LITTLE JEEP



THE CONSIDERABLY LONG SAGA
OF HOWARD HERBERT


Source Unknwn
Jeep
's nickname supposedly came from the post - WWII cartoon dog which briefly appeared with Popeye.

EARLY RACING YEARS

     Like thousands of others, Howard Herbert, a diminutive man from the Capuital District in, New York, came back from service in WWII with a terrible cigarette habit and a hankering for
some excitement that didn't include any Japanese or German weaponry. The Jeep nickname came from an exasperated employer, and his fame came from driving stock cars, which he started in at very early venues like the track in Perth, NY.


Herbert Family Photo
 Jeep at some early  track starting a race
in the #451 - his first real race car. The 451
was quite common for such a seemingly
wierd number. I wonder what the significance
was to these post WWII guys.

Herbert Family Photo
 Jeep and some of his homies at some early
race track waiting for a race.

Herbert Family Photo
 Someone must have convinced Jeep
to build a a car and do a barrel
crashing. This was common in the
late 1940's for local drivers to dostunts
to attract more spectators.

 

Herbert Family Photo
 Some
of the boys around the 451 at Perth.

Herbert Family Photo
 Jeep with that early
#451, in rare early color.

Herbert Family Photo
 Jeep's first race car - at home.

Herbert Family Photo
Jeep bought that car for a whole $25.00.

Starin Family Photo
 Jeep at
Perth, around 1949.

Herbert Family Photo
Checking out the car on the hook.


Photo Source Unknown
Jeep Herbert poses with the Bob Mott 3, which also brought Pete Corey to fame.

 

THE MOTT 3 ERA

     For those few races I got to see at Pico Raceway, in 1951 and 1952, one of the few names I could remember was that of Jeep Herbert. Howard Herbert, a diminutive and popular driver from Rotterdam, New York, was well into a successful career that would span almost two decades by the time he came into Vermont. Herbert, most likely, was driving the yellow and silver Mott #3 at that time. The Mott car was usually silver and yellow, although, when it was first out, it was a crudely - lettered plain yellow.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, in Mott's car, racing Jack Barney at Stateline.


Herbert Family Photo
Howard Herbert, in his prime.


Herbert Family Photo
Bob Whitbeck,[right] moves
in to help Jeep at some track.

Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, in Mott's car, winning at Stateline.

HAMB Site Photo
Jeep, in Victory Lane
at Fonda in the Mott
car.
 

Herbert FamilyPhoto
Jeep, watching work
on the Mott car.

Photo Source Unknown
Jeep Herbert poses with
 the Bob Mott 3.
 

McDowell Photo from Ken Gypson
Bob Mott , himself.

Herbert FamilyPhoto
Jeep, working Danish
on the inside at Stateline.

 
 
Otto Graham Photo
Early version of the 3
at Stateline.
 
Otto Graham Photo
The popular Jeep
with fans and the Mott car.
 
Russ Bergh Photo
Another view of winning at Fonda.

Otto Graham Photo

The Mott car was deadly at Fonda.
 
Otto Graham Photo
Jeep
wins one in a very beat-up
car at an unfamiliar track.

 
Herbert Family Photo
 PIt was quite an honor for Lou Lazzaro [a mere baby compared to the others] to be photogrraphed with legends likePete Corey,
Howie Westervelt, and Jeep.  The only ones of this age group missing qre Steve Danish and Jim Luke.

 

THE KITTLER 37 ERA

     Another of Jeep Herbert's great rides was a mustard - colored mid 1930's coupe fielded by meat dealer Sam Kittler and diner operator Gibby Wolfe. The 37 team, which would go on through owners Tony Villano, Sr. and others, would remain a part of the New York racing scene into the 1970's. Jeep would drive it most notably at Stateline Speedway.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep parks Kittler's car at Stateline.
 

 


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, in Victory Lane
at Stateline around
1952. The Kittler 37
started the line of
famous 37 NY cars.

Courtesy of CJ Richards
In the Kittler 37
at Altamont, NY

Otto Graham Site -
The Schenectady Collection

A Kittler win at Fonda.
 

HAMB Site Photo
On-going work in the
Kittler garage.

HAMB Site Photo
More Kittler work.
Quite rare photo.

