NEWSLETTER 308 -  February 11 , 2014
Editor-in-Chief: Jack & 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:  Bud Meyer,  Don Garlits  Tom Blanton, John Buttera, Ton Sterbank,  Preston Tucker

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT, by Joan Denver Meyer.   
     This is just a note to remind you about getting the word out about the Celebration of Life for Bud Meyer.
 Don't forget to mark your calendar for Saturday, March 1, 2014 for the Celebration of Life for Bud Meyer at the Auto Club Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California.  The time is 11 am until 2 pm.  There will be plenty of parking space to bring out your favorite hot rod to display.  Thank you again for all your help.  Joan Denver Meyer

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks: 
     Here’s a tender issue.  HONESTY
; so often racers will go into partnerships with others in order to race their car.  One partner might put up the motor, another one puts up the chassis, or parts and maybe other partners crew on the car or donate money.  Just like a marriage, one or more partners begin to feel used.  Sometimes that 50-50 promise becomes more like a 20-80 split.  One person gets all the money, praise, applause, fame, seat time in the car, while the other spends all his money, time and effort to keep the enterprise going.  Then one day there is a fight, usually over a nit-picky issue and that escalates into a huge fight and the partnership is over.  Unfortunately such arguments are not the exclusive domain of marriages and racing partnerships.  We also have that problem in journalism and the media; which explains why editors are so often fired and hired someplace else.   Keeping relationships open demand complete and utter honesty; from the very beginning.  It also helps to put your agreement in writing, but who out there wants to tell a “friend” that he isn’t trusted by demanding a pre-nup?
     Even making an oral agreement in front of a crowd of people isn’t effective, for each person in a group “hears only what they want to hear.”  I have that problem all the time with others and we argue over who is right and who isn’t and most likely we are both wrong.  What about videotaping the agreement?  That might work, but most likely the two sides will say, “I see it on the tape, but I must have been tricked into saying something like that.”  The mind is a strange thing and it sees reality in the way that it wants to see reality, not as events really transpired.  So it appears that the only way to keep the arguments to a minimum is to sit down with your partners periodically and reopen the conversation about your “agreement” and honestly and forthrightly discuss what it was that you were trying to achieve and who would do what.  Only by nipping the problems that arise in the bud, before these issues can grow and fester, will your partnership succeed.  While I know that to be true I am also one of the offenders, because I try to get others to honor their word by “hinting,” and not by coming out and just saying what I feel.
     But in honestly telling the other person that they aren’t pulling their weight we have to be not only forthright, but kind about it in a firm way.  Hitting your partner over the head with a wrench may relieve your stress but it won’t likely result in a positive outcome.  One way to approach the problem is to restate the agreement.  Another is to avoid using the YOU word; as in “You are the reason we stink as a race team.”   One technique is to say, “I don’t feel like I am receiving the support that was agreed upon,” rather than say, “You aren’t giving me the support you agreed to give on the project.”  It is always preferable to speak more softly rather than to raise your voice.  Another angle is to make more demands and to forgo any threats.  Thus it is perfectly correct to state, “I want you to spend more time and get the car finished on time.”  That statement is a demand, said in a reasonable and rational voice.  Saying, “Do it or else” is a threat, especially if you don’t carry out the “or else.”  Threats will fail while demands put you in a position of strength in a controversy.  But if all else fails you may have to consider that your partnership is at an end, even if you had no part in that failure.  In that case you should always have a Plan B to fall back on before you pull the plug on a friendship.
     My thoughts prayers go out to Don (Garlits) and family (on the passing of Pat Garlits).  From Tom Kasch and the following; DS Koffel, Jackee Allen, Rick Voegelin, Joseph Carroll, Robert Kert, Mike Coughlin, Doug Boyce, Tom Ronca, Ken Gunning, Ron Williams, Bobby Schlegel, Bob Frey and John Hutchinson.  See this link; 
     My dear wife of nearly 61 years left this world and went over to the other side at 5:53 PM, this afternoon.  She has been suffering a lot these last few days and it was a Blessing to see God take her into His care.  I will miss her very badly, but will be with her sooner than I realize, as time is very different here than over there.  She passed at home with her two daughters at her side and me holding her hand and a little Yorkie dog on each side of her.  She went without making a sound and this house is going to be very quiet for a while.  I had "Glenn Miller" playing in the background, as that was her favorite "Big Band."  I will let everyone know what the arrangements will be when I know myself.  Thanks for all the Prayers and support through this terrible ordeal.  Sincerely, Don Garlits
DON: Please accept our most sincerest condolences on the passing of your wife.  Pat was a very special lady.  I only met her a few times, but I observed a woman who was totally dedicated to you, your career, your family and the good, spiritual values that make our free land so admired.  Every time I came by she would make me feel at home, whether she knew who I was or not.  Tribulations didn't matter to Pat as she was a Southern Lady in the greatest sense and bore them with patience and love.  She eased the burdens of everyone.  She was so happy to be with you and to share in your experiences.  Those that never met her felt her presence in you, keeping you focused and curbing the competitive nature that makes all of us men so ornery.  Pat was a special lady and we all knew that.  Your family is a testament to Pat that her life was one of sweetness, wholesomeness and great achievement.  We send our love to you all during this period of change and sadness.
     Pat Garlits, wife of Don Garlits, has passed away.  I remember her at his side at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield and at Fremont.  Personally, I always thought they were the cutest couple and a love story for the ages.  Rick Gold (sent in by Dema Elgin)
    After a long and valiant battle, we are sad to report tonight that Pat Garlits, the wife of the greatest drag racer ever, Don Garlits has died.  The role of Pat Garlits in the career of her husband can never fully be appreciated.  She served as the rock that anchored their family.  She served as emotional and even physical support for Don, she was there for the best of times, she was there for the horrifying worst times where her husband was burned, maimed, and in positions of grave danger.  She logged all of those road miles over the years, she was even a winning racer herself for a time, but most of all she was a mom and a wife, and a person loved and respected by many.
     Don and Pat Garlits met in 1952 and they were married on February 20, 1953.  Over the span of nearly 61 years they encountered and endured things that no other couple on Earth could conceive of, let alone understand.  In a move that set the course of drag racing history for roughly the next 30 years, she refused to let doctors remove Don’s severely burned hands after a disastrous fire in Chester, South Carolina in 1959.  She found another doctor in another hospital in Florida that thought he could help so she rode on a train with her husband who was in immense pain from South Carolina to the Florida hospital.  Don’s hands were saved and they were the instruments of so much success and innovation that the sport would not look the same today without them. Though gnarled and thick from decades of constant use and harsh treatment, Don’s mitts were most often seen wrapped around Pat’s at the races before she became too ill to travel. 
     In recent years it was Don who became the caretaker and emotional support for his wife who had served in that role for the majority of his life.  They shared a love and a bond that’s all too rare in today’s world.  It held stronger than the strongest TIG weld until the very end.  We could literally go on for thousands of words about Pat Garlits, but we won’t.  In the coming days and weeks there will be many great words spoken about Pat Garlits. In all of those things we ask that you remember one thing.  Pat Garlits was not just the wife of Don Garlits.  She was a singular force in the sport and in her family that fostered, encouraged, hugged, listened to, and facilitated the most driven mind and most determined spirit the sport of drag racing has ever known and ever will know.  She completed him.  For that, every person who loves drag racing should be thankful.   Sent in by Phill Whetstone and Scrub Hansen

