NEWSLETTER 323 -May 18 , 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; Kenny Safford and Rod Pepmiller. Ed Woodward, Tommy Ivo

GUEST EDITORIAL, by Dyno Don Batyi 
     This bulletin is about SB 1077 Mileage Based Fee Pilot Program. When I first saw this bill, I said to myself it will never fly; WRONG. It is now in the CA Senate Transportation Committee, has been amended and is coming up for a vote on Tuesday, April 29. Below is the Legislative Council Digest with the amended verbiage. Please read it carefully.
     SB 1077, as amended, DeSaulnier-Democrat.  Vehicles: vehicle-miles-traveled charges. mileage-based fee pilot program.  Existing law establishes the Department of Motor Vehicles and provides for its general powers and duties, including, among other things, the registration of vehicles, the licensing of drivers, and the regulation of vehicles generally. Transportation Agency, which consists of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, the California Transportation Commission, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Transportation, the High-Speed Rail Authority, and the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun.
     This bill would require the Department of Motor Vehicles agency to develop and implement, develop, by July 1, 2015, January 1, 2016, a pilot program designed to assess specified issues related to implementing a vehicle-miles-traveled mileage-based fee (MBF) in California to replace the state’s existing fuel excise tax. The bill would require the agency, at a minimum, to assess certain issues related to implementing an MBF, including, among others, different methods for calculating mileage and collecting road use information, processes for managing, storing, transmitting, and destroying data to protect the integrity of the data and ensure drivers’ privacy, and costs associated with the implementation and operation of the MBF system, as specified.
     The bill would also require the department to prepare and submit a specified report of its findings to the policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature no later than June 30, 2016 2017. The bill would require the report to include, among other things, recommendations on how best to implement an MBF, as specified, and recommendations regarding public and private agency access to MBF data that ensures privacy rights as protected by the California Constitution. The bill would provide that repeal these provisions would be repealed on January 1, 2018.   
     There has been rhetoric on this bill about high mileage cars, improved mileage vehicles, hybrids, "alternative-fueled" vehicles and electric's, however I see this as a means to increase tax revenues and implement the ARB's "Sustained Communities".  Please keep in mind this is CA's version on "U.N. Agenda 21" and the State debt is now $419,465,023,500. Part of the Agenda 21 thrust is to end urban sprawl, move people into high rise condo's in the city and use public transportation.  I urge all to send letters of opposition to the Senate Transportation Committee before April 29. Simply say you oppose this bill because the citizens of CA do not need more taxes, we are now taxed and fee'd too much now. Clubs should use their letterheads and include the number of members. I would prefer not to supply a sample letter because sometimes they lump them in as a form letter.      
     Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Chairman Senate Transportation Committee, State Capitol, Room 5035, State Capitol, Room 2209 Sacramento,  CA  95814                                                     Sacramento, CA 95814  Phone: (916) 651-4007, Phone: (916) 651-4121 Fax: (916) 651-4907, Fax: (916) 445-2209

