The Supercharged McCathren Special Model T Ford Racing Car

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2013: The Supercharged McCathren Special Model T Ford Racing Car
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 12:45 pm:



Thanks to Jim McCathren we have an excellent series of photos of a Model T Ford racing car that his grandfather campaigned out of his Dodge agency in Texas. The McCathren Motor Company was founded in June of 1923, when Earnest Raphael McCathren purchased Frost Motors in Breckenridge, Texas and thereby became the Dodge agency for the area. This car was not just your run of the mill Saturday night special, as it was constructed using parts supplied by some of the foremost manufacturers of racing parts and featured a crank-driven supercharger. McCathren is close to being finished with the project of building a faithful replica of this very car. Learn all about it and see many more photos @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=105120


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 01:31 pm:

Here's the photo WITHOUT the bogus in your face I,Me,Mine graffiti spoiling the photo.



And here's the link to the rest of the unspoilt photos and story.

http://www.mccathren.com/motor-sports/


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 02:35 pm:

Jay, Sorry you take offense with our photos with the following statement: "Here's the photo WITHOUT the bogus in your face I,Me,Mine graffiti spoiling the photo".

.Jim McCathren contacted us directly and sent us the full-sized photos. We spent a lot of time cleaning them up so that ALL Model "T" enthusiasts could enjoy them.

Sorry you feel that way about our photos as the difference in the two is very obvious. We put on subtle watermarks on them to protect his photos so that they don't end up being exploited for sale on online auctions by others.

People steal our photos and then try to sell them. Sorry a few bad apples have to ruin it for all.

David Greenlees


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 02:42 pm:



Check out all the detail we were able to uncover in the photo of the McCathren Special


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jon Crane on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 02:49 pm:

One Way Cool race car. Is that a pan hanging down low or some kind of lower end protection from track debris?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 03:00 pm:

Jon,

It's what was called a sub base reservoir or oil pan. You can also see the small hose connection between it to the the oil in the back for the transmission.

This engine and many of these racing engines were set up with full pressure oiling which needed a pan like this for a full-time oil supply. We will be covering this type of set-up later in our series on T racing equipment.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Milton,WA on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 03:38 pm:

While your old photographs are appreciated, your use of this site for commercialism is not.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 04:26 pm:

Steve,

Thanks for expressing you view on this. From now on I will only post Model T related photos when we post them. Other's said it was OK if I added an OT to the title.

I have been a 25 + year MTFCA member in the past but only did not renew recently because I do not have time to read the Vintage Ford anymore and it seemed like a big waste of paper to me. To bad the club doesn't had a digital version with a small charge for it...Might be a way of gaining new members which all clubs need today. Could be food for thought??

If anyone from the National would like to talk w/me about a free link to the MTFCA website, just get in touch w/me.

Regards,

David Greenlees


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Tomaso - Milton,WA on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 05:23 pm:

I also have been involved in "the hobby" of antique autos for all of my 57 + years as my folks were members of the HCCA and the local T Clubs. I also own & operate a restoration & parts supply business but I don't throw it out in folks' faces.

"Some" of us old timers tend to try & keep the hobby a bit more personal that typing words onto the computer - for example, where we live, a face to put with a name, etc.

Being we are for the most part, adults here, you all are clearly entitled to your own opinion as we all are.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 05:50 pm:

Steve, I also grew up in "in the hobby" since the age of about 3 with my dad and and a Model "T" which I still have at age 58 but sadly dad's gone.

I started the website three years ago as a way to give back to the old car movement. I am not looking for any work in my shop as part of it as we already have more than we can handle.

I have have done fund raiser for McPherson College, will do more and also do a lot of work with non-profit car museums to help them with their cars and the younger set and also give them ads and a lot of exposure.

I have ads on my site but need them to pay for the expenses of running the site which are quite considerable.

As I mentioned earlier if anyone from the MTFCA National gets a hold of me I am also more than willing to help out the club. We already help many.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:13 pm:

Does anyone know what kind of wheels are on the car? Great pictures!! I have only been in the hobby for 40 years, so I am a newby.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:38 pm:

Les, Maybe someone else will be able to give them a positive ID but in looking at enlargements one can see that they are straight side rims with lock rings and they maybe Dayton wheels??


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Vaughn on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:44 pm:

David - Great photographs! I'm not sure who made the wheels but it interesting that they wrapped wire around the spokes to balance the wheel. All of the wheels have this done opposite side from the valve stems.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:53 pm:

David
Thank you


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 06:59 pm:

Mike, Can you do an enlargement up like that of the engine??

