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THE SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
 Newsletter
.  Issue #363.
March 11, 2015
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
, Robin Millar, Ora Mae Millar

Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks.
     I’m sure that you have heard by now that we live in a “paperless” world and the computer is our only way to store material.  That might be true for many people, but when I look around my home office all I see are stacks and stacks of papers.  I’ve developed my own filing system.  I wait until a stack of papers, notes, letters and other material gets too high to see over, then I move it to the floor next to my desk.  That stack is off my desk and so it becomes “B” projects to research and resolve.  The papers on my desk are “A” projects.  When another stack builds up I gently and carefully move it to the floor, and push the “B” project further away from my desk and it becomes “C” projects.  As I look around I can see five stacks of papers on the floor, plus another stack on my desk.  My wife says that if I don’t clean it up, she will.  Wives simply have an aversion to messiness. 
     So I started to clean up a pile or two and what did I find?  I found notes for articles and stories that I was supposed to have written and published as far back as five years ago.  I found scraps of paper that said, “Check out this guy who raced at the dry lakes in the 1940’s.”  I hope the guy is still alive and understands that I am a horrible procrastinator, or simply forgetful.  Thoroughly chagrined I finished a story on the memorial service for Dick Wells, five years late.  But it’s done and I will post it.  Now it is on to another stack of notes and stories that I set aside.  It’s going to get done no matter what I have to do.  It’s a paperless society my foot.
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     I just got word about Fred Lobello's service; it will be 1pm, March 12, 2015 and here is the address for those of you that wish to attend or send condolences; Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 2725 55th Street, San Diego, Ca. 619-262-2435.  I was not able to get a zip code.  I will be in attendance.  It was also suggested that a remembrance in Fred's name could be made to Save the Salt also. Fred Lobello started going to B'ville in 1949 and was what they called a 49niner (or one of a group that was the first to race on the Salt Flats under the banner of the SCTA/BNI). He was a great guy, great friend, and it is a terrible loss to our racing family. Doug McHenry
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See:
http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2014/10/24/salt-sale-blm-seeks-buyers/#.VPY6SeG2T jJ.  Salt for sale by the BLM; buyers wanted.   Ron Main
 

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Garlits to marry.  Article by Mary Maglone, March 5, 2015.  Reprinted with permission. 
     Last month Don Garlits (83) popped the question to photographer Lisa Crigar, whom he met during a magazine interview in 2014. They plan to marry July 25, 2015 at the Garlits’ Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida.
     Don Glenn Garlits’ mother had ambitions for her son; she wanted him to train as an accountant and though he tried the profession it had no appeal. Inspired only by thoughts of racing he went to work in an auto body-shop and later founded Don’s Speed Shop. It is likely Garlits would have succeeded in any form of racing, but he fell under the spell of drag racing while growing up in Tampa. 
     “In those days we all had hot-rods; cut down Coupes were the top of the line. I had a 1940 Ford with a Cadillac engine, and we went racing on an abandoned army base in Zephyrhills,” he recollects. “We marked out a quarter mile, went flat out all day long, no clocks, just a guy who flagged us. That was June 1950.” 
     When he speaks to his pal AJ Foyt he reminds him that in oval track or road racing if you’re a tenth off here or there you have the opportunity to recover and still win. In drag racing if you’re a hundredth or even a thousandth off, your race is likely finished.  What makes the difference? 
     “Reflexes and focus are the two main elements—you’ve got to have those because there’s no second chance,” says Garlits. “Before a run I’d sit in the truck and take a power nap, come out fresh and sharp. You have milliseconds to get it right.” 
     Garlits’ achievements are seemingly endless. He first made his mark on the drag strips in 1964 when he won the US Nationals at Indianapolis and set a record at 200mph. Later he was the first to pass 200mph in the eighth mile, first to top 270mph in the quarter mile and became the first drag racer to be honored in America’s Hall of Fame. 

