Sixty years ago Freddy Adam was the defending modified stock car champion at a fifth of a mile paved Dorney Park Speedway. You'd think that would be a good thing, but when promoter 'Red' Crise ended the season for the modifieds in mid-August after a walkout over purses and Lehigh Valley Stock Car Racing Assn. rules governing racing in their three-track (Evergreen, Dorney, and Lehighton) circuit, change was on the way. Crise was dismissed as the promoter of the Dorney Park racing program and replaced by Jerry Fried, who installed the strictly stock division from his Sunday night Nazareth promotions as the 1960 season Dorney Park headliners. So, the modified drivers, who had enjoyed years of racing at Dorney were out in the cold.
Freddy was the hired driver for Roy Smith's #555 team based in Kunkletown, PA. Evergreen Speedway in St. Johns, PA was the only track from their 1959 schedule, which remained a modified stock car venue a year later. Smith was content to tow to the nearby Nazareth half-mile on Sunday nights, but Saturday was a dilemma. Time was divided between the half-mile at Middletown, NY and the third-mile dirt saucer at Hatfield, PA
Smith had a potent Ford Y-block which was very strong on the pavement at Evergreen, but he also had a small block Chevy and a brutish nailhead Buick. He always ran the Ford on Fridays but rotated his other engines for the dirt venues. The Buick had amazing power, but it also sported only three main bearings, and when it failed, and it inevitably did, the engine explosions were legendary!
the Adam Bros. effort. He really enjoyed watching Freddy at Hatfield but enjoyed it more when one of his #555s was not at risk. Plus, not running on Saturdays gave him an extra day to ready his car for Nazareth on Sunday night.
Freddy Adam and his blue & white #2 at Hatfield
With Roy Smith calling the shots in the pits and his Kunkletown parts under the car, Freddy became a force to be reckoned with at Hatfield. From Freddy's bio, 'Roy Smith was always a quick wit in the pits, often blurting out things that kept the place in stitches. When it came to making an engine run, Roy was one of the best. He was meticulous in doing his own valve jobs and considered the valve train as the difference between a powerful engine and a mediocre one.'
Freddy Adam in victory lane at Hatfield in 1960.
Freddy won several features at Hatfield in 1960, but his most important win came on 9-3-1960 when he won the Race of Champions qualifier for the 100-mile event held for modified stock cars every October on the Langhorne mile. Freddy announced to the crowd he would be driving Roy Smith's 555 in the race and would do his best to represent Hatfield well. Roy Smith was very pleased with the RoC guaranteed spot.
At Langhorne, Freddy qualified 8th fastest in a field of more than one hundred cars. However, Langhorne dirt clogged the radiator, ending their run, and relegating them to a 26th place finish.
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EARHS "wants and needs"
Wanted: Racing photo collections – share and preserve programs. If you have vintage racing photos, EARHS would like to be able to scan and copy these items. All items will be returned intact and we can provide you with a computer disc of those items from significant collections. We are especially interested in Dorney Park items from the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s and all Allentown Fair items, including indoor racing events, but all items are welcome.
Wanted: Showcases and display cases. Often cases of unusual configuration can be used for displays of trophies and memorabilia. Also, race programs from the '55 & '58 Allentown Fair.
We continue to fill our showroom - all members are invited to visit and check our progress. Please call Pete (610 398-2188) or Paul (610 395-5303) to arrange a time to visit.
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