Outer Drive Hero Drivers Club annually presents the

Heroes' Happy Holiday Hangover Hassle

each year on New Year's Day

As usual, the next planned ODHDC event is 1/1/15




Collecting the Early History of ODHDC and HHHHH

Each year, we receive more and more information about the early life of the HHHHH.  We are always pleased to include this on the web page so that history is preserved before we all go away. This year, we received items from Frank Opalka, who gave us a large folder of information which we scanned, and then sent to Jim Torcaso. Frank's information included much great information from the estate of Jim and Debbie Golden. Jim and Debbie's daughter had passed the information to Frank Opalka after Jim's death.

Jim Torcaso was one of the founding members of ODHDC, and we would have loved to have his stories. In the past we received a large box of information from Glenn and Barb Grossklags, and two years ago, Dorothy Hansen, former member Rallye Addicts Team (a.k.a. RATS) gave us an article from May 1961, describing, in detail, the 1961 HHHHH. Click here for the story We have scanned the information from Frank Opalka and Jim Torcaso, and added it where appropriate, and have now added solid information to at least twenty of the past HHHHH events. We encourage anyone with additional information, old sets of instructions, flyers, handouts, etc. to get a copy to us, so that we can share with all the interested past participants.


James Louis "Torc" Torcaso

Dear Current ODHDC,

  I am sorry to inform you that James Louis Torcaso (Torc), died last week. I don’t yet have the date or cause. Apparently he had some idea he was failing, as he said so in a phone call from Ken Recu, another ODHDC member.  
 
Torc and I were an ‘item’ in 1968-69, and I kept in sporadic touch with him, especially after the death and memorial (In Chicago at the Cooper-Neuman garage) several years back, of Brian Kinkaid, another ODHDC member (died 2008). Torc was responsible for the ODHDC name. I had emailed Torc in early September, but didn’t hear back from him, but wasn’t particularly worried since we both answer emails as our own time schedules permit. I spoke extensively with Ken Recu about Torc and if I find out any other details I will email you, however, it might be better if I can get someone closer to him to give you information.
 
 Chloris Noelke-Olson   11/5/2013


 
Subsequently, we had a conversation with Fred Egloff, a very early participant, who had heard the death was from a heart attack.

 

What is the Rally?

The Hassle is basically an all city (and sometime suburbs) scavenger hunt. You have usually three hours to get the answers to as many clues as possible and then turn them in at the end point. The end point is a restaurant and every year there is a general theme that all the clues center around. Below are: A Hero Monkey, carefully recast from the original, and a copy of the first logo used, from 1956.
Beautiful trophy Original Logo from 1956

Trophies

Years and years ago, ODHDC had some really unique trophies. These were completely used up in the 1970's or 1980's and we have struggled with makeshift trophies in the interim. Recently (OK, 2006) Rich Cwik has gone to significant expense to recreate the original trophies, including recasting a mold to remake these trophies.
 
We'll use these beautiful, distressed monkeys standing on a radiator (and many other details appreciable only by the winner.) You must promise to cherish the monkey and allow parts of the trophy to get truly dusty in the original spirit of the event. Notice the dust layer next to the statue on the wooden base. 

Questions?

As usual, nobody takes responsibility for anything to do with this event. I can, however, probably get a question answered if you email. Try writing an e mail to: Rich Carroll No guarantees that it will be answered, or even go where you think, but you can try!  
We do maintain a mailing list for email, but no doubt a number of the email addresses I have are no longer valid, so please forward this along to other possible victims who could be suckered in wasting their time with the rest of us. If you want to be added to the mailing list, try: Try writing an e mail to: Rich Carroll

How Did This Start?

Early History of the ODHDC

ODHDC started as a club of sports car enthusiasts who would see similar sports car owners on the Outer Drive in Chicago, commuting to work from the north to the loop, sometimes in the most inclement weather. These were early pioneers of the sports car driving and sports car rallies, etc. As this became more organized, the annual Hero's HappyHoliday Hangover Hassle was started on New Year's Day. Early records indicate the first HHHHH was the 1955 event. We do have a set of instructions from the 1956 event, labelled as ODHDC HHHHH #2. It appears the numbering of later events has been off by one or two. For the most part, we will descibe the events as they were numbered at the time they were presented, knowing that there is some minor discrepancy. 

