Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Classic at the Classic

It's "Classic Weekend" at Oswego Speedway this Friday-Saturday-Sunday [Posted 8/27/2013], and the Vintage Club will be there for exhibition laps on Saturday, August 31, along with the modern ATQMRA's big show and feature races for the Small Block Supers and the ISMA Supers.

Here's a photo taken by James Briery during last year's event.  (As always, you can click the photo for an enlarged view.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lookin' Good, 50 Years Later

Two weeks ago we posted a 1963 victory lane photo from Pine Brook, showing a satisfied-looking Sal Gamby.  50 years later, Sal still looks good!

By the way, we noted in that earlier post that when racing Sal spelled his name phonetically, “Gamby” or “Gambe" or "Gambi.”  But this was a nom de guerre.  “My real name is Salvatore Gambelunghi," Sal told us.  "You can see why I shortened it – by the time the announcer would say it the race would be over!"

But what became of Sal’s race car, as seen in this photo also taken at Pine Brook in 1963?

Sal sold the car to Curtis Reid, shown below in the car in Atlantic City’s Convention Hall (now Boardwalk Hall) circa 1970.  We see that the roll bar has gained elevation, and the car has a sidedraft carburetor instead of the downdraft.  Curtis had some good runs in the car.

Curtis Reid later sold it, but today he no longer remembers to whom he sold it.  Do you know where it is?

PS:  Want to see your photos here on TQVintage.com?  Just send them to us, like Sal did!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

TQ Racing at Hinchliffe?

Yes, for a short while there was a possibility.

It was back when Lawrence "Pat" Kramer was mayor of Paterson.  A meeting between ATQMRA representatives and the mayor took place in the mayor's office on October 10, 1979.  In attendance were Bruce Jones, at the time the ATQMRA President, plus Dick Marlow, the builder of Pine Brook Stadium, and Bob Marlow, at the time the ATQMRA's announcer and publicist.  And, of course, the mayor himself.  It was a meeting to explore the possibility of re-introducing racing to Hinchliffe Stadium.

The mayor was in favor of the plan.

There were plenty of issues to be resolved -- lighting, parking, adequate pit space and more -- but one issue proved to be the downfall of the plan.  At the time the stadium was still being used for high school football, and a requirement was that any race track not interfere with the playing field.

An inspection of the stadium by the ATQMRA representatives made it clear that there was simply no way to install a modern paved race track of sufficient width and still leave the football field undisturbed.

The plan was shelved.  But for a few days that October, it seemed tantalizingly close.

The notion of racing at Hinchliffe persists, but today it persists in the form of a vintage racing expo, which takes place each September.  Keith Majka, Sr., is the driving force behind this event.

Monday, August 12, 2013

31 Plus 30 Equals 30

In the photo is Tom Arntz, driving his restored TQ, one of the “Used Cars” campaigned by the late Jerry Morese 30 years ago.

The photo was taken in the summer of 2013 at Borger’s Speedway.

Jerry Morese, by the way, did not approve of our referring to his TQs as “Used Cars,” even though he had the name of his business, Jerry Morese Used Cars, lettered prominently on each of them.

This car was originally numbered 31, but Tom re-numbered it 30 in tribute to the cars his father raced with the ATQMRA.

Trivia:  Long before Jerry Morese raced with the ATQMRA, he raced a stock car at Wall Stadium, where he won... in 1950!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Everybody Loves a Winner

Enjoying victory lane at Pine Brook 50 years ago is “Sal Gamby,” the name as it appeared on the entry lists and in the results charts. But the name was a phonetic spelling so that people would pronounce it correctly, and sometimes it appeared as "Gambe" or "Gambi." This driver’s real name is Sal Gambelunghi, and 50 years later he has sent this photo to us. (As always, click the photo for an enlarged view.)

In 1963 Sal was a feature race winner at Pine Brook twice, claiming victory in the first race of the year on May 17, and then repeating on June 21.  In the first race, finishing second to Gamby was another young driver by the name of Mario Andretti.  Andretti would go on to win his first and only Pine Brook race on July 5 of 1963.

Gamby had been the ATQMRA’s “Rookie of the Year” in 1962 and his two 1963 wins proved that his strong rookie performance was no fluke.

Over at PineBrookStadium.com we have posted another photo of Gamby and his winning car.  (You should send us your photos, too!)  Sal, what became of that car?