.  Issue #331.
August 8, 2014
Editor-in-Chief: 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

Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:
     We have a really nice staff.  It’s grown for some reason and it definitely wasn’t because of me.  Everything that Dick Martin writes about is top of the line.  I’ve come to associate Martin with ROD & CUSTOM Magazine, because his articles reflect that magazine’s special and unique style.  Martin puts on some really great parties to honor all the legends of hot rodding and I am on his guest list; how cool is that?  Few can beat Tex Smith for telling a story in a way that is so uniquely 1940’s and ‘50’s.  I’ve known Tex since the late 1950’s and that’s either an indication of how old I am or the fact that all of Tex’s friends are no longer around; guys like Dick Wells, Wally Parks and Robert “Bob” E. “Pete” Petersen (we called him a lot of names, but Pete preferred “Boss”).  I can tell you stories about Tex and probably will some day; like the time he brought to my dad the ugliest and at the same time, the most beautiful lamp made out of destroyed drag car parts to Wally’s home in Sherman Oaks.  Tex tried to turn me into a cowboy once; but he failed.  I learned more about cattle (they deserve to be eaten), horses (they deserve to be beaten), cowboys (they always look beaten) and Rodeo Queens (they just cannot be beaten).  I still have my boots, hat and a healthy respect for ranchers.
     Anna Marco just impresses me more and more with each article and story that she sends in.  Anna gives us the Woman’s Perspective of hot rodding; also a man’s and a tomboy’s too.  She just sees things that we men tend to overlook.  She has a way of explaining the technical aspects of hot rodding that make sense to the non-mechanical as well as the skilled hot rodder.  But it’s when she gets to “personalities and characters” that her writing really shines.  Her article on Trophy Queens is just exceptional and I wish it had been twice as long.  I’m hoping she will do more bios for us in the future.  The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter was never intended to take the place of HOT ROD or ROD & CUSTOM Magazine.  We might accidentally turn out a ten thousand word newsletter that is entertaining, but it was never our goal to entertain anyone.  The purpose of the newsletter was to archive and save textual and visual historical events and I’m proud of what we have done.  My hope is that you will save all the issues in your library, on a disk and use the material to further your knowledge or help you write your own histories.
     Besides the writers and photographers on our unpaid, all-volunteer staff we have website owners and editors who give us a great deal of help.  Roger Rohrdanz is our photographic editor and he is one of the best around.  He’s also easy to work with, which is extremely unusual for a photog.  His quality is just exceptional and he seems to have a photographic memory (or maybe he just lets me think that).  I brag that I made Roger famous as a photographer, but in reality his photographs made my stories readable.  His standards are simply the best.  Try to sneak a poor photo or one without a caption past him and he goes berserk.  You’d better send in a caption that tells the Who, What, When and Where in 20 words or less or he will let you know that you can do a lot better.  Mary Ann Lawford handles the website and takes what we send her and puts it on the site that she and her husband Jack Lawford own.  I don’t know what she does, twists a lot of dials and hits a lot of keys, and frankly, I don’t want to know.  It’s hard work; that’s all that I know. 
     Bob Falcon is our resident Rememberer, or our resource man.  He hasn’t forgotten a single fact that I can find.  He claims to be one of those Indy roundy-round guys and then he wows you with his knowledge of drag and land speed history.  Bob is one of those guys who you keep a phone number in your address book, because you just know that you will be calling him for a fact.  I have a number of people like that still living: Don Weaver, Hila Sweet, Kay Kimes, Jim Miller, Greg Sharp, etal.  Then there are those who have passed away and who I miss dearly; Ak Miller, Walt James, Danny Oakes, Carroll Shelby, Wally Parks, Jim Deist, Julian Doty, etal.  Bob Falcon is the Emeritus Rememberer and I ask him constantly about facts I’m blurry on. 
     I should mention Jim Miller again.  In fact, when it comes to land speed and possibly other kinds of racing there is just one resource; Jim Miller.  He lives, breathes, eats and whatever else, car racing.  He knows it all; the cars, people, drivers, owners, events and even the appearance and color of the car.  He’s so sure of all his facts.  I try and catch him and see if I can find something that he doesn’t know or wavers on.  He still stumps me.  He’s forgotten and relearned more than I will ever know.   I can’t forget Spencer Simon, who is one of our younger reporters and eager and keen to learn.  Spencer is such a humble man and let’s on that he’s not important; then he lets slip all the things that he has done and the people he knows and I’m wondering how much I really know and it turns out that I don’t know as much as I think.  Spencer is absolutely, without question, brave.  He meets people most of us would shy from and makes friendships and then he gets their story.  He’s new and he’s learning, but his potential is unlimited. 
     In addition to our writers and photographers we have contributors and reviewers, such as Jerry Cornelison, Burly Burlile, Brian Taylor, Glen Barrett, Ron Main, Jack Underwood, Evelyn Roth, Tina Van Curen, Warren Bullis, David Parks, Al Teague, etal, who take their time to review each issue to check for mistakes and errors.  I wish ever racing club and league had a Jerry Cornelison in it.  Jerry finds, saves and spreads the history of the Road Runners car club and keeps it alive for past, present and future generations.  My brother, David Parks, is a good historian, but he never toots his own horn.  Glen Barrett is someone who I always go to for information and he keeps me updated on the passing of our old-timers.  Jack Underwood and the guys at Jack’s Garage are extremely valuable resources.  There is no one better at promoting VW racing than Burly Burlile.  He is a tireless worker and historian for these small engined cars. 
     Likewise Brian Taylor in England keeps drag racing history alive in his country.  Ron Main is another one who keeps me on my toes.  His enthusiasm for land speed racing is super special.  He gives his time, heart, love, effort and money for the sport.  He also plays constant April Fool’s jokes on me, which is his way of saying that I belong among these guys.  Al Teague comes as close to royalty as we get in racing.  Tina Van Curen honors us with her bookstore (Autobooks/Aerobooks) in Burbank and a chance for the guys to hang out and have a donut.  Evelyn Roth has been a supporter of first the Car Racers Newsletter and now the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians through her website at
www.oilstick.com.  Warren Bullis is another Land Speed Hall of Famer and a man who is always welcoming and supportive.  So there you have it, the Who that brings you the What, When and Where and I am proud of them all.
     John Hutchinson and Jim Butler sent in this video link; Challenger II - USFRA Test at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCYKQMViTtE.     Danny Thompson's Challenger II streamliner reached a speed of 317mph on its second test run at the 2014 USFRA Test and Tune.  This is the in car cam footage.
     Thanks to Road Runner Jess Feeback for sending this: Historic, unseen Donald Campbell speed record footage restored. 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-28308872.   Unseen family footage of Donald Campbell breaking the land and water speed records in 1964 has been restored to mark their 50th anniversaries.  That year in Australia, Campbell set a new land speed record of 403.10mph (644.96km/h) on the dry bed of Lake Eyre on 17 July.  On water he reached 276.33mph (444.71km/h) at Lake Dumbleyung on 31 December.  He is the only person to have broken both records in the same year.  The film, HOW LONG A MILE, which Campbell directed, has been restored at Hampshire's Beaulieu Motor Museum.   Sent to us by Jerry Cornelison.

Strange Bird.  Written by Anna ”Octane” Marco, with Race pix by Kleet Norris.  Shot at Eagle Field Drags, Dos Palos, CA May 2012.  Reprinted with permission of the author.

      ”I wanna go fast!” -Scotty Birdsall.  Scotty Birdsall of Chuckles Garage in Santa Rosa, CA has a 1962 Ford Falcon Futura that’s one Strange Bird indeed.

Unique Species
     In less than a year’s time, Strange Bird has graced the pages of Ol Skool Rodz magazine, became one of the most read threads on the H.A.M.B. forums, has been featured on several automotive websites, and seen event coverage in numerous publications.  The significance of this vehicle that The Strange Bird is the only blown Buick nailhead powered A/Gas Supercharged car in existence.  Scotty quips, “I’m 99.999 percent sure that this is the only one that has ever been built.  The car is named "Strange Bird" because it's a Falcon, obviously a bird, and it has a very strange choice of power plant which is a 1962 Buick "Wildcat" 401 removed from a competition drag boat from the 1960's.  The engine has a wild custom Isky cam, Carrillo rods, unknown 10.5:1 pistons, massaged crankshaft, Weiand valve covers, finned valley pan, Nicson front cover/engine mount, high flow valves, mildly ported heads and runs on VP C-16 fuel.  Its motto: “Ford makes it, Buick shakes it!”

