic of another Boyle truck in the book (p176), which does not look like either this one or the earlier Boyle truck.

                          Thanks for the great pictures, keep them coming! Couple things, the guy posing with Bill Cummings is Earl Unversaw, faithful riding mechanic and former sprint car owner for Cummings. And the car with Cotton and Wilbur is, of course, the Maser. Would love to see the colour pic of the Miller Big 8!

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                          • #14
                            In the '30s, '40s and 50's, the Diamond T was the Cadillac of trucks.
                            Nothing was too good for Mike Doyle....

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

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Michael Ferner View Post
                              Bowes sponsored a lot of cars in the thirties, amongst them the Duray team in 1935 and '36. I don't see why it should be unlikely that they also sponsored Boyle - certainly not as unlikely as Duray and Boyle teaming up!!

                              I think I know the photo Pelican Joe remembers, it's in the Illustrated History of Sprint Car Racing (p48). I have no knowledge of trucks, but I'm pretty sure it's a different truck from this one. There's also a pic of another Boyle truck in the book (p176), which does not look like either this one or the earlier Boyle truck.

                              Thanks for the great pictures, keep them coming! Couple things, the guy posing with Bill Cummings is Earl Unversaw, faithful riding mechanic and former sprint car owner for Cummings. And the car with Cotton and Wilbur is, of course, the Maser. Would love to see the colour pic of the Miller Big 8!
                              Michael,
                              Your probably right on the sponsorship. The only thing that makes it unusual is that during Boyles prewar era it would have been a very isolated relationship. Post War The Bennett Bros oil men out of Texas offered Mike Boyle crazy money to buy the Maserati. They made a single 3,000.00 payment and then Boyle found out that was all they had. Mike recinded the deal and took the 3,000 for naming rights and placed the car under Cottons control. Mike wasnt going to give the money back. Bennetts matched the deal in 48' ... and we all know where the cars went when Cotton died.

                              Sorry on the misspelling on Dr. Earl. Fat fingers. Interesting .... found out that Earl and Wild Bill were so close that when Bill had a baby girl she was named after Earl - Earline ...! She never had children so there were no direct decendants Earl was also his partner in the Lucky 7 bar. (Where Wild Bill burst in the front door on his new Harley Motorcycle and proceeded to ride it all over the place)

                              On the other Boyle Truck it could have been the 29 Mdl A. It was cut with short stake sides painted white with Boyle Products I think written on it. On the tail it had the rear board with a half round cut out.... could be that one. They had more than one Mdl A I know the one was a 29. They had high load heights .... more awkward getting a car on and off but they worked
                              Ill pull some color out on the Big Car
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