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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER - , 2013
Editor-in-Chief: Mary Ann Lawford
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
Field Reporter/Historian: Richard Parks, Rnparks1@Juno.com 

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
Guest Editorial By Dyno Don Batyi; Editorial: Assigned Staff Editorial, By Richard Parks. Traci Hrudka, Quarter Mile Foundation, Project 1320, Linda Vaughn, Mary Ann Lawford; Vic Enyart, Rosamond, Mojave Timing Association, Doc Baldwin, Gus Summerfield; Danny Thompson, Mickey Thompson, Bonneville, Speed Demon, Power Automedia, John Cobb, Challenger Ii, Cook’s Shootout, Chip Foose, Andrew Almazan; Johnson Valley, Jerry Cornelison, Road Runners; John Hutchinson, Wally And Barbara Parks, Eldon Snapp, Don Garlits; Snake & Mongoose Movie, John Hutchinson, British Drag Racing Forum, John Hurt; Bill Pratt, John Hutchinson, Dave Mcclelland, John Force, Don Garlits, Jeep Hampshire, Norm Weekly, Bernie Partridge, Shirley Muldowney, Bob And Etta Glidden, Warren Johnson, Tv Tommy Ivo, Mousie Marcellus, Mike Boyd, Wild Willie Borsch, Dyno Don Nicholson, Doug Thorley, Wally Parks, Tom Mcewen, Don Prudhomme, Bill ‘Grumpy’ Jenkins, Richard Tharp, C.J. ‘Pappy’ Hart, Steve Gibbs, Carl Olson, Jungle Jim Lieberman, Alex Xydias, Joe Amato, Bob Muravez (Floyd Lippincote Jr), Gene Winfield, Gary Beck, James Ibusuki; Mynatt's Esso Aero Car, Jim Miller, Bonneville, Bill Keogh; Reid Railton, John Cobb, Richard Armstrong, Gene Leblanc, Bonneville, Glenn Pangry, David Parks, Harvey Haller, Art Chrisman, Jerry Cornelison, Hot Rod Magazine, Craig Breedlove; Big Leroy. By Le Roi ‘Tex’ Smith; Le Roi Tex Smith, Ron Ceridono; Pictures Of Paula Murphy They Are From John Hutchinson; 240 Gordie Pictures Are From John Hutchinson; Bonneville Speed 2013 Salt Lake Tribune - Speed Demon Steals The Show; The Century Of Speed Will Be The Show Of The Century. The Book Will Be The Holy Grail Of Bonneville

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GUEST EDITORIAL BY DYNO DON BATYI:  
     I received this alert form the ACCC and thought we all should oppose this bill.  I will write letters for the IECCC and the OTHG-Berdoo.  I urge others to do the same and fax in your letter. Here is the link to find your legislator;   http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.  Re: SB 459 Pavley Amended 8-5-2013.  The Inland Empire Car Club Council representing over 4000 car collectors and over 36 car clubs in San Bernardino & Riverside Counties is opposition to SB 459 (Pavley) after amendments. The amended bill really only changed where the money would come from and still does not address the following: 
     SB 459 represents an attempt by to dust off a tired, flawed and ineffective scrappage program wasting Californian’s tax dollars. 
     SB 459 embraces the fact that most scrapped cars are infrequently or never used second or third vehicles by not requiring proof of registration. 
     SB 459 will do little to improve air quality which is directly connected to overall basic vehicle maintenance.  
     SB459 does not address illegal aliens benefitting from the program. 
     The author states in her arguments in support that previous legislation (AB787) was somewhat effective but “only 39,413 vehicles were retired under CAP in 2011-2012, leaving millions of high-polluting cars on California roads.” This bill hopes to retire 700 vehicles at cost $1 million.  Seems like a drop in the bucket.
     SB459 will compete with charities who take these vehicles as donations for their fundraising activities. Sincerely, Dyno Don Batyi

