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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 301 - Dec 27 , 2013
Editors-in-Chief: Jack and  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;   Burly Burlile,  Abe Potter, Rick MacLean, Els Lohn,  Bud Meyer, Randy Chenowith, Linda Vaughan,  Wolfsburg West, Aussie Invader, Tex Smith

GUEST EDITORIAL, by Burly Burlile:   
     Below are a few comments I received after sending the Crash Video Challenge E-Newsletter a couple of weeks ago.  I thought you might like to read and consider these ideas regarding any plans for safety upgrades you are planning to your VW racer.  The first is from Tom Medlock, a friend who built the finest NASCAR mini-stockers and late model stock cars on the west coast in the eighties and nineties.  Tom has also just finished the restoration of Parnelli Jones 1966 Shrike Indy car for the Agajanian family. He is also the friend I first went to Bonneville with in 1962 and who in the early 1970's, set numerous Bonneville and El Mirage Dry Lake land speed records (with a 1962 slant 6 Plymouth Valiant, probably the most un-aerodynamic car to ever put wheels on the salt).  I greatly respect his abilities and knowledge.  His thoughts:
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     "Burly...After reviewing the photo of the remains of the car, I noticed how the head supports on the seat gave way.  We had a crash in our Late Model stock car one time. It was not a really hard hit.  The head supports bent like in the photos and the rib supports did not which allowed the upper part of the body to move side to side while the rib cage was held secure.  This resulted in broken ribs to our driver.  The seat and head supports were made by Kirkey a popular brand of racing seat
.  We installed a new $1500 Butlerbilt seat with those big head supports that you see in the Cup cars and two weeks later we wrecked the car again.  Same spot on the track, same type of hit.  The driver (still recovering from broken ribs) did not get hurt.  Now....you don't have to go out and spend big bucks on a seat.  But you can build supports for your seat yourself.  Just make them strong.  Even at 60 MPH, if you roll a car you’re going to get tossed around and possibly hurt.  Just some input from an old racer.  MAKE IT SAFE AND MAKE IT PRETTY.”   Tom Medlock
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Abe Potter, creator of the world’s fastest four cylinder Volkswagen, the 212.922 mile per hour 2000 Passat running under the Potter Brothers Racing banner, also found the video and photo very enlightening.    
     "Thank you Burly.  I'm going to keep a copy of the link to that video and that shocking photo.   Why?  To show people why we built the PBR Passat the way we did. From the massive cage construction, to the sturdy steel straps on the 30 gallon water tank that anchor into the factory seat belt bosses. I was relieved that fella made it out OK.”   Abe Potter 
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Rick MacClean, a long time SCTA/BNI member who has previously raced the ex-Monreal #57 Green Ghia and is currently building a new Karmann Ghia to challenge the salt, wanted to share his thoughts:  
     "As I've said before and I'll say it again, ‘you can't put enough safety into these vehicles.’  It doesn't matter if you’re doing 100mph, 200mph or pick a slower or higher number.  The car and the incident doesn't know the speed.  All we can do is be as safe as possible.  More safety is better than not enough, but that being said, don't over build. Talk to an engineer and make it as safe as you can.”   Rick MacClean
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Thanx to Tom, Abe and Rick for sharing their observations.  Remember folks, whether you are going freeway speeds at Bonneville, or a buck and a half in the 150MPH Club, include as much safety as your wallet can afford.  If possible, build beyond the safety recommendations for the class you are racing in just in case the unthinkable occurs.     Burly Burlile
 

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks. 
     The following editorial is actually based on a letter that I sent to a writer recently on book reviews.  He wanted to know how effective book reviews might be to a writer and author.
     “The reviews that I write average about 1000 words and some are longer based on the complexity of the book, magazine or movie that I am reviewing.  I write for one website and then get their permission to send the reviews to smaller websites who might like to run the reviews on their sites.  In addition to the reviews, Roger Rohrdanz adds a captioned photograph of the movie or book.  Websites are more accepting of book reviews.  Trying to post a review in a print media magazine or newspaper is next to impossible and probably not effective.
     It's not that we don't know the editors; my family has had connections to the print media clear back to the 1940's.  The print media is just not accepting 1000 word reviews any longer on small niche markets like auto racing.  I spoke to Louis Brewster today, a good friend and a sports editor at Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, who carries an inordinate amount of auto racing coverage, as much or more than the LA Times or Orange County Register combined.  He told me that it would be very difficult to even find space for one or two short sentences about a book in their weekly open column.  I called both the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register newspapers before I wrote this editorial.  They simply aren't interested.  The print media will accept short notices of coming events and we send those notices to them regularly with mixed results.  Brian Brennan at Source Interlink told me that magazines are just not cost efficient in terms of running reviews or even paid review-like ads.  The lag time of three months just makes this ineffective in competition with the web.
     With all the trouble in newspapers and magazines these days and their desperate need for advertising to compensate for the much cheaper to run electronic media websites, it is doubtful that I can depend on the print media to publish any review no matter what the size.  The problem that newspapers have in competing with the internet is even fiercer in magazines.  My outlet at one magazine ended when they cut me down to 200 words per article and then stopped taking my writing altogether.  I have concentrated on the electronic media websites to post these reviews.  That is one reason why I don't charge for doing reviews, offer reviews to any website willing to take them and always offer to return the books after reviewing them.  My goal is to try and get word of the book, magazine or movie into general circulation.  If you know of any site willing to take the reviews let me know and I will forward them a copy.
     Paying to advertise a movie or book review sometimes costs as much as producing the product, which seriously derails such projects from being undertaken by writers and producers.  I try to help out as much as I can at a local level.  I think there are ways to use the internet effectively to reach certain markets.  But the old days of the print media dominance is gone.  Though the print media has cut costs and employees to the bone, there are some costs like paper, ink and distribution that still hurt their profitability.  Word of mouth and attendance at car shows seem to be a good source for sales of books and movies.”
 


