NEWSLETTER 327 - June 19 , 2014
: Jack and Mary Ann Lawford, www.landspeedracing.com   
President of the Society: Jim Miller, 1-818-846-5139
Assistant Editor: Richard Parks,
Photographic Editor of the Society
: Roger Rohrdanz,
Northern California Reporter:  Spencer Simon, sparklecraftspecial@yahoo.com
Field Reporter/Historian: Bob Falcon, rfalcon279@aol.com
Historians: Anna Marco, Dick Martin, Tex Smith

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
President's Corner; Editorials;

GUEST COLUMNIST, by Bob Choisser:     
     All it is going to take is one really big accident that involves the fans or audience and it may well be the demise of the sport of drag racing.  The loss of drag racing may cause a rise in the thing we all abhor…racing on the street.  Unfortunately, I doubt if the street racing genie can be put back in the bottle.  Regrettably, the alternative is what I was unable to stand and have mostly quit doing…street rodding.  It was just too competitive.  Sitting around at the “Lawn Chair Nationals” on a Sunday morning competing for a gaudy Who’s The Prettiest trophy, was somewhat less than inspiring for me; although I do have to refer back to Don’s Dillard’s Hot Rod Karma piece to keep me in balance.
     Some years ago and prior to the big change in management of Hot August Nights (HAN) in Reno, I grabbed my lawn chair and participated.  In those years (1990’s) they included an eighth mile drag race that concluded in a wild burnout contest held at Stead AFB.  I spent the entire day there and enjoyed every minute of it and it made the HAN experience well worth the expense and effort.
     One of
the very best auto racing experiences I've had was to go to the SCTA’s Bonneville Speed Week in 2008.  Wow!  What a great event.  Still for the most part, it takes lots of money to participate, but very thrilling for the spectators and a complete “armature” event.  Alas, a third generation racer perished at 202 mph.  I have yet to make it to a race at the El Mirage dry lakes, but I will.  Thank God for the movie The World’s Fastest Indian (2005). 
GUEST COLUMNIST, by Dyno Don Batyi:     
     The new August 2014 issue of STREET RODDER Magazine has an excellent article on the effects of Ethanol on our cars and what the additives do to prevent problems (Thanks Brian).  The article is titled, "The Trouble with Ethanol," written by Gerry Burger and is on page 68.  This article graphically illustrates the bad effects on our Hobby Vehicles.  I urge all to pick up a copy, read the article and save the magazine for future reference.  The EPA has been getting a lot of resistance on increasing the percentage of ethanol in gasoline and is supposed to issue something on this subject in June.  There are more large organizations opposing ethanol but the EPA will not give up easily.   We will have to keep on fighting to get this stuff out of our gasoline and hopefully help keep inflation down at the grocery store. 
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:      
    Recently I received emails from two people who were concerned about how drag racing is conducted and whether it was safe for the fans or the drivers.  They also stated that the amateur intention of drag racing has been sacrificed to that of the professional racers and their sponsors.  I suppose that I should weigh in on the subject, but the reason that I haven't so far is that I don't know as much as people think I should and the average fan seems to keep up with the sport of drag racing more than I do.  The first thing to understand is the actual name of the organization in question is the National HOT ROD Association (NHRA); not the National DRAG Racing Association.  The original founding officers were Wally Parks and Ak Miller, both of whom were land speed racers, officials and Road Runners car club members in the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA).  Marvin Lee and Bob Gottlieb were also involved during the formative years starting in 1951.  I would be remiss if I didn’t add Robert E. “Pete” Petersen to the list.  Pete was not an “official” founding member, but without his support, both financially and structurally, the NHRA could never have formed.  Much of the staff of the early NHRA had roots at HOT ROD Magazine or in another part of the Petersen Publishing Company.
     Their goal was to get rid of illegal street racing by creating a club structure that fostered youth activities of a NON-COMMERCIAL nature, based on the SCTA that both Parks and Miller had led as past presidents.  The CLUB aspect died a quick and untimely death.  By 1955 it was obvious that the NHRA was going to have to become a professional drag RACING organization.  The NHRA tried again around 1960 to reinstitute the non-commercial aspects of a club culture as existed in the 1930's and '40's, and put Barbara Livingston and Tex Smith in charge.  A great idea; but it failed.  After that it was the wild west with all sorts of organizations running drag racing meets. 
     In researching the times I could not find a villain to lay the blame on for changing the voluntary concept of club participation in drag racing into a professional business format.  In the 1960's the NHRA, led by hot rodders, realized that they had to hire University trained managers and businessmen or die.  Competition among drag racing organizations was fierce and sometimes predatory.  Slowly the old guard left, kicking and screaming, as the new guard took over and professionalized the sport of drag racing.  Those drag racing associations that couldn't make the grade died out so that today there only remains the NHRA and the IHRA.  There are a lot of very unhappy people in the sport of drag racing and there are many reasons why.  
     But sometimes the old ways that we love just cannot compete with the new ways.  I stopped watching the Indy 500 when the roadsters were replaced with the new streamlined cars.  It just wasn't fun anymore and individual inventiveness and a backyard, shade tree mechanic just couldn't compete with teams having pocketfuls of cash.  It's the same way in drag racing today; find big money and you can play.  That's why nostalgia, vintage, classic or traditional drag racing is so popular among us old guys.  We want the past back, but as was once said, "You can't go home again."  I don't know how to get drag racing back to the past, just as I can't tell you how to get today's Americans to go back to the Founding Fathers and the Constitution.  There was a third attempt in 1990, and a fourth try at going non-professional around 2007, but both of those efforts proved the point already made.  Drag racers may start out as non-professionals and race for honor and glory only, but then many of them quickly adapt to being ultra-cutthroats and turn the sport into a commercial profession.  I have no answers for that, nor can I condemn drag racers for becoming professional at the sport they love.  It is the way it is and that’s all there is to it.  Progress comes to us all sooner or later, though the past will always be very special to us.

     Speedy Bill Smith passed away.  I have been keen and always like his speedway motors stuff that helped my life much easier on all of my projects. I would like to send my condolences to the family.   Spencer Simon
D. William "Speedy Bill" Smith.  Published in Omaha World-Herald on June 2, 2014, and sent to us by Northern California reporter Spencer Simon.     
     D. William "Speedy Bill" Smith was born on June 22, 1929 and passed away on May 30, 2014.  He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to Donald R. and Mabel G. (Bower) Smith.  Speedy Bill lived the American Dream. Bill attended Hawthorne, Irving, and Lincoln High School (1947).  As a young boy, he was industrious and discovered a boundless passion for cars. Bill worked at the 44th and "0" EN-AR-CO station to buy his first car, a 1917 Model T, which he in turn used to start his first business, "Bill's Hauling," at the age of 14. Mechanically talented, Bill paid his way through college by repairing and selling cars.  Bill attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he pledged Theta Chi and met a smart, pretty, young freshman with a beautiful smile named Joyce Uphoff. During his college days, while studying to be a teacher, Bill raced motorcycles and roaring roadsters.
