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Old Fart
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William Pichardo of Swarthmore, PA ran a Monza in 1979 at STPR. Bill was probably better known for running a Fiat 124 sedan in the early to mid 70's.
 

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1973 WRC POR
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Paul Jaeger said:
William Pichardo of Swarthmore, PA ran a Monza in 1979 at STPR. Bill was probably better known for running a Fiat 124 sedan in the early to mid 70's.
Since we are digging up old stories. Here is the sad tale of how Bill almost became a works Fiat 124 Abarth driver.

He had entered the 1973 Rally of the Rideau Lakes in a Studebaker Lark.:eek:

The next year, in the 1974 WRC Rideau Lakes, he entered in a Fiat 124 which was tuned to what we would today call mild Group 2 specs.

Also entered at the rally was a team of factory Fiat 124 Abarths (Alen, Paganelli, Perusse).

Well, half way through the event, all three factory Fiats had DNFd and Bill (who was a very competent driver) came into a main service area in 6th place overall.

In those days, a manufacturer got WRC points for any car that finished, not just nominated works entries. So, Fiat had the chance to still gain some valuable manufacturer's points.

I was busy elsewhere in the course opening car but, from what I heard, Bill's car was descended upon by every works Fiat mechanic at the event and emerged out of service looking very much like a "real" rally car.

Unfortunately, he ended up DNFing the event. :(

I later asked the Fiat team manager what would have happened if he had finished the rally and got them points. He said Bill would have had a works Abarth and full support to run the following year.

Such is life.

Doug Woods
 

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Paul Jaeger said:
From what I remember, Jerry Cushing was a local dirt track oval driver, that decided that rally would be fun. He put a cage (maybe just a roll bar) in a stock Valiant and entered Sunriser. They ran the stock odo and had a wind up alarm clock for a timer on the dashboard. Jerry wasn't the slowest and had a great time.
Yeah, Paul... You've got it, right down to the wind-up alarm clock! Jerry wasn't shy about pointing out that his Valiant was indeed a beater and was quite proud of finishing the event. I believe the local Chillicothe media even gave him a fair amount of coverage. Thanks for filling in the blanks.

All of these other posts have been great, too. Very informative stuff. Thanks!

Dan...
 

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Old rally pics [and other stuff]

Off the subject one more time: "Hemi Under Glass" was also a Hemi over glass as in order to see where he was going he installed a glass section in the floor.

Funny Trucker
just a worker transplanted from the desert
 

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funny trucker said:
Off the subject one more time: "Hemi Under Glass" was also a Hemi over glass as in order to see where he was going he installed a glass section in the floor.

Funny Trucker
just a worker transplanted from the desert
Very good point! The window in the floor Funny Trucker mentioned effectively became the windshield.

AND, I don't know if it was installed originally or evolved later, but I believe the car also had independent braking of the left and right rear wheels so it could be steered to some degree as it wheel-standed down the track.

That could make one wonder if this type of independent right-left braking has ever been used in rallying...

Dan...
 

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Don't start with me...
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Dan_H said:
AND, I don't know if it was installed originally or evolved later, but I believe the car also had independent braking of the left and right rear wheels so it could be steered to some degree as it wheel-standed down the track.

That could make one wonder if this type of independent right-left braking has ever been used in rallying...

Dan...
Such brakes are routinely used on trials (think dirt hillclimb) cars in England where they are called fiddle brakes.

--Phil Barnes, aging co-driver
 

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Phil Barnes said:
Such brakes are routinely used on trials (think dirt hillclimb) cars in England where they are called fiddle brakes.

--Phil Barnes, aging co-driver
Amazing... Ask and ye shall find out. Thanks Phil !!!

Dan...
 

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Trogdor
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They use 'em in cars, too? I've only ever seen them in use on sandrails/buggies where there is next to no weight on the front. Kinda like the Hemi Under Glass...
 

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Hemi Under [and over] Glass

The glass floor/front window was designed after they realized that they could not see anything in front of the car and were going down the track on luck and dead reckoning.

Funny Truck
a worker from the desert now on the prairie.
 

