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Super Modified--Evolution

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  • Super Modified--Evolution

    Where the Indy roadsters disappeared to.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uastrgon7M

    ==


  • #2
    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it's been said before around these parts, but Jim Rathmann's 1960 winner eventually turned into Nolan Johncock's super modified in which he was fatally injured in 1971.
    Real drivers don't need fenders!

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    • #3
      Thanks for the great link!

      Interestingly, there was also a class of cars known as supermodifieds in the Midwest that ran on dirt tracks for many years starting in the 1950s as near as I can tell. These apparently began as modified stock cars that were narrowed into something closer to a sprint car with either a roof or a roll cage. Over time they did evolve closer and closer to sprint cars until by the middle to late '60s they had basically become a caged sprint car. Many USAC drivers started out in some local version of these cars before moving up. For many years the general belief among drivers was that the cages on supermodifieds (later sometimes also known as super sprints) were kind of like having training wheels on a bicycle. When you got good enough you moved up to USAC (or IMCA or CRA for that matter) and raced without a cage.

      These supermodifieds definitely weren't like the ones in the video at Oswego. But for some reason they used the same name while running in different parts of the country. I can't remember the exact year but I believe up until around 1980 what has become the Knoxville Nationals was still known as the National Supermodified Championships even though the cars were clearly sprint cars by that time.

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      • #4
        And then there were the supermodifieds that didn't evolve from or into anything: https://drivetribe.com/p/uneven-spee...RcKF4_m18rq8Vw



        "Only a fool fights in a burning house."-Kang

        "If you listen to fools....The Maaahhhhb Ruuuules....."-Ronnie James Dio

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        • #5
          This is what we called "modifieds" in the Wisconsin & northern IL area back in the 60's. Beautiful cars IMO.

          “Church supper with grandma and granddad, lets go out and have ourselves the best time we ever had" - John Mellencamp

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oddy View Post
            This is what we called "modifieds" in the Wisconsin & northern IL area back in the 60's. Beautiful cars IMO.

            Hard to tell, did they use automobile frames, or were they tube frames?

            I imagine that this is what happened when jalopies morphed into hot rods.

            ==

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NoviVespa View Post

              Hard to tell, did they use automobile frames, or were they tube frames?

              I imagine that this is what happened when jalopies morphed into hot rods.

              ==
              I think they required car frames until around 70, then they allowed tube frames and the word "super" appeared, and ruined everything as far as I was concerned, I lost interest.
              “Church supper with grandma and granddad, lets go out and have ourselves the best time we ever had" - John Mellencamp

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sea Fury View Post
                And then there were the supermodifieds that didn't evolve from or into anything: https://drivetribe.com/p/uneven-spee...RcKF4_m18rq8Vw


                After Shampine came out with his radical offset supermodified in 1976/77 he obsoleted everyone else's equipment overnight. Two years later he did it again with his rear engine super, except that for the sake of everyone else's pocketbooks rear engine supers were outlawed once it showed how superior it was. To be competitive already required investing in a radical offset super and owners weren't keen on investing in yet another new architecture. Car counts initially took a hit as the switch to the radical offset design took place over a number of years. The Reece 3-1 super pictured was under development at the same time (1979) in Ohio (including being tested by Tim Richmond). Rumors of its existence led to an unusual addition to the 1980 Oswego rulebook, stating tires must be located in their "standard positions", LF, RF, LR and RR. End of the line for the 3-1 super.

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                • #9
                  Innovation is great, it's fun to watch, but eventually kind of ruins a good thing.
                  “Church supper with grandma and granddad, lets go out and have ourselves the best time we ever had" - John Mellencamp

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                  • #10
                    I've a 2 volume set of books that Mike Arthur published of his photos chronicling each year of the super mods at the Copper World. Great collection of West Coast cars in Phoenix trim.
                    "He went into a tire barrier, which is certainly the nicest of all the barriers." -Bobby Unser, Denver '90

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by happyscrappy-t View Post
                      I've a 2 volume set of books that Mike Arthur published of his photos chronicling each year of the super mods at the Copper World. Great collection of West Coast cars in Phoenix trim.
                      Are those books still available? I was in attendance for the 1995 Copper World...

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                      • #12
                        Interesting video. Back in the day, I saw Gordon Johncock, Dick Good and Gordon Dukes run at my hometown track, Toledo Speedway, many times. Saw Bentley Warren run there in a USAC sprint car event. He ran what might have been the last Offy powered sprint car in USAC and the only one that I have heard in a competitive racing event. Unfortunately his feature ended early with one barrel roll and a broken ankle. Shampine came over once for a special event. Other runners at the time were Johnny White, Ray Bernard, Johnny Logan, Dewey Montrie and Dean Steiverson (sp?).
                        Last edited by flatlander_48; 07-22-2019, 02:46 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by flatlander_48 View Post

                          Are those books still available? I was in attendance for the 1995 Copper World...
                          I don't know what sort of distribution he had. I got mine a few years ago from a local Colorado photog who advertised them on a forum. Mr. Arthur had sent a box of sets to him to sell. I think they were self published, there is no ISBN, publication page, or even a copyright.

                          "He went into a tire barrier, which is certainly the nicest of all the barriers." -Bobby Unser, Denver '90

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                          • #14
                            Thanks! I’ll do some searching...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ah, found it, but I may need a bit to work up on the price!?!?

                              https://www.mikearthurphotos.com/shop

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