     Tom Blanton was a car enthusiast.  Waco Texan Cotton Tanner restored a rare 1970 Chevelle for him, which Cotton successfully competed on the ISCA circuit.  Then Tom campaigned a red/black 1955 Nomad himself followed by a 1930 Ford Phaeton.  See http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/dfw/obituary.aspx?n=tom-blanton&pid=169439152&referrer=0&preview=True&eid=sp_shareobit.  Bill Moeller
     Joan Durie, a gracious lady, my friend and one of the charter members of the 36hp Challenge, passed away just over a week ago after an extended battle with Lymphoma. Joan is the Lady Challenge racers September 2014 calendar girl and wife and ultimate pit crew supporter of Dan Durie, a Beaver Geezers race team member and driver of Orange Thunder, past fastest Stone Stock 36hp Bug. Joan and Dan celebrated their 50th anniversary just a couple of years ago with a trip to Carmel and the Pebble Beach peninsula where they had originally spent their honeymoon and then followed that with 36hp Challenge racing at both the Mojave Mile and Bonneville World of Speed events. Whenever Dan raced, Joan was by his side.  She will truly be missed at the starting line on the salt, and in our hearts.  A Memorial Service was held Joan's memory on Monday, January 27th in Fremont, California, where they resided.  If you would like, a donation in Joan's name to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in her name.  (www.lls.org) would be appreciated.  God Speed Joan. 
     Burly Burlile  VW 36hp & BB CHALLENGE Volkswagen Land Speed Racing Historian Society of Land Speed Racing Historians www.burlyb.com.
     The NHRA has a new fan experience for their Circle K NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona California during their February 6-9, 2014 drag races.  For $100 you get two race tickets, food vouchers, VIP access to meet 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Champions John Force, Shawn Langdon and Jeg Coughlin Jr. at corporate hospitality located in the midway.  Unfortunately by the time you read this the race will be over, but it is another sign that big racing groups have to be creative to get the fan support that they need to keep going in a tough economic environment.
     For those who would like to see our night time fire-ups at the Grand National Roadster Show: http://www.boydcoddingtonrccars.com/Visit_to_Boyds_Shop.html, and scroll down to New Videos, both Jeremy and Cherie's have full videos.  Nice shots and you can see the huge crowd we drew.  John Ewald

Cynthia, Mario and I out at the NHRA Winternationals and burning Nitro. Friday night Katie Capps (Lil John Buttera's granddaughter) got a nighttime ride in the BankAmericar, the last front engine dragster her grandad built, proud mom Leigh Buttera was her cheering section. Today we put Doc Halladay of the 70' Telstar funny car fame in the Bank car to give him the ich...it did. Ron Johnson put veteran racer Whit Bazmore in his Tommy Ivo car for a nitro dose, he dug it. In the evening Mario and I lit both cars together, Krista Baldwin (Chris Karamesines' granddaughter) in the BankAmericar and TMPCC president Ken Ladka in the Mastercar...gave the crowd a "wackfest" and they went wild, I'm sure a number of videos will show up on YouTube soon. Back at the rig after taking care of the cars Mario cooked up a batch of carne asada on my NuWave cooker (those deals are great) all in all, a great day.