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Editorial:   
ASSIGNED STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks. TRACI HRUDKA, QUARTER MILE FOUNDATION, PROJECT 1320, LINDA VAUGHN, MARY ANN LAWFORD.
   Members send me CDs and material from time to time and ask me to write, research or read the material and comment. I cannot handle all of the volume of books, papers, CDs and other requests that are sent to me. They sit around until I can find time and when I can't get to them people think I am being rude. However, I screen everything that is sent to me by email and if it's extremely valuable then I make a request for it; such as books to review (some of which I pay for and some of which are sent to me unrequested). What we are looking for is Drag racing pre-1960 (except for Europe which we take pre-1970), hot rodding and any time period for land speed racing. That's what we're interested in. Emails are different; continue sending emails as you have done in the past, because it is easy for me to screen what I want for the newsletter that way. Also, I can then forward the material over to Jim, Roger, Bob or Spencer to follow up on. 
     We get mail; here's a recent letter asking about Project 1320.  "...have you seen this Project 1320 before?"  I receive emails from Traci Hrudka at the Quarter Mile Foundation on their Project 1320 research program.  Here is the website link for those who are interested in their goals; www.project1320.com
     I took this introduction from their website; "The Foundation is seeking support from a wide range sources from race fan and automotive enthusiasts, grants and industry companies; as well as sales of branded products such as caps, t-shirts, etc.  The Foundation has utilized (and will continue to do so as much as possible) major drag racing and industry events to conduct interviews, which reduces travel and overhead costs, but much more needs to be done. Some legends cannot travel to these events because of health or other situations.  Your support and belief in the Foundation’s Mission will make it possible to dedicate time and resources to bring the mission to completion. This will also rapidly close the window to reach the legendary figures of the sport and the performance industry before it is too late. Death has taken many of our pioneers and will continue to do so; for those remaining your donation will secure those oral histories for generations to come.  To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact the Foundation at: Quarter Mile Foundation, c/o Traci Hrudka, 6210 Beverly Drive, Parma Heights, Ohio  44130.  Or telephone at 440-888-0088. Email: thrudka@quartermilefoundation.org."
     The Quarter Mile Foundation (QMF) and their Project 1320 program are very similar to what we are doing here at the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians (SLSRH).  I don't know how long QMF has been in operation, but the SLSRH has been around for six years now.  QMF gathers biographies and stories from old time drag racers and attempts to save all the history and heritage of straight-line racing that they can.  In that respect it parallels our own efforts.  They are a bit more professional in that they have a paid membership, t-shirts, hats and office staff.  I haven't been able to see the quality of their work because I am not a member.  From what I can tell there is a one-time (lifetime) membership fee of around $40 or so and that seems like a fair price to be a supporting member.  They recently honored Linda Vaughn at a banquet and it appears that they will do more such events in the future.  For those interested in this group I suggest that you call or email Traci Hrudka and ask them more questions.  Besides the QMF there is also the American Hot Rod Foundation (AHRF) at www.AHRF.com.  They do something very similar to the QMF and the SLSRH, but they do not charge to look at their research and exhibits.
   On another issue I am pleased to notify the SLSRH membership that we have a new editor-in-chief; Mary Ann Lawford. She owns the website at www.landspeedracing.com and has acted as a consultant to Roger, myself, Jim, Spencer and Bob throughout the years. Mary Ann has a wide range of experience as a business woman and we have relied on her expertise and knowledge. She is also one of about 15 special members of the SLSRH who review all issues of the newsletter before it is published on-line. This review process is one reason why our error rates are so low. We do make mistakes, but they are few and far between due to the help and assistance that our review panel gives us. Mary Ann will now become the website owner and the editor-in-chief of the SLSRH Newsletter and I will act as her assistant editor.

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VIC ENYART, ROSAMOND, MOJAVE TIMING ASSOCIATION, DOC BALDWIN, GUS SUMMERFIELD.
   EDITOR:
I received this much from a good friend, Vic Enyart. If anyone sees Vic be sure to urge him to complete his story. We are looking forward to hearing what he has observed throughout his life.
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I went to my first dry lakes meet in 1946.  A buddy and I hitchhiked up to Rosamond from Hollywood to watch a Mojave Timing Association meet.  I heard about it from Doc Baldwin and Gus Summerfield whom I believe were in the Mojave Timing Association.”  Vic Enyart

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DANNY THOMPSON, MICKEY THOMPSON, BONNEVILLE, SPEED DEMON, POWER AUTOMEDIA, JOHN COBB, CHALLENGER II, COOK’S SHOOTOUT, CHIP FOOSE, ANDREW ALMAZAN.
  
