NEWSLETTER 270 - January 25, 2013
Editor: Richard Parks, Rnparks1@Juno.com 
President of the Society: Jim Miller, 1-818-846-5139.
Photographic Editor of the Society
: Roger Rohrdanz, beachtruck@juno.com
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon, sparklecraftspecial@yahoo.com
Field Reporter/Historian: Bob Falcon, RFalcon500@aol.com

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
Editorial; Joe Reath's Memorial/Remembrance Celebration of Life will be held on February 2, 2013; S.C.T.A. Awards Banquet, January 26, 2013, Westminster Rose Center, 14140 All American Way, Westminster, California 92683 (714) 793-1139; This year at the Grand National Roadster show we will be displaying the dragsters and Indy car at the same location as last year at the Northwest corner outside building 4 (inside Gate 1); Staff notes: Some exciting new information has been found concerning Arthur “Art” C. Tilton, the first secretary of the SCTA and a member of the Throttlers car club of Hollywood; The 12th Annual B'ville NW Banquet will be held on February 16, 2013 at the Shilo Inn Portland Airport 11707 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon 97220; The 50th Anniversary of DRAGFEST at Blackbushe Airport in 2014; Road Runners Ramblings (January 2013), by Jerry Cornelison; Richard Bell, a regular at Bonneville with the 36hp Challenge and a British ex pat, sent the link below for me to share; The Following report was sent in by Franklin Ratliff from the DLRA website; The Auto Race That Changed Everything; Bill Burke ran the “Sweet 16” belly tank in 1947; My name is Trevon Richard; Staff notes: Here are five early racers that I found partial biographies for on the internet; Best video of the 2012 CHRR Cacklefest I have seen; A Visit with Diane Carmelo Leuenberger Vandenberg; Staff notes; Dema Elgin and Spencer Simon sent in the following article and photographs; Aussie Invader Newsletter January 2013; Air cooled Elvington Mile. First European Volkswagen Land Speed Trials, Elvington Air Base, York, England; Just found this pix from the Jan 1949 Hot Rod Expo when the Burke-Francisco car number 3 was on display; There will be a car show memorial in honor of Bill Papke, past owner of Papke Enterprises in Huntington Beach, California


   A question for you and Jim Miller. Some buddies of mine, and I, are interested in taking a bucket list trip to the salt. It may not be this year, but our buckets have holes in them, so it needs to be soon. I know they have several meets, so these are the main questions:
1. Is Speedweek generally the best to attend?
2. Are dates set yet, especially several years out?
3. We know rooms are scarce, so would RVing in from Salt Lake, and camping out, be a practical alternative? 
My friends are interested in the whole spectrum of speed rods, as am I. But I would really love to see the 400 mph streamliners up close. I am sure you can steer us in the right direction. Thanks, and best wishes, Jeff Foulk
   Jeff: I am hoping that Jim Miller and Jon Wennerberg will find the time in their busy schedules and write back to you and also copy me, because you have raised a question that comes up constantly and needs to be answered.  More and more people are becoming interested in Land Speed Racing (LSR).  The interests comes and goes and is partly due to the outrageous speeds and the technology, practice, experience and creative innovation in order to go fast and to survive.  Another reason is that there are hundreds of categories to race in, rather than just one big super-class; which is very expensive.  People from all walks of life and in all countries can have a dream to race at Bonneville in cars and bikes and sometimes other vehicles. 
   It is also a sport that is mostly free from commercialization and sponsorship, meaning that ingenuity plays a key role and driving skill another important segment.  These are not cookie cutter cars that are standardized, but individually constructed cars that represent the unique perspective of the participant.  The rules are not necessarily harsh either.  The technical inspectors want to work with entrants and they want the racers and cars to run, so they will help you with the rulebook and give you guidance to meet the qualifications for safety.  The expense of participating is also a little more reasonable than running a car in stock car, open wheel or drag racing.  The speeds divided by the costs are more reasonable.  But it isn't necessarily a "fun" sport.  No one expects to race their car in LSR for hours on end.  The goal is to make TWO good runs, for a few minutes, catch a record and spend the rest of the time learning from other racers. 
   The reality is that racers spend a week in a frustrating effort to keep from ruining parts and getting their cars back onto the race course.  But there is nothing as spectacular as capturing a red hat and knowing that your car held together and ran well at Bonneville.  There are two SCTA/BNI races, and two USFRA races at Bonneville that draw the most interest.  There are independent uses of the lake bed where the participants pay a fee to a promoter who meets the fees for usage of the lake bed, usually a sum greater than $30,000.  Speedweek is the most famous, but the USFRA meet in September is smaller and has some great racing, if the weather is good. 
   Besides Bonneville there are other venues, one in Ohio, another in Maine and one or two in the Mojave Desert called the Miracle Mile.  The Aussies also have LSR events, but I haven't heard much from them in recent times.  And there is El Mirage, near Phelan, California that runs from May through November, though the speeds rarely exceed the high 200's due to a shortened course. 
   As for amenities, there are several things that you can do.  One is to try and get a room at some of the hotels in the area, but you have to be quick and contact the hotels almost a year in advance.  There is also camping near the lake bed; "At the Bend."  I've camped at the KOA Kampgrounds with the Bean Bandits and it's just like it was back in the 1950's, except that there are really nice bathrooms and showers.  You can also check out towns close to Wendover, Nevada.  Wells is 50 miles to the west of the lake and Tooele is 90 miles to the east.  Just another 15 to 20 miles east of Tooele is West Jordan and there are lots of motels in this area. 
   If you rent a car in Salt Lake City you are going to pay some hefty fees if they think you will take the car onto the salt.  The car rental people have wised up.  But there are places in Wendover to wash off the salt for about ten bucks worth of quarters.  To do a good job you'll be there a half hour or more and you still won't get all the salt off of the bottom of the car.  As for places to eat there are a lot of fast food stores and some great buffets at the hotels, but they aren't as cheap as they used to be.  There is a racers gathering at the KOA Kampground, at the Bend and a banquet for the awards ceremony.  I've lost track of who runs them.  Jon Wennerberg hosts one group and he's at www.landracing.com.  I hope Wennerberg will also respond with his comments and also post them on his website as I will do at www.landspeedracing.com
   Neither the SCTA nor the USFRA is in the spectator business.  They have come to grips with the knowledge that they have to provide some sort of spectator needs, but it is primitive.  There is a fee to go onto the lake bed, but it is minimal.  They have few facilities and once on the lakebed it helps to have your own food and water, but they might have a food stand there as well as a souvenir trailer.  It pays to make friends, especially those racers who could use a free pit crew and have chairs, shade and some drinks to offer.  A used and worn-out bicycle comes in handy, or a motorized scooter, otherwise you can't easily get around and the distances are huge from the pits to the starting line, impounds or tech inspection and registration trailers. 
   Take lots of long sleeve shirts and long pants, hats and neckerchiefs.  Bring lots of suntan lotion.  Try not to laugh at the scarlet red gals and guys who have had too many beers and are too stubborn to avoid the sun.  The salt is reflective, so if you wear shorts make sure that you coat "your undersides" as far as you can reach.  Sunburn stories are only funny to those who don't get burned.  Take jackets and warm clothing even in the hot August months, as it can rain and get cold even in the summer. 
   If you take an RV out to the salt you will make lots of friends, like me, who are too cheap to provide our own shelter.  You will have to wash an RV thoroughly and even when you think it is free of salt, as you drive home you will see chunks of salt fall on the road behind you.  I don't know what kind of schedules there are, as it is a first in line sort of event, but you should talk to guys like Jon Wennerberg and Jim Miller to see what the best times to see the big cars race.  Since they are running on a 3 mile or longer course, you won't see much after about half a mile or so without a telescopic lens.  So make sure you find a nice spot about a mile and a half out from the starting line and listen to the radio to hear the announcer tell you the type of car, who is driving and what the record is that they are going after. 
   LSR can be dangerous.  Be careful, because cars can spin out, crash or go off course.  Always watch the pit area closely and remember the cars have the right of way, not the spectators.  The officials have their hands full with the cars and inspections and you are on your own, which is another way to make friends and volunteer to help someone.  Unlike drag racing, they don't bring all the streamliners up to the starting line at the same time. A car races only when it is ready to race and then waits in line for their chance to go down the course. 
   You'll spend a lot of time in the pits watching people work on their cars and if they've set a record or they have some free time or are waiting for parts to come in from Salt Lake City, they'll be delighted to talk to you.  They will be even more delighted to talk to anyone who has worked on an LSR car or a drag car.  LSR guys will listen and borrow an idea wherever they can find it.  Go to the LSR websites and read what they have to say about the various meets.  Besides the Salt Flats there are natural wonders in the area, but most of the time the LSR people are too busy to explore.  Lastly there are all the fabulous people that come from all over the world to be at Bonneville.  They are the greatest treasure.  For further information, Jim Miller is at Miller212.842@sbcglobal.net, and Jon Wennerberg is at jonwennerberg@nancyandjon.org.


