|Photo ID #||L01.18.15_001_039_UNK_2000V_1|
|Car #:||#1 & #39|
|Driver (s) :||(see comments below)|
|Photo provided by:||Fred Menschner|
Comment: Here the two vintage cars brought back to show/run
condition by Ray Neary with engine work, etc Fred Menschner. Both of
what these two cars represent mean a lot to Ray and Fred as both learned a
lot about racing back in the 60's and early 70's by being at around the
Piscopo garage where they kept the original #39, and around the one and only
The #1 above is the last racecar that Wally Marks built and campaigned as an owner. The car was run up until the last 70's (possibly 1980?) with different driver's taking a turn behind the wheel including possibly the Lee and/or Larry Taylor, Billy Pauch, Red Coffin and probably a few others. (Wally did have an engine in a #1 car that I think was owned by the DeBlasio team that was driven by Frank Cozze, which later became the #5 driven by Billy Pauch.)
After Wally had stopped campaigning the #1, the car would spend the next few years sitting at Wally's residence just down the street from where the racecars at Trenton Speedway could be heard. At some point after Wally's passing, Ray contacted his son, who knew that the car, which was in pretty rough shape by then, would have a good home with Ray.
The car you see above didn't look it appears above when Ray first got it back around 2000, but it was all there. Ray not only restored the car, but made it "track ready" including an injected big block put together and tuned by Fred Menschner. (Many will remember that Ray and Fred teamed up in the late 60's and early 70's and found success with the silver #21 coupe - which was actually a former #327, that became a #39 that Tas drove for a while.) Anyhow... back to the "Gremlin'ish" #1 above.... The car is original and if you ever get a chance to see it up close, you'll still see a lot of the ingenuity that was Wally Marks.
The story on the #39 that you see above is a little different, but still has it's own history in a significant way... Unfortunately, all of the original Al Tasnady driven, Piscopo owned #39's were sold off and/or eventually scraped. All of them... The next best thing was the little coupe "Tas Tribute Car" that was put together and displayed on the grandstand side at Flemington Speedway in the 90's. The car at that point didn't have a lot in common with any of the Piscopo #39's, but the one thing it had going for it, was that it was actually lettered by the late Tom Backes - who was the original letterer for all of the Piscopo #39's, as well as some other very recognizable cars from the Morrisville/Fallsington PA area (Carberry owned Havens driven #47, Taylor owned Havens driven #93, Menschner and Neary silver #21, etc..)
The #39 that you see above at sometime (possibly when Flemington closed in 2000, or possibly before) was taken to Dave Piscopo's in Morrisville PA. There it pretty much just sat. At some point, Dave called Ray Neary and told him that the car was sitting there and that if he wanted it, to come and get it, and if not, it was probably headed for the scrap pile.
At the time, Ray called me up and told me the situation, and also told me that he didn't have room for the car as he had the Marks #1 in his garage and showing up with another vintage car at that time wasn't going to be a popular decision in the household! I told Ray, "get the car Ray...." We'll find a place to put it...." "That car needs you....."
I even offered to wheel some of my junk out of my 2 bay garage on Fresh Pond Rd in South Brunswick if needed so that the car wouldn't be scraped.... "Get the car Ray.... Just get the car."
I think it was about a week later and Ray called me up and said, "I'm not sure what to do with it, but I made room for it.
Over the next year or so, Ray did a lot of work to bring the tribute car more in line with an original Piscopo #39 - Not as an exact replica, but as a car that when folks saw it, there was enough there that it would help them remember Tas... and the iconic Piscopo #39....
....and although the numbers needed to be touched up, the original outline of all of the lettering laid on by the Tom Backes was followed to make sure it maintained the original look of the original #39's.
Well done Ray.... In my book, you deserve recognition for your exciting driving style that earned you and Fred some very impressive victories in the early 70's (Bill Singer told me that he really admired your driving style and thought you would have been a very successful sprint car racer). And also in my book, you deserve our thanks for taking the lead on both of these historically significant cars - one original, one not, but both significant to our sport.. in making sure that they were both brought back from their near end.
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