     Here is a video photo album of the Century of Speed exhibit at the Grand National Roadster Show at Pomona. Thanks to John Julis for forwarding this video.  Century of Speed by Lug Nut 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2L9I8L-jpA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUrOY6UtcrFThgtrMVApiOSg.   Jerry Cornelison
     Road Runners and Friends: The following e-mail is from Bud Meyer's wife Joan. There will be a Celebration of Life for Road Runner’s Life Member, Bud Meyer.  Bring your Hot Rods and wear your Road Runners colors.  Jerry Cornelison - Secretary, Road Runners
     Just a quick note to ask you to remind the members about the Celebration of Life for Bud Meyer on Saturday, March 1st at the NHRA Museum in Pomona - 11 am - 2 pm.  There will plenty of parking to display your favorite cars.  Thank you so much and I will look forward to seeing everyone at the event.  Joan Denver Meyer
     I wanted to thank you for stopping by our booth at the Grand National Roadster show.  I enjoyed our conversation on documenting the history of the racers and their cars.  If we can ever help you with anything please let us know.  We have the BCRA Hall of Fame at our museum.    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, Facebook www.facebook.com/museumofamericanspeed.
JARRID: Please send me updates on the MofAS.  You are welcome to any biographies or other material in our archives at www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks, or at the other website www.landspeedracing.com, to help further any research that you may be doing for the Museum of American Speed.
     I went to visit Ron Sterbenk in Fremont California on Tuesday, February 5, 2014 to meet him and see his collection.  He has been racing since 1950.  Little did I know that he had the world's fastest unblown flathead record held since 2004.  In 2004 the Dragster he has with the Ford Flathead was displaced at 327 cubic inches with a 4-1/4 inch stroke running at the world record speeds of 157 miles per hour in 8.70 seconds. Just last week he came from the Sacramento dragstrip and pulled 155 mph at 8.80 seconds.  Not bad for a 83 year old.  Giving me a glance at his speed secrets was a real prize.  He mentioned a lot about his chats with Chet Herbert.  Chet told him a few things along with other people’s help that made him go into the right direction.  Sure enough the results prove it.  He also had a real cool looking 1934 Ford that is now at Don Garlits Museum.  He is currently helping Dorian Spabello with his Fiat coupe streamliner for Bonneville.  The Drawing he had showed me was radical.  As for the engines he builds, they are modified to the extreme.  Using Titanium 6mm stems NASCAR Valves which originally were for the Chevrolet NASCAR engines.  These valves are usually run for 500 miles at NASCAR and then tossed away.  The valve sizes are at 2-1/4 inches cut down to the flatheads maximum size of 1.900 inch.  Sterbenk makes his own heads and ports since his drag racing, water for cooling is deleted and passages are filled with epoxy for strength.  A neat feature which makes the exhaust breathe more is the relocation of the exhaust port.  It no longer has to go around the bend.  It is oversized and shoots more straight out at each block end.  The porting throughout is to its extreme.  My hand felt a 1/8 thickness left on the port walls.  Another good feature is his Center 4 bolt main cap.  It splays out into the outer block wall.  Then Finally a Hilborn Fuel injection set up.  Ron did a little modification to make it fit his special heads.  With difficulty, he also made his own oil pan with a windage tray.  I hope you enjoy the speed secret pictures of Ron's success as much as I did.  Spencer Simon

RMC_074_Ron and Grey 4 story

     We have just finished production on our latest book.  Our new book is about one of America’s most versatile racing drivers, George Follmer.  George is unique in many ways and his career represents a time that is now gone and will not be repeated. George did not start his professional driving career until he was 29.  George had run a few Gymkhana events in his Volkswagen beetle in parking lots located in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California before his professional start.  From this very basic  start he would go on to be the only driver to win both the Trans Am and Can Am titles in the same year. In George’s career he competed in Trans Am, Can Am, Indy Car, NASCAR, Formula 5000, Formula 1, World Championship of Makes, LeMans, IROC and more. And more importantly he won or made it to the podium in every form of racing he competed in.  On the cover of the book George is driving the legendary Porsche 917-10 that he won (dominated) the 1972 Can Am championship with while driving for Roger Penske. This car recently sold at auction for over 5 ½ million dollars. When you’re talking Porsches, George is one of the few drivers that are aligned as a true legend with these cars from Stuttgart, Germany. He’s driven Porsche 1600 Speedster, 550 Spyder, 904, 917-10, 956, 934, 935, Carerra RSR and more. 
     George ran his first race in Formula 1 at the age of 39. This is an age when many drivers are retiring. By his second race in Formula 1 he was on the podium. The website for the book that has photos and more is at www.follmerbook.com.  The book is over 336 pages and is illustrated with 282 black-and-white and color photographs. The large 9” by 12” format opens to 12” by 18” two-page spreads. This format is utilized with numerous full and two-page photo spreads.  This is the same size as our CHRISMAN LEGACY book.  Also included are forewords by Roger Penske and Parnelli Jones, who were George’s car owner and teammate, respectively.  Ed Justice, Jr. 2734 Huntington Drive / Duarte, California 91010.  626-359-9174 / 626-357-2550 FAX  website:
www.ejjeus.com, www.follmerbook.com, www.chrismanlegacy.com.
     Below is a link to the 28 minute video made by Volkswagen Canada of the historic, around the world three times, 1955 Beetle that is now in the hands of Manu (Emmanuel Thuillier) of Rousseau, Ontario, Canada.  Paul Loof, the original owner has written a book about his triple journey called, "In His Hands," and the story has been picked up and shown on the Discovery and Bravo channels in Canada.  It has been hard to access here in the USA and other countries.  Hopefully the link below will allow you to see the story of an amazing Volkswagen and it's owners.
     Even after he received the "rain-out" call, he continued his 2400 mile journey west to the Bonneville Salt Flats from his home in upper eastern Ontario, on the far east side of Canada.  A trouper if there ever was one.  And while completing this initial quest to Bonneville, Manu organized a drive to help the Sick Kids Hospital back home (go to
https://www.facebook.com/groups/193912417434911, to join his Bonneville 4 Sick Kids FaceBook group).         
     Congratulations for an outstanding effort on behalf of the worldwide VW community.  Manu has not let last year’s rainout alter his plans to race in the 36hp Challenge at the World of Speed this coming September. In fact, he has doubled his effort and will race this historic ‘55 Beetle in both the DSS and SSS36 categories. And as a special addition, 92 year old Paul Loof, the Bugs original owner and round the world-tourer, is also planning on coming to Bonneville to watch Manu as he adds even more history to the blue Beetle.  I hope you are there to either race or witness this historic VW event.  Burly Burlile
Below is a link to K&N Filter's latest article on my racing career. 
http://www.knfilters.com/news/news.aspx?id=4817.  Jessica Clark
THE NEFARIOUS BUNCH.  By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands and
     I got a phone call from the head Good Dude a few years past, while I was sojourning in St. George, Utah, way down there in the southwest corner of Utah. “Hey,” says he “a bunch of us are coming through your area next week, and we need some guidance getting over to Highway 89 from your place. Can you do?” Hey, is the Pope Catholic?  What they needed was a point rider as their entourage set their cayuses east toward the rising sun. “I’ll meet you on the north edge of town, and do you one better. I’ll go with you clear up into Green River country. I’ll leave you there and continue north to my spread in Idaho.” Done deal, jose. 
     We left town just ahead of the sheriff and went through Zion Park and picked up 89 northbound just down the road a piece. A rather nice piece of two-lane that Burly Burlile tells me is the only numbered highway left linking all the way from Canada to Mexico border. Haven’t verified that.  So, up and down, left and right, a really great hot rod trail, and I called a halt for noon biscuits and beans at a place I knew near the crossing of east-west freeway 50. Inside the café, we sort of ended up huddled around a large table, nervous perhaps that someone might recognize us from the wanted posters.  I was visiting with the Purple People Eater, aka Guasco, when the middle aged waitress sauntered. “Them neat cars belong to Y’all?” 
     Our spokesman in the bright yellow sedan (all his cars seem to be yellow, probably because he got some left over from a schoolbus painter) opined as how, Yep, that was our herd. “Boy, I’d like someone like that to ride through this burg and carry me off……yada yada yada”. Immediately all eyes at the table were on me. Because I had recently become separated at birth with loss of my long time partner. The purple maurader was equally uncomfortable.  “You need to take that filly up on her deplorable situation, Tex. Sashay over there and invite her to ride off into the sunset in your roadster. Take her away from all this…….” Yada, yada, yada. With friends like these, who needs anything else! 
     Unseen by me, one of those rapscallions slid a note to the lady fair with my phone number, the one in Utah thankfully, where I would not be for the next year. This, along with a tale of woe and how lonely it was on the roadster trail with no pardner and so on……..Like I said about friends.
     I wondered why the little lady was so friendly like as I sallied up to pay my bill, and why I was catching covert glimpses from my saddle pals. Later that day, over at Green River where we would stay the even’, one of my companions mentioned in the parking lot, “Say, that waitress back there left me this note, and asked if I would pass it along to you.” After handing me a many-folded scrap of paper, he scampered into the sagebrush.  The note was succinct “tex, you get back through this way, call me at……..”  I went up to Idaho and never looked back. And, I don’t stop in that café anymore

