.  Issue #348.
Dec 16, 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

GUEST COLUMNIST, by Glenn Campbell:   
     Jay Leno’s new "car show" in prime time on CNBC may be a litmus test for the reputed dimming of America’s love of cars.  It has the right ingredients: a top, well-liked entertainment name who knows cars with a supporting cast of a hundred or more (his own car collection) and multiple contacts in the celebrity and auto worlds.  Other than the lack of a time slot, exact format and unknown budget behind it, "What’s not to like?"
     One TV critic already found a reason, labeling it, "One Rich Car Guy Talking to Other Rich Car Guys."  (Adam Buckman, Television News Daily).  Maybe.  But will that attract an audience big enough to satisfy CNBC and potential advertisers?  Let’s hope the show goes after a wider audience - one that appeals to young car enthusiasts who fuel the love affair, as Leno did in his youth.
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:  
     I received an email that a hot rodder had passed away.  Since I didn’t know the man I sent back a reply asking for a bio or obituary.  I got back this reply to my request; “I was friends with the deceased for years, but I really don’t know much about him, why don’t you contact so-and-so.”  So I emailed so-and-so and asked him, “Can you tell me anything about the recently departed hot rodder who was active in your group?”  The second hot rodder replied, “I’ve known the man for ten years, but I can’t tell you anything about his life.  Why don’t you contact his best friend?”  So I sent an email to the late hot rodder’s best friend.  “Can you tell me anything about your best friend who passed on recently?”  Dutifully, the best friend wrote back and told me, “I’ve known this man for 25 years and he was my closest and dearest friend, but I can’t tell you a thing about his life, or if he had any children or when or where he was born.  I don’t even know where he came from, but we saw each other almost every day and worked on hot rods constantly.”
     There you have it and now you know why I harp on you to write your life story and leave it to your family and friends who think they know who you are, but really don’t.  It isn’t that we are zeroes, ciphers, big fat nothings.  No, it isn’t that at all.  All of us have a history, a past, and achievements we are proud of.  I bang away on the keyboard constantly and I’ve given up counting the words.  It’s maybe 20 million, or maybe more, it really doesn’t matter.  The same is true with hot rodders; they’ve created and built so many cars, entered so many shows, gone on so many rallies and rides that no one keeps track.  We all know who you are; or rather we know what we SEE you doing.  But we don’t really know YOU at all.  And what we see is not always an accurate picture of WHO you are and WHAT you have accomplished and WHERE you have done it and WHEN you were doing what no one really knows what you were up to.  Get the point here?  You led an important life, even if you don’t think you did, and YOU are probably the only one who knows it.  Maybe your wife knows, though she probably wasn’t paying any attention to you.  Maybe your kids know, but if they are normal young people they were trying to avoid you while trying to be cool with their friends.  It’s your life, but only if you write it down.
     A Celebration of Life for Bob Richardson will be held at Angelo and Vinci's Restaurant on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 from 6 to 10pm, address is 550 North Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, California 92832.  Dinner and Bar in the Sicilian Room.  There will be tables for memorabilia, so if you have something to share please bring it.  Everyone is welcome.  John Ewald and Hal Canode
     My mother, Mamie Colletto Blaisdell passed on October 5, 2014, and two days later my dad Harry Lee Blaisdell passed on October 7, 2014.  Both lived long lives at 91 and 93.  I had an opportunity to spend some time with them before their journeys and shared many fine memories.  Their remains will be laid to rest at the Monterey Cemetery.  Their obituary should be in the Monterey Herald today or tomorrow, and should soon show up at legacy.com.  Geri Blaisdell Lanier
     GERI AND REX: I'm very sorry to hear of your parents passing.  They were very good friends of my father's and of Rick Rickman, who grew up with your father in Northern California.  If you have any stories that you want me to publish at
www.landspeedracing.com please don't hesitate to send them to me.  I deeply admired your mom and dad and the contributions that Lee made to early dry lakes racing and the establishment of HOT ROD magazine.
     Lee Blaisdell knew Eric ‘Rick’ Rickman in Northern California and according to Rickman they were in the Boy Scouts together.  Years later both Rickman and Blaisdell were involved in racing photography around the Southern California region and Lee was a member of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) and was the group’s official photographer on the dry lakes and at the banquets and meetings.  His work was admired by Robert E. ‘Pete’ Petersen, who asked Lee to work on the original issues of HOT ROD magazine.  Rickman and Blaisdell were both early photographers of the magazine, but to my recollection Lee Blaisdell was the first professional photographer.  Others also took photographs, including my father Wally Parks who wrote articles for the magazine as a representative of the SCTA and later became the first professional editor of HOT ROD.  It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of Blaisdell and Rickman on the early photographic history of straight-line racing.
Harry Lee Blaisdell and Mamie Blaisdell.
     Mamie Colletto Blaisdell passed away October 5, 2014 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Born October 19, 1922 in Monterey, California.  She was the second youngest sibling in the Michael and Providencia (Bessie) Colletto family, known for their contribution to the sardine fishing industry in Monterey.   Mamie worked as a teller for Bank of America and for the Monterey County Veterans Services office.   Always a great cook, she made family get-togethers and holidays a celebration of sharing and eating.  Being from a large Italian family meant regular family picnics and reunions with plenty of aunts, uncles, cousins and food.  With her big smile and kind words, Mamie made conversation easy, infusing it with encouragement and wisdom.  She kept in touch with so many people and never stopped corresponding with handwritten letters.  Mamie was the last surviving sibling, preceded in death by her brothers, Salvatore, Francis (Frank), Vincent, Ratzi (Tiny), Ceasar and Joseph; and sisters, Mary Canepa, Rosalie Zakby, Angelina Balesteri, and Violet Colletto.
     Harry Lee Blaisdell Jr (Lee) passed away October 7, 2014 in San Luis Obispo, California.  Born November 19, 1920 in Preston, California, to Harry and Wyima Blaisdell, Lee grew up in places like Mount Diablo, La Purisima Mission, and Casa del Oro in Monterey as a result of his father's career with the California State Parks.  Lee was a founding photographer for HOT ROD Magazine, member of the Professional Photographers of America, a 60-year member of the American Legion, a photography stringer for United Press in Monterey, and he started his own post card business, creating many original views, from the Monterey Peninsula to the Hearst Castle.  From 1968 to 1979 he worked for Mike Roberts Color Productions in Berkeley, California.
     Lee served in the Navy during WWII and was a volunteer at the Santa Maria Museum of Flight.  He used his camera to document family and community life and through his photographs he preserved so many memories.  He enjoyed interacting with people he met and never lost his sense of humor.  Lee is preceded in death by his sisters, Evelyn Sharkey and Patricia Gossett, and survived by his brother, Robert Blaisdell.  Lee and Mamie were married December 4, 1949 in Monterey, where they raised their family, and would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this year.
     They were both Deacons at the First Presbyterian Church in Monterey.  In 1977 they moved to Glendale, California and began their work, spreading the word of God.  They worked for Campus Crusades for Christ and then Wycliffe Bible Translators before moving to Santa Maria in 1984.  In 2003 they were given The Karl Wellman Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern Santa Barbara County chapter of NAMI.  They both had a strong sense of family which grew to include many friends.  For the last decade they lived in San Luis Obispo.
     Lee and Mamie are survived by their 4 children, Allen, Michael, Geri and son-in-law, Rex Lanier, and Charles; 5 grandchildren and 3 step-grandchildren, 5 great and 5 step-great grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.  Their ashes are placed in the El Encinal Cemetery in Monterey.  They both passed peacefully in the knowledge that they would soon be with their Lord in Heaven.  There will be no memorial service, but relatives will be having a reunion.  Published in The Monterey Herald on November 5, 2014 - See more at:

Gone Racin’…Bud Evans.   Written by Richard Parks with Joyse Evans and Leigh Ann Evans.   Photographs courtesy of the Evans Family, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  October 25, 2014.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands, for photographs go to www.hotrodhotline.com.  

