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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 309 -  February 17 , 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,  Pat Garlits,  Ron Ewald,  Joel Jackson, Tommy Ivo,  Chip Foose,  Tex Smith Dave Lindsay, Roger Rohrdanz
 

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:      
     Don’t forget the Celebration of Life for Bud Meyer on March 1, 2014.  Bud was the nephew of famed Indy 500 driver Louis Meyer, who won the big show three times.  Bud was also a boat racer of note and attended the Boat Racers Reunion which I held at the Motorsports Museum.  I introduced Bud and Joan at the last Gilmore Roars Reunion at the Petersen Automotive Museum.  Joan wanted me to introduce her to some of the racers and the first person I saw was Bud.  It was also the last racer that I ever introduced Joan to, for Bud fell in love immediately and that was that.  I joked with Bud that I deserved a “finder’s fee” for introducing the two of them.  I may take up marriage brokering as a profession.  I asked him to take me back to the “Old Pagoda” to watch the race, and his reply to me was, “Hey, I always had to stay in the shop while the other guys got to go play.”  Bud had the greatest sense of humor.  He was also a generous and hard working man.  He earned the respect of so many in the automotive industry and now we should all go and pay our respects to him.
     You will notice that there are a lot of stories, book reviews and articles recently.  It’s a blessing to have so many people offer to contribute.  We are a free publication and can’t pay any fee for these stories, but many have caught the spirit and are sending them to me to reprint and we are grateful to them.  In some cases there won’t be any photographs accompanying the articles and this is deliberate, so that you will go to the websites where they are located and frequent those sites as well.  We have at least another 500 articles, stories and biographies yet to publish and we will get them out as soon as possible.  I had a nice talk with our Society President Jim Miller and he told me that John Buck, the owner/promoter of the Grand National Roadster Show was very pleased with the land speed exhibit in Building 9 that Ron Main organized.  Buck told Jim that the attendance in the LSR area was larger than at any other exhibit.  Many thanks to Scott and Sandee Andrews and all the SCTA people for helping Ron put on a fantastic exhibition of land speed vehicles.  Thanks also to David Fetherston for partnering with Ron to create the book BONNEVILLE, A CENTURY OF SPEED.
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     The Bud Meyer Celebration of Life is planned for March 1, 2014 at the Auto Club Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.  The time is 11 AM to 2 PM.  Please contact the museum at 909-622-2133 for directions and for any changes in schedule.
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I got your contact information from Bob Frey who thought you could help me with my research.  I am a historic motorsports author/photographer/lecturer.  My current project deals with early racing Mustangs, those that competed between the Mustang's introduction in mid-April to End-of-Year 1964. This research extends across all racing genres to include drag racing, road racing, rallying, Bonneville, etc.  At Bonneville in August 1964, there appear to have been three Mustangs; Ak Miller, Karol Miller and Ernie Immerso.  Were there others?  It doesn't look like Karol or Ak set records but Ernie may have.  Are there full event results records somewhere for the 1964 Bonneville meet?  Whom do I contact for photos of these cars?  You had mentioned Jim Miller as a resource, but the ARHF only has a phone number for him, not an email address. Thanks, Mike Matune
 

MIKE: Jim Miller prefers phone contact.  You should also contact Jon Wennerberg at jonwennerberg@nancyandjon.org as he is the owner of www.landracing.com.  Wendy Jeffries is the owner of the Bonneville Racing News and her email address is salt@pollybutte.net.  Another source is the H.A.M.B. at www.jalopyjournal.com.  Send your request to them and ask them to post it to their newspapers or websites.  Some have active blogs and reach a large audience.  I will post your email to my website, but responses aren't always that productive.  The best way is to call people and then ask for additional phone numbers to call.  Jack Lufkin was Ak's partner and would probably know the people you are mentioning.  Some of the older SCTA guys might know the answers to your questions.  Try Glen Barrett and George Callaway.  They may know of others whom you could contact.  You can post as many notices as you want on my site and I encourage writers to do so to let our readers know what historical works are in the process of completion.  If this is confidential you should always tell me immediately as I publish all letters that come to me if they have historical information.  We are a site that archives all that we know on straightline racing and hotrodding. 
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     I had a conversation yesterday with Jim Miller and he was able to provide considerable information. You gave me some good advice about calling rather than emailing him and I appreciate that. You aren't the first person to mention H.A.M.B.; I'll have to give that a try. Mike Matune
    
MIKE: The H.A.M.B., www.landracing.com and other straight line racing websites have blogs.  Some of the material on the blogs has great material of historical significance, but much of it is just socialization.  Still they are sources that can be extremely valuable especially as their base of followers is so large.  The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter is much smaller in numbers and we are an all volunteer group, so there is no way I could accept or allow blogging on this site.  I also screen out the material that I receive, removing excess wording that doesn’t get to the point, so readers will miss OMG, LOL, sincerely, thank you, please and thousands of other words and sentences that are nice to hear, but really not part of a historical record.  But when all is said and done, all these other sources have their value and should be used when possible by serious historians.
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     Roger Rohrdanz, track photographer for the Auto Club Dragway at Fontana wrote to tell us that the track is reopening after building a sound wall and there will be an open house at the dragstrip on Saturday, February 15, 2014 for those interested in attending.  The following link will give you more information on the operating hours and dates of racing.   http://www.autoclubspeedway.com/Tickets-Events/Events/Auto-Club-Dragway/Open-House.aspx
     FEBRUARY     
February 15, 2014 Auto Club Dragway Open House: 9am-5pm. Street Legal Drags    
February 22, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. Race the strip, not the street; $20 to race, $10 to watch.  Auto Club Dragway Test & Tune     
February 23, 2014 PSCA Pacific Street Car Association     
February 28 - March 2, 2014 PSCA drag racing at Auto Club Dragway
     MARCH   
March 7 - 8, 2014 Ride along in a dragster with a professional driver or get behind the wheel and step on the gas.  Frank Hawley School of drag racing.  Street Legal Drags     
March 9, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal, NMCA West    
March 28 - 30, 2014 the 3rd Annual NMCA WEST Street Car Nationals. Racers from across the West converge in hopes of taking home a coveted Wally trophy.        
     APRIL 
April 2 - 4, 2014 Frank Hawley school of drag racing.  Street Legal Drags.
April 5, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal.  Open Test & Tune     
April 6, 2014 Frank Hawley school of drag racing.  
April 9 - 11, 2014 Frank Hawley school of drag racing.  Street Legal Drags     
April 19, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     MAY     
May 10, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     JUNE   
June 11 - 13, 2014 Frank Hawley school of drag racing.  Street Legal Drags     
June 28, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     JULY  
July 5, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
July 26, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     AUGUST
August 2, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
August 23, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     SEPTEMBER     
September 20, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     OCTOBER     
October 4, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal.  Frank Hawley School of drag racing.  
October 8 - 10, 2014 Frank Hawley school of drag racing.  
October 15 - 17, 2014 Frank Hawley school of drag racing.  
     NOVEMBER     
November 1, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
     DECEMBER     
December 6, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
December 13, 2014 NHRA Drags: Street Legal
 

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     I am making progress on my search for race results and thank you again for your help.  I’d love to get to see those files again.  There is a man who is doing a story about the first 1964 (or 1965) Mustangs that drag raced.  He is also looking for some info on the 1964 Bonneville event and any Mustangs that raced.  I know Ak Miller ran one there and I have found a few others.  He asked me if I knew anyone who may have more detailed records about Bonneville and I thought of you.  Would it be okay if I gave him your e-mail address or would you rather not be bothered?  Let me know.  Thanks, Bob Frey
    
BOB: My email address is Rnparks1@juno.com and it is public record.  It is listed on the letterhead of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians at www.landspeedracing.com Jim Miller is the president of our society and also the historian and archivist for the American Hot Rod Foundation which is located on the website www.ahrf.com.   We would be happy to do what we can and to refer people with questions to places where they can get the answers they seek.  We are volunteers who seek knowledge on the history of land speed and drag racing.  Ak Miller has passed away, but his partner in those years was Jack Lufkin.   Whenever you or anyone else has a question on straightline racing don't hesitate to send them right on to us.  We will print their inquiry in our newsletter and look in our databases to see if we know who can help them. 
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     My name is Joel Jackson; I'm the teenager you spoke to at Jon and Nancy Wennerberg's
www.Landracing.com booth during the Grand National Roadster Show.  You expressed interest in my bio and wanted to know more about the records I set at Speed Week 2013.  I'm relatively new to the media and am not sure what information I should include.  If you could tell me all the info you need I would be happy to supply it.  Best, Joel A. Jackson
     JOEL: It's a nice change to have someone so young start on their biography, which is a person's life story.  You are just starting out on your life and so what you are going to create is more of a journal at this point.  Biographies dwell on the dates, places and people in your life.  You create a bio in a chronological pattern and you can start anywhere.  Some people will do a sort of family history starting with the most distant known fact in their ancestry.  Others will start with their date of birth and then go on to where they lived growing up, their schooling, hobbies, jobs, military experience, racing, marriage, children and what they are doing in their retirement. 
     Some biographies are broken down into years and people will write about everything that they did or remember doing in each year of their lives.  I've seen one biography that was 177,000 words long and another that was 300 words long.  The length is only important to the person recording their life for their descendants or friends to read.  You put into your biography the important things that you want people to know.  As a historian I like as much detail as possible, because events that may not seem of value to some are significant to others.  It is also important to realize that in writing a biography we are going on faith.  That is we are writing a history that we hope others will enjoy and find of value.  I can tell you that with the passing of time ALL THINGS become more and more important.  So what you think is of little value today becomes of great value two hundred years from now. 
     Biographies are not stories.  Bios are all about dry facts, such as dates of births, deaths, marriages, events, etc.  Bios are also about people and places, concerning you and those around you.  Stories are different than biographies.  Stories can be true, false or a little of both.  Stories can be placed INTO a biography, but are much better told separately from a bio and that's because stories take up too much space.  You should start on your bio while you are young and can talk to your parents and grandparents and get their history, for that is part of your history as well.  Then every year you can add to your bio.  Since you are young you can do a journal/bio and each year can be a chapter in your life's story.  But also write on your stories and place those in a special booklet.  Stories are what defines what we are like; our character.  Stories can be on a single event in a single day or over a longer period of time.  Stories tell a moral ending or can be humorous, sad, tragic or droll. 
     No matter what you do in life, one of your greatest achievements outside of having a family and children, is the biography and stories that you leave behind when your life is over.  Money, fame and objects are lost over time, or dulled to the point where no one cares.  But a biography and stories left behind enriches future generation with a heritage.  A heritage is something that is shared long after money has been spent.  A heritage is something that is cumulative from your most distant ancestor to your most distant descendants.  Each person and each generation adds to one's heritage and that gift is beyond money or objects.  To leave your descendants with a bio, captioned photos, stories and heirlooms is to give them a sense of whom they are and where they came from.  It is your most priceless gift to the future; a heritage and a good reputation.
     Put your story together and if you need my help in editing just send it on to me and I will work on it and send it back to you with suggestions. 

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     Could you tell us about this book (Gone Racin, Don Garlits)?  Price, pictures?  Number of pages?  Thanks, Chris Lamberson
     CHRIS
: There is a GARLITS PICTORIAL VOLUME 1 and another book called GARLITS; BIG DADDY, of which there are two separate editions of the book.  The latter edition is much more comprehensive than the first edition.  I have book reviews on both of these books by Don Garlits at www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks.  Go to that website and you can get the info that you are looking for.  These books are quite knowledgeable about the Era in which Don raced.  As for prices you can sometimes find them on eBay, or check the internet for the contact information for the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida.  Don has a gift shop that can take your order and answer your question on prices.  Gone Racin' is not a book; it is my by-line that I write under.
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Listed below  is the final 2014 Schedule all the land speed events I am aware of around the world.  Please print it off and also save it for your reference.  This year’s schedule includes new events in Michigan and Australia and additional events in Texas joining last year’s first European event in England.  The land speed racing world is growing each and every year.  If additional new dates are made available for Texas though the Hennessey Performance Group, I will let you know.  Some of the smaller events are already filled but do not hesitate to check with the event promoters for their rules and for cancellations as well as date changes.  And remember, after last year’s rainout, the 2014 edition of the USFRA's World of Speed that will take place between September 6 - 9 and will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of racing on the historic Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
     We consider this event the 36hp and Big Block Challenge's "National's" and hope most of you will be able to join us as either racers or spectators (go to
www.saltflats.com for event updates).  Watch for Challenge E-Newsletter updates about the many special VW's that have plans on competing at Bonneville this year.  It is going to be a very special Volkswagen year on the salt in 2014.  The VW Challenge season takes off this week in Australia and continues for the next ten months.  Everyone have a great time, drive safe and may the Speed be with you.   Burly Burlile  https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.
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2014 INTERNATIONAL 36 hp and BB LAND SPEED CHALLENGE.  Coming Events Schedule 

     Feb 28th to Mar 7th   Speedweek Australia (36hp & BB Challenge). Lake Gairdner, Australia. Annual land speed event (no facilities-very isolated). Volkswagen racers and spectators welcome. For information, visit http://www.dlra.org.au.    For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.  
     March 21-23 The TEXAS MILE (36hp & BB Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Beeville, TX.  All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.info@nasatx.com or email info@texasmile.net.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.             
     Apr 12-13 The Mojave Mile (36hp & BB Challenge). Mojave, California.  This all new one and a half mile event will allow additional track distance adding greater top speed opportunity for setting Volkswagen land speed records.  All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information, visit
http://www.mojavemile.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.     
     May 17 - The Houston Half Mile (36hp & BB Challenge). Houston, Texas.  The 1/2 mile event promoted by the Hennessey Performance group will take place at the Ellington Airport during the Aero's & Auto's show.  Registration opens March 30th and is limited to 150 participants.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
http://www.usmileracing.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.           
     May 3-4 East Coast Timing Association (36hp & BB Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.        
     Jun 7-8 East Coast Timing Association (36hp & BB Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio.   All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.      
     Coming Summer 2014 - US Houston Half Mile, Texas. 
www.usmileracing.com.       
     Jul 4-6  The Michigan Mile (New). One mile standing start time trial, Battle Creek, Michigan.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.themichiganmile.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.     
     Jul 12-13 East Coast Timing Association (36hp & BB Challenge).  One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.        
     Jul 18-20 Loring Timing Association (36hp & BB Challenge). One and one half mile standing start time trial, Loring AFB, Limestone, Maine.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For LTA information visit
www.lta-lsr.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.           
     Aug 9-15 Bonneville Speedweek (NOT a 36hp & BB Challenge event).  Three and five mile S.C.T.A./B.N.I. sanctioned standing start time trial on the fabled Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  Full competition Volkswagen land speed racers only.  Spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.scta-bni.org.     
     Aug 16-17 Air-Cooled Elvington Mile (36hp& BB Challenge).  "EL2K14."   One mile standing start time trial, Elvington Air Base, York, England.   All air cooled VW racers and spectators welcome.  Noise limit restrictions mandatory.  For information visit
http://www.straightliners.co.uk or trevor@straightliners.co.uk or "Walter DeVette" fusca03@tele2.nl.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.        
     Aug 30-31 Loring Timing Association (36hp & BB Challenge).  One and one half mile standing start time trial, Loring AFB, Limestone, Maine.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.lta-lsr.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.       
     Coming FALL 2014 - The US Houston Mile – Texas. 
www.usmileracing.com.      
     Sept 6-9  World of Speed (130 MPH Club and 36hp & BB Challenge).  One mile standing start time trial (along with unlimited top speed streamliners and hot rods on the long eight mile course) at the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, UT.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.saltflats.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline info https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.  Pit set-up and tech inspection begins September 6th.    
     Sept 27-28 East Coast Timing Association (36hp & BB Challenge).  One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge
     Sep 30 - Oct 3 World Finals Speed Trials (NOT a 36hp & BB Challenge event). Three and five mile S.C.T.A./B.N.I. sanctioned standing start time trial on the fabled Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  Full competition Volkswagen land speed racers only. Spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.scta-bni.org.     
     Oct 24-26 The TEXAS MILE (36hp Challenge).  One mile standing start time trial, Beeville, TX.  All VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information visit
www.info@nasatx.com or email info@nasatx.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.          
     Nov 22 AUSTRALIA Snowy Mountain 1000  (one kilometer course).  Originated in 2012, this will be the second event held at the Snowy Mountain Airport near Coomba, NSW.   VW racers and spectators welcome.  For information contact 
snowymountains1000@hotmail.com.  For 36hp & BB Challenge guideline information visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge.        
     Below are “NON 36hp” events, non 130 Mile Club events and require full competition ready race cars per the SCTA/BNI rulebook: Contact
www.scta-bni.org for the 2013 Rule Book.  New Classic race classes for 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 and 3.0 pre 1981 automotive bodies including Volkswagen air cooled.  Also ideal for Spectators.    
     El Mirage Dry Lake – California (non 36hp Challenge event) 
May 17-18 
Jun 22 
Jul 13 
Sep 14 
Oct 19 
Nov 8-9       
     QUESTIONS; Please contact Burly Burlile at
burlybug@comcast.net or call 435-752-4359  or 435-890-8832 M.S.T.
 

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Auto Club Dragway at Fontana has a new Sound Barrier.  Story by Richard Parks, Photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.  Reprinted with permission from Internet Brands.  To see the photos go to
www.hotrodhotline.com.  

     Roger Rohrdanz, Dave Lindsay and I recently made an excursion out to the Auto Club Dragway at Fontana to see for ourselves how much work has been done so that the drag strip can re-open. Roger was the dragstrip photographer prior to the closing of the drag strip. Dave Lindsay is the owner/publisher of www.SoCalCarCulture.com that provides information on car shows and events throughout Southern California. It is a website that is very important to check in order to plan your itinerary. Litigation by homeowners prompted a judge to order the closing of the drag strip until an environmental impact report could be prepared and acted upon by the court. A sound wall was proposed as a way to satisfy the intent of the law at a cost exceeding one million dollars and the judge authorized the reopening of the drag strip. This came as a welcome relief to Southern California drag racers that had recently lost Irwindale Speedway's drag strip when the promoters went into bankruptcy. Irwindale has since reopened and now provides 1/8 mile public drag racing. The Auto Club of Southern California Dragway at Fontana, California is slated to re-open February 15, 2014, according to David Talley, Director of Communications for the Auto Club Speedway. Previously there had only been a sloping ten foot concrete wall and an eight foot chain link fence between the track and a railroad track on a further ten foot setback. Not much room for a concrete noise barrier, but engineers can design remarkable structures in such a small space.
     The plaintiffs were a local group of concerned citizens in the San Bernardino County area known as CCoMPRESS, and were represented by Chatten, Brown & Carsten legal firm. They were upset about the noise from the railroad trains and the drag cars at the drag strip. The new sound barrier will not address the issue of railroad noise, but their suit against the drag strip has been adjudicated and released by the court. This lawsuit has dragged on for years and caused harm to many loyal drag racers that used the track in the past. It may now be possible to have a renewed street legal program added to the normal racing leagues that used the drag strip in the past. The drag strip had existed on the south side of the huge raised oval track in the past and the original environmental study authorized the drag strip in that location. The owners of the property moved the drag strip to the northern end of the property where the oval track could not shield the new location from creating noise that bothered the residents.

     The Auto Club Speedway has invested a great deal of time and money to bring drag racing back to Fontana. The wall is massive, some 20 or more feet high, a quarter mile long and each slab is a good thirty feet in length by six inches thick. The rebar reinforced concrete slabs were poured on the pavement in about a week and after drying were lifted by a heavy crane onto I-beams, where they were bolted into place. The steel I-beams are buried in reinforced concrete pylons eighteen feet deep. Another section of the wall covers the back of the track creating an L-shaped structure so that the noise will be focused upward where it will dissipate straight up into the atmosphere. Prior to this the noise would hit the small, ten foot high retaining wall that was built at a 45 degree angle and this would condense the noise and shoot it straight out towards the surrounding homes, which were a mile away. The next step is the removal of the heavy equipment, the continued curing of the concrete slabs and the painting of sponsor names and advertisements. I asked if there would be increased seating capacity, but Mr Talley did not know at this time. What Auto Club Dragway at Fontana needs is more spectator involvement; for Auto Club Speedway has proven their commitment to continued drag racing and now it is up to the fans to support this rather interesting and unique drag strip. No one has worked harder or has been more committed during the closure of the drag racing facility than the Auto Club of Southern California. They worked diligently to keep the topic alive and their support, both monetarily and through their prestige in the community has made all the difference. Now it’s time to go racing.
Gone Racin' is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.
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Honoring the 100th Anniversary of Bonneville.  Story by Richard Parks, Photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.  Reprinted through the courtesy of www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.  Photos can be seen at www.hotrodhotline.com.  

     The Century of Speed exhibit at the 65th Annual Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) brought together around 60 of land speed racing’s (LSR) most unique cars in a variety of categories and classifications.  Ron Main approached the promoters of the GNRS with the idea of having a very special exhibit of land speed racing cars.  John and Annika Buck liked the idea and gave space in one of the buildings to Ron and others in the SCTA/BNI to organize a special exhibition and call it The Century of Speed.  This special show also made it possible to showcase Ron Main’s and David Fetherston’s remarkable book; BONNEVILLE, A CENTURY OF SPEED.  The first 2000 books were given by Ron and David to the SAVE THE SALT program to help in the replacement of salt on the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Western Utah.  Many hard working volunteers came together to help Ron Main fill the building with land speed race cars and sponsor’s booths.  People came from all over the world to see this special exhibit of land speed racing cars and the people who race them.
     The first moment that I entered the cavernous building 9 and looked at the history of LSR before me I felt overwhelmed.  The scope and breadth of the cars and motorcycles was simply amazing.  Ron Main and the volunteers spent a great deal of time to give this a very special look.  It took some time, just to move in and around the aisles before I could truly appreciate all the men and women and their vehicles on display.  My family has been involved in LSR since 1931 and we are newcomers compared to the first competitors from Europe and Daytona Beach.  In 1914 a four cylinder, 300 horsepower Blitzen Benz ran at the Bonneville Salt Flats and was clocked at 142.8 mph.  The current record, as of 2014, for a wheel driven, piston powered vehicle is over 430 mph.  This is the reason for the exhibit being named, "A Century of Speed.”
     Land speed racing is one of the two original automotive speed sports; the other one being town to town road racing.  In the very first day of the automobile there were men and women who took this new vehicle and tested the endurance and speed of their cars against others.  There is no prize money or purse to be won in LSR.  It is simply the pursuit of man and machine against time itself.  Land speed racing is a sport of gentlemen and ladies, and also egos and stubbornness.  Whatever glory is to be found is fleeting, but that is not why men and women compete.  It is the sheer thrill of making your vehicle and design transcend all that has gone before.  Even if a land speeder succeeds in breaking an existing record barrier, he or she will applaud another LSR team to come and break their record.  Often we think of our sport as “how fast or how many miles per hour we can go,” but the actual contest is time.  It is time that we challenge and our enemies are wind, weather, breakage, aerodynamics, endurance and a host of other problems that confront LSR teams. 
     In this article I am going to name most of the race vehicles at the Grand National Roadster Show’s Century of Speed.  For some of them I have commentary, and for the rest I can only hope that our researchers in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter will use it as a template for additional research and report their findings to us.  I also hope that John Buck will give us another exhibit at a future show to bring together more of these record setting and unique vehicles for the public to enjoy.  Here’s the list; modified roadster (Pete Aardema), 2004 Ack Attack world’s fastest motorcycle streamliner (Mike Akatiff), 1949 So-Cal streamliner (Paul Atkins), 1970’s Pontiac coupe (Gale Banks), motorcycle powered streamliner car (Dave Brant), 1952 Buick Super ‘Artcar’ (Jeff Brock), 1934 Ford So-Cal coupe (Bruce Canepa), 1971 Triumph GT6 modified sport (Keith Copeland), the blue roadster (Mike Cook Jr), Alfa/Romeo modified sports class (Mike Cook Sr), Yacoucci/Costella streamliner (Jack Costella).  Mike Akatiff is a major competitor and record setter in streamlined motorcycles.  Gale Banks has raced and sponsored numerous entries and his Gale Banks Engineering company is well-known in racing circles.  Mike Cook is the promoter of Cook’s Shootout, a special Bonneville time trials reserved only for the fastest land speed cars on an invitational basis only.  Mike’s family goes back a long way in land speed and early drag racing.  His father was Doug Cook, a partner in the Stone/Woods & Cook drag car.  His son, Mike Cook Jr continues his father’s legacy.
     The red, white and blue star spangled flag paint job adorns Bruce Crower’s streamliner.  Others were the 2007 sidecar motorcycle streamliner (Tim Cunha), 1990 A/Blown fuel streamliner (Robert Dalton), 1934 world’s fastest Ford roadster (Dave Davidson), 1909 Blitzen Benz (Bill Evans), 1950 Ed Miller lakester (Don Ferguson Jr), 2000 Ferguson streamliner (Don Ferguson Jr), 2013 streamliner (Rob Freyvogel), 2013 beast sprint car (Damion Gardner), 2008 Mormon Missile streamliner (Lynn Goodfellow), 1942 P-38 belly tank lakester (Bobby Green), 2008 lakester (Scott and Seth Hammond), 1920 Burt Munro Indian Scout motorcycle (Tom Hensley), 1934 Ford street roadster (Jim Jard), 2005 Dodge Ram pick-up (Wayne Jesel), Knapp streamliner (Jim Knapp), 1992 Pontiac Firebird (Jerry Kugel), 1959 Red Head streamliner (Bill Lattin), 1937 Harley Davidson motorcycle streamliner (Jim Lattin), 1928 Frank Lockhart reproduction streamliner (Jim Lattin), 1941 Stu Hillborn dry lakes lakester.  The 1909 Blitzen Benz represents the first car in the exhibits century of speed and was famous in its day.  Jim Lattin has a large museum of motorcycles and race cars.  Jim often invites land speed racers to his museum when he completes a restoration on one of his famous race cars.  Jerry Kugel’s Firebird ran at Bonneville with a lot of fanfare.  Kugel is a master hot rod and roadster builder and the speculation was that his “doorslammer” would set some serious records.  It did, beating my brother’s (David Parks) record by 81 MPH in two separate categories.  Don Ferguson Jr represents another land speed racing family that has a history in the sport going back more than three generations.  He also has an impressive collection of old and valuable race cars.
     From the Museum of American Speed came the  Wee Eel streamliner (John Mackichan), 1997 Freight Liner diesel truck (Don Lemmons), 1989 streamliner (Mackichan/Schulz), 1990 Honda CRX-JDM (Miriam MacMillan), 1929 Ford roadster (Mike Manghelli), 1929 Ford Model-A William Brothers roadster (Tom McIntyre), 1952 Tommy Thompson streamliner (Tom McIntyre), McLeish motorcycle powered lakester (Derek McLeish), 1934 So-Cal Speed Shop Ford coupe (Bruce Meyer), 1948 So-Cal Speed Shop belly tank (Bruce Meyer), 1929 Ford roadster (Bruce Meyer), 2001 Nish Motorsports streamliner (Mike Nish), 2008 Speed Demon streamliner (George Poteet), 1969 Plymouth Barracuda ‘Blowfish’ (George Poteet), 1985 Chevrolet Camaro (Jack Rogers), Bonneville streamliner (Amir Rosenbaugh), 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona (Lee Sicilio), 1968 Chevrolet Camaro (Tony Taormina), and the 2010 SWIGZ Pro-Racing Electric Superbike (Dana Williamson).   Bruce Meyer began collecting and restoring rare racing vehicles before it was popular to do so and has a remarkable collection.  George Poteet and Ron Main with their Flat Fire and Speed Demon have almost monopolized the top speeds at Bonneville for many years.  Main is a colorful character in his own right.  He has a massive collection of hot rod and movie collectibles and created Main Attractions, which sold old Hollywood movies.  Main and Poteet have monopolized the top speed at Bonneville for a number of years. 
     Jim Travis lengthened the original 1960 squat streamliner named the ‘Pumpkinseed’ into the more streamlined version seen today.  Travis built the 1957 Plymouth Savoy reproduction car called “Suddenly.”  The original car was driven by Wally Parks at Daytona Beach and set the stock car record.  Ray Brock then ran “Suddenly” at Bonneville and after that no one knows what happened to it.  Other vehicles in the exhibit included; 1932 Ford roadster (Chet Thomas), Thomas streamliner (Dave Thomas), 1968 Mickey Thompson Challenger II streamliner (owned by his son Danny Thompson), 2014 Target 550 streamliner (Marlo Treit), 2011 motorcycle powered streamliner car (Jim and Mary True), 2013 Kent Fuller streamliner (Don Tubbs), 1929 Ford roadster (Steve Van Blarcom), class H streamliner (Dennis Varni), 909 Bonneville streamliner (Dennis Varni), the Markley Brothers belly tank (Dennis Varni), the Bob Herda streamliner (Dennis Varni), the Triumph ‘Orange Crate’ streamliner (Dennis Varni), 1957 Vesco streamliner (Rick Vesco), 1988 Vesco Turbinator streamliner (Rick Vesco), 1932 Ford roadster (Tom Walsh), 1969 Camaro ‘Big Red’ (Dave Ward), 1950 Kurtis built Cummins diesel (Bruce Watson), 1991 motorcycle streamliner (Sam Wheeler), and the 1927 Ford modified roadster (Anthony Young).  Danny Thompson is still active in land speed racing and will attempt to take one of his father’s old cars and go after a record in his class at Bonneville.  Dennis Varni has one of the nicest collections of famous LSR vehicles.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.
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    THE START OF IT ALL (well, duh, it hasn’t always been this way!).  By Le Roi Tex Smith.   Reprinted with permission of www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

     In the beginning, there was everything. And there was nothing. A few cared, a precious few had visions. Most had no conception, or even cared about, what might be, what might become. And it was rather biblical.  Desolate, sere, uncomfortable. But it was all car guys had to work with, and it had to start somewhere.  Sounds fairly dramatic, but the birth of American, and by extension, the world of hot rodding was much more mundane.  I’m retelling you all this because from my perusal of contemporary missives, it is apparent that all them whut has been borned of late have little, more often no, understanding how all of this hot rodding stuff came about. I’m talking about all of hot rodding here, bucko. The assumption is more and more that the hobby/sport has always been around, and will always be. It just popped into being, and it needs no support or protection.  Just remember, He who alloweth can also un-alloweth!  Them being the Big Bosses of Politik . 
     In reality, hot rodding is just one element of competition that is rampant in the American Psyche.  Hot Rodding is a mechanical manifestation of this competition, and with the introduction of the second automobile contraption in the late l800’s, competition was born.  One-upmanship took over, and those pioneers were instantly utilizing cut-and-try engineering (read: hot rodding) on everything automotive. Interestingly, formal engineering (like they teach in universities) has usually come after the fact of invention and innovation, seldom the other way around. 
     But, as I am often reminded from those guys and gals who labor in racing’s obscurity (the midnight garages, the pits, the test ovals, the back lots), just because something is used in racing doesn’t mean it is ideally suited for the highway.  In racing, just as long as it finishes a race in the lead means much more than it being ready for re-use.  A three hour five minute lifetime is good enough for a three hour gig! 
     I am reminded of a saying my old Air Force flight trainer said: “I am going to teach you how to get every bit of performance from your plane.  I am going to help you stay alive.  I don’t care how pretty your landing is, as long as you can walk away for another day!”  Very wise man.  If the original concept of an airplane was good, if the subsequent engineering was solid, the final test comes from ultimate use.  Now, if that experience can be applied to a mass utilized product, great. But it is not the be-all cure. Racing may improve the breed from Detroit, but the user needs some improvement, as well. 
     If we apply this to everyday street rod use, then it would behove each rod owner to understand his ride. Inside, outside, upside down. Nothing makes me more nervous than climbing in the cockpit of a homemade airplane, going for a spin. I don’t know that bird nearly well enough, and it is only as good as the worst weld. Same for a race car, same for a street rod. 
     Example: A few years back I ended up with a roadster that had been built by a recognized pro shop. Well, supposedly recognized and professional. One day I decided to pull the radiator and clean up the front end. To my dismay, I found that the front cross-member (suicide type) was within a simple hard road bump of leaving the chassis rails.  There were no gussets anywhere, the metal used was substandard, and here was an accident narrowly averted. Street rodding (and racing) only improves the breed when good common sense starts the game of play.  On this subject, I am reminded of what Boyd Coddington said when he came to Australia and discovered a person driving one of his highly publicized creations---“You Drive That Car???  We didn’t build it to be driven!!!!!!”
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So, What's in A Name?  By Le Roi Tex Smith.   Reprinted with permission from
www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

     Boy, talk about a storm, the win of the AMBR by a tub has caused just that. The common thread in all the commotion is that it is America's Most Beautiful ROADSTER!  Hey, I get it. I won that big one with a concept roadster when all the other roadsters were normal. Some growling then. I had a tub when one such was in no way the hot rod to have. But, let’s put this in context.  Back in the dark ages when Scritchfield formed the Roadsters Of Los Angeles, we had some intense debates as to what the cut-off year should be. Never about what a Roadster really was. Finally, we settled on l937, because we knew of some Ford roadsters of that year having been produced by Ford. So, in the way of a definition, we proclaimed that a roadster did not have roll-up windows. OOPS. What about the convertibles of the era. We had them in the club, and there was no grousing about their having roll-up windows.
     And we had tubs (touring’s, phaetons, whatever the name might be). And, we had convertible sedans, which had drop tops as well as wind-up door glass. In the end, by implied agreement, we decided we would decide on a case-by-case basis.  So, now we come to the AMBR argument. If the most prestigious hot rod club in the world accepts tubs as full members, should the National Roadster Show define otherwise? Should the contenders for AMBR be more narrowly defined? If that is to be true, how can one of the new “roadster” bodies with hide-away folding top mechanism and roll-up door glass be a roadster? In fact, how can any non-production Detroit type car body be a roadster? It gets even stinkier if we try a different definition, such as the number of seats. If a roadster can have only a single front bench seat, does that eliminate a roadster with a rumble seat?
     Can a REAL roadster never have full or partial fenders? Can it run without a hood? Must it never have a top? Can it only have Eisenglass curtains? Well, you get the delimma.  If this kind of narrow approach to the AMBR is applied, we end up with a dangerously singular approval of what is allowed in hot rodding, and that, bucko, is exactly opposite to the true nature of hot rodding. For me, the true and honest application of any title in hot rodding should be simply, Personal Preference.  No, the AMBR should be reserved for cars that we accept as roadsters, and that definition has been long established by the LA Roadster club. It should not be determined by a very narrow cross-section of individuals, who may possibly not even own a roadster. Perhaps not even a hot rod.  Well, that’s my take on it. You now have the floor.
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Gone Racin’…THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS; Stories of those that tried, and sometimes died chasing the Absolute Water Speed Record.  By Doug Ford.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  April 18, 2013.

     I reviewed another of Doug Ford’s books, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING, and found the writing style easy to read and the material well researched from an engineer’s perspective.  Ford understands the mechanical aspects, but his writing is not overly technical.  In THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS the author tells us about the men and woman involved in trying to set the absolute fastest time on water by a motorized boat.  That record stands at over 317 miles per hour (mph) for the water speed record and 763 mph for the land speed record.  But if you only look at the numbers and draw a quick conclusion that land speed racing is tougher or more dangerous, then you would be mistaken.  Water speed racing at any speed can be inherently more dangerous, more exciting and harder to achieve.  Wind velocity affects cars as it does boats and the land surface can sometimes be a little bumpy, but water is an utterly slipper beast.  Not only can boats slip and slide, hit choppy water, and react to wind, but they can dive and catch wind and fly; and that isn’t good.  Hitting the water at 200 plus mph is like driving into concrete; it breaks boats and drivers.  I think those that attempt to master water speed records must have no fear in them, or no sense.  But I admire them for the effort and acknowledge their skill and courage.

     THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS has the same overall look and construction of Ford’s other book; WHAT WERE THEY THINKING.  It is a six by nine inch paperback book, with 262 pages on non-glossy paper.  There is no index, and in a book that lists a lot of names, is a distraction for the historian or avid fan.  However, the Table of Contents suffices in getting the reader to the right chapter.  There is an Acknowledgment, Testimonials, Introduction, two appendices and a fine Bibliography to help the reader find other sources on the subject.  There are 24 Chapters, a prologue and an Epilogue.  The Appendices give records attained and attempted for propeller and non-propeller driven boats.  There are 224 black and white photographs and six color photographs.  All of the color photos are small and located on the cover.  The quality of the photographs varies depending on their age and on the quality of the paper, which is adequate, but not of the high quality you see in coffee table pictorials.  In addition to the photographs there are 16 drawings or diagrams.  The ISBN # is 978-0-9847589-1-3 and was printed in the United States by 48HrBooks.  THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS is also available from the author and from the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum at www.thunderboats.ning.com or call 206-764-9453.

     The reason for adding this book to your library is the stories in the book.  Another book on the subject is RUN TO GLORY, By Donald W. Peterson.  That book is only a third the size of THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS.  Ford’s book takes us back to 1928 and then up to today’s attempts at the record, while Peterson’s book covers a shorter period of time; 1967-89.  Ford’s book is what I refer to as a cornerstone book; a book to build your library around a certain subject.  Motorized boat racing has been around longer than motorized land racing if you broaden the scope of the subject by including steam powered boats.  Ford doesn’t take us there though, or include the Harmsworth Trophy racing (circular or oval course).  He does include hydroplane racing material for often the records set were by hydroplane racers in between racing dates.  The propeller driven boats dominated from the very earliest attempts, but by 1955 purpose built boats superseded the old hydrofoils, and they began using turbojets a full decade before the cars did.  Boat racing technology always seemed to be ahead of the land racing kind. 

     Gar Wood and Malcolm Campbell had dominated the 1930’s, pushing the water speed record from just under 100 mph to around 141 mph.  Stanley Sayres drove the Slo-Mo-Shun IV to 178 mph in 1952; the last propeller driven boat to set the water speed record. Donald Campbell, Malcolm’s son, set and reset the record seven times and increasing the mark by almost one hundred miles per hour in the process.  He revolutionized water speed racing with his radical design and turbojet powered engine; freeing the boat from the constraints of a propeller and drive shaft.  Donald was killed in 1967, the same year that Lee Taylor drove the Hustler to a new record at 285 mph.  Finally, Ken Warby from Australia upped the record to an unbelievable 317 mph in 1978 and there the record has stayed to this very day.

     The increase in water speeds have come about due in the power source; jet engines.  On land the jets first began to appear in the 1960’s and they revolutionized land speed racing as well.  Ford also includes propeller driven records in his book.  The value of THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS lies in the fact that the major players in the quest for the water speed record are portrayed in clear, concise and understandable content.  Their stories are heroic and often tragic.  Men like Malcolm and Donald Campbell, both who set multiple records and perished in trying to set more.  There are the better known racers and owners; Lee Taylor Jr, Stanley Sayres, John Cobb, Lee Schoenith, Kitty O’Neil, Les Staudacher, Art Arfons, Guy Lombardo and Ken Warby.  Then there are the stories of lesser known players; Hickling, Fahey, Verga, Hanning-Lee, and others. 

     Ford tells us the story of the rivalry between teams and countries; that played out on water and on land.  There are stories that end in death; a great many deaths of those that we admired.  Ford gives us glimpses into attempts that almost made history, but fell short.  Each story and each chapter stands alone and is interesting in its own way, but the book, taken as a whole, captures the real essence of what it is like to speed over that slippery water, defy the air currents, eddies, wakes and turbulence; and push boat and man to the edge of sanity.  For many, they died trying to do just that.  I recommend THE RISK TAKERS AND RECORD BREAKERS, as a pivotal part of your boat racing library and rate it a 7 out of 8 sparkplugs.

Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
 

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Gone Racin’…What were they Thinking?  By Doug Ford.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.   February 11, 2013.

     Doug Ford fell in love with hydroplane racing as a very young boy in the 1950’s in his hometown of Seattle.  That was about the time that hydroplane racing became a big event and the best and brightest among the hydroplane community began to make Seattle the place to be for this kind of boat racing.  Ford volunteered to help with various boat racing teams and to study aerodynamics and hydrodynamics.  This early influence inspired him to become an aeronautical engineer.  Opportunities were available at that time for a young man to meet the famous boat designers and to learn from them.  Over the next fifty years his passion for hydroplane racing and design brought him into contact with many racing teams, some of whom created “out of the box” solutions to streamlining, designing, construction and powerplants that didn’t work, but were inspiring nonetheless.  He began to write stories on these strange boats that should have worked, but didn’t and used his knowledge of engineering to explain why they failed.  His book is called What were they Thinking?  It is a marvelous study into the minds, abilities, limited successes and failures of a rare breed of powerboat racers.

     What were they Thinking? is a paperback book measuring 6x9 inches and is inches in thickness.  There are 281 pages containing 26 chapters on individual boat owners and an introduction, prologue and epilog.  There is a table of contents, introduction and acknowledgment section, but no index.  The lack of an index makes this work difficult for historians to do quick research, but Ford wrote this book mainly for entertainment.  The only color photographs are on the front and back covers of the book.  There are 27 very small color photos and 237 slightly larger black and white photographs.  The black and white photographs are for the most part grainy and not of very high quality.  The paper is fine for the text but does not allow the photographs to be as clear as they could be.  Some of the photographs are larger, but some are very small and the detail is difficult to make out.  But these are cosmetic problems and the photos do allow the reader to understand what the author is talking about.  The price is $24.95 and the author self-published his book through the printer 48HrBooks.  The USBN number is 978-0-9847589-0-6.  I googled the title and found this source to buy the book; Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum, phone (206) 764-9453 or email to museumstore@thunderboats.org.

     The strength of the book is the writing style and expertise of the author.  Doug Ford is and always has been enthused with a zeal for hydroplane racing and it shows in his writing.  He writes like an engineer, dissecting and reconstructing the men and their designs and why they failed and why they could have created new breakthroughs, but didn’t.  There are a few terms that Ford assumes the average reader will understand, like cavitation, step up, planing, sponsons, pickle fork and some aerodynamic and hydrodynamic processes.  Ford wrote his book for the fan of boat racing who already has a basic understanding of powerboat racing design and propulsion systems.  But it was interesting how quickly I picked up on his terminology and how easily he put complex engineering principles into the common vernacular.  The book is aimed at the more knowledgeable powerboat fan, and yet Ford brought to life some fascinating men who struggled in their passion for speed and performance.  Their trials and tribulations only made their failures to achieve success more riveting.  It is the old story of “what if,” and “how close,” and it applies to life in general and not just powerboating.  Each short story is well researched and highly interesting.  In a short space the author gives us a quick, but fascinating lesson about some of the great men and colossal failures in boat racing. 

     I literally couldn’t put the book down.  It’s a very easy book to read as each chapter details the life of the boat and her owner, designer and crew.  A few of the people I knew and was curious to see if the author did a credible job of research; and as far as I could tell he did his job well.  Part of his skill is that he just is a good writer.  The other part is that he explains so well and so easily why the boat failed from an engineering standpoint.  Ford made me feel like I was an engineer on this boat too.  And he made us feel for the people involved.  These men weren’t failures.  They succeeded in life in general and some of the principles that they came up with were adopted by others.  Ford makes us realize that failure is only a term to indicate that the project failed, not the people.  In the end, after all the technical terms have been explained the basic essence that is left is a series of stories about lives that really mean something to the author and to us as well.   What were they Thinking?  is a book that goes beyond the failures in our lives, to the greatness that inspires us all to try, again and again, because passion is what motivated these men. 

     I usually only read a few chapters and scan the rest, but in this book I read it thoroughly and found it so enjoyable that I would return and reread another chapter over again.  Ford was very familiar with the subject from the 1950’s through the 1990’s, and I kept thinking that there must be fantastic “thinkers outside the box” that existed before then.  Perhaps the author will do some research and use his engineering expertise to go back further in time and give us a book of “those who failed” from before the 1950’s.  Back to when the early designs looked more like sailing yachts and motors and propellers were new and exciting men and women of a new age of powerboats.  I hope Doug Ford will take up this challenge and bring us a book just as intriguing and interesting as What were they Thinking?

Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’…The Legends of Motorsport, by Dave Friedman.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

     Dave Friedman has compiled a pictorial book on road course and oval track racing called The Legends of Motorsport.  It is a photographic delight and suitable to display as a coffee table book for those who would like a quick, but enjoyable look at famous race car drivers and their cars from the 1960’s and ‘70’s.  The Legends of Motorsport is a hard-bound book with cloth binding along the spine and with high photographic quality bond paper.  The book measures 11 by 8 inches and is 1 inches in thickness, containing 336 pages.  It comes with a hard cardboard book sleeve in black with gold leaf printing.  The publisher is M.R.I. Publications with a copyright date of 1992 and the ISBN # is 0-9632751-0-0.  The frontispage has 22 signatures from the greats of road and oval course racing and they are; Chris Amon, Mario Andretti, Derek Bell, Jack Brabham, Vic Elford, George Follmer, Dan Gurney, Jim Hall, Charlie Hayes, Phil Hill, David Hobbs, Denis Hulme, Jacky Ickx, Innes Ireland, Parnelli Jones, Stirling Moss, Lothar Motschenbacher, Brian Redman, Jody Scheckter, Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Rodger Ward.  The table of contents lists a foreword by Dan Gurney, Eoin Young, John Surtees and Nigel Roebuck.  There are four chapters or subdivisions; Formula I, Trans Am/Stock Car, Sports Racers and Championship Cars.  There is almost no textual material, except in the forewords and the captions are spotty and terse at best.  There is no index and therefore the reader has to guess at what is in the book and may have to go back over the captions again and again to find a particular subject.  Lacking an index makes this book difficult for historians and interested readers to do any research using The Legends of Motorsport as a research tool.  The captions should try to explain the following; what, when, who, where and possibly why and how.  Often the captions only mention the racer and that he is “adjusting his helmet,” or “sitting in his car.”   We know the name of the driver, but little else of the event.

     The photographs are all in black and white, but they are stunning and representative of the finest in racing photography.  There are 415 of them, most are full page and each one a collector’s print.  The only drawback is that the reader needs to know his car racing history since The Legends of Motorsport isn’t going to give you much detail to work with.  But for the fan of Formula 1, road and oval course racing, this shouldn’t be much of a problem and if the book is out of print The Legends of Motorsport will end up in the collections of aficionados over time.  We can probably overlook the index and the captioning since this is a pictorial coffee table book and in that genre it is a major success.  The look of the book and the quality of the black and white photographs is simply superb.  Friedman lists in his acknowledgments the following names; Ernie Nagamatsu, Dick Wallen, Phil Harms, Kathy Weida, Evi Gurney and the editing and professional staff who assisted in the preparation of The Legends of Motorsport.  I mention this in the book review because these people are special.  Ernie Nagamatsu is a dentist by trade, but who loves car racing and has restored the Max and Ina Balchowsky Old Yeller II and the Spurgin/Giovanine LSR roadster.  Wallen and Harms are excellent writers and historians of auto racing.  Weida and Gurney are from All American Racers and Evi is the wife of Dan Gurney.  Dan wrote the first foreword in the book and mentioned that Dave Friedman had his photography shop across the street from Gurney’s All American Racers.  Friedman, according to Gurney, took all the photographs in the book, but there are no lists of credits. 

     Eoin Young also credits Friedman for all of the photographs and ranks him among the best of the photojournalists.  Friedman is one of the most unassuming writers I have ever reviewed, but I agree with Young in that these are some of the best photographs I have ever seen, both in action and still photography.  Young gives an account of Phil Hill being arrested in New Zealand for cashing a check that is funny, though at the time Hill didn’t think so.  Young tells us about the racing circuit and not all adventures were happy ones.  John Surtees writes the next foreword and talks about the racing scene in the 1960’s and how much it has changed since then.  Surtees also remarks on how fortunate it is that Dave Friedman had the talent to capture so many photographs of a period long gone.  Nigel Roebuck pens the last foreword and tells an interesting story of Ayrton Senna telling him about the new fly-by-wire electronics then in vogue in the cars.  “I don’t care for it,” said Senna, explaining that it somehow sapped the competitive streak in his driving ability.  That was said in 1992 and 18 years later after a series of fatal crashes; the car companies are rethinking their technology.  Dave Friedman adds a few pages and that is it for the text.  And what a shame that is, to lose the words and memories of these automotive racing greats.  I would have loved to hear Dave Friedman tell us how he took those photographs and how he positioned himself.  I would have loved to hear some of the stories that he overheard.  Friedman still is an active photographer according to his website, living in Newport Beach, California.  He has taken over 600,000 pictures and has a huge archive of racing programs.

     Since the book is a pictorial and makes no effort to hide that fact, it is unfair to insist that Friedman make it into something like a history or narrative.  The Legends of Motorsport is simply one of the finest examples of a motorsports pictorial that you can find.  I want it to be something else, but what it is will be good enough.  Friedman has 25 other books to his credit, such as; Lola, Shelby GT40, McLaren, Trans Am, Corvette Grand Sport, Laguna Seca Raceway, Pro Sports car racing in America, Shelby Cobra, Remembering the Shelby Years, Chaparral Can-Am, Indianapolis Racing Memories, Shelby American, Daytona Cobra Coupes, Carroll Shelby Racing Cobra, etal.  His impact on photojournalism has to be measured by the sheer output and talent that he brought to his work.  For the serious student of road course, oval track and photojournalism in motorsports it is imperative to add the works of Dave Friedman to your collection.  As a stand alone pictorial even with some ineffective captioning and no index, this book on its photography alone ranks as an 8 out of 8 sparkplugs. 

Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Since the beginning of the 36hp Challenge in 2005, many new 36hp stock and high performance parts have become available from a variety of suppliers. Below is a list of those I am aware of. Hopefully one or more can help you in your effort to compete in the Challenge.  Burly Burlile
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Suppliers as of February 11, 2014 (please advise if you know of any other new 36hp oriented high performance part suppliers)
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com.  Wolfsburg West 36hp Okrasa Cylinder Head & Carburetor Kits / Stroker Cranks / Performance Camshafts / Main Bearings / 36hp Stock Engine Parts and Gasket Kits
111 198 700 Complete Okrasa style dual port kit with original style linkage.
111 198 700A Complete Okrasa style dual port kit with CSP style bolt on linkage.
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/wolfsburg_new/engine/25-36hp/WW_dual_port_kit.cfm   Site for Okrasa style dual port cylinder head and dual carburetor kit details.
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=111198600     Site for Okrasa style 69.5mm stroker counterweighted crankshaft details.
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=111109021OK&AD=wired_08_12 Site for modified Porsche Pre-A cam ground- New camshaft-Not rebuilt!
http://www.wolfsburgwest.com/cart/DetailsList.cfm?ID=111251055OK   Site for Abarth style 4 tip stainless steel muffler details.
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http://aapistons.com
AA Performance Products
36hp Stock Pistons and Cylinders / H-Beam Connecting Rods-Chromoly-20mm & 22mm piston pins / Gasket Kits / Gland Nut / (Note: 80mm Big Bore Piston and Cylinders are in development! Due after April!) / Porsche 356 Crankshafts - require regrinding to fit 36hp cases and main bearings / Porsche 356 Flywheels
       Part Number
VW7700T36          77mm            1200cc 36HP 
VW8000T36          80x64mm      1286cc 36HP Big Bore Kit 
VW8300T40          83x64mm      1384cc  40HP Big Bore Kit 
008 11 80S            Porsche 356 Early 80mm 1500 cc 22mm Pin
008 4001 S74       Porsche 356/912 Crankshaft  4340 Chromoly Forged 
008 4001 S74B    Porsche 356/912 Crankshaft  4340 Chromoly Billet
H-4351VW            5.110" Forged Chromoly 36 HP "H" Beam Rod 
H-4351VW-B        5.110" Forged Chromoly 36 HP "H" Beam Rod 20mm Pin
008 200FVW        Porsche 356 Custom 200mm Flywheel   VW Clutch 
008 200F12VW    Porsche 356/912 Custom 200mm Flywheel  12V VW Clutch
Note from AA  - Flywheels - Both of them will mount on a 36hp crank they are already drilled to 8 dowels the same way a Porsche crank is done.  They also are both set up for 200mm VW clutch’s so you can get Kennedys for them. The difference between the 2of then is, 008 200FVW has a 6 volt ring gear and 008 200F12VW has a 12 volt.
Note from AA: "Some people modify our 80mm pre A Porsche kits to make them work in the 36hp, and I have seen others rework the 82.5mm 356 liners and make them work as well."
http://speedwellusa.com, Speedwell USA
36hp Ratio Rockers / Valve Covers / Reproduction Pepco Superchargers / Denzel Engine Tin / Pulleys
http://aircooledresearch.com, Air Cooled Research - Matthew Kenney
36hp High Performance and Stock Parts / Camshafts
http://www.bustoration.com, Bustoration - Ronnie Fietlesen
Wolfsburg and Speedwell Supplier
https://www.facebook.com/pages/BlackLine-Racing/171283692917772, Blackline Racing - Colton and Justin McAllister High Performance 36hp Engines
http://dprmachine.com, DPR Machine Shop – Jose.  High Performance 36hp/Porsche Crankshaft Bearing Regrinding & Balancing and Flywheel Rebuilding/Modifications
http://vintagewerks.com, VintageWerks - Ed Fall
Stock Vintage Bosch Distributor /Solex Carburetor / Solex Fuel Pump Rebuilder
http://www.okrasa.com, Mr Okrasa - Joe Ruiz Vintage parts and complete 36hp engine rebuilds.

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Sunday at the Winternationals was another fun day visiting with friends and burning some nitro. We dedicated all of this weekends fireups to Pat Garlits who went on to heaven last Sunday.  Today's driver were Robin Millar and Mary Bush...and they and the crowd loved it. Steve Gibbs arranged to parade all the vintage fuel altereds and dragsters down the return road in front of the crowd and from their cheers it's nice to know how much they love us old racers. Towing both dragsters in tandem behind my golf cart I had Leigh Buttera in my BankAmericar, the last front engine dragster her father Lil John built. In the Mastercar was my right hand man Mario Garcia who maintains and does every fire up with me (he loves to whack the throttle...especially with a girl in the seat!) Cyn's and my friends Alex Brown and Cristy Gibson went along with us in the parade and had a thrill when I introduced them to John Force who went on the win the event. My buddies TV Tommy Ivo and Chip Foose joined us in the pre parade BS session. Chip cackled my BankAmericar during a filming of an "Overhaulin"
show awhile back and is now finishing his own dragster with Steve Davis to join in the cacklefest fun we have. Ivo of course had to be the last in line in Ron Johnson's "Barnstormer" to reap the loudest cheers! OK, enough chat...here's some photos.
John Ewald

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Mario greets some of his fans...what...not a woman in sight???

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Ron Johnson ponders "how come Ivo gets all the fun?"

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"The Crew" My darlin Cynthia, Cristy Gibson and Alex Brown

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Leigh Buttera and Chip Foose

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Chip Foose and Leigh Buttera

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Pat & Don Garlits

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