The Page About the Henry Caputo
 and Chris Drellos Cars


     For several years in the late 1950's and the early - to -mid 1960's, there were a certain few sportsman coupes that always seemed to be pacesetters and whose owners attracted some of the cream of the era's available drivers.


Courtesy of Matt Reynolds

Henry Caputo's own team outfit.

 Courtesy of Mark Reynolds
A Caputo
driver's agreement sheet.
 Courtesy of Mark Reynolds
NASCAR results sheet from the 1956
modified/sportsman race. George Baumgardner
finished 42nd with the Caputo Mopar..
 Courtesy of Mark Reynolds
NASCAR winner's decal sent to Caputo.

         Starting in the 1950's,  Henry Caputo, a native of the Hudson Falls area of New York, fielded a couple of red and white coupes with a distinctive red and white paint scheme. Sometimes with a partner named Hansen, Caputo had a distinctive Plymouth coupe with a hemi and a slightly more typical Chevy, as well. Over his few years in the sport, Caputo had quite a roster of noteworthy drivers in his #11 and #111 - starting with George Baumgardner and Jeep Herbert. Others to drive the red and white cars included Tiger Tom Kotary, Jim Hoyt, of Saranac Lake, and Glens Falls native Earl Maille.

         We have just found out that Henry had another Mopar coupe before the familiar ones. Thanks to grandson, Matt Reynold, we have these photos.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
Ready before first race - at home.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
Apparently with Henry - at home.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
Ready before first race - at home.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
I wonder why the strange number.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
Ready before first race - at home.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
Nothing very elaborate about a stock car interior in 1952.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
Probably with an East End Auto wrecker.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
This one has some damage.

All Photos Courtesy fo Matt Reynolds
A good view of the car. No idea if it was successful. Popular lore is that Henry couldn't get the large Mopar engines to wind up enough to take advantage of the power.


From The Otto Graham Site Schenectady Collection
Little Jeep with the Plymouth

From The Otto Graham Site Schenectady Collection
Baumie with the Plymouth

        From what I have heard, Caputo ended up having some problems with an insurance settlement and had to sell off the team. Enter Chris Drellos, who took the Caputo cars to his head mechanic, Ed "Shortstroke" Wright's headquarters at Smith's Basin, a triangular piece of land east of Fort Ann, NY on Route 149. Drellos added matching, color-coordinated trailers and spiffed up the distinctive color scheme a bit more.

Bob Farlee Photo Courtesy of Joe Cryan
I absolutely love this photo, despite the fact it is not clear if it is in the Caputo or the Drellos era. The car was one of the
most accomplished ever and Bob captured those great old trailers off the massive World Of Mirth carnival train. Must have
been time for the Orange County Fair.

Russ Bergh Photo Courtesy of John Chest
The Caputo11 gets by as Corey flips Mott's 3 in the mid 1950's.

Herbert Family Collection
Jeep, again, with the Plymouth

Ed Fuez Collection
A rare shot of the Caputo Chevy, with
Tiger Tom Kotary picking up a win.
Joel Naprstek Collection
The 111 is beginning to show its dominance.

Biitig Collection
The Plymouth lands a Fonda win
with Earl Maille.

Herbert Family Collection
Jeep giving kiddie rides at Fonda -
with the seldom-photographed Chevy.

From the Shoemaker Book
Shoemaker with the 111 after various roof modifications: square flaps for Leb. Valley, a brake light, and an antenna mount. This is 1959, and they are using the antenna this time.

Bob Mackey Photo Via John Rock

Jeep, with the Caputo Plymouth, driving back
to view the carnage at Langhorne after the
Pete Corey accident that killed onlookers.

From the Shoemaker Book
Shoemaker with the newly - built 111.This is 1959.
No roof flaps or mounts would appear on this one.

Courtesy of Tom Herbert
Jeep with the Plymouth at an early Daytona race.
Russ Bergh Photo  Vogel Family Collection
Jeep, gives kiddie rides the first Caputo
Chevrolet. Unlike some, he actually enjoyed this.

Courtesy of Bill Farress
A Caputo coupe in a big Daytona race on the Beach
Course. That's the Turner Bros. 18 - also from New York.
Courtesy of Tom Herbert
A Caputo coupe in a big Fonda skirmish.
Visible are Ken Jones [71], Larry Nye [150] and
Robbie Kotary 188. Jeep is in the white JR Earl 991 sedan.
From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD's
A Caputo car [likely Shoemaker ] is involved in a big pileup
at Stateline Speedway during the historic Don Henderberg
Memorial race around 1959.
Maynard Johnson Photo via Otto Graham
Caputo's 111 sits to the far left in a heat lineup during the Don Henderberg Memorial program at
Stateline Speedway.
 Photo via Otto Graham
Caputo's 11 sits
on the grid at Langhorne. It is
either Jeep or Baumie.
Bob Mackey Photo via John Rock
Caputo's 11
at Airborne
Park Speedway with
George Baumgardner
Bob Mackey Photo via Mike Watts, Sr.
Pit work on Caputo's 11 in the infield
at Airborne.
Bob Mackey Photo via Mike Watts, Sr.
Jeep Herbert with Caputo's 11 in Vic. Lane
at Airborne.
Courtesy of the Starin family
Jeep, with one of the team cars.
Courtesy of Otto Graham
Jeep flashes by Chet Hames to win a Fonda race
in the #11 Chevy.
Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock
Jeep, with one of the team cars.

