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The importance of the good SOUNDS

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  • The importance of the good SOUNDS

    The Stock racers here are going through another discussion of motors and classes and attracting new people to the sport (see, "The Silly Season" --pav225 ).

    Well, what attracted a lot of us, back in the golden years (full fields of Stocks!! elimination heats!!!) of the Sixties (when, BY THE WAY, every Stock motor we used was out of production), was the wonderful low (7100-7200) rpm crackle of the converted Mk20H. What little I knew then was more about hot car engines (Ford 312 Y-block, home-ported with 3/4 cam, trip-deuces), and if I hadn't gone to a local SOA stock-only race and heard the SOUND of a full field of B's making a start, I'd probably have got associated with Inboards.

    Never minimize the importance of SOUND in attracting fans and perspective new drivers. Look at the phenomenal sales success of Harley Davidson, building motorcycles whose chief distinction is that they have that deep, elemental rumble, where all the other bikes hum or howl. The NASCAR rules-makers understood the importance of SOUND when they cut off the threat of the quietly whooshing turbine cars by banning them from Indy-car racing. In contrast, the Unlimited owners failed to stop the ascendancy of the turbines over the old roaring Rolls and Allison V-12s . . . which led to a huge drop in spectator (and media) interest, to the point now where Seattle television has dropped the raceday coverage of the Seafair Races after 66 years.

    The only thing guys here seem to notice is the granny-ladies and busybodies who try and sometimes succeed at getting us thrown off of lakes. And that surely is a problem. But people like that would try to rid of the raceboats even if they were all muffled. Meanwhile, at bodies of water where the local town is enthusiastic about the annual boat races, the SOUND is a major attraction for the race fans AND any prospective new drivers in the crowd.

    I bet you would gain way more than you lost if those low-revving Sidewinders and Y-80s were mounted on old 20H-style toilet-bowl towerhousings. You're reading this thinking it's sort of a silly idea. But if you ever get a chance to see the Reno Air Races, where you can still hear the old Unlimited V-12s making their full-boosted 3300rpm music, you'll understand the importance of SOUND!!!!!

    (FWIW, Ron Anderson made a tricky wood pattern and had an exhaust header-section cast that adapted the old Champ Hot Rod to a 20H towerhousing. Maybe he still has that pattern . . . . )
    Last edited by Smitty; 12-01-2017, 11:42 AM.

  • #2

    Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

    I agree sound is important. I have been to the Daytona NASCAR races and the sound of those cars is at least 70% of the race and even though the Tesla S P100D is really fast with 0 to 60 reported less than 2.3 sec and huge quick 1/4 mile time fast for a street car but it has that darn near silent whrrrrrrrrrr sound that is disappointing.
    Ram4x4 likes this.
    "Keep Move'n" life is catching up!

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    • #3

      Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

      Our Sidewinder 15 is turning 7700/7800 rpm's depending on which prop were running.Thats a low-revving engine?

      Comment


      • MITCH MEYER
        MITCH MEYER commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes that is low revving, my American Hot Rod 15SS turned 8400-8600 rpm every weekend and my 350 Yamato Pro motor turned 14200 rpm with no issues.

    • #4

      Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

      Sound is what got me involved,moved to Lakeland in the fifth grade mowed the lawn on Saturday morning and then heard an unusual noise, went to find it and there was the Orange Cup, been there ever since and that was 61 years ago.
      Racers Edge likes this.

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      • #5

        Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

        There is nothing like 11 Classic B's coming up to the starting line like we have at Gravenhurst! However sitting at the lake
        having a morning coffee .....not such a great sound. Testing mods is a real issue anywhere now.

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        • #6

          Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

          ZUL8TR mentions Teslas. Having watched Top Fuelers and Funnies and Fuel Altereds beginning in the "American Graffitti" years, I can't imagine caring enough to walk across the street to watch a drag race of nothing but electric cars. And motorcycles!; electric motorcycles strike me as a sign that the communists must have actually won the Cold War!! Grump, grump.

