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  • #91


    I'm going to try something to see if I understand this software. Here are some Bill LeSanche photos of Bob Love's racer. I'm going to put up small versions, and I think if you click on one you get
    a larger version and then have arrows to continue through the set of images. We'll see...

    Bob Love was a racer. He never had the money or backing or time to fully develop this this thing, but he actually did well with what he had til he ran afoul of one version of RARA corruption. It is sad to hear about...


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    • #92
      Originally posted by wingman View Post



      Well Thank you, Al. I wish there were more than three of us doing most of the posting. I never know whether anybody has real interest in this ancient history that I find so fascinating, so feedback is vital -- at least hit the like button when you do like something. What we three are doing here is great fun, but it is also a lot more time and effort than meets the eye. I, for one, need some feedback as to whether this is worth the trouble.

      Neal
      To me this is incredibly valuable. 2023 was my 50th Reno, and most of the early years were spent just going on Sunday with my grandmother, so fleshing out the things that I saw means a great deal. The effort is appreciated much more than I can properly express via keyboard, and the sharing of these priceless images and first-hand accounts does a huge service to air racing and to air race fans. The times that I spent with family at Reno are some of the best of my life, and you've provided me a touchstone to the past that makes me feel like a kid again. Hard to put a price on that.
      Thank you again!!

      Comment


      • #93
        Originally posted by wingman View Post



        Well Thank you, Al. I wish there were more than three of us doing most of the posting. I never know whether anybody has real interest in this ancient history that I find so fascinating, so feedback is vital -- at least hit the like button when you do like something. What we three are doing here is great fun, but it is also a lot more time and effort than meets the eye. I, for one, need some feedback as to whether this is worth the trouble.

        Neal
        Superb thread! Captivating. This is one of the reasons I've been around here for almost 20 years. Keep it going please!
        Last edited by marada mx3; 04-17-2024, 07:27 AM.

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        • #94
          Keep it going gentlemen. It's all great stuff and much appreciated.

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          • #95
            I am also LOVING this. My older brother first went in 1973. He actually took some super 8 movies that I am in the process of digitizing. I couldn't go then because I was still in high school, but I joined him in 1980, and we have only missed a few until his passing last year. This type of discussion is GREAT! Keep it coming!

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            • #96
              Originally posted by wingman View Post

              I'm going to try something to see if I understand this software. Here are some Bill LeSanche photos of Bob Love's racer. I'm going to put up small versions, and I think if you click on one you get
              a larger version and then have arrows to continue through the set of images. We'll see...

              Bob Love was a racer. He never had the money or backing or time to fully develop this this thing, but he actually did well with what he had til he ran afoul of one version of RARA corruption. It is sad to hear about...


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              Jerry"F-ing" Duty....
              John Slack

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              • #97
                Originally posted by BellCobraIV;

                Jerry"F-ing" Duty....

                Indeed. A small person in a big job. Not having been there it does make me sad more than angry, but...

                Comment


                • #98

                  Thanks to all for letting us know someone really is seeing this stuff.

                  Hey Merlin guys -- What is this thing that Dave Zeuschel is hefting?​




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                  Last edited by wingman; 04-17-2024, 11:21 AM.

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                  • #99
                    Originally posted by wingman View Post


                    Indeed. A small person in a big job. Not having been there it does make me sad more than angry, but...
                    Indeed, Everytime I think about 1974 and if I should just let it go.... I decide nope not yet.

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                    • CRJpilot
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                      #1 Reno Unlimited Gold Winners - 1964 to 2023

                      09-26-2023, 11:42 AM
                      I have been tracking the Unlimited Gold Winners at Reno from 1964 to the last year 2023 on a spreadsheet. The first roughly 3/4 of this document came from another former warbird forum which I believe was called Warbird Aero Press. Sorry if I have the name of that forum wrong and I'm certainly not taking credit from the original author of this document that I can't remember the name of.

                      I have the original spreadsheet for editing purposes, the forum software won't let me attach it. The easier to manage PDF file for viewing, storing, etc, is attached. It was printed from the spreadsheet.

                      I believe the information is all accurate but if one of you long time fans who likely knew most of these pilots has corrections please feel free to make adjustments. Most if not all of this data is available on the RARA site.

                      The 6 lines highlighted in yellow are pretty self explanatory. It's my understanding that if a heat or final race was never started or completed, the previously completed event stands as the final result.

