The California Flash….Butch Leal

Forums Misc Forums HISTORICAL DOVER PHOTO GALLERY The California Flash….Butch Leal

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Author
  • #9704
    • Total Posts: 11491

    Only could Find ONE photo -this one -of Leal at Dover (so Far) Need Date …More photos And who did he run ???


    • Total Posts: 528


    This is a 2700lb, 4-speed car, with the altered front wheels, moved up. In 65′, Butch spent all of the early season on the west coast, racing in the Gas/FC class with a Hilborn-Injection system. Last race on the west coast may have been at Freemont, California, in late May, before heading to the Springnationals at Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tenn. on June 6, 1965.
    The first ever NHRA Springnationals. He spent the summer racing on the east coast, in the
    Gas/FC meets, and match-race events against Ronnie Sox in the Sox & Martin
    Gate City Motor Co. Gas/FC (not Hilborn-injected car).
    I have to dig a little deeper. Noticeable on the car is the blue-tinted thin-glass (plexi-glass?)
    and on the front-fender it is lettered Leal and Sissener Racing Team, not Leal and Shahan.
    This car has American Torq-Thrust wheels. I have to check, but I think this car was also
    at the 65′ Super Stock Magazine Nationals in York, at US 30 Drag-O-Way, on August 7, 1965
    a Saturday all-day/night event.
    I have more info on this car to post. I’ll post later.

    • Total Posts: 11491

    You tipped me off …”Racing Sox & Martin” Gate City Car …Tons of Photos of that at Dover…Most shot Sox …dig in backgrounds For Butch ! must be Who He was booked in with.

    • Total Posts: 528


    Some more tid-bits. This is definitely the same car that was at the 65′ Super Stock Magazine
    Nationals, on August 7, at York.
    A possible open date is Sunday, August 15. Judging by the crowd, there is a mixture of short-sleeve shirts and long sleeve. Do not see many jackets 🙂 Also, the grass is green 💡
    Now, August 21/22, 1965 the Cars Magazine Extraganza was held at Cecil County Dragway.
    Both Butch Leal, and the Sox & Martin team were there.
    Guess who won the 3200lb. title ❓ Bill Jenkins in the “Doc Burgess” “Black Arrow”.
    Jenkins was still able to get his hands on that car even in late August 😮 Wonder if he shared the $ with Doc. 😕
    The week of the 29th should be out, because that would be the week that Butch Leal headed out to Clarksville, Tenn to pick up the 65′ Factory S/S Plymouth 4-speed car from Dabbs
    Chrysler-Plymouth Motor Co. The Plymouth (#10 Factory car) was only 1 of 6, 65′ S/S Hemi
    Plymouth 4-speed cars produced. The other 104 were automatics 😮
    Anyway, according to documentation. Butch Leal brought the car from Tennessee to
    Sox & Martin’s shop in North Carolina for prepping. Dino, there’s the connection ➡
    It was re-painted there, and the Hemi motor swapped out for Leal’s AWB back-up engine
    (minus the intake system). Cragars were put on the S/S car, and it was sent to Indy, for the
    65′ NHRA Nationals, on Sept 4/5. Where it won 😀 the S/S Stick Class Championship, 11.56
    That leaves other possible dates, 9/12 and later ❓ Butch Leal also had a truck carrier
    given to him by Chrysler, so he could campaign botht the Gas/FC car and S/S car 😀

    Paul (Need more)

    • Total Posts: 11491

    You do have a lot of time on your hands. . . ay? Ok …I’ll still need an opponent ,if you say ’65 & I’m thinking Sox …SO have use a back-up… “phone a friend”….Video Bob !…Hit the Attic.!

    • Total Posts: 11491

    Got It! …..I’m scaring myself…Bill Cullen Collection ….Thats The Gate City “Flyer ” of Sox & Martin In the Spectator Lane….ODF Galleries to the rescue again!…..We Bad….We Bad ….Oh Yeah…..Now Thats A Damn Match Race !… Sox -redlighted …’unless its just a burn-out …look in the back for the white hauler and S&M crew member on top…. Brian And I will dig up the results .


