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Topic: PHOTOS: In Memory, Luther Brewer One Of The Legends Of Our Sport Email this topic to a friend | Subscribe to this TopicReport this Topic to Moderator
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Racing From The Past
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September 04, 2007 at 09:36:43 AM
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This message was edited on August 01, 2010 at 01:31:17 PM by Racing From The Past
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An interview with one of Kansas City's area legend Luther Brewer at his induction into the C.A.R.B Hall of Fame. Right click on the screen to view in large format at You Tube.

This was Luther Brewer's first race car. He bought the frame with the body on it and built the motor from scratch. It has a stroker kit that makes it a 272 CI, and an Isky 303 cam. He ran this car one year, 1961.

This is the same car as above before it was ever on the track. It had a clutch, 4 bbl Holley and a hand brake. That is Luther in the picture.


Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 04, 2007 at 08:38:08 PM
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This message was edited on September 09, 2007 at 07:11:28 AM by Racing From The Past

This was Luther's second race car. The frame was 3 inch round tubing. Roll bars were made from the ends of a bed stead! (I got that idea from Al Weiland of Iola.) It had cross spring front and rear. A 327 Cu In Chevy with Stromburg 97 carbs. A steel quick change (fabricated by Elmer Layne of Kansas City) with Ford car ring & pinion.
I ran this car in 1962 only. Harlan Johnson was the only driver.
Luther Brewer

 

 


Warren Vincent
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Sprint97
September 19, 2007 at 06:13:07 AM
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Warren,

Car # 2 was sold to Ronnie Lynn of Harrisonville, MO who moved to Amarillo, TX and raced this car in that area in the mid 60s. It may have had this same paint job/number then.

Luther



Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 12:57:07 PM
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This car # 3 was built for the 1963 season. It has a 29 Chevrolet car frame, champ quick change (3/4 ton Ford Truck ring & pinion). The reason I used the car frame was Jerry Gilbert of Lee's Summit had a T roadster super modified built on a Chev frame (white # 19) This car had cross spring front and rear. Small block Chevy v8, 4 Stromburg 97 Carbs (sometimes 6, 97s). The car came out heavy & I was not very satisfied with it, I only ran it one season.


Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 01:01:18 PM
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This is the 4th car I built. It is built from a CAE blueprint. It was for the 64 & 65 season. I started running at tracks outside of the local tracks. I had ran at Tulsa 3/8 mile track in 1961 with the flathead Ford & once at the opening 1/4 mile East of Topeka. This car had a champ quick change, 327 cu in Chevy, Hilborn injectors, ran alcohol for fuel, magneto ignition. Wes Ferrand drove it 1/2 season and Jack Belk drove it through the end of the 65 season. It ran Topeka, Lakeside, Olympic, Knoxville, Sedalia, and the fair in Pueblo, Colo. I sold it at the end of the 65 season.

Luther Brewer


Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 01:07:09 PM
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This is the 5th car I built. It was the most successful. It is referred to on page 57 of Bob Mays book, "High Plains Thunder". The car ran 5 seasons in the midwest and was sold to Baily Bros Speed Shop in West Sacramento where it ran the 71 season in Northern California.
I made the plans from a Willie Davis built sprint car Greg Weld owned/campaigned in USAC during the 65 season. I purchased chrome moly tubing at "The Yard", an aircraft surplus yard in Wichita, KS, for the this car. I had to take the tubing to Valley Engineering in Tulsa, Ok to have it bent without flatting the tubing. The tubing was 1 7/8 in X .095 wall. The roll bars were 1 1/2 X .125 wall. The complete frame, welded and the 3/8 engine plate attached weighed 108 lbs on our bath room scales. The body panels and fuel tank are aluminum and the nose and tail are fiberglass. I made the front axle, radius rods, bird cages, stabilizer bar body panels & fiberglass tail. I purchase a sprint car in Topeka at the end of the 65 season (Black #2 MoPar engine), open tube champ rear end, knock offs. I sold the frame & blown engine and used the rest of the car in building this one.
This had a small block Chevy, Hilborn Injectors, Crower Cam, cross torsion rear and Shalila front spring. Ray Lee Goodwin drove it for me the 1 1/2 seasons I had it. In the 66 season he finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd, in time trials, trophy dash, heat races & main events 90 times. I sold it to Jack Cunningham at mid season. Ray Lee won the next 8 features he ran with it for Cunningham. After Cunningham sold the car, his son, John & I accounted for 108 feature wins for the 66, 67, 68 & 69 seasons. The car ran 2 more seasons after that.
Luther Brewer

Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 01:15:08 PM
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This message was edited on August 22, 2009 at 11:21:22 PM by Racing From The Past

Luther Brewer's #7 sprint car he built. I have this to include this car. It some how got left out of the others.

