The Tiederman Photo Collection
Tulsa, Oklahoma Area Midget Racing
Fred Bass and an unidentified friend with Gregg Tiederman’s Ford V8-60 midget in 1945. Tiederman had purchased this well used rail frame midget earlier that year. Note the “Flying Tiger” paint job on the nose of the car both in this photo and in the one below.
“The “Flying Tiger” paint job on the nose was eliminated sometime before 1946 which simplified the black and white paint scheme for # 71.” --- Bill Tiederman
Gregg Tiederman taking a break on the flat tongue of his trailer in 1945.
Gregg Tiederman in his # 71 Ford V8-60 midget in Tulsa in 1946
“In the southwest all of the drivers wore seat belts, goggles and helmets. That was the extent of the safety equipment. Gregg also always removed the bridge for his upper, front, false teeth. He said he knew of a driver who died after flipping his midget with no apparent injury. It turned out he had swallowed his false teeth and suffocated. Mom was usually the person who received Gregg’s bridge before the races began. This routine may have been one of the reasons that Gregg didn’t agree to having his photo taken at the racetrack. It must have been very cold the night this photo was taken because Gregg is wearing a suede jacket of which he was very fond.” --- Bill Tiederman
Gregg Tiederman in his Ford V8-60 midget at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds – Ray Crowley photo
“Uncle Ray’s photo of Gregg in # 71 shows the driving style that was common for these cars. (Later) driving styles changed. The chassis were much better and a young Lloyd Ruby had come to Tulsa driving Chet Wilson’s, # 5, V8-60 midget. After the first race when Gregg had followed Ruby into several turns, he went up to Lloyd and told him that if he kept tossing his car sideways into the turns he would get run over. Lloyd replied, ‘If you can catch me old man, run over me!’ Well, not only Gregg but no one else caught Lloyd in his power slide around the turns. Lloyd became a family favorite and we closely followed his successful career in Champ cars and the Indy 500 races.
“Notice that the track was not dusty and # 71 did not have a wind screen.” --- Bill Tiederman
Dick Sharp of Chickasha, Oklahoma is shown here in his # 8 Ford V8-60 midget leading Bud Hemphill in the # 22 at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds – Ray Crowley photo
“Dick Sharp owned and drove the fastest of the V8-60 Fords, # 8. In the photo, he is leading # 22.” --- Bill Tiederman
This photo, taken during a race on the 1/5 mile racetrack at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds in 1946, shows # 81 Junior Howerton leading in his own Ford V8-60, the # 71 Ford V8-60 of Gregg Tiederman in fourth place, and D. A. Clem in his # 13 Menasco powered front-wheel-drive midget in 7th place. If you can identify any of the other drivers in this photo, please contact Bob Lawrence – Ray Crowley photo
“Uncle Ray’s picture of Junior Howerton leading a race in # 81 shows the track’s configuration quite well. Gregg is 4th and the front-wheel-drive Menasco driven and owned by D. A. Clem is 7th. The abandoned cars just outside the midget track were probably dumped there before or during WWII. They weren’t removed from the fairgrounds for several years.” --- Bill Tiederman
Ready for the Road
Pictured here with Gregg Tiederman’s #71 Kurtis Kraft Ford V8-60 nudget are, left to right: Bill Tiederman, Mrs. Gregg Tiederman, Art Thomas, and an unidentified man standing at far right. If you know who owned or drove the # 11 midget at right or who the man standing in front of it is, please contact Bob Lawrence.
“Since the ‘Flying Tiger’ midget had been both an artistic and financial success, Gregg decided it was time to step up in class. Dad brought the first Kurtis Kraft midget to Tulsa. It was powered by a V8-60 Ford engine with dual carburetors. The tubular frame was suspended by a transverse leaf spring in front and torsion bars in the rear. The front bumper was personalized with a capital T. Originally the car was painted a solid black with a white 71 on both sides of the tail. The panels below the hood were louvered and both exhaust pipes were insulated in the cockpit area. It was a beautiful, state-of-the art chassis. There was also an upgraded trailer which had a flat bottom and wheel-high panels around the entire car. The aluminum, front–side panels of the trailer were painted with the car’s number, our last name, and home town. The year it was ready for racing was probably 1947.” --- Bill Tiederman
That is a family friend identified as “Staufer” behind the wheel of Gregg Tiederman’s Kurtis Kraft Ford V8-60 midget c1949
Gregg Tiederman’s # 71 Kurtis Kraft Ford V8-60 midget with its bonnet off.
The rear end of Gregg Tiederman’s # 71 Kurtis Kraft Ford V8-60 midget
“Sometime during 1947 or shortly thereafter, Dick Sharp purchased an Offy midget. He numbered it # 8 and painted it the same color and scheme as his Ford V8-60 which retained its # 8. Dick drove the Offy and for a time hired Gregg (Tiederman) to drive the Ford. In the picture, the Offy is on the right and you can see how much alike the cars appeared.” --- Bill Tiederman
Fred Bass is seated in the midget with Gregg Tiederman standing at left. This photo was taken at Oklahoma City in 1950.
Clarence Merritt is shown here driving the Jack McMicheal Offy at the Tulsa State Fairgrounds in 1946 – Ray Crowley photo
Thank you to Bill Tiederman for sharing his family’s photo collection