     A pioneer and an innovative constructor, he was the first to perfect the rear-engine Top Fuel dragster; his record-breaking Swamp Rat Streamliner resides in the National Museum of American History. In May of last year, he set a record at 184mph, in a dragster powered by batteries.
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     I certainly am one who would like to see a biography on Louie Castro. Is he still alive? Those of us who "lived" racing bikes in the 1950’s had an experience that needs documentation before those that have good memories of that age are gone. Not just drag racing but other aspects of the sport that directly or indirectly influenced drag racing. One example is the splayed head cylinder research that was done by Joe Dudek for Triumph (Johnson Motors in Pasadena) that led to new speed records at drag strips and at Bonneville in the late 1950's. One outcome of this was the successful Triumph Bonneville model that exists to this day. Joe Arce
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Here's some information from the internet: A New Triumph Effort: The Dudek Streamliner. Triumph’s land speed pursuit continued in 1962, when aircraft mechanic Joe Dudek brought his streamliner to the Utah salt. Inspired by an X-15 rocket- plane and powered by a bored out T120 Bonneville engine, Rider Bill Johnson piloted Dudek's machine to a (gasoline-powered) record of 205 mph. The team then drained the gas from the bike, changed the carburetor jets and refueled with nitro methane and proceeded to set a new world motorcycle speed record of 224.57 mph — a record that stood (in the Streamlined, Altered Frame/Fuel class) until 1992. Unfortunately, the Dudek streamliner was destroyed in a fire in 1974.
     1948 Triumph’s first trail bike, the Trophy 500cc TR5 is introduced. The engine was originally developed for the RAF in WW2 with aluminum heads and barrels. Triumph is building 12,000 motorcycles a year, exporting 60% of them. 
     1949 Turner and Jack Wickes introduce the 650cc Thunderbird 6T capable of 100MPH, primarily for the US market. The bike becomes a favorite of police forces around the world. The Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club is founded.
     1950 With the world’s first “super-bike” demand high, improvements are made to the Thunderbird carbs. Turner establishes Triumph Corp. in Maryland as the wholly owned distribution company to serve eastern US markets. Dennis McCormack is the first President. After 1950, more Triumphs would be sold in the USA than in any other country, including the UK.
     1951 Sangster sells Triumph to BSA, the same company he sold Ariel to in 1939, and becomes a member of the board. Harley Davidson complains to the US tariff commission that Triumph is dumping its machines on the US market at artificially low prices. They demand a 40% duty on all imported motorcycles.
     1952 The US tariff commission rejects HD’s request which adds to Triumph’s publicity. HD is charged with charged with restrictive trade practices instead. The demand for Manx Norton engines to power Formula Three cars left many Manx Featherbed frames available. Motorcycle designers started putting Triumph engines in these frames creating the “Triton.”
     1953 The movie, “The Wild One” stars Marlon Brando riding his personal 1952 Triumph Thunderbird.
     1954 The Tiger 110, nicknamed the “Tiger-Bird” is announced with high compression pistons and 42 BHP.  Rear swing arm suspension is adopted on some models.
     1955 On the Bonneville Salt Flats, Johnny Allen establishes a record 193 MPH in a 650cc Triumph powered streamliner. The TR6 Trophy is produced as the first true “American” Triumph model with a top speed of 105 MPH.
     1958-1959 The T120 Bonneville is unveiled at the Earls Court Bike Show. Its name commemorates Johnny Allen’s land-speed record runs at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956. It went on sale in 1959.
     1961 “The Great Escape” starring Steve McQueen features Bud Elkins, the stuntman who successfully jumps the fence at the end of the movie on a TR6 on the first take.
     1962 Doug Hele leaves Norton and joins Triumph, redesigning their frames for better stability and stiffness.
     1964 Success on the race track leads to the production of a special edition Bonneville Thruxton model, which in turn paved the way for production of home-grown cafe racers. 1969 The Bonneville gets its first major makeover, gaining improved carburation and smoother power delivery, along with a new tank badge, altered seat units and silver color scheme.
     1973-1975 Capacity increases from 650cc to 750cc.  A strike at the Meriden, UK factory results in no bikes being produced, and marks the beginning of the end for the original Bonneville.
     1983 The last official Triumph Bonneville rolls off the production line at Meriden. Limited numbers of the bike continue to be produced by LF Harris of Newton Abbot between 1985-88.
     2000 A reborn and modern Triumph company (UK) under the leadership of John Bloor builds on past success in the 1990’s by launching a new Bonneville out of their new Hinckley plant. The model sports a 790cc parallel twin power plant, and blends retro-styling with modern designed and manufactured components.
     2002-2008 Subtle changes are introduced to keep the model fresh. Engine capacity increases to 865cc, gas tank capacity increased and spin-off models are introduced, including the T100, Scrambler and a new Thruxton 900.
     2009-2015 Additional changes are made to the models. Carburation is replaced with EFI in 2009. A slightly lower, alloy wheel version called the SE is introduced as the entry level Bonneville.
     Sources Wikipedia –
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_Engineering, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triumph_Motorcycles_Ltd. Triumph Connection http://www.triumphconnection.com/History.asp.  AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame – http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org.  Vintage Bike – http://www.vintagebike.co.uk.  Motor Cyclist – http://www.motorcyclistonline.com
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     The April issue of Hot VW's is now out in the bookstores and magazine racks at your local stores.  Inside the April 2015 issue of Hot VW's are two great stories about VW's at Bonneville.  The feature story and on the cover is Manu's blue 1955 that circled the world three times back in the late fifties and early sixties with original owner Paul Loof and that Manu brought to Bonneville to race last year.  Also in the same issue is the history of very early Volkswagen Bonneville racers and drag racers in an article called "the Speedfathers."  Be sure to get next month's issue of Hot VW's as well.  The May issue will have Dean Kirsten's story of all the VW's at this past year's World of Speed at Bonneville.  Who knows, you may be in the story.   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).
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     Today we have our Event Summary on the 2014 Heacock Classic “Gold Cup” Historic Races at VIR.  With this, we are proud to announce we made our goal to get all the 2014 Event Summaries out before we began the 2015 Car Season.  We leave for the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, our first 2015 event, tomorrow morning. 
https://picasaweb.google.com/113152123752682863493/2014VIRGoldCup2#.   Marty Schorr was kind enough to feature our coverage on his site Car Guy Chronicles (http://www.carguychronicles.com/) the link is:     http://www.carguychronicles.com/2014/10/heacock-classic-gold-cup-vir.html.   Casey Annis, Editor of Vintage Racecar Journal, printed one of our photos in the Gallery covering the Gold Cup.  Patrick Durand published it in his AMP MAG.  Maureen & Mike Matune
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     STAFF NOTES: The following email was received, but I have taken out the names so as to not embarrass anyone.
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     "I have spoken with (name removed) about his visit in the mid-sixties (with a famous land speed racer) and his biography.  He indicated he could probably put together a decent story about their conversations.  He is a mechanic first and a writer second but did say he would try to get his wife to help with the two projects.  Now we just wait.
     EDITOR: Does he have email?  If he does; DON'T ASK HIM to write his story.  He may want to, but it is hard to learn to do what I take for granted.  What you should do is say, "(any of your racing friends) send an email to Richard NOW.  Not tomorrow or this afternoon, but NOW.”  Give him just a little info and let him get started.  He will write it for you.  If you like to write, do the same thing, tell your friends to send you a few facts, whip it into a chronological order and send it back to them to look over for accuracy, then prod them for more facts and keep doing it DAILY until the story is done.  That's the ONLY WAY it will ever get written.
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Gone Racin'...Stormy Byrd biography.  Text and photographs by Stormy Byrd, edited by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  November 20, 2014.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands; for photographs go to
www.hotrodhotline.com