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:  
     I received an email from reader Ed Woodard who wrote; “
Just read the tribute to Tom Medley.  Seems like every day that goes by we lose a good one.  I know I just lost my wife of 57 years. I will be in attendance of the NSRA Appreciation Day in Nashville this Saturday and I am going to remind all in attendance to record conversations with loved ones and friends.  I told my son that I would gladly give up the rest of my life to have 5 minutes more with my wife.  Life is so precious.” 
     I receive many notices like this every week and what makes it easier to bear is the knowledge that we have a lot of biographies and stories on the people that we lose and when it is hard to think about the loss, I go back to these stories and reread them.  When we keep photographs and stories of our loved ones they are never far from us and never far from those unborn generations yet to be born who will see and know what their ancestors were like.  We will have more biographies in the months to come, so look for them in future issues.
     The volunteer staff of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter is proud of our accomplishments.  Jim Miller is our Society President and chiefly writes for the American Hot Rod Foundation at
www.ahrf.com.  We are not competitors.  We help each other out with research and with leads to more stories from the past.  Jim has told me that I can use resources from his site and I have told him he could take from our website.  The only reason that Jim does not is that he looked at the sheer volume of material on www.landspeedracing.com and told me he probably won’t live that long.  When I look at www.ahrf.com I come to the same conclusion.  The work before us keeps us glued to our computer chair.  If I can ever get free there is the huge archives that belonged to my father that needs to be catalogued, indexed, scanned and made available to researchers.  As Jim likes to say, “Ain’t this fun?”  Yes, Jim, it is.
     Then we have Bob Falcon as a contributor.  I like to keep guys around me who witnessed history and when I lost Ak Miller, Walt James, Don Radbruch, Phyllis Devine and a host of other experts in our racing history I felt really dejected, for I relied so much on these wonderful people.  Bob is a national treasure in racing.  We have his bio on record and a large amount of stories that he sends in.  Although he says he is a roundy round guy, he seems to know so much about straight-line racing.  He also supports the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) in Torrance, California and their Book/Literature event.  He’s starting to write on what he has seen and I expect some great breakthroughs from him, especially on Halibrand Engineering.
     Roger Rohrdanz is our chief photographer and the only photographer I have not tried to maim.  Photographers and writers live in a different world and frankly, we writers know that all photographers are somewhat touched by the heat and fumes.  What photographers think of writers cannot be published.  Roger on the other hand is simply one of the great ones.  He’s a talent and a keeper.  His captions are crisp, clear and informative.  He knows his sources and he’s there when the action begins and doesn’t come home until there is no light left to shoot more photos.  I kid him constantly about what he is going to do with fifty years of photo negatives and like a pack-rat he shakes his head and can’t answer me.  He just came into a treasure trove of photos going back nearly fifty years.  That should keep him out of trouble as he chronicles drag racing from the 1960’s through the 2010’s. 
     Spencer Simon has a natural sense for investigative reporting and comes across more stories than I ever thought possible.  One of his talents is the ability to listen and to hear.  Where many of us simply want to talk, Spencer is one who listens.  He is new to the game of reporting and he is learning fast.  He has the hot rodder’s sense of equality.  Spencer doesn’t let big names or big egos drive him away.  He goes right up to the source in a fearless manner and says he is there to learn and to get the story and for a reason that no one can fathom, these men and women of racing let him into their lives and give him their story. 
     Anna Marco and her team, including Stormy Byrd, have a zeal to know and to find out and bring us stories and biographies on the famous and the normal hot rodders.  What I like about Anna, who goes by Anna Octane, is her enthusiasm for hot rodding.  I see her everywhere, at races, car shows, reunions and club meetings.  Her stories are crisp, clean, and right to the point in the manner of Shav Glick.  She gets the details, trying to make sure that everything has been recorded and nothing is overlooked.  Anna has this ability to get the guys to talk and to be excited about their history.  Too often the old hot rodders feel like no one really cares about their past.  Then Anna appears on the scene and in no time she has these guys believing in themselves again.
     Dick Martin is as fine a writer as you will find and his work has shown up in all of the finest hot rod and racing magazines.  But Dick is more than just a great writer and historian, he’s just a kind and considerate guy with a streak of loyalty and love of traditional values as you will find.  He set up reunions and special events to honor men like Tom Medley, Nick Arias Jr, Stu Hilborn, Ak Miller, Ed Iskenderian, Fred Carrillo and others whom he admired.  Martin puts his heart and his soul in showing his respect for those in hot rodding.  Then he agonizes that he hasn’t done enough and sets out to do more. 
     Jack and Mary Ann Lawford started
www.hotrodhotline.com and also the website that we are using today at www.landspeedracing.com.  They not only let us use their website free of charge, but Mary Ann does all the work of taking the edited newsletter and putting the text, graphics and photographs on-line.  The Lawfords’ are known everywhere in hot rodding, car shows and reunions for their generous work in helping car show and other car events to succeed.  Just how many miles they have traveled from show to show is unknown, but it’s huge.  They are the first to stop what they are doing and respond to another person’s request for help.  They sold Hotrodhotline, but kept Landspeedracing because they love the car culture and want to help where they can.
     I placed Tex Smith last not because he should be last, but because you want the dessert as the last part of your meal so that the sweet taste will linger on your taste buds.  It’s hard to comprehend, but Tex has been a major player in hot rodding and has started up so many companies, groups and associations that it would take a book to keep track of it all.  And this is exactly what Tex is going to do; write that book and tell us what he has seen.  He was there at Hot Rod Magazine, NHRA and with my stepmother Barbara Parks as they attempted to bring back youth car clubbing in the 1960’s.  He was there when SEMA was organized.  He was at the dry lakes and Bonneville.  He flew Air Force jets.  He logged more miles looking for the secrets of where America hid its steel treasures (cars) than anybody.  He has friends in every hamlet from Europe to Australia and the New World.  Tex was a close friend of my father’s and I grew up knowing that Tex was always in and out of our world.  If you wanted to get on his good side just tell him where there was a good fishing hole or where you think there might be some great old junkyards and some great old cars hiding.  His stories are as good as you’ll ever get.  If I could come close to writing from the heart as Tex does, then my life would be complete.
     So there you have it.  As my father used to say; “If you want to be successful then just surround yourself with successful people.”   Mary Ann checked last month’s hit list and found out that 4500 people checked in to see what we were doing.  It’s hard to tell if that was 4500 individuals or Roger checking in 4500 times.  But I’m happy that people find us of value.  We are an eclectic publication, meaning that we don’t focus on one topic but let the newsletter go wherever it wants to go.  Sometimes that means that we stray from our goal of reporting on hot rodding, land speed racing and the early days of drag racing; topics that my father loved so much.  But history is history and even when we find a trivial little fact it is exciting.  I hope that our readers will write their stories and send them in to be published.  There is no such thing as an unimportant story.

