~ Road Trips ~
We enjoy chasing down leads and taking trips to
check them out. Each one is an adventure all it's
own and it's a lot of fun meeting new people with
shared interests in our hobby. Here's a few of
our recent trips:
For my father's 70th birthday
my mother wanted to do
something special. We had a
nice gathering at my
brother's home in New Berlin
and celebrated with a great
meal, cake and presents. I
think he may have gotten a
Lincoln universal for his Hot
Rod and a John Deere
(model) Tractor that my
nephew Charley quickly
claimed. Great day. But Mom
had other ideas "Why don't
you take him down to
Pennsylvania to that race
you're always talking about?"
Now that was a great idea
and I went to work on
securing tickets to the
Williams Grove National
Open, it was a simple phone
call and we had reserved
seats on Beer Hill for
Saturday night. Another call
got us a Hotel room within a
few miles of the track for a
mere $45.00, another great
deal. Dad came down and
spent Friday night, the
weather looked great and so
on Saturday morn I bid my
faithful boys adieu (and told
them to be good) while we
headed to Mechanicsburg,
Pa. to enjoy some of the best
sprint car racing on this
planet. The ride was
uneventful, Pennsylvania has
some of the nicest views you
can enjoy while riding, the
air was crisp, not a cloud in
the sky. Upon arriving at the
track you get a feeling of the
history that permeates these
grounds. In the parking lot
off of the backstretch they
were setting up for an
auction. There were a few
sprint cars in the lot being
worked over and you could
walk right up and learn a fair
amount just by being
sociable. In the flesh you can
see the technology involved,
the finish on these cars is
impeccable, I took hold of a
right front and spun it, it was
as light as a feather. Neat
cars, not cheap. One fellow
we were talking with figured
the engines were in the
$40,000.00 range and make
around 800 Hp, all this in a
1250 package with wings to
hold them to the track makes
them quite the rocket. Over
to the track the grader is
making his way around, the
red clay looks to be in good
shape. I'm standing on the
bridge across the backstretch
overlooking the track, you get
a good idea of the layout from
here, it's a paperclip. Long
straights, sharp flat corners,
especially 3 and 4. Beer Hill
atop the third corner looks to
be the place to be. OK - I'm
sufficiently pumped, let's go
find the Hotel and the
Eastern Mutual Museum of
Racing. After all, that's a big
part of this trip too. The Hotel
is fine and the Wolf diner
next door has good food, just
like the lady who I made
reservations with told me.
Now it's off to Baltimore Road
in York, we only make one
wrong turn and find the
Latimer County Fairgrounds
and the EMMR. What a place!
The museum was started by
the Williams Grove Old
Timers who pooled their
resources and purchased
this  1/2 mile Fairgrounds
racetrack and surrounding
territory to build their
museum. The track is nearly
round in shape, narrow and
I'll bet pretty fast for a sprint
car in the 1930's when they
were running here. The
Museum is chock full of
wonderful racing nuggets -
Indian and Harley flat track
racers, midgets, sprint cars,
engines, Ted Horn's personal
belongings, Tommy
Hinnershitz's garage and
Miracle Power Spl., Hiram
Hillegas' shop and
unfinished aluminum skins,
Ken Hickey's tools, 30x90
bugs, Stock Cars, a salt flat
car, dragster and under the
staircase – a Miller…
Fantastic place, we promptly
joined the EMMR and went
into the Library where we
met some great guys and
chatted it up. Joe Heisler was
taking care of the gift shop
and gave me a great Les King
photo of Bryan Osgood at
Wlliams Grove with the
checkered, just a great place.