Les, You are very welcome.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Vaughn on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 07:46 pm:

Here are a couple of shots of the engine, not a lot of detail. Right side is really dark.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Vaughn on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 07:57 pm:

One More


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jim mccathren on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 08:05 pm:

You can download the hi res pics at http://www.mccathren.com/motor-sports/. scroll down and there are 4 buttons at the bottom of the page.

BTW, I've been in this hobby over one year and I don't have a restoration shop or post on the forum that I do, nor do I watermark my photos. You older, very experienced guys can be a real positive force and valuable resource when you aren't nit-picking.

The re-creation of this car is coming along nicely, with supercharger, and we hope to have it breathing in a couple of months.

Cheers!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 11:06 pm:

Jim
I would be VERY interested in whatever you care to share about the engine and supercharger. I have cast some 5 main T blocks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern California on Friday, November 15, 2013 - 11:40 pm:

Jim, Thanks for freely sharing your photos with others. It's a fabulous speedster. Hopefully you will share some of your restoration photos with us here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 05:49 am:

Jim Mccathen.....Mike Vaughn, Thanks to both of you .


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rob Heyen - Nebraska on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 07:59 am:

David,
I enjoy your posts and links.
Thank you,
Rob

Not as long in the hobby as many of you, but just as old....
:-(


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 09:31 am:

Looks like a big Winfield carb. What are you using, Jim?

I just noticed McCathern Motors across the street.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Brian Sullivan, Powell WY on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 12:11 pm:

Mike,
Thank you for the enlargement of the engine. Answers several questions I had about the Bosch setup.
David & Jim; Thank you also


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Mc Ginnis Dearborn, MI on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 01:05 pm:

David- Thank you so much for posting these photos and all of the other photos/links you have posted in the past. I think you do a great service to the hobby and your website is simply amazing. I have spent many, many hours on your website which has also been the inspiration for more than a few projects and ideas.
Keep up the great work.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jim mccathren on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 02:41 pm:

Happy to answer questions. Carb is Winfield M 1-1/2" throat. Engine has Stipe cam, Scat crank, pressure oil, Bosch mag, Rajo BB head from Chaffin, The original head was a Rajo C35 but, after finding several, all overpriced junk, we decided to go with the Chaffin repro. Chassis followed the Chevrolet Brother's pamplet of the day (I forgot the title). Shortened, lowered, and engine moved back 8". Rebuilt rear end with 3:1. Newspaper articles of the day report driver, Bob Stilwell, said he broke many rear axles. He has several track records but didn't finish many races due to rear end issues. I wish I had more details on what his specific problem was. Wheel were Dayton with knock off hubs but we are using stock T wires until I win the lottery. The wire wrapped around the spoke is to balance the wheels. A modern balancing machine couldn't get then new set up to balance so we did the old fashioned way. Three months later, 3 of the 4 are not in balance so we'll be pouring in some beads to get it right and no longer fight wrapping wire. The original supercharger was a Gregg. There are a few of the still around - you can rob a museum or sacrifice your child's college fund to get one. Instead, we made a little exception to "period correct" and use a 1935 Graham supercharger. One the major unique features of the car was its supercharger and we decided it was more important to be supercharged - even it it meant going past 1926 for the part. Graham was the next domestically made blower, after Gregg. We had to do a little machining on the Graham to drive it from the back of the gear case instead of the front - so it would fit in front of the engine. Using the patent drawings for the Graham, we were able to machine the missing parts. This is actually the second car in the McCathren Motors racing program. The first car caught fire and burned. I got these pics of it from the driver's grand daughter's scrap book when we interviewed his surviving relatives.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Stan Howe Helena, Montana on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 03:55 pm:

Your mileage may vary. My opinions may not, probably should not and probably will not matter in the overall scope of time and place in the Universe and the time I spend writing this can never be recovered according to the self professed philosophers who inundate my facebook account and email with supposed words of wisdom, most of which I find to be the same kind of crap my teachers fed me in school; which I failed to absorb then and am too old and hard headed to absorb now.

However, having been on the forum since 1999 and seen some excellent posters come and many go, I would like to state that I like good information whoever and wherever it comes from and I have been following this thread and the others from David with great interest and appreciate Jim's efforts to build a fine replica of this car and also provide us with the history. It gives me a reason to click on the forum and see what is new instead of expecting to find the same old thing over and over and over. Keep it up. Both of you. Anybody who is not interested doesn't have to look. I was interested enough to quit working in the shop on Saturday afternoon and come in and see these new pictures from the past.