     After graduating from Wesleyan with a Degree in Education, Bill married Joyce Uphoff on October 26, 1952.  They founded Speedway Motors as partners that same year, with Joyce providing a $300 loan to open their 20x20 storefront at 2232 "0" Street. Bill loved the speed shop and hot rodding.  But racing was his passion.  In his long, eventful racing career from 1948-1980, Bill hired over 90 drivers, including Tiny Lund, Johnny Beauchamp, Bob Burdick, Lloyd Beckman, Jan Opperman and Doug Wolfgang. In the 1950's, while continuing to build and race jalopies locally, Bill built an Olds to run on the beach at Daytona in 1954.  In 1956, Bill and Bobby McKee built a Pontiac for Tiny Lund to race with NASCAR.  Bill's racing interests spanned from go-karts to dragsters, roaring roadsters to Indy cars; often in royal purple, always with number 4x.
     Bill's most memorable racing successes include: Beckman's unbeatable 1960-61 season; Opperman's victory at the 1976 Hulman Classic; and Wolfgang winning the 1978 Knoxville Nationals.  Speedy Bill's racing success has been recognized by dozens of organizations, with Racing Hall of Fame and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the likes of: Belleville Highbanks, Nebraska Auto Racing, National Sprint Car, NHRA, IMCA, BCRA, USAC, and Model T Ford Club Racer Hall of Fame.  Through the years, while still racing, Bill's mechanical abilities plus his passion, tenacity, merchandizing and marketing skills helped Speedway Motors prosper and continuously grow for 62 years. In 1961 Bill and Joyce also co-founded the commercial real estate company which came to be known as Speedway Properties, and would go on to earn over 10 Community Improvement Awards. Speedy Bill was always in fast company.
     Bill's 6-decade leadership of Speedway Motors earned him a wonderful reputation throughout the racing world and performance industries.  He likely attended more races, car shows and trade shows than anyone in America.  Since their inception, Bill walked the fields of Hershey, the aisles of SEMA, and the lanes of nearly every National Street Rod event.  His tremendous impact on the automotive community was widely recognized, as he has received dozens of Industry and Lifetime Achievement Awards, including the Robert E. Peterson; NSRA; NHRA; Stoker McGurk; and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.  He was also inducted into numerous Industry Hall of Fames, including: SEMA, PWA, HRIA, National Rod & Custom Car, Classic Car, Rod & Custom Magazine, and Hot Rod Magazine Hall of Fame. 
     A desire to preserve racing history led Speedy Bill, Joyce, and their 4 sons to found the Museum of American Speed in 1992.  This non-profit racing museum allows the Smiths to give back to the automotive community, and to share their profound love and knowledge of racing and rodding history for future generations.  Bill loved Lincoln.  He was especially proud to have been honored with the Lincoln High School Distinguished Alumni Award; the Nebraska Wesleyan Alumni Achievement Award, Nebraskaland Trailblazer Award, and being inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame. 
     Bill and Joyce always felt blessed with their sons, who have had the pleasure of working in the family business with their remarkable parents.  Bill is survived by his sons, Carson (Jane) Smith, Craig (Cathy) Smith, Clay (Beth) Smith, and Jason (Lisa) Smith, all of Lincoln; and 10 grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his beloved wife and partner of 61 years, Joyce Smith ("Mrs. Speedway").  Bill's CELEBRATION of Life will be held at 5pm, June 14, at the Museum of American Speed.  In lieu of flowers, please share with us your memories of Speedy Bill at: Bill Smith Memorial Museum of American Speed, 599 Oak Creek Drive, Lincoln, Nebraska 68528; PO Box 81906 Lincoln, 68501; or at: ForBiii@MuseumofAmericanSpeed.com.  ROPER & SONS FUNERAL SERVICES, 4300 0 St., Lincoln, NE 402-476-1225.  Online condolences at: Roperandsons.com.
STAFF NOTES: Our publisher for the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter told me that the photographs used for book reviews MUST be labeled with the name of the book as the file name.  It is very important to remember that Mary Ann has a great deal of volume to handle and to make her job easier we must standardize our captioning and photo file naming procedures.  When in doubt contact me, Roger Rohrdanz at Beachtruck@Juno.com or Mary Ann Lawford at maryann@lawfordmedia.com
     Writer/Editor/Photographer Pat Ganahl will be at Autobooks/Aerobooks on June 28, from 10am to 2pm to sign copies of his book HOT ROD GALLERY.  Autobooks-Aerobooks is located at 2900 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505.  Phone 818 845-0707.
     Order our Father's Day Special DEUCE OF SPADES movie on DVD. Buy Dad a DVD for his Special Day and you will get a second one free and we will also personalize and sign both DVDs free of charge. The DEUCE OF SPADES famous Spade logo, and a racing skull, with crossed wrenches is also available.  Faith Granger, Filmmaker at
     Gearhead-Gazzette: We will be keeping our car show events list updated approximately every week, so if you don't see your event listed yet, it's only because we are constantly inputting events and just haven't listed your event yet. If you're not sure if we have your event information send us an email at
gearheadgazzette@gmail.com with your flyer so we can get it listed for you.  Jimmy Brandau, 615-300-2003 www.gearheadgazzette.com.
     Main Event Entertainment re-issues entire 68-Title Catalog of Classic Nitro Drag Racing and Automotive videos of the 1980s.  See
http://www.ebay.com/sch/dpapadeas/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=&rt=nc&_dmd=2.   Dean Papadeas, Producer/Director
     The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is delighted to announce that Keith Lee has accepted its invitation to join the Hall of Fame’s Selection Panel. The Panel’s dozen members meet annually to select the year’s new candidates for induction into the Hall of Fame. Keith replaces Brian Taylor, who has withdrawn from the Selection Panel to focus his energies on the BDRHoF’s Management Board along with his chairmanship of the Allard Chrysler Action Group.  Keith Lee's drag racing association dates back to the original 1964 Drag Festivals at Blackbushe where, as an enthusiastic schoolboy, he watched Don Garlits headline a great day of sport. He persuaded his father to take him the 180-mile round trip to Santa Pod when it opened in 1966, the start of many long dragstrip weekends.   
     Keith helped promote the sport locally in the Berks/Oxon area by becoming an area representative for the BHRA, before having a go at competition himself. A Junior Dragster powered by a 500 Triumph was started, but shelved owing to lack of shed space. Instead he built his infamous Triumph scooter, which went quickly enough when it wasn’t throwing him off the back!  Becoming more involved with the organising club, Keith joined the BDR&HRA committee in the early 1970s. Peter Bartlett had earlier encouraged him to write reports for the club newsletter. This blossomed, and started a long-standing relationship with Drag Racing News. A love of photography saw him combine the two to supply feature articles to many publications worldwide. Keith became the regular drag racing columnist for Motor Cycle Weekly, in addition to writing for National Drag Racer. Over the next ten years he freelanced for drag racing and associated publications in many countries, covering cars and bikes together.    
