Year:  1977
Driver:   Ralph Perrone
Photo Contributed by: Ralph Photo Credits: 1st unknown, the other’s Ralph’s pal “with the new camera”.
The Back Story: 

Mystery Driver #23

Ralph Perrone was your typical LV fan, he attended the races every Saturday night, thought it looked like fun, and wanted in on the action.  He enlisted the help of his co-worker and mini stock competitor Bob Duzlak.  Upon Bob’s advice, Ralph purchased a car midway through the ’75 season, and as they say the rest is history.  I caught up with Ralph, and here’s what he had to say about his days at LV.

     I purchased the car complete from John Buehler, I'm pretty sure I paid $1300 for the car midway thru the 1975 season. I borrowed an open car trailer from John Turner for a couple of weeks until I could get my own.  Paid $750 for a used tandem axle 4 sled snowmobile trailer, my total expense to get on the track was $2050 plus a fire suit since the car was ready to race as purchased. 

    I don't remember what my winnings were that first half year,( probably not much since I crashed almost every week)  but I remember making around $600 the next  year and $700 the last year I ran. Spent only around $500 on tires for 3 years running.  Never had a major engine blow-up so I avoided any huge costs there, but I replaced the piston and cylinder assemblies every third week, ( 8800 rpm is tough on VW pistons ). Bob Hackel used to give me a great deal on these ( I remember around $45 for a set ) so that was still not a huge expense. I could honestly say that I probably came close to breaking even over the years of running the car.

    I ended up scoring 2 wins, both I think Hackel let me win (Ralph adds with a laugh) and finished 2nd in points in 1978, my final year, to Mr. Hackel himself.  My reason for quitting truly was mostly due to my wife being pregnant with my son; that and the fact that the next year the mini's were to run only part time & that made the decision all that much easier for me.

     I Ended up selling the car to some guy or a group of guys from Baltimore, Hackel arranged for this also... $350 for just the rolling chassis, don't remember their names and never heard about the car again.  I Still have the engine to this day, and I am running the block and crank in a street VW.  My son used some of the other parts in a VW drag car that he ran in 2000 and 2001.

We personally want to thank Ralph for sending in the great pics and taking the time to discuss in details his days of competing at LV.  We here at LVC find every competitors story, whether it be a Modified Champions, or a one and done street stock competitor story fascinating, and we love hearing from you.


Additional Comments:  

Winners in the Mystery Driver Contest: Ed Forfa
David Perrone (We here at LVC thinks there
MAY have been a little inside info conspiracy going on here)
Russ Blake



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Lebanon Valley Classics