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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 289 - August 8, 2013
Editor: Richard Parks, Rnparks1@Juno.com 
President of the Society: Jim Miller, 1-818-846-5139.
Photographic Editor of the Society
: Roger Rohrdanz, beachtruck@juno.com
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon, sparklecraftspecial@yahoo.com
Field Reporter/Historian: Bob Falcon, RFalcon500@aol.com

Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
Guest Editorial: By Jerry Cornelison, Member Of The Road Runners; Assigned Staff Editorial; Eric Studer Sent In The Following On Bill Warner; Ken Berg And Doug Drake; Hot Rod Magazine, Steve Lister, John Hutchinson; Scot Harig; Goldenrod LSR, Salt Flats, John Brennan, Firestone Company; Jim “Grumpy” Donoho And The Robert H. Larson Video; Rex Burnett, ’53 Bonneville Film, Kent And Evelyn Fuller, Hampshire Brothers, Ron Sommer, Simon Burnett; Cabriolets Of Hialeah; Mike Ryan Has A Customer For Race Cars; Monique Valadez And The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum; Profiling, Left vs Right. By Le Roi Tex Smith; Moldy Marvin’s 13th Annual Rat Fink Party; Burly Burlile & The 36hp VW Challenge; Brian Taylor & The British Drag Racing Hall Of Fame; Brian Taylor & The Sydney Allard Dragster’s Safety Gear; Clessie Lyle Cummins; Jessica Clark, Madera Speedway, Irwindale Speedway

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GUEST EDITORIAL: By Jerry Cornelison, member of the Road Runners. 
   I have enclosed a comment below from the ORBA Newsletter that I discussed at the Road Runners meeting recently. The particular item of interest is, "ORBA Johnson Valley Talking Points For Your State Senator." The bill to save Johnson Valley has been passed by the House of Representatives. It will be voted on by the Senate, likely in September. Google ORBA and the subject article is entitled Johnson Valley, which will take you to a page with "Johnson Valley Talking Points For Your State Senator" and instructions on how to contact your Senator with suggestions on what to say when you write to, e-mail or call your Senator/Senator's Staff.  As the fight to save Johnson Valley OHV Area and avoid potential negative impact to the El Mirage OHV Area moves forward, it is very important that we stay involved in the battle. We are making progress on this issue. Let your voice be heard!  Jerry Cornelison  Secretary - Road Runners 
                                            
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ORBA NEWSLETTER:
   The California Motorized Recreation Council and the Save The Hammers Sub Committee keep up the pressure to Keep Johnson Valley Open. The CMRC Save The Hammers Sub-committee will continue to fight all the way to the finish line to save the largest OHV area in the United States, and set precedence in the creation of the first nationally protected OHV area on the heels of victory in the United States House of Representatives. The group now sets its sights on the last remaining battle to finish the nearly seven-year fight to save the popular OHV area.

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ASSIGNED STAFF EDITORIAL:
   It is somewhat ironic that land speed racers find themselves in league with off-road racers in saving the Johnson Valley OHV Area. Off-roaders have been troublesome for land speed racers for as long as memory serves and my memory goes back to the 1940’s. Recollections from Ak Miller and other LSR guys from the 1930’s and from records indicate that off-roaders and land speed racers don’t mix very well. We like the desert all nice and tidy and organized. We do not like donuts drilled into the lakebed, or to hear those bikes all night long as we try to sleep. Then they tend to get themselves injured and there goes our meet as we shut down waiting for our ambulance to cart their broken bodies off to the hospital. 
   I’ve seen my share of idiots running around out there in the hills on their bikes. They wait for us to leave and then they tear the lake bed apart. As far as I’m concerned they can wrap the damn things around their necks and have the Marines escort them as far away from us as possible. Irresponsible is the name they have earned over the years. They let their children, as young as four or five ride these noise makers, and one five year old took off across the lakebed and rammed into the side of a land speed car as it was making a legal run down the El Mirage course. On another occasion we had finished racing for the day when two yahoos on motorcycles ran right into each other going 70 miles per hour. It took an ambulance, paramedics and an EMT helicopter crew to disentangle the “ldgits” and get them back to the hospital. Depositing the bunch of these off-roaders to Timbuktu is not far enough for my tastes.
   But if off-roaders are kicked off of Johnson Valley and El Mirage, so will LSR guys and so we are allies, whether we like it or not. Their freedoms and needs have become our fight too. In a way, the off-roaders probably dislike us too, though I haven’t given any thought to their complaints. But off-roaders need us as much as we need them for numbers are our only salvation. We need every vote, every voice and lots of luck if we are to keep the last dry lake bed for our use. We’ve learned how to share the lake bed with others and that wasn’t an easy lesson to learn or accept. Now we have to make nice with people whose every action is noisy, loud, rude and destructive if we are to survive. I guess I’ll put out my hand and shake theirs and do my best to swallow what pride I have left. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.
   The problem, though, is greater than El Mirage, Johnson Valley or even Bonneville or Black Rock Desert. When I was born there were only 140 million people in the United States and I went with my father on many a “desert scouting” expedition. Land speed racers have scoured the desert as far back as the 1910’s looking for places to run their cars. Yes, some of you will say racing started in 1927 when Earl Mansell laid out the first course and 33 cars showed up to race. But car companies and Hollywood stars and starlets were trekking out to the Mojave long before that to use the wide open spaces and bet who had the fastest car. But let’s return to people. I remember well how open and secluded the desert was in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s. Little sheds housed real estate salesmen who would gladly sell you an acre for $5 or less. I used to ask my dad, “Can I buy an acre or two?” He thought that was funny; “who’d want to live out in the desert when there was empty land all over Los Angeles and Orange County was nothing but farmland,” he would say.
   Today there are 310 million people and the desert is crowded with people. When my grandmother was born there was only one billion people on the planet; today there are 7 billion and that will increase to 11 billion in another thirty years. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that is rapidly gaining population. Soon there will be opposition to using El Mirage dry lake and we will have to fight to keep it open. There are those ecologists who want to see the automobile done away with as they believe it is a mass polluter. They want to take us back to the horse and buggy, bicycle and the days when people walked to the store or school house. I know that LSR guys want to concentrate on their cars and racing. Why trouble themselves with horrendous political ills when getting their cars and bikes to run well is enough of a headache. But we can’t run if we don’t have a place to run. At some point LSR guys will have to stop and fight for what they believe in. Meet your new friends; the off-road guys.
   On another issue I received this short note. “Is the correct spelling of Hubbard Sr.'s name Vick or Vic?”  Just a point here to remember; whenever you are writing an article or caption please remember that while you or I know what we are discussing, the general public may not.  So for example, explain it like this; "Vic (sometimes spelled Victor or Vick) Hubbard Sr..."  After you have explained it ONCE in an article or caption you don't have to do it again.  Choose Vic, Vick, Victor and use that consistently, or you can use Vic and then Hubbard Sr interchangeably, but not Vic, then later Vick and finally Victor, because that becomes confusing and stops the reader in his tracks as he tries to figure out what you are doing.
     When using Jr (Junior), remember the rule that a Jr is only a Junior as long as Senior is still alive.  When the old man passes on Jr becomes just Vic, though if he has a son with the same name Jr can become a Sr.  Or you can use Vic Hubbard III.  Regardless of the proper rules of naming, sometimes you have to improvise because otherwise you will confuse people.  Therefore, unless you ALWAYS explain, Vic is always Jr even after his father passes on if that clarifies the issue and you note that in your story.  I know it is cumbersome to say; "Vic Hubbard Sr has passed away and Vic Jr has retired from the business, but Vic III is still running the shop..."  The bottom line is that CLARITY is always the preferred rule.  How do you know if you've done your job clearly?  No one will comment; that's how.  But if people begin to ask you questions about what you have written; then you haven't done your job as well as it can be done.  In writing there are three rules and they are; CLARITY, CLARITY and CLARITY.
   On another issue I would like to thank our photographic editor Roger Rohrdanz for coming up with a suggestion on how to make the newsletter better. He suggested indexing captions for each subject in the newsletter. This is a great idea that Roger had and one that I can implement without much effort. It will improve the indexing when people use search engines to look up subjects. Our website operators have indexed the subjects at the beginning of the newsletter and Roger’s idea will make it just that much clearer to readers and researchers.
   A very special thank you goes to Anita Schwartz. Anita worked for Hotrodhotline until very recently and she was the person who took the newsletter that Roger, Jim, Bob, Spencer and I worked on and put it on the website at www.landspeedracing.com. She also worked on other websites associated with Hotrodhotline.com and was there to answer my questions and check up on my work. She forwarded emails from readers to me and always followed through. Her work was excellent and her voice always cheerful when my day wasn’t going well. I could always rely on Anita when there was a problem. We wish her success in whatever endeavor that she undertakes next and hope that she will add www.landspeedracing.com to her list of favorites and remain our friend.