Danny Thompson’s Sights Set For Bonneville To Break “SPEED DEMON’s” 439 MPH World’s RECORD. Google http://www.rodauthority.com/news/video-danny-thompsons-sights-set-for-bonneville-to-break-world-lsr/, for photographs in the article.  Written by Andrew Almazan, posted in ROD AUTHORITY on Jul 31, 2013. 
   Mickey Thompson is an American legend and a household name amongst racing fanatics. Those who hold speed at the forefront of what defines an automobile surely know of his exploits and pay respect to his legacy.
   Born Marion Lee Thompson on December 7, 1928 – Mickey, as he preferred to be called, was an American off-road racing icon. He was also a renowned drag racer and an innovative automotive technician. His most prestigious bragging right is the claim to the most speed and endurance records set over any other racer in the history of the automobile. Check out this article that relives his record breaking run in Bonneville during the year 1960. The momentous occasion marked a new record of 406.6 mph which broke John Cobb’s one-way land speed record of 402 mph. On top of that, Mickey and his Challenger seized the title for first American to break the 400 mph barrier. It was an inspiring and daring achievement that he had brought home for his fellow citizens that year. 
   The Motivation is the video put together by the Power Automedia film team, and is the personal account and mission of Mickey’s son, Danny Thompson. In 1988 Danny and his father had set out to push the land speed record up to 450 mph. Before this attempt could be made Danny’s parents were tragically murdered (father and stepmother). Collecting dust and brooding in its trailer for more than 45 years, the Challenger II was recently excavated in hopes of outfitting it for another record breaking run. The rebuild of the Challenger II is Danny’s personal oath to finish something him and his father had started a quarter-century ago.  
   The Challenger II has gotten full auto-spa treatment. The shell has been completely reworked and is comprised of 68 hand formed aluminum panels. Two 500-inch aluminum block engines, producing a whopping 4,000 hp between the both of them make up the vehicle’s power plant. New rears, new transmission, and up to date safety modifications are just a few other restorations that have been added. According to Danny and his team, the biggest engineering and construction hurdles have already been overcome. Finalizing fab, plumbing, and electrical work are at the top of their priority list in order to get the Challenger II rolling. 
   Below are some facts about the Streamliner: 1) The engines are dry blocks (waterless), which means all of the cooling is provided by the fuel. A single run will consume approximately 50 gallons of nitro blend fuel. 2) The car ends its runs nearly 500 pounds lighter due to fuel consumption. 3) The tires are a prototype nylon weave backed with banded steel. There is only 1/32 of an inch of rubber. These tires are custom made by Mickey Thompson Tires. 4) Primary stopping power is provided by dual parachutes. Four carbon fiber disk brakes provide a second level of speed reduction.  
   The projected date for initial assembly is set for October. During that, time tests will be run prior to the end of the year in time for 2014’s SCTA record runs at Speed Week and the FIA record runs at Cook’s Shootout. Danny and his build team are reaching out to the people to help fund the project. Their goal is to reach $200,000 by Tuesday September 10th, 2013. Donation increments are as follows:   
1) $1.00 minimum  
2) $10.00 or more: Name added to partner section of website.  
3) $25.00 or more: Custom sticker pack. Kickstarter limited edition decal. Rewards package from previous donation amount  
4) $50.00 or more: Limited edition Thompson LSR T-Shirt. Rewards package from previous donation amount(s).  
5) $100.00 or more: Crew-Only T-Shirt that team members wear at Bonneville during runs. Rewards package from previous donation amount(s).  
6) $250.00 or more: Invitation to the Streamliner launch party. Signed paperback copy of reprinted Mickey Thompson biography. Rewards package from previous donation amount(s).  
7) $500.00 or more: Name added to honorary plaque that travels with the car.    Personal thank you letter signed by the team. Rewards package from previous donation amount(s).  
8) $1,000.00 or more: Framed print signed by Danny Thompson, the team, and the artist. Surprise bonus package. Rewards package from previous donation amount(s).  
9) $10,000.00 or more: Name or company logo on both sides of the car. Honorary member – welcome to all the team’s Bonneville runs.  Surprise bonus package.     Rewards package from previous donation amount(s) 
   On top of the extensive perk packages that Danny and his build team are providing, probably one of the biggest perks is that donators will be able to pick and vote on the final color scheme of the car. Donating will also allow you to pick and vote on the official name of the Challenger II originally dubbed the Autolite Special. The final color and design application of the name will then be handed over to world famous hot rod designer, Chip Foose for completion. 
   Check out Kickstarter for full details on the progress of the team’s funding and if you would like to make a donation yourself. We’ll see you on the salt flats of Bonneville next year! You could be looking at the workings of the next LSR world record holder for wheel driven vehicle’s.
   Either way, Danny Thompson’s mission is much bigger than setting a record in our view. He has committed to chasing a 25 year old dream and to flesh it out in honor of his father. That is a feat of determination that stands on its own.  
   Other articles on Danny Thompson; 1) Video: Danny Thompson Discusses Challenger 2.5′s Record Mission. 2) Mickey Thompson’s Son to Attempt New Land Speed Record. 3) Video: Thompson Streamliner Set to Slip Through Surly Bonds of Speed.

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JOHNSON VALLEY, JERRY CORNELISON, ROAD RUNNERS.
     The sample letter to the United States Senators regarding the Johnson Valley issue that I sent in for the last issue of SLSRH Newsletter and a cover letter from the SCTA-BNI Board will be published in an upcoming issue of the SCTA Racing News.  The letters will also be distributed at Speedweek.  The fight continues.  Jerry Cornelison, Road Runners Historian

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JOHN HUTCHINSON, WALLY AND BARBARA PARKS, ELDON SNAPP, DON GARLITS.
  
