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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 307 -  February 5 , 2014
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:
Don Batyl,  Vic Cunningham, Tom Blanton, Ken Dondero, Doris Stinson, Don Lutes

GUEST EDITORIAL, by Dyno Don Batyi: 
    I'm glad that states are now kicking in against higher ethanol content.  The opposition is growing to ethanol added to gasoline, especially more than 10%.  I favor dropping it completely.  Technology has surpassed the need for it at all any longer.  I see on TV News, the U.S. is now energy independent.  Bravo to the American Oil and Gas Companies who have been held back by poor government interference and restrictions.  They have overcome.  Please keep in mind North American oil reserves are 5 times higher than all the Mid East countries and vicinity combined and all of Africa.  The so called foreign oil dependence was a political hoax.  There is only one country that has more oil... Russia.  I know why the US doesn't get along with Russia, it's something that happened during WW-II but we have a common enemy now again and should ally.     Dyno Don Batyi
                                                  ---------------------------http://www.semasan.com/page.asp?content=aa_2014NH1&g=SEMAGA.   A New Hampshire Bill to Prohibit Ethanol Blended Gasoline at Levels Greater Than 10%.
     Legislation (H.B. 1220) that prohibits a person from selling or offering for sale gasoline that contains corn-based ethanol as an additive at a level greater than 10%.  A similar bill was signed into law last year in Maine.  We Urge You to Contact Members of the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee to Request Support for H.B. 1220.   This bill recognizes that ethanol increases water formation which can then corrode metals and dissolve plastics and rubber, especially over a period of time when the vehicle is not used.  Current high performance specialty parts along with pre-model year 2001 cars and parts may be most susceptible to corrosion.  H.B. 1220 recognizes that the life span of vehicles and equipment can be dramatically reduced with the wrong fuel and that owners could be confronted with break downs.  Anti-corrosion additives are available for each purchase of gasoline but can become expensive, burdensome and require consumer education.   H.B. 1220 recognizes that there has been an inability to obtain unblended gasoline for engines that may be damaged by ethanol.  Please contact all members of the New Hampshire House Science, Technology and Energy Committee to request support for H.B. 1220.   Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.  Also, please forward this Alert to your fellow car enthusiasts.  Urge them to join the SAN and help defend the hobby.  Thank you for your assistance.
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STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:     
     Recently I received an email from a member, which said; "
I was just wondering about the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians (SLSRH) Newsletter website?  I went to www.hotrodhotline.com and found only an old newsletter from September 1, 2010.  I did a better search and found a current newsletter from 1-14-2014, although it was not easy.  Will it come back?" 
     Roger Rohrdanz and I had been submitting our car show and racing articles and photographs to Mary Ann and Jack Lawford's website at
www.landspeedracing.com.  Roger, Jim Miller and myself had discussed creating a group of like-minded fans of auto racing (specifically straight-line racing) at a function at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.  The three of us were sitting on a bench outside the museum and I came up with the name of the SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS (which everyone hated including my dad), but which no one has to this date found a name that better explains who and what we are.  We elected Jim Miller to be our President.   I became the first editor of the newsletter that we would create and Roger became the Photographic Editor in charge of visual pictures. 
     The first newsletter went out in an email format to a few people who heard about it and then Mary Ann called me and said that she owns several website names and one of them is
www.landspeedracing.com and we could use this site for free if we wanted to.  Not only could we use it, but she would assign some of her staff from www.hotrodhotline.com (especially the very talented Anita Schwartz) to receive the Issues and make them look very presentable on the website.  So Roger and I were submitting articles/photos on events to HOTRODHOTLINE (HRHL.com) and historical Newsletter issues separately to LANDSPEEDRACING (LSR.com).  That worked out fine because there were links in both referring readers back and forth between the two websites both owned by the Lawfords.' 
     In or around 2010 the HOTRODHOTLINE AND BIKERHOTLINE websites were sold to another owner and I received permission to continue to use both websites as long as I got permission from each separate owner to do so, but the linkage was gone.  All racing and car show articles and photographs go directly to HRHL.com, and then at a later date, with permission of the owner, I move some of the material to
www.landspeedracing.com.   At this date, no SLSRH Newsletters go to HRHL.com as they haven't found a use for the newsletters. 
     It is possible that you found a few SLSRH Newsletters on the old HRHL.com website.  But they are not supposed to be stored there.  You have to go to
www.landspeedracing.com to read the issues of the newsletter.  About a year ago the LSR.com website went down because they transitioned to a new server, but the publisher managed to reload all the back issues onto the new server and reopen the website to our members.  We have about a thousand members, but it is hard to come up with a membership number since there are no forms or fees to belong to the SLSRH group. 
     The only criteria for membership is that a person simply calls himself a member or he reads or contributes knowledge to the society and website.  Therefore Bob Falcon is not only considered a member but a contributing writer, and so is Spencer Simon.  Mary Ann is the Editor in Chief as well as the Publisher and the website and the material on it are protected by copyright.  However, the purpose that we exist is to save as much history as we can, so we make the material available for others to use.  If people want to copy for their own records there are no requirements.  If they want to republish somewhere then all that they need to do is let us know, and then add to their newsletter "republished by permission of
www.landspeedracing.com."
     Recently a member asked if we could make the Font size a 14 so that it could be read easier.  I asked the Publisher who has a lot of experience with websites and here is her answer.   “
Size 12 font is actually larger than usually recommended for normal reading.   I think 14 would be way too big.  Readers can actually increase the size of their font on their own machines using internet settings.   That's what most people do.  Thanks, Mary Ann Lawford.”   Someone once told me and I did increase the size of the type that I received in an email.  I held down the shift key and used the roller on the mouse.  However, it made all my records larger or smaller, so check your help section first.  I use the toolbar to change the fonts and type size on incoming messages, because everyone has a different font and type size that they like.  I am using Arial 12.  Grand National Roadster Show articles and coverage will be coming soon.  Check www.landspeedracing.com and www.hotrodhotline.com for show coverage.
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     Ed Weldon wrote in to tell us that Cal Rods member Vic Cunnyngham was injured at a car show and was briefly hospitalized.  We wish Vic a speedy recovery.
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     Jim Rowlett contacted us and said that Tom Blanton died yesterday from a heart attack during his morning walk.  Scrub Hansen
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Ken Dondero, successful drag racer, announcer and track manager has passed away.  Bill Moeller 
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     I knew Ken Dondero; I first met him when he was driving the Panella Bros Anglia, the car had a blown small block in it, and a hard ball four speed, and Dondero could really drive the hell out of that little car!  He was a force to be reckoned with in Competition Eliminator with that car, and was always a front runner.  Later on he drove for, at various times, Don Nicholson, Bill Jenkins, Dick Landy, Kevin Rotty, Yuill Bros, and a few others, including Billy Stepp.          Scrub Hansen
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     Happy Birthday to your Dad.   Wally Parks’ spirit remains with us and we give thanks every day for the sport/business/industry he founded.  He and Barbara remain in my prayers each time I give thanks for the opportunity to make a living (for 43 years and counting) in NHRA Drag Racing.     Mike Lewis
    