 

I would like to thank Luther, this is just great for him to take the time to send these to me. Thanks for the chance to relive the memories with his photos and stories.


Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 01:37:31 PM
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This message was edited on October 25, 2009 at 05:11:51 PM by Racing From The Past

This actually car # 8 built prior to the 1968 season. This was to replace the car I sold in February (car # 7). This is the .095 moly tubing and same dimensions as the car # 5. It had cross torison rear with cross spring front, 2 in open tube and knock off wheels. Hilborn Injectors, small block Chevy. I had several different drivers during the 2 years I ran it. Ray Lee Goodwin, Thad Dosher, Jon Backlund, Eddie Levitt, Grady Wade, Bill Covert & Dick Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe won the last race I ran with it at the Oklahoma State Fair in Oct 69. I sold it to a Mr Regan in Kokomo, Indiana.

Ray Lee Goodwin with the crew and Luther is the tall one with one hand on the roll cage.

Luther
Ray Lee Goodwin with a trophy win at Topeka in 69. He won 2 features that year also. He only drove for me about 6 weeks. Started the season, then went USAC, returned for 3 or 4 weeks & went to the 24 car of Lincoln. In a newspaper article that was in the Topeka Capital that said Dale Reed replaced him the next 2 weeks winning one feature & running 2nd in the other, Luther.
Eddie Leavitt with a feature win at Topeka in 69. He drove the car a few weeks including Lincoln. NE IMCA Labor Day races & the Sedalia, MO IMCA Mile.
Ray Lee at Des Moines Fairgrounds
This is Kenny Gritz (12) in his own car, a Don Edmunds 4 bar & Ray Lee at the Des Moines IMCA Fair date. Kenny went on to win the Knoxville Nationals then we would loose Kenny in a accident at Lincoln.
The office of a Brewer race car.

Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 02:27:09 PM
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I built this car for the 69 season for Don Hoenshell of Raytown, Missouri. Don drove midget race cars on the KC circuit in the late 40s & early 50s. The car was later sold to one of the McVay brothers and later to someone in Illinois.


Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 05:59:02 PM
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This message was edited on September 22, 2007 at 06:01:18 PM by Racing From The Past

This car was built for Everett Cage of Harrisonville, Missouri before the 1972 season. Spring front and cross torsion rear. I constructed birdcages that swivel on the rear housing so to make the rear suspension perform the same as an open tube rear. It worked well and was copied by some other builders. I also made the front axle (same jigs as I used on the 5th, 7th and this car). E Cage ran it 4 seasons then sold it to Gary Mook of Lenexa, Kansas.

Mook ran it until 1980 and sold it to someone in the Hastings, Nebraska area. The buyer from Nebraska wanted it because it had a cross spring front which allowed them to run a larger wing. I have tried unsuccessfully to locate any remains to restore.
Anyone now the where abouts or the history of this car reply to this forum.
Luther

 


Warren Vincent
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Racing From The Past
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September 22, 2007 at 06:34:07 PM
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This message was edited on September 22, 2007 at 07:04:34 PM by Racing From The Past

This is the 11th race car I built and the last one. Cars 10 & 11 were made of 1 1/2 X .125 wall chrome moly tubing. The surplus yard in Wichita ran out of the .095 X 1 7/16 tubing that I used on cars 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9. I cut the tubing, made the bends and cut out all frame components on cars 10 & 11 at the same time. Car 11 was for Stan Borofsky "The Mad Russian" (the same owner as car #6) The car was in a wreck at Bellville, Kansas and the seat belt buckle broke. The driver was fatally injured.
Dave Hoska of the Minneapolis/St Paul area found the car in a barn in northern Minneapolis around 1990 and has restored it. He shows the car often.
CLICK HERE to see another shot by Al Consoli http://www.pbase.com/consoli/image/417835

 


Warren Vincent
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Sprint97
September 24, 2007 at 04:03:19 PM
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This message was edited on September 24, 2007 at 06:00:27 PM by Sprint97

The Al Consoli picture is the first car I built for Stan. It was built for the 67 season and the 6th car I built.