     It's a sad day, as "Mr. Bud" Meyer was a very special man.  One never felt like he was talking to an old man, as Bud was always so sharp and was a genius when it came to most things mechanical.  It seemed like he would be with us forever, as we had phone conversations for 25 years and he was always there with the answer.  He will be missed very much.  Doug Clem (The following bio was written by Doug Clem)
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     Bud Meyer was in the Throttlers and Roadrunners SCTA car clubs, and raced at the dry lakes in 1939 and 1940, holding the SCTA roadster record.  Bud also was the first to build a rear engine roadster for the Lakes.  Bud and his Dad also went boat racing in the 1930’s, and held numerous records in the 135 hydro class.  The Eddie Meyer garage also ran two midgets after the war, along with their two 135 c.i. hydro boats.  Bud ended midget racing after the 1965 season after 18 years and continued with 2.5 liter hydro racing until 1990.  Bud's "Avenger" boats held the National, and International championships.  Bud's Uncle, Lou Meyer, was the first racer to win the Indy 500 race three times, and later was half owner, with Dale Drake, of Meyer and Drake Offenhauser race engines.  Bud closed the business, Eddie Meyer Engineering, in 2002, after 84 years of service to the community.  Some of the people that worked at the Eddie Meyer garage were Ray Brown, Tommy Sparks, Lou Senter, Manny Ayulo, Frank Brewer, Phil Remington and Ed Pink. 
     Bud Meyer was born into a racing family, as his father Eddie, started racing a year after Bud was born, in 1919.  He was at his Dad's side, in the repair and automotive performance business, all of his life.  Bud was a child of the depression, having graduated from Hollywood High in 1936.  He was a very good businessman, besides his mechanical ability.  When he was 55 years old, he coaxed his Dad into making him a partner, instead of just working for a pay check.  Within two years Bud bought out his Dad's share of the business, and turned the Eddie Meyer business into a very profitable venture. 
     Bud had amazing mechanical ability, and mentored many people over the years.  As Tommy Sparks said at Bud's 90th birthday party at the Peterson Museum, "When I worked at Meyer Engineering (1946-49) I learned two important things, HOW TO WORK and HOW TO DO THE JOB RIGHT." Tommy did very well for himself, building Hollywood camera cars, restoring many Classic Cars for the Pebble Beach Concours, and was responsible for creating all of the clone cars in the Tucker Movie.  
     Bud raced at the dry lakes of southern California before the war, and held the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) roadster record in 1939 and 1940. Bud, and his father, left dry lake racing, and went into boat racing in 1940.  Bud said boat racing was better as they "turned left at the end of the straight away" instead of just running for time and it was cooler at the ocean."  It was closer then the Mojave Desert and the VIEW was MUCH BETTER with the girls wearing swimming suits.
     Bud continued with boat racing until 1990, holding many national championships, and holder of many speed records.  He and his Dad also owned 2 midget race cars after the war, and ran a Kurtis Offy midget until 1965 during an 18 year racing career. Many famous drivers were in the Meyer race car, including Johnny Parsons (1950 Indy winner), Sam Hanks (1957 winner), Manny Ayulo, "Bullet" Joe Garson, Bobby Unser, and Frank "Satan" Brewer.  Bud's favorite passion in life was driving his 135 C.I hydro plane race boat.  His eyes would "light up" when he was describing the many boat racing adventures he had over the years.
     Bud has been inducted into the Midget Hall Of Fame, Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame, and the Power Boat Racing Hall of Fame.  Bud's Uncle Lou Meyer, (Eddie's younger Brother) is the 1st three time winner of the Indianapolis 500 race, and Bud's cousin, Lou Meyer Jr (Sonny), was just inducted into the Indy Old Timers Hall Of Fame. 
     Bud did his patriotic duty during WWII serving for Lockheed Overseas.  He traveled to England on the Queen Mary, with 18,000 soldiers.  Bud used his mechanical knowledge to run airplane engine test cells in Ireland for 2 years and called the place Pneumonia Flats, as it was cold, and damp.  After returning to the US, he continued his WWII contribution going to work building China Clipper sea planes in San Francisco until the war ended.
     Bud was married to his first wife Ellie for 61 years, and was a devoted father to one son, Randy, now deceased, and two daughters, Lindy, also deceased, and Pam (who married husband Mark).  After Ellie passed away, he was introduced to Joan Denver at the Gilmore Reunion, held at the Peterson Museum in 2001, (two days before 9/11).  Bud and Joan's first date was at the SCTA's "Gas UP" event in Buellton, California that fall.  Bud and Joan were married in February of 2003 at the Eddie Meyer Museum in Sparks, Nevada surrounded by photos and memorabilia from the Meyer racing legacy.  It was a match made in heaven, as Bud and Joan were both "car people" and have attended many auto shows and old car reunions over the past 10 years.  Bud's birthday was celebrated 5 times at the Eddie Meyer Museum, with close to 100 people attending on August 25, 2013.

     Bud closed the Eddie Meyer Engineering business in 2002, at age 84. He was a very generous employer, with a bonus profit sharing option for his employee's, and the option for his employee's to buy into the business as shareholders.  His cliental were like family, and his customers were a "who's who" in the movie business.  The LA Times Newspaper voted him and the Eddie Meyer shop as "Hollywood's Favorite Mechanic." Everyone that met Bud went away feeling like they had met a very special person.  One of the folks at Bud's birthday party said, "Mr Bud is a National Treasure, as he has covered so much ground, and is so sharp." 
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The Celebration of Life for Bud Meyer is scheduled for March 1, 2014.  More information will be sent out later.  Joan Denver Meyer
 

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I am attaching a quick bio I did on Bud Meyer.  What a rich heritage of racing and speed Bud had.  I wish I could have met him.  I cited my sources in my write up.  I'm sure you have probable seen the Hop Up stories but in case not, here are the links:
Part 1:
http://www.montereyspeedandsport.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/hop-up-eddie-meyer.pdf
Part 2: http://www.montereyspeedandsport.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/hop-up-eddie-meyer-2.pdf
Jerry Cornelison, Road Runners
 


Hello Dimitri.  Here is a link to the Ed Winfield pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/31144302@N03/sets/72157633406036298/.  Tom Stewart
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Tom Stewart's wife has put these into a book and it's about $50.  Dimitri "Dema" Elgin
    
DEMA AND TOM: If you have a book for sale would you send me a book review and a jpg photo of the book so that I can post it to The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter on the website above.  If you do not have a review of the book just describe it the best that you can.  I do free book reviews and maybe you can bring a copy to the Grand National Roadster Show in January and I can do a quick scan and review for you, and then return the book to you.  If anyone comes across a book, video or magazine (reviewed or not) on hot rodding, drags and LSR racing please let me know and I will post it to the website. 
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Hot rodder and LSR guy John Swanson is in the hospital according to Jack Underwood.
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     Author John Morton will be at Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank on Saturday, December 14, 2013 to answer questions, give autographs and talk about his new book INSIDE SHELBY AMERICAN.  Autobooks-Aerobooks is located at 2900 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA  91505.  You can contact them at www.autobooks-aerobooks.com.  Tina Van Curen
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We made licensing runs the day before and were in line to run this day when it happened.  Brian Gillespie crash at El Mirage, see  
http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/11/22/newday-gillespie-race-car-crash-in terview.cnn.html.   Vic Enyart 
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    Brian Gillespie is now home in Arizona from the hospital, in good spirits and he should heal up before long. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McJJeukIWSA.            Ron Main
 


