NEWSLETTER Issue 297 - Nov 3 , 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:
President's Corner; Editorials;   Don Batyi, Bob Lidell, Jack Dolan, Kay Kimes, Jerry Cornelison, Ron Main,  Tex Smith , Parnelli Jones, John Ewald, Burly Burlile

GUEST EDITORIAL by Dyno Don Batyi and the SEMA Network:   
     So far, this year has been fairly quiet when it comes to legislative initiatives impacting classic car owners. To help you get in the know, here's a look at some of the passed and pending legislation for 2013.   Ethanol, single license plates and vehicle titling: these are just a handful of the most significant legislative items collector car owners have been talking about this year.  
     An important landmark event happened back in May when Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law legislation designed to repeal the requirement that all gasoline offered for sale in the state contain a percentage of ethanol.  While several other states, including Maine and Oregon, had similar legislation considered, however only the Florida bill became law and the others were either dismissed or died in session. 
     Doing away with the two-plate requirement for owners of historic vehicles seems to be gaining steam in a number of states.  Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Maryland, Texas, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin have all introduced legislation this year that would require just a single license plate present on vehicles.  As of this writing, only Montana has signed anything into law with bills in Missouri and Maryland dying with the end of the legislative season.  
     Vehicle owners in North Carolina were given a bit of relief when Governor Pat McCrory signed a bill providing the prompt issuance of titles to owners of out-of-state motor vehicles 35-years old and older. The new law states that if a required inspection and verification is not conducted by the DMV within 15 days of receiving a request and the inspector has no probable cause to believe the ownership documents or VIN does not match the vehicle being examined, the vehicle will be deemed to have satisfied all necessary requirements and a title will be issued within 15 days.  The HVA will continue to provide legislative updates periodically throughout the year in our monthly eNewsletter and in real time over on our Facebook page.  You can also track legislation in your area on our website as well as through the SEMA Action Network.

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:    
     I receive mail from a number of sources and here is a letter that I thought was important enough to share.  The sender said, "
It is defined in the rule book. No matter what it is called, it is there with a description of what it means.  I do prefer the Loring version though..."
     And another reader wrote; Your new pagination rule comes from the honed instincts of a wide reader. It worked on my piece because each paragraph there not only stands in its own write, but the narrative also flows across paragraphs. I paragraphed in journalese feature-article method, for people with short attention spans who seldom read. Your melding will appeal better to regular readers. It's just a matter of style, and this is not Shakespeare.”
     I received this email from a reader and thought that it would make a great editorial.  "While I was having my book signed today somebody took a black and white photograph out of the book and after checking when I got home, it was never put back.  I am not sure if somebody cleaned up afterward and found it or whatever, but thought I'd ask since it's signed to me."
     RESPONSE from the editorial staff to the readers of the newsletter: At this event we are an older group and our memories are not as good, so someone might have just put the photograph in someone else's folder or photo album, not realizing that it could be yours.  Always work fast to get signatures, bring only copies of photos and objects to reunions and keep your attention on your possessions.  There have been thefts; it happens and I've been a victim too.  But most likely it was just an oversight.  These photographs, books, collectibles and other memorabilia are fun to share with others, but they sometimes develop feet and walk away.  There was even someone's camera at the event and one of our attendees asked me who it belonged to and he stayed there keeping an eye on it until the owner returned for it.  That's why you always make copies of the originals and bring the copies to the event. 
     I remember a famous drag racer putting down a box full of photos to take a picture with a fan and when he went back to pick up his box it was gone.  I also remember that a priceless photo album of my father's went missing.  They had photos of his time in the military in World War II in the Philippines.  One man who helped put on reunions was sued in court and lost a good deal of money when someone claimed his possessions were stolen at the reunion.   The judge in that case was an idiot and that shows us how justice can be perverted.  The onus of burden rests with the owner of the material in all cases.  We bring collectibles to events at our own risk and there is hardly ever a secure and safe place for these objects.  Bring friends or relatives to these events and ask them to watch over your objects while you talk to your friends and fellow racers.

     There were some very nice photos of the memorial service for Bob Lidell posted on the Redding Drag Strip website at http://reddingdragstrip.info/wordpress/.   I was not able to attend, but a lot of his friends did.   Bob Choisser

     Jack Dolan, my dear first cousin of San Diego, passed this morning (Thursday, October 17, 2013) per Sami, his devoted wife who helped him after Vietnam, dialysis days through kidney transplant, wheelchair time (when he trucked an oxygen tank and attended our annual spring gathering) and a dozen awful illnesses including shingles which had him in and out of hospitals every year. He was to be 67 in November; his heart slowed and stopped today.  I was so sad when Sami called because he had been through so much over time and seemed so jocular no matter what he endured.  He had given me a lively tour of Christine's Floral shop and made me laugh.  Sami said there will be a service.  Jeanne Khan
     Your father (Wally Parks) was an important part of Jack's life.  He talked about you and your father highly.  Racing has been part of his life since a young man.  He told me stories about hanging out with Joaquin Arnett and his crew at their races and when he was old enough he made the racing world a part of his.  He loved the sport and has carried it down to his son in BMX, Motocross, Drag Racing and Land Speed Racing at El Mirage and Bonneville.  His two oldest grandsons raced Jr Dragsters for 10 years and he taught them the history of drag racing.  He is known by many a racer and others.  We are putting together his obituary and will send it to you soon.  Sami Dolan (Jack’s widow)

