.  Issue #334
   August 24, 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, Rnparks1@Juno.com
Photographic Editor of the Society
: Roger Rohrdanz, beachtruck@juno.com
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon, sparklecraftspecial@yahoo.com
Field Reporter/Historian: Bob Falcon, rfalcon279@aol.com
Historians: Anna Marco, Dick Martin, Tex Smith, Burly Burlile, Jerry Cornelison


Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
President's Corner; Editorials;  Jack Stewart, Doug McHenry,


     Could it be that hot rodders are 10X more important to the history of this country than has ever been thought, recorded or published?  How can we redress this wrong?  Hula hoop, yo yo, CB radio, bolo bats (not to mention ties) ... all gone in the mists of time, like the last of the Mohicans.
     Are we old farts living in a dream world, like Miss Havisham, waiting, among the cob webs for a world that will never, like Charlie on Boston’s MTA, return?   Or is there a message to be got out (from the bell tower of the old north church in Boston) ... or on Facebook, or Twitter, or wherever one goes to warn the country of the dangers besetting the country.  The greatest of which might be complacency ... coming not from land ... not from the sea ... but from some internal demon that ignores our founding precepts—a vigorous Work Ethic to achieve and succeed.
     Ed Winfield, Eddie Meyer et al from WWI days to today’s ‘rodders—Gale Banks, Ron Main and dozens, maybe hundreds, more, many in the LA area, are carrying the (cutting/welding) torch.   Have you noticed that the press when faced with another industrial-sized conflagration always tell us, ‘it was the blowtorch what did it?’  Point being that almost no one sees the hot-rod history of this country, from the Armories Act of 1794 up to some obscure point when the lawyers and MBAs took over--as the history of what made this country what it is, or was ... innovative, inventive, adaptable, aggressively pursuing improvement, forcing the technological envelope in competition ...
    Cummins has the longest-running story of corporate competitive display of the their products in all kinds of vehicles.  Not Ford, Not Ferrari, Not Jaguar, Not Mercedes ... no one else has done what Cummins has done!  Does anybody know?  Does anybody care?  No!  Have we ever seen in the whole of our national history a hot-rod scene as roared its head in the Golden State with the Fozzy Bear on its flag?  No!
     SCTA, Petersen, Ganahl, Underwood, Tex Smith et al have done us proud ... but ... and yet it feels as though there’s another dimension to all this.  One that should be celebrated in the nation, sought and delivered in the schools ... the media, social and otherwise, where folks dwell these days.  Could it make a difference?  Maybe.  How should we present the history, past and current, of American achievers in a way to encourage 10X as many achievers for our future?  I ask you ...
     Kenneth L. (Ken) Berg, The Motorsports Education Foundation, Co-chair MSWG of INCOSE, Member, UCI Performance Engineering Competitions, Mission Viejo, California.
GUEST EDITORIAL, by Doug McHenry. 
     Please do not attempt to email me during the time of August 8th thru August 13th.  I need to receive medical treatment and need to go to Utah to receive this treatment. I began to have feelings of anxiety and restlessness beginning shortly after this Father's day.  The symptoms have increased to an almost uncomfortable level since then, becoming more acute little by little until I found it necessary to seek treatment. The treatments will include standing, sitting, walking or riding on sodium chloride for periods of up to twelve hours. I will also be subjected to inhaling trace amounts of nitromethane, alcohol, high octane fuels and castor oil and other mineral and synthetic oil compounds.  My senses will be subjected to machines that will cause the ground to tremble, a noise level that can cause temporary ringing in my ears, and pollutant levels that may require me to withdraw a distance to inhale large amounts of bi-hydrogen/ mono-oxides for several seconds.  The treatments are very reasonable costing only $15 per day of treatment and should a period of more than 2 days be needed, I can receive a full week of treatment for only $40.  The whole regimen is only available 4 miles east of the small Utah town Wendover, with the biggest treatment center only open from August 9th thru 15th this year.  I highly recommend to one and all.  I treat myself each year about this time and find that I am well rested and back to normal (yes there are several schools of thought about what normal is in relation to me).  If you have any questions regarding this treatment, details are available at SCTA-BNI.org. The condition I have is permanent and wonderful!  See you all after the 13th.  (EDITOR: Speedweek has been cancelled due to wet weather)
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:
     I received a nice email from a member.  In it he mentioned how in the beginning of drag racing so many racers prodded and urged the sanctioning bodies (NHRA, AHRA, IHRA, etc) to increase prize and appearance money so that racers could be more competitive.  This sounded great as in the 1950’s and ‘60’s there were sometimes 150 or more competitors in any given class at any particular meet.  A racer had to be consistent and race a lot of rounds, hoping not to break parts, if he or she were going to win their class.  The SCTA, rooted in the past, did not go into this trap, preferring to keep land speed racing an amateur sport.  LSR people raced against records and time.  They were oblivious to other drivers in or out of their class.  They often rooted for another driver to break their record and give them something to shoot for.  It is still that way today, although with time LSR racers became financially successful and had more money to invest in their vehicles.  This did not really bother most land speed racers as they just moved to other classes to compete in and if you can’t find a class that is lonely in the SCTA, you just aren’t looking hard enough.
     Even in drag racing there are a lot of classes, and there are a lot more drag racers out there.  Gradually the top time and e.t. classes morphed into a professional class and the sportsmen who didn’t have the big bucks and the big teams and sponsors raced in lower classes and in bracket racing.  This meant a very healthy sportsmen group, but an anemic professional group as their numbers and sponsors dwindled.  It is getting harder and harder to get a field of 16 drag racers in a pro class in today’s drag racing series.  Without the non-traveling local racers to fill in the gaps, the professional programs would have a lot of BYE rounds.  Competition is good, but it also kills off the numbers of racers as wealthy and powerful teams soak up all the talent.  Fans can’t even root for an underdog, because it’s hard to find any.  Many aspiring drivers are told that there’s a ride for them if they can find sponsors.  The days when you and your buddies could build a race car under a shade tree and with luck and effort, win the trophy Saturday night is largely gone.
     But as soon as you project a hapless future, up pops an idea; in this case nostalgia drag racing.  I could say we have nostalgia land speed racing, except that we’ve ALWAYS had nostalgia LSR.  It hasn’t changed since the 1920’s and probably never will.  You can’t go back to the past if you have never left the past.  But drag racing is experiencing a rebirth of nostalgia racing; and nostalgia cacklefests and car shows.  Even Junior Drag Racing is growing and thriving.  But the past catches up with all of us; we can’t change our spots.  Nostalgia drag racing meant cheaper racing, but that ol’ competitive spirit gets going and before you know it so does sponsorship and money and soon even the new cars meant to look and run like old cars are expensive to run.  And boy do they run and do they look good; almost as good as the modern cars.  Except that the old, new cars may actually be the new, old cars; so I will stop because it is getting to be confusing.  With the way laws are being written the old days and the new days may be history.  But I believe that somewhere, somehow, drag and LSR racing will find a way to coexist and fit in.  It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

     Wink Eller, Gear Grinder club member, was injured on the way to Bonneville when they hit an Elk outside of Ely.  He was in a Las Vegas hospital with serious injuries, more when I hear.  He was in his new street roadster.  The elk ended up in his lap.  Glen Barrett


Jack Stewart passed away during the night from a heart attack.  They tried to revive him with CPR, but it was too late.  Rest in Peace Jack.  Prayers go out to Sally and family.  Your Club Family is always here for you.  Jack will truly be missed.  Frank Livingston
     EDITOR: There was a private, family funeral for Jack.  A larger celebration of life is planned for him, but at this time no time, date or place has been chosen.
     Jack & I loved visiting with Jack Stewart whenever we saw him ... he had so many great stories to tell about his escapades over the years.  What a great guy he was ... we will miss him dearly.  Our best to Sally and Jack’s fellow LA Roadster friends.
Jack & Mary Ann Lawford
My Friend, Jack Stewart.  Story and photos by Anna Marco.  9 August 2014. 

