Dave Kneisel started racing in 1950 at Bones Stadium near Pittston, Pa.
Over the next three decades he became well known not only as a racer,
but as a mentor to many other aspiring racers as well. His Kneisel Speed
Sport shop supplied many racers with parts and he freely gave of himself
to improve others efforts as well as the sport in general. As a builder, he
was always innovative, always looking for an edge, and his cars were
immaculate and interesting. This car showed an obvious Pennsylvania Bug
influence, having raced similar types at Williams Grove and Selinsgrove;
Dave built and unleashed this beauty on the unsuspecting competitors of
the Southern Tier in 1965. I believe this was his first LynMar Special, so
named after his daughters Lynn and Marcee. Dave campaigned the car at
5 Mile Point and also made trips to Midstate with it, and won at both. My
father, who worked on Willy Wust's #88, (which in comparison was a
beast..) related remembering "It was like a sprint car, light and fast. I'll
never forget one night down at Five Mile, it was a big race, 100 lapper.
Moose (Carey) drove his heart out that night, best race he ever drove. Dave
had that bug and got in a jingle, he was hung up on the wall in turn four
and they had to double hook him off of it. He re-started last but he had
enough time to get back and get Moose, who led all the way until a lap or
two to go. Dave won it but we felt pretty good just getting that close."
Never one to sit still, by 1967 Dave had built an asphalt coupe and was
trying out Shangri-La, the bug was sold to fellow Clark Summit resident
Lester Green who continued to run the bug at 5 Mile and occasionally
Midstate. By 1970 a rule change required a different body be placed on
the car and the bug was gone. Dave went on to build many more innovative
cars, and developed a very successful chassis business which he grew until
his untimely death at Middletown in 1982. A wonderful tribute page
displaying many of Dave's cars can be found here.
This car was built by John Josephson, a noted race car builder from
Duluth, Minnesota, in 1972. It was originally built as a 'Smart Car' which
was an alternate class of modifieds in the Duluth area. Josephson built
this particular car for himself, but did not finish it. After selling it to Mike
Rich of Superior, Wisconsin the car continued to sit unfinished until it
was sold again, tis time to John Galloway, then of Duluth. John finished
the car with a 350 Chevrolet engine, a Griner powerglide and Ford nine
inch rear. He never raced it competitively in the 35 years he owned it,
relating "I drove it in only 3 vintage events the whole time I had it. i
finished third in the Vintage Supermodified Nationals in the car and
when I moved beck to Indiana, I brought it with me."
The car came to our attention on Ebay and when I talked with John to
learn it was essentially a time capsule, a 'new' 1972 supermodified, we
made a deal for it. John was very gracious in letting the car go but did
relate "It's killing me to sell this thing, I've had it for 35 years. I sold it
once, and couldn't stand it so I went back to the guy and bought it back.
Cost me an extra $500 but I wanted it back. Take good care of her." We
met John in Columbus, Ohio and the whole way along the trip my Father
and I were talking about what to do with it. Our thought was that it was
very reminiscent of Dave's bug, and would make a nice tribute car. I
inquired to Marcee (Kneisal) Adams if that would be acceptable and once
we received her blessing our path was set. The car was painted by Dennis
Kardos of New Lisbon and the lettering was done by Rick Hanson of
Earlville, NY - both expertly I may add. The result is very pleasing to us
and we feel it is a fitting tribute to the memory of Dave.