07.07.03_054_HAR_VIN_0060_1.jpg (48205 bytes)

Photo ID # 07.07.03_054_HAR_VIN_0060_1
Car #: #54
Driver (s) : Bernie Hart
Location: Vineland
Date: 1960's
Photographer: William Curley
Photo provided by: Russ Dodge
Comments: Comment provided by Russ Dodge:  Bernie Hart is pictured behind the wheel of Bill McConnell's # 54 sprinter. Bernie, with his mustache, was well groomed and carried the image of a "professional" driver. This William Curley photo was taken at Vineland. The location is determined by Frank Wagner, wearing the hat, standing by the car and his push-truck at the back of the car. Based on Bernie's full helmet, I'll date the picture very early sixties, even though the car has a dirt tire on the right rear and Vineland was not dirt after the 1957 season. Thanks, Russ Dodge
Visitor's Comments To add your comments about THIS PHOTO - Click Here
Date: Visitor's  Name:


07/10/03 Jim Murrow It's really great to see a picture of another of my childhood heroes in the vault. Bernie Hart was a really nice guy, and a heck of a race driver, but what really made him a hero to me was his lifestyle. Back around 1958, my dad was working in the crew of the Raymer Brothers # 10 Ford Midget, that ran NASCAR, (Yes, NASCAR sanctioned midgets back then). Bernie drove in that series in an Offy midget that he owned himself. Bernie had no crew, he was a one man show, and he and my dad became friends, so, whenever he could, my dad would help him at the track. It turned out that Bernie and his wife lived not too far from us, so, they invited us over to spend the evening a couple times.

The first time we went, I was amazed at what I saw and heard. As a 12 year old kid who was totally a racing junkie, Bernie was living my dream. He and his wife lived in the biggest Airstream travel trailer I had ever seen. It was in a trailer park, and parked out front was Bernie's new T-bird. The trailer was beautiful inside, and the living room was lined with Bernie's trophies.

Bernie and his wife, (who's name I, unfortunately, don't recall), were both really nice, and were totally devoted to racing. They explained that, since they had no children, they were free to follow the racing circuits. In the winter, they lived and raced in Florida, and in the summer they came north, and lived in NJ, racing in NJ, Pa. and NY. Bernie rented garages nearby, which housed the 2 or 3 sprint cars and the midget that they brought north with them.To help fund the racing, he worked as a welder, and body and fender man, and she, as a waitress, both here and in Florida.

Well, to me, they were living the American dream. Offy Midget, sprint cars, racing year round, taking their home with them, driving a new T-bird -WOW! How much better could life get???

Thanks for the memories, Jim Murrow



Yes Nascar midgets, they also ran what they called a championship series.  They were as we called them big cars or champ cars  with stock block motors.  Wally Campbell ran one for I think Marks with a Nash engine.  They could never cool it right, had a big radiator sticking up out front.