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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-09 9:32 PM (#200205)
Subject: D-501


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Just curious on these,it would have to be one of the most potent FL cars but you don't hear much about them,I realize they were very low production but Ive never heard much about thier nascar or nhra placings, any info?
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-09 9:56 PM (#200211 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: RE: D-501



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Just to clarify, are you talking about the '56 D500-1 cars or the '57 D501 cars?    For obvious reasons the two are easily mistaken but are significantly different.   Then someone can respond.  
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mogge65
Posted 2009-12-09 11:39 PM (#200228 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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I think handygun referres to The 1957 dodge D500-2 equipped with the chrysler 3NE56 1956 Chrysler 354 ci 9:1/10:1 340hp/355hp only produced in 50 or so examples ! p.s found this on the web.


57 Dodge
I'm old enough to remember these cars as I was a member of nascar
back then. The D-501 was a hotter version of the D-500. There was
2 nascar versions as I recall with 354 cid Chrysler engines 340 hp
355 hp over 1 hp per cubic inch. The latter having higher compression
and solid lifter cam I don't remember the specs. however It was hot
for those days. These were designated as D-501-1 and D-501-2 if my
memory serves me. A story can relay is the latter would fly. I
witnessed one run 106 in 1/4 in low 13's on skinny street tires and
thru the mufflers in 1957 at Madera, Ca dragstrip.
I can't recall the base engine. I hope this helps you. I might say
you have keeper.
Thanks Tom

Edited by mogge65 2009-12-10 1:22 AM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-10 5:30 PM (#200325 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Steve, the 56 & 57 versions of these limited production cars involves long stories told over a roaring (inside-hearth,
preferably) fire, and with good scotch or bourbon to loosen the tongues.

Including production-prototypes, there were 103-105 (not 102) 57 D501's built (only 92 have been identified by Darrell Davis, to date, from his Historical Society records-research), and they had uniquely-built 354 c.i. engines, basically using the best-components from the 354 & the 392 Chrysler engines, and the 354 c.i. Dodge truck.

And then, there's the unique suspension stuff.....






Edited by d500neil 2009-12-10 6:07 PM
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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-10 5:36 PM (#200326 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501


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You never see much on these cars, I have never seen one in person nor ever read any thing on them racing wise I guess as old racecars go they became yesterdays news when they werent competitive unlike the later MW, 990, and the 68 SS/AH cars which have stayed competitive after all these years, still you think you would see something on them as they had to be as good as any and better than most in '57
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-10 6:04 PM (#200332 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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At least two D501 convertibles are known to have survived, out of about 20 produced, and there were several 2-dr hardtops, with the remainder being the 2-dr sedans.

All were Coronet models, in various colors and with varying extents of optional-equipment on them.

None had power steering, and all had 3-speed manual trannies---hence, the manual steering; no room for the P/S 'gearbox' with the manual transmission housing's shape/size.

And one of the hardtops has been confirmed to have been built on a convertible frame.








Edited by d500neil 2009-12-10 6:11 PM
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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-10 6:26 PM (#200337 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501


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I had read they were a "package" car,as most MoPars are. never knew about a ragtop but it makes sense as didn't NASCAR have a convert class back then? talk about unobtanium,As much work as Chrysler put into the A311 project some of it may have come to fruition here,The 501 interests me because they crossed car lines for an all out attitude rather than just hopping up an existing platform, But who raced them and where? NASCAR,NHRA, Bonneville? thanks Neil.
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-10 7:47 PM (#200346 - in reply to #200337)
Subject: Re: D-501



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.....Chrysler, as a corporation, before the introduction of the Max Wedge series of dragsters, was never really committed to a Race-on-Sunday-Sell-on-Monday ethos.

It's a wonder that the 1955 C300 was produced, but it probably resulted from the Crapillac (and Fart/Lincoon & Hudson) engine development, with ancillary bragging rights as to being the manufacturer of the Most-Powerful engine, as evidenced in the early 50's Mexican Road race results.

Carl Kiekaefer (where's my SCOTCH???, and the fireplace) of Mercury Outboard Corporation, famously campaigned a stock 1953 Saratoga in that year's M.R.R., and got stomped by some de facto Fart factory-prepped/modified Lincoons, and was not happy about it, and wrote a scathing editorial letter to Speed Age magazine, with a lame-rebuttal by Fart, wherein the latter stated that all the engine mods were INTENDED-supposed to become factory-available options, even tho they were not available options at the time of the race.

Why all of this background?

It was individuals who campaigned MoPars; not the factory.

Kiekaefer had the money and the interest to campaign the early 300s, and K. even designed the dry-element air cleaners, and the 56 Dodge dual 4-bbl intake manifold, and a lot of other neat things that I'm too sober to recall right now.

K. got into a snit with B. France prior to the 1957 NASCAR season, about the usage of dual carburetion -vs-fuel injection, and/or other GM/Fart engine options, and as he had determined that his company had received the maximum-positive public exposure to its racing-advertising (and, the public was 'tired' of seeing him stomp on the Chubbies; negative publicity, and the cost of his racing sponsorship was getting very high----probably the real, non-confirmed reasons for his withdrawal from racing).....Chrysler and Dodge said scrooit, we're outa here, and in the absence of any financial interest/backing by the Corp., there was no factory sponsorship of any organized track-racing after 1956 (and, even in '56, it was K. [and the several others who raced Mopes]
pretty-much alone, against everyone else).

There is an interesting tidbit in an early 57 magazine that hints at Dodge discussing the possibilities of entering into a racing-sponsorship agreement with an un-named party, who was probably Lee Petty, but that dope-deal never got consumated.