Joe Reath's Memorial/Remembrance Celebration of Life will be held on February 2, 2013.  Please RSVP to 562-427-3273 or email delmareath1@verizon.net, to see if there is still room to attend.


S.C.T.A. Awards Banquet, January 26, 2013, Westminster Rose Center, 14140 All American Way, Westminster, California 92683 (714) 793-1139.  5PM Banquet room doors open. Appetizers will be served at 7PM; Four Star Dinner 8 PM; Big Screen Video Presentation of the El Mirage Season; 8:30 PM 2012 El Mirage Racing Season Award Presentations $33.00 per person. We need door prizes for our banquet. An announcement will be made for each prize. Any leftover, out of stock item or, toy, bicycle, T-shirts, jacket or white elephant that’s been gathering dust would be appreciated. We’re running out of time so don’t delay. Call me at 818-998-7848 so we can arrange to have them delivered or have them picked up. Thanks for helping make our banquet a success.   Ron Main


This year at the Grand National Roadster show we will be displaying the dragsters and Indy car at the same location as last year at the Northwest corner outside building 4 (inside Gate 1).  Just look for the Firestone Complete Auto Care EZ-Ups at my new rig (which isn't lettered yet), it's a 30' white stacker trailer and white and black Top Kick truck.  We will be fund raising for BARK, check out their website at http://www.readingdogs.org/.  This is a program that is growing very fast and a worthy cause.  We should have one or two of the trained dogs with us (we'll hide them away from us when we fire the dragsters).  Stop by for a visit and a cup of coffee and all donations are accepted!   John Ewald, 714-746-6414


 Staff notes: Some exciting new information has been found concerning Arthur “Art” C. Tilton, the first secretary of the SCTA and a member of the Throttlers car club of Hollywood.
Staff researcher writes; The 1930 census has the Tilton family living in the east, but by 1940 they show up in Pasadena, California.  No one is alive who remembers the Tiltons.  I did see a photo of Mrs Tilton from 1948, but I cannot find it or remember where I saw it.  23 Tiltons lived in the LA area.  Marguerite is the mother of Arthur C. Tilton Jr and the first wife of Arthur C. Tilton Sr.  Mildred is the 2nd wife of Arthur C. Tilton Sr and had two children from a prior marriage. 

Arthur C Tilton, Mildred B Tilton about 1888 - Massachusetts 1935 - Pasadena, Los Angeles, California Pasadena, Los Angeles, California

Arthur C Tilton Junior about 1918 - Massachusetts 1935 - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

Arthur C Tilton, Mildred B Tilton about 1888 - location 1930 - city, Norfolk, Massachusetts

Arthur C Tilton, Mildred B Tilton about 1888 - location 1930 - city, Norfolk, Massachusetts

Arthur C Tilton, Marguerite E Tilton about 1888 - location 1920 - city, Norfolk, Massachusetts


Hello Richard, first of all: thanks a lot for all your help!!!  Yesterday evening I did some more research on the Tiltons, using a trial membership at ancestry.com. This is what I found out.
The facts:
1. My car was sold by a "Mr. Tilton", living at 470 Prospect Terrace, Pasadena, CA in 1949 (source: 1949 receipt from "Bob's Automotive Service").
2. In 1949 Arthur C. Tilton (born about 1888 in Massachusetts) lived at 470 Prospect Terrace, Pasadena, CA together with his wife Mildred B (source: 1949 Pasadena City Directory).
3. Mildred B. was Arthur C. Tilton's second wife. His first wife was Marguerite E. Tilton. Arthur C. and Marguerite E. had a son named Arthur C. junior, born in 1917 (source: 1920 Census)
4. Divorced Marguerite E. Tilton lived in Hollywood (N Curson Ave) together with her son Arthur C. junior in 1940 (source: 1940 Census)
5. Arthur C. Tilton was an Auto Mechanic in 1940 (source: 1940 Census)
6. Lieut. Arthur C. Tilton (1917-1943) is buried at "Hollywood Forever Cemetery" next to his mother Marguerite E. Tilton (source: findagrave.com; see attachment)
The logical conclusions (100%):
A. - 100%: Arthur C. Tilton senior was the seller of my car in 1949.
B. - 100%: His son Arthur C. Tilton junior lived in Hollywood, worked as an auto mechanic and died young during his military service.  
C. - 98%: Arthur C.'s and Marguerite E.'s son Arthur C. Tilton Junior (1917-1943) was Arthur C. "Art" Tilton, member of the "Hollywood Throttlers," co-founder and first secretary of the SCTA in 1937. He died in 1943 instead of 1946. (grave marker for SCTA secretary Arthur C. Tilton)
My to dos:
You mention that Marguerite E. Tilton lived near Culver City in 1937. That's interesting, because my car carries an old license plate holder from "Walt Cash Motors - Los Angeles - Culver City."  So it might have been her son's car from new (1937) and his father just kept it after junior's death?  On the other hand the car is still very original.  Wouldn't Art Junior have modified it?  I will try to find out whether "Walt Cash Motors" was a Cord dealer back in 1937 and whether Art and his mother really lived near Culver City.  What do you think about my line of argument?  What do you think is Art Tilton’s relevance seen from today's perspective? Is he kind of famous within the Southern California hot rodding scene or is he almost unknown these days? I would like to write a short paragraph on him in my car's history file. Wouldn't feel correct to write "famous hot rodding pioneer Art Tilton" if nobody knows about him nowadays.  Thanks! Kay Hottendorff, mbwestwood@hotmail.com

   Kay: Thank you for your wonderful research.  You have discovered facts that we didn't know and you debunked several misconceptions and myths which we had held, based on what Art Tilton's friends had told us years ago.  In one respect you backed up what my mother had told me; that Art died during the war and not after, as my father had told me.  But it is not unusual for us to interview old hot rodders and get false information.  We all do that, amateur and professional historians alike.

     I would encourage you to contact Randy Ema.  He purchased the files and name of the Duesenberg brand and I've been to his shop in Orange, California and he knows every Duesy owner and car ever sold or purchased.  He might also have information on Cords as well.  The Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg (ACD) club in Indiana is the group that has a rich history on those cars.

     Did Art Jr own the Cord and his father take it after his death?  We don't know.  I can't find any written records on Tilton outside of the "Minutes of the SCTA 1937-1948," which is an unpublished manuscript that my father was working on before his death.  Tilton’s name shows up numerous times as the Secretary of the SCTA, but little is known about him and as you can see, much of that was incorrect.  There is a good chance that he did own the Cord.  Also, having such a car among hot rodders would stand out and pass into folklore.  He probably didn't own it, but most likely drove it.  It would be unbelievable if he didn't drive the car, knowing those hot rodders of that time.

     Another rumor that swirls around Art is that he was rumored to have a sister who was a famous singer, but this turned out to be false.  We don't know if Art had siblings or nieces or nephews and this would help us to find out if Marguerite left any of Art's possessions to them.  She wouldn't have thrown away his journals, cherished memorabilia or objects that would give us clues about him.

     Art could have been employed at Walt Cash Motors, or some other shop.  If any of our members can recall such a place maybe we can learn more about them.  Art's mother is noted in a 1937 phone directory owned by Jim Miller as living at 1520 N. Curson, Hollywood, California.  Marguerite is listed as Mrs Marguerite E. Tilton.

     Hot rodders of the 1930's and '40's would probably have taken exception to being called pioneers, legends, greats or any other superlatives.  They were an egalitarian group and treated each other with respect based on what they could do, not by how much they bragged they could do.  Shirley Temple's older brother used to bring her to the Road Runners car club meetings, but made her stay in his car, which she didn't like, because girls were not allowed in the meetings, and he had to watch her.  Robert Stack, the actor, raced on the dry lakes and in a Thunderbird boat in oval boat races.  Most of the men who survived the war went on to illustrious careers in motor sports, equipment manufacturing, aviation and other businesses.  Art Tilton was a member of one of the most prestigious hot rodding car clubs, the Throttlers, located in the Hollywood area.  Around the late 1940's they tired of dry lakes land speed racing and many of them went into oval track and road course racing.  Tilton was elected as the first secretary of the SCTA and his handwritten minutes of the board meetings show a very educated man with beautiful long hand writing skills.  I don't know if he attended college, but a high school diploma in the 1930's was far more rigorous than a similar education today. 