     It's finally done.  I'll be getting a big box of DVDs for the video WHERE THEY RACED.  More events are in the pending and planning stages.  I have to say thanks again for being one of the early believers and being so willing to help.  I think it’s a great collection of memories that serve to save a few memories of the early days.  www.wheretheyraced.com.  It's already for sale at Autobooks, Petersen and World Class Motoring.  I'll be contacting lots of other museums starting tomorrow when I get done with my current gig. The website is always the best but I'm happy if you list other sites. I am actually hoping that the NHRA will do an event like the screening at the Petersen on February 26th and a few others that are in the works.  Also I literally just got the word that WHERE THEY RACED is a finalist in the Motor Press Guild's Dean Batchelor Awards in the Audio/Video category.  The DVD will officially go on sale by November 4, 2013 through the website: www.wheretheyraced.com.   Facebook: www.facebook.com/WhereTheyRaced.    Harry Pallenberg
    
READERS: WHERE THEY RACED is a video by Harry Pallenberg and Harold Osmer on race tracks and drag strips in Southern California (mostly Los Angeles and Orange Counties).  Several people that you know were asked to be in it including Danny and Judy Thompson, Chuck Griffiths and myself.  Osmer wrote the original books and did the screen play, and Harry produced the video.  The producer’s job is the hard one; he’s the guy who has to find the money, crew, and writers and push it all through to get the job done.  Harry was a co-producer on many of the Huell Howser PBS shows.  I did a review and it will be published soon.  I’m very surprised how it all turned out.  If this video does well then maybe Osmer and Pallenberg can go back into the archives and bring out more material on racetracks and dragstrips that didn’t make it into the original video.  Believe me, these two can produce dozens of videos with the material that is out there, so let’s help them along by purchasing one of the videos, then go home and enjoy it. 
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We can Save the Salt.  See below.  Ron Main                                                
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     I just wanted to pass along a blog post we wrote about you guys.  My dad and I subscribe to Bonneville Racing News and saw your ad on the back so I wrote the post. It got picked up by www.Jalopnik.com so it's currently around 6,000 views and climbing. 
http://roadtrippers.kinja.com/land-speed-history-is-rapidly-disappearing-can-we-save-1457708162.   Austin Coop, GENERAL MANAGER


     I have been busy working with collection of photos, old programs and old 8mm film. Once the word got out about my idea, I have been bombarded with collections from back in the day.  Jim Miller at the AHRF has been helping me with the 8mm film and negatives.   I just received a very large collection of photos from Ray and Nancy Alcaraz. They ran the RACERS OF BALBOA ASSOCIATION.  Ray and my dad were high school buddies. My dad built a few race cars for Ray back in the day.  Ray is the one that basically got me started on trying to establish a racing museum in San Diego. 
     Just getting these collections scanned into my computer and posted online has almost been a full time job the last few months.  I have talked to a lot of people and everyone thinks this is a great idea and they have great ideas for a museum, but money is the major stumbling block.  I'm trying to get organized so I can start accepting donations, but that's going to take a lot of legal paperwork.  Considering this is something I started about 4 months ago, I'm pretty impressed with the response I have gotten from the racing community, at least with racing memorabilia.
     Ray Alcaraz told me the other day that he is saving a vintage midget for my museum if we get a building opened.  But for right now the San Diego Racing is just online and on FaceBook. 
Here’s a link to the webpage http://sandiegoracingmuseum.weebly.com/, and to the FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/563772673688032/.  Please let people know about the idea/project and where to find us on the internet and FaceBook.  Randy Chenowth sdracingmuseum@cox.net.
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     The latest issue of our on-line magazine ACAG Update, carrying news about the restoration of Europe’s first dragster, including the dragster’s appearance at the recent International Historic Motoring Awards event in London is at this site:    
http://www.drceurope.co.uk/acag/dec2013.     
     There is also lots of information about recent British Drag Racing Hall of Fame activities plus other nostalgia topics.  With the Festive Season coming on fast all the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) merchandise is listed and priced.  Profits go towards completing the restoration and now helping with operational costs as well. Work on the clutch and others items starts between Christmas and the New Year.    
     It has been a challenging but rewarding project. But with the tireless work of the regular ACAG team members, the future of Europe’s first dragster – Sydney Allard’s 1961 Allard Chrysler - is now secure.  Owned by the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, people can see and hear the car that opened up the door for the development of drag racing right across Europe.  Something to be proud of.  Brian Taylor – Chairman  Allard Chrysler Action Group,
brian@allardchrysler.org
 


     Recently, during a search of some old hot rod magazines looking for any VW's that raced land speed I found one I was not aware of.  Now land speed is defined as any top speed time trials of 1/2 mile or kilometer more in length as recognized by the F.I.A. In a seventies Hot Rod publication I found a story on Hot Rod Magazine over the years and in the retrospect on the October 1954 issue, there was a photo of a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle competing in half mile time trials put on by the Cal-Neva Timing Association up north in California.   The Bug was driven by Dick Katayanagi and the top speed was a rousing 61.21 miles per hour over the half mile airport course.  And this was a "25hp, 1131cc" VW engine.  Dick later went on to work with the NHRA's famous Safety Safari that helped make quarter mile drag racing the sport it remains today.  On another note, below is a link to the Hot Rod Magazine FaceBook site with a great photo of Juan Cole working on the Late Night Air Cooled Karmann Ghia (ex Britt Grannis Bonneville Ghia) at the Mojave Mile and Magnum this past October. http://blogs.hotrod.com/hot-rod-races-the-mojave-mile-86497.html/mojave-mile-vw-karmann-ghia/#.UpLzB8iglj4.facebook.     Burly Burlile
 