     Jack Stewart was my friend.  The mere fact that I can say that is an honor because he was so supportive of what I do as a woman automotive journalist in a male dominated industry.  He was a treasure trove of historical hot rod information, trivia facts and regaled me with stories to no end of the cruising days of yore.  I found him fascinating and entertaining and could listen to him for days.  We would speak on the phone for hours about all things cars.  He made me wish I had grown up at the same time as he did because I felt I missed out on all of his fun.
     EDITOR: For the entire story and photographs go to

Gone Racin’…To say goodbye to Jack Stewart.  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.   9 August 2014.  To read the story and see the photographs go to

     Jack Stewart passed away within the last few days and I checked my records to see if I had written a bio on him; I didn’t.  Perhaps the reason was that Jack seemed indestructible, like so many other hot rodders and I just assumed that he would be around forever.  That’s the way hot rodders think.  That’s what I thought.  My father knew Jack Stewart and admired him, but I can’t ask Dad, because he is gone too.  Dick Wells was a close friend of Jack’s, but he has passed on too. 
     EDITOR: For the entire story and photographs go to www.hotrodhotline.com.

     The annual SCTA/BNI Speedweek was delayed two days due to rain and excessive water on the course, has officially been cancelled. Below is a copy of the SCTA/BNI notification. World of Speed, the annual USFRA event and home to the VW Max Speed Challenge Nationals is still scheduled for September 6th through the 9th. As always, we will keep you updated on any related weather news as it becomes available.  See you at Bonneville in September.  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).
     Lots of great old photos of El Mirage and Bonneville, most I had not seen. Try
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=a4N46tjjl1g.  Speed Week starts Monday.  Bob Choisser
     When I finished the piece about Dave West ("Unrewarded Genius") I figured that his younger brother Wayne might enjoy reading the piece and since Wayne did not use a computer, I called his wife, Ann, who graduated high school with me.  She responded that he probably would have enjoyed reading it but he had crossed the finish line in April.  I received that news on Monday and over the previous weekend received the news about another Indy pal, Jim Garner, and a Racing Safety Engineer I worked with during the days of The Indy Racing League, John Melvin.     Bob Falcon
     An on-line site called Kustomrama Newsletter has some very interesting photos and stories.  Go to their website or send an email to
newsletter@kustomrama.com to join.  John Hutchinson
     Here it is: my annual "Pebble Beach Preview!" New paintings--some never before seen!  As a member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS), I exhibit my works with about 25 other artists from around the world every year at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Carmel, California. Some of my paintings will make their public debut at the AFAS Reception for the Artists, Saturday evening, August 16.  Every artwork in this email is available for purchase contingent on it showing at the Pebble Beach event. If you have an inquiry or would like to make arrangements, please contact the studio as soon as possible.  Prints of some of the images you see here are available now. Follow the links or contact the studio for purchase. As always, selection of edition numbers is on a first come/first served basis.  Finally, be sure to check out my story at the end of this column about the poster I created for Red Bull's upcoming movie, "On Any Sunday--The Next Chapter."  If we don't see each other at Pebble, I wish you the very best as you continue on your path.  Rock on, Tom Fritz,
     The Riverside Press Enterprise had a full page to: SIGN THE PETITION.  Here is the E address:
www.californiadriversalliance.org.  On January 1, 2015, a new hidden gasoline tax will go into effect.  With prices already around $4.00 per gallon, this new tax is expected to increase the cost of gas between 16 cents and 76 cents per gallon, according to state officials.  There is still time to stop it, but we must act now. Contact state officials today and urge them to put the brakes on this new hidden gas tax.  Dyno Don Batyi
     For Hot Rod car shows and events in the Southern States send an email to GEARHEAD HOT NEWS, c/o Jimmy Brandau, at
gearheadgazzette@gmail.com and ask to be put on his mailing list.
Aussie Invader August 2014 Newsletter.  G'day to all of the great people who are following our progress towards achieving the impossible for Australia, by designing, building and soon racing the world’s most powerful car. This is being achieved with a team of extremely dedicated volunteers and constructed in my workshop in suburban Perth, Western Australia.  Rosco McGlashan
     READERS: Contact Rosco at
rosco@aussieinvader.com, to be put on his mailing list for future updates.  The photographs, drawings, diagrams and information is very interesting reading.
John Hutchinson reports from England:
     l'll write something on British drag racing, but you'll have to wait a few weeks, do you want me to attached some photos of cars/motorcycles at the dragstrip.  You must be interested in the '73 Petersen Publishing Internationals held at Santa Pod Raceway, England, it featured Don Schumacher, Paula Murphy, Tony Nancy & Danny Johnson on his HD Dragbike.  lf you click on the Youtube links below you can watch the '73 Petersen Publishing Internationals. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX7VXATXceY  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nGUsw9IJVQhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM7F07KqEmQ.  
     l typed James Ibusuki Drag Racing Art into Google & this appeared
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=james+ibusuki+drag+racing+art&rls=com.microsoft:en-G B:IE-Address&rlz=1I7ADRA_enGB491&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&e i=EIDeU6rhKcz07AbepoHoBQ&ved=0CCEQsAQ&biw=1920&bih=934.
     TIME TRAVEL D.V.D.s British Drag Racing & Hot Rodding History.  Google this link;
     At the 1982 Cannonball Drag Race meeting, Santa Pod Raceway, England
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Pod_Raceway. Sammy Miller http://www.eurodragster.com/news/sammy_miller_tribute/ tried to beat the world record of 3.74 secs over the 1/4 mile set by Kitty O'Neill in the USA.   http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/deaf-stuntwoman-kitty-oneil-sets-womens-land-speed-record.  He fell short by .07 seconds running a 3.81/331.  YouTube link for Sammy's 3.81 secs/331 mph run  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SO3YeEAz-s.  l met Sammy several times, a very nice guy, after his runs he said that his nose & ears bleed, if your ears bleed that's one of the diagnoses for a fractured skull.
     Regarding Rocket Cars, later this year or early next year a British Team led by Richard Noble
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Noble, are going to make an attempt to break the 1,000 mph barrier on land in South Africa with BloodhoundSSC http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/, driven by Andy Green http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/project/team/andy-green, BloodhoundSSC is powered by 2 Phantom jet engines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-4_Phantom_II_in_UK_service, & a Sidewinder Missile http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-9_Sidewinder#Larger_rocket_motor.
     Have you seen the following DVDs /CDs; Lions Part 1, 2, & 3
http://www.nostalgiadrags.com/Lions-The-Greatest-Drag-Strip.html.  Return Of The Bad Boys http://www.nostalgiadrags.com/return_bad_boys.html.  More American Graffiti http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079576/.  Nitro Warriors http://www.quartermilehigh.com/html/2011_nitro_warriors_plus.html
     Old Funny Cars N' Force
http://www.nostalgiadrags.com/funny_cars_n_force.html.  Once Upon A Wheel http://www.ebay.com/itm/Snake-Mongoose-Once-Upon-A-Wheel-Drag-Racing-DVD-Video-Movie-sticker/291198306122?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140602152332%26meid%3D8683887097368903731%26pid%3D100011%26prg%3D20140602152332%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D291137723514.  
     Tommy lvo's lnduction lnto The Motorsports Hall Of Fame
     Tommy didn't know that during Dragfest '64 at Blackbushe someone had filmed all the action, Nick Pettitt a drag racing friend of mine runs a company called
http://www.timetraveldvds.co.uk/page2.html.  He managed to get the film & transfer it to DVD, l bought a copy & sent it to Tommy, he was amazed & sent me the Motorsports Hall Of Fame Induction DVD, also signed photos of him with Stirling Moss & his Barnstormer FED at Silverstone & his 4 Engined Car.  RIAT 2006  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Royal-International-Air-Tattoo-2006/dp/B000IOM4CU/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd &ie=UTF8&qid=1406785263&sr=1-1&keywords=Royal+international+air+tattoo+2006
     JOHN: From time to time I do review a tape, DVD or movie, but that is usually one that my father left me, or a movie producer or publisher wants a review on.  You can see my reviews at
www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks.  I reviewed Crazy Horses.  It isn't my intention to collect material, but to publicize it and I am the editor at the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter which is published on www.landspeedracing.com.  Here's what I can do though and would encourage you to consider.  I want you to view these videos and write a review and send it to me by email.  The reviews can be anywhere from 500 words on up.  I will help you.  I need reviewers, as many as I can get and if a movie, magazine or book is reviewed more than once that is great too.  Reviews are special and they are like miniature, capsule recaps and summations of the larger works themselves.  So rather than send me something that I may never get to, send me a review of that DVD/CD/Tape, etc instead.  I will really appreciate your review more than my guilty conscience for not looking at the visuals you sent me. I also prefer that people use email to contact me because that way I can organize my workday and get back to people when I have the time, rather than be interrupted right in the middle of a project.
     James Ibusuki is one of the best hot rod artists around.  His paintings have hung in many fine galleries and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, in Pomona, California.  I worked with the Brits and the American LSR teams at Black Rock Desert in 1997.  A great group of men and women and I'm proud of their achievements.