   Some of the Throttlers were; Campea/Oka brothers team, Kamimura and Imai team, Homer Farneman, G. Spencer Darwin, Bill and Vern Hurst, Jimmy Summers, Ernie Hirai, Bob Miner, Walt Kinney, and Bob Creasy.  Other SCTA members included; Wally Parks (my father), Vic Edelbrock, Stu Hilborn, Ed Iskenderian, Ak Miller, Ernie McAfee, Karl and Veda Orr, Jim White, Bob Rufi, Tony Capanna, Ralph Schenck, Bill and Harry Weber, Nellie Taylor, Johnny Ryan, Robert “Pete” Petersen, Mickey Thompson and hundreds more who made a huge impact on automotive sports and innovation. 

   These men chose Art Tilton to be their secretary when Art was just 20 years old.  Though that seems young to us, this was during the Great Depression and World War II and young people grew up fast in those days.  Would Art Tilton have been a bigger name or a greater success if he had survived the war?  Most of his fellow hot rodders thought so, because they named the first sportsmanship trophy in his honor.  Sadly, he has been forgotten by today's hot rodders and his trophy was renamed to honor another man.  Art's contribution to the organized sport of land speed racing is immense and his impact continues to this day. Sincerely, Richard Parks
     Things in the automobile world often are connected with each other.  I wrote a book a couple of years ago on the famous 1980's "Sleeping Beauties" collection, which consisted of 50+ rotting Bugattis, Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, Cords, etc in rural France (see my Interview with Jay Leno: http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/video/jays-book-club-the-fate-of-the-sleeping-beauties/12942 93/ ).  The collection's former owner used to race some of his cars on the famous Montlhery race track near Paris, France in the 1950's. Recently I received some magazine articles from the late '50's.  A fellow rescued them when the French took down barracks on the Montlhery area in the 1970's or 1980's and simply put the piles on fire.  Thankfully it started to rain.  The articles deal with a museum, which some car enthusiast (including the guy from my book) founded back in the 1950's.  They stored a three digit number of historic cars (e.g. Bugatti, Hispano Suiza, Cord, etc.) just below the steep bank of the race track.  Neither the racetrack nor the museum exists today.  But seeing an unrestored Hispano Suiza standing in the high grass just covered by the race track makes me wish I was there back then. This looks "real" compared to many of the 120% restored cars nowadays.
     I'm a member of the ACD club already and will contact their Cord historian anyway.  But first I will try what I can find out myself.  It's always good to have information from two independent sides which do not influence each other.  On the other hand I don't think they will have much dating back to before 1949.  My car was immobilized in 1952, the ACD club was founded in 1958 and most factory documentation has been dumped in the 1950's. Randy Ema seems to be the man regarding Duesenberg, but there are others regarding Cord of course, e.g. Josh Malks who wrote a fantastic book on the Cord 810/812 called "Cord Complete."
     Regarding Art Junior's mechanics salary: the Tiltons didn't seem to suffer economically.  According to the 1940 census, Art Junior was the only one in the whole family working for his money.  All others were said to have worked "0 weeks" the year before.  Arthur Senior and Art Junior (!) both were said to have considerable "other income."  As they had two impressive homes in wealthy living areas, my suggestion is that they lived from a fortune that Arthur Senior made when he was a merchant in Massachusetts back in the 1920's.  So they might have been able to afford a Cord for their son.  But again, I'm sure Art Junior would have made "improvements" to the car, so I agree with you.  It probably was his father's car.  Nevertheless I will mention Art Junior in my car's history file and will send you my wording to counter check, if this is ok with you.
     As far as I know, Art had no siblings, so there should be no nieces or nephews.  I don't think that his step siblings Edwin Booth Waterbury and Edwina Booth Waterbury inherited the stuff.  But who knows?  On the other hand, today there is a company called "Tilton Engineering" producing high performance automobile (!) parts 45 miles northwest of Santa Barbara.  Perhaps they can help you to find out more about Art Junior's heritage.  Kay Hottendorff, mbwestwood@hotmail.com, www.TheFateOfTheSleepingBeauties.com.    
     Kay: I spoke to Mac Tilton, the owner of Tilton Engineering some years ago and asked that question and he said they weren't related.  I called today to refresh my memory and was told that Mac was the son of Arthur A. Tilton from Connecticut.  I wonder though if Arthur C and Arthur A might have been distant cousins.  Mac is now living in Georgia.  I printed your first letter and we'll see if there is any response and I will print this letter also, next week.
     Tilton engineering doesn't lead anywhere.  Meanwhile I found somebody who could confirm that his step-siblings (from his father's 2nd wife) do not have any descendants.  So no chance to find any documents from him, I fear.  I wrote a letter to Ron Irwin from California.  He is the official Cord 810/812 historian, and doesn't have email.  Looks like I should have waited another 40 years before buying a Cord ... all the Cord guys seem to be 80+. Hope he has some new information for me.  Would you have a look on what I wrote about the Tiltons?  Does the wording on Art and the SCTA sound correct?  I would like to keep it short but correct:
     "The Tilton Family; Arthur Colburn Tilton (born 31 December 1887 in Norwood, Norfolk, Massachusetts, and died 4 July 1953 in Los Angeles, California), was a Massachusetts merchant in the milling business in 1920.  Later the family moved to Pasadena, California. Tilton was married twice.  After divorce, his first wife Marguerite E. Tilton lived in Hollywood (at 1520 N Curson Avenue) together with their son Arthur C. Tilton Junior (born 1917 in Massachusetts).  Arthur C. Tilton Junior was a member of the Hollywood Throttlers, a famous hot rod club and became co-founder and first secretary of the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) in 1937.  The SCTA was a board, maintaining rules and records for amateur land speed racing events.  Although less well known nowadays, he was one of the founders of the modern Southern California hot-rodding scene.  Lt. Arthur C. Tilton Junior was killed in a non-combat airplane crash during his military service in 1943."  Thanks!  Kay
     Kay: I included Jim Miller in on this email, but I think what you wrote is fine.  My mother told me that Art Tilton died in an air battle in the South Pacific, while my father told me that he died while training new pilots in Arizona.  A death certificate might clear up the confusion.  But until that happens, I would go with my father's recollection of Art's death.  A new sportsmanship trophy for the 1947 season was named in Tilton's honor and his mother was at the SCTA banquet in 1948 to present it to Tony Capanna, the first recipient of the award.  That original trophy is still being awarded, but they changed the name to another person in the 1960's.  You have expanded our knowledge of this episode in our history and I want to thank you for that.


The 12th Annual B'ville NW Banquet will be held on February 16, 2013 at the Shilo Inn Portland Airport 11707 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon 97220. The cost for this year’s event is $48 per person. There will be a registration limit of 150, pre-registration only. We cannot take walk-in guests. Make your check out to Glenn Freudenberger and send it to 11113 37th DR SE, Everett, WA 98208. If you have any questions send me an e-mail Fotofreud@aol.com, or call 425-337-4558. Doors open at 5PM. The featured speakers will be Betty and Tom Burkland discussing the path to their over 400 MPH record. Tours are available for the Evergreen Air Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. On Friday Feb 15, 7PM Marlo Treit and some of the Target550 crew will give a presentation regarding the Treit and Davenport streamliner. This will be at Shilo Inn. No charge to attend his discussion. Saturday Feb 16, an open house with the streamliner on exhibit at a location to be announced. 11 AM to 1PM For Shilo Inn reservations call 503 252 7500. We have a block of rooms held for us at a reduced rate and be certain to mention that you are affiliated with the B'VILLE NORTHWEST REUNION. This rate covers several days before and after the event. Make your reservation as soon as possible. Follow Up announcements will be made on www.Landracing.com and www.BonnevilleNWReunion.com. Glenn Freudenberger
For further updates on the Bonneville NW Reunion check the website:
www.bonnevillenwreunion.com.  FREUD, cell 425-422-6944


The 50th Anniversary of DRAGFEST at Blackbushe Airport in 2014. This is the venue that Don Garlits, Tommy Ivo and others competed on the track with the Brits in1964. I am trying to organize a two day event for around July 2014 at the original venue with static cars and many other family interests and possibly some music too. The website www.dragfest.co.uk or Facebook group, Blackbushe reunion may also show the interest over here so far. Paul Foote, Supergas racer, info@dragfest.co.uk.