     In 1973 he became one of the commentators at Santa Pod, an appointment which spanned some 10 years and made for very hectic race weekends. From the mid-1980s Keith continued taking an interest in the sport from a distance while he worked as a qualified mechanical engineering designer. In 2003 he became a full-time professional photographer and moved with his wife Annie to Dorset the following year. He decided it really was time to write his long-intended book on the two-wheeled side of the sport's early history, the first publication of its kind. Drag Bike Racing In Britain was duly published in 2010. Keith was also a major contributor to Crazy Horses and had significant input into a major motorcycle drag racing book in the USA.    
     With the introduction of Santa Pod’s ‘Dragstalgia’ event, Keith was co-opted to find and organise entries for the NSA bike shoot-out, for which some great old machinery has returned. Keith continues to produce photos and articles for publication, including a regular feature column for Custom Car magazine which explores many aspects of the early days of the sport in this country. Between them, Keith and Annie also edit The Sprinter, the magazine of the National Sprint Association, one of the country's historic straight-line clubs. This year’s new Hall of Fame members will be announced in July at ‘Dragstalgia’ and will be formally inducted during the Gala evening on Saturday, 22 November 2014 at the Savill Court Hotel, near Windsor. Tickets for the Gala may be reserved via the Hall of Fame’s website (www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk). It was recently revealed that Don Garlits will attend the Gala as the Hall of Fame’s guest of honour.  Sent in by Robin Jackson from the United Kingdom.

ACAG Update Summer 2014 cover small

Summer 2014 Issue of ACAG Update. It covers all the recent work on the dragster and its appearance at Dunsfold, plus the latest news from the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. http://drceurope.co.uk/acag/may2014/index.html. Brian Taylor – Chairman

The New Coupes.  By Le Roi Tex Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands and
     You know, the roadster and coupe hot rods are truly an American phenomenon. The more-door car is way old fashioned, and has been from the git go. You want to impress another hot rodder, you gotta have the ride, doood! So, in order of preference, we have the open car (roadster then convert) followed by the hardtop and coupe, then the truck, and as a last gasp, the four door sedan snoozer croozer.  But, of recent years, that truck has been creeping up the wanna lists, until today the pickup has a status aside from all the other forms of transportation. The truck has become a necessary addition to the family tree, and it threatens to replace the long-favored coupe as personal transport supreme.
     Consider: much of the charm of a coupe is the coziness of driver and passenger(s). Same can be said of the contemporary pickup truck. There is usually room for two, with a third being able to squeeze in the middle. Of course, you got yourself a rez ride, you fill the truck bed full and go drag main. Like in Hawaii, you fill every available enclosed (and seat belt equipped) area first, then and only then do you like pick up hitch-hiking surfboarders. Legally.  And, it is amazing what you can do to personalize a pickup, without it losing its character as a truck. 
      No matter what you do to a pickup, you still got a pickup, as long as you have a bed. One time, several years ago, Norm Grabowski stopped by my house with some drawings of an idea. He had lots of ideas, many quite good, but he never had throwaway bucks, so he needed as much sponsorship as he could get. In this case, he was after info on possible backers for the project, and it was a good one.  Essentially, the front of the frame was lengthened about a foot. Then, that foot of wheelbase was shorn from the frame aft of the cab. No bed was used, instead a very large oval gas tank was placed immediately behind the cab. There were coil/over springs used at the rear, so nothing hung behind the stock rear end. He had drawings of several different wheelbases, all the stretching done to the front clip, and anything over about a foot to the fore made the truck look grotesque.
      With a stock height greenhouse, the truck was a little cartoony, but chopped about 3 inches it took on a wicked character.  Bigs and littles running on big truck type aluminum wheels completed the illusion. Here was something that could be built at home, with a modicum of money and it wouldn’t require tons of fabrication talent.  Unfortunately, he never got this idea on the road. It was a very good one.  Much better than that Corvair flat-six powered crotch car he built which had to be push started, but looked killer on the freeway.  So pickups are where it’s at, and it has been there for a long time now. Not too many years after I started
Street Rodder magazine, Tom McMullen introduced Truckin’ magazine. That title has morphed into further niche publications, and the light truck interest market has a sizeable aftermarket of its own.  In fact, it runs second only to street rodding overall.  Add to this ready supply of antique tin in the world’s farming communities, and you have a brand new supply of raw materials for the next generation of hot rod coupe enthusiasts.
      Whatever, the current crop of rat rods that started life as discarded farm haulers proves that here is one coupe that has countless ways to impress the local peasants. I think my favorite has to have been one I saw here in Australia at a rod run called Chopped, where the emphasis is on the bizarre.  And interesting.  In this case, there was an (I think) IH truck cab severely channeled and chopped on some nondescript chassis. The engine was a gi-normous diesel (mit kompresssor) wherein the engine top was probably a foot above the cab. It ran.  But why?  Because, quite simply, the guy could build it.  It wasn’t loaded with chicks, but it did impress the unwashed masses. Coupes (and trucks) ain’t for chickens, you know.

     The Quarter Mile Foundation (QMF) recently received an evaluation of a group of over 50 randomly selected interviews by John Mullin of the Mullin Production Group (MPG) of Westlake Village, California.  Mullin, who has been selected by the Foundation to produce a pilot of the proposed documentary on the history of drag racing and the performance automotive aftermarket reviewed the materials for content and other critical factors needed for a high quality production.  He is well known for producing television coverage of major national event drag races from the 1980's into the turn of the century.  The materials, which incorporated a wide range of racers, entrepreneurs, promoters, family members and friends, sanctioning body personnel, public address announcers, crew chiefs and crew members, visionaries, models and fans, left Mullin and his staff very pleased with the quality and the scope of the subjects covered.  
     In a summary letter to Traci Hrudka, Chairman of the Foundation, Mullin stated, "Clearly, those interviews represent an immense undertaking, and one that goes a long way toward permanently preserving the oral history of the sport of drag racing, the development of associated business models (of the performance aftermarket), and the very unique set of personalities that drove the sport forward."  "We got a very clear picture from John and his team about the interviews we have accumulated to this point," said Hrudka. "The Board of Directors and I got a very clear picture, from a professional outside source, of the breadth, depth and quality of these materials, which provided us with a sense of accomplishment with the raw materials for John and his team to work with.   "We also received a deep look at the production processes which lie ahead to weave the materials in the interviews into a documentary pilot which will both entertain and educate the viewers, and leave them wanting more."   
