On track in August - the descendants of the original Pebble Beach drivers
The Del Monte Trophy Race Group is proud to announce a unique event within this year’s celebration of the 70 years since the inaugural Pebble Beach Road Races and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. At the 2021 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, five of the early 1950s Special in the Del Monte Trophy Race Group 4A will be raced by present day race drivers, each with a direct family connection to the car's original driver.
The 1950 Cannon Mk.1 Special driven by Rick Cannon. The Cannon Mk1 Special was built by Ted Cannon in his North Hollywood, CA, machine shop and was driven by local fireman Jim Seeley. It is entered by the Cannon and Seeley families. Rick is Ted Cannon's nephew. Dave Seeley, Jim’s son will be assisting. The Cannon Mk1 Special chassis and front suspension are from Ted’s grandfather’s 1934 Dodge sedan. It is powered by a full house Mercury V8 built with the help of the Throttlers Hot Rod Club. The current presentation has an Ardun overhead valve conversion. The transmission is a Ford 3-speed with a Zephyr gear set. Major body panels were repurposed from the wrecked Lincoln Zephyr that was bought for the gears. The car finished 3rd in the inaugural 1950 Pebble Beach Cup feature race and then raced in the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1951 and 1952. See annex below.
The 1952 Streets Manning Special driven by Skip Streets. Skip is the son of builder and racer John Streets and is a well-known Formula Vee and Formula Ford racer and Regional Champion. He is the only National Formula Vee Champion from the West Coast. Chuck Manning was a Stress Engineer at Douglas Aircraft. He designed and built the Manning Special as a technical exercise for Road and Track magazine and made the plan set available, for $2, to subscribers. Three Manning Specials were built and road raced in the 1950s. The Streets Manning Special is one of them. It was built by a collaborator of Mannings, Wally Chapman, in the upstairs back bedroom of his grandmother’s house in Schaghticoke, New York. John Streets, then a young engineering student from England helped him finish it and raced it in Eastern Canada and New York. The significant feature of the Special is Manning’s ultra-lightweight, rigid, tubular chassis. It has pre-War Ford suspension and drum brakes and is powered by a classic hot rod Mercury Flathead V8. The two other identical Manning Specials raced at the Pebble Beach Road Races in 1952, 1953 and 1954.
The 1953 Tatum GMC Special driven by Blake Tatum. The Special was built in Stockton, CA, by Charles (Chuck) Tatum. Blake is Chuck Tatum’s son and is a well-known racer and major supporter and Board Member of the Northern California Region of the SCCA. He is a multiple Regional Formula Vee Champion, including in cars built by his father, and is currently Editor of “The Wheel’. Chuck Tatum was a young Marine Corps veteran of the assault on Iwo Jima who got interested in auto racing after returning home to Stockton, CA. At dinner during the Stockton Road Races with Phil Hill, Sammy Weiss and Doug Trotter, he accepted a dare and committed to building a racingsports car that would beat the imported Jaguars and Aston Martin that theothers were driving. The Tatum GMC Special is the result. Chuck designed and built the tubular chassis and used Ford truck running gear. The OHV in-line 6-cylinder engine was from a Stockton Fire Department truck. That engine was replaced in 1954 and 1955 by full race versions supplied by Wayne Engineering the go-to manufacturers of GMC speed equipment. The all-aluminum body is by Jack Hagemann of San Leandro. The car, which was quite famous in the day, was Hot Rod Magazine’s November 1953 cover article, won the Best Sports Car Trophy at the Oakland National Roadster Show and did 147 mph at Bonneville. In 1954 it starred with Tony Curtis and Piper Laurie in the major Hollywood bomb Johnny Dark. It won at the Stockton and the Madera Road Races and was a strong competitor in West Coast races from 1953-1955. It raced at the 1954 Pebble Beach Road Races.
The 1951 Baldwin Hanssen Special driven by Stu Hanssen. The Special was raced in the mid-1950s by William Hanssen throughout California at events such as those at Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Pebble Beach. Stu is William Hanssen’s son and is a long time SCCA racer in his own right in both Formula Ford and Formula 2000. The Baldwin Hanssen Special is the third of the iconic California Specials built by Willis Baldwin in Santa Barbara, CA. The car was built on a shortened and boxed 1947 Ford sedan chassis and has Ford running gear. The engine is a hot rod Ford Flathead V8 with an Ardun overhead valve conversion. Baldwin had a fully enveloping all aluminum body fabricated for this Special.
The 1955 Cleary Crosley Special driven by Mike Cleary. The Special was built and raced in period by Michael Cleary: “I drove it to school but was too young for the SCCA to allow me to race. My first race was in September of 1957.” It has always been in the Cleary family so at race events the car is always supported by a large group of Cleary family members. This beautiful little Special was built for the 750cc Class H. Its chassis came from a Fiat Topolino and it is powered by a Crosley 4-cylinder motor. The bright yellow body is Devin fiberglass.