     Some of you may already know, but my dad passed away on April 13, 2014 after a 6 month battle with health issues.  He fought until the end, always convinced he "would beat this."  I am trying to make sure that anyone who may want to attend the memorial can.  I am working on a flyer for his memorial rod run & will have it ready for emails later today.  If you would like further info, please email me at murphyhillfarm@gmail.com. .  Thanks, Tracey Pennington
TRACEY: I am sorry to hear about your father's passing.  He wrote to me on several occasions concerning issues on copyright, patents, etc and I valued his input and placed his notes to me in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter at www.landspeedracing.com.  Your father was always willing to respond and to give me factual history on land speed racing and the world of collectibles and artifacts.  I would like to post a biography of your father with photographs on the website if you feel that is appropriate and I will help you compile such a notice.  We are a free website, much like www.landracing.com, and I try and always add a story on all of our hot rodding and straight-line racers whenever I can.  Please send me the flyer on his memorial.  I probably cannot make the deadline at my website but I can try and see if they can post it at www.hotrodhotline.com
     I just heard that Ken Stafford and Rod Pepmiller both passed away.   There is supposedly going to be a celebration of life at the NHRA Museum on the 20th at 7 PM.  Jim Miller
JIM: Could you find a source to verify their passing?  I'm still being teased for stating one time that a well-known artist had passed away.  Each time I see him he tells me how much he appreciated "my obituary on him" and that one of these days he will "use it."  Do you have a biography, photographs or an obituary that I can use in the newsletter? 
Kenneth L. Safford, Celebrated Professional Drag Racer, Inductee into the NHRA Hall of Fame & Expert Machinist & Mechanic. Beloved husband of Carolyn (nee Speirs) Safford. Loving father of Kenny (Kellee) Safford & Kristi (Bill) McFarland. Proud grandfather of Alexandra, Hannah, Cole, Jack, Jake, Grace, Matt & Jennifer. Dear brother of the late M'Liss (late Jim) Verity. Fond brother-in-law of Nancy (Bob) Malone & Bruce (Kathlyne) Speirs. Visitation Friday from 3 until 9 p.m. at the Kerry Funeral Home, 7020 W. 127th Street, Palos Heights.  Funeral & Interment are private. In lieu of flowers, contributions to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital , 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 would be appreciated. (708) 361.4235 ~ www.kerryfh.com ~ www.facebook.com/kerryfuneral Published in Chicago Tribune on Apr. 24, 2014 - See more at:
STAFF NOTES; The following letter comes from Tommy Ivo concerning the passing of Kenny Safford and Rod Pepmiller.
     Yes indeed they were both Road Kings, from the original club.  Rod was my strong right arm and a little bit of my left, ever since I started racing.  I was also in business with him twice.  The first time was in my chassis shop and then in an auto repair business.  I wore him out; doing all the welding on my trailers I built.  And he was my best man at my wedding.  He was just my all round best friend and I'll miss him dearly.   He passed away one day before my 78th Birthday.  He was six months my senior at 78. 
     And then Kenny did the same thing, four days after my Birthday.  Some birthday that was!   Kenny shared my chassis shop building, with the Sour Sisters dragster.  I guess you can't imagine who named them that.  And between him, Rod and Ed Jankey; who's in a wheel chair now, suffering with MS.  They were my three musketeers, that I had more fun with in my life.  Somehow I look at my nicks and dings from racing in a different light now.  I feel so bad about the whole thing.  I even forgive Kenny for crossing my wires on my funny car, when he went to Pomona with me, to make test runs with it.  He was the "Mr Norm" funny car guy you know. 
     But I just chocked it off to him being an eastern guy from Chicago!  <Ivo type grin>  Hey, you have to look at it a little on the light side.  Or it would really put me down in the dumps!  Here's a piece they put in National Dragster.  Look down to the end of the whole thing.  
http://www.nhra.com/blog/dragster-insider/2014/04/25/remembering-five-fallen-friends/.    There will be a memorial for the two of them at the NHRA museum.  Kenny's and his wife were good friends with Don Prudhomme and his wife as well.  She's helping out with the plans for the double memorial.  Let's hope it's a good one.  There will sure be a lot of well known racers there.  Dave McClelland with be doing the honors for the Celebration of Life that night.  Anything else I can help you with.  Please don't hesitate to ask.  Send me a copy for my own enjoyment, if you use it somewhere, if you please. 
     Here's another story a friend of mine sent me.  I'm trying to give you some material to work with.  The Safford-Ratican-Gaide team won 17 out of the first 22 Top Fuel races it attended but also was hard on parts. “We were winning enough races for the car to support itself, but we were constantly breaking engines because the Olds block wasn’t strong enough,” remembered Safford.  “We went through 22 blocks in one year.”  Enter the always cunning prankster Mr. Ivo, who shared shop space with the team.  “Ivo would see us pouting a lot every time we broke an engine, so he started calling us the ‘Sour Sisters,’ and the nickname stuck,” said Safford. 
     The team switched to Chrysler power in early 1963 before Safford moved to the seat of the B&M Torkmaster car in 1964, which preceded a long and successful stint driving for “Terrible Ted” Gotelli that lasted until early 1969.  Safford made the switch to Funny Cars in 1969, driving first for the Stone-Woods-Cooke team on the new Coca-Cola Cavalcade of Stars program, which allowed them to make contacts with many more racers, track promoters, and manufacturers.  Among those he met was Gary Dyer, driver of the Mr. Norm’s Dodge Funny Car, who was looking to step out of the car for the 1970 season. 
Caption; “Here's a picture of the four of us, in front of the Sour Sisters dragster when we were putting it in the Auto Club of Southern California Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum one time.  THESE WERE THE BEST OF TIMES!)   
     Here's the only time I got Rod Pepmiller’s goat so bad, with one of my prankster jokes.  I had pulled his hub caps off and put them behind the tires.  Then I hit the starter button, with it in reverse gear on a stick shift.  You could do that on them old cars and make it move.  It was kind of a beat up car.  But somehow I guess he liked that old car.  Do you think it had anything to do with it being Rod’s ONLY car?  <another Ivo type grin>  But if I didn't outrun him he'd have removed my head from my shoulders, I'm sure.  HE WAS UPSET!  But you run a lot faster when you have the fear of death breathing down your back!  <last Ivo type grin>  Wonderful memories to be sure!
; Rod Pepmiller’s car on top of four crushed hubcaps.)  

Rod Peppmuller, TV Tom, Kenny Safford, Ed Janky. c
1 Rods Ford on Hubcaps

     I lived in Culver City, right behind Lot 2 (and Esther Williams practice swimming pool) for many years.  I was looking through my copy of "The First Year of Hot Rod Magazine" and recalled that I went to high school with the first two "Parts With Appeal" models.  They both were also employed by MGM as Messenger Girls and were probably recruited for the modeling gigs by Bob Petersen who was also working at The Studio in those days.  He often visited my dad's Wheel Alignment shop and, in fact gave me a copy of Hot Rod Volume 1 Number 1 when it was just off the press.  I still have it somewhere here in my stuff, the staples were rusted the last time I saw it.   Bob Falcon
BOB: Do you have the names of the models and if they are still around for an interview.  That would give us an insight into how Petersen conducted business in the very early years.  Hold on to that 1st issue as it may have a great deal of value, being the original issue.  What do you remember about Bob "Pete" Petersen?  And was he with my father at any time that you can remember?