MIKE: We celebrate Dad’s birthday on January 23rd, but that was not his birthday.  We don’t actually know when his birthday was.  My mother told me that Dad was born during a snowstorm in Goltry, Oklahoma and the doctor couldn’t reach the county seat to record the birth.  He dated it later from memory.  The Army enlistment said the 22nd, but we think he was actually born the day prior to that.  Dad preferred the date of the 23rd, it made him feel younger.  He had a good sense of humor too about it, often saying that he and Adam were brothers.  He also introduced me as “his younger brother,” which most people believed.  It really isn’t the date that’s important, but the spirit of the man and he will live on in our hearts.
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     My name is Gary Oliver I grew up in Santa Ana in the 1950’s.  My folks bought a house on Delhi Road (now Warner Avenue).  I can remember hearing the sound of the cars on a Sunday morning, before I knew what was making it.  I recently came across the item about the reunion at Santiago Park, is it still being held?  Wasn't the malt shop called Gracies?  I never had a chance to race at the airport but did attend the races on Sundays.  If it is still being held I would like to attend, with my present car a '56 Chevy, a work in progress.  I have an original "Santa Ana Drags Decal" never used.
     GARY: We hold the reunion every April and October, usually during the second Saturday.  Leslie Long is the organizer and sets the date after consulting with others to make sure there aren't any major conflicts.  Gene Mitchell provides the food for everyone free of charge.  There is no charge to come to the reunion and parking is free too.  Mark on your calendar these prospective dates and about two weeks in advance email me to see if anything has been changed.  Or you can go to www.landspeedracing.com and check the most current newsletters.  We hope to see you there in the future.  Kids, friends and family are welcome too.
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     The 26th Annual Indoor Midget races on a quarter-mile clay track in the block long exhibition building will be televised live by MAV-TV.  It is Channel 420 on Charter Cable system (check your local listing for MAV-TV).  The C-B-A main events will be televised live for the first time by MAV-TV.  I attended this event in 1991 and 1992 and it is a must-see for midget racing fans and those curious to see why this event is a 15,000 plus sellout each year.  Broadcast times Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 5:30-8:30 pm PST.  There is a repeat broadcast two hours later from 10:30 pm-1:30 am PST.   To all of my friends who think that paved track racing is the ultimate.  Tune in to this program and view some Real Auto Racing.  Bob Falcon
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     “I am a dyed in the wool devotee of dirt track racing.  After watching that extremely high quality and informative broadcast of the MAVTV telecast of The Chili Bowl last night it will be hard for me to stay awake at any future paved track racing shows.  As a person who has spent a good part of my life very close to racing on dirt by working on crews that raced several nights a week in Southern California, the Chili Bowl show was enlightening and expressive.  As far as I am concerned this race now holds for me the passion that I once held for The Indy 500 for many, many years. The folks at IMS and those in Daytona should compare their event presentations with this show and perhaps they may discover why their events are seriously short of spectators. Hope you were able to view this event."   Bob Falcon
    
