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Thread: A Wingman quiz

  1. #31
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman View Post
    Actually some interesting questions. The contra rotating Race 38s are complicated. Gary Levitz's P-38 was number 38 for years, and even with the P-38 out of the picture he had kept the number. His red Mustang was #38, and eventually so was Miss Ashley II. Along the way he put the number on the Mustang below even though he never got to race it. When Gary died the number became available again. I hope Speedy will come in to correct my account and continue it...

    A racing number is owned by the pilot or owner as long as they pay for it each year.

    Neal
    Oh wow...what a great picture, Neal. That was at the Vegas race in '89. Shelley Levitz reclining on the wing. :-) That is the original Precious Metal, N5483V, sans markings.

    It was stripped of all its racing markings and 'stored' (read: hidden) for Don W. in Gary's hangar at Salt Lake as part of the 'great airplane stash'...the long, complicated story about shared identities between this airframe and the Griffon racer in 1988. Anyhow, since it was 'there', Gary decided to pull it out, slap a #38 on it and take it to the Vegas event. There were some issues between Gary and the event organizer Russ Francis, so Gary up and left before the race took place.

    I always thought it was funny that so many people there claimed that Gary had 'modified his Miss Ashley and given it a new paint scheme'. But anyone familiar with N5483V (the tail, the wing fairings, the one-piece canopy, and even the 'clipped tip' ferry propeller) knew exactly what plane was sitting there on the ramp that year.

    Ralph Payne once told me that when the time came for Don Whittington to retrieve the plane from Gary's hangar that there was actually some debate as to 'which' plane Don was going to take and Gary was going to keep between N345 and N5483V. Registration and ownership was fast-flowing back in the day, and I always thought it would have been great if Gary had kept P.M. Wasn't to be, though.

    If you have any more photos of N5483V from that Vegas race that you would be willing to post I'd love to see them.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    Here's a little scan -- all I have done off hand. I have a vivid memory of the morning in the old hotel in Boulder City of Gary and Russ Francis and a couple of other people coming down the stairs yelling at each other and going out the door. When I got to the field later the airplane was already gone.

    Neal
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  3. #33
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    So, Brad, did the Race number lapse after Gary's death? Did dandy Don take up #38 as a tribute to Gary? Any idea why he did not take up #09 again?

    Photo by Birgitta

    Neal
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  4. #34
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    Quote Originally Posted by wingman View Post
    So, Brad, did the Race number lapse after Gary's death? Did dandy Don take up #38 as a tribute to Gary? Any idea why he did not take up #09 again?

    Photo by Birgitta

    Neal
    That is something I could never figure out...that deal with the race number. I recall that paintjob debuted at Sun' n Fun in '95, shortly before the Phoenix races. Gary had already sold N345 overseas and was in the process of helping Bill Rogers finish MAII (even though it'd be another two years before it raced). I also recall that Gary was listed as 'back up pilot' for Don in 1995, and actively worked on the crew. Here's a pic from Phoenix with Gary, Don and Bill in the front row.

    But I also recall talking to Don shortly after Reno that year and him saying he wasn't interested in racing that plane anymore...so it could have been just something to 'do' with Gary before his new project was completed.
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    Last edited by Big_Jim; 10-19-2021 at 12:48 PM.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    Unrelated to the question about the race #38 but I'll never forget how DW managed to get paid by Pat Dial after the 95 race.

    I was there when he made it clear that it would be in Dial's best interest to pay him. He made his point very colorfully I must say....

  6. #36

    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    What a great looking airplane. The wing fillets, the H tail, and that one piece windscreen, just beautiful.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan View Post
    Unrelated to the question about the race #38 but I'll never forget how DW managed to get paid by Pat Dial after the 95 race.

    I was there when he made it clear that it would be in Dial's best interest to pay him. He made his point very colorfully I must say....
    I'll say. I don't repeat that story in public very often...as I was chastised by a photographer within RARA that I was putting the sport in a bad light.

    But. As RLP said at the time "well...if you have the means...."

  8. #38
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    Default Re: A Wingman quiz

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Jim View Post
    I'll say. I don't repeat that story in public very often...as I was chastised by a photographer within RARA that I was putting the sport in a bad light.

    But. As RLP said at the time "well...if you have the means...."
    That was well said....

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