                      2001: 9/11, never got off the ground.
                      2010: 3A completed, Gold final cancelled due to wind.
                      2011: 2A not completed, qualifying times used due to the accident.
                      2020: Cancelled - Covid.
                      2022: 3A completed, Gold final cancelled due to the accident.
                      2023: 3A completed, Gold final cancelled due to the accident.

                      A point of interest, the 499.160 mph qualifying speed in 2011 by Steven Hinton was the fastest that anyone ever qualified in that class at Reno.

                      And that was Strega - just sayin'. . .

                      Obviously Skip Holm's fasted lap speed ever in 2A of 2003 at 507.105 mph, is a separate issue.

                      Anyway, just thought I would share this now that Reno is done.

                      Don​
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                      #2
                      09-26-2023, 02:12 PM
                      Originally posted by CRJpilot View Post
                      I have been tracking the Unlimited Gold Winners at Reno from 1964 to the last year 2023 on a spreadsheet. The first roughly 3/4 of this document came from another former warbird forum which I believe was called Warbird Aero Press. Sorry if I have the name of that forum wrong and I'm certainly not taking credit from the original author of this document that I can't remember the name of.

                      I have the original spreadsheet for editing purposes, the forum software won't let me attach it. The easier to manage PDF file for viewing, storing, etc, is attached. It was printed from the spreadsheet.

                      I believe the information is all accurate but if one of you long time fans who likely knew most of these pilots has corrections please feel free to make adjustments. Most if not all of this data is available on the RARA site.

                      The 6 lines highlighted in yellow are pretty self explanatory. It's my understanding that if a heat or final race was never started or completed, the previously completed event stands as the final result.

                      2001: 9/11, never got off the ground.
                      2010: 3A completed, Gold final cancelled due to wind.
                      2011: 2A not completed, qualifying times used due to the accident.
                      2020: Cancelled - Covid.
                      2022: 3A completed, Gold final cancelled due to the accident.
                      2023: 3A completed, Gold final cancelled due to the accident.

                      A point of interest, the 499.160 mph qualifying speed in 2011 by Steven Hinton was the fastest that anyone ever qualified in that class at Reno.

                      And that was Strega - just sayin'. . .

                      Obviously Skip Holm's fasted lap speed ever in 2A of 2003 at 507.105 mph, is a separate issue.

                      Anyway, just thought I would share this now that Reno is done.

                      Don​
                      1974 has an interesting back story. If you look at the gear door on Rare Bear over the years that Lyle Shelton owned the airplane you'd notice that several years were listed simply as "1st", however 1974 was listed as finished first. The Reno Air Racing Association under Jerry Duty's direction found a way to penalize Lyle Shelton and Bob Love 1 lap each and moved them to the back of the pack...even though they both had completely lapped the field. You'd think after 49 years I would let it go, nope and neither had any of the other team members from 1974. Lyle's race speed in 1974 would not be beat until Jeannie went faster in 1980.


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                      #3
                      09-26-2023, 03:08 PM
                      Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post
                      1974 has an interesting back story. If you look at the gear door on Rare Bear over the years that Lyle Shelton owned the airplane you'd notice that several years were listed simply as "1st", however 1974 was listed as finished first. The Reno Air Racing Association under Jerry Duty's direction found a way to penalize Lyle Shelton and Bob Love 1 lap each and moved them to the back of the pack...even though they both had completely lapped the field. You'd think after 49 years I would let it go, nope and neither had any of the other team members from 1974. Lyle's race speed in 1974 would not be beat until Jeannie went faster in 1980.


                      ​​​​​​

                      What was the excuse for that penalty?!
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                      #4
                      09-26-2023, 06:28 PM
                      Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post
                      1974 has an interesting back story. If you look at the gear door on Rare Bear over the years that Lyle Shelton owned the airplane you'd notice that several years were listed simply as "1st", however 1974 was listed as finished first. The Reno Air Racing Association under Jerry Duty's direction found a way to penalize Lyle Shelton and Bob Love 1 lap each and moved them to the back of the pack...even though they both had completely lapped the field. You'd think after 49 years I would let it go, nope and neither had any of the other team members from 1974. Lyle's race speed in 1974 would not be beat until Jeannie went faster in 1980.


