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  • #16
    Nice shot of Leeward in the previous guise for the Mustang, "Miss Florida", Shawn.

    Ahh Leeward... King of the "I'll throttle back and drop down into the Bronze race and win" school of racing.

    The pic of Love in Grey Fox is great too. Nice lighting and the Cavalier mods show well.

    I dig the other shot of Cloud Dancer Neal.... That Pylon 1 you shot from was before my time going out to the pylons. Sounds like that was a good place indeed late in the afternoon or when the light was flat.

    The shot of Hoover and Danny is very cool too. That was during a race? Hmm... I don't know what that could have been. Did anyone ask Dan?
    Last edited by Jan; 03-09-2024, 01:27 AM.
    Jan =


    • #17
      Ahh Miss Florida. I thought this was a really nice Mustang paint scheme -- very simple with just roundels and red trim. Is this a British scheme?

      This was Reno 1977. I cropped the photo to show Just how cluttered Stead was in the early days. It's hard to believe these folks were racing anywhere around all that stuff.

      That is the old pylon 1 across the runway. There is a big berm beyond the other runway that hides all the crap beyond. A very cool place to shoot from.

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      • #18
        Miss Florida was a gorgeous restoration --- flawless metal work and paint. I've always liked this pit scene from 1977. That's Tom Kelly leaning on the wing. He and John Dilley were the guys who brought us the best known Lou IV racers, as well as Vendetta. These folks were also close to Poberezny and the EAA. They flew each others' airplanes, crewed for each other at the races etc. That's why so many photos over the years have their airplanes parked together.

        No canopies, motor homes, or race trailers. Mostly just airplanes. An exception was the very well equipped racing support truck brought by the Red Baron team. It was quite something for the time. When the Red Baron thing ended Mike Nixon bought the truck and it was a Reno fixture for a while longer.

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        Last edited by wingman; 03-09-2024, 11:40 PM.


        • #19
          Over Lemon Valley, Reno 1977. That community looks a bit different these days....

          That lakebed has eaten airplanes over the years.

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          • #20
            A lovely airplane.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by wingman View Post
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              I quite liked the paint scheme, at the time. The Mustang does not take well to a sharkmouth, but I think this is the best I've seen. It all made for a pretty flashy racing paint job.
              I wish that I could like that one twice! Incredibly beautiful shot, Neal! I would buy a print if one were made available.


              • #22
                Thank you very much, Al. That shot has never been seen much -- I never knew how people would like it and it's not something I'd submit for publication. It does have drama, which I like. I no longer do or sell prints, so you are out of luck on that point.

                That spot was great when conditions were suitable. One big problem was that decent zoom lenses were years in the future so I often ended up cutting off important bits of image.

                Being too close to a landing Corsair to get a decent photo has not really been a recurrent problem in my shooting career. I'm glad I had the experience...

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                Last edited by wingman; 03-11-2024, 12:06 AM.


                • #23
                  I agree Neal, Miss Florida was a good looking Mustang. I'd say that Leeward's Mustangs were usually nice to look at. If you were around at Reno or back east as well and got down to Ocala, FL as we did a few times w/Dad, you could reasonably observe that Leeward had a sense of style. He did some err... unconventional things... but he liked sharp airplanes. And he liked spacious houses... as you can see to this day at Leeward Air Ranch.

                  And yes, the Poberezny/Kelley/Dilley association was strong. I remember chatting with Paul about RVs of all things in Dilley's pit one year. Plus, Eric and Dad and I used to see Kelley not only at Reno but at several of the tracks on the IRL circuit including Indianapolis when his Indy Car team was part of the IRL. As a car dealer, he had quite a few links to the auto industry and Delphi sponsored the car Scott Sharp raced for him from the late 1990s until 2004 or so.

                  It was kind of cool being at Indy and talking about Reno with Kelley. Did that with Johnny Rutherford too....



                  • #24
                    Sorry Jan that was my dad's too I'm having a friend working on my and my dad's stuff and this was in one of the files.


