beside haveing fun what is reason for haveing a speedster run
What is a speedster run?
It's a tour attended by speedsters, (and their owners too). They're a lot of fun, as you suspected! Very often, there's open driving time on a road course or oval track as well.
BTW, there's one planned in Michigan this June.
Jerry, when is the speedster run in Michigan and where ?,Thanks
In the NW, they are tours single or multi-day or timed road rally events often called endurance runs as some of the roads can be a bit rugged and the weather has been ugly on occasion. Our classic on Labor Day weekend of 200 miles can be a strain if you or your navigator or your car are not prepared. The timed events are NOT races but an effort to match the time set by the organizer by driving a "typical" speedster (whatever that is) within the speed limits. The penalty points are higher for being early rather than late to discourage busting the speed limits. Some groups actively discourage the use of a speedometer while others don't seem to mind them.
Just curious, as I am not a true speedster guy -
What is anyone's opinion on non-speedsters coming to speedster events? Also, our local speedster guys don't allow anything but 4 cylinder cars. Why is that?
Details here: https://speedsterrally.com/
The group that's doing the rally in the link shared above, usually frowns on non-speedsters. However, if your speedster broke at some time before the tour and your regular T is all you've got, it's kind of o.k. I suppose if you were super interested in doing a speedster of your own, but haven't got it done yet, they might be o.k. with that too. It's best to ask first, whatever the case. Model A's speedsters are welcome. We even had a Chev^(&*^let at one time. I believe there may be a rule on the 4 cylinder thing. I believe it's because the 6 & 8 cylinder cars are generally of a different era and definitely in a different class as far as power & speed.
Varies a bit depending on the club (or non-club) regarding both # of cylinders, vintage, and degree of "Stockness vs. speedsterness". My understanding is that the NW Vintage Speedster group was modeled after the California folks that host the annual Santa Clara run. The CA group is strictly 4 cylinder and pre-28. Not certain why/how those lines of demarcation were made. I would encourage someone from that club to explain further and correct any of my mistakes. NWVS tends to be more liberal than the CA group in that we are open to pre-32 speedsters of any make and we openly permit enhancments to the cars that are not truly vintage (newer brakes, steering, transmissions . . .). Primary drive train components though need to remain pretty much original era.
I know an Arizona group encourages folks to attend their run in an "other" class which doesn't compete. NWVS often had a touring class that kind of coordinated with the 200 mile endurance run but that hasn't happened for several years.
Not sure about other clubs but touring type events in Western WA (loosely associated superset of NWVS) welcomes non-speedsters that want to come along on the runs. This includes some peppy Model A's, a few speedsters that have more than 4 cylinders, and some other vintage cars. We try to have a good time touring without getting puckered about too many rules. Attendees just need to know we'll likely be doing the speed limits or close so putting along at 35 will leave you well behind.
I haven't got time to write much but just a few clarifications. The original concept (when we organized the first "modern day" endurance run in 1970) was, first off "an endurance run", tough on both the car and driver, and that's why we gave "Certificates of completion" out to all entrants that completed the run. They deserved it. The timed route was not done by "your typical speedster" (I agree. What ever that is?). It was timed by a stock chassied speedster, no Ruckstell or auxillary transmission (or not used in the timing) and stock engine. The reason for that is so that every speedster has an equal advantage. You don't have to "soup it up" in order to win. The pre 1928 only, is for 2 reasons. First, we are a Model T club and the last Ford T was 1927. Secondly, true speedsters were pretty much out of vogue by 1927. By 1928 pretty much no one wanted a sporty or racy car that looked like an old Stutz Bearcat. They were building hot rods/street rods using mostly stock bodies, lowered and modified. I have yet to see an original picture of an original, taken in the old days, Model A Speedster that looked like what the boys in the teens and twenties thought a speedster should look like .
Ed aka #4
I don't know why they would frown on non-speedsters. They only tour at about 30-35 mph, so a good T would be able to keep up with them. They are a friendly bunch, so I am sure if someone wanted to join for a day or two they would be welcome.
Speedster runs generally move much quicker than standard T runs. While my 14 will run with pretty much any T, it does not do so as comfortably as the speedster. And there is no comparison on the hills. Note: I have never run a stock chassis speedster and have finished endurance runs early 75% of the time.
Easy answer is it's a "speedster run" not a tour, if you want to go on a tour go with your local club unless the people putting on the run are ok with you taking your non speedster.
Most of you really didn't really answer my first question, which was "What is anyone's opinion on non-speedsters coming to speedster events?" By that I meant "what is YOUR opinion on non-speedsters coming to speedster events?"
