Racing Friends
Through the years we've raced at many tracks. These are some of the cars that raced on the Monte tracks. I am so thankful to Gordy Hanson from Hanson's Studio, who took many photos of the cars back in those days. These pictures are just the tip of the ice berg. There are at least 20 more that I can think of from just around the Monte area. If you have some racing pictures from back then, please let me know. We'd like to get as many pictures as we can. I'll scan them while you wait or send them back to you.
Click on pictures to see larger images

BERNARD HOIDAL

Bernard

This is a 1946 Mercury coupe with flathead engine owned and driven by Bernard Hoidal, Lyle's older brother. He decided on the number eleven because you could read it even if he was upside-down. Lyle said Bernard won a lot of races with that car. He also drove 1/2 & 1/2 at times. Below is Bernard with his pitman, Kenny Davis.

Ken Davis

PAUL PHILLIPS

Car 77
Paul Phillips

1934 Ford coupe with flathead engine. Paul Phillips was the owner/driver. His son, Tom, was his pitman and soon became a driver himself. Paul and Tom built a "rail job" and raced it the next season. No one seems to have a picture of it. (1962)


RONNIE PETERSON

Ron Peterson

1940 Ford Coupe with flathead engine. Ron Peterson and his pitman, Darrell Spletter. In 1962 he sold the car to Lyle and raced his new car, a 1932 Ford Vickie. It was powered by a Corvette engine.


CLIFF SCHROCK

Schrock
Schrock

Cliff was a regular at the Montevideo track. He had a


LLOYD"GOLDY" GULDEN

Lloyd Gulden
Pull Car

Goldy had a 1940 Chev with a 6-cylinder engine. Although his race car was nice, the 1949 Packard he pulled it with was even nicer.


CHET ZIMMERMAN

Chet Zimmerman

Chet had a 1937 Ford coupe with a Ford flathead engine. Chet was from Montevideo. His brother, Pete, from Tracy.

MEL "PETE" ZIMMERMAN

Mel Zimmerman

The two brothers, Chet and Pete Zimmerman, had basically the same cars. About the only difference was the number and the color. Chet's was yellow. Pete had a white 1937 Ford, powered by the Ford flathead.

NORM MILBRANDT

Norm Milbrandt

1940 Ford Coupe with a '57 Thunderbird engine, built new for the 1962 season. Norm Milbrandt (on the right) and his pitman, Don Kurtzbein. Norm was the 1961 Track Champion in Montevideo and always a top contender.


RON HADRATH & RICH CHRISTIANS

Hadrath and Christians


1940 Ford Coupe powered by a flathead. Owned by Rich Christians and Ron Hadrath. They took turns driving the car and it was very competitive. (1962)


RAY OLSON

Ray Olson

Ray's car was a 1934 Ford with a flathead engine.


BRUCE TWITE

Bruce Twite
Bruce Twite

Dawson driver, Bruce Twite, drove a 1932 Ford coach with a Ford flathead. His first car was 1937 Ford coupe. In the 60s he and Lyle and Muffy Pape were usually bumper to bumper on the track.


DUANE BREYFOGLE

Duane Breyfogle

Duane faithfully brought his 1937 Ford to Montevideo from Marshall every Saturday night. He was a great competitor. The 8-ball car was powered by a flathead.


MARVIN PITT

Marvin Pitt

Not the first car that Marv had, this is a 1939 Ford with a flathead. He started out in racing with No. 5, but pretty soon there were too many fives so he went to a fifth. Well, actually, if they'd had a bad night, there were several drivers who went to a "fifth."


CHUCK LUDWIG

Chuck First Car
Chuck Second Car

Chuck started out with a 1939 Ford with red paint and the standard flathead engine. His second car was a white 1931 Model A with a 312 Ford overhead engine. Standing beside the car in the picture are (From the left) Pitmen Joe Loe and Charlie Savoie and Chuck, who was owner/driver from Cottonwood. I graduated from Cottonwood and have known Chuck since he was just a kid.

Chuck Ludwig

The 1971 Camaro above was run in Willmar, Monte and Madison. The red machine was powered by a big 454.


DUANE BONDE

Bonde

Duane had a '32 Ford Vickie with an overhead engine. There must have been a plumber involved because look at all the pipes coming out the side.

MORRIE WEFLEN

Morrie Weflen

1933 Ford coupe powered by a 1958 Edsel engine. Morrie was a very precise car-builder and always had one of the best-looking and fastest cars on the track. Announcer Clayton Johnson often referred to him as "The Little King." (1962)

Morrie Weflen

Morrie had some racing experience in California so when Speedy Acres opened up he was a step ahead of the other drivers. While they had junkers with a number slapped on, Morrie had a car that was professionally lettered and not only looked fast, but moved around the track at a good clip. He was the high-point leader the first two years at Speedy Acres and also at the Fiesta Speedway in 1960.

Morrie Weflen
Morrie Weflen
Morrie Weflen

Pretty classy. On the picture above his pickup is painted yellow to match his car. (Or vise versa.) At least I think it was his pickup. For the first year or two Don Hudson was his pitman. When Don moved to the Cities, Ronnie Wollschlager took over the position as faithful companion. He was a parts man at Wogan Auto Electric, a parts store in Smith Addition.

