|Photo ID #||c04.02.06_16J_HIL_NAZ_0064_1|
|Driver (s) :||Elton Hildreth|
|Photo provided by:||Russ Dodge|
from Russ: This is a 1964 photo from Bruce Craig of the "Wild
Man" Elton Hildreth with his "Blue J" at Nazareth.
Colonial Ford, a Vineland, N.J. dealership at the time built the car for Elton as a means of advertising the agency. The power plant was provided by the R&D engine shop at Holman Moody. When the motor arrived at Colonial, Elton wanted to tear it down and check it over. They told him he couldn't. So, Elton had them call down South to Holman and Moody. Ralph Moody told the dealership that Elton could do whatever he wanted to the engine. They didn't realize Elton's ties to Moody from their early days of racing together in NASCAR.
The big Ford engine had been tagged race approved, but when it was torn down, Elton found problems with bearing clearances and two valve seats. The car took a long time to build and when it finally finished and raced, it was a load!! Elton's previous orange and black 16-J ran the small block Chevy with 3 carburetors and handled like a dream.
It is reported, that Elton actually took the car out "out of town" to race and slipped his Chevvy in it, saying he at least wanted to win one race with the car! To end the story of the "Blue J", the agency got into a heck of a mess for ever doing the project. The accountants had sent Ford, the parent company, bills for this project in the wrong catagories and Ford wasn't sure how the money was being spent. When they found out they weren't too pleased.
It was a pretty car when it came out, note Elton's matching driving outfit in the photo!
The final line was, a Ford accountant met with Elton and tried to figure out how the motor was provided by Holman and Moody and how, when and where the car was built. The Ford representative saw it was a hopeless case to resolve and sold the car to Elton for $1.00 to close out the books!! Elton painted the '37 Ford body orange and black in 1965 and ran it with the Chevy engine. He later returned to his '37 Chevy coupes for the remainder of the 60's.
Thanks, Russ Dodge (Note for fans of the "Wild Man". He is now 89 years old and just attended the Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club's induction of his friend Wally Dallenbach, into their Hall of Fame. He's sharp and "Wild" as ever!)
|Visitor's Comments||To add your comments about THIS PHOTO - Click Here|
|07/07/08||Skip Bonham||This car actually won a race at Old Bridge with the Chevy
engine. It was originally built at Elton's shop 514 N. Pearl Street,
Bridgeton, NJ. by a guy from Florida named Jimmy Doyle. Jimmy had worked
with Pee Wee Griffin and came North with him. Last I saw Jimmy he worked for
Jim Trout at Bridgeton Welding and Spring Works home of Bob Trout's 14's
back in the mid 60s. The car was a dog, way too heavy, even with the small
block Chevy, for the times and was hard to handle even for Elton. Jimmy
built some nce cars but they were suitable for dirt but way behind for
asphalt. The 427 Ford engine had 2x4s on it and really wasn't suited for a
modified. It sat in the shop for several years but was ultimately sold to
Pat Ronco and used in the R-12 with fuel injection. The car did have a few
good runs on dirt as a second car at Nazareth and had plenty of power but no
luck. I don't think Elton ever ran it in the feature settling back into the
old Chevy instead. After a few weeks it stayed home in the shop. The car was
finally totaled at Beltsville on the opening night whichwas the first race
held at the track. I don't think Elton was sad to see it go. He raved about
Beltsville and how fast the southern cars were there. Names like Hendrick,
Allison, Hutchins, Harris etc. in cars that got the jump on the Jersey guys
when Vineland and Old Bridge closed down and the local guys started running