Art ran a number of cars at Dover…including his ’63 B/S Plymouth & a ’64 D/S Chevelle that took the trophy 19 weeks in a row.He’s on the border of Canada in northern Vermont. Danbury Stock Car guys will remember him for being on the crews of Denis Pierce & Billy Stebbins. He bought the black Jack Merkel Willys gasser from someone in Ct. and ran it for a few years. .He called to tell me he discovered the site at a friends house and is sending me, never seen 8mm-almost 300 ft. that includeds a ton of match races. He took Film every week ,and has IVO -Garlits-Stone,woods& Cook,Shott,Terenzio and I can’t wait!
Dino can you help me with Art ? I’ve been tracking down ‘any’ info on Jack Merkel’s 39 B/GS black Willys of previous history and owners,trying to fill the empty gaps throughout it’s lifetime.I’m after ‘any’ photos Art may have of it and also his history with the Willys.Appreciate and thank you for your help in this matter Dino.I’ve been in contact with it’s ‘new’ owner Ron,who’s doing an excellent job restoring it to the original ’64’ look.
Duh me …deleted my phone list from yesterday …he’s not online …I’ll find my “Dover CSI way”
Many ‘THANKS’ Dino,appreciate your effort and help…Pete.
Ok …gezzer to gezzer with the facts..Found Art and clarified things, BUT now new questions. Heres the car running at Dover from Kathy V.’s collection. This is the way Art bought from some ‘kid” in Waterbury in late 70’s. History of it as He heard is this: Pacers Bought from Merkel when it was black. This guy in Photos ends up with it in hippie paint …Shots from 1970. Then the kid gets it -Art Gets ,but never raced it and forgets who HE sold to.He’s going to check his records though .He’s sending me photos of when he had it with this paint job. Debs decal might be a clue? Said when he got it had a 327 .The guy he sold to said he wanted to put it on the street. Art is in Troy,Vermont near Jade Peak.He built the motors for Pierce and Stebbins. His Brother has a ’57 Chevy racer that might show up on displaty at our Lebanon race.Thats all I got & they’re ain’t no mo …til I get photos and film he’s sending.
Scott Snizek from the Pacers is on the Forum..Think he’ll clarify the Willys they got from Merkel was the red Pick-up.So we’ll have to sort this all out.
“WRONG” The Pacers re-built Eddie Sanzo’s 41 Willys PU that ran out of Jack Merkels shop it was red. They did buy Jacks 39 coupe but as I understood it, they channeled it and it was painted white. I am pretty knowledgeable about things out of Jacks shop and if you where to ask me if that orange car is Jack Merkels, I would have to say I don’t know. The blower scope, chrome front axle, headers, rear all seems different.
Art just went by what he was told and the Pick-up did say Merkel on the doors. So Just what did Art Get ?…and who the heck is that at Dover with it. Pat…go skiing up there and pick his brain 😆 Any Ct. guys recall a “kid” in waterbury…Paul-Bob-Frank?.
I had heard quite a few years ago that a kid from CT. bought the car from the Pacers and he put a 41 nose on it. That was at least 25 years ago. I heard he later wasd sick and died, the car was sold off. That was the last I heard of the car until recently.
Dino,here’s my version,Pat is right.Jack sold the Willys to the Pacers in late 64.The Pacers channeled the body 4″ glass doors,’Hemi’ powered and painted it white.A few yeras later,Bob Petrucelli purchased it (less drivetrain).Bob never did nothing to it and sold it as a ‘roller’ in 69 to Gillis Bertran who put a small block blown and injected Chevy,running BB/GS.Bob Mercer did the ‘fancy paint job on it,and Walt Cagney drove it.In 1983 Gillis sold the Willys to John Arsenian.John switched the ’40’ Willys frame he rebuilt on the 39 Willys and put in a 302 small block Ford engine.John sold the ‘original ‘Hill-Zartman glass nose to Tom Grasso in Omaha Neb.Tom sold it to a guy in California who put it on his 39 Willys until 2005.John Arsenian lost his battle to cancer at age 42.Bob Kutzsagoitz from Fairfield ,Ct. purchased it from John’s wife,had it a few years;replaced the engine with a small block Chevy,and found and installed an original 39 ‘steel’ nose.The Willys was partially complete in ‘primer’ when Ron Normann from Ill. purchased both the Bee Line 40 and Merkel’s 39 Willys from Bob Last year.Ron is restoring both Willys to there ‘original’ condition,circa 64 and 65.Talk about a ‘miracle’ Ron found the ‘original’ Hill-Zartman glass nose to put back on the Merkel Willys! Ron is a ‘finattic’ to say the least,sparing no expense to make both these Willys 100% period correct! Like Pat said,Eddie Sanzo had the red A/GS Willys pick up,built by the Pacers,and had Jack Merkel’s Racing Engines (with the chevron) on the doors.Pat and I remember when Eddie flipped it and totaled it out,replacing it with a 33 Willys coupe in 66.
WHEW!….But Where in your story does Art fit in .He got it with fancy paint -never raced it, then sold it? I’m confused .
Your not the only one 😮 😮 😮
Dino and Pat,only Art can fill in the blanks,somewhere along the line he was involved ‘after’ Gillis Bertran had it with the fancy paint job.It was advertised in the Conneticut Bargin News in 1983 for $4200 dollars ( John paid $3800 as a ‘roller).Perhaps the ‘missing’ link is that Art purchased it from Gillis,then maybe sold to John Arsenian ? Only Art Brissete can fill us in of this ‘mystery’ of Merkel’s 39 B/GS when he owned it back then.
There ya go…do recall Art saying “He saw it Listed”.