Gett Images
Irv Taylor with what seems to be one of the team cars.
Looks like the 11, with the number changed. Rare shot.
Courtesy of Ken Moeller
Jeep, well up front in a Langhorne lineup
in the #11 Plymouth.

Courtesy Bob Farlee Photo
The 111, early in its life.

Sharon Mazet Photo Courtesy of 3 Wide Site
One of the team cars and a hauler in the infield
at Middletown.

Joe Cryan Photo
An extremely rare photo of the Caputo late model body
Plymouth business coupe and one of the haulers. Notice the sign for Henry's Hudson Falls business on the side.

Courtesy of Gene Stratton
This shot of an early Gil Bruss 22 shows the Caputo
111 in the background.

Russ Bergh Photo Courtesy of Dave Dykes
Shoemaker with an obviously brand new 111.

Russ Bergh Photo Courtesy of
Keith Shoemaker
Shoemaker with the same 111 as left. I don't know if this is the exact same car as the own he took with him to the Drellos team, as
that one did not have the door  widened on the outside.

Courtesy of Rick Parry
Tiger Tom Kotary, at Utica - Rome in an unfamiliar
sportsman, is wearing his Caputo team jacket.
John Grady Photo Courtesy of Herbert Family
Jeep with a Fonda win in the 11.
Russ Bergh Photo Courtesy of Dave Dykes
This is said to be Irv Taylor, with a Caputo 111,
winning at Fonda.
Bob Mackey Photo via Edward B. Brown III
Shoemaker leading Jim Luke in Hal Kempeny's 113
amd someone in Allie Swears' 51 at Airborne Park Speedway.
I don't recall the 111 ever being a 3 window coupe.
Bergh Photo Courtesy of Robert Salyers
A Fonda win with Ken late in the Caputo era.
Courtesy of Matt Reynolds
A model of the 11.
Both Photos From Bob Kilburn
Very Small photos of Shoe with the
Caputo 111 at Fonda.

Courtesy of Keith Tesiero Jr.
Early Ken with early 111.
Courtesy of Rick Parry
Shoe, at speed in the 111.

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock
Earl Maille with Caputo 11 at Airborne.

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of C.J. Richards
The Caputo 111 at Airborne, along with Johnny Jones' Red Knoblach 13 and the Tucker - owned C37 of Sapphire LeClaire.

Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of John Rock

Jeep Herbert as Northern NY Champion with Caputo 11 at Airborne.

Photo Courtesy of SIlo

Jeep Herbert as Northern NY Champion with Caputo 11 at Airborne.


 Courtesy of Andre Chausse
Grainy 8MM footage captures Shoemaker, with a Caputo coupe at Quebec's Riverside Speedway in Laval.

 Courtesy of Rick Parry
Shoemaker, with a Caputo coupe that had to be "renumbered" as H1.

Both Photos Courtesy of Otto Graham
An extremely RARE photo of a Caputo late model - bodied car in that era where you could use a bigger motor if you used
ine of those heavier cars. This is Middletown. Below- This shot of Baumgardner [or maybe Jeep] at Middletown shows the Caputo
team hauler truck in the infield.

Provided by Sharon Mazet
The Caputo hauler truck is seen very clearly in this Middletown shot. The team car 11 is nearby. Did they really bring three cars ?


       The Drellos era started with the lead car , #111 being driven by Kenny Shoemaker. The other car - never as successful, ran first as 111A with Jeep Herbert and soon was replaced and fielded as #11, with Pete Corey. Corey won some with the car before it was sold to Cliff Barcomb for Buck Holliday, of the northern hamlet of Waddington. Holliday ran the car [sort of into the ground] for a couple of years and then I don't know where it went from there. A second 111 was built; that is the one that infamously burned at Fonda during a 1963 100 lapper. The replacement would be later sold to Ernie Gahan.

Bill Ladabouche Photo
The Drellos flagship car - Shomaker's 111
after a win at Otter Creek in 1963. Note the
trailer with matches the Corey picture below.

John Grady Photo
Shoe, with the 111 right before Drellos
took over the team. This might be the one he
and Irv Tayloir built.

Russ Bergh Photo
Jeep, with the Drellos backup. The car
was often on the trailer with breakdowns.

Russ Bergh Photo
Shoe with his familiar victory pose.

