Bill Collins' 1951 Oldsmobile
1951 Oldsmobile owned and restyled by Bill Collins of Dallas, Texas. Bill lived in the Oak Cliff part of Dallas, and according to his good friend Karl Knecht, he was one of the early hot rodders in the area in the 1950s.
First flame paint job in the area
Bill's Oldsmobile was mildly restyled, and photos taken in 1957 shows it with a shaved hood, dressed up with a traditional flame paint job. Bill told Karl Knecht that he had the first flame paint job in the area. The flames were painted by Bobby Wolcott. In January of 2021 Bobby told Karl that the inspiration for the flames came from Bob McCoy's 1940 Ford Tudor Sedan.
Drag style exhaust
Bill also ran a unique exhaust system on the car that featured four chrome blowie pipes that ran up the rear on each side. Karl believes the style at the time on some dragsters and other drag cars with exposed engines was to run the exhaust with longer tubes pointed towards the sky, and he believes that might have been the inspiration for Bill's radical outside exhaust.
Like a circus with no animals!
Around 1957 Bill became friends with Bobby Langley. Bobby was the builder and driver of a Hemi-powered dragster called "The Scorpion," and Bill towed the Scorpion dragster all over the place and crewed for Bobby. In 2006 Bill chronicled one of their trips for the website www.cacklefest.com. In the story he describes the rookie-crew as a circus with no animals: "Somehow Bobby Langley or I got notice of a drag race in Monterey, Mexico in January 1958. A club in San Antonio and one in Monterey sponsored the race. We put the ole short pencil to the expense of the trip and decided to "do it". What with the expensive price of gasoline at $.22 cents a gallon ($.19 cents in Mexico), we decided we could make the 800 mile trip (one way), eat, get a motel, etc. Bobby got off work Thursday night from Convair in Fort Worth at about 11:00 P.M. Bobby Walcott and I were at Bobby's house when he got home, Loaded up with the clothes (blue jeans and Isky T shirts) trailer, Scorpion 1, tools, nitro, Etc. and set out going south in the middle of the night. We had little money (you understand), Bobby had no personal car and I had no racecar at the time. Here we go all the race stuff, no spare parts and very little money all hooked up behind my 1951 Olds with Walcott's flames adorning the front fenders and four chrome blooie pipes running up the rear on each side. What a site, like a circus with no animals. Just three idiots and a doll out to conquer the drag race world. We were just in our early 20's. After 21 we found we did not know everything as we previously thought." Click here for the rest of Bill's story on www.cracklefest.com.
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