     "...Al "Mousie" Marcellus of Winged Express Nitro Altered fame had hip replacement surgery...he's now recovering well.  For more information go to
     James Ibusuki the Drag Racing Artist did most of the work.  John Hutchinson, Gateshead, Great Britain. 
     9 November 2001 – The temperature in California in November is usually in the mid 60s, but this year it was in the high 70s to low 80s. The second of three qualifying days at the NHRA Finals. At the NHRA Motorsports Museum this evening after the day’s racing the NHRA had invited all the Top 50 Drivers voted by a select panel. Relatives of deceased drivers were invited. Dave McClelland the voice of NHRA drag racing was calling out the Top 50, from 50 to 3. Numbers 2 and 1 wouldn’t be announced until Sunday at Pomona Raceway, but the L.A. Times had leaked the story that John Force was No. 2 and Don Garlits was Numero Uno. 
     Before the announcing began everyone went outside where in total darkness they fired up the "Magicar" front-engined top fuel dragster with Jeep Hampshire at the controls and the Weekly-Rivera-Fox-Holding "Frantic Four" dragster with Norm Weekly in the seat. With two foot flames leaping from the header pipes, the beautiful cackling sound and the smell of nitro, it was fantastic. I met James Ibusuki, the drag racing artist and friend I’ve known for quite a few years. It was great to meet him for the first time. I have ten of his lithographs, "Milestones and Mementoes," which salutes the NHRA’s Golden Anniversary, is his best yet. 
     I met and got the autographs of the following Drag Racing Legends:  "Big Daddy" Don Garlits – Don Garlits is to drag racing what Babe Ruth was to baseball, Garlits could do it all, from building his own cars and engines to developing revolutionary concepts, such as drag racing’s first successful rear-engine Top Fuel dragster. Garlits won 35 NHRA national events and three NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championships and was the first driver to break the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250 and 270 barriers. He opened his Museum of Drag Racing, in Ocala, Florida, in 1984, and his Swamp Rat XXX dragster was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution in 1987. Garlits returned to active driving last year by recording his first four-second and 300-mph runs at the Mac Tools U. S. Nationals. "Big Daddy" nickname given to him over the PA by Bernie Partridge, long time NHRA national event announcer at an early Indy event. Swamp Rat 6B, the car he brought to England in 1964 with the United States Drag Racing Team is on display in the museum.  Shirley Muldowney – She started her career in the 1960s at a time when women were basically unwelcome in the pit area, let alone in the cockpit of a race car, Muldowney had to endure additional struggles than those faced by her male counterparts. Nevertheless, she prevailed on sheer willpower and became the first drag racer to record three NHRA Winston Top Fuel championships. The subject of the entertaining Heart like a Wheel biography movie in 1983, Muldowney continues to race in Top Fuel, and her appearances at the last two NHRA U. S. Nationals have been a highlight of the events for her legion of fans.
     Bob Glidden – One of the hardest-working drag racers ever. Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden amassed a then-record 85 NHRA national event wins before John Force and Warren Johnson only recently surpassed him. He also held the former record of 10 NHRA Winston Championships, from 1974 to 1989, including five straight (1985-89), and he is the winningest driver in U. S. Nationals history with nine victories. Glidden raced with his wife, Etta, and his sons, Billy and Rusty, as his crew, and his unrelenting work ethic caused competitors and fans to call him "Mad Dog."
     TV Tommy Ivo – Ivo’s classic twin-Buick and later his Showboat, which featured four Buick engines and was a tribute to Ivo’s genius for synchronizing seemingly impossible combinations. The twin-engine Buick became the first gas-dragster to reach 160, 170, and 180 mph. In 1964, Ivo came home with the biggest prize from the historic tour of the United States Drag Racing Team in England when he defeated Garlits for overall honours and was crowned the International Drag Racer of the Year by NHRA and the British Hot Rod Association.
     "Mousie" Marcellus – First name Al, short for Alvin. Surviving partner and ‘keeper of the flame’ of the Marcellus & Borsch "Winged Express," the most famous AA/Fuel Altered ever. "Wild Willie" Borsch was the most popular driver of the wild fuel altereds due to his amazing ability to control these wayward machines with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding the door. Today, Mousie maintains the resurrected version of the Winged Express, along with driver Mike Boyd, and enthusiastically shows current day race fans what AA/FA racing was all about at nostalgia events. "Mousie," was given his nickname when he was a teen and worked in an office. When he took a nap, he was "as quiet as a mouse." The resurrected version is on display.
     "Dyno" Don Nicholson – A true pioneer of the sport whose career spans five decades. Dyno first gained national fame as the best of the stock racers driving a ’61 Chevy Bel Air 409. He transitioned into the funny car movement and his "Eliminator I" Comet became the first flip-top style AA/FC. In the late ‘60s, he returned to carbureted Super Stockers and helped to pioneer the Pro Stock class. Today, he currently runs the nostalgia circuit in a Pro Mod version of his original ’61 Chevy Bel Air 409. "Dyno" Don became known as a very good Dynamometer operator for tuning racing motors in So. Cal. In fact, the ’61 Chevy 409 read, "Dyno Tuned by Don Nicholson."
     Doug Thorley – Best known as the originator of "Doug’s Headers," one of the most popular racing hardware to be used on any style drag car. In the ‘60s, Doug had two well-remembered pioneer funny cars: the "Chevy Too Much" altered wheelbase ’64 Nova and the ’67 Doug’s Headers Corvair that won the first Indy Nationals Funny Car Eliminator. By winning that important race with his supercharged Chevy powered AA/FC, he essentially ended the era of injected nitro funny cars. Within months, every significant team switched from injectors-only to the injector/blower combination. The "Chevy Too Much" ‘64 Nova is on display.
     On my NHRA 2002 Calendar, I got the following autographs:  Wally Parks – He founded the NHRA in 1951, drag racing’s most successful and influential sanctioning body. The first drag strip, the Santa Ana Drags, began running on an airfield in 1950, and quickly gained popularity because of its revolutionary computerized speed clocks. NHRA held its first official race in April 1953, on a slice of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds parking lot in Pomona, California. Four decades later that track has undergone a $6-million expansion and hosts the NHRA Winternationals and the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Now in its fifth decade, the NHRA is the world’s largest motor sport sanctioning with more than 85,000 members, 144 drag strips, 32,000 competitors and nearly 4,000 drag strip events. A Wally Parks statue is outside the museum
     Tom McEwen – By becoming the "Mongoose" in the 1960’s he, along with Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, created the most well-known rivalry in the sport. In 1970, they procured what is commonly considered the first major corporate sponsorship in racing, the Mattel Hot Wheels Toys programme. In doing so, they brought drag racing into many children’s’ homes which helped the sport to grow at a rapid pace.
     Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins – He was the most beloved Chevy racer in drag racing history as a driver, engine builder, and team owner. He established his "giant killer" reputation with a 327-cid ’66 Chevy II that could outrun the fastest Dodge and Plymouth 426 Street Hems in A/S competition, and he enhanced that role by going virtually undefeated in the 1972 season with his 331-cid Pro Stock Vega. Jenkins is among the most honored individuals on the Car Craft Magazine All-Star Drag Racing team and has been inducted into practically every drag racing Hall of Fame. "Grumpy", his nickname is pretty self explanatory. You know, one of Disney’s 7 dwarfs was Grumpy, which is very much Bill’s persona.
     C. J. "Pappy" Hart – A true legend in drag racing that helped to literally form the sport. First, by creating and running the Santa Ana Drags, the country’s first commercial drag strip. He went on to manage the most famous drag strip of all time, Lions in the 60’s and after his retirement, was called back into action by NHRA to help run the Safety Safari. "Pappy," got his nickname as he was always older than most and was the "caretaker" of Lions and earlier, Santa Ana drag strips.
     Steve Gibbs – Although he worked ‘the other side of the fence,’ he was always respected and admired by the racers. As NHRA Competition Director for many decades, he orchestrated hundreds of national events and helped form what is known today as NHRA Championship Drag Racing. Today, Steve is the director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum, continuing to help the sport by preserving its rich history.
     Richard Tharp – Truly a legendary fuel driver in drag racing. Although he raced many significant fuelers out of Texas, he really hit the big time as the driver of the Blue Max funny car in ’71. Along with "Jungle Jim" Lieberman and the Chi-Town Hustler, the Max, with Tharp driving, became one of the top three in-demand funny cars of the ‘70s. He returned to fuelers to win the NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship in 1976, driving for the Candies & Hughes team, which also, coincidentally, was a former funny car team.
     Carl Olson – Although he drove front engined dragsters in the late ‘60s, his biggest win came at the ’72 Winternationals while driving the Kuhl & Olson rear engined fueler. He went on to be a key administrator for NHRA in manufacturer and international relations.
     Alex Xydias – Another true pioneer of the sport. One of the first speed equipment merchants and early innovators from the 1950’s. His best remembered race car is the Southern California Speed Shop Special, a dry lakes belly tank.  Joe Amato  Bob Muravez alias Floyd Lippincotte Jr  Gene Winfield  Gary Beck  James Ibusuki – All of his original paintings are on permanent display in the NHRA Museum.  Many thanks to James Ibusuki for compiling each person’s profile.  This was a very special "ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT" that won’t be repeated in my lifetime.  John Hutchinson  Gateshead  England 
 @   @   @