BOB: Unfortunately your notice came the day of the event and it takes me a week or more to put a newsletter together and then another week or so to get the issue on-line.
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     I would like to know if someone could help me track down a record holder. His name is Ron Aronson he held the 1974 B/GT first place at 91.00mph in November of 1974. Any help with this would be great we are restoring this car for one of our customers. Thank you, Greg Tope Performance Car Craft, Alabaster, Alabama 205-216-3195
     GREG: I spoke to our Society's President, Jim Miller and he doesn't know of Ron Aronson.  However, before you consider this a dead end I would like to suggest that you do this; give us a report on everything that you know about Aronson.  If you have photos of the car or Aronson, send them to us.  Did he have a crew listed with him?  Did he race at Bonneville or the Dry Lakes.  Is there an obituary or a biography on him?  Where did he live, who was his family, who did he know?  Miller pointed out that there were many racing organizations in the 1930's-'50's.  There are 4 or 5 today.  We track by nouns.  That is once we see how much information you have we can then go through and pick out the nouns; people, places, objects.  Then we can go to our address book and see if those people are known to us, or in Miller's case to his extensive library.  Lastly, I will print this letter from you and any other letter that you send us in our Newsletter so that others can see it and hopefully respond.  There are car builders and restorers around that we know that might have their own records and may know the answer to your questions.  The wider the net the better the chance that you can find the data you need.  We may even be able, with more information, to get you going on a phone tree, where we can get you a contact number and get that contact to give you more people to call.
 
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     All I know now is it was at El Mirage Dry Lakes 1974 and it was in a 1961 Bug Eye Sprint all I have is the dash plaque that they must have given him.   Greg Tope, greg.tope@charter.net
    
GREG: Please send a copy of the dash plaque for us to see.  Also, if you know anyone at all associated with Aronson, or where he lived.  Contact Glen Barrett, Jim Miller, George Callaway and Greg Sharp, who were around at that time and who may have knowledge of, or records from that time span.  If they don't know ask them who you can email who were active at that time.  Do you have a photo of the car that you can send?  What car club did he belong to?  Anything that you can tell us might give us a clue as to who to refer you to. 
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      GREG: This is not a dash plaque.  It's been taken off a performance trophy.  The event was at El Mirage on November 3, 1974. In H GT there were two entries.  Gear Grinders member Aronson in his number 1000 car ran 91.00 mph.  The other runner in the class was Julian Doty of the Sidewinders at 72.69 mph.  The class record at the time was 93.55 mph.  There was no such thing as a Bug Eye Sprint.  There was a car called an Austin-Healey Sprite that went by the name of a Bug Eye.   Jim Miller
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     I have a section in the French cars and motorbikes magazine "KUSTOM."   I have also a Facebook page about women and hot-rodding https://www.facebook.com/RidingBettie.   For my next article, I'm looking for details about DORIS STINSON & DON LUTES, her husband.  They were given an article called "Lady of the Lake" in HOT ROD magazine, December 1951 issue.  Unfortunately, i found nothing else more about them.  Doris STINSON is quoted in a book about Bonneville ("Bonneville the fastest place on earth"), but just a few lines.  I've learned nothing more.  I've mailed Louise Ann Noeth "Landspeed Louise," she's answered me that I knew as much as she does about Doris.  She thinks that I should use Dan Lutes as a search item.  I also know that they used to race with Rosemary and Lloyd Stehling, and Lloyd was still going to El Mirage in 2008 http://www.scta-bni.org/El%20Mirage/ELM%2008/Sept/photos/ed/misc.htm.  I'd like to know what has become of these few women who raced in Bonneville.  Could you help me?  Thank you.  Isabelle Babilotte
   
ISABELLE: I spoke to our Society's President, Jim Miller and he doesn't know much about Doris or Don, though he thinks Don might have driven the car.  I have an old number for Lloyd Stehling and left a message for him to call me. 
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     What I know about Doris and Don is written in this article from HOT ROD magazine, December 1951. Doris should be about 85 years old, if she's still alive.  They met at the end of 1940's when she bought her roadster (Ford 32 of course).  Don was the seller.  They were members of Bell Timing Association and Strollers Club. They were familiar figures at El Mirage time trials.  At the announcement of the SCTA sponsored Bonneville National Speed Trials, they planned to attend the Utah event in competition trim.  It happened Monday August 27, 1951, her roadster was designated number 660.  Lloyd Stehling was the 3rd member of the crew.  Don was the driver and Doris the mechanic.  Their fastest speed was 136.004 mph.  Doris hoped for driving the car herself in 1952 at Bonneville, but I don't know if it happened.  I also wonder at what date, women were allowed to pilot at Bonneville?   Isabelle Babilotte, zazadoree@aol.fr
   
