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Re: Unknown Speedweek Car on Picture Post

Subject: Re: Unknown Speedweek Car on Picture Post
From: W S Potter <>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 22:33:37 -0600

I'm guessing the Mcgee Oil drilling Special out of Midland, TX, probably
owned by Denny Larsen with Ray Brown listed as a contributor, is a late
1950's car or early 1960's car from the looks of the wheels and the body.
Larsen raced the "Streetliner" at the salt in 1954 turning 183 mph on gas.
In those days you could drive your race car into Wendover, hence the name.
If Ray Brown built the engine it's probably a Chrysler. That car ran a
Sorrell body ... so this car could be a Sorrell as well.  The body looks
somewhat like a Lister Jag as has been guessed but the front fenders are a
bit tall for a Lister if I remember correctly.  The number is very possibly
a Bonneville event number. If someone has some programs from that era the
number should be possible to trace.  The car hasn't run at World of Speed so
I'll have to defer to the SCTA/BNI folks for their expertise.

Tom, if you can pull up a program to enlarge the lettering on the car you
may be able to answer some of the questions yourself.

The Ray Brown that immediately comes to my mind is the incredible string
bass player, ex husband of Ella Fitzgerald, father of her son, Ray Brown
Jr., recorded hundreds of albums as a leader and sideman ... died last
winter between sets while playing a gig in Indiana.   That's what happens
when your passions overlap, you tend to get names confused.

The racer Ray Brown was a Bonneville contributor both as a racer and as the
Chrysler engine builder for the Shadoff Special streamliner.  He was also
the co entrant on the Mal Hooper-Ray Brown belly tank lakester that set
records in 1952.  Dean Bachelor identifies him also as a senior VP, director
of sales and marketing for Superior Industries, the largest manufacturer of
alloy wheels in the world.  I'm guessing the wheels on the car in question
are by Superior. 

The car is pristine so it probably is owned by a collector who had it on the
salt as a tribute to it's racing heritage.  It looks too clean to be a
current competition car ... possibly a recent restoration?  There's no roll
bar, the tires have not been very far on the salt and it just looks too
clean to be a current campaigner.

That can't end the speculation but it may steer some folks into the best
tracks for finding a good answer.


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