I am a historic motorsports author/photographer/lecturer.  My wife and I cover a number of events, primarily Concours and vintage sports car racing.  Our work has appeared in such publications as Vintage Motorsport, Vintage Roadcar and Vintage Racecar.  We have been online on a number of sites, primarily on Marty Schorr's Car Guy Chronicles http://www.carguychronicles.com/.  Here are specific examples of our work there:   http://www.carguychronicles.com/2014/07/pittsburgh-vintage-grand-prix-rain-shine.html.   http://www.carguychronicles.com/2014/07/mustang-racing-legends-night-at-museum.html.   http://www.carguychronicles.com/2014/07/carlisle-chrysler-nationals-mopar.html.
     Here are some examples of some of our Event Summaries that we distribute to interested parties:
https://picasaweb.google.com/113152123752682863493/2014Jefferson500Version2?authkey=Gv1sRgCP7H0JzDxtG5Og#.     Maureen & Mike Matune, mmatune@cox.net
TIPS ON DOING THE SALT.  By Le Roi Tex Smith, reprinted with permission from Internet Brands.  For photographs go to

     If you are a first timer at Bonneville, or if you have not been there for twenty years, you can save some hassles by planning well ahead. Your major focus should be on getting a room reserved. Now! Although a few veterans have learned it is possible to go to Wendover with no thought of a room, instead relying on the possibility of last minute room cancellations. it works, of course, but not always, and I can tell you from experience, sleeping in your car in a desert night goes from hot miserable, to bug miserable, to cold miserable, to just plain grungy miserable.
     Although you can get some good discounted casino hotel rooms by booking early, the regular chains, such as Motel 6 actually increase prices during Speedweek, primarily on Friday and Saturday nights. This is when there is maximum demand, from racers, normal freeway traffic, and weekend gamblers. If you make a reservation up to a year in advance (advised--you can always cancel up to the last minute), check back in 6 months, then reconfirm 3 months in advance. Always get the agent's name who serves. Personnel is often revolving door.
     Unless you are in a multi-floor casino hotel, get an east facing room. the 5pm sun can be brutal on hot days. The large hotels have very large parking lots, and normally security is minimal.
     Wendover, Utah is not the same as West Wendover, Nevada, although they are separated only by a white line across the main drag. In Nevada, everything goes, not so on the Utah side. Each "town" has a high school, most of the civilized amenities are in Nevada, although the school cheerleaders each have car washing fund raisers worth your support. West Wendover is in the parking lot just west of the state line, the Wendover wash is a small motel parking lot on the east side. Neither side has a charge, you make a donation, so be generous.
     The old Wendover Will statue once identified with the Stateline casino is now astraddle of the old highway at the end of West Wendover. The new food market is in this area, as well as Ace hardware and the coin car wash. The auto parts store, which is remarkably well stocked, is on the east end of main street (Utah side) and gets some unusually quick deliveries from Salt Lake City. I think this store must import counter help during Speedweek, as they seem to know what we car nuts need.
     Food is a roulette adventure, with several fast food outlets in either state, a dozen years past the casino buffets were the ticket, but today they are poor value for mediocre grub. My favorite is the cafe just inside the door of the hotel just across the street north of the Nugget (Stateline). Decent food, decent prices, lots of old timey hot rodders easily identified by the grey hair (usually thinning) and hot rod T-shirts.)
     You can fly into SLC and rent a car or camper, but never ever disclose that you are going to the salt flats. When you return a rental, be sure you have washed it top and underside, and thoroughly cleaned the interior. Normal thick plastic sheeting over the carpets is advised, if you return a vehicle that has been on the salt, you can pay a hefty penalty, a clause artfully hidden in the rental agreement.
     Wendover is a far cry from the stage stop I first knew in 1949, but the salt flat arena remains eternal. Come prepared to be blown away...year after year.
Gone Racin’…
Hot Rod.  Magazine review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  December 11, 2010.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands.  For photographs go to www.hotrodhotline.com