READERS: Can anyone help Isabelle track down Doris Stinson and Don Lutes for her story she is working on?  I found Lloyd for you and he is expecting your email.  Also contact Jim Miller and Greg Sharp.
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     Jim McComb asked those of us who are interested in participating in the Vaca Valley Drag Strip Reunion to contact you directly. When Jim first told me about the idea, I told him that I would like to help in whatever way possible. I did not race at the drag strip as my home town was Santa Rosa and we did most of our running at Cotati. Bob Choisser, Vacaville,
hotrodbob46@gmail.com
    
READERS: For those of you in the area who would like to participate in the reunion in this area, please contact Bob and offer your help to make this a great affair.
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     Henry Ford's 1902 race car and his victory in the Vanderbilt cup race is at; http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ru_hC9oGVbo?feature=player_detailpage.  Jim Partridge
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STAFF NOTES: Jon Wennerberg sent us a link to an article by Glenn Freudenberger with excellent photographs of Marlo Treit’s streamliner.  To see it google the following link at; http://www.target550.com/gallery/221_two_men/index.html.
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‘TAIN’T NO CLASSIC.  By Le Roi Tex Smith 
     If it looks like a hot rod, sounds like a hot rod, go’s like a hot rod, then by damn, to me, it ain’t no Classic Car. No way, bub!  But maybe I’m missing something here, something important that has been happening behind my back. And maybe it is on purpose. Calling any old car a Classic, I mean.  Maybe it has something to do with misdirecting  official condemnation of hot rodding. Or something.   The guys into preserving original sins have come together in calling groupings of older cars Antiques, Historical, Special Interest. They call hot rods an abomination 
     This kind of misinformation is often created on purpose, for a specific purpose. Instance: The first several years of the Street Rod Nationals, it was often very difficult to get in the door of potential cities that were considered big enough, or centrally located, or whatever if we even murmured the words Hot Rods. Steep learning curve here, me lads, so we stopped calling them hot rods, and instead quietly inserted Street Rods. When this description was met with a blank stare by potential hosts, we adroitly began to explain that such vehicles were simply “Fixed up old cars.” Absolute truth, the city officials would sign off on this, and we would cement the matter by pointing out how much money such an event with “old car enthusiasts” would bring into town. Money they understood. Money they loved. 
     So, is the term Classic being inserted into the hot rod lingo to placate some easily disturbed community leaders?  All this is a kind of virus that slips into the vernacular unnoticed. Example: The term Classic Car was coined by the old car hobby years ago, at the time it was used as a distinction for the really high tone uptown vehicles that roamed American roadways during the Twenties and Thirties. These were the top of the line makes from the ilk of Cadillac, Lincoln, Marmon, etc. Interestingly, when they burst onto the scene, as Classics, such old used cars were not all that expensive. 
     Immediately after World War Twice (we didn’t learn from the first one!) those old metallic juggernauts were being hauled out of barns and fields by entrepreneurs wanting to feed America’s insatiable need for transportation. Not as collectable timepieces, just as usable old cars.  No new vehicles from Detroit yet. I was working at Albany Motors, a Ford dealer in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we had a razzle-dazzle car salesman who hit on the idea of grabbing a train to the east coast and buying up these battleships for around one Benny each. He would pick up a couple dozen, flatcar them to our California dealership, and we metal benders and painters got to make them presentable again. Interestingly, we couldn’t move that sheet iron, most of the bodies were made of using our normal body/fender hammers. We had to use sledges! They usually ran fine, so the mechanics escaped forced labor. 
     I had a shirt tail relative name of Buddy Butler down in Bakersfield who found that he could pick up these old heavyweights, immediately after War Twice, for as little a five bucks. “Just get it out of my shed!” kind of thing. So he drove a scad of what would later come to be known as irreplaceable Classics. Usually, he would offload one of his treasures for the princely profit of another fiver. It was all interesting, and little else. Hot rods, which we had in spades around southern California, were a lot more fun.      
     Now, if you were to come to me with one of those same-era hot rods and claim it to be a Classic, I’d laugh you out of town. Clear out to Buttonwillow.  Just because a Hollywood Star once owned a Cord is not foundation for a Classic claim. Just because a certain A-V8 once ran at Harper Dry Lake does not make it a Classic, under the most liberal of interpretations. So, for the sake of sanity, let’s agree to call older hot rods, and new hot rods made to look old, something like Historic. But, even that kind of moniker is misleading. To me, something Historic should have performed a historic feat, and that would mean more than just racing a horse on a country road once upon a time.  
     So, let’s get some dialogue on this subject going. Let’s set some parameters here and now so that all this doesn’t seep into the bowels of the Net and become a kind of defacto truism. Already I am reading claims of hot rodding history that simply did not exist. I know so because I was around when some of these claims were said to have happened! Like a plethora of hot rods that were supposedly once owned by me, which somehow is supposed to make them more valuable. Horse pucky on all this stuff. Well, that is unless the horse that made the pucky is a Classic!  No, give me a nicely powered, fenderless, top-down roadster anytime. You know, something with that Classic hot rod styling!
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Damn, I'm Getting Old.  By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission from Internet Brands and www.hotrodhotline.com

