Ultra Cool Brake Fans Racing Engines Robertson Racing Speed Shop Race Car Realtor Full Service Transmission Shop Advertise on Big West Racing
Joe Starr Photos Victory Performance Inc Advertise on Big West Racing “Colorado Phillips County Raceway Rat rods for sale “Race

Go Back   Auto Racing Forum | Big West Racing Forum > Big West Racing News Center > Front Page News

Front Page News Big West Racing news and editorials. (Maximum attached image size is 240x240 pixels).

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-09-2005, 05:52 PM   #1
Marty Boyer
BigWestRacing Staff Writer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Belleville, Kansas
Posts: 699
Rep Power: 552
Marty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enough
Don Brown passes away

DON BROWN PASSES AWAY

USAC sprint car driver and master fabricator and car builder passed away after a long illness.

In the late '60 Don build a couple of beautiful roadster sprint cars known as the "Mechanical Rabbits". Don drove one and Greg Weld would drive the other.


RIP, Don
Marty Boyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-10-2005, 05:53 AM   #2
Sharrell Boen
Hall of Fame Member (platinum level)
 
Sharrell Boen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brighton
Age: 69
Posts: 1,728
Rep Power: 817
Sharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enough
Marty, I'm curious, are there any pictures of these cars?




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Laughter is like jogging on the inside. Exercise your 'innards' every day.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)
Sharrell Boen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2005, 06:15 AM   #3
Marty Boyer
BigWestRacing Staff Writer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Belleville, Kansas
Posts: 699
Rep Power: 552
Marty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enough
Marty Boyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2005, 06:43 AM   #4
Sharrell Boen
Hall of Fame Member (platinum level)
 
Sharrell Boen's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Brighton
Age: 69
Posts: 1,728
Rep Power: 817
Sharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enoughSharrell Boen will become famous soon enough
Oh My Gosh..That is absoultely BEAUTIFUL!! Thanks Marty.




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Laughter is like jogging on the inside. Exercise your 'innards' every day.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)
Sharrell Boen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2005, 07:31 AM   #5
mag
BigWestRacing Curmudgeon
 
mag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Age: 54
Posts: 212
Rep Power: 672
mag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enough
Don Brown creations

Marty, Sharrell, check out these shots of Don Browns "Mechanical Rabbits"
#18 is Don Brown in his own car at Terre Haute, IN. 1968 USAC sprint season, this shot is from Gene Crucean, John Mahoney's "Sprint Car Pictorial"
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dbrownsprint1.jpg (21.0 KB, 53 views)
mag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2005, 07:35 AM   #6
mag
BigWestRacing Curmudgeon
 
mag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Age: 54
Posts: 212
Rep Power: 672
mag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enough
Don Browns "Mechanical Rabbits"

Here is Greg Weld in one of Don Browns sprint cars in 1968, also from the 1968 "Sprint Car Pictorial". This shot is at Terre Haute, IN as well.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg weld_brown.jpg (15.3 KB, 46 views)
mag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2005, 07:45 AM   #7
mag
BigWestRacing Curmudgeon
 
mag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Age: 54
Posts: 212
Rep Power: 672
mag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enoughmag will become famous soon enough
More Don Brown

Here is a midget that Don Brown built and raced on the USAC tour in the late 60's early 70's. David Birmingham owned the car, several drivers raced it. In 1970 this car took Birmingham to 3rd in USAC National Midget owners standings, with Jerry McClung driving it and getting 4th in driver points that year (Jimmy Caruthers won the title with Denver's Dave Strickland Sr. 2nd by 12 points). Leroy Byers now has this car in his Denver shop/wharehouse/museum, and man it's been beautifully restored by Ron Schlieger. The late great Eddie Jackson also drove this car one night in a USAC race in San Jose, CA. The car has lots of history.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dbrownmidget.jpg (15.6 KB, 44 views)
mag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2005, 11:55 AM   #8
Marty Boyer
BigWestRacing Staff Writer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Belleville, Kansas
Posts: 699
Rep Power: 552
Marty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enoughMarty Boyer will become famous soon enough
Brown, Don Alan
November 10, 2005


Don "Racer" Brown. One of those wonderful, zany, creative characters who helped make auto racing so much fun in the '60s and '70s, lost oil pressure last Sunday (November 6, 2005) after a long battle with emphysema.

