NEWSLETTER 295 - October 27, 2013
Editor-in-Chief: Mary Ann Lawford www.landspeedracing.com
President of the Society: Jim Miller, 1-818-846-5139.
Assistant Editor: Richard Parks, Rnparks1@Juno.com

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

Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
GUEST COLUMNIST:  Gil Coraine sent in an article found on Driving Force Online called "Massachusetts Committee Again Considers Bill to Ban the Use/Sale of Aftermarket Exhaust Systems; STAFF NOTES: I have tried a certain indexing, listing all the personal nouns before a topic in the newsletter; STAFF EDITORIAL by Richard Parks; Kent Waters and Ron Main sent in this video; Venturi VBB-3 Gets Unveiled. Flooded Salt Flats Push Back Land Speed Record Attempt to 2014 (w/videos); On my first visit with Johnny, he told me why they changed their name to Welchel from Welcher and why Orville was called "Snuffy."; I was a friend of, and worked for Orville Welcher years ago; My name is Amy Kassel, I am the great-granddaughter of Lee Chapel; STAFF NOTES: the following comes from Burly Burlile; I'm the editor of the Speed Record Club's (www.speedrecordclub.com) quarterly newsletter Fast FACTS, but I am assuming it was sent so that some form of commemoration to Bill Warner could appear in our publication; STAFF NOTES: In the same issue of Hemmings is a great article with photos on Barney Oldfield; The Trompers of Eagle Rock First Annual Valve Cover Grand Prix Invitational race at Irwindale Speedway, September 21, 2013. Sent in by Doug Stokes; STAFF NOTES: Ginny and John Dixon sent word that John Morton is being honored with the Lindley Bothwell Lifetime Achievement Award; Gone Racin’…To the Premiere of the movie SNAKE & MONGOO$E. Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz; PARTS IS PARTS! By Le Roi Tex Smith; In Support of Al Slonaker. By Le Roi Tex Smith; I'm sorry to hear Ed Kretz Jr has passed away; I work as a researcher for Steve Heinrichs; STAFF NOTES: These websites were sent to us by John Hutchinson, from the UK; Saturday evening on September 7th at Santa Pod Raceway, during the FIA European Drag Racing Championship Finals, marked an important change for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Annual Awards Event; STAFF NOTES: the following message was sent in to us by John Hutchinson; G'day 36hp & VW BB Challengers


GUEST COLUMNIST:  Gil Coraine sent in an article found on Driving Force Online called "Massachusetts Committee Again Considers Bill to Ban the Use/Sale of Aftermarket Exhaust Systems.  You can also email SEMA Action Network (SAN) directly at san@sema.org, to ask them to put you on their mailing list.


STAFF NOTES: I have tried a certain indexing, listing all the personal nouns before a topic in the newsletter. What happens is that they are all combined into one huge list and I find that confusing. It is also time consuming. A few others have written in to tell me that they find it confusing as well. The problem is that we don’t have an index and trying to create a pseudo-index is only more confusing. Perhaps the website owner can find an inexpensive program that will automatically index each newsletter. Until then I am not going to list the topics before each entry.


STAFF EDITORIAL by Richard Parks:
   Health. That seems like a strange topic for an editorial, but in fact it is a vital discussion for we cannot achieve our goals at this newsletter or anywhere else in fact if our health issues are severe. The NATIONAL DRAGSTER initiated a column on health and publishes it periodically. They believe that good health is a vital component of a good racing team and as simple as this concept is for us to understand, we tend to do a poor job of taking good care of our health. Hot rodders and land speed racers tend to spend a good part of their time with the health of their race cars or parts, and a lousy time with their own health. We realize that abusing our cars or parts leads to bad results, but we ignore our own health issues. Then just as we are ready to go after that record we become ill and are unable to follow through.
   The NATIONAL DRAGSTER articles on health issues cover every type of problem that could affect us; from physical ailments to mental health issues. The articles don’t pull any punches either; especially when dealing with people who are in charge of million dollar race teams. It is just as critical in land speed racing even though your budgets are much smaller and you aren’t under as much stress from antsy sponsors who are demanding. Your health is vital if you are going to do your best. And it isn’t only the driver we are talking about, for the owner and chief mechanic are also very important partners in your race team. You have invested time, money and talent into your car and now you have to be in the best physical and mental shape possible in order not to let everyone down.
   It all begins with personal habits; smoking, alcohol, rest, stress, drug and food usage. Are you ingesting things that are harmful or sway your judgment and curtail your reflexes and reaction times? Are you consuming too much alcohol? I’ve seen a lot of racers over the last 60 years and the ones still talking to me about the old days are not heavy alcohol drinkers. The same applies with drug and prescribed medicines; are you dependent on these chemicals over and above doctor recommended dosages? What about your dietary habits; are you overweight or are your foods heavy on the carbs and sugars? Being overweight or consuming too many fats or sugars can lead to heart attacks, strokes or diabetes. In fact there are a host of illnesses and conditions that are only made worse by being overweight or diabetic. Are you reducing the stress in your life and getting as much rest as your body needs?
   Do you make an appointment to see your doctor for a physical every year and have a complete blood panel work-up? Do you ask for a prostate exam and have a colonoscopy when the doctor feels it is necessary? Are you practicing a “preventive” approach to health issues or are you just waiting for your body to give you a sign that you’ve waited too long. Are you the “iron man” who doesn’t need someone telling you how to lead your life or are you a “team player” who goes after the best advice on health? It isn’t easy knowing when to see your doctor and when to “tough it out.” Physicians will tell you that 90% of the time we will get better on our own and “time will heal what ails you.” But it is that other 10% of the time when what is affecting you can cause serious harm or death that is the problem. Do you know the signs? Do you know when you should stay home and take care of it yourself, or when you should see a doctor? I’ve been around the medical field most of my life and I can tell you that I was fooled at times too. So the rule of thumb is this; “If there’s any doubt at all, see a doctor.” 
   When you do see a doctor you need to be organized. Most patients simply go to the doctor and say, “It hurts,” and figure that the doctor knows what ails you. Doctor visits average five minutes. Doctors have to review your chart, order tests, treat your condition, finish their notes in your chart and rush off to see another patient. Only after leaving the office do you slap yourself on the forehead and exclaim, “Oh, I forgot to tell him about…” So write down all the issues that are bothering you in clear printing and give him the list to read. Ask the doctor to tell you what your blood tests revealed. Your doctor should be able to give you a printout of your lab and blood work with plus and minus signs, indicating anything that is out of the normal. If you have a test that is outside the normal range, either plus or minus, ASK your doctor what that means. Ask your doctor about your weight range, blood pressure and pulse range. You will dyno your engine, so why not dyno your body too.
   Don’t forget to bring up any mental health issues. We all have them even if you are Mr He-man. Stress may not be evident and you don’t have to be certifiably committed to an insane asylum to be suffering mental problems. Are you mishandling stress? Are you anxious? Are there stressors in the home or with your family or employer? How about your race team; are you having problems there? I can count the problems created between racing partners in the hundreds of occasions. Two guys start out the best of friends, one providing the engine and the other the body, with an agreement to share in everything. But over time those little quirks begin to show; one guy is chronically late, while the other guy spends too much time with the ladies and not the car. Or it becomes a money issue and the partners fight over who has done the most and who has done the least. Are you handling stress well? And are you getting enough rest? 
   The professional race car teams in NASCAR, NHRA and IMS approach racing as a multi-faceted enterprise and health is a major concern to them. They hire personal trainers, use exercise equipment and even have nutritionists on hand. Poor health can cost them millions and so they make sure that this is one area of concern that they work on to mitigate their liability. You don’t have to have a nutritionist or a personal trainer, but you should get rid of that beer belly, your bad eating habits, any vices like smoking, alcohol or recreational drug use and exercise to build up muscle mass as you reduce body fat. Watch those sugar calories as you can develop diabetes. Take care of your teeth and eyes. Reduce your stress in your personal life and in your racing venture. Get plenty of sleep and limit the risky behavior. Plan ahead so that what you face in life is acceptable risk that is well thought out and organized. Remember, you can’t go for the record, even if your car is able, if you’re not in good enough physical health to achieve what you need to do.
   On another topic you will come across emails and subjects that we have written about in the past and which may seem redundant to you. While we have excellent writers in Spencer Simon, Jim Miller and Bob Falcon and an excellent photographer in Roger Rohrdanz, we are a small group. Anita Schwartz and Mary Ann Lawford and I handle the technical aspects of putting the newsletter on-line for you. We have to keep all the facts in our head and we don’t have an indexing system that lets us know what we have done in the past. We all have fair memories of what we have discussed and researched, but this is the 295th issue and they average about 8000 words each. We are going to make errors and forget that we’ve run the same or similar articles or letters from members in the past. But I don’t believe that there are very many of you who can remember all two and a half million words in the past issues. If you can, then I apologize for the redundancies that appear in the newsletters.
   Don’t forget the SANTA ANA DRAGS AND MAIN STREET MALT SHOP REUNION on October 12, 2013 at Santiago Creek Park, in Orange, California. It is located just a quarter mile east of Main Street and East Memory Lane. Contact me for further instructions. Bring the whole family and enjoy a day in the Park from 10 AM to 2 PM.