There was one laughable event in 1956(?) "World Series of Drag Racing" (IIRC), in/near Kansas, where a 1956 D-500-1 reportedly ran the 1/4 mile in something like the high 13's !!!! The high 13's wouldn't be actually reached until the late 60's, but 'this' 295 gross-HP car supposedly did that time---also, a lot of drag results, back then, listed only a car's trap-speeds, and not its E.T.

Drag racing was really Wild Wild West-stuff, until around late '58; strictly run-whatcha-brung type stuff, with no factory interest at all until the Corporate engineers started their "Ram Chargers" (two-words, right?) "hobby-effort"in 1960 .

I like Glenmorangie 14-yr, thank you....


AND, going back to the 1957 NASCAR season, B. France had decreed that a race car had to have only factory-
available equipment on it (hence the rushed-into-production pseudo-factory 56 K.-produced aluminum
dual-4 intake manifolds), and that any special car models (like the D501's) had to have at least 100 examples be built.

For whatever production-scheduling reasons, Dodge did produce its 100+ 501's, altho actual production
appears to have begun in late March, WELL into the 57 NASCAR season, which had its first race on...let me check...11/11/56 !

Three prototype 501's appeared at the 57 Daytona Speedweeks trials, in early FEB, but only two of them officially competed, and NOT well, owing to their "Man-off-the-Street" entrants (as termed by Hot Rod magazine), who literally drove their cars to Daytona, and tried to run them on the sand, like you-or-I might try to do, for 'grins'.

In 1956, Dodge un-officially/officially sponsored its driver/employee-engineer, Danny Eames' effort, to great success on the sand.

The 'factories-agreement' not to contribute toward organised (NASCAR) racing was decided-upon on 6/6/57, when the directors of the American Manufacturer's Association held a hearing in Detroit.

The NASCAR NEWSLETTER, of 6/21/57 states: "The decision, of course, had been expected for some time and took no one by surprise. The general idea was that there would be little or no effect on the general alignment of cars and drivers for [the rest of] 1957."




Edited by d500neil 2009-12-10 8:14 PM
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57burb
Posted 2009-12-10 8:10 PM (#200349 - in reply to #200346)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Don't forget that the 1957 "AMA Ban" had a huge impact on Nascar participation in 1957.

Here is an interesting article on Nascar history, with emphasis on Petty's involvement with the Mopars in the '40s-50s. It appears that right as Mopar was going for the throat, it's drivers either got bored with winning? (Kiekhaeffer) or went to another manufacturer (Petty to Oldsmobile).

http://www.allpar.com/racing/petty-plymouth-racing.html


As for convertibles, they were historically the lighter bodystyle and therefore the best basis for racing. Many people wouldn't race anything BUT an open car for many years. Through the 1950s there were still convertible races on Daytona beach and some track events. But I can't really answer why that was the case. I guess the drivers thought they weren't going to get hurt when they fell out onto the sand. And they may have been correct, I have seen footage of some nasty crashes on Daytona that drivers walked away from.

Some covertible racing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6Uq51UyWM0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG_eRF9WFXI&feature=related



Edited by 57burb 2009-12-10 8:12 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-10 8:14 PM (#200350 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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...I just said that the AMA ban had NO effect on the 1957 NASCAR season, as quoted from the NASCAR NEWSLETTER, above.

K. was a bas***d [ EX-cuse me; that's BAS TARD] to work for, but he paid his drivers VERY well; they were not bored with winning races for him.

They went elsewhere after NOV-ish, 1957, when he folded his racing tents, and went home, to WI.

And, the convertibles (with their stronger frames) were heavier than the sedans.

They were popular because the fans could see their heroes trying to stay alive, as they circled a dirt (typically) track;
usually about .5 mile, or LESS....






Edited by d500neil 2009-12-10 8:22 PM
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57burb
Posted 2009-12-10 8:27 PM (#200352 - in reply to #200350)
Subject: Re: D-501



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If you want to take the word of a Nascar-published newsletter from two weeks after the ban was announced, go ahead. Notice that a GM chairman sponsored the ban four months after the D501s were built.


I've never seen any reasoning for K leaving Nascar racing. But I do know that that team won nearly every race they entered in '55-56. You're right, probably a stretch to say they were bored. Probably some rules being changed to break their dominance. That would be Nascar's style.

Edited by 57burb 2009-12-10 8:30 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-10 8:40 PM (#200354 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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In 1956, Buck Baker (56 CHY), Herb Thomas (56 Chubster) and Speedy Thompson (CHY/DOD) finished 1/2/3.

In 1955, Tim Flock (55CHY), Buck Baker (55/56 Fart), and Lee Petty (55 DOD) finished 1/2/3.

How a person finished, points-wise, in the early years, depended largely upon how may races that he could afford
to enter.

If someone wanted to pay me ($75.00/hr) I could extensively research The History of Stock car Racing, and tell you/him
what K.'s entry/finishing results-percentages were; they were relatively high, but they were not exclusive-winners, by any means,
as noted by the first three overall placings, above, as examples .

And, sad-to-say, there is NO record of any 57 501 having competed in a 1957 NASCAR race, altho
Dick Joslin campaigned a "1957 Dodge (hardtop, too)" in a few 1958 races--to no significant placings.