     The MPG team addressed major points, and laid out a strategy, as well as creating a foundation for a general action plan for the overall documentary after the completion of the pilot.  Mullin and his team also looked forward, past the completion of the documentary itself, and speculated about how the interviews and other materials could benefit historians and other research in the future.  "I do not think it can be over emphasized that what you, as an organization, undertook was a critical effort to reinforce the historical roots of a sport that has meant so much to so many," said Mullin.  "Your vision has included the full range of participants, which allows those who might be doing research in the future to better understand the complexity of the rise of straight-line racing.  The stories that were told, the 'putting a face' to the narrative were superb, and the impact of such a treasure of memories will not be fully appreciated for years, perhaps decades, to come.  "At the same time, you employed the wisdom of a researcher, not allowing the 'big name' personalities to drive the parade, rather, seeking out a remarkably diverse range of characters, all of whom were important to the fabric of the overall story.  By doing that, you created the opportunity to capsulize many different subject areas found within drag racing."   
     "John and his team diligently reviewed the footage, and returned to the Board with an excellent evaluation of where we are, and the direction we need to take to complete the documentary phase of this effort.  The MPG team confirmed the areas we had some concerns about, and gave us a road map to address them," said Ms. Hrudka.   "More importantly, we know what needs to be done, and have an expert team in place to execute this next phase.  "We will be continuing to film interviews of the pioneers of the sport and the aftermarket.  As the years keep flying by, there will be more pioneers that will rise to the status of 'Legend.'  For the generations of today and tomorrow, there must always be a time to continue to 'pass the torch' of history forward."   The Quarter Mile Foundation is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit foundation, which is producing PROJECT 1320, a documentary film series about the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance automotive aftermarket. 
     Traci Hrudka, Quarter Mile Foundation,
hrudka@sbcglobal.net, Phone: 440-888-0088, or Steve Cole WRITEWords, Phone: 330-725-5462, scole@4writewords.com.   The Quarter Mile Foundation is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit foundation, which is producing PROJECT 1320, a documentary film series about the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance automotive aftermarket.
STAFF NOTES; the following was sent in by Ron Main and is from Bringatrailer.com.  To see the photographs go to; http://bringatrailer.com/2014/06/01/hot-rod-royalty-1951-carrillo-salt-lake-roadster/.  
Hot Rod Royalty: 1951 Carrillo Salt Lake Roadster, from Bringatrailer.com. 
     This 1927 Model T-based Salt Lake Roadster was built in late 1950 by Fred Carrillo who would later found the eponymous maker of high quality H-beam connecting rods. Built up largely from military surplus aircraft parts, the car featured a novel for the time mid mounted Mercury flathead V8 and would go on to record a 178.16 MPH run at the ’51 Bonneville meet, shattering the previous year’s record by nearly 16 MPH. In July of 1952 it was Hot Rod Magazine’s featured cover car, and has since received much additional recognition detailed further below. Find it here at The H.A.M.B. in Maryland for $250k. 
     As explained in detail in this fascinating 2013 Hot Rod magazine retrospective and restoration story, the car was built by Carrillo and his brother-in-law Robert Betz, using a surplus PBY Catalina flying boat’s chrome-moly wing strut tubing to form a basis for the chassis.  Inner body structures were fabricated from steel conduit, and ’27 Model T roadster quarter panels and doorskins were then welded on. The donor car’s rear bodywork remains only partially modified, but becomes increasingly bespoke as it moves towards the neatly tapered nose fabricated from two ’47 Buick rear fenders. Ingenious secondhand craftsmanship proliferated the build and is described with further specifics in the magazine article linked above.  ​
     Motivation comes from a 296CI 59AB Mercury flathead mated to a Cragar in-and-out single speed box which in turn drives a Halibrand quick change rear end. The motor itself runs an Evans three carb intake mounted with triple Stromberg 97’s, Evans high-compression heads, and a dual point, twin coil distributor by the same speed shop at which Carrillo was working at the time. The cabin features a single, centrally mounted B-17 bomber seat, airplane yoke steering wheel, a small array of vitals-monitoring gauges mounted to the rightside frame rail and very little else.  ​
     Come 1952 Carrillo’s attention had turned towards building a new streamliner, and this car was sold to an Indianapolis muffler shop owner Ralph Potter. Potter retained Carrillo to drive the car, however, and later that year it turned in a 190 MPH one-way pass under his control and sounds as if it might have gone faster where it not for the car wanting to become airborne approaching 200—a tendency common to period mid engined builds. Afterwards the car fell into neglect, partially rusting away in a field before being picked up via a 1978 Hemmings classified ad, the buyer thinking it simply an affordable, good-looking old Bonneville racer. Eventually someone pointed out the car’s remains as bearing a striking resemblance to the ’52 Hot Rod cover feature, and shortly afterwards its history was confirmed by Carrillo himself. 
​     The following 20 years were spent collecting rare parts like the Echlin CB-1 ballast for the car’s dual Mallory Master coils, Evans dual point distributor, period-correct hose clamps and more. The car was finished in time for the 1998 Southern California Timing Association’s 50th anniversary of Bonneville celebration, with Carrillo himself attending to see the car for the first time in more than four decades. Since then it has been honored with showings at the 2010 Jalopyrama, 2011 Amelia Island Concours, and a cover and accompanying 16 page spread in issue 50 of The Rodder’s Journal.  ​
     Currently on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Museum in Pomona, it is described as being offered reluctantly so that its heritage can continue with a new owner. We’d love to see it make a few more flat-out passes, and consider it a great buy for a package stuffed with so much history, innovation and competition success.

     These books are a beloved compilation of underground drag racing and land speed racing stories juxtaposed with quantum physics.  I was so impressed that I purchased all three of his racing themed titles, “Top Fuel Wormhole,” “Sex, Travel & Vestiges of Metallic Fragments” and “Infinity Over Zero.”  All the books are funny and thought provoking so I bought several more copies and gave them as gifts to my hot rod friends. Cole writes on a variety of subject matter but these three are my favorites.
     Author Cole Coonce is a gifted stylized writer compared to Kerouac and Ginsberg. His literary prowess keeps you on the edge of the page. Born in 1961, he is a working author and literary journalist who started writing for automotive and drag-racing magazines in the 1990s, with a series of "new journalism"-type features published by Super Stock & Drag Illustrated, Full Throttle News, Popular Hot Rodding, Gearhead, and Hot Rod Magazine. During that period, he penned the non-fiction novel "Infinity Over Zero," a history of the land speed record that is the only non-partisan account of how Andy Green and the Thrust SSC jet car broke the sound barrier while setting the only supersonic Land Speed Record. The publication of "Infinity Over Zero" solidified Coonce's reputation as hot rodding's definitive gonzo-type journalist, as evidenced by the book review in AutoWeek asking the reader to "imagine Dennis Hopper from Apocalypse Now writing a history of the Land Speed Record."
     In 2001, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association honored him for "Outstanding Journalistic Vision." In 2004, he won the Los Angeles Press Club's “Best Sport Feature Award” for "VIVA LA NITRO!" a cover story in Los Angeles CityBeat that re-lived the sojourn of Chicano funny-car driver Tony Pedregon, as he won a professional drag racing points title. Coonce then abandoned drag-strip journalism and branched out into covering and critiquing the fields of pop culture and rock music, which lead to the publication of his second feature length book, "Come Down from the Hills and Make My Baby."
