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Before it was Rare Bear

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  • BellCobraIV
    replied
    Originally posted by Racer 18 View Post

    John,
    Per your request here's my late recollection of working with Cliff. He was an extraordinary kind, patient and knowledgeable and all round mechanical genius imho. He literally could take anything and make it work. He was the mechanical spark plug that got Able Cat completed (1969), in such a short time, along with all the other volunteers, e.g. Pete, Harry, George, Bill H., Bill K., Dennis, etc...imho. I seem to recall he was a mechanic at TWA (probably Connie's had extensive knowledge of R-3350, etc.) and worked his way up to flight engineer, then first officer. Cliff and the guys patiently guided me on getting initial aircraft mechanical experience, which facilitated my involvement with T-6's and warbirds throughout my career. I ultimately flew T 6's for several decades primarily due to my relationship with Dennis Buehn, (the ultimate T 6 restorer/pilot), and raced at Reno for 10 years, and also got my A & P. Cliff was an awesome person and mentor! Lyle's legacy touching so many lives is extraordinary!

    Randy
    Thank you Randy,

    We lost Cliff way too early. He did nurture talent when he saw it. He was not a guy that jealously held the knowledge to prevent other people from succeeding. No quite the opposite he would jump in and lead the parade to get the group on the road. Without Cliff the Bearcat wouldn't have been ready for Reno '69.


    John

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  • Racer 18
    replied
    Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Re: Able Cat Stuck at a Stuckey's



    Reno 1969

    In the first picture that is Randy Difani walking around the Right wing towards the camera.

    In the second picture that is Randy Difani in the background by the left wing, The small kid in under the plane was a pain in the bottom, Oh wait, That was me.
    John,
    Per your request here's my late recollection of working with Cliff. He was an extraordinary kind, patient and knowledgeable and all round mechanical genius imho. He literally could take anything and make it work. He was the mechanical spark plug that got Able Cat completed (1969), in such a short time, along with all the other volunteers, e.g. Pete, Harry, George, Bill H., Bill K., Dennis, etc...imho. I seem to recall he was a mechanic at TWA (probably Connie's had extensive knowledge of R-3350, etc.) and worked his way up to flight engineer, then first officer. Cliff and the guys patiently guided me on getting initial aircraft mechanical experience, which facilitated my involvement with T-6's and warbirds throughout my career. I ultimately flew T 6's for several decades primarily due to my relationship with Dennis Buehn, (the ultimate T 6 restorer/pilot), and raced at Reno for 10 years, and also got my A & P. Cliff was an awesome person and mentor! Lyle's legacy touching so many lives is extraordinary!

    Randy

    Leave a comment:


  • wingman
    replied

    The end of a Mojave Air Race day -- wind howling, garbage flying, temperature dropping, and this lady...



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  • wingman
    replied
    Originally posted by SpinB;

    A freeway now bifurcates this course....
    Sad -- I liked that race course, and I liked Mojave as a rather raw desert town. Neither the race course or the town as we knew it back then exist any longer. I do mourn the California that was....




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  • SpinB
    replied
    Originally posted by wingman View Post

    Well done -- I poked around a bit but didn't go back far enough. This was indeed another great thread -- I can't believe it was two years ago. This getting old sh#t -- with the attendant time distortions, is getting old.

    To celebrate, here is a period shot by Bill LeSanche. Not real wonderful technically but the 1970s mood is there...

    Neal




    Click image for larger version Name:	Mo73 LeSanche563 copy WEB.jpg Views:	0 Size:	458.3 KB ID:	265254
    A freeway now bifurcates this course....

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  • wingman
    replied


    Well done -- I poked around a bit but didn't go back far enough. This was indeed another great thread -- I can't believe it was two years ago. This getting old sh#t -- with the attendant time distortions, is getting old.

    To celebrate, here is a period shot by Bill LeSanche. Not real wonderful technically but the 1970s mood is there...

    Neal




    Click image for larger version  Name:	Mo73   LeSanche563 copy  WEB.jpg Views:	0 Size:	458.3 KB ID:	265254

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  • BellCobraIV
    replied
    Wow, it took some work but I found it.

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  • Lockheed Bob
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Glad you are back. I always wear the "Warlock" hat & T-Shirt at least for 1 day @ Reno. I still use Warlock#75 for a lot of my passwords. I plan to be @ Reno in Sept. Take care. My Pacemaker is clicking away.

    Leave a comment:


  • BellCobraIV
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Originally posted by RandyGoss75 View Post
    I'm back-what have I missed gang...

    Well Randy, we missed you. So we haven't been doing anything. Except apparently speculating on the rarity of Allison/Merlin rod bearings, which is not really a thing. Miss A has got a good following and should handily show the world the limits of the Buick.

    For those that were not there Stiletto had an engine that was going away, pictures made it appear that he was down to 8 cylinders the Buick's pilot told Skip suggesting that he should Mayday. After the race Skip said he stayed on the course to show the Buick that he could beat him running on eight..

    The Yak will be back and if in top tune may be nipping at Miss A's heals. Rare Bear is still completely a non-entity from the view on top of the hill.

    That's all I got, cruise around the website there is more.

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  • RandyGoss75
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    I'm back-what have I missed gang...

    Leave a comment:


  • N22252
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Originally posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    ONE WORD John..... BOOK!!!

    I'd buy one

    Leave a comment:


  • AAFO_WSagar
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    So there has been a LOT of silence from my end for a while. I've been looking for people who I used to crew with "Before it was Rare Bear". I've found some, however recently I found something of my Dad's that has been missing for more than 25 years. There were once upon a time more than 200 banker's boxes of Lyle's items. Some charcoal and occasionally a diamond or two. In one of the boxes I found the missing Day-Timers from 1968 - 1975. I'm hoping at some time in the not so distant future that Brad Haskin and I get the chance to sit down with them and work out a definitive time line for the beginning of the Rare Bear. It was an exciting discovery.
    ONE WORD John..... BOOK!!!

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  • knot4u
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Forgot to mention, Mike is wearing red Chuck Taylors, why? I have no idea. Mike is a special person.

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  • knot4u
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Click image for larger version

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    Old photo, if you look closely from left to right are John Slack, Henry Hutchinson, Mike Looney on the right gear, Clark Thompson on the left and Don Dull pulling the GPU, I'm not sure who the girl on the far right is. IMHO that was probably the epitome of what an air racer should look like (doesn't hurt that I'm sitting in the cockpit).
    Edit: Upon reflection I'm fairly certain that's Bill Kelly's truck towing the airplane. I don't think Bill ever stopped at an Auto Zone and didn't buy anything to put on his truck. I also know for sure that Bill, Fred Cairo and myself got into some nonsense in Phoenix one night that left me with a hangover, sore abs and sore cheeks from laughing so much. I miss that guy.
    Last edited by knot4u; 05-27-2022, 07:59 PM.

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  • ZacYates
    replied
    Re: Before it was Rare Bear

    Hear hear, very exciting!

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