     Don Garlits set a new electric drag car record of 184 mph in a Brad Hadman and Mike Gerry built dragster.  Don’s goal is to break the 200 mph mark for an electric powered dragster. See the following story by National Dragster editor Phil Burgess; http://www.nhra.com/story/story.aspx?F_y=2014&F_m=5&F_d=2&CustomURL=garlits-electric-vehicle-record&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1.  John Hutchinson, England
     Scott Andrews and I went to the L. A. Premier of “BREAKING BARRIERS” last night.  There were so many icons there; Alex Xydias, Craig Breedlove, Hennessey Performance, Barry Meguiar, Pete Chapouris, Bruce Meyer and so many more!  This film has so much dry lake and Bonneville history that it will satisfy your salt craving till August.  Ron Main
RON: The link that you gave only showed a 14 second segment.  Can you give me more details?  Is this a full length movie and is it going to be out in theaters?  If not will it be available on disk so that I can review it for www.landspeedracing.com and www.hotrodhotline.com
     The show is on National Geographic Channel, May 7 at 8 PM EST, May 8, at 1 AM EST, and May 14 at 4 PM EST.  Ron Main
     It is very generous of Tex Smith to attribute the Salt resurgence to the Bonneville Cruise In.  The Bonneville Cruise Ins that I oversaw from 1981 to 1989 did help introduce street rod and custom spectators to Bonneville and quite a few of those did turn into salt racers, but not to the level he asserts.  I attribute the current popularity of Bonneville to the SCTA/BNI making the event more spectator friendly with the advent of first, dual race tracks, and then the subsequent additions up to the present four track layout. The pace of salt racing is much quicker and at the same time more visible.  In essence, more fun for everyone, both racers and spectators alike!   Burly Burlile
Old Tucson Dragway Hot Rod Reunion.  By Tim “TTA host volunteer” Holt.  Photos by John Saltsman Jr and Sean Lukowski.  Special Thanks: John Saltsman and Weechie.  2012

     The Tucson Timing Association celebrated Cinco de Mayo (2012) in gearhead fashion with their Hot Rod Reunion celebrating a fifty-year recognition of the Old Tucson Dragway. 50th Reunion & Drags.  The weekend started with an Open House on Friday at the Southwestern International Dragway with a preview of what was going to be happenin’ on Saturday.  The crowds were awestruck with many of the Top Fuel cars lighting ‘em up in the pits with fuelin’ flames and ground shakin’ sounds and a test ‘n tune on the strip. The pre-party guaranteed a great crowd the next day.
     Saturday AM the cars and crowds poured in to see what drag racing used to be, back in the day. Over two hundred vehicles checked in for Show’ & Shine, and nearly another half-hundred dragsters came to make hot rod history and renew friendships of days gone by. The drag racing started off with classic 1/8th mile heads-up racing featuring flagman starts with local and nearly famous Hot Rod Huggins dressing the part. Tony whipped the starter flag and crowds into a frenzy as he got the rods off the line in historic fashion.
     Back in the pits the Fuel Cars made their debut. Red Greth warmed up the Speedsport
Old Noisy with Jon Rowley and the Arfon’s Green Monster Allison (with its dual slicks) go head to head in a match race not seen since the fifties. Many other exhibition runs were made throughout the day by vintage dragsters. It was exciting to see the Stone, Woods and Cook nitro snorting Mustang Funny Car piloted by Mike Cook ripping the strip. Wayne Ludington rocked the grandstands with his straight-eight Buick Dragster along with Rocky Phillips (of Eaglefield fame) and his freshly restored Twin SBC Dragster smoking through half-track like the good old days.
     Hot Rod Heroes.  Some real hot rod heroes made a number of runs such as the Sievers, Weisner & Owens AA/Gasser along with Paul Henderson and the Steinegger and Eshenbaugh K-88 car. A really hot match race took place with the excitingly beautiful
Top Fuel Dragster going up against the Old Timers T/F car. The noise and thrill of seeing these two go at it was memorable cool. And they did it a number of times throughout the day; push starting around the pits and return road, keeping those in attendance favorably entertained.
     There were a number of cackle cars making fun in the pits. The historic Bud King
Arrow Funny Car and the Sean Dale Shakey Situation F/C got some noise going with crowds hanging around these two most of the day. Jake Burris took to the track in his debut with the restored Incognito Altered owned by local Don Toia (Don’s Hot Rod Shop).  That was a kickin’ good old drag race. At the end of the day, the Tucson Timing Association celebrated a number of inductions into the Southern Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame. A permanent stone kiosk display names racers who made hot rod history these past few years. Following the ceremony, an exciting day came to an end with over a dozen nitro and alcohol cars lined up at the starting line cackling away for the now famous “Nitro Blast” reassuring us that this won’t be the last reunion. Look for more excitement in 2013 as they do it again. 
     A BIG Thanks to Paula Roth, Walter Nash, Dan Owens, Paul Smith, Tom Koenen, Jon Bradford, and the SIR staff. Contact:
TucsonReunion@msn.com or Merle’s Southwest International Raceway, 12000 S. Tucson Road, Tucson, Arizona.
Tucson Dragway Reunion captions
JS=John Saltsman photos
SL= Sean Lukowski photos
JS0158 Arfon’s Green Monster Allison with dual slicks
JS0559-Paula Roth…The car is a mid-60’s George Britting, chassis updated by Dave Tuttle. It has a 189 inch wheelbase; the engine is a gas powered single carb small block Chevy. The SBC started its life as a 350 but it is bored and stroked to a 383 CID. The carb is a Holley 750 double pumper on a Victor JR manifold. The cam is a 4-7 swap cam. The transmission is a power glide, the rear-end is an 8 3/4 Chrysler. It has no electronics with the exception of a tranny brake. The lettering on the car is actually painted not stickers. Geet Faulkner, did all the lettering including a Rat Fink on the fuel tank. The car is set up to run the NHRA Heritage class of Nostalgia Eliminator 11. She runs 8.60 seconds at 165 miles an hour. The miraculous thing is that Paula Roth is deaf and drag races anyway.
JS0617--Flag starter Tony “hotrod” Huggins
JS0621-Tony Huggins & Paula Roth
JS0673-Marvin Schwartz Anaconda
SL3157 Rocky Phillips Evil Twin dragster, twin engine SBC
SL3338 Weechie and The Termite, 1964 Ford Falcon…This car is a piece of the 60’s Nostalgic Drag Racing History.  This car was sponsored by: DREW FORD in La Mesa, Ca. and raced at Orange County International Raceway. Original Owner / Driver / Builder was Johnny Hawkins.  AHRA Winter National Record Holder 1969, AHRA Divisional Point Record Holder 1969.  National Record Holder 1973.  The Termite Graphics were painted by California legend: Bob McCoy.  This car is the real deal time capsule, not a clone. It is now street legal and now has a streetable drivetrain: 302 bored 30/over, C4 / shift kit, 9 inch 350 Posi. 31 spline, 3 inch exhaust with cut-outs.  still have the original 13  to 1 compression 289 racing motor with tunnel ram and Mike Jones built Holley 2x4’s, Art Carr built C4 with manual shift, 9 inch Detroit Locker with 411 Posi with 31 spline, Line Lock, and Stinger Ignition/Coil. Most of these racing parts are period perfect from the 60’s. Also have a copy of the certified document from the Bee Line Dragstrip dated 1/24/69 as the AHRA Winter National Record Holder in class F-3 H/S. I’m still trying to find more history on the car and Johnny Hawkins. 