When sports car enthusiasts found the annual football bowl games less than thrilling, and wanted something more interesting to do, the HHHHH flourished. Jim "Torc" Torcaso was one of the primary people behind the organization of ODHDC, and contributed his time and interests, not only for the New Years Day event, but for summer events as well. Torc is responsible for the ODHDC name. Fred Egloff was not only a very early member, but one who stays active and still participates on the HHHHH event on New Years Day. Frank Opalka was another in the list of founding members.

One of the characters who was active in the early years of the organization, was Bob Lester, a mechanic specializing in sports cars, who ran a well known repair shop in the Hyde Park area, named Foreign Car Hospital.
 
Personal note: The Foreign Car Hospital and Lester's Team Wink were many things beyond a repair shop. This was sometimes a gathering place, sometimes a social network, sometimes just help for those who hadn't learned the ability to repair their cars, yet. I met Bob and others while I was trying to keep my Fiat 1100 running as a poor college student in Chicago in 1962. Bob would offer to repair the car, or if that was financially beyond my means, he would patiently tell me how to do it, and sell me the parts. I had never worked on cars before, but with Bob's help, it was not difficult. Fiats of that era were not as reliable as American cars, but success of 'foreign cars' was largely due to folks like Bob. RC

Curiously, several small tidbits from the earliest days in ODHDC have appeared. We'll list a few snippets, in no particular order, but for many, the names alone will bring memories.
  • Rosemary and Roger Dick from Evanston were active in several of the early HHHHH events
  • Event Chairman for the 1960 event was Carl Larsen, from Park Ridge Sports Car Club. Assisted by Frank Opalka, he put on the fourth HHHHH. In some places this is listed as HHHHH V.
  • Jerry Warshaw was named the 'Hero-Of-The-Year'
  • Winner in 1960 was Jack and Dee O'Hare in a TR3, with Peter Prohaska and Jay Adams finishing second in an MGA. Ernie Bock and Bob Steunenberg were third.

Event Paperwork from past events

 
For those who have time to spare, several past years challenges have been posted. A few are incomplete, and anyone with information to add is strongly encouraged to submit additional items. Click on the folder for the year to open the paperwork. Much of this information comes to us thanks to the wonderful files of Glenn and Barb Grossklags, and also to Sherry and Fred Egloff who had captured some of the earliest paperwork. Frank Opalka had collected a large sheaf of papers, and allowed us to copy them before they were sent on to Torc in early 2013. 

Please note: We need copies of any instruction sets, or even individual pieces from your files. We'll scan it and return it to you if desired. We also have made our best guesses as to the organizers, event names, years, etc. If there are some inconsistencies, please write us, and offer any paperwork you may have.

Personal note from the person responsible for writing these web pages:

I am not a professional web designer, nor do I play one on TV or radio. To verify what you are already thinking, absolutely no funds were expended in the production of this web site--and we intend to keep it that way. I even register the name of the website each year from personal funds and take care of the hosting fees. Normally individual events are not designed as money makers, although we usually collect an entry fee to cover printing, etc. If there are any excess monies, these are contributed to a charity of the rallymaster's choice. ODHDC has only one rule. If you win the event, you are obliged to design it the next year.   RC


Numbering of the events

The numbering of the events seems to be off at some periods of history.


.