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Old Fart
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Fiddle Brakes

P Remner said:
They use 'em in cars, too? I've only ever seen them in use on sandrails/buggies where there is next to no weight on the front. Kinda like the Hemi Under Glass...
Actually, if you have ever seen British trials cars, you would see that they have no weight on the front ends either. They are little open top cars, that remind me of the cars Donald Duck drove. The driver and passenger sit high in the car and are always leaning out to see the road ahead. British trials is a lot like American 4wd rock climbing where the aim seems to be to get furthest up the hill avoiding penalties. Speeds are low with the emphasis on completing the course. Click this link for pictures:

http://www.classictrials.co.uk/Gas07011.htm
 

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Trogdor
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Okay, so they are trials cars in the sense of trials bikes. Got it. "Hillclimb" evoked images of speed and fury, not rockcrawling.
 

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Paul Jaeger said:
Actually, if you have ever seen British trials cars, you would see that they have no weight on the front ends either. They are little open top cars, that remind me of the cars Donald Duck drove. The driver and passenger sit high in the car and are always leaning out to see the road ahead. British trials is a lot like American 4wd rock climbing where the aim seems to be to get furthest up the hill avoiding penalties. Speeds are low with the emphasis on completing the course. Click this link for pictures:

http://www.classictrials.co.uk/Gas07011.htm
I wasn't gonna comment on it but what the heck... I'm old enough that I can easily visualize Paul's Donald Duck analogy to a trials car. :( Nice work, BTW.

This conjures up the image of Mr. Duck motoring his little roadster up a muddy hill, all the time spewing his quacking-that-sounds-like-disguised-swearing along with performing his other machinations.

Now to relate this bit of free association back to rallying, picture Donald doing the routine mentioned above while ripping down a special stage. ;)

Returning to reality, Dan...
 

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3/14=my 42nd rally anniversary
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Discussion Starter #75
Bump!!!

I resorted to Googling "Suicide by Proxy" to find my scans of the Rallye Magazine article Grimo wrote way back when and it sent me here - again. There is so much good info in this thread that I thought it would be good to bump it so our recent fans of North American rallying's early days could take in all this info too!

Enjoy, again.
 

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Flat over crest
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Definitely. I've had a lot of fun reading the stories and hitting the links. BTW, what ever came of the 4WD Aspen?
It's still at my father's place in California - sans engine. The engine was "donated" to a replica of the 1968 Shell 4000 winning Barracuda. Look up Ralph Beckman's version to get an idea. Dad's is not prepared to anywhere near that level - but it is still a pretty nice slice of history.

I was offered the car a few years ago. "Come and get it, if you want it". Unfortunately, I had neither the time or cash to put toward such a trip. Would be nice to get it restored to its former glory though. I have too many other projects though. So that one doesn't even make the list.
 

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It's still at my father's place in California - sans engine. The engine was "donated" to a replica of the 1968 Shell 4000 winning Barracuda. Look up Ralph Beckman's version to get an idea. Dad's is not prepared to anywhere near that level - but it is still a pretty nice slice of history.

I was offered the car a few years ago. "Come and get it, if you want it". Unfortunately, I had neither the time or cash to put toward such a trip. Would be nice to get it restored to its former glory though. I have too many other projects though. So that one doesn't even make the list.
It would be great to see it restored one day. That car has a special place in my heart even though I've never actually seen it other than in pictures. In middle and high school I used to get Pickup, Van and 4WD magazine, I'd read it over and over again every month. I remember my first exposure to rally was in that magazine and it was because of your dad's Aspen. In one issue they did a feature on it and another one on the POR. I've always been a Mopar guy as well as a VW nut, just before I read that article I got the latest Direct Connection catalog with the Aspen\Volare stock car kit and for a brief time, that kit filled my daydreams...until I saw the 4WD Aspen. That car tweaked me good. When I was 18, I traded my hotrodded Feather Duster for a Aspen R\T, partially based on my memory of the article of that car. I'd look for it in any rally coverage in that magazine until I got into drag racing and drifted away. I know those of you who have been actually involved in the sport for all these years get excited over 510s and Abarths, I get it, I really do, but for me, whenever I think of vintage rally, that Aspen is what first comes to mind. I love Al's old Super, but I LUSTED after that Dodge almost as much as I did Daisy Duke.
 
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