     I do not have any published stats BUT during those years I did serve as the Chief Field Service Engineer (Racing Director) for Accel Ignition Systems and have an excellent memory for minute details.  We provided service to three Drag Racing organizations on a national level plus USAC Championship Car series and NASCAR Permatex Series.  I may have some pix from the post event photo sessions.  I may be able to help him out from a technical standpoint...as you know I am not a participant in the fan club areas. Be glad to help where I can.  Bob Falcon
BOB: I am sending your email on to Bob Frey.  He is looking for times and speeds only at this point.  He may contact you to see if you know anyone from that time period who might have records for the NHRA National events (1970 through 1973). 
STAFF NOTES: Ron Main sent in this website that has photographs on early dragsters and other drag cars.  I found it fascinating and it did bring back memories.  The ‘50’s and ‘60’s, the greatest era of drag racing ever.  http://www.georgeklass.net/dragsters.html.  Ron Main
     Peter Vincent, the author of THE BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS; TWO DECADES OF PICTURES ON THE SALT, will be at a book signing at Autobooks/Aerobooks book store on Saturday, November 2, 2013.  AUTOBOOKS-AEROBOOKS is located at 2900 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505.  The website is
www.autobooks-aerobooks.com.  Tina Van Curen

     Indy 500 winner Parnelli Jones and Jim Dilamarter will be at a book signing on Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 10 AM until 2 PM at AUTOBOOKS-AEROBOOKS, 2900 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505.  For more information google WWW.AUTOBOOKS-AEROBOOKS.COM.  Tina Van Curen
Please join World Class Motoring and The World Class Automotive Film & Arts Festival BIG screen for a special BIG screen showing of the movie "WHERE THEY RACED: SPEED DEMONS IN THE CITY OF ANGELS," 7:00 PM on 3 November 2013, at 4711 Lakeview Canyon Rd, Westlake Village, California 91361.  WHERE THEY RACED: SPEED DEMONS IN THE CITY OF ANGELS, tells the story of a pre-gridlocked Los Angeles... a time ripe with orange groves, movie stars, year-round sunshine and more auto racing and innovation than anywhere else in the world. This documentary film is told with hundreds of vintage photos, lost archival films and revealing interviews that reunite the ghost tracks of Los Angeles with the cars that raced on them to give these fading memories a victory lap.  Google
http://www.worldclassmotoring.com/where-they-raced-movie-night-7-00-pm-11-10-13/."  I also want to let you know that there will be a screening on November 10, 2013 at 7PM put on by World Class Motoring deep in the valley. Harold Osmer and I will be there and would love to see you there as well if you can make it.  On November 16, 2013 from 10 AM - 2 PM we'll be at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, California showing clips and signing books and DVDs.  More showings are in the pending and planning stages.  The DVD will officially go on sale by November 4, 2013 through the website: www.wheretheyraced.com.   Harry Pallenberg

Gone Racin’…October 2013 Santa Ana Drags Reunion.  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.

     Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell organized the latest reunion for the Santa Ana Airport Drag Strip and Main Street Malt Shop on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the park alongside of East Memory Lane and Main Street in the city of Orange, California.  The day was bright, sunny and warm; a typical Southern California autumn day.  The event honors all those who raced at or attended the first professionally run drag strip in California and possibly the world.  We also honor those who used the old malt shop on Main Street and Chestnut Avenue in Santa Ana as their hang-out place.  Today the malt shop is still there, across the street from Pomeroy’s garage, though it is now a Mexican bakery.  Leslie Long was an early dry lakes and drag racer and his interest in the sport has never waned.  He is the historian and caretaker of the records, photographs and lists of people who raced at El Mirage dry lake and at the old airport in Santa Ana before it was remodeled and rebuilt into one of the most heavily used airports in the United States today.  Gene Mitchell, from Fountain Valley, California supports the reunion by bringing sandwiches, condiments, drinks, vegetable trays, chips and desserts for those in attendance.  He also supplies tents and chairs and he does this twice a year all free of charge to those who come to the event.  Roger Rohrdanz is the official photographer of the Santa Ana Drags Reunion and makes his photos available on the websites www.landspeedracing.com, www.hotrodhotline.com, and to anyone who makes a request.

     Roger and I got to the reunion slightly before the 10 AM beginning to find that Leslie Long was already there with his photo albums and historical records and Gene Mitchell, who had already set up the tables, tents and chairs.  Gene has an auto repair garage in Anaheim and Leslie is retired and lives in Yorba Linda.  The next to arrive was Howard Holman and Wayne Harper.  They are partners in a dragster that runs in the nostalgia races around California.  Howard is the driver and Wayne is the chief mechanic.  The dragster is a ’27 T roadster slingshot from the early 1960’s.  Wayne also partners with Hank Becker and they race a sprint car at Willow Springs, Devore and other tracks in the WRA.  Hank missed this reunion.  Next to appear were Mac McClelland, Bob Batchelor, Otto Ryssman and Patty Mitchell Ryssman.  Mac raced at the Santa Ana drags in 1952-53, entered the service and then returned to race from 1955-57.  He then raced drag boats at Perris, Marine Stadium in Long Beach and other sites during the golden age of powerboat racing in the 1960’s.  Bob raced at Santa Ana in 1954-56 and also at Colton, Orange County International Raceway (OCIR) in Irvine, and at other drag strips in the area.  He built his own four-banger flathead engine and installed it in a ’29 roadster.  Otto Ryssman is an original Santa Ana Drags racer, having started at the track in 1950 when it opened and continuing up until 1956, when an accident ended his racing career.  He was a consistent winner and big name of the era and if things had gone better for him in that 1956 race, he might have continued on for many more years.  He drove down from his home in Arizona and then came to the reunion with his daughter Patty Mitchell.  Otto was also a land speed racer and was one of the original participants in the first Bonneville meet in 1949.  “I’m an original Forty-niner, and went back in 1999 for the 50th Anniversary,” he told me with a smile.  Patty’s husband is also a drag racer and ran at OCIR in the 1960’s and ‘70’s.

