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#363037 - 03/04/09 04:04 AM Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Ok, I really need some clarification on this topic.

Tony DeFeo (magazine editor) published a story in Cars magazine in the mid-to-late '80s (I heard it may have been a 1986 issue..) about a 'legendary' street race he coined the "Quarter Million Quarter Mile" which occurred in the late '60s. I first heard of the race by coming across a typed-up version of the magazine article on a website.

DeFeo knew an ex-street racer and speed shop owner named "Bobby" who originally told him about the race. The story published in Cars basically quotes what Bobby told DeFeo.

Go to: http://www.ronaldlyles.com/services to read the 'typed' up copy of the story. The two participants in the race, according to Bobby, were the "Mutt Brothers" (Ronald Lyles would most likely have been driving) and "Super John" McFadden.

At first I thought it was the coolest story I had ever heard, but then after some research I realised there were some inconsistencies. I'm wondering if Bobby in DeFeo's old article may have had a simple case of a lapse of memory when recalling those almost 20 year old (at the time) details. Or maybe DeFeo himself (since I doubt he was sitting there writing all that Bobby said down on a notepad) messed up on some of the details in his own story.

Inconsistency #1: The Year of the Race

In the story, Bobby says the race occurred in 1968. He mentions the following: "You see, back in the late '60s there was kind of a war going on... Those guys from Jersey [would] come over and kick our asses, they'd take our money and make us look bad on our own land... The Mutt Brothers [from Brooklyn] were good, though... And it didn't take long before we started makin' the Jersey boys look bad. Yeah, it was the Mutt Brothers and Super John... Between the Mutt Brothers and Super John, we pretty much turned the Jersey dudes away. So here it comes, after a few years of jerkin' around with these [New Jersey] guys, it comes down to the Mutt Brothers and Super John. There had to be a king and it came down to one run between the two cars... The stakes were high. Now remember, we're talkin' 1968 bucks here. It was $125,000 a side, a quarter million buck purse."

The problem with this is that I came across this photo on Ronald Lyles' (one of the Mutt Bros)homepage: http://ronaldlyles.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/images/DSCF4933.153124516_std.jpg
It's the cover of the July 2002 S&K Speed Shop catalog which has an article on the '68 Hemi Dart used in the race (S&K sold their '68 Hemi Dart to the Mutt Bros before the race) and states that the car was "purchased back in the spring of '68" and that S&K "raced it all over the eastern U.S. between 1968 and 1970... The car was sold in 1970 to a Brooklyn street racer who primered the car and allegedly won $35,000 with it in the first month." In summary, S&K makes "Bobby's" 1968 year impossible, stating the car was under S&K ownership from '68 right up until 1970 until it was presumably sold to the Mutt Bros (Eugene Coard mentions on the RonaldLyles.com website that he was the one who approached Bryan Higgins, owner of S&K at the time, and asked to buy the car). So, according to the information provided by this S&K article, this clearly puts the earliest possible year of the big race at 1970. Regardless, "Bobby" in DeFeo's article recalled the race years later, which means he may have been mistaken about certain facts (i.e: the year), which could explain the contradictions (perhaps Bobby meant 'in 1968, the Jersey boys were kicking our asses, then after a couple years the Mutt Bros and Super John finally sent them home packing and now their had to be a face off to see who was King' which would put the race at 1970 - which would work except that when Bobby talks about how much each side bet on the race, he said "$125,000 a side, and remember, this is 1968 dollars we're talking about here."

(Possible) Inconsistency #2: The Year of "Super Johns" Camaro

McFadden drove a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro in the race. Chevrolet released the 1969-model Camaro in September of 1968, which would have given the race approximately 4 months to occur in order for "Bobby" to be correct with his "1968" statement. Though some observations need to be brought forth: Bobby says "Between the Mutt Brothers and Super John, we pretty much turned the Jersey dudes away. So here it comes, after a few years of jerkin' around with these [New Jersey] guys, it comes down to the Mutt Brothers and Super John." I presume Bobby is saying that McFadden had his Camaro for at least a 'few years' before the race occurred. So if McFadden bought his Camaro sometime in 1968, then had the car modified by Dick Harrell sometime in very late 1969 or very early 1970 (when the race may have actually occurred), it would make more sense.