So You Wanna Be in a Roadster Club?  By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands and www.hotrodhotline.com. 
     Well Bucko, have I got a deal for you. If you have ever driven through, flown over, or read anything about the Rocky Mountains, you are part way there. You gotta have a genuine, rank and file hot rod roadster. Running, not running, in pieces, or just on paper.  Long as it has no top that you keep erected all the time just because your delicate skin may get sun etched. If so, you need to be in a coupe club. Or in Australia, where you need a top to keep the skin cancer in check.
     Anyway, I’m talking about you being appointed a member in questionable standing of the international Rocky Mountain Roadsters.  A very elite organization, base entirely on heresy, intimation, disdain, and double chocolate milk shakes.  Now, this is no slipshod, fly by PanAm kind of organisation. No siree bub. There ain’t no rules. There ain’t no gotta-do’s and stuff. In fact, there ain’t no meetings, and there ain’t no anything. Except we do have official jackets.  Somewhat like the Danville Dukes (cep’n we predate them), everyone is President for life.
     Now, the home club if you want to call it that, is actually in the heart of the Rockies. Right there in downtown (well, one block off main) cultural-center-of-the-universe Driggs, Idaho. Just to help keep everybody kind of visualize something or other, this chapter of the RM Roadsters is called the High Lonesome Gang. I think there are about 7 members. Then, over in Wyoming there is the Hole In The Wall Gang, and the Mile Highers are down in Colorado and off down there in cental Texas are the Misfits, and the Sea Runners are off out there on the Oregon Coast. Gotta mention the Pacific Rim Fires who are in Japan and the Aussie Wolligogs, while the MidPac Pukes (in observerance of their very own Volcano are in Hawaii. There is even rumbling of something in England.  All in all, quite a fraternities of no-bodies doing absolutely nothing to further the well-being of mankind.
     To be a member,and you meet all the requirements, you gotta be appointed into the club by a member in good standing. Or sitting. And you gotta take the private oath of allegiance, which is to face El Mirage, place you hand on a hot radiator, and promise to avoid closed cars as much as possible. Very binding. The other way is to send a letter by snail mail to the club HQ (PO box 547, Driggs, Idaho 83422 with your return address and ask to be appointed. Someone or other may actually get around to giving you a windshield decal. Maybe not. You can then order a club jacket by contacting Wen Dell Jordan at PO Box 630, Hico, Texas 76457, or e-mail brushyshotrods@aol.com and ask about jacket costs. You may actually get a reply. Or maybe not. Just remember that once in, there ain’t no out.  You’re stuck driving a roadster for life.  Or ten years, whichever comes first.
     No dues, no newsletter, no interference with your mis-adventures, and the only thing that resembles a gathering is at Bonneville during SpeedWeek.  Where there is no gathering.  Boy, do we ever have fun.  Oh yea, we got a mailing address down in Australia, it is 56 William St., Castlemaine, VIC 3450. Sometimes there is someone actually there. Maybe not.
Gone Racin’…Heroes of Hot Rodding, by David Fetherston.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz. 
     Heroes of Hot Rodding, by David Fetherston, is a paperback book with photographs and interviews with some of the well-known and popular hot rodders and car racers of the 20th Century.  Heroes of Hot Rodding measures 8 ¼ by 10 ¾, and has an appealing color photograph of a red roadster at Bonneville.  The book is 192 pages in length and was published by Motorbooks International, located in Osceola, Wisconsin.  Motorbooks has an exceptional reputation for automotive books and Heroes of Hot Rodding fits right in with their high standards.  The ISBN # is 0-87938-384-4 and the book was first published in 1992.  You may be able to find copies at bookstores or in used bookstores.  The photographs are mostly black and white, but very clear and processed on the highest quality paper.  There are 271 black and white and 2 color photographs.  In addition there are five cartoons, one magazine cover, three ads, one list, two drawings and one catalog cover and insert. 
     The book does not have a dust cover jacket and the binding is glued, not cloth woven.  There is an easy to read table of contents and a preface by the author, then he jumps right into the subject chapters.  The chapters are easy to grasp, since each famous personality gets their own, except for Bobby and Bill Summers who share a chapter between them.  Thirty-three of the most interesting and important hot rodders and car guys are portrayed in this well-researched and informative book.  The text is ample, full and complete.  The photographs complement the story lines.  Fetherston wastes no time in getting right to the subjects themselves and their stories and lives are what give this book its title.  Fetherston barely mentions his efforts on this book and I would have liked to have known a little more about him as an author and researcher and what other books he may have written.  There is a two page index at the back of the book and it should have been more comprehensive than that.  It is a minor flaw.
     The thirty-three heroes of hot rodding are; Joe Bailon, Craig Breedlove, Andy Brizio, Art Chrisman, Bill Cushenberry, Jim Deist, Bill Devin, Vic Edelbrock, Don Garlits, C. J. Hart, Joe Hunt, Ermie Immerso, Ed Iskenderian, Tommy Ivo, Dean Jeffries, Robert “Jocko” Johnson, Dick Landy, Tom Medley, Bruce Meyers, Ak Miller, Dean Moon, Tony Nancy, Wally Parks, Robert E. “Pete” Petersen, Ed Roth, Bill Stroppe, Bobby and Bill Summers, Mickey Thompson, Linda Vaughn, “Von Dutch” (Kenny Howard) and Gene Winfield.  That’s an all-star cast if ever there was one.  The first bio that I read was the one on Linda Vaughn, the only lady among the numerous men portrayed.  Right from the very beginning of her career it became apparent that Linda was more than just a pretty face.  Now everyone will agree that she was knock-down gorgeous, with those long and graceful legs, that beautiful face and a bosom that few women can ever match. 
