The Baldwin Specials -- 3 / Bill Pollack

Bill Pollack was a winner in California racing in the early 1950s.  He contributed these photos and the narrative below.

Pollack in the 4100 cc. flathead Mercury powered  Baldwin (called the Mk.II in the program) leads Harrison Evans in a C-Jaguar and ???? in a Kurtis at Palm Springs on March 26-27, 1955. 

Bill won the main event in this car at Willow Springs on Feb. 13, 1955.
                                                                                           (Photo by Frank Youngkin)

Another shot of Pollack at Palm Springs.                          (Photo by Bob D'Olivo)

Pollack drove some very interesting and historic cars during his career:  Link to Bill at Pebble Beach in the HWM "Stovebolt" in 1956.  He drove Tom Carstens' black Allard to many victories in the early 1950s.

New Book!!!   Bill Pollack writes about his racing career!

"Red Wheels and White Sidewalls -- Confessions of an Allard Racer!"

Bill Pollack on driving the "Baldwin Special"

"Ken Simpson, the owner of the Baldwin was the kind of a nice person you wished were the majority in this old world. Ken was a true enthusiast and loved to see the car go. Making it go was the job for Warren Olson, later of Scarab fame.

Once we figured out how to keep the flathead Ford cool the car proved very reliable. The key to the cooling process was to cut down the impeller on the water pump so that the impeller was just for looks. The water just circu- lated in a natural manner, hot water going up and cooler water going down. Sounds simple and it was and it worked.

I really liked driving this car as it felt very solid to me. The front end was basic Ford solid axle, with not too much going on. Rear end was pretty much the same. The result was a car that was essentially honest in handling. There were no tricks, no surprises. I remember one Palm Springs race. Was in in the second or third row at the start and made up my mind that I wanted to get into turn one first. There was not a lot of road from the start to the first turn. When the flag went up I had my foot in it and went around everyone; I got into the first turn way too fast, probably ten or fifteen miles per hour over what was sane. It was very tempting to take to the desert and not even attempt to make the turn. Something in me said, "what the hell, give it a shot." I did and the car just held on and we made it.

Another time at Willow Springs, the top radiator hose let go and I was getting a face full of steamy water. With a twist of the steering wheel the car was going backwards at speed and the water was blowing away from me like a rooster tail. This was one of the rare dnf's for that car. Willis built a very strong car that could take a hard race, with a new set of tires she was ready to go again. This was your basic race car. It followed orders and got you to the finish line in one piece."

Next:   The Baldwin Specials -- 4  The "Mystery Car"

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Next:   Bill Pollack's Photos

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