Another interesting observation is that it is well known that John McFadden - who had his '69 Camaro modified by Dick Harrell before the race, who also installed a 427 Can-Am ZL-1 which was modified to 488-ci - began racing professionally for Dick Harrell early in 1970 (according to the popular 'Super John/Dick Harrell '69 Camaro' AHRA Fleer trading car), with a 1969 Camaro.

I have tried to find who this "Bobby" may have been, but not much as come out of it. Would anyone happen to know who this "Bobby" - who owned a speed shop in Brooklyn - is/was? Just my two cents on the topic, but would anyone have any further information (hopefully even first-hand!) which may clarify this all, or even simply information to add about this incredible race in general?

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#363038 - 03/04/09 01:23 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
olredalert Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3745
Loc: Marine City, Mi.
-----Shawn,,,Have heard the story for years. Just wondering weather it was the Mutt bros. or the Mudd bros.??? I see it both ways.........Bill S

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#363039 - 03/04/09 02:16 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: olredalert]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
When I first read the story, the Mudd brothers name was used, instead of Mutt, but I figured Tony DeFeo may have misheard Bobby. When I first was looking up information on the race, "Mudd" brothers came up with the name "Mutt" brothers. The story itself is found on RonaldLyles.com, and the name "Mudd" is used, which probably means it was an error in the original article.

In the story, Bobby also mentions (in the original version of the story, without corrections) that the "Mudd Bros" bought the S&K '68 Hemi Dart.. the same car the Mutt Brothers bought.

These couple things lead me to believe "Mudd" really was most likely just an error on DeFeo's part, and it really was the "Mutt Bros"

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#363040 - 03/04/09 04:30 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
lowmile Offline
addict

Registered: 08/03/02
Posts: 403
Loc: Thomasville Ga.
I have the article in an May 87 Muscle Car mag. I scanned it and will send it to someone if they want to post it or have a copy. mark

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#363041 - 03/04/09 05:25 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
'69Novajoe Offline
member

Registered: 07/06/08
Posts: 195
Loc: SoCal
I think $125,000 would be an eighth of a million
_________________________
"I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was."

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#363042 - 03/04/09 07:31 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: '69Novajoe]
lowmile Offline
addict

Registered: 08/03/02
Posts: 403
Loc: Thomasville Ga.
125000 per car.m

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#363043 - 03/04/09 07:40 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: lowmile]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
lowmile, I would greatly appreciate a copy of the scans if you don't mind!

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#363044 - 03/04/09 07:40 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: lowmile]
'69Novajoe Offline
member

Registered: 07/06/08
Posts: 195
Loc: SoCal
Quote:

125000 per car.m



Missed that. Wow, that's a lot of money any way you look at it. And I thought "Pinks" was crazy.
Joe
_________________________
"I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was."

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#363045 - 03/04/09 07:45 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: '69Novajoe]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Quote:

Quote:

125000 per car.m



Missed that. Wow, that's a lot of money any way you look at it. And I thought "Pinks" was crazy.
Joe




Crazy, huh? I read somewhere that Tab Talmadge (who bought an ex-Dyno Don Nicholson '65 A/FX 427 SOHC Mustang in 1969) reportedly bid $150,000 on a single run one time.. but then rumors can become a little skewed after changing mouths enough times

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#363046 - 03/04/09 08:36 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
lowmile Offline
addict

Registered: 08/03/02
Posts: 403
Loc: Thomasville Ga.
pm your email address. m

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#363047 - 03/04/09 09:33 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: lowmile]
markjohnson Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/09/03
Posts: 1775
Loc: St. Louis, MO.
Another interesting note: If you've ever seen the movie "American Gangster" with Denzel Washington and Russel Crowe, the character that Denzel plays, Frank Lucas, was a drug lord in New York. It's been reported that he had a Joel Rosen-built Motion 427 car. I wanna say a Camaro, but I don't remember. He said it was so fast, it scared the crap out of him and he gave it to one of his relatives. Would love to know more about it. Anyone?
_________________________
Z06 Carvette, 1962 Biscayne A/MP "0-21669" MKIV/M-22

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#363048 - 03/05/09 12:26 AM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: markjohnson]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
That's pretty interesting. I'd sure like to know more about that too!