Herbert Family Photo
The Kittler car wins at Stateline.

Herbert Family Photo
The Kittler car wins again at Stateline.

Mackey Photo   Courtesy Chris Companion
More Kittler Western Meats 37

 

Herbert Family Photo
A rough spot in Fonda.

 
   
 
Otto Graham Photo
Jeep
enjoys a chuckle as his
expense after dumping Mott's
car in the giggly weeds.
 
Courtesy of Ken Gypson
Jeep gives the great Steve Danish
all he can handle at Stateline.
 
Courtesy of Ken Gypson
Jeep closes in on Jack Barney of
Saratoga at Stateline.
 
Herbert Family Photo
Losing a wheel off that early 3.
 
Otto Graham Photo

Jeep uses the Mott car as a bulldozer to
move Tom Wilson out of the way.
 
     


Bob Mackey Photos Courtesy of John Rock and Bobby Castine
A montage of Jeep photos from Airborne Speedway. One features NASCAR Pit Steward Kay Hanson;
one shows the Kittler car; one shows the Henry Caputo Plymouth, and one shows Jeep winning.

 


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep apparently subbed for Pete Corey in the Bob Whitbeck car that inspired those black cars
of Dave Lape in the 1980's. One of the guys at right is Whitbeck, a genius car builder.

 

THE HENRY CAPUTO ERA

        Controversial Henry Caputo, a salvage yard operator out of Hudson Falls, would employ a number of top shelf drivers such as Earl Maille, Ken Shoemaker, Tiger Tom Kotary, and George Baumgardner. Jeep was also one of these Caputo house drivers. Caputo could be a bear to drive for and only Shoemaker survived the entire life span of the Caputo onwership. Jeep drove both Caputo's Plymouth [he loved Mopar] and the early Chevy coupe. The best car the team ever fielded ended up only with Shoemaker.
 


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, in the prime of
his career.

 

Bob Mackey Photos Courtesy of John Rock and Bobby Castine

Jeep wins at Airborne with the
Caputo Plymouth.

 

 



Herbert Family Photo
Suiting up at Stateline

 

Otto Graham Site
Schenectady Collection

With Caputo's 11

Mackey Photo Courtesy
of John Rock/Bobby Castine

I think this is Langhorne. I
think Jeep is circling back
to check on spectators who
were injured.
 

Herbert Family Photo
Fonda finish with
Chet Hames.

Herbert Family Photo
The Caputo car -
Fonda kiddie rides.

John Grady Photo
A win at Fonda.

Herbert Family Photo
Jeep with the Caputo Chevy. His
JR Earl ride is right next door. ??
Maybe one car was a sportsman
and one was a modified.
     


Bob Mackey Photo Courtesy of Mike Watts, Sr.

Jeep brought the Caputo Chevy to Victory Lane at Airborne around 1958. Chet Hames is the flagger and probably there are some Caputos in the shot.  

 

THE J. R. EARL ERA

       Lake George auto dealer J. R. Earl got the stock car ownership bug in the late 1950's. He fielded only flatback Ford sedans. One was reportedly built for Earl and one is rumored to be a former Ted Vogel car. Jeep had some good rides in the Earl #991 and the #1.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, in the prime of
his career.
 

Herbert Family Photo
The J.R. Earl car in rare color.

 

 


Herbert Family Photo
The J.R. Earl car on display
at the Albany airport.

John Grady Photo
Supposedly, another J.R. Earl
car in Victory Lane
 
Herbert Family Photo
Jeep at Monroe County with Earl's 991.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep and the hulking Paul Marshall
 with Earl's 1. in Victory Lane

 
Herbert Family Photo
Jeep and a happy youngster during
kiddie rides at Fonda.
 
Herbert Family Photo
Jeep
in Victory Lane with J.R. Earl and
members of the Earl crew.

 
From Dan Ody's 8MM Old SPeedways DVD
In action at Stateline.
     

8MM Movie Freeze Frames


Dan Ody's 8mm DVD
Jeep and Dolores -
at a big race like
Langhorne or Syracuse.
 

Dan Ody's 8mm DVD
Jeep, at Syracuse, in
Chris Drellos' 111A.

 

 


Dan Ody's 8mm DVD
Jeep removes his bandana
after a win at Stateline
Speedway in the Trinkhaus 62.
 