Born 69 years ago in Columbus, Ohio before heading for California and eventually settling in Indianapolis, Brown became a fixture in open wheel racing because of his immense talents as a fabricator.

Despite his propensity never to be satisfied with how his car was handling, Racer also drove midgets and sprinters with moderate success in CRA, USAC and IMCA. He won three IMCA main events when that state fair circuit was a stepping stone for the Indianapolis 500. Don was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa, last summer and, thankfully, got to attend the ceremony.

But, while he might not have been A.J. Foyt behind the wheel, Brown had few equals when it came to bending aluminum, repairing wrecked cars or coming up with innovative ideas. Weaned in LA by the likes of metal magicians Eddie Kuzma and Lujie Lesovsky, Don learned from the best and soon became one of them. He could build an oil tank from scratch, knock out a rear wing, rebuild a suspension or create anything that had to do with aluminum, steel or any alloy you could hammer on.

The first glimpse of what kind of talent he packed came when Don was 15 and working at a blacksmith shop in California. The Smithy beat a five gallon oil can into a twisted mass and told Brown to restore it. Two days, he turned in a perfect can and quit.

His radical sprint car design in the mid-60s, known as the Mechanical Rabbit, tore up the dirt tracks with Greg Weld and Joe Saldana driving as Brown incorporated power steering into his roadster-style machine.

Yet much of his forte and reputation came from his ability to bring a disaster to life. Whether you tore an axle out of a sprinter at Terre Haute, destroyed a Formula Ford at IRP or piled a McLaren into Turn 1 at Indy, Racer Brown was on call 24 hours day. And he seldom said no to anybody, which led to his unorthodox working hours and nickname.

Brown so hated getting up in the morning he made sure that's when he was usually quitting. His day started in the afternoon and ended when the sun was coming up. Hence, "The Prince of Darkness" became his moniker. And some of his greatest saves came during these mad thrashes in his little shop behind the late Ronnie Duman's house on Georgetown Road across from Turn 4.

In 1975, Pancho Carter smashed into the wall during the closing seconds of Carb Day and it appeared the first alternate would be in the race because the car was so badly damaged. But Brown worked back-to-back all nighters and had Carter's Eagle on the grid for the green flag, where he finished fourth.

In 1976, rookie Spike Gehlhausen wadded up his car during practice and it appeared his May was finished. But Brown worked 72 straight hours to put the car back together in time for Spike to qualify.

Racer Brown also had the gift of gab and his storytelling could keep you laughing for hours, which is about how long he took to finish one during lunch or dinner at The Beverage Inn. His good buddies Jim Bob Luebbert, A.L. Freedman, Carl Cindric, Danny Jones, Bobby Grim, Jerry Weeks and Carl Hungness loved to induce Brown into reliving some magic moment from Ascot Park in 1965 and then, one by one, they would slip away until Don would eventually discover he was talking to himself.

He loved airplanes, pretty women and cigarettes (not necessarily in that order) and merged all three one night when he, his apprentice Ray Kuehlthau and Jones donned leather flying helmets, goggles and a scarf and wore them to the premier of the Great Waldo Pepper with their mortified dates.

He liked motorcycles but they didn't like him as he survived a near fatal meeting with a telephone pole and then a short, painful career in motocross. Brown always had a soft spot in his heart for mechanical morons and he adopted Robin Miller and Hungess in the mid-70s when they embarked on their USAC midget careers. He spent two years trying to save them from certain death and claimed it likely shortened his life by a decade.

When Indy-car racing started to become big business in the late '80s and the cars were all built in England, there were less and less calls for The Prince. And the fun times vanished, along with racers like A.J. Watson, Jud Phillips and Bill Finley, who depended on Brown's skills.

Brown's last few years were a struggle yet he never bemoaned his fate or wanted sympathy for his deteriorating health. He knew he'd had a helluva run and always sported that sly smile and distinctive cackle when your paths crossed. His passing was a blessing and it was only fitting that Jim Bob said goodbye from all of us a couple of hours before Don died.

Racer will be shown from 3-6 Friday afternoon at Conkle's Funeral Home before his friends move over to the Speedway Motel from 6-10 p.m. to celebrate his life. But we probably won't begin telling stories until midnight. It just wouldn't be right.
DeleteReplyForwardSpamMove...
Marty Boyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Race Car Realtor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:36 PM.




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Ad Management by RedTyger