Road Runners Ramblings (January 2013), by Jerry Cornelison.
   The Annual Road Runners Awards Banquet is set for March 23rd, 3:30pm at the historic Flabob Airport Cafe in Rubidoux. Club members are requested to begin looking for raffle prizes for the event. More details about the banquet to follow.  At our January Membership meeting, we welcomed two new Board Members. John Carroll takes over for Dale Wester as Vice President and Tracie Carroll assumes the office of Treasurer from Bill Harris. The Road Runners thank Dale and Bill for their years of dedicated service to our Club.  Two new members have joined the Road Runners. Former member Vic Enyart (1950-1953) returns to our Club. He will be racing partners with Hayden Huntley & Mike Huntley. They will be racing a 1960’s era Lotus formula car in the G-Gas Lakester class (picture is posted on our "Cars" webpage). Vic Edelbrock joins the Road Runners as an Associate Member. As most of you know, Vic’s Dad was a Charter Member of our Club. We are pleased to welcome Vic Enyart and Vic Edelbrock to the Road Runners.  2012, our 75th Anniversary year, was a good one for our Club. We ended 2012 with three Road Runners teams in the SCTA Top 25: Harris & Wester #675 XXO/BFALT-BGALT at #6; Ferguson & Martin #1169 D/GR at #19: R.M.H. Racing #85 AA/GC at #25. Road Runners booked new records at El Mirage and Bonneville. We look for 2013 to be even better. One of our multi-record setting teams is retiring but several new cars and motorcycles will be making their Road Runner debuts.   Jerry Cornelison,
glc311@att.net, Road Runners (SCTA est. 1937) http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners


Richard Bell, a regular at Bonneville with the 36hp Challenge and a British ex pat, sent the link below for me to share. It is an outstanding one hour long, beautifully photographed and edited show well worth taking some time and setting down in front of the 'puter with a pop or a beer and taking your mind off the winter doldrums. You will see historic Bonneville contemporary footage and footage from the 30', 40's and 50's as well as color footage of the infamous motorcycle record Rollie Free set on a Vincent in the early 50's, riding prone in only swim trunks, to reduce wind resistance. There is original film of Burt Munro as well as movie footage from the World’s Fastest Indian and even a few seconds of footage of "the Red Head," probably the most beautiful streamliner ever built. And no, there is not a VW in sight! Just a great story about Bonneville and "Salt Fever." I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. BBC Speed Dreams The Fastest Place on Earth Episode 1 Full movie Documentary BBC - YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFCBOwD-BwI.  Burly Burlile
   JoAnn Carlson from the SCTA/BNI along with Britt Grannis, Kim Slaughter and Marc Ortiz just sent the link for the second part of the BBC Speed Dreams special. Many of you have emailed indicating you enjoyed it as much as I. Enjoy the second part. Part 2
http://www.frequency.com/video/bbc-speed-dreams-fastest-place-on-earth/73929889/-/YouTube.  Burly Burlile


The Following report was sent in by Franklin Ratliff from the DLRA website; See
Project 500;
Local Williamstown identity Terry O'Hare saw one of the many posters advertising the Texas Hold'em cruise at Seaworks Williamstown and contacted LGC Pres Alan Newton with a view to displaying his car. It took a little while for the story to come out, but this was no ordinary car and we are extremely grateful to Terry for contacting us and a huge thanks to him for allowing us to display this amazing vehicle.
   History; Australians Terry O'Hare and Jack McDonald designed and developed the Project 500 car for an attempt on the Australian Land Speed Record in 1973, which at that time was held by Sir Donald Campbell. Powered by a Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine with custom designed afterburner. Braking is assisted by two specially designed slotted parachutes fitted to ejection tubes at the rear of the fuselage. Build cost in 1972 was estimated to be $150 000. Engine has 2750lbs of thrust and 4125lbs of thrust when the afterburner was engaged. Although tested for a recorded 378mph, Project 500 was wind tunnel tested at 500mph plus during the design phase of the project.
   Designed to break the 500 mph (804 km/h) barrier, the Project 500 car unfortunately never confirmed its potential due to the unseasonal rains that flooded Lake Eyre that year, causing the attempt to be postponed. Further attempts were planned in subsequent years but, apart from a test run at Lake Hindmarsh in northern Victoria in 1974 where the car reached 378 mph (608.3 km/h), the Project 500 car never completed a competitive run to challenge Campbell's record. The Project 500 Jet Car has been fully restored in recent years by apprentices at the Kangan Batman TAFE College. It went on display at the Ford Discovery Centre in November 2004 till January 2005. This seems to be the only other time the car has gone on display in its 35 year history.
Project 500 Jet Car specifications. Power Plant: Rolls Royce Derwent jet engine with custom designed afterburner, developing 2750lbs of thrust or 4125lbs when the afterburner is engaged. Top Speed: Wind tunnel tested to in excess of 500 mph (804km/h). Frame: Custom designed two-part monocoque construction space frame with shear-pin detachable front cockpit. Body: Hand wheeled alloy outer skin designed for maximum aerodynamic effect. Wheels: Specially designed chrome alloy wheels with expanding segmented brake discs. Parachutes: Two specially designed slotted parachutes fitted to ejection tubes at the rear of the fuselage. Build Cost: $150,000 (1972)
   Well there you go, an amazing piece of the long forgotten Australian Land Speed history, unfortunately Terry who still owns the car, wasn't available for me to speak to him on the Sunday, but I will be following him up with a view for a story in the Dry Lakes Racers Australia newsletter. Does anybody remember this car from 1974 or have any photos or news/magazine articles from that time? I'd be very interested in tracking down some more information. You can contact me direct at gregwapling@hotmail.com. (Image 1 - Image 2 - Image 3 - Image 4 - Image 5)


The Auto Race That Changed Everything.  Narrated By Edsel Ford II.   Henry Ford was not a racer, but that didn't stop him from getting behind the wheel for a race that is still being talked about 110 years later.   See http://www.hotrodhotline.com/auto-race-changed-everything-posted-jan-9-2013


Bill Burke ran the “Sweet 16” belly tank in 1947. I don't know if that's when your dad drove it or when it was the Burke-Francisco entry as number 4 in 1948 or number 3 in '49. I know your dad drove the Kurtis sports car at B-ville in '49. Since your dad was tall he would have stuck out of the car pretty good. The driver in this one doesn't seem to stick out as much as one shot I've seen from '49 when it was ran as number 3. The question is who's still alive that was around then?  Jim Miller (Image 1)
   Jim; If you saw a belly tank you would wonder how any 6’4” man could squeeze into one, but he did, though it was very uncomfortable.