     More racers were now appearing in the small tree shaded park, next door to the local city’s lawn-bowling clubhouse; Gene Ellis, Phil Turgasen and Eldon Harris.  Gene Ellis raced at Santa Ana and was the only one there who also was a Malt Shop regular.  Gene is well known in oval track racing and was honored by the late Walt James at one of the CRA Reunions held at Knott’s Berry Farm.  Sadly, after Walt’s passing the CRA Reunion ended and with it a chance to meet all those great early 1940’s and ‘50’s oval track racers.  Gene was not only a first class driver but a master mechanic as well.  “We were nearly unbeatable at the Riverside track in the Enduros, for Renick Cadillac, with Leonard driving and me doing the wrenching.  We raced a rear-engine car in the Sports Car 2 class during the 1980’s,” Gene said.  I spoke to Phil Turgasen who told me that he raced at Santa Ana in the late 1950’s in a Sedan and also in a B-Altered Coupe class.  “After that I went into motorcycling racing in Enduros in the desert,” Turgasen added.  Eldon Harris was one of many young men and women to congregate around Jack Hart’s Texaco service station and who raced at Santa Ana in the early 1950’s.  Jack Hart was not related to C. J. and Peggy Hart who ran the drag strip with the help of Creighton Hunter and Frank Stillwell.  Jack Hart would become the General Manager of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in the 1960’s and transform it into the professional organization that it would become.  His death in the 1980’s was a huge loss for drag racing.

     The next to come were Bob Falcon, Craig Durham, John Durham, Gary Fisk, Doug Westfall, Jonathan Chambers, and Nautica Williams.  Bob Falcon is a member of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians and a close friend.  Bob worked for Halibrand Engineering, was an engineer and inventor and raced on oval tracks.  He knows everybody in the sport of car racing and his knowledge is extremely valuable as a resource in our group.  Bob brought with him Craig Durham and his son John, who have purchased the Halibrand Engineering name and plan on bringing the old and honored company back to life with new products and development.  One of their new products will be the Halibrand wheels made out of magnesium alloys and made right here in the USA.  Gary Fisk also came with Bob.  Gary is the archivist and historian at the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) in Torrance, California.  It is a unique museum in that the cars on display are frequently taken out and driven with the docents and museum guests.  Doug Westfall is a racing publisher who owns Paragon Agency and is looking for information on Calvin Rice for a book project.  Calvin was a local Orange County racer who won the first NHRA Nationals race at Great Bend, Kansas in 1955.  This was the race that put the NHRA on the drag racing map and led to their success.  Doug brought his grandchildren with him; Jonathan Chambers and Nautica Williams.  It was nice to have some young people with us for a change.

     Jerry Hart is the son of C. J. and Peggy Hart, iconic founders of the Santa Ana Airport drag strip and originators of many of the rules and procedures for modern day drag racing.  People speculate endlessly over who was the founder of drag racing as we know it today.  Some say that it is C. J. Hart, or my father Wally Parks, or Robert E. “Pete” Petersen, Mickey Thompson or a number of other renowned figures.  The answer is simple; it was all of them and more.  Hart’s Santa Ana Airport drag strip wasn’t the first, but in many ways it was the seminal drag strip from which all other drags strips formed.  Seminal means that it was the cornerstone for all that follows and in Hart’s Santa Ana Airport drag strip the prototype was developed.  C. J. Hart was a friend, competitor and employee of my father.  Hart learned from the early dry lakes racers, then he developed rules and regulations based on his ideas and trial and error.  His drag strip lasted a decade until the County of Orange decided that the growing needs of the area didn’t include a drag strip.  But in those ten years the ideas that Hart developed with others exploded in the sport that we call drag racing.  “People remember my dad, but my mom was a formidable racer.  Her specialty was road racing and she could beat a lot of drag racers as well,” said Jerry.  With Jerry was Betty Belcourt, a long-time friend.  Betty was once married to Dick Rosberg, a drag racer who was inducted into Don Garlits’ International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.  Betty’s son, Terry Rosberg, drives a funny car and jet dragster in nostalgia races in the North Carolina area.  “We’re Cherokee on my side and my son, Terry, is the fastest drag racer with American Indian heritage,” she proudly beamed.