Morrie Weflen
Morrie got into the "rail business," too. He put a 427 Ford in this rail job. I think Lyle was the only one who ever drove it. And never close to home. We put a lot of miles on dragging that car around.

JOHN & DON RUETHER

Ruether

This 1939 Ford with a flathead engine was owned by the Ruether Brothers, Johnny and Donnie. They were quite a team. John did the driving and Don kept the car running. That's John standing by the car.


LEON EWER

Leon Ewer

Leon Ewer

Leon was from Bird Island and was a regular on the Fiesta Speedway track. His car was a 1937 Chevrolet with a 6-cylinder engine.


269 CAR OWNED BY VIC CUCCI

Vic and Jim

When Jim Larson put together the sprint and the Jaguar for Lyle, Jim's partner, Vic Cucci, decided he wanted to be in the racing business, too. So they built a "rail job" that was driven by Muffy Pape and had the number 269. That was the price of gas out at their business and was good advertising. Pictured are the Vic and Jim guys: Vic Cucci, Jim Larson and Walt Roepke.


ARNE VOSSEN

Vossen
This beautiful car looks like it should be on a calendar. (And maybe it was.) Arne was from Willmar and raced quite a bit at the Monte track. This is a 1932 Ford with a Pontiac overhead.
Memories

Some of my most embarrassing moments included Morrie Weflen. He and his wife, Anne, lived just a mile northeast of town so you could zip out there in just a minute. He had a garage right next to his house and it was the gathering place for all the guys. Lyle and I would go out there and he would go to the garage and I would go into the house where Anne had the coffee pot on. I didn't understand the garage system and no one bothered to inform me. On one of our first visits, it started getting late so I went out and opened the garage door to tell Lyle I was ready to go home. All hell broke loose. No one had told me that this was strictly a man cave and women did not enter. If you wanted to go home, you had Anne call from the house. The guys, always helpful, got a good laugh out of it. Morrie was a nice guy. I'm not saying he wasn't. He just kind of scared me and I never went in the garage again.

One September we went to Spencer, Iowa, to race. Lyle was going to drive Morrie's car. It was Morrie and Anne, Lyle and I, and Ronnie Wollschlager. We stayed in a tent camper in Gordy Bright's aunt's yard. It had two bunks at each end and a bench on the side in the middle. Since I was the shortest, I got the bench. It faced Morrie, who was in the bottom bunk.

Before I went to sleep I saw Morrie smoking and was wondering if the whole place would burn down while we slept. He had had a couple of small mattress fires in the past when smoking in bed. In the middle of the night I woke up and saw a red coal burning on the mattress of Morrie's bed. My glasses were off and since I was very near-sighted, it was a BIG, blurry, red coal. I decided to save the day without waking anyone up. I crept out of bed and slapped that coal with my hand for all it was worth. My plan was to knock it to the floor. Morrie let out a roar and shouted, "What the hell!" I don't know who was more scared: Morrie or I. Turns out he was having a midnight smoke and was resting his hand, with the cigarette in it, on the side of the mattress.

When the rest of them heard about it the next day, Ronnie said he would have given a case of whiskey to have seen it. Probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. Thereafter, Ronnie called me "Lyle's little fireman."

We had a lot of good times with Morrie and Anne and the rest of the racing couples, but these two experiences I will never forget. Well, maybe I will. I'm no spring chicken anymore. Only thing to do is wait and see. If I forget, I can read this website and it will all be new material!


FESTER

Marian Fester
Marian Fester

His name is Marian Fester, but everyone always called him Fester. He was our pitman for a few years and then decided to take off on his own. His Camaro (top picture) was powered by a big 454 engine.

That's our daughter, Sandy, beside him in the second picture. She was the trophy girl that night. Fester still has the car.


LURCH

Lurch

Lee Haugen is a big, tall guy and his nickname is "Lurch." Why he ever decided to race a VW is a question everyone has asked. Seeing him standing beside his car gave the spectators cause to wonder just how he was going to get inside the car and IF he DID, where he was going to put his legs. It all worked out and he did well. We had a great time racing with him.


Grove Creek
Pretty sure this is Grove Creek, but not positive.

THE APPLETON SPEEDWAY

The Appleton Speedway opened in the summer of 1962. Owners Claude and Roy Randall promoted the races on Sunday nights at the track south of Appleton. The purse was based on paid admittance. Looking back, I don't think the pay table was too bad considering the size of the grandstand. It does seem like a pittance compared to later purses. Here's an example of the top money winners on one of the first nights.
  • Dick Forbrook won $126 for first place.
  • Merle Snackenberg in second place took home $114.
  • Morrie Weflen cleared a big $109.
  • Roger Swenson almost made a hundred bucks when he got a check for $90.

That's almost $450 for the top four. The Monte track paid $500 or half of the gate, whichever was larger. Considering that Forbrook drove from Morgan, and Snackenberg and Swenson from Watertown, I think the expenses pretty much ate up any profits. Actually, profit was not a word we were familiar with back in the early racing days.