John Kramer "Jack" Hale

1908 - 1976



Jack Hale was a son of Dell F. Hale (1880-1948) and Mabel May (Costa) Hale (1882-1958).  Mabel May (Costa) Hale was a half-sister to James J. “Jimmie” Costa (1891-1922) who participated professionally in I.M.C.A. sanctioned auto races around the country for a few years until his career was cut short by an airplane crash.  Jack Hale’s uncle, Jimmie Costa, was also from Anthony, Kansas.

This photograph of Jack Hale of Anthony, Kansas was taken at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Kansas on July 4, 1934.  Although Hale often drove the car himself, Tige Beal apparently drove it on this occasion even though he had brought another car to the races.  One wonders if they had trouble seeing over that cowling to tell where they were going.  Hale entered a Fronty Ford #44 in the Big Car races run on June 2, 1935 at Fair Park in Oklahoma City but results of those races have yet to be located.  Hale drove himself at the Cowley County Fairgrounds in Winfield, Kansas on July 27, 1935 then returned to compete there again, although in a different car, on August 30, 1950 and on May 30, 1951 – Charles Pauley collection


The following description is by Roy William Eaton (1914-2011)

Veteran car owner and mechanic who raced throughout the Midwest in the 1930s:

“I guess the old adage still is true:  How fast do you want to go - How much money do you want to spend?

“It never ceases to amaze me what some of these backyard engineers come up with and call them race cars.  Back in the tough 1930s, one had to make do with whatever the junk yard had on hand plus a good imagination.

“I have been looking at the photo (above) with interest.  I assume it was the Watkins special by the big arrow on the cowl.  My best guess is, that is a (Model) T block with an “R” Fronty 8-valve rocker-arm head with cup type oilers added to the rocker cover, 3-port exhaust with individual exhaust pipes, 1927 Whippet radiator - 1928 Chrysler cap, 1932 Chevy 18 inch front wheels, 17 inch rears and it looks like he used ¾ inch pipe for radius rods, Chevy rear-end with brake cross shaft, no doubt a foot brake.  I would guess the fuel system was gravity flow from a tank under the cowl.

“I would say the main body was a piece of sheet metal rolled over, and the tail was made up of parts of old fender skirts welded together with a makeshift bucket seat inside.  If there was a seatbelt, it no doubt was a piece of rope.

“Boy!  That really looks like an accident waiting to happen.”