Build A Bird-She Will Fly
     The car was purchased from Craigslist in early 2010 for $200. It was a complete car minus the interior.  Scotty sold the engine, trim, and other miscellaneous parts for twice what he had paid for it in the first place stating, “It's nice when a car pays you $200 to take it.  I built the car to the 1965 NHRA Rule book.  I had a great time "interpreting" the rules, as someone would have done in that era of drag racing.  I really had no concrete plans for the car.  I just started cutting, hammering and welding.  In early 2010, it was slow at my shop, and I needed something to keep my hands occupied so I had this $200 Craigslist beater outside, and a built to the teeth Buick nailhead with no home.  With help from Casey Hudson and Steve Jensen (R.I.P.), The Strange Bird is the result of my boredom, and overactive imagination.”
     Birdsall’s built badass bird retains radiused fenders, a modified firewall, lightening holes, a 1963 Ford falcon grille, and original paint with hand painted lettering.  The powerplant is a 1962 Buick "Wildcat" 401 removed from a competition drag boat from the 60's.  The engine has a wild custom Isky cam, Carrillo rods, unknown 10.5:1 pistons, massaged crankshaft, Weiand valve covers, finned valley pan, Nicson front cover/engine mount, high flow valves, mildly ported heads and runs on VP C-16 fuel. Intake & Carb are vintage Littlefield Supercharger with a Hilborn 4-port injector on top of a custom made intake.  Blower is slightly overdriven, making 15 pounds of boost. Transmission is a 1965 Buick SP400 with TH400 HD internals, Coan transbrake, Art Carr torque convertor and the list of badass-ness goes on and on.

Hocus Pocus
     Scotty learned there’s a lot of hocus pocus and witchcraft involved in setting up an old gasser like this.  The hardest part to build was the blower intake.  Blower intakes for nailheads are few and far between, “We had to make one from scratch from ½” aluminum plate and use custom intake risers.  Getting all the tolerances correct was a challenge, but with the help of my engine guru Greg Grundstrom, we got it right on the first shot.  Everything else was easy.  I used the front unibody frame rails instead of simply cutting them off and stubbing in square tube.  It retains a factory look, and is unique.  I reinforced the factory rails with 2-½” x1-½” square tube frame that is welded completely to the factory rails.  The reinforcements run all the way back to the stock leaf spring mounts, and also tie in with the roll cage.  Getting Strange Bird to this stance took 7 months and in my eyes, it will never be finished.  I also need to give thanks to Jake Burgess, Aaron Parsons, and Mark Nicholas for doing some of the crappy grunt work.”

Chuckles Garage
     As owner of Chuckles Garage, Scotty sponsors, vends, and present trophies at the Skoty Chops Shootout, the Strangers BBQ, and he hosts an annual charity car show at his own shop.  You will find the Birdsall bird participating in various car shows at Billetproof, the NorCal Knockout, Gambino Customs, Viva Las Vegas, Santa Rosa Custom Auto Show, Road Lords CC Show and the Sacramento Autorama.  The car has a 5 gallon fuel tank and gets less than1/2 a mile per gallon so road trips are not an option; however plan on seeing his exhibition runs at nostalgia events at Eaglefield, Dragfest, Hotrod Reunion, March Meet and the HAMB Drags, among others.

For Dad
     Scott attributes his love for hot rodding to his father; “My Dad was the guiding force behind getting me to work with my hands.  He was a child during the great depression, and a WW2 veteran.  He thought every man should know how to work on his own stuff and taking something to a mechanic was a cardinal sin and a waste of money.  I learned everything there was to know about fixing and hippie-rigging stuff that we couldn't afford to fix.  I guess being a gear head is in my blood.  I have always dreamed of owning and building a gasser.  This is my first one.  I wanna go fast!”
     If you go to the Chuckles Garage website you will see a quote that reads, “Custom built hot rods, custom cars, trucks, bikes. Built the way they were supposed to be.”  As Rocky Phillips of Eaglefield Dragstrip would say, “It’s Tru-stalgia Sixties Kool.” Meanwhile, I love this car. Amen.
www.chucklesgarage.com and www.chucklesgarage.blogspot.com or Email: Chucklesgarage@gmail.com.  Special Thanks: Eaglefield Dragstrip.  Photo Assist: Kirt Pettey (www.paintedpinups.com).
The Drag. By Anna Marco, Peanut Martin & Trevor Tyan. Pix by Anna Marco & Tyler Stevens. Dedicated to Norman Martin. Shot at Taupo Motor Sports Park, New Zealand 2012. Reprinted by permission of the author. 

     Drag racing started in New Zealand back in the 1960’s on closed roads and airfields. The engine of choice back in the day was the Ford Sidevalve.  It was cheap, plentiful and compared to the other options, relatively quick.  As OHV engines became more common and faster many a poor old Sidevalve found itself abandoned behind the garage.  But some people, the kind that march to a different beat than most, felt that Hot Rodding’s original engine deserved more than the sad fate of quietly rotting away forgotten and unloved.  Of course, everyone else thought these people were nuts.
Mad Scientists 
     Gary “Grease” Martin and Andrew Rea both work together at Early Time Motors where they will fix just about anything that rolls through the doors.  After-hours they play together in Grease’s laboratory where their mad scientist alter egos arise in their quest to push the Flathead far beyond its perceived limitations.  While they know the Fords bent eight sidewhacker is not the easiest route for going fast, the pair don’t like to follow the crowd.  It’s not like they don’t know the advantages of an overhead valve engine (Grease does own an Ardun after all), but there is something about pushing the design envelope of an engine slightly less advanced than a can opener!  

     Originally teaming up to rerun one of New Zealand’s original old dragsters for fun, the pair decided to get serious about pushing an alcohol Flathead to the limit of its capabilities.  They purchased an unused ‘60’s Racecar Specialties frame and started experimenting on ways to push an antique engine faster than anyone thought possible, all this at least a decade before the current Nostalgia revival even surfaced.  They weren’t doing it to be trendy; they just needed to prove a Flathead wasn’t all fumes and leaky water pumps.  Although most people will never see them, some of the modifications may seem somewhat extreme, but this is still a true Flathead manufactured back in the day, the principle of air in the top, exhaust out the side remains, just as Henry Ford’s engineers designed it.  Sometimes things didn’t work out as planned, but every experiment has led to new knowledge.  You can’t accuse this pair of being cave dwellers stuck in the stone age, or being afraid of technology either as although the motor, like the owners might be old, the car uses every modern technological advantage required to gain horsepower.  Years of experimentation have provided many race wins and tumbling elapsed times, eventually resulting in the world’s fastest blown alcohol Flathead running 8.2’s at 159mph.  Most smart folks would’ve been happy with this and rested on their laurels especially with the added distraction of campaigning a record holding blown fuel Roadster (Flathead powered of course) half a world away at Bonneville in conjunction with kiwi drag racing legend Garth Hogan, but for Grease and Andrew the lure of taking the next step was calling.  The decision was made to build a new car in order to test the side valves pain threshold even further by running that magic substance that can cause agony or ecstasy: Nitro, Fuel, Pop, call it what you want but the boys like to think of it as liquid horsepower!  The race car is dedicated to Grease’s father Norman who was deaf and couldn’t grasp the word Dragster hence the name ‘The Drag.’ 

Metal Masters 
     An entirely new FED with 200 feet of imported moly tubing, bent and twisted to form a frame was built off plans purchased from Dave Tuttle, in an authentic style modified to current racing standards.  Grease and Andrew, along with team member Graeme Turner, enlisted the expertise of New Zealand master metal fabricator, Mike Roberts, to help in the construction.  All four would make parts for the rail during the week; Mike would then weld all the pieces together to form the work of art that is the chassis, which is left in a natural finish, not to show off the perfect workmanship, but for the fact that paint is unwanted weight.  Mike then tackled the minimal but perfectly formed body panels including a one piece cowl top.  Steering away from the nostalgic Olds or Ford rear, the talented Mr Roberts also fabricated a compact chrome-moly housing which runs a Mark Williams alloy pumpkin with Chevy gears and owner built 31 spline axles. The overall result is not only smaller than a 9” housing but much lighter, and uses less horse power to drive the NZ made Halibrand-looking 15x10’s.  These of course wear M&H slicks like any period ‘60’s dragster should with Mark Williams’s fully floating disc brakes and hubs.  172.5” to the front of the car are a pair of ‘no name’ 17” wire wheels shod with Goodyear 22.0 x 17 rubber; although one side is actually shorter due to the stagger built into the trick front axle.  A torsion bar suspension is there to soften the return to earth after wheel-stands while directional changes are made by a PS Mach Prod steering box.  While one hand swings on the butterfly wheel, the other is shifting gear to the clutched Powerglide trans.  The alcohol engine currently in the car is used to a torque converter but the pair wants to get used to driving the car with a Schiefer slider clutch planned for the nitro engine.  