Edited by d500neil 2009-12-10 8:44 PM
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-10 9:34 PM (#200365 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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There were two principal reasons why Carl Kiekhaefer (correct spelling) stopped automobile racing. Notice "auto racing" as he raced NASCAR, AAA, and sports cars as well. He was very sorely aware that the Mercury Outboards corporate image which he was trying to promote with that name on the sides of his race cars was being heavily booed by many fans at the venues. They were well aware that he was winning because he had the most money to win (which has been the winning formula in every investment sport) but stock car racing back then had been a poor man's sport and the fans liked it that way. So they were booing Kiekhaefer /Mercury's winning "banker's hot rods" owned by the millionaire businessman.

And secondly and probably THE NAIL in the racing effort coffin was when the IRS came to Kiekhaefer's accountants and told them that they could no longer continue to write off auto racing expenses against the profits of an outboard boat motor manufacturer. Today IRS accounting law does allow that in sponsorships but it did not in 1956. This latter fact is always under reported in accounts of why Kiekhaefer quit racing.
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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-10 9:36 PM (#200366 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501


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Thanks for the legwork Neil, I am not much interested in NASCAR as thier "No good deed goes unpunished" ethic towards anyone other than gm usually factors out a superior design. I have a 2 inch think 'history of nascar" book laying around gathering dust somewhere that some nitnoid relative gave me unwittingly, I'm sure we all have them, but I'm much worse I like Drag racing and with the NHRA pre super/stock classes being what they were maybe the 501 was a car without a class, however the Ramcharger members did drag race thier FL's before the Ramrod (56-59) but they were racing on small regional tracks and if not a sancioned event there may be no records, oh well,what could have been is lost
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horace
Posted 2009-12-10 10:00 PM (#200367 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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C'mon, over Neil, I've got scotch & a fireplace, my wife can record us. As I have mentioned there was a D501 in our town in the always available trite red & white.
The owner repainted it BLACK shaved the hood & deck as was the custom back in the day. I have a mag article on the D501 but do you suppose I can find it? I'm
wondering did these cars have 14"or 15 " tires.? The weak part of these cars was the transmission to much power for a standard 3spd.
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-11 6:23 PM (#200488 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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That mag article (the only one contemporaneously prepared on the 501) was the 10/58 issue of Rod & Custom---i have
two copies of that issue.

The car was an all black model, which the happy drag-race owner having modified it somewhat, with a LaSalle trannie and 6-Webers and a couple-few other items.

The owner probably installed a bubble-area on the hood, over the Webers, but, that bubble closely resembled the hood-bubble(s) which were put onto the Proto-cars that appeared at the 57 Speedweeks.

There would have been no reason for those Proto-bubbles, as the production 501's were able to close the
hoods over the air cleaners with no problemos---so, those 'bubbles' are a bit of a mystery.

That car/owner were in OR, and years ago, I tried to research the car, from its owner/license plate, but learned that there had been some sort of fire, long ago, which destroyed the OMVD's old-records.

Quite a few 501's made it out to the PacNorWest, as someone, there, had been planning to form a racing sanctioning body, to rival that of NASCAR.

That car also did not have a D501 emblem on its trunk, and/but, at least one other car, at Daytona, also did not have a 501 emblem on it.

Gerry, I don't have that issue in front of me, but, I'm pretty sure that that car was not nosed-and-decked; that's why the 'missing' trunk 501 emblem was so intriguing, (not-) on it.

The wheels were 15" 56 Imps, with the 9/16" studs, on the 4 5/8" bolt-circle, mounted IIRC on 57 IMP steering knuckles.

The weak link undoubtedly was the Taxi trannie. MoPar, over the following years, made improvements to that transmission, including its gearing. Motor Life (IIRC--or Speed Age?) actually kinda liked the manual trannie that got put into the 58 Fury.





Edited by d500neil 2009-12-11 6:40 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-11 6:49 PM (#200493 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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S.O.T., do you know (or, can you find out?) when the I.R.S. came down on K.?

If that event preceded the 57 NASCAR season, that might explain why he so easily gave-up on NASCAR.

Also, I wonder how and why any other car sponsors in 1957 would have continued their support, facing the same draconian
tax write-off-eliminations???

In all my readings, including Sports Illustrated's and Stock Car Racing's articles on K., and the few NASCAR NEWSLETTERS
I've got, and the History of Stock Car Racing book, I haven't come across that IRS injunction on the elimination of tax-
write offs for racing-advertising---altho K. might have been AUDITED for/on his various tax write offs; that wouldn't
surprise me.



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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-11 10:38 PM (#200527 - in reply to #200493)
Subject: Re: D-501



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In all of CK's hot headedness things were on one day, off the next and back on the next again.  There are many stories of him firing employees in the morning and having them back to work sometimes the next day or sometimes the same day with a pay raise!  My memory is that his breakup with Bill France was in January of '57, yet there have always been rumors that Kiekhaefer was at Daytona Beach in '57 with a few employees and with at least one car under a different entry name.   I can't verify that at all.  Much of what I know is from Bill Fenrich, Kiekhaefer's #1 engine dyno man as well as his best welder.  I corresponded with Bill and eventually sat in his home living room and kitchen on multiple visits with my primary interest being discussing my ownership of one of the Kiekhaefer 300C Road America competion coupes, the only one of three still existing.  Bill personally took me over to Plant #6, the "race car plant" in Oshkosh and we walked the grounds.  Many stories about Kiekhaefer were always under discussion from work at Mercury to stories on the road with the race team.

