Don Hulette -- 1957 Townsend Typhoon-Oldsmobile

Don Hulette in Gene Gibson's 1957 Townsend Special leads Andy Porterfield in Mark Brinker's 1958 Devin SS -Corvette into the corkscrew in Friday morning's practice.

Gene Gibson describes his efforts at the Monterey Historics:

"Yes I was swamped trying to run the show and work the car. Here is a little more info on the 2 weeks. I have been trying to catch-up at work due to the 3 week vacation. It's always just work delayed if I'm gone.

The Historics were great fun. I got 5 of the original Townsend crew at the track for the race weekend. Had a wonderful time in the paddock and was amazed at the reception the car got . What a time all  the guys had. Good food, great memories, and lots of rare race cars Ernie (Nagamatsu) kept trying to hire away my crew as I was the only guy with a vintage car and the original crew.

The pre-Historics went well as we were able to identify several problems with the setup on the car. Had an axle contact with frame on hard turns. Wouldn't hit on a banked corner only off camber hard turn. also needed more cast for high speed. Chris Wickersham help sort the AlFin brakes and got the grab fixed.  Used several drivers including Don, Chris and  Ernie to get varying input on the car. 

Finally came to the conclusion that I had restored the car so accurately that it drives just the same as it did in 1959 at Laguna Seca. The best way around a corner is still  throttle steer and cross steer. Have to fix that! The corner workers and other drivers get unsettled when you start drifting the car around the corners.

Took the car to Genoa Racing in Novato CA (Sears Point) during the week between races and fixed the interference and the cast . Test drove the car at the track and decided to lower the roll center in the rear and zero out the positive Ackerman.  The Typhoon is a very fast and quick reacting car. The 400 plus FtLbs of torque will break the tires loose at 120 mph if you get heavy on the throttle. 

Since I have returned I have been getting ready for the (Coronado) Speed Festival and doing lots more testing on the road at the ranch. I think I have got the weight transfer about as good as possible with the design of the car. Funny, I guess I never considered the fact that the second car was built  to fix the issues found on the first."

Next:   Steven Read -- 1957 Maserati 300S

Back to:   Dr. Ernie Nagamatsu -- 1959 Ol' Yeller II-Buick

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