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#363049 - 03/05/09 04:09 AM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Here are some scans lowmile sent me out of his May '87 issue of Muscle Cars which also published (as well as Cars magazine) DeFeo's story!











(courtesy of lowmile)

For those unfamiliar with ImageShack, the thumbnails above will bring you to the image which I uploaded to ImageShack (a file hosting service). When you get to ImageShack, click on the image again to see it at full size.

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#363050 - 03/05/09 01:28 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
flyingn Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/12/06
Posts: 887
Loc: Cinnaminson , NJ
I remember reading that article in Cars when it came out and it too was one of my favs. Defeo was a great writer

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#363051 - 03/05/09 02:58 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: flyingn]
markjohnson Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 12/09/03
Posts: 1775
Loc: St. Louis, MO.
Agreed! Tony Defeo was a great writer. I was a big fan of his writing for a long time. He was hard core.
_________________________
Z06 Carvette, 1962 Biscayne A/MP "0-21669" MKIV/M-22

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#363052 - 03/06/09 01:04 AM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Another inconsistency seems to be if Jake King really did "tune" the Mutt Bros S&K Hemi Dart for the big race.

In the Quarter Million Quarter Mile story, Bobby says they had Jake King tune the Hemi. At the end of the story, DeFeo also mentions Ronnie Sox himself admitting to it: "(I also called) Ronnie Sox and he confirmed the connection as he remembered doing some subcontract work for the Mutt Brothers for that race."

Eugene Coard (one of the Mutt Bros), on the other hand, states on RonaldLyles.com that "there were rumors going around that the Dart was tuned a few times by Jake king from the Sox and Martin shop, that is not true the car was never out of Brooklyn. The way the car came from S&K that the ways we race that car just plugs valve and clutch adjustment."

So Ronnie Sox himself remembers contracting Jake King to tune their car specifically for that race, while Eugene Coard says it was just a rumor. Somewhere along the line is a little bit of . I wonder if anyone will ever know what really happened?

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#363053 - 07/25/09 03:57 AM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I was talking to Tony DeFeo on another site about the story and he cleared up a few details. They published the article with some of the names of people/groups changed (i.e: "Mudd Brothers", etc.) as a liability concern. "Bobby" in the story was actually Barry Pittard, who was friends with the Mutt Brothers and Tab Talmadge. That's all I could really get out of him.

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#363054 - 07/25/09 06:06 AM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
442w30 Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/31/02
Posts: 1708
Loc: Gabba Gabba Hey! NYC
Do you really think anything written in Cars Illustrated was done without a wink of one's eye?

Sometimes the legend is larger than the truth.

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#363055 - 07/25/09 01:25 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
Kim_Howie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 4360
Shawn, The 69 camaro was not sold to the Big John with a alum 427. Just a cast iron motor. Glenn Powell delivered the car to Big John. Ask him he is a member here. He has a picture of him and the car on the truck when is was getting ready to take the trip.
_________________________
Jake is my grandson!!

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#363056 - 07/25/09 06:45 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: Kim_Howie]
Kim_Howie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 4360
The 69 never rec. an alum. motor from Dick Harrell. The car was sold with the Iron motor to Big John. The car was a junk yard dog to start with, just pulled out of junk yard and built. According to Glenn.
_________________________
Jake is my grandson!!

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#439052 - 12/23/10 01:49 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
cammer427 Offline
journeyman

Registered: 02/09/09
Posts: 97
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Kim, what would Glenn's handle be here on the boards?

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#439067 - 12/23/10 06:03 PM Re: Notes on the Quarter Million Quarter Mile [Re: cammer427]
Xplantdad Offline

MCACN BOUND!
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 25550
Loc: Top Down Driving
Originally Posted By: cammer427
Kim, what would Glenn's handle be here on the boards?



Uhhh...Glenn Powell smile

http://www.yenko.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showprofile&User=4697
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