One of the photos in his memory album was of Kiekhaefer over his shoulder at the control bench of a dyno room.  When he showed me that he said that it was EXACTLY that same situation with a 392 from one of the '57 cars running, the day that "the old man" (Kiekhaefer) walked in, tapped him on the shoulder and said, "Shut 'er down, Bill, we're not going racing".  Carl then explained to Bill the situation I have already described that had come down through accounting.  Bill recalls being dumbfounded.  And I can tell you I was observing the emotions of decades earlier on Bill's face as he told me the story.  And I won't forget exactly what Bill Fenrich told me that day and it is why it is in quotes here.

That same photo was used with a new balloon caption when Bill retired from Mercury Outboards a couple of years after my first meeting him.  It was made into the cover of the invitation that I and others received to his retirement party.  Not long after that Bill started slipping into Alzheimer's.  He is still living and his son, whom I am in regular contact with, is still an employee of Mercury today.

That's the story as I received it.  As in any million dollar decision, there are a whole host of contributing factors.  I'm not saying the IRS story is everything; I am only relating a story from a true insider as it was given to me as being critically important in the decision process.  The fact other writers have missed it is unfortunate because as Bill's son would tell you, his dad was very poorly treated by about every writer that came to interview him for what they could get out of him.  So Bill told them little to nothing.   I treated him with respect and I believe I heard several things others did not because I wasn't there for what I could get, but rather to honor a man who lived a part of Chrysler racing history.  He knew that and the family and I are friends.

 

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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-12 3:36 PM (#200576 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Thanks for preserving that episode, for posterity, S.O.T.

I do no have Kiekaefer's biography (I know; I know..) partly because I've only been interested in the Dodge Story end of
his permanent effect on the racing world, and, because he was never in the running to receive the Presidential-
Humanitarian Award, but, he DID play fair and within the rules of the game ["They never said that you 'couldn't' -S. Yunick].

I'd be willing to make a bar-bet that the I.R.S. somehow may have audited/hassled/upset K. , to where that incident was the
final-straw in his decision to leave NASCAR racing---that, along with K.'s feud with B. France about new-for-57 engine requirements,
and the racing-public's disdain at seeing his cars' domination over the Southern good-ol-boys/moon-shiners/Chubbie-drivers, AND
the fact that his Mercury Outboard advertising had achieved its objective in reaching the maximum market saturation, and, the
relatively very high cost involved in continuing his racing programs .




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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-12 5:48 PM (#200591 - in reply to #200576)
Subject: Re: D-501



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I think you are referring to Iron Fist, The lives of Carl Kiekhaefer, Industrial Caesar of a marine industry empire.  By Jeffrey L. Rodengen.   The book is as much the story of Mercury Outboards and the ins /outs of the marine industry as it is the story of C.K.  It isn't a direct biography in the classical sense.  There is some, but not a lot in Iron Fist about the race cars, however it is a fascinating read about the personality and character of Kiekhaefer and the marine industry.

Wonder how many of us here reading this appreciate that Kiekhaefer's chief engineer and personal confidant was Charles D. Strang who is currently the commissioner of today's NASCAR?  I spoke with Charlie (who drove my Road America car when it was new) just before he retired from Outboard Marine Corp. in Illinois.  

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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-14 7:30 PM (#200799 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Yeah, that's it, altho I was remembering something about a "stormy-petrel", or some such, but, I can't find a reference
to a Petrel, in regards to Carl the K.

I never knew about Mr. Strang---he's gotta be pretty old, by now, if K. confided in HIM...

What did Charlie have to say about where /how K. disposed of his race cars?




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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-14 8:05 PM (#200805 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501


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Well I guess the only question's I have left is which one of your 300's do you like the best and why,Did they have offshoot or side models of most letter cars, as these Road America and GT's,how do they compare SOT?
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-20 9:51 PM (#201466 - in reply to #200799)
Subject: Re: D-501



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d500neil - 2009-12-14 6:30 PM Yeah, that's it, altho I was remembering something about a "stormy-petrel", or some such, but, I can't find a reference to a Petrel, in regards to Carl the K. I never knew about Mr. Strang---he's gotta be pretty old, by now, if K. confided in HIM... What did Charlie have to say about where /how K. disposed of his race cars?

Seems like I ran into some biographical info on Strang somewhere on the internet in the past but I'm unable to find anything this evening on what year he was born.  I think he was still a comparitively young engineer when he worked for Kiekhaefer.

From Karl Pippart III, automotive researcher who has been into the files now in the posession of Rose Smiljanic, Kiekhaefer's secretary, still also living, I have a copy of the race car list through '55 and 56 with car numbers (both race cars and others) and how they left the Kiekhaefer team.   Some were junked and some were traded in and some were sold to friends.   One 300B was kept and that is the car that was last at the Ford museum along with the Dodge clone after having been vintage road raced for several years.   After Kiekhaefer died there was an auction of remaining race car spares including engines.   Charles Marshall in California now has one of the Dodge race engines that was picked up at that auction by one of Mercury's employees.   I spoke with two of the buyers of the cars but neither would sell.

Hey guys, this stuff is still out there.  You just have to do your homework.  I'm not anyone special.  I just keep asking questions.  The RIGHT questions.

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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-20 10:07 PM (#201471 - in reply to #200805)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Handygun - 2009-12-14 7:05 PM Well I guess the only question's I have left is which one of your 300's do you like the best and why,Did they have offshoot or side models of most letter cars, as these Road America and GT's,how do they compare SOT?

The Road America 300C has not finished restoration so I have only ever driven it around the block.  The 300F Special fries tires with 4 passengers and would like to keep accelerating (though I haven't done so) past 130 mph.  So I can't answer the preference question yet but my interest is in styling first and I prefer the 300C to the 300F and I prefer the feel of driving a body on frame car over unibody because I am old fashioned.

