a01.11.04_999_DOR_FAC_0050_1.jpg (81684 bytes)

Photo ID # a01.11.04_999_DOR_FAC_0050_1
Car #: #999
Driver (s) : (Owner Sonny Dornberger)
Location: Unknown (Possibly Sewell, NJ)
Date: 1960's  Late 50's  Thanks Tom
Photographer: Unknown
Photo provided by: Ricky Rutt
Comments: Looks like the right rear might need a new seal, but with Dornberger power it was easy to drive the wheels off it!....  Dornberger is a name that will always be associated with this regions dirt track racing.  While some of us late bloomers may only remember the potent blue #99 "Better than Weld" car driven by Osmun, Pauch and a few others, there are stories going back to the early 60s and maybe even futher about Sonny's impact on the sport.
Visitor's Comments To add your comments about THIS PHOTO - Click Here
Date: Visitor's  Name:


01/11/03 Jim Murrow You know, Sonny rented his house and shop for 40 years, and now it's sitting there abandoned. Wouldn't it be great if we could get some funding to turn it into a museum, and restore it to the way it was in the days of glory???  Sonny Dornberger, and that shop represent an awful lot of the history of modified racing in the Northeast.  At one time or another, just about everybody who is anybody either had a Dornberger engine, or a Dornberger car, or both. The man was an absolute genius ! Sincerely, Jim
01/12/04 Kevin B. Hey Jim were is the old place located?Sure would be cool to see some racing history.

I also wouldn't mine seeing the old Harmony race track. My father never brought me up there. 

01/12/04 Tom Bilger I believe this photo was taken at the Old "South Jersey Speed and Sport Shop" in Westville, which closed up in the late 50's. I'd say 57 or 58.
01/13/04 Sherrie Dornberger The location of the old shop was located on Rt. 47 Delsea Drive in Deptford NJ, 6/10 th of a mile from Five points Diner. 

This picture was taken in Westville NJ at the South Jersey Speed and Sport Shop in the late 50's. This car was diven by Otto Harwi. It won the track championship in 1956 at Nazareth Speedway, and holds a record for winning 18 races in a row on the 4th of July week in 1956.( at Alcyon, Nazareth, OCFS and who ever else was running) My dad "Sonny" often told the story of how he HAD to win all of those races to "bail" my mom and I out of the hospital as I was born on June 30th and he "needed the hospital bill money." I still have the trophy from Nazareth for "Owner of the year 1956"

(The blue #99 was also driven my Meme DeSantis, along with Osmun and Pauch.)

01/14/04 Ralph Richards When I was building my replica of the # 026 coupe I went to see Sonny.  He built the original engine for Pete Ambrosia and was very helpful. During one of my visits Sonny let me copy this photo.   He opened the drawer full of photos in his desk and said take anything you want to copy just return it to me.  Most were from the 70's and 80's and I was interested in the 50'sat that time.

Looking back I should have copied everything. I went right home and made a model replica of the # 999 car.   I would see his parked at his shop on Delsea Drive in Deptford as I went by on the Wood bus on my way to Pitman nearly every Friday night.

Hi Sherrie, I'm glad you found this site.  Your dad was a piece of work.   He had me laughing so hard in his shop telling me some of Jackie McLaughlin & Jackie Hamilton stories I now wish I had a tape recorder that day. Anyone who had never met the man missed volumes of information and tales from the past. I am glad I had the opportunity to speak to this legend.

04/27/04 Todd Lewis Sonny built some very fast motors that were in some fast race cars including the 27KC that was owned by Bob Burket and even the 99 that Johnny Leach campaigned in the early 90's had Dornberger power for a while. There was one motor that was in the 27KC that went 1100 laps before Sonny had to freshen it up, the longer that motor was run the faster it got.
12/13/06 John Mitchell My name is Jack Mitchell,Sonny helped with my 1957 Chev EGasser (The Orange Crate) I went to many races with him Sherri and his wife Edie. He was truly a great guy and fun to be around.
12.02.09 Tom Bilger The last time I saw Sonny Dornberger was just before I entered the Air Force the last time I went to Alcyon Speedway (1960). I never had an opportunity of seeing him again. I was wondering if Russ Dodge or maybe Sherrie Dornberger may have a later picture of Sonny that they may be able to post or send to me at reglib@comcast.net<mailto:reglib@comcast.net> .