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The Bobsy Formula Fords

There Were Possibly Four Bobsy Formula Fords

 Constructed By Jerry Mong

 

This website is primarily devoted to the Bobsy Sports Racers.  However, since the webmaster, Bob Alder, recently acquired one of the very rare Formula Fords made by Jerry Mong (also badged as a "Bobsy"), information on those few Formula Ford (FF)  cars is being included on this site.  Sorry, Vanguard Formula Vee folks.  You'll have to pursue the tracking of those many wonderful Vanguard Formula Vee race cars on your own. 

 

Only the two featured here are confirmed to exist today.  We're still looking for evidence of the existence (past or present) of the other two cars.  In the "Formula Ford Bible" (i.e. "The Anatomy & Development of the Formula Ford Race Car" by Steve Nickless) he said four were produced.  But, that number is unconfirmed. (P.S. That cool Sbook now brings $140 plus on Amazon. Yikes!)

 

This page is devoted to the two Bobsy FFs known to still exist today.

 

 

Mr. Roger Pujol's Bobsy Formula Ford

For years, to this author, it was was the only known Bobsy FF and thought be one-of-one. This Bobsy FF has been  raced on the West Coast by Roger Pujol for the past eighteen years!   Talking to Doug Ravizza in Jan. of 2018 (Doug had owned Pujol's car in the past), he confirmed the complete ownership history of Roger's car back to new.  It was sold new to Glen Biren, then to John Hutchinson, then to Doug Ravizza.   It then it went to a Bob Poli, then in about 2000 to Roger Pujol who restored it and has since raced it with all the West Coast vintage organizations.

(Click on any images to enlarge)

The  picture at the right was captured from the internet.  At the time it was owned by Doug Ravizza.  Circa 1979, it is shown at a regional race at Sears Point.  According a recent conversation with Doug,  "the 1969 FF was running at least the 3rd or 4th weekend on the same set of tires."  Doug was very frugal (read "broke") back then.

The pictures at left are contemporary pictures of Roger's car.  Looks like he's got a great crew member, huh?

 

 

Bob Alder's Bobsy Formula Ford

(The Little Caesars "Pizza Pizza" Car)

The next Bobsy FF came to the attention of this registry when offered for sale in January of 2018 by Gene Leasure in AZ. It is a "project car" not having been raced since probably before 1989.  Your humble and obedient servant (and keeper of the Bobsy Registry) decided it was only right that he should purchase the car to bring it more directly into the Bobsy fold.  So it has been added to the Team Terrific Racing  fleet of race cars.   

It will be a total restoration project.  While some period pictures of the car will be featured here, in conjunction with its ownership history, complete pictorial coverage of its 2018 restoration can be seen here, in a separate SmugMug Photo Gallery.    

As it turns out, I was able to track this car's ownership back to new!  And a most amazing fact was revealed.  This car was raced new by none other than Jim Trueman.  Jim was a very successful racer in the '70s who went on to race a Bobsy SR-5 to a couple of national championships (see the History Page).  He also campaigned a Jerry Mong built IMSA race car.  He won 125 races in his 23 years as a driver.  At one time he owned the Mid-Ohio race track.  And he even owned the car in which Bobby Rahal won the Indy 500. He died much too young at the age of 51.

Being able to document all this history on this car is pretty amazing considering there have been about eleven owners since Jim Trueman ran the car when new.   Equally remarkable is that several of the past owners have generously provided a fairly complete reconstruction of the car's history, complete with some great period photos.  What follows is the chronological history of the car as we know it today. Revisions as we update some missing ownership will be posted.  

 Our very special thanks to everyone who has contributed to this story, namely Ken Goodman, Craig Butt, and Mike Velten all past owners of the car.  And also thanks to Gene Leasure who faithfully kept and passed along a lot of key historical information.   

 

 

The Ownership History Of The "Pizza! Pizza!" Bobsy FF

New – 1971:  A a new Bobsy FF was raced by Jim Trueman and crewed by Ken Goodman who worked for Trueman.  According to Ken (in conversations in 2018), Jim gave the car to him in1970 and Ken then raced it “in about six races, including entering as FF in a Formula Atlantic race  Mid-Ohio” in which he did reasonably well.  At right is Ken racing the car at a Michigan Speedway SCCA race in 1970. 

Ken has passed along a neat anecdote. The car was used in some Burger King advertising.  He drove it to the shootings at a local stock car circle track. The TV ads appeared all over central Ohio. How cool would it be to have a copy of one of those old ads!