April 2014 www.Autowriters.com Newsletter, courtesy of Glenn Campbell.         
     Not long after AW reported launching of The Car Guy TV show in Dallas, Texas, questions arose about the whereabouts and activities of the original "Car Guy."   To AW's best knowledge, that would be Steve Ford, who registered "The Car Guy" as his service mark in 1985 and has used it ever since in print and on radio, TV and the Internet.  So AW asked him what's he been up to and what he is doing with the byline today. His response becomes this month's Autowriters Spotlight.  Glenn Campbell
     “Most of my closest lifetime friends have migrated from where we met in our high school auto shop class into careers that could leave someone today wondering how they ever fit into the gearhead stereotype. Still, they're all car guys and into the car hobby to this day.  For me, that teenage passion for cars forged during those impressionable years pointed to an inevitable career path with commercial use of the registered service mark ‘The Car Guy.’  From early work as a mechanic just out of high school and into the automotive industry, to the moment I started work as The Car Guy in 1983 to pay for college, to every newspaper or magazine article published, radio or television segment broadcast, convention or keynote speech delivered, technical training seminar or automotive class presented, I have worked to uphold the best of this original title.
     As a moniker for my byline, it reflects the inspirational education I first received as a teenager reading the enthusiast magazines for which many of you write today.  Generating a part-time income in college from used-car inspections for customers was a perfect fit to allow daytime classes.  Meanwhile, writing automotive columns for the school newspaper and delivering car tips on the college radio station, KCSN, also opened a view to broadcast journalism.  A few professors and even some buddies laughed about what seemed too lighthearted in use of ‘The Car Guy’ in an era when the predominant and accepted terms for a car person were ‘car buff,’ ‘car enthusiast’ and ‘gearhead,’ even as being a ‘car guy’ was an emerging new term - among a number of others (including ‘petrol head’ and ‘motor head’ from European car culture),” said Steve Ford.
      To see the entire story and photos go to
www.autowriters.com, April 2014.
April 2014
www.Autowriters.com Newsletter, courtesy of Glenn Campbell.
     SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; The Petersen Museum's exhibit of "The World's Greatest Sports Coupes" selected by celebrity collectors is now open to the public in Los Angeles.  Included among many who helped curate the display are: Patrick Dempsey, Francis Ford Coppola, Bobby Rahal and Nick Mason.  Mark Vaughn reported in AutoWeek the Auto Club in Fontana, California built a million-dollar wall to ease the ears of nearby neighbors when the fun begins.   Chrysler cars designed by the famed Virgil Exner have been added to the Palos Verdes Concours September 14, 2014 at the Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. 
     NORTHERN CALIFORNIA; The Pacific Coast Region of Team Shelby will be hosting their Carroll Shelby Memorial Classic car show at the Blackhawk Museum Plaza on Sunday, May 10, from 10 am to 1 pm.  May 17, in association with the Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, the Blackhawk Automotive Museum is planning a 'day at the track.'  The day will include a group drive from the Blackhawk Museum to the renowned Sonoma Raceway to enjoy one of the leading vintage car race events, and the opportunity to drive your car on the track during the lunch time session.  This opportunity will be limited to the first 40 people to register. 
     MIDWEST; "The Forward Look" of Chrysler cars from 1955-1961 will be highlighted in the Sunday, July 27 Concours d'Elegance of America at St John's, outside of Detroit. The display will tell the story of "The Forward Look," with carefully selected examples from each generation of the genre.  Virgil Exner Jr, retired Ford designer and son of Virgil Exner, will be an honorary judge and will also be conducting a seminar on the development and evolution of the "Forward Look" cars.    
     SOUTHEAST; To commemorate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles arriving in America and the elegance of classic British automobiles, the 2014 Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance will stage a "British Invasion" concert in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C. on May 3. Also on display at the Concours Sunday May 4, on loan from the Petersen Automotive Museum, will be a 1956 Jaguar XKSS once owned by movie legend Steve McQueen as well as the Hot Wheels-branded Snake and Mongoose Funny Cars, now owned by NASCAR car owner Rick Hendrick.
More on Burly By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands and

     Now you know about Burly Burlile.  But you may not know that his reputation as a Volkswagen fruit loop is very well founded, and for your own sanity perhaps you should not stand too close to him at a rod run or at the Salt Flats.  After all, he is the one who truly ramped up the lagging interest in Bonneville, with a rod run to the salt that he created way back in the late 70s.  He called it a Cruise.  Back then, it was mostly a banner on the spectator line between the pits and the start line, just some rodders deciding to find their roots in a salt pan.  We, me and Ron Ceridono, came along a couple of years later with Hot Rod Mechanix magazine, and we started heralding Burlile’s efforts, and quite frankly, all the renewed interest in the salt came through street rodders finding out just how much fun the long black line can be.  So, blame Burly Burlile for it all. 