My name is Trevon Richard, and my email is paikeaa@gmail.com.  There is a picture that Vince Cimino took in the Dean Batchelor book of a 1932 Ford Roadster with a 4 Cylinder with a Besasie turbocharger.  It was taken in the early ‘40’s; I assume someone in the SCTA owned that car.  Maybe someone here can throw some info about it?  http://books.google.com/books?id=FKANybvo3LoC&pg=PA137&dq=Besasie+turbo+dean+batch elor&hl=en&sa=X&ei=l6ndUNuOPIOQ2gXh2ICoCQ&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q= Besasie%20turbo%20dean%20batchelor&f=false  The picture is on page 139.  Trevon Richard
     Trevon; I just ran across this link below that has one of the Besasie superchargers for a Chevy 6. It was sold on eBay.  Click on the link and you'll see a story; http://www.ebay.com/itm/Besasie-supercharger-turbo-Intake-216-235-Chevy-Rat-Rod-Vintage-inline-six-/110958050384?pt=Vintage_Car_Truck_Parts_Accessories&hash=item19d59d7c50& vxp=mtr.  Below is an excerpt from the eBay page; Bob Besasie, owner of the Besasie Engineering Company, of Milwaukee, is one boy who can't stand the idea of tying the centrifugal supercharger to the crankshaft by a belt or gears. He wants that impeller to be able to run relatively faster at low engine RPM to make up for some of that killing pressure loss suffered by this type of blower at low speeds. An exhaust turbine drive is the obvious answer.
     The theory is this: Since the "breathing," or weight of fuel-air charge drawn in on the intake stroke, is at a maximum at moderately low speeds, this means that the weight of exhaust gas flow per revolution will vary in proportion. Obviously this gas flow can be utilized to drive a blower impeller through a turbine wheel- at a speed ratio varying with throttle opening and crank RPM.
     Besasie has been experimenting with this idea (applied to automotive engines) as a hobby for some fifteen years, and has recently come up with a unit which he believes to be the answer. Although the resulting blower boost curve is inferior to the positive-displacement type over the full speed range, it is greatly superior to the gear or belt-driven centrifugal- and gets rid of most of the drive friction to boot. The whole thing looks beautiful from a theoretical standpoint.
     The critical problem, of course, is exhaust back-pressure. At peak speed, the turbine sets up a resistance of 31/z lbs/square inch, or about what the stock exhaust system gives. Downstream of the blower, it is vital that not over V<i lb additional resistance be present - or the exhaust valves are goners.
     Besasie specifies 2V<i-in tubing and a straight-through muffler at least 2 inches inside diameter (although due to the gas energy loss in the turbine, you don't really need a muffler), One purchaser disregarded the recommendations and fitted a 11/z-in. line and stock muffler; the car would go to 50 mph from a dead stop in 61/z seconds, but the acceleration flattened right out at 75. Besasie checked the installation later and measured the back-pressure at 61/z pounds. So remember this matter in relation to the exhaust-turbo supercharger. On the other hand, if the thing is set up right, the road performance is sensational and it will definitely stand up, Besasie has run one 157,000 miles in his' 40 Chevy and can out run anything stock on the road with a clear 100-mph top speed.
     Getting down to what there is available for you, the company brought out the first commercial model for the Chevy a couple of years ago (see Fig. 8-4), Fig, 8-5 shows performance curves for this setup on a '41 engine, The power boost of only 327< at 6 Ibs boost was not considered good, and on October 7, 2012 the seller added the following information: "I have had questions about condition, It was taken off of a running engine over thirty years ago and has been in the shop, out of the elements ever since. It is a bolt together turbo so should not be a big deal to split it and inspect. I also have four PDF files that go into detail that are a cool read, just message me with your email and I will be happy to send."
     Below is a page from the In-Liners International web site talking about the same picture in Batchelor's book; http://www.inliners.org/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=71949.  A couple of notes. The pix attached from e-bay shows a setup for the Chevy-6. The top aluminum housing is from a Graham and not the same as in Batchelor's book.  Ray Besasie Senior worked for Industrial Designer Brookes Stevens in Milwaukee and took care of his needs when it came to his cars.  Later on his son Ray Junior also worked for Stevens alongside his dad.  Seems both Ray's were involved building the Excalibur cars for Stevens as well as a designer called Joe Besasie.  Joe might be Ray Jr's son?  The Bob Besasie from the above eBay story might be Joe's son? 
     Robert Paxton McCulloch was born May 11, 1911, in Missouri. His grandfather, John I. Beggs, made his fortune by implementing Thomas Edison's electrical power plants in cities around the world, manufacturing and selling electric trolley cars, and founding Milwaukee's public utility system. McCulloch, along with his two siblings, inherited his grandfather's fortune in 1925.  Two years after he graduated from Stanford University, he married Barbra Ann Briggs, whose father was Stephen Foster Briggs of Briggs and Stratton.  His first manufacturing endeavor was McCulloch Engineering Company, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  There he built racing engines and superchargers.  In his early 30's, he sold the company to Borg-Warner Corporation for US$1 million.  All this explains the Besasie connection to Stevens, McCulloch and Supercharging.  See also link below for more Besasie cars; http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/tag/ray-besasie-sr/.
     Besasie Engineering Company of Milwaukee was located at 2809 S 5th Ct, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207-1458.  (414) 483-7004.  From the Milwaukee Historical Society on the Besasie Family History, 1950 and 1944.  This is a collection of materials donated by Raymond Jr. and Joseph Besasie that documents some of their family's involvement in the automobile development and construction business which stemmed from their father, Raymond Senior.  The elder Raymond's mechanical abilities started with building his own aircraft, but switched to automobiles in the late 1930's.  He soon had built experimental autos that he drove around town while working at a day-time business of fixing cars in his repair shop.  Sons Raymond Jr. and Joseph followed their father's love of auto work by combining to form the Besasie Automobile Company Incorporated (BACI) in 1991.  They hand-built fiberglass-bodied autos in limited quantities for buyers putting to good use the abilities and experience gained from their father, and the automotive and design field in which they had worked.
     Turbos/Superchargers; as for your the question of who ran the first Turbo's on cars that has to go to one Duke Hallock at Muroc on October 2, 1938 on his Cragar-Headed Modified/Streamliner.  The Volume 1, Number 9 issue of the S.C.T.A. Racing News in early '39 has an Eldon Snapp drawing of the car on the cover.  To put things in perspective, Hallock worked for a company in Los Angeles called Air-Research (that became Garrett-Airesearch) near LAX that was involved with air cooling of air on supercharged fighter aircraft.  They developed intercoolers and Turbos as we know them today.  He used the services of one Barney Navarro in the R&D section.  Since Bob McCulloch was also into supercharging aircraft I'm sure he and the folks at Garrett-Airesearch and Paxton were in communication.
     I have Vince Cimino as running at the lakes in July and September 1941 with his Ford V8 powered Roadster.  I can only find two cars running with S.C.T.A. as listed with Superchargers and they were the Spalding Brothers and Howie McKessen and both ran Modified's with V8's.  I checked Western Timing Results and there were four entries but again all with V8's.  Have no info on Russetta Timing Association. Again there are big holes that still exist.  Checked 1940 and '42 and Ramblers member Harold Shoop was the only other guy listed; in '40 he had a supercharged V8.
     The only other thing is if there was an uncropped shot of the Mystery Turbo Car that might reveal some background info to help date the shot.  I'm still trying to figure out the picture in Batchelor's book. The fuel line to the Winfield Carb is resting on what looks like the exhaust runner?  Is the fuel line not hooked up properly?  This would be a very dangerous situation.  The pix attached has the same bowler hat shape as in the Batchelor pix. You can see what looks like a shaft drive pickup on the bottom of the hat under the exhaust pipes.  That leads me to think this wasn't a turbo but a shaft drive setup?  Maybe they used the oem (original equipment manufacturer) exhaust ports as intake runners?  Jim Miller


Staff notes: Here are five early racers that I found partial biographies for on the internet. I am posting this to let you know that we have a lot of work left to do to find complete bios and stories on.               

SYDNEY ALLARD; In 1961, Allard was the very first British drag racer to run an all British-built dragster. At the historic 1964 First Annual British International Drag Festival (where American racers came over and tried out their cousins), Allard ran a 354-cid, unblown, Chrysler-powered dragster. Allard, who was a past winner of the RAC British Hill Climb Championships, ran a best of 10.28 in his Chrysler entry, a full two seconds slower than Don Garlits, who was an integral part of the U.S. Drag Racing Team. Hot Rod magazine in its coverage of this historic event referred to Allard as the one “who started it all in England.”              

BRAD ANDERSON; The highly successful West Covina, California engine manufacturer was also one of the most successful NHRA Alcohol Funny Car competitors, scoring 24 National event wins. On that list were five wins at the NHRA World Finals, three at the U.S. Nationals and two Winternationals titles. In addition, Anderson, a many-time NHRA TAFC record holder, also won the NHRA Alcohol Funny Car world championship three times. He also had success in nitro Funny Cars, Top Fuel and the Pro Modified class.                   

ART ARFONS; Out of all the performers in the early to late 1950’s, no one stood out in the crowd more than Akron, Ohio’s Art Arfons. That’s because Arfons ran an Allison aircraft engine in his rear-engined “Green Monster” dragster. Arfons won two of the three first Automobile Timing Association of America/World Series of Drag Racing events in Lawrenceville, Illinois, in ’54-‘56, and set Top Speed of the Meet at the ‘57, ‘58, and ‘59 NHRA Nationals. On September 24, 1958, Arfons became the first gas dragster driver to record a speed over 160 mph when he punched out a 168.89 at McBrides, Michigan. A good deal of Arfons’ fame came when he set the World Land Speed Record on two occasions at Bonneville, and also survived a 600-mph rollover at the Salt Flats.                         

JOAQUIN ARNETT; Arnett was in the famed “Bean Bandits” Car Club out of San Diego, California, a group that fielded three winning race cars in the period of roughly 1950 through 1955. Arnett drove the team’s first noticeable car, a class C Roadster that began the 1953 season with a 135.13-mph win at Santa Ana. Later that year, Arnett drove the team’s D/Competition roadster to the Top Eliminator win at NHRA’s very first big sanctioned event, the Pomona Valley Timing Association Southern California Championships. Arnett and the “Bandits” won literally dozens of Southern California track Top Eliminator titles in their five-year run, and also earned fame by runner-upping at the 1955 Arizona State Championships to Emory Cook. This was the race that the rained-out NHRA Nationals inaugural was completed                     

JERRY BALTES; Baltes, another San Diego racer, most likely will be remembered for his 1964 season where he cleaned up big time on a Midwestern Top Fuel tour with the Croshier-Baltes-Lovato dragster. He set numerous track records, including 204.54 marks at Rockford Dragway and Cordova Dragway. The Cordova 204 was registered while he was winning the World Series of Drag Racing show, a race where he set low E.T. at a 7.82. Late in the summer of 1964, Baltes made an unsuccessful bid for Don Garlits’ Drag News No. 1 Top Fuel spot.