     Hot Rod isn’t just any magazine, it is The Magazine for hot rodders and car guys.  I’m prejudiced of course and I’ll openly admit it, for my father was the first professional editor of the magazine.  There are other reasons why I rank Hot Rod as the cornerstone of all car magazines.  First and foremost is the fact that Hot Rod galvanized an entire era when car guys had no one to look up to.  Hot Rod carried the banner of a new sport and gave lowly hot rodders and young men something to cherish.  There had been other magazines that mentioned cars and racing.  It was not the first car magazine by any means, but if I were to ask a group of people to name the first magazine that catered to the car culture, the majority would tell you that it was Hot Rod.  A few would remember Throttle magazine, which came out seven years earlier and which set the style for all magazines to follow.  Throttle mimicked the programs from Legion Ascot and somewhat of Look and Life.  Yes, each had their originality, but each magazine also copied a bit from their predecessors.  Secondly, the writing style of Hot Rod copied the way young hot rodders talked, wrote and felt.  And why shouldn’t it, since the founders of the magazine were hot rodders themselves, though a few years older than the average reader of the time.  Another reason for its success was the men and women that worked for Hot Rod.  The first person that should be mentioned is Pete Petersen, the co-founder and eventual sole owner of the magazine.  I could say that maybe we ought to go further back in time and credit Jack Peters, alias Jack E. Jerrils, for the Throttle magazine that he published for a single year, in 1941, which bears a striking resemblance to the magazine that Petersen and Bob Lindsay started in 1948.  Peters as he was known by, had every intention of continuing the magazine that he started until Pearl Harbor was bombed and racing came to a halt.  He suspended publication and after the war Peters did not restart his magazine. 
     Petersen had a contract with the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) to promote their new event, a hot rod and car show that would revolutionize the sport and spawn many other car shows.  The car show was the idea of several men within the leadership of the SCTA, most notably Wally Parks and Ak Miller.  Parks was the secretary and General Manager of the SCTA and Miller was the president of the group.  Petersen worked most closely with Miller and Parks and the idea for a small publication to promote the car show was probably a consensus among the group, though Petersen was a man who lived by his ideas and I’ve no doubt that the idea took shape in his fertile mind.  There is also no doubt in my mind that Petersen, Parks and Miller were also familiar with the one-year
Throttle magazine, for all three of them had seen it and copies were still fairly well-known in many hot rodder’s possession.  Who actually suggested what to whom is conjectural and over the last six decades memories have evolved so that many people have claimed that they were the first.  My impression is that
Hot Rod was the creation of Bob Petersen who got the idea in league with Parks, Miller, other SCTA members and possibly Bob’s partners at Hollywood Publicity Associates, where he worked.  Bob Lindsay comes into the picture as Petersen’s close friend and who came up with the initial money to fund the first issues.  Lindsay and Petersen produced a very small version of what Hot Rod has become today, and directed at promoting the SCTA car show.  I’m sure that they had no idea that the first issue would grow into a seminal magazine and create the car craze that was to come.  Perhaps they saw Hot Rod as a success, but it had to be in a very limited way, as a niche magazine for a handful of hot rodders around the country.  They didn’t have much money to back the magazine and the pay was very low.  Lee Blaisdell was approached by Petersen to be the magazine’s photographer and many people wrote and took photographs for little or no money.  Many of the early articles were done by Wally Parks, who had supported, exhorted and pushed the SCTA to accept the magazine.  He also supported Petersen behind the scenes.  Parks correctly saw, if anyone did, that Hot Rod would become the organ for promoting the SCTA and hot rodding, just as he had foreseen the value of Throttle seven years before.
     In fact, as important as Petersen is to the founding of
Hot Rod, his friend and close associate for two decades was Wally Parks.  Parks was almost a decade older than Petersen and for the first few years was more of a mentor to Bob than most people realize.  Petersen would very quickly grow into his full powers and assume control of a huge family of magazines and those around him would refer to him simply as “the boss.”  But in the beginning he looked up to the older Parks, who did everything that he could to push Petersen’s goals, since these goals were also his own.  Parks even had an advantage over the editing skills of Petersen and Lindsay, all of them self-taught journalists.  Parks and Eldon Snapp had founded a Road Runners club newsletter that evolved into the SCTA News, which is still in operation today.  In 1941 Parks wrote many articles for Peters’ Throttle magazine.  Many of the articles in Hot Rod’s first few months were written by Wally Parks, some with his name attached and some not.  The relationship between Parks and Petersen was close in the beginning and the two men respected and needed each other’s skills.  Parks provided Petersen with the SCTA contract and a huge mailing list.  Petersen could always count on being introduced to the right people, which made it possible to get the advertising revenue that he needed.  In return Petersen was overly generous in allowing Parks to turn Hot Rod into a pulpit for spreading the message of the SCTA land speed racing programs and hot rodding in general.  This relationship lasted nearly to the ends of their lives, though over time these two giants found this closeness to be confining.  They did butt heads and a rift was always likely, but these two men had a special virtue; patience.
     Petersen, Lindsay and possibly every hot rodder in the late 1940’s was astounded by the rapid success of Hot Rod magazine.  But then I remember that the hot rodders said the same thing about the SCTA, NHRA and just about every other racing league, car and racing magazine.  The refrain was always, “It was great while it lasted, now let’s go and find real jobs.”  To their dying days most people from the 1940’s did not think that what they had created would last.  That the racing leagues, car customizing, hot rodding, car magazines and other racing structures would last was not in their highest dreams.  We still pinch ourselves to see if we are dreaming.  So it wasn’t strange when Petersen asked Parks to come and be the editor that Parks should turn him down.  But Parks did acquiesce and accept a position as Technical Editor.  The magazine was experiencing rapid growth in 1948 and ’49 and there were stresses between Petersen and Lindsay that no one has really explored.  Petersen did approach my father with an offer to buy a third interest in
Hot Rod
for $10,000, which caused my mother to laugh out loud one time at Petersen.  “Pete,” as mom called him, “Nobody has two nickels to rub together, much less $10,000.”  She didn’t believe that in 1949 that the magazine would last either.  I was always curious, but my father would never discuss this part of his life, nor would Petersen to me.  Why would Petersen offer a third interest in the magazine to my father?  Petersen always chafed at giving up his authority and this purported deal would make him a minority owner.  Or did he feel that his close relationship with Parks would give him a two to one vote over his business partner; Bob Lindsay?  Eventually Petersen bought out Lindsay and took full control of the growing publishing empire.  Did Petersen feel that Lindsay was keeping him from his goals?  What happened to Lindsay and where did he go?
     But the bottom line is that Petersen got what he wanted; Parks accepted the job of editor of the young magazine and Lindsay eventually sold out his share to Petersen.  Hot Rod grew and Petersen created more magazines under the Trend banner.  Then Petersen broadened his empire to include land and development projects and an aircraft division.  Parks created the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and used the offices and staff to promote this group, bringing a surge in readership.  By the early 1960’s the relationship between Parks and Petersen became strained and they parted company.  Both men feeling that the break was inevitable and that the other man had not fully appreciated what each had done for the other.  Still, they were linked by history and they couldn’t escape the fact that each had helped the other to succeed in their goals.  They were like two brothers who had fought over the same girl, in this case hot rodding and car racing, and neither had won complete control.  And it is control that identifies these men.  They wanted to control, protect and promote the interests of hot rodding and racing and only one could be the leader.  In the end their separation allowed both men to flourish.  Petersen and Parks had a great deal of respect for each other and I can remember both of them saying how much they admired the other man. 
Hot Rod magazine would become lost in the great Petersen Publishing empire.  The magazine that started Petersen on to great success became simply one of many titles in his publishing corporation.  Eventually Petersen saw the writing on the wall years before everyone else did, that publishing was going to suffer in the battle with on-line publications and he sold his interests and retired.  Petersen Publishing Corporation (PPC) was later resold; today it is called Source Interlink Companies.
     Hot Rod magazine is still the flashy, fact-filled, photographically superior publication that it was in 1948.  There is a lot more color and a few more pages added since then, but the writing is just as crisp and youth orientated as it was back then.  I’ll always remember those early writers and photographers; Tom Medley, Lee Blaisdell, Eric “Rick” Rickman, Don Francisco, Ray Brock, Wally Parks and a host of talented and self-made men.  They set the stage for the magazine that we have today.  The new editors come and go with regularity and I’m not quite sure why there is so much turnover in the field of journalism.  Perhaps it’s the pay or the working environment.  One recent editor is a throwback to the old days; David Freiburger.  The magazine ought to make every effort to keep him as editor.  He has that feisty old demeanor that the early editors had and he knows hot rodding from the ground up. 
Gone Racin’ is at
Gone Racin’…
Full Throttle News (for the nostalgia, sportsman & grass roots drag racer).  Magazine review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  4 September, 2007, reprinted with permission from Internet Brands.  For photographs go to www.hotrodhotline.com. 