     Few years back, I got an e-mail from Burly saying that he and a friend had decided to go back and find a thing that they had earlier discovered when following up on a story I had done in R&C. I think the name was The Lost Texas Tin Mine.  Or some such as that.  In a continuation of all those Vintage Tin articles I put together for R&C, I started compiling photos I had gathered during my annual trips from Southern California to Montana.  The trip had become so ho-hum that I started looking on the road maps for alternate routes south to north, and reverse.  After all, the desert gets to be pretty much the same old same old all the way from the Mojave to the Snake River run through southern Idaho. 

      The mountains are pretty much south/north, and usually there is a paved road up the intersecting valley. And not much else.  That is, until you dig out an old atlas of the very early l900’s, then you note a lot of names that might have been little more than a camp site.  But, much of the mineral boom of Nevada came in those same early l900s. Meaning cars and trucks were around.  So, what you do is you drive up one of those lonely roads from nowhere to nowhere, and you will see a lot of dirt roads angling off sideways right and left into a mountain canyon.  Where there is a canyon, chances are good there is a running water course, and settlements or mines.  That is where I have found so many old cars.  Rust free, unless they happen to be laying in an alkali bed.

      But for you, consider following up on Burly’s recreation of his earlier discovery trip. It is roughly down what is called the loneliest road in America, Route 50 east to west. There are a number of old near ghost towns along there, and I had included a lot of pix from this tin mine in one of my stories.  Burly found them on his first journey, and he re-found them years later.  I’ll bet the 36 three window has long gone, but maybe not.

      Burly says a roadster up on a hillside is still there, and I doubt seriously if anybody has found that old mine off a side road where the 20’s era sedans were. Good thing is, you don’t really need a 4WD to get to most of the stuff.  You do need a pickup and some long pry bars.  On occasion, you may even find a person or two still living in the long abandoned properties.  For that reason, part of your survival equipment should be several 6-paks of suds.  Not for you, of course.  Too, be aware that inside the shade of an abandoned old car body is shade, and snakes of the rattling kind like shade.  So, now you know how come the renewed interest in Bonneville, and you know where some really decent vintage tin is located.  But only some.

IT TAKES A CLUB.  By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission of
www.hotrodhotline.com and its parent company Internet Brands.
     Maybe you haven’t been around for fifty or more years, or maybe you have been but not intimately involved in the hot rod hobby/sport. And for this maybe reason, you are unaware of how absolutely vital the hot rod club has been to the introduction and evolution of this decidedly American tradition that is so eagerly mimicked around the world.  From the late 1940s, it was apparent that the hot rod hobby would need to be organized at the grass roots level. That meant the street oriented hot rodders needed to form clubs, or associations.  The Lone Wolf approach would get nowhere.  It is the same today, but the modern hot rodder has forgotten those earliest days.  Or perhaps he has come along more recently, say after the l970s.  The car club has gotten us the respect and recognition this wonderfully American sport has become. Perhaps it would be good to sit back and review some of this shuttled aside history.
     The car club itself is not uniquely American, and not really a mid-century invention. Indeed this kind of like-joining-like is common to all aspects of human history.  But it is spectacularly visible with cars.  Especially cars that look similar to the untrained eye. The high profile hot rod stands out in the crowd.  Which is, in a way, what the hot rodder strives for, anyway.  The car club also stands out.  In my small mid-Victoria state hometown of Castlemaine, car clubs have begun ever more so to make the community a destination for club gatherings.  Much of this has to do with the local hot rod club, The Castlemaine Rods, who have been a local mainstay for over 40 years.  The club has been a stable and positive presence in the town for all these years with a club membership that has remained relatively constant.  Locals know car guys as respectable community members, and thus they are wont to accept visiting car guys and gals as just more of the same.
     Add to this the fact that all the old hide bound wretches of years past are now truly passed, and you have a much more receptive commercial attitude.  Amazing what a little money can do.  Isn’t it ironic that the majority of men and women who now enjoy the fruits of their earlier work are almost totally overlooked by their younger peers?  The old guy in the white hair, who sits back quietly and watches the young’uns make the same old mistakes.  Again and yet, again.  The car club should bring, and harness, enthusiasm.  Back when, without the car clubs in America, there would have been no drag strips.  Today, without the car clubs there is very little reason for a rod run.  Unless, of course, there is a promoter willing to front the money and patience that a rod run requires.  The club sponsored rod run (or car park, as most have become) started because a club wanted to share its community and area with other rodders. But now that desire is on the wan, with individual rodders, and clubs more than willing to leave the hassles of a rod event to someone else.  Old age has set in.
     But, from the very beginning organizers knew that we had nothing without the support of local clubs.  In the beginning, while we were desperately trying to change the hot rod image in a community, we hit on the idea of courtesy cards. By selling local rod clubs on the idea that good public relations were paramount, we could get them to really consider the perception of John Q.  In so doing, the individual members would also take a look at themselves.  We pushed this idea in Hot Rod Magazine and everywhere that NHRA was involved.  And it worked.  Young car nuts could do well to emulate those earlier successes.  But, as with any social gathering of humans, just because there is a car club does not mean there will be no difference of opinions.  Quite the opposite, but the successful clubs will take all of this growth and change in stride.  If there is one car club in a region, that is a plus.  If there are two or more, that is a plus with an additional plus of two or more.  Different strokes for different folks. 

Gone Racin’… The Story of Thrust SSC, the World’s first Supersonic Car.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  August 28, 2007. 

