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Thread: Quincy Welding Life Jacket

  1. #1
    Team Member Mark40H's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Quincy, IL
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    Default Quincy Welding Life Jacket

    Boy, how long has it been since you have seen one of these?

    I was sitting at home this morning and got a bad case of cabin fever so I thought I would drive up to Jack Kugler's shop in Hamilton, IL, and take a look at the new 125cc motor he is building for the Pro class.

    When I got there he was working on a tower for the motor that is going to be put on the 125 hydro that Larry Latta had.

    Jack and I got to shooting the bull about some of the old drivers and some of the equipment they used to run. Anyway I told him I had been looking for an old Quincy Welding life jacket and the only one I had ever found had been eaten by the mice so bad it was not worth keeping.

    He looked at me and said I think there is one of those up in the attic. He left and in about 10 minutes he came back and handed me this one. He said take it, it's yours. How lucky can a guy be? Thanks so much to Jack. It will be put in the trailer with the other Quincy memorabilia so others can see this rather rare piece of Quincy history.

    For you young guys who might say just an old life jacket, here is the story about the Quincy jacket.

    This jacket was designed by O.F. Christner in the late 1950's/early 1960's. Most of the top drivers from this time period wore this same jacket. Guys like Gerry Waldman, Jim Schoch, and Dick Pond. Christner took his design to a local manufacturer here in Quincy owned by the Penrose family. The name of the company was Union Manufacturing. They made the jackets and returned them to Quincy Welding to be marketed to the drivers.

    Union Mfg. is still in business. They are also the ones who made the Looper patches that Paul Christner posted here on the board.

    Just another little piece of Quincy history. Hope you enjoyed.

    Old Mark40H
    Art Neadeck
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  2. #2
    Team Member Gene East's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Quincy, IL
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    Art brought this jacket by the office to show me this morning. It was neat to see one of those old jackets after all these years. Art has one of the best collections of Quincy history I've seen.
    He keeps everything in a trailer that he tows to various events to share with everyone.
    This jacket brought back memories of a conversation I once had with Jack Marshall an Australian racer who spent some time racing here in the U.S.
    Jack said the Quincy jacket was 3 MPH slower than a Gentex jacket because of the bulk and added wind resistance.
    Maybe so,we never tested that.
    I can tell you this, the Quincy jacket provided the best impact protection of any product of it's type at the time.
    All of us who worked at QW even wore this jacket when we found time to go water skiing.
    I'm sure this jacket has spared me a broken rib or two.
    Artie, thank you for everything you do to perpetuate the memory of O.F. Christner and his life's work.

  3. #3
    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Sandia, Texas
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    I don't know anything about pre Gentex life jackets, but this sure looks like a Quincy Life Jacket that Marshall Grant is wearing.
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    I didn't know Quincy made life jackets? This is a cool piece of history. I wished they still made them for the simple reason, knowing O.F. the way I did, he didn't take short cuts and the jacket would be the very best in safety the industry could offer. I know I could bet my life on it!!

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Thanks Wayne

    Thanks Wayne for posting this picture of Marshall. You have a really great collection of old photos and we all appreciate when you share them with us.


    Paul A. Christner

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