Photo Source Unknown
Kenny with the backup car
usually driven by Jeep

John Grady Photo
Shoemaker puts the 111 through its paces
against future team mate Herbert at
Victoria. This could also be still in
the Caputo era.
Ladabouche Photo
The Drellos team, identifed on small signs on their trailers, tows in Corey's 11 at Fonda.
Ladabouche Collection
Jeep, in the 111A, climbs onto the Richard Welch 77, driven by former Caputo team mate George Baumgardner.
Drawing by Ladabouche
My rendering of the balky three window Jeep
tried to win with around 1963.
Frank Simek Photo
Corey, in the Drellos team car, leads
Allie Swears' 51 with his driver ju jour.
Shany Lorenzet Photo
via Andy Fusco

Corey wins one at Stafford Springs
on the dirt track.
Frank Simek Photo
Corey sets the Drellos team car
to slide into Turn One at Fonda.
Frank Simek Photo
Shoe, in the Drellos 111 car, attacks
Fonda's turn much like Corey.
Frank Simek Photo
The Drellos 111 and Kenny
in Fonda's Vic Lane as Chet
Hames tries to stay out of the shot.
More Corey in Vic Lane.
Courtesy of Woody Woodbury
Shoemaker in the pits at Otter Creek
Speedway, Waltham, VT
Courtesy of Conde & Parry Website
and Corey, as team mates.
Courtesy of HAMB Site
Shoemaker in the pits at Fonda
with Corey alongside.
Russ Bergh Photo Courtesy of Otto Graham
Paul Marshall with the same ineffective 111A backup car as Jeep struggled with.
From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD's
Shoemaker  at Otter Creek Speedway on the inside with Paul Marshall in the next row.
From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD's
Corey at Syracuse in 1964.
From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD's
Jeep Herbert in the backup car at Victoria.
From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD's
Shoemaker at Langhorne.
John Grady Photo
Chet Hames is caught in mid jump as
he signals a Corey / Drellos win.

Courtesy of Dan Ody
Jeep, with the troublesome 111A. 
Russ Bergh Photo
Shoemaker's infamous fire during the
long distance ran won by Danish in 1963. Ken had set a record qualifying.

From the Shoemaker Book
Shoe, in a car 11 that is not the one Corey ran.

Russ Bergh Photo via Boyd Collection
Ho hum ... 'nuther trophyfrom Fonda.


 Rick Parry Photo
Pete's 11.
Russ Bergh Photo via Pete Corey Jr.
A blurry shot of Pete and the 11.

Russ Bergh Photo via Dave Dykes
Another win in one of Shoe's strongest runs.
From the SHoemaker Book
Shoemaker with the 111 after various roof modifications: square flaps for Leb. Valley, a brake light, and an antenna mount. This is 1959. 

Russ Bergh Photo  Ed Feuz Collection
Pete Gets a model of the Drellos
11 at Fonda.

Russ Bergh Photo
Jeep with the problematic 3 window

Russ Bergh Photo via Rick Parry
A rare shot of Ken and the 111A.

        Drellos seems to have dropped off the scene by around 1964 or 65. According to son, George, his wife never sharded his enthusiasm for racing and he finally got out of the game. He contracted heart problems and would pass away many years later. The fire in 1963 temporarily destroyed Shoemaker's newer car. If I have the information straight now, here is how the cars went: The original Caputo cars went like this: The Chevy was junked; and the Plymouth was wrecked. The potent 111 went to Drellos and evdentually was sold to Frank Trinkhuas.
        Shoemaker and Irv Taylor built the second 111 when the old one became, in their view, out of date. The problematic three window 111A  was junked and - a little later - the 11 was built for Corey to drive. That one was eventually sold to Buck Holiday. The Shoemaker/Taylor built car 111 was sold to Ernie Gahan.
        Henry Caputo broke the mold on car ownership. He was a visionary, and he really advanced a number of ideas for what a car owner should be. Drellos was also forward thinking and generolus with his team, but he did not remain healthy long enough to make a bigger mark. But, the history left behind by the two teams will be set into New York state racing history forever.

From the Shoemaker Book
Shoemaker with the 111 jacket he would wear, starting with Caputo and all through Drellos.


Photo Source Unknown
The Drellos cars in the Fonda pits.


JohnGrady Photo
Ernie Gahan tries out the 111.

John Grady Photo
Drellos sold the former Corey car to
Buck Holliday around 1964.

John Grady Photo
Holliday didn't take long to uglify the
former Drellos car. Note engine position.


Courtesy of Ron Wetzler
Gahan, again, at Stafford.

Courtesy of Conde/Parry Site
This might be the Drellos car Trinkhaus bought.

From the Shoemaker Book
Shoemaker with the 111 after Trinkhaus had bought it.
Russ Bergh Photo  Courtesy of Dave Dykes
Shoe, with a brand new 111 that he and IrvTaylor reportedly made. This is earlier in the Drellos era.
Russ Bergh Photo
Shoemaker ges the win in the111
and Irv Taylor built for Drellos.

From Fonda Facebook Page
Chris' son, George and Grandson Demetrius Drellos [driver] did these tribute graphics.


Return to the Main Page
Return to the Main News Page
Return to the All Links Page
Return to the New York Drivers Link Page