Dan Ody's 8mm DVD
Most likely Jeep, in Kittler's
car, having been re-numbered
as 87. This is probably because
Caprara had taken over #37.
 

Dan Ody's 8mm DVD
The Kittler car spins
out at Stateline.
 

Courtesy of Dan Ody
Danish, Jeep, Chuck Mahoney,
and Corey clowning around at
some banquet. This is not from the
8MM DVD.
 

    


Courtesy of Rick Luke
The long and short of it. Jeep awards Jimmy Luke, with the Hal Kempeny 113.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep had this early Bob Whitbeck creation in his collection. I think Corey drove it, mostly. It
might have ended up with A.C. Caprara. According to Lew Boyd, it never worked very well.

THE FRANK TRINKHAUS YEARS

      Coming out of the unlikely - sounding burg of Fly Creek, NY, New York, Frank Trinkhaus was briefly his own driver before going on to set some sort of record for the number of wonderful drivers under whom he would place good stock cars - always under the number 62NY. Starting with guys like Lee Armstrong and Joe Ciganenko, and George Gallup, the Trinkhaus era would include Jeep [several times] as well as Paul Marshall, Irv Taylor, Lee Millington, Lou Smith and more. There were also cameo appearances by such as Steve Danish and Pete Corey. Jeep was a Trinkhaus favorite.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with a gathering including George Gallup [to his left], Frank Trinkhaus, Paul Marshall, Joe CIganenkn, and a UNK man.
 

Courtesy of Bill Fifield
A win in the Frank Trinkhaus
62 at Fonda in the early '60's.
 

 


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep with the Trinkhaus
car
before the races at Fonda.
 
Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with
the heavier Trinkhaus '50 Chevy coupe.
Despite the bigger engine, the car was a bust.
 
Otto Graham Photo
Jeep
wins another at Fonda.
 
Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with
the newer - bodied beast, tried
to hold off Shoemaker at Victoria to no avail.

Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with
another Trinkhaus win at Fonda.
 
Herbert Family Photo
The Beast - inside view.
 
Herbert Family Photo
Some success with the Beast.

Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with
a Trinkhaus 62 disguised
as X winning one at Victoria. I'm sure he
used one of his famous punny pseudonyms.
 
Otto Graham Photo
Jeep
wins another at Fonda.

Otto Graham Photo
An earlier Fonda stint with Trinkhaus.

Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with Frannk Trinkhaus.

Herbert Family Photos
Jeep, with an early Trinkhaus 62 after
a mix-up with Paul Marshall's 7-11 Jr.
Below - How it all began.

NYSCRA Photo
Jeep poses with 62.


Herbert Family Photo
The long-legged flagman, Chet Hames, towers over Jeep and Dee Herbert.

THE WELCH 77 YEARS

      Another man who used a number of hired drivers was Schenectady's Richard Welch. Having bought the potent 77 coupe from Rollie Johnson, Welch field that and perhaps one other car for several seasons in that late '50's and early '60's. It was one of most favorite cars. Jeep drove it at Fonda, Victoria, and Stafford Springs. Other drivers included Irv Taylor, Eddie Pieniazek, George Baumgardner, and others.


Conde & Parry Site Photo
Jeep, with the red 77, at Stafford.
 

From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD
Jeep, in the infield at Victoria with the
 1950 Chevy version of the 77.

 


From Dan Ody's 8MM Old Speedways DVD
Jeep climbing into the
 1950 Chevy version of the 77.
The car, perhaps too heavy, had
a short life.

THE CHRIS DRELLOS GIG 

     Jeep returned, in a way, to a prveviouis racing team when he signed on to drive the backup car for Glens Falls septic system contractor Chris Drellos. Drellos had bought out the Henry Caputo team, retaining the unique red and white color scheme and keeping the potent 1936 Chevy coupe along with its driver, Ken Shoemaker. The Drellos group then put together a Chevy three window coupe, numbered it 111A, and hired on Jeep to drive it. The car usually broke during the heats and Jeep seldom got far with it. The next year, the team built a much better car but handed it over to Pete Corey.



Ladabouche Collection Photo
Jeep climbs on the Welch's 77, a
ride he had for a while. Jeep ran this
Chris Drellos backup car without
much success. It broke down a lot.

