CLIFF'S CARS 

 


Ladabouche Photo
The door off one of Howie Westervelt's earliest Wright cars,
as it sits at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

    Starting in the 1950's, Cliff Wright developed a name in the New York State racing community, mostly as a car builder and owner. Throughout much of the years that Wright had highly competitive coupes, he was partnered with sponsor, Tollgate Ice Cream - from Slingerlands, New York. Toll Gate owner Bob Zautner and Wright were familiar figures at tracks ranging from the Pine Bowl, to Fonda, to Lebanon Valley, to Stateline Speedway.
   The team had anywhere from one to as many as three cars during various time periods in the 1950's into the early '70's. Perhaps, the team reached its highest point of success in the later 1960's when they fielded the modified #24, driven mostly by Kenny Shoemaker, from Westmere. This car ran roughshod over the competition at major league tracks like Fonda and at smaller venues like Victoria.
   I feel privileged to have met Wright and Zautner at the once-monthly breakfast meet in Watervliet.


John Grady Photo
Cliff Wright poses with his potent #24 around 1966.

EARLIER CARS


Gene Strenkowski Photo
Howie with an early
Wright/Zautner 83.

John Grady Photo
Howie with the same
car, the source of the
door at Saratoga.


 


Photo Source Unknown
Howie with an early
victory, with the whole team.

Joe Connors Photo
Doug Garrison,
Wright, Zautner, and
a very similar car.

Photo Source Unknown
Howie
 

From Racers Bored Site
Stretch Van Steenberg,
with what I believe to be
a Wright car.

Arnie Ainsworth Photo
Howie and Stretch
in Pine Bowl action.

Photographer Unknown
Howie with one of
the team's earlier cars,
at Pine Bowl.

Otto Graham Site
Schenectady Collection

Howie Westervelt,
Ravena, NY
at Fonda


Photographer Unknown
The car is beginning
to have that familiar
Wright / Zautner look-
particularly the roof light.
 


Russ Bergh Photo
Similar car, with more
refinement - at Fonda.

Ed Fuez Collection
Westervelt

Ray Williams Photo
Westervelt against
Van Steenberg at
The Valley.
 
 
From Tom Domery, Jr
Westervelt, in the midst of his record - setting
win spree at Lebanon Valley in the '50's. From
Left- Zautner, Tom Domery, Sr., Cliff,
and Howie.
 
Ken Gypson Collection
Westervelt wins one somewhere.
 
Ken Gypson Collection
Nice old color
Westervelt shot.
 
Lebanon Valley Classics
Another Van Steenberg.
 
Ken Gypson Collection
Early Fonda shot of Westervelt
with admiring fan or presenter.
 
Russ Bergh Photo
Ken Gypson Collection

Westervelt at Fonda around 1962.
 
Unknown Source
A Wright car.

LATER CARS


Russ Bergh Photo
Ladabouche Collection

Donny Wayman,
Cobleskill, NY
A circa 1964 version
Wright car - one of
last Fords

Conde / Parry Site
Donnie Wayman,
Cobleskill, NY
A car very similar
to the one Westervelt
poses with above and at left.

Russ Bergh Photo
Ladabouche Collection

Donny Wayman,
Cobleskill, NY
A circa 1965 version
Wright car - one of
first Chevies.
The one Shoe would drive.
 
Frank Simek Photo
Donnie Wayman, with the car
Shoe would take over.
 
Courtesy of Dan Ody
Shoemaker with that same car
as to the left.
 
 
Russ Bergh Photo
Shoemaker Biography
Ken Shoemaker,
Westmere, NY
At Fonda Speedway with the car
shown with Wayman above.
  
 
Frank Simek Photo
Shoemaker, at speed., early on
in his stint with Wright and
Zautner.


 
Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with a win at Victoria.
 
Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with that same car .
   
 
Shaney Lorenzet Photo
via Andy Fusco
Shoemaker at Stafford.
 
Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with that same car .
  
 
Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with a win at Victoria.
 
Race Songs Photo
Shoemaker at Victoria.


Jim Young Photo
Ladabouche Collection

This older man decided to clown
around and give the posing Shoe a
hard time before the shot at left. 
 
From Dan Ody
Shoemaker at Victoria.
 
From Dan Ody
Shoemaker at Fonda.

 
Otto Graham Photo
Shoemaker was the first to drive Wright's
fueel - injected pavement coupe. It's
still a fairly upright car here.

 
Ron Wilson Photo
Still Shoemaker; still upright.
This is Malta.

 
John Grady Photo
Shoemaker still driving; the
car is now lowered.

  
Ladabouche Collection
Richie Evans succeeded Shoemaker ended up in the now - lowered pavement mod and had
only a brief stint with it.
 
Ladabouche Collection
Don MacTavish ended up in the
pavement mod and had a brilliant
run with it.

 
Ron Trombley Photo
At Airborne Speedway, where both
Shoe and MacTavish drove it.
 
     
         

SOME 8MM FRAMES FROM DAN ODY


From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
An early Wright car winning at Stateline
with Doug Garrison at the controls.
 
 
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Westervelt at Victoria.

 
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Wayman winning at Victoria
with likely the same car.
 
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Wayman at Victoria.
 
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Shoemaker at Malta
with an early pavement
coupe.


Ladabouche Photo
Cliff Wright [ black hat] Bob Zautner to his right The monthly Watervliet  racing oldtimers' breakfast, Sam Barlow is at left [I don't know the other guy yet].
Bob Novak, a strong supporter of my work, is at the counter.

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