Kent Waters and Ron Main sent in this video; Venturi VBB-3 Gets Unveiled. Flooded Salt Flats Push Back Land Speed Record Attempt to 2014 (w/videos). Google; http://insideevs.com/venturi-vbb-3-gets-unveiled-flooded-salt-flats-push-back-land-speed-r ecord-attempt-to-2014-wvideos/.


     On my first visit with Johnny, he told me why they changed their name to Welchel from Welcher and why Orville was called "Snuffy."  Back in the day, the term "welcher" carried a bad connotation/definition so they changed it to "Welchel."  Problem solved.  Orville earned the nickname of "Snuffy" after the popular comic strip character of the times, "Snuffy Smith."  Apparently both Orville and "Snuffy Smith" had a fondness for "corn-likker."  Johnny has a couple of funny stories about that.  I sent Johnny your outline for personal bios.  He is very interested in completing his.  Snuffy is no longer with us but Johnny can likely provide information on both of them.  It has been a special treat getting to talk with and know Johnny. 
   I liked your editorial, especially about getting young folks involved with our sport.  The aim of the SCTA-BNI Scholarship program is to do exactly that.  Now called the Mike Waters Memorial Scholarships, they are awarded to high school graduates and young college students who participate (or will participate) in our sport and are pursuing studies that will in some way support our sport.  To date, this endeavor has been successful.  We have had several recipients who had a connection to LSR though family or friends but were not active in the sport.  Through their application for and receipt of an SCTA Scholarship they have become involved all the way from volunteers at meets (including Bonneville) to joining race teams.  One of our top recipients just was accepted and hired by GM Engineering following her graduation from college.  She was told the deciding factor was because she had received a scholarship from SCTA-BNI. 
   On a more personal (Road Runners) note, one of our new members is Hayden Huntley.  Hayden is a 17 year old high school senior in Riverside.  Hayden's grandfather, Bruce Huntley was a member of the Road Runners from 1950 to 1951.  Fellow Road Runner and friend, Vic Enyart (1950-1953) has rejoined our Club bringing along a Lotus F1 based Lakester.  Hayden is Vic's racing partner.  Hayden is doing the wrenching on the car and will be the driver.  The car was to make its debut with Hayden driving, at the recently rained out September El Mirage Meet.  Hayden, chompin' at the bit, is eagerly awaiting the next meet on October 20.  So cool to have youngsters involved, especially with a racing heritage that goes back to earlier days.  Jerry Cornelison


   I was a friend of, and worked for Orville Welcher years ago. The guys changed their name because being a welcher (from the verb welsh or welch, to take back what was given to someone) was not too good. I also lived in Bellflower less than a mile from Harvey Haller for years (during the 1940s and ‘50s) and when he was in Hawaii during the Korean War, I was there also in the Army. We used to go to the drag strip when he ran that lakester. After Harvey passed away I purchased the belly tank that he and Frank Breene had raced at Bonneville. I ran the tank in 1956 and 1957 at the salt. I also am one of the "49ers" as I ran that first year. I was on the SCTA board of directors at that time. Is there a write-up about the "Harvey Haller Award"? I would be interested to read that. I was a member of the "Wheelers" club in SCTA. Kay Kimes