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ERIC STUDER SENT IN THE FOLLOWING ON BILL WARNER:
  
"This was my new client for the Houston Mile events. Very sad. More details at; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/15/bill-warner-dead-motorcycle-racer-285-mph-obituary_n_3596740.html
   Bill Warner Dead: Motorcycle Racer Dies After Reaching Speeds Of 285 MPH, 15 July 2013, 03:21 AM ET EDT Huff Sports Online. 
   LIMESTONE, Maine. A motorcycle racer trying to top 300 mph died Sunday after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former air base in northern Maine. Bill Warner, 44, of Wimauma, Florida was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control but it was unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling when it veered off the paved runway and crashed, said Tim Kelly, race director for the Loring Timing Association, which hosted "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base. 
   Warner was conscious and talking after the crash just before 10 am, Kelly said, but he died about an hour and 15 minutes later at a hospital in Caribou. "No one will touch Bill's achievements or be the type of racer he was. He was a personal friend and the land-racing community is less for his loss. Riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Warner previously hit 311 mph on the same course in 2011, using 1.5 miles of pavement. That's considered to be the world land speed record for a conventional motorcycle. This time he was trying to hit 300 mph using just a mile of pavement, and he'd made several passes before the one in which he crashed,” Kelly said. 
   The Maine Event is an annual timed speed event that utilizes the 14,200-foot-long runway at the former Strategic Air Command base that closed in 1994. The Loring Timing Association uses 2.5 miles of the runway for its events, and there's an additional buffer of 2,000 feet. On Sunday, about 400 spectators watched as Warner began veering right after passing the 1-mile mark, traveling upright for another 2,000 feet before exiting the runway and crashing. The remainder of Sunday's event was canceled. The Limestone Police Department and Maine State Police were investigating the crash. 

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KEN BERG AND DOUG DRAKE:
    Doug Drake and I are ‘reverse engineering’ current LSR engines and trying to find the cross-over point when builders went from stock blocks to custom blocks.  Is there any data on how the original Ford V8 block was first modified, at what horsepower level, and subsequently replaced, at some higher HP, with custom blocks? 
     Ron Main got started with the Ford V8's and probably at some point found they weren’t strong enough to handle the turbo-charging, and went to custom block, Chevy small-block, Dart etc.  This is my recollection from our interview.  Can you send me pertinent parts of the interview that would shed light on the leap from Ford to custom?  It could have been before the turbos, because he did redesign the heads for dual spark plugs, and may have created custom blocks at around the same time.  There probably was a horsepower limit to the Ford, but I don’t recall Ron mentioning that.
     Gale Banks hot rods Cummins diesels and I’ve made some initial contacts there because Cummins has a long history of putting their engines into competition.  I don’t know if these things interest you, but they are of interest to me as examples that can be used in education.  I’m still looking for digital people who can take the racing stories and carve them up into vignettes that teachers can use to illustrate their lesson plans and interactively interact with their students.  And also looking for teachers to describe what they need.  Ken Berg
   KEN: My suggestion is to send your email on to a few websites to post.  I will post the two messages below to Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter (SLSRH) located at www.landspeedracing.com. Also send this to Jon Wennerberg at www.landracing.com which has an active group of bloggers and to Wendy Jeffries to post in her newspaper The Bonneville Racing News.  The third source is the H.A.M.B. which is at www.jalopyjournal.com.  Contact Jim Miller at Miller212.842@sbcglobal.net, because he is the main researcher and president of the SLSRH as well as director of the American Hot Rod Foundation at www.ahrf.com

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HOT ROD Magazine, STEVE LISTER, JOHN HUTCHINSON
65 years of HOT ROD Magazine; Legendary HOT ROD magazine homecoming.  See http://www.youtube.com/embed/AFKtlu-zL-w.  Steve Lister and John Hutchinson
     STEVE and JOHN: Thank you for sharing this video with us. 

