Monday, August 30, 2010

Max Balchowsky, creator of the "Old Yeller" series of handbuilt spare parts racecars that won in races against all the exotic European race cars

Max built the Old Yeller cars that defined this era (1958-1964) of California racing.

The Old Yeller legend began when Max and partner Eric Hauser acquired a Special built by Dick Morgensen of Phoenix, Arizona. Max applied his skills, modifying and upgrading almost every part of the car, and created a potent threat for overall wins.

Old Yeller, an assortment of junkyard debris powered by one of Max's killer Buick nailheads, embarrassed many an expensive European sports car and inspired a generation of hot rodders to go road racing... http://www.britannica.com/bps/additionalcontent/18/27709714/95-MAX-BALCHOWSKYS-OLD-YELLER-I

Max pulled the engine, and put it into Old Yeller II, which he'd just built.

Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby also drove Old Yeller II. Gurney declared it "The best handling car I've ever driven". ... http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/MaxBalchowsky1.html
Old Yaller 1 was made from the Morgensen Special and all the work Max did to make it better, but Old Yellar II was all Max.

Max Balchowsky who took on the best in the business with his motoring equivalent of a mutt. From their outward appearance, cars like Old Yeller II appeared crude, but all of the Yellers were well engineered and usually competed for overall victory with much more expensive competition... http://www.supercars.net/cars/608.html

"Built from derelict freeway signs, a Coca Cola sign, Chevy truck parts, whitewall tires, and junkyard parts" .. " winning 8 of 13 outings in 1963-64" .. the engine was built with "special pistons, six Stromberg 97 carburetors on two Crower log manifolds, and an exotic camshaft from Ed Winfield" .... Vintage American Road Racing Cars 1950-1969 By Harold Pace

"Max became good friends with Buddy Hackett and did the setups for the VW known as Herbie for the movie 'Love Bug.' Max is most legendary for the movie stunt work he did for the movie Bullit with Steve McQueen, and he knew Steve well. Max worked with Elvis Presley in several movies, and for Viva Las Vegas, Max used two Old Yeller race cars in the movie (one crashed)."
http://www.ada.org/news/3511.aspx

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