     I was given the name Robert "Stormy" Byrd and was born in December, 1956 to Robert and Mary Byrd in Gardena, California.  I have a younger brother, Tim Byrd, who was born in 1958.  My nickname is Stormy, which I received from my family because of my temper, and is what everyone calls me.  I grew up in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and then moved to the San Fernando Valley in 1969.  My parents were your typical 1950’s couple who met in High School.  My dad would serve time in the Air Force from 1957-60 as a F104 mechanic then after his service he was stationed up at Vandenberg Air Force base to develop satellite spy photos from 1960-61.  Around 1962, he went to work for North American Aviation as a photographer.  Much of the work he did was tedious and boring shooting panels as they assembled the Apollo at the Downey plant for record keeping.  However, he got to meet and shoot all of the Astronauts, The Queen of England when she visited the facility along with other dignitaries such as President Reagan, California Governors Brown and Deukmejian, Chuck Yeager, and Roy Rodgers, the entire cast of Star Trek when they rolled out the Enterprise.   I inherited 30,000 photos and other NAA and NASA memorabilia when my dad passed in March of 2003, just nine days after our mom passed away.  Our mother was just your average housewife and single mom when they divorced after 10 years of marriage in 1966, and then worked as a waitress till the 1980's when she retired.
     My father took my brother Tim and I to Lions Drag Strip in mid-1966 on a cool Saturday night.  As I stepped through the grandstands I saw before me a stage which I did not know existed and was introduced to sensory overload as a blown red 1941 Willy's blasted down Lions 1320; the hook was in and there would be no turning back.  I always liked hot rods, growing up I would spend all night assembling plastic model cars at my grandparent's house in Torrance where I could hear the roar of that magical place at 223rd and Alameda Streets on still nights. Lion’s was the greatest drag strip ever.  There was an aura about the beach, especially at night.  It was magical as they would push the cars onto the rollers; this was after the push starts were stopped.  The cars would sit there and the lights would dim as the rollers churned at huge slicks on asphalt warriors.  As the tires gathered speed, drivers would let the clutch out engaging and spinning the engine, you would see the butterflies flick open as they engine built oil pressure and primed the engine with a shot of nitro. You could hear air being sucked into its lungs and… WHOP!  The driver would hit the mag, igniting the volatile mix in the tank.  The driver would pull slowly from the rollers and stop as a crewman put bleach under the rear wheels…and Waaaap!  He would hit the throttle spinning the massive slicks heating and cleaning them though this racer elixir for 20 feet.  Slowly those fire-breathing Leviathans would pull to the line. 
     I remember standing against the fence in the cool night air, mere feet from Wild Willie Borsch, as he would bring the rpm up.  I remember the warmth of the nitro fumes against my face as all eight candles lit and he sidestepped the clutch. This was one car that literally shook terra firma.  I recall Warren, Coburn & Miller, and the “Ridge Route Terrors” performing the same ballet.  Beebe & Mulligan, Mike Sorokin, Jungle Jim, Leland Kolb, Jack Chrisman, Al Vander Woude, Leon Fitzgerald, Mike Snively, Larry Dixon, Rick Steward, Bobby Hightower, Gary Gabelich, Stone/Woods & Cook, Holy Toledo, The Invader, Red Mountain Boys, American Bandstand, Baby Doll, The Fireside Inn, The Howard Cam Rattler, Magnificent 7, Beaver Hunter, Groundshaker, Goldfinger, Malco Gasser, Aggravation, The Wasp, Special K, The Gas House Gang, Freight Train, Odd Couple, USA1, Green Mamba, Green Monster and thousands more which will live in my memory forever because Lions was a magical plot of earth.  
     Starting in 1969 I began racing motorcycles with our step dad Bill Hamilton, who was my fourth cousin and a great guy that my Mother married in 1969.  First I raced a Honda 50 mini trail then a Honda 90 Dirt/street bike, followed by a Sachs 125 'Cross Country.'  They were great desert bikes popular in the early 1970's; Triumph 500 twin, and the Honda 305 Scrambler.  They were raced in the desert along with a 250 Honda Elsinore.  I was an amateur racer in motocross racing venues around the high desert areas, which included El Mirage, Saddle Back, Indian Dunes, and Red Rock Canyon.  I even raced at Muntz's Raceway out in Moorpark in the 1970's.   Look up Earl "Madman" Muntz's crazy history at www.Wikipedia.  Muntz was a radio and TV personality who designed the car 8-track system. 
     I attended Sequoia Junior High from 1969 through 1972 and then transferred to Reseda High School in 1973, graduating in 1975.  Some of my friends were Tom Garcia, Jim Gray, Kathy Karwosky Gray, Chris Cain, Russell Gifford, Felise Apparis, Lisa Hawkins, Pauly Nelson, Tim Callahan, Bill Castillo, Kristy Scott, and Bob Shea to name a few who I still talk with.  A few of these people were and are car enthusiasts; however none have the full-blown disease that I acquired. I then went on to Pierce College taking welding and completed a two-year auto mechanic apprenticeship under a master mechanic and earned an ASE certification.  I worked for A&R Maintenance with Bill Castillo, cleaning buildings and machine shops in the tenth grade in 1973.  When I was a junior and senior in 1974 and '75 I worked Monday through Fridays from 3 to 10 PM after school at Richard’s Texaco in Tarzana, pumping gas, doing minor repairs, oil changes, etc, and on Saturday from 8-5 PM.  I had two cars, a 1962 VW and a 1965 Ford Ranchero w/built 289 and Top loader 4-speed, a bank account, paid rent to my parents and for my insurance, credit cards, a girl friend and lived the life any 17 year old dreams of. In 1976 I started working for C&F Auto in Van Nuys driving a truck hauling auto parts around town.  I went to work for Henry's German Car Service from 1977 to 1984 where I did a two year apprenticeship and then ran the engine and transmission shop in Canoga Park.  I went back to work for Richard's Auto Service from 1984 to '88 in Tarzana with Dennis Ankenbauer.  I was a front end specialist, brake specialist and Heavy Duty Mechanic for the same owner of the Texaco station that I worked for when I was in high school.  In 1988, I worked for Robert Stapp Automotive as their Manager and A/C specialist and doing engine, transmission and custom cars for our clients.  We specialized in 1966 Hemi Charger, 1962 409 Chevy's, custom trucks, auto's, fabrication, welding, suspension, and rear-end set-ups.  I left there in 2005 to work as a fleet truck mechanic for Prudential Overall Supply in Moorpark, California, as their plant safety instructor, fabrication and welding shop, where I am still employed as of 2014.
    In high school, I would go through a series of cars cruising Van Nuys Blvd on Wednesday only miles from my house.   I did some illegal street racing along the way but in the mid 1970's I would go legit and race my 1962 VW at the old Irwindale Raceway along with my 1965 Ford Ranchero.  My brother Tim, who has always liked cars and had some customs (a restored 1952 Chevy Custom, a 1959 Chevy Nomad wagon with 348 and 3 deuces, which was our tow car for years), also rode dirt bikes the same time I did and is a fantastic fabricator of anything you can put in front of him.  Tim and I built a 1933 Bantam roadster to race at Irwindale, however that was short lived with the track's closing in 1977 so we cut the roll cage off, glassed the body back in and went back to the street getting the car tagged and legal.   We got the urge to put the big pedal down again, Realizing I would likely end up dead in this street fuel altered, we sold it and I partnered up with my longtime cohort Dennis Ankenbauer.  I first met Dennis at the Texaco station I worked at in Tarzana in 1974.  He was a gearhead and we became friends on the spot.  We would build a series of streetcars, which would include a 1968 Camaro w/built 383 and 4-speed, a 1967 El Camino w/HiPo 396 and Muncie 4 speed, a 1973 Chevy Vega wagon with a 350-ci engine and 3 deuces as a “Street Sleeper.”   These and more would often do battle on the streets unfortunately.
     In early 1984, we found and purchased a mid-1960's RCS (Frank Huzar’s Race Car Specialties) rolling chassis which would eventually become “Strange Brew,” a car we still run today, but that's another story in itself with its metamorphosis over the last 30+ years.  About a year into building and running “Strange Brew” I hung up my gloves (actually sold them) and went back to motorcycle racing as I had done since 1969 on and off.  Frank “Ol Man’ Huzar was one of the great characters in drag racing, building dragsters, funny cars and altered chassis out of his Tarzana shop on Oxnard Street which would include neighbors H&H Racecraft (Tin works), Valley Head Service, Continental Tube Bending, Starky’s Porting and more Hi Performance shops.  Frank was a gentleman and employed some of the best names in drag racing to help build RCS cars.
 