Flatheads Forever 
     The 69A Mercury Flathead block presently in the digger is riddled with cracks but filled with HardBlok for structural integrity.  It has a custom 3 main girdle to hold in the billet SCAT crank, Cunningham rods and Venolia pistons that are definitely past their use by date.  The boys built their own oil pump and improved the oiling system so that every bearing gets fully filtered oil, something which is pretty good to have in a Flathead!  The mad mechanics manufactured their own oil pan, they found some power in it but wouldn’t say where or how much, Andrew says, “you do what you can to gain horses when you only start with 85!”  An owner designed secret squirrel camshaft and radius lifters open and close stainless valves of secret dimensions and embarrassing origins.  On top of the block is a pair of dual plug billet aluminum heads designed by Grease and Andrew as an improvement on their previous self designed efforts, the new set and everything above them was designed for the nitro burning engine.  Graeme took up the challenge of building a new ‘cast look’ manifold which not only helps hold the blower on but also runs an intercooler to keep both air and fuel temperatures down and horsepower up.  Perched above this is a GMC 4-71 blower the guys extended to run 6V-71 rotors, it’s topped with a nostalgic Hilborn two pot injector with port nozzles of secret sizes.  Twin vertex magnetos jammed into a Graeme ‘stock looking but not’ timing cover provide the spark to start the combustion process, or given the teams ages, jumpstart the odd dicky ticker.  Once burnt fumes escape through zoomies and no, two didn’t fall off, if you didn’t know Flathead Fords only have 3 exhaust ports per side!  There is also an onboard data recorder keeping track of every detail for the twosome to analyse every run.  

     Grease and Andrew are keen for seat time this season in preparation for running nitro in a new engine, which is currently being built.  Although the Flathead Ford may have many disadvantages, part of the fascination for the team is gaining every bit of horsepower possible from an engine that would be last on many people’s list to use.  As nice as it is to win a race, these guys say, “we’re just here to better our own times.” It sure keeps Kiwi’s on the edge of their seats watching.  Special Thanks: Taupo Motorsports Park (NZ).        

Owner: Greg “Grease” Martin & Andrew Rea 
Occupation: Mechanics, Early Time Motors 
Address: Hamilton, NZ 

Builder: Greg Martin, Andrew Rea & friends, Early Time Motors (NZ) 
Year: Nostalgia parts mix circa 1950s-60s married to current technology 
Make: FED Dragster 
Chop: NA 
Channel: NA 
Section: NA 
Other Body Modifications: built to current racing regulations, 4130 chrome moly chassis (Mike Roberts), hand formed aluminum ¼ body, sheet metal rear-end, custom oil pan, Chevy 3rd member for low rolling resistance for the pinion angle 
Grille/shell: NA 
Paint Color: none/aluminum 
Paint Type: NA 
Painter: NA 
Custom Graphics: lettering 
Engine: 69A Ford Flathead Mercury, custom dual plug aluminum heads, custom 3 main girdle to hold billet SCAT crank, Cunningham rods and Venolia pistons 
Transmission: Powerglide with Schiefer slider clutch 
Intake & Carb: GMC 4-71 blower, 6V-71 rotors, Hilborn 2-port injection with intercooler, custom front crankshaft blower support, C02 bottle (10-lbs), handmade main bearing crank supports 
Ignition: Twin Vertex 
Exhaust: 3 headers each side 
Rear End: custom 9” Ford, 12 bolt (Mark Williams), alloy pumpkin with Chevy gears and owner built 31 spline axles 
Suspension Front: torsion bar 
Suspension Rear: na 
Brakes, Front: na 
Brakes, Rear: Mark Williams, full floating disc brakes & hub 
Wheels/Size: F) 17” & aluminum wheel shield (Driver front) 

Tires/Size: (F) Goodyear, (R ) M&H slicks 
Seats: bucket 
Upholstery: safety harness 

Dashboard: Autometer Gauges 
Steering Column: custom 
Steering Wheel: butterfly 
Extras: roll cage, on board data recorder, custom Moon tank 
Club Affiliation: NZDRA, NZHRA, Riverside Rodders 
Anything Else: parachute, nitro  

TROPHY QUEENS: Racing’s Royalty.  By Anna Marco in association with Greg Sharp & The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.  Special Thanks: Monique Valdez, Daniel Strohl & Mark Vaughn.  Photos © by Bill Groak (bgroak@pcgcampbell.com), Eric Rickman & The Wally Parks NHRA Museum (www.museum.nhra.com).  No reprint without permission.  Reprinted in the SLSRH with permission of the author.

Girls Girls Girls
     There’s an old saying: “Kustoms are for getting girls; Hot rods are for getting rid of them.”  But there’s a certain kind of girl who has always been associated with hot rods. Especially the ones that win races.
     The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsport Museum is currently paying tribute to those women with its Trophy Queens photo exhibit on display through August 2009 in Pomona, California. Black and white photos from legendary Hot Rod Magazine photo editor Eric Rickman, San Diego photographer Bob Hardee, and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum collection are dedicated to the beautiful and scantily clad ladies who presented golden cups and, occasionally, a smooch for the hot rodder who crossed the finish line first.
     The exhibit focused on a slew of hot rod dolls in sashes and swimsuits, including the Queen of Trophy Queens Linda Vaughn, but also displayed some Hollywood starlets before they became starlets, such as 19-year old model Raquel Tejada (aka Raquel Welch) and Barbara Huffman (aka Barbara Eden of I Dream Of Jeannie fame).  Actress and screen siren Jayne Mansfield even performed Trophy Queen duties at Pomona. What are the duties of a trophy queen?  "You just kind of walk around and talk to people and be cheerful, which is what I do anyway,” Diane Guidry-Carter said.

Beauties For The Best
     Folks flocked to opening night where Vaughn, “The First Lady of Motorsports” held court at the event, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. Photog Bill Groak was in attendance snapping shots for posterity and said “Taking pictures of Linda Vaughn and the other Trophy Queens was special because they were posing next to photos of themselves taken 30 and 40 years ago.”  Not surprising, several photos of Linda and dozens of rare, never-before-seen photographs of models presenting trophies from the ’30s through the ’70s, paid tribute to the glamour girls of racing.
     Linda Vaughn is acknowledged as the Queen of trophy queens.   She donned many crowns, including the 1966 “Miss Hurst Golden Shifter” title which was the crème de la crème of honors, as well as holding the 1962 “Miss Pontiac” and the 1963 “Miss Pure Firebird” sashes.    “Linda Vaughn waiting in a swim suit, clutching a trophy at the finish line would have been enough to make any hot-blooded race driver put pedal to the metal in the hopes of a hug or a kiss at the end of a grueling race,” said Tony Thacker, executive director of the Parks Museum.  “Trophy Queens represent an important part of American racing lore. They injected a shot of glamour to the tough sport of racing, and we are excited to showcase these rare images.”
     Vaughn took a trip down memory lane as she strolled through the exhibit.  She eyed a photo of herself at the 1969 SEMA Show in Anaheim and marveled at the velvet mini skirt and knee-high leather boots.  “I still have that outfit in my closet,” she said. Stopping by another photo, presenting an award to Mike Sorokin at the 1966 March Meet, she recalled, “That was my first time in California, my first time in Bakersfield and my first time at the March Meet.”
     Speaking of another vivid memory, the photo right below the March Meet shot shows Tiny Lund, winner of the 1963 Daytona 500, laying a giant kiss on Vaughn, then a young teen and a surprised Miss Pure Firebird, “I told my mom he stuck his tongue in my mouth,” Vaughn laughed.