Offshoot -- side models.   Not sure how to answer that because while the Road America was Kiekhaefer's own name for the package as he ordered it, rather than a factory option package,  the 300F Special Gran Turismo is part of a group of nine "prototype" cars purpose built by the factory first for Daytona record setting and then to fulfill a couple of additional orders.   There were of course other factory "packages" so to speak like the '56 300B 355HP package which were really race cars or the 390HP 300C stick shift cars.   The 18 300Ds with Bendix EFI (fuel injection) are darn special too.   And there are other one-off cars like the 300C that was built for Bob Roger the "father of the 300 idea" which had custom trim, special paint, interior, and every option in the books.   So, I mean where do you stop? 

 





(300C_coupe_bob_roger_special.jpg)



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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-20 10:12 PM (#201474 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: RE: D-501



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We sure got off the D-501 story.   How about I post a few pics to revive the thought.    Lee Smith's:



(IMG_7362rt1-vi_sml.jpg)



(IMG_7357rt-vi_sml.jpg)



(IMG_7360rt1-vi_sml.jpg)



(IMG_7356rt-vi_sml.jpg)



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lawrence
Posted 2009-12-20 11:42 PM (#201479 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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12" drums and 15" wheels. When I hit the lottery, I'm getting a 501

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mogge65
Posted 2009-12-21 11:24 AM (#201520 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Wayne! Thank´s for sharing those pic´s! Now that we now exactly wich parts we need to build the ultimate killer, we can all build a nice clone!

Edited by mogge65 2009-12-21 11:24 AM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-21 2:13 PM (#201538 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Morgan, there's a LOT more unique-specific parts installed on the 501, than we've discussed, so far,
like, the gas tank, radiator, torsion bars, exhaust system and other engine-item specifics.

Perhaps surprisingly.... (but not, really, considering that Dodge took its 501 production commitment
and actually built sell-able civilian-comfortable examples of them, after Dodge gave up on
backing any formal racing sponsorship-involvement, after Kiekaefer disbanded his own private team,
in late 1956/early 57).....virtually all of the 501's (except for Lee Smith's and a couple-few others) have
been found to have been relatively heavily/nicely optioned from the factory, including having tinted
sunvisors, rear window defoggers, Custom Coronet interiors, radios, and, of course, heaters
(Lee's race car has no heater or power brakes).

As above mentioned, they all have manual steering and manual trannies.













Edited by d500neil 2009-12-21 2:29 PM
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Imp58Alpes
Posted 2009-12-21 4:33 PM (#201559 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Just my 2-cent regarding the picture showing the specific parts: Imperial did not offer 15" wheels on 1957 models. 1956 models did.

Edited by Imp58Alpes 2009-12-21 4:34 PM
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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-21 7:59 PM (#201613 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501


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Wayne thanks for the pics and info, were the "GT" cars also the 4speed cars? 300's are my personal favorite of all the 50's cars but I am a neophyte about them having only owned a lowly "L"! but never say never there is a white C or D up the street that could possibly be had, as far as where to stop? with the new Challenger Drag Pak out I guess they just keep coming.
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lawrence
Posted 2009-12-21 8:38 PM (#201616 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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In that last engine bay picture above, what is that above the master cylinder? Some kinda high voltage coil? Is it stock on a 501?

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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-21 9:19 PM (#201620 - in reply to #201559)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Imp58Alpes - 2009-12-21 3:33 PM Just my 2-cent regarding the picture showing the specific parts: Imperial did not offer 15" wheels on 1957 models. 1956 models did.

You are quite correct.  And though the Road America Kiekhaefer cars were delivered from the factory with 14" '57 Imperial wheels and likely the D-501 Dodges were also, the switch to 15" '56 Imperial wheels was done as soon as the cars hit the ground to get enough tire under them because of their performance.   The second owner of my car was available for interview when I first bought it and she (speaking for her deceased husband) provided me with a picture of the car in front of their home shortly after purchase when the car was three years old and sure enough, there were the 15" Imperial wheels.  The Smith Dodge appears to have a pretty tall diameter as well as max width 15" tire on that wheel as well.

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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-21 9:21 PM (#201622 - in reply to #201616)
Subject: Re: D-501



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lawrence - 2009-12-21 7:38 PM In that last engine bay picture above, what is that above the master cylinder? Some kinda high voltage coil? Is it stock on a 501?

That is the sending unit for the owner-added Sun brand tachometer which just happened to fit nicely onto the firewall bracket for the master cylinder.

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horace
Posted 2009-12-23 12:00 PM (#201890 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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I wonder if the above D501 was @ the Mopar Nats some years ago. I tried to get a reporter to do a story on the D501 but alas he needed to do a story on the 600th GTX that day.
Absolutely no interest was shown by one of the mopar "comic books" photographers.
I feel blest @ having seen 2 D501s even thogh they were the same color, equip.
I noticed sure grip listed but I thought sg started in 1958
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-23 2:51 PM (#201910 - in reply to #201613)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Handygun - 2009-12-21 6:59 PM Wayne thanks for the pics and info, were the "GT" cars also the 4speed cars? SNIP

The Gran Turismo (GT) project covered 1960 and '61 Chrysler 300F and 300G only.   The Pont-a-Mousson French full synchro 4speed was employed during 1960 only.   The 3speed manual was used in 1961.

Later, in 1964, Chrysler came out with their own 4speed transmission and it was available in the 300K and other cars but those were not GTs.