Then came the day my brother Tim read an ad in the newspaper in early 1985, “135- inch Dragster with full body for sale at $700.”   We went over and my first impression was this was the weirdest and ugliest car I'd ever seen with its full aluminum shark nose on it.  We offered the guy $650, which he accepted and then we threw it in the back of the El Camino and took it home.  Sitting there looking at this anachronism, it grew on me like a wart.  It was different, yet cool; all unto itself.  Fact is I almost cut the aluminum nose off it the first night; thank goodness I didn’t, as this Kenny Ellis masterpiece would be “Revelation's” signature at the track. Within five months I had a small block Chevy with Enderle fuel injection and a powerglide trans between the rails along with updating the roll cage from a 3-point to a 5.  The first time out at my home track, which was Los Angeles County Raceway, also known as LACR, Bernie Longjohn who was the owner and manager, came up and asked me, "So what the hell is the history behind this thing?"  At that point I had little information on the car, but I would soon begin to find out its rich history.   I made 13 passes that day getting my NHRA license and finished it up three weeks later as I broke the ring and pinion on lucky run number 13. Bernie Longjohn had previously run another track back in Massachusetts after a stint with the Air Force.  He came out west to manage a High desert track before taking the reins of Antelope Valley Raceway around 1980.  Bernie renamed the track Los Angeles County Raceway successfully until its closing in July of 2007.  LACR would also become a major player in the renaissance ‘Nostalgia movement.’  Originally built in 1964 as Palmdale International Raceway, LACR also has the distinction of never having a fatality in its 42 years of service to the community.  As a former editorial contributor to Full Throttle News, see my story, ‘A Diamond in the Rough’ at www.savelacr.org.  I continue to write on occasion for Ol Skool Rodz Magazine and have an online column at Nostalgia Drag World.
     Once licensed I would find that the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) had no class for my leviathan, so my old partner Dennis and I would flop a roadster body on “Strange Brew” to be the Yin to “Revelation's” Yang.  We matched raced from Carlsbad to Fremont doing our own thing at these Nostalgia events.   The Nostalgia craze had not taken off yet and looking back at what we paid for the car, $650 wouldn't buy one of the Moon wire wheels on the front of my racecar nowadays. During the 1980's I had begun to piece together the car's history, which would include winning at the 1966 March Meet in its class, which was CM/FR.   It was a Drag News record holder in 1966 and when chassis/tinman Kenny Ellis formed the aluminum Sharknose for it in 1966 it was the 'Bell Auto Parts Special' under the owner/builder Bill 'The Sheepherder' Ehrel, who was a La Mirada fireman along with Ellis and current NHRA Big Show owner Big Jim Dunn.  In 1967, Bill would rename the car 'The Rounders' after a cowboy sitcom series he liked on TV.  The car would be put out to pasture in 1969, but not before running a best of 7.69 @ 203mph.  It would sit for years before being sold twice until the movie studios purchased it for the 'More American Graffiti' film project.  However, the car was not needed nor abused when we found and purchased it from that studio person that placed the ad for the car. 
     Kenny Ellis was a true craftsman and built chassis, which would include two 3-wheeled front engine dragsters with a single front wheel for steering, one had a Chevy the other a Hemi.  Kenny would become one of the premier aluminum body builders in the 1960’s and '70’s along with driving his car as well as other cars.   His most radical ride was in Duane Lidtke’s twin engine Top Gas dragster that they would eventually run on nitro at events such as the Ventura Drags held on the Airport runway in the 1970’s.
It was in the latter 1980's when Bernie Longjohn began putting on a series of Nostalgia races at LACR that we made the switch from gas to alcohol because gas was hard to tune in the high desert. Once on an alky diet I got the idea of putting a little 'pop' in the tank and went down to the local speed shop in Canyon Country and bought what we called a 'Six Pack.'  It was a cardboard box with six 1-gallon cans of 100% nitro.  We dumped 10% in and we were hooked, eventually running up to 75% in the years to come as we match raced everywhere.
     It was at the 1997 Pomona Goodguys Nitro Nationals that I would qualify on the 16- car bubble and lose in the first round on Sunday as my weak 60% mixture and antiquated injectors were barely letting me in the field.   “Strange Brew” and “Revelation” would have one more match race at LACR on nitro with “Strange Brew” puking two rods out and oiling Bernie's 1320-foot track.  Dennis was broke and I needed to build a blown engine if I was to be competitive in a class we helped build from just five cars to thirty cars in the Nostalgia Eliminator 1, 7.50 index class.  “Strange Brew” would sit for years in my garage as I only had funds to build one engine. I discovered that the transition from injected to blown was a hard one as the only pieces I could use were the block and magneto.  Once we got it all together however she had new life and “Revelation” was back in the hunt.  Since the switch from injected nitro to blown alky the car has won various local meets.  It has been in dozens of magazines and I booked it to match race at various events and was also in the SNAKE & MONGOO$E movie along with Randy Winkle’s Green Go fuel coupe. On the Snake & Mongoo$e movie, Randy and I not only drove our cars in the movie (see opening credits), but we were the technical consultants and built props. We also were chosen to go to New Zealand for a 2012 American Nitro Tour. For me, this was an honor as there had not been an American tour since Dave Condit took the “LA Hooker” to New Zealand in 1977.  Condit was the nephew of drag racer Gene Beaver who fielded a series of Top Fuel cars in the 1960’s and '70’s and would sell newcomer John Force his first funny car.  Condit was a local So Cal drag racer that would drive for uncle Gene and his series of LA Hooker F/C’s.   
     I need to mention and thank all those who helped me in my racing career.  It’s an extensive list and I couldn’t have done it without all the help and support I have received from friends, sponsors and like minded racing fiends because we are all in it together. Forgive me If I missed anyone, it’s not intentional: Tim Byrd (my brother who has helped me since 1985 and his son Brian), Robert Ottis Byrd (my father who got involved with the car in 1990 and stayed with us until 2003), Randy Winkle (friend & racing partner, owner of Famoso Speed Shop, Famoso Mob), Dennis Ankenbauer (my partner and co-worker from 1975 to the present), Dave King (my friend since 1988), John Winters (my transmission guru 1985-90), Art Carr of Art Carr’s Transmission (friend and sponsor and transmission guru from 2005), Larry Ofria,(a dear friend and sponsor and owner of Valley Head Service who helped me since 2009. Also his son Gino Ofria and the VHS team consisting of Ruben, Brian, Alex and Joe 'Spike' Amorelli (a friend of 30+ years and former lead singer and founder of band 'Lil Elmo & the Comos').
     Let’s not forget Joel Gruzen (my team leader and partner for “Strange Brew” since 1995), Ken Lee, my crew chief since 2009, Dave Tuttle (from California Chassis Engineering and is a long time friend since 1988), artist/friend Tom Fox, Dereck Lasmet (driver of “Strange Brew” since 1988), Rod Hynes (AA/FA owner, driver and historian since 1985), Richard Heath (owner/publisher of Full Throttle News, who helped us since 1994), Andy Morocco (friend and sponsor since 2000), Bob and Heather Sanders (friends and sponsors since 2005), Dave Percell (Dave's Gaskets ,a friend and sponsor), Jerry Cantrell of Schneider Cams ( a good friend and sponsor), Anna “Octane” Marco (Back-up girl from 2010 to present), Marshall and Jason of Welding Works (friends for 25 years) and last but not least my cohorts from the Famoso Mob: Dusty Clark & James. And then there are machinists Frank Kristen and Leroy Fox, John Hashim from M&H Tires, friends and past sponsors Joe and Delma Reath, Eddy Flournoy (friend and crew member), Tracy Terry (friend and painter), Tom 'Itchy' Otis (a friend of 28 years who pinstriped the car in 1986 and then again in 2010), Bob 'Homer' Thompson (a friend and letter guru), Rocky Phillips (Friend & Promoter of Eagle Field Drags), John & Blake Bowser, Bernie Longjohn, Joe Hansen (owner of DJ Safety/Deist Safety, a friend and sponsor who's helped immensely), Cliff Wright ( friend of 25+ years and the former owner of 'Wright-On' an A/FA NE1 1923-T Altered. Also big thanks to photographers Darrell & Pam Conrad, Roger Rohrdanz & Lou Hart, NHRA announcers Bob Beck, John Matijasic & Mike English for their endless humor based running commentary on race days. And finally I want to thank Al 'Mousie' Marcellus, our friend for 25 years and who has been giving me parts for my car, including the rear 11-15 Halibrands off the 'Winged Express’ and artist Tom Hunnicutt (friend, crewman, Revelation merchandise artist), Joe Ogel (a friend and sponsor) and last but never least, the man who made it possible and who the car is on loan from.... Jesus Christ. 
     Recently, “Revelation” ran at Eagle Field airbase up in Dos Palos, California, booked to match race Rich Guasco's “Pure Hell” in a 2 out of 3 event.  “Revelation” took the 2 out of 3 but not before spitting a rod out in the process.  Was it worth it?  Hell, yes.  Meanwhile, I still remember the phone number to Lions nirvana to this day…424-0961.  This car, “Revelation,” has defined my life.  It is my link between that magical place known as ‘The Beach’ and myself, my memories and my calling.  This car is a rare