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SCOT HARIG:
     I entered my name and email address in the sign-up box to receive your newsletter, and when I click submit I get a 404 page not found error. So I’m not sure my request was submitted.  If not please add me to your list. Thanks!  Scot Harig, Harig Land Speed Racing, www.turbokäfer.com.
     SCOT: Sometimes error messages pop up and I don't know why.  However, just go ahead and add www.landspeedracing.com to your list of favorites and check every week for a new issue.  The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians is run by volunteers and there is no cost to join or membership requirements.  We rely on our "members" who are also readers and researchers to send in articles, stories, biographies and other information that they uncover.  The reason for "signing up" is to give the website owner an idea of how many people actually belong to the informal group and also to see how many people look at the newsletter when an issue comes out.  We also like to know more about our members and I publish all informative emails that I receive.  We are not a blog though, but a serious group that likes to uncover the past and also write on what is happening in LSR today.  Write back and tell us something about what you are doing in LSR today and in the past.

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GOLDENROD LSR, SALT FLATS, JOHN BRENNAN, FIRESTONE COMPANY
     I am trying to obtain a copy of the original movie of the design and construction of the Goldenrod LSR.  As I recall it was about 30 minutes long and also included the record run of the Goldenrod on the Salt Flats.  I have only seen the film once, some years back. I believe (but not certain) it was produced by Firestone Company as they were a major sponsor, for the tires on the Goldenrod.  The date was September of 1965, when the Bonneville run was made. If the movie still exists, I would like to acquire a copy of it, which I would be willing to pay for. Thanks, John Brennan, okdraft@telus.net. 
   
  JOHN: I will post your request to www.landspeedracing.com website.  I will also email Jim Miller who is the president of our group and the main researcher and historian.  You should also write to www.landracing.com and H.A.M.B. at www.jalopyjournal.com

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JIM “GRUMPY” DONOHO AND THE ROBERT H. LARSON VIDEO:
   Here is the Robert H. Larson Video from the first Muroc Reunion in 1996. See http://blogs.chapman.edu/huell-howser-archives/1996/01/08/dry-lake-bed-calif ornias-gold-708/.   Jim "GRUMPY" Donoho
   JIM: I was there and remember it well. Thanks for sharing.

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REX BURNETT, ’53 BONNEVILLE FILM, KENT AND EVELYN FULLER, HAMPSHIRE BROTHERS, RON SOMMER, SIMON BURNETT
   A message from the curator of the Rex Burnett AutoArt Gallery (www.rexburnett.com), John Simon Burnett:  Attached is a picture from the Gualala Arts Auto Show 2013, which is right in my neighborhood where Rex also spent his retirement years.  I was honored to meet the Hampshire Brothers who are humble and extremely likable.  And I was able to visit with Kent and Evelyn Fuller for awhile.
   An old hot rodder from Fort Bragg, California, Ron Sommer, showed up at the Auto Show and gave me some 8mm movie footage from Bonneville which he took in 1953.  Please see the attached picture of "Ron and Lohry's Rod (my name for it)" (Ron Sommer and Paul Lohry) which appeared in HRM in October 1954.
   There is one very compelling scene which Ron shot from the back of a moving truck while a "Capitol Auto Club" roadster is driving away.  Also in Ron Sommer's film are some quick shots of the original Bean Bandit car as it is getting some last minute welding repairs.  There is also a small peek at Art Chrisman's "Competition Coupe."
   Rex's drawing of the Bean Bandit car was published in HRM February 1953 (see attachment), and Rex's drawing of Art Chrisman's "Competition Coupe" was published in HRM February 1954 (see attachment). I plan to have Ron's film digitized and put on YouTube if he doesn't mind.  
   I am in the process of archiving and cataloging all of Rex Burnett's drawings.  For every Rex Burnett ink drawing there is a pencil version which many people have not yet seen.  I have been making big prints of ink and pencil versions and mounting them on precut 1/2" thick foamcore board  The annual Gualala Arts Auto Show has been a good venue for showing these drawings which can also be seen at  RexBurnett.com. John Simon Burnett

     SIMON: The website www.hotrodhotline.com will be glad to post as many photographs of the car show that you want to send them.  The email address of the editor is andreanna.ditton@internetbrands.com.  Please keep us informed about your project and how our readers can reach you to inquire about costs to purchase the prints and the dvd.  Also include Jim Miller on your emails as he is the president of our group and our main researcher and I'm positive that he will want to know what progress you are making. 

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CABRIOLETS OF HIALEAH, JERRY TYSON, WALLY AND BARBARA PARKS, JACK HART, ERNIE SCHORB, O.V. RILEY, INDY, DETROIT DRAGWAY, BUSTER COUCH, BOB AND EILEEN DANIELS, JIM HILL, STAN ADAMS, ED EATON, TUT CLARK, GEORGE “WEASEL” PRICE, RONNIE “THE HILLBILLY” SPILLER, FRED “THE FREELOADER” JENKINS, JERRY “POT” ANGELOTTI, BERNIE PARTRIDGE, DAVE MCMULLEN, WILLIE SCRIVENS, RAY HERRING, PALM BEACH DRAGS, LARRY CRAWFORD, AMELIA AIRHEART FIELD, RICHARD ALLELY, RONALD DE SBIEN, BARRETT GLOVER, DEAN POWLEY, BILL BODNER, BRUCE BURTWELL, SFTA, NHRA.

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STAFF NOTES:
The following comes from Jerry Tyson, a member of the Cabriolets of Hialeah.
     I have some fond memories of Wally and Barbara Parks.  I spent approximately 10 years (1964-74) of my early life as liaison between Jack Hart (NHRA Executive Director) and O.V. Riley (president of Chrondek engineering).  My work included arriving at the facility two weeks prior to an event, setting up the NHRA timing equipment, Christmas tree, and start/finish-line optics.  I also built the first audio talkback control system for Bob Daniel's pit control.  I designed the first four tenth second tree with Jack Hart, Buster Couch, and the racers input.  I installed the first scoreboards at Indy, and the very first predesigned crowd/pit control Audio system installation and left it at Pomona. 
     Ernie Schorb was the liaison between NHRA, Wally, and the manufacturers.  The Cabriolets road club ran the official timers for the events.  There were a hell of a lot of great people running these events.  I was blessed to play a part in the enormous and complex organization that your dad formed.  My memories of Wally were brief, but I remember an individual who knew how to delegate authority amongst others and let us "do our thing."
     I have a single picture of all of us on Detroit Dragway for the first NHRA Nationals.  In 1974 I recall going to the third floor of the DA tower in Indy and saying "good bye" to the division directors and your dad.  It was time to move on.  I have blocks, bits and fragments of "behind the scenes" to build on, but I need others (like Jim Hill) to straighten out pieces when things get hazy.  Maybe someone should supply a basic structure for each of us to contribute our thoughts.