     My name is Amy Kassel; I am the great-granddaughter of Lee Chapel.  I'm wondering if it's possible to talk to someone about my great-grandpa and possibly swap information?  Lee died before I was born, but many in my family remember him.  I'd love to send you copies of original photos that I have.  I also have some of his trophies.  I live in Yorba Linda and have never been to the NHRA museum, is that a start?  Please let me know who I can get in touch with.  Thank you, Amy Kassel
     AMY: I'm going to put your request in our newsletter in case there are others who might have knowledge about your great grandfather, Lee Chapel or his Chapel Speed Shop.  1) Google the internet and see where Lee's name shows up and contact those websites.  2) One of our researchers is Spencer Simon and he lives up north in the Bay Area.  I've sent him your email and he may want to get in touch with you and let you know what he has found out.  He has met some family and friends of Lee and may share this information with you.  3) The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Avenue, Pomona, California.  It is a fine resource and the curator there is Greg Sharp.  4) Jim Miller is our chief researcher and president of our Society and he can be reached at 818-846-5139.  He is also the director for the American Hot Rod Foundation and can receive and process photographs and add captions for any photographs that you might wish to provide to him.  He returns all originals to their owners after making copies for the website, which is free for the public's use.  Miller may also have some knowledge of what magazines and books your great grandfather is listed in so that you can add to your library.  If you would like to start a project for Lee we can have some of our researchers work with you to complete a biography or stories about him.
      AMY: I have been searching for Lee Chapel's daughter.  I heard that she went to Sparks, Nevada and then to Denver and have lost track of her.  Lenny Lowe, who was the machinist for Lee, has moved to Sparks, Nevada.  I heard that Lenny has passed away.  My friend (who just passed away) was Carl Schmid who bought the Lee's Speed Shop parts, including Sonny Rogers record breaking Tornado engine that was in the Tornado LSR streamliner, as well as some remains of the Tornado were bought directly from Lee's wife.  Mariella Allinger, the daughter of master aluminum fabricator Bob Allinger, also is a great source for material.  Mariella's dad, Bob Allinger, built the Tornado for Lee.  Mariella is also trying to get information on her father. The big question is where is the Tornado body that her father built?  Before Carl Schmid has passed away, I took some photos of some of the parts he had acquired from Lee's wife.  They are in rough condition due to being stored for a long time outside.  After Carl passed away the inventory was given to his sons.  I was interested in Lee because Bob Allinger built the Tornado.  At the same time Bob also built the nose on my track T roadster on my car named Lightning Bolt.  I hope to write the history on Lee. I live in Castro Valley, CA.  Lee's speed shop was no more than 20 minutes away from my house.  Mariella lives in Stockton, CA, only 10 minutes from Carl Schmid's place.  I took her to see Carl and it was a great visit.  Spencer Simon


STAFF NOTES; the following comes from Burly Burlile. 
Just a quick reminder that the ECTA event in Wilmington, Ohio, is this weekend (www.ecta-lsr.com). As of today it appears five or six VW's will be racing. Look for the Burns family Ghia, Tom Newport and his DSS36 buggy going for the "1" Club, John Finn and his turbo 2.0 Rabbit, and Gaylen Anderson and Tom Bruch in the new Ghia running the 126 mph bug NA36 engine with hopes of besting Dick Beith’s 50 year old top 36hp speed record of 129.65 mph. Bill Hatfield will have his beautiful 99 Bug ready to romp after breaking a rocker arm on the dyno last week. The Harig clan, who planned to race in place of the rained out World of Speed, "destroyed" their new motor on the dyno this past week and will miss the event. First time Challengers Barry and Steve Jecewski plan to be there running a 74 Super Beetle in the GSR ECTA class with a two barrel 1600cc Big Block.  
   SCTA/BNI World Finals at Bonneville (THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED) Scheduled for Oct 1st to the 4th, a salt report is expected today after an inspection of the course (rain is forecast for Salt Lake City tonight through Thursday AM) and hopefully it will have dried enough by Monday to allow racing to go on. Scheduled to compete are the Pedersen/Manghelli 195 mph Rabbit pick-up now with turbo VR6 power(is 200 mph knocking?), Dick Beith and the Bugliner who has resolved many problems over the summer with his supercharged fuel injected air-cooled engine, Dewey and Abe Potter and the fast Passat and going for 300 plus, the V10 diesel powered streamliner of Frank Klos and Doug Adler. I am praying for dry salt and hope to join them Tuesday and Wednesday. See www.scta-bni.org for details.
   (THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED) The Mike Cook Shootout, a private FIA sanctioned event for ultimate high speed cars and motorcycles that was postponed by the same rain that cancelled the World of Speed has been rescheduled for October 10-14th. Again, let us all hope for dry salt! Snow is forecast on the mountains of Utah over the next couple of days. The LandRacing.com site here will keep you abreast of all the Shootout happenings
   The TEXAS Mile entry list is sold out for Oct 25-27th and I am not sure if any VW's entered (please let me know if you are racing!). Their schedule is posted below this newsletter in case you are attending as a racer or spectator. See below or go to
www.info@nasatx.com, for more info.  
   The final event of 2013 will be held down under in Australia. Glen Torrens will be on hand with his Speedweek Super Beetle to uphold the Volkswagen honors and hopefully a few more OZ racers. If any Aussie Challengers are racing, please let me know. The organizers at snowymountains1000@hotmail.com are still accepting entries and you can use this as a tune-up for next Spring’s Speedweek at Lake Gairdner.  
   For the full comp cars in SoCal, two remaining El Mirage events are still on the calendar. October 20 and November 9-10 will round out the SCTA dry lake racing if rain does not soak the lakebed as it did for the September meet. It will be fun spectating, a little dusty, but great competition on a historic land speed racing facility; located near Adelanto up by Victorville.


     I'm the editor of the Speed Record Club's (www.speedrecordclub.com) quarterly newsletter Fast FACTS, but I am assuming it was sent so that some form of commemoration to Bill Warner could appear in our publication.  If that is the case I would love to use the information and photos, but would prefer to have permission before doing so. The world of record breaking is certainly worse off with the demise of Bill.  Jane Pittwood
JANE: The email on Bill Warner did come from Eric Studer.  Please let me know what you are doing so that I can let my readers know at www.landspeedracing.com what you are working on. 


STAFF NOTES: In the same issue of Hemmings is a great article with photos on Barney Oldfield.
Legends of the first drag strip to gather, in the Hemmings Daily website at www.hemmings.com. Story by Jim Donnelly, September 17, 2013. Reprinted by permission. For photographs please go to the Hemmings Daily website. 