vintage, raised on those hallowed grounds at 223’rd & Alameda and it must be uncorked on occasion and shared.  As long as this car lives, a part of Lions will exist in the Universe; my Universe.
     Future plans for 2015 include participating at the March Meet (March 2015, Famoso Raceway/Bakersfield CA), Dragfest #4 (May 2015/Bakersfield), Eagle Field Hot Rod Gathering (May/Dos Palos CA), and ANRA race series (Bakersfield/ April, June, July and August.) I plan to race at Fontana Autoclub Raceway, if noise dates are available and participate at the Montrose car show in July and the Sturgis Motorcycle run in South Dakota. In August, I am booked for exhibition races and will return to Lodi Drag Strip. In September, it’s the Melt-Down Drags (Byron, IL). In October, I will be at Eagle Field /Lions race then back to Famoso for the California Hot Rod Reunion. In December, find me at The Mooneyes Christmas Party & Drags and possibly another tour to New Zealand for the second 'Yankee Invasion' at Taupo Motorsports Park. I am honored to be known as “The Ambassador of Nostalgia Drag Racing.”
     So why did I do all this working, sweating and saving for 38 years just to race?  It’s because I’m in it for the duration.  “Drag or Die” is what my tattoo says.  Contact Stormy at:
www.facebook.com/stormy.byrd.5
Gone Racin' is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM

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Gone Racin'...To see Barry 'Burly' Burlile.  Biography by Barry Burlile and Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  16 June 2008.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands; for photographs go to
www.hotrodhotline.com
 
