Max Balchowsky -- 7:   Old Yeller Updates

Website visitor Ron Cummings has a long history in Southern California racing.  Here's what he adds to the "Old Yeller" story:

"Old Yeller VI was purchased by Bob Sohus as a bare rolling chassis. Sohus installed an ugly homemade body along with the Pontiac motor from the "Reynolds Wrap Special".

The only time I saw the car was at Santa Barbara in 1965.  It took Sohus a long time getting the car ready because of money problems. I will get you the exact date and number for Santa Barbara as I have the raceprogram at home.

Sohus called the car "Godzilla" after a falling out with Balchowsky over payment for the car. The original bare chassis is now owned by Reagan Rulau, the mechanic who maintains Ernie Nagamatsu's Old Yeller II."

Old Yeller VII was apparently sold as a bare rolling chassis to a driver in northern New York state who, I am told, installed some sort of a body and a Chevrolet motor.

The car was raced in eastern races as Old Yeller VII.  Max, at the time, claimed no knowledge of the car because it was sold only as a chassis.  I located an ad in either "Competition Press" or "Road & Track" when the owner was trying to sell the car.

According to Reagan Rulau, Brock Yates and some friends later installed an Ambro plastic body that looks like a Birdcage Maserati.

The car now races in that configuration. Starting this season, another car with what looks to be the same body, the "Hustler", will be racing in vintage events."

Old Yeller VIII was an XKE Jaguar that Max modified with some sort of American V8 motor. Why he called it an Old Yeller, I don't know. According to Reagan Rulau the car exists in No. Calif.  I'm not aware of it being raced.

Old Yeller X was never completed. The bare chassis is owned by Ernie Nagamatsu, the owner of  Old Yeller II.  The chassis is in Reagan Rulau's shop and they hope they'll be able to body it to look like Old Yeller IV."

Next:   Max Bachowsky -- 8:  The Doretti-Buicks

Back to:   Max Balchowsky -- 6:  Old Yeller VI "Godzilla"

Back to:   Max Balchowsky -- 1:  Old Yeller I / II