     A nice little pocket paperback book is The Story of Thrust SSC, the World’s first Supersonic CarThe writers aren’t recorded, but Dave Morris, Ron Ayres and Glynne Bowsher are listed as thanking the Thrust Team.  The booklet measures only 4 inches wide and 7 inches high and was published by Corgi Press in 1998.  The ISBN# is 0-552-546410 and there is no price listed. The Story of Thrust SSC, the World’s first Supersonic Car is 160 pages on inexpensive paper with 11 black and white photographs and a special interior plate with 16 color photographs.  There are five charts and five drawings and diagrams to help explain the story of the fastest car in the world.  There is no Table of Contents and no index.  There are fifteen chapters but they run chronologically so it really doesn’t matter whether the authors used chapters or not.  The charts are informative and the one on the land speed records is comprehensive.  There is also a nice chart on the team members from the 1983 and the 1997 land speed record runs.  The Story of Thrust SSC, the World’s first Supersonic Car is nowhere as good as Sir Richard Noble’s book, Thrust, Through the Sound Barrier, but it wasn’t meant to be.  The little booklet came out right after the record runs at the Black Rock Desert in 1997 in order to give a short record of what had occurred and how the record was achieved.  This booklet does a remarkable job of telling the basic story and if the reader is interested in the more technical aspects of the land speed effort, then the book by Noble will provide that.  The Brits are famous for their patience in explaining the technical prowess of their car, design and team. 
     The story of Sir Richard Noble’s attempts to build a car and set the land speed automotive record is documented briefly with comments from Sally Noble, Richard’s wife and Jack Noble, his son.  Noble builds a drag car in England, then a land speed car with better results.  In 1982 the British team was frustrated with the rain that flooded Bonneville and they discovered a dry lake in northwestern Nevada that proved to be the perfect course for them.  They returned in 1983 to set the record and bring the land speed title back to Great Britain after two decades in American hands.  After a fourteen-year absence, Noble and the Brits returned to Gerlach, Nevada and the Black Rock Desert.  There in a pressure packed duel with Craig Breedlove in his
Spirit of America
, Andy Green sets a new world record and breaks the sound barrier on land.  But in between the beginning and the final record is the often-overlooked toil and hard work by hundreds of volunteers.  Richard Noble was knighted for his efforts by the British government and well he should be.  Without Noble there would be no world record and no team.  Noble has that perfect personality that is both charismatic and practical.  He knows how to inspire men and women in a project that most see as impossible.  Noble is a force of nature when it comes to bringing the best people together and instilling in them a willingness to achieve no matter what the problems might be.  He simply cannot hear the words ‘no,’ or ‘it can’t be done.’  He will not stop until the impossible has been accomplished.  Surrounding Noble is a hard-working and talented crew of Brits who make the record possible.  Many were on leave from the British military, including Andy Green, the man chosen by Noble to take his place in the car and set the record.
     Noble isn’t vain.  He could have driven the car but he recognized the odds and his value to the team as its leader and soul.  Without Noble there would be no team and no record.  Noble also recognized and valued every volunteer and there were hundreds, including Americans who gave time and money to the cause.  Even Breedlove, who was his competitor for the record, was essential to the success of the British effort.  Without Breedlove the Brits would have had trouble raising the funds to stay on the desert and set the record.  Breedlove and the American team rushed their car out to the desert too soon in an attempt to compete, but also to help spur on a competition that would raise money for both teams.  There were hundreds of volunteers who came to the Black Rock Desert in September and October of 1997 and who gave of their time, skills and money to help the two teams battle it out.  In the end it was the Brits who set the record, but for land speed racing fans it is not about who sets the record but the efforts that go into them that count. 
The Story of Thrust SSC, the World’s first Supersonic Car is a small booklet, but it is jam-packed with a good story.  Check with Autobooks/Aerobooks at 1-818-845-0707 to see if they can locate a copy for you.
Gone Racin’ is at

Gone Racin’…
Thrust; Through the Sound Barrier, by Richard Noble and David Tremayne.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.   28 August 2007.

     Sir Richard Noble has produced a book that belongs in every hot rodder and racing enthusiast’s library.  It is a detailed and fact filled book that will educate even the most knowledgeable automobile racing expert.  Thrust; Through the Sound Barrier tells the story of how men and women took on the challenge of designing, building, funding and then making their dreams come true.  It tells the story in a no-nonsense and factual way, of how the land speed record went supersonic.  The photos are exceptional, but in no way crowd out the text.  The writing style is quick and interesting.  The material is written in an easy to understand manner and yet conveys all the technical aspects that you need to know.  The index is far superior to anything that I’ve ever reviewed.  But it is the honesty and openness of the writers and their enthusiasm for what they are doing that is contagious.  Richard Noble is one of the most likable characters you will ever meet in racing, and his style in person or in the book is infectious.  Yet this man has dominated land speed racing since the 1980’s in ways that no one ever has. 

     Thrust; Through the Sound Barrier, was written by Richard Noble and David Tremayne, and is an eight by ten-inch, hard cover book, published by Partridge Press, in 1998.  The book is 320 pages on glossy paper and is suitable as a standard text or coffee table book.  It has a distinctive purple book jacket that portrays the car and Richard Noble.  There are approximately 171 photos, almost all them in color, with an additional 23 sketches, maps, diagrams and charts.  In addition there are 8 pages of appendices showing all sorts of records, dates of events, logs of speeds and a complete record of every land speed record setter since 1898.  Finally, there are 7 pages of index so that the reader can track down any statistic or fact in an instant.  The book is divided into 22 easy chapters, each about 14 pages long.  The price was listed at 20 pounds, which is roughly $35, and is truly worth every penny, for you will pick this book up to read and refer to often.  Andy Green, the driver of the car and several others who worked on the car, assisted in the preparation of the book.  Both Richard Noble and Andy Green have been awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for their achievements in land speed racing.  This entitles them to use Sir as a title out of the respect the British people have for these eminent men of speed who represent their country with such dignity.  David Tremayne is a freelance writer who covers motorsport racing and has written several books. 