     Daryl Boothe came all the way from Morro Bay to attend the reunion.  He relates some early stories, “My mother was Patricia Allen (Boothe) and she worked in the concession stand at the Santa Ana drags with her friend, Joan Hart, selling hot dogs and drinks.  My mother, Joan and Jerry Hart attended Garden Grove High School.  Peggy would bring Joan and Jerry to school and after they got out of the car she would do some burnouts in the parking lot to the cheers of the student body, but it was not amusing to the teachers,” Daryl related.  I asked Jerry if this was true and he smiled and nodded.  “My mother often drove in road races and my father would just sleep in the back seat,” added Jerry.  Peggy Hart was a formidable woman and drag raced during a time when many women were excluded from the sport for fear of accidents that would generate unneeded newspaper attention.  Doug Wilson is a SCTA and USRC midget racer and a regular at Jack’s Garage in Fountain Valley.  Jack’s Garage is an actual garage belonging to Jack Underwood, on a regular street, in an unimposing tract of homes, but it is the place to be if you are a land speed or drag racing fan.  Norm Stevenson didn’t race at Santa Ana, but he did race jalopies and sprint cars at Ascot in Gardena, Huntington Beach and other Southern California oval tracks.

     Rose Hartelt came with her daughter Susan Hartelt Whitney, son-in-law Ron Whitney, and great granddaughters Tracy Whitney and Chloe Kolberg.  Rose’s husband, Doug Hartelt, passed away this last September, just a few weeks before the reunion.  Doug raced at the dry lakes, Bonneville Salt Flats, Santa Ana drags and other race tracks.  The following is quoted from www.landspeedracing.com,  “Doug Hartelt was friends with nearly all the early day land speed and drag racers such as Chuck Potvin, Dean Moon, Johnny Ryan, Nellie Taylor, Otto Ryssman, Bob Herda, Melvin Dodd (partner), Ollie Morris (The White Owl), Leslie Long, C. J. Hart (drag strip operator) and many more.  It would probably be better and shorter to list the people that he didn’t know.  He built the motors for the Post Special that Otto Ryssman drove.  He was also partners and the engine builder for the Herda/Knapp/Hartelt Bonneville car.  He and Mel Dodd formed a fearsome team.  Doug was a special man and we should also mention that his wife Rose is a special lady too and attends all of the reunions to keep up with their racing friends.”  Susan Whitney remembers watching her father race at Santa Ana and at the Pomona fairgrounds.

     A special visitor to the reunion was Johnny Ryan, who came with his son Greg Ryan.  Johnny Ryan was a partner in the Taylor and Ryan garage and built many of the flathead motors that the successful racers of the day used to win races and set records in all kinds of auto racing.  The shop is still in operation today in Whittier, California under new owners.  Nellie Taylor and Johnny Ryan ran at the dry lakes then entered the military during World War II.  Nellie was in the Battle of the Bulge and suffered from frostbite and battle wounds.  Johnny survived the sinking of his transport ship and also served in Europe.  After the war the two partners returned to Southern California and continued to race and build great engines.  Jim Miller showed up with his ever-present camera.  Jim is the director of the American Hot Rod Foundation and the President of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians and a top-flight researcher and historian on all forms of motor racing.  His family goes back three generations in racing with his grandfather who was a riding mechanic at the Indy 500 before World War I.  His father raced at the dry lakes and so did Jim.  Janet and Ron Griebenow brought their little dog Bandit.  Janet is the niece of Ed Iskenderian, who couldn’t make it to the reunion this time.

     John Thawley III came to the reunion.  He is the son of writer/photographer John Thawley Jr who wrote automotive books under the pen name of Bob Waar.  “My dad worked for Petersen Publishing and they wouldn’t allow their writers and photographers to work for anyone else in those days.  He wrote under the pen name of Bob Waar until Petersen found out what he was doing,” said John.  Both father and son raced in the SCTA during the 1970’s and ‘80’s.  George Hale came in time for the group photo shot.  He was a member of the Russetta Timing Association and raced at the dry lakes from 1948 to ’50.  Ken Freund is a free lance writer/photographer and former editor of motorcycle magazines.  “The media business has gone through a lot of retrenchment and has smaller staffs nowadays, so most of us are now freelancing,” Ken told me.  Freund keeps busy covering events and races for several magazines.  Tom Gerardi and Jim Meyer were the last to arrive.  Jim raced at Lions Drag Strip with Waldo Hershfield and then got into NASCAR and sprint car racing.  He also worked for Mickey Thompson.  Roger Rohrdanz organized the group photo shoot and Jim Miller took some photographs too.  Gene Mitchell provided the delicious food, chairs, tables and tents.  Our thanks to Leslie Long for keeping this event going after the original organizers could no longer do so.  The reunion lasted from around 10 AM to 2 PM and then we headed home.   Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM

STAFF NOTES: From time to time we receive copies of correspondences between our members.  When I receive these emails, which are of a private nature between two or more of our members I check to see if there is any personal information that needs to be removed and then I print these emails if they contain historical or useful information on the subject of hot rodding, land speed and early drag racing.  Sometimes these personal letters contain a great deal of information or they may start a series of replies and rebuttals that lead to further knowledge on a subject.  It is difficult to know at the time of publication whether the material from such emails are beneficial or not, but that is not my criteria for publishing them.  The goal is; 1) to raise the issue, and 2) to provide whatever facts that we know at the present time to our members.  It is then up to each and every one of you to decide if this new information is important to your current research.  Richard Parks