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     Below is a photo of the 55 Bug Tony Hill built in 1968 to race at Bonneville. Sadly for
this Canadian VW racer, much like Manu and his Bonneville 4 Sick Kids 55 Bug this year, he traveled all the way to the salt from Vancouver only to be rained out. So he did the next best thing and turned the Beetle into a drag racer and show car. This photo show Tony's Beetle with Miss Hurst Shifter, the lovely racer's lady, Linda Vaughn in 1969.  I would like to remind you about the Wolfsburg West Challenge classes.  And with Christmas just around the corner, remind your significant other that a set of Wolfsburg West dual port heads or a complete WW Okrasa Replica kit would make a great Christmas gift. Below are details. 
     This year’s Bonneville rainout did not dampen the enthusiasm of Wolfsburg West in the new WW36 and DSS36 class racing. Wolfsburg West has advised me the two $500.00 contingency awards they were hoping to award in 2013, "will be carried over to 2014."  In addition, since a year will have gone by since the last competition, all WW36 racers will "be eligible" to win and it will be a heads up year again at Bonneville.  Wolfsburg West's Contingency Award program is for all Volkswagen folks racing with a 36hp engined car in the DSS36 or new WW36 categories on the Bonneville Salt Flats, at either the USFRA's World of Speed or the SCTA/BNI's Speedweek or World Finals events.  Another bonus in 2014 will be the 100th Anniversary of land speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Each event at Bonneville will be celebrating this Centennial event and will make all Bonneville racing extra special. If this is the year for you to debut your new VW Challenge racer, or return for another shot at your personal best speed or a Challenge record, or if you just want to come and watch, please make a special effort to join us on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2014.
     Below is an overview of the 2014 Wolfsburg West Challenge guidelines:  WOLFSBURG WEST $1000 Contingency Award program for 2014. Two separate $500.00 awards will be available. Volkswagen stock bodied Bug's, Ghias and pre 1967 Type 2's competing at the 2014 USFRA World of Speed or SCTA/BNI Speedweek or World Final events on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the WW36 or DSS36 categories will be eligible to earn separate $500 contingency award's from Wolfsburg West. Contingency award applicant’s engines must be equipped with Wolfsburg West Okrasa style dual port cylinder heads and related components as stated per the respective WW36 and DSS36 class guidelines. One $500 award will be given to the racer with the "fastest record of the three" different WW36 classes where records can be set. The qualifying WW36 racer must "exceed" the base WW speeds established in 2010 and 2011 for contingency award consideration.  A second $500 award will be given to the fastest record setting DSS36 legal Volkswagen.  No other awards will be issued. Past WW contingency award winners are not eligible the first year following their award (not applicable in 2014!). Genuine Okrasa equipped engines (heads or carburetors) are not eligible for the WW contingency award.
     WW36 and DSS36 2014 guidelines are listed below: 
WW36 (Wolfsburg West Kit)-Modified 36hp engines equipped with either Wolfsburg West kit numbers:  111 198 700 Complete Okrasa style dual port kit with original style linkage.  111 198 700A Complete Okrasa style dual port kit with CSP style bolt on linkage.  and installed in stock bodies Bug's, Ghias or pre 1967 Type 2's. Engine components must include WW cylinder heads with stock intake, exhaust port and valve sizes, WW Solex 32 PBIC style carburetors, WW original or CSP style linkage as new from WW and WW intake manifolds. Cylinder heads can be polished but not ported, carburetors can be modified internally and jetting changed but must appear externally as new from WW. WW intake manifolds must be used and appear externally as new from WW. Air cleaners can be removed. Requires any Bosch distributor and coil (Pertronix Ignitor is O.K.). No displacement or camshaft limitations. No external carburetor or intake manifold modifications allowed (must maintain stock Wolfsburg West kit appearance) but can be modified internally.  Must use a "36hp style dual tip or Abarth style aftermarket four tip muffler."  No headers or extractor exhaust systems allowed.   Eligible for 2014 Wolfsburg West contingency award at World of Speed in September. 
    
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/wolfsburg_new/engine/25-36hp/WW_dual_port_kit.cfm.     Site for Okrasa style dual port cylinder head and dual carburetor kit details.
   
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=111198600.      Site for Okrasa style 69.5mm stroker counterweighted crankshaft details. 
    
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=111251055OK.     Site for Abarth style 4 tip stainless steel muffler details.
     Current WOLFSBURG WEST 36 Base Records as of 12/10/2012  WW36 Bug  2010        70.914mph             58 Bug Kim Slaughter                Bonneville, UT  WW36 Ghia  2011       84.442mph              67 Ghia Craig Wilson                Bonneville, UT  WW36 Bus  2011      68.851mph              60 Single Cab Ronnie Feitelsen  Bonneville, UT 
     DSS36 (Dual Super Stock)-Pre 1965 period style dual or single dual throat carburetors systems, using pre-1965 carburetors only (Weber 48 IDA carburetors are pre-1965), fitted to modified or stock Wolfsburg West aftermarket 36hp dual port cylinder heads.  Requires any Bosch distributor and coil. Dual spark plug conversions O.K.  No displacement, camshaft or header limitations. Handcrafted intake manifolds are O.K.  Carburetor(s) must be under the deck lid without bumps or scoops or external cutouts. Deck lid stand-offs are not allowed! See current 36hp Challenge guidelines for Volkswagen body requirements.   Eligible for 2014 Wolfsburg West contingency award by competing at World of Speed in September, the August Speedweek and final World of Speed meet in October.  Award will be made after the World Finals.
     Current DSS36 records as of 12/10/2012    
DSS36 Bug  2012  114.909mph   99 Bug   Bill Hatfield/Linda Lance   Bonneville, UT    
DSS36 Ghia  2012  108.186mph  69 Ghia  Tom Bruch. Gaylen Anderson/Tom Newport Bonneville, UT
DSS36 Bus  2012   86.664mph  60 Pick-Up Ronnie Feitelsen    Bonneville, UT
     Past WW contingency award winners.    
2011 Wolfsburg West Contingency Award winner- Bill Hatfield & Linda Lance from Harmony, Indiana in his silver DSS36BUG 1999 Mexican Beetle.    
2012 Wolfsburg West Contingency Award winner- Tom Bruch, Tom Newport and Gaylen Anderson from Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the Appletree Automotive DSS36GHIA 1968 Karmann Ghia coupe.
     Should you have any questions regarding the new WW36 category or award please contact me at burlybug@comcast.net.  Burly Burlile, VW 36hp & BB CHALLENGE Society of Land Speed Racing Historians
www.burlyb.com.
 