     TO JERRY: I would like to know more about the early east coast car clubs and the NHRA presence.  Also about Riley, Hart, Daniels, Schorb and Couch and anything you can add on my father and step-mother.  Thank you for your knowledge.  We appreciate it very much.  I usually publish emails in the newsletter unless they are marked confidential or they are not pertinent to straightline racing.  
     I remember Jack Hart well.  He was a kind man who always looked after his staff and guests.  He was very efficient too and when he had his heart attack I can remember the stunned look on people's faces and some even saying that the NHRA will have a very difficult time surviving.  They felt so dependent on his abilities and skill.  Hart also had a very calming effect on the staff when everything was crazy and out of control.  Nobody has ever been able to explain why my stepmother could get so angry at Hart as to throw a pair of scissors at him in the "Famous Flying Scissors Incident." 
     I still see some of Hart's old friends at the Santa Ana Drags Reunions in April and October.  We see Stan Adams and Hart's granddaughter Angelique occasionally.  We are very interested in your story, especially about the early timing and computer programming.  I remember the division directors trying to figure out how to program and use the early computers and asking everyone, including the janitors if they knew what to do.  They knew that they had to adapt and change to computers, but they weren't enthusiastic about it.
     JERRY TYSON CONTINUES: Recalling those days (circa 1964-1974) will be very hard.  I can start up the conversation and others like Jim Hill can edit and correct my input.  I failed to mention that I was president of the "Cabriolets Road Club" for those 10 years.  I got Jack Hart and Wally Parks to use them to run the timers at the Nationals at Indy.  Next week I will send the only picture I have with all of us together in those first early days.  I have forgotten where this photo was made; I think it was Detroit (the first "Nationals" were NOT in Indy.)
     Here is a extremely rare photo (the only one) made in the early 1960's; it was left and forgotten in a closet under some clothes for approximately 39-40 years.  I think this was made at Detroit Dragway at the first Nationals, but it might be Amelia Airheart field in Miami.
     Left to right (standing); OV Riley (president of Chrondek), Jerry "Pegleg" Tyson (me), a fellow Cabriolet (whose name I have forgotten), Ernie Schorb.
     Left to right squatting; Ed Eaton (I think he was event director before Jack Hart), Tut Clark, unknown, George 'Weasel' Price, Ronnie 'The hillbilly' Spiller, Fred 'freeloader' Jenkins, Jerry 'Pots' Angelotti, Barbara Parks, Wally Parks.
     All the Cabriolets had neat clean white uniforms (with 1 change) and made NHRA proud of their "Timing" team.  At Indy, we manned the timers with Bernie Partridge and Dave McMullen announcing over our shoulders.  We had TWO sets of timers.  The main set was on the 2nd floor and a backup set on the 3rd floor; running parallel to the same photocells.  Upstairs/downstairs/finish line (ONE lane) were all connected with headsets, so the main set of timers, the backup set, and the finish line ticket writers were all on the same headsets.  Whenever there was a record or a questionable time, the two timers were compared to within 1 thousand of a second, but the main timer readout was the official word.  I think we were about 40 to 50 members strong at the time, but a very select few made it to the NHRA events, as it was a big deal who went and who stayed home. 
     The Cabriolets "Timer crew" were exclusive at INDY, Pomona, Thunder Valley, Dallas International Motor Speedway (DIMS), Tallahassee, Amarillo (Texas) to name a few places.  There were a handful of events that used other people (i.e, Englishtown, New Jersey).  The old international Harvester truck had a 283 cubic inch Chevy 4 on the floor tranny, a real street rod "sleeper" that was used to jump on unsuspecting ‘vetts and surprise the hell outta them.  We used this old truck to go to events, but it was destroyed on the way to Indy one year at Haines City in Northern Florida.  We were all in a local hospital when Jack Hart (I bet Wally was involved) called and FLEW us all up to Indy to work the show.  The club NEVER forgot that gesture and remained a loyal "Timing crew" for 10 years.
     Meanwhile there are a lot of Cabriolet members still around who can really help.  About 6 months back, almost all appeared at a club reunion; some also had rare pictures to show.  I will send some of them in the next installment.
   The Early days of the Cabriolets.  It was the 1960's and we had one black guy in our club; his name was Willie Scrivens.  Willie was loved and this is where we all learned that the blood that surged in his veins was the same as ours.  At our last reunion you couldn't get close to him as he was constantly being hugged and surrounded by loving members.  Willie brought his son with him, he was absolutely stunned to see his dad mobbed by adoring white folks.  We were all "color blind."  The story of Willie is a whole book within itself.  Below are some photo contributions from club members.

#1   DAVE BOYD AND LARRY CRAWFORD RACING AT MASTERS FIELD- NOTE FIRST
CHRISTMAS TREE. WHO WON?
#2.  CLUB PHOTO HIALEAH -196?
#3   CLUB DISPLAY BAYFRONT PARK AUDITORIUM
#4   PHOENIX CITY, ALABAMA
#5   RAY HERRING AT PALM BEACH DRAGS ( WE MISS YOU) 
#6   LARRY CRAWFORD'S ANGLIA- NOTE CABRIOLET DECAL
#7   PHOENIX CITY, ALABAMA

LARRY CRAWFORD TOOK HIS OLD PHOTOS TO STAPLES AND HAD THEM BLOWN UP TO 8X10'S FOR $1.00 EACH AND THEN SENT THEM TO ME TO PASS ALONG. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SCANNER AND WOULD LIKE TO DO THE SAME THING, GO TO STAPLES, MAKE THE COPIES AND THEN SEND THEM TO ME TO PASS ALONG. THANK YOU SO MUCH LARRY, FOR DOING THIS FOR ALL OF US.
THE EMAIL INVITATIONS WILL BE COMING SOON FOR THE CLUB REUNION.