Back to the salt mine, there are people who need their carburetors done. That's my commercial plug for the day.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ralph Cunningham on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 04:03 pm:

I'm only 78, so maybe my vision has gotten bad...Where is the I,me,graffiti in either picture ?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Gary Schreiber- Santa Isabel Ecuador on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 04:42 pm:

@Ray. watermark on the 1st few pics. Some folks just don't get it. It's all T related. I say F the ones who don't or who are too bitter to accept. It's ALL good.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 06:03 pm:



To all....I cleaned these up a bit in photo shop and enlarged them to see if any more detail could be found but, they just did not respond well. Jim, from what you wrote and in studying the two cars I assume this was the first car that had the Fronty head?

Thanks to all of your for your show of support for what we have been doing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 06:04 pm:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Scott Gilham Bellflower Ca. on Saturday, November 16, 2013 - 09:09 pm:

One improvement the later car has over the early one is the steering box moved on top of the frame. This get's the steering linkage closer to level. I'll bet the driving "Feel" was substantially improved.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By david greenlees on Sunday, November 17, 2013 - 09:17 am:

Scott you are correct.....A drag link on an angle like that generally causes what is referred to as bump-steer. Every time a front wheel hits a bump it tends to steer the car a bit and you then have fight to correct it.

I would like to know the purpose of the pipe welded to the side of the engine base on both cars that goes back to the flywheel housing? Might it have been used to move oil to where the builder thought it was needed?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charles Linsenbarth on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 01:00 pm:

Articles like this are what keep bringing me back here. That's one cool T.
Charley


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Clayton Paddison (Vancouver Washington) on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 01:33 pm:

Does this car have an overdrive like a Warford, or a Rocky-Mountain 6 speed?

It looks like it has something just aft of the engine, just can't figure out what.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Seth from NC on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 02:26 pm:

Hey Clayton, I think that's the gas tank. Check out the picture near the top of the thread that Jay tweaked a little bit. That plus the pics of the back of the car make me think that the gas tank is mounted almost underslung beside the driver and tilted forward.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By jim mccathren on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 02:44 pm:

I can't tell if this is the Fronty or not. Could be or, the Fronty could be a car before this one. We know that Stilwell previously drove a Fronty but we don't know that the Fronty was a McCathren car.

The worm drive steering box eliminates bump steer altogether so the geometry isn't as critical but the drag link angle does look funny.

The pipe from the side of the sump to the flywheel housing simply connects the block sump to the trans sump. Otherwise, the block sump would just be a static reservoir and not part of the flow.

I wouldn't think the first car would have had a Warford or RM. The second car definitely did not. There was no need since the track limited top speed and emphasis was on quick acceleration rather than top speed. These cars were doing about 90 mph whereas a modern dirt track sprint car does not much more than 110 with 900 hp spinning up to 9000 rpm. Modern cars are direct drive with no trans at all - just a clutch.

The curious thing, to me, is the front shock arrangement with both shocks attached to the middle of the front axle. The axle was free to rotate about the long axis of the car, like a see-saw, and only dampened in up and down motion of the entire axle.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 03:03 pm:

Jim,

The worm drive steering box would not necessarily eliminate the bump steer. The severe angle of the drag link is what causes the issue. When the front suspension compresses, the drag link essentially flattens out, (the sharp angle decreases), and so it's effective length increases, causing the car to subsequently "steer" without actual movement of the steering gear box. Really, the worm drive gearbox may even accentuate the problem.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 03:07 pm:

In other words, if I understand correctly, the "bump steer" is still there with the worm drive gearbox, but you just don't feel it in the steering wheel, right?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 03:08 pm:

Looking at the photo again, since the drag link angle slopes upwards towards the front of the car, my statement above is not totally correct.

Change it to read, "...the drag link essentially steepens, (the sharp angle increases), and so it's effective length decreases,..."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 03:12 pm:

Harold,

Yes. And since the reaction forces no longer get transmitted to, (or shared by), the steering wheel, that means that they're all transmitted to the front spindles, causing an even more severe bump steer reaction.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert Richmon on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 07:11 pm:

I'd just like to throw my 2 cents worth in as well, I love the pictures and thanks for sharing! Gets my juices flowing and helps get my butt down to the garage to work on my project! keep them coming with or w/o the watermarks, who gives a damn! What's a water mark anyway, a coffee stain on the picture..... Thanks, Bob


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