Best video of the 2012 CHRR Cacklefest I have seen. I'm about 12 minutes in and Don is about 14 minutes in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUP6w7wIPtA.  John Ewald           ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     World Series of Drag Racing, Lawrenceville, Illinois 1954, 1955, or 1956.  Here are the Three Flying Grocery Men (Marshall Robilio, Gilbert Bugg, and UNKNOWN) pushing "Harass" up to the line.  Anybody remember the year, the other grocery man, the announcer's name (Man Mountain Dean?) time, speed, etc?  Also remember from that era Raymond Godman, Red Dwyer, and Tennessee Tub.  Dan Freeman,
Staff notes; This letter comes from Marshall Robilio.    
   I still have not determined the date of these races. I believe the first race was 1954 and some rodders attended as spectators.  The main attraction was Art Arfons with an aircraft engine powered dragster.  The car ran four wheels on the rear.  Two Ford rear ends facing each other with an unusual belt drive arrangement.  I have a picture somewhere if I can find it. Its run was demo only and Arfons did not compete.  There were a couple of California cars there with some real speed equipment and a young man from Florida with new equipment seeking information on how to make the car run fast.  I don't remember but I think the California boys helped him and he ended up winning the meet.  His name was Don Garlits. 
     The following year, 1955 I think, Raymond might remember, we both competed. I ran a Fuel coupe and the Eliminator prizes were a gallon of Nitro and a Holly four-barrel carburetor from Ford Motor Company, which I never received, and a gold plated Proto torque wrench.  This picture came out in 1957 and shows some of the rodders.     
     The "WORLD SERIES OF DRAG RACING," by the American Hot Rod Association was the first truly national event. In fact the NHRA purchased the AHRA to acquire the name rights to this event.  Raymond wrecked his race-car en route to the first event and he, Leland Sowell, Red Dyer and I, attempted to repair the car, but couldn't and just had to attend as spectators. I am thinking Art Black might have been with us.  The next year Raymond and Red ran his roadster with a big bore flathead, which kept blowing up and Gilbert, Gaylen Williams, Billy Ferguson and I ran a "T" coupe and won middle eliminator.  My Car, named "HARASS," pulled by our grocery truck was where the "Flying Grocery Boys" name came from. 
     There are a lot of interesting stories about this trip.  Raymond had bored his block so big it kept blowing cylinders. We found a local back yard machine shop that let us use his shop to repair the engine.  On the morning of eliminations, I blew a spark plug out of the head and off we went to the shop.  Gilbert and Gaylan had the car in line, with no head, but we were able to get it repaired just in time to run and win.
  Auto Craftsman magazine has this car as a cover picture. I have a copy of this magazine somewhere and I will send you a picture along with the dates of these events.       
     We were camping out at the strip and on Monday morning after the race Raymond wanted to drive his car to see what it felt like so Red and I pushed him off and away he went.  His foot jammed on the throttle and he could not shift; Wham, the clutch blew and the whole back torn off the motor.  The cylinder walls held however.  The car coasted to a stop with Raymond groggy over the wheel but luck was on his side and he was not injured.  We did not come home however, the following week NHRA had their 2nd National (1956) at Kansas City.  Raymond, Red, Gaylan and I spent a couple of days in St Louis repairing Raymond's motor and then on to Kansas City.  Another fun filled weekend at Kansas City but that's another story.  
   On the cover of Auto Craftsman, April 1957 are three of the Memphis Rodders. James E. (Red) Dyer is wearing the white cap. In red was Raymond Godman, seated in chair, was the driver. Gaylan E. (Bill) Williams, in red coveralls has his arm on the roof. The others in picture with red shirts are the crew of the car we beat in the finals. They ran an Olds powered fuel coupe also. Billy Ferguson, Gilbert Bugg and I were not in this picture. I think this was 1955, the second year at Lawrenceville. I did not attend Madera and attended the first year at Lawrenceville as a spectator. I can't remember much about the classes but I do remember running alky/nitro at the time. NHRA had a ban on fuel. I do not think Dave Marquez was there, surely I would have remembered a car like that, but I just do not know. There is a chance I might obtain more information about this event, if so will let you know. Marshall Robilio.
   I remember buying the Dave Marquez car (#880 roadster) from two buddies of mine, Bill Taylor and Pat Collins, in the late 1950's. They ran or attempted to run at the NHRA Nationals in Detroit but had trouble with the rear axle. At that time the car was pretty rough and did not have the Arden flathead engine. Gilbert Bugg and I bought the pieces, and car sans engine and transmission. We changed the roll bar, all of the running gear, rechromed everything, and put in a small block Chevy.  Over the weekend I should see Bill and Pat and maybe get more information. I will also send you some pictures and information on the car when Gilbert and I raced it. We won the Hot category of the SE division NHRA points races in 1963. Hot Rod Magazine did a spread when we ran at Indy. I am having some pictures scanned into digital and will send them with a history of the car while it was ours.   Marshall Robilio