   It’s hardly the first place that two cars squared off each other, but C.J. “Pappy” Hart achieved immortality by conducting the first organized drag races on the West Coast at an airport in Santa Ana, California, in Orange County. Hart set the standard for how a drag race should be run. The Santa Ana Drags lasted from 1950 through 1959, but in recent years, those who remember have held an annual reunion for hot rod legends who made their names on Hart’s turf. This year’s event, the Santa Ana Drag Strip and Main Street Malt Shop Reunion, will take place on Saturday, October 12, at Santiago Creek Park on the border of Santa Ana and Orange. Organizers Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell will present the catered fete and a presentation of vintage photos from Santa and the El Mirage dry lake. A strong contingent of drag greats show up to meet their admirers. The Richard Rohrdanz photo from last year’s reunion above shows Bob Falcon yukking it up with the Camfather himself, Ed Iskenderian.      
It is great to see some of the guys who really got things going in drag racing and hot rods. They are still sharp and appear going strong. Ed Yahnker   
I would never disagree with Mr Donnelly, I have the utmost respect for his knowledge. However, I am confused, (which isn’t hard to do at my age). I was under the impression that Wally Parks was the first to organize drag racing on the west coast. Possibly clarify? Also, seeing Barney Oldfield with the cigar in his mouth, reminds me of another great racer never seen without a cigar in his mouth, the late “Grumpy” Bill Jenkins, whom I heard was anything but grumpy. Howard Arbiture  
I can understand the confusion. I guess the word organized can mean many things. Pappy Hart ran the first organized drag race; before that a bunch of racers got together on the lakes or streets and ran there. Hart got ‘everyone’ in southern California together to run on available strips. Later, Wally Parks came along and created the National Hot Rod Association initially to get the racers off the streets and create some respect for the hobby. Not too long after NHRA sanctioned drag racing began as a result of the touring Safety Safari which conducted runs on strips across America. Drag racing sure has come a long way since the 1950′s. Greg Corkum
   GREG: This is partially true. Hart was very instrumental in organizing early drag racing and his contributions are highly respected. However, the SCTA organized a race at nearly the same time as the first Santa Ana Drags and at Goleta, California there was an organized race a year earlier. Some of the “outlaw” drag races from the 1930’s and maybe before, were also organized. The young men put up road barricades, had starters and rules and in some cases organized betting was allowed. I know of one and there were possibly more drag races that had CHP officers block off the roads and redirect traffic. So when you talk about “organized” that is a tough one to answer
Read Robert Post’s book, “HIGH PERFORMANCE” at least the first six chapters, for a insightful look into the origins of West Coast Drag Racing.  Richard Oville    
Pro stock racer ”Dandy Dick Landy” always had a stogie in his jaw but never lit it.  Larry Young      
What a great tribute. My father took over Santa Ana Airport in 1959 and was their first air traffic control tower chief. Visit the Lyon Museum at the airport on Ike Jones Road.  That’s a mile from my house; how does one get to go? Randy Jones
   Can I get more information about the Santa Ana Drags and Main Street Malt Shop Reunion?  Jim Angelo
STAFF NOTES: Included in the request was a link to the following website;
     Mike Wenderski website is at www.blackbeautyracing.com.  John "Big John" Joseph Wenderski was born August 31, 1938.   He passed away in an accident at San Diego Raceway, Ramona, California during a qualifying run on February 23, 1964.  His car was called the "Black Beauty" and was a Chrysler-powered AA/FD (fuel dragster).  Big John Wenderski was a resident of Northridge, California and was in sixth place in the DRAG NEWS national rankings.  He was preparing to challenge Don Garlits, who was number one ranked in top fuel eliminators, in a best two-out-of-three match race the following weekend at Lions Drag Strip.  During time trials at Ramona, as he approached the finish timing lights, his car was buffeted by a gust of wind.  At speeds between 160 to 170mph, the car began to drift to the left, and got off onto the side of the racetrack.  After hitting the embankment, the dragster soared twenty feet through the air, flipping over before landing on the rocky ground, and then disintegrating.  He was found strapped in the driver’s cage, lying some twenty feet from the bulk of the wreckage.  He was dead on arrival at El Cajon Valley Hospital.  He was 25 at the time of his passing and was buried in Howell, Michigan. 


The Trompers of Eagle Rock First Annual Valve Cover Grand Prix Invitational race at Irwindale Speedway, September 21, 2013.  Sent in by Doug Stokes.
     This was fun and fast.  Valve cover racing, which is described as the ancient and honorable art of taking a humble valve cover from an overhead valve engine and converting into a sleek, gravity-powered racing machine that will streak down a 70-foot long steeply-slanted race course so fast that one can hurt one’s neck twisting to watch the metal machines streak by. It was held at Irwindale Speedway, on Saturday afternoon, September 21.
     From dead-on-serious to wildly whimsical, these racing creations really run the gamut. Rules. What rules? Oh, well, since you asked. There are only a couple of them. First, the competition machine must be made using an internal combustion engine valve cover as the basis. Second it must be no wider than the race track (whoa, that’s logical). Third, it must not have any sort of an on-board motor or sliding weight system. On the other hand, it can weigh in as heavy as the constructor wants (or is strong enough to lift onto the launch ramp). It can look as wild as anything or be as plain as diet vanilla … speed is what we need … style is for the stylish (but that don’t win races).
     The races are two-up, first-valve-cover-to-the-finish-line is the winner and that one bolide goes on to the next round.  The races were fast, drag racing fast, and the prizes are in keeping with the fun aspect of the event, consisting mostly of bragging rights and perhaps a post-event cold drink of some sort purchased by some magnanimous sports fan or vanquished racer.
    The Trompers of Eagle Rock, one of the oldest hot rod car clubs in SoCal (they were established in 1945), brought their official valve cover “Royal Oaks Raceway” to Irwindale Speedway and set up shop right in the main concourse at the fan entrance. They ran valve cover races from 5pm to 6pm for all comers. No entry fee, no pit passes, just great “run whatcha brung” racing. The first 25 people bringing in a racing valve cover on September 21 was admitted to the track FREE between 5 and 6PM.  The racing valve cover is a stamped steel Chevy small block valve cover that’s been specially converted for racing with C+H Surplus wheels, a Dollar Tree headlight, and a 3-pound block of lead.
STAFF NOTES: Irwindale Speedway has oval track racing on Saturday nights and drag racing on Thursday evenings.


STAFF NOTES; Ginny and John Dixon sent word that John Morton is being honored with the Lindley Bothwell Lifetime Achievement Award.  The Fabulous Fifties is a large group of sports car drivers, owners, mechanics and fans of the sport from all over the world, who gather together to keep alive their history and heritage.  The 1950's were the heyday of sports car (road racing) in America.
     The Fabulous Fifties annual dinner will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 near the Los Angeles International Airport.  Further information will be provided in a newsletter but we wanted you to put the date on your calendar.  The honoree receiving the Lindley Bothwell Lifetime Achievement Award this year will be John Morton, a Southern California driver who began his career at the original Carroll Shelby Driving School in Riverside and went to work for Shelby American.  John's racing achievements are numerous and include SCCA, Trans-Am and IMSA championships.  John's impressive record will be outlined in the newsletter.  Ginny Dixon for Fabulous Fifties Association.


