Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Marmon Wasp Restoration, 1989-1990

The Marmon Wasp Gets A Makeover

I recently came across some photos I thought you all would find of interest.

They were taken by my old man, presumably for a free-lance piece he was going to write. I don't think he ever finished it or had it published.

Think of this post as me tying up some of my dad's loose ends.

He took these photos back in the winter of 1989-1990 at the IMS restoration facility near the Goodyear barn off of 16th Street.

AJ Fairbairn gives the Wasp a look-see.

AJ, left, and Wilhelm "Bill" Spoerle, right, give the Marmon's valves a good seeing to.

AJ, Bill Spoerle, and Barney Wimmer, take a break from the Wasp and give an old Duesenberg some attention.

The Duesy is done! (IMS Photo by Steve Ellis)

The Marmon Wasp's powerplant, six cylinder 447 cubic inch displacement.

AJ Fairbairn works on the front end of the Marmon's powerplant. Note the convenient starter crank!

Did they call it a tub back in 1911?

No power steering back in 1911, apparently. Check out the massive gears in the steering system!

"Strong arm it," as my dad would say!

A little intardnet Googling tells me Barney Wimmer died in December of 2000.

Mr. Wimmer worked more than 35 years restoring racing cars and antique passenger automobiles for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation Hall of Fame Museum.

While in the employ of IMS Barney assisted in the restoration of over 27 antique automobiles.

Previously he was Chief Mechanic for Elmer and Mari Hulman George.

As a racing mechanic Wimmer won four national auto races. His highest placed car in the Indy 500 was third in 1955 with Jimmy Davies driving.

Wimmer started his racing career after World War II when he worked for legendary car owner and driver Jimmy Wilburn for four years.

He was an elected member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Museum of Knoxville, Iowa, the Winchester Speedway Oldtimers, and the Indianapolis 500 Shrine Club of the Murat Temple, Scottish Rite.

He was an honorary life member of the Indianapolis 500 Old Timers Club.

I couldn't find much on Bill Spoerle, except that he is an IMS Chief restorian, and owns, or owned, historic race cars, like the 1955 John Zink Special, and the 1962 Harvey Aluminum Special.

There are pictures of him at the track, taken in 2006, waving the green flag during the second day of ROP.

Finally, I could find nothing on AJ Fairbairn.

My dad's notes are kinda hard to read. If anybody can shed some light (and correct spellings), I'll fix things.

All photos by Rick Johnson.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I was searching the internet for info on Uncle Barney Wimmer. I was happy find you picture. He was a wonderful Uncle, thanks for posting the photo. I will share it with my family.

    Bonnie Bartley


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