frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/16/17 8:06 p.m.

The history of famous race cars tell a different story. I once researched the real racing history of contemporaries of my Black Jack special. Among them are the 1958 Scarab and the 1961 Chaparral  mk1 

In brief the 3 Scarabs cost 1.5  million  1958 dollars  and raced in it’s prime from 1957-1962 that’s 60 races which he DNF 43 times  

included were 12 engines 8 transmissions 4 differentials 6 fuel injection systems  

The Chaparral mk1 cost $15,000 in 1961 dollars  (first of 6 built)  during the same period  the Chaparral raced 19 races and DNF 13 times  

5 engines 1 transmission 2 differentials 1 fuel injection system. 

I purchased my Black Jack in  for $300  in 1974 and spent another $12,600 restoring it 

since then I’ve entered  54 races and it’s still the same engine, transmission, and rear end 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/17/17 7:48 p.m.

How many podiums v DNF's  so far FrncyD????

Donebrokeit
Donebrokeit SuperDork
12/17/17 9:04 p.m.

I think you are not racing the same race as the original drives did back in the day, with out the same technology and information.

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/18/17 6:33 a.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

     I’ve won about 15 races outright. On the podium a lot of the time,  finished down in the pack the rest of the time.  One DNF, one walking wounded. 

I’ve had the car as close to 1958 standards as rules allow.  ( roll bar, seatbelts ) the majority of engine parts Crank, rods, etc. were Jaguar originals.  I did freshen the engine every decade or so.  ( rings, bearings, valve grind, etc., ) 

Considering the people I raced with, Bobby Rahal, Sir Stirling. Moss, Pete Lovely, Augie Pabst, it wasn’t all locals.  

Yes there were some cars in my class that were massively faster  however they would never have been allowed at Monterey or any race where originality  was critical.  

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/18/17 8:18 a.m.
Donebrokeit said:

I think you are not racing the same race as the original drives did back in the day, with out the same technology and information.

 

 

The Black Jack was as original as Vintage rules allow, ( seatbelts and rollbars). But internally the engine had stock crank,  rods, camshafts,( well reground to DType LeMans specs)  and I stayed at factory red line ( 5500rpm most of the time, 6000 rare occasions 6500 only a couple of times). 

Dont forget the Jaguar factory  in the 50’s drove their cars from the factory to LeMans  practiced and raced them 24 hours and either drove them back to the factory or on to other races. 

That reliability is probably why I was so successful. I don’t claim to be the best driver but I do have enough mechanical sympathy to get everything out of a car that is possible without hurting it. 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
12/18/17 9:42 p.m.

The Black Jack Special is a very nice looking car.

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/19/17 6:35 a.m.

In reply to Woody :

thank you  

 

Woody
Woody MegaDork
12/19/17 7:41 p.m.

In reply to frenchyd :

Post some photos please!

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/19/17 10:48 p.m.

In reply to Woody : I really wish I had that ability, I’m not very tech savvy. The only picture of my car I’ve been able to post is the one of one my page.  ( nope I had someone else do it for me)  

 

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
12/21/17 8:11 a.m.

Email me the pics, mahalregina@gmail.com

I'll post them for you wink

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
12/21/17 12:29 p.m.

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/21/17 7:09 p.m.

In reply to RoddyMac17 :  thank you so much!   

 

That really means a and a lot to me  

 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/21/17 8:41 p.m.

E36M3 are you effen kiddin' me!!!??!?!?!?!! I would think twice before unloading seeing this bad motor scooter.....VERY WELL DONE !!!

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/21/17 8:43 p.m.

Frenchy D what is the history on 'black jack' (that aint so black)????

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/21/17 10:31 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

Built in 1958 by Jack Baker. He used a shortened Jaguar XK 150 plus a mold taken off his buddy Don Skogmo’s  D type Jaguar’ s nose and the tail of his Birdcage Maserati  modified to fit.  The center section is hand formed aluminum.  

In 1960 Don  Skogmo pulled the  D Type motor and put a Chevy V8 in it’s place.  Jack put the D Type motor  in his Black Jack  That’s the year I met Jack Baker and Orlie  Thornsjo  ( Allard J2X )

Later When the Black Jack was no longer   competitive I tried to buy it, but Gentleman he was Jack refused my offer telling me the car was hopelessly obsolete and not worth anything.  

In 1974 after two tours in Vietnam I went looking for it and found it in a field near the airport. Completely stripped with a sizable tree growing up through it.     I raced it in 1975 and kept on restoring it back to its original  1958/59 condition.  There is absolutely nothing on or in that car that I haven’t completely redone. For example the fiberglass body was smashed and bondo’d back together so many times over its early history  I took a mold and made a new one  The aluminum had been cut open, modified, and so badly beat up I rolled my own  etc etc  

It looks a lot bigger than it is. Size wise it’s about the size of a Bug eyed Sprite and weighs only a little more. . 

But it has a nice 300 horsepower motor that was reliable as a clock. Solid Jaguar 4 speed gearbox and Halibrand quick change center section in a Jaguar XK 150 rear end. 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/21/17 10:59 p.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

The car is a brute to drive, Short wheelbase locked rear end.  Powerful  motor  quick steering  It only responds to tail hanging out driving.  At 155 mph it requires a delicate touch or the front end and back end keep swapping places.  Yet you can throw it sideways at that sort of speed and it will drift exactly where you want it.  

Imagine dirttrack sprint car meets ice racer.  One year I raced against a 427 Cobra and it’s 500 horsepower had to carry a little more weight  plus above 135 mph it pushed aside a lot of air.  Down the main straight I tucked in behind it to draft and as he lifted to settle it for the banking on turn one I went by him on the outside. Luckily I was able to get past him before he hit the apex at the edge of the track..  

Once in front I made the Black Jack very wide and beat him to the Checkered flag..  He complimented my driving with words like crazy, insane, and nuts etc.  I thanked him profusely. It’s not often people get me exactly. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 HalfDork
12/21/17 11:23 p.m.

You describe why I love vintage race cars; I love to 4 wheel drift cars everywhere and this is actually the fast way to drive vintage cars

I may be a bit confused but do you still have the car? I thought I saw it up for sale a few years ago??

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/21/17 11:42 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

Nope.  My late wife had cancer, I’d lost my job/career in the 2008 housing crisis and I’d spent all of our retirement money keeping my head above water.  

I sold it to a guy in California and he later sold it to a museum where it sits today

All I have left is the trophy’s and a few pictures.  

GTXVette
GTXVette Dork
12/22/17 5:35 a.m.

Gorgeous car.

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/22/17 6:42 a.m.

In reply to GTXVette :

thank you!  

 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
12/22/17 9:37 a.m.

Frenchyd, sorry to hear she's no longer yours , but noticed your xjs thread just down the road and as MazD has succinctly stated " i have a hard time sitting still " wink Is this museum  open to the public?

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
12/22/17 12:06 p.m.

I don’t know, I’ll try to reach the guy I sold it to and ask him

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