     I got older the other day. Way, way older than I ever planned on. Certainly way older that my past would have predicted. Anyway, I had a birthday, and I celebrated it by eating a small piece of cake that was loaded with sugar. Diabetics are allowed to have just a smidgen taste, you know. And that was more than enough to satisfy my sweet toof.  I spent the day ‘membering my buddies who have gone ahead. Parks, and Brock, and Rickman, and even Pete, although I never considered Pete to be one of the “guys.”  I always kind of felt sympathy for Pete from when he lost both of his boys to an airplane crash up in Colorado years ago. I felt far worse for Margie.
     But I got to considering just how useless we mortals become when we age. Some of us age well, often gracefully, and on rare occasion, we age with plenty of physical strength right up until we pull the plug. I think Jim Clark will be like that, because he has ripped abs in his poop.  But, sure as shooting, the older we get the more invisible we get. Until we just shrivel up and blow away in the wind. And mostly, nobody notices we are gone. At least for awhile. Parks was kind of like that. Brock wasn’t, he was robust to the end. So, I am now even more invisible, and who cares? Only the tax people, because their only reason for existence is to collect money from even invisible people. You got a name, you gotta pay. Maybe even they will go away if we answer the phone by replying, “nope, nobody here by that name.”
     So, the interesting thing is that the older one gets, the more money one needs, for health stuff. But, the big rub is that the older one gets, the more expensive things have become while a person has been invisible. I mean, you checked how much a pair of flathead heads cost now? Are they any better than they were back in 1950? Not likely.  By the way, I liked Sharp heads, the thick ones. Used them a lot, along with the Sharp dual intake. Made my own headers out of discarded but new exhaust pipes, did the penny in the exhaust bypass in the block deck so the rap would wake the dead. Anyway, when you get old you finally realize that the Ford flatmotor sucks, Big Time. I mean, you seen what the guys get out of those banger Iron Dukes?Put one of those in your midget and you have absolutely no need for that left front wheel and tire. If you don’t know what that means, you are already over the hill anyway.
     So, what I did was pack up my toothbrush and head for the Grampians, some hills over on the west side of the state of Victoria. You can figure out where that might be. Not much for hills, but pretty great on an ancient continent that has far too few wrinkles for a respectable land mass. Like, for three days in February, which is middle of the summer, the place comes alive with juke music and hot rod exhaust and all the stuff that really matters. Unless you are too old to do the boogie anyway. In which case, you just kind of shuffle around and kick a few tires. But since you are invisible, no one asks you anything about anything. Especially flat motors. Did I tell you I really don’t like flathead Ford V8 engines?  Street Rodder mag tech guru Ron Ceridono likes flatmotors, mostly I think be cause they always need working on. And Ronnie Poo cannot abide having nothing to work on. A match made in somewhere.
     I don’t think they make a neat sound, no matter what kind of muffler you use. Or no sound deadener at all. First of all, the ignition and coil are exactly where you can’t get to them. Henry designed them to be impossible to service. And if you need to do a valve job, you have to have several long crowbars and the patience of Job. He was invisible, too, you know. You ever see him? Thought not.  Nope, in advanced age you come to realize it is best to just sit in the sun (or the shade), keep the mouth shut, and rely on a good wooden rocking chair. No one pays any attention to an invisible man in a rocking chair, no matter what the speed decals say. Although I have been thinking of maybe applying an old SCTA speed badge to my rocker. B-Street Roadster, 97mph. Bonneville, 1953.  I’ll attach a note, Set with an invisible flat motor.
      The one I built in my basement and then had to wrestle up the outside stairwell to Terra Upus. The one George Schrieber drove in that borrowed Deuce coupe to get that dashboard plaque. The motor we broke, and never did bother to fix. We had other, important things to do that were not invisible.  Just a few years ago, Ronnie Poo and I had a small block Chevy taking up garage floor space over in a corner. With nothing to do, Poo Bear had built the street motor, but we had nowhere to put it other than the cement floor. Then a buddy from up Billings, Montana way scattered his super Whizzer Bike modified roadster engine at the Salt Flats, and we let him use the streeter. “What if I break it?” he whined? So, big freaking deal. We make another one with the parts. He didn’t break the engine, even after several years, but he did break his class speed records at B’vIlle. But, he turned out to be invisible, too. He got too old. Even though he had been a heartthrob rock musician around his home area of Minneapolis, he just faded into the sunset. Where most of us old’uns now live.
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Gone Racin’…Red Stockings & Out Of Towners, Sports In Utah.  Book Review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

