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You can edit text on your website by double clicking on a text box on your website. Alternatively, when you select a text box a settings menu will appear. Selecting 'Edit Text' from this menu will also allow you to edit the text within this text box. Remember to keep your wording friendly, approachable and easy to understand as if you were talking to your customer
ACOTNEWS
April 26, 2020
Note !!!!!  2020 schedule posted.  Click on banner above.

 Please check with each local venue or ACOT as event dates approch. ACOT expects cancelations and changes due to the pandemic.
 Our posted schedule on this website may not have last minute changes!  

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Member and longtime enthusiast John Calogero from the Rhinebeck, NY area contacted ACOT offering an article he wrote that appeared in ‘HAMB’ (jalopyjournal.com) a few years ago. For many of our readers of a certain age it reminds us of the time we realized we liked the smell of gasoline.
  


In the early fifties, quarter midgets were very popular in Nassau County where I lived. John's Dad, Harlan Howe decided to build a car for John and it was along the lines of what was sold out there but it had some special touches. It was rear engined but instead of the usual Continental 4 cycle it had a 2 stroke Sprite engine from a para-troopers motor bike and it could scream. Harlan played with the ports and pipes and jetting to tweak every bit of its potential. It was sleek, fiberglass- bodied, tube framed and cool beyond a ten-year old's wildest dreams. Almost as soon as the white No. 12 was sorted, Harlan began another car, the red mico-midget No. 20. He knew what to improve and he had the extraordinary skills to do it. He was an electrician/gunsmith/machinist-master of any tool I ever saw in his home. He made custom rifles, restored old sports cars, made ANY parts he needed and kept us all spellbound with his patient instruction and willingness to repair anything we broke.

I watched as the tubing arrived and was skillfully bent and brazed/welded into a frame. Suspension points were added, plates for bearings and shafts, backing plates fabbed for hydraulic brakes, pedals formed, firewalls shaped etc. etc. He created a mold and plaster and screen held it together as he layed up a glass body, remember, this was still a black art at the time and Corvettes had just come on the scene. Sanding, shaping gradually we began to see what he had in mind and we were without words. Being peripherally involved with the construction of this car, known simply as number 20 was more influential than I would ever imagine. His influence, along with my Hot Rod older brothers set me on a path I still follow at age 68.


Details of the car:
Shape is reminicent of a Ferrari Gran Prix car
Front engine-rear wheel drive
Vespa Scooter engine case modified to accept a drive sprocket
Integral 3 speed trans
Chain drive down the side to the rear.
Drive wheel can be switched by swapping key and hub from side to side.
Fiat steering box offset for leg room and chain driven from steering wheel shaft (changeable ratios). Hand-made steering wheel with gunstock wood inlayed
Buick master for rear hydraulic brakes
Independent front end-cross leaf spring with tension adjustment from side to side.
Milled wheel hub covers and matching gas cap
Nerfs to prevent wheel contact


I was able to squeeze into it once when I was about 11 or so. I was graciously allowed to take a few laps around the Sunday parking lot track and to say I was thrilled was an understatement. All that came back to me a hundred-fold about twenty years later when John decided to move his successful Porsche repair business to California. Knowing I had two kids, he offered the long idle racer to me. I was on my way to pick it up in a matter of minutes! It was as last raced and took some engine work to come back to life. I sent the engine to Scooterworks, a repair facility in Chicago, for honing and new rings. They called when it arrived to say they had never seen a piston so beautifully modified with special reliefs added for heat expansion. (I could almost hear Harlan laughing in the background.)

There is no venue for this car in Dutchess County where I raised my kids. We ran it in parking lots when they were empty. The kids grew quickly as they do---but now there is a crop of Grandkids who will soon be introduced to Number 20. My instinct in the 80s was to restore it with fresh paint etc. I resisted. It still looks exactly as it did the l
ast time John roared around the track passing the other racers with the two-stroke scream as he went. It could easily be done over to look museum-like and pristine. But each time I look at it and think of the fun it will bring the next round of little drivers, it reminds me of a simpler time, a great time, and of good friends, one with a fantastic father who understood kids and all things mechanical. It wears its scars and bruises proudly.

John was active in the quarter midget scene on Long Island in the late 50's. He can be reached at  845 266 5304.
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Click on 'Event Photos' button below for prior years events. Send in your photos from our events.
2019 Event Photos
Photos of 2019 Events
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Send pictures and descriptions if you would like you car's history included in the ACOT car gallery: 
 'digital'...........       johnjwaples@gmail.com
 'hard copy' ...      Jeff Waples  70 Ives road, East Greenwich, RI. 02818     
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Our members and other visitors enjoy our 'Members and Cars' section. We encourage all members to submit images of their cars that have not been included. In other cases, a photo used might not be the owner's favorite. Please provide your preferred image. The image can be either a regular hard copy photo or transmitted through email.
The addresses are:

      Jeff Waples, 70 Ives Road, East Greenwich RI, 02818
      johnjwaples@gmail.com
Track History: ​​
'Midgets at Cherry Park'
Car History: 1939
Hillegass Midget #43
Printable 
ACOT
Membership
Form
                  Car History:                   La Tell Sprint  #55
2017 Event Photos
​2018 Event Photos
The Greco 43
​Car History:
​1989 Linblad Badger
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