   Full Throttle News is a high quality magazine that focuses on the nostalgia, sportsman and grass roots drag racer.  Richard Heath and Tom Hunnicutt founded the magazine in 1994, in a newspaper-like black and white publication.  In 1994, they went to Terminal Island where “Big Willie” Robinson had founded Brotherhood Raceway.  Robinson and others felt that a safe and sanctioned quarter-mile dragstrip would help to lessen illegal street racing.  Heath and Hunnicutt wanted to contribute to this endeavor and came up with a newspaper magazine, which they called Full Throttle News.  Tom was an artist and Richard was a typesetter and they felt that “this drag racing program needs some exposure.  It was a worthwhile effort to get kids off the street,” said Heath.  The early magazines were given away at the dragstrip and focused mainly on Brotherhood Raceway.  The first issue came out in March, 1994 and was 16 pages in length, with a printing of 5000 newspapers.  The partners took copies to speed shops and the new project began to grow.  Hunnicutt was involved with a nostalgia Top Fuel dragster and as his schedule grew, decided to leave Full Throttle News in 1995.  Heath kept the paper going for awhile and then made the decision to close down Full Throttle News, but he kept the subscriber list.  Heath still had the racing bug in him.  He was a distant cousin of Allen Heath, the midget champion and Melvin Heath who won the 2nd NHRA National Championship in 1956. 
   For a time, Heath traveled with the Winged Express Fuel Altered car and his former subscribers approached him and said, “When are you going to bring back
Full Throttle News.”  It had gained a cult following by now.  Robert, Diana and Jennifer Luna from Luna Printing met with Heath and gave their commitment to partner up and bring back the magazine and this was Richard’s chance to keep Full Throttle News alive.  “I’ll restart the magazine if someone sells the ads,” he said, and Jennifer Luna took over that job.  Jennifer and Rick Rogers, own Hammerhead Advertising and are responsible for magazine layout and advertising.  Heath also felt bad that his old subscribers didn’t get all of the magazines that they had paid for and he saw this as a way to keep his debt to them.  With the old subscription list and new and energetic helpers, Full Throttle News was born anew in January, 2005.  No longer offset bond, black and white newspaper, Full Throttle News would be produced by the ‘sheet fed’ process and the paper would be high-quality, acid free gloss-coated, which allowed the color photographs to reach the highest levels.  Their first issue of the restored magazine came out in March, 2005 as a 32 page, full color magazine.  Today they print 20,000 copies every other month and distribute the magazine through their subscription lists, tracks, speed shops and stores.  Full Throttle News is also sold to subscribers throughout the United States and Canada and in England, Sweden, most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica.
   Heath markets the magazine towards the nostalgia drag racing world.  They cover tracks in the United States and Canada and just returned from Bandimere Raceway in Colorado, Boise, Idaho, Seattle, Washington and Indianapolis, Indiana.  “We’ll go wherever there is a nostalgia drag race,” he said.  They have also created a website, called
www.FullThrottleNews.com. Full Throttle News has followed the career of J.R. Todd, an NHRA Top Fuel drag racer since 2006.  “He’s a hell of a dragracer and a great spokesman for the young drag racers,” said Heath.  Columnist Elliott Smith is assigned to follow Todd and send back reports.  Another person that they write about and follow is Rick Rogers, who campaigns the Full Throttle nostalgia Top Fuel dragster (AA/FD).  Rick is the President of AA*FD, or All-American Fuel Dragster, Inc, which sanctions nostalgia top fuel dragster races.  “We’re the top quality drag racing magazine and our writers and photographers are the best,” said Heath.  With him were staff photographer Ellen Fisher, columnist Joel Gruzen and PR/Salesperson Diana Luna.  Robert Luna is the Printer.  This group is very accessible to the public at events they cover.  Their yellow shirts with the black trim are easy to see and if you make eye contact they will tell you their fascinating story.
   Full Throttle News is now 68 pages in length and the photographs are exceptional in quality and the text interesting and complete.  The editorial page lists the contributing writers and photographers and some of their email addresses.  Unlike many magazines,
Full Throttle News wants to communicate with you and find out what you want them to report on.  Some of the writers and photographers listed were; Darrell Conrad, Steve Justice, Eric Arnett, Steve Bell, Steven Bunker, Stormy Byrd, Thomas Fisher, Chris Graves, Tom Hunnicutt, Vicki Hall, Bob Johnson, Mitch Maciel, Carl Morris, Bill Pitts, Spencer Sharp, Beth Szabo, Bob Szabo, Ron Updike, Randy Walls, Lil’ Newt Warriner, Gary Brown, Ken Williams, Bob Brown, Phil Cox, Bryan Ellis, Jason Ellis, Don Ewald, John Ewald, Lance Fitzsimmons, Dave Hulford, Dave Milcarek, David Moyle, John O’Neill, David Parker, Norm Price, Pam Scharvrien, Debbie Booth, Rob Huckstadt and Steven Wallace.  You’ll see a few names that you know and the rest will someday be names in the media world.  The newsstand price of the book was listed at $3.95, about midrange for such publications, but well worth it for the quality of the magazine and reporting in it.  See their website if you are interested in subscribing.
Gone Racin’ is at


