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Martin Chassis

Also known as the PMY and the Paper Mache' Special

H Modified

Written based on an article by Ed Buck

First Car, FCS-1

Walter P. Martin lived in Roaring Springs, Pennsylvania and was employed as a shop instructor for a local trades college. In February 1958, an idea formed within the group to build a race car. By May it was finished ... just. Fiberglass for the body had not been delivered, so a 3/8" mesh was molded and overlaid by strips of industrial toweling soaked in white glue. Hence the unofficial name, Paper Mache Special. The students preferred Future Craftsmen of America No. 1, or FCA-1.

 


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Walt Martin's
SCCA license

Specifics of the car include right hand drive, no headlights, driver windscreen, small tube frame not exactly triangulated...but sturdy enough. The front suspension was a rigid tube axle with braces, to which were fastened a leading quarter elliptic leaf spring over and leading rod under on each side. The rear was mirrored but with the springs/rods trailing rather than leading. Axles, engine, and gearbox were Crosley, massaged in the fashion of the day. A hoop rollbar with single brace was installed.

 

Walt_with_FCA-1_builders_1958.jpg (28335 bytes)
Walt in the FCS-1
with the builders
gathered behind it.

An early event was at Giant's Despair Hillclimb, where it was 2nd in class. Although sturdy enough to avoid damage from rain and sandbank collisions, the car did not seem to do well.

"This or that" problem plagued the machine until it disappeared into the night and fog.

This car has yet to be re-discovered.

 


FCS-1 pictured in a
newspaper article on
the Giant's Despair
Hillclimb

Second Car, PMY-1

The crafts school got huffy about students building race cars. Walt took umbrage and left. The second car could not be a FCA, so it became the PMY-1. Walter Phillip Martin and Michael Phillip Martin donated their middle and last initials and added a Y. Where some would use X for experimental, they preferred "Y'd I do this?". Identification problems arise because Walt felt in his heart that the FCA was "his" baby, so sometimes this second car was referred to as PMY-2. Let us just call it PMY-1 for ease of recollection.

 

The car, completed in 1960-61, was acquired by Tom Puckey. The main portion of the car was aluminum sheet with no compound bends. The nose and tail were - you guessed it - paper mache. But only for a while. Tom made fiberglass molds from the front and rear, then produced fresh body parts to replace the paper mache sections. Distinctions from the first car include left-hand drive, headlights, a large square instrument cluster, but the same suspension as the FCA. Doors were present, at least on the left, as a fold down section. Again a single driver's roll bar was installed. Tom later sold the car in Pittsburgh.

The car was originally white with an American blue longitudinal stripe down the middle. A later faded color picture suggests overall dark blue.

 

Walt_Martin_in_PMY-1.jpg (18052 bytes)
Walter Martin
in the PMY-1

This car was also thought to be lost until it resurfaced around June of 2004 near Pittsburgh, PA. The current owner is Brice Welch. He aquired the car from his great uncle when he died, who in turn got the car from Tom Puckey. Brice has lots of documents of from his great uncle and Tom Puckey from when they were exchanging parts and other information.

The car itself has a Crosey engine. It has a stamp right below the gauge cluster with the letters PMY-1.

The car is not in running condition, but Brice looks forward to restoring the car, once time allows, using "a lot of brand new parts that my uncle left behind".

February 15, 2007 Update!

C Joe Miller reports on the H Mod Yahoo Group that he now owns this car. He purchased what he "thought was a Jabro Mark II, but had an aluminum tag on the small dash that has PMY1, with 1960 also under that in small letters. The body is a combination of fiberglass and aluminum and looks like a Jabro Mark II in the front. I also got a fiberglass mid section and a Jabro Mark I new rear section with the car."

 

PMY-1_with_Br.jpg (17912 bytes)
Brice Welch
in the PMY-1
circa June 2004

PMY-1_with_Br.jpg (17912 bytes)
Joe Miller's purchase
in early 2006.

PMY-1_with_Br.jpg (17912 bytes)
A close up of the nose.

PMY-1_with_Br.jpg (17912 bytes)
Rear suspension.

PMY-1_with_Br.jpg (17912 bytes)
Left rear suspension.

 

Third Car, PMY-2 (PMY3)

Officially let's call the third car the PMY-2. However, the "VIN" plate is marked with PMY then a tiny Arabic number 3 stamped on it (remember Walt's feelings). The plate is dated 1962.

This vehicle is quite similar to PMY-1, but like the FCA had no headlights. It is left hand drive. The instrument cluster originally was two large circular gauge clusters, say 6" diameter. The present gauges are smaller. The lower trailing/ leading arms were now paired top and bottom leading leaf springs, which also diverge from mount to axle. This divergence eliminates need for a Panhard transverse locating rod. The rear suspension just faces the springs to the back, "in trail".

 

papier_mache.jpg (6071 bytes)
"Fred Temps with the
Papier Mache Special."
Ed Buck reports that
this is really the PMY-2,
not the PMS.
See image for credit

 

 


PMY-2 in 1962,

The first pictures available show it with silver or white top, and blue (maybe metallic blue) bottom. This shows a driver roll bar; later owners painted the car yellow and installed a full width roll bar but of laughably low proportions. Still later, Fred Temps re- installed a higher roll bar on the driverís side only, and added a faired headrest. Although the fiberglass nose and tail were taken from the Puckey molds, which had been taken from paper mache of Car 2, the PMY-2 is the only one of this series, which NEVER had body portions of paper mache. The center section is simple curved aluminum plate attached to the 1" tube frame by hundreds of sheet metal screws.

Also distinguishing this car from the first two is that PMY-2 never had doors. One reason is that while driving, your arms are outside the body anyway, like a Formula 3. Just step in, hold the drive tunnel and body, and slip your legs under the dash. When seated, you can place your palm on the track. (Requisite warning: Do Not Attempt This While Car Is In Motion - unless all the brakes are gone anyway.)

 

PMY-2_in_1997.jpg (18254 bytes)
PMY-2 in 1997

 

 

PMY-2_in_1997_2.jpg (17647 bytes)
PMY-2 in 1997

Postscript

Ed Buck owns the PMY-2 (PMY3), and says, "When the PMY-2 will be seen again on the track, the headrest will be gone and the colors restored to the Car 88 scheme. It will retain the Crosley gearbox but have a sturdier (not necessarily more powerful) Crosley engine. If you have a copy of Vintage Motorsport magazine 1993 No 3, May/June, on page 35 Fred is seen driving PMY-2 with the lower, full width rollbar. The article describes the Paper Mache Special, or FCA-1 fairly well, but the car Fred is pictured in is not the Paper Mache Special. He is shown in the PMY-2, the grandson of the PMS, or FCA-1."


Revised: February 18, 2007.

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