Racing Royalty
     Vaughn was also joined by past trophy queens Dusty Brandel, Diane Guidry-Carter, & Hila Sweet.  Guidry, now age 70, was Queen of The Renegades Car Club Annual Car Show at Bellflower High School in 1956.  She and Sweet posed with photos of themselves from the 1950s.  Hila Sweet came to the trophy business from the cockpit. "I was the first woman licensed by NASCAR for West Coast stock-car events," she recalled.  "The promoter asked me if I'd race the men, and I said, 'Hell, yes!'"  When she wasn't racing, she'd do trophies. "They thought I had a really great shape…they'd say, 'Would you present our trophy?'"  Hell yes again.  She presented them at many great West Coast venues, including Ascot, where J. C. Agajanian kept a swimsuit or two in the office for her to wear when the need arose.  "It wasn't like you had to make out with them or go out with them; we were treated with respect," said Sweet.
     Brandel, who is a longtime motorsports journalist, saw a photo of herself from 1956 presenting an award to Marvin Panch at the only NASCAR race ever held in Willow Springs.  “I was doing double duty,” Brandel said.  “I was covering the race and they asked me to give out the trophy, too.” They needed a trophy girl, so they said, 'Brandel, you're a girl, come over here!'"  She performed similar duties at Riverside and even at the Beverly Hills Concours back in the '50s and early '60s.  She is now president of the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association who had to change her name to Dusty back in the day because her sports editor said "nobody'd read it if it was written by a girl."  Is that so?  Well let me tell you boys a thing or two, even after 40 years these women still radiate beauty and charm.
     Trophy Queens are racing royalty.  Women and fast cars go together. It’s a winning combination both off and on the track.  Bet $100 you’d run a quarter mile in 5-seconds just to get kissed by one of them.  The exhibit runs through August 2009. For more information, visit
http://museum.nhra.com or call 909/622-2133.
     Our 15th Annual Cruisin' For A Cure car show is the world's largest one day charity event.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 27, 2014, at the Orange County Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa, California.   This event is supporting the CITY of HOPE Prostate Cancer Program.   Gates open 4:30 AM for participant cars and 7 AM for spectators.  Admission for spectators is $15, discount with AAA card, and Kids under 12 are free.   Debbie Baker, Ross Kroenert and over 100 volunteers. 
Road Runners "On The Salt" - Bonneville 2014.  Compiled by Jerry Cornelison.
     The Road Runners will have the largest turn out of vehicles and members at Bonneville Speed Week that the Club has seen in many years. Participating this year are:


#643 F/PS, Russ Deane Racing, Russ Deane - Driver

#866 D/CGC, Dave Bennett Racing, Dave Bennett - Driver

#4800 G/CGALT, Masson & McGavin, Jack Masson & Gary McGavin - Drivers

#5300 AA/CBFALT, Big Red Camaro, RJ Gottlieb - Driver

#7472 XF/BVFALT, Wortman & Wortman Racing, Jerry Wortman - Driver

#9785 XXO/BFCC, Flatcad Racing, Buddy Walker - Driver

#812B 100cc/M-G, Gary McGavin Racing, Gary McGavin - Rider

#2227B 650cc/A-G, Flying Marshall Racing, Bob Marshall - Rider

#3587B 650cc/APS-G, Go Go Gidget Racing, Tracie Carroll - Rider

#3710B 1650cc/P-PP, Dyna Soar, Bill Carling - Rider

#7919B 650cc/SC-PBG, Anderson & Darbyshire, Bill Anderson - Rider


John Carroll (3587B), Jerry Cornelison (5300), Mark Ewing (5300), Mike Ferguson (5300), Hayden Huntley (2227B), Josh Oliver (5300), Dave Ward (5300)


John Carroll (Tech Insp), Tracie Carroll (Registration), Delia Riley (Registration, Sales), Pat Riley (Tech Insp, Safety), Charles Shimko (Tech Insp), Jim Kitchen (Program Editor)

     SPECTATING: (and lending a helping hand where needed)

Chad Clabaugh, Jim Clabaugh, Bill Harris, Mel Weber

     11 Road Runners vehicles will be racing. 26 of our 62* members will be attending. (* 42 SCTA Members / 20 Associate Members) It is thrilling to see a proud, history rich Club so well represented "on the salt" at Speed Week 2014! - Jerry Cornelison
     Industrial Artist is an Old Time Hot Rodder.  By John "Gunner" Gunnell, reprinted by permission from Internet Brands.  For the complete article and photographs go to
     Lawrence Smith of Wichita, Kan., has put together a collection of cars, trucks and aircraft that he never would have imagined possible in his hot rodding high school days. Hot Rod Hotline visited his collection as part of the Pontiac-Oakland Club International’s (
www.poci.org) 2014 Oakland Breakfast Tour.
     Smith is a soft-spoken man who enjoys machines that have wheels or wings (or both). Smith told
Hot Rod Hotline his first car was a ‘49 Studebaker Starlight coupe that he bought when he was 14. He still has a model of a later “bullet-nosed” Starlight coupe on one of the workbenches in his shop.
     As a high school student, Smith developed an interest in hot rods and built more than a few cars himself. In fact, his skills doing woodwork and welding landed him a job as an industrial arts teacher. Later, Smith made a fortune designing and manufacturing aircraft interior components. As he became successful he grew his love for automobiles into an amazing collection of Rolls-Royce, Bentley and other classic cars.  But he never forgot his hot rod roots.

STAFF NOTES: The following letter is directed to Larry Mayfield.
     The Barber/Nichols steam car was displayed in the Harrah collection in Reno, Nevada in the late nineties, and if I recall correctly there was a notice that mentioned the owner(s) in front of the car.  If you want to study a complex steam car, why not come over to Britain and look at the streamliner Don Wales and Charles Burnett III drove at Edwards AFB.  There were two US contenders to take the record set but have not seen or read about their progress.  Malcolm UK, Derby, England
     Old steam locomotives and early steam cars (Doble, Stanley) used open cycle steam engines for a good reason. There is a difficult water chemistry control problem with any closed cycle steam engine.  In the 1960’s Bill Lear (the Lear jet guy) tried to develop a closed cycle steam engine car.  He had a running prototype but I don't remember the details or how he handled the water chemistry problem---Maybe you can find some more info with an internet search.  
     One of George Westinghouse's early patents was for a rotary steam engine which consisted of a round cylinder containing a rolling offset rotary piston--- sort of like a Wankel engine but without any vanes to wear out.  It was a very simple device which relied on tight tolerances.   We used old George's rotary engine concept in a nuclear powered totally implantable artificial heart design and received a patent for it. I was the primary author of the patent which is Patent # 3,534,409, Lance et al, October 20, 1970.  An isotope heat source was used to generate the steam for the miniaturized rotary steam engine which drove a hydraulic system that alternately compressed the artificial left and right ventricles.  Waste heat was rejected to the blood stream. The design met the thermal and radioactive dose limits deemed acceptable at the time.  
     The WWII Germans experimented with transverse mounted V8 steam locomotive engines--both ends of the crankshaft were connected directly to the locomotive drive wheels.  I believe there is more info on-line about this.  Makes me wonder if an IC engine could be made into an automotive steam engine.  The boiler feed water could be run through the engine block cooling passages for a regenerative heating effect.  Be easiest if it was an open cycle, okay for salt flat runs.  Joe Lance  
     Jay Leno has a few steam cars, a Stanley and a Doble.  He likes the Doble because it doesn't need such a long fire-up.  Check out how a Doble works.  Neil Albaugh


     On August 19, 1985 Bob Barber set the land speed record for a steam powered car.  The vehicle was designed and built at Barber-Nichols and traveled at 234.33 km/h (145.607 mph). The vehicle is currently displayed in the National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV.  http://www.barber-nichols.com/about-us.  car image & Info National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV  http://www.autoinformant.com/users/nvnam/car_pages/395http://www.autoinformant.com/users/nvnam/car_pages/395/details. John Szalay
ELECTRONIC HOT RODDING  commentary 9.  By LeRoi Tex Smith, reprinted with permission from Internet Brands and

     Currently, in my field of journalism everything is in turmoil. It would seem that the traditional reading material form (print and paper) is on par with the famed dodo bird. During my years in the print business there has been a tremendous change in the process, but now it is really on the ropes. Newspapers and magazines are taking it on the chin, which you can see for yourself at your favorite news counter. If you even have such a news outlet anymore. Where once we had a dog fight to gain newsstand display space, now the retailer has far too much space with too few items to display.

     It isn’t so much that the electronic medium has displaced the print versions of information dissemination, but that the electronic world is in its own convulsions. This will settle down, but meantime forms such as tablets and phones and I-net and so on are searching for the best way to get the customer attention. What I like is the immediacy of electronic publishing. 