     Richard Parks forwarded me your e-mail a few weeks ago. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.  I have had a couple of visits with Johnny Welcher over the past couple of years. He is quite an interesting gentleman. He had some great stories about his days on the dry lakes with brother Orville (Snuffy). On the first visit I had a chance to look through his personal photo album of his days at the lakes and his time in WWII. On my second visit, he had contacted his nephew and had him send Orville's photo album of lakes pictures. It was quite thrilling to see personal pictures of cars and folks I had only read about or seen in books! I also learned that, for a short time, they owned the car that is best known as Doug Caruthers #6 C&C Special and then later the #25 Chrisman Dragster that now is housed in the NHRA Museum at Pomona.  Recently, the Road Runners began to add Life Members (any living former Road Runner who was a member anytime from 1937 through 1949). Johnny Welcher was installed as one of our first three Life Members.    Jerry Cornelison                                                  
     I saw your post in Richard Parks' newsletter yesterday. I was a friend of, and worked for Orville Welcher years ago. The guys changed their name because being a welcher (or welsher, i.e. a term for a person who takes back what they gave to you-editor) was not too good. I also lived in Bellflower less than a mile from Harvey Haller for years (during the 40s 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
     Have you done a bio with Richard Parks as part of his "Gone Racin' with..." series? He is encouraging all lakes racers and hot rodders to put their stories on paper. I have an outline of items he asks for on the bios posted on the "Members Spotlight" page on the Road Runners website.
     Here is the link:
http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners/member.htm.   Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.  Since you are already writing your story for your grandkids you are already way ahead of the game. According to Richard, the hardest thing to do is to get folks to "put pen to paper."  As he says, if you have ever been involved with lakes racing or hot rodding, "you have a story."  I've been encouraging my fellow Road Runners to write their stories but.... "I've not really done anything," or "I don't have a story," or just "OK" - then no action.  I just keep gently prodding!  I need to sit down with a couple of the "old timers" and do interviews using Richard's outline to be sure those stories are not lost!  I've asked Johnny Welcher to do his bio to add to the growing list of Road Runners stories.  I'm sure he will cover information about "Snuffy" also.   Jerry Cornelison                                                                                                          
To JERRY:     
     My story presently is about 160 pages. Richard edited some of it years ago and it is posted at the
www.hotrodhotline.com website under biographies.  I told him I appreciated the story but why did they put that photo of that old man at the beginning.  Thanks for all of the info and don't forget to write your own story.  Kay Kimes                                                          
To KAY: 
     I did write my own story after Richard kept prodding me. I discovered I did (in fact) have a story and it was very cool going through the process, remembering fun times, remembering old friends, digging out old pictures and having something to share with my kids and grandkids.  It's a rewarding process!  Jerry Cornelison                                                          
     It is a shame that so much of our history is lost as we just didn't document our lives. Dick Martin was here today interviewing me for my 1949 trip to the salt. It is a challenge to remember all the details. I have been writing my own story mainly for our grand kids. Thanks for the info that you were able to give.  Kay Kimes

     1st annual Angels, Horses and Hot Rods picnic fund raiser and jam for Angel Haven Ranch and Rescue.  Sunday, October 20, 2013.  The location is at the Outpost, 34141 116th Street East, Pearblossom, California 93543.  This will be a car, motorcycle and horse show with vendors and live entertainment from 12 noon to 6 pm.  Moldy Marvin

     Steve Gibbs does a good job explaining the crazy thing we do with my restored dragsters at events.  Shot with my rig in the back ground.  My two dragsters were really pumping flames during the Cacklefest; very cool.  Google
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4yHzn8RCcE.    John Ewald
     Here is the film of the actual cacklefest.  I'm in my Mastercar dragster (push started by Kerry Morris in his truck) and Bob Muravez in my BankAmericar dragster (pushed by Mario Garcia in my '58 Chevy).  I appear at 15:45 to 16:30 into the video.  Over 60 of these vintage dragsters gave the huge crowd a huge dose of Nitro.  Don wasn't feeling up to par so to be safe side he sat out this year.  Some of us NEVER grow up.  For those of you who have never seen a cacklefest before you may or may not understand what we do and that's OK.  Go to 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sph1STn-Evk.  John Ewald

On the Origin of Species.  By Le Roi Tex Smith  as written on  www.Hotrodhotline.com
     Maybe what we need here is a history bit on SRM, which was a product early on of TRM, which was a spinoff of AEE. In reverse order, AEE was Automotive Electric Engineering, a car wiring service that Tom McMullen started several years after his move to southern California from the East Coast. At that time, Tom wired my XR6 concept roadster project. Then came an accident on his first chopper motorcycle, which led to his making custom bike products in his home garage, with help from Jim Clark, which led to a company making motorcycle accessories. Still AEE but with the business end being ably handled by his second wife Rose the company was further defined as TRM, for Tom and Rose McMullen.
     I had the cadre for a car mag as several of the bike hands were hot rodders, which included Brian Brennan.  At first, we couldn’t get any support from the hot rodding fraternity, as there was no street rod industry, and only McLoud clutches could envision what we were after.  All of this reticence on the part of potential advertisers despite modest success for street rodding at Rod & Custom magazine.  I’ve been asked why I chose the name of Street Rodder, rather than a more simple Street Rod.
     Because that name had been taken, by a sideline player who had been present at a meeting between Tom Medley and me a couple years earlier as we were getting the first Street Rod Nationals underway in Peoria, Illinois.  That person had moved out to the Portland, Oregon area and in the interim found a money backer for a new magazine he had “thought of”.  Coincidentally, it had the name Medley and I had bandied about in that Peoria motel room. Cheeky, perhaps, but sometime the bear eats you!
     But, if you are gonna dance with the wizard, you gotta pay the band, and to pay the printer we would need to drop one of our expanding motorcycle titles, which turned out to be Hot Bike. I brought Hot Bike on board as a way of getting through to Harley Davidson for potential advertising. The format was to be simple, just copy everything from Hot Rod only apply it to motorcycles, specifically Harleys. The title was good, the readership grew quickly, but HD never budged from its head in the sand muddle. So, Hot Bike went the way and SRM appeared.
     So, Street Rodder hung in there through ups and downs until the industry of street rodding finally materialized.  In a big, big way.  Today, this very magazine is considered a cornerstone in a multi-zillion dollar industry.  At the helm, that very same Brian Brennan I hired off the streets of Disneyland all those years ago. Mostly his hair is gone, as is mine, and he whines at having to do health laps on his crotch car, but his habit of quaffing root beer and cookies has never abated.  We been through a bunch, old Brave and me and SRM.