     Recently, his byline has appeared in LA Weekly, Men's Journal, Bicycling, RAZOR and WIRED.  In 2009, KeroseneBomb Publishing released his anthology of drag strip essays, “Top Fuel Wormhole” and in 2010 released a collection of his essays on modern culture, Sex & Travel &; Vestiges of Metallic Fragments.”
     In his drag racing tomes, Top fuel dragsters howl in pursuit of Nirvana via the underground level of drag racing, which Coonce claims “is underreported…it’s not corporate racing…its nostalgia fuel car stories of today.” The book title of “Top Fuel Wormhole” was taken from Cole’s Swinging Sammy Hale Champion Speed Shop story, where the protagonists terrorize the top fuel scene with a Chevy motor.  It also covers top teams and drag racing exploits in the 1960- 90s including Land Speed Racing and Bonneville as well as drag racing. Cole quips, “It’s the Age of No Rules in my land speed racing stories. The term Wormhole is meant to converge the past and future in the book.”
     In his essay, “Bury My Heart at Edwards Air Force Base,” the first reunion of Muroc is an exploration of “building cars out of swing sets with wheels and Allison motors; testing the ingenuity of rodders.”   Additionally there is an interview with Wally Parks (SCTA, HR Magazine, NHRA fame) that Cole recalls “personally impressed him with the pure spirit on the dry lakes—what is said is what felt on the dry lakes, it’s from the heart. There is a sense of sorrow for things past, because now there’s too many rules—but go we forward anyway. The next direction for nostalgia is…to make noise.” 
     When asked why he was compelled to cover this subject matter from an underground viewpoint he replied, “It was not reported, not enough documentation i.e. Brotherhood Raceway (referring to Big Willy and Terminal Island race track) is like trying to explain chocolate on LSD—you had to be there so I wrote about it.  It was a peaceful co existence with a disparity of ethnicity that worked.  Someone stole a toolbox and Big Willy shut the track down until it was returned and it was. He ruled with an iron fist. You don’t get that in Bakersfield.  It was a real run what you brung scene…once a mini dragster with a  Kawasaki MC motor was paired against top fuel dragster—Big Willy knew the track had whoopdeedoos in it and obviously the fueler broke traction at that very spot and so the mini dragster won.  It was all done on donuts and hotdog bets. It was like being in Oz and Willy was the wizard. That’s the beauty of true underground racing.”  You won’t be able to put this book down.
www.topfuelwormhole.com, or Amazon or www.Lulu.com

Gone Racin'...Automobiles of Distinction; Imperial Palace Auto Collection, Las Vegas, Nevada, by Henry Rasmussen.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  Reprinted by permission of www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

     A pictorial and historical work of fine photography is
Automobiles of Distinction; Imperial Palace Auto Collection, Las Vegas, Nevada, by Henry Rasmussen.  This massive pictorial book is 17 1/4 by 12 1/4 inches in size and is nearly an inch thick, covering 192 pages.  There are 71 automobiles portrayed in 172 color and 270 black and white photographs on the finest waxed paper.  Rasmussen took all of the current photographs for the book and the historical photographs came from the collections of The Behring, Harrah, Al Michaelian and Road & Track magazine.  Rasmussen and Lowell C. Paddock provided the textual material, though it is mostly expanded captions.  Automobiles of Distinction is a hard-bound book with a quality cloth woven spine and a spectacular dust cover jacket to protect the book and enhance its external look.  The publisher is Motorbooks International and that tells us that you will find quality throughout the book, for this publisher only handles the best material.  The book was first published in 1990 and the ISBN # is 0-87938-461-1.  There is no price listed and it may take some time to locate a copy, but check with book stores and look on-line to see if a copy is available.  Ralph Engelstad, owner of The Imperial Palace Auto Collection in Las Vegas, Nevada authorized the work from his collection of over 700 rare and valuable automobiles.  Assisting the author with research was Randy Ema, Terry Dunham, Strother MacMinn and Dennis Adler.  I know Randy Ema and he is the expert on all things named Duesenberg.  Rasmussen, who has more than ten books to his credit and has worked extensively in the automotive media, brings a perceptive eye and a high quality to his photographic work, as well as telling a short but compelling story on each marque.  The book is simply too large to put into a bookcase or on a shelf and the beautiful plates belong on a table, prominently displayed.  It is a coffee table book par excellence.   
     Following the Credits and Acknowledgements there is a two page Table of Contents and the print is in very large type, which I very much liked.  The cars are alphabetized with their page numbers following the car.  A two page Introduction by the owner of the collection, Ralph Engelstad, gives a short history of his collection.  I found Ralph Engelstad to be as fascinating a subject as his car collection.  Isn't it true that you can tell what a man is like by the things he collects?  Engelstad was born around 1930 and was working by the time he was thirteen years old.  He bought his first car when he was nineteen and married at twenty-four, and there was a car in his life at each crossroads that he faced.  He never thought he would accumulate so many automobiles, but he had an eye for quality and a desire to add to what he enjoyed.  Engelstad also has a love for history and especially the history of the automobile.  He didn't say much more than that, but Rasmussen caught him in two poses that really capture what Engelstad is all about.  The first photograph showed Ralph straight on, in the driver's seat of a small coupe, with that boyish and youthful look that comes over a man who is remembering the past.  The second photograph is equally telling, for it shows Engelstad with the curator and director of the museum, Richie Clyne.  Dressed comfortably in a work shirt and jeans, Engelstad has his hands in his pockets, his square jaw set and his eyes focused on his cars.  This is a man who is passionate about what he does and what he believes in and willing to stand forth for those values.  The rest of the book is simply cars.  There is no index to refer to; this is a feast for the eyes and the photography is the reason to buy this book and treasure it.
     Some of the photographs stretch over two pages in length, approximately thirty inches in all.  Other photographs are smaller and crowd the page.  The author spreads out the color photographs on one page and the black and white on the next.  He prefers black and white photographs by a margin of 3 to 2.  I thought the black and white photographs enhanced the aura of the pre-World War II cars and I can see why he preferred to shoot this way.  Rasmussen also shot photos of trucks, motorcycles and fire trucks, but it was his plates of the old classics that take one's breath away.  The collection has duplicates and the author shows a row of Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz.  The Imperial Palace collection also includes a restoration garage and skilled mechanics and craftsmen to maintain the cars and work on them.  Richie Clyne should also be recognized, for this man is responsible for the day to day work, research and the finding of new cars for the collection.  A yearly auction at the Imperial Palace attracts nearly 500 rare cars from around the world and hundreds of bidders.  The detail on the pictures is simply amazing.  Rasmussen is an excellent photographer and has an eye for detail; the kind of things most people would overlook at first.  Everyone has a list of favorite cars that they enjoy; mine drifted towards the very early cars of the 1890's and first decade of the twentieth century.  Another set of favorites was the pre-WWII marques, those with the soft curves and graceful lines.  It amazes me that Benz could create the first viable cars in the mid 1880's and within two decades they look and feel as sophisticated and beautiful as anything that we can create today.  In fact, what we produce today is stilted, drab, dull and monotonous.  Those early cars had lines, curves, corners and plenty of personality.  You knew what kind of car it was in 1910, for no two looked alike.  The 1930's produced the most sensual and sleek designs as we shall ever see, except for a few modern sports cars.  Even those high finned and buxom cars of the 1950's and '60's are preferable to cars that we have today.