     Bud Evans will forever be linked to the founding of the National Hot Rod Association and three other members of the original Safety Safari; Bud Coons, Chic Cannon, and Eric “Rick” Rickman.  “Bud Evans worked as an announcer for NHRA's Drag Safari from 1954 to 1956, and continued a long career in the auto racing industry.  Bud is survived by his wife Joyse Ann Evans, and his daughters Leigh Ann Evans, Sheila Telliard, and Lesly Kenney, as well as grandchildren Evan and Lexington Telliard, and Claire and Audrey Kenney," Leigh Ann said.  He passed away on October 3, 2014 at the age of 86.  Evans was a former dry lakes racer.  He was the regular announcer at Colton Raceway in California.
     It was Wally Parks who decided to send a team of racing experts around the country and organize drag racing.  Parks had a strong goal in mind for a national organization that would create safe and sanctioned drag racing into local communities to help combat the rising negative image of hot rodders as street rodding punks.  What he didn't have was a lot of money to sink into a tour, but he did have some advantages.  The first was the backing of Robert E. "Pete" Petersen and his publishing empire.  Petersen had selected Parks as editor of HOT ROD magazine in the late 1940's when it was small and Petersen Publishing was a one-magazine company.  Parks brought with him a large number of contacts in the racing world and the ability to get people to work together and soon HOT ROD magazine was famous from coast to coast.  But Parks accepted the job as editor with bigger things in mind than a paycheck.  He saw HOT ROD magazine as a forum to take the local dry lakes racers and form them into a larger national structure. 
     At first the Petersen/Parks combination concentrated on breaking even and covering all motorsports and hot rodding.  There was the Hot Rod show in 1948 that set the standard for all hot rodding and car shows to come.  Then there was the 1949 Bonneville Speed Week event for land speed racers.  By 1950 both men were intent on branching out.  Petersen opened more magazines and Parks came up with the idea for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), with Pete's full support and money behind it.  Parks and Barbara Livingston, later to become Parks' second wife, worked on the NHRA when they weren't producing issues of the magazine. 
     There had been illegal road and city street racing going on in the 1940's that had the public in an uproar.  An organized drag race at Goleta, just north of Santa Barbara, California in 1949 was authorized by city officials to help stem the danger of street racing.  There had even been semi-official races organized by individual policeman, but not their departments.  The police seemed to be divided into two groups; one side that wanted to stomp out drag racing altogether and another side that wanted to promote legal drag racing.  There were even drag racing events staged by the police in order to gamble on the outcome of the races.  Unsupervised street racing was very dangerous for the racers and the public.  Then in July of 1950 the Santa Ana Drags opened up at the Santa Ana Airport and the world was never the same again.  C. J. and Peggy Hart, along with support from Creighton Hunter and Frank Stillwell, got the blessing of officials.   Drag racers from all over flocked to the new drag strip.
     The NHRA sprang to life in early 1951 as a result of all this individual and unstructured drag racing activity and it didn't grow, it exploded.  Parks planted a letter purportedly written by someone else, but actually his own, into the March issue of HOT ROD magazine and then answered it.  “We need a national organization,” the letter said, and Dad answered that “We’ll create one.”  But what direction to go was an issue.  Sure there was racing going on, but the name chosen indicated that Parks’ early idea was to form youth car clubs and encourage activities that would keep kids from illegal street racing.  Parks had street raced in his youth, but now he was a convert to public safety and he fought tooth and nail to end this dangerous pastime. 
     It became painfully obvious by the end of 1952 and the beginning of 1953 that the era of the youth car club had ended and what young people like Don Garlits and others wanted was a league or association that allowed them to drag race.  They weren't interested in gymkhanas, picnics, dances, car shows or any of the fun things that kids did back in the 1930's and '40's.  All they wanted was a place to race.  An NHRA sanctioned race was run in Madera, California in 1953 and I remember listening to Dad say he was very nervous about accidents and whether this would be financially safe, for all we had in resources was his paycheck.
     Madera turned out to be a success and in those days just about everything turned out well.  Not that they made any money in those days, but there were no losses to speak of and it generated a lot of positive press for the fledgling sport.  One thing Wally Parks had was a lot of talented volunteers, because with the wages that the early NHRA could pay people was less than minimum wage.  Among these early employees were Chic Cannon, Eric “Rick” Rickman, Bud Coons and Bud Evans.  Leigh Ann Evans told us about her father’s early years, "Bud (A. C.) Evans was born in Colton and attended Colton High School, graduating in 1948.  He later attended San Bernardino Valley College.  He grew up and lived his entire life in Colton, California.  He played football in both high school and college.   My father raced at the dry lakes and he had a small stamped brass plaque that said P.C.T.A 103.21 MPH - El Mirage 4/6/47.
  He served in Baker Company, 224th Regimental Combat Team in the US Infantry and was discharged from Korea in 1952.  He was a Mess Sgt in the Army and spent time in Korea and Japan.  During his time in Japan, he developed a love for Japanese culture and taught himself Japanese.  He later created a Japanese Tea Garden at his home. He had a Ford Roadster that he stored at a friend's garage while he was overseas.  When he returned home he found that it had been sold because it was left there too long.”   Parks met Evans sometime in 1953 when Bud was announcing a race at the Colton drag strip, where Evans lived. 
     Bud Evans was working at the Colton drag strip in 1953, when he met Wally Parks and Bud Coons.  He was the announcer at the drag strip and his pay was a hamburger, fries and coke.  Bud would walk through the pits and talk to the drivers and this knowledge came in useful when he was announcing the race, for he could always add in a bit of personal information on the drivers as they came to the starting line.  Bud was always a cut-up with a comedic sense of humor and his repartee amused the crowds.  The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) came to the Colton drag strip as the sanctioning body.  Wally Parks heard Bud announce the race and sent word to Bud that he wanted to meet with him after the race.  He told Bud that he liked his style and would like to hire Evans to go on a tour around the country to organize car clubs and teach them how to hold drag racing events in their areas.  The story that Bud told me was a little different.  “I was in the tower and this guy goes off course and hits the supports and I nearly fell out.  I was hanging onto the tower with one hand and holding the microphone with the other and I didn’t miss a beat in reporting the race.  That impressed the hell out of your dad.”
     Chic Cannon, Bud Coons, Eric ‘Rick’ Rickman and Bud Evans would form the Safety Safari.  There were a few other men hired to go along, but they didn’t stay very long for a variety of reasons.  Coons and Evans would set up the communications system.  Coons was the boss in charge of the operations of the team and worked the staging lanes, showing the car club members how to stage the race and flag start the two drag racers at the line.  Evans was the announcer and also had the power to disqualify a run.  Rickman took the photographs and made up reports to send back to Wally Parks at the NHRA home offices.  Cannon worked with the car club members on the rules and how to do technical inspections on the vehicles; training the young men how to make their cars NHRA race safe. Cannon also made up the membership cards for the young men.
     The four-man team organized drag races at Colton, Redding, Deer Park (Oregon) among some of the places that they traveled to.  The purpose was to help the local car clubs to set up their own drag strips and follow NHRA rules for holding such races.  This included promotion, safety inspections of the vehicles, track safety, crowd control, announcing and communication, and public relations.  As an added job the team would meet with the police, fire and mayor’s office in the towns where the drag races were held.  Evans and Cannon remember that money on the Safari was tight and they were dependent on new membership subscriptions coming in before Parks would send them more money.  They loved seeing the country and talking to young and eager hot rodders and teaching these youth how to set up a safe and sanctioned drag strip.