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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-23 3:45 PM (#201919 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Gerry, yeah, Lee Smith's car has been shown a fair amount, in the past 20 years, and was on loan to the Don
Garlit's museum in Florida, until a couple years ago, too.

I first met Lee at the First Harrah's Auto Collection break-up auction, in Reno, sometime around 1980--could go look it
up, as I have all the several-auctions' brochures in my archives---he was looking at a Model T-Roadster pickup, and also
mentioned that he was interested in the Moline-Knight car, as he was living in Moline, IL, then.

His D501 ownership and racing history probably evolved from comments made about the Collection's 300 models, and
the fact that the Collection had.....(-had; its yellow/white Coro D500 convertible had apparently been removed, somehow, from
the Collection years before Harrah's death, and it, eventually, ended up in Marvin Hughes' possession, in FL ; that Coro D500
was never seen at either of my prior visits to the Collection, and it was not on-site or listed/shown 'in' the 3-4 Collection-
breakup auction catalog(s).....that Coro D500 vert has been presented in several MoPar magazines in the '90's).

Funny how small the MoPar World really is, and how a coincidental happenstance of conversation with a complete stranger
can result in a lifelong friendship and comraderie.

Even stayed at Lee's house, around 1991, and visited the Historical Society, together...but that's another story for another
time.




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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-23 4:13 PM (#201928 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Gerry, just happen to have the D501 A.M.A. Specification sheets, here (surprise, surprise)...and every-built MoPar
rear end gear ratio is listed as being optionally available, from 2.92 (hmmm...NO 2.76:1 ratio is shown...) to
6.17.

UNFORTUNATELY, the Spec Sheet (pg. 15) does not indicate that any particular 3rd member was to have been a
"Sure Grip" limited slip gearset.

W., or some-other 300-Type, can you look at your A.M.A. sheets and confirm whether any mention is made in Re:
availability of a Sure Grip on the 57's???

The 501 Spec-Sheets was issued "January 1957".

Interestingly, the Spec Sheets DO show the automatic 3-spd Torqueflite trannie as being available on the 501's, but,
again, no automatic 501's have ever been seen to have been produced, and, for any Cloners out there, the Factory
IBM Build Cards will confirm the transmission-type that your 'car' should have be installed in it .

The A.M.A. Spec Sheets (as are virtually every other piece of factory literature---the standards were not real-tight, and
running-changes to a car's equipment were regularly made)....incorrectly lists the standard "D500" automatic-trannie
as having a rear end ratio of 3.18:1, when it is common knowledge that ALL Torqueflite Dodges (and all the other
marques, too?) have the bullet proof 3.36:1 rear end as standard equipment.

The 3.36 & 3.54 are shown as being the optional T/F rear end ratios.

The Spec Sheet correctly shows the D500's (all the other models, too, but they're not included on the D501 Spec Sheets) standard manual-transmission as having a 3.73 rear end, with ONLY the 3.54 & 3.91 as being optionally available.







Edited by d500neil 2009-12-23 4:30 PM
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-23 7:01 PM (#201964 - in reply to #201928)
Subject: Re: D-501



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I have the letter from GF Hadas, of Chrysler Technical information Services to the AMA dated February 4, 1957 revising pages 1,5,6 and 15 of the '57 Chrysler AMA spec sheets representing revisions to camshaft, carburetor and rear axle data.  

It states "Limited Slip Differential optional on C-76-300."      This is also the letter showing the .444 lift camshaft specs.

Neil, you've typed or quoted the highest speed gear ratio incorrectly as 2.96.   The 38-13 ratio is referred to as 2.93.       Yes, in the '57 Chrysler, the 3.36 diff was standard with torqueflite.

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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-23 7:16 PM (#201965 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Actually, I typed "2.92", not 2.96.....but/and, you are correct about the "2.93" being the correct ratio....but, guess what?

Just pulled out the 501 Spec sheet, and it IS mis-printed as being "2.92" on it!

The 38-13 ratio, on my Spec Sheet is for the "2.92" gear.

Gotta love (not-) the "Factory" documentation.

My car has the 2.76:1 rear end ratio; there was a brass tag attached to one of its face-bolts, that I still have.

If Brent is sobered-up, and reading this, maybe he can provide us with the 'history' of that gear set, as I bought it
from him.

[Actually, I think that it came off of his 1966 Coronet].....





Edited by d500neil 2009-12-23 7:34 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-23 7:28 PM (#201968 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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...I wonder if there was a revised version of the D501 AMA Spec Sheets?

Your 300C-revision, of 2/2/57, specifically amends the OEM specifications to include the Sure Grip option.

'That' means (strongly-indicates), that as of the "January 1957 D500/D501 Automobile Manufacturers Association
Consolidated Specification Questionaire" (as it was officially entitled), the Sure Grips were NOT (officially) available
as optional equipment on the D501's.

Wonder if Dodge ever bothered to up-date its A.M.A. Spec Sheets (in/around February) too?

The info on the AMA spec sheets' pages would be different (duh), but the page-categories would be identical for every car model built.







Edited by d500neil 2009-12-23 7:32 PM
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-23 9:55 PM (#201985 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: RE: D-501



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It would, I believe, be generally inappropriate to assume that what is "fact" or "applicable" in one car line, is also true in any other car line.   Paperwork for Dodge or Plymouth may have been completed at a similar time but NOT necessarily.  AMA specs were revised whenever and as often as necessary or not at all for any given year.  They just had to be kept current.   The 300C revision of Feb. 4, 57, was to get everything in print before going to Daytona Speed Weeks.      As a side note, a '57 DS Adventurer I owned also had factory limited slip but I no longer have record of its build date. 

