Mary and I traveled from Long Beach California to Lincoln Nebraska to attend the 2013 Speedster Racer Hall of Fame event. We won the induction into the Hall of Fame and were the fastest flat head T at the hill climb. It was a fun event and nice to put faces and voices to all of the folks we communicate with on this web site. They let me give them my words of wisdom as follows: Life is a merry go round and you have to ride all of the horses. You even have to sit in that damned chair that doesn't do anything, and most of all you have to "Ride the Lion".
Maybe next year I can make it to the Endurance Run and congratulate you in person.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Bill you deserve it, sorry I wasn't able to attend this one, first one I've missed. email@example.com
Like Ray Price said when he was inducted in to the Country Music Hall of Fame, "Bout Time!"
You can say that again Stan.
Was nice to meet you and Your family, Frank. Again, congratulations. Happy wedding anniversary to yourself & Mary
Congrats Frank. Hope you enjoyed the Model N ride in Lincoln too,
You're in Fast company now, Frank, for sure.
You do the Long Beach Club proud.
Rob, Sorry I didn't get to take you up the hill for a quick ride. Yes your Model N has a lot of go in it. I was surprised how quickly you shift and how well it accelerates in high. Your Model K is a wonder for sure. Very rare and as I told you, much like the red Roadster the Nelson Holmwood sent to India in the 1960's I think he got $10,000 for it back then.
Congratulations Frank! Way to go. Have you told Howard yet?
Much deserved Frank. Congratulations.
Mark Chaffin, Yes, Howard was there. I beat Humble Howard by .04 seconds at the Devore Hill Climb and he said it was the Layne warford and not me that did the trick. Number 22 was first built by Ed Bebeck as a Spyder and was made very light in order to accelerate better. Ed built it to win over Humble Howard but it could not go as fast as Howard in the quarter mile. But on a one tenth of a mile hill climb #22 is faster than Lucky Seven.
Thanks to your having the necessary parts I required at the last minute, I was able to be legal by having a working parking brake. That solid steel parking brake latch is a wonder and installs easily. Our son Bill stopped bye and got it for me just before we departed and it went right on as it should.
Great week for you (and well deserved). One of my favorite moments of the hill climb was when I asked how the run went after one of your runs?
You said "I think pretty good. Did you hear me get scratch in second?"
That's priceless, once young at heart, always young at heart. Enjoy the award.......
We share the accolades bestowed upon the youngest 80 year old around. Thanks for all you have done ....... and contributed !
Australia was well represented with Dough Partington's FORD T' '[winkler special]
Some history of Dough's AUSTRALIAN BREED ''T'' race carUS “HALL OF FAME” HONOUR FOR HISTORIC AUSTRALIAN T SPECIAL
WIDELY known and respected Queensland Historic racer, Doug Partington, owner/driver of Australia’s famous Wikner T Ford, has received the signal honour of induction to the US Model T Ford Club’s Hall of Fame.
This rare honour for an Australian follows the T Ford Club’s 2013 selection of the Wikner as the “Restoration of The Year”, in recognition of ”your outstanding contribution to the restoration and preservation of the history of Model T Ford speedsters and racers.”
The letter advising Doug of the honour a few weeks ago further reads: “A plaque bearing your name and a short biography of the car will be placed on public display at the MTFCA Speedster and Racer Hall of Fame located at the Smith Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska. In addition, you will be presented with an identical plaque to display as you wish.
“A likeness of your speedster will be part of the banners and other promotional materials used in the 2013 Induction Ceremony. In addition, a picture and biography of your speedster will be included in a future article in the Vintage Ford Magazine on the 2013 Class of Hall of Fame Inductees.”
Doug and his wife, Elizabeth, have been invited to attend the Induction Ceremony, to be held on June 22, 2013, during the Speedster Reunion at the American Museum of Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Just try to keep us away,” was Doug’s reaction to my obvious question, before we talked about all the happenings in the years leading up to this moving achievement.