                    • #25

                      Yes, Jimmy did like to look good. He spent a lot of money on paint -- he liked the airplane to look at least a bit different each year. He also spent a lot of money on team uniforms. They were different each year, and always featured white pants. I can't quite imagine working all week on a racer wearing white pants, but that was Jimmy's reality.

                      This was the crew for Reno 1981. Leeward and crew chief Dilley standing on the wing, Tom Kelly second from the left sitting, and Jimmy's son Dirk on the far right.

                      Jimmy qualified at an excellent 388 mph, but did not finish a race for the rest of the week. Many problems with the eternally troublesome P-51H prop seals.....

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                      Last edited by wingman; 03-13-2024, 01:02 PM.


                      • #26
                        Leeward didn't start racing in the Unlimited class until 1975 with Miss Florida. But something popped up the other day from a little over two years before that which caught my eye.

                        It's now up on YouTube - super 8mm film footage of The Great Miami Air Race in January 1973 at New Tamiami Airport in Florida. I don't know who shot it. If you do, let me know.

                        This is great fun to watch. There are lots of familiar names in the Unlimited, T-6, Formula 1 and Biplane classes that make an appearance.

                        Starting with F1 you'll see folks who raced at Cleveland in the 1940s including Steve Wittman and Bob Downey as well as then contemporary racers like Chuck Andrews, Marion Baker, Don Beck, Jack Lowers, Bill Falck and more.

                        From the Bipes, watch Don Fairbanks stride right up to the camera and catch brief glimpses of others a few of you may recognize.

                        In the T-6 class you'll see the airplanes mostly "Miss Behavin'" w/John Mosby, "Miss Eufaula" with Mac McClain, "Shatzi" with Ralph Twombly, "Come on Eleven" with Cal Conroy, "Hot Knotts" with Don DeWalt and more.

                        And the Unlimiteds - get a load of Lyle in the "7 & 1/4 percent Special", Jack Sliker in his Bearcat "Escape II", Mac flying Sliker's "Escape I" Mustang, Howie in "Miss America (watch him stride past the camera in striped pants and his Cox Miss America shirt) - there's Leroy Penhall by his airplane reaching into the trunk of a rental car, Burns Byram ("Tangerine") can be see offering info on the finer points of air racing with two other gents, "Tipsy Miss" is there with Lefty at the helm, the Levitz gang is on full display with Gary's P-38, "Miss Candace" is there too sporting a Bearcat-sized prop.

                        Others are on hand too including a Mustang that raced just this once I think with Len Tanner in the cockpit. Love the name - "Pigeon Chaser".

                        Don't miss a victorious Lyle and wife emerging from the car with the race queen, the humongous trophies and...

                        Just at the end of the film a fella' Eric and I are very partial to - Dad - on the announcer's stand (he was the race announcer). Here's the video link below. Watch and smile.

                        This video was digitized from a reel of Super 8mm film with no markings. The film did have a manufacture date of 1972. It's of an air show & vintage World Wa...



                        • #27

                          That is a fascinating video. Long before my time, and I would not have recognised most of the players without Jan's guide.

                          One thing that really struck me was how precarious those T-6 starts from a standing start really were. The thought of all those big heavy airplanes staggering into the air and wobbling into an immediate turn is pretty horrifying from a 21st century perspective.

                          Lyle's very first victory.... Here is a shot by crew member Pete Behenna of Lyle in the victory convertible.

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                          • #28
                            I thought similar things about the T-6 start Neal. They took off to the west, turned (or wobbled in some cases) to the north slightly, then turned back to the west around the nearest pylon. Dad's taped notes from the race chronicle this in somewhat more colorful language.

                            The Behenna shot of Lyle is very cool. Dad was standing nearby and took one just a second or two before. But I thought I'd favor the audience with another shot from Cape May...

                            Note the center member of this trio... Photo by Roger Mudroch.

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