Gone Racin’… FIFTIES FLASHBACK: A NOSTALGIA TRIP, written by Albert Drake.  Book Review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

     FIFTIES FLASHBACK: A NOSTALGIA TRIP is a book by Albert Drake, a hot rodder from the Portland, Oregon area.  The book is in paperback format, covering a multitude of subjects in 256 pages.  The size of the book is 8½ by 11 inches, with a nice looking cover with the only photograph in the book in color. It makes a nice coffee table book.  Drake has a style of writing which is easy to read and hard to stop.  It’s a book that one can pick up, read for a few minutes and put down without losing one’s concentration on the various subjects.  FIFTIES FLASHBACK: A NOSTALGIA TRIP is published by Bill’s Automotive Handbooks and you can call them at 1-520-547-2462 to order a copy.  The ISBN code is 1-931128-17-0.  There are approximately 281 black and white photographs in the book and most of them are quite clear, but since the sources of the photos are often in poor quality the reproductions sometimes are not the best.  The paper quality is adequate, but not the high gloss waxed paper that you see in higher quality photographic works.  In addition to the photographs, there are 20 drawings and cutaways, 67 advertisements from old magazines and newspapers, 40 magazine covers, 19 cartoons, one poster and six additional visual presentations.  It’s a literal smorgasbord of topics that will keep your interest going.

     Drake divides the subject matter into 53 interesting chapters.  Here are a few chapter descriptions; Hub caps, Vintage Tin, Car clubs, NHRA, Track roadsters, Street racing, Magazines, Books, Novels (Henry Gregor Felsen), ’53 Oakland Roadster Show, The Drive-In, Bonneville 1955, James Dean, Drive-In theaters, Girls & Rods, Blue dots, Dice & Flames, Service stations and much more.  Each chapter is short and easy to read.  Drake’s area of strength and knowledge is in the Pacific Northwest and I particularly liked the chapters on Track roadsters, Len Sutton and Rolla Vollstedt.  I’ve reviewed several of Drake’s books and hope that he will continue to write more on hot rodding, the car culture and auto racing.  Drake has a zeal that isn’t often matched by writers.  This leads him to write books that fill a needed niche and his interests are often eclectic, taking him into areas of the sport of hot rodding that many writers avoid.  Drake also has a feel for the subject that opens up new horizons for those who love the often overlooked aspects of the car culture. 

     Drake has his supporters and his detractors, but he writes and he researches when others would simply avoid a subject.  He does make some historical mistakes, such as stating that Wally Parks is the current president of the NHRA or was the editor of HONK.  Sometimes it is an error in attributing the facts in the right sequence.  More often it is a minor problem like getting the pagination wrong in the index.  For example, Hal Miller is mentioned on page 98, but in the index it says Ak Miller.  I have to give Drake credit for having an index; which is four pages long.  Many fine historians and writers simply avoid adding an index to their books, which is troublesome for historians and researchers.  Some historians in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians say that any mistake in a print medium is unacceptable.  They are wrong, for I don’t know of a single writer, researcher or historian who is perfect.  Drake impresses me with his overall knowledge and his enthusiasm for a subject and if there are a few mistakes here and there it doesn’t detract from the story that he tells.  I rate FIFTIES FLASHBACK: A NOSTALGIA TRIP a 6 out of a possible 8 spark plugs and suggest that you add it to your library.   Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM

     On Thursday afternoon October 10th the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) received this e-mail from the International Historic Motoring Awards 2013.  I'm delighted to tell you that, following multiple nominations, the Allard Chrysler has been shortlisted in the Restoration of the Year category in the 2013 International Historic Motoring Awards in association with Octane magazine and EFG International private banking. And - also as a result of multiple nominations - you yourself have been nominated in the Personal Achievement of the Year category! Many congratulations on being nominated by so many people, and on being shortlisted - and good luck in the judging!    
     “Wow! To say I was ‘gobsmacked’ understates how I felt”, says ACAG Chairman, Brian Taylor. “I had to phone Doug Hill, Museum Manager at Beaulieu to check that it wasn’t a hoax”.  The Awards celebrate the very best of the best in this £multi-billion international industry. Nominations are received from around the world, and from a variety of disciplines, and the geographical spread of the historic motoring movement is emphasized by the list of finalists each year, which includes events, companies, cars and individuals from across Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. It is the benchmark by which the world of historic motoring judges itself.    
     Now established as the most prestigious celebration of this global industry, the Awards showcase the success and dedication of the people and businesses that make it all happen. These are the categories and out of hundreds of entries each year the restoration of Europe’s first dragster has been included in the short list of two of them.    Museum or Collection of the Year   Restoration of the Year   Specialist of the Year (new for 2013)   Publication of the Year   Club of the Year   Industry Supporter of the Year   Rally or Tour of the Year (new for 2013)   Race Series of the Year   Motoring Event of the Year   Motorsport Event of the Year   Car of the Year (voted by enthusiasts from a shortlist)   Personal Achievement of the Year   Lifetime Achievement Award    
     Those judging reflect the prestigious nature of these awards; Derek Bell, Horst Brüning, Ian Callum, Robert Coucher, Dick Crosthwaite, Berthold Dörrich, Tony Dron, Ed Gilbertson, McKeel Hagerty, Simon Kidston, Jay Leno, Nick Mason, Jochen Mass, Bruce Meyer, Lady Susie Moss, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, Patrick Peter, Murray Smith and Peter Stevens, Duncan Wiltshire (chair of Judges)     Brian said, “These nominations are a tribute to the ACAG team and all of those who have supported us during the last five years. I’m so thrilled that drag racing is to feature at the prestigious occasion this year – not just in one category but two. And thanks to the dragster’s owners, the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. We took the dragster off display for a long time but they kept the faith while we solved many puzzles along the way. I better check that the DJ still fits”.    
     The winners of the International Historic Motoring Awards 2013 will be announced at a gala dinner in London on Thursday, 14th November at the magnificent St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. More details about the awards from
www.historicmotoringawards.com, Twitter@octane_magazine#ihma,   Facebook@octanemagazine#ihma.    Contact Brian Taylor – Chairman, Allard Chrysler Action Group, brian@allardchrtsler.org, and www.allardchrysler.org.   

STAFF NOTES: The following report comes from Burly Burlile.

     The weather continues to plague the final land speed racing events with the World of Speed, World Finals, Mike Cooks High Speed Shootout and the October El Mirage Dry Lake events all being canceled. Fortunately, with the advent of mile events around the U.S. under the auspices of the East Coast Timing Association (E.C.T.A.) in Ohio, and the Mojave Mile and Magnum in California have provided venues for the VW Challengers to exercise their mounts and test this years tuning improvements. And yes, some new 36hp Challenge records were set at both events. Below are the results for the VW racers:
E.C.T.A. at Wilmington, Ohio (September) 
1.  John Finn     113.4644 84 Rabbit   8383   G/GSS 2000cc   Turbocharged WC

 2. Tom Bruch/Gaylen Anderson 128.9398   69 Ghia   Coupe 9031  NA36   1378cc Turbocharged 36hp.  NEW 36hp Challenge NA36Ghia Record Brukrasa Single Port.  Tom entered the car and engine combination in three different E.C.T.A. classes in which it met the rules and after making three separate 128 mile per hour passes with his 36hp engine Ghia, he had put his name in the E.C.T.A. record book three different times. Below are his new E.C.T.A. class records:
128.9398 mph HBGC Record Under 1500ccBlown Gas Coupe (all makes of cars)

128.1686mph  H/CBGC Record Under 1500cc "Classic-pre1981) Blown Gas Coupe (all makes of cars)
128.2782mph   NA36 Record   E.C.T.A. sanctions four individual 36hp engine classes for Volkswagens.  They include SS (Stone Stock 36), K36 (vintage supercharged 36), DSS (dual carburetor 36), and NA36 (turbocharged 36).

3.Bill Hatfield 114.272 99 Mexican Bug 2007 DSS36 1602cc Dual Weber 48 IDA Carbs on Wolfsburg West D/P Heads.  NEW ECTA DSS Record Running revised cylinder heads and carburetors tuned by his new crew Bill just missed beating the DSS36 Bug record he currently holds by less than 1 mile per hour.  


4. Barry Jecewski 78.7953 74 Super Beetle 9200  G/GRS 1585cc Big Block with a single 2 BBL Weber Carburetor


5. Steven Jecewski 77.1870 74 Super Beetle 9200A G/GRS 1585cc.  Big Block with a single 2 BBL Weber Carburetor.  This was Barry and Steve's first land speed racing event with their beautiful red Super Beetle. Improvements are already in the works for2014.


MOJAVE MILE/MAGNUM at Mojave, California (October)

1. Dick Beith DNR 68 Bug "Bugliner" 3601 150 Club 1585cc   Big Block Turbo F.I. Intercooled.  Dick was just 20 miles short of Mojave on the treacherous Tehachapi Pass when the transmission went out in his tow vehicle keeping him from being able to race at Mojave. He indicated he will return to Mojave for their spring event to tune the Bugliner for next year’s USFRA World of Speed event at Bonneville.


2. Juan Cole   87.4    65 Bug  617   SS36   1192cc  Stone Stock Bonneville Herbie.  Over the winter Juan rebuilt his 36hp engine and made gearing changes in the transmission (watch for a future Challenge ENEWS with ALL of the details on the upgrades which allowed Bonneville Herbie to set the new Stone Stock 36hp Bug record. These changes allowed both Juan and his racing partner Bryan Houston to set and then reset the record in Herbie five times running with a strong tailwind on the Mojave Magnum one and one half mile long track.