A speedster run is like a re-creation of a early day endurance event. A bunch of Open wheeled, windshield-less dirt track style racers loaded with wild-eyed men (& women) driving there roaring open-exhaust racing machines over dirt rutted roads, fording streams, rocky fire roads, steep inclines and dirt trails, the fearless drivers and mechanics dressed in there racing coveralls with logos of RAJO, Windfield, Frontiac emblazoned across there backs, flight helmets and goggles on there heads, dirt and grit in there teeth! Windbeat, sunburn, exhausted.
So my opinion, no, a non-speedster type car is not fitting for a speedster run. But no fear, some clubs such as the Santa Clara valley T club, caters to the non-speedster folks by incorporating a low-land tour in conjunction with the speedsters. There route for the touring cars is a bit more flatland, a bit less trying on the old bod, and a bit more direct so the low landers can arrive at lunch or the finish line before the speedsters to cheer them in. Our Friend Ed Archer has been involved in planning many a fabulous road racing speedster events where it's man and his machine enduring the elements and loving every minute of it !
Tom you'd be more than welcome at any speedster run I ever put on.
I think a lot of folks get their panties in a twist over this stuff and it's really just not a big deal to me. I figure anyone brings a non-speedster to a speedster event either has a sleeper or they already know what they're in for. The only thing that would annoy me is if they came with a non-speedster and then complained that they were getting left behind.
Thanks Todd and Seth. Both good answers. As I said before, I am not a true speedster guy. I don't think I ever will be. I don't really understand the culture, which is why I am asking questions. For instance, I don't understand why a 6 cylinder Studebaker speedster isn't just as legitimate as a Model T speedster. I don't understand why an era gow job is not considered a speedster. I really don't even know what a speedster is. Is a 1935 Auburn Speedster a speedster?
What I like to do is put on speedster runs and make them as enjoyable as I can for the true speedster folks. Last speedster run I did, I allowed modern cars (Models A's and such) and stock T's to enter. I let them go a half hour after all of the (proclaimed) speedsters left and timed them exactly as I did the speedsters. I then gave two sets of awards. The regular cars loved it, and the speedster folk didn't seem to mind. But, I am still curious as to what anyone thinks of mixing the two together.
Tom, one of the best endurance, speedster runs I have ever participated was put on by your local Club on Labor Day weekend a few years ago! I have no issues with others joining in the fun and have a deep respect for the Montana 500 guys on many levels.The only issues I have ever seen, is people with hurt feelings after getting pasted by faster cars. That is usually frowned upon if it was a normal old car tour. Endurance runs and speedster runs are not normal Tours.
Tom if you or someone else has a Mutual respect for speedsters who am I to say no. There is plenty of room for us all in this hobby.
Most of the runs I've been on are not super picky about what constitutes a speedster versus a gow job versus a racer, etc. As long as it's not a stock Model T, it's "O.K.". Even so, if you showed up with a stock T, but had the fenders removed, you'd probably be fine. Just depends on the event planners.
As to how I personally feel about it, well, I would prefer "speedsters" at a speedster event, or else, what have you got? It's like somebody throwing a costume party and 90% of the attendees decide to not wear a costume. Keep in mind however, the Speedster Runs/Rallys that I have been on are NOT timed events, but really just "tours", like any other T tour, except the cars are "speedsters".
I really enjoyed the speedster run that you hosted a few years ago. A couple nice little twists and an excellent route on a run that was really well set up from start to end. The inclusion of other cars essentially running in another class worked just fine, I liked it. Obviously more effort and expense on your part and that of your helpers but it worked very nicely. In the past there were "lowland" tours in conjunction with the 200 mile endurance runs similar to what was described by Todd above but it requires two coordinated routes an extra tour leader and a bit more support work. I think the extra effort required was why they have faded away here.
I enjoy other cars coming along on speedster tours as it provides their owners another activity and may help get them into the speedster world. I like to be able to take my speedster on Model T club events and it would be hypocritical of me not to include other vintage cars on tours if they have an interest.
I'd also be supportive of others being included during endurance runs as a touring class or under their own scoring but not intermingled with the speedsters. What you did a few years ago would be welcome in my view. At the same time, like on the Model T 500, I would prefer the "other" class not intermingle/interfere with the speedsters. Please know that I say that kindly and as someone who has tried to respect that when I've attended the 500 in "touring" mode with my speedster.
I prefer to run speedsters only runs. It is a very different vibe from a regular tour. I also seldom use my speedster on a club tour because of the reduced speeds.