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Aussie Invader December 2013 Newsletter.  By Rosco McGlashan
     Aussie Invader has two major announcements, the first is about our search for a venue to run our car and the second is about a new sponsor.  Several years back when we were just getting under-way with the construction of Aussie Invader 5R our legendary crew guy Mike Annear rang me excitedly telling me that he had just flown from Darwin to Brisbane and had found a huge Clay pan long enough to run our 1,000 mph record on, where is it and how do we get there were my first questions.  "Not sure about either of those questions," said Mike, "it's bloody remote."  My team and I work at putting our car together 7 days/nights a week, 52 weeks a year and obviously where we are going to run our race is extremely important, but without the added team power or finances to do investigative work on possible race track locations, this task was put onto the back burner until it became a necessity. 
     Our car was designed from day one to fit into a 40’ shipping container, by rolling her backwards into this box and removing her nose and front suspension.  Our great partners at Speedmark would then ship our box to a location with suitable alkali mud or clay surface, be it in the USA, the UAE, South Africa or remote Australia.  After approaching one of Australia’s best and highly regarded survey companies, Land Surveys and meeting with their UAS Manager, Darren Wilkinson it was suggested we meet to discuss the possibility of gaining their expert support in carrying out a reconnaissance mission to this remote Western Queensland location. 
     A trip like this would need some serious arranging, so we started speaking with several potential sponsors, partners and before we knew it over 20 people were involved.  This is a very remote place and if not performed correctly people can easily be caught out or have a breakdown hundreds of kilometres from any help; and with temperatures in the extremes it needed to be planned correctly.  I would like to thank all those that helped to make it happen.    
     I was surprised and honored to have Land Surveys boss Peter Rullo join us, he is a highly regarded race driver and jet boat pilot and obviously a first class surveyor.  A plan was formulated that Peter and myself would fly to Brisbane and drive a prepped SUV with all the latest and greatest surveying gadgetry known to man.  We were to hook up with David Low of Position Partners somewhere on our 1600 km journey east, towards the Queensland and Northern Territory border.       
     We kicked off the trip with a Press Conference in Brisbane, which created a lot of media interest and this interest resulted in several TV and radio interviews and a few press articles.  After the press conference we left for Birdsville with David Low driving a SUV decked out with the very latest in 3D scanning technology. This was a huge trip made really tough by the number of kangaroo’s on the road and the massive amount of road works under construction.  Peter should have been given a medal for his roo avoiding driving skills and his ability to make our vehicle fly. 
     On Arriving at our site I had great expectations (probably unrealistic) to see a lake bed that was ready to GO.  My expectations were downgraded somewhat by the shear remoteness of this site, some areas with stone patches on it and other areas with dead Spinifex and a sound mound formed around them.  The great news was that after a few days and thanks to the fantastic work of Peter Rullo of Land Surveys and David Low of Position Partners, we located a 31 km long track which was 1 km wide.  We do need to carry out some serious engineering works on this site before we can use it and we need the blessing of the shire and leaseholders of this land.  Once we can gain the local support needed we can then start work in earnest to locate and entice support for track preparation.    
     As my main man Pete Taylor keeps reminding me, “If it was easy everyone would be doing it.”  I drew the short straw to drive the SUV back to Brisbane whilst Peter and the two great guys from Channel Seven flew back to Brisbane courtesy of our great mates at Skytrans Airlines.  Behind the scenes of our project are a lot of silent heroes who help us promote our project to the outside world, these include Unique 8 who have recently revamped our car images and Woocom who help us with maintaining our website and social media presence.
     After my trip back from looking at the potential race track, I went back to Brisbane, where I ventured up to the Palmer Coolum Resort and Motor Museum.  There I met the folks who are putting the finishing touches to their latest resort addition, their car museum.  With over 100 unique vehicles and expanding, this museum will excite public interest and generate some big tourist numbers to this beautiful Sunshine Coast location.  It would be great to have Aussie Invader 3 in a museum like this, as it is a great location for Australia's fastest car and hopefully soon to be Australia's second fastest car, when Aussie Invader 5R breaks the record.
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PERSONAL BEST.  By Le Roi Tex Smith and republished courtesy of Internet Brands and
www.hotrodhotline.com.  
     When we were teenagers, these were vital words in our vocabulary.  Mine’s Bigger Than Yours.  Mines Better Than Yours.  In one case objective, in the other subjective. In one event, what we thought, in the other, what other’s thought.  And some of this was even about our cars. Eventually, we learned that neither was particularly important in world matters, especially when we discovered that there were two other words that really did matter: Personal Best.  I learned early on in sports that PB was the real goal of any effort. I might be very good at something, but there would always be someone come along who would be better. The real reward was in the trip, not in the crown!  That's the way I see it in hot rodding. 
     There are no hard and fast rules in this hobby/sport. No unchanging guidelines guaranteed to produce undisputed superiority of either vehicle or owner/builder. We have but one measuring stick, and that is performance.  The old Put Up Or Shut Up dictum that is, often, the final law.  In racing, he who gets there first be the winner. Second place is only first loser! But that is not the case in street rodding.  Or old car restoration.  Or show cars, or a host of other car thingies. If hot rodding is objective, we can proclaim a number one.  At least for that moment in time. But not in he overwhelming car enthusiast field.  There everything is subject to interpretation, to the viewpoint of he who makes the decision. 
     Which is why the vast majority of automotive enthusiast activity should be accepted with a huge grain of salt.  Winner of a major car show?  To me, everyone who attends that gathering, as participant or spectator, is the winner.  Grab the big trophy at some shindig or other?  Who else but you really cares, therefore it only matters to you.  Which is where the Personal Best comes in.  Just making it cross-country to do a gig in Austin, or LA, or Indy may not mean a thing to most of the rodders present, but to the builder of a fresh ride, here is an accomplishment of major credit.  And next time the achievement will be better, each time becoming a new personal best.  All the applause in the stadium, all the chest inflation that comes with a magazine feature, all the back clapping in the world is secondary to personal knowledge of doing better and better.      
     This is why I try to never criticize a person's efforts in building his own vehicle.  If he does his best, that is.  A half-assed attempt at anything shows immediately in the result, whether it be the New York Marathon or a first time attempt at restoring a model A Ford. I do not, ever, include a Personal Best salutation to anyone who merely writes a check for a result.
     It is very easy for an old hand at anything to scoff at the efforts of a fresh face. It is equally easy to dismiss as unimportant the young guy or gal who wander into a hot rod gathering in something that is obviously early in the making, or hardly of a quality with other vehicles present. It is much more difficult to consider the vehicle, and the participants in light of their credentials. Rare, indeed, is the teenager who has all the talents to create masterpieces. Rarer, still, is the mature grey hair who turns his attention to a lifetime dream and tries to either build, or design the perfect ride. But, for them, whatever they accomplish is a personal best. That is all that matters, bucko.  Put away the critique sheets and extend the hand of fellowship.  That might just be your very own personal best.
 

Gone Racin’… Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport on Wheels, by Ed Almquist.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

     Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport on Wheels, by Ed Almquist is a hardbound book with 378 pages, that tells the story of hot rodding by developing short biographical sketches of famous racing personalities.  Approximately 198 men and women are portrayed in a short one or two page segment.  Although it has an encyclopedic format to the book, the writing resembles that found in magazine articles.  The publisher is SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers), located in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, and the issue date is 2000.  The ISBN# is 0-7680-0232-X.  The SAE is a well-known and respected society that has high standards for accuracy and research.  For more information or to order this book, call the SAE at 724-776-4970.  You can also buy this book at Autobooks/Aerobooks at 818-845-0707Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport is 9 inches in height and 10 inches in width.  A strange shape for one’s bookcase but the quality of the work lends itself to being a coffee table book.  The book has a special extra quality binding rather than the typical glued binding.  The hard cover is black and the dust cover jacket is a striking roadster with a blue paint job and yellow flames.  As with all dust cover jackets, take extra care because they add value and appeal to the book.  Now comes the massive amount of data; 943 black and white photographs, 39 drawings and 121 color photos.  In addition there are 12 ads, one map, 21 diagrams, 11 programs and 7 miscellaneous objects too difficult to categorize.  The paper is non-glossy and rather thin and this does affect the quality of the black and white photos.  The color photos are reproduced on glossy, waxed paper and are extremely well done.  It is the sheer massive volume in Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport that will make this encyclopedic book a mainstay of your library.

