Mel raced from 1946 to 1956 and in those 10 years drove 25 different midgets for 17 car owners. Some he drove with were, Allen Heath, Chick Barbo, Art Scoville, Bud Green, Louie Sherman, George Amick, Gordon Youngstrom, Ernie Spaulding, Don Olds, Paul Pold, "Shorty" Templeman and many others. Mel drove mostly V860s but graduated to Offies later in his career. He drove at Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Salem, Eugene, Yakima, Ellensburg, Spokane, Kenniwick and in Canada at Cloverdale, Burnaby and Ladner B.C.
Mel as a "rookie" in his first own car, a V860. The year was 1946.
Claude Walling in Mel's Cragar big car # 15 and Mel in his own midget . the V860 # 40.
Mel in the Solar V860 # 55 of Homer Norman at Sea Tac Speedway circa 1949.
Another shot of Mel in the magnificent Homer Norman Solar V860 midget.
Mel sits in the # 27 V860, the former Edelbrock car driven by Perry Grimm at Gilmore. This is at the Del Fanning benefit meeting 1950. It wasn't to be Mel's day !
Mel in # 27 ( arrowed ) gets upside down coming out of turn 4 in front of the Grandstand. Note the tip of the top of the Grandstand roof top left of photo.
After travelling the length of the straight, past the Grandstand, the opposite end just visible on right, Mel appropriately stops in front of a parked ambulance !
One of Mel's running mates and top US midget peddler, "Shorty" Templeman ( at rear of car ) with his "drive", the Bardahl Offy # 1.
Mel ( bending ) prepares the Homer Norman Offy # 55 for the North Seattle Hospital Charity run through the ( wet ) streets of the Ballard district in 1952. He ran with "Shorty' Templeman in the Jack Whalen Bardahl Offy # 1, Dick Deahl in the # 22 Kurtis V860 and Kenny Gardiner in the Don Budwick # 3 rail V860. Read Mel's hilarious report of the run on the page " Methanol Mel's" Yarns.
Mel mentioned to me that the man in the hat was his "personal" x-ray Technician ! also note the slicks.
The late Bobby Harris in the Sid Carr V860 # 6. Bobby later lost his life in this car when it was fitted with an Offy engine. He drove for 5 years and lost his life at only 18 years old .! Read how he and Mel tangled in the A main at Sea Tac when running 1 & 2.
Mel Anthony's last drive of a midget in 1956. The Lathrop Offy # 77.
A big "Thank You" to Mel for sharing these fabulous photos with us on "Just Midgets", it's great for us in Australia and other parts of the world to see what the boys got up to in the States in the "Hey Days" of midget racing as well as having a good laugh at Mel's stories.
Click on "Mel's Stories" to enjoy some great yarns of the 40s and 50s in midget racing.
Enjoy some more great photos from the midget "hey days" with Mel Anthony.
Mel and old # 40 well hooked up on the tar at Playland Stadium ....1946. Mel makes comment on the hammer marks on the cowl from a recent quick repair job !
Thank you to the late Mel Anthony, an ex professional midget racer from the Seattle area in the U.S. for sharing his fond memories with us here on "Just Midgets" via his photo collection.
Mel was inducted into the Golden Wheels Hall of Fame in October 2002 along with Bob McLees and Harry Stryker Snr.for their contribution to American Midget Racing. (see photo below )
Mel Anthony, right, receives his plaque recognising him as an inductee into the Golden Wheels Hall of Fame.
George Hespe ( Golden Wheels Secretary) on the left makes the presentation.
Mel was one of three ex Midget drivers and car owners inducted on the 20th October 2002, the other two were Harry Stryker Snr and Bob McLees.
From all of us here in Australia, Mel
CONGRATULATIONS on your great contribution to the sport of Midget racing in the States over the years.
Also congratulations to Harry and Bob.
Mel's lovely wife Barbara presents a trophy to Stan Muir at Playland in 1947.
All heads tilted to the left, what a great shot !
#60 Jerry Mulholland leads # 16 Mel Anthony and # 61 is Hal Eidem. The Ford Trophy Dash, Sea Tac Speedway 1947. #16 was Homer Norman's first midget and Mel was his first driver.
Mel goes on to say that he later drove # 61 in Canada for one night only - the steering wheel came off while leading the B Main, he jumped the low rail and ended up with his front wheels on the roof of the Ladies Rest Room.
Car owner Homer Norman poses with his driver Mel Anthony in the very rare 1938 Kurtis rail # 5 V860 at an Auto Show. An ex Paul Pold car it originally ran an Offy engine.
It's 2003 and he is still at it !
Nearly 80 years of age and Mel and his car owner John Nelson towed the beautifully restored # 6 John Zink Special 255 cu.in Offy Indy car across America to the Milwaukee Mile meeting in July 2003 and Mel covered 83 laps in demonstration runs over the Saturday and Sunday.
He was unofficially timed at 120 MPH. It had been 47 years since Mel had hot lapped a race car.
Mel and John Nelson covered 5000 miles on their very hot round trip towing # 6 , not without their fair share of "on road" problems.
Mel in # 6 sitting on a cool 120 MPH overtakes a roadster on the main straight.
Mel at "The Milwaukee Mile " wearing his Vintage Speedcars of NSW, Australia, tee shirt I sent him over.
The flyer for the July meeting at the Milwaukee mile.
A classic pic of an Indy car ( and driver ! ) at speed.
Mel sets up a pass on that magnificent roadster # 4.
Mel's biggest fan and Pit Manager, his son Dennis, gives Dad final instructions before a run. Mel says a complete reversal of roles when he pit crewed for Dennis in Sprintcars.