   At the 2001 NHRA Finals at Pomona l got my 2002 NHRA Calendar autographed by the following Drag Racing Legends, see attachments.  Could you please value it so l can sell it on Ebay.   Thanks John Hutchinson, nitromaniac43@gmail.com
   JOHN: That's a good question and I will use it in the next issue of the SLSRH Newsletter.  To my knowledge there are no appraisers in hot rodding or drag racing.  There are shops that specialize in motorsports around the United States, Great Britain and Europe, but mostly they are interested in NASCAR, F1 or Indy 500 Open Wheel racing memorabilia.  There are, however, large collectors and sellers of drag racing, hot rodding and land speed racing that buy and sell collections for their own use and to resell.  Usually they only buy in large volume and give very low prices.  I will post your request and your email address so that any collectors who are interested can give you a response.
     One of the reasons for a lack of appraisers is that we don't have a group that oversees such enterprises and thus regulates it in some way.  Another reason is risk; when someone states a value and that value is not attained, the appraiser puts himself at risk of a lawsuit or worse.  In some cases a person wants to establish the value of an object that he wants to donate to charity and take a tax write-off.  The authorities look at the appraiser and determine if that appraiser is anywhere near the truth or not and if they think a scam is involved the government will prosecute.
     But even more daunting than the lack of qualified and certified appraisers is the fact that prices in the open market fluctuate.  I remember before the stock market and housing collapse of 2008 that an excellent set of the original 12 issues of HOT ROD magazine was selling for around $100,000, or at least that's what the bid was at that point in time.  A year later I saw that another original 12 issues of HOT ROD magazine sold for $500.  Prices are often determined by who and how many bidders there are after a certain object.  Or conversely, how many sellers there are in the market at any given time.  Luck plays a big role; did the memorabilia come on the market just as interest was high or low.  There were so many sellers of collections in the period of time from 2008 to 2012 that prices were depressed.
     Another factor for collectible prices is market timing.  Investment money flows in cycles looking for the least risk and the highest return on capital outlay.  Coming out of a recession the money leaves most investments and heads into blue chip stocks and bonds.  When blue chips have reached their highs and the returns start to slow, investors will move their money into foreign stocks, later into mid-capitalization companies, then into small-capitalization companies and finally as the markets start to stall and before a recession comes they will find high-risk but potentially lucrative speculative stocks like penny stocks and collectibles.  At this point there can be quite a feeding frenzy as people bid up the prices on sports and other collectibles.  Usually the general public finds out by the news stories on television, gets excited, invests in memorabilia just before the market collapses into another recession and they are stuck with cards, collectibles, sporting clothes, autographs and other memorabilia.  At least they are stuck until the next cycle comes around.
     What you have is recent and that affects value.  If you had a Wally Parks or Don Garlits signature on a sign, poster, photograph or other object from the 1950's the value would be higher.  Also if you got a signature on a poster from Don as he won a seminal race or a National Event that is remembered as special, then the object and signature would be much more valuable.  Prices are affected by regional preference as well.  California collectors might not care about Gatornational collectibles and Florida people might not care about Winternational memorabilia.  Always look for buzz, which is a term for interest.  When you hear that people are interested and talking about a particular subject, then direct that specific memorabilia to that audience.  Don't try to sell items where there is no buzz or interest.  For example, I created a 5-set special Boat Racers Reunion enameled pins of about 600 for each year.  We honored some of the best boat racers in history.  I managed to sell about 200 and the market was saturated.  I couldn't even give away the rest and finally the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum took them off my hands as a donation.  They couldn't sell them and they are in storage.  The pins were beautiful, rare and in my mind valuable; but no one wanted them.
     The question that you raised is; "What are they worth?"  The answer is, "Whatever a person is willing to give to you at this time."  Recently a printed name tag from a banquet in Texas without my father's signature (and thus undocumented), sold for $40 on eBay.  So your signature of Wally and Barbara Parks on a photograph or calendar might bring more than that.  It also might bring less.  I bought three plein air watercolors by Eldon Snapp for $100 and was the only bidder.  I bought them because Eldon Snapp was a personal friend and founder of the SCTA.  There are probably only a dozen people left who knew Snapp or what he has done that makes these desert watercolors so special.  If I hadn't bid, the seller would probably have thrown them in the trash.  A seller and a buyer just happened to meet at the right time and that in a nutshell is how markets are formed and deals are made.   You will be successful based on your ability to find or create a market between a person who wants the object and a person who needs the money (or space in their house or garage). 