     The Foreword was written by Don Garlits and his enthusiasm for hot rodding and drag racing shows clearly in his writing.  The Introduction was written by the author, who discloses that he spent two years writing Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport and traveled 28,000 miles in his effort to interview as many people as possible.  This book is thorough and many people are chronicled in this work that have been largely forgotten as hot rodding and drag racing have matured over the decades.  Almquist gives the reader little vignettes and lagniappes, or extra topics embedded into the title subjects.  He tells of his encounter with Henry Ford and other interesting events.  There are seven chapters that cover 367 pages of the book, though the chapters simply merge into each other.  The construction of the book is based on one, two and three page biographical sketches of important men and women who played a major role in the hot rodding movement.  These men and women would go into all forms of motorsports racing and work in the automotive speed equipment field.  The chapter headings are designated by decades, which don’t make as much sense when you are dealing with individual biographies.  Wally Parks, for example, is active in motorsports from the 1930’s right up through the present day (2007).  Ed Iskenderian began turning out great cams since the 1940’s and is still actively involved.  The author provides an eleven-page index and it is very good, but I checked a few names and they were missing from the index on the pages they were listed.  There wasn’t a bibliography; but then again, Almquist was conducting private interviews and not researching his material in a public library.

     This is living research, or field research as the experts call it, and Almquist did an excellent job.  The book tends to be concentrated toward hot rodders who went into land speed time trial and drag racing.  It overlooks many hot rodders who were oval track racers and road course racers.  After World War II, as servicemen returned to their jobs and families, there was an explosion of enthusiasm for the car culture and racing in particular.  New racing leagues formed and fell apart at a dizzying rate and men and women experimented with all types of motorsports.  Many racers would race at the dry lakes then go drag racing at the nearest dragstrips that were opening up.  Just as many young people would go racing in oval track and road course racing.  There is scant mention of men like Walt James, Danny Oakes and Rodger Ward in the book, yet each of them were hot rodders too.  But Dick Wallen writes excellent books about oval track racing and it would be rather burdensome to include everything.  Almquist is on to something here and with a bit of encouragement, maybe we can prod the author into doing another sequel to this book.  There are more men and women who need their stories told and their day in the sun.  Some of the hot rodders mentioned in Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport are: Don Garlits, Dave Marquez, Jack Mendenhall, Barney Navarro, Craig Breedlove, Wally Parks, Robert ‘Pete’ Petersen, Alex Xydias, Dick Martin, Eddie Meyer, TV Tommy Ivo and Don Francisco.  Clay Smith is portrayed but not his mentor, Pierre Bertrand, who was Ed Winfield’s competitor for quality cams.  Almquist found as many jewels as he left out.  A special recognition must be awarded to the author for noticing Dave Marquez and Jack Mendenhall who are often overlooked but who inspired many young hot rodders.  Hot Rod Pioneers, the Creators of the Fastest Sport fulfills a great need for a fact filled book that includes a large selection of famous hot rodders.
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’… Smoke, Sand and Rubber, by Mel Anthony.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

 

     Mel Anthony has written a fine little book called Smoke, Sand and Rubber.  It is 7 x 10 inches in size and about an inch thick in a paperback format.  There are 288 pages with 40 chapters, each about seven pages long, containing 250 black and white photos.  Smoke, Sand and Rubber also has one color photo, three drawings and 21 posters, graphs and charts.  The cover has an appealing black and white drawing of midgets racing on a track, but no dust cover.  Anthony numbers and signs the books and there are 1000 copies in the first printing.  The book was published in 2006 by Sylvester Publishing in Shoreline, Washington.  The ISBN number is 0-9787721-0-5, but the best way to obtain a copy is by contacting Anthony at MethanolMel@msn.com.  The price of the book is $29.95, but contact the author to see how much for the shipping and handling costs.  There is a table of contents, introduction and dedication, all by Mel Anthony.  There is a short Foreword by racer Pike Green.  The text is double-spaced and the letter size is larger to make it read easier.  Some authors cram the text in the smallest size possible to save on costs by having fewer pages, but Anthony doesn’t make that mistake.  Historical and autobiographical books like Smoke, Sand and Rubber generally appeal to an older audience and small type is hard on our eyes.  This book is easy to read and very interesting.  The average reader will have finished several chapters in a very short time span.  There is a four-page Index that is superior to most books that I have reviewed.  Anthony has put a great deal of work into creating an index where so many other authors simply avoid doing it altogether. 

     The photographs are exceptionally clear and well presented for their age.  The captions beneath the photographs are clear and explain the people, cars and places independently of the story itself.  The research is exceptional and informative.  The book tells the story of midget and sprint car racing in the Pacific Northwest.  Yet auto racing isn’t done in a vacuum and the author will bring in additional racing stories along the West Coast and the Indy 500.  Mel Anthony was born in 1923, just north of Seattle, in what is now Shoreline, Washington.  He grew up during the height of the Great Depression.  His father raised chickens and had a welding shop that made parts for Sears & Roebuck.  His mother provided board and room for homeless children from the Washington State Children’s Home.  Anthony raced Soap Box Derby racers in the 1930’s, but the sound of sprint cars on the 5/8th mile track at the Seattle Speed Bowl was his great love.  He followed the local and out of town race car drivers as they made a name for themselves. 

     Men like Rajo Jack, Mel Keneally, Swede Lindskog, Allen Heath, Wally Schock and many other great racers of the day.  As a teenager in the ’30’s, Anthony earned money picking fruit and purchased several older cars which he worked on and drove.  As a sixteen-year-old, Anthony took part in a 100-lap jalopy race in 1939 at the Speed Bowl.  He raced his cars on the streets, the back roads of the countryside and on the farm against his friends.  Anthony bought a Duesenberg, and then resold it to purchase a midget race car.  He was seriously injured in an accident on the race track, spending weeks in a body cast.  His stories and experiences are told in a humorous, personable style that gives the reader the feeling that they are talking to him in person.  Mel recovered from his injuries, graduated from high school and went to work in the shipyards.  The action was in the service and there was no racing during the war, so he joined the Navy.  Anthony was a diver and welder and saw action throughout the Pacific campaign.  His experiences of the war years are riveting and full of danger.  After the war ended, Mel was discharged and with his bonus money he purchased a V-8 60 midget and went racing. 

     The post-WWII years were the heyday of auto racing as men were being discharged from the service and they eagerly went back to racing.  Men and women who had faced death in wartime and want during the Depression were not easily dissuaded from doing what they wanted, nor did they fear taking risks.  He rejoined the Washington Midget Racing Association (WMRA).  Cars, engines, tires and other spare parts were at a premium.  Anthony began having success with his Midget and bought a sprint car.  He met his wife, Barbara, at the track and they have been married for over sixty years.  She is shown in many of the photographs as the beauty queen presenting the trophy and the kiss to the winning drivers.  They formed an inseparable pair and traveled constantly from race track to race track.  Mel was successful in the B mains, enough to race professionally for a decade.  Anthony sold his race cars and drove for Homer Norman and Warren King.  His fascinating stories pile one upon another, far too many to tell in a review, but for the oval racing fan, this book is full of anecdotal facts and events. 

