Sports . Racer . Net

"Gounis" Chassis -
Really it's a Miller!

H Modified


On November 3, 2004, Tom Churchill wrote, "I am the current owner of the car pictured in this article1. There are a number of errors in this article. The two most important errors are this [car] was owned and raced by Walker Edmiston not Chuck Gounis (Tsigounis) and this car was not designed or built by Chuck Gounis or Walker Edmiston. This car is the third H Mod built by Don Miller."


Builder: Charles Gounis

Chassis: Ladder-type of tubular steel

Weight: 760 pounds, 50% front and rear

Length: 144" overall

Width: 51" overall

Height: 40" overall

Wheelbase: 80"

Track: 44" Front, 44" Rear

Minimum Ground Clearance: 5"

Engine: 743cc modified Crosley
Four cylinder overhead cam
2.52" bore, 2.250" stroke
Compression ratio 9.5:1
50 bhp at 7000 RPM
Twin S.U. carburetors

Transmission: 4-speed Fiat transmission with close ratio geers. Overall ratios 3.30:1, 2.0:1, 1.314:1, and 1.0:1

Front Suspension: Transverse leaf springs and A-arms

Rear Suspension: Coil springs and trailing links

Steering: Worm gear with 3.5 turns lock-to-lock

Brakes: Front and rear are Crosley discs

Tire Size: 4.50x12 front and rear

Click to go to the
H Mod Yahoo group

4.JPG (16522 bytes)
"Final paint scheme."1

4.JPG (16522 bytes)
"John Brophy won H-Mod class in the Novice race driving this Fiat-Crosley at the Labor Day weekend Santa Barbara races, Goleta Airport, August 30-31, 1958."6

2.JPG (81134 bytes)
"Photo finish was staged
by Walker Edminston (1),
Fiat-Crosley, and Jim
Parkinson (131),
Ferry-Renault, during
Race 4 for under 1000cc
modifieds Feb 8 at
Pomona. Edmiston got it
by .5 sec. Some 10,000
fans saw two-day race

2.JPG (81134 bytes)
"A padded headrest
covers a strong roll bar
welded into the car's
tubular frame."1


1.JPG (79306 bytes)


3.JPG (91231 bytes)

Fuel Capacity: 5 gallons

Performance: Top speed 110 MPH
0-60 MPH in 10 seconds
0-100 MPH in 20 seconds
0-1/4 mile n 13 seconds
Speed at 1/4 mile of 75 MPH

Current OwnerTom Churchill


"The Grounis Fiat-Crosley was designed as a training vehicle, to compete in class H [Modified] at a minimum of cost. It was designed. built, owned, and raced by Charles Gounis, TV's 'Willie The Wolf,' through the highly successful season of one 1st, two thirds, and two 4ths in class ... at a total building expense of $2000.

As the driver progressed, so did the car; it seems that between races he would change the paint job on his little bomb. The final color scheme [seen in the color photo] turned out to be white, with bright yellow and red flames curling up over the nose and out of the fenders ... even the helmet was flame-stripped to match the car!

Grabbing an oft-dreamed of opportunity, Charles swapped his Fiat for a full house Cad-Allard.  The new owner is John Brophy, M.C. of Sports Car World, heard on KABC-TV (Los Angeles) every Saturday night. Meanwhile, with the Allard for street use, Charles Gounis is looking for something just a bit larger and faster than the Fiat"1

Charles Gounis

Dave Thielke says, "Back when I knew Chuck Gounis, while hanging out at the old 'Dick Rydel Autosport', he was racing a very hot Miller Crosley. Seems to me that it was blue and white when we went to El Paso with it in about 1960 or so. I think that he later raced an Elva or Lotus 23. If I recall correctly, Dick had a Fiat special, but I can't be sure of it's details. Both of them ran under the old PSCC (Pacific Sports Car Club) banner at the time, as well as several of the rest of us."3

Bill Thieme says, "I remember him in an Elva F-JR."3

Ron Cummings says, "Tom is correct. Gounis' car was a Don Miller built special, as was Walker Edmiston's. Somehow Bob Rolofson confused the two drivers in his article. The photos in the Trend article are of Edmiston's car. I have discussed this with Walker in recent years. I saw Walker last at Carroll Shelby's place a few months ago. Walker was Willie the Wolf on Los Angeles televison and went on to acting on many popular television shows. Gounis was an electrical engineer in the Los angeles area. You can do a internet search on Walker Edmiston to read about his career. The two cars looked almost identicle until Walker had Jack Sutton build a new nose for his car.