(missing)   
 

(partially missing)
(noted as the second HHHHH)
  
 

(missing)   
 

(missing)   
 
 
(missing)   
 
 
(missing)   
 
 
(missing)
(button has no event name)
  
 
 
"I Made Rallye History" (#7) (missing) (this is the one ODHDC that was run on a bus)   
 
 
"Concours de Garb-age"
(#8) (missing)
  
 
 
"Just Plain Bull" (#9) (missing)   
 
 
"La Ville Vieux"
(printed as HHHHH 10)
  
 
 
(missing)   
 
 
"The Gold Rush" (#11) ** (missing)   
 
 
"S O B" (#12) (missing)
by John Smiskol   
 
 
"Fantastique"**(partially missing)   by Warren Harder and Rich Carroll
 

"Precz ze Sciany" "The Shiftiest Rally of Them All"
(partially missing)
  
by Rich Carroll and Paul Brian

 
 
"Gotcha"**(missing)   
 
 
"O'Leary Incident" ** (missing)
  by Glenn Grossklags, Vergin Hancher, Kenny Lester
 
 
(missing)
(button has no event name) **

  by Rich Carroll, John Baily, Steve and Edris Hoover
 
  
"Tricky Dick's Shaft"
(partly missing)
by Warren Harder and Mike Fernandez
 
 
"Irresponsible Rich's Recycled Reck" (#19)   
by Paul Brian and Rich Carroll

 
 
"Railroad"
  by John Smiskol
 
 
"Happy Holiday Hangover Hassel"   
 
 
"CTA"   
by Pat Thoma and Alden Wells
 
 
Papiez Jest Polski? (Is the Pope Polish?)
(the year of the nested envelopes)

by Rich Carroll, John Prendergast, Larry and Mike O'Connor)   
 
 
"Leap to Confusion" ?
(partly missing)

by Wayne Bell and Ralph Brooks   
 
 
(missing)   
 
 
(missing)   
 
 
(missing)   
 
 
(Post Offices)(Missing)
by Pete Matuszak
    
 
 
"Colleges"
by Andy and Stacy Kowalczyk (Stacy was Stacy Onofree at the time) Andy mentions, as an homage to Pete Matuszak, a cancelled stamp from 1/1/85 (available as the O'Hare postal desk was open.)
  
 
 
(missing)   
by Nevin Liber, et. al.

 
 
(missing)   
 
 
"Who Knew There Would Be Posterity?" (missing)   
by Paul Brian and Rich Carroll

 
 
"A Monumental Event"   
 
 
"Be True to Your School"   
by Glenn and Barb Grossklags

 
 
"Ci' Vediamo Dopo, Coccodrillo"   by Paul Brian
 
"Murphy's Golden Rule"   
by John Prendergast, Larry O'Connor and Mike O'Connor

 
 
"Trust Me""   
by Paul Brian and Jim McNicholas

 
 
(missing)   
 
 
"The Hog Butcher to the World"   by Larry Claypool
 
 
"Bridges"   
by John Prendergast

 
 
"Right Up Your Alley"   
by Glenn and Barb Grossklags

 
 
"Show Biz" or "Popcorn Palaces Revisited" (#42)   
 
 
"Hotels"   by John Prendergast
 
 
"It's The End of the World As We Know It, and We Feel Fine!"   
by Fred Egloff
 
"Crime Scene"   
by Glenn and Barb Grossklags

 
 
"ARKYTEKY "   
by Sherry and Fred Egloff

 
 
"Terra Cotta (over Terra Firma)"   
by John Prendergast

 
 
"Car Wash"   
by Dom Perino and Rich Carroll

 
 
"25th Anniversary of the Blues Brothers Movie"   
by Jim Jurik, Matt Jurik, Zeke Dreznes, and Jack Dreznes

 
 
"Memoirs of a Bohemian Undertaker" or "Hot Dog"   
by Paul Brian and Rich Carroll

 
 
"Houses of Worship"   
by Rich Cwik, Cherrie Pacque, Bob and Sue Herzog

 
 
"Honorary Mention"   
by Rich Carroll

 
 
"Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign"   by Larry Claypool
 
 
"Hidden in the Heart of Chicago"   
by Kaiser George

 
 
"2011"
(missing)
  
by Steve Givot

 
 
"Short Streets"   
by John Prendergast
 
 
"City of Big Readers" (#58)   
by Katy Prendergast, Michelle O'Connor, Suzy Smyth

 
 
"Life's A Beach"
by Bob Ward
 
(not yet announced)
by Katy Prendergast, Michelle O'Connor, Chrissy O'Connor, Suzy Smyth
 
** Buttons available, see Merchandise page.