     Another book has come out containing a history of land speed racing.  Titled Red Stockings & Out of Towners, Sports in Utah, this anthology has some very interesting chapters on sporting events in Utah during the 19th and 20th centuries.  There is only one chapter on land speed time trials, but for those individuals who have an avid interest in esoteric sporting events, perhaps this book will be of some interest.  Red Stockings is a 250 page, paperbound work, with 14 chapters, covering baseball, football, boxing, tennis, bicycle racing, gambling (yes, they gambled in Utah), skiing, fishing and land speed racing.  The chapters on boxing are enlightening, for Tex Rickard and Jack Dempsey promoted and fought throughout the area.  The chapter on gambling was new information, as so many people believe that wagering was never allowed in Utah, or any other vices for that matter.  It is a scholarly work with ample footnotes and a 16-page index.  So many authors stint on footnoting and indexes, yet here you will find a first class effort to make it easy for the average reader to find what he/she is searching for.
     My interest lay in chapter 10, “These Bloomin’ Salt Beds,” by Jessie Embry and Ron Shook.  There are 16 pages of text, 3 pages of footnotes and one black and white photo.  Not much for the die-hard land speed racing fan.  The authors gleaned a great deal of their information from the files of Jack Underwood (SCTA archivist), books, magazine articles, pamphlets, programs, and personal interviews.  The authors present a shortened history of the racing on the Salt Flats that leave out a good deal of what actually happened there.  It is unavoidable, given the few pages that they have to work with.  They stress the runs made there by the more notable names, Campbell, Cobb, Breedlove and Arfons, among others.  They still manage to find room for a few personal interviews and details about the other classes that also ran speed trials at Bonneville.  There is a definite Utahan perspective from how they see these time trials.  They struggle with terms such as ‘hot rodders’ and ‘professionals.’  This isn’t a major obstacle for those LSR fans, and it is interesting to see how others view this form of racing.  Whereas some of the chapters are dry and overly scholarly, Embry and Shook present a narrative that flows naturally. 
     Yet, some of their conclusions seem to be rather disjointed.  The authors state, “…it is questionable whether the Salt Flats will ever be used again for the land speed record.  It’s use as a hot rod track is also in doubt because of the continued deterioration of the salt.  Some racers will continue to use Bonneville for records near the 400 mile an hour mark in different classes.”  This remark was made in 2003, after three straight years of salt replenishment and improved racing on the salt flats.  What they meant to say, is that the unlimited record runs will have to find other venues that will be long and safe enough to race on.  But every person who races in any category that is recognized, will take offense to being labeled just a “hot rodder,” or in a category other than “THE land speed record.”  Every category is “The land speed record” for that class, and every person who tries to set a record, no matter what the classification, is a land speed record racer. Whether this short chapter is sufficient to buy the book depends on your needs.  To see Bonneville as Utahans see it and to have a short history of the Salt Flats may be enough reason to add it to your library.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’…Race Legends of the Fabulous Fifties, by Art Evans.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

     Race Legends of the Fabulous Fifties is written by Art Evans, and features 51 road course racing legends in an easy to read format.  There is a table of contents, preface and an introduction by Carroll Shelby.  There are chapters on the highways and streets that were used to race on, and eight first class racing courses; Watkins Glen, Bridgehampton, Sandberg, Palm Springs, Elkhart Lake, Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines and the Pan-American Mexican Road Race.  Art located old advertisements from magazines that bring back the nostalgia of the times.  There is a description of the Fabulous Fifties Association, which isn’t a club at all.  The Fabulous Fifties are road course racers who get together in an informal gathering, without officers or rules, to hold reunions and relive the glory years of road course racing.  The book is 9 x 11 inches, hardcover with glossy paper, and 51 full-page black and white photos of the men and women honored within.  There are 127 photos and 16 graphs, maps or posters in the book, and it is 136 pages in length.  In addition there are 33 nostalgic ads, which bring back the aura of the times, and three pages devoted to memorabilia that one can purchase from the author.  One drawback is the lack of an index.
     Even without an index, the structure of the book is encyclopedic and alphabetical, so that the reader can quickly find what he is looking for.  Evans gives each of the subjects two pages.  On one side is a full-page black and white photo of the road racer as he or she looks today, with a few exceptions, like James Dean, who passed away in the 1950’s on his way to a race at Salinas, California.  The other page has text and story with a small photo showing how they looked in their racing days.  Those being honored include; Bob Akin, Max Balchowsky, Bob Bondurant, Lindley Bothwell, Jack Brabham, Jay Chamberlain, Tim Considine, Briggs Cunningham, Chuck Daigh, Mary Davis, James Dean, Bill Devin, Steve Earle, Juan Fangio, John Fitch, and George Follmer, and as you can see, many of them went on to fame in other racing leagues.  Evans raced and knew them all, and wrote with feeling and passion.  He also wrote and photographed; Jerry Grant, Dick Guldstrand, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Sam Hanks, Jim Haynes, Phil Hill, David Hobbs, Skip Hudson, Ed Hugus, Dennis Holmes, Jim Jeffords, Parnelli Jones, Bruce Kessler, Bill Krause, and Ruth Levy.  That is only a portion of the road course racers given a quick write-up in Race Legends of the Fabulous Fifties
     Evans goes on to record even more legends; Pete Lovely, Jack McAfee, Ken Miles, Stirling Moss, Bill Murphy, Paul O’Shea, Augie Pabst, Scooter Patrick, Jim Peterson, Vasek Polak, Bill Pollack, Andy Porterfield, Brian Redmond, Lance Reventlow, Carroll Shelby, Bill Stroppe, Bobby Unser, John Von Neumann, and Rodger Ward.  It is quite a list of those road warriors that took to road racing after the 2nd World War.  Racing had come to an abrupt standstill while the nation redirected men and women into the war effort.  After the war, the pent-up demand to go racing was indescribable.  Records were set and re-set, and attendance at these events grew with each race.  The 1950’s saw more interest in road course racing, but local development and zoning ordinances closed many tracks and courses.  The country drifted off into the complex Vietnam War and civil disobedience, and the road racers moved on to new racing pursuits.  Road racing still exists, and will never pass out of existence, for there will always be those who love the thrill of the race, the crazy turns and the heart pounding excitement.  Its greatest heights were attained in the 1950’s, and Art Evans has given us a book to remember and savor those times.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM  
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Gone Racin’…
The Shelby American Story, by Art Evans.  Photography by Dave Friedman.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  Written 11 August 2011.