     Noble begins with his childhood in Scotland and how his father inspired him with a love for speed.  Noble’s life is always brought back to the life of speed.  He takes part in an expedition through Africa, and then returned to England with plans to build a land speed car to reclaim the record for Great Britain.  Thrust1 was a car that looked more like a formula car with a huge front wing on a dragster body, but Noble was on his way to fulfilling his dreams.  Richard Noble has succeeded where many have failed and part of the reason is his ability to get talented people to help him.  Probably his most valuable assistant is his wife Sally, who has been a constant source of support and encouragement from the very beginning.  But Noble has the ability to charm the devil and he uses his talents to the maximum.  He is simply a man that doesn’t have any enemies.  To talk to Noble is to fall under his spell and come to believe that the impossible is simply an idea that doesn’t exist.  Noble sold the idea to his friends George Myers, Mark Rasmussen and Simon Chapman.  Then he found a designer of genius in John Ackroyd and Thrust2 came into existence, propelling Noble to the World Land Speed Record in 1983.  Noble comes in at the end of an era that began in the 1960’s when the Americans had taken over the World Land Speed Record in both jet and piston technology.  Men such as Art Arfons and Craig Breedlove rushed to breathtaking records daily at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Western Utah.  The excitement and temper of the times would dwindle away and Gary Gabelich’s record of 622.407 mph would languish for 13 years before Richard Noble finally had a car that could snatch away the record.

     Noble set the new record and increased it to 633 mph, and though the Americans thought about taking it back, no one seriously challenged the record until 1997, when Craig Breedlove and his Spirit of America went to Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada to face Noble’s new Thrust SST.  John Ackroyd was now helping Breedlove, and Noble had Ron Ayer and Glynne Bowsher.  The story isn’t only about the land speed record but the sacrifices of literally thousands of people to put these two cars on the playa in the attempt at the record.  The Mach One Club would raise money for Noble’s expenses, and many of the members would take their savings and vacations from work by helping to staff the event, work on the car or provide security.  Wives would cook and bring food to the workers on the course.  Men, women and even children would walk down the 13-mile long course fodding and removing the rocks and debris off the track.  The work was endless and the conditions harsh.  Noble estimated that the work and materials donated came to over $30 million dollars, including the donated labor of all involved.  No estimate was ever known by Craig Breedlove’s group, though it was substantial.  Some days the cars wouldn’t run.  Some days the conditions were windy and too dangerous to run.  There would be severe ups and downs before one group would be ultimately successful and the other team would go home without the record.  Land speed racing isn’t packed with a lot of thrills and chills, but the excitement is just as real and exhilarating. 

Gone Racin’ is at . 


Gone Racin’ to the…Bonneville Salt Flats, by Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth.  Book Review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  28 August 2007.

   Louise Ann Noeth has written an outstanding book on land speed racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in Utah. Everyone refers to the author as “Landspeed” Louise, and she has the remarkable talent for getting close to speed-focused men and women, in order to get at the heart of a much-misunderstood sport. No one has written about Bonneville with the fervor, stamina and attention to detail that “Landspeed” Louise has in her book, Bonneville Salt Flats. This is not the first book to be called by this name, only the best one to date. The author has found photos that are unique and not previously published. Most of the photographs are in color, though about a third of them are in black and white, from the very earliest days on the Salt Flats. These photographs are stunning and historic, and only the author could have coaxed these priceless relics from the private albums where they have resided for all these years. A major complaint is that racing books are heavy on photographs and short on text. For the first time, I actually preferred the preponderance of well-documented photos over text. The author also displays diagrams and charts, in order to show the original road course and race tracks. The very progression of the pictures is in itself, worthy of the name “pictorial.”  
   Bonneville Salt Flats, however, is not simply a pictorial coffee book meant for easy display. Its historical text is as well thought out and written as any work of history that you will find on auto racing. The chapters cover the various decades of the 20
th century, with a substantial review of the discovery and early history of the Salt Flats. Most “Hot Rod” books put in text around the photos as mere filling, but in Bonneville Salt Flats, you are in for a true education. A good many authors skip over the early history of an event due to a paucity of information and photographs, or because they do not feel that it is very important. In fact, the earliest days of the Salt Flats represents the author’s best work. Here the writing flows from her pen with a zeal and love that is unmistakable.  The text matches the original and never before seen photos to simply entrance the reader.   
   This particular book on Bonneville should be the centerpiece on which you build your library on Land Speed racing. I would have liked this book to be extended out to a firmer 200 pages. Try as I might, this book comes as near to perfection as any work can. The author of
Bonneville Salt Flats has dug deep into the psyche of the racers for the motivations, which drive men and women to spend mind numbing hours and thousands of dollars in an attempt to push the speed limit higher and higher.  Worldwide, there cannot be much more than 10,000 drivers, mechanics, fans and spectators who appreciate this sport, though their zeal cannot be doubted. “Landspeed” Louise is their chronicler and chief historian, who believes in the crusade, no matter how large or small the audience might be.
   This is a sport that exacts a price from all concerned. It is methodical and deliberate, and the goal is to increase the speed, not “win the race.” It lacks the great acceleration and power of a top fueler or funny car in drag racing. It does not have the crowds and dangerous passing of a NASCAR race. There is no traditional “Pagoda” and heritage rich “brickyard” track, as there is at the INDY 500. There are no fancy twists and turns as there are on the fabulous European road courses. What Bonneville has is pure speed, guts and sweat, mixed in with ingenuity and a hot rodders desire to improve things. Get this book and read it. Share it with your friends. There are only a few books on Bonneville, and I’m hoping that if we encourage “Landspeed” Louise, she’ll get to work and bring us “Bonneville Salt Flats II.”
Gone Racin’ can be reached at
    The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame (BDRHoF) Management Group met at the Savill Court Hotel in Windsor Great Park – the venue for the Annual BDRHoF Gala Dinner being held on November 22nd. Chairman Stu Bradbury was joined by Robin Jackson (Press and Public Relations) and Brian Taylor (Commerce and Marketing).  They were joined by Geoff Stilwell and Kaz Aston – both with extensive experience in organising prestigious events and promoting them via social media. 
     The awards to be presented on November 22nd are; British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Membership sponsored by the Santa Pod Racers Club (winners to be announced in July 2014), Sydney Allard Trophy for best drag racing photographer of the year in association with the Allard Motor Company and Octane magazine, Sydney Allard Trophy for best drag racing writer of the year in association with the Allard Motor Company and the Guild of Motoring Writers.  For tickets contact
BritishDRHOF@aol.com or telephone Stu Bradbury on 01933-279102. ********************************************************************************************



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

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