The Rini brothers set out in
1963 with a dream they'd had since childhood, that dream was
to build and race an AA/FD. The needed to see if they had what
it would take to make that dream come true.
They didn't have enough money
to purchase a professionally built chassis. So the next best
thing was to build there own. Seeing that Jim Rini was a very
capable welder, that was the beginning of the dream.
The first two cars they owned
were built in Jim's basement. They Built the first car over the
winter of 1964-65. This car would go on to win the Canadian National
Champion Ship for 1965.The car ended up crashing at Lebanon Valley
New York due to a rear tire failure.
The second was also built in
the same basement during the winter of 1966-67 with a slight
twist in getting it out come spring, it was a longer wheelbase
and would not make the turn to get it out. Well left with no
other choices, part of the house foundation was torn down(success).
That car went on to win a lot of races at many different tracks
until the end of 1968 with a slight twist in getting it out come
spring, it was a longer wheelbase and would not make the turn
to get it out. Well left with no other choices, part of the house
foundation was torn down(success). That car went on to win a
lot of races at many different tracks until the end of 1968.
These two cars were the last
of the homemade cars. It was time to purchase a professionally
That story begins with a health
issue of a very close friend, by the name of Chuck Webb. Chuck
owned a Don Long car that was originally built for Gaines Markley.
Chuck became sick enough that he could no longer run the car.
Jim and Dan bought that car in 1968 and ran it until 1971 when
they purchased a Don Long RED car.
They kept the FED car for quit
awhile, but finally sold it to a local bracket racer.
This is the 1st car the Rini
brothers built (over the winter of 1964-65), it was totally hand
made. They built it Jim's basement over one winter & broke
it down to get it out & then built it again in the spring.
PS. Dan also hand polished all of the aluminum (very sore fingers
Dan Rini at Mohawk Drag
Strip in Deseronto, Ontario, Canada.
After winning Canadian National
Championship 1965. The gentleman with trophy is the trophy maker.
Lebanon N.Y. This was the cars
third and last outing. This was Labor Day weekend because they
couldn't afford to go to Indy. A&B speed shop from the east
coast had a injected A fuel car and blew the motor apart in the
lights just before Dan was up and was in that lane. As was the
case far too often in those days, the clean up was not well done,
so as soon as he got in the lights the car lost control. The
best part of the run was the fact the clutch had wore so that
it slipped the whole way showing everybody their first smokeless
pass. It also resulted in an unwelcome bath.
This blue car was the second
car they built in the same basement, with a slight bit of a different
problem. It was a longer wheelbase than the gold car. Because
of backyard interference it wouldn't make the turn. Down side
was knocking out some of the foundation to get it out. Upside
that car worked well from 1967 thru 1969. Built winter of 1966-67.
The car at Mohawk Drag
Strip in Deseronto, Ontario, Canada.
A win at At Napierville.
Rini Bros. another shot
at Napierville, Quebec
Jim Rini checking tire pressure
at Sanair in Canada. This was the 1st car they ever purchased
(a Don Long).
Long car in the pits
at Sanair - Jim & Dan Rini by the trailer.
Dan Rini on a pass at
The Don Long car was later painted
green & gold in honor of the Zookeeper. They kept this car
around and even entered it at the Syracuse N. Y. Auto Show.
Their next and last venture went
to a Don Long RED. 1971-72 and ran it until 1977.
These two guys loved what they
did and had a lot of fun doing it, until it became cost preventive.
Dan and his wife had started
family and it was time to change gears, and focus on the future.
In this time they opened a business
in Kingston Ontario Canada. Rini Racing Engines proved to be
a very enterprising business. They decided to semi retire and
sold the complete operation.
Dan went on to purchase a home
on a lake, that had living quarters for the kids in his new line
of work a Water Ski Instructor.
He and his wife would Canada
every winter for Florida. They started building a house there
and have now moved their.
thought I might offer a little insight into the Rini Brothers
of Kingston Ontario Canada. I met them in the winter of '63 when
they were building their first fed in the basement of Jim's house.
I was amazed at the total dedication needed to build something
so complex and then to have to dismantle it to remove it from
the basement. I feel that this action is the epitome of "We
did it for love".
They had an impressive amount
of success with all of their cars thru the years on a limited
budget. They purchased the parts for the cars from Dick Gaylord's
shop in Baldwinsville, NY with Canadian nickels, dimes and quarters
saved from the time they were kids. Their dream of drag racing
was coming true. They were ever gracious and appreciative of
the help that we gave them in the pursuit of their dream of championship
racing. Every trip that we made to Canada to deliver parts or
race our own car, we were always taken into their homes and treated
as family. Some of my fondest racing memories include "the
Indian" who danced to ward off the rain at the meets. Bob
Beazer, (the Indian) was also from Kingston . Our relationship
switched to long distance when I left New York in February 1966,
but the Rini Brothers and Bob Beazer and I have remained good
friends and still exchange phone calls to keep up with what's
going on each others lives."
James Ecker Sr.
Owner: Dan Rini - Claremont,
Original Chassis by Don Long
In 2000 Dan got the bug to restore
the Don Long car. He knew where the car was but the owner would
not sell it (still a bracket car). So the next best thing was
to make a whole new chassis built to the same specs as the Long
car. He made everything to exact specs. He decided he wanted
a magic car front end so that was the only difference from the
Don Long car. He also had to hand form a whole new body.
As far as the restoration part,
The 392 is just the way it came out of the old car. As is all
the steering, rear end, brakes, clutch can, clutch this car could
still make quarter pass anytime.
Hence the lettering under the
name Canadian, It says "the way we were!"
This project started in 2000 and completed in 2008. It was done
in Dan's spare time and was totally built by Dan. Chassis, body,
motor - everything!
The car made its Cacklefest
debut at the 2012 California Hot Rod Reunion.