     Art Evans has nearly twenty books to his credit and the latest is The Shelby American Story, with photography by Dave Friedman.  The subject matter concerns Carroll Shelby and this is Art’s second book on this American auto racer and car designer and builder.  The book is a hard cover edition with a cloth binding down the spine, meant for a long lasting and strong book.  The book measures 11 inches in length, 9 inches in height and is a half inch in thickness, containing 128 pages.  The book itself is blue with gold lettering, but it also comes with a book jacket or dust cover sleeve.  That’s the glossy paper covering that you find on hard cover editions, which most people abuse, toss away or lose.  Why people do that to the book jacket is beyond me, since collectors will always pay a premium for books that still have the cover in good condition.  There are 219 black and white photographs, six magazine ads, three charts and six magazine or book covers.  The book lacks color photography and there is no index.  I’m not too concerned about a lack of color photographs as there is a certain nostalgic aura to black and white photographs.  But I always cringe where an author leaves out an index.  However, that is not a huge loss as there is a half-page table of contents and 52 chapters, all short and based on an interview or from Art’s memory.  Evans also wrote a half page introduction to the book.  The paper and the photographs themselves are above average.  The two best photographs are on the front and back of the book jacket, another reason to keep the jacket with the book.  The ISBN# is 0-9797219-3-8 and Evans self-published using a USA firm, The Transportation Book Service, a division of Iconografix.  The price is $39.95 and you can order the book from the author at agevans@yahoo.com.
     I rather like the book jacket, but then Carroll Shelby always is photogenic.  I wish there was an index, but the photographers are some of the best.  The photos are fine.  They tell the story and the captions are fairly good and clear.  The photographers are: Dave Friedman, Bernard Cahier, Art Evans, Herb Jones, Allen Kuhn, Dean Moon, and Bob Tronolone.  The Petersen Automotive Museum, Sharon Shelby and the Daimler Benz Archive collections also contributed photographs.  But the reason that The Shelby American Story is worth buying and adding to your library is due to two reasons; Art Evans and Carroll Shelby.  Art is the expert on road course racing, having been a driver when road racing became a craze in America during the 1950’s and ‘60’s.  One of my few regrets is that I didn’t develop a love for the sport until long after its golden age was over.  Much of the racing occurred close by and the famous and infamous made this sport something very special.  The other reason is Carroll Shelby himself. 
The Shelby American Story doesn’t tell the whole Shelby story; no book can.  Shelby needs a slew of books to do that and hopefully that will happen as more people learn about this exceptional man.  Shelby was also a good friend of my father and a confidant.  He was a high official in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) when my father was the president of the organization.  There was and will never be a funnier sharing of outrageous stories when Shelby, my father, Ak Miller and Alex Xydias got together.  I could listen to their stories forever and never be bored.
     Art Evans is a fascinating man in his own right.  He was a racer.  He co-published the Sports Car Journal.  He was a regional director for the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA).  He was the owner of Evans Industries and imported the Devin cars and parts to this country.  He went to the US Military Academy and other prestigious schools.  He is degreed and credentialed and taught in the school system.  He was an associate professor and chair of the Photography Department.  He worked in Hollywood.  He produces the Fabulous Fifties Newsletter
that keeps the old-time road course racers together.  He writes for magazines and authors his own books.  More than anything else he knows all the people and their history in automotive sports.  Frankly, only Art Evans can write the series of books that he writes.  He also has a very simple, but effective way to produce a large amount of high quality books on racing.  It is a technique that he has mastered and that I have been trying to copy for years.  There are a few others who match Art in quality and output; Buzz Rose, Don Montgomery, Dick Wallen, etal.  Another asset is the loyalty that men and women in racing have for Evans.  Art does have a funny bone, but he masks it with the gruff, no-nonsense attitude of a newspaper editor.  He is serious about his work and the history and heritage that he is leaving behind.  Art doesn’t have to write books or articles.  In fact he is driven to do this.  He is a major source of information in road course racing and a person that is truly indispensible. 
     Art’s contacts and friends make his projects doable.  Just look at some of the people who have contributed their thoughts and memories, or whom Art knew well enough to give a short chapter to.  They are; Jim Hall, Ed Hugus, Bill Krause, Ken Miles, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant, Peter Brock, Parnelli Jones, Augie Pabst, Henry Ford II, Walt Hansgen, Mario Andretti, Lew Spencer, Phil Remington, Scooter Patrick, Davey Jordan and others.  Most of us would swoon just to meet a few of these men, but Evans knows them personally and counts them as his friends.  When you have these kinds of sources and contacts, the books that Evans produces are of the highest quality and authenticity.  Besides the short chapters on people just mentioned, there are chapters on the following events; Driving school, birth of the Cobra, ’62 Bahamas, Daytona Coupe, LeMans, Ford Mustang, Ford GT, Sebring, drag racing, Bonneville Salt Flats, Daytona Beach, Can-Am, Indy 500, Toyota, etc.  One thing that Evans does is fill his book up with facts and history. 
The Shelby American Story is too short to give Shelby’s entire history, but it gives you the basics and a fair amount of details.  Lost in this welter of facts and creativity is the photographer; Dave Friedman.  I’ve reviewed some of his work as well and my father was a collector of his work.  Friedman is truly a great photographer and has authored over 30 books.  He worked as a still photographer in Hollywood on some of the best known movies and is a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, the only still photographer to belong to that group.
     I try to give the reader of a review the basic facts about the book, but avoid trying to tell the whole story.  If you got that info from me why would you go out and buy the book.  But in some cases it helps to know something about the individual chapters.  The chapter on drag racing tells us that Ford Motor Company spotted a chance to show off the Shelby Cobra and it did very well in its class.  The chapter, however, fails to tell about Shelby’s involvement with Wally Parks and the NHRA Board.  Shelby was an early vice-president of the NHRA.  The chapter on Bonneville gave us some new facts, but it too was short.  However, Art’s usage of photographs interspersed with text and captions means that this is a fast read.  Another thing that I like about Evans is that he does a biography in as few words as any author that I have seen, but it is thorough enough that you feel you know the person being interviewed.  One of the best chapters is on Parnelli Jones and his interactions with Shelby.  I had no trouble going through the book, then coming back to a favorite chapter to spend more time on the details.  Some chapters are merely photographs and captions, but if they are well done, as Evans has a talent for, then that is sufficient.  There is no bibliography in the book or footnotes and sources, so the reader is left to his own to find additional books to read on the subject.  Evans has a pleasant style of writing, most likely due to his thorough knowledge of the road racing culture.  I really like
The Shelby American Story and rate it a seven out of a possible eight spark plugs.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
 