     Parks now had the men to implement his life’s goal of bringing order to a sport he helped nourish.  Evans had the gift of gab and whether it made sense or not, it was delightful to hear.  I could never get him to tell me a story exactly the same; it was always different in some way.  He was born to be an announcer.  He was a dry lakes racer in the 1940’s, right after World War II.  Born in 1928, he was too young to serve in WWII, but just right to be called to duty in the Korean conflict.  He had the background and the ability and if there was one thing that Wally Parks could do well it was to spot talent.  Evans said he took up my father’s offer to join the Safety Safari in 1954 for the food.  He loved cars and he loved racing; just feed him and he was happy.  I've known Bud and Joyse Ann Evans for many years.  I met Coons, Cannon, Rickman and Evans when I was a young boy.  Our paths did not cross again for nearly forty years, when after raising a family and retiring I had more time to go to the races.  What a group these four men made.  They were my heroes for what they had done to make drag racing successful. 
     Bud Coons was the stoic and unbending ex-policeman from Pomona who had done so much to stop illegal street racing.  A big man, with a flashing smile, or a stern glare, and a full head of black hair, Coons was the sort of leader young kids needed.  You either were glad he was on your side or regretted that he wasn't.  Chic Cannon was the thinker and tinkerer.  He was the one under the hood, inspecting the cars, giving out advice to the young drag racers and generally the guy who got things done.  Eric "Rick" Rickman was everywhere with his camera and his ready and willing support for any show, race or car event.  He supported boat and car racing with his photos and articles and he was constantly on the road.  Bud Evans was the prankster, the trickster, the comedian who kept things loose and fun.  He was the announcer, the PR guy, the one to get into and get the others out of, any trouble they might face.  Our family loved them all.  They were all different and to an outsider, completely incompatible, and yet they became the perfect team.  I've heard stories that they constantly pestered each other and that they couldn't possibly work together.  Yet they did and they revolutionized a new sport.
     In later years the four partners and friends would get together at drag races and reunions.  I saw them often at Pomona, especially Bud.  He was a character.  Don't take my word for it.  The first thing his wife Joyse Ann would tell me is, "Hi, Richard, don't listen to Bud, he's a character."  The stories that Bud could tell would curl your toes or make you laugh so hard you would collapse to the ground.  He served time in Korea and it soured his outlook on war, which he never considered glamorous.  His brother was Gene Evans, a Hollywood actor who often played grumpy old sergeants in a battle that was lost or a cause that couldn't be won.  Bud had that side to him too, the grumpy old man who nobody would listen to until it was too late.  But he also had a side to him that was childlike and carefree and devoid of too much seriousness. 
     Bud loved to joke and he loved to make you the butt of his humor and if you were his friend you would retaliate and give it right back to him in spades.  That's how you knew that he liked you and how he knew that you liked him.  He knew what he had accomplished in life, but he was a hot rodder through and through and a real hot rodder never admits to being great or poor.  That's for other's to worry about.  As Tex Smith says, a "real hot rodder doesn't have to brag," or prove his value.  He just is what he is and that's enough.  When I introduced Bud to younger people and explained who and what he was they idolized him and this silenced him.  It wasn't often that Bud was quiet.  He had a lot to say and words were his best defense against the world.  Bud Evans had stories; boy did he have them and he changed them constantly.  He kept me off-base and confused trying to make sense of them.  I think that was his goal, to hide behind an impenetrable wall of facts and stories.  Don't believe for a second that any of these stories are false.  I've become expert in seeing how the Depression Era hot rodders used stories to hide their identities.  I've often wondered why, but it seems to me that they are zealously guarding their feelings and views until they decide you are worthy of being allowed into their world.  And what a world it is, for even though most of them are gone now, it is a world of infinite satisfaction. 
     The greatest generation did things that our generation can only dream of.  We are much softer today.  Everything we do is more muted and tame.  We see the world through an electronic medium.  We are separated from reality, need, poverty and pain.  Bud Evans' world was hands on.  It broke, so you fixed it.  Their world was one of sights, sounds, touch and feel.  They raced and they fought and they loved and it was all person to person, not cell phone to iPad.  When Bud let us into his world it left us energized and motivated.  My three sons liked Bud and the more outrageous he became the more he was loved.  He's gone now, but he achieved his goal; never to be forgotten.  The enthusiasm of the four men was contagious.  They also irritated each other.  The food that was promised didn’t materialize.  Parks thought the clubs throughout the country would host the men and feed them, but they hardly ever got a meal.  Nor did they receive a lot of help and were left to load up all the equipment and push on to the next town.  Mobil oil was the only sponsor for the tour and the crew got free gas wherever there was a Socony Mobil station in the area.
     "We pull into town.  The local car club knows we're coming.  They know who we are.  We go to a Socony Mobil filling station, and while we're there, cars start stopping.  And we're sitting in the wagon waiting to fuel up, and all of a sudden there are six or eight cars there.  You see, those people really hadn't seen a drag race before," said Evans.
"The NHRA started with the formation of car clubs.  We in Southern California were lucky.  We had the dry lakes and Bonneville to run on.  We heard of other clubs forming in other parts of the country, and we wanted to instruct them on how to run a meet safely.  To insist on safety," Parks explained.  The men rode in Coon’s '54 Dodge two-door station wagon and pulled a travel trailer that stored all their gear.  The gear included Chrondek timing equipment, PA system, field telephones, a one-cylinder generator, and stainless-steel wire to power the electronics.
     The Drag Safari tour in 1954 made ten stops on its first trip.  Evans missed a few stops, though Coons, Cannon, and Rickman made it to all the race dates.  They had help from other people and even met Parks at some of the stops.  It was too expensive to send out more than four people at a time.  Revenue to keep them on the road came from new membership subscriptions, entered by long-hand on an old ledger and kept up to date by Barbara Livingston, Dad’s secretary and future wife.  Even with a poor budget the first Safari turned out to be a huge success in motivating young people in organizing drag strips and timing associations throughout the United States.  Another Safari was planned for 1955.
     Working for the new NHRA in the 1950’s was exhausting as the growth was exponential.  Bud Evans was now a permanent member of the four-man group.  NHRA was planning to hold a National race for the entire country in Great Bend, Kansas and they needed the Safari to rally the nation’s youth.  Everything rested on the success of this event.  Bad weather, a lack of interest and poor planning could cripple the young organization and ruin it financially.  It was a stressful time and my brother and I rarely saw Dad during this time.  The team had a new 4-door 1955 Plymouth station wagon, painted a two-tone Mobil red and white.  They visited seventeen towns and put on a meet in every place they stopped.  Cannon did the technical inspection, Coons spoke to mayors, police and fire chiefs, Rickman was the photographer and historian and Evans did the announcing and speaking.  Rules were made up as they went.  What worked well before, especially on the dry lakes, had to be modified to fit the new sport.  The event in Great Bend was a rousing success, even with the weather, though it did not result in a financial bonanza.  It would be many years before the NHRA would become as strong financially as it has since the support it gained in the 1970’s with Winston.