Gone Racin’…Gallery of Speed Day at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.  Article by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.  July 29, 2014.  Reprinted with permission from Internet Brands.  For photographs go to www.hotrodhotline.com

     On July 29, 2014 the staff of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California invited the media to the Gallery of Speed, a term they use for the new and refurbished exhibits at this first class museum.  Larry Fisher, Greg Sharp, Monique Valadez and other staff members were beaming with pride at the new look for their museum and rightfully so.  The Wally as many refer to it, is an experience that every drag racer, land speeder, oval track, road course racer and motorsports fan should see.  There is a special feeling to the place.  It is as close to a shrine as a racing sports fan and hot rodder can get to in terms of that emotional experience.  There are many museums around the country and some in foreign lands that are special in their own right.  There are also garage museums and little alcoves dedicated to the history and heritage of hot rodding and motorsports racing.  Maybe someday there will be a museum at Indy to represent the earliest roots of drag racing, but for now The Wally is it.  The museum started as a small little two room building across the street from the famed Pomona drag strip and after a few years it moved to the Los Angeles County Fairplex and took over a 29,000 square foot, Art Deco building, constructed during the 1930’s for the Los Angeles Olympics of 1932. 
     The Wally opened in 1998 with Steve Gibbs as the first director, followed by Sam Jackson, Tony Thacker and is now led by Larry Fisher.  I’ve seen grown men cover their faces lest a tear betray their emotions as they read from displays showing the history of drag racing and other forms of motorsport competition.  The glass display cases contain memorabilia that bring back memories for those who were at the various races and events.  Plaques on the wall were bought and inscribed with the names of people that were being honored.  Some 70 to 80 cars and motorcycles represented many eras and types of competitive racing.  The founders of the museum were Wally Parks and a dedicated group of co-workers and volunteers who wanted to honor all those who contributed to our automotive age and motorsport racing in general.  The museum staff holds three major reunions around the country, bringing the history and heritage of motorsports racing to the fans.  They also hold events at the museum and special exhibits.  Individuals and companies use the facility to hold group events and celebrations of lives for those who have passed on.  It is a special place for me as well and I have used it for reunions and to bring my extended family to see their heritage, visit the car show held on the first Wednesday of each month and to visit with old and dear friends.
     We received a nice invitation from Monique Valadez, who greeted us warmly and welcomed us in.  She introduced us to staffers Robin Savoian, the museum’s new Development Officer, Rose Dickinson and Wayne Philips.  Larry Fisher, the Director of the Museum, addressed the representatives of the media.  “I hope you like the new look of the museum,” he told us.  “We wanted to bring out the human element of hot rodding.  In the past we have put the emphasis on the cars themselves and only briefly explored the people behind the cars.  The new exhibits will stress hot rodding, customs, the dry lakes (land speed racing) and drag racing,” Larry concluded.  Greg Sharp, the museum curator and historian said, “Our new exhibits stress hot rodding.  Over there is The Beast, a famous Bonneville car restored by Dr Mark Brinker.”  Sharp has dedicated his life to the museum since it opened and has an encyclopedic memory of all forms of racing.  He has been honored by the Dry Lakes Racers Hall of Fame and other groups for his efforts to keep our history and heritage alive.  Steve Gibbs, the museum’s first director and a long-time NHRA official spoke next.  “We started off the museum in a 1500 square foot building across the street from the race track.  Wally Parks had wanted a museum to showcase our accomplishment for a long time.  We moved to the Fairplex in 1998 to a place with 29,000 square feet of space.  We have a great future ahead of us and hope to show you the many historic races we’ve experienced over the years,” Gibbs told us. 
     Pro racer Ron Capps spoke next, “I get to race for a living and then I get to be with all those who made this sport possible.  I was just a young kid working as a crew member on a race team and I never thought I would be here today.  I was just in awe of the guys in the sport of drag racing.  I went to Bonneville with my Dad for the first time and it was impressive.  This museum is our history.  Just AWESOME man.  You don’t get this in NASCAR.  There is something special in land speed and drag racing.  There are so many stories in this sport,” Capps concluded.  Tom Ivo, he doesn’t really call himself TV Tommy, told the crowd, “I haven’t had a real lot of sleep,” he said drowsily.  That brought the crowd to its feet as the Grand “Young” Man of drag racing is not really a morning person, but he made the effort to get to one of his favorite hang-outs.  He also good naturedly accepts his moniker of TV Tommy Ivo, from his days as a movie and television star.  Ivo started acting in Hollywood when he was a toddler and continued through the hot rodding, beach blanket and drag racing movies of the 1960’s.  After that the Hollywood age of Heroes was replaced by a darker era of sick anti-heroes and horrible villains.  But by then Ivo was a well-known drag racer who raced and usually won at drag strips all over the country.  “It’s been 60 years and here’s my car in the museum.  I can’t believe how the sport has grown,” Ivo sighed.
     The last speaker was the Grand Old Man himself, Art Chrisman, “I have three cars in this museum,” he said.  “I’m blown away by this museum.  I really appreciate what has been done to keep the past alive,” Chrisman finished.  Art is the quintessential motorsport hot rodder and racer.  There’s a great book out on his racing family written by Tom Madigan, titled THE CRISMAN LEGACY.  Pick up a copy and you will understand why the Chrisman family is so special to drag and land speed racing and hot rodding in general.  He was there at the very beginning of the creation of this sport and he is still actively involved some seven decades later.  Larry Fisher took over the microphone and invited all of the media to look around the museum and see the new additions and exhibits.  You could see in his eyes how excited he was to share this great experience with us.
     I met good friend, John Duran, from the Cal-Rods.  Whenever I’m looking for news or a scoop, or a ride in his golf-cart I turn to John.  He keeps me well-grounded on what’s happening at the museum.  Other Cal-Rodders were Vic Cunnyngham and Leonard Knight.  Jan Horton came with Mr X.  Paul Soliz raced at the museum’s reunion in Famoso in High & Mighty and Bruce Boardman ran his car Bad Obsession in D/gas.  Cunnyngham is a good friend and restorer of Wally’s Roadster, which is a recreation of the roadster that Dad drove to work at Petersen Publishing in the 1940’s and ‘50’s and the car, sans seatbelts, that he used to terrorize my cousin John Ziebarth and me when he used to take us to the Garmar Theater, along the back roads, when we were kids.  That roadster, with its flathead engine could really fly.  That’s another car with good memories that you will find in the museum.  Vic is also a Tromper and this club has been around since the 1940’s.  It’s still around and very active, though the members are third generation by now.  One of the Trompers is Don Zabel, who has raced at the dry lakes in Southern California since 1942.  It’s very rare now to find a pre-war racer from that era.  Other Trompers who came to support the museum were; Henry Aldano, Michael Rickman, Al Reyes (club president), Rex Jaramillo, and Sandy Reyes.  I couldn’t believe that Michael “The Kid” Rickman is as old as he is.  Mike went with his Dad, Eric “Rick” Rickman on many assignments, races, reunions, shows and events over the years.  Rick was the number one photographer for magazines like Hot Rod from the very beginning.  He was a close friend of my father’s and was an original member of the famed Safety Safari teams that were sent out in 1954 and after to organize local car clubs into Timing Associations.  The sport of drag racing owes much to Rick Rickman, Bud Coons, Bud Evans and Chic Cannon.
     Bobbie Colgrove, Louie Brewster, Art Gould, Tom “Mongoose” McEwen, Joel Embick, KTLA TV news crew, and Pete Ward also came to represent the media.  Jack Beckman made a special appearance.  Bobbie is a photojournalist who was there in the very beginning when women began to break down the barriers of all male sports journalists.  She represented the AARWBA organization.  Louie Brewster is an automotive and racing reporter and editor in the San Gabriel Valley and covers the drags and NASCAR races in Southern California.  Joel Embick is also a former boat racer who campaigned an 18 foot flatbottom boat called “LEBEL.”  Pete Ward is the editor of Drag Racer magazine, part of the Beckett group, based in Yorba Linda, California.  For all those who have not seen the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and would like information on hours and schedules, the phone number is 909-622-2133.  They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Gone Racin’ is at
Gallery of Speed, The New AMERICAN CAR CULTURE Experience OPENS AT THE WALLY PARKS NHRA MOTORSPORTS MUSEUM, POMONA, California.  Sent in by Monique Valadez.