On the way out we gave
EMMR director Guy Brown a
ride back to the Grove, on the
way he took us down to the
Latimore Valley track for
some photo opportunities,
nice guy. A quick nap at the
hotel and then bundle up for
the races, long johns were a
good idea. You’ve probably
heard that Beer Hill is full of
crazy people, that’s only
partially true – they’re crazy
about sprint cars and do they
know their stuff. Talk about
luck, the fellow I’m sitting
next to strikes up a
conversation and eventually
we get around to what we
have raced… his name is
Fred from New Jersey and
once I told him we raced
Flathead Fords his eyes lit
up. “I had a flathead in a ’34
Ford coupe on the street, it
had a radius tappet cam in
it.” Now he’s got my full
attention, ‘What brand?” I
asked. “A Schooler.” OK, now
I’m thinking. In my talks with
Speedy Spiers, who worked
at Schooler, there was only
one guy from New Jersey
who used those cams. I had
to know, “Where did you ever
hear about Schooler and get
that cam?” Fred replied, “Oh,
my buddy Frankie had it.”
Bingo! Not only that but our
view was great, we could see
the whole track and once the
sun went down, wow, you can
see the vortex coming off the
wings of these cars as they
blast down the backstretch at
140 mph. 56 sprints time
trialed, after heats, the dash,
D, C, and B mains – 28 cars
lined up for the National
Open. Kinser was out early
and it looked like Jason
Myers had ‘em covered until
a red flag for a flip off of turn
4, (I actually saw it better
later on the speed channel
replay..) took downa light
pole. The cars were allowed to
refuel and I’m not sure but I
have to believe that Sammy
Swindell made an
adjustment because he was a
rocket after that and opened
a big lead. He faded a bit at
the end but had just enough
to hold off a fast closing
Lance Dewease for the win.
As he exited the car he said
“This is for the old guys!”  -
We’re not that old! All in all a
great night, as we were
leaving my father reached in
his wallet and gave Fred his
card. I related “If you get to
talk to Frankie, and he’s got
any Flathead stuff left, give
us a call.” He promised he
would and we found our
truck out in the cornfield
where we’d parked – with NO
parking ticket, just as the
local police had promised
when I asked if it was ok.
This community knows how
to treat race fans. We got
back to the hotel by midnight
and crashed, up in the
morning and back on the
road home.  A great road trip
that only got better the
following week… to be
continued.... (scroll down...)
John Gerber was hot stuff.
Charley, Dad, Aunt Marina and Carol Turner at Dad's 70th.
1250 lbs + 800 HP = Rocket.
From the bridge off the backstretch looking towards turn 2.
The EMMR.
Joe Barzda's engine.
Nice sprinter, there were many here.
Can you imagine how long it took to paint this?
View from Beer Hill.
You didn't miss anything from here..
Ready for the feature.
Off they go..
More from the EMMR...
Harley and Indian Flat-trackers
Dad at Hiram Hillegas' Shop
The Ellis Brother's Sprinter has a Red Ram for power.
Ever see a sprint car with a Ranger engine?
The Peters Offy.
How about this T?
220 Offy.
Ouch! Check out the Rods.
Tommy Hinnershitz's Garage.
Offy valve cups - look like flathead radius lifters.
Van Johnson's Goggles.
Ted Horn's Tank.
Bill Schindler looks after Williams Grove.
Wall of Fame.
Dad checks out an Ardun.
HAL.
FI Flathead.
Salt flat belly tank.
The Bugs (30x90).
Millers.
Miller DOHC Straight 8.
Ray Kables #90.
Fuel Injected Flatty.
Bobby Abels bug.
Gays Biro Roadster.
Kenny Welds Super.
Again.
Another bug, this had torsion rear suspension.
And a good looking flatty.
Mert Stines Modified.
Gary Wolford's A1.
Turn 1 Latimore Valley.
Turn 4.
Turn 3.
Front stretch.
The start of the 40 Lap National Championship.
The Sus is 1 mile wide at Hirrisburg.
Great trip with Dad.
Road Trip Part 2
Sure enough, Fred gives us a
call the following week and
gives my father Frankie’s’
number. Dad in turn gives it
to me and tells me to give it a
try. It’s no good. The number
is no good, disconnected….
@#$%#&^& aaaannd, Dad
does not have Fred’s number.
Great. But, in this day and
age you can find information
quite easily and soon I have
the correct number, (the one
Dad gave me was one digit
off..) and I’m talking with
Frank Schneider. As we’re
talking he’s telling abut some
of the equipment he still
owns, apparently he hasn’t
sold much of it through the
years. Would he sell any of
the Flathead stuff? “Yeah.”