     Not many years ago, the only way a person could be updated on current affairs was the newspaper and the radio. Then, along came the theatre newsreel, but all of these forms were constrained by time lapses. Enter TV and all that changed overnight. What a convulsion that caused. Yet, nothing compared to now. The social media impact cannot be overstated, it has the potential to change the world within minutes of an event, and it it doing that in spades. For something such as the hot rod hobby, something like Hotline makes all the difference in how the hobby can warp and wingle within the space of one week. 

     While it is possible now to share building ideas and practices within a few days of introduction, I see the real impact of e-rodding on the practice of the hobby rather than on the perception. Within hours of closing of the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, everyone worldwide can know every trend that appeared on the streets of Louisville.  This with the plus of excellent photo transmissions. And this is where Hotline will become THE centerpoint of hot rod information. Which will also tend to weed out the worst part about e-info. Where it was once said in this hobby that if it was not in Hot Rod magazine then it was not true, today it is too often derided if the source of info is the internet. Not so much now that a source such as Hotline exists to force the wannabes back into the closet. 

     Of course, all this will serve to manifold the increase in the amount of information available. I see a real need in the electronic world for a much easier method of information storage at the reader level, that is, storing and retrieval as easy on the computer as it is on the printed page. For as long as forever without fear of material going off into the ethereal. This, alone, will increase a hundred fold the value of instant communications in our sport. 

     On the other hand, it will also serve to create a brand new form of secretiveness. Speed secrets are going to become just that, and I’ll bet we see a kind of network of insiders to the hobby come to the fore of social media. All in all, it is truly a fascinating and fun time to be involved with hot rodding. I’ll just park my ride over here under a tree and watch it all come down. On my 3-inch expandable multi-verse double throwdown display zip tube interface of course. 

Gone Racin’…
Winners are Driven, a Champion’s Guide to Success in Business & Life, by Bobby Unser and Paul Pease.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  28 August 2007.

     Winners are Driven, a Champion’s Guide to Success in Business & Life is an autobiography and history of the life of racing great, Bobby Unser.  It was written by Unser and Paul Pease and is a hardbound book of 210 pages.  There are 44 black and white photos and one color photo on the dust cover jacket.  The book measures 6 ½ wide by 9 ½ inches in height.  The dust cover jacket shows Bobby Unser in a suit with red power tie and his trademark smile and self-confidence.  The book was written to portray the life of Bobby Unser and his family and to explain how the reader can achieve some of the success that Unser achieved.  It is a John Wooden sort of autobiography and self-help book.  The book is printed on non-glossy alkaline free paper, with a sixteen-page insert on glossy paper with all of the black and white photographs.  The photographs are captioned.  There are no graphs, drawings or other visual aids.  The text is what is important in this book.  There is a Foreword, Acknowledgments and Introduction, followed by twelve chapters.  The end of the book includes a Conclusion, Afterword, Appendix and Index.  The Appendix gives Bobby Unser’s accomplishments throughout his life and the Index runs six pages and is quite comprehensive.  The dust jacket cover is very well done and enhances the overall look of the book.  The book was published by John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey in 2003.  Check with Autobooks/Aerobooks at 1-818-845-0707 to see if they can get you a copy of the book.  The ISBN# is 0-471-25068-6. 
     Rodger Ward and I attended a book signing for this book in Torrance, California.  Unser flew in and spoke about his life.  Afterwards he embraced Rodger, who was an old friend.  Ward won the Indy 500 twice, but could just as easily have won it a half dozen more times.  Unser won the prestigious race three times and both gentlemen were famous for their exploits in other motorsports events besides open wheel racing.  The opening page of Winners are Driven, a Champion’s Guide to Success in Business & Life quotes this saying; “Nobody remembers who finished second but the guy who finished second.”  The entire Unser family; Jerry, Louis, Al and Bobby rarely finished second to anyone.  They were the racers to beat from the 1960’s through the 1990’s.  Winners are Driven, a Champion’s Guide to Success in Business & Life mixes history, autobiography and plain simple truths.  Unser says, “You can fall, you can fail, and you can crash.  You just have to get back up and get back behind the wheel.  Nothing less.”  He has accumulated a lot of experience in his career and he informs the reader what it was like for him to succeed and to fail.  Unser didn’t fail very often.  He won almost as often as he didn’t.  He was always in the thick of the battle and he was a fierce competitor.  He not only had to fight against other racers, but against his own family as well and they provided him with some of his stiffest competition. 
     Some of the chapter titles are; Fire in the belly, Visualizing the Checkered Flag, Qualify for the Race, Goals and Strategies, Taking the Checkered Flag, and Races are Won in the Pits.  Just by the chapter names you can gauge where Bobby Unser is taking you.  He goes on to other subjects; Trust and Integrity, Accountability and Responsibility, Cherish Failure, Take Pride in Results, Education the Ultimate Performance Enhancer and the Family Wildcard.  While Unser was a fierce individualist as a racer, he would be the first to tell you the value of teamwork.  Roger Penske lauds Unser for the values that he brought to Team Penske.  Unser learned many of the values that he imparts in this book from his father and mother, Jerry Sr and Mary Unser.  He learned from the talents of his uncle, Louis Unser.  He gained much from his brothers; Al, Louis and Jerry Jr.  Winners are Driven, a Champion’s Guide to Success in Business & Life is a book that will give the reader a very important understanding of a racer who set high standards and achieved them.  It tells about an American family that produced many winning racers and race teams.  It gives advice and wisdom that can’t help but improve one’s chances because Bobby Unser has succeeded at just about everything he ever attempted. 
Gone Racin’ is at


Gone Racin’…Veda Orr’s New/Revised Hot Rod Pictorial, by Veloce Press.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz. 