     7 pictures:
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_NEW.jpg
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_0001_NEW.jpg
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_0002.jpg
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_0003_NEW.jpg
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_0004_NEW.jpg
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_0005.jpg
CABRIOLET PHOTOS_0006_NEW.jpg

     TO JERRY: The Ed in the photo looks very much like Ed Eaton who was the Division Director around the Georgia area or the Southeast Region when Ernie Schorb ran the office in Pomona.  The first NHRA Nationals was in Great Bend, Kansas in 1955, because Wally Parks wanted it to be a fair site for the East Coast, South and West Coast guys to get to.  Then Kansas City in '56 was chosen as it was still in the center of the country but offered a bigger market and more hotel/motel rooms.  They moved the Nationals to Oklahoma City in 1957 and '58, but I don't quite know why.  After two years in the South they moved the Nationals to Detroit in 1959 and '60, because a lot of the sponsors were car companies and I think they felt that being close to the sponsors would solidify their relationships with them.  Then they moved to Indianapolis in 1961 and have been there ever since.  I can't tell where your photo was taken, but because Eaton was involved I think you are right about Amelia Earhart Park.  I need to email Eaton and see how he's doing.  Schorb passed away, which is sad, because he was a very nice man.  So has Buster Couch.  Thank you for the photo.  If any of the guys are still alive have them contact me.  My brother and I are compiling all the facts we can about the early days.  You can see what we do at www.landspeedracing.com
     JERRY TYSON CONTINUES: It is Ed Eaton.  Forgot exactly where all this got started with NHRA, the Cabriolets, Ernie Schorb, Ed Eaton and Wally Parks.  I'm a lot closer to the electronics side of drag racing as this was my contribution to the sport.  I have already BCC'd some of the club members with our correspondence, but have not heard anything as of yet; as they come on line, I will put them in the loop.  Some photos of Cabriolet Road Club that worked the timers in the DA tower for the Nationals and Pomona.  I will try and name a few:

 CLICK FOR IMAGE  Top left to right; 1) Richard Allely, 2) Gary, 3) Ronald De Sbien, 4) Ronny Spiller, 5) unknown, 6) unknown.
     Middle L>R; 1) unknown, 2) Barrett Glover, 3) unk, 4) unk, 5) Fred Jenkins, 6) unk, 7) unk, 8) Jerry Tyson (me). 
     Bottom L>R; 1) Dean Powley, 2) unknown, 3) unknown, 4) Bill Bodner, 5) Bruce Burtwell, 6) unknown. 
 

There are a lot of missing photos.  The club at its zenith had around 50 members, a garage facility complete with overhead engine hoist, engine work stands, tools, welders, everything under the sun, available to everyone.  Dues were collected EVERY week, but all the money went back into the club for rent and goodies to improve the facility   I was CEO from 1964 to 1974.   Richard Allely was CFO for all those years and more; he kept the books and reported the financial status every week.  WE were the largest and most profitable club in Florida (probably 2nd or 3rd in the US).  Some of the names I have forgotten were the real lifeblood of the organization.  Each was a character, an individual and each was an equal contributor; everyone had a say.  We had elections every fiscal year at the same time. 
     Richard (Dick) Allely was re-elected CFO every year for approximately 15 years; everyone wanted to race, work timers for SFTA, NHRA and buy more equipment to maintain their cars, but NO ONE wanted to run the money side.  For some strange reason NO ONE wanted to be CEO either; didn't want the responsibility.  Ole Rich and I ran the show because no one else wanted it.  As time passes I will dig up all the info you wanna know and get everyone (who remains) on line and accounted for.
There are many stories to tell about this group. Jerry Tyson

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MIKE RYAN HAS A CUSTOMER FOR RACE CARS:
   
  I have a guy that is interested in buying race cars for oversea's customers. If you have anything that you want to dispose of, please let me know what it is, it's condition, spec's, history, price & pix and I will do what I can.  He wasn't specific as to type or class, so send what you have, not sure about basket case projects, but all types welcome. Please don't bury me with questions, I will forward what you send me and let him forward it to his customers.  He is pretty savvy, so honest cars with honest prices.  He also likes cab-over semi trucks.  Thanks, Mike Ryan (Motorsports, Santa Clarita, California)
     MIKE:
I'm going to publish your letter to www.landspeedracing.com, with a little editing, because I think that it has some educational value to the rest of our readers.  I spoke with Jim Miller and he suggests that you put an advertisement in some of the local magazines as well as call around.  Phone contacts are the best way to find the cars that people have up for sale, or have been thinking about selling.  Racers always have another project in mind and want to get rid of one car in order to start on another race car.  Jim suggests that you approach the SCTA Racing News if you are a member of the SCTA and place an advertisement there.  He also suggests The Bonneville Racing News (Wendy Jeffries) as it has a section for race cars for sale.  I will post this to www.landspeedracing.com and you should also contact www.landracing.com (Jon Wennerberg).  There is also the H.A.M.B. and the Standard 1320 Club.  These are all straight-line racing newsletters.  In sports car/road course racing there is the Fabulous Fifties group and they are led by Art Evans and Ginnie Dixon.  The drag racers have plenty of websites, including www.NHRA.com, and in their NATIONAL DRAGSTER I saw an ad for Roy Fjastad's car.  You might also try to run an ad in www.hotrodhotline.com as that is the biggest hot rodding website around and while people run ads to sell their cars in it, they would probably take ads that are looking for cars to sell.  I think their ad rates are around $150 for six months, which is much cheaper than the print media ad rates.  Our internet site does not take ads at the current time, but we will run notices as a public service.

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MONIQUE VALADEZ AND THE WALLY PARKS NHRA MOTORSPORTS MUSEUM:
 
 The following was sent in by Monique Valadez, mvaladez@nhra.com, NHRA Communications, http://media.nhra.com.
     A limited number of tickets are available for a special screening of the new motion picture “Snake & Mongoose,” on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, followed by a special Legends Reception. The screening and reception is open to the public.  Following the screening, members of the cast, the production crew and other notable racing greats will participate in a Q&A session with the audience.  “The NHRA Motorsports Museum is the perfect setting to host the new ‘Snake and Mongoose’ movie screening,” NHRA Museum’s Executive Director Larry Fisher said. “Throughout the production of the film, the NHRA Museum was fully involved helping out from a historical standpoint that included everything from photographs, cars and wardrobe for the movie. It’s exciting and we hope the fans will support a great racing film.”
     Tickets are limited, so advance purchase is recommended. Admission is $65 per person or $100 per couple. Cost includes admission to the museum and cocktail reception. To purchase tickets, call the NHRA Museum at (909) 622-8562, Monday through Friday. Tickets can be purchased in person from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, at the NHRA Museum. Advance tickets can be purchased with cash, check, Visa or MasterCard. All proceeds benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.  The film tells the story of one of the greatest rivalries in drag racing history, and of the groundbreaking accomplishments of Don “the Snake” Prudhomme and Tom “Mongoose” McEwen in the world of entertainment sports marketing and sponsorship. For more information about the movie, visit www.snakeandmongoosemovie.com.
     The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by Automobile Club of Southern California is an independent California non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to celebrating the impact of motorsports on American culture. Neighboring the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the Museum collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets the vehicles, stories and artifacts that represent America’s affection for, and the influence of, automotive speed and style in all its forms. For more information, visit our website: www.nhramuseum.org.