This letter is yet another indication that Kiekhaefer was still very much involved with the 300s and communicating with Chrysler and had intentions of running NASCAR in '57 through this very date.  Why?  Because it is this letter that documents the "Holley optional" carburetion for the 300C which we are told was entirely Kiekhaefer's idea because he had never been happy with the fuel starvation caused by the WCFB carb floats during the near continuous left hand cornering.   The Holley "teapot" carbs do not starve under similar circumstance.   My Road America Kiekhaefer 300C has the Holleys.

Handygun, keep in mind that there was a manufacturer's ban on racing participation in June (?) of '57 and Chrysler kept their word and did no factory sponsorships whereas Ford and GM made deals under the table to keep other teams going.





(TeapotHolleysRside.jpg)



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Handygun
Posted 2009-12-23 11:04 PM (#201987 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501


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Dusted off my NASCAR chronicle book I have in it is a picture of a "Johnny Allen" in a 57 Plymouth #64 finished 7th overall for 1957. June 6 is the date of the ban, Interesting article on Kiekhaefer leasing a track in SC to give Buck Baker a chance to beat Herb Thomas a driver who quit him, another Kiekhaefer driver hooked Thomas's bumper and wrecked him, severly injuring Thomas in the process, Keikhaeher never appeared at another NASCAR race. However the team did have 51 wins in 190 starts and thats impressive as are 51 poles and 116 top five's, he was quoted as saying "We just cannot afford to have our name further associated with racing". Interesting looking carbs you have there.
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horace
Posted 2009-12-23 11:27 PM (#201989 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Neil, my AMA is year specfic 1960 Dodge & Dart I wrote for when I acquired my 1960 Phenix D500 back in 65. However, I looked in my 1958 Desoto & Dodge Ross Roy data books which announce sure grip as new. Up off my duff to check 57 cattalogs later to see if SG was offered before, I think not.
Now Neil, what if WE try to assemble what they were, mostly color & accesories of real known 501's?
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Doctor DeSoto
Posted 2009-12-24 12:15 AM (#201991 - in reply to #201965)
Subject: Re: D-501



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d500neil - 2009-12-24 4:16 PM

My car has the 2.76:1 rear end ratio; there was a brass tag attached to one of its face-bolts, that I still have.

If Brent is sobered-up, and reading this, maybe he can provide us with the 'history' of that gear set, as I bought it
from him.

[Actually, I think that it came off of his 1966 Coronet].....





*************************************

That is correct. 1966 Coronet 440 (WH27) D-code car: 273 LA engine, 2bbl / 727 / 8.75 rear with 2.76 gears car. As far as I know, the drivetrain was entirely original and stock.
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StillOutThere
Posted 2009-12-24 10:17 AM (#202033 - in reply to #201989)
Subject: Re: D-501



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horace - 2009-12-23 10:27 PM Neil, my AMA is year specfic 1960 Dodge & Dart I wrote for when I acquired my 1960 Phenix D500 back in 65. However, I looked in my 1958 Desoto & Dodge Ross Roy data books which announce sure grip as new. Up off my duff to check 57 cattalogs later to see if SG was offered before, I think not.  SNIP

It is true that "Sure Grip" by that name was "new" as a 1958 option across the entire Mopar line.  However, the offering of the "limited slip differential" as an option by that name began in 1957.   From the start, a 1957 differential originally equipped with limited slip is stamped with an "S" on the same pad into which the gear ratio is stamped.     These are all Dana Power-Lok units from 1957-1969 and all interchange.

A new practice was begun on Dec. 17, 1957 for identification purposes adding a metal tag reading "Use Sure-Grip Lube" to the axle-housing-to-carrier bolt below the carrier filler plug so that service technicians would use the required additive.   Installation of this tag on a 1957 car restoration would therefore be incorrect as 1958 cars would be several months into production.

If you are a Mopar guy, the correct nomenclature is in fact "Sure-Grip" for your limited slip differential.   The generic term among all automotive hobbyists is "posi" which is short for Positraction which was General Motors name for their limited slip differential.   Ford called their limited slip "Equa-Lok" and Studebaker called theirs "Twin-Traction".   As usual, GM dominated sales and has dominated racing and sadly we Mopar guys have fallen into using their terminology.

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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-24 3:36 PM (#202086 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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Gerry, I have the A.A.A. spec sheets for the 1957 Dodge line, but, there was a 'special' A.M.A. Spec-Sheet pertaining
ONLY to the D501, as it compared to the D500 models (which specs were also listed on the D501 sheets).

Dodge may have issued an amended A.M.A. spec sheet, for the Sure Grip differential availability (like W. points-out, above,
for the 300's availability), but, until I see it/them, I have to say that the limited slip diffies were NOT available on the 501's
(at least, not officially, until maybe around FEB, and THEN....the production 501's were actually first built.... (and virtually exclusively
for civilian consumption, as private automobiles, and not as dedicated race cars)....in late March---altho Kiekaefer DID buy
one of the first 501's, and, as a race-car, and, I have some records on THAT car, so IF any 501 would have had a S.-G. on
it. it would be K's car, so, lemme look at that car's info........







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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-24 3:59 PM (#202094 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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OK; Kiekaefer's race car did NOT have a limited slip "Sure Grip" differential installed onto it, even though that car WAS
very-specially built, using a standard Coronet 2-dr hardtop body (with no special 501 coding on it, like the 2-dr sedans
and the verts had on them)---there were a a several-few 501 hardtops built---and, K's car was VERY-specially built onto a
(stronger/lower center of gravity) convertible frame.

