Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Terre Haute Wrap-Up

Here's a couple of shots from Mid-America Motorworks. They've got a nice little museum and showroom. Since they also sell Corvette parts, they've got a nice collection of stuff dealing with those as well. They sponsor a big Fun Fest every year. If I remember correctly, next year it runs from May 31 to June 2. I should mark my calender for that one and take a run down there - boring but easy drive. If I got real busy, I could drive the bug down. I picked up enough parts the other day to start making a dent in that project. I'm looking forward to getting them installed.

These are handles inside the interlocking tower at the Railroad Museum in Terre Haute. It's a pretty small place but they get a ton of train traffic that runs by there. There were four or five trains that went by in the short time we were there. It's cool being able to watch them go by from up in the tower.

Silver Crown engine here. According to the driver, the Toyota engine puts out about 800 horses. The engine is basically the same as those running in the Busch series with a piston and camshaft change. It was a relatively small field Saturday but there were cars powered by Ford, Mopar, Toyota, and the old, reliable, small block Chevy. This is the first time I've had a chance to look at the cars up close in a few years. It was especially interesting seeing these after visiting the 500 Museum of Wheels and being able to compare the technology changes that have gone into the cars. 

The safety features are much improved with full roll cages, arm restraints, and contour fitting seats. Electronic ignition and fuel management rather than magneto and mechanical fuel injection. The chassis and driveline components are now CNC machined or laser cut so they look really nice, but surprisingly, the cars aren't that much different from a car built 70 years ago. I think that's one of the reasons I like the open wheel cars as much as I do. They're purpose built race cars but they still look like the average guy could put one together in his garage at home and go racing. A Speedway Motors catalog and a big checkbook and you've got yourself a racer. No engineer required.

Russ Gamester's Silver Crown car sponsored by First Financial Bank. First Financial used to be the First National Bank of Terre Haute and their logo has been on the side of race cars for many, many years. I'm sure there's a book out there that documents the history of Indiana's racing heritage and the involvement of the people from the First National Bank, Root Glass and Clabber Girl and others from Terre Haute. Lots of history in Terre Haute. I should look into that now that I'm a man of 80% leisure.

And lest I forget, Happy Birthday Surly!

1 comment:

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