Luther



uncle a
September 26, 2007 at 12:46:44 AM
Joined: 07/10/2007
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Mr. Brewer, it is obvious you were a true innovator of our sport. As a kid, I grew up around that time period watching the likes of Harold Leep, A.J. Foyt, and many other great drivers. Thank you so much for sharing your information. Pretty cool stuff. I throughly enjoyed reading every bit of it.

By the way from the photos and descriptions, you built some pretty nice cars.





brian26
September 26, 2007 at 03:01:25 AM
Joined: 12/03/2006
Posts: 7917
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I second that!




Sprint97
September 26, 2007 at 07:42:48 PM
Joined: 03/19/2007
Posts: 253
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Reply to:
Posted By: uncle a on September 26 2007 at 12:46:44 AM

Mr. Brewer, it is obvious you were a true innovator of our sport. As a kid, I grew up around that time period watching the likes of Harold Leep, A.J. Foyt, and many other great drivers. Thank you so much for sharing your information. Pretty cool stuff. I throughly enjoyed reading every bit of it.

By the way from the photos and descriptions, you built some pretty nice cars.



Uncle A & Brian26,

Thanks for the comments. I grew up and went to school in Drexel, Missouri. In 1948 (at 19 yrs old) I was driving a truck hauling milk from dairy farms in that area to Borden Milk Co In Kansas City, MO They were having midget races at Olympic Staduim in KC so I started staying in the city after unloading the milk and going to the races on Sunday night. The midget circuit ran St Louis, Memphis, Tulsa & maybe Wichita. It was drivers Jud Larson, Eddie & Jim McVAy, Mac McHenry (Wichita) Vito Calio, Cecil Green, and so many others. I worked 7 days a week so was there every Sunday.

I went into the Army in early 1951 so the next race I saw was the 1953 Indianoplis 500 after I was released from active duty. (The first year Bill Vulkovick won) I attended a lot races in the KC area and finally started racing in 1961. I will probably edit some of the pictures and add a few comments.

 

I also promoted races at the Topeka Fairgrounds in 1971, 72, 73 & 74.

 

Sincerely,

Luther



brian26
September 26, 2007 at 07:55:05 PM
Joined: 12/03/2006
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Hey, why don't you tell us the story of your trip to Indy in '53? Throw in the good parts if your better half will let you!




Sprint97
September 27, 2007 at 05:55:34 PM
Joined: 03/19/2007
Posts: 253
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Reply to:
Posted By: brian26 on September 26 2007 at 07:55:05 PM

Hey, why don't you tell us the story of your trip to Indy in '53? Throw in the good parts if your better half will let you!



Brian, There was a story to go with it! But, how would you know that?

Luther



brian26
September 28, 2007 at 12:54:57 AM
Joined: 12/03/2006
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1953 at Indianapolis? Are you kidding me? I wasn't even expected, but even I know there were real ironheads running around in those days! I bet it was a blast.

Here's what I do know off the top of my head. Vukovich referrred to Frank Kurtis as "cold rolled Frank", because he had lost '52 due to a cold rolled keyway  in his steering wheel giving way. Heat treated keyways had a better chance of holding up when the steering box would start to tighten up for some reason or other, and they did sometimes. Ruttman was defending race winner yet Vuky came back with the whiz kids and his fuel injected KK roadster just like in '52, but this time better prepared. Not sure if Ruttman was there that year but it didn't matter, Vuky was a sled on rails.

 

Interesting note here- I cannot remember the owners name but I do know Travers and Coon worked on the car. Before any mention of hiring Vukovich, Mauri Rose was approached I think while he was in a hospital bed still recovering from a crash that convinced him to retire. He was informed that they had a car that was so revolutionary that there was no way he could lose. He simply looked up from his bed with a skeptical eye and replied "Do you know how many times I've heard that before?"  Had he taken thier offer he might have had wins 4 and maybe even no. 5.




CG5KC
September 28, 2007 at 10:27:20 AM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 208
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This message was edited on October 25, 2009 at 05:33:26 PM by Racing From The Past

 

 

Here's a couple of shots Borofsky's sprint.



CG5KC
September 28, 2007 at 10:29:16 AM
Joined: 11/30/2004
Posts: 208
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