Thank you to Mel Anthony in the United States for sharing his fabulous photo collection with us here on "JustMidgets" .
Mel Anthony ( bending ) readies the red "Norman Offy" # 55 for the North Seattle Hostpital Charity street parade in 1952.
Current owner of the restored "Norman Offy" in 2002, Bob Ware at a Vintage outing. Now running #1 on the tail. ( Photo by permission of WRA website US.)
Einer.T."Swede" Lindskog, toured New Zealand in 1937 as part of a 6 man team. "Swede" was part of the team of Americans that inspired Frank Brewer to take up midget racing.
A mate of Mel's , Les Stark at Sea Tac Speedway..1950.
Allen Heath gets a winner's kiss from newly wed trophy girl, Barbara Anthony in 1946. Allen was best man at Mel and Barbara Anthony's wedding.
Champion midget driver, Allen Heath in the Tom Carstens V860 #44. ( see note below. * * )
" Shorty" Templeman in the Jack Whalen Bardahl # 1 Offy getting set for the Ballard , North Seattle Hospital charity street run. ( read the story on this site.)
Edger Elder in the red Lysle Greenman Chrysler # 8 Offy, " into the boards" at Gilmore.
The Gordon Reelie Weldco V860 # 75 Kurtis with 180 degree crank and F.I. ( read on this site, how Gordon "lost" the body of this car.)
Bill Bereton in the # 42 Ferguson tractor engined midget. They were experimenting with 1 and 2 wheel rear at the time. Note the master cylinder mounted off the chassis.....July 1942.
Cal Niday in # 38 at Sea Tac Speedway.. Niday toured Australia in 1947- 8..
Gordon Youngstrom in # 49. Gordon had the first Offy in the Northwest U.S.A. and also raced "big cars" .
A couple of Offies, #20 is the Lysle Greenman - Chrysler Offy.
The start of aTrophy Dash. May 19th 1946. Bud Green on Pole with Allen Heath outside front. Flagman was Glen Shaw. Glen was also a car and engine builder. He built the Samco sohc for big cars, manfactured heads and parts for the boys for their early midgets and fielded cars in both groups.
Ellensburg wreck of the Warren King # 50 on the first turn.... Digger Caldwell, Bob Bruce and Warren King.... The 50 car ended up in this irrigation ditch.
Ernie Spaulding air born in car # 4... August 30 1941.
Ernie Spaulding puts car # 4 through the fence on the North turn in a 100 lapper...... 21.9.1941.
The wreck of the Bud Green car # 65 at Tacoma in 1946.
The Warren King # 50 after it was dragged out of the well at Ellensburg. Mel drove the car at a later date ( when it had dried out ! ).
Mel relates a short story from the Ellensburg Rodeo grounds that day:
Allen Heath, the rascal, had got there late, unloaded the # 44 car and was told not to hot lap as the track was in a terrible condition. He warmed up a couple then cranked out a full bore lap ! Our flagman then, the late Glenn Shaw, rolled up a flag and pointed it at Heath to slow him down. Heath slowed, drove up to Glenn as if to consult him then set her sideways, stood on it, and nearly buried poor Glenn in the black mud and Rodeo " by products" ! Glenn was fuming, as his starched white shirt and pants were a mess, but the crowd loved it !
John Small in the # 36 car a 61 cu.in Harley powered car. He said it felt like he was holding two footballs in his hands after a long race, it shook so bad !
John powers the # 36 through a bend.
This is an ex Mel Anthony 2 port Riley "big car". Mel sold the car a week before to John Small who tangled with Jimmy Brown on the 5/8 mile oiled dirt Aurora high banked circuit.
Louie Sherman in the # 7 V860 outside Chick Barbo in the # 2 V860.
Oregan's Louie Sherman began his racing career in the late 1930s in an unusual way. Louie was a semi pro baseball player in Portland who was working out at the Jantzen Beach Speedway on a night when the midgets were practising. It looked like fun to him so he asked for a drive, and got it ! In just a few laps he was running with and passing the front runners ! He soon was Oregan Champion and had many wins in Washington.The # 7 car was owned by Frank Nelson of Portland.
Chick Barbo made his start in midgets and big cars in the mid 1930s. He won Championships in the Northwest. Now his name was really Erling Barbo but due to a High School stunt he was nick named "Chick". It seems that when he rode his motorcycle to the Ballard High School there was some kind of a dirt cliff or bank nearby that the "brave" boys would jump their bikes over. When it came to his turn he stopped at the edge, looked it over ..then he was promptly labelled Chicken S...... That did it for him. He completed the stunt but the name stuck !
Seth Reining was the car owner of the number 2 V860. Chick raced in the Seattle area until about 1947, when he went to Gilmore and made his mark there. Later he went to the Midwest and raced big cars, in which he lost his life.
Chick and Tommy Mattson, at the start of a big car race on a dirt track, each started racing on the back stretch, neither giving an inch. The flagman refused to start them. ( not a lot unlike "Lovely" Logan and I in the midgets.) However they were going twice as fast as we were, left the park and both landed on parked trailers, killing Tommy instantly and Chick died little later.
Allen lost his left hand in an accident in the early 1950s. It happened at Illana Speedway, which was on the border between Illinois and Indiana. He was driving a 270 Offy sprint car , upended and came down hard on an Armco guard rail. Allen said later " they needed a shovel to put me on the stretcher ! " Allen drove very successfully for many years afterwards with a metal clamp type artificial hand attached to his lower left arm.