Gone Racin’…To the Premiere of the movie SNAKE & MONGOO$E. Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.
   Robin Broidy, producer of the new drag racing movie SNAKE & MONGOO$E invited Roger and I to the Los Angeles Egyptian Theater to watch the movie and join in with other guests on the “Red Carpet” and the cast party following the movie. With us in our group was David and Barbara Parks, Charles Rollins, Jim Miller, Roger and me. The invited guest list included cast and movie production members and their families and well-known drag racers and the media. Roger and I try and attend these events because they bring together a large number of our friends and it makes it easy to interview them. We went to the premiere and were pleasantly surprised as to how well prepared Robin and her staff was to welcome such a large gathering. We parked at Sadie’s Restaurant where the cast party was going to be held and walked a short distance to the Egyptian Theatre. 
   Once inside the grounds we saw actors on the red carpet with the Hollywood style background and maybe a hundred photographers, news media writers and paparazzi as they asked questions and shot photo after photo of the young stars, producers and other cast members. I recognized Ora Mae Millar and her daughter Robin talking to Darr Hawthorne. Ora is the widow of the late Pete Millar whose CARtoon artwork of drag and other forms of racing set the model for all cartoonist to follow in motorsports. Pete was a friendly, pleasant man with a wicked sense of humor and a pen dipped in the milk of sardonic wit, irony and sarcasm. His cartoons rattled the cages of the high and mighty and set young people to laughter and adulation. He made Ed Iskenderian famous as the “Camfather” and my dad as the “Gawdfather of NHRA.” He also rendered Jim Tice as the “Godfather” of the AHRA. Sadly, today we don’t quite have such humor in our sports as we once did. Charles Rollins is the son-in-law of Ray and Joann Brock, who have both passed on. Ray was a close friend and partner in shenanigans with my late father. Brock had a sense of humor and a love for speed that endeared him with many of his fans as editor of HOT ROD Magazine. Charles has his own website at
   Darr Hawthorne is an editor and photographer of drag racing websites. Other writers, editors and photographers included Dusty Brandel, Bobbie Colgrove, Jim Miller, and Anna Marco, though just about everyone carried a nice camera and got plenty of great shots. Dusty and Bobbie broke through the gender barrier at the Indy 500 to become some of the first females allowed in the paddock and to cover the famous race. They are founders and leaders of AARWBA, one of the first professional societies for artists, authors, directors, broadcasters, photographers and other journalists who cover motorsports racing. Miller is the director of the American Hot Rod Foundation and does the research for their website;
www.ahrf.com. He is also the president of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians and their newsletter is on www.landspeedracing.com. Anna “Octane” Marco is a Gear Grinder club member and is an editor. She loves and covers anything that has wheels and goes fast as well as looks good. Marco came with Stormy Bird and members of their racing team. Another journalist that came was Ed Justice Jr, who is the president and CEO of Justice Brothers Car Care Products. He is a major sponsor of racing teams, a fantastic magician and member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood and who has his own racing radio show.
   The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) was a sponsor of the movie SNAKE & MONGOO$E, which was based on the true story of drag racing pioneers Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen. The movie probably couldn’t have been made without the help and support of the NHRA and we hope the racing association will assist other young filmmakers in producing even more such biographical film content. Representing the NHRA were; Tom Compton, Graham Light, Linda Vaughn, Larry Fisher, Ron Capps, Jack and Rose Dickenson, Dave and Louise McClelland, Linda and Chet Louie, Adriane Ridder and her daughter Courtney. Compton is the current president of the NHRA. Linda Vaughn is a long-time friend of my father and stepmother and spokesperson for NHRA sponsors. Larry Fisher is the director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California. Ron Capps is a drag racer and was in the movie. Rose Dickenson is the marketing manager for the museum. Dave McClelland is the long-time announcer for drag and other sporting events. Linda Louie is the chief counsel and attorney for the NHRA and Adriane Ridder is the vice president of publications for the NATIONAL DRAGSTER, the magazine founded by my father, Wally Parks, as the official magazine of the NHRA.
   Some of the drag racers who were there included; Don Prudhomme, Tom McEwen, Randy Walls, Roland Leong, Tommy Ivo, Paula Murphy and Stormy Byrd. Hot rod artist Kenny Youngblood, engine builder Ed Pink and his wife Sylvia and Skip and Patty Torgerson also came to the premiere. For a long time no one could beat an Ed Pink built engine; it was either an engine by Ed or second place. Others in attendance were Lisa Arriaga, Don and Patty Prieto, Joel Embick and Larry Wood. I knew Roland Leong’s parents when I lived in Hawaii; James Y. T. and Teddy Leong. They had an insurance agency and they were one of the sponsors for the Hawaiian dragster. James kept a secret album of newspaper clippings of his son’s exploits and was fiercely loyal even though he never said it out loud. Youngblood’s talent as an artist is unequaled and we compare young artists to this grandmaster. Paula Murphy has raced open wheeled, stock, drag and land speed cars; just about anything with an engine and wheels. We never considered her the fastest female racer; we considered her to be one of the best, regardless of gender. I sat next to Tommy Ivo in the show as Robin Broidy thanked everyone for coming and told us about the filming process.
   Robin wanted to make sure that we all appreciated the work that her husband, Elliot Broidy, contributed. “If Elliot hadn’t loved car racing so much I would have produced a movie on ballet,” she mentioned with glee. “I received a wonderful script from the writer Alan Paradise. He made the subjects come alive. At first he wanted to do a book on Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme but realized that the subject would do better if it were visual. We were so lucky to get Wayne Holloway as our director and John Bailey as the cinematographer.” She asked us to remember Eddie Michael, who passed away before the premiere of the film. Robin praised the young actors who made the show come alive. “Jesse Williams portrayed Don Prudhomme and Richard Blake took the part of Tom McEwen and they studied the mannerisms to the point where we could hardly tell them apart. They did a wonderful job in the film,” Robin concluded and then motioned for the film to begin.
   I have prepared a review of the movie, but briefly here I will say that the audience loved it and hooted and hollered at every incident that brought back a good memory of the past. The pacing was fast, the lead actors were excellent, the cameos and supporting actors were very good and even the walk-ons did a very creditable job for non-actors. Noah Wyle, Leonardo Lam, Fred Dryer, Julie Mond, Ashley Hinshaw and Kim Shaw had memorable and stand alone roles. But it was Jesse Williams and Richard Blake who mesmerized the audience. Fred Dryer was born to play a gruff, lovable old crew chief. You should line him up for every such role that comes along in racing movies. Jessie uttered a line where he said that working for Tommy Ivo was a pain in the rear and the crowd roared. I turned to Ivo and whispered, “Is that true?” He remarked that it was and laughed. They ought to make a movie about Ivo. Actually they ought to make a whole series about him. I still laugh when he tells me about the time Dave Zeuschel the engine builder hoisted him up to the ceiling of his shop and left him there in the dark. Ivo has had about 800 movie and television roles in his lifetime and then he set the drag racing world on its ears. Few if any drag racer had as much showmanship in speeding down the tracks across America and that is saying a lot.
   Of course the movie was about Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen and they also set the bar when it came to showmanship and marketing. McEwen is given the credit for coming up with the ideas, but Prudhomme made it work due to his success on the track. Don has a presence that is charismatic. You wouldn’t suppose that to be true since he is a very quiet man and measures his words and actions carefully. He isn’t a cold man at all; he’s simply focused on what he wants to achieve. McEwen is the more gregarious of the two men and is driven to put his ideas into action. Tom the thinker and Don the forceful one made a potent marketing duo. Neither one of them could have succeeded as well alone as they did as a team; if team is the right word. They were competitors first, but in that competition they forged a friendship and partnership that transcended all else. They are men who are respected, not only for one victory here or there, but for a lifetime of contributions to racing. 
   After the movie we were directed over to Sadie’s Restaurant where the cast party was located. I’ve never been to a cast party before and found it loud and crowded and the music deafening, probably just the way young people like it. I found refuge outside and was able to carry on a conversation with those coming and going. The consensus was that the SNAKE & MONGOO$E met the criteria for success among these happy racers. They saw everything in this movie that exemplified their lives and made their toil and tears worthwhile. Of course the past is not that perfect and no movie is perfect either, but those that I talked to were having none of this realism. They liked it and they would go back and see it again and again. I suppose that is exactly what the producers wanted to achieve and they succeeded.
Gone Racin’ is at