     Please read the SPECIAL INVITE you are receiving to race at the March and future TEXAS Mile events. As can be seen, this is very short notice as registration is tomorrow, Sunday, beginning at 2PM.  The TEXAS Mile will allow your cars to race under current 36hp Challenge guidelines which combined with the rules for the USFRA's 130 MPH Club that provide excellent safety considerations.  If you can sign up for their March event, please copy me your email entry so I can follow your effort. Any speeds recorded will be acknowledged by the 36hp Challenge according to the 2014 Guidelines you were sent just after the first of the year      Burly Burlile 
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     I have received a few calls from 36HP Challengers who are interested in coming to the Texas Mile to set records. I know that in order to do that they need to abide by the current rules set out for the 36 HP Challenge. I spoke with Jay and Shannon about this today and they think it would be very cool to have a group of you guys at the event. So please get the word out that we will accept 36HP Challenge competitors as they are (must abide by 36HP rules). We will alert our tech guys so that they know the rules and know what to look for. The 36HP Challenge rules are actually more strict than ours!  Make sure these guys sign up on Sunday at 2PM CST on our website. They will need to sign up for a profile before they can register. If they need help they can always call me on that day. If some of them don't get signed up in time have them call me, we may make an exception for them to get in, only because we are giving you guys such short notice on this.   They will need to email me after they register to let me know they are participating in the 36HP Challenge so that I can correct their class on their registration. We do not currently have those classes set up in our system so they will need to select "LSR Vehicle" as their class and then type in their real class.   I am also thinking of a cool trophy to present to the new record holders! Can you help with that?  Please cc me on the email you send out and if you can email me the names of those interested in running in March.   Jessica Reyna,  J & S Matus Motorsports, Inc

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The Landspeed Building at the Grand National Roadster Show was a big hit.  Ron Main sent in some pictures showing the grand results of the Save The Salt Campaign.

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Century of Speed Book signing.

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