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SNAKE & MONGOOSE MOVIE, JOHN HUTCHINSON, BRITISH DRAG RACING FORUM, JOHN HURT
   Have you seen the 'Snake & Mongoose Movie', if so please send me a review so l can post it on the British Drag Racing Forums?   l've been a fan of Drag Racing since 1965. In England Drag Racing is classed as a minority sport, so l'll be extremely pleased if the 'Snake and Mongoose Movie' is shown in the major cinema chains. Here are trailers from the movie.  Full cast and crew for Snake and Mongoose (2013);  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1718898/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast. Two minute trailer: Click for Movie Trailer.  John Hutchinson nitromaniac43@gmail.com
   JOHN: The producers were in contact with my brother and I about approval to show the image and name of our father, who is going to be played by John Heard.  The producers are supposed to send us a DVD of the movie so that I can do a movie review.  I haven't heard from them.  If I do get a disk I will do a review and it will be published at www.hotrodhotline.com, in their movie review section.  I can't officially send you a review as I am contracted with Internet Brands, but you can read it and put it in your own words or you can contact the editor at the newsletter and request permission to reprint it.  Usually they will agree to something they co-own as long as the author/reviewer and company are acknowledged.  I have done about 60 reviews of movies, magazines and books and they are all on the HotRodHotLine website. 

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BILL PRATT, JOHN HUTCHINSON, DAVE MCCLELLAND, JOHN FORCE, DON GARLITS, JEEP HAMPSHIRE, NORM WEEKLY, BERNIE PARTRIDGE, SHIRLEY MULDOWNEY, BOB AND ETTA GLIDDEN, WARREN JOHNSON, TV TOMMY IVO, MOUSIE MARCELLUS, MIKE BOYD, WILD WILLIE BORSCH, DYNO DON NICHOLSON, DOUG THORLEY, WALLY PARKS, TOM MCEWEN, DON PRUDHOMME, BILL ‘GRUMPY’ JENKINS, RICHARD THARP, C.J. ‘PAPPY’ HART, STEVE GIBBS, CARL OLSON, JUNGLE JIM LIEBERMAN, ALEX XYDIAS, JOE AMATO, BOB MURAVEZ (FLOYD LIPPINCOTE JR), GENE WINFIELD, GARY BECK, JAMES IBUSUKI.
    