     The Safari was back on the road in 1956, going to meet with car clubs and timing associations and teaching them how to organize a good drag race.  One of the most important functions was to get the town officials on their side so that when they left the support for organized and legal drag racing would continue.  Often it was the dedicated and zealous support of the community that fostered the early growth of drag racing, for the town officials had seen what great results in reducing illegal street racing had occurred under NHRA.  They added a Plymouth Fury to the station wagon and trailer and there were six men now on tour.  The number of races dropped to nine, but there was still plenty of work for the men to do in structuring a timing association and training young people to run a drag strip.  "We were all single men, which helped a lot.  Having a married man in the group just wouldn't work.  There were a few who would join us, but they would leave because they didn't want to be away from their family and be on the road all that time," Cannon related.
    Just like the big races today the Safari would arrive on a Wednesday and begin preparations and meet with city leaders and police and fire agencies.  It wasn’t always pleasant and they faced some opposition from some, and overwhelming support from others.  They had support from Mobil oil service station owners and managers and from the goodwill that the NHRA and Parks had with local leaders.  It helped a lot to have Coons’ on the Safari, for as a former police officer with the city of Pomona he had organized the youth of that town into clubs and legal races.  In his authoritative and firm manner he won over the officials and went on local radio to reassure the townspeople.  “We were accepted far more easily.  We went to quite a few places where the police departments were instrumental in getting the premises where we would run the race.  We did everything we could to get publicity," Parks added.
      They would also meet with the local car clubs who knew they were coming and who had sent in requests to NHRA asking for the Safari’s help.   “The manpower came from the clubs," Coons said.  The crew would show the young people how to set up and run a drag race.  Every member in the club had a position to fill.  Some strung up the wire to run the equipment.  They learned how to weigh the race cars, and to do technical inspections to see if a car was safe enough to meet the rules and to race.  The young men were taught how to put cars into classes and write the car numbers and classes so that the announcers could see who was running.  They had to have an ambulance at the strip, or provide a station wagon with blankets and cushions to transport any injured to the hospital.  They taught the youth how to publicize an event, hang signs, set up the security perimeters and fencing, build the timing tower and install the PA system.  The clubs would learn how to create a registration format and to handle gate receipts and racing fees.
     "I'd oversee the inspection and train the club guys so we could standardize the classes throughout the country.  Back then there were no standardized classes. Our classes, which were based on body style and a ratio of cubic inches to weight, were close to what the SCTA had been using.  But Pappy [Hart] in Santa Ana would have different classes, and so would other tracks. It was Wally's idea to standardize the classes so you could have standardized, nationwide events," said Cannon.  Evans helped with the registrations and index cards so he could familiarize himself with personal information about a local racer.  Then during the event he would gush about a local racer and what he had accomplished, which endeared him to fans everywhere.  It added “color” to a race and the color announcer has been a steady function for broadcasters ever since.  They not only saw the local kids each week, but they began to recognize hundreds of regulars who followed them all over the country.  After the timing equipment was in place the race would start and the action would not stop for two days.  Then it was pack up the equipment, roll up the wire and head for another town.  Evans would often joke that the food he was promised rarely materialized.  Coons had the money and would go out for burgers and eat most of them before he got back.  “He was a growing boy,” Evans would quip.
     The end of the meet only meant more work for the men, since Parks was a stickler for details.  The crew had a lusty thirst and enjoyed the time to socialize and have a beer or two.  Then it was time to write the reports and let Parks know what went well and what didn’t.  They put the report on two reels of a tape recorder.  Those old reels that unwound one reel and wound up the other.  The reels and Rickman’s film would go back to Southern California to be processed.  Parks would listen and take notes and then write an article for HOT ROD magazine and then gauge how well his ideas went over out in the field.  "These guys were the eyes and ears of what we were trying to portray out to the troops in the field," Parks said.  NHRA rules reflected the input from the Safari.  "It wasn't hard to find fault because it was all new.  Back then we didn't have the long-lead deadlines that you do now, so we could get the information printed and out in the field quickly," Parks added.
     Evans worked in the tower, and though each structure was different in height, could still see problems before the others.  "I was seeing stuff up there that you wouldn't believe.  I couldn't tell what was happening in the pits or what was happening in the line getting ready to come up, but boy, when they ran, if they weren't straight arrow I was screaming bloody murder.  As the meet progresses and they go faster and faster-dump the can to it, you know-if he's not good in the beginning, he's going to be worse as he gets going," Evans related.  The Safari crew made use of airstrips, old roads and even dirt roads to hold races on.  Some of the drag strips were longer than others.  Art Arfons raced his Green Monster at one track and got everyone’s attention.  "The Green Monster showed up, and that thing burned rubber clear off the pavement.  It ended up with the dust and dirt flying up at the other end," Coons said with a chuckle.  They ran into stockers and old cars that kids could afford, but there was no standardization.  They saw it all and the innovation of some drag racers was spectacular.
     The Safari ended in 1956.  It had done its job of organizing the country’s young drag racers and it was time to let the local strips go their own way.  Some remained loyal members of the NHRA and others would affiliate with the IHRA or AHRA or other sanctioning bodies.  The four men also went their own way.  They married, got “real jobs,” as Wally Parks would say, and raised families.  “In 1959, my father and Eddie Kistler opened The Bug House in Colton, California.  They specifically sold karts from Bug Engineering, later known as K&P Manufacturing.   Shortly after he was offered employment and began working there from 1960 through 1990.  My father’s hobbies included Amateur (HAM) Radios, and he grew hundreds of orchids in his greenhouse and lovingly worked on and drove his two Alfa Romeos.  Rickman continued to cover meets, car shows, boat and car races for HOT ROD and other magazines.  Cannon had his own irrigation business and for a time lived in Templeton, California not far from his close friends Wally and Barbara Parks.  Cannon also worked on the Safety Safari and sold his home in Templeton, bought a motorhome and with his wife Julie, spent an entire year traveling America and going to every NHRA National event drag races.
     In the 1970’s the Safari was brought back as a traveling safety crew at National events and Cannon went back to his old job for Parks, who was now the Board Chairman of a very successful company.  The station wagon and Plymouth sat out front of our house in Rivera and made a wonderful playhouse for awhile.  Coons, Evans, Rickman and Cannon were given special comp passes so that they could attend any NHRA drag race anywhere in the country for the rest of their lives in honor of their service to the organization.  They would get together at the races, especially at Pomona, and reminisce about the past.  Evans would joke, Coons would scowl and then grin, Rickman would shoot photographs and Cannon would just shake his head.  It was pure heaven to be around them.  I introduced them to new generations of drag racers in the ‘90’s and after and they couldn’t understand the adulation that they received.  It was fun to know them in the 1950’s, and it was even a greater treat to see them again, with Wally Parks in the middle, acting as referee.
     Parts of this story were based on an article and interview in HOT ROD magazine on-line.  Read more at:
Gone Racin’ is at