          Well, I'm glad I lived when I did (growing up riding propeller airliners with four 2500hp radial engines, oh yeah!). I'm glad to have grown up in a generation (early Boomers) that could easily find a worn-out but mechanically-simple old car for twenty five bucks and slowly learn all the systems while getting the thing semi-road-worthy, all the time counting the days to when we'd turn sixteen. Nowdays we hear that more and more of today's teens aren't much interested in getting their licenses. Wow, what a change! The way things appear to be going in modern life, in a decade or two, outboard racing will feature robotic drivers, running silent electric boats. And while these noiseless rigs can be tested anywhere, anytime, what's left of the sport will be an utterly unnoticed pastime of a tiny little in-crowd of owners and their families, . . . and nobody else will bother to come watch . . . . Does this sound like just the usual cranky and boring pessimism of the elderly? Fine, welcome to the new age, the new age of socially approved QUIET.

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          • #7

            Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

            ZUL8TR mentions Teslas. Having watched Top Fuelers and Funnies and Fuel Altereds beginning in the "American Graffitti" years, I can't imagine caring enough to walk across the street to watch a drag race of nothing but electric cars. And motorcycles!; electric motorcycles strike me as a sign that the communists must have actually won the Cold War!! Grump, grump.

            Well, I'm glad I lived when I did (growing up riding propeller airliners with four 2500hp radial engines, oh yeah!). I'm glad to have grown up in a generation (early Boomers) that could easily find a worn-out but mechanically-simple old car for twenty five bucks and slowly learn all the systems while getting the thing semi-road-worthy, all the time counting the days to when we'd turn sixteen. Nowdays we hear that more and more of today's teens aren't much interested in getting their licenses. Wow, what a change! The way things appear to be going in modern life, in a decade or two, outboard racing will feature robotic drivers, running silent electric boats. And while these noiseless rigs can be tested anywhere, anytime, what's left of the sport will be an utterly unnoticed pastime of a tiny little in-crowd of owners and their families, . . . and nobody else will bother to come watch . . . . Does this sound like just the usual cranky and boring pessimism of the elderly? Fine, welcome to the new age, the new age of socially approved QUIET.
            Grew up in that same era with cars you could actually find room under the hood to work on with simple systems and drag races with loud engines. I would not like a silent electric dragster. We raced 1/4 mile and did our own engine and chassis work, was fun, great time to be in.
            "Keep Move'n" life is catching up!

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            • #8

              Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

              Here here!!

              Let there be noise!

              Don't get me wrong, there is a certain tech coolness to electric drag bikes and cars, but only from the sense of novelty. I'd never, ever want them to replace top fuelers. But, as Smitty says, unfortunately, it is the wave of the future. Save the earth, go green and all that stuff.

              I agree, screaming engines attract crowds at a race. I get it too that people want to complain about noise at their weekend cottage or if they live on a river or lake, but it's not like we're there every weekend. Geez, one or two weekends per year. You'll always have your haters, no matter what you do.

              In fact, one of our distinguished club members told us that the town of one of our race sites wants us on the water making noise on Friday (when we have our driver school) and since we also run mods there too, we do pretty good at raising the ambient noise level in the area. :-)
              dpdeck likes this.
              Dane Lance
              700-P
              CSH/500Mod

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              • #9

                Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                There was nothing as heart thumping and exciting as 12 B "Thunder Mugs" coming on down the start echoing off the hillsides.. Especially if your hand was on the throttle!. TROA early 60's.
                Bill Thomas

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                • #10

                  Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                  I read an article recently that NASCAR is considering lowering the noise of cars by up to 30db. They say their fans want it so they can stand around and chit chat during the race, but it also says they are being pressured to do it because of hearing damage that can occur if you sit at the race without hearing protection.