l did this for the British Custom Car magazine, but they wouldn't publish it, so Bill Pratt of www.draglist.com published it on his website.  By John Hutchinson
JOHN’S ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT
     9 November 2001 The temperature in California in November is usually in the mid 60s, but this year it was in the high 70s to low 80s. The second of three qualifying days at the NHRA Finals. At the NHRA Motorsports Museum this evening after the day’s racing the NHRA had invited all the Top 50 Drivers voted by a select panel. Relatives of deceased drivers were invited. Dave McClelland the voice of NHRA drag racing was calling out the Top 50, from 50 to 3. Numbers 2 and 1 wouldn’t be announced until Sunday at Pomona Raceway, but the L.A. Times had leaked the story that John Force was No. 2 and Don Garlits was Numero Uno.
     Before the announcing began everyone went outside where in total darkness they fired up the "Magicar" front-engined top fuel dragster with Jeep Hampshire at the controls and the Weekly-Rivera-Fox-Holding "Frantic Four" dragster with Norm Weekly in the seat. With two foot flames leaping from the header pipes, the beautiful cackling sound and the smell of nitro, it was fantastic. I met James Ibusuki, the drag racing artist and friend I’ve known for quite a few years. It was great to meet him for the first time. I have ten of his lithographic prints, "Milestones and Mementoes," which salutes the NHRA’s Golden Anniversary, is his best yet. I met and got the autographs of the following Drag Racing Legends:
     "Big Daddy" Don Garlits Don Garlits is to drag racing what Babe Ruth was to baseball, Garlits could do it all, from building his own cars and engines to developing revolutionary concepts, such as drag racing’s first successful rear-engine Top Fuel dragster. Garlits won 35 NHRA national events and three NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championships and was the first driver to break the 170, 180, 200, 240, 250 and 270 barriers. He opened his Museum of Drag Racing, in Ocala, Florida, in 1984, and his Swamp Rat XXX dragster was inducted into the Smithsonian Institution in 1987. Garlits returned to active driving last year by recording his first four-second and 300-mph runs at the Mac Tools U. S. Nationals. "Big Daddy" nickname given to him over the PA by Bernie Partridge, long time NHRA national event announcer at an early Indy event. Swamp Rat 6B, the car he brought to England in 1964 with the United States Drag Racing Team is on display in the museum.
     Shirley Muldowney She started her career in the 1960s at a time when women were basically unwelcome in the pit area, let alone in the cockpit of a race car, Muldowney had to endure additional struggles than those faced by her male counterparts. Nevertheless, she prevailed on sheer willpower and became the first drag racer to record three NHRA Winston Top Fuel championships. The subject of the entertaining Heart like a Wheel biography movie in 1983, Muldowney continues to race in Top Fuel, and her appearances at the last two NHRA U. S. Nationals have been a highlight of the events for her legion of fans.
     Bob Glidden One of the hardest-working drag racers ever. Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden amassed a then-record 85 NHRA national event wins before John Force and Warren Johnson only recently surpassed him. He also held the former record of 10 NHRA Winston Championships, from 1974 to 1989, including five straight (1985-89), and he is the winningest driver in U. S. Nationals history with nine victories. Glidden raced with his wife, Etta, and his sons, Billy and Rusty, as his crew, and his unrelenting work ethic caused competitors and fans to call him "Mad Dog."
     TV Tommy Ivo – Ivo’s classic twin-Buick and later his Showboat, which featured four Buick engines and was a tribute to Ivo’s genius for synchronizing seemingly impossible combinations. The twin-engine Buick became the first gas-dragster to reach 160, 170, and 180 mph. In 1964, Ivo came home with the biggest prize from the historic tour of the United States Drag Racing Team in England when he defeated Garlits for overall honours and was crowned the International Drag Racer of the Year by NHRA and the British Hot Rod Association.
     "Mousie" Marcellus – First name Al, short for Alvin. Surviving partner and ‘keeper of the flame’ of the Marcellus & Borsch "Winged Express," the most famous AA/Fuel Altered ever. "Wild Willie" Borsch was the most popular driver of the wild fuel altereds due to his amazing ability to control these wayward machines with one hand on the steering wheel and the other holding the door. Today, Mousie maintains the resurrected version of the Winged Express, along with driver Mike Boyd, and enthusiastically shows current day race fans what AA/FA racing was all about at nostalgia events. "Mousie," was given his nickname when he was a teen and worked in an office. When he took a nap, he was "as quiet as a mouse." The resurrected version is on display. 
     "Dyno" Don Nicholson – A true pioneer of the sport whose career spans five decades. Dyno first gained national fame as the best of the stock racers driving a ’61 Chevy Bel Air 409. He transitioned into the funny car movement and his "Eliminator I" Comet became the first flip-top style AA/FC. In the late ‘60s, he returned to carbureted Super Stockers and helped to pioneer the Pro Stock class. Today, he currently runs the nostalgia circuit in a Pro Mod version of his original ’61 Chevy Bel Air 409. "Dyno" Don became known as a very good Dynamometer operator for tuning racing motors in So. Cal. In fact, the ’61 Chevy 409 read, "Dyno Tuned by Don Nicholson."
     Doug Thorley – Best known as the originator of "Doug’s Headers," one of the most popular racing hardware to be used on any style drag car. In the ‘60s, Doug had two well-remembered pioneer funny cars: the "Chevy Too Much" altered wheelbase ’64 Nova and the ’67 Doug’s Headers Corvair that won the first Indy Nationals Funny Car Eliminator. By winning that important race with his supercharged Chevy powered AA/FC, he essentially ended the era of injected nitro funny cars. Within months, every significant team switched from injectors-only to the injector/blower combination. The "Chevy Too Much" ‘64 Nova is on display. On my NHRA 2002 Calendar, I got the following autographs:
     Wally Parks – He founded the NHRA in 1951, drag racing’s most successful and influential sanctioning body. The first drag strip, the Santa Ana Drags, began running on an airfield in 1950, and quickly gained popularity because of its revolutionary computerized speed clocks. NHRA held its first official race in April 1953, on a slice of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds parking lot in Pomona, California. Four decades later that track has undergone a $6-million expansion and hosts the NHRA Winternationals and the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Now in its fifth decade, the NHRA is the world’s largest motor sport sanctioning with more than 85,000 members, 144 drag strips, 32,000 competitors and nearly 4,000 drag strip events. A Wally Parks statue is outside the museum.
     Tom McEwen – By becoming the "Mongoose" in the 1960’s he, along with Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, created the most well-known rivalry in the sport. In 1970, they procured what is commonly considered the first major corporate sponsorship in racing, the Mattel Hot Wheels Toys programme. In doing so, they brought drag racing into many children’s’ homes which helped the sport to grow at a rapid pace.
     Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins – He was the most beloved Chevy racer in drag racing history as a driver, engine builder, and team owner. He established his "giant killer" reputation with a 327-cid ’66 Chevy II that could outrun the fastest Dodge and Plymouth 426 Street Hems in A/S competition, and he enhanced that role by going virtually undefeated in the 1972 season with his 331-cid Pro Stock Vega. Jenkins is among the most honored individuals on the Car Craft Magazine All-Star Drag Racing team and has been inducted into practically every drag racing Hall of Fame. "Grumpy", his nickname is pretty self explanatory. You know, one of Disney’s 7 dwarfs was Grumpy, which is very much Bill’s persona.
      C. J. "Pappy" Hart – A true legend in drag racing that helped to literally form the sport. First, by creating and running the Santa Ana Drags, the country’s first commercial drag strip. He went on to manage the most famous drag strip of all time, Lions in the 60’s and after his retirement, was called back into action by NHRA to help run the Safety Safari. "Pappy," got his nickname as he was always older than most and was the "caretaker" of Lions and earlier, Santa Ana drag strips.
     Steve Gibbs – Although he worked ‘the other side of the fence,’ he was always respected and admired by the racers. As NHRA Competition Director for many decades, he orchestrated hundreds of national events and helped form what is known today as NHRA Championship Drag Racing. Today, Steve is the director of the NHRA Motorsports Museum, continuing to help the sport by preserving its rich history.
     Richard Tharp – Truly a legendary fuel driver in drag racing. Although he raced many significant fuelers out of Texas, he really hit the big time as the driver of the Blue Max funny car in ’71. Along with "Jungle Jim" Lieberman and the Chi-Town Hustler, the Max, with Tharp driving, became one of the top three in-demand funny cars of the ‘70s. He returned to fuelers to win the NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship in 1976, driving for the Candies & Hughes team, which also, coincidentally, was a former funny car team.
     Carl Olson – Although he drove front engined dragsters in the late ‘60s, his biggest win came at the ’72 Winternationals while driving the Kuhl & Olson rear engined fueler. He went on to be a key administrator for NHRA in manufacturer and international relations.
     Alex Xydias – Another true pioneer of the sport. One of the first speed equipment merchants and early innovators from the 1950’s. His best remembered race car is the Southern California Speed Shop Special, a dry lakes belly tank.
   (Others include) Joe Amato, Bob Muravez alias Floyd Lippincotte Jr, Gene Winfield, Gary Beck.
     James Ibusuki – All of his original paintings are on permanent display in the NHRA Museum.  Many thanks to James Ibusuki for compiling each person’s profile.  This was a very special "ONCE IN A LIFETIME EVENT" that won’t be repeated in my lifetime. John Hutchinson,
nitromaniac43@gmail.com.