Gone Racin'...Billie Lou Parks.  Story by Richard Parks, Photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  October 7, 2014.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands, for photos go to www.hotrodhotline.com.  

     My earliest memories of my Aunt Billie, whom the family always called Lulu, goes back to the late 1940's and early '50's, when the Parks family (Wally, Clyda, Nelda and Kenny) would meet at Uncle Laurence Olivero's home and farm somewhere in north Long Beach, off of Lakewood Blvd, I believe.  I never knew Dad's mom, my grandmother, as she passed away in 1933.  We went to see grandpa, Henry Clyde Parks, who was known as Skant.  I never really knew what that nickname meant, but in the 1930's it seems that everyone went by their nicknames.  Billie’s nickname was Lu or Lulu.  Los Angeles County wasn't very well congested back then and there were a lot of farms and open spaces between the small towns and cities.  We always seemed to get to the farm after dark so I never knew what they grew, but I was told they had chickens, pigs and cows; maybe even horses.  Laurence Olivero was married to my Aunt Nelda and she was the sweetest person you could ever meet.  She had two children; Lorraine and Michael (or Mike).  My cousin Mike was always asleep by the time we would get to their farm, around 7 or 8 in the evening, as he had to get up early and tend the livestock and do chores before leaving for school.  I teased Mike about that a lot and he was good natured and forgave me for doing so.
     My father, Wally Parks, was the oldest of Henry's four children and he married my mother, Mary Parks and she was vivacious and outgoing.  They had two children, my younger brother David and me.  My brother was only three years old when our grandfather, Skant, passed away out at the Salton Sea in 1955.  I was eleven and remembered my grandfather for his love of country music, the minor league Los Angeles Angels and his family.   We used to sit on his front porch on Dearborn Street in Huntington Park and listen to the Angels and Patsy Cline.  My Aunt Clyda married Uncle Bill Herman and they had one daughter, Nancy Herman Desherlia.  Nancy had a special and endearing personality.  She rode horses and won a lot of trophies in various sports.  My dad would always ask me, "How's your cousin Nancy," before he even said hello to me.  Uncle Kenny was the youngest child, fifteen years younger than Dad and he married Billie Lou Krieger, my Aunt Billie.  They had three children; cousins Bob, Kathy and Bill.  I always liked going to visit Uncle Kenny and Aunt Billie; they made me feel so special.  There was always something warm and endearing about them.  They lived in Downey for years, and Kenny worked for Roy Richter at Bell Auto Parts, which to a hot rodder and racer was as close as you can get to Heaven while still living. 
     Then they up and moved to Templeton, California, which seemed to be on the other side of the world to us.  Uncle Kenny and Aunt Billie extolled the virtues of simple country living, when they weren't out racing, roller skating and other activities that brought them closer to Los Angeles.  Kenny and Billie were very charismatic; people just wanted to be near them.  They had many friends from business and in racing.  They did everything they could to get people to move up to Templeton and the Gold Coast of California.  My dad and stepmother, Barbara Livingston Parks, moved up to Templeton for a few years and lived on a hill, overlooking a State Forest.  Mike Olivero, Bill and Bob Parks and their families also moved there to live.  Cousin Kathy moved to Camarillo and I really wanted to move up there myself.  The whole area called the Gold Coast has a hypnotic, early Californio kind of feel to it.  You feel that you are on the same trails that the early Padres took as they ventured north up through the heart of Old California.  The oaks and sycamores grew right up the hillsides and farmers grew all sorts of fruit and nut trees before they ever grew grapes for the vineyards that now dot the landscape.
     Cousin Mike and his wife Therese and their daughters lived just down the road and had a big house on a hill and a lake below.  Mike later moved to Paso Robles and “downsized” to a home on an acre, building the most interesting “native” garden of California plants.  Aunt Billie and Uncle Kenny had a beautiful ranch style house with a veranda nearly all around the home.  If this wasn't paradise, then no other place on earth is either.  Kenny had an old two story barn on the property and when we went over to visit he would show us his treasures and his two race cars, one so ugly that he called it Igor.  He had magazines and collectibles that I've never seen before and photographs of his racing career, which started on the dry lakes of Southern California and then progressed to Jalopy racing.  Kenny would use a tractor to “mow the hay” though it was really just a huge lawn.  Aunt Billie loved the local farmers market and she was a good cook and baker.
     Like Dad, Uncle Kenny went to the dry lakes to race at El Mirage and was a member of the Southern California Timing Association.  He loved racing of all sorts and was soon participating in oval track, jalopy racing.  Uncle Kenny was a member of the Gators car club out of South Gate, California, where Bell Auto Parts was located and where grandpa Skant lived.  Kenny worked for Roy Richter at Bell Auto Parts, which was a hub for all the dry lakes and oval track racers.  He knew all the famous racers of the time, or before they were famous. 
     He raced against the likes of Bob Hogle, Parnelli Jones, Bob Stanclift, Fred Russell, Frenchie Hindman, Paul Hoffie, Bob Bennet, “Tiger” Nick Valenta, Bob Anderson, Art Atkinson, Don “Andy” Anderson, Dan Nauman, Leo “Mad Dog” Brighthaupt, Roy Snyder, Bob Ross, Ralph Slape, Joe Woody, Babe Shannon, Jerry Stanberg, Walt James, Danny Letner, Dempsey Wilson, Bill Kimmel, “Wild” Dick Barry, Paul Russell, “Bo” Jack Johnson, Ted Weber, Al Goetz, Charlie Stoner, Chubby Sorenson, “Steady Eddie” Gray, Al Moran, Dick Strangeland, John Turner, Fred Russell, Howard Shirley, Tore Johanson, Fred Steinbroner, Jasper Lopiccolo, Pat Deardorf, Mart Davis, Ed Van Eyk, Bob Clegg, Don Iddings and many more Jalopy racers. 
     The flagmen were Jim Sheridan, leaping and waving his flags as the cars went by.  Bill Welsh and Stan Chambers were the announcers and there was coverage on early television, which kept us kids fascinated for hours.  The ladies formed a powderpuff league, but there was nothing gentle about the way they raced.  Two dozen or more lady racers tore around the track, leaving mayhem in their wake.  Hila Sweet won 58 consecutive races at one point with Ummie Paulsen’s car (he was her husband).  The Paulsen’s took in a young man by the name of Parnelli Jones and taught him the basics.  Jalopy racing was a starting point for many of the future Champ car drivers. 
     I remember the race track, though not the name, where he raced and crashed once.  It was probably over in Gardena and could have been one of the Ascot tracks.  There were stands that curved around the dirt track for about a third of the distance and then a high wood fence that was supposed to offer protection to drivers from a fifteen foot ditch that was on the opposite side.  Kenny was racing his jalopy, painted blushing pink, so everyone could see him.  Drivers like black or yellow, hated green and teased anyone in pink, but Kenny felt that if he got into trouble people would know it was him right away.  He was in a figure 8 race and that takes some getting used to, because the middle of the 8 was where the cars would pass in two directions, like an intersection without traffic lights or stop signs. 
     Most drivers slowed down and let other pass before going across, since a wreck would ruin your car and you could miss a lot of racing dates.  Not Uncle Kenny, he took that point as a chance to make up lost time and he barreled through and into the far turn, which was rather sharp and his car was about to turn over.  He managed to keep it on the two right wheels but his left wheels were high up and his jalopy skidded right into that wooden wall and through it and went down the embankment.  I was sitting next to Aunt Billie and she held me tightly, while dad jumped over the rail and dashed through the on-coming jalopies and reached the slope and rushed down to see if his brother was alive or not.  I think they told me they had to roll the car over to get Kenny out.
     When the first California Hot Rod Reunion took place at Famoso Raceway, north of Bakersfield in the early 1990's, Kenny and Billie would bring their motorhome and park it next to the manager's office.  The reason for the Reunion was to get all the old timers together and party.  I remember one close friend of the Parks family was Art Bagnall.  The Parks Brothers were outrageous personalities to begin with, but Bagnall matched them in nerve and whenever they got together you never knew what antics they would pull.  Bagnall brought out the best and most comical side in the Parks boys.   
     Art used to have a "Paid Newsletter" which Art would mail out to a select group of racers and if you were on the mailing list you were very special indeed.  Dad always called it "Fish Wrap" and would send a nickel back to Bagnall and artwork that disparaged Art.  No bit of slander and libel was too good or too bad to post in the newsletter.  The worse it got the better they loved it.  A few years ago I saw where someone had copied the newsletter and sent copies of it around the internet.  I wish I had a few of those copies for my own records and to show my kids how much fun their grandfather and great uncle were.  Art was also famous for carrying his "water bottle" around with him to slake his thirst on a hot day, or any day for that matter.  It was full of Vodka and other clear spirits.
     Uncle Kenny and Aunt Billie were proudest of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Their house was always filled with photographs and mementos of their family.  Bob married Laura and they lived in Paso Robles.  Bill married Sharon and they had Evan and Rachel.  Kenny and Billie saw Evan a great deal and their grandson was a shining light in their life.  Now that I have six grandchildren I can understand the great love my aunt and uncle had for their grandchildren.  Kathy married Terry Rupple and they had two sweet daughters; Terra and Tessa.  Terra married Drew Gengo and they had three boys and a girl; Cole, Nathan, Fletcher and Alison.  Tessa married Darryl Hottinger and they had a girl and two boys; Caroline, whom they call Lulu after their great-grandmother, Henry and Charles.
     In the early days when all the Parks family got together for a reunion and before the boys came along my three sons and another cousin or two were the only boys there.  It is more balanced out now.  Sometimes we would meet at Lorraine Dagneault's home in Palos Verdes, or Nancy Desherlia's place in Norco, on the ranch, or cousin Mike's place in Templeton, and later on in Paso Robles, or Aunt Billie's place in Templeton.  There were also times we met at the museum in Pomona named after my father, or on the dry lakes, or at the California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso.  Aunt Billie's sister was married to Mac MacAllister, who had founded Downey Savings and he would often fly the family off to vacations and reunions.  Billie and Kenny often looked forward to seeing Mac, who was a down to earth guy.
     Billie Lou Krieger was born on October 18, 1930 and passed away on June 7, 2014 at her home on the ranch in Templeton.  She spent nearly her whole life around racing and left behind three children (Robert, Kathy and William), four grandchildren (Terra, Tessa, Rachel and Evan), and seven great-grandchildren (Cole, Nathan, Fletcher, Alison, Caroline, Henry and Charles), two daughter-in-laws (Laura and Sharon), and one son-in-law (Terry), and numerous nephews and nieces.
Gone Racin’ is at
Gone Racin'...Vic Enyart biography.  Written by Vicki Jeffries, Jerry Cornelison, Richard Parks and Hayden Huntley, with editing by Richard Parks.  Photographs from the Enyart family.  Photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  September 28, 2014.  Reprinted by permission of
www.hotrodhotline.com, a division of Internet Brands.