PARTS IS PARTS! By Le Roi Tex Smith 
   Without parts, there is no hot rod hobby, and without used parts there are no hot rodders! Boy, will this stir up the industry suppliers! And a fair number of modern hot rod assemblers. Even so, let’s see where this leads. After you read this column, get online to HotLine and give me feedback. Be interesting to compare yea’s to nay’s. A few years ago, I created a magazine called Street Rodder (remind me to bring you up to speed on this subject, since it is about this time some 40 or so years ago that I did this one) and at that time there was no such thing as a street rodding industry. Translation, there were a handful of companies making hot rod parts, and selling those parts to hot rodders. Nothing for “street rodders”. 
   It was a time when we still thought that experienced (used) automotive parts could be moved sideways and adapted to any kind of hot rod we wanted to make. There weren’t any TV shows to pimp celebrities. Magazines were full of honest how-to articles rather than blatant pitches to pimp advertisers. Hot Rod builders were pretty much on their own, although there were a handful of hot rod shops that could build street rods, usually for a turnkey project of around ten grand. Try that on your today budget! It was a time before plastic everything automotive.


In Support of Al Slonaker.  By Le Roi Tex Smith
     You know the National Roadster Show? No, not the one by the LA Roadsters club, nor the other one on the same fairgrounds. I mean THE Roadster Show, that one started in the east bay city of Oakland, up in Northern California. Started when hot rodding was getting some really ratty yellow journalism in the San Francisco press. Presented at just the right time to gain an immediate following nationwide, if not worldwide. It was THE hot rod show.
     I didn’t meet the show founders/promoters Al and Mary Slonaker until the middle l950s, after the exhibition had been around for a while. But I knew the show, since it was introduced right in my backyard. Al Slonaker was in every respect a very good snake oil salesman, and he always had my highest respect.     
     Actually, Al was a great public relations man, a talent that stood him in good stead of his later year day job of schools educational departments director in the Oakland area. One time, he told me of an incident long before the Roadster Show, having taken place in El Paso when he and a travelling companion had been riding the rails west. In the south Texas border city, they developed the idea of putting on a bull fight. After all, Mexico was just over there a mile or so, and good bulls and bull fighters would be simple to round up.
     So, the pair lined up an arena and had posters printed, all on the cuff of course, and found the bulls they needed just across the river. The hammer fell when they came to the arena that fateful morning to learn the bulls could not cross into the US of A. Not even into the US of Texas. What to do??? The stands were filling and the pair were frantic for a solution. Which was when Al hit on an original idea. “We got plenty of cowboys right here in the show grounds,” he confided to his confidant. “You get them rounded up as bull fighters, I’ll take care of the bulls!”
     Seems there was plenty of beef on the grounds, of the studly sort. All quickly arranged for a dozen or so to be moved over to the normal rodeo bucking chutes, then he went prowling the tractor garage. And found exactly what he needed. A can of kerosene. And a couple corncobs. At the chutes, he advised his cohort to throw open the gate at his signal, which was also to alert the cowboy/bull fighter that all hell was about to break loose. And indeed it did. He also suggested his partner visit the ticket booths and take receipt of the funds before the last bull fight as they would probably be in a hurry to catch another train headed west.
     Al positioned himself just behind the first chute, reached through the slats, and raised the first bull’s tail. With the other hand he doused a corncob with kerosene, shouted to open the gate, and thoroughly wiped the bull’s rear orifice and cohones with the soaked corncob. Needless to say, the bull was livid when it leaped from the suddenly opened gates……and shot straight at the cowboy/bull fighter. Said fighter waving a red blanket valiantly only to note the bull charged right on by……directly into the low fence fronting the grandstand. Knocking itself down, and staying grounded only long enough to clear the addled mind. Up jumped the male bovine type and made a streak the way it had come, again past the amazed cowboy and into the chute gates.
     The crowd was yelling approval, so Al proceeded to offer up several more tons of kerosene fuelled indignity. Ever seen a dog scooting along on the grass trying to appease a rear facing itch? Apparently the show was an absolute runaway success. “So, what’d you guys do?” I queried on cue. “Was the show good enough to stage more?” “Don’t know,“ Said Al, ”we just made it to the freight yards in time to grab a train.” I think I got the picture. Interestingly, this was a case where the actual result was probably better than a real Mexican bull fight. Certainly the crowd obviously loved the show. They got their buck’s worth.
   I can report that Al’s first Roadster Show, held at the old Lake Merritt pavilion was a success and he didn’t leave unannounced. In fact, he was invited back for many more years in downtown Oakland, California. Al is gone now, last I heard, lovely Mary was over in Arizona. Not too far from El Paso.


     I'm sorry to hear Ed Kretz Jr has passed away.  I had an open invitation to visit with him in Sedalia.  He and I had attended the same high school that Ed Jr attended: Mark Keppel in Alhambra (though at different times).  I bought 3 of my motorcycles from the Kretz dealership.  They (father and son) were good men - I'm glad I knew them.   Mike Savin
My mother went to Mark Keppel in the early 1930's, perhaps they knew her.