     Special chapters are given to Tex Roberts, Bud Green, Allen Heath, Paul Pold, Chick Barbo, Don Olds, Shorty Templeman, Louie Sherman, Stan and Johnny Muir, Bob Gregg, Swede Lindskog, Tony West, Cliff Spalding, Sid Archer, Mark Sullivan, and Kenny Gardiner.  Anthony raced from 1946 through 1956, and then retired to spend more time with his family.  Barbara and Mel have two children, Dennis and Vickie and the final chapter is devoted to them.  Anthony’s passion for racing and his family is very evident in this book and the last chapter is too short to show all the things that families sacrifice in order that men might go racing.  Dennis Anthony bought a Don Edmunds sprint car kit and father and son went racing, for another ten years, and then retired the car.  Mel and Dennis Anthony each raced during eras that brought out the best in our racing heritage.  They never garnered the fame of men like Shorty Templeman, Allen Heath, Len Sutton and Swede Lindskog who put the Northwest racing circuits on the map.  But they certainly lived and relished this time and their stories make this a book worth adding to your library.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’…Mickey Thompson; The fast life and tragic death of a racing legend, By Erik Arneson, with a foreword by Danny Thompson.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  Written December 15, 2010.
 

     The book cover jacket lists some accolades by famous racing personalities; Dave Despain, Don Prudhomme and Dan Gurney.  You can’t go wrong by following their advice.  That’s the value of a book cover jacket or sleeve, it entices you to pick up the book and skim through it.  I always tell you the importance of the jackets and why you need to keep them in good repair; it adds value to the book.  But the jacket has another important purpose and that is to get you to read a little further and burn with a desire to reach into your pocket and come up with the cash to buy the book and add it to your library.  Mickey Thompson; The fast life and tragic death of a racing legend, by Erik Arneson is an interesting little book.  The jacket itself isn’t spectacular as covers go and the colors are all drab, but the picture of Mickey Thompson is eye catching.  In fact any picture of Mickey is enthralling; he simply was a charismatic racing figure for our times.  I only met Thompson once in my life and the memory of that brief encounter has lasted freshly in my mind ever since.  I’ve met his son Danny and first wife Judy on many occasions and they are just as likable as Mickey was.  The publisher is Motorbooks, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and they have a reputation for making quality books.  Mickey Thompson is a hard-bound book measuring 6 by 9 inches in size.  The pages are bound to the spine by a quality cloth binding with an additional gluing for long term wear.  The paper is a normal bond quality, unwaxed, and not the high quality photographic paper that you normally see in coffee table type books.  The size and style of the book shows that it wasn’t intended to be displayed as a coffee table book, but one where the story is what is important, not the looks of the book.  The photographs are clear and crisp, but the unwaxed paper makes them appear a bit duller than normal.  There are 304 pages, with 77 black and white photographs and 2 drawings.  The issue date is 2008 and the ISBN # is 978-07603-3178-1.

     The foreword is by Danny Thompson, Mickey’s son by Judy.  Arneson dedicates the book to Shav Glick, the Los Angeles Times sports writer and editor, who has since passed away.  There is a four page preface written by the author, who also wrote a two page acknowledgement to the people that inspired him.  The contents of the book are found in the 11 chapters.  At the end of the book is a two page addendum referring to the sources that Arneson used.  The author includes a 5 page index, which for the most part was complete though I found a few names that weren’t indexed.  There was also a drawing of the thugs who murdered Mickey and Trudy Thompson and have never been caught.  The text reads well and keeps our interest going.  Since the text is double spaced it is easy to read each chapter quickly, but the photographs grab our attention and cause the reader to slow down and think about the merits of the life of a monumental man and his life of racing exploits.   Chapter One took up the subject of Mickey and Trudy’s murder.  The author is correct when he says that this horrific event overshadows the achievements that Mickey accomplished.  My father told me at the time of the murders that the racing and entertainment industries were terrified that this could be just the beginning of a Charles Manson type of murder spree against well-known personalities.  Of course, it wasn’t, but many people associated with Mickey Thompson took added safety precautions until it was apparent that no crime spree was occurring.  Chapter Two delves into Mickey’s early life and is rather short for my taste.  It also tells the story of how Mickey and Judy met and is quite touching and romantic.  Mickey had a romantic side, but it was more on the charisma of a young and angry Marlon Brando, than a dashing Cary Grant.  I found a few errors in this chapter having to do with dry lakes racing.

     The author made small errors that he might not have known about and which others whom he interviewed might have missed.  For example, Mickey did not break Hitler’s land speed records.  He broke records set by the Auto Union drivers and other German car racers of the 1930’s.  They were records sanctioned and recorded by the FIA.  Wally Parks and Ak Miller were not the founders of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), though they played a small part in the founding of that organization.  Parks and Miller played a leading role after the SCTA was reorganized in 1945.  Both Russetta and the SCTA raced at El Mirage.  These are picky little errors and I think that the author did know, but may have not described these things as clearly as he could have.  As for Mickey working as a pressman for the L. A. Times, he could not have known exactly what went on there and possibly his son and first wife may not have known either.  Mickey was hired in as a pressman, but friends and relatives who worked with Mickey have told me that his two functions for the Times consisted of writing articles and working in the repair shop.  The foreman was partial to Mickey and let him do just about whatever he wanted to do.  Mickey would race on the weekends and write recaps for the newspaper during the week.  He would also work on his cars in the shop.  It caused quite a problem for the other employees who felt a bit of jealousy.  The author also toned down the severity of Mickey’s street racing.  His father wasn’t kept from the truth; he fully knew of what Mickey did and got him out of a lot of very serious trouble.  Mickey Thompson was his own man and he didn’t brook opposition easily.  He was tough, some might say dangerously so.  He was charismatic and he definitely was a free spirit and one who lived by his own rules, challenging others who he felt threatened him or his family. 

     On more than one occasion he let it be known that he would never let anyone harm his family.  He went after the murderers of his nephew and some say was the main cause for the capture of the villains.  He had friends and he had enemies and they weren’t your garden variety friends or enemies.  Mickey lived a larger than life existence, but like so many racers of that era, he was a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  He could be utterly aggressive and overboard in his public life and gracious and sedate in his private life.  He could also take over the spotlight, so that when he worked as a team the other members were simply forced into the shadows.  Where this was play acting and where this was reality; we were never quite sure.  I know that my father was always on his best behavior when he was around Mickey.  Mickey was just twenty when the SCTA, led by Ak Miller and Wally Parks put on the SCTA Hot Rod exhibition in 1948.  The prize that year for the lucky winner was a roadster assembled during the show in front of the crowds from parts donated by racers and speed equipment manufacturers.  Mickey talked a lot of people into donating parts, but it was a group effort.  Whenever this topic came up it always seemed to be Mickey who was in charge; the one who was responsible.  Perhaps this is as it should be; a leader is always needed and Mickey certainly was a leader.  He was also known as the boss.  No matter where he was, he was the one people went to.

