Some Old New Smyrna Photos 1967-68

These are from the Roger Epps Collection… His dad “Doc” Epps was one of the first to promote at New Smyrna Speedway…

  1. Action from the first race on asphalt held Labor Day weekend in 1967… as you can see there was still a lot of dirt too… the track broke up pretty bad and the LM race was won by dirt track specialist Larry Flynn… #51 is Lindberg Howard… The last engine Lindberg used before he retired is still in Donnie Lewis’ E-Modified which will race Friday night at OSW with Brandon Thomson driving…

  2. Donnie Tanner - 1968

  3. Supermodified race - October 1967 - #V-8 Ellis Palassini from Mississipi won the race…

  4. Early Model 6-cyl action from 1968 - #45 was Elbert Lane from Orlando…

  5. The great Harry Pullen in 1968… this car won a ton of races all over…

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Donnie Tanner - 1968 (Roger Epps Collection).jpg

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Early Model crash in 1968 - #45 is Elbert Lane (Roger Epps Collection).jpg

1968 - Harry Pullen (Roger Epps Collection).jpg

Great old pictures Dave!

Tanner’s '57 Ford looks pretty sweet. Dave, do you have any color shots of that car?

Ellis still has the V8 and still brings it out to pace the field or make a few laps every once in awhile at 5 Flags and/or Mobile.

#88

isn’t # 88 a 1956 ??

55 or 56… Not a 57…
-JIM-

I see Harry Pullen’s #19 has considerable front end damage.

Probably somebody backed into the poor guy in the pits. :rolleyes:

Re: #88, yep, not a '57.

Although I am a GM guy (and was more so back in the day {the volt–say what??}), the Ernie Bass/Amick #7 '57 Ford was a beautiful racecar, and Ernie had a fair share of success in it.

The grill in Donnie’s car is from a 56, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot:smilie_abcfra:

Harry’s cars were never known for their beauty they all just ran like hell. He built a pretty coupe for Eau Gallie painted gold with a professional 19 painted on it. The first night out he had to stuff it in the fence when a driver got out of his wreck in Harrys path. The other nice looking car he had was a chevelle that was sponsored by Eau Gallie speedway and was entered in the Gov. cup at Golden Gate. As I recall it was painted blue and white not typical colors for Harry. He was a maestro at fuel concoctions some that even smelled like shoe polish. As for the car in the picture, he may have built it that way as looks meant nothing.

EG–Wow, I cannot recall ever seeing Harry in anything but flat black.

He was a rat rodder way before his time.

Regarding the front end, well, let’s just say I would bet on Harry in a grudge match with “Big E” anytime!

Flat black was the color of choice by far. The coupe he wrecked was an oddity and while the chevelle was #19 I am not sure it was his. I never in my years saw Harry have even a questionable dirty move. I do know he never backed down and would go to the outside or dive deeper in the corner without hesitation. A match race would have been a good one they have virtual war virtual sex why not a good virtual race that would give the computer a real value

Well, let me begin by saying that sometimes I forget things that happened and makeup things that did not, but I am as honest as my memory lets me be…

My recollection of Harry was not that he would spin someone out for advantage, but he somehow was always in the middle of something that turned into a feud. Henry & Charlie were calmer, but not much.

Rarely did the black chevelle get loaded in one piece.

I vaguely remember him crossing the infield at Orlando Speedway to nail someone.

But, as mentioned, it might have been Don L. Burkhalter or Dumont Smith…

As for memory I am sure we are in the same boat. I present what I recall not what I know. Charley Pullen was a gentle giant one look at him and you knew to be civil in his presence. Henry was the quiet one who let his driving skill speak for him.Harry was the flamboyant one who would push the envelope. As for his cars I am not sure if they arrived at the track in one piece. I was a frequent but not regular at Orlando as I lived in Eau Gallie and generally went to Orlando with Happy Stiegel when Jim ran. I can think of one driver that Harry or probably any other driver would cut across an infield to get to and that was Robby Ashton. Why Ernie Bass didn’t go to prison because of him is a mystery to me. I last saw Robby at Thunderbowl Speedway in Valdosta. I was with my ex-wife and they announced a new driver form Orlando named Bill Wise. I told her it was Robby and went and upgraded my ticket to a pit pass and sure enough it was him. Said he had a child support issue back home. Bill Wise was his frequent bondsman and sometimes sponsor. One of my more fun memories from the grand old days.

I would love to hear the Robbie Ashton/Ernie Bass story if you would like to tell it!

There is really not a lot to tell. Robby was not known for his clean driving style and on multiple occasions Ernie had the misfortune to be in front went Robby wanted by. Dave Westerman’s Florida Racing History has a picture from Eau Gallie that pretty much says it all. The picture was actually seen nationally as a part of Illustrated Speedway News photo section. I will say of Robby he did more with less than most from that era.

Harry Pullen was sorta known as a “dirty” driver but I’d really call him “very aggressive”… You certainly did not want to try and block him as he’d just move you outta the way!
Some Harry Pullen photos:

  1. Before he drove Chevies, he ran the Finchum Bros. Fords in 1962-63… These cars just screamed and he won a ton of races… In 1964 Harry and brother Charlie built a pair of 1957 Chryslers that looked like (and handled like) battleships… They gave up after a few races and I’ve never been able to find photos of these cars…
  2. Most of Harry’s Chevelles were flat black but this one he painted yellow and black… It was butt-ugly but FAST!
    3-4) This is the best-looking car I ever saw Harry drive built for the Governor’s Cup race in Tampa… He also ran it at New Smyrna where it was totaled…
  3. This is Harry’s last ride before he moved to Oklahoma driving for John Rogers at Volusia… His replacement? David Rogers…

Harry Pullen in the Finchum Bros_ Ford - 1962 _.jpg

Eau G 1969.jpg

Harry Pullen in the John Rogers #11 Wanda Albritton Pullen Collection.jpg

Robert “Robbie” Ashton was another character from the 1960s right through the early-1980s…

  1. Robbie drove for Lewis Green in 1963 using #19 on Lewis’ Ford… Here he is tangling up with Ernie Bass at Orlando…
  2. This is the photo mentioned above that was in Illustrated Speedway News of Robbie knocking Bass out of the way in 1966… Bass was now Green’s driver…
  3. Robbie in Pedie Allison’s Chevy at Deland…
  4. After dropping out of sight for awhile, Ashton resurfaced running Thundercar #00 at New Smyrna… His battles (and fights) with Wayne Heckle (#9 here) are part of the NSS legend…

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The two guys.JPG