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MYNATT'S ESSO AERO CAR, JIM MILLER, BONNEVILLE, BILL KEOGH
     I have found out some more information on the Mynatt's Esso aero (LSR) car.  The area that I got the body from in Massachusetts was north of Route 2, I believe half way between Lowal (Lowell) and Fitchburg.  It was off the beaten track and quite rural older homes; narrow back roads.  A person contacted me and remembered seeing a picture of the car in one of the car magazines in the mid-fifties as a Bonneville race car but cannot remember now the name of the magazine.  I have written a letter to the following person who from 1950 forward for 40 years had a salvage yard in the Newburgh, New York area that also was known as having considerable amount of used amusement park equipment including rides and kiddy rides from the New York World's fair.  He thinks once he sees the pictures he will remember the car details when in Newburgh.  He is: Richard Ehler, Louisburg, North Carolina.   The still unknown factor is the location of MYNATT'S ESSO SERVICE CENTER somewhere in far eastern New York State (i.e Orange County) or in north central Massachusetts.  I have contacted literally hundreds of libraries, historical societies, various car forums, the Esso/Exxon official Historian at Texas University to no avail.  The key thing is to get the question out to the public; where was MYNATT's Esso Service Center located in eastern New York State or Massachusetts from 1950 forward  (note: the Esso brand never was used in Illinois.)     Bill Keogh 
     BILL:
Please always include Jim Miller's email address on correspondence because he is our main researcher.  Jim would know better than I about any information of the car at Bonneville or the dry lakes of California.  I believe you will have more luck in finding out more about Mynatt's if you cold call by phone to various town historical societies or county historical societies.  Mynatt is not a common name.  If Mynatt is a person's surname and not a contraction of two other surnames, you might be able to access a disc with national telephone numbers and addresses.  I know the discs exist and the approximate price is reasonable.  Or you might find the telephone directories on-line for free or for a small fee.

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REID RAILTON, JOHN COBB, RICHARD ARMSTRONG, GENE LEBLANC, BONNEVILLE, GLENN PANGRY, DAVID PARKS, HARVEY HALLER, ART CHRISMAN, JERRY CORNELISON, HOT ROD MAGAZINE, CRAIG BREEDLOVE.
     While doing some research on Reid Railton I came across some details which may shed light on the query you had earlier this year regarding Gene LeBlanc (Newsletter 273).  LeBlanc, who seems to have been a hot rodder/drag racer who lived in Cupertino CA, had built a miniature replica of John Cobb's Railton Mobil Special - fibreglass-bodied and powered by two Chrysler V8s - and it ran at Bonneville in 1954, apparently in search of some US national records. Sadly, it crashed and the driver, Glenn Pangry, lost an arm. This is presumably one of the "many difficulties" referred to.
Sources:
http://newspaperarchive.com/oakland-tribune/1953-11-29/page-28
http://www.forgottenfiberglass.com/wp-content/uploads/826.jpg
http://newspaperarchive.com/danville-bee/1954-09-02/page-27
http://autox.team.net/pipermail/land-speed/2010-March.txt - post dated March 13th 2010 by speedtimer at beyondbb.com. Regards,
Richard Armstrong, Bath, UK
                     -------------------------------
THIS IS THE REFERENCE IN ISSUE #273 THAT RICHARD ARMSTRONG IS REFERING TO;
Staff notes;
the following email came from David L. Parks.
  
