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Photo ID # b07.01.05_059_FIT_FLM_0070_1
Car #: #59
Driver (s) : Paul Fitzcharles
Location: Flemington
Date: mid 70's
Photographer: Bill Young - Y&B Photo
Photo provided by: Kevin Budden
Comments: What can you say other than.... " cool "

Modifieds of the mid 70's had lost most of their roots to their stock appearing ancestors of the 50's and 60's, but still retained enough of a stock appearance to allow the mind to make the connection to something that you might have found parked next to you in the parking lot at Two Guys... or maybe when pulling out of Gino's on the way to the races... 

It's almost as if the guys were being influenced partially by functionality... partially by Drag Racing's new class called "Funny Cars"... and partially by the desire to be cool, and to be different. 

All very good things I might add....  Which led to a very interesting field of cars on any given night....

While there's still lots of excitment to be found at today's short tracks, much of this originality and creativity has been pushed aside to make room for today's closely spec'd flat panel creations...... where practicality has replaced originality... where the desire to be original... maybe even the desire to be cool..... has yielded to the rulebook in the name of progress.

Thank you to those who had a hand building the Pat Rissi owned, Paul Fitzcharles driven light blue little Falcon, who's memory is sure to remind many of us of what "cool " really was.

Also, special thanks to Photographer Bill Young who knew just where to click the shutter to capture the attitude of the #59, and to Vault contributor Kevin Budden for sharing this very special photo with all of us.

Visitor's Comments To add your comments about THIS PHOTO - Click Here
Date: Visitor's  Name:


07/01/05 Dave Spurlin I remember one time when this car had it's right rear tire catch on fire from the alcohol flames coming out the exhaust while it was sitting during a red flag! Cool! Everybody was screaming... Paul just blipped it to blow it out and pulled forward a couple of feet and went about his business like it was no big deal. You don't get memories like that anymore!
07/01/04 Ned Like everything else today Stock Car Racing has lost its roots from the past. Even in the 70’s there was still something carried over from the earlier days. In today’s world everything must be the latest or it no good. It is a mindset developed to generate sales and make big bucks for the manufacturers of the products. In every facet of life we see this occurring:
Construction, automobiles, music, even newscasters and race car drivers must have pretty young faces.

Not only are the cars cut from a mold, but the drivers as well are becoming more and more like automatons. This is what makes this photo and this entire website so important, because it shows how much fun racing was before it became another vehicle for commercialism.

07/02/05 3-Wide Ned - I have to agree with you... I never quite looked at it that way, but you are right... it's all around us.

The only thing I will say though is that there is still some excitement... and still something worth seeing at today's short tracks, even without the originality and ingenuity that you and I were treated to.  For that reason, I still encourage all of us to support our sport even though it will never be the same...

Let's face it... our idea of cool is not sitting in a Honda Accord with 22" rims listening to Fall Out Boy...  (unless of course it's at a Drive-in Movie... (oop... nevermind... no more of them either....)

Many of us (self included) can't help but feel like what we had from the time we were 10 -25 years old was, and always will be the best....  It's generational.... It's inevitable.

My thing is that I'm always trying to be cautious of letting the aging process jade me so much that I began disliking everything that society offers as far as products... people.... entertainment... and within that... as far as racing.

I don't know Ned....  In days long ago, driver's earned their way to the top...   I guess to a certain extent they still do, but it's just that they have to make sure they get their teeth whitened and attending the "How to Handle Yourself In and Out of the Racecar" course on the way....

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity - Dirt Spec'd bodies -  Backstretch seats at Daytona being referred to as "The Superstretch" (I'm sure some Nascar survey found that people didn't want to shell out $100 plus to sit on the Backstretch, so instead of lowering the price, they changed the name!) 

And the majority loves it.... while it gets tougher and tougher for guys like us each year.....

07/02/05 John Hanna VERY WELL PUT, NED
07/04/05 Bruce Thompson NED, i agree wiith you 100%...........EXCELLENT web site!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
07/05/05 Frank Degnan The Pat Rissi # 59 modified is absolutely one of the coolest modifieds of all time! A neighbor of mine, Frank Cervino, served as a mechanic for this team; his name is one of three on the rear quarter panel. I can remember my father taking me to see this car being built in a garage, I believe, in Warrington, PA. Markovich Auto Parts (printed on the hood scoop) is still in existance at York and County Line Roads in Hatboro/Warminster, PA. If I remember correctly, this car had a 454 under the hood. If only we could have visible headers, big tires, and stock (modified) street bodies on today's frames! I think, with a few minor changes to current rules, we could have a modern modified that approaches the glory of the 60's and 70's.

Thanks for the great photos to all who contribute.
07/05/05 3-Wide They could go back to a stock roof/stock quarter panel rule and believe me, it would be cool as hell! 

The biggest problem from the research that I've done is that there are not too many fabricators out there... and secondly, crew help is at an all time low.  Back it the day, there'd always be someone around to hammer out a quarter, or re-work one from the junk yard... Now the guys barely have time to stop by the speed shop and buy a few brakets and a new panel....

I tried to get both NES and Bridgeport to consider some kind of change to the current body spec regulations for their sportsman division, but pretty much got my pp stepped on if you know what I mean...

Seems like it's real popular with the fans, but too much work for those who would actually be burning the midnight oil trying to rework that driver's side quarter panel form a 97 LHS so that it would fit back on the side of that TEO! 

I'd love to see the tracks give a weight break or allow a bigger carb for those teams who dared to be different... I'd open up the Vault to any of you guys who would like to sponsor a team that was willing to try some kind of a "Real Deal Steel Body Sportsman".

07/06/05 3-Wide

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(Vault visitor/contributor Kevin Budden asked me to forward the photo above showing the crew to Frank Degnan - see comment above - so that Frank could forward it to the fellow that was on the original crew.  We hope he is one of the guys pictured above.  - Thanks Kevin.)

09/14/08 Frank Cervino Hey! I am the guy on the far right in the picture. That was an awesome car. We had a grand time.
Frank Cervino-Orlando FL