     "My father, Vic Enyart was born in Hollywood, California on October 4, 1930 to Victor E. Enyart and Elva M. Smith.  Victor E. Enyart was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 25, 1896 and Elva was born in Diamondville, Wyoming on May 8, 1899.  Victor E and Elva were married in Salt Lake City, Utah and had a daughter Lorraine who was born in 1918, and a son, Jack, who was born in Illinois in 1921.  My father was the youngest of the three children.  At age 7, Elva and my father went to Chicago to care for his Grandfather Albert J. Enyart, who was born in Kirkersville, Licking, Ohio who was born in 1859," said Vicki Jeffries.

     "Vic later moved back to Hollywood where he graduated from Hollywood High School in 1948 and then worked with his Dad at Hollywood Reporters.  Bud Eakins and Bruce Huntley were his best friends in high school.  Bud rode motorcycles in the movie THE GREAT ESCAPE.  Bruce would go with Vic to the races and together they joined the Road Runners car club.  He then joined the Navy in July 1954 until July 1955. 

     He married for the first time to Marjorie in 1956 and they had one Daughter Cindy in 1957.  They divorced in 1963 and he met my mother Barbara in 1964 and I was born in 1965.  He was so proud when he walked me down the aisle in 1990 and even more proud when his first Grandson Shawn was born in 1992.  He married a wonderful lady, Joyce Ashley in 1994 who loved and cared for him for 20 years," Vicki added.

     "My Dad worked for Southern California Edison for many years, and the company wrote some wonderful articles about him and his passion for building engines and racing in their monthly news letter.  He also worked at the San Clemente Nuclear Power Plant.  He raced at El Mirage and set a record that he held for 20 years.  Vic also raced at Pahrump Valley Speedway and the Bonneville Salt Flats.  He raced a speed boat that he called El Tigre in Panama where he received a President's cup award in 1971.  He built a beautiful 1932 roadster that was his pride and joy.  His only hobby was building engines and racing.     Joyce, Vicky and Vic's grandson, David Angle joined him at the races.  He loved animals and always emailed me cute and funny videos of them.  He lived a long, happy and healthy life.  On September 3, 2014 he chose God to be his guide and went to heaven.  My Dad was the best and will be missed by so many, but will never ever be forgotten. I love you Daddy, may you RIP forever," Vicki said.

     "I met Vic and his wife Joyce Enyart about two and a half years ago in 2012.  My dad, Mike Huntley, wanted to take my grandfather back to Victorville to see his cousin Dave Martin and good friend Vic Enyart.  We met Vic at his house and took my grandfather, Bruce Huntley, back out to the lake bed to see the cars.  This was my first time watching the speed trials at El Mirage Dry Lake," Hayden Huntley told us. 

