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Frank Vandoorn

"The Flying Dutchman"

I met with Frank at theVillage Inn on Broadway in Council Bluffs on Jan 25th where he has breakfast with the Studebaker club he belongs to.  Frank's passion these days is restoring them.  Frank brought his scrapbook with  him and we browsed through it before he left.  Frank was generous enough to share his treasure with us.  Am I glad he did!

Frank has pretty much recorded the history of Playland from 1968 through 1977.  There are so many photos and articles that it will take a couple of weeks to get them on the site.  I will put the race results articles on the race results page(s) and the historical articles on there own pages to keep from totally burying Frank's page here.  I will do my best to credit Frank wherever his material is used!

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Frank's  biographical info and drag racing background is in the article above left and center.  Frank's drag car is in the photo above right.



1968. It was Frank's first year of stockcar racing. He had Drag raced for a few years and became bored with it.

1968 First year of stckcar racing. 1959 Studebaker lark with a 301 Chevy engine. He built this 1959 Studebaker Lark, that you see in the first picture, for the new "Bronco" class at Playland. It had a 301 cu inch Chevy engine.   




Arrival at Playland for tryouts.    The  2nd photo is Frank's first appearance at Playland. 



First hot laps at Playland.The 3rd photo shows Frank's first hot laps at Playland Speedway.  


Coming out of turn four and heading down the front chute.  You can see folks parked along I-480, watching.


frank8-68.jpg (56436 bytes)TThese articles were clipped from the weekly Playland track program.



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These articles were clipped from the Omaha World Herald newspaper.


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Left photo: The result of a spin by Terry Dunaway on the narrow confines of Playland Speedway.  Frank hit him so hard that Terry was pulled out of the car by the track officials and revived on the hood of his car.  The right photo shows Frank inspecting the damage.  The Lark was done!  It had a badly bent frame.


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Frank did well his rookie season.  He was paired with Russ Dilley for the 1968 Playland 300.  The matching cars are shown in the left photo.  On the right, driver introductionns prior to the race.

1969.  Another season of "Bronco" racing for Frank.

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All of these photos are from the 1969 season.  The one below was taken after the 14th race.  Frank had a little fender bender.

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1970.  Frank raced both the  "Bronco" and "Super Stock" divisions.  First, a new car would be built.

70-55chev.jpg (21311 bytes)  70-superstock1.jpg (19542 bytes) Another 55 Chevy.

70-4th-standings.jpg (22121 bytes) Points standings.

By the fourth week:

frank-70-4thwk.jpg (22484 bytes)   Another trophy dash victory...





By the seventh race:

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A new color tv!!


frank-70-midseason.jpg (21701 bytes) Midseason shot,

frank-70-track.jpg (56416 bytes)  Near season's end, 1970.

1971 Bronco class.

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 frank-71-04.jpg (52715 bytes)  frank-71-awards.jpg (43115 bytes) frank-71-05.jpg (48945 bytes) frank-71-total.jpg (3785 bytes)


1972 Super Stock class.

frank-72-01.jpg (57921 bytes)  frank-72-art01.jpg (83900 bytes)  frank-72-art02.jpg (105850 bytes) frank-72-art03.jpg (46139 bytes) frank-72-02.jpg (16109 bytes) First time at Sunset in '72, broke trans case. note smoke from car!


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frank Vandoorn-Chuck Gillespie 1976 (the Vandoorn Collection) Why Frank REALLY raced!! frank-76-10th-td.jpg (39625 bytes) The Three Amigos, The newspaper called them the Three  Red Barons

 Frank Vandoorn, The Flying Dutchman" 76-aug-art01.jpg (77253 bytes)



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