A Visit with Diane Carmelo Leuenberger Vandenberg. Written by Diane Vandenberg with Richard Parks. Photographs by Diane Vandenberg, Photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz. Dec 20, 2012 
   I was born on October 3, 1935 in Orange, California to Daniel Carmelo and Mary Sepulveda Carmelo. My father, Daniel Carmelo, was born in Arizona in 1904. During the war years in the 1940’s my parents worked at Douglas Aircraft, in Long Beach; Dad worked in the production department and my Mom was a riveter.
   My grandfather on my father’s side was Cidraco Carmelo, who was from the Apache tribe and he was a prospector who spent most of his time in the Arizona and California deserts, prospecting for minerals. He and my grandmother Virginia lived in Orange, California for many years after that. My grandmother was Virginia Carmelo and she stayed home and during WWII, looked after my brother and myself while my parents worked at the aircraft plants. Virginia was from the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe, which was located in San Gabriel, California. 
   My mother, Mary Sepulveda, was born in Santa Ana, California in 1909. My grandfather, Adolph Sepulveda was born in Santa Ana in 1871. My grandmother on my mother’s side was Laura, and she was born in San Juan Capistrano, California. Laura was descended from the Yorba family, and her father's name was Jose Antonio Yorba II, and her mother's name was Josefa. The Yorba’s are an old Californio family that has deep roots from the very first Spanish colonists who intermarried with the early California Indians of the Southern California area.
   Jose Antonio Yorba was born in Spain, and was one of Fages' original Catalan volunteers. He became a corporal under Gaspar de PortolÓ during the Spanish expedition of 1769. He was in San Francisco in 1777; Monterey in 1782; and in San Diego in 1789. In 1797 he was retired with the position of sergeant and in 1810 was granted the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. In 1810, JosÚ Antonio Yorba was awarded by the Spanish Empire the 63,414-acre Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana land grant. Covering some 15 Spanish leagues, Yorba's land comprised a significant portion of today's Orange County including where the cities of Olive, Orange, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach stand today. Upon his death in 1825 he was buried at his request in an unmarked grave in the cemetery at Mission San Juan Capistrano. A cenotaph was later placed in Yorba's honor.
   My parents owned King Pest Control in Orange County for many years. They were great parents and I couldn't have asked for more understanding, loving, and supportive parents. When Dad was short of help he showed me how to drive the Model-A trucks down between the rows of trees and that was the start of my love for the Ford cars and trucks.
   I have one sister who lives in Riverside, her name is Dolores Carmelo Deatherage, and she has always been a housewife. Dolores has three sons. My brother, Donald Carmelo, lives in San Francisco, and he served eight years in the Navy and then he went to work as a hair stylist up in San Francisco for thirty-five years. Donald is an avid history buff. I have one Aunt that lives in Hemet, California. Her name is Inez Soza, and she is a very feisty lady who is still very active and loves to jitterbug; that was the dance that she and her brothers danced every chance they got, when the two Marines came home from the WWII.
   On the Sepulveda side of my family were my uncles; George, Clarence, and Adolph Sepulveda. My aunts on the Sepulveda line were; Nellie, Katherine and Josephine Sepulveda.
    I started school at the West Orange Grammar School, and then went to Garden Grove, at Lincoln Elementary. I attended Garden Grove High School and my friends were Jim Henson, Jerry Hart (C. J. Hart's son), Hill (Hildrado) Alcala and all of the guys who would hang out at Jack Hart's Texaco Service Station, in Orange. Jack Hart would go on to become the Vice President and General Manager of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in the 1960's. Jack Hart was instrumental with his expertise in building engines and allowing his group of followers to increase their interest and knowledge of racing. The large group of young hot rodders that hung around Jack Hart's station developed a deep camaraderie and were encouraged to develop their skills as racers. 
   Hill Alcala raced his 1927-T roadster, which is now at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California.  Hill was a very polite, quiet and hard working man; he worked for the Segerstrom Ranch in Costa Mesa area. This ranch has acres of lima beans for miles around and there was an old adobe house on a slight hill, which is now called Estancia house, near the corner of Adams and Placentia. Hill raced at Santa Ana, Bakersfield, Pomona, Irwindale and Long Beach.
   C. J. Hart was not related to Jack Hart. C. J. Hart would team up with Frank Stillwell and Creighton Hunter and promote the Santa Ana Airport drag races. I didn't have much to do with them except to say hello. C.J. was always a fair person and very pleasant to the young drag racers who raced at his drag strip. I liked the smell of his cigar. C. J. always had something positive to say to everyone and this made the Santa Ana Airport drag strip my favorite place to drag race.
   A special hang-out where my friends and I gathered was the Drive-In at Harbor Blvd and Main Street in Santa Ana, California. My friends and I had a lot of places where we would hang out and eat hamburgers and drink cherry cokes until we decided on a place where we could go and race our cars. I had to be home early because at this time I was still in high school. There wasn't a lot of money to spend, but we enjoyed what we had, standing around talking about cars mostly. Some of the guys had girl friends and they were there also, but it has been so long ago that I can’t remember all of them. I had a very nice car that I drove to school, even before I had a license to drive the car. It was a 1941 Ford business coupe, dark blue metallic paint job, no chrome on hood or deck lid, and white wall tires.
   I had a 1932 five-window Model B that I would race at the drag strips in the area. I raced at Colton, Santa Ana Airport, and Lions in Long Beach and my coupe could reach a speed of 103 mph, with an elapsed time of 14 seconds in the quarter-mile, which was pretty good in those days. I competed in the A and B gas categories. Jack Hart built and tuned my engine at his service station in Orange. Leslie Long, from Yorba Linda, also helped me tune my car. My '32 five-window coupe originally had a very small block flat head engine, but with help from Jack and Leslie, I ended up with a 315 cubic inch flat head motor.
   Leslie took over the Santa Ana Airport and Main Street Malt Shop reunion when Bill and Marie Jenks could no longer run it. We meet twice a year at Santiago Creek Park in Orange, during April and October. Leslie is also the historian for the Santa Ana Airport drag strip and for the SCTA El Mirage dry lakes meets. He brings his photo albums to the park and we all try and identify the cars, drivers and crew from way back in the 1950's. I know that Leslie worked several years while in the service at Sandia, New Mexico, but it was a top secret installation, so he didn't talk about it much. Leslie is a brilliant man and very unassuming. He has designed several items for race cars. I have always enjoyed having Leslie as a good friend. He always has something interesting to talk about, and he has put a lot of hours into keeping records and pictures of the old days of racing at the drags and dry lakes. Everyone I know appreciates all his hard work and dedication to history and to keeping the reunion going. l never met Bill and Marie Jenks.
   I remember that we sometimes would race on the streets. A favorite spot was on Fairview Street and Red Hill, near the old Air Base. We would run on the north side of the base. I was very fortunate that both of my parents supported me in my racing and I would love to make another run someday down the quarter-mile drag strip. Sometimes we would pause at the stop signs and look from side to side to see if it was all clear and then we would peel out, go down the road and drag our cars. We were never stopped by the police for racing.
    I was married twice, and divorced twice. John Leuenberger was my first husband and we were married in November, 1952. John and I had one daughter together, Diane Leuenberger. I married my second husband, Larry Vandenberg, in 1985.
   I worked in the aerospace industry for twenty-one years, for a company called Ling Electronics in Anaheim and then spent another twenty years working for the American Red Cross; eleven years as a volunteer and nine years as a paid staff member at the Red Cross National Headquarters, in Washington, D.C. as a fleet manager. I was the California State Emergency Response Vehicle inspector, touring California and looking after more than thirty trucks. The total number of emergency vehicles in our fleet of trucks is well over three hundred now, counting all of the states. The most emergency Red Cross vehicles are in California and Florida has the second most trucks in the fleet. We are prepared for any disaster that comes.
    I have one wonderful daughter and her name was Diane Leuenberger. In the seventies, when my daughter was a teen, we did dirt biking and water skiing; which has always been in our lives. My daughter and I were involved with horses, and we participated in the Indian rodeos. Her second horse was a Hunter jumper. Both of our horses were Appaloosas. She loved all her animals, and her cars. She was also a great hair stylist for twenty-nine years. She passed away four years ago. Diane was a beautiful person and she had a big heart, loved by all her clients and many friends. She had no children.
   I have been involved with Thunderbird classics for many years. I'm a master judge and have judged many shows throughout the United States and Canada. I have owned a 1957 and a 1956 Thunderbird. I was a judge at a show in Memphis, Tennessee this year. I was also involved with hot air and helium balloons for several years, and crewed for a pilot from Canada. I have been to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Montreal, Canada and across the United States, ballooning with the same pilot. I also competed in off road racing for a short time. It was fun, but I turned to photography instead as it was a lot safer.


Staff notes; Dema Elgin and Spencer Simon sent in the following article and photographs. 
     "That was a really good Barn Find and great pictures.  Those heads are not the usual Edelbrock’s that I have seen.  The fins seem different.  Spencer Simon (from Dema Elgin)
     Deuce was original champ of first World Series of Drag Racing.  This 1932 Ford was built for the first World Series of Drag Racing, and after that 1954 race, it was parked and never run again.  Story by Angelo Van Bogart, Photos by Bob Chiluk.
     A single shot from a BB gun may have saved one of the most historic 1932 Ford Deluxe three-window coupes in drag racing history from completely rusting into oblivion.  In 1954, Francis Fortman and Kenny Kerr decided to build a car for the 1954 World Series of Drag Racing, the first such event hosted by the Automobile Timing Association of America.  The event was held at Half Day Speedway in Lawrenceville, Illinois, about 20 miles from Chicago, none too far from Fortman and Kerr’s home.  Other young participants included Arnie “The Farmer” Beswick driving a new Oldsmobile, Art Arfons in the Allison airplane-engined Green Monster and Fred Lorenzen in a Cadillac-powered Ford convertible.
     Fortman and Kerr did not become big names like some of their fellow competitors that day.  However, the 1932 Ford three-window coupe they built and raced for that event placed first in the A-B class with a 105.88 mph speed.  Surviving pictures show the '32 Ford at the 1954 World Series of Drag Racing.  The car placed first in the A-B class with a time of 105.88 mph.  After that day of racing, Fortman and Kerr hung up their helmets and parked the Deuce for good. As driver, Kerr took home the trophy from the track. As the builder, Fortman took home the Deuce as his own trophy.  He then parked the car outside until fate intervened and the car became a bona fide barn find in 2012.
     [Fortman] told me a '32 Ford race car was worth nothing in 1954, so instead of selling it, he put it in a field and put a tarp on it, said Ken Robins, the 1932 Fords new owner.  So it spent 20 years under this tarp until one day, kids were shooting the windshield with a BB gun, so he put it in the barn.  But from the day he brought it home in 1954 to the day I bought it, it was never touched or started.  The Deuce Robins bought in the summer of 2012 is the '32 every hot rodder dreams of finding or building in their head while lying awake at night.  The car is a simple, purpose-built car with several period go-fast tricks, and the fact its based on one of the rodding worlds most lusted-after cars is pure luck.  He was just looking for a good car to race and it just so happened he found a 32 three-window, Robins said.
     [Fortman] owned a frame repair shop in Chicago and Kenny Kerr came to him and said, "Why don't we have fun and build a drag car?"  Fortman was reluctant, but he said OK.  [Fortman] purchased the car in Chicago, made a deal and put down a deposit and when he came back, he found the seller had taken the radiator out of it.  He got back in his car because he told him he wasn't going to buy it without a radiator, but he reluctantly went back and bought the car.  The car was brought back to Kerr's shop, where it was channeled over the original frame.  An alcohol-burning flathead Ford engine with four Stromberg’s was mated to a stock Ford three-speed crash box that led to a standard 1940's Ford rear axle welded to make it a locker.
     In 2012, builder Francis Fortman said goodbye to the '32 Ford he built in 1954. Fortman never had the urge to start or run the car after it was built for the 1954 World Series of Drag Racing event.  The car had other modifications standard to hot rods of the day: a 1940 Ford steering wheel and a filled roof and cowl vent, a rollbar, custom interior door panels, and a metallic red spray job with a white-painted grille insert and firewall.  It was a race car, however, so a rollbar was installed and the deck lid was secured using screws. A hand-operated fuel pump and fuel tank were installed in the passenger compartment, next to the single driver’s bombardier seat obtained from a salvage yard.  The fuel system by today’s standards is absolutely suicidal, Robins said.  Keep in mind; they had nothing to go by.  This is just what they did.
     I have a couple hot rods, and people have now built '32 Fords with the bomber seats designed just like this car is designed, but when [Fortman] did it, he didn't have a car to by.  It just all fell into place.  A search for the car also fell into place for Robins.  His friend, a fellow Model A enthusiast, stopped by Robins business at Restoration Plus in Cary, Illinois, and mentioned he knew of an old Ford race car in the area, although he wasn't sure of the type of Ford or exactly where it was parked.  We went in the area and we knocked on doors, Robins said.  At the third door, an elderly gentleman came to the door and I said, "I don’t mean to bother you, but do you have an old race car?"  I asked if there was any way we could see it.  The gentleman was Francis Fortman, and since he was acquainted with Robins friend, Fortman showed them to the barn where the Ford had been parked since the mid 1970's.
     "We went into the barn and we go in the back corner and there was a 1932 Ford drag car with an alcohol-burning flathead," Robins said.  "Because my buddy was into Model A's," he said, "I have no interest, so I took him home."  I asked the gentleman if I could come back, so I came back and he pulled out the original sheet from the first World Series of Drag Racing, and in it he showed me how he had won his class with another gentleman.
     The 1932 Ford Deluxe three-window coupe as OCW reader Ken Robins found it in a barn in 2012.  The coupe body was channeled over the frame and didn't run headlamps.  Power came from a later Ford flathead that burned alcohol.  To save weight, builder Francis Fortman installed a lightweight seat found in a salvage yard.  While Robins and Fortman visited, Fortman told of how the Deuce would not start once they arrived at the track.  A fellow racer noticed their troubles and explained the problem was the ignition.  He happened to own a shop that sold the parts Fortman and Kerr needed and would supply it.  They drove to Iowa that night, bought the ignition and they installed it the next morning, Robins said.  It got the car running and they ran it twice down the track.  When Fortman built the car, it had all new gauges in it, and the odometer now shows 8/10 of a mile because the car went down the track twice.
     Robins eventually asked if the car was for sale, and after Fortman conferred with his wife.  She said, "Absolutely don't let the man out of the house," according to Robins a deal was made for Robins to buy the car, but he had to wait until after Fathers Day.  Since purchasing it, the only work Robins has completed on the car is a tire change and a thorough cleaning.  Despite the deterioration the car suffered while parked outside, Robins said the crowd went nuts over the car at the Iron Invasion traditional hot rod show in Woodstock, Illinois, the only place the car has been shown.  "This is a true time capsule," Robins said.  Basically, this car is the Holy Grail of hot rods, but to Francis, it was just another car.  He was actually a pioneer that built the car that everyone tries to copy today, which is really amazing.  Although the car is certainly restorable, it has considerable rust in the lower portions of the body.  Robins has no plans to restore the body or make it run.
     "I would never restore this car.  It should be untouched, because if it is restored, it’s just another '32 Ford," Robins said.  Where are you going to find a car from the first World Series of Drag Racing?  It is more of a piece of Americana and artwork and hot rod history than it is a car.  While Robins has realized the dream of many hot rodders, he has hopes the dream lasts long enough for him to find the trophy from the cars day at the track, and to perhaps find it a more suitable home.  I would like to find a museum interested in it.  This is a true time capsule that should go down in history as drag racing folklore. 



