   Barry 'Burly' Burlile was born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Norwalk, California.  Both of his parents were born in South Dakota, though his mother was raised in Iowa.  His father was a cowboy, bootlegger and bellboy until moving to Southern California before World War II, where he worked at Douglas Aircraft.  "My mom was adventuresome during the safer era of the depression, and hitchhiked around the mid-west and then car-pooled out to So Cal just after the beginning of WW2.  She also went to work at Douglas Aircraft, teaching riveting and working on ailerons for the DC 3's (or Dakotas as they were called), for the war effort and that is where she met my dad.  Neither of my parents were car people, but they were great parents for this kid," he told me.  Burly attended Excelsior Union High School and graduated in 1962.  His current journalistic focus for the past fifteen years has been researching and recording both the written and visual history of all Volkswagen based land speed racing vehicles, both past and present at venues around the world.  "I would ask, that if any fellow LSR historians are reading this, who may have information, documentation or photographic files of VW based land speed racing vehicles, if they would be willing to share this information, to contact me at
burlybug@comcast.net," he added.  His background in the sport began in the mid-fifties, while reading the Bonneville Speed Trial stories by Tex Smith and Eric Rickman in the popular rod and custom publications of the day.  "I was the proverbial Southern California teenage car nut, working at a gas station, taking auto shop and automotive art classes in high school and even meeting my bride of forty-one years, Pat, while cruising Bellflower Boulevard.  The movie American Graffiti is my story, only the names have been changed to protect Pat and me.  In 1962, on a cruise around the west after graduating from high school, my childhood buddy, Tom Medlock and I stopped by Bonneville to see the action.  Medlock is the co-founder of TCI Street Rod Components and Specialty Cars and a former Bonneville and El Mirage record holder," Burly continued. 
   "It was a typical Bonneville and as spectators in those days, there was no action and the following day we prepared to leave the salt and continue our cruise.  On our last pass through the pits we ran into two racers I was acquainted with from my gas station job at Five Points Self Serve in Norwalk.  Jim Seabridge and Jack Stewart, who belonged to the Wheelers and were long time, dry lakes and salt flat participants.  The normal salt flats welcome was extended to Tom and I and we ended up staying the week with them on the salt and at the Patio Motel as newby pit crew members.  We were hooked!  The following year, 1963, I was a regular member of the team and rode the 720 miles from Norwalk to the salt in the back of Jack's 1956 Ford pick-up along with 55 cases of beer, towing their C/Gas Hemi powered roadster.  The six drinking members of the crew consumed all the beer by Wednesday and another 22 cases were acquisitioned from the old Wendover Market!  Since then I have returned to the salt with the Wheelers Car club in 1964, '65, and again in '72 to watch Tom and his crew (Gary Edmon and Lou Montano) set records with their
Captain America slant six powered 1962 Plymouth Valiant, probably the most unaerodynamic car to ever grace the salt, much less set numerous long-standing records.  In 1978, I became a freelance photo-journalist and began documenting events at the salt for Hot VW's, Street Rodder and Street Rod Action magazines and have returned each year to date to at least one land speed event," he said.
   "In 1981, in an effort to encourage participation from Utah based rodders in these internationally recognized speed trials, I started the Bonneville Nationals Cruise-In to bring the locals out to spectate.  Although the locals for the most part stayed home, the booming street rod community around the nation used the gathering of a Bonneville Nationals Cruise-In, and the allurement of a Cruise-In dash plaque as an excuse to finally come out and see these land speed racers they had always read about. For the next ten years, the Cruise-In, along with the draw of the ever popular Cruise-In Panoramic photo shoot by Dave Taylor, helped increase in a small way the spectator count.  That count exploded after the expansion of the racing to two courses by the B.N.I. made the event even more enjoyable for the cruisers and spectators and today, the course is lined from timing tower to pits to start line with land speed racing spectator enthusiasts.  In addition, many of today's racers are former Cruise-In participants who contracted severe cases of salt fever and returned to pursue their dreams of not just spectating, but racing across the Bonneville Salt Flats," Burly continued.
   "In 1991, I passed the Cruise-In responsibilities onto other rodders and came to the salt with my first race car, a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle.  I was a street rodder at heart, but my choice of hot rods has always been the humble VW Beetle.  The goal was to build the fastest production bodied Volkswagen Bug in the world. Researching the speed information for this challenge is what began my quest to isolate and identify all Volkswagen based top vehicle speeds for the history of Volkswagen racers in land speed racing. Although my partners Kerry Hart, Mike Manghelli and I missed the goal by only one mile per hour, our top speed was 131.296 miles per hour, the satisfaction of now competing on the salt after so many years as a gofer, pit crew member, etc, was totally rewarding.  In 2005, I began a new challenge to bring antique Volkswagens back to land speed racing and initiated an effort to beat records set with the Volkswagens original 36 horsepower engines in 1960, 1961 and 1963 (by Dick Beith) and 1962 (by Mel Ellis), much as the Vintage classes in LSR do today for  old flatheads, sixes and Offies. With the encouragement and support of both the USFRA and ECTA and the low speed classes offered in "130 Club" type events, we are slowly building support for four specific 36hp classes. The class guidelines are formulated and refined by the National 36hp Land Speed Challenge and recognized by Volkswagen publications in the United States, Europe and Australia.
Gone Racin' is at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’ … John Buck.
  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.  November 1, 2006.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands; for photographs go to
www.hotrodhotline.com

     The Grand National Roadster Show has a storied history.  It is often called the Oakland Grand National Roadster Show where it first opened 56 years ago, by the founders, Al and Mary Slonaker.  Slonaker created a vintage car show in 1949, but was short on entries and he asked his friends in the area if they would bring their cars to fill out the empty spaces.  They showed up with some beautifully customized hot rods and the fan interest eclipsed that of the other cars.  Creating the Grand National Roadster Show in 1950, it has attracted the best and brightest talents among hot rod and roadster enthusiasts.  Although the term “hot rod” was not used, that’s what they were, and today the name is held in high esteem.  Over the years the Grand National Roadster Show has moved from place to place, and the original owners have sold the Show to others.  In 2004, Dan Cyr brought the GNRS south to the Los Angeles County Fairplex, in Pomona, California.  His intentions were to bring the GNRS back to the area where much of the hot rod craze began, over 80 years ago.  Southern California embraced the GNRS with enthusiasm and zeal.  The next year the GNRS increased to 5 buildings and there was a large contingent of racecars and customized motorcycles.  Dan and Charlene Cyr felt the time was right to turn the event over to a younger man and sold the GNRS and their other 3 car show events to two young men, John Buck and Jason Wilson.
 