     I bought my first motorcycle; I was keeping it a secret from my parents.  I parked it at buddy Roy’s house for some time.  But, on the day I took delivery of it I came out of Kretz’s drive, and who should be coming down the street in the opposite direction, but my mom.  I told her I was just trying it out.  My folks did not want me riding motorcycles.  Sometime, much later though, my mother did accompany me to watch me compete in a desert race.
     What happened with your mom; did she continue to live in Monterey Park or Alhambra?  How about you?  Where did you grow up?  Most likely you knew John Steen, who had his shop(s) in Alhambra.  John lived on the street above me.  We were on Grandridge and I think he was on Bradshaw, but I’d have to look at a map to see if that was the name of the street.  
     I bought my first 2 karts from Steen, and had a business relationship with him as well; at one time I manufactured motorcycle fenders for his Rickman Metisse.  As they came from England, the fenders were too narrow for the wide tires we used in the desert.  I got tired of making these things in my garage, and gave the tooling, etc that I had built to John.  Steve McQueen’s Solar Plastics took over the manufacturing of the fenders and not long after that, I purchased a BSA 350 complete with Von Dutch paint job and Ceriani forks for desert racing.  The fender was from the mold I had made, complete with a  minor flaw, that I had pointed out to John.  McQueen just went right on producing the fenders without correcting that flaw.
     I just now attached a photo of me astride that bike just prior to the very first Barstow-Vegas race (and I threw in some other shots).  Faye and Duffy: Faye and her husband Tom Pierson manufactured the Bug Kart and were heavily into rods as was Duffy Livingston, whom I am sure you know of (Eliminator Special and manufacturer of Go-Kart).  The photo was taken fairly recently at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl where kart racing had its beginnings.  (Taken about 2008 or so).  Of course, Faye raced sports cars too and is a member of the Fab50s.  I think Duff is a Fab50s member too?   Mike Savin


     I work as a researcher for Steve Heinrichs.  Mr. Heinrichs is currently writing a book about the Porsche race cars from 1953-1965.  This book will cover the purpose built cars of that era.  We need help to find the current owner of a photo we would like to include in Mr. Heinrichs’ current book.  We have found a photo of Porsche 550-11, owned by John von Neumann.  It is on fire at a race at 1954 March Field.  The original source for this photo seems to be a book written by Henry Rasmussen named “Porsche 356 & 550.”  The original publisher was a company named “Top Ten Publishing Corporation.”  My research tells me that Top Ten no longer exists, and the photo is probably owned by Mr. Rasmussen.  I have not been able to find a way to contact Mr. Rasmussen.  If you happen to have any leads for me in my effort to locate Mr. Rasmussen, I would be very grateful.  Vietta Helmle, www.beagletech.com.
     VIETTA: I work with straight-line racing and the group that you want is sports car racers.  There is a very active group of sports car/road course racers called the Fabulous 50's and they have an extensive amount of knowledge of the field and ought to be able to track down the owner of the photograph in question.  The person to contact is Art Evans.


STAFF NOTES; These websites were sent to us by John Hutchinson, from the UK.
www.dragracermag.com, www.dragracingonline.com, www.Stevemcoolart.com, www.Howefineart.com, www.AeromotiveInc.com, www.museum.nhra.com, www.jegs.com, www.holley.com, www.autoclubfamosoraceway.com, www.dragracingaction.com, www.autometer.com, www.firebirdonline.com, www.taylormotorsports.com, www.Prestige-hobbies.com, www.nostalgiadrags.com, www.elapsedtimemagazine.com, www.DragtimeNews.com, www.engagedmediamags.com, www.DragRacingArtist.com, www.classicgraphix.com, www.goyda.com, www.good-guys.com, www.DragParts.com, www.nhra.com, www.FrameMyRide.com, www.prolong.com, www.danchuk.com, www.swracecars.com, www.streettrucksmag.com, www.johnforceracestation.com, www.mooregoodink.com


Saturday evening on September 7th at Santa Pod Raceway, during the FIA European Drag Racing Championship Finals, marked an important change for the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Annual Awards Event. Since its launch in 2006 the awards have been part of the joint club Championship Trophy presentations held during the winter. But the BDRHoF Board felt that their event needed to be a stand-alone occasion during which more time could be given to celebrating the achievements of those who have played such crucial roles in the development of drag racing in the UK. They also wanted an event to which existing members could be invited along as important guests.  
   That’s why in 2013 seventy-six invited guests assembled in the Santa Pod VIP Marquee for a sit down dinner. These included existing BDRHoF members, sponsors and supporters along with the new inductees being celebrated this year. There was plenty of time for old friends to catch up with the gossip; many having not seen each other for over 20 years or more. A bonus was that, thanks to Santa Pod Raceway, they could also experience a modern day drag race meeting.        
   Drag racing commentators from the past were well represented. Brian Taylor compered the evening. He invited John Price to introduce some of the BDRHoF members attending and relay stories of times gone by. And Keith Bartlett, CEO of Santa Pod Raceway, presented existing BDRHoF member Roy Phelps with the ‘Keys to Santa Pod’ giving him lifetime access to all areas. This was well received by all. To present the BDRHoF Awards, BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury was joined by Steve Trice of BDRHoF Primary sponsor US Automotive. Keith Lee read the citation for new inductee Brian Chapman and added some more stories about Brian and his amazing 500cc Vincent before the man himself came up for his award. Brian’s acceptance speech recalled how simple it was to go racing back in the 1960s and ‘70s and how much fun everyone had.  
   Phil Evans read the citation for National Drag Racing Club stalwarts Keith and Frances Parker and Keith’s acceptance gave us a vivid insight into what it was like organising on-tour events. Stories about BDRHoF member the late Alan Wigmore (‘Wiggy’) were also in abundance. Full details about all BDRHoF members – including the 2013 inductees – can be found on www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk Then before we knew it BDRHoF Chairman Stu Bradbury was thanking everyone at the end of the ceremony. Where did that time go? Guests stayed on chatting whilst the winners were interviewed for Nitro FM. It was very late when the last stragglers left the marquee.  
   Clearly the new format worked. Here are a few comments received after the event. ‘Thanks again for arranging this most important event. I enjoyed myself very much and managed to talk with many I hadn't seen or talked to for years. Thanks for your vision and efforts to get recognition for these important people who have contributed to make our sport what it is today.  ‘Just wanted to say a big thank you for getting this event organized! I really enjoyed the new format and in my opinion, this is the way to go’. ‘Thank you for the invite to the new format Hall of Fame awards dinner. I thought that it worked a lot better and had more meaning than being "Lost " in the annual Trophy award evening. It was great to see some friends I hadn't spoken to for years’. ‘Thank you very much for a lovely evening. The new format for the presentation went really well and was a great move to give the inductees the recognition they deserve. Thanks to all the hard work you put in’.  ‘Thank you so much for a very enjoyable evening. We felt very honoured to be in such illustrious company’.   
   After the event Stu Bradbury said, “Thanks to all those who have e-mailed me about the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame induction dinner on Saturday evening. But credit is really due to many people who have worked hard to put this event together; it's not just me. Firstly, Keith Bartlett, for allowing the BDRHoF to disrupt his VIP marquee, along with Caroline and Nicky of Santa Pod Raceway who just had everything organised and kept me calm. The catering staff provided excellent food that wouldn't have been out of place in any top class restaurant. And thanks to Brian Taylor who gives his invaluable advice and guidance of how it should be done”.  
   “I’ve been thinking about what special ingredients made the evening event so satisfying, so friendly and so right for all those attending. I think it was because it was a genuine celebration of achievements by ordinary people with extraordinary dedication to drag racing – achievements recognised by a knowledgeable and admiring audience as making a significant difference to the growth of drag racing. You could feel the huge respect that was liberally laced with gratitude – yes and even affection - for laying down strong foundations”.  
   “I would like to give our main sponsor, US Automotive, a special mention. Without their belief in me and what I was trying to do, without their injection sponsorship in 2006 and continued support (along with allowing me to use the company facilities and staff), we certainly would not have a British Drag Racing Hall of Fame”. “The BDRHoF was created so we can honour those who have given so much over the years and driven Drag Racing to where it is today. Some are no longer with us, but we are now assured that their contributions will never be forgotten and are documented for future generations to look back on. In this respect I think the BDRHoF is doing a good job. We will shortly be announcing some fantastic news about future support that will enable us to take things to an even higher plain. Watch this space”.
   Primary sponsor - US Automotive, Associate sponsors - Santa Pod Racers Club, York Raceway, Pennine Drag Racing Club, Shakespeare County Raceway, Avon Park International Racers Association, Power Race Graphics, Eurodragster.com and Santa Pod Raceway.  Brian Taylor – Acting Press Officer
Click for: Brian Chapman.pdf
Click for: Frances and Keith Parker.pdf
Click for: PRESS RELEASE BDRHOF 2013 Awards.pdf