     But what made Linda Vaughn stand out in our minds to this very day is her personality and character.  It isn’t only her bubbly and expressive personality, or her southern belle charm, but a deeper sense of caring and concern that makes every hot rodder adore this lady.  Young men fantasized over her photographs and bought copies of her “gentleman’s magazine” showing a tastefully, but only partially clad Linda in various poses.  But once you meet Linda Vaughn you realize that there is something so profound and emotionally satisfying that you no longer just fixate on her looks.  She was an adman’s dream and a public relations bonanza.  She looks as gorgeous today, nearly 50 years later, than she did as a teenager winning beauty pageants.  Linda simply steals your heart away and of the starlets of the age, Linda Vaughn and Marilyn Monroe are the only blondes most of us can remember.
     I read the bios on Wally Parks and Pete Petersen, two larger than life men who came from humble conditions and who circled each other like celestial moons around a planet.  At one time Petersen worked for Parks, and then Parks went to work for Petersen.  It really didn’t matter what their titles were, they needed each other and though they had their arguments, they also had a deep respect for each other.  Parks was the older of the two and in control of the SCTA, a land speed timing association in Southern California.  The SCTA was as large as any other racing organization at the time, but felt that their image was being destroyed by the illegal street racing of that era. 
     Petersen and his associates were hired to do publicity work and Petersen created a pamphlet sized magazine which he called Hot Rod, since it was to promote the Hot Rod Exposition at the Armory in Los Angeles in 1948.  The show was a mild success, but Hot Rod magazine took off like a rocket.  Petersen offered Parks a partnership, which was turned down, for no one expected hot rodding to last very long.  Petersen on the other hand had doubts at all; he knew from the beginning that he would make a success of his growing businesses.  Parks wasn’t so sure, for several times the economy and the weather almost brought down his fledgling NHRA, formed to get young kids off the street racing and onto safe and sanctioned tracks.  Both men passed away within a year of each other, leaving behind a legacy that few can match.  Their reputed feuds overstated while their mutual help and support made each of them a success.
     The seven pages allotted to Ak Miller just don’t seem to be enough for this very important man.  He was always seen as only a good natured man who would drop what he was doing and go racing at the blink of an eye.  Or that’s the story that I heard from Dorothy Miller, Ak’s sister-in-law.  He was a man of legendary proportions and he did just about everything and anything that a hot rodder or race car driver could do, except maybe run at the Indy 500.  A lot of great talent never ran at Indy.  It takes good fortune, a good car and talent to race there.  Ak simply wasn’t interested in going around in circles, or “turning left” as he called it.  He preferred land speed racing, car and motorcycle road racing and simply outrunning the cops.  He later joined with Wally Parks to be a Vice President of the National Hot Rod Association or NHRA and lobby against illegal street racing.  He led the SCTA as its president when that group had a huge impact on the hot rodding culture. 
     Ak Miller and Wally Parks were a team their entire life.  He had a charisma and a charm that wooed everyone that came into his sphere of influence, and especially the ladies.  My father once told me that Bill Stroppe was the best mechanic that he ever met.  That’s pretty good praise, but makes me wonder where that puts Danny Oakes and a host of other great mechanics and race car builders.  Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and “Von Dutch” vied for the craziest personalities of the last century.  Both were bigger than life and the stories told about them, whether true or false, are what made them cult figures for today’s youth.  They still have a following that goes beyond what they achieved.  They are men for the ages and ageless in their abilities and craftsmanship.
     Heroes of Hot Rodding is a book that keeps the hot rodder in mind.  Fetherston wastes no time in bringing the readers a group of likable guys and one gal and stories and photos that give the essence of the people being portrayed.  The text is easy to read and yet it can also be considered a historical text for it saves and records the golden years of hot rodding and the people who made it happen.  Many readers will appreciate the alphabetical nature of the chapters, with Joe Bailon first and Gene Winfield last.  This is a book that hot rodders can read a chapter or two, put down, then come back later to read more.  The systematic approach to doing short biographies makes this a fast, but pleasant reading.  It also makes it easy for the author to do a second and third book as he interviews more hot rodders. 
     I especially liked the chapters on Don Garlits, Tommy Ivo and Tom Medley.  I don’t get the opportunity to see Garlits that much as he lives on the east coast and so every story that I can get on Don is a treasure.  There is no end to the stories that Ivo and Medley can tell us.  Ivo once told us about the time that he was bugging Dave Zeuschel at his shop.  Ivo’s curiosity knows no bounds and evidently Zeuschel’s patience was likely short, for he put a hook on Tommy’s belt and hoisted him up to the ceiling, then turned off the lights, locked the door and left his shop, leaving Ivo to swing in the air.  Dave did come back soon thereafter and let Ivo down, but the retelling of the story keeps getting better and better. Heroes of Hot Rodding is a book worth adding to your library.  It rates a 7 out of 8 spark plugs and a buy recommendation. 
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM. 