That’s all we needed to know
and we made a date for the
following weekend. We’d
never been to Flemington, NJ
before but I can tell you this,
it’s beautiful. Just a really
nice area, rolling hills, what
look to be expensive houses,
horses and ponies in well
fenced pastures, lush forests
and the trees were just
turning as we were there.
And in the middle of all this
is Frank Schneiders' old farm,
with plenty of cars and a
couple of barns. We pull in
and try to rouse anyone at
the house, only the dog
comes around. Finally, I look
out through the barnyard and
start hollering, find my way
into one barn and there is
Frankie Schneider bent over
a pile of parts he’s cleaning
up. He looks up at me with
this impish smile, a twinkle
in his eye and we introduce
ourselves. I holler to Dad and
we meet in the next barn
over, sit down and commence
to talk racing. This is how it
goes with many racers we
have met through the years, it’
s a bit of a feeling out
process, after all, these
fellows don’t want the parts
going to someone who is just
going to resell them for profit,
they want us to use them for
the purpose they were built
for – race cars. I ask for a few
autographs and start my tape
recorder, unfortunately it isn’
t to be. Frank is still sharp as
a tack, but a stroke has
removed the connect between
what’s happening in his head
to his tongue. He struggles at
times to answer questions,
and shows frustration in his
inability to do so, I close it
down and quit asking
questions. It’ll come out more
naturally if I just let it be..
and it does. He relates some
really good one liners, here’s
a sample: “It isn’t racing now,
it’s shit!” He related, “I started
racing at age 17 and used to
race 8 times a week. At times
I ran under an assumed
name to stay out of trouble
with NASCAR” (everyone did).
“Everyone knows everything,
with money.” “I let the guys
beat themselves.” “When I was
racing, I did it all myself. Ya
know, and I wanted to beat
ya.” “It was good fun. Race
and then go out and hang out
with the guys.” That was the
gist of it, I could add that he
still knows all the swear
words real well…. Regardless,
Frank was very
accommodating and generous
with his time as we scrounged
for parts. He knew where
many were and took us right
to some camshafts settled in  
the rafters, then over to some
shelves that had intakes, a
set of Edelbrock heads and
the item I was looking for; the
Osiecki Racing heads.
Beautiful. Next to that Dad
pulled out a drawer from a
filing cabinet to find three
more radius tappet
camshafts, and one is wilder
(0.460 lift) than anything I’ve
seen to date. I’d be almost
afraid to use it.. All in all,
great stuff. We settle on a
price and take care of
business then Frankie says
“Come on, follow me.” And we’
re off to Englishtown. The
roads here are wild, basically
single lane and I’ll tell you
this, we had a hard time
keeping up with this 87 year
old man, he flies on these
roads. Up in his barn in
Englishtown are some more
gems we look over and now it’
s time to go look at some
more. This time his wife
Bobby joins us as we head
over to Harry Snyders'
residence. Harry has restored
Frank’s Pinto modified and
has it housed in an enclosed
trailer that is a rolling
museum in tribute to Franks
career. It’s great, the car is
well done, and shows the low
buck ingenuity employed by
Frank, there is a small block
there that was welded back
together by Frank – he got it
from a dealer who had to
destroy it before letting it
go… Photographs and racing
uniforms line the wall of the
trailer, Harry is also very
accommodating in showing us
his memorabilia. After that it’
s off to dinner with Frank and
Bobby, we catch a bite to eat
and then head back to New
York wondering what’s next.
It’s always amazing to me
what one trip leads to and
this one was a duesy…
thanks much to Fred, Frank
and Harry, you made our day.
Dad and Frank Schneider.
In his element.
Frank with his heads and cams.
You try and keep up with him..
With his Sedan.
Frank looks over the interior.
Wonder what happend to the Monkey.
The Pinto.
Frank Schneider.
A small block saved by Frank.
Many Thanks to Harry Snyder.
These are rare.
That's one wild Flathead camshaft..