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Thread: Reno 1976

  1. #1
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    Default Reno 1976

    Ghosts...


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    Were any other AAFOers at my first Reno? In retrospect, 1976 has some real parallels to 2022 -- weather, lack of entries, and a very troubling economic outlook. It seemed like an event in trouble, yet here we are 45 years later worrying about many of the same things. In 1976 the racing went on and Reno thrived for thirty years thereafter.

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    And I have a question for historians here -- What Mustang did Robert A. Bob use for Reno 76? It was bare metal, and I can't see an N number in my shots. That's him at 30 feet AGL in the second shot.





    Neal
    Last edited by wingman; 01-17-2023 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Reno 1976

    I was about 8 months short of being born for Reno '76. No, my mother didn't go.
    Cool pics, and yes there were some parallels. That said, all the other classes except for the Unlimiteds were pretty full. I really hope Reno 23 lives up to its potential, Miss A roosting the field, a 3 way battle of Yaks for 3rd place, two Bardahl racers racing as they did back in the day, Miss Van Nuys returning, and a handful of stock Mustangs that haven't raced before coming out.

    Yep the races are in dire straights as usual, but bigger fields (Hopefully) and faster racers (at least 2) are on their way. RARA really needs to learn how to promote their product. If they can figure that out, and we get the 2-3 new racers (okay, 2 new builds and 1 rebuild) it could be the dawning of a new era for the sport. The $ is out there, RARA just needs to figure out how to bring it in.

    Will

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Reno 1976

    I was there! On Sunday at least, it was my first year.
    I notice the P-63F in a couple shots... I think it was Hinton flying, or was that 78, or both?
    Nothing I took with my little 110 is worth looking at. I took HUNDREDS of airplane pictures with that darn thing in the early 70's.
    Bob Love is listed in #96 "Grey Fox" owned by J. Brassfield, N109DW
    Last edited by Leo; 01-17-2023 at 05:43 PM.
    Leo Smiley - Graphics and Fine Arts
    airplanenutleo@gmail.com
    thetreasuredpeacock.etsy.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reno 1976

    Quote Originally Posted by RAD2LTR View Post
    That said, all the other classes except for the Unlimiteds were pretty full.

    Will

    Actually, if you dip below the surface the other classes were in trouble too in 1976. The T-6 class had rampant and blatant cheating going on, especially messing with blowers and juiced fuel. They had an ugly fatal crash right in front of the crowd in 1975, and were seemingly in the process of realizing that T-6 races from a standing start on to the small Formula 1/Biplane course were really not a very good idea.

    The Formulas and Biplanes were in the middle of a huge and very nasty battle over control of their sport. The "just go to Reno to fly around and have fun" group was temporarily in charge, and sent the two fastest Formula 1 pilots home in disgrace for questionably small rules violations. Clearly Ray Cote's real problem was that he was going too fast.

    There were apparently a LOT of unhappy people at Reno 76. I was quite oblivious to all this -- I was just a paying spectator with a couple of cameras. I was in hog heaven over what I was seeing and hearing...

    Neal


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reno 1976

    Reno 76 was when I fell totally in love with this lady. This is still one of my all time favourite Racer paint schemes. Little did I know that years later my name would be on her gear leg.

    The pits were different back then. No canopies, work platforms, race trailers and campers -- just a bunch of guys on stepladders working on fighter planes.


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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Reno 1976

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    I was there! On Sunday at least, it was my first year.
    I notice the P-63F in a couple shots... I think it was Hinton flying.
    Bob Love is listed in #96 "Grey Fox" owned by J. Brassfield, N109DW
    It was qualified by the owner, but a young mechanic named Steve Hinton talked Jack into letting him race the airplane. As well as the loss of life in Dallas, I mourn both airplanes. Texas Raiders and the P-63F were both there in 1976, and are to this day huge highlights in my fading memories of that week. I thought that P-63 was just plain beautiful. That tail gave it a character quite different from "ordinary" Kingcobras.

    Neal

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  7. #7

    Default Re: Reno 1976

    I was 11 years old at Reno in 1975. My Mom drove me up there for the first and only time. Usually it was my grandmother that did the driving, but she was traveling, so Mom stepped up. The nasty cold and wind had her sitting in the car most of the day, running the heater, but I sat happily in the grandstands in a down jacket, smiling like an idiot the whole time. I don't remember much about the event, save watching Bob Hoover entertain the relatively sparse crowd, and watching Lefty take the win in challenging conditions.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Reno 1976

    It was cold, and it was windy, and it was wet. Several of us went up from San Francisco with no idea where we were going to stay during the Races. I have hazy memories of a cold night trying to shelter from the rain under a bit of canopy in the loading dock of a burned out warehouse building just outside the fence.

    It was OK, though, as I had the Red Baron waiting for me the next morning. I thought the RB-51 was pretty cool...

    Check out the names on the gear door -- a real who's who of Air Racing in the next decade.

    Neal


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  9. #9

    Default Re: Reno 1976

    What fantastic pics! The RB-51 remains my all-time favorite Unlimited racer.
    My Mom went again in 1979, which was when the RB went down. My Dad, who hated all any and all things related to aviation, went along as well, and spent the entire ride home PO'd as hell because "I didn't come up to Reno to see anyone get killed!!" Telling him that Steve Hinton had survived did nothing to change his attitude, but he did express relief. He about had a stroke when a few years later I told him that I was going to become an A&P.
    Last edited by Bigger Al; 01-18-2023 at 01:56 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Reno 1976

    I was a big fan immediately. It did not have the white airplane's pure elegance, but the brute force of the Baron was something to behold, for a newbie like me in 1976.


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    Neal

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