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PROFILING, LEFT VS RIGHT. By Le Roi Tex Smith 
   From the git-go, understand that I’m a lefty. I definitely lean toward all things hot rodding from the western United States. Although the line between east and west coast hot rod styling is almost indistinguishable nowadays. That was not the case in the Fifties and Sixties. Eastern hot rods tended to be channeled, but not necessarily chopped, and for some reason we west coasters did not grasp, the rear of the car was lower than the front! To us, that was strictly custom stuff. To add insult, the same size tires were at all four corners! Damn, nothing was sacred. History has a way of making “Back Then” seem much more romantic than right now. Which may be a way of legitimizing the Rat Rod culture. 
   Anyway, those east coast (actually, more accurate would be northeast) hot rods got most all of their national exposure in a couple of east coast rod and custom magazines. Which did them no good, since the westerners tended to marginalize any car information originating east of the Mississippi, and that included stuff from a writer known as Uncle Tom. I think it may have been the foreign language. All of this is really very odd, because there was really lots more oval track racing going on east of the Big Muddy, but somehow when it came to Indy a lot of the serious drivers and builders were from the West (a fact that changed dramatically with the advent of NASCAR type stockers). But Big Car track racing drew great eastern fans, and the rubber rakes of west coast hot rods took their cue directly from these types of racers. Doesn’t really matter, what was good for the eastern goose didn’t play on the left coast. Interestingly, in these current times, much of the scrounge looking rat rods trace their lineage to photos of non-western hot rods, as well as the rockabilly trappings of the enthusiasts.
   I think there was most definitely an inferiority complex among eastern hot rodders when rodding was spreading during the Fifties through the Seventies. In those years I did a lot of traveling as the Field Director for NHRA, and I found rodders from Oklahoma east were always on the defensive about their cars. A lot of this was unjustified, of course, since quality builds stood out wherever they were found. This same kind of self doubt was evident in eastern Canadian rodders, as well. At the Peoria initial Rod Nats, the ground around any California or west coast hot rod was littered with bodies of rodders looking underneath, searching out ideas and figuring how such-and-such a building technique was handled. Thankfully, either everyone worldwide is now a street rod fabrication expert, or nobody, now, cares how Jones did it. I like now really good. 
   What I never cared for was a complaint from eastern rodders that HRM never did photo features on “their” cars. Yes, we did do features, but we were always reluctant to include pictures of suspect construction or graphically unsafe building practices. No matter where the car originated. I ran into this truism time and again as NHRA toured the nation encouraging drag racing, but at least when a safety issue was pointed out to racers, the serious ones made immediate adjustments. That same eagerness did not follow street rod interests. Until about 1980. Like everything rodding, builders will quickly include better ideas if they see them enough. I like that, too. You see, the real complaint was that we at HRM had not done a feature on their own particular car.

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MOLDY MARVIN’S 13TH ANNUAL RAT FINK PARTY:
   July 27, 2013 Acton, California. Moldy Marvin's 13th Annual Rat Fink Party & Kustom Kulture Extravaganza and Charity art auction and panel jam for the Painted Turtle Camp for Seriously Ill Children. Location: KOA Acton, 7601 Soledad Canyon Road, Acton, CA 93510. 10:00 am until dusk. Open to pre-1973 Kustoms, Classics, Hot Rods, Muscle Cars, Lowriders, Vans, VW's, Motorcycles, Trikes, Trailers, Teardrops, Bicycles, Mini Bikes and whatever else you may have. No Year Restrictions on Kustom Motorcycles and Trikes. Spectator Admission $10, Kids under 12 are Free. Admission includes a Pool Pass. Live charity art auction and panel jam for the Painted Turtle Camp for Seriously Ill Children will be held in 4 auction blocks during the day’s festivities. Vendors, live entertainment, swimming, overnight camping, family games, tattoo and pinup contest, food fun for everyone. See www.ratfinkparty.com.

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BURLY BURLILE & THE 36HP VW CHALLENGE:
     The days continue to count down towards this Septembers annual USFRA World of Speed event on the Bonneville Salt Flats. I would ask that each of you planning on coming to race or even just spectate, please keep me updated on your plans and progress. Racers, remember I keep a photo file on each of your Challenge VW's and welcome "in progress" or "ready to race" photos from you I can use in future communications and articles about the Challenge.  With just under 60 days till WOS, so far 37 different VW Challengers have indicated they will be competing in up to 45 driver and class combinations, from full competition long course VW's that have gone 212 miles per hour to Stone Stockers on the standing start 130 Club Mile shooting for Orange Thunders magical 82.4 mph SS36hp record. Please let me add your name and VW to the list if you think you are going to join us at Bonneville this year.
     Two racers, Tom Newport (DSS36 Buggy) and Ronnie Feitelson (K36 Lakester) will be going for "1" Club recognition "at the least" and both hope to take home a neat silver "1" Club hat for going faster than 100 miles per hour with a 36hp based engine. Kim Slaughter will return with his freshly restored 58 Bug equipped with a Wolfsburg West "Okrasa" style dual carb/head kit to Challenge for the new WW36 portion of the Wolfsburg West contingency award program. Hopefully he will take home the $500.00 Wolfsburg West award. Kim's goal will be to set a record over 70.914 miles per hour.  If you are going to be racing in one of the new WW36 categories shown below at Bonneville, please let me know so we can list you for the WW Challenge. The WW36 records to beat are listed below:
VW 36hp & BB CHALLENGE
WW36 Bug 
2010        70.914mph     '58 Bug                Kim Slaughter            Bonneville, UT 
WW36 Ghia 
2011        84.442mph     '67 Ghia               Craig Wilson              Bonneville, UT 
WW36 Bus 
2011        68.851mph     '60 Single Cab    Ronnie Feitelsen       Bonneville, UT 
    Burly Burlile, Volkswagen Land Speed Racing Historian, Society of Land Speed Racing Historians, www.burlyb.com.