                  Sounds to me more like government nanny state business. You know, so much crap gets enacted "for our protection" because people are too stupid to take their own precautions.

                  Dane Lance
                  700-P
                  CSH/500Mod

                  Comment


                  • #11

                    Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                    The Stock racers here are going through another discussion of motors and classes and attracting new people to the sport (see, "The Silly Season" --pav225 ).


                    (FWIW, Ron Anderson made a tricky wood pattern and had an exhaust header-section cast that adapted the old Champ Hot Rod to a 20H towerhousing. Maybe he still has that pattern . . . . )

                    I saw that header part, not the pattern at his shop years ago as well. Same day I discovered Anzani blocks were cast iron!.

                    Comment


                    • #12

                      Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                      What is a steam locomotive without its whistle?

                      Comment


                      • #13

                        Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                        Our Sidewinder 15 is turning 7700/7800 rpm's depending on which prop were running.Thats a low-revving engine?
                        Yes, low RPM, Rossi and VRP turn over 14,000 RPM and that is low compared to the 20,000 a Formula One race car used to turn (now F-1 is restricted to 15.000 RPM). It is all in comparison to something else. But compared to a state-of-the-art outboard racing engine 7700/7800 is pretty low rpm.



                        Comment


                        • dwhitford
                          dwhitford commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Even Loopers in the middle-late 1960s turned close to 9000. My best long-course setup (for Valleyfield) turned 8850. I revved higher on short courses with smaller props. My Quincy Z-engine turned 11,500 at Ocoee in the early 1980s, on just a medium course.

                      • #14

                        Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                        Understand, I'm not talking about merely making noise. The lower-rpm open pipe engines produce the more soul-satisfying deep sounds; AGAIN, look at the popularity of Harleys if you think sounds are not particularly important in marketing a product, or I should say, an experience. I'm thinking one of the specifically Stock motors might be set up to produce these sounds. After all, the 20Hs started out quiet, and were given the toilet bowl only because they were getting beat by the Champs, so we have already seen that this can be done, has been done, and with no big disruption.

                        Engines that scream can get a little tiresome after a while, which is one of the reasons that our local combined Stock/Alky races were good, in that you could alternate quiet motors and screamers. And 20Hs.

                        (Almost too bad that Swanson/Sidewinder had not got all the tooling to build 20Hs instead of Champs, and that the BSH/BU classes had carried on all these years. Look at old figures on numbers of owners for each class, and you'll see how popular B Stock was and remained for many years.).

                        I offered, only as a suggestion, the idea of one or both of the Sidewinder engines as possible candidates for the reason that, alluding to what Mr.Chance said, those old-fashioned deflector engines, however well-made they may be, are hardly state-of-the-art today. I would think they could be set up to sound like 20Hs without major changes (depending on what seems like "major" to present owners . . . ). And though I contend that it would be do-able, very possibly most current owners would not want the change. My other suggested motor possibility was the Y80. Well???

                        (Old Region 10 guys treasure the memory of racing at Crescent Bar in the Columbia River near Quincy, WA. Over the millennia the river had cut its way down though the terrain, leaving a sheer cliff of beautiful red rock behind the bar, where we usually set up the course. That cliff was a dandy reflector of sounds, and none better than those made by 12 B Stocks, Hydro or Runabout.)
                        Last edited by Smitty; 12-05-2017, 10:48 AM.

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                        • #15

                          Re: The importance of the good SOUNDS

                          https://search.aol.com/aol/video?q=q...t=loki-keyword

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                          • dwhitford
                            dwhitford commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Those videos bring back some potent memories, Paul. Too bad we don't have sound from Bill Fales's big runabout. He & Ellie Langdon (his ''wrench'') told me that Bill ran his Looper 6 at 10,000+ RPM. His engine sounded more like a big wounded cat than an outboard engine. I never heard anything similar, except from F1 V12 car engines turning 20-thou from days of yore.
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