                      ​​​​​​

                      Man, I love these memories! It's one thing to relive the races through the souvenir programs and posters, but the real history lives with the guys who made it.
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                      #5
                      09-27-2023, 04:39 AM
                      Originally posted by BellCobraIV View Post
                      1974 has an interesting back story. If you look at the gear door on Rare Bear over the years that Lyle Shelton owned the airplane you'd notice that several years were listed simply as "1st", however 1974 was listed as finished first. The Reno Air Racing Association under Jerry Duty's direction found a way to penalize Lyle Shelton and Bob Love 1 lap each and moved them to the back of the pack...even though they both had completely lapped the field. You'd think after 49 years I would let it go, nope and neither had any of the other team members from 1974. Lyle's race speed in 1974 would not be beat until Jeannie went faster in 1980.


                      ​​​​​​

                      I have to imagine there's an interesting story each time these aircraft took to the skies.

                      Is this screenshot from the RARA 1974 race record page what you are referring to? Lyle Shelton showing in 5th place having been penalized for an altitude issue during another aircraft's mayday and missing out on a speed record?

                      I really hope that although Reno as host of the races is finished, a site like RARA continues to maintain the extensive records and detail of the past.

                      Don

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                      #6
                      09-27-2023, 05:41 AM
                      Originally posted by CRJpilot View Post
                      Obviously Skip Holm's fasted lap speed ever in 2A of 2003 at 507.105 mph, is a separate issue.
                      The 507.105 mph was the average speed for the race. Fastest lap during that run was 512.164 mph. Dago, Skip, Kerch & crew were all a great match
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                      #7
                      09-27-2023, 06:10 AM
                      Originally posted by Pylon1_Mark View Post
                      The 507.105 mph was the average speed for the race. Fastest lap during that run was 512.164 mph. Dago, Skip, Kerch & crew were all a great match
                      Oh good catch! As a former crew member you would know detail like that.

                      Makes sense all those recorded speeds on the above PDF would be the average for each years race.

                      Thanks Mark.

                      Don
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                      #8
                      09-27-2023, 06:28 AM
                      Your above post Mark had me digging deeper into the records of 2003 at RARA and even a detail like Skip Holm's 487.938 mph average speed in the Gold final, was over 50 mph faster than the Jet Gold final average speed that year.

                      Don
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                      #9
                      09-27-2023, 10:10 AM
                      Originally posted by CRJpilot View Post
                      I have to imagine there's an interesting story each time these aircraft took to the skies.

                      Is this screenshot from the RARA 1974 race record page what you are referring to? Lyle Shelton showing in 5th place having been penalized for an altitude issue during another aircraft's mayday and missing out on a speed record?

                      I really hope that although Reno as host of the races is finished, a site like RARA continues to maintain the extensive records and detail of the past.

                      Don

                      As Paul Harvey would say, "And Now for the rest of the story"...
                      In 1973 at the Miami Air Race Lyle was elected to be President of the PRPA. Bob Love would later become the Vice President of the Unlimited Class. Jerry Duty was the Air Race Director of the Reno Air races. As was then, as is now, the prize money doesn't cover the hotel bill let alone the motor guy. As the President of the PRPA Lyle along with Unlimited Class Vice President Bob Love went to Reno to negotiate higher prize money. The negotiations were quite contentious. Jerry Duty at one point telling Lyle and Bob that they don't need the Unlimited Class Racers, He told them If I took a chrome plated milk bucket filled it with "Cow Sheet" and painted the word "WINNER" on it I could fill the field with stock airplanes to risk their lives for it!" Lyle and Bob went back home and contacted the Unlimited pilots, They suggested to stand down in protest of the prize money. The racer's all agreed they would not go to Reno that year. Lyle and Bob Love informed Jerry Duty that the Unlimited class would not be attending unless there was a change to prize money. Jerry Duty just laughed. Well it came time for the entry fees to be sent in and all of the tough hard line Unlimited pilots just folded and sent in their entry fees. Finally as the deadline for entry arrived Lyle and Bob not wanting to see a stock airplane "WIN" the race entered. Jerry Duty was an ass to Lyle and Bob all week...However that was not a new thing he was rarely very pleasant to the racers.

                      The Bearcat was and is a brutal machine and The "OMNI Aviation Special" (Rare Bears Name of the year. It changed annually depending on Sponsorship Prior to 1980) had a Narco Mark 12 Radio in the cockpit. Wire antennas were mounted below the canopy and we did not realize until we got to Reno and started running the course that there were dead spots on the course were the radio did not work that well. They played with antenna placement in between inspections repairing fallout from the races but to no avail. The radio was functional except for the little bitty section going uphill away from the stands, I can't remember exactly I believe that was between pylon 3 and 4,