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BRIAN TAYLOR & THE BRITISH DRAG RACING HALL OF FAME:
 
  The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame in association with US Automotive continues into its eighth successful year and is pleased to announce the 2013 intake. Nominees are eligible by dint of having raced, owned, designed, built, maintained, prepared, promoted, officiated, supported or taken part in British drag racing, having been involved for at least twenty years, or having made a significant and recognisable contribution to the sport. British Drag Racing Hall of Fame Chair Stu Bradbury says, "This is another important year in the development of the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame. We have not only moved the announcement of the inductions, but we will also be having our own banquet to formally present the awards. The contributions that these members have made to the development of drag racing in the UK and Europe have been immense. It true to say that without their dedication and hard work in the early days of the sport there is no doubt that drag racing would not have achieved the popularity it enjoys today." Members of the Hall of Fame receive a 'Bootsie', a trophy encapsulating an image of the late Allan 'Bootsie' Herridge, a man who put so much into British drag racing, together with an exclusive commemorative pin. They join the élite list of inductees from previous years and will be listed with fuller versions of the above biographies on the official British Drag Racing Hall of Fame web site www.britishdragracinghof.co.uk  
   The Hall of Fame trophies will be presented at a dedicated ceremony at the FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in September: more details in due course. The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame is sponsored by US Automotive, Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway, Pennine Drag Racing Club/York Raceway, Avon Park International Racers Association, Santa Pod Racers Club, Power Race Graphics and Eurodragster.com. The term giant-killer is often used in sport, but rarely is it used more aptly than when describing the outstanding performances of Brian Chapman riding his Vincent machines over many years of drag racing. For several years Brian developed his tiny, unfashionable single cylinder Vincent Comet and became the first 500 cc rider anywhere in the world to run under nine seconds. Called Mighty Mouse it reached the end of its development at the end of the seventies, notching up a best of 8.81 seconds for the standing start quarter mile. Brian then built the Super Mouse V-twin Vincent recording 8.25/169 before crashing the bike in 1982 and retiring from full-on racing soon after the rebuild. If Brian could make something himself then he would, which was all the more to his credit.
   Frances Parker became involved in the National Drag Racing Club as Membership Secretary then Race Secretary. It was in the latter capacity that Frances brought Keith along to the races and he started his NDRC career on gate duty but eventually becoming Vice Chairman of the NDRC. It became a family affair as daughter and son Linda and Stephen also became involved. In the 1970s, with some prompting from Keith, the NDRC organised races around England at Blackbushe, Snetterton and Wroughton before the Club took the logical, but extensive and intensive step, of opening their own facility on the former eighth-mile track at Long Marston Airfield. That track is now Shakespeare County Raceway, still going strong and a tribute to two of the BDRHoF's newest members (Extract from full biography and picture both by Keith and Frances Parker). 
   The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame invited Dave Riswick to become a member, but for personal reasons Dave has declined to accept. In the interest of protecting the selection criteria we show his credentials and hope that one day he will accept the award. Having come to England as a GI, Dave became involved in drag racing with Mark Stratton's Hustler altered before returning to the USA. He then came back to the UK to manage John Woolfe's racing team and to sell performance parts. In 1968 Dave met Dennis Priddle and started a long and famous association with the fellow BDRHoF inductee. After John Woolfe's death at Le Mans Dave continued the performance parts company in John's name. Dave was instrumental in setting up the National Drag Racing Club and was a major sponsor of the sport, also actively involved in bringing in prestigious American companies. Dave was also heavily involved in creating Avon Park Raceway (now Shakespeare County Raceway) and helped to involve fellow BDRHoF inductee Carl Olson in European drag racing. (Extract from full biography by Brian Taylor).  Acting Press Officer, Brian Taylor, brian@petrolhead.vianw.co.uk

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BRIAN TAYLOR & THE SYDNEY ALLARD DRAGSTER’S SAFETY GEAR:
   Although there are photographs showing Sydney Allard driving Europe’s first dragster in a sports jacket, shirt and tie in the early 1960s, his son Alan was more safety conscious with his race wear when he drove the car in 1964. And certainly to fire up (cackle) its 354 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi engine in today’s more safety-aware world would definitely require something more substantial. For some time the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) has been assembling the elements of an early 1960s driver fire suit. As well as being used at cackle appearances the suit could sometimes be displayed on a mannequin alongside the car at its home - the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. American Ron Hope of Rat Trap fame (recently appearing at the Goodwood Festival of Speed) donated a pair of his old gloves and Chris and Claire from the Wild Bunch donated some boots. But we still needed a jacket and trousers or a combined suit. 
   After talking with American drag racer Bob Keith who came over to the UK in 1964 and 1965 to race at the International Drag Racing Festivals organised by Sydney Allard, we made contact with Ben at Deist Safety – the company that supplied Bob’s fire suit for those UK tours. The company’s founder, Jim Deist, passed away on March 9th 2009, but for over 50 years, he had dedicated his life to improving the safety of all types of motorsports. He was an innovator, a dedicated racer, and a friend to all. And Jim's legacy is continued at Deist with most of the staff having worked alongside him for 20 years; some for over 30 years. After hearing about the restoration of Europe’s first dragster Deist supplied the ACAG with a single layer silver ‘nostalgia type’ racing jacket and a nostalgia fuel mask.
   This features multiple layers of aluminized silver or Nomex material with deist's exclusive "liquid barrier" insulation. It includes a respirator for the removal of fuel fumes. A link to the Deist website can be found on the links page of www.allardchrysler.org. A video of Gareth wearing the jacket and facemask during a pit cackle at Dragstalgia 2013; www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMydhlBIpIQ.  Stu Bradbury located some period goggles so all we need now is a pair of fire-proof silver trousers and an open-faced helmet. The look of the driver and the dragster will then both reflect the early 1960s drag racing era.    Brian Taylor – Chairman Allard Chrysler Action Group www.allardchrysler.org brian@allardchrysler.org 
(Click For PDF Deist Safety Release)

