Historic Crosley-powered midget racer.
- View SourceSee our new photos of a Crosley-powered midget racer, built and raced by Mr. J. W. Payne in 1959 and 1960 at its home track: Florida City Speedway. This was the third of three cars constructed by Payne and was high-points car in south Florida, breaking the 1/4-mile track record in Jacksonville in 1964. This car held the fastest 1/5-mile track time at Florida City and it won the 1966 mid-season championship. The current owner purchased it in 1994 and had it professionally restored in 1996, and then, without explanation, left it crated ever since it was first shown in 1997. It has never been run and is available in New Mexico for $22,500.00 OBO. Contact mail@... if you are interested.
This race car was located by its present owner in Jacksonville, Florida, was purchased in 1994, and in 1995 was shipped to New Mexico. In the Spring of 1996, the car was uncrated and sent to Ken Harry Restorations for the full makeover. The current owner (its fourth) did his best to assemble as much of its history as possible. The car was purchased from Bill White Jr. of Jacksonville. Bill's father had purchased the car from Lawrence Westbury who raced the car in Florida and the Carolinas (according to J. W. Payne). Payne sold the car to Westbury in 1966.
Florida City Speedway has an interesting history itself, with Saturday short-track races every Saturday night from 1964 to 1976. Original race footage of this car and Payne's other cars can be viewed on YouTube video. His cars can be identified in the old footage by the number on the rear of the car and the unique painted nose.
Restoration of this car began in 1996 and was 98% complete when it was crated and shipped to the 1997 APAA show in Las Vegas. After a fast week on display the car was crated and shipped home, crated in storage from 1997 until now, leaving the crate only long enough to take a few of the photos we have in our CCOC archives. (Click 'New Photos'.). As stated, this car was 98% complete, the drive line was never installed, and the rear brakes were not finished as it had to make it to Vegas on time.
This car comes with a custom-made dust cover, a shipping crate with tiedowns, and all of the old spares that were removed or replaced. All photo documentation and the write-up used at the APAA show which included many of photo copies of racing action are also included. This was a no-expense-spared restoration.
Builder: J.W. Payne, Homestead Florida
Date of build: 1959 1960
Home race track: Florida City Speedway
Transmission: Hand built In and out box
Rear End: Crosley with floater hubs
Chassis: Hand built
Body: Hand built from aluminum and fiberglass
J.W. Payne built a total of three TQs. His first car was #11, the second #111, and the third and last, #1A. As Ken Harry did the restoration. According to J.W. #1A was originally constructed for his nephew Ken Gustafson (the car had a 'K' built into the roll bar). Ken's employer gave him a choice of racing or having a job, so J.W. took the car back and began racing it himself. Now the letter "J" is welded into the front bumper bar.
It's great that a real piece of Crosley racing history has been preserved.