Gone Racin’… Inboard Racing – A Color Album, by Bob and Elladine Foley.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz

   Inboard Racing – A Color Album is a soft cover book with 62 color plates showing hydroplane and runabout race boats and their drivers.  The text and photographs are by Bob and Elladine Foley; this volume is a companion album to Inboard Racing – A Wild Ride.  The book measures 11 inches in width by 8 ½ inches in height. While it is called an album, it has the feel of a calendar, only without the dates.  Resist the urge to cut out the photos and mar the book, but if you have to frame these fine prints to adorn your garage or den, buy an extra book to keep on your coffee table.  The text is limited but the photographs are impressive and are a full 11 by 8 ½ inches on high quality, heavy bond and glossy-waxed paper.  The author/photographer is the editor and publisher, with assistance from AuthorHouse in Bloomington, Indiana.  The ISBN# is 1-4208-8279-1(sc) and the Library of Congress number is 2005911104.  You can order Inboard Racing – A Color Album through the author or from Amazon.com, AuthorHouse.com or any bookstore.  The 62 prints have been culled down from over 250 color photographs that the author originally intended to include in Inboard Racing – A Wild Ride.  The size and cost of such a book became impractical and so Foley picked out 62 that would best represent their classes in boat racing.  The photographs were taken at races in Washington, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona.  The cameras used by the photographer included a Konica Rangefinder, 35-mm Argus C-20 and a Honeywell Pentax H-3.  The photographer used 35-mm color transparency film.

   When Bob Foley wasn’t racing his boat, Full House Mouse, he and his wife, Elladine Foley, were taking photographs and recording the history of boat racing as they witnessed it. Inboard Racing – A Color Album is the result of that effort and we can only hope that Foley continues to publish more of his work in the future.  Since there is little text and that is captions, the book is not broken down into chapters but into the various American Power Boat Association (APBA) boat racing divisions.  The first category is the 225 cubic inch Hydroplanes.  The 225 class used the Ford and Mercury flathead V-8 engines and were capable of speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.  The flathead V-8’s were later superseded by small block Ford and Buick engines.  The boats pictured in this class were Bob Best Jr’s Special Edition, Marion Beaver’s Uncle Gummy, Gummy’s Ghost driven by Wayne Thompson, After Math driven by Mickey Remund and Ty Evan’s Ty’s Toy.  The E Racing Runabouts ran either a 246 c.i. engine on methanol or a 330 c.i. motor on regular gasoline and were capable of speeds in excess of 100mph.  Wes Knudsen is pictured driving his boat Stardust, which won 5 National Championships.  Bud Murphy is shown in his 4-time National Championship boat, the Go For Broke.  The next category was the 150 c.i. and 2.5 litre hydroplanes and they often used the Ford V8-60 midget engines.  Four boats are featured; Bud Meyer’s Avenger 9, Jay Root’s La Cucaracha II, Howard Arnett’s Invader IV and Dr Hank Eastman’s  Piranha too.

   The Ski Racing Runabouts had a 400 c.i. maximum engine size and were often powered by Chrysler Hemi’s or the big block Ford V8’s.  Ed Olson is shown in his Cream Puff IX, Don Towle is driving the Haf Gast Too, Tony Maricich is in Suddenly! And Ladd Penfold is seen in Hullin’ Ice.  The highly popular 136 and 145 c.i. hydroplanes changed over the years to allow the Ford V8-60’s, Jeep, Henry J, Ford Falcon 6 and the SOHC Ford Pinto engines.  Photographs include Drone, driven by Jim Vallely, Allan Ford’s Lanky, the Miss SM driven by Jim Mitchell, Guy Del Vecchio’s Sunset Too, Kenny Dumbauld in his Obsession and the Six Pak driven by Dick Sanders.  The 280 c.i. hydroplane class was created to run showroom stock engines.  The most popular were the 265 c.i. Chevrolet small block and the 273 c.i. Plymouth motor.  Those shown are; Tijuana Taxi, raced by Jerry Ballard and Gerrit Piek, Joe Siracusa’s Pepperoni, Jack Schafer Jr’s Foxy Lady, and Wade In The Water, driven by Wade Williams.  The Crackerbox Runabouts are still a fan favorite.  These little boats are two man affairs with a driver and riding mechanic.  They bounce around and swivel while reaching speeds of 100mph.  The Patterson built hull Hot Cinders won the National Championship on three occasions.  The Lou Brand/Leonard Fulkerson Orangoutang was twice Crackerbox National Champion.  Tom Patterson, Bob’s brother, is shown in the Sparkler.  The Pattersons’ are still active in Crackerbox racing.  Three boats are listed in the 7 litre Division I and II; Bill Allan’s Tool Crib Special, Warren Wolbert in Miss Heidelberg and Miss San Diego, driven by Bob Boster.

   The smallest category is the 48 c.i. and 850 cc hydroplanes.  Small but full of action and suspense and good competition for the money invested.  Pictured in this class are; Ed Kelson in the Racket III, Kenny Harman’s Tinker Toy, Jack Philpott in Miss Better Bilt, Bob Brown in Go’n’Broke, Al Varden in Wing Ding, Bob Foley in Full House Mouse, Tom Davis Jr in PBS Blue Chip, Randy Pickton in 2 Slo II, Chuck Dale in Good Grief Too, Darrel Olson in Double Trouble, Steve Ball in Dragon Fly, the author in Full House Mouse, and Hang In There.  The Super Stock Runabout class allowed for a 428 c.i. motor and a sixteen-foot hull length and became a very popular flatbottom racing division.  Shown in the photographs are Don St John in Gil Suiter’s Never Enuff, Paul Grichar in Ron Cuellar’s Gone Broke and Jack Jones in Screaming Yellow Zonker.  The 72 c.i. hydroplanes use Datsun and Toyota engines and reinvigorated the smaller classes.  Greg Foster is shown driving Howard Arnett’s Race Ace.  The 266 c.i. and 5 litre hydroplanes use Chevy, Ford, DeSoto and Pontiac motors and the hull length was extended from 16 to 19 feet over the years.  Mickey Remund is shown in The Going Thing, Bud Burns is in the Shady Lady, Lloyd Marschall is in his Wickens built Mai Tai and the Patterson built Prancin’ Ansen is shown waiting for the five minute gun.

   The K Racing Runabouts had no restrictions on engine size or modifications.  The Chevrolet 427/454 c.i. engine was a very popular motor in this class.  They often added methanol or nitromethane fuel.  Hallett, Sanger, Biesemeyer, Rayson Craft, Hondo and other boat builders competed ferociously in this category.  Those pictured include; Vic Van Ella in Oni Too, Paul Grichar in the Hobbit, Phil Bergeron in the Big Splash, Don St John in another Hobbit named boat, Al Grundstrom in Rare Hare and Jiffy, Gordon Jennings in Liberty, and the boats Suddenly! and Coldfire.  The final class is the Unlimited hydroplanes, which replaced the Gold Cup Class.  The Gold Cuppers were limited to 725 c.i. or 12 litres, but the unlimiteds had no limit on engine size.  They used Allison V12 and Rolls/Royce Merlin V12 engines and their designs became ever more aerodynamic.  Boat builders and designers like Anchor Jensen, Dan Arena, and Ted Jones created superfast boats.  The class eventually adopted the turbine engine and capsules for safety and endurance.  Featured are Fred Alter in Miss Bardahl, Harrah’s Tahoe Miss, Dean Chenowith in the Miss Budweiser, George Henley in Pay ‘n Pak, and the Thunderboats Miss U.S. and My Gypsy.  Bob and Elladine Foley have put together a wonderful pictorial display of the boats that raced in the golden age of boat racing.  The author can be reached at .

Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
Gone Racin’…
Inboard Racing, A Wild Ride, by Bob Foley.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz

   Bob Foley is a long time boat racer and avid historian of the sport of motorized boat racing.  He writes informative and interesting stories for websites on the history and heritage of boat racing.  His latest work is called Inboard Racing, A Wild Ride.  Foley researched the material and was assisted with the publishing, editing, layout and printing by Author House Publishing, in Bloomington, Indiana.  Inboard Racing, A Wild Ride is a soft cover book with a glossy cover and is printed on high-quality, non-glossy mat bond paper.  The cover shows two color photographs on a high-gloss heavy bond paper.  The book is 287 pages in length and there are 103 black and white photographs in addition to the two color pictures on the cover.  There were two short notices/letters and 41 charts showing racing outcomes and other data.  The ISBN is 1-4259-0354-1 (sc) and the Library of Congress number is 2005910524.  You can order the book through Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Author House.com and from the author. Inboard Racing, A Wild Ride has an introduction, 16 chapters, 8 appendices covering a large amount of information and a glossary, but no index.  Foley kept extensive notes on his boats and racing career, much of which appears in the appendices.  The text is full and detailed and gives a very good description of what it was like to go boat racing in the heyday of the sport.  Foley raced during a period of time that will probably never be replicated again.  His personal knowledge, combined with the research that he does, gives him a special ability to tell the story of inboard racing at its very heart.

   Chapter One gives a brief overview of drivers, owners and designers of Unlimited Hydroplane racing in the middle of the 20th century.  Men such as Bill Muncey, Stan Sayres, Ted Jones, Anchor Jensen, Lou Fageol, Les Staudacher, Danny Foster, Joe Taggart and many more fan favorites battled for those coveted Gold cups.  The names of those boats conjure up the dreams of our youth.  There were Slo-Mo-Shun, Tempo, Gale, Miss Thriftway, Miss U.S., Miss Pepsi, My Sweetie Dora, Breathless, Hawaii-Kai, Maverick, Shanty and other nostalgic names from the past.  Foley grew up in this era and marveled at the excitement of this dangerous and enthralling sport.  He and his father built their first boat while Bob was in high school in 1955, an outboard runabout.  In Chapter Two, Foley tells us that he graduated from college in 1962 and went to work for General Dynamics Corporation in San Diego and this allowed him to continue to be near the sport of motorized boat racing that he loved so much.  After watching the sport up close for five years, Foley decided that he needed to build his own boat and join the pursuit of speed.  Chapter Three discusses how Mickey Remund gives Foley the sound advice of buying a good used boat instead of building his own.  He took Mickey’s advice and bought John Lyle’s Full House Mouse, a 48 cubic inch hydroplane, powered by a Crosley engine.  Chapter Three is written with a special love, because on July 4, 1967 Foley enters his first race in order to qualify for his APBA license as a certified boat racer.  He takes the reader on the qualifying laps with the pathos of a first time novice and the understanding of a veteran reliving those pulse beating memories. 

   Foley is a quick learner and pays attention to the men who have come before him in racing.  These men would become his lifetime friends and on the shore they would do anything they could to help him learn and perfect his skills.  On the racecourse they would try every trick in the book to beat him and this only served to teach Foley the finer arts of racing.  His first victory in his class came just two months later on Labor Day, 1967 at Marine Stadium in Long Beach.  Foley has a wealth of stories to tell about those exciting races.  He also takes the reader on a mechanical tour of the boat, engine and the dynamics of racing.  Chapter Four finds Foley a hardened veteran, just months into his boat racing career, finishing 3rd at the Parker Fall Regatta and winning the 1968 Southern California Speedboat Club (SCSC) Kickoff Regatta at Marine Stadium.  Full House Mouse follows that up with a victory in the 1st Annual Arizona Invitational Powerboat Regatta six days later.  The prize money totaled $75 and a case of STP additives.  A week later Foley blows up the engine at Parker and is “on the beach.”  The author shows photographs of the Crosley engine stripped down and patiently explains how he adapted the engine to give him superior performance.  Chapter Five is detailed, long and thorough.  He shows the reader that knowing the mechanics of the engine and the aerodynamics of the boat are just as important as driving skills in winning races.  In Chapter Six, Foley breaks in his new engine and takes 2nd place at the San Diego Mayor’s Trophy Regatta in October, 1970.  At the next race his luck turns sour as a broken strut allowed the shaft to whip and the propeller to chew a hole in the bottom of the boat.  He beached his damaged boat and was fortunate not to have sunk on the course during the race itself.  A driver in the water, unseen by the officials can be a harrowing experience.

   At the start of the 1970’s, the 48 cubic inch class is struggling to find boats to race in their category.  It is common to see only two or three such boats at a regatta.  Full House Mouse, Chuck Dale’s Good Grief Too and Kenny Harman’s Tinker Toy are fierce competitors with Dale taking many of the early races, while Foley starts to dominate later.  Chapter Seven discusses the changeover from the 48 cubic inch to 850-cc class of racing and the stimulus that had for several new owners to build boats for this category.  The change wasn’t beneficial to everyone, for the Crosley engine would be giving up 67 cc (almost 10%) to the new engines.  For a while, Foley stepped up to the 145 class and took excellent notes from those races to use in this book.  1972 was a difficult year for Foley, but the results changed once he got to Marine Stadium where he always seemed to do so well.  He took all three heats and the trophy, six years to the day he first got his license.  In Chapter Eight Foley tells us about the exciting 1973 season and Full House Mouse is doing well, considering her age.  The Mouse had been built in 1954 for Sonny Meyer and had gone through five owners.  While testing his boat on Mission Bay in San Diego, the engine blew and the Mouse swerved violently, throwing Foley into the water.  The Western Divisional attracted the best drivers and boats in their classes.  There was Julian Pettengill, Paul Grichar, Gordon Jennings, Newt Withers, Leo Bonner, Wendell Page and Cap Selleck.  Chapter Nine describes the other boats that Foley drove in the year after his accident.  He tells how difficult it is to adapt to new boats, engines and classes. 

   Foley and Chuck Dale find a good deal on used Bearcat outboard motors in Chapter Ten.  Jack Schafer offers Foley the Hang In There De Silva hull that Schafer had crashed.  Foley was back in the race again.  The author was now the Inboard Race Secretary for the Pacific Power Boat Club and his family was growing.  He tells us about the tragic death of Gordon Jennings on Utah Lake in 1974, an event that struck a deep chord in all of boat racing.  By the end of the ‘70’s, Foley and the Full House Mouse had reached the end of their career.  The boat was over twenty-five years old and the 850 class was struggling for contestants.  Foley retired from racing but kept his love for the sport.  In chapter Eleven, Foley tells us some interesting stories that he observed in boat racing and in his interviews, especially the battles between the Mr Bud and the Avenger.  Chapter 12 describes the smaller hydroplane classes and their rules.  Chapter Thirteen details the rules and regulations for the intermediate hydroplane classes and chapter Fourteen discusses the larger and more powerful hydroplane classes.  In chapter Fifteen, Foley describes the racing runabouts and Crackerbox boats.  Chapter Sixteen reverts back to the Unlimited hydroplanes and some of the stories he has recorded.  The last part of the book is a series of appendices, footnotes and log book records that will be of interest to mechanics and drivers.  There is also a glossary of terms that the reader will find interesting.  Foley has written articles on the history of boat racing and has published two books.  The author has a natural writing style and a warm feeling for the men and women he knew in boat racing.  His stories are enchanting and bring back the glory days of a little documented sport.

Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM



From Spencer Simon;  PrestonTucker's first Dealership 2 minutes from my home on A street between Mission and Main street that was run by Herb Schuber in Hayward ,California. I was aso told that The wife of Al Slonaker of the Grand National Roadster of Oakland California own a Tucker Automobile back in the days.

[Email Land Speed Racing]


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

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Land Speed Racing Newsletter All Rights Reserved
No Portion May Be Used Without Our Written Permission
Contact Mary Ann Lawford: 208-362-1010
Email: maryann@lawfordmedia.com