STAFF NOTES; the following message was sent in to us by John Hutchinson.
     The producer, Robin Broidy, wants us to help get the word out about the movie and where it will be playing.  The Jackson Bros are film contributors to the movie.  The more successful the movie, the more it helps the Jackson Bros ability to share their Historical footage with the world. 
http://snakeandmongoosemovie.com/_newsletters/tickets/.  Jamie & Janice Jackson (Jackson Bros Videos)    
Here are photographs from the recent NHRA Museum Epping Hot rod reunion; See
http://jvm.smugmug.com/Racing/Inaugural-New-England-Hot-Rod/31965004_MjTQrQ#!i=2774851904&k=k86v46q.  John Hutchinson


G'day 36hp & VW BB Challengers

With racing delayed until later, the Challengers have been finding other forms of VW recreation. The Late Night Air Cooled bunch of Juan Cole, Bryan Houston, Leesa Palmer and Julia Cole (our favorite calendar girl!) took their Bonneville SSSBB Ghia to a local car show. The future up and coming new driver is seen behind the wheel is Juan's grandson:


He has the same determined look Juan exhibits while working on his SS36 Herbie. Photo by Juan Cole

Below is a pic to tease you about a neat NA36 turbocharged engine being created somewhere in California. Displacement will be under 1500cc's but boost will be way up there, necessitating the custom built cylinders.

Photographer is a secret!

And look at that sump. Obviously this team is planning for some very high temps for the motor. You will have to be at Bonneville in 2014 to see this mighty mite run.

After the Where Were You e-newsletter was sent last week I received word from another VW Challenger who continued on to Bonneville anyway. John Dahlstrom from Texas was already well into his journey to the salt and his sister and brother-in-law were already on a plane flying out from New England. The crew and visitors met up on Bonneville Speedway Road, unloaded Johns beautiful red buggy with a lot of modifications performed since his earlier visit in 2011 and went for a cruise anyway. Here are a couple of pics from his stopover:

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Johns recently upgraded roll bar is seen here. In 2014 buggies and sandrail roll cages in 130/150 Club racers will have to meet the much tougher safety restrictions of full competition cars along with other safety upgrades. If you are building a buggy or sandrail, contact the USFRA's tech committee at B2burkdollracing@msn.com immediately and find out what will be needed in order to compete in 2014!

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Johns sister tries out the driver accommodations.

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While the water has receded somewhat from when Larry Gregg first reported, more would come two days later. Photo by John Dahlstrom

The WOS would have ended Tuesday with Mike Cooks High Speed Shootout Invitational meet scheduled for this past weekend. I headed out Friday morning to watch the Shootout but was greeted by more rain and a flooded desert all along I-80, probably more standing water than I ever remember seeing since first going to Bonneville in 1962. Arriving at the salt did nothing to change that opinion. More rain (.68 inches) hit the flats Friday night and the Shootout was postponed until this coming Wednesday. Let's wish them luck on the salt drying out and pulling it off. If not, just one more Bonneville event is scheduled, the SCTA's World Finals, a full competition (non 36hp event) speed trials where the fastest of the fast are expected to show and attempt to increase the wheel driven all time speed record. Here are a couple of pics of the "salt?" as it was during my visit.

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Looking north from roads end. Floating Mountain is "floating" in the distance and the dyke is seen at the right. The race track and pits are located between Floating Mountain and the dyke. Anyone want to go racing?

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Looking back down the entry road toward Roads Bend and the camping areas. Not good. Photos by Burly Burlile

Remember, The Ohio ECTA meet is just a week away as is the Mojave Magnum Mile in California in October. Get out and go racing and let me know how you do.

May the Speed be with you for Bonneville's 100th Anniversary.........................in 2014!


Burly Burlile

Volkswagen Land Speed Racing Historian
Society of Land Speed Racing Historians

[Email Land Speed Racing]


Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Gale Banks, Glen Barrett, Mike Bastian, Lee Blaisdell, Jim Bremner, Warren Bullis, Burly Burlile, George Callaway, Gary Carmichael, John Backus, John Chambard, Jerry Cornelison, G. Thatcher Darwin, Jack Dolan, Ugo Fadini, Bob Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Don Garlits, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Andy Granatelli, Walt James, Wendy Jeffries, Ken Kelley, Mike Kelly, Bret Kepner, Kay Kimes, Jim Lattin, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford, Fred Lobello, Eric Loe, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don McMeekin, Bob McMillian, Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Bob Morton, Mark Morton, Paula Murphy, Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth, Frank Oddo, David Parks, Richard Parks, Wally Parks (in memoriam), Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg, Dave Seely, Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Zach Suhr, Maggie Summers, Gary Svoboda, Pat Swanson, Al Teague, JD Tone, Jim Travis, Randy Travis, Jack Underwood and Tina Van Curen, Richard Venza.

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