     Land speed racers belonged to many different timing associations back in the 1930's and '40's.  The biggest was the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), followed by the Russetta Timing Association (RTA).  In addition there was the Western Timing Association (WTA) and the Bell Timing Association (BTA).  The Roadrunners car club was one of the first car clubs in the SCTA when it formed in November of 1937.  The timing associations usually ran at desert dry lakes in the Mojave Desert, such as Muroc, which is now Edwards Air Force Base.  Other dry lakes included Harper and Rosamond.  After the end of WWII the other dry lakes were under the control of the military or owned by farmers and in 1946 all the timing associations moved to El Mirage Dry Lake just north of Adelanto. 
     Hayden added, "After that we went to Dave's house to visit so the three old friends could talk and see each other.  That's when I saw Dave's race car and started talking about wanting to help out with it.  Months later Dave gave me the car and Vic helped me take the car apart and fix all the problems and put it back together.  We run in the G/GL lakester class and the car has a 2.0Litre Lotus motor.  We had to rebuild the roll cage and move the gas tank and update the wiring.  Our car is in an open wheel special construction class.  Vic and I were the only ones who worked on the car but when we raced my dad and Uncle Tyler Trippany came out and helped strap me in and pushed me off.  The Roadrunners car club has been a great help.   Vic got me to join two years ago in 2013 and he also rejoined the club.   The president of the Roadrunners is Mike Ferguson.  They have been very supportive of me racing, even considering that I am only 18 years old."
     Jerry Cornelison, historian of the Road Runners, gave us some information on who was in the club when Vic Enyart was a member.  "Here is a listing of the names of the Road Runners who were members in the Club in the 1950's.  Some are specifically identified as in the Club from 1950-1953 when Vic was a member and some are circa 1950's.  There are some very notable names on the list.  Some had iconic vehicles and some were key in further development of hot rodding, land speed racing, drag racing and other facets of the automotive culture.  Bruce Huntley, Hayden's Grandfather can probably provide a snapshot view of what the Club was like back then.  Road Runners were winning Championships and setting records," Jerry said.
     "The link below the list of names provides some additional information on some of the individuals listed (Championships, Awards, Records, Hot Rod Pioneers, etc).  Fred Anderson, Bill Burke, Fred Carrillo, Woody Caruth (Caruthers), Art Chrisman, Jack Chrisman, Vic Enyart, Earl Evans, Bill Graham, Fred Hadley, Glen Hammett, George Hanson, Harris (Anderson & Harris), Doug Harrison, Bruce Huntley, Les Jensen, Jim Johnston (Castera), John Lightfoot, Bob McClure, Bud Meyer, Acton 'Ak' Miller, Bob Morton, LeRoy Neumayer, Bill Niekamp, Pat O'Brien, Peterson (Peterson & Sinclair, Peterson, Johnson & Graham), Bill Phy, Bob Pierson, Dick Pierson, Ted Rees, Fred Renoe (Reno), Charles D. 'Chuck' Rice, Jack Riley, George Rubio, Stanford Brothers.  See
http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners/Alumni.htm, for more information," Jerry added.

     Another name that should be mentioned is Wally Parks.  He was not actively racing in the Road Runners, but he was an emeritus member and valuable supporter of the club.  Ak Miller was a vice president of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and was very close to Parks and the club had the support of Parks, Miller and Hot Rod magazine.  Bill Burke had a very successful belly tank that he raced at the dry lakes, assisted by Don Francisco and Wally Parks.  Fred Carrillo would form his own speed equipment company and build state of the art pistons and connecting rods for racers.  Jack and Art Chrisman began racing on oval tracks, drag strips and at the dry lakes in the 1940's and Art's son is still racing today. 

     Earl Evans owned a famous speed shop.  Fred Hadley and Jack Riley were members in the early days of the club.  Riley was also the club treasurer in the 1930's.  Doug Harrison and Ak Miller went to Mexico to race in the Panamericana Road race.  Miller was also the president of the SCTA and owned a garage in Whittier next door to the Taylor and Ryan Engine building company.  Bud Meyer owned the Eddie Meyer Garage and was a member of the racing family that won the Indy 500 three times.  Bud was also a boat racing champion. 

     Bob Morton and George Rubio ran a very successful lakes car and for a while had the fastest roadster at the lakes.  LeRoy Neumayer was a master mechanic in oval track and land speed racing and was on many Indy 500 racing teams.  Bill Phy, like almost all the members in the club at the time were 49'ers (pioneers who raced at the first SCTA/BNI Bonneville Speedweek in 1949.  The Pierson Brothers (Dick and Bob) raced the iconic #2 coupe that is now in the Petersen Automotive Museum.  These were the men that Vic Enyart knew and raced with.
Gone Racin' is at

STAFF NOTES: The following was sent in by Bob Falcon.
     I thought this video might interest you once you learn the tie-in of the technology to Auto Racing. This back story is the fact that the US Navy Aircraft Carrier fleet is in the process of removing the steam operated catapults replacing them with new units employing magnetic operation. This new innovation is the outgrowth from a US Department of Transportation (DoT) contract awarded to Garrett Corporation who sub-contracted the design and fabrication of the feasibility study vehicle to Torrance California based Halibrand Engineering in 1968.
     The Halibrand chief designer for the project was Norman Timbs who had a very successful career in the design of many race cars that gained fame in the Indianapolis 500 and of late, the emergence of his design and fabrication, during the Pre-World War 2 years, of the streamlined two-passenger, rear placed Buick engine personal car. The DoT project was to prove that magnetic power could be used to propel future mass rapid transit vehicles. It used a turbine driven electric generator to provide this power and which was termed a Linear Induction Motor (LIM). Garrett produced the gas turbine and LIM.
     The vehicle chassis was fabricated of 3 inch square steel tubing with a wall thickness of one-quarter inch welded together to support a streamlined aluminum skin. The passenger compartment seated two later revised to add two more in case a visiting US congressman wanted to take a ride at the Pueblo CO DoT Proving Ground. This technology fed the later development of the Mag-Lev trains now operating in Europe, Japan and China, but none here in the good old USA! The technology has also been adapted as the power used in all the world’s major amusement park Roller Coasters and other passenger carrying vehicles.
     Recently the US Navy announced that LIM power was to be used as the launch catapults on the entire carrier fleet. The USS Wasp shown in this video is one of the Navy's latest aircraft carriers and you will note that (at launch of the aircraft) there is not a presence of steam arising from the catapult slot in the deck because there is no slot cut into the deck plates. LIM generated magnetic force is used to launch this very large, and heavy aircraft in a very short distance along the Flight-deck.  And the technology proving vehicle was built in a Race Car shop!        
     This video link is fresh (for the public).  It was made just six weeks ago in the Atlantic, just off Newport, Virginia.   These are the latest sea trials of the F-35B on the USS Wasp.  They were very successful, with 74 VLs and STOs in a 3-week period. The aircraft is also stealth, and super-sonic.  The media and the program critics had predicted that we would burn holes in the deck and wash sailors overboard. Neither of which happened. You will notice a sailor standing on the bow of the ship as the jet rotates.  That was an intentional part of the sea trials. No catapult...no hook.... It's a new world out there!  The shape and scope of warfare worldwide just changed. 
Bonneville Summary August 2008, by Ross Ireland.  Reprinted in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter courtesy of the author.
To: Our Bonneville Friends
       Well, another Bonneville Speedweek has come and gone.  It was a great week and we achieved many “firsts” for our team.  Some were not the “firsts” we wanted and we did not set a record.  But I believe we are getting closer all the time and we are learning what it will take to average 316MPH+ for a full mile.
       Here are a few of our “firsts.”
1. The first time we were ready to go to Bonneville two weeks before the event.
2. The first time we made multiple runs where our top speed as in excess of 300 mph.
3.  The first time we drove the car wide open for almost 5 miles.
4.  The first time we have a good baseline tune-up.
5.  The first time we had an average mile speed in excess of 289 MPH, our fastest average mile speed so far.
6.  The first time we had to disassemble the entire engine at Bonneville.  (This was NOT one of our goals for this meet.
       For those of you who were tracking us on Land Racing.Com, you probably were wondering why it took us so long to make a run.  Our first two runs were short; we only ran the car to about the 2 and mile mark. On the first run we just could not make enough power and we shut the car down at about 215 MPH.  We found that we had been given incorrect fuel injection nozzles for our intake port injectors.  We changed these and now the car was really making some power.  On our second run we were pretty happy; the car pulled strongly through the 3 mile mark and we thought we were ready to make the final rear axle change we needed to qualify the car for a record. Unfortunately, when we checked the engine after this run we found the fuel mixture was too lean and that we had melted the tops of two pistons and bent one exhaust valve.
       The following day we disassembled the entire engine, checked all the valves and pulled all the pistons.  We replaced the two melted pistons and reassembled the engine. With a much richer fuel mixture we made a run Wednesday in the late afternoon that we were quite pleased with 289 MPH average in the 4th mile and still pulling above 300 MPH in the 5th mile.  At last we think we have a good baseline on the tune-up.  On Thursday we hoped to make another run but the course was closed due to high winds.  We returned on Friday to try again and we made a run similar to the Wednesday run except that as we pushed the car toward the 5th mile we experienced an oil pressure issue which we had experience earlier when we first ran the car hard to the 5th mile. This is the first time we have ever pushed the car to the end of the 4th mile and it’s the first time we pushed it into the 5th mile.  With this long a run we think we are pumping too much oil into the cylinder heads and filling the valve covers.  This is causing our dry sump oil reservoir to become depleted and our oil pressure drops.  At 50 pounds pressure our driver got a warning light and wisely shut the car down.
       We needed to take the car home at this point since some of the needed upgrades just could not be done at Bonneville.  Another interesting experience we had was that the Discovery Channel was at Bonneville to do a segment of “Motor Mania” a series they are producing.  They came to video three cars but liked our car so well that they added it as a fourth car to do some work with.  They placed a video camera on the front axle of the car which looked back at the cockpit and engine while the car made a 300+ MPH pass down the track.  The video was awesome!  We were told the segment should air between November ’08 and February ’09.  I am hopeful of getting a copy after the segment airs.  We have a very good team!  And we learned a huge amount about what it will take to get the record!  We will get the record! Stay tuned!  Best Regards.  Ross Ireland
Motorcycle History: The Wrecking Crew.  By John Gunnell.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands, photographs can be seen at

