Chuck Akulis signs Mike Newwll's Pink Panther as Mike looks on.
Charlie Akulis of Windsor, NY campaigned his 1936 Chevy coupe #3 for years
in the Southern Tier at Five Mile Point, Penn Can, Twin Valley and Midstate.
Affectionately known by fans as the Pink Panther, Chuck's competition had
much less affection for the car as it roared to track championships at 5 Mile,
Penn Can and Twin Valley. Chuck's record 13 track championships at 5 Mile
Point started with the Pink Panther which was a threat to win everytime it
pulled into the pits.
A familiar site @ Penn Can, Fred Smith
Chuck @ the Heath Memorial, 2006.
Chuck's pit crew on the Pink Panther included his son Jim and steering unit
guru Bill Newell of Gilbertsville, NY. Mike built this car starting with the original
roll cage, a '40 Pontiac Coupe  body, Franklin quickchange and a healthy small
block, just like the original. Of his own racing career Mike relates, "I'm the one
who took out Russ (Card) in the figure 8 race at Midstate. I also raced a few laps
in the late models and sportsman." A long time avid fan of the Midstate track,
Mike is now really showing his talent as a car restorer and we all get to enjoy it.
The pictures below show just how much work goes into a project like this.
No easy task making a '40 Pontiac look like a '36 Chevy, Mikes results speak for themselves.
Mike and Bill Newell.
A pleased Chuck Akulis.
Photo courtesy of Mike Newell.