     John purchased the GNRS and the Sacramento Autorama, while Jason bought the Portland Rod and Custom Show, and the Seattle Roadster Show.  John Buck is a local car enthusiast who brings a great amount of zeal and love for hot rodding and custom car building.  He has the experience of a savvy promoter, having worked for the Los Angeles County Fairplex, in their contracts department.  He knows what it takes to put a show of this kind on, and how to bring it in under cost.  But more than his ability to promote shows is his curiosity about the sport, and his love of its history and heritage.  Once prodded, he couldn’t stop as he explained who did what and where at the Grand Nationals of the past.  “It is our history,” he said, “and it belongs to all of us.”  Having a promoter who carefully eyes the bottom line is important, but this young man is out to remake the GNRS and make it more user friendly to the exhibitors and the fans.  He intends to enlarge the show, and has increased the numbers of buildings he has rented.  “Six in 2006, and 7 in 2007,” is his motto for the increase that we can expect in the next two years.  This young man is burning with enthusiasm.  “I’m going to increase the attendance,” he said, referring to the needs of the vendors, whose support of the GNRS is vital to its success.  “I’m going to listen to their needs, and what they want is what they will get.”  Buck is also interested in the needs of those who exhibit their cars.  The facility that he has chosen is one of the best around, and he has kept the price of admission from last year.
     “I want to honor everyone who ever owned or built a hot rod,” he said.  He has plans for a banquet to honor those who have set the standard in customizing cars and roadsters.  He is also mindful of the history of the show and those who have participated in the past.  “I want people to come up and tell us what they did, and I want to spend time and learn,” he said.  “I’ll make time for everyone, and I want them to feel like this is a family affair to bring their children to and remember the past.”  Buck is trying to have an entire building just for the customized motorcycles.  Last year’s GNRS had a considerable number of outstanding bikes, but this year he wants to expand and grow on that success.  Also in his plans is a special building and exhibit space for the Rat Rodders and their unique way of understating the beauty of the hot rod.  He is aware that there are many who love the enameled colors that fade into each other, and the chrome that makes a car ethereal, but there are also those who love the stark beauty of the rat rods.  The 57th Annual Grand National Roadster Show is scheduled for January 20-22, 2006, at the Los Angeles County Fairplex, in Pomona, California.  For more information go online to
www.hotrodshows.com, or call John at 1-877-ROD-SHOW
Gone Racin’ is at
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Gone Racin’…to the Cal Rods car club.  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.   11 February 2008.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands; for photographs go to
www.hotrodhotline.com

   The Cal Rods car club got its start in the 1954 at Baldwin Park High School, in Southern California.  At the time there were about 15 car clubs on campus and past Cal Rod president Vic Cunnyngham has found 14 car club plaques so far.  The Cal Rod club averaged 30 to 50 members, but had disbanded by 1962.  They were hot rodders and drag racers in those early days and many of the original members are still in the area.  According to Cunnyngham, "At the Pleasanton Good Guys West Coast Nationals in 1997 there were 13 attending that all attended Baldwin Park High School.  At that time we talked about re-starting the club.  When we returned home I looked up Don Scurti, the first president of the club in 1954 and told him of the plan to re-form the club.  Don had owned Bob's Auto Parts in Baldwin Park for 40 years.  Don said, I don't own a street rod now, but I will get one and let’s do it."  The original Cal Rod members had left the car culture and focused on jobs and families over the years.  As their families grew up and left home, these men and women rediscovered their hot rodding roots and sought to relive their past.  Cunnyngham continued the story of the club, "We planned a picnic and car show for the first Sunday in May and it was an instant success.  This picnic, still on the first Sunday in May, always has about 1000 people and 100 or so cars.  I took the president's job for the first three years and Don Scurti is now the president of the Cal-Rods.  We are going strong and currently have over 300 people in the club.  Using the 2007 membership list, I count 107 of those (our current members) were attendees of B.P.H.S. in the 1950's through the 1960's." 
   I asked Vic about the current leaders and he replied, "
Of the current board of directors, 6 of the 10 are from B.P.H.S.  Don Scurti (President), Jack Ferguson (Vice-President), Tom Flenniken (Secretary), Claire Ensminger (Treasurer), Vic Cunnyngham (Past President), Don Ford (Board Member) and "Big John" Morehead, who runs the web-site.  Steve and Gloria Gibbs are B.P.H.S. grads too."   The club members asked Roger and me to join them on February 5, 2008, for their monthly club meeting, held on the first Tuesday of every month at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsport Museum.  This wonderful hot rodding and race car museum is their clubhouse and they are its unofficial guardians.  The club volunteers to help run the museum’s Twilight Car Cruise, held on the first Wednesday of the month, from April through December.  The Cal Rods also volunteer at the Grand National Roadster Show held each January at the Los Angeles County Fairplex, in Pomona, California.  They have their own car shows and raise money for various charities and are always ready to lend a helping hand to hot rodders everywhere.  Vic Cunnyngham, John Duran, Captain Ed Ballinger, Jim Chamberlain, Big John and many of the Cal Rodders were on hand to greet us and to make us feel welcome.  I was honored that they would ask me to be their guest speaker.  The men and women in the hall were long time hot rodders, drag racers and car enthusiasts.  What could I possibly tell them that they didn’t already know?  They were the doyens and experts in the field, but there was a message that bears repeating, no matter how many times or by whom. 
   Hot rodding is a vibrant sport, but it can be fragile, I told the audience.  My father, Wally Parks, spent his entire life in trying to protect it from interests that despised the car culture.  In the 1940’s, it was the Dills Bills that were proposed in the California Assembly.  The purpose was to derail illegal street racing by passing onerous laws that made it illegal to modify, customize or alter a car.  Such laws were aimed at young people who souped up their cars, increasing the typical 40 horsepower engines by threefold and outrunning the police.  Before World War II, street racing existed, but was self-policed by groups of car clubs and associations like the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA).  They would take a dim view of street racers, because it posed the likelihood of police crackdowns on legitimate land speed racers who enforced safety measures.  Some SCTA members would ‘call’ on recalcitrant street racers and try and reason with them.  The ‘reasoning’ was usually effective.  During the war many of the organized land speed car club members were in the service and illegal street racing became deadly.  Thatcher Darwin and others fought long and hard to convince California’s politicians to allow hot rodding to continue unmolested.  Where would hot rodding be today if Darwin, Wally Parks, Ak Miller and the other SCTA members had failed to stop the anti-customizing assembly bills from passing?
   In 1951, Parks formed the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) as a way to bring to the rest of the country the programs found in the SCTA.  By 1955 the NHRA had become a full-fledged drag racing sanctioning body with programs to get young people to stop street racing and race their cars on safe and insured drag strips.  The battle to protect our sport never ends.  Whereas it was illegal street racing that spurred on opposition to hot rodding in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s, today it finds foes who dislike what we do for other reasons.  They feel that we contribute to global warming, noise and crowd control issues and exacerbate the fuel and gasoline shortages.  They see hot rods parked in our driveways and peer over our fences to see our cars in plain sight, considering them to be eyesores.  They see our metal machines as recyclable and can’t understand why we won’t crush “those old pieces of junk.”  We shall always have adversaries towards our car culture.  There are several things that we can do.  The first thing is to form car clubs like the Cal Rods and serve the community.  Another thing that we can do is record our biographies and tell our family, friends and even our adversaries, what the car culture means to us.  Those who leave behind a history, create history.  If we don’t record our history as we saw it, others will and that version may be vastly different from what we saw and heard.  Roger and I said our goodbyes to the Cal Rods, but we’ll see them again, wherever there is service to be done or where hot rodders congregate.  For more information on the Cal Rod Car Club see
www.calrods.com.
Gone Racin’ is at
RNPARK1@JUNO.COM
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Gone Racin’… California Speedway.  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.  June 8, 2002.  Reprinted with permission of Internet Brands; for photographs go to
www.hotrodhotline.com