     The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California announced today the opening of its new interactive exhibit hall Gallery of Speed, which vividly recreates historical moments in American motorsports and car culture.  The Gallery of Speed brings to life the humble beginnings of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and how motorsports have impacted the world through innovation, engineering and design. 
     “The new Gallery of Speed is not just an exhibit but an entirely new learning experience with a unique look into the fascinating world of hot rodding and motorsports,” the NHRA Museum’s Executive Director Larry Fisher said. “Here we will begin to tell the stories of the great American hot rod and, those who built and raced them, in a new light. We will not only celebrate the cars but the people, the engineering, the science, and the sheer audacity of those who pushed the limits in their pursuit of speed.” 
     The Gallery of Speed features five new focal areas: the origins of hot rodding, land speed racing, the early days of the NHRA and the influence of custom car design. The eye-opening exhibit offers a unique collection of historical vehicles, artifacts, interactive touch screens, images, oral histories, life-sized sculptures designed by Weldon Exhibits and other memorabilia.  The Gallery of Speed will spark the visitor’s quest for knowledge. The exhibit is designed to be a fun learning experience sprinkled with hands-on activities and touch screens focused on S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Visitors can customize their own hot rod, learn the ‘language of hot rodding,’ and listen to candid stories from NHRA Founder Wally Parks and other motorsports legends. 
     “We wanted to develop a new approach to learning about the history of hot rodding, motorsports and the individuals who influenced American car culture,” said Greg Sharp, curator of the NHRA Motorsports Museum. “I believe that the new Gallery of Speed will capture the visitor’s imagination and inspire all ages for years to come. It’s an exhibit our Founder Wally Parks would be very proud of.”   
     Visitors will also want to browse an assortment of gifts and keepsakes in the museum’s newly renovated and expanded retail store. Take home a distinctive reminder of your visit to NHRA Motorsports Museum.  Also, learn about upcoming events and sign up to become an exclusive museum member. Many museum gifts are available to purchase online at www.nhramuseum.org.  Plan your visit with us! The NHRA Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Become a member and enjoy free NHRA Museum admission year round.  General admission tickets are $10 adults, $8 seniors (60 and up), $8 youth (6-15) and free for children ages 5 and under. AAA discount is available. For more information, call (909) 622-2133 or visit www.NHRAmuseum.org.  Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to NHRA Museum on YouTube. 
     The NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona, Calif. on the Fairplex grounds. From the 10 West, exit Fairplex Drive.  The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California is an independent California non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to celebrating the impact of motorsports on American culture. Neighboring the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the Museum collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets the vehicles, stories and artifacts that represent America’s affection for, and the influence of, automotive speed and style in all its forms. For more information, visit our website: www.nhramuseum.org.
     Legacy: Anything handed down from one generation to the following generations.  This is a question drag racing and the industry must answer as each move forward in the 21 Century.  The number of surviving pioneers and legends in both drag racing and the automotive performance aftermarket continue to shrink.  Therein lays a unique - but very limited opportunity. Our sport and industry are very fortunate to still have among us enough of the pioneers who were there at the beginning. These legendary pioneers have the opportunity to provide the sport, the industry and the general public with a very intimate look at how a sport and an industry grew from the energy unleashed by the World War II's returning veterans - how they and their contemporaries made and molded these dynamic facets of the American automotive market.     
     This opportunity to capture that intimate look at how we started and how we grew is the mission of the Quarter Mile Foundation, and its PROJECT 1320 multi-episode documentary film series. The Foundation is digitally filming interviews of these pioneers to get their perspective of their careers, the growth of the sport and/or the industry.  As we prepare for a New Year, we look back on the previous year to reflect on what we accomplished and how to improve for the New Year ahead as well as what will the year hold for us. I look at it as we survived where others are still struggling, but there is strength and determination to make it through times such as these. We grow stronger as the bond this industry carries will always be the very integral part of our survival.     
     As the Quarter Mile Foundation prepares for 2015, our journey to preserve and share what we were built on still has miles to go. The gap of bringing the past to our future is shrinking, we have made great strides and are very proud of our accomplishments because of those that have stood up and joined in as their beliefs have imaged ours.  It is never easy to ask for support and money. It is something I never had to do before until I started this foundation. I was very accustomed to folks coming to us at Mr. Gasket to ask for support, whether it was race sponsorship, discounts, longer terms on purchase orders, loans, free product, you name it we were there so others could survive, succeed and keep the wheels turning.    
     And so the tables are turned, I am in unfamiliar territory asking for support, yet I will not be deterred from our mission as Project 1320 is a very long overdue story of over 60 years of hard work, passion, love and the incredible tenacity to get up back on your feet whenever you fell down. The ingenuity to never stop improving, testing when you really didn't have the right equipment to test with, the never ending ideals, traditions and relationships that have lasted throughout the test of time need to be told.    
     Quarter Mile Foundation will with your help bring the past to meet the future so those that our new generations that are new to our industry and also for those that will follow will understand what we have accomplished through our trials and tribulations, strengths and perseverance, love and passion.  Please join in and together as a family we will keep alive and share some extraordinary stories of what was so richly built.  Quarter Mile Foundation has many great programs of support that will fit any budget. All we need now is for you to stand up with the others and be a part of what we all feel is a part of our culture that needs to be told now.     
     Do you remember what it was like back in the day?  How did you get to where you are?  What did this industry give to you?  I have to believe that for some, our pioneers were many of your mentors as I know who mine were.  Do we let them just fade away and not honor their accomplishments?  Our pioneers started this painting for us; it is our responsibility to keep the brush in hand.  Please feel free to visit our website at
www.quartermilefoundation.org for a listing of how you can become part of sharing the past with the future through Project 1320 or contact me directly at Hrudka@sbcglobal.net or 440-888-0088.  Thank you for your time and consideration, Traci Hrudka



[Email Land Speed Racing]


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.

Copyright 1999 - 2014 Land Speed Racing Newsletter All Rights Reserved
No Portion May Be Used Without Our Written Permission
Contact Mary Ann Lawford: 208-362-1010
Email: maryann@lawfordmedia.com