 

Ladabouche Collection Photo
Jeep
lines up to the right of team mate
Ken Shoemaker. Shoe's car was nearly
unbeatable while Jeep's was a beater.

 


Ladabouche Collection Photo
Jeep climbs on the Welch's 77, a

   
Ladabouche Collection Photo
The 111A
 


From Dan Ody's 8MM DVD
With Dolores, at Syracuse in the late 1950's.

THE TONY VILLANO ERA 

     The car number 37, while having humble beginnings, became legendary in Fonda lore. The car number was first used by Bob Whitbeck for driver Pete Corfey; but Whitbeck soon dumped the number and the car, switching over to #22. The next 37 was fielded by meat dealer Sam Kittler and diner operator Gibby Wolfe. The 37 team, which would go on through owners Tony Villano, Sr. and others, would remain a part of the New York racing scene in the 1970's. Jeep would drive for Villano after the team had seen such greats as Pete Corey and a young Jack Johnson at the wheel of their cars. Jeep would have measured success in an atmosphere where race technology was beginning to elevate.



Ladabouche Collection Photo
Jeep with the Villano team members
working at the time he drove for them .
Tony V has his hands in his pockets.

 

Ladabouche Collection Photo
Jeep
lines up to the right of team mate
Ken Shoemaker. Shoe's car was nearly
unbeatable while Jeep's was a beater.

 

 
 Courtesy of Dan Ody
A blurry shot of Jeep's 37 in the Fonda infield.

THE VINCE BARBUTO ERA 

     Arguably the snazziest ride Jeep would drive was for Vince Barbuto, whose cream - colored Chevy coupes with the black and yellow highlights were always kept as carefully as one could. Jeep would have that ride in the mid 1960's, before Barbuto moved over to the young Justice of the Peace, Jack Farquhar and the team abconded to the Valley. Jeep won at least one feature at Victoria with this car while his successor also did with the Teresco and Mancini 685. This was one of Jeep's last rides.



Courtesy of Otto Graham
Jeep poses with the brand new Barbuto car
at Victoria, where he managed one of his last
wins of his career.

 

Ladabouche Collection Photo
Same car, different angle.
 
 Courtesy of Otto Graham
A great shot of Barbuto's team
at what then was their favorite track.

 
Courtesy of Otto Graham
Jeep poses with the Barbuto car
at
Fonda.
 
Courtesy of Otto Graham
Jeepgets one of his last feature wins
at Victoria. That's George Baumgardner
presenting the awards. Chet Hames at left.
 
Courtesy of Otto Graham
Jeep poses with the checkers
at Victoria, where he seemed
to run the best in later years.
 
Courtesy of LeClaire
Another pose with the  Barbuto car. 
 


Courtesy of Herbert Family via Otto Graham
Victory Lane with the Peter Hollebrand 53, usually driven by Chuck Mahoney.

THE BURLEY STRONG & LOU HAMMOND ERA

      At the very end of a long career, with racing technology changing and many of the old guard leaving the sport, Jeep would avert the end of his career for a while driving the Burley Hammond and Lou Strong 56 CT, a car campaigned at Stafford Springs by Chet Hunt. Jeep went well, but sustained an injury in the car and decided enough was enough.


COurtesy of Jo Towns
via Otto Graham

Jeep, with one of the
best cars he ever got
to drive.
 

John Grady Photo
Another shot of the
Connecticut car.

 

 


Courtesy of Cho Lee
The same car with Chet Hunt at
the controls, at Stafford.
 
Ladabouche Photo
I caught Chet Hunt,
masquerading as "Jim
Mitchell", running a
race at Fairmont
Speedway in 1965.
 


 
Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, with two girls who have just died and gone to heaven.


Herbert Family Photo
Jeep, at a post season banquet, hamming it up with Steve Danish, Bob Mott, and Pete Corey.

 
Herbert Family Photo
 Pete Corey may or may not have caused this. Hopefully not, they were pals.


Herbert Family Photo
 A few years after Jeep's retirement, Jach Johnson [who by now was at the top of the sport] made his
Gremlin available for Jeep to try out. Jeep had never gotten a chance to drive a modern chassis. 


Robert Lansing Photo
 One of the last photos we have of Jeep.

 

 

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