     Roger Rohrdanz and I headed out to the nearly brand new mile dragstrip at Fontana, California.  This is a beautifully constructed drag strip built in the parking lot of the California Speedway Complex, and operated by Stan Adams and the crew from NHRA.  The crew moved the cars through the staging lanes at a steady clip and it was obvious that this crew knew how to put on a safe and professional drag race.  Admission costs to race are $10 per car, plus $10 per person.  Passengers are allowed and you can expect to make about 5-10 runs per meet.  The day started out slightly overcast, but by 10AM the sky was clear, sunny and hot.  The dragstrip is a permanent facility with removable concrete barriers; a hundred-foot concrete launch pad, on a well-paved mile track.  There is a modern aluminum grandstand for the fans, a race control booth and a food trailer on site.  The rules require a driver to have a helmet when running faster than 12.99 ET (elapsed time from start to finish), a rollbar for speeds quicker than 11.99 ET, and a cage for times under 10.99 ET.  The limit for the track is 10 seconds flat, and if you cheat and run faster than that, the officials will bid you a fond farewell.  There is an ambulance with paramedics on hand in case of an accident.  The pit area is huge and protected by a sidewalk and grassy median from the staging lanes.  Stan Adams, acting track manager, is on loan from the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association), and said that they normally get about 400 cars per meet, half of them imports, with the rest of the vehicles being domestic cars and motorcycles.  He went on to state that a good spectator turnout runs around a thousand to twelve hundred paid gate.
     Quite a few were first timers to the track.  Jennifer Wyatt sat pensively in her Honda Tiburon waiting for her turn to race.  Wilson Leung ran a 16 flat in his 2000 Civic and says that the key is to get to the track early.  Bryce Tryon and Kody McGinnis raced tandem in a ’69 Chevy SS. Along came the bikes and I spoke to Cathy and Joe Silva.  Cathy races a 1260 Suzuki into the 10 seconds, while Joe’s 1170 Suzuki posts speeds in the 11.40 range.  They also race at Rialto, Irwindale and LACR. Billy Bob Jr Lopez, Danny Gonzalez and Alvino Sanchez were hanging out, watching the cars and the girls.  They come twice a month and said a firm “NO” when asked whether they ever got involved with any illegal street racing.  They said that it goes on around Etiwanda Street, between Fontana and Ontario, but that if you are caught, there is a huge fine, the car is impounded for 30 days, and two points are added on to your DMV record.  Spectators are also fined and their cars are impounded as well.  He went on to say that on Memorial Day there was a big street race.  Some 338 young adults, racers and spectators were caught and spent the night in jail.  Many of those caught were now racing at the dragstrip.
     David May said that they try to limit the cars to 400 entries.  He says that the best way to race is to come early and stay late, as cars leave the track, and the officials will

allow “hot laps” due to there being fewer cars.  There are seven races in the spring, seven more in the summer, and a final seven races in the fall, in order to work around the CART, IRL and NASCAR Races.  Mike and Marilyn Wood work in the tower and explained the functions of the announcers, starters and timing stand.  Bill Moyle and his son Dave were handling the staging lanes, keeping the cars moving along in an orderly manner.  They also work at NHRA’s Pomona track, and Dave is also a freelance photographer for National Dragster.  As the day progressed, more families came, bringing small children, though the majority of people were teens and young adults.  Grassy knolls and some trees provided a comfortable place to view the racing, if the stands were not to your taste. 
     Alicia Murray and Krista Fortner, first timers at the track, were watching the races with other members of the UTI Automotive School.  Krista prefers American muscle cars and has a ’65 Malibu 383, which has gone 13.40 ET at 104MPH.  The O’Bannon clan was out in force.  Jack O’Bannon, as many of you may know, is the owner of the O’Bannon/Oakwood Homes Top Alcohol Dragster that is driven by Rick Santos.  Oakwood Homes has recently withdrawn its sponsorship of the team.  They plan on taking a short hiatus and much needed rest, and then they will look for new sponsors.  Sean O’Bannon raced his ’66 Nova, while Jack ran his ’55 Chevy.  The others in this racing family included Kari O’Bannon, Mindy Crandall, Larry Buckelew and Larry Crandall.  They have raced at Pomona, Irwindale, Carlsbad, Rialto and now Fontana, and their favorite track is California Speedway.
Gone Racin’ can be reached at
RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM ********************************************************************************************

 

 

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