                      Bob Love and Lyle had a good natured rivalry Air Cooled vs. Hot Water Toilet, Inline vs. Round, Mustang vs. Bearcat, Air Force vs. Navy. Bob had an early Dwight Thorn Merlin engine before Allison Rods, However Da' Doc had started to have success with making power and getting them to live. So the races were shaping up to be an event. Lyle qualified at a new record speed of 432.252 MPH 12 MPH faster than Cliff Cummins in MISS CANDACE at 420.283 (With a Zeuschel Motor - Z was also figuring it out.) Bob saving his engine qualified at 5th at 402.711

                      Friday's Unlimited Heat race saw Lyle walk away with the show 6 laps at a new record of 420.118, Bob was actually right behind Lyle, however a cut pylon would move him down to 4 th place. The stage was set by Sunday for a good run, Bob had a healthy Merlin, Lyle had a very healthy 3350. The race started and Lyle and Bob took off from the other racers, On lap 2 Mac Mclain blew his engine and called a Mayday. Under the rules of the time you were required to pull up to 500' above the ground level to make room for the emergent aircraft. That rule was pending be removed as many thought it wiser to be aware of the aircraft and not start making adjustments that the pilot making an emergency landing would have to deal with - Point of Fact that rule was no longer in effect by 1975. Lyle continued along at his original race altitude for about a quarter of a lap when Bob who was behind Lyle 500 feet higher Called him on the radio and asked him, "Lyle did you hear the Mayday? To which Lyle immediately cleared the altitude to 500 feet. Soon the mayday was over and Bob and Lyle were on a terror. I can remember sitting on the ramp in front of the crowd watching Lyle and Bob eat the competition like they were Bronze racers in the Gold. Before the end of lap six Lyle and Bob had lapped every other airplane on the course. Coming around the final turn on the final lap Bob Love's engine swallowed a valve and Bob declared a Mayday, However there are pictures taken from the stands of Bob's airplane taking the chaeckered flag with the Home Pylon in the background showing Bob's Altitude to be not much higher than the home pylon. The airplanes landed and taxi'd in front of he stands. The Bearcat was parked farther away and I was waiting for the planes to stop and shutdown. I by chance happened to be standing next to Joel Burnstine (Kenny's son who was my age as his dad shut down. Jerry Duty Hopped out of his car right in front of me ran up to Kenny and told Kenny, "Come on we want you to protest Lyle for not pulling up during the Mayday, The contest committee has already met we'll give you the win".

                      Half an hour later the word came down Lyle was being penalized for the infraction, Bob Love was being penalized for being higher than 1,500 feet and no longer considered on the course. Bu wait a one lap penalty for a guy that that passed every other competitor still has him in first place with an adjusted speed. But wait this wasn't the digital age where everyone has a cell phone so the pictures of Bob's finish would not come out for a couple of days. Lyle was ready to protest the finish, However not long after Lyle's Good friend Walt Ohlrich (He was now on the contest committee) came in to the pit as Lyle started to tell him about the finish and how Reno had it wrong Walt just looked at Lyle and said sorry Champ, The fix was in Jerry Duty had directed the contest Committee behind closed doors to determine this finish before he went and dragged Kenny into it. That night before the awards banquet Kenny came up and apologized to Lyle. They called for Lyle to come up and get his 5th place trophy and Lyle just sat there...quietly sitting with his team, We all clapped for the others. When it was over one of the directors came over and set Lyle's 5th place medallion on the table. when we were heading back to the Mapes Hotel My Mom started to pick it up, Lyle just said to her, No Leave it there. somebody cleaning up the room later must have returned it to the Air Racing Association. About a month later a certified package arrived in the mail from the Air Racing Association It was sized and shaped the size that you would send a medallion in it got the return to sender notice and away it went. Jerry Duty came up to Lyle in 1975 and told him that he had his trophy, Lyle just quietly walked away.


                      Many years later in the nineties I was rebuilding the ignition that had prevented the Bearcat from going home in the large Hangar that was the Formula One/Sport Bypes hangar during the races. A nice friendly woman came down from the offices and said "Oh, We have something of your Dad's upstairs." After lunch I went Upstairs and she showed me the medallion, I must have looked strange to her as I stepped back and told her "I'm not allowed to touch that" it was the medallion STILL wandering around the RARA offices after all those years. Some more years after that Lyle finally stopped his quiet protest of the 1974 Reno Championship Gold race and the medallion made it's way to a drawer in the House in Bakersfield. However the OMNI Aviation Special Did Finish first in the 1974 Sunday Gold race at a speed of 431 miles an hour, and nobody would beat that record again until Jeannie in 1980. They didn't need to in 1975 The Oogahonk was not racing and Bob after another win taken away from him by Reno was done."
                    from a different post by me. Bob Love was screwed by Reno twice robbed of the win in 1964 by the confusing Hydroplane rules. (I'll get a nasty text for that.) Then robbed of a solid second place finish behind Lyle in '74.