Aussie Invader Newsletter January 2013. 
   It’s 2013 already and best wishes for the coming year to all our partners, supporters and 1000 MPH Club Members. This is the year all speed fans should be looking forward to, as we are going to see some fantastic progress towards the setting of a new World Land Speed Record both from our Aussie Invader camp and several other teams worldwide, including our great mates and friendly rivals the Bloodhound SSC Team based in the UK. I was excited to touch base with BSSC’s driver and the “Fastest Man on Earth” Andy Green OBE over the Christmas break and to talk about some of the differences between each other’s approach and build programs. My team has been blessed with the amazing support of our 1000 MPH Club members and the product and design support from our project partners throughout Australia and the world, which has advanced our build with nearly $1m of parts and specialist services, including hundreds of hours of CFD, FEA and engineering design time.
   The Brits have for many years fought for and held the WLSR several times and her citizens understand what a magnificent and hard won battle that record is, with so much history and incredible stories of endeavour and achievement throughout the years. The UK is a relatively small country on the world map, but a giant when it comes to WLSR racing and is the centre for motor sport excellence, spawning a lot of design and development for Formula One, which is seen by many as the pinnacle of race car development. I have always believed that 1983 WLSR record holder (633 mph) and mate Richard Noble OBE is one of the world’s most gifted salesmen. His ability to excite and motivate UK businesses to open their cheque books and gain corporate support is astounding; his passion for what he does is superhuman. Well done Richard!
   This year is going to be the biggest yet and at the end of it we will hopefully have a car ready to test and attempt record runs, but to do that we need to make 2013 the year of fund raising and corporate awareness to support and complete the thousands of jobs needed to get us to the start line. My team and I believe we can and make ourselves credible contenders for the World Land Speed Record.
   We had a remarkable 2012 with some major milestones achieved by my legendary team, some of which include: Hundreds of additional manpower hours contributed to further develop our car and get her closer to completion. A full sized double sided image of our car produced along with a transport unit so that we can appear at special venues to promote our mission. The launch of the world’s first 1,000 mph wheel completed and race ready. Our rocket motors interface designed and built in readiness for engine tests. An 8m transport rack designed and built for Australia’s fastest car Aussie Invader 3 to allow her to be transported to special events/promotions throughout the country. Engine transport stand and wheel display stands designed and built.  An appearance at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, with our rocket motor, 1,000 mph wheel and stand-up image.  Numerous TV, radio and newspaper stories, motivational talks and guest appearances. The completion of our rocket motors torch ignitor test stand, and the design and machining of our torch ignitor.  
   Kentin Engineering for the great machining work on the igniter. Trident for the high pressure regulators and gauges. Dave Booysen from Burkert. The great crew at Prochem for the piping and fittings. WA’s best battery supply company…Challenge Batteries. 
   For us to make this a successful year, we have set ourselves some targets to achieve in 2013, these include: Rocket motor testing by Rocket Lab in NZ is high on our priority list. Have our car on wheels early in the year. Knock on a lot more doors to find the much need funding necessary to surge ahead. Visit and define a suitable race track location either in Australia or the US. Complete our composite sections on our car, nose, windshield canopy and tailfin.  Fit out the car with all of her electronics/pneumatics and hydraulics.  Launch a dynamic new website through a new high profile partnership with one of WA’s top web development companies... more about this in the coming months. Attend more high profile Australian Motor Shows. All that is left is for my team and I to wish everyone the very best for 2013, it is going to be a fast ride. Rosco McGlashan OAM, Fastest Aussie on Earth


Air cooled Elvington Mile. First European Volkswagen Land Speed Trials, Elvington Air Base, York, England.  Bonneville style land speed racing for air cooled Volkswagens is finally coming to Europe! The first ever Volkswagen land speed time trials to be held in Europe will take place this coming August 17th and 18th at the old World War 2 Lancaster bomber base called Elvington located mid-country south east of York, 211 miles north of London along the A1079.   The Straightliners motorcycle group sanctioning this event has more than a decade of top speed racing experience and have invited air cooled street legal Volkswagens interested in finding out what the maximum speed of their Volkswagens are to join them this coming August. Noise restrictions are mandated so efficient muffling on all cars will be required before racing begins. This will be a 36hp and VW Big Block Challenge recognized event! Speeds set by VW's meeting the Challenge guidelines will be eligible to set Challenge top speed records. Challenge guideline information can be found through contact at the email link at www.burlyb.com. The 36hp Challenge currently has competitors in Australia, Canada and the United States and welcomes this inaugural land speed event for Volkswagens in Europe.  For additional information on this premier race, please contact the Volkswagen racing co-ordinator, Walter DeVette, at fusca03@tele2.nl for racing and event specifics. Walter, along with numerous other Vintage and Big Block VW racers will be making the Chunnel crossing pilgrimage from the mainland to be part of this first ever VW Challenge.  We hope you can join them as racers, crews or spectators.  Should you require additional details regarding this release please contact: Burly Burlile, burlybug@comcast.net   


Just found this pix from the Jan 1949 Hot Rod Expo when the Burke-Francisco car number 3 was on display. The sign says your pop is the driver. That means he could have run it the last meet of '48 or was slated to drive it in '49. Jim Miller (Image1)


There will be a car show memorial in honor of Bill Papke, past owner of Papke Enterprises in Huntington Beach, California. The Memorial will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2013, from 12 Noon to 4 PM, at the Huntington Central Park, in Huntington Beach. To get there take Edwards Street to Central Park Drive and turn east. At the end of the street is the parking for the Park. There will be a car show, BBQue, music, bench racing. For further information contact Mackey's Hot Rods at 714-847-0111. (Image 1)



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