Some of the most visited pages on our site are those relating to Smokey Yunick. It seems everyone is interested in his Hot Vapor engine as well as the stories behind the man. He was a true inventor and built some controversial cars as well as some outstanding race cars. There are books and stories about Smokey but it is seldom that you get the opportunity to visit with someone who actually worked with Smokey. Today we start a short 3 part series from a guest Blogger.
Some time spent with Smokey
by: Andy Zabrodsky
Smokey and his partner hired me around the same time they hired a fabricator, who was involved in Formula 3 cars, in the early 1980’s. I believe he was from Australia. This guy kept his Cessna Airplane in his garage. He would remove the wing assembly and back the fuselage and wings into his house garage.
Smokey’s partner was supposedly the inventor of the Holley 4-barrel Carburetor. I forgot his name but he was a tall soft spoken gent. What I liked about Smokey and his partner was they both looked poor and not bright. Well, after talking to them for a few minutes, they just flat out didn’t care about impressing anyone. I guess he liked me, because I just acted as though we had friends in common. See, I worked at the Crane Cams Corp Office, located on top of the Factory on Fentress Blvd. in Daytona.
I was the only one from that building that Smokey liked to talk to. He wasn’t rude with the engineers (suits), just short. He would pop up every 2 weeks to see my illustrations. Every now and then my boss would send me down to Smokey’s shop to drop off a blueprint or something, just to get Smokey in a talking mood, just to find things out. The engine warehouse was all in the back of his commercial truck repair shop, where he had like 8 or 12 bays for tractor trailers. His business was very successful.
The Hot Vapor Cycle was just an idea that must have come into his mind out of boredom; he has done many unsung things for the auto business. He took it to the next step. Unfortunately, we live in a political BS society that sometimes, for greedy reasons, the best ideas don’t get put into the world because they might financially disturb larger entities interests.
To Be Continued