Chuck Gounis was involved with Vintage Road Racing in So. California until a few years ago. Walker Edmiston vintage raced a circle track midget until a few years back. Walker won the first HMOD race ever held at Riverside Raceway beating Doc Molle's Fairchild Special and Jim Parkinson's Ferry Renualt Le Mans car with his Miller-Crosely."3

Walker Edmiston

3.JPG (91231 bytes)

The Greatest Voice Artist You Never Heard Of

"The fellow in the picture (above) is Walker Edmiston, and while you've probably never heard his name, you've definitely heard his voice. Walker goes all the way back to the early days of TV with his puppet characters, Kingsley the Lion and R. Crag Ravenswood. He was also the voice of Bob Clampett's Willy the Wolf (aka William Shakespeare Wolf).

If you've ever seen a Krofft show, then you've also heard Walker. He was the voices of Ludicrous Lion and Dr. Blinky on “H.R. Pufnstuf” and took the lead as Sigmund in “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters” among many others."4

Walker Edmiston Profile

3.JPG (91231 bytes)"Aside from many cartoon voices, Walker Edmiston has been a very important part of The World of Sid & Marty Krofft. He has lent his talents to a vast group of beloved Krofft characters such as Freddy the talking flute, Dr. Blinky, Ludicrous Lion, and Seymore Spider from HR PufNStuf; Sigmund, Big Daddy Ooze, Blurp and Slurp from Sigmund and the Seamonsters; as well as Enik from Land of the Lost. Walker is also the actor who took over the voice of Ernie, the Keebler Elf, when Parley Baer was unable to continue. He is an incredible mimic and has been a regular on many televison and radio shows."5

2-27-07 Los Angeles Times Obituaries

"Former H Mod racer Walker Edmiston passed away at the age of 81 from cancer on Feb. 15th at his Woodland Hills, California home. Walker was still working until he became ill in Jan. of this year. Walker started racing, in the fifties, with an Allard. He then moved on to his famous Don Miller Crosley powered special in H Mod.. A few years back he raced a vintage midget in WRA vintage circle track races. Three years ago Walker restored a Daimler SP-250 like these and remained active in the Fabulous Fifties group whose many members raced in the fifties. Walker acted in many televised productions and was a puppeteer on many children's shows. He did hundreds on voice overs in cartoons and advertisements. I will miss his great stories."7


"One of Walker's best stories happened at Santa Barbara in the mid-
fifties. Walker loaned his Don Miller-Crosley to a fellow television
personality Bill Leyden to race. Leyden rolled the car over breaking
his arm early in the H Mod race. Walker ran out to help lift the car
off of his friend. As the medics hauled Leyden off to the hospital,
Edmiston borrowed a crash hat got into the bent race car and
finished the race!"7


1Bob Rolofson, Sports Car Specials (Los Angeles, Trend Books Inc., 1958), p 48-49. This book was generously loaned to the Sports Racer Network by Marty Nygard.

2Scan of MotoRacing, Vol. 3 - No. 9, Feb. 21-23, 1959 provided by Tom Churchill.

3From a post on the H Mod Yahoo Group.

4From The Greatest Voice Artist You Never Heard Of, blog.

5From's guest detail.

6From Doug Noble's photos contributed to Tam's Old Race Car site.

7From Ron Cummings on the H Mod Yahoo Group.

Revised: February 28, 2007.

Sports Racer Network