Great Bend, 1999

The Denver Flatheaders Race


To say that attendance was down would be something of an understatement. Only three flatheaders showed up and none of them were from Denver. In fact none were from Colorado.

Wayne Lichtenwalter was there in his '46 coupe from Nebraska, Whitey McDonald had his nitro powered dragster from Wichita, and new to me was Larry Putz of Hayes, Kansas. Larry had a very nice looking blown flathead dragster running on alcohol.

It was just about the strangest race I have ever been to. The flatheads never really made it past time trials. Larry Putz made some promising passes, but kept loosing the blower belt. What was eventually discovered was that in the haste of assembly, someone forgot to put on the collar with the spiral seal in it that slips over the crankshaft and the pulley just slipped on back about halfway through the run. Larry called it quits.

Whitey made a good strong pass, but blew a bunch of smoke out of the engine near the finish line. There was a lot of oil on the engine and cowl, so Whitey figured his day was over and called it quits, too. Wayne Lichtenwalter was the only man left standing, so to speak, and was declared the winner.

The sad thing is that after the winner was declared, Whitey pulled his heads, couldn't find anything wrong, put it back together, and made another pass. The thing ran fine. Oh well. That's racing.

Now for the pictures: