JOE DONAHUE ~ DON DIFFENDORF ~ JOHN MANNY #49/10
Teardrop 10 - Pass Side.
Teardrop 49 - Drivers Side.
The 'Teardrop' was built for the 1960 racing season by Joe Donahue Sr.
for long time Binghamton car owner, John Manny. 'Irish Joe'
campaigned the car through the 1960 and 1961 seasons at Five Mile
Point and Susquehanna (Penn - Can) Speedways with much success. So
much in fact that Donahue brazenly added a 'baby bottle' to the roof of
the car for all the 'crybabies'. Clearly, Joe enjoyed running roughshod
over the competiton and I'm sure he believed that it wasn't braggin' - 'if
you could back it up.'
By 1962 Irish Joe had jumped to the Wes German #04 mount leaving
the Teardrop seat open for young leadfoot Don Diffendorf. The team
replaced the faithful flathead with small block chevy power and
renumbered the car 9. 'Dif' ripped off 9 straight wins in the car and
when he won his 10th, the car had a new number as well. Diffendorf
dominated the 1962 season at 5MP, winning 13 of 16 features and the
track championship. By 1967 he was in the Glenn Scott S/360 and won
the track champioinship at Shangri-La, one of only three drivers to win
championships at both Southern-Tier Flagship tracks (the others are
Bill Stroshal and Jerry Hayes).
This 1934 Ford coupe is a replica dedicated to the memory and
ccomplishments of both drivers. Built by Richard Ackerman of New
Berlin, NY it houses a stout 21 stud racing flathead, '39 Ford toploader
three speed and a 'locked' banjo rear. The frame is '34 Ford, steering is
GMC truck and a 'big wheel' according to Carl Nagel. A 'dead ringer'
according to Joe Donahue Jr. & Dif alike, the chassis was raced in
Pennsylvania and the body in NY. Look for it at our shows in the
Southern Tier.
'Irish' Joe Donahue with the Baby Bottle, 1960. Anderjacks Speedway Photo.
Irish Joe with the checkers @ Susquehanna.
'Dif' with the checkers and fans @ 5MP, 1962.
Dif buckles up in 1962, note the 'kills'. Photo by Greg Holland.
Thumbs up from Dif, Southern Tier Speedworld 2008.
Joe Donahue Jr. smiles from the cockpit, Speedworld 2008.
The trunklid with autographs.