                    Your right Neal sad, I never liked not winning, (my dad didn't teach me that it was okay to be 2nd.) however I could take a great trouncing by Tiger D' & Co. Far better than a little man with his bucket of Horse Sxxt comments mettling with real people that put in real work 365 and 1/4 days a year.


                    John
                    John Slack

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                    • Originally posted by wingman View Post
                      Click image for larger version  Name:	R77  Sunday 202  copy  WEB.jpg Views:	0 Size:	964.0 KB ID:	264796 Thanks to all for letting us know someone really is seeing this stuff.

                      Hey Merlin guys -- What is this thing that Dave Zeuschel is hefting?
                      Magneto, changing the Magneto on a Merlin wasn't a bad experience at all. Changing the magneto on Rare Bear was an hours long adventure entailing a complete teardown of the back end of the accessory section of the airplane. The only thing worse was changing an alternator in the airplane which is why we had two of them. Everything behind the engine had to come out for that.


                      John
                      Last edited by BellCobraIV; 04-17-2024, 11:26 AM.
                      John Slack

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                      • Originally posted by wingman View Post



                        Well Thank you, Al. I wish there were more than three of us doing most of the posting. I never know whether anybody has real interest in this ancient history that I find so fascinating, so feedback is vital -- at least hit the like button when you do like something. What we three are doing here is great fun, but it is also a lot more time and effort than meets the eye. I, for one, need some feedback as to whether this is worth the trouble.

                        Neal
                        Ultimately, Mr.Nurmi, it's your time spent, so, only you can truely say the effort is worth it. As for appreciation, I know for a fact you're contributing a MONUMENTAL effort producing this OUTSTANDING and historically relevant material and, please believe me when i say, you'll NEVER know how much appreciation i (and evidently many others) have for your (and Ms. Birgittas') efforts...i humbly thank you!
                        I look at these images and i get flooded with conflicting emotions...i can hear these beasts echo in my consciousness, coming out of the VoS and bending it for home, then realizing ALL THAT'S GONE! Long live Da'BEAR and the Witch..and all the other fabulous heavies...like that 'Crimson Italian'!
                        rant mode off...
                        -oliver
                        Eddie's Airplane Patch-Birthplace of the "Sonic Boom".......and I'm reminded every friggin' day!

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                        • Neal,
                          TO be quite frank, when I get here and you and Jan are sharing things, and we can comment it is like we are sitting in Jack and Sylvia Sweeney's motorhome with a beer or wine as I got older and are just visiting. It's like we are in some some surreal state where we are just the three of us, although EVERYONE is invited to participate. Heck even Sparrow dropped in for a drink. This is the literal room where we can share what we know and what we have. These conversations have reopened the boxes that are stored of Lyle's slides. One of the most bizarre slides is him in the starting formation Reno '69 heading down towards the course on the start.....that HE took through the windscreen going downhill. Now how does that work? Throttle hand on the stick, camera up, focus on infinity, click, oh, yeah back to racing. I've started to search for a quality device to digitize the slides so I can share. But also to preserve. However it takes you and Jan to motivate those feelings, otherwise the boxes just sit in dry storage a couple of blocks (and a million years) away. I loved my time.

                          Sincerely, Thank you.

                          I wish Brad would have a seat instead of just texting me corrections. Hint, hint.
                          Last edited by BellCobraIV; 04-17-2024, 06:29 PM.
                          John Slack

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                          • Seems to me if Brad has nits to pick he should come pick them here...

                            Neal

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                            • This has no big historical significance, but I think it's just a cool photo. Dr. Bill Harrison (who brought Wasa Hooker the year before) raced Max Hoffman's newly purchased ex-E D Weiner racer because Hoffman was racing the original Boomer that year. Dr. Bill had some sort of emergency during the Championship race and is seen here in the middle of a very hot Mayday landing. He got it stopped just fine (that is a long runway but it has eaten a couple Yaks and Mustangs over the years). Probably coincidence, but after this third year of Racing Harrison never raced again. Photo from that same old Pylon 1 I keep talking about.



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                              • Actually as a bonus quiz question -- Anybody know who owns this airplane 45 years later, and what it has been up to lately?

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