Specifically, regarding that car's rear end, the factory says, as part of a post-car-delivery letter to K.: "...You will note that
the rear axle housing to differential and carrier assembly stud spacing is not the same as on the 1956 housing. However,
the 1956 [open?-] differential and carrier assemblies can be used if the studs in the housings are relocated. With 1956 differential
and carrier assemblies, 1956 rear axle drive shafts would also have to be used."

As to WHY the factory would include the above paragraph in its letter, the probable reason is that it was an addendum
to the letter's discussion of three aspects of K's hardtop/convertible mis-matchings that K. would have to rectify, himself, but,
again, there is NO indication that K's race car had a Sure Grip on it.






Edited by d500neil 2009-12-24 4:13 PM
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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-24 4:10 PM (#202098 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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Gerry, from the at least four (that I recall, now) 501 IBM cards I've got, and from discussions with Corp researcher
Darrell Davis, the 501's were a mish-mash of colors and trim-levels, and the cars were built relatively randomly,
and not as a dedicated production run (which might, otherwise, seem like a logical way to build them!!).

Rest assured, though, that they are QUITE difficult to re-assemble, from all of the unique HD-parts which went into/onto
them, and, there are factory-build records found, to date, for some 92 of them---Darrell Davis hasn't found the way-
early built prototypes that appeared at Daytona, and/or some of the non-obviously-coded hardtops have eluded his efforts
to confirm them, as well.

With the civilian-proto cars, there probably were 105 501's built.




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d500neil
Posted 2009-12-24 4:57 PM (#202103 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



Exner Expert 19,174 posts. Neil passed away 18 Sep 2015. You will be missed, Neil!

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AND, something else, from my 501 file...

I mentioned, way-above here, somewhere, that K. had quit his NASCAR participation as part of a dispute over engine
carburetion allowances, in 1957.

'Everybody' knows about the Chubbie Fool-injection that was gnu-4-57, but I'm looking at an un-dated photocopy page
(#53) from a Speed Age magazine that I've got, and its "Stock Report" by Sandy Grady.

Mr Grady states therein : "Newest entry in the battle for stock car racing prestige in 1957 may be Dodge.

Eager to reap publicity benefits from the D500's husky (310HP) muscles, the Dodge bigwigs have approached one top
Grand National driver [....probably, I believe, to have been Lee Petty---altho I have no solid research-evidence on this, and,
there were several other worthy candidates---might have been Cotton Owens---TOO BAD it wasn't Smokey Yunick!!!] with the idea of organizing a racing stable.

Already deep in the stock sweepstakes are five companies: Fart, Chubbie, Oldsmobuick, Ponchito, and Mercurial [Kiehaefer is
mentioned slightly later in Mr. Grady 's article, below] , all with teams of top drivers and mechanics.

American Motors[???!!] is plotting a new super-powerful model that may surprise the track crowds this summer [never happened--].
The car will be named the Rebel (after Frank Mundy?), the car will be a Rambler with a Hudson motor souped by Bendix fuel-Injection [THERE'S that system, beyond the Chubbie's usage of it!].

The real dogfight for 1957 rewards will be staged by Fart & Chubbie [law firm?]. When the Chubster "engineers" surprised Fart with
fool-injection for '57, Fart's race-conscious officials searched for a comeback.

It's more than a rumor now--Fart's will use McCullough superchargers as optional equipment....the same blower used by Stupid-
packer, and should boost the racing models to just under 300 horses."

Going back to Dodge's possible 'organized' involvement in NASCAR, it is worth noting that Mr. Grady's article was written WELL-
before anyone in the racing world had heard-tell of the 354 c.i. D501 race car---Grady only mentions the 325 c.i. dual-carbed
[Super-] D500 model, which had 310 HP, and no-clue about Dodge's up-coming King Kong Car.

Now, as to Mr. K, Mr. Grady writes: " After months of rumors, Carl K. has made a move to quit the stock car racing battlefield.
The WI outboard motor wizard [no relation to Serge...] won the national titles with Flock in '55 and with Baker in '56, but had
frantic hassles both years with NASCAR rulesmakers and brass.

In 1956, K. told this writer:'I have had a lot of pleasure and met many fine people, but I've been lucky in not having a driver
scratched or hurting anybody else. The cars are getting so fast that I'm not sure that they're safe.

Perhaps it would stretch our luck too thin to race again.

If I compete at all, it will not be at every 'bullring' [NOW, there is an EARLY use of that word, to describe a dirt-flat
fairgrounds-short track!] in the country as we have tried to do---but only in the big events.'

Soon afterward [when???], K. closed his Charlotte headquarters and sold his cars.

Yet---and this may sound illogical in view of the foregoing---I expect to see K's 'Big White Cars' in a few races this year [not-]
although his own name may not be prominently associated with the stable. "

SO, it appears that Dodge did make an abortive attempt to create a factory-'assisted' race team, after Kiekaefer folded
his racing tents.

BUT, since K. DID custom-order, literally, the first-production D501, and a couple-few 300's, Mr. Grady's prediction about K's
possible future involvement in organized racing was not totally unfounded!!!






Edited by d500neil 2009-12-24 5:09 PM
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horace
Posted 2009-12-25 7:42 PM (#202241 - in reply to #200205)
Subject: Re: D-501



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So, any other colors known? Thanks for the "card" w/ the scary lookin g Claus
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