     Some of the marques included the 1904 Lenawee that only saw fifteen ever built.  The 1899 La Nef Three-Wheeler looks like something that a bike maker would create for modern bike shows, except that it is steered by a tiller.  While other cars of the first decade of the twentieth century look little more than adaptations of their farm wagon kin, the 1909 Pope-Hartford looks right at home with the cars of the 1920's and '30's.  It's a sad fact that so many excellent cars and beautiful designs simply could not compete in the market place and faded into oblivion.  The Pope is one of them, for it stopped production in 1915.  Right from the beginning the Cadillac was the king of cars, but the 1912 Minerva with the partially convertible top is better.  The Franklin and Simplex are models for the family man, intent on touring the countryside.  The 1920's introduce the fashionable cars; 1920 Daimler saloon car, 1924 McFarlan Cabriolet, and Packards of all shapes and sizes.  These are luxury cars that most of our parents could only dream of riding in.  The 1930's saw the advent of the boat tailed speedsters and the truly amazing 1932 Ford Deuce.  Perhaps the Deuce was not as fashionable as the more expensive cars, but it revolutionized the car for teenagers, who made it the de jure hot rod of all time.  This was the era of the Great Depression and yet we see these absolutely beautiful roadsters, touring cars and elegant European marques.  This is the time of the Cords and Duesenbergs, which rival the Packard and the Pierce-Arrow.  The war brings a boxier, more stilted look, followed by the Eisenhower years and then the Viet Nam era.  Cars change and Automobiles of Distinction reflect that change in style and utility.  The book and the author are not out to make an encyclopedia of car designs, but in displaying these 71 cars the reader can see how the car evolved and the textual captions are just the right amount of information to help us learn more about this automotive progress.  It's an excellent pictorial and I give it a 7 and 1/2 sparkplugs out of a possible 8.
Gone Racin' is at
Gone Racin’…FLAT OUT; THE RACE FOR THE MOTORCYCLE WORLD LAND SPEED RECORD, by Rocky Robinson.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  Reprinted by permission of
www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

   Rocky Robinson has written an exciting book about his efforts to set a land speed record in the streamlined motorcycle class.  The book is called Flat Out; The Race For The Motorcycle World Land Speed Record, and is published by Motorbooks, a division of MBI Publishing.  The book is hardbound, measuring 6 ¼ by 9 ¼ inches in size and sells for $25.95.  The dust jacket cover is exceptional, and as I have mentioned before, keep the cover in good condition as it enhances the look and value of the book.  As with all Motorbooks/MBI issues, this is a quality addition to your racing library.  The pages are separated into 6 sections and bound to the spine of the book with a high-quality cloth fabric.  There are 255 pages of text on acid-free matte paper, double-spaced for easier reading.  In addition there are 16 pages of photographs on a special waxed paper that provides excellent reproductive results. Flat Out; The Race For The Motorcycle World Land Speed Record contains 39 color photographs and 21 black and white photographs.  The B&W photographs appear at the beginning of each of the 21 chapters to the book and are roughly 2 ½ by 4 inches in size.  The color photographs are slightly larger in size.
   Robinson provided a three-page acknowledgment section and a ten-page introduction followed by 21 chapters, divided into three sections.  There is no bibliography, table of contents, appendix or index.  The book was written to tell a story about a man’s quest to set an unlimited record in the motorcycle streamliner class on the Bonneville Salt Flats and it is the story that takes center stage here.  There is crossover appeal for those who love motorcycles, motorcycle racing, ultimate speed contests and land speed time trials.  There are many classes and categories for men and women to test their skills and courage in land speed motorcycle racing.  Classes are created according to the size and power of the engine and whether the motorcycle is streamlined or altered from that of a showroom bike.  Streamlining adds aerodynamic panels and turns the motorcycle into a two-wheeled version of a sleek four-wheeled racecar.  From a distance the streamlined bike might look like a small racecar, but make no mistake, it is still a motorcycle and it takes skill and courage to drive these machines.
   It’s hard to comprehend that the unlimited record runs for a four-wheeled vehicle is 200 mph faster than the average speed of a Jumbo jetliner in flight, but at least there are four wheels on the ground.  For nearly two decades men and women have attempted to break Don Vesco’s record of 318 mph in a streamlined motorcycle.  Dave Campos would improve on that mark by a mere four mph and his record would last another 16 years.  It takes brazen courage to race motorcycles at these speeds, courage that few mortal men and women will ever possess, or absolute ignorance of the hazards faced at speeds that high.  There is no doubt that land speed racing takes a very special kind of man or woman to create the vehicles and then race these machines to the ultimate in motorcycle speed records.  Most of the time we are fortunate to have a newspaper or magazine interview, with a few photographs, to explain the motivation of these brave men and women.  In the case of Rocky Robinson we are privileged to have his very thoughts and feelings as he sets out on his quest to break the world’s record.  Robinson sets out to build suspense, telling the readers that there are challengers who are also set on breaking Dave Campos’ record.
   Any book that sets out to create a suspenseful thriller is bound to have the weaker readers who can’t help but read the last chapter first.  Yes, I was one of those readers who went to the end to see the results.  What makes a book great is not necessarily the end of the book and which race team actually set the record, but in the rereading of the work, keeps our interests strong. Rocky Robinson has an easy style of writing.  He is driven by zeal and though his story telling is not always polished, he doesn’t linger on any topic and effectively moves the story along.  It is possible to read
Flat Out; The Race For The Motorcycle World Land Speed Record
in a few days, but I found myself returning to the photographs and the texts out of interest in the subject matter.  I won’t give away the ending, only to say that one team set a record at 344 mph, another team broke that record with a two-way run of 346 mph and a third team went 355 mph, but failed in a second run to back up the record.  For a land speed record to be certified, a racer must make two runs within a short period of time in the opposite directions and the average speed of the two runs is the record time.  That rule factors in the wind advantage.
   Knowing the final outcome did not satisfy my need to know why Rocky Robinson set out to put his life on the line to set these dangerous records.  To do that I had to read each chapter and delve into the mind of men like Robinson.  It is as fascinating to know these men as it is to marvel at their fast records.  There is more to the story than one man wishing to go fast.  It takes a great deal of support and dedicated team members to be able to build a streamliner and afford to race it.  The technological skills and safety equipment must increase with the increase in the speeds of the motorcycles if the racers are to survive in their quests to set new records.  There have to be volunteers who run the sanctioning bodies and maintain the courses where the riders race their bikes.  Land speed time trials require dedicated men and women volunteers at all levels in order to make it possible for men like Robinson to attempt to set such records.  Rocky Robinson is one of only a few men who have gone over 300 mph on a motorcycle and set a record.  It is an exclusive club and the members are a tight knit group.  There are more men who have orbited the moon than those who have set records over 300 mph on a motorcycle. 