     Veda Orr was married to Karl Orr, and the two of them left a major impact in land speed dry lakes and other oval track racing.  Karl was well known for owning a very early speed shop and for his participation in racing.  He was a member of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) and other racing organizations.  Karl was a great deal older than most of the young men who went racing in the 1930’s and ‘40’s; and he was idolized by many.  He held stubborn views and could be a fierce adversary, but the respect that he was held in by the racing community overcame his sometimes irascible nature.  Veda Orr was much younger than Karl and she looked up to him with a loyal reverence.  Veda was more than respected; she was revered by the other male racers.  There were a few women automobile racers from the invention of the auto up through the 1960’s, but they were never very numerous.  Veda was one of those female drivers and she was hard to beat.  Part of the reason was that Karl was her mechanic and sometimes co-driver; but the other factor was her zeal for land speed racing.  She drove on the dry lakes even though women were forbidden to join the SCTA prior to World War II.  With Karl behind her there were few men willing to tell her to leave the lakebed.  During the war she continued to send letters to the men in the service telling them about all the car news back home.  When the volume got too large she created a newsletter and mailed it out periodically to those who yearned to see the war end and dry lakes racing resume.  The servicemen literally adored her.  After the war when the SCTA was reorganized, the clubs and board voted to make an exception to the rules and allow Veda to join the association and officially race. 
     It was after the war that Veda compiled
Veda Orr’s Dry Lakes Pictorial which I reviewed previously.  The booklet was self-made and stapled together and sold.  It wasn’t very large, the photographs were copied and crude, but it appeared in late 1946 and ’47 to a hot rodding audience hungry for anything to read and to show off their sport.  It had no index or text, except for captions, but it predated Hot Rod magazine.  There hadn’t been a magazine or paperback like Veda’s since Throttle magazine closed in 1941 and her little self-created booklet, paperback or whatever you want to call it was an immediate success.  Floyd Clymer acquired the rights to the booklet and republished it in 1949.  The copyright expired over time and Jim Lattin came out with another version of Veda’s booklet about twenty-five years later.  Veloce Press, who own the rights to all of the pre 1970 Floyd Clymer titles, re-issued Veda’s work in 2010.  I haven’t seen Clymer’s 1949 edition or the Jim Lattin version.  This review is based on Veloce’s re-issue of 2010 and they have kept the original content, but spruced it up considerably.  The 2010 version is a paperback book measuring 7 by 10 inches and containing 82 pages on uncoated, non-photographic paper.  The paper is similar to the original issue and Veloce kept it that way to keep to as original as possible Veda’s style.  The content, including captions, photographs and drawings are just as Veda used; the major difference is in the size of the booklet and the very nice laminated cover.  Also, Veloce glued the pages to the spine while Veda stapled the pages into her booklet.  The ISBN # is 9781588501530, or you can simply ask a book store if they have the book in stock by the name.  You might also find this book at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California.  Two other sources are the Petersen Automotive Museum and Autobooks/Aerobooks.  Or go to www.velocepress.com
     The 2010 edition has several additions to it.  There is an ad showing Floyd Clymer’s #777 Streamliner.  A very nice foreword by Joe Babiasz; then a page dedicated to the SCTA and the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians (SLSRH) Newsletter located at
www.landspeedracing.com.  On pages 1 through 4 there is a historical book review of the 1946 version by Richard Parks; and which applies to this edition as well, since the contents are the same except for the additions.  Jim Miller follows the review with a one paragraph statement and though it is short, Miller provides important historical details.  Bob Falcon adds a one page statement about his relationship to the Orr’s that is quite interesting.  Bob was an oval track racer during that era and his knowledge is vital to our understanding of the times.  He is a founding member of the SLSRH.  Page six begins the original content from the 1946 edition.  The revised edition keeps to the same format that Veda used, with the first part of the book showing land speed and hot rods of the 1940’s, including Karl and Veda’s famous 21C roadster, named one of the 75 best ’32 Model T roadster’s of all time.  The famous photograph on page seven shows Wally Parks, Mel Leighton and Randy Shinn of the SCTA kneeling and Addie Leonard, DeRalph Frizzell, Louie Meyer and Rex Mays in a photo reprinted in many publications.  The drawings by Dick Teague graced many issues of the SCTA Racing News and I can only say that I wish that I had the original pen and ink drawings.  After the drawings by Teague there are more land speed racing cars and finally a section on oval track cars and race tracks.  Veda added oval track racing for several reasons; one was that Karl also raced on oval tracks and two, many of the land speed guys also raced on oval tracks and in early drag racing.
     On page eight there is a picture of the trophies being awarded in that extraordinary year of 1946.  The service men and women were being demobilized from the military as soon as Japan surrendered in August of 1945, but there were 12 and a half million people in the service and it took a while for the dry lakes racers to trickle back to civilian life.  My father, Wally Parks, showed up at a meeting of the newly reorganized SCTA in December of 1945 and was elected President of the group.  He took the gavel from his good friend, Bozzie Willis and the enthusiasm of the clubs that formed the SCTA was overwhelming.  Most of the men thought they would not survive the war and they yearned for the war to end and to return to the dry lakes to race their cars.  Veda Orr had done her part to keep up the spirits of the men and now the war was over and they set about to race with a vengeance.  The great clubs like the Albata and the Road Runners produced some very fast cars.  The top two clubs alternated the season points championship between them.   Ernie McAfee won it in 1938 and George Harvey won the championship in 1939, both representing the Road Runners.  Bob Rufi with his amazing home built streamliner won the championship in 1940 and was the first to go 140 mph.  He was a member of the Albata Club, the chief competitor at the time of the Road Runners.  Vic Edelbrock won back the championship for the Road Runners in 1941.  Vic would create a well-known speed equipment manufacturing company that his son Vic Edelbrock Jr would expand beyond his father’s wildest dreams.  Karl Orr won the championship in 1942 amid the controversy of World War II.  Karl was an Albata Club member and he adamantly argued for continuing dry lakes racing even though the membership and the government were calling for a cessation of racing.  Even after the SCTA disbanded for the duration of the war, Karl stubbornly continued to race on any dry lake that he could find.  Doug Hartelt of the Lancers and Dietrich and Thomas of the Gaters car clubs tied for the championship in 1947.  The Chevy powered Spurgin and Giovanine roadster roared to a record at every meet during the 1948 season and won the high points championship representing the Albata car club. 
     On page nine there is a list of classes and record holders for the four classes.  Famous names abound in the following pages; Karl Orr, Bob Rufi, Tony Capanna, Randy Shinn, Don Blair, Kenny Lindley, etal.  The 1946 racing season was special; it represented the first year of racing since the fateful 1942 year that was filled with controversy and ill-will.  Capanna and Shinn blazed through the monthly meets setting records and gathering points.  Just before the last race of the season Shinn was seriously injured in a car accident that almost blinded him and left a huge scar from his scalp to his chin.  He was hospitalized and unable to race, holding a slim lead over Tony Capanna.  Shinn represented the Road Runners and Capanna was a member of the Albata and although they respected each other, there was such a great desire to beat the other club that all Capanna had to do was get in his car and make a run down the track.  But Capanna was never one to win by backing into a championship.  In his eyes Shinn had beaten him fairly in face to face competitions throughout the year and Capanna simply could not win by not competing with Shinn.  So he asked another club member to drive his car, which deprived Capanna of the points needed to pass up Shinn.  Capanna’s sacrifice allowed Shinn to win that year’s points championship in a display of sportsmanship that is still talked about today.  A new sportsmanship trophy was named in honor of Arthur Tilton and the members of the SCTA unanimously voted Capanna that honor.  The wonderful thing about Veda Orr’s New/Revised Hot Rod Pictorial is that it brings this golden age of land speed racing back and allows everyone to add this delightful book to their library.  This is one of those books that ought to be in your collection.  I know that you would like to have an original issue of the Dry Lakes Pictorial, and the 1949 Clymer version and Jim Lattin’s as well.  But you need to start somewhere and this is a book that you need to have if you are a land speed fan.  I rate this a 7 and 7/8ths sparkplugs out of a possible 8 sparkplugs. 
Gone Racin’ is at
Gone Racin’…
The Bonneville Salt Flats; Two decades of photography by Peter Vincent.  Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