3. Bryan Houston   88.4   65 Bug    617   SS36   1192cc Stone Stock Bonneville Herbie on a 1 1/2 mile track and up to 20 mph tail wind.


4. Bryan Houston   153.6   70 Ghia   643   BB   2287cc   Big Block with Dual 48 IDA Webers Late Night Air-cooled  on a 1 and 1/2 mile track with up to 20 mph tail wind.


5. Matthew Kenney   80.464/74 Beetle    621  "1" Club   1192cc  Stone Stock 36hp engine Air Cooled Research on both the 1 and 1 1/2 mile tracks Driven to and from race 180 miles each way.  Car features 74 Super Beetle curved windshield body fitted to a 64 standard beetle chassis and front standard beetle clip. Improved aerodynamics allowed the SS36 engine to exceed his best Bonneville speed by five miles per hour.

      MATTHEW’S STORY: “Got in at about 8-ish, we left Mojave a little after 5. I feel like I've been driving all day.......oh wait.....I have been driving all day.  My ride for the car didn't pan out so we did plan "B" and I drove it there (it's only about 180 miles) with my wife following me in a rental car with all my stuff for the car. I did about 60 to 62mph all the way there at about 32mpg (24.5 Venturi).  We all got through tech that evening.  After the morning briefing and track drive we were all off and running (Brian, Juan, and myself).  Unfortunately Dick didn't show with his car.  I really wanted to see it run. 
     I started with just the mile run instead mile and a half to see where I wanted the tune.  I had left here tuned for 750ft, Mojave is at about 3000ft. I finally got my 80mph on the one mile and moved over to the one and a half, those lines were moving faster to get to the starting line.  Juan's first pass on the one and a half mile run was over 85mph.  He was very happy.  I think Brian's first pass on the same track in the Ghia was 127(?), I think.  I just could not get more than 4200 rpm out of the car on either track, which is about 80mph. 
     Later in the day the wind changed enough to make a side sheer and not a direct tailwind as it was first thing in the morning; the last couple passes I really felt it.  It was a really good day out even with the wind.  It struck us kind of strange that more of the street rod types were not there, although the motorcycle crowd had it dialed in (one woman did 243mph on her bike). For a first time deal for me I thought it was a good venue that was well organized.
     We finished the day with the drive home at about 70-72mph after I stuck my flat-lander jets back in the carburetor.  My first four runs were at the one mile mark.  After the tune felt right, I did the one and a half thinking I'd do a better time. About the same top speed depending on the wind, so no real big difference (I thought there would be a difference too).  With the seven runs I did I now have a list of about a dozen adjustments to make to the car and drive train so it was well worth the money and time spent.  I really liked the digital final speed readout that you could see from the pits.” 


6. Juan Cole   153.2   70 Ghia     643A2   2287cc   Big Block with dual Weber 48 IDA carburetors.  Late Night Air-cooled on a1 1/2 mile track with up to a 20 MPH tail wind.

FOOTNOTE: Mike Cooks "High Speed Shootout" (in September and again in October) 

     This event following the rained out World of Speed was also canceled after two additional subsequent delays where they had hopes the water on the course would dry. Continuing rainstorms hit the salt flats and prevented their ability to provide the 400 and 500 mile per hour streamliners a safe nine mile course from which to make any passes. Since a five mile track was available, the Volkswagen factory backed Car & Driver Magazine entry driven by Tony Swan and built by Richard Holdener, was allowed to make tuning runs and saw a top speed of 165 miles per hour. This was not last year’s Jetta Hybrid but a new production based race car using the new Beetle TSi platform with a 2 liter turbocharged engine running in G/BGC.


     After the Mojave Mile and Mile and a Half event, the question was asked about the various length courses the 36hp and VW Challenge speed records are taken from. Essentially, the length of the track, like headwinds and tailwinds, are not considered even though they can have an outcome on the top speed that goes into the Volkswagen Land Speed History I maintain.  Dick Beith’s original records were set on three mile tracks so we do not differentiate on the length of the track. 1/2, 1, 1 1/2 and 3 mile are all legal as long as the event is overseen and timed by a sanctioning body using timing light equipment with paper read outs.  No GPS.
     In reality, it is impossible to factor in all the minute variables that separate one race from another even though I routinely receive requests that a specific category be added based on this fact or that feature.  These records are just a carrot.  The real reward is you achieving your personal best or PB speed with your Volkswagen and then reaching forward to improve upon your VW's speed at the next event.  If you beat a previous top speed, that just makes it all the sweeter.

     Over the next month three more land speed events will occur.  The Texas Mile is this weekend and the final SCTA El Mirage Dry Lake event and Australia's Snowy Mountain 1000 will both take place in November.  If you are racing, race safe and if you are not, please try to attend as spectators to support you local racers.  Until then, for the fun of it, that is the Challenge.  Burly Burlile

VW 36hp & BB CHALLENGE, Volkswagen Land Speed Racing Historian, Society of Land Speed Racing Historians, www.burlyb.com


Email LandspeedRacing:   Richard Parks   rnparks1@juno.com


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.

Copyright 1999 - 2013 Land Speed Racing Newsletter All Rights Reserved
No Portion May Be Used Without Our Written Permission
Contact Mary Ann Lawford: 208-362-1010
Email: maryann@lawfordmedia.com