GOT THIS BY E-MAIL:
I’m checking in for the The Downshifters Auto Club. Also known as WDS or the Westport Downshifters, I’m sending along a photo of my membership card from back in 1965 with the steerling silver WDS lapel pin, as well as a photo of our old Drag Plate.
I still see members Billy & Kathy Masiello…still running dragsters, John Pramer…dragster/68 black Nova, John Cleary…drove club’s altered/roadster, John “J” Croffey…still has several show & shine cars, George Swift, Paul Keene, Jim Restino to name a few.
I’ll get together some stuff on Coppola, Boccanfuso, my projects, and the Black Arrow treasure hunt.
And the hits Keep on Coming………..DOUG BOWMAN (Downshifters, Westport,Ct.)
Nice to see the Dover website— brings back some nice old memories…..
I was a member of the Downshifters out of Westport in the late 60’s, and we had a D/Dragster with a hopped-up flathead. Had a lot of fun going back and forth to Dover– lots of Sundays we were the only D/D in the pits, and we came home with a trophy. When most of us graduated in ’68, the club started to fade, and the car was run by some of the guys that stayed in Westport. They put a rod through the block one weekend, and that was that….. The car, trailer, and other stuff got sold off, and one of the guys took the motor to put into a T street rod he was gonna build…
Anyway, everyone got their chance to drive the rail, and since I wasn’t the lightest or quickest, I ended up taking lots of pics of the cars at Dover for about 3 years, and I still have them. I can scan them as JPEGs and upload or email them– whatever works best… Bear in mind there are at least 100 of them or so…Some of them are mentioned in the forums, etc, and I think it would be a good addition to the website…
Let me know, and thanks again for the website…
Corpus Christi, Tx.
The photo of the red & black dragster includes some of the Downshifter guys (red jackets) in the Dover pits. The car was a Lindblad frame, and it had an early Ford 3-speed trans that only used 2 of the gears– I forget whether it was 1st and 2nd, 1st and 3rd, or 2nd and 3rd. Rear end was an early Ford too… Car was real heavy and pretty slow, but tons of fun.
The purple car is after we invested some of the club dues into it– we couldn’t persuade our adult advisor to part with some of the bank account, so we went around him and started buying parts. I saw an ad in the back of Hot Rod magazine for a Hilborn fuel injection unit for flatheads (rare even back then), and we got the motor bored & stroked out to 296 c.i., ported the block, got a cam, stroker kit, aluminum Edelbrock heads, a magneto, etc, and put the whole thing together. We made a scoop out of coffee cans bent to fit the injector openings.
It went faster, but still was too heavy to turn over slicks, so we had to go with some treaded tires just to get it off the line.
Enjoy the pics…
I was a member of the Downshifters when I was in high school Hung out with Doug and other members.spent a lot of time working on that flat head sure were good times. We were just a bunch of young kids who did not know much but shure loved cars.Later on I joined the FTA with my old buddy SEYMOUR . That’s when I learned the most from my mentors Skip North Bob Laragina and Billy Casey . Those guys taught me a lot
go here for article in “speed & custom” magazine 11/61.
just checking in. i wass a member in the earley 60 . i joined with dave pederson. other members at the time were cookmen,fable swift. cookmen was building i think we had the club dragster at cookmen”s house.when it was new.
Those “kids” look like there freezing. Must have been late november racing.
Better warm up that Flattie!