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CLESSIE LYLE CUMMINS: this report was prepared by Ken Berg and sent in by Ron Main.
   Clessie Lyle Cummins 1888-1968 gentleman, inventor, engineer, machinist ... industrialist. Pioneer builder of high-speed diesel engines of Columbus, Indiana. Far-sighted promoter of his engines— engaging in high-performance, high-achievement experiments to prove the quality and performance of his engines. The company he founded is now a global manufacturer and a partner with manufacturers around the world involved in innovative and imaginative use of the Cummins Diesel engine. Those who would say ‘Cummings’ when they mean Cummins, will have difficulty with ‘asterisk’ and ‘nuclear’ and as such should be given little credence or attention. They will probably wind up in Columbus, Ohio! Credit. The Diesel Odyssey of Clessie Cummins by C. Lyle Cummins—his son. Excerpts from the book are scanned into this file to illustrate competitive performance of experimental demonstrations of the Cummins diesel engines. Obviously, science, technology, engineering and math are used in the design, construction and demonstration of the engines.
   Clessie, the ‘Car Guy’ See fuel tank behind seat ... steering looks operable ... was there a motor and drive system? Was there a plan to build cars by this 25 year old apprentice while working in the Benefield machine shop? He began experimenting with the Hvid patent diesel engine licensed to him in about 1919. Adophus Busch, the beer baron had secured a license from Rudolf Diesel in 1897. There may be some crossover in licensing rights. Lyle Cummins told me this should be double checked with his book He went on to create a number of his own designs and in the early Depression Days of 1930 set off in first auto with a Model U Cummins diesel engine, a Packard limousine, making a demonstration run from Indianapolis to New York City in the dead of winter ... successfully! Thus, the start of his ‘Barnum and Bailey Circus days’, as Clessie himself called these demonstrations of the quality of his work. 
   Then he put the engine into a lighter Packard roadster and set off for the wave-packed sands of Daytona with his blind friend Ralph Teetor of Perfect Circle Piston Rings. Clessie set a record for diesel driven autos at 80.389 mph in February of 1930. Next, he had his friends Fred and August Duesenberg build him a car designed for his model U 4 cylinder diesel engine ... and ran 100.755 mph at Daytona the next year ... February 1931. Did Cummins use Perfect Circle rings in their engines???... and went on to the first-time non-stop 1931 Memorial Day running of Indianapolis 500 Mile Sweepstakes (Indy) ... ... and then in December undertook the equivalent of the ‘dance until you drop’ craze at Indy by running the event and driving a truck with Cummins diesel for 13 days, covering 14,600 miles without stopping the engine in an exhausting grueling marathon. Prior to this they had taken the truck trans-continental, along with their Indy car to Los Angeles ... the creative capital of the world. Just the place for Clessie Cummins! They made the trip in 97 hours running time (the elapsed time being a little longer). ... and then went on a 1932 global tour with the Indy car to tout the Cummins diesel engine to worldwide audiences who may never have thought of a diesel engine in an auto ... 
   Clessie met them all. Citroen is noted amongst car people as innovative to the extreme ... and very French ... combined--almost weird ... but his Traction Avant (1934-1957) and other original ideas are still being copied ... the 2CV (1940-1990) iconic or more, or worse, than the Model T Ford. They (the 2CV) are considered a ‘daily driver’ by many of the French ... who seem to cherish weird little things ... I was overtaken by one on an access ramp to an ‘autoroute’ near Lille, and his tiny, tinny little horn told me he wanted to pass ... on the ramp! Well, I was lost, and dawdling ... the French do not excuse dawdling ... especially when combined with (I forgot) ... Oh! Dithering is the word. Not in the driver’s manual, there or anywhere! New records set in the Mack bus ... 2 stroke vs 4 stroke evaluated at Indy in 1934. The 4 stroke became the Cummins standard. The number 5 car ran 144 mph at Daytona for a two-way average of 137.19. Two beauties ... one is the work of Frank Kurtis ... PT fuel injection system is a contentious issue in the Cummins history ... and has been integral with Cummins success over the years!!! Turbocharging in 1952 might have opened a new door??? They are now a staple in the Cummins catalog.  
   Land speed racing is extreme engineering. Let’s learn more about it. More land speed exertions ... and again in 2001 ... over the quarter mile ... Compare this to the horse pull in Ontario ... the horses burst their tackle in a shower and tinkle of falling brass ...Contrast Ohio State and their EV at similar speed at Bonneville at around the same time. All of these extreme demonstrations embodied much engineering, jaw-boning, midnight oil, compromises, mistakes, analysis, problem solving, revisions, supplier negotiation ... and solutions ... all are of interest to the history of Cummins Engine ... and as an exemplar for students, everywhere.

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JESSICA CLARK, MADERA SPEEDWAY, IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY.
Editor's notes: The following report comes from Jessica Clark as she pursues her racing career.
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     We had a week to prepare ourselves for the 106 degree weather we were going to face at Madera Speedway. My main goal for the weekend was to qualify in the top ten in order to assure a good starting position. We dedicated all of our practice to getting the car tuned to the right qualifying line. My dad did a great job tuning, and I received some valuable coaching from Austin Barnes, former car owner and driver. Race day approached, and I was pretty fast in practice (running midpack times). We qualified at 4:30 PM (the hottest part of the day), which usually means the track is very greasy and slick. These conditions are obviously not ideal for qualifying.
     There were 29 cars at this race event, and I ended up qualifying 7th, missing the pole position for the six lap trophy dash by .02 second. I met my goal! The main event was chaotic and disorganized; this was a surprise! First, we were supposed to be making “cone restarts” where there is a cone in turn four and drivers get to pick whether they want to restart on the high line or the low line, and then they fall into place as each car passes the cone. Unfortunately, the officials expected us to do this with an imaginary cone, and due to radio problems in the officials stands, spotters were not able to tell us when the imaginary cone was out to pick sides. Therefore, people were making passes under caution laps!!! During one of the cautions I was in 7th place, by the time the green flag came out I was in 12th! With 15 laps to go I was up to 8th place and could taste my first top ten finish.
     However, as I made the move to pass a lapped car, the driver turned down on the front end of my car as if his spotter hadn’t even told him I was there - which I later found out was exactly what happened. This sent my car sliding across the infield through the grass. Somehow I made a miraculous save and got the car back out on the other side of the track. Unfortunately, this cost me four positions. I ended up finishing 12th. Although I was glad that I was able to save the car and finish the race, I had to confront the driver who hit me. He was immediately apologetic and gave me a hug. I found out that his spotter (a driver’s eyes on the track, the most important person other than the driver himself) had never spotted before that night, and he did not tell the driver that I was passing him. I made sure that the team was aware of the dangerous position they put both their driver and me in by using a completely uneducated spotter. I was assured that it won’t happen again.
     I drove all the way home that night - five hours - in order to be at a charity go kart race the next day. This kart race was a fund raiser for Jason Leffler’s (a very well known Sprint car racer who recently passed away in a racing accident) son. About 72 racers from all different racing series showed up. I even got to race with two guys from my own series, who I had raced with just the night before. It was really great to see such a large gathering of racers for a good cause. All of the proceeds went to Charlie Leffler. What’s up next? MY HOMETOWN RACE! Come and cheer me on! I will be racing at Irwindale Speedway on August 17th, and I can’t wait to have my friends and family in the stands for once! There will be an autograph session on the front straightaway before the races begins. Come down onto the track, see the car up close, and say hi!   Jessica Clark, info@jessicaclarkracing.com.

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Land Speed Racing Websites:
www.hotrodhotline.com, www.landspeedracing.com

 [Email Land Speed Racing]

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Members:

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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