My name is Greg Koesel, and I recently joined the club. I am an automotive engineer
involved in engine performance development. My interests include building hot rods both
street rods and drag cars and most all facets of the car culture from cruise nights to
NASCAR to antiques. You'll probably never find my cars on the cover of a magazine or in
the winner's circle of a national event because I take a low key, minimalist
approach to this car stuff. It's supposed to be fun, not an obsession or a second job.
Besides having 30 years in the auto industry, a side business doing custom metal
fabrication helps pay for my car projects and racing expenses. There are currently six hot
rods in our family, two drag cars and four street rods. Here is a brief description of
THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER ALTERED
This '23T Altered roadster is probably my favorite car. Built to my specs in 1978 by
the famed Logghe Stamping Company it was the last roadster Logghe built which I suppose
gives it some sort of historical significance. Chuck Kurzawa, Top Fuel chassis builder,
was working at Logghe at the time and welded it up. Al Bergler did the tin. I've had both
240 and 300 engines in it, along with an array of transmissions including clutch-flites
with slider clutches, Liberty toploaders, and finally the ubiquitous Powerglide. Best time
has been a 9.73 and 135 MPH.
'33 WILLYS COUPE
The steel body shell was acquired in 1980. I did my own chassis and body work. Corvette
yellow paint was applied by six cylinder racer, Bob Andrews. My wife and I enjoy cruising
in this one. It has a 300 six, C6 trans, and 9" w/ 3.50 gears. Using (2) two barrel
Autolite carbs on an Offy dual quad manifold, Chevy roller rockers and Ford cast split
exhausts it runs low 14's at the drags.
This car was a wretched piece when we found it. The lower six inches of it was rotted
away so we had to reconstruct the rocker panels, fenders and floor. My younger son and I
put a 240 / C4 / 9" between the home built chassis. The engine uses a 600 Holley and
an RV cam, and Ford cast split exhaust manifolds.
THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER (PART DEUX) ROADSTER PICK UP
I built this little roadster pick up a couple of years ago. The idea here was to design
a simple drag car so consistent and easy to drive that even a monkey could win with it. In
the last season and a half I've been in eleven finals and won nine of 'em! (Pass the
bananas!) It has a 300 six and many improvements over the original FRENCHTOWN FLYER. My
long-range goal for this car is to use it in NHRA's Super Street 10.90 heads up class.
This car started as a father / son project also. My older son wanted a V8, where did I
go wrong? So the boys built an '85 Mustang GT 5 liter. We fabricated the body from pieces
of swap meet flotsam. The rear panel is a '46 Ford deck lid the doors 1916 Maxwell cowl
top from a Model A. This is lots of fun in the sunshine. My wife even commutes to work in
'46 FORD PICK UP
I picked up this old pick up truck to use as a race car tow vehicle. The previous owner
had swapped in a 460 V8 / C6 / 9". We chopped the top 3" about ten years ago,
along with a firewall and floor. When he lost interest in finishing it I snapped it up
because all the chassis work was of good quality. The first time that 460 even thinks
about giving me trouble out it comes and in goes a 300 six.
I recently wrapped up the Milan Dragway Track championship in the "street"
class with my 300" roadster pickup by Winning both the spring points series and the
summer points series. Last Weekend at the runoff for the overall track champion I advanced
to the final by defeating the motorcycle champion and then I red-lighted against the Super
Pro Champ in the final. Next I will be competing at the NHRA Division 3 E.T.. Finals at
Indy and in the Race Of Champions. I also plan to run in the Race Of Champions at Norwalk
Dragway's "Halloween Classic." I'll keep you posted with results. I look forward
to meeting more of the membership and sharing ideas and stories soon.
"The Frenchtown Flyer"
The following update and pictures were added on
Oct 28 2002:
After flogging on my new racer all year
I finally got it ready to fire Sunday at midnight. I decided to show
compassion to my sleeping neighbors and NOT fire it up in the
driveway. Instead, today I loaded up and drove back down to
Advanced Chassis where Ken Bowers set up the chassis, measured
corner weights, and made some final adjustments.
His crew said "let's hear it"
so I started it in their shop. What a thrill it was to listen to
that engine after a two year hibernation.
I have to fix a couple of minor leaks
and swap out a balky starter motor. Lord willing, this is my testing
schedule for the rest of the week:
Wed - 4 PM at Milan Dragway test
Thur - 4 PM at MDW. FME has the track
rented. Crew gets free admission, so (pending a successful Wed test
session) stop by and watch.
Fri - 4 PM This is the run off for the
Street race season champ. I will have the Koesel Family Truckster
there plus hopefully the new car for some additional testing.
Sat - 12 PM Bracket racing the new car
Sun - 10 PM - If all of the above fails
I will try testing Sunday
This evening i took my new
FRENCHTOWN FLYER altered to the track. No major problems -
everything worked except the track was cold and very slick,
preventing all out runs. I had to feather the gas until half track.
Here's what it ran:
12.32 @ 107
11.02 @ 127
10.77 @ 132
10.90 @ 131
10.69 @ 131
10.42 @ 132
10.31 @ 133
I DIDN'T HOOK UP UNTIL ABOUT 600 FEET OUT. IT WAS 42 DEGREES OUT.
HAD TO FEATHER THE THROTTLE AS THOUGH I WAS DRIVING ON SNOW.