Ladabouche Photo
The door off one of Howie Westervelt's earliest Wright cars,
as it sits at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

     Starting in the 1950's, Cliff Wright developed a name in the New York State racing community, mostly as a car builder and owner. Throughout much of the years that Wright had highly competitive coupes, he was partnered with sponsor, Tollgate Ice Cream - from Slingerlands, New York. Toll Gate owner Bob Zautner and Wright were familiar figures at tracks ranging from the Pine Bowl, to Fonda, to Lebanon Valley, to Stateline Speedway. I also think Don Zautner had involvement inthe team, as well.
    There is now nformation that Wright began working on race cars in the roadster era of 1949 - 1950, with a car rum by well - known roadster pilot Del Moak from Albany.
   The team had anywhere from one to as many as three cars during various time periods in the 1950's into the early '70's. Perhaps, the team reached its highest point of success in the later 1960's when they fielded the modified #24, driven mostly by Kenny Shoemaker, from Westmere. This car ran roughshod over the competition at major league tracks like Fonda and at smaller venues like Victoria.
   I feel privileged to have met Wright and Zautner at the once-monthly breakfast meet in Watervliet.

John Grady Photo
Cliff Wright poses with his potent #24 around 1966.


Courtesy of Sam Barlow
It doesn't get much earlier than this Del Moak car. Don't know the track he is at.

Courtesy of Sam Barlow
Said to be Jerry Papp,
spinning with the team's
very first stock car.

John Grady Photo
Howie with the same
car, the source of the
door at Saratoga. Looks
like Cliff at right.


Photo Source Unknown
Howie with an early
victory, with the whole team.

Joe Connors Photo
Doug Garrison,
Wright, Zautner, and
a very similar car.

Photo Source Unknown

From Racers Bored Site
Stretch Van Steenberg,
with what I believe to be
a Wright car.

Arnie Ainsworth Photo
Howie and Stretch
in Pine Bowl action.

Photographer Unknown
Howie with one of
the team's earlier cars,
at Pine Bowl.

Otto Graham Site
Schenectady Collection

Howie Westervelt,
Ravena, NY
at Fonda

Photographer Unknown
The car is beginning
to have that familiar
Wright / Zautner look-
particularly the roof light.

Russ Bergh Photo
Similar car, with more
refinement - at Fonda.

Ed Fuez Collection

Ray Williams Photo
Westervelt against
Van Steenberg at
The Valley.
From Tom Domery, Jr
Westervelt, in the midst of his record - setting
win spree at Lebanon Valley in the '50's. From
Left- Zautner, Tom Domery, Sr., Cliff,
and Howie.
Ken Gypson Collection
Westervelt wins one somewhere.
Ken Gypson Collection
Nice old color
Westervelt shot.
Lebanon Valley Classics
Another Van Steenberg.
Ken Gypson Collection
Early Fonda shot of Westervelt
with admiring fan or presenter.
Ken Gypson Collection
The Wright/Zautner Ford at Menands.
Unknown Source
A Wright car.
Ken Gypson Collection
Pine Bowl Victory Lane.

Ken Gypson Collection
Another Fonda shot of Westervelt
with Wright's T Bird - powered Ford.
Ken Gypson Collection
Westervelt, Cliff, UNK, and Bob
in some Victory Lane.
Ken Gypson Collection
Howie Westervelt in Victory Lane
enjoying the spoils.
Irv Conron Photo
Courtesy of Bud Verge
via Leb. Valley Classics
Westervelt 2with checkers
at Empire Raceway.
Source Unknown
Westervelt posing at Empire.
Sam Rosenberg Photo
Courtesy of Chas Hertica
Middletown, Sure looks like the
Wright / Zautner 83 in background.
Courtesy of Chas Hertica
Westervelt battles Garrison
at Lebanon Valley.
Gene Strenkowski Photo
Howie with an early
Wright/Zautner 83.


Race Songs Photo
Shoemaker at Victoria.

Russ Bergh Photo
Ladabouche Collection

Donny Wayman,
Cobleskill, NY
A circa 1964 version
Wright car - one of
last Fords

Conde / Parry Site
Donnie Wayman,
Cobleskill, NY
A car very similar
to the one Westervelt
poses with above and at left.

Russ Bergh Photo
Ladabouche Collection

Donny Wayman,
Cobleskill, NY
A circa 1965 version
Wright car - one of
first Chevies.
The one Shoe would drive.
Frank Simek Photo
Donnie Wayman, with the car
Shoe would take over.
Courtesy of Dan Ody
Shoemaker with that same car
as to the left.
Russ Bergh Photo
Shoemaker Biography
Ken Shoemaker,
Westmere, NY
At Fonda Speedway with the car
shown with Wayman above.
Frank Simek Photo
Shoemaker, at speed., early on
in his stint with Wright and

Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with a win at Victoria.
Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with that same car .
Shaney Lorenzet Photo
via Andy Fusco
Shoemaker at Stafford.
Russ Bergh Photo
via Dan Ody
Shoemaker with a win at Victoria.
From Dan Ody
Shoemaker at Fonda.

Jim Young Photo
Ladabouche Collection

This older man decided to clown
around and give the posing Shoe a
hard time before the shot at left. 
From Dan Ody
Shoemaker at Victoria.
Courtesy of Keith Shoemaker
Shoemaker with that
Walter Mateer Photo
via Joe Grossetti
It is said this is Johnny Flach at Langhorne driving the 9A.
Ron Wilson Photo
Still Shoemaker; still upright.
This is Malta.

Courtesy of Glen Tustin
Shoemaker with checkers.
Shoemaker Book
Cliff, behind Ken SHoemaker [as he always was] at Shoe's NYSSCRA induction.


Otto Graham Photo
Shoemaker was the first driver of the modified.


John Grady Photo
Shoemaker still driving; the
car is now lowered.
Ron Trombley Photo
At Airborne Speedway, where both
Shoe and MacTavish drove it.
Russ Bergh Photovia Lew Boyd
The 24 on its roof after mixing
it up with Dick Clark.

Courtesy of The Shoe Book
Shoemaker with another
pavement win.

Ladabouche Collection
Richie Evans succeeded Shoemaker ended up in the now - lowered pavement mod and had only a brief stint with it.
Frank Simek Photo
Shoemaker walks away after
dumping the 24 at Fonda.
Frank Simek Photo
Another shot of the same 24
wreck at Fonda. Car 10 unknown.
Ladabouche Collection
Don MacTavish ended up in the
pavement mod and had a brilliant
run with it.
Courtesy of Ace Kolar
Don, in color.
Courtesy of Joe Nett
MacTavish with the car,
altered to 24X.
Courtesy of Justin St. Louis
Don with the earlier version
of the pavement modifiedd.
Courtesy of Stock Car Racers Reunion
The potent 24 under a tree in pits
Courtesy of Frank Cornell Collection
MacTavish with yet another win.
Bob Mackey photo
Courtesy of John Rock
Mac, at Airborne.




From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
An early Wright car winning at Stateline with Doug Garrison at the controls.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Westervelt at Victoria.

From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Wayman winning at Victoria
with likely the same car.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Wayman at Victoria.
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD
Shoemaker at Malta
with an early pavement

Ladabouche Photo
Cliff Wright [ black hat] Bob Zautner to his right The monthly Watervliet  racing oldtimers' breakfast, Sam Barlow is at left [I don't know the other guy yet].
Bob Novak, a strong supporter of my work, is at the counter.

Return to the Main Page
Return to the Main News Page

Return to the All Links Page