I found the following in the November 1955 edition of Hot Rod magazine regarding Bonneville 1955; "The "Miss 400" crew won the Harvey Haller Memorial Award, donated by the National Hot Rod Association for sportsmanship. Their magnanimous act of donating a few essential parts to their closest competitor, Art Chrisman, and then have Art break the record of the "400" was sportsmanship at its best, a fitting award for a deserving group."
   I also found this in the November 1954 issue of Hot Rod magazine for Bonneville 1954; "The National Hot rod Association presented Gene LeBlanc with the Harvey Haller Memorial award, given for sportsmanship. Gene's determination and contagious good humor, in spite of his many difficulties, made this choice a ‘natural.’" I didn't see anything in 1953 Bonneville coverage about the award.   David Parks
                     -------------------------------
   I don't have any record of a Gene LeBlanc as a Road Runner. I still think they are two different Harvey Haller awards. The NHRA award was for Sportsmanship and the Road Runners award is for outstanding service to the Club. It appears the Sportsmanship award was related to Bonneville, at least for the two years mentioned, 1954 and 1955. Jerry Cornelison
                     -------------------------------
   RICHARD ARMSTRONG; Thank you for the web links.  I have a photo of the Cobb Railton Mobil Special and Craig Breedlove's signature above my work station.  It is one of the most important land speed cars to ever come to Bonneville.  If Cobb had not come there in the late 1940's, my father and other SCTA members might never have made the effort to develop Bonneville for annual land speed racing.  Cobb was the inspiration for them at the time.  We can use news and correspondence from Europe and I hope you will continue to send us research and news as you find it. Best, Richard Parks

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BIG LEROY. By LE ROI ‘TEX’ SMITH
 
  My uncle was Big LeRoy. Brother to my mom. Spitting image of his dad, a full blood Cherokee. Big LeRoy Welch (Ugama and/or Tracking Wolf) was only a couple of years older than me, but when I straggled into the world I got his name for some unknown reason. Anyway, I’m telling you this because Big LeRoy was way into cars. He loved them. He became a body/fender man, like my stepdad, a profession he followed most of his life, the majority of said life revolving around Bakersfield, California. I think I told you that the first three words a baby born in Oklahoma learned were Mommy, Daddy, and Bakersfield! 
   So, while my family was living up in the Berkeley area, there was a ton of hot rodding going on around the San Francisco Bay Area. We had street rods everywhere (we drove those cars to death. They were, after all, just used cars.), once in a rare while what we now call Classics would rumble down the road, and many of the street rods were often used for weekend duty as roundy rounders. Big LeRoy found a kind of Classic and hot rod and custom combined when he drove by one day to take me for a ride in his sort of new/used three window l939 Lincoln Zephyr. Nothing but a big Ford, but the body seemed to overflow in every direction. It was long and swoopy, it looked much lower than it really was, and with a flathead V-12 engine, it was fast, after awhile, and it would stop for sour owl crap. 
   Well, not fast by today’s standards. But back then, it could peg that big center mounted speedo at over l00. And with a longer leg for second gear, a fact the hot rodding world learned early on. Back in the day, it was all the rage to see who could make the fastest trip between Berkeley (official start/finish was front door of the Albany Motors body shop, which was right across the road from the police department) and Sacramento. For a brief time, Big LeRoy had the quickest time up to Sacto, but like everything, guys who owned rods with big arms (cranks) got into the deal.
   Somewhere Big LeRoy came up with a set of teardrop fender skirts, and although they were always coming unlatched, we were really killer cool through the drive-in’s. Eventually, some teardrop spots were added, which he made fully functional to the dismay of the cops across the street. I should add here that one morning when we got to the body shop, there was a ’46 Ford coupe waiting. One of the cop cars, and the police boss was very anxious for us to get the car inside, where he wanted us to fill the several bullet holes in the trunk lid and top. Seems the car had been involved in a high speed chase through Oakland and Albany (as fast as a stocker could go back then) and we needed to get it all repaired during the day. So as to avoid a resultant embarrassment. Like, I mean, questions as to who was shooting holes in the back of a police car that was in hot pursuit?
   Through the years, I kept in touch with Big LeRoy, who moved over to east Bakersfield (which came to have a less than savory reputation) and stayed there for several decades. