Page 2 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 67

Thread: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Not to derail your train of thought on the Section 3 episode John but I'm curious to what you know of the making and cobbling together of "The Able Cat".

    Eric and I heard our dad and yours chat about it multiple times - and also Walt Olrich. What are your memories of the airplane post Valpariso and Lyle shipping it home via the airline (TWA - for those of you not familiar, Lyle flew for them for years)? Did you help your dad and Cliff Putman graft it together?

    I also remember Dad talking with Corky and Bill about Bill loaning your dad the wingtip. And the 3350, were you there for the first start when Lyle says it spit everything from sand, and leaves to bugs and mice? 5th place in the Gold wasn't bad for an airplane that had been a wreck in a field less than a year before.

    Hmm... what if Mike Coutches Hellcat had been a solid airplane instead of a rust-bucket? If Lyle had purchased that, history might have been a bit different......

  2. #12

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan View Post
    Not to derail your train of thought on the Section 3 episode John but I'm curious to what you know of the making and cobbling together of "The Able Cat".

    Eric and I heard our dad and yours chat about it multiple times - and also Walt Olrich. What are your memories of the airplane post Valpariso and Lyle shipping it home via the airline (TWA - for those of you not familiar, Lyle flew for them for years)? Did you help your dad and Cliff Putman graft it together?

    I also remember Dad talking with Corky and Bill about Bill loaning your dad the wingtip. And the 3350, were you there for the first start when Lyle says it spit everything from sand, and leaves to bugs and mice? 5th place in the Gold wasn't bad for an airplane that had been a wreck in a field less than a year before.

    Hmm... what if Mike Coutches Hellcat had been a solid airplane instead of a rust-bucket? If Lyle had purchased that, history might have been a bit different......
    Jan,
    I didn't realize that was you! This can be a fun thread.... where's Neal? Talking about alternative history, you know he went to Santa Barbara to look at the FW-190D-13 that would have been a racer if he had bought it...... hmmm.
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 04-29-2021 at 07:09 PM.
    John Slack

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Yes indeed.. And warm hello from us.

    The 190... No.. well, I have to say I'm actually not sure whether I knew about that or not. I just called Eric and we agree that Dad mentioned something about that in his notes for "Gentlemen.." which we still have. Apparently Lyle mentioned something to him about that.

    I'm sure this was derived from one of their frequent late night telephone conversations... This probably would have resulted from chats during some part of 1982 I'm guessing. In his "chicken scratch" handwriting Dad has a note that says "190 or 109? Ask Lyle." ... But that's all it says. And I suppose he never followed up on that.

    What's the scoop?

  4. #14

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan View Post
    Not to derail your train of thought on the Section 3 episode John but I'm curious to what you know of the making and cobbling together of "The Able Cat".

    Eric and I heard our dad and yours chat about it multiple times - and also Walt Olrich. What are your memories of the airplane post Valpariso and Lyle shipping it home via the airline (TWA - for those of you not familiar, Lyle flew for them for years)? Did you help your dad and Cliff Putman graft it together?

    I also remember Dad talking with Corky and Bill about Bill loaning your dad the wingtip. And the 3350, were you there for the first start when Lyle says it spit everything from sand, and leaves to bugs and mice? 5th place in the Gold wasn't bad for an airplane that had been a wreck in a field less than a year before.

    Hmm... what if Mike Coutches Hellcat had been a solid airplane instead of a rust-bucket? If Lyle had purchased that, history might have been a bit different......
    Jan,
    I'm working on my memories of the initial build of the Bearcat from when the parts started arriving in California after Lyle bought the plane.

    I can get scattered all over the place if I don't be careful. The Focke-Wulf FW-190D-13 that Paul Allen's collection now has was once upon a time for sale in Santa Barbara, California as an incomplete aircraft. Lyle looked at it knowing the advanced stage of development that aircraft had enjoyed during the war. The thought was a clipped wing cut down canopy fully modified racer using a Rolls Royce Griffon for power....Not a good place for the Focke-Wulf....... I think the Bearcat was a better plan for him. From the conversations our Dads had usually in the middle of the night, you probably know that with the Hellcat that was going to be an essentially stock airplane for an aerobatics display. After Darryl's Bearcat was retired I am somewhat doubtful that development line would have gone in the direction of what ultimately became an R-3350 powered Bearcat. That was pure Lyle. Lyle was the Benevolent Dictator of Rare Bear land, lots of suggestions came from different directions, but if Lyle didn't like the idea, it was a nonstarter.
    John
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 04-30-2021 at 11:08 AM.
    John Slack

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Agreed John.. your dad was not only the final judge on any ideas for the Bear but he was literally the one-man engine that really made the airplane go.

    Yes, there was the 3350 and all of the key people, including you, who put the airplane in the air time after time and dragged more and more knots out of it despite its stubborn attempts to rest on the ground or amble around the sticks at a more leisurely pace. But the beating heart of the "Able Cat', "Phoenix 1", "7 1/4 percent Special", "Omni-sponsored", "Aircraft Cylinder Special" and "Rare Bear" was Lyle. Others have flown, tested and raced the airplane. But they never truly made it go. Lyle did.

    Yes, I knew that the Hellcat would have maybe been an airshow airplane or "something Lyle could build up" according to Dad. I guess it was also a matter of finances. But happily the Indiana wreck popped up over the horizon and we got an icon.

    I always knew when Dad and Lyle were on the phone - sure it was late night - but more than that there was always a lot enthusiasm, some commiserating and a lot of laughing. Of course, Dad was always chatting with lots of people. But Lyle and Mac were real friends. Mac's early death definitely made an impact on Dad.

    And of course he made notes on conversations with lots of people. Obviously, there was much talking with Pete, Bruce, Dave Z, Wiley, Sandberg, Steve, Skip, Gary, Rick, etc. I remember picking up the phone and talking with Jack Sliker as a little kid and asking him if he was ever going to paint his Bearcat. Do you remember Mac flying "Escape I" with "Kenworth" emblazoned on the fuselage?

    Remind me to tell you about a hilarious caption for a photograph of Gunther Balz and Dwight that didn't make it into the book.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    8,299

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    This thread alone makes the hours I spent finding the backup drive and getting it moved to new home very much worthwhile!
    Wayne Sagar
    "Pusher of Electrons"

  7. #17

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by AAFO_WSagar View Post
    This thread alone makes the hours I spent finding the backup drive and getting it moved to new home very much worthwhile!
    Buy a ticket and hang on Wayne, we haven't got started yet. It's been YEARS since I have felt like posting.

    Oh, wait it's your venue you don't need a ticket.
    Last edited by BellCobraIV; 04-30-2021 at 01:53 PM.
    John Slack

  8. #18

    Thumbs up Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan View Post
    Yes indeed.. And warm hello from us.

    The 190... No.. well, I have to say I'm actually not sure whether I knew about that or not. I just called Eric and we agree that Dad mentioned something about that in his notes for "Gentlemen.." which we still have. Apparently Lyle mentioned something to him about that.

    I'm sure this was derived from one of their frequent late night telephone conversations... This probably would have resulted from chats during some part of 1982 I'm guessing. In his "chicken scratch" handwriting Dad has a note that says "190 or 109? Ask Lyle." ... But that's all it says. And I suppose he never followed up on that.

    What's the scoop?
    My Mom is 89 now, 90 in July and has been hit pretty severe with Alzheimer's. I was looking for a picture in "Gentleman" yesterday afternoon and she was looking over my shoulder. She actually recognized the Bearcat yesterday....first time in two and a half years. Brought a smile to both of our faces.
    John
    John Slack

  9. #19

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by BellCobraIV View Post
    Buy a ticket and hang on Wayne, we haven't got started yet. It's been YEARS since I have felt like posting.

    Oh, wait it's your venue you don't need a ticket.


    Ticket or no ticket, I feel like I should have a pit pass wristband to overhear this priceless stuff. This is the sort of thread we come here for!

  10. #20

    Default Re: What were the top 15 Best racing years of Reno?

    Quote Originally Posted by N22252 View Post
    Ticket or no ticket, I feel like I should have a pit pass wristband to overhear this priceless stuff. This is the sort of thread we come here for!
    Pull up a chair and have a Coke on me, my Dad was a racer. He really appreciated the fans. He didn't race for the fame. He raced purely to win, however, nobody, I mean nobody would sit and sign autographs for the fans like Lyle. There was a kid in a wheelchair at the Rosser ranch airshow who asked what it looked like in the cockpit. Lyle got four other guys together and they got that kid up into the cockpit.
    John
    John Slack

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •