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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 318 - April 11 , 2014
Editors-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:
President's Corner; Editorials; Spencer Simon,  Bob Steng,  June Nichols, Bob Nichols, Tex Smith, Linda and Richard Petty,   Jessica Clark

EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks.
     Here is a brief recap of a letter that I sent out a while back; “
I'm the editor at www.landspeedracing.com, not to be confused with www.landracing.com.  I get your comments from time to time and wanted to let you know that we publish informative letters like yours when given permission.  The difference between the two websites is that Landracing.com is reporting mainly on what's happening in the present and what will happen in the future (though they also do history on their site).  Their website is a major source for land speed and straight line racers and we wholeheartedly appreciate what they do.  Our website is more historical and focuses on the past, although we do post articles, research and stories on the present and future, which in a short time becomes the past.  I'm sending this to you to let you know that I will be glad to post entries from you in our newsletter.  The reason is that we are NOUN oriented. 
     In recording history we have to focus on the person, place, thing or object before we can record history and tell it and that's why every email, letter and story we write is full of nouns; dates, places, times, objects, people, etc.  We also do a lot of biographies and store them on our site and at
www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks and Roger Rohrdanz.  You might feel that what you have to say is unimportant, but I can assure you that's not true.  Sometimes historians may have only one, small source, such as a letter or program and that's all that we will ever know about that person, his car or times on the lake bed or salt flat.  My policy is to edit what I receive, so if material is personal I edit that out and leave in only names, places and events.  Add us to your list of favorites and check up to see what we are doing.  If you decide not to join us (a free site) then please start on a journal of what you are doing in land speed racing and leave it to your family.  It is sad indeed when our LSR people are forgotten as if they had never existed.”
     Here’s another email we received; “We need your review on Bonneville Century of speed.”   We’ll rush him a copy.  But we also need your help.  We need our members to write book and movie reviews on subjects that you know and love and submit them to this newsletter to publish.  Reviews are important to the authors and producers and this is our chance to help them.  It doesn’t matter how well you write or how much.  A good book review is one that informs the public of what the book is all about and then if they are interested they can purchase the book.  You don’t have to have a “name,” just a desire to help out and if you want me to help you compose a book review, then let me know.  You’ll get full recognition for your work.
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     Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR racer Richard Petty, has passed away at the age of 72, after a four year battle with cancer.  I remember Richard Petty on the billboards in Connecticut from the 1960's.  Richard Petty's popularity was all over town with the famous STP logo.  I had some connections with his friends and my car being in his 1960 Rod Builder magazine.  I hope the best for him for all of the great things he has accomplished throughout his life.  My condolences go to Lynda's family and to Richard.  See the story at
http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar
     Congratulations to the new historians to the Society.  I purchased a 1935 Miller Indy car from David Wilkinson's estate.  He was a friend of Jim Palmer.  I am learning to build a flathead Ford engine by Jimmy Correia, and his teacher was Chiki Hiroshima who learned from Harry Miller.  The 1935 Miller car had a flathead engine as well with Bohnalite heads which I will be searching for, in place of the front wheel drive (which I probably will never find) and is going to be an IRS Halibrand unit turned upside down.  The transmission will be a 1939 Ford with Zephyr gears; a simple solid axle for the rear.  The front and rear axle will have the same teardrop aero sheet metal as it appears the way it looks.  My friend, Bill Barringer, whose dad George Barringer had been Harry's Indy driver till the end of his time is thrilled to hear about the car.  
     I was looking for a set of Bohnalite heads that was used for racing before the Second World war in the 1930's.  It was an interesting era.  I like my new 1935 Miller race car because it was interesting looking.   The axles in front and rear have an airfoil teardrop that reminded me of Frank Lockhart's streamliner though I am going to make this a street version car with lights of course.  I did an interview with James Calzia again, only this time I took some pictures of his Martini Porsche and will be sending a story shortly.  Spencer Simon
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EDITOR'S NOTES; the following was sent to us by Spencer Simon.
     "...some pictures of my belly tank.  Like all race cars it is apart more than it is together.  I decided to just send some pictures of where it was a while ago.  The story goes: I found it in the blackberry bushes in Colfax, California.  I was there with a friend who was buying parts when I spied it in the bushes.  It is a P38 belly tank probably from the mid 1950's.  In the late 1950's the seller's brother who worked as a maintenance mechanic at a Central Valley cannery, using parts from a four wheel Cushman shop cart built it into an early Go Kart.  It was used and abused until the engine gave up and was then shoved into the bushes where I found it.  I have all the original pieces, tires and all.  At that point I decided I was, 'goin' to Bonneville.'  
     I was working at Sacramento Vintage Ford and knew my boss had a stash of old engines in the warehouse.  My first choice was a Model A four banger when I found a V8-60.  NOW there's something different!  What I didn't realize at the time was there is no class for V8-60's.  They run in XF with the big flatheads where the record is 196+.  Also this meant that I would have to build to 200mph requirements even though I would be lucky to get within 100mph of the record!  This added a significant amount of complexity and expense but who cares!  'I'm racing at Bonneville!' "  
     "The frame is 2X2.125 box tube, wheel base is 95".  The front end is Model A without brakes.  Steering is a Shroeder midget steering box.  The rear end is an early Model A Halibrand (Franklin) quick change.  The engine is a 1938 V8-60, bored .130 over with a Winfield R1 cam and Edelbrock heads.  The pictures show it with a single Stromberg EGU carb, one of many configurations.  Jim built the engine in 2009.  Wherever possible I have tried to build it as it would have been built in the late 1940's, using as many vintage parts as possible.  The plan was to run it in 2013 with a B&M blown V8-60 but we didn't get the engine together in time.  After four trips to Bonneville my best speed is 90.765.  My goal is getting into the 'Three Club.'  Three digits that is!  My research shows that the best speed with a V8-60 back in the day was around 135 which is really my goal."  Joseph Streng
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STAFF NOTES; the following was sent in by Howie Zechner.
     Maxine “June” Nichols was born on June 15, 1929 and passed away on March 4, 2014.  Family and friends gathered at the Nichols home in Newport Beach to celebrate the life his wife of 48 years, “June” Nichols.  Bob Nichols has been involved in motorcycle - automotive performance and engineering - manufacturing of motorcycle, automotive and aircraft parts all his life.  Well know and respected Bob was inducted into the Trailblazer Hall of Fame in 2001.  “Fast” Eddie Castro is a regular to race Bob Nichols Indian in the Vintage Class.  Saturday nights you can find him and his sidekick “Smokey” in the main grandstands at the Costa Mesa Speedway races.
    
EDITOR: We have a bio on Bob Nichols at www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks and Roger Rohrdanz.
 

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     Some news of an Iowa effort heading to the Salt in August. Team SpeedaSALT is busy building two Buell bikes to run for records.  I can offer more details if anyone is interested and we're going to try and document all we are doing.  Most significant is taking a 1000CC Buell V-twin and lopping off the back cylinder to make it a single and running in 500cc Modified Production, both gas and fuel.  We're running a small turbo and have some trick things happening with the head.  We're fortunate up our way because we've got access to some great resources that are assisting us with planning and design of the bike. We're also working closely with Don McCaw of Dike, Iowa who has some pretty impressive land speed experience going back a lot of years and he is building the second bike which is a Buell v-twin but will be expecting speeds in excess of 200 mph.  We're a bunch of gearheads who went out to Bonneville a couple of years back and got addicted.  What started as a simple, "let's just run something," to "let's be serious and go for a record."  I expect everyone here has experienced that.  I can provide more updates if anyone is interested or link you directly to our website which is being designed right now.  Our Iowa to The Salt Flats, Bonneville or Bust Facebook group page (https://www.facebook.com/groups
/bonneville/).  We going to have 8-10 of us headed out for Speed Week in August (2014) and are really excited to be involved.  Jim Volgarino, Waterloo, Iowa.
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     I am working on a documentary about the history of land speed racing, and am trying to track down old film footage, particularly of Alex Xydias and So-Cal Speedshop cars, but more generally anything from the dry lakes or Bonneville in the 1940s/1950s. The doc will air on the National Geographic Channel, and we've had the opportunity to interview some amazing people, including Alex, but also Andy Greene, Craig Breedlove, Roger Penske, etc. I have been through a lot of the archive houses and libraries, but am wondering if you might know of anyone who has a film collection, or if you know of any particular libraries that has a trove of good film. I am available by email and mobile at 781-424-6457.  Thanks so much!  Best, Jillian Bergman
    
JILLIAN; There is no massive, overall, central file of LSR (land speed racing) archives.  Those that I can think of off-hand are the www.AHRF.com, www.landspeedracing.com, the Auto Club Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.  My brother and I have our father's records, but exactly what percentage is film and written records I cannot say.  We haven’t yet made public The Minutes of the SCTA; 1937-1948 and that contains a wealth of textual data that can lead to hidden sources.  The vast amount of all LSR records exists in private archives and personal collections that Jim, myself and others have been trying to find and catalog.  The list of people on the dry lakes and Bonneville from the 1930's through the 1950's is over 5000 and maybe more.  They range from well-known manufacturers like Ed Iskenderian, Stu Hilborn, Vic Edelbrock Jr and Senior to a wide range of media people including my father, Robert E. "Pete" Petersen and many more.  Many Hollywood stars raced at the lakes, such as Robert Stack and George Temple (Shirley's brother who was a Road Runner).
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     Thank you for the invitation to share information with your operations.  As to posting items from me, anything you get you can use.  If you decide to publish photos, best to check as some were taken by other photographers and they may not care to have their works published without proper credits.   I will point you to my website,
http://www.mayfco.com and there you can find out information regarding the one and only thing I have accomplished in LSR.  Look to the Alpine project and at the top is a downloadable presentation I made to the Sunbeam Tiger Owners Association in 2011.  It is an account of me going 210.772 out the back door in my Sunbeam.  As to starting a log of my activities for my family, they are all pretty much in the loop.   A minor footnote in Sunbeam history maybe; I will take a look at your site.  Larry Mayfield
    
LARRY: I will use your letters and I appreciate and value them.  There are no unimportant people in straight-line racing.  To believe that I would have to repudiate everything my father taught me.  Where would we be without the tag-along crews, the rare sponsor (often meaning a wife or relative), the official who mans his/her post and doesn't get to see any of the action.  The sports of land speed and drag racing thrives on the volunteer and can't survive without them.  We need more unsung workers, not less, and more people interested in saving the two main venues that people race on.  As for the SCTA, well we knew a great many of them before there was an SCTA, and I grew up with many who are no longer here.  Like any big group of volunteers there are stubborn and opinionated leaders mixed in with flexible and cooperative people.  I could tell you stories. 
    
And it is those stories that I am after, trying to save as a heritage for the next generation; whether the future cares or not.  Never believe for an instant that it is more difficult to race today than it was 80 years ago.  That's what gives land speed racing such stories and histories; the people involved.  I never rank people according to their category of car or the speeds that they ran.  One of the nicest men that I have ever had the opportunity to meet was Andy Green and so far, he is the fastest man to have ever raced in a four-wheeled vehicle; even if the wheels were crooked.  Some of the most irritating people also exist in the sport; but it takes all kinds to make LSR work.
     While I do publish letters that are sent to me and as a member of landracing.com, I get some that way, what I am looking for are nouns; people, places, events, dates, etc.  Blogs often contain mostly verbs; I'm going, will go, look forward to going, how are you, what are you up to.  I can often supply the verbs myself in a story that I write on someone if I am given nouns to build a story around.  But with only verbs and no nouns there is no way I can write on a subject unless it is pure fiction.  So I do scan blogs and take what I can from them and put them into
www.landspeedracing.com for potential future use. 
     When you and your crew are at an event I hope that you will see and observe what is going on and leave a record behind, which may be the only way future historians and fans will ever know what you know.  I'm not looking just for the famous drivers, who are too busy driving and wrenching to know what is going on.  I'm looking for spouses, crew members, spectators and anyone else who witnessed an event to write down what they saw and leave a record.  Your view is just as valid as anyone else's from a historian's point of view.  There is no such thing as MINOR in history and there are those who do give a hoot and they are more numerous than you know.  I'm one of them.
 
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I just found out about the Celebration of Life planned for Tom Medley. I met Tom on several occasions, the first time at a Fabulous 50's event at Carroll Shelby's facility and at the Vintage Go Kart races at Adam's Kart Track in Riverside.
Tom was a good friend of Road Runner's member John Julis.   Jerry Cornelison
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STAFF NOTES FROM THE EDITOR: The following report comes from a young lady who is working very hard to succeed in oval track racing.  I’ve met her and came away very impressed.  I think one day I will be able to tell all of you that, “I watched her career take off from the ground floor.”
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     It
seemed like a long break from racing but I’m back on the track now, and the racing season is in full swing. I hope you all had a wonderful Winter!  My second season in the Lucas Oil Modified series is underway and off to a great start. I’m also racing in the Pro Dwarf Car series at Ventura Raceway for Larry and Eric Alton in the #92 Pit Image dwarf car! The cars are raced on dirt, and the added racing experience will help me gain some skills that can be applied to the pavement.
     My first race of 2014 was on March 1st at Havasu 95 Speedway in Arizona. The weather forecast showed a 60% chance of rain, and it turned out to be a long weekend! We got in about 10 laps of practice on Friday night before it started raining. We practiced a little more on Saturday and then qualified 12th out of 43 cars. During our drivers meeting, before the races began, it started to pour rain. The pits were filled with an inch of water within ten minutes. The race was postponed until Sunday.
     Luckily, my dad didn’t have to work on Sunday!  We started the 100 lap main event race, and I made my way up to 5th place by lap 50 or so. Unfortunately, I was spun by the driver behind me who lacked patience. This sent me to the back of the field, and I ended up making my way back to 13th place where I finished the race. After that race I was excited for my debut in the Pro Dwarf Car series the following weekend.   
     Ventura Raceway is so close to my house that I can ride my bike and be there in 15 minutes! It’s a dirt race track right next to the beach - the best of both worlds! Since it’s my first year in the Pro Dwarf Car series, I’m considered a rookie. At Ventura Raceway, rookies have to start in the back the first couple of races they participate in. Even though I have been racing since I was 11 years old, the rule still applies to me. It gave me the opportunity to make passes! There were 34 cars and they only took 24 to the A Main race. I had to start in the back of the qualifying race (the B main event) and they only took the top four cars to the A main. I started in 11th with the hopes of enjoying myself and the experience, we didn’t have high expectations that I would transfer.
    However, I drove from 11th place to 2nd and transferred to the A Main!  I started the A Main in 20th place and before we started the race, the track workers went out on the track to show us the ruts and holes that had been formed by some bad weather. The track was flooded one week prior to the race due to a very uncommon amount of California rain, which made the dirt really soft. Huge ruts and holes were formed right in our racing line. They were so big that you could fit a full grown person laying down in them, a couple people hit them and flipped, while a few others hit them and bent or broke axles. Because of these terrifying ruts, I was more in survival mode than race mode. I ended up finishing 9th, and we were very happy to roll the car back in the trailer! The track owner came over the radio and said, “that was the worst racetrack we have ever had.”  After that, I feel like I can handle any track surface!
     On March 22nd we raced in Tucson, Arizona at my “new” favorite track! I had never raced there before. It’s fast and eats up your tires quickly! This is the perfect kind of track for me because I’m good at driving my car at the edge while staying in control, which helps tires last longer. I qualified 14th out of about 40 drivers. They took 28 cars in the A Main event, and I started on the preferred outside line in 14th. It was a 75 lap race and conserving tires was a huge strategy because our instinct is to race hard for 75 laps. However, you want the best tires in the last 15 laps. 
     I fell back early in the race to about 20th, my car was loose, and I just couldn’t figure out how to make the outside line work for my car. We got a yellow flag around lap 35, which helped tighten up my car because my tires got to cool down a little. Then I came alive! I figured out the perfect passing line around the bottom of the racetrack, and I started making my way through the field. At one point I got stuck in a 4 wide situation (4 cars abreast on the entry to the turn), and we all survived! We had one more caution with 4 laps to go - I was sitting in 8th place. ON THE LAST TURN OF THE LAST LAP I MADE MY FINAL PASS FOR A 5TH PLACE FINISH!  My crew and family were so excited.  What a great weekend for Jessica Clark Racing!
     Thank you to all of my 2014 sponsors for their support; Pit Image, ION Cameras, Race- 4Girls, and Third Point Productions. Also, I must thank all of my friends and family who have supported me in one way or another, you are all so kind and generous! It’s going to be a great year!   Jessica Clark
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STAFF NOTES; the following was sent in by Burly Burlile.
    
Registration for the Houston 1/2 Mile will open on March 30, 2014 at 2PM CST on
www.usmileracing.com.  Registration is limited to 175 participants.  Once registration is sold out we will open the waiting list.  There are 25 spots on the waiting list.  If you plan to register then you need to review and understand The Houston 1/2 Mile Rules, Regulations & Technical Specifications.  It is the participant's responsibility to read and understand the rules before they register.  We will not give refunds to people who do not pass tech.  Please review the appropriate tech form and make sure to print, fill it out, and bring it with you to the event.   You can find the rules and the tech sheets on the website.   In order to register you will need to have a profile set up on www.usmileracing.com.  We will post the profile set up page later this afternoon.  If you have a Texas Mile profile you can login to it on www.usmileracing.com and use it to register for The Houston 1/2 Mile.    
     Registration Cost is $395.  Registration includes unlimited runs.  You can run as many times as you get in line.   Each Registration Gets 1 Crew Member in the Gate.  Additional Crew are $5 and must be purchased through the registration page.     Additional Driver/ Rider Cost $50 (no passengers allowed, rider refers to motorcycle rider).   Waiting List Fee $35.  Preliminary Schedule  Tech & Registration -  will take place on Friday, May, 16th.  Time to be determined.  Event Day May 17th - Runs will start at 8AM and go until Dusk.     The Profile page is now up
https://www.usmileracing.com/registration/profile/.  Make sure to go and login to your profile to make sure all your information is up to date. If you are a new user make sure to create a new profile.    
     There will be a 1/4 Mile trap as well as a 1/2 Mile trap set up at The Houston 1/2 Mile event on May 17th.  So each participant will get a 1/4 mile speed as well as a 1/2 mile speed on their speed slips.   Check out and like our Houston Mile and Houston 1/2 Mile Facebook Page for updates.  Please call us if you have any issues: 281-303-1844.         Check out and like our Houston Mile and Houston 1/2 Mile Facebook Page for updates.     Check out and like the Aeros & Autos Facebook Page for event updates and details.     Contact Information: Jessica Reyna,
Jessica@eventsproject.com, 281-303-1844.
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STAFF NOTES; the following is from www.hotrodhotline.com and NHRA.
     Pop culture observers who think young people’s interest in cars is somehow waning seem to have difficulty explaining a growing interest in motorsports among America’s youth. In fact, to help meet the demand for teenagers wanting to drive fast, the NHRA today announced a new racing program for 13-16-year-olds that combines racing and car safety.  NHRA Youth Racing will give teenage boys and girls the opportunity to race against their peers in full-bodied street vehicles with an adult co-driver as their teammate.
     Competitors will go through an orientation/licensing procedure on an eighth-mile dragstrip in their vehicles, which must meet program requirements. Approved vehicles must be registered, insured, street-legal vehicles with mufflers and street tires and limited to 10 seconds and slower.  “This is an inexpensive program but, best of all, it’s a way for families to use drag racing as a learning tool and a conduit for family bonding,” said Josh Peterson, NHRA vice president of racing administration.
     All of NHRA’s member tracks are eligible to conduct NHRA Youth Racing activities at their tracks. Those interested in competing should contact a member track by using the Member Track Locator at NHRA.com. Program rules can be found at NHRARacer.com.  NHRA Youth Racing is the latest program in NHRA’s youth racing segment that also includes the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League, NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA and the NHRA Summit Racing Series.
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The Real Deal.  Written by Anna Marco, photographs by Belgium Lion Photography.  Reprinted with permission from the author.

      “It’s a genuine racecar built in the 1950’s, with lots of history attached to it.  Can’t re-create that.”  The Jenkinson Concours and Customs restored 1929 Desoto originally built and raced in 1953 is the real deal.
     This racecar was hand built in 1953 by John W. Campbell (Issaquah, WA) on a 1929 Desoto chassis with 1928 Desoto steering box and axle. Back then, parts included a Model Transverse leaf spring, 1935 Ford trans and Torque Tube, 39 Ford Hydraulic Brakes, and was powered by a 24 stud Flathead with a 4" crank and big cam as well a handmade headers, and rare finned iron Kogel HiComp Heads. The body is a mixture of fiberglass and alloy and hand made by the owner. The mix of the parallel leaf suspension and flathead make for interesting tidbits on this period car. John raced it up and down the West Coast for three or four years and eventually stored it in the 1960’s.  The car was then titled as a 1929 Desoto and driven on the street. Later, Shawn, the grandson of the original owner, updated the car in the mid ‘70's with a Muncie and a 10-bolt rear but other than that stayed true to original.  In 2010, the car was sold to Phil Ennis (Seattle, WA), and then sold to Bill Hair in 2011 (California) and then to Bob Gregg in 2012 where it sat in Santa Ynez, CA until Erik found it on EBay.
     Brad Jenkinson and Erik Jostad of Jenkinson Concours and Customs specialize in restoring vintage vehicles of all kinds. From farm equipment and military vehicles to all types of cool and rare cars and motorcycles. Their expertise is period correct restoration from engine overhaul, paint and wiring to include period correct techniques such as gas welding (oxyacetylene) and metal finishing for bodywork. All of it is done with meticulous attention to detail exactly the way it was back in the day.  Needless to say, Brad and Erik are always on the lookout for automotive treasure. In February 2013, John Campbell’s Desoto racer was found on EBay. A deal was struck and then a quick trip north to Santa Ynez with plans to drive the car back to Escondido, failed when a cracked engine block was discovered.
     Not to be deterred by a motor damaged beyond repair, the restoration was completed in two months.  Brad & Erik recall, “We are both experienced car builders, but there are always challenges rebuilding a custom built car especially while running two shops, one of which is in Oslo, Norway and tackling a race-car that we were actually going to race again.  Most parts were common to Ford, but the car is very compact, so there were some issues getting everything fitted as needed.  Building a Flathead to race-spec is both time consuming and expensive.  There were issues fitting the quick-change with the old Ford brakes.  We were adjusting pedals, gear-shifter and steering to make the car fit the driver.  The easiest part of the project is giving thanks to Rex Copeman at
Rex Upholstery (Escondido, CA) for his excellent upholstery work. The car is a great success. Not only does it handle very well on the track, it also gets enormous attention everywhere we go. It feels great to bring an old Racer back to its former glory, and race it as it was intended to.”  The Kogel heads are no longer on the car because a full race cam is now installed and the heads doesn't have the valve reliefs to run them.  They are good for stock flatties and give a really unique sound but aren't good with this motor. It now runs two 1940 Ford brake cylinders (one for the clutch and one for the brakes.) The steering box is believed to be circa 1930s Desoto. The column has been modified for ‘39 Ford. The original carb bases are two different colors, black and red, and were left that way. The hand formed side hood louvers are original to the car. Transmission is a late 1950's Muncie 4 speed close ratio box (originally ran a ‘39 box built in early 50s.)  Stopping power for this racecar are 1940 Lincoln brakes up front and 1940 Ford in the rear.  A transverse rear spring with quick-change differential is housed in the rear.
     The racecar is back on the track. The car was shipped to Sweden to race at the A-Bombers Car Club Old Style Weekend #18 with an adrenaline packed hill climb at Devils Peak. It’s a great show with period correct hot rods and customs. Next, plans are to race at Hindenburg Raceway (oval dirt track) in Germany as well as at the Finsterwalde drag races. This racecar will continue to campaign in Europe at different vintage races in the coming year. Brad was the first American to ever race these events stating, “I couldn’t think of a better car to do it with either! This car is an amazing ride! It handles extremely well and stops exceptionally well. Had to get rid of the Chevy diff! I can tell you it was a very interesting car to work on and get back in the racing circuit. Also we will be restoring the Goosic Brothers B/Modified 23 T roadster and an early 40's full size sprint car to race in the upcoming year.” Watch for those next.
     CUSTOM or ROD TECH SHEET
Owner:  Brad Jenkinson and Erik Jostad.     
Occupation: Shop owner, Restoration, builder, fabricator of hot rods, customs, and racecars.   
Address: Jenkinson Concours and Customs, 854 Metcalf St, Escondido CA. 
Phone: 760-737-8673.
E-Mail:
Rbj80@aol.com or info@concoursandcustoms.com.
Builder: John W. Campbell from Issaquah, WA in 1953.
Year: 1953.  Make: 1929 DeSoto.              
Other Body Modifications: Full custom coachworks body. Fiberglass cowl and rear section, scrap airplane aluminum body & belly pan. Modified hanging pedal assembly with 39-41 ford pedals.
Grille/shell: 1929 Desoto.  Paint Color: Red.  Paint Type: Lacquer. 
Graphics: Lettering by Pekka “The Wizzard” Mannermaa.
Engine: 8ba Ford Flathead. Bored out .060, with 4 inch Mercury crank flat top pistons, fully ported and relieved, gasket matched intake, 400jr Isky cam, Edelbrock heads, Edmunds intake, 2  97’s, vintage Mallory dual point distributor.
Transmission: late 50’s Muncie 4 speed.  Intake & Carb: Edmunds dual.          
Ignition: Vintage Mallory dual point.  Exhaust: custom.  Rear End: Quick change.
Suspension Front: Desoto leaf w/ 1930s Dodge front axle & 1940 Ford spindles modified to fit axle.  
Suspension Rear: Model A.  Brakes, Front: 1940 Lincoln brakes.
Brakes, Rear: 1940 Ford, modified 40 Ford master cylinders for brakes and clutch.
Wheels/Size: 16 inch Kelsey Hayes.  Tires/Size: 650-16 Blockley.
Seats: original, recovered in vinyl.  Upholstery: Rex Copeman, Rex Upholstery (Escondido, CA).
Dashboard: aluminum covered wood.
Steering Column: 1939 Ford, modified.  Steering Wheel: 1939 Ford.
Interior Extras: Original SW gauges & original Long Beach Rod and Custom plaque.
Windows: none.  Taillights: none.
Anything Else: raced in vintage classes, hill climbs, drag races & oval dirt track
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     Early this year the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) announced the introduction of two new annual BDRHoF Awards for photographers and writers. Open to professionals and amateurs, they celebrate the importance of the media in promoting our sport along with the crucial role played by Sydney Allard as the ‘Father of British Drag Racing.’  The trophies are sponsored by the Allard Motor Company operated by Sydney’s son Alan and his grandson Lloyd.  
     Alan Allard said, “Lloyd and I are so proud that the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has chosen to honour my father’s role in giving birth to drag racing in Europe with these two trophies. We are naturally pleased to sponsor them. The Guv’nor’ understood how important media publicity could be in attracting interest and promoting any new motorsport activity so celebrating photography and the written word is something that would have met with his approval.”   
     One will be presented to the writer of the best book, article or feature on British drag racing published in print or on-line during the 12-months ending July 2014. This is in association with the Guild of Motoring Writers and the Chief Judge is the Guild’s Chairman Guy Loveridge.  The second will be presented for the best photograph featuring British drag racing, either published in print or on-line during the 12 months ending July 2014, or remaining un-published. This is in association with Octane Magazine and the Chief Judge is Octane Columnist and Classic Car Collector Nick Mason who will be joined by Octane Art Editor Mark Sommer.  So the competition has already started with many photographers and writers owning photos and/or articles taken or written from August 2013 onwards.
     They can enter as many pieces of their work as they like, but each entry must be accompanied by a completed entry form to enable the judges to collate them accurately. The entry form can now be downloaded, completed and then sent back by e-mail to with attached article or photo files in Word or pdf form and photographs in jpg form. These forms can be accessed by selecting the Allard Award Entries tab from the menu on www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk. Full instructions are on the link.   These new and prestigious awards will be presented at the BDRHoF Gala Awards Dinner on November 22nd 2014 held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park. 
     Further Press Information from Robin Jackson
RJProMod@aol.com, Tel 01933 222917.  The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is sponsored by many businesses and associations.  Without this support it could not exist. They are Beech Underwriting; U S Automotive; Power Race Graphics; Santa Pod Racers Club; Pennine Drag Racing Club; Eurodragster.com; Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway; Santa Pod Raceway; York Raceway.   Brian Taylor
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Worlds Fastest 1960 Pontiac.  Written by Anna Marco with additional photographs by Mike Dorman.  Reprinted with permission of the author.

     If showing and racing nostalgic cars is exciting to you, then you will appreciate Bill Grace’s 1960 Pontiac Ventura.  It’s the “World’s Fastest!” 389 c.i.  Time Machine #1; Bill’s 60 Pontiac didn’t start that way. Back in 1998, the car was out in a field behind an old house. Today, his 4000 pound Ventura is outfitted with a 389 C.I., 12.5 C.R., 450 H.P. monster mill with Eagle rods, a comp roller camshaft, Edelbrock aluminum heads, a cross ram with dual 630 CFM Carter AFB carburetors, a Jericho 4-speed with Long linkage, a Ford 9" housing, Strange case and axle, Richmond 514 gears and his Pontiac hits 112 mph in 12.34 seconds. Yea baby, Go!
     Old Travels Fast; Bill has loved Pontiacs forever. His first was a total wreck that he rebuilt at age 19 in 1962 and he’s had a lifelong love affair with them ever since. He raced as a youngster but in 1998 participated in Hot August Nights Car Show in Reno, Nevada where he tried running their quarter mile race at the Reno Airport and got bit by the bug again!  He took 2nd place in his ’60 Bonneville.  In business for thirty years restoring Corvettes at Grace Way Machine (now he only does frame straightening), his ’60 Ventura is the sixth Pontiac he’s owned and took two years to complete.  He quips, “It was easy.  I built the tilt front end to make it easier to work on the engine.  The only hard part was the roll cage because it was the first one I ever built.”  Nonetheless his car is a success because it performs the way he wants it to.
     Happy Rodder; In 2001, Bill won First in his class at the 51st Annual Sacramento Autorama.  In 2003, he took Second place at Muscle Car Heaven Drags & More in Surprise, AZ where he met Arnie "the Farmer" Beswick stating, “I got a picture of him standing with me next to my car and he signed my quarter panel.  Arnie is a legend in his own time and a really nice guy.”  Then in 2008, Bill took another First place in his class at Dragfest at Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, CA.  He also remembers having fun running at Pinks All Out in Sonoma, CA in 2008.  His car is shown at the beginning of the TV program doing a burnout and a quarter mile run.  At 67 years of age, Bill is a prime example of the slogan, “Old rodders never slow down; they just go faster.”
     Bill gives special thanks to all who have helped him out especially his son Joe Grace, Ed Woodhall at Cal West Specialty Coatings for his sponsorship, and Alan Rice at Ziffle Mfg for the powder coating.  And last but not least his wife, Linda, “for supporting me and my love of 1960 Pontiacs for all these years!”  A dedicated nostalgia racer, Bill has plans to build another ’60 Pontiac with a bigger engine; One that runs 9.60 ET C/Gas.  Watch out for car #2.  Resource:
www.gracewaymachine.com or email:  graceway@caltel.com. Additional archive photos courtesy of Bill & Linda Grace.  No reprint w/o permission. All rights reserved.
    
TECH SHEET
Owner: 
Bill Grace, Burson, California 95225.  Car Builder: Bill Grace.
Year – 1960.  Make – Pontiac Ventura.
Body Custom Fabrication – Tilt front end by owner.  NHRA legal-roll cage.
Color –white, yellow, black, purple, blue and silver.  Paint Type – DuPont.  Painter – owner/builder.  Custom Graphics – “Time Machine #1” by Race Sign Specialties.
Engine – 389 ci 12.5 CR /450 HP, Eagle rods, comp roller camshaft, heads and block – Pontiac.  Tranny – Jericho 4 speed.  Exhaust –open headers.
Intake & Carb – Aluminum intake manifold, dual quads.  Ignition – Mallory.
Rear End – Ford 9” housing, Strange case, Strangle axles, Richmond 514 gears.
Suspension Info –rear end Ford 9" - front stock except for disk brakes.
Brakes – disk brakes – Wilwood.  Wheels/Size - front 15 X 4  - rear 15 X 8.
Tires/Size - front 26 X 4 X 15...rear slicks, 29 X 9 X 15.
Seats – 3 tone purple, black & yellow/bucket front, bench back seat.
Upholstery – Jerry Ritchie in Lakeport, CA.
Dashboard – Stock painted black.
Steering Column - stock with Grant GT steering wheel.
Exterior Extras – Front bumper is fiberglass, by owner/builder.
Garage-Built Stuff – owner built.  Windows – glass.  Taillights –stock.
Club Affiliation - Juggers Racing Team.
Anything Else – powder coating by Ziffel Mfg. (Valley Springs, CA).
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If The Shoe Fits.  By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission from Internet Brands and
www.hotrodhotline.com
     Damn, I dislike posers. All kinds, but especially hot rod wannabes who will most likely die as never beens. Which is, in a way, the difference between hot rodders and too many wimp-o street rodders. There, that ought to get some hackles raised!
     Consider this: If you run at the dry lakes or the salt, and someone asks you how you did on the last run, you never, ever respond with all of the numbers, such as “Oh, we did 159mph”. No siree bub, what you say is, “Oh, we cranked a 59, probably got to 70 out the back door.” Got it? If you have to fill in the missing blanks, you just ain’t one of the dudes, dooood.
     This holds true whether you are talking about the hunnert mile class or a land speed record over 400. You see, it is a matter of self-respect that hot rodders approach every other rodder automatically assuming that the other person is also a builder/maker/driver insider. Oh, were that a truth embedded in body lead. Instead, nowadays in street rodding one never is so indiscreet as to inquire whether or not the other built his or her car. Because the term “built” has so many definitions.    
     As in: Yes I built the car. I paid to have it done! Rather one must skirt the issue with indirect inquiries as to the source of parts and services. It is unnerving to an older rodder when the reply goes something like, “Oh, I don’t know what cam is in the engine. I just bought it that way.” So then, to be circumspect, one carefully comments casually on the paint. Don’t ask what the color is, because the owner probably doesn’t know. You know the drill, “Yeah, I built the car a year ago. I don’t know what the color is exactly.“
     Yet this same expert hot rodder will often volunteer such information as to gasoline mileage and how easy the car is to load in the enclosed trailer, and how well the trailer tows behind either the motorhome or the big Dodge diesel dually. And how the car has won so many car shows, mostly those held in shopping malls and dealership driveways. But, hey, the argument is that all this is ok because it serves to spread the gospel about the joys of old cars, blah blah blah. Horse puckey!
     I ain’t buying into any of this. Just as soon as the luster is off the bubble, platinum card holder Billy Bob is on to some new ego toy. Remember vans? And muscle cars? And the current infatuation with Harleys with obese rear tires (same trailers and tow rigs). The really hardcore car guys get their hands dirty, and it doesn’t matter whether or not they do all the welding or work closely with the actual builders. It doesn’t matter how much money they have to spend. The key is that the real car guys are totally involved with their project. They know the cam grinder, they know the compression ratio, they know the brand of brakes, they know how to open the hood. And very few of them are posers.
     There is a rodder from down South who has enough bread to have several different shops around the nation creating special vehicles at any given time, yet he gets intimately involved with each project. He enjoys every single car he has a true craftsman build, and he drives them all hard. Very hard. I see him at the salt, and he is one of the go fast guys in a red hat. He ain’t no poser, in fact you would be hard pressed to pick him in a crowd.
     A few years ago I got a call from Rod & Custom asking if I could lead a group of their readers on a tour through Yellowstone Park. The aforementioned rodder was among them, driving a really fine world class roadster. Scott and I put our roadster pickup through the park at warp speed, and said aforementioned glued to our rear bumper. Everybody else trailed far, far behind. That ain’t the way of a poser, folks.
     And you have high profile guys like Jay Leno. He has a ton of special vehicles, but I have never seen him strut and pose. More often than not, you will see Jay at some synthetic black tie and tux shindig wearing a comfortable jacket and jeans. And he knows who supplied what for each of his cars. And he knows how to open the hood. Hit the road all you fake wanna-be car experts, I know where the real car guys live, and it ain’t at some car show bragging to one and all about how they built this latest whizz that looks just like hundreds of other whizzs.  And upon which he probably never laid a construction hand.
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Gone Racin’…
San Diego Motorsports 100 Racing Years, by Johnny McDonald.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  21 January 2007.  Reprinted with permission from www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

     Johnny McDonald has been covering the national racing scene for more than four decades.  He is a past President of AARWBA, or The American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, and sportswriter for the San Diego Union newspaper.  Thorough and precise, McDonald ranks up there with Shav Glick and other sportswriters in the ability to bring a story to the public with feeling and accuracy.  A special passion for McDonald is the unique history and heritage of motorsports racing in the San Diego area, where he resides.  San Diego, California is about as far as one can go, and still remain in the United States.  It takes a lot of effort to get to, and yet it has a rich history in motorsports racing.  Balboa Stadium played host to oval track racing of the highest quality.  Paradise Mesa was one of the first dragstrips in the nation.  Torrey Pines was a storied road course racing site.  The Unlimited Hydroplanes still race furiously at Mission Bay.  Many of those racetracks are gone, paved over to make room for homes and shopping centers.  A few are still in operation, or changed slightly from their original purposes.  McDonald uses his archives and that of the San Diego Automotive Museum, plus his vivid memory to write about this fascinating era in his city’s past.
     San Diego Motorsports; 100 Racing Years, is a soft-covered book, 8 by 11 inches in size, with 144 pages, and sells for $24.95.  There are two color paintings on the front and back of the book by racing artist Bob McCoy.  The front cover drawing shows track roadster racers Rosie Roussel and Dick Vineyard trying to avoid a spin out in an oval track race.  The rear cover drawing by McCoy shows midget racers in a tight formation, entering a curve and splattering the clay-like mud on those behind them.  McCoy, a former auto racer, is a racing artist of the first order, and these two drawings alone are worth the price of the book.  Action, passion and an eye for color and movement are imbued in McCoy’s work.  He loves to put subtle and humorous topics into his paintings, daring the observer to find them.  There is an adequate Table of Contents, a Preface, but no Forward to laud the book.  McDonald does not use celebrities to hype the book, but launches immediately into the subject matter.  Alas, like so many other racing and pictorial books, there is no index, and the reader must concentrate on each chapter in order to find those topics he is interested in. 
     There are no color photos, but there are 469 black and white photos, which are varied and informative.  Some of them are old, others are grainy but they tell a unique story of the racing history of San Diego.  There were 3 drawings other than McCoy’s, 6 maps, and 28 posters and programs.  Much of the book is taken up by photos and the captions are adequate.  There isn’t a great deal of text to go along with the photos, because this book is intended to capture the look of the times.  There is just enough text to tell the story and to bring the reader along to the next stage.  It is a mesmerizing book, as McDonald does not let the reader dwell on any one issue.  McDonald wrote this book to allow the reader to get an overview of the rich racing history of the San Diego area.  You won’t find long and lengthy discussions, but you will achieve a quick and useful knowledge of why San Diego was such an important racing site.  San Diego Motorsports; 100 Racing Years, is the first book on the subject of local racing in San Diego that a racing fan should have in his or her library.  The book is divided into 15 chapters and a review, averaging about 9 pages per section. 
     Chapters one through three cover the pre-WWII period, with a very interesting section on Barney Oldfield, the icon of those barnstorming racers who toured the country to give electrifying shows to a public just learning about the automobile.  Chapter four discusses the hot rod and midget racing phenomena just after the war.  Chapter five describes how the early 1950’s were the beginning of the road course and drag racing golden ages.  Chapter six and seven portray the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s, a time of rapid growth in racing and the beginning of racing at Cajon and Ramona.  Chapters eight through ten discusses the new Unlimited Hydroplane racing, off-road racing and the Carlsbad drag strip.  Chapter eleven discusses truck and superbike racing.  Chapter twelve is about Grand Prix racing.  Chapters thirteen through fifteen bring us from the 1990’s to the present, with the closing of old tracks and the opening of new ones.
     McDonald showcases popular racers like Parnelli Jones, Carroll Shelby, Rodger Ward, Danny Oakes, Don Garlits, Ivan Stewart, Billy Vukovich, Bill Muncey, Jeremy McGrath, Barney Oldfield, and Joaquin Arnett and the Bean Bandits.  But he does not stint on those whose exploits did not garner national attention.  The author takes us on a ride, a quick one, to those old and storied racetracks at Balboa Stadium, Torrey Pines, Ramona and Carlsbad dragstrips, Del Mar’s sports car and Grand Prix courses, Lindo Lake, Point Loma, Cajon and Mission Bay.  It’s possible to read through this book in a day or two, but it is difficult to not go back and reread it for what you have missed.  The race car and boat drivers, who thrilled spectators throughout the country over the years, also came to San Diego, to thrill the crowds at these historic old racecourses.  Johnny McDonald has brought us a tidy and fascinating book that opens the door to a corner of our nation’s racing history. 
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’…
I Am Your Disease, by Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis, with Heiko Ganzer, LCSW, CASAC.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  31 August 2009.   Reprinted with permission of www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

     I do book reviews on hot rodding, car racing and other automotive related topics, but every now and then I will review a book on a subject that impacts the car culture.  Car guys are typically hands on people who enjoy working on problems and solving them.  The more difficult the problem, the more they are motivated to see if they can learn and then create a solution.  The book, I Am Your Disease, by Sheryl Letzgus McGinnis, with Heiko Ganzer, LCSW, CASAC, is a very difficult one to read on a topic that is unpleasant at best.  The typical car guy would rather avoid this issue and head out to the garage to work on engines, frames and parts for his hot rod.  For many of us, the subject of drug addiction and death is one that we can’t seem to grasp, nor solve, and thus we avoid the topic altogether.  However, we can’t walk away from this issue, for drug abuse and the consequences to our friends and family are simply too great to ignore.  I Am Your Disease is a paperback book, measuring 6x9 inches, with a full one inch thickness.  There are 357 pages of text and 80 photographs, 41 in color.  The importance of the book is in the text and the messages, while the photographs are mere haunting reminders of the lives lost to drug addiction.  In fact the photographs are barely a half inch by a half inch in size, but they show the subjects of the book in happier days, before the ugliness of drug addiction twisted their lives and ended them.  The book is divided into chapters, one for each of the 39 people whose lives are portrayed. 
     There are three pages of testimonials, a title page, five page table of contents, but no index.  Normally an index would denote a higher quality of work by the author, but here it is not really needed.  Each person’s story stands alone and is sufficient in itself.  The reader doesn’t need to know where to find a story of horrific proportions, for each and every story has that quality.  In additions to the stories are poems, a list to help people see how to grieve, a story concerning peer pressure and what our children are saying to us, if we would but listen to them before it is too late.   There is a section on where to go to find help and what types of drugs our children are finding on the streets.  Another section presents coping skills for parents and family.  Heiko Ganzer describes what addiction and gambling does to our young people and what family and friends can do.  Ms McGinnis ends the book with an afterword, five short pages, terse and to the point.  The final page gives websites where family and friends can go for more information and help.  I Am Your Disease is not an owner’s manual on drug abuse or how to control it.  The photographs show small images of happy faces, all but one who is white, mostly male, in their late teens and twenties.  There are no graphic images of bloated bodies, cars mangled against trees, needle marks on the corpses arms or disfigured loved ones.  The author left that to our imagination.  I Am Your Disease is published by Outskirts Press, Inc, Denver, Colorado and is available from the author or at book stores or Amazon.com.  The price is $16.95 and the ISBN # is 10:1-59800-699-1. I Am Your Disease appears to be a self-publish book, but the style of writing is quite good.
     Now to the content itself, and it is the content that makes this book valuable.  It is a parent who writes each of the chapters about their son or daughter.   In that respect,
I Am Your Disease should rightly be called an anthology, with many authors writing a chapter.  The quality of the writing is not lessened by multiple authors.  Many of the stories are only a few pages, but some are more than twenty pages long.  Some parents express their grief quickly, while others go into detail about the causes of the drug addiction and the effect that it has on family and friends.  In one case the death of one young man led to the depression, anger, sorrow and addiction of another young man, who eventually died as well.  All of the mothers, fathers, relatives and friends tell us that drug addiction can happen to anyone and that no one is bad.  Of course this is true, for all children are innocent at birth and the disease of addiction comes about silently with stealth.  Even those who survive their addictions to dangerous and lethal drug usage are often unaware of the early signs.  The bright, shining, smiling faces in the photographs show no evil intentions.  As you look on the front cover at the 32 men and 7 women in the prime of their lives and ponder what they could have been, a profound sadness grips your mind.  These were young men and women who had careers ahead of them.  They might have had happy husbands and wives and wonderful children of their own.  There might have been grandchildren and great-grandchildren to dote on someday.  As you read their stories and grasp the reality that their drug addiction has led to tragedy, not only for themselves, but for their family and friends, a great sadness envelops your thoughts.  That’s exactly why Sherry McGinnis compiled the stories of people who have lost their children.  The author is committed to doing something to try and spare another mother or father from the anguish that she feels on the loss of her son to drug addiction. 
     Now I know the hot rodding community very well.  My father before me knew the hot rodding community even better than I.  He spent his life trying to bring order to the chaos of Illegal Street racing by organizing the youth into clubs and later into the National Hot Rod Association, or NHRA.  Wally Parks spent his life saving your children from killing themselves on the highways of America.  Thousands heeded the call and joined the NHRA and they are alive today, to see their children and grandchildren prosper.  But it isn’t just illegal street racing that kills the children of hot rodders around the world.  We also have car people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and who suffer these diseases.  We also have children and grandchildren who suffer from addiction.  We have friends and family members who are addicted to excessive risky behavior.  We all take risks and we all have our dysfunctions, but through luck or divine providence we survive to tell our families and give our examples of what to avoid.  Can this book solve all your problems and keep your children from gambling with their lives?  The answer is no, it is not going to be the answer to all your problems concerning addiction and drugs.  But it will do something very important.  It takes a subject that we don’t want to talk about and maybe even fear, and in a loving and compassionate manner it examines how lives have been ruined.  If you care enough to protect your loved ones, you will put down your tools, turn off the TV set, put your racing schedule on hold and read this book.  I Am Your Disease is not going to tell you what Step One is, or how to magically change the behavior of your children in regards to drugs.  If you are a user and abuser, this book will not cure you either.  If your children see you using drugs or alcohol, all the books in the world aren’t going to be of much help.
     What I Am Your Disease will do for you is set the mood and maybe get you thinking.  Maybe you have been doing too much racing or cruising to the detriment of your family.  I Am Your Disease is step one in your future sobriety, or the salvation of your children who are experimenting with the drug culture.  There is also a lot of smugness on the part of families who haven’t suffered a lot from drug abuse.  But in my life I have never seen a family that didn’t have some sort of dysfunctional behaviors and addiction is one of the worst.  Sometimes it is simply dumb luck that determines whether our addictions kill us or spare us.  I Am Your Disease is simply an eye opener, a book intended to give you some examples of how drug addiction kills.  There are as many ways to suffer irreparable damage and death as there are people who experiment with drugs.  You are car guys and hot rodders and you pride yourself on finding solutions to problems that arise in the automotive culture.  Now it is time for you to spend some time and read this book and see how some young men and women got themselves into this problem and how it caused their deaths.  It’s time to educate yourselves and learn what addiction is and what you can do to help prevent it.  I Am Your Disease is an easy to read book that is easy for the whole family to read, separately and then later as a group, to promote a family unity.  Before your children go to Junior High School, High School and College, have them read this book and discuss it with you.  I know what you are going to say, “My children don’t talk to me and even if they did, I wouldn’t know what to say.”  Unfortunately, you won’t be able to say very much at their funerals either.  You’ll be just as tongue tied at the gravesite as you are sitting in the living room with a belligerent young person who would rather be somewhere else.  But this is your child and you love them and your prized ’32 Deuce is going to be left to them to live the hot rodding life that you love so much.  You’ll spend thousands of hours in the garage or auto shop building the car of your dreams, but you won’t spend an hour of your time with your wife and children on a topic that could save their lives. 
     Typical of the stories is one written by the mother of Mike DiGiantommaso who died from an overdose of heroin.  His mother gave the timeline of addiction; experimentation, abuse, addiction and death.  But in between these phases comes other harmful aspects.  Debt, theft, inability to function or see the plight of others as one’s life is being extinguished.  For the parents and friends, a despair at the alienation of their child and friend as they are lost to a world of drugs.  Mike began to use alcohol and marijuana at the age of 15, and then progressed on to harder and more addictive drugs.  Since the majority of Americans have gone through the same stage, how was anyone to see the tragedy that was to unfold before their eyes?   The mother feels responsible and says her denial was a factor, but in a world where drugs and alcohol addiction is the norm, how could she have known what would happen to her son.  Most addicts to drugs survive, though their health may never be as good as if they had never gotten hooked.  Sometimes a parent feels that they are trying to hold back a flood of modern day behaviors from reaching their family.  Guilt and shame are useless emotions after a child has died from addictive drugs.  In some respects that is all that we have, this blaming of our inability to face the truth.  Even in homes that do not use drugs, tobacco or alcohol, our children are still at risk.  If we band together and send letters to our Congressmen when laws are proposed to curtail our car culture, shouldn’t we band together to save the lives of our family members too?  Frankly, there is no easy solution and every program to curtail drug addiction has limitations.  The author and the reviewer disagree on some of the programs, but this is unimportant.  I Am Your Disease is a book for beginners.  It isn’t intended to be a book for experienced professionals.  The purpose of the book is to get you to think about the problem and then to talk about it and finally to act.  In that respect, I Am Your Disease is a success, and frankly, based only on its content, one of the better books on my list of “must have for your library.”  I rate this book a solid 8 out of 8 spark plugs, or a superior book.
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.   The author can be reached at www.theaddictionmonster.com
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Gone Racin’…Tex Smith’s Hot Rod History; Book One the Beginnings, by Tom Medley.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands and www.hotrodhotline.com

     Tex Smith Hot Rod Library is a publishing company that specializes in the hot rodding culture.  The company has many titles of books, pamphlets, and tracts of interest to car fans.  Their How-To books and manuals cover the entire gamut of the hot rodding world.  This publishing company is expert at knowing what will interest car guys.  There are several ways that they put this knowledge to use.  One way is to commission expert authors like Tom Medley to write a book on a particular subject.  Another way is to accept written works by authors and print them under the banner of Tex Smith’s Hot Rod Library.  Either way they have a great selection of material to choose from. Tex Smith’s Hot Rod History; Book One the Beginnings, by Tom Medley is a historical book on Hot Rodding that should be a staple of every hot rodder’s library.  The book is in paperback format and measures 8 by 11 inches in size with 202 pages.  The book contains 692 black and white photos, 3 Sepia and 4 color photos.  The captions are quite good where the author knows the car and driver.  There is an adequate amount of text surrounding the photos.  There is no index and that is a huge drawback in finding and locating names and subject matter.  The photos go back into the 1920’s and ‘30’s and are very clear for their age.  The paper is non-glossy normal bond and the book would not be considered of a coffee table quality.  There are 8 ads, some from the past, which are interesting. 
     The book itself does not look spectacular but that is misleading.  The reason to buy this book and read it is because of the author, Tom Medley.  A writer, author, cartoonist and reporter, Medley knows hot rodding intimately.  His text explains the history of the hot rodding movement and the photos amply cover the story.  This is a book you will pick up repeatedly and pore over until you know each car and person portrayed within its covers.  Medley had help in putting the book together.  LeRoi Tex Smith, Richard Johnson, Ron Ceridono and Bob Reece helped in putting this book together.  There is a brief table of contents, a foreword by Tex Smith and then 11 chapters, each a biography of a famous hot rodder from the past.  In the first chapter, Tex Smith introduces the author, Tom Medley.  Medley was born in Oregon, served in the military during World War II, then went to work for Pete Petersen at the new Hot Rod Magazine.  He is famous for his cartoon hero “Stroker McGurk.”  Medley would let his imagination soar with Stroker, who did all the crazy stuff that hot rodders were famous for.  In one cartoon, Stroker has trouble stopping his car and in desperation, attaches a parachute on the back.  Hot rodders everywhere took that idea seriously and chutes became a customary safety equipment improvement.  In Chapter Two, Medley takes over the interviewing, this time talking with Kong Jackson about the great cam grinder, Ed Winfield.  Ed was a generation older than the kids that grew up during the Great Depression and went off to war after Pearl Harbor.  Winfield was a mechanical genius and quite a racer in his youth.  He inspired men like Kong Jackson and others.  His speed equipment is still being produced for those wanting to race Flathead engines.  Chapter Three discusses Kong Jackson’s hot rodding experiences.  Kong went to the dry lakes in 1937 and remained a faithful SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) member for the rest of his life.
     In Chapter Four, Medley talks to the Spalding brothers, Bill and Tom.  The brothers first went to the dry lakes of Southern California in 1934.  They built the famous Spalding Brothers streamliner that ran at the lakes and at Bonneville.  One of the irritations in the book is that the photos do not always fit the story and some of the pictures should have been placed in the back of the book so as not to be confusing.
The captions are very good and sometimes that is all that the reader has to understand why a photo pops up in strange sequences.  Generally, though, the photos do support the story Medley is trying to tell.  Chapter Five is about Wes Cooper who first saw the dry lakes in 1935, and raced there in 1937, before the formation of the SCTA.  Chapter Six is about Bruce Johnston, who first raced on the dry lakes at Muroc in 1937.  He remembers that his first time was rather wild and several racers were injured and some died.  Tragically, Bruce would crash his car at the Muroc Reunion some 60 years later and lose his life in a sport that he loved so dearly.  Johnston also raced in the URA, AAA, IMCA and other associations.  Bob Stelling is portrayed in Chapter Seven.  Bob did a lot of street racing in the 1930’s and first went to the dry lakes in 1935.  He was also into midget racing when they first became popular.   Johnny Parsons was one of Stelling’s drivers at the time.  Chapter Eight is concerned with Alex Xydias.  Alex is remembered for the So-Cal Speed Shop Special, a belly tank streamliner that set records at Bonneville.  Xydias would close his famous speed shop in the early 1960’s.  Four decades later the So-Cal Speed Shop would be re-opened by the marketing genius of Pete Chapouris and Tony Thacker.  The beautiful coupes and belly tank land speed racers would be rebuilt and loving displayed around the country. 
     Ray Brown is interviewed in Chapter Nine.  Brown grew up in the Hollywood area and worked for Eddie Meyer.  He raced at the lakes and at Bonneville and was one of the first to use the new Chrysler motors.  His innovative speed shop and other businesses helped to promote hot rodding in its early years.  Ray was a member of the Road Runners Car club and served as the President of the SCTA in 1953.  In Chapter Ten, Medley interviews his old friend and boss, Wally Parks, who after WWII became the first full-time professional editor of Hot Rod Magazine, while leading the reorganization of the SCTA as its President and Secretary.  Parks was a member of the Road Runners Car club and in 1951 he created the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), which became the largest drag racing sanctioning body in the world.  Chapter Eleven is about Dick Martin.  He is from Oregon and got his first car in 1941.  He was impressed with the Porter Muffler shop in Los Angeles and opened several Porter Muffler dealerships in the Oregon and Washington area.  Martin raced oval track roadsters and drag raced.
Tex Smith’s Hot Rod History; Book One the Beginnings and its sister publication, Tex Smith’s Hot Rod History; Book Two the Glory Years are two books that belong in every hot rodder’s library.  They give a good historical overview based on the recollections of the men who were there in the beginning.  For more information about where to purchase a copy, email Jim Clark at , or phone 435-574-2174.
Gone Racin’ is at .  ********************************************************************************************

 

 

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