    • Total Posts: 528


    WOW! You guys are amazing with the “Photo Collection”. Glad I was a little help in direction.
    More info. Looks like one of the last big AWB/FC events on the east coast in 65′ was at Capitol Raceway, Maryland on September 25. After that, the west coast AWB/FC Events took place.
    Butch Leal and the Sox & Martin team were at Spokane, Washington, on 10/15/65.
    E.T. times back then for 2700lb. AWB carburetor engines was 10.30’s or so.
    The “California Flash” AWB/FC car stayed on the west coast for 66′ (till June), then was sold to Grand-Spaulding Dodge “Mr. Norm”.
    How about Dover in 1965! All those appearances and match race events. Was before my time, but looks like the best year ever.
    Was the track NHRA sanctioned that year? Only year sanctioned?

    Paul (I wish I was there in 65′, didn’t get there until May 68′,)
    * First memory of Dover, standing on the weight-scale in the tech-inspection area, jumping up and down, trying to move the scale. Someone left the wood panel open, where the
    balance arm access was. I was 80 lbs. at the time, don’t think it moved. Beautiful red-painted
    jumping board.

    • Total Posts: 11491

    Hey…Photo Disc Has ENTIRE ODF gallerys on it and you can do what I did…Start with good large original …crop,edit color and brightness.Sanction was in ’70…lost it in Mid’71 Darwin finally visted …took one look and said …NO …. Story at another post.I bumped it for the new guys.

    • Total Posts: 92

    The Grand Spaulding guys definetly did end up with the California Flash car as Paul mentioned. One of the staff was street-racing it. He wrapped it around a section of gaurdrail and totaled it.

    Ya think he collected his last paycheck that week?

    Mr. Norm saw a few of his AWBs crash. He had (I think) 2 different S/S Dodges that were painted red with the “Flying Ram” and converted to AWB. One with the frontend forward, the other stock position. The car with the 10/15 treatment got wadded up pretty bad.

    • Total Posts: 528


    Notice in the photo of the Butch Leal and Sox & Martin starting line picture.
    Both cars are starting to push-out a little 50-Weight Racing Oil. Tells me that this was at the end of the season (Mid-Seprember 65′). Engines getting a little tired from all those
    best-of-5 races.
    A Mr. Norm staff-member did a little bump-n-grind with the guard-rail 😯
    I wonder if Mr. Norm said;


    • Total Posts: 19

    I hope you guys will enjoy this pic even though it’s not Dover…Photo taken at Pocono Drag Lodge in 1964; the track owner got Butch to come to PDL; he trailered the t- Bolt from california. This car was kickin’ everybody’s butt….no details but I know he beat Malcolm Durham’s 64 malibu more than once at the drag lodge!! Here’s a story thats one of my favorites..
    Butch ran off the track and hit a curb at PDL; bent the right spindle. They tried every junkyard and Ford parts dealer in the Wyoming Valley but no one had a spindle; bear in mind this was a brandy new car at the time…after they had come up empty on the search, they put out an announcement on the PA: “Anyone drive a fairlane???….” A young man came up to the tower; he had his mom’s brand new fairlane 4 door. LIke a line of ants, off to the parking lot they go; borrowed the spindle, installed on the T-bolt, raced all day, then reinstalled the spindle on the young man’s mom’s car…she never found out about it!!
    Just goes to show what a strong bond us car nuts have….the stuff like this that went on at little tracks like Dover and Pocono helped shape our lives later on…best buds in the pits; mortal enemies on the strip!!
    Man I love this stuff—-keeps me from going nuts!!

    Charlie Hulsizer
    Pleasant Valley, NY
    Organizer, Pocono Drag Lodge reunions


    • Total Posts: 11491

    CHARLIE…You stay so busy with the Pocono deal…nice to have ya back! Love that line off yours:
    “…best buds in the pits; mortal enemies on the strip!!
    …..just like the Lyrics of Dover Days song …”In the other lane -you’re the enemy, but back in the pits,you’re family “.
    3rd annual at Lebanon you know….Keep us posted on Pocono..Plenty of T-Bolt action here…Check out Roxrecs project….looks like Butches car.

    • Total Posts: 453

    Butch’s car probably had plexi side windows in these shots, because there’s no vent wings on them. But the windshield was still stock. Plexi windshields were “bubbles”, not flat; and you can see this one is still flat.
    Met Butch at the HHR in Bowling Green a couple of years ago. Amazing guy, friendly, incredible memory, lots of fun to hang with!

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.