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Decipher these ciphers found on A.J. Watson's shop walls.

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  • Decipher these ciphers found on A.J. Watson's shop walls.

    A friend was invited to check out the former Watson shop in Pittsboro, Indiana and shared these figures on the walls.

    The current owner verifies these are in A.J.'s hand.

    Some other inscriptions were determined to be firing order notes, and dyno numbers.

    Any guesses what these might be?

    received_618149675534232.jpeg
    received_2409440432691425.jpeg
    received_366977224436929.jpeg

    received_1261655390854768.jpeg
    received_2417922125175599.jpeg
    received_366216357882878.jpeg
    "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
    ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


    Brian's Wish

  • #2
    Well, the names on the wall were names of people with their phone numbers. One of them I recognize as his welder. "Cec" is Dick Cecil another long time race mechanic and car builder who was a regular lunch partner of Watson for years. I also see "Voll" on the wall which would have been Rolla Vollstedt's number along with some others.

    As for the vertical lines of numbers at first glance I thought hat those were the valve lash clearances for the Offy engines he had worked on. But that doesn't really make sense. Now I think it's some kind of record of either hours or expenses that he was paying those who helped him. I see what looks like dollar amounts marked "paid" and "sent" in places.

    I was in the Pittsboro shop several times over the years and never really noticed the walls at all.
    Last edited by indyrjc; 09-23-2020, 07:19 PM.

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    • #3
      More pics
      AJW_door.jpg

      Bench and dyno room window
      AJW_dyno.jpg
      AJW_dyno2.jpg

      AJW_lost.jpg
      Painting setup
      AJW_paint.jpg

      AJW_order.jpg

      Firing order?







      "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
      ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


      Brian's Wish

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by indyrjc View Post
        Well, the names on the wall were names of people with their phone numbers. One of them I recognize as his welder. "Cec" is Dick Decil another long time race mechanic and car builder who was a regular lunch partner of Watson for years. I also see "Voll" on the wall which would have been Rolla Vollstedt's number along with some others.

        As for the vertical lines of numbers at first glance I thought hat those were the valve lash clearances for the Offy engines he had worked on. But that doesn't really make sense. Now I think it's some kind of record of either hours or expenses that he was paying those who helped him. I see what looks like dollar amounts marked "paid" and "sent" in places.

        I was in the Pittsboro shop several times over the years and never really noticed the walls at all.
        Thanks!
        "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
        ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


        Brian's Wish

        Comment


        • #5
          I have been in there a number of times too. He had notes like those hanging around and on the backs of cabinet doors. I recall some of were piston - cylinder set dimensions, cam info and other stuff that meant nothing to my pea brain. I have a number of them stashed here somewhere, I need to frame them or something to go with other stuff I have gathered.
          When it had cars, a Foyt engine on the stand and his crazy motorcycle/roadster in the garage, those definitely are were the attention getters, but the notes and pictures and the things he thought were souvenir worthy enough to hang I found intriguing.

          Did your friend get to play tennis?


          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Turn13 View Post
            More pics
            AJW_door.jpg

            Bench and dyno room window
            AJW_dyno.jpg
            AJW_dyno2.jpg

            AJW_lost.jpg
            Painting setup
            AJW_paint.jpg

            AJW_order.jpg

            Firing order?






            18436572 is small block Chevy firing order
            “With the help of God and true friends, I come to realize
            I still got two strong legs, even wings to fly
            I ain’t wastin’ time no more...”

            Comment


            • #7
              The garage at Pittsboro was emptied and recreated at the Nebraska Museum of Speed if anyone wants to see how it looked.

              https://www.museumofamericanspeed.co...nroadster.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Awshum

                My friend who took these photos said you could see on the walls the faded shapes of where the posters and photos in the museum once hung.
                "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
                ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


                Brian's Wish

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, was a sad time to see it empty.
                  On cool nights like right now, we would camp out there, sitting around the campfire. mrs goner and I still stop by on the way to Lizton for BBQ.

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                  • #10
                    Hey, we go to Lizton for BBQ sometimes
                    "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
                    ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"


                    Brian's Wish

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It would be nice to see the IRMA put a plaque outside that shop, if they haven't already.
                      "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children's future, and we are all mortal".

                      John Kennedy at American University 1963

                      "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power"

                      A. Lincoln

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jandj View Post

                        18436572 is small block Chevy firing order
                        The 4 cam Ford is the same order if you convert between the cylinder numbering schemes used by Ford and Chevrolet.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Belanger99 View Post
                          It would be nice to see the IRMA put a plaque outside that shop, if they haven't already.
                          IRMA did place a plaque at the Watson Roundabout (as it's known by some locals) which was the site of a speed shop that he and Rodger Ward owned together for a few years.

                          https://s489.photobucket.com/user/ra...dtknr.jpg.html

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmXItUnqBOY

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