     When World War I forced the suspension of motorcycle racing in 1916, Harley-Davidson’s factory racing team was regularly cleaning up at major competitions. The big Labor Day road race in Marion, Indiana, marked the official return to racing in 1919. Harley-Davidson riders turned out in force. They swept the first three places in the hard fought contest.  This triumph began a string of dominant victories that earned the Harley-Davidson team the nickname “The Wrecking Crew.” 
     In the September 3, 1919 edition of Motorcycling and Bicycling magazine the writers said, “Marion was truly the motorcycle city last Sunday and Labor Day. Every road was crowded with fans anxious to get an eyeful of dust, speed and daring. Hundreds of motorcycles from every part of the country wound their way about, despite detours and rain, in order to see the big race.” 
     The term "hog" referring to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle traces back to the Wrecking Crew. A small pig served as the racing team’s mascot. When a team member took a race, he would pick up the pig, sit it on his gas tank and take it on the victory lap. Fans began calling the team the "Harley Hogs." The Wrecking Crew name gained favor, so the team was no longer the Harley Hogs.  Although the Harley Hogs nickname disappeared, the word "hog" started to be used for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The name became official in 1983 when the Harley Owners Group or HOG was formed.
     Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 10 AM to 2 PM there will be two books and one movie signing and previews at Autobooks/Aerobooks in Burbank, California.  ILLUSTRATED ROUTE 66 HISOTRICAL ATLAS, by Jim Hinckley and ROAR WITH GILMORE, a book by Charles Seims.  The film is AUTUMN OF ROUTE 66, by Ester Brym.  For information go to
www.autobooks-arerobooks.com, or call 818 845-0707.    Autobooks-Aerobooks book store is located at 2900 W. Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, California 91505.  Tina Van Curen                                                                                                                                                                   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     I had a nice chat with Ron Main at the Save the Salt booth at SEMA.  I asked him two questions, first about the accident and his reply was that it was "The Perfect Storm" of crash situations, car, salt, speed, wind and all; make one item different and no storm. The second question was even more ominous, I asked "will the car be rebuilt?" and Ron shook his head the wrong way. He is meeting with George after the show and the final decision will be made, but at this point it looks as though Speed demon will be no more. I told Ron that if that was the case, thanks for more 400+ runs than I ever saw any car do in all my years at B'ville.  I am sure lots of others feel the same way.  Doug McHenry
    Art Evans has written a book on Sports Car/Road Course racer John Fitch.  John was a World War II fighter pilot and war hero.  He raced against the greatest sports car drivers of the time.  I've written a book review on Fitch at
www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks.     
I’m reading the book now and like it very much.  Dick Berggren
     The Santa Ana Drags Reunion was held last October 4 and if you missed it and would like to get on the phone call reminder list let me know.  We hold the reunions in April and October.  If you know of any other reunions send me notices to put on the website.     
     The NHRA races will end their season November 13-16, 2014 in Pomona.  This year they are remembering the past and have invited a number of 1950's, '60's and later drivers to participate in their history and heritage tent. 
     The former “Tonight Show” host’s new prime-time venture, tentatively titled, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” and based on his Emmy Award-winning Web series, will premiere on CNBC in 2015, the network announced.  The precise debut date and frequency of airing are yet to be determined, the network said.
     The hour-long show will be a forum for Leno to share his passion for “all things automotive,” the network said, “including best investments, valuations and the inner workings of the car collector’s market.”  Leno commented, “This show will be about anything that rolls, explodes and makes noise.   We hope to highlight the passion and the stories behind the men and women who made the automobile the greatest invention of the 20th century.”
     “Jay will add tremendous star power and exceptional content to CNBC’s prime time at the perfect time,” said network President Mark Hoffman.  “We’re really excited Jay will continue his storied career with the NBC family and with us at CNBC.”
     The 64-year-old Leno, well-known for his interest in cars and his vast car collection, hosted a one-hour special for CNBC in August; “Jay Leno’s Garage: The Ultimate Car Week” marked his first return to hosting since he vacated NBC’s “The Tonight Show” last February.  This report was sent in by Scrub Hansen from an unattributed article on the internet.
Irwindale Night of Destruction 3 Attracts 6,740 race fans.  By Tim Kennedy.  For the full article and photographs go to
www.hotrodhotline.com, a division of Internet Brands.
     The third and final 2014 Pick Your Part “ Night of Destruction 3” Saturday attracted the largest crowd of the oval track racing season. Entertaining family fun, smashing and bashing, and motorized mayhem lured a crowd of 6,740 persons, who filled the main grandstand on a cool night. “Nights of Destruction 1 and 2” on May 17 and August 30 had attendance marks of 5,120 and 6,500+ respectively.
     Grand Marshal Tommy Lasorda, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, welcomed spectators prior to the National Anthem via the infield microphone. He then joined track CEO/President Jim Cohan in his suite. Another special guest was Indianapolis 500 veteran Davey Hamilton, who donned his racing uniform and helmet and drove one of three winged 360 cu. in. sprint cars in a rapid, ten-lap exhibition race on the half-mile. As head of the new sanctioning group King of the Wing, Hamilton said he has 27 entrants, including his father Kenny and son Davey, Jr., for the series first-ever winged sprint car race at IS in three weeks.



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

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