Walt and Mike, thanks for the kind words on that speedster run. My idea with including the "other" cars was just as Walt said, to try to get them into the speedster world. The feedback from that run was almost 100% positive. I only know of one critical thing that I got from anyone and it was presented in a rather strange way. It went something like this "Tom, it doesn't bother me, but you might get some criticism from people because you didn't furnish a commemorative patch for the driver's coveralls". I explained to him the reason (it was a run to raise money for the Second Harvest Food Bank in Spokane, and the patch money would have cut into that), and no one actually complained to me directly about that. As I recall, around $600.00 was donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.
Our club was planning to do a speedster run last year, as we thought it was our turn. Some other club said they'd do it instead. I was most disappointed when they cancelled at the last minute due to lack of interest.
What I am hoping to do is to host a "no frills" speedster run every year in Spokane to try to keep the speedster thing going.
I hope I haven't high-jacked this thread, but the title is "Speedster run".
i should have asked what is a sppedster not what is a speedfster run ha ha
so speedfster runs can be a obstacle coarse a timed rally or just a tour with only speedsters.
I wonder wjich is most common?
Tom, I'm certain there would be some interest from this side of the state, there are several of us that will take advantage of almost any opportunity to come out and play. I maintain an email list of speedster folks in WA & OR as well as a few from ID & CA. Some are official members of a speedster club but many have no formal affiliation. I'd be glad to send out info whenever you have news to share. If you don't mind, I'll add your email address to my list (all emails I send to the list are blind copies to help prevent spam from Reply All or others).
i should proof read
It depends on the group and what they like. Local rules and practices vary quite a bit. In the NW we normally have two timed endurance runs a year, a "Hot 100" and our annual 200 miler on Labor day weekend. Then there are local tours and events that may or may not have an official club sponsor. There have also been some "demonstrations" on dirt tracks and hill climb activities. My main interest has been with timed runs and scenic tours. Other groups and areas do what works for them.
Obviously, there is no standard definition for what a speedster is or isn't. I expect the MTFCI judging standards spec out what it means to them as do other local or regional clubs. Some run a pretty tight ship, others more liberal. My car is welcome in NWVS events but would not make the cut for Santa Clara and possibly some other clubs. I've committed the sins of adding 4 wheel juice brakes, an exposed oil pump, newer steering box, tube shocks, a distributor and an alternator. I have no problems with clubs making rules, I just try to avoid where I'm not wanted.
Todd and Andy kind of covered it but just a couple of more notes on the Santa Clara Run, and I can't speak for the club because I'm not sure what the current thinking is, but when we organized the first Endurance run in 1970 there were no events for speedster/race cars and often when they attended antique car tours they were frowned upon by some attendees due in large part to the fact that a lot of the modifications done on the mostly "made up" speedcars were far from era correct and mingling with nice original or restored cars where owners spent lots of time, effort, determination and money to make or keep there cars era correct some felt that the Speedcars just didn't belong on an antique car tour, it was almost like letting made up street rods onto the tour. So back in 1970 we decided to not only organize an event for speedsters/race cars only, but lets make an effort to keep them equipped with components mostly in the era (pre 1928) and lets try and re create what they did in the old days, an early day cross country endurance run with a downtown starting line, start/finish banner overhead, Color Guard with the flag for the National Anthem, official start/finish flag man, etc. To finish the picture we need spectators and stock antique cars parked all over, hence the lowland tour. Stock cars have an abundance of tours that they can go on, all year long. We felt that they didn't need our endurance run, but we didn't want to exclude them totally. That was just our thoughts, other clubs have different ideas and their own rules or guide lines....... And that's what makes the world go around
Ed aka #4
Aw come Ed, you mean those alternators, Weber carbs, model A transmissions, BW overdrives,disc brakes and rack & pinion steerings were not era correct?
If you let non era correct speedsters and other cars join in eventually you get a non era correct speedster run...
Then one day somebody will look around and suggest we have an era correct speedster run with just era correct cars.
Era correct is a whole other discussion. What's really important is who gets the first donut on the top of Mount Hamilton
I think what Ed is describing is a worthy goal. Recreate some sort of era event. I wonder if he (they) are trying to recreate a certain event or just a general event of the era. I have never read of an era account of a run like he is describing and would be curious to know how he (they) arrived at what they thought it should be.
As to what a speedster is, I suppose this is the very essence of "what is a speedster run". Essex made cars with boat tails in the late twenties that people called "speedsters". Auburn made cars in the mid-thirties that people called "speedsters".
Here is an excerpt from a book called Motorsports and American Culture: From Demolition Derbies to Nascar.
Tom, not fashioned after any specific event, and timed , so that there would be no reason to dangerously race through it. And something else I didn't mention. No stock body parts allowed on Fords, as we didn't want to encourage anyone to tear up a stock body to build a speedster.