     I loved this book.  I also broke the first commandment of reviewers and told you up front what I thought of the book.  I dislike reviewers who do this and yet the pictorial by Peter Vincent is just, well, breathtaking.  This puts me at odds with other great works of photography, which I have liked, but which I have refrained from lavishing praise on.  Some reviews go to great lengths to tell you what’s in the books and I have to ask myself if the reviewer is more inclined to spout his wisdom and intelligence than to simply give a description of the book.  Since I deal with hot rodding books, magazines and movies I know that the potential readers simply want to know what the book is like; its nuts and bolts so to speak.  Here it is.  The Bonneville Salt Flats is a coffee table book of extraordinary beauty with some cross-over value as a historical resource.  It is meant to sit prominently on a table as a centerpiece; to be opened up and gazed at as one enters the room.  But it is more than that; it’s also worthy to be picked up and looked at, read for its captions and for the mood that it sets.  It is an enticing book and it grows on the reader.  I found myself wanting to stop typing and go back to reading the captions and text and looking at the photographs. 
     Normally I give the readers a breakdown for the number of the color and black and white photographs, but Vincent does such a wonderful job of shading the colors from BW to color that I decided it was just too much work.  Suffice it to say that Vincent is as much an artist as he is a photographer and his skill is such that he can’t be easily quantified.  So I’ll just say this; there are a lot of photos and they are superb.  The waxy, high quality paper in the book brings out the superb quality in the photographs.  Beginning on page 64 there are two fold-out sections that are stunning.  Some photographs take up an entire page and even extending over into the next page, while some pages contain multiple small photographs.  Vincent keeps the captions brief so as not to take away from the visual effect of the photographs.  But to make up for this he adds a four page section in the back of the book called “About the photographs” to give the reader the necessary background.  He also includes a one page index that is inclusive and helpful.  Books that have accurate and complete indexes make it so much easier for historians and serious readers to find the information that they are looking for.  There will be a great temptation to cut out some of the photographs to mount in a picture frame.  Please resist this urge.  Prints that you want are available from the author/photographer; just go to his website at www.petervincentphotographer.com, or pvincent49@hotmail.com
The Bonneville Salt Flats weighs a good five pounds, is 272 pages in length and the book measures 10 ¾ inches by 12 ¼ inches in width by an inch thick; a perfect size for that living room coffee table.  The size of the book also is visually appealing.  Do not remove the book dust jacket (or sleeve) from the book.  Too often the sleeves are damaged and thrown away and I have to repeat that a book without a cover loses half of its value and a good part of its visual appeal.  The jacket for The Bonneville Salt Flats is striking with its black background and a hauntingly beautiful sedan bounded by that Bonneville sky and mountains.  Minus the jacket the hardbound book is black in color with a cloth binding to give lasting wear.  Every aspect of the book is of excellent quality.  The publisher of The Bonneville Salt Flats is Stance & Speed and they are located in St Paul, Minnesota.  More information on the company and The Bonneville Salt Flats can be seen at www.stanceandspeed.com.  The ISBN code is 10:0-98520-0987.  The First Edition is August 2013 and there are three variations of a Limited Edition with varying prices and a regular hardbound edition ($85) which is the copy I am reviewing. 
     The Acknowledgment lists the sponsors who helped Vincent get his masterpiece published and they are well-known land speed racers and friends; including Al and Jane Teague, JoAnn and Greg Carlson, Ed Stuck, Fred Dannenfelzer and many more.  Others who supported this project included Michael Dobrin, Ron Jolliffe, Steve Moal, Tom Fritz, Darrell Mayabb, etal.  The pedigree of the supporters behind The Bonneville Salt Flats is impressive.  With the advice and support of these men and women in land speed racing, Vincent has created a great pictorial history to be proud of.  Al Teague’s record 409 MPH record run in the 1990’s is still remembered to this day.  Michael Dobrin and my father, Wally Parks, were close friends and strong supporters of Bonneville racing.   Steve Moal is a master hot rod and custom car builder.  JoAnn and Greg Carlson are not only LSR competitors, but officials who dedicate their lives to making the sport successful and popular.  Tom Fritz has reached that pinnacle of hot rod artistry that is only exceeded by the art work of Kenny Youngblood.  Darrell Mayabb is a cartoonist and artist of note.
     Some pictorials lack textual material and captions altogether, which I find annoying.  Vincent on the other hand provides just enough background material to suit the serious student of land speed racing as well as the newcomer to the sport.  There are informative introductions by Peter and Kimberly Vincent, Peter de Lory, Philip Linhares, Tom Fritz and Peter Bodensteiner.  On page 79 there is a five page interview of Dennis Varni by Michael Dobrin.  Varni has been a regular at Bonneville since the late 1950’s and is one of a few men to have set a record over 300 MPH and achieve the ‘Blue Hat.’  Varni has also won the prestigious Grand National Roadster Show’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award.  This isn’t a complete biography of Dennis Varni and it tends to follow only his LSR career, but I enjoyed it anyway and hope to see a longer story on Varni in the future.  There is a spread of seven pages beginning on page 103 by Ron Jolliffe, who describes what it is like to be a hot rodder and a land speed racer.  Jolliffe is philosophical about the problems in this sport, the non-commercial aspects and the amateur status that it confers.  I have rarely read a shorter, more compelling and understandable description of land speed racing and what people must go through in order to indulge their desire for speed.
     One of the reasons why
The Bonneville Salt Flats is so enticing is these short narratives.  Normally there are introductions in all books, even in pictorials, but they are sort of required by convention.  Yet I enjoyed reading these short explanations.  Kimberly Vincent, the author/photographer’s wife, explains how her husband goes about his work and how she and her son, Nathan, help out.  Photography, it seems, needs a crew just like the racers do.  The official Introduction is by Peter Vincent himself and is more biographical, which allowed me to see into this man’s soul.  Vincent has learned from the best and studied under Ansel Adams, Alfred Steiglitz and many more.  Perhaps you have one of their prints hanging on your wall.  Vincent melds his love of hot rodding and the car culture with his love of photography, although he readily admits that his camera takes precedence.  We can live with that.  We need all kinds of talented men and women in land speed racing.  Those that can write, paint and photograph and thus keep alive the history and heritage of land speed racing are always welcome.  Peter de Lory writes a short story on Walter Cotton who passed away in 2008.  Peter’s comments show the strong friendships that are forged at Bonneville and on the dry lakes.
     Philip Linhares followed up with a historical tribute to the people that made Bonneville famous.  He mentions Ab Jenkins, John Cobb and many more people who put Bonneville on the map.  For some reason he left out the first group of true hot rodders to establish the annual migration.  While I enjoyed this historical section I wondered why he mentioned Al Teague’s 405 mph mark in 2002 and not his record setting record of 409.986 in 1991, which was a record that stood for many years.  Tom Fritz followed with a two page discussion of what makes Peter Vincent such a tremendous artist.  I admire Fritz as an artist of the highest rank and it amuses me when the artist as creator tries to explain his talent; his inner muse.  Frankly, I think all artists (including writers and photographers) fail at explaining how they create.  It seems innate and something that simply comes out of them in an unexplainable way.  The purpose of the book isn’t the writings of the various individuals trying to capture the allure of Bonneville; although that is interesting.  The value of The Bonneville Salt Flats is very simple; it is the photographs themselves.  Yes, the cars are centered and they are the stars, but with the cars is the pageantry that Peter Vincent manages to capture.  We see the grandeur of nature and the loneliness of the landscape.  Vincent brings out the happiness, sadness, triumph and despair.  There is emotion galore in his work.  But beyond all that and getting back to hot rod simplicity; they are just great to look at.
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM



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     I was just looking over the list of racers having already raced this year, those about ready to turn tires over on the asphalt/cement/salt and those who plan on racing a Volkswagen at a land speed event in the next year of two. Something unique stuck out, especially for the upcoming September USFRA World of Speed (often referred to as the Volkswagen Top Speed Challenge Nationals). By my count, this years World of Speed could see as many as fifteen (15) Karmann Ghias racing. Eleven (11) Ghia racers have indicated they should be ready and four (4) additional Ghia racers have tentative plans but are still thrashing through details. Seven (7) Challenge racers are in various stages of planning and or construction of Ghia LSR racers for the future. I know not all will be completed, and likewise other folks with Ghias will come on board to join us in the Challenge.
     Another special feature that is apparent with the Ghia racers being built is how many are going the extra step to add a SCTA approved safety cage, well above the minimal requirements of the USFRA's 130 and 150 Mile Per Hour Club rules. A few are going all the way building their VW's to full competition SCTA/BNI safety requirements. My hat is off to you for your dedication and commitment to the sport of VW top speed racing. 
     In recognition, in the future I am going to unofficially refer to all the Karmann Ghia land speed racers as members of "Grupe Ghia", the fraternity of Karmann Ghia racers who seek the maximum speed of their respective Volkswagens. Below are some pics of Ghias presently racing or coming together soon.  These are some of the current, soon to be and future Ghia racers that make up the VW Challenges new 
Grupe Ghia. We are looking forward so seeing all of you heading down the long black line in the near future.
     Burly Burlile, VW 36hp & BB Challenge,
burlybug@comcast.net, www.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge, Freelance Photo Journalist, Society of Land Speed Racing Historian (SLSRH).
BRITISH DRAG RACING HALL OF FAME 2014 inductees.  Brian Taylor.

     Eligibility for induction into The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame (BDRHoF) is extended to any person who has driven, piloted, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in any capacity connected with British Drag Racing. An inductee must have been retired for a least three years or must have been or be engaged at the top level of his/her area of British Drag Racing for at least twenty years, or made a recognisable and significant contribution to the sport. Inductees are characterized by their desire to win, mastery of their own particular field and the courage to innovate.