Imagine yourself at 14, bursting with energy that could only be relieved by building and driving your own racing car. Move up a decade and you’ve not only found a potential machine, but you’ve saved a few quid, extracted another few from Mum and Dad and gone out and bought it. It’s a bit of a wreck, but nothing a few years in the workshop won’t put right.
And that’s what you’ve done, finally got it on parade at the Lakeside, 1962, Tasman meeting, where it’s not quite the Ferrari-beater, so you put it away to gather dust, all but forgotten, save for some advice from your father and one Tom Sulman, who said he’d heard of the car while racing in England in the thirties.
Fast-forward several more decades and out of the blue comes a call from a friend who claims to have seen a pic of your car in a book. It’s about an Australian aviator who in the 1920s built a Model T Ford racing car as a pathway to realising his dream of building an aeroplane. Having produced the car, he completed the very first meeting of the famous Olympia Speedway at Maroubra, before 70,000 eager spectators, before selling the car, and his prototype aircraft, to finance a trip to England to further his aircraft building aspirations.
The aviator’s name was Geoff Wikner and his story was told in a biography, compiled by one Norman Mitchell, who lives near Newcastle, NSW. “The Flight of The Halifax” told how Wikner planned to buy an ex-RAF Halifax bomber and sell tickets to passengers to fly home to Sydney. The flight engineer of the Halifax was his friend, Tom Sulman.
The car, to become famous as the “Wikner Ford Special”, had been built in 1922 at Leura by brothers Geoff and Roy Wikner, who soon after stored it away, whence in 1958 it was offered for sale. The buyer was young Brisbane enthusiast, Doug Partington, who then spent the next four years assembling the car, which he initially called the RAJO, after the name on its cylinder head.
On hearing of his car’s surprise appearance in the book, an excited Doug quickly pulled it out of the shed, dusted it off and began a second restoration, convinced he had a real treasure on his hands.
Based on pre-1919 parts with two chassis members gas-welded to form a space frame, the Wikner’s steel body was fabricated over an angle-iron frame. It had a tail that resembled a WW1 aircraft rudder.
The book tells us that the Wikner brothers, for their Ford Special, had imported a RAJO overhead valve cylinder head, the two valves per cylinder type with no valve lubrication provided. Also brought in were a water pump and Mercury dropped front axle with centre lock beaded edge wire wheels. A large Stromberg carburettor, a Bosch magneto chain driven from the racing camshaft and aluminium pistons completed the engine modifications. The engine block casting date is 10-8-18 and below the Ford script is” Made in the USA”. The engine block has no stamped engine number.
Transmission is standard two-speed Model T epicyclic with special 3:1 ratio T rear axle. Running 30x3.5in beaded edge tyres on 23-inch wheels, the car has often been timed at over 80mph (133.3 km/h), while on the downhill straight at Sydney Motor Sport Park, close to 100 mph has been achieved. Braking relies on the original Model T transmission brake, with the rear-only drums fitted with linings, as opposed to original cast-iron shoes.
On completion of the restoration, in 1998, Doug was invited to debut his Wikner Ford Special at the Geelong Speed Trials, appropriately enough, as the Model T in Australia was first produced in Geelong. In the two decades since, Doug has shown and driven the car at countless Historic race meetings and displays, achieving nationwide fame and notoriety. Outstandingly, in 2000 Doug and the Wikner were awarded the prestigious prize for the “Best Restoration of an Australian Special Racing Car”.
After 55 years, Doug’s pride of ownership is palpable: “Because of its significance,” he says, “the Wikner is often invited as a VIP entrant to high-profile events. It enhances the Historic atmosphere and becomes a mecca to old racing enthusiasts and the media.
“The car’s all-important CAMS Historic logbook, which is internationally recognised by the FIA, indicates that we’ve competed at ten different Australian circuits, and a few Speedway tracks, and never failed to finish.”
" here, here!! " Bob, very well put. Regards, John