BeeLine Willys Gasser

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  • #9786
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Time to Add this Dover legend in the list and trace It’s History.The real car has been Found & Restored as most know. At the 2009 Danbury Reunion, Al Zerberini, the original owner, got reunited with his ole Race car in a touching sequence caught by Video Bob….both still photos and Video
    Present owner of the 1940 Willys Beeline Automotive is Bob Kutsagoitz, Fairfield,Ct. We have some great sources for detailed history on the car and all kinds of photos .I will be adding to this story shortly …so stand -by.


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    #19228
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Lets start with some action shots pulled from the Craig Martel & Bill Cullen Collections (plenty more in the ODF galleries ! )


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    #19229
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Buried in the ODF Galleries, in the Ralph Rand Collection, is this Rare shot of Al’s willys before it was red.


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    #19230
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    just for kicks….I zoomed in the background on the UnCropped shot and look whos got his car tore apart ?….”Skeet” 😉 must be about 63-64. Red paint Willys photos from 1965.


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    #19231
    patina
    Participant
    • Total Posts: 2205

    The black one is the one I remember. When I saw it in red I could not place it as the “Bee Line” Willys I remembered.

    “Ahhso”

    Pat

    #19232
    storm-king
    • Total Posts: 453

    Me too, I always remember it Black with the trunk lettering and cartoon.

    #19233
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Storm cloud……You’re the Mopar expert …notice the same light brown towcar in the Red AND Black photos…Big funky fins….what IS that? Barrett -Jackson material?

    #19236
    storm-king-2
    • Total Posts: 137

    Chrysler Imperial, maybe 1960, have to check.

    #19279
    pmbuick
    Participant
    • Total Posts: 51

    Hey guy’s I think it was a ’57 Imperial. I used to tease Uncle Al that he was the only guy to tow an Olds powered race car with a Hemi. As far as the colors go it was black and all steel until the end of ’64 when he put the fiberglass on it and painted it red. By the way he won the 1960 US Nationals in Detroit and set the Nascar record in Daytona the same year for his class. When he matched raced with KS Pitman, SWC and Big John he always held is own when they had switched to hemi’s and he still had the Olds.I beleive he built a 5/8ths stroke 392 hemi for the 1967 season, but for business reasons sold everything. Russel Grady bought the car and I think Gene Terenzio bought the engine.

    Thanks to every one for the great respect you showed my Uncle at this reunion, Peter Maple

    #19281
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    PMBuick…That would be something if we could get some of those Match Race photos. Did the Nascar win pertain to Nascar dabbling in drag racing ? We’ll see if we can contact Al and have him and family check his photo albums. Him and His Car would make a super “segment” in Our Big Video documentary. So glad we captured him on video with him in it !

    #19299
    gene-terenzio-sr
    Participant
    • Total Posts: 271

    Wile watching the 2009 video and My old boss Al Z. I noticed that he was all smiles wile looking at his old car, Then when he got in it and got comfortable, He went right into race mode,The smile went away and the racing face Al Z. I’m going to blow your doors off took over, I guess the racing part of us never leaves us. P/S Peter tell them I said Hello

    #19300
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Gene …Fill us in on your job there…most don’t know….this was what year? Wasn’t there a whole section where the “race’ shops were, including Grady & Gommi and later your place?

    #19311
    gene-terenzio-sr
    Participant
    • Total Posts: 271
    quote dinotheweirdo:

    Gene …Fill us in on your job there…most don’t know….this was what year? Wasn’t there a whole section where the “race’ shops were, including Grady & Gommi and later your place?

    I started working at Bee Line when I was 19,1964, I started out as a brake mechanic, went on to front ends, then Jimmy Yerks took me under his wing and taught me how to do machine work, rebuild rods, bore blocks, balance crank shafts, I was there on and off for 9 years, Bee Line, Grady & Gommi, and Nelsons Auto, were all within a block of each other. My shop was across from the Colony Grill on Myrtle Ave, around the corner from Fairbanks Transmissions.

    #19312
    dino
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Gonna pick your brain more…Nelsons’? did what ?and had race cars? Plus, sounds like Bee-Line was a general Auto repair place …Was the Willys the only Racer out of the shop.? Pete Maples will probably add to this Too.

    #19318
    fastlane
    • Total Posts: 256
    quote dinotheweirdo:

    Gonna pick your brain more…Nelsons’? did what ?and had race cars? Plus, sounds like Bee-Line was a general Auto repair place …Was the Willys the only Racer out of the shop.? Pete Maples will probably add to this Too.

    HI DINO . I CAN ADD THAT PAUL NELSON / NELSONS AUTOMOTIVE WAS RIGHT ON THE CORNER OF WEST MAIN AND WEST AVE UP THE STREET FROM BEE LINE AUTOMOTIVE OFF I-95 AT EXIT 6 . PAUL HAD A MEAN 427 66 CHEVELLE THAT SKIP BROWN DROVE FOR HIM . PEOPLE SAID HE WAS GREAT WITH CARBURATORS AND TRICKING OUT THE IGNITIONS AND TRANS REAR END SETUPS . HE STILL IN BUSSINESS TODAY GOTTA BE IN HIS 70S . HE DID A 4 SPEED SYNCRO TRANNY OVERHAUL ON MY 67 MALIBU SS CLONE CAR BACK IN 2003 . OLDER AND STILL AND PRETTY WISE HE LOVES TO TALK ABOUT THE OLD DRAG RACING DAYS . I USED TO SEE SKIP AT PAULS SHOP ONCE IN A WHILE AND AT SOME OF THE WEEKLY CAR CRUISES WITH MY CHEVELLE HERE IN STAMFORD AND WESTCHESTER . FASTLANE.
    😎

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