The Page About the Henry Caputo and Chris Drellos Cars

           Elevens Wild !          

     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.

      
         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.


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 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.


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.
 
 
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.

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.

Russ Bergh Photo
Shoe with his familiar victory pose.
 
Courtesy of Tom Herbert
J Caputo coupe in a big Fonda skirmish.
Visible are Ken Jones [71], Larry Nye [150] and Robbie Kotary 188. Jeep is in the whote 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.
   
Courtesy of Ken Moeller
Jeep, well up front in a Langhorne lineup
in the #11 Plymouth.

 


      

 
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 refurbished 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.


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.
 
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.
 
NESCOT PHOTO
More Corey in Vic Lane.
 
Courtesy of Woody Woodbury
Shoemaker in the pits at Otter Creek
Speedway, Waltham, VT
 
Courtesy of Conde & Parry Website
Shoemaker
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.
 

 


        Drellos seems to have dropped off the scene by around 1964 or 65. He unfortunately contracted cancer. A fire in 1963 temporarily destroyed Shoemaker's dominating 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 seond 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
he
and Irv Taylor built for Drellos.

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