Flat Out; The Race For The Motorcycle World Land Speed Record is available at book stores under ISBN#13-978-07603-3163-7 or by the title of the book.
Gone Racin’ is at

Gone Racin’… L.A. ROADSTER, A RETROSPECTIVE, by Dick Wells and Jack Stewart.  Book Review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  28 August 2007.
   Reprinted by permission of www.hotrodhotline.com and Internet Brands.

     Dick Wells and Jack Stewart of the L.A. Roadster Club have written a book, L.A. Roadsters, A Retrospective, that will thrill the hearts of roadster lovers everywhere.  There are 381 photos of every conceivable kind of roadster style, body and design.  Well written and highly informative biographies of club members, car builders and famous celebrities are found throughout the book.  A short history of the club offers an insight into the hot rodding scene of the golden era of hot rodding in the 1950’s.  The book runs to 182 pages in a soft cover format that looks terrific on one’s coffee table in the living room or den.  The graphics are excellent with a stylish cherry red ’32 roadster on a white background cover.  I didn’t mind that the book wasn’t in a hardcover format.  There are six well-written introductions to the book by well-known and respected members of the hot rodding era.  An introduction sets the stage for a book and yet they are hardly ever read; but with Dick Wells, Wally Parks, Tom Medley, Robert E. “Pete” Petersen and Ken Gross adding their thoughts to the book that was the first place that I looked.
     The cars were the second place.  One drawback was the lack of an index.  This book was meant for the autograph seeker, but lacking an index makes it harder to locate people.  This didn’t stop me from getting Linda Vaughan’s signature and a hug (she’s on page 178).  Wally Parks (page v), Dick Wells (page iv), and Jack Stewart (page iii) soon gave me their autographs and I was really into the swing of collecting.  Make plans to take your copy of the book to the next L.A. Roadster show, on Father’s Day 2003, and track down the members and their fascinating cars.  The biographies were just right.  They touched on the highpoints of their lives, but didn’t dwell on the meaningless.  Most hot rodders want lots of pictures and a few lines of text to put the cars into some perspective.  This book has the feel of a Hot Rodders Journal written by a hot rodder.  For the newcomer to hot rodding, this book almost has the feel of an encyclopedia, and I learned a great deal about a lot of people and cars that I had seen before, but truly didn’t know much about.  This isn’t a bookcase type of book.  It isn’t meant to be “owned,” but to be read, dog-eared, shared with friends while bench racing and thoroughly written upon.  Jot down special stories next to the car that you remember, phone and email numbers, autographs and bon mots.  It’s just like the high school album that we passed around when we were young at heart.
     I counted all 381 roadsters shown in this book.  Front, side and rear angles were mingled with close-ups of the engine compartments and interiors.  The black and white photos gave the book a very nostalgic look to it.  I didn’t mind that the only color photo was on the cover.  Most photos of the era were in black and white, and color photos would have distracted from the visual feel of it all.  Though the L.A. Roadster Club designated a time span in the early and mid 1930’s as the era of the classic roadster look, you won’t find a standard body in this book.  Genius inspired the creations that you will see included here.  Classic cars with fenders and no modifications, to out of this world T-buckets fit for the “Munsters,” are found throughout the work.  Check out Rick Stees “doghouse” wood camper shell, and Don Kendall’s low slung dragster style roadster for the rebel in all of us.  For the classic roadster look, check out Pete Van Eiderstine's 1932 Ford and Dick Page’s 1932 black deuce highboy Ford, with red interior and chopped windshield.  Whenever it seems that conformity is about to take hold; a new breed steps forward to expand the norms.  Check out Russ Klindworth’s 1928 roadster pick-up truck with a Chevy engine and three two-barrel carburetors.  Some of these are famous, including Norm Grabowski’s “77 Sunset Strip” Model T driven by Edd “Kookie” Burns.  The preferred 1930’s look gives way to far older cars such as Martin Hoffman’s pre-flapper 1915 T-bucket roadster with a quad-carbureted Olds engine.  Add some raccoon tails and furry coats and this car is the cat’s meow.  The photo of Arnold’s diner from “Happy Days” brought back lots of old memories.
     Tom McMullen popping his chute as a policeman pulls him over is a classic shot.  Though it was staged by a friend, this picture brings out the pathos of the times when hot rodders were considered hooligans at best and the police as being intolerant.  Today the hot rodder has earned his proper place in society as a true craftsman, designer and artist.  Many policemen now have joined the hot rodding ranks and no longer stop a hot rodder for cosmetic defects on the car.  There were four or five old nostalgic photos showing past sites of the L.A. Roadster show.  There could have been more, to show the evolution of this club and the growth of the L.A. Roadster show.  There is enough material to bring out a second book on this subject, and perhaps add more nostalgic photos and an index.  This is a must have book for the sincere “roadster fanatic,” one to read and reread.  The quality of the photos and the writing of the text show a professional hand behind its creation.
Gone Racin’ can be reached at
STAFF NOTES: The following letter is from Matt Boice and was sent to us by Bob Falcon.
     Fellow ETTN Members & SEMA Friends (apologies for any I missed in haste), I wanted to pass along some details surrounding today’s news to you.  There wasn’t time to call all of you today, but look forward to catching up when convenient.  In completely unrelated circumstances, unfortunately at the same time we are implementing changes here in our business, Source Interlink Distribution has publicly announced a decision to cease operations.  [6000 people are losing their jobs because of this.]  Obviously the impact on the staff at SID is profound.  We wish them all the best as they navigate this transition and wind down their business operations over the coming weeks.  For our company, today we are hitting the RESET button.  This won’t be an easy reboot.  There will be some emotion, trepidation and anxiety around the decisions we are communicating across the industry today.  We fully acknowledge the impact of the steps we are taking, both personally and professionally.  
     Today, we are rebranding the company to TEN: The Enthusiast Network (external press release attached).  We are leaving behind the old company identity and starting fresh with a brand that speaks to who we are and what we do. We chose this name because we felt strongly about our role to empower the “Enthusiast™" through our shared passions and the iconic brands we represent. The word ˜Network™ not only signals the collection of brands we manage, but also our transition from a print-driven business to a ˜web-led, socially amplified media enterprise™.”  Ultimately, we hope to be known simply as TEN as we believe this name can represent excellence, innovation, authenticity and commitment.  
