Rolling chassis ready
to leave for Kansas.
The San Diego, CA based Croshier-Baltes-Lavato
AA/FD was originally built in early 1963 and campaigned through
the 1964 season. The chassis was built by "TV Tommy"
Ivo and Rod Peppmuller. Bob Sorrell sculpted the aluminum body.
In the two years it ran the car had 3 different paint schemes.
It was recreated with its 1964 colors.
Baltes during the 1963 Winternationals at Pomona. As was the
norm prior to the advent of multi-disc "slipper" clutches
in 1967, the fuel dragsters would smoke the tires far down the
track - sometimes the entire quarter mile.
Glenn Miller -- Trackside
The team called
San Diego Raceway (Ramona) their home track and thrilled many
a fan with runs like this.
Bob Hardee Photo
- AA/FD - Rockford, IL in 1964
leaves on Tom Hanna at Ramona 1964. Ironically Hanna would be
the craftsman who would recrate the Baltes car in 2004.
US Nationals at Indianapolis, IN
Later in 1964, near the end of
its career, the car sported the new "zoomie" headers
and a Tom Hanna front wing.
In 1964 Baltes and crew used
this state-of-the-art transporter for their Eastern and Midwest
This is an ad from Drag News
in 1965. The car was sold and one can only imagine how Baltes,
after doing a very high dollar recreation, feels about seeing
Four decades after Jerry Baltes
last raced the car he, like many before him, got the urge to
"do it again". Fast forward to 2005. After an exhaustive
four year search, Baltes was unable to locate the original car
so he contacted Rod Peppmuller to reconstruct the chassis. Peppmuller
dusted off his memory and built a very clean rendition of his
original chassis. With the original body builder Bob Sorrell
having sadly passed on, Baltes contracted his old friend Tom
Hanna to do the rest. According the Hanna, "To those who
do not know him, Jerry is as nice a person as one would ever
want to know and super to work for. He just wanted it to be instantly
identifiable as the original car albeit cleaned up a bit."
Cleaned up "a bit"
means one thing to most people and an entirely other thing to
Tom Hanna. The bare chassis was delivered to his Wichita, KS
shop in early 2005 and he and his crew went to work on it. We
hope you enjoy the following photos of Hanna incredible craftsmanship,
the end product and the cars Cacklefest debut.
The chassis under construction
at Rod Peppmuller's shop.
The completed chassis on its
way to Hanna's for the body and accessories after leaving Peppmuller's
Hanna built a wooden
form to let him shape the nose cone.
The seat proved to be
tricky as it incorporates a 3rd member cover.
The first project was the full
aluminum body. Hanna started by installing the rear body mounts
to the chassis.
Among the "trick"
parts machined at Hanna's are the clutch pedal and throttle pedal.
The custom steering wheel
made for Jerry Baltes.
Hanna wanted to maintain the
"look" of the original Moon fuel tank but increase
the amount of fuel it would hold. This his version of a Moon-cackle-tank.
They also machined a
Thompson blower manifold pop-off assembly from scratch.
The original upholstery
was recreated in house.
A later model Enderle
injector was modified to reflect the 1964 look.
Great care was taken
to insure that the blower to manifold surfaces were dead flat.
The chassis is powder
coated and ready for final assembly.
The Master - Tom Hanna
As the major part of
the work neared completing Hanna's shop looked uncharacteristically
Once it was finished
to Hanna's standards, the body was primered.
Bob Creitz assembled
the engine and did the installation.
As a tribute to the late
Bob Sorrell, Hanna made this special emblem in place of his standard
Missing only paint the
finished car sees daylight for the first time outside of Hanna's
Tom Hanna, Jerry Baltes
and Bob Creitz.
The People Who Made
No problem is too great for team
Hanna. When they were unable to find a pair of nice Mickey Thompson
aluminum valve covers (which Baltes ran in 1964) Hanna got a
pair of aftermarket covers and machined the Thompson name in
Jess Van Deventer
Cheesecake shots from
the CHRR debut in 2002.
The cars next appearance
was at CHRR XIV (Cacklefest VI) in 2005.
Cacklefest parade at
Bakersfield in 2005.
The car made its Cacklefest debut
at the 2005 National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, KY with
Jerry Baltes in the seat. It also joined the "Queen of The
Hop" club with a display and fire-up on Friday night after
the CHRR Honorees Award Presentation.