Ken then sold it “to a new driver for his first driver’s school and lost touch with him.” Ken couldn’t remember his name.  See below how we figured out who it was.

1971 to 1972: Mike Velten.  Mike has provided this neat "period" picture of the car and his family.  It doesn't look toooo '70s, does it?

There was this A 1972 receipt for an engine re-build (by Jerry Mong, no less!) in the car’s documents.  It had “Mike Velton” [sic] on that receipt.  A 2018 internet research found and contacted “Mike Velten” and he confirmed that he purchased the car “from a kid who worked for Jim Truman.“  That “kid” was Ken Goodman.  

In talking with Mike in 2018, he said Can’t remember who I sold it to but it was in 1972.”   

1972 to 1980:   Green_LogBookPic.jpg (838325 bytes)Perhaps Roger Schroer was the buyer in 1972 from Velten. (Yet to be confirmed for sure. ).  The logbook entries reveal Schroer raced the car at Nelson Ledges in ‘79.  This picture is from the logbook.  It's a very crumby Polaroid. However, the color sure looks the same green as when Mike Velten had the car.  But now it has a different car number.   The logbook indicated he sold  the car in 1980 to Craig Butts.  
1980-1981:   Craig Butt owned the car for a year, selling to Larry Green.   
1981: Per the logbook, Larry Green did the Nelson Ledges Driver School  in Aug. of  ’81.   

He then sold it back to Craig in ’81.

1981 to ~1984: Yes, Craig bought it back, owing it for a second time.  According to conversation with Craig in 2018,  One ‘rumor’  I heard years after owning the car was that Jim Trueman once owned the car. . . .but that was never confirmed.”  Well, Craig, the rumor has now been confirmed by the Mike Velten's engine rebuild receipt (dated 1972) and him remembering he "purchased it from a kid who worked for Jim Truman."

Craig sold the car to John Myer.  John Myer indicated it was apx. 1984.

~1984 to 1987:   John D Myer II.  A trailer registration (OH) in the car’s documents was issued to Myer in 1985 which implied he owned the car at least during that time frame.  Conversation with John Myers 2-16-2018 confirmed he did indeed purchase the car from Craig Butt in OH,  However, John realized even before actually racing the car that open wheel racing wasn't his cup of tea. Thus, he never raced it while he owned it.  He said moved to Ashville,NC and repainted the car (from the black #7) to the Little Caesars livery because he had a couple of franchise stores there.  The 241 number was chosen because Caesars' tag was "Buy one get one free"  or "Two for the price of one" thus  241.  He only used the car for store promotional purposes.  He thought about  auto-crossing the car, but never did.   Sold the car to Tom Acker (& Stu Barnette?) in '87.
1987 to 1989:   Pizza-Pizza_5-19-1989.jpg (1313193 bytes)Thomas Acker & Stu Barnette owned for a couple of years.  Per a Bill of Sale   they sold the car to Don Schlueter 9-11-1989.  The Little Caesars "Pizza! Pizza!" livery was on  the car when they owned it and when they sold it to Don Schlueter. Picture at right dated May of 1989.  Not sure if they ever ran the car. 
1989 to 1993: While Donald Schlueter purchased the car from Acker & Barnette,.a friend of his, Gene Leasure, had encouraged him to buy it. The picture at left was provided by Acker and Gene Leasure confirmed it is him standing next to the trailer. He was there to close the deal on behalf of his friend, Don Schlueter, and then he arranged to have the car shipped from Florida to Don in California.  But for some reason Donald never raced it in the four years he owned it, rather totally disassembling the car.   
1993 to 2018: Gene Leasure then purchased all the disassembled bits from Donald in 1993, but he never got around to completing the car or racing it.  (Gene had way too many other neat cars to mess with the FF!).  Gene sold to Bob Alder Jan. 2018, still disassembled.
2018 to present:

Jan. 2018 -- The picture at left is the the car when it was offered for sale in early 2018 by Gene Leasure.  A neighbor friend of Gene's and car nut, Franklin "Rudy" Randolph, assembled all the boxes of bits into a complete display car to help sell it. Easier to sell a complete car than a pile of boxes, huh? And, it worked!   

 

It has not been on track maybe dating back to 1984.  Don't know if Acker and Barnette ever raced it.   It's been a "project" car for the last two prior owners (Schlueter, and Leasure) who never raced the car.  Alder will be restoring the car over the summer of 2018 retaining the Little Caesars livery.

 

To follow the details of the restoration, please visit  the SmugMug site devoted to that continued history of the  "Pizza! Pizza!" Bobsy Formula Ford.

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