Ed aka #4
Tom, perhaps build a speedster with a Montana 500 drivetrain. It would likely be faster than 90 percent of speedsters out there. And also be completely period correct. It would also be neat to see how fast a stock model t engine can push a model t.
We in the San Diego Model T Club have organized a Speedster Run for over 30 years. The cars must be T based (chassis, block, rear axle etc) and everyone MUST have fun. You can read out rules and event descriptions on our web site www.mtfcsd.com.
Thank-you for the clarification, Ed. I now understand the thinking behind the "no stock body parts" rule. That always perplexed me, as I think that "gow"-jobs" are just as era correct as a form of speedster as anything else.
I still don't get the thinking behind the "four-cylinder only" rule, other than perhaps parochialism.
I still feel bad for my friend Bob who built a really cool (in my book) Studebaker speester, only to be told that he couldn't play.
I think of a speedster run as a driving event ...my favorite regional " driving event" is the Sugar Valley Rally held in Scottsbluff each June ...this is a very well hosted old car event that is a timed rally , much like the Great American Race ...there are various class designations and a 30 mph and 45 mph category ...the rules for vehicles can be found on their website and the organizers are good about answering questions by email or phone ...and FYI Tom ...the 6 cyl. Studebaker would be welcomed as were my 4 and 6 cyl. Dodge Brothers , model T and A Fords are well suited for the driving conditions that are on the public roadways ...the rural Nebraska countryside is perfect for these types of events and the small town hospitality is outstanding ...I plan on attending and will post more info on this event later ...always an optimist...Gene French northern Colorado
also, there is a great video on the Sugar Valley Rally homepage ...check it out ...P.S. the dates for this years Rally are June1-3 ...always an optimist...Gene French
To my knowledge the Santa Clara Valley run doesn't have a 4 cylinder rule only an era rule which is 1927 and older speed cars.
Ed aka #4
The Northwest Vintage Speedster club (NWVS) rule on drivetrain is 1934 and older 4 cyl. the rules were made in the early 70's by our founder RAJO Ed Gloss and a few other heathens in the greater Portland area, as the majority of the founding members were mostly involved with model T's and A's, the club has since welcomed other era styled speedsters and race cars (hopped up T roadsters and tourings 6 cyl. Chevrolet and 8 cyl. Buick speedsters)to participate but not be eligable to trophy, I think this rule could be changed (what to you think Walt). In the 80's we had many 20- 40 year old active members now that number can be counted on one hand we need to welcome all those that want to participate with era machinery. Everyone has a little over 6 months to get man and machine ready for the Labor Day 200 endurance run see you there.
"Eat No Dust Hills"
I also would love to see some Montana 500 boys participating
Here is a nice speedster from the silent movie Wings.
That speedster is the, "Shooting Star", the Model T speedster from the 1927 Best Picture movie, "Wings", about the WWI western front air war. This is a silent movie every T owner should see.
I love driving my '12 Torpedo Roadster in the speedster events that Tony puts on every year. They're a fun time with great driving routes. Some nice speedsters also attend.
I know my Torpedo is not a "speedster" but to help comply with the spirit of the event I always run with the windshield and top down.
There may be speedster drivers that get offended when I pass them on the open highway runs but these are timed events an I usually give up points for being too fast.
This gets me to another point that I would like to comment on. The Montana 500 is a timed endurance run with the proud and lucky winner being the car with the fastest combined time for the 500 miles. The speedster runs are also timed events but the winner has to match a Bogey time which is set before the race and won with careful navigation and a good guess of how fast to drive and a Lot of Luck.
Nobody has mentioned the hill climbs that share with the 500 winner being the car that has the fastest time to the finish time.
I really admire, enjoy and respect the speedsters and appreciate whenever they allow other cars and drivers to participate with them knowing that their driving will most likely not be in the 25 to 35 MPH range.
Tom, to answer your question: My opinion is I don't like to see some stock bodied T's in the speedster runs. What I mean is a Roadster body is more fitting than a Center or Four Door model and looks more of a racy type body.
Scott, Tom, anyone else who might care -
In a timed speedster event, I don't have a problem with the number of in-line cylinders but prefer to stay in the 34 and earlier bracket. If these were races, it could matter but I find extra power is nice but not necessary in the runs I've been on. Flathead 8's say hot rod rather than speedster to me, thus my inclination towards in-line engines.
I did like Tom's "Other" class that was competitive in it's own right. It was a good way to open things up and provide an opportunity for folks who would like to compete but prefer different styles of cars.