     Let’s just say that the author is trying to get there, but Mickey is a big bite to get into one’s mouth all at once.  I did enjoy the story and I’ve made little mistakes myself.  Can you enjoy this book even though there are a few misses?  Yes, I did.  Arneson gives an honest look at Mickey Thompson.  For years we have guessed at the reason why Mickey failed to back up his record at Bonneville when he exceeded 400 mph.  The author spoke to those in the know and calculates that it was an engine malfunction and Mickey did not want to embarrass his sponsor.  I was also impressed that the author stressed Mickey’s private life and his love for his family.  So often these sentiments are completely overlooked.  I learned things about Mickey that I had never known before.  Finally, the harsh and unyielding Mickey Thompson that I knew turned into a gentle giant in many respects.  I saw the real Mickey for a change.  There was a richer and more complex man, who acted simply and direct when challenged.  Arneson understands that and so I can accept a few errors here and there for he captured the real Mickey Thompson.  He also showed us the real Judy Thompson and her children, Danny and Lyndy.  I’ve met Judy many times and wondered about her vitality.  In the book that question is answered, for Mickey found a woman to love who matched his nerve and courage.  Arneson was also willing to tackle the sins of the man as well as his glories.  Mickey could be very cruel as well as very loyal and true to his friends.  I’ve often wondered if Mickey wasn’t just bad at cracking jokes, but those that knew him well tell me that “Mickey was being Mickey.”  By that they meant that he could run the gamut of emotions that are normally denied to most people.  We have limits on our actions; while Mickey operated in a world where limitations were despised.

     He was also forgiven by his friends and grudgingly respected by everyone, even his enemies.  The man who took Mickey’s life may have hated him, but he also knew that both of them could not exist in the same time and space.  Goodwin was never the man that Mickey was, but I can understand how a murderer can feel overwhelmed by a man of mythic proportions.  In the end that is how every great story ends.  Achilles defeats and slays every Trojan, even the mighty Hector, who comes against him.  It takes magic and trickery to slay the great Achilles.  The hero isn’t perfect in myths and legends; he is simply a man above all other men.  A hero comes around so rarely that when he does we tend to turn them into perfect demi-gods.  What must these men think about our adoration of them?  According to Arneson they are concentrating so much on the problem or the battles that they face that they simply don’t see us at all.  They are above us in their own world and if they treat us badly, most of the time they are oblivious to their behavior.  Mickey simply didn’t think in terms of flaws and perfection.  That’s what we think about, because we are normal human beings trying to comprehend a legend like Mickey Thompson.  We cast our negative and positive virtues on a man who simply wasn’t interested in what we believed.  There was only one thing that Mickey lived for and that was to win at everything that he tried.  That he failed sometimes is simply a human trait.  That he succeeded so often puts him into the company of great men.  See him as flawed or see him as a great man; that is our choice.  Mickey Thompson; The fast life and tragic death of a racing legend, is an engrossing book and worth adding to your library.  I give this book a 6 out of a possible 8 spark plugs.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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TURKEY NIGHT GRAND PRIX WINNERS (sent in by Albert Wong)

1934 Bob Swanson
1935 Ted Sizemore
1936 Ronney Householder
1937 Ronney Householder
1938 Bob Swanson
1939 Mel Hansen
1940 Roy Russing
1941 Roy Russing
1945 Danny Oakes
1946 Perry Grimm
1947 Johnny McDowell
1948 Bill Vukovich
1949 Perry Grimm
1950 Bill Zaring
1955 Johnnie Parsons
1956 Edgar Elder
1957 George Amick
1958 Joe Garson
1959 Tony Bettenhausen
1960 A. J. Foyt
1961 A. J. Foyt
1962 Bill Cantrell
1963 Mel Kenyon
1964 Parnelli Jones
1965 Dick Atkins
1966 Parnelli Jones
1967 Gary Bettenhausen
1968 Sam Sessions
1969 George Benson
1970 Gary Bettenhausen
1971 Bill Engelhart
1972 Tony Simon
1973 Bill Engelhart
1974 Danny McKnight
1975 Mel Kenyon
1976 Bubby Jones
1977 Gary Patterson
1978 Rick Goudy
1979 Ron Shuman
1980 Ron Shuman
1981 Ron Shuman
1982 Ron Shuman
1983 Kevin Olson
1984 Ron Shuman
1985 Brent Kaeding
1986 Warren Mockler
1987 Ron Shuman
1988 Chuck Gurney
1989 Chuck Gurney
1990 Stan Fox (last time held at Ascot Park)
1991 Stan Fox
1992 Ron Shuman
1993 Ron Shuman
1994 Jordan Hermansader
1995 Billy Boat
1996 Billy Boat
1997 Billy Boat
1998 Jay Drake
1999 Jason Leffler
2000 Tony Stewart
2001 Dave Steele
2002 Michael Lewis
2003 Dave Steele
2004 Bobby East
2005 Jason Leffler
2006 Billy Wease

2007 Dave Darland
2008 Bobby Santos III
2009 Bryan Clauson
2010 Bryan Clauson
2011 Caleb Armstrong
2012 Kyle Larson

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     Here is the 2014 Sonoma drag racing schedule just released by the track.  Jim McCombe 
     January 5, January 25, January 26.    February 17.   March 1, March 2, March 5, March 19.   April 2, April 16, April 19, April 23.   May 7, May 21, May 25, May 26, May 28.   June 4, June 11, June 25.   July 2, July 4, July 9, July 17 D7 Test & Tune, July 18-20 Division 7, July 25-27 NHRA Nationals, July 30.  August 6, August 9, August 10, August 13, August 27.   September 1, September 3, September 17, September 24.   October 1, October 8, October 15, October 22, October 29.   November 5, November 12, November 30.
 


Bonneville Cars sent in by  Jarrid Roulet Exhibit Designer Museum of American Speed Smith Collection 599 Oak Creek Drive Lincoln, NE 68528 763-234-6256

Visit us online at www.museumofamericanspeed.com, Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/museumofamericanspeed

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My streamlinerEls Lohn Wee Eel Eelco Mfg. of hot rod accessories (16’ 8” long)
1951 Dry Lakes Rajo powered roadster. Original condition as shown in Hot Rod May 1951 issue. (10’ 8” long)

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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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