     Most of the industry supports us because of their passion for a particular lifestyle and commitment to the Brand you read, advertise in or follow “Hot Rod, Super Chevy, Super Street to name a few“ and not the company. We don’t ever expect to change that dynamic in total, and in fact it is one of the things that attracts people to enthusiast media.  Our hope, however, is over time, as we build a true company culture with real values and show tangible proof of commitment from TEN to the industry, you may one day identify yourself with TEN as well as of the Brand you read, advertise in or follow.   
     So today begins the process of proving that commitment -- from the company to its most valuable asset, the people that Power the Passions of TEN: The Enthusiast Network.  All we ask for here is for an open mind as we invite you to shed the past and consider the potential of the future, beginning today -- nothing more, nothing less.  When you have a moment check out www.enthusiastnetwork.com the new company website is live thanks to much hard work.  We will be working to enhance the site, including the addition of an ˜anthem™” video, and begin building the framework from which we can market TEN to the media industry at large.   
     Over the past several weeks we have been evaluating and debating how to accelerate our transition from a legacy magazine publisher now into a content creation and media service company. We have made some very difficult decisions today that are based on one single question and business premise: “What is in the best interest of our consumers?”  If we ask ourselves that question in almost every instance, the majority of the time the answer will also benefit our customers (advertisers), our company and our colleagues. It is really that simple. It is time we remove the complexity from our business model and boil it down to fundamentals.  
     In taking this consumer-centric approach, we tackled a number of issues related to the current brand portfolio and attempted to move swiftly and decisively to place the company on a path where the consumer wins first, knowing full well we need to meet obligations to both our customers and our investors. The issues we tackled included: -      a.  Content duplication.       
b.  Brand confusion.      
c.  Print product quality.      
d.  Allocation of internal resources to digital, social and video.        
e.  Internal communication.       
f.   And our physical footprint at both offices and environment.  
Against that background, I would like to share the following changes effective today:  
     a. Company re-organization: We have created three business units (Automotive, Sports & Entertainment & Enterprises) supported by four shared services divisions (National Sales & Marketing, Finance, Operations & Creative Design).  The goal of this structure is two-fold: To create clear lines of accountability for each business unit, and open up the lines of communication to ensure the organization is fully aware of the challenges and opportunities we are addressing on any given day.       
     b. The Grind Media company brand will now go away and will now become the Sports & Entertainment Division of TEN. The Home Tech group will join the Sports & Entertainment Division under the leadership of Norb Garrett.       
     c. Our Automotive business will be split into In-Market and Aftermarket (no longer MTAG or PAG), and led by Chris Argentieri. Angus MacKenzie will be overseeing all Automotive content with direct oversight of both Motor Trend and Automobile with his direct report and colleague Dave Freiburger overseeing all Aftermarket content.     
     d. Our Enterprises Division will comprise of our business development efforts, content syndication, licensing, event development, Motor Trend Auto Shows and our key strategic alliances led by Tyler Schulze.      
     e. Alan Alpanian will continue managing our creative design efforts and Eric Schwab will continue leading our national sales and marketing efforts. David Algire will now dedicate almost 100% of his time to our Aftermarket auto business teaming with Doug Evans to manage this critical division. Bill Wadsworth, now EVP/Executive Creative Director, will continue managing Mind Over Eye reporting to Chris.  
     With an immediate desire to address brand confusion, duplicative content and leapfrog the inevitable declines facing a number of legacy print titles, effective today the company proactively consolidated 12 profitable aftermarket auto brands into the relevant core brand in each automotive vertical.  This represents a significant step forward and major investment by the company to accelerate our transition. Absorbing legacy aftermarket print titles that feature largely duplicative content into stronger core brands will deliver our customers an engaged and valuable audience with greater efficiency and scale.  The decision was difficult, not only because each brand was profitable, but also because it has direct impact on a number of our colleagues who will no longer be with the company moving forward.  The affected titles are as follows: 
Title                                         Relevant Core Brand
Popular Hot Rodding                             Hot Rod
Rod & Custom                                       Street Rodder
High Performance Pontiac                     Hot Rod
Custom Classic Trucks                          Classic Trucks
4 Wheel Drive& SUV                              Four Wheeler
Mud Life                                                  Four Wheeler
5.0 Mustang                                            Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Modified Mustangs & Fords                    Mustang Monthly
Camaro Performers                                Super Chevy
GM Hi-Tech                                            Super Chevy
Import Tuner                                           Super Street
Honda Tuning                                         Super Street  
     The Portfolio redesign also includes a decision to relocate Automobile to our LA headquarters to more closely align the brand with the in-market content team at Motor Trend, and to gain significant efficiencies in how the two brands go to market. Several Automobile editorial staff will be relocating to our Detroit office as we close the Ann-Arbor facility in short order.  Mike Floyd has been named Editor-in-Chief of Automobile reporting to Angus MacKenzie, and Joe DeMatio will be continue as Deputy Editor.  
     As part of the process of redesigning the company, we intend to consolidate and concentrate our physical footprint in five primary offices with a few satellite exceptions. Those offices are New York, Detroit, Irvine, Carlsbad and anchored by our headquarters in LA. The satellite exceptions are Harrisburg where we have substantial staff and Bonita Springs where our top-notch circulation team resides.  Our plan is to invest in the five primary locations to not only create better work environments, but also to improve communication and collaboration. We have already negotiated expansion terms in Detroit and Carlsbad and are in the final stages of negotiating a significant investment from the landlord into the LA headquarter office that will result in the space being remodeled in 2015.  
     As you can imagine the focus on concentrating our footprint has negative implications in a few of our outlining offices as we will be closing those facilities over the course of the next several months and working through the details in each case. The goal, quite simply, is to create a more cohesive, connected and fully functioning company by concentrating our human resources in core facilities.  
     Along with some very difficult decisions, we have also made a concerted effort to recognize a number of key contributors in the organization and will be announcing several promotions today and tomorrow. A few senior management announcements include the following:  David Freiburger elevated to SVP/Content Strategy Aftermarket Auto.    
     The antiquated practices of the publishing world are imploding around us, but print isn’t going away. The key for our business model is to restore print as a premium product in the minds of our consumers and our customers; to move forward and create a new paradigm that positions print as a platform that delivers a rich experience and level of engagement second to none. Improved product will deliver better value to our consumers, protect ad revenue from our customers, and yield profits for the business.  We have already started this process in the Sports & Entertainment Division, where several titles will be implementing print package improvements in the upcoming issues. In addition, we are evaluating several moves in our Tech and Auto titles to do the same and will continue to update the industry on these changes and areas of reinvestment as they unfold.  
     While we are on the march to restore the print model, the investment in digital, social, video, data, and live events will take precedent. We need to be everywhere our consumers want us to be. Over the course of the summer we will begin redefining our growth strategies in each of these critical areas and charting a clear course for reinvestment in the business. We are already down the road in each arena; we simply need clear definition, direction and rationale for investment. Today’s changes are the catalyst for reinvestment to fuel long term growth.  
     It’s all about getting it done.  No empty suits, no unfulfilled promises.  Thank you all for your friendship and support yesterday, today and going forward.  Best, Matt Boice



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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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