The name Gerry Belton will be familiar to anyone who went along to the original DragFests of ‘64 and ‘65. Gerry’s was one of the voices heard commentating at the meetings and the one on the DragFest LP subsequently released.  He really was in the thick of the action from the beginning, being the Allard Motor Company PRO.  At the outset Sydney Allard handed Gerry the job of organising the 1963 International Drag Racing Challenge that featured Dante Duce in Mooneyes and Mickey Thompson in his Harvey Aluminum Special. This series of events was instrumental in anchoring the sport of drag racing in the UK.  He then went on to organise the British International Drag Racing Festivals in 1964 and 1965, acting as Secretary to the British Drag Racing Association as well as General Manager of the events. This was no small task given the American entries arriving and the complications raised by setting up six meetings in 1964 to be held at different airfields with different organising bodies over three back-to-back weekends.  Given the perfect weather throughout, not credited to Gerry, some 120,000 spectators enjoyed the meetings, still said by some as never to be forgotten. Gerry was also involved in organising World Record meetings in the UK and Europe.
His off track activities were matched by some personal success on track, as he has the distinction of winning Top Eliminator at the first ever British Hot Rod Association ‘Big Go’ meeting. He was at the wheel of a Ford powered Allard Dragon dragster designed by the company to be sold as kits to expand participation in the then fledgling sport. He was also part of the consortium that purchased Bob Keith’s 1964 Dos Palmas dragster which he drove in 1965. He drove his own ‘65 Cobra 289 at Santa Pod in the late ‘60s. In fact he set the CC/SP Class Quarter Mile Record at 13.582secs and 104.60mph – pretty small beer by today’s standards but very quick back in the day.
  It is for his work with Sydney Allard organising these European motor sport ground changing events during 1963, 1964 and 1965 that Gerry is being inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Russ Carpenter’s first drag racing experience was helping Tony Anderson in 1969 with his Ford V6 engined dragster named ‘Trouble’. But it was the Daimler V8 Hemi engine that was to be the main focus of Russ’s quarter mile mechanical skills.
To check out the Daimler V8’s suitability for drag racing Russ first contacted British Leyland who told him that after 200hp it became very unreliable and they didn’t feel it was a very practical engine for racing.  However Russ went on to create a version eventually outputting well over 1000hp.
  The blown Daimler V8 rear engined dragster called More Trouble initially hit the track in March 1972. Developing a British engined car for drag racing meant making your own parts or adapting others. Russ fabricated a slider clutch because it was not possible to buy one that would fit the car. A few years later he adapted a racing B&J transmission for the car, making new parts as no spares were available, and up rating the hydraulics on it to make it activate more quickly.  Russ took over the driving from Tony in 1975 and won many championships and events. In 1977 he took the dragster to Mantorp Park in Sweden where he entered the handicapped Competition Eliminator. Swedish competitors protested he was allocated to the wrong class, disputing the weight on the entry form regarding Russ’s own, not insubstantial, weight. Put into a less advantageous class, Russ proceeded to beat all Swedish competitors, only being shut down in the final by rival Brit John Whitmore who was in a lower class with a handicap advantage.  mWith backing from AE Autoparts (Hepolite Glacier) in 1979, the car was renamed the Glacier Grenade and in July 1980 broke two World Records becoming the first car anywhere in the world under 5 litres to make a quarter mile pass in less than 8 seconds. At Le Mans in 1983 Russ was again protested, this time by Swedish Top Fuel racers when he was included in that class to make the numbers up.  Russ won the Euro Series Championship twice in the 1980s and had a rivalry with the Daimler V8 engined dragster of Robin Read until, in 1989, small nitro fuelled cars were outlawed for the Euro Series. He nevertheless kept the car and has exhibited it regularly for over twenty years. It is for his racing development of the Daimler V8 engine and influencing others to go the same route for which Russ is being inducted into the BDRHoF.
     By most measures, Don ‘Big Daddy’ Garlits is the greatest and most successful drag racer ever. But as well as being the result of his worldwide leading role as the sport’s most innovative drag racing technician, his influence on British drag racing has been more specific – as part of the wildly successful American team to visit Britain for the 1964 DragFests and subsequently racing at Santa Pod in 1976 and 1977.
  Born in Florida, Don started racing in 1950, building the first of thirty seven Swamp Rat dragsters in 1955. He became the first racer over 170mph in 1957 and over 180mph in 1958. By 1964, he had put down the first backed-up 200mph speed.  In September and October of 1964 the First British International Drag Festival took place organised by Sidney Allard and the NHRA’s Wally Parks. Don match-raced Tommy Ivo and won ‘The People’ Challenge Trophy for the best aggregate performance by any car, running a string of low eights at over 190mph in front of huge crowds at Blackbushe and RAF airfields across the UK.  In 1976 he visited Santa Pod for its tenth anniversary, driving Swamp Rat 21, and inspired Peter Crane to run the first five second pass outside North America. He returned the following year and won at the July Internationals before returning his car to the USA for eventual display at his Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida that opened in 1984 – being inspired by a visit Don made to the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in 1976. After his visits to Santa Pod, Don’s fellow American racers could more readily be enticed to race in the UK, furthering the boom in the sport in Britain during the late 1970s.  2014 has been a year very mixed emotions for Don. He lost Pat, his wife of over 60 years and a constant companion at the track during his racing career. But he has succeeded in running over 180mph in his electric powered dragster Swamp Rat 37. Developed with his grandson Rodney this is another Garlits’ Benchmark project.  In victories Don’s success can be measured in 144 National Event wins and 17 Championships. However, it is the constant innovation he has brought to drag racing all over the world that is the prime reason for his legendary status. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is proud to be able to induct him this year as a tribute to his influence on British drag racing during the last fifty years.
One of the true characters of drag bike racing, Dennis Norman’s riding skills were put to good use towards the end of WW2 as a despatch rider instructor. His teaching methods and communication skills must have been interesting, to say the least.
After the war he settled in Hemel Hempstead and opened a motor cycle shop. He toyed with Speedway in the late fifties. But his interest turned to sprinting in the early 1960s with an Ariel Square Four, later moving on to the then new sport of Drag Racing with the opening of Santa Pod Raceway in 1966. As well as racing Dennis was one of the regular Friday volunteers helping the Santa Pod management set-up the track for the weekend’s racing.
  He was one of the top runners in the late 60s, and into the early seventies, on his twin-engined Triumph, which was one of the early 9 second bikes. One of the first visitors to Sweden and Holland, the smoky passes from the 1300cc 'Norman's Conquest' were always a crowd favourite. His off-track, often mischievous, sense of humour was legendary in the pits.  He served time as a British Drag Racing and Hot Rod Association committee member, but his proudest achievement was being one of the first two bike racers to travel over to America and compete in 1970; a trip backed by Bob Phelps of Santa Pod. He qualified on his first pass for what was the first ever Top Fuel Bike eliminator at the premier NHRA Nationals event at Indy; impressing the American racers with a run of under 10 seconds. Learning some new tricks while there, he performed the first bike burnout on his return to Santa Pod. Others soon followed. A blown double-engined Norton was built as a replacement bike in 1974.  Years later, Dennis rebuilt his double Triumph and performed demonstration runs at various venues. He was even to be seen in his mid-eighties riding the bike at a Santa Pod RWYB in 2010. His grandson Matthew has kept that spirit of ‘60s drag bike racing alive by bringing the bike out on to the track for Dragstalgia; although the super sticky track of today is not so easy for the wheel spinners of old! It is for his dedication to drag bike racing in the early years that Dennis Norman is being inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
     John Whitmore was born in Leicester. On a visit to Santa Pod in 1967 he saw American Bud Barnes run a full track length smoker in his blown Chrysler Hemi slingshot dragster. He was hooked. However, it was seeing Harold Bull’s Stripduster that inspired him to build a front engine dragster using a British engine.
  In 1968, his first front-engined dragster was powered by a four cylinders BMC A series engine. Named Drag-n’-fly in 1970, many parts were homemade including a fuel injection system using an oil pump from the ubiquitous BMC A series engine converted into a fuel pump. The original gearbox was based on an overdrive from an Austin A35. A three-speed Borg Warner 35 auto gear box was obtained, modified and shortened and a manual three position control valve was used to change the gears. This replaced the A35 gear box. A 7½” friction clutch replaced the torque converter. A visit to BMC Special Tuning at Abingdon resulted in more race-ready parts being acquired that could withstand nitro loads of up to 65%. Times fell and speeds increased. In 1973 he ran over 150mph for the first time and dominated his class with low nine second passes. The constant quest for quarter mile performances from the venerable A series engine that would have astounded its original designers led John to build a rear engine chassis for 1974 and he again converted a Borg Warner automatic transmission (this time a larger one) to a three speed clutch operated racing gearbox. This helped take the car deep into the eights with many wins in 1975 and 1976; class times that will probably never be beaten. John raced at Mantorp Park and Malmo in Sweden during 1976 to 1978, winning or coming runner up in these events. He later visited Zandvoort in Holland. By this time he had sponsorship from British Leyland. In 1980 John took a different path with a new Daimler powered dragster. He had support from Jaguar spares dealer G H Nolan who supplied him with the mechanical parts for the car. John used all his mechanical ingenuity on the new dragster that went well from the start and in 1981 recorded his first seven second time. In a racing career spanning almost twenty years and many wins,
John never red lit. But it is for his mechanical skills in developing cars using British parts where possible, and achieving outstanding performances, that John is inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
     These inductees will be presented with their awards at the BDRHoF Annual Gala Awards Dinner to be held at the Savill Court Hotel, Windsor Great Park on November 22nd 2014. Details can be found on the latest news menu tab at
www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk.   The event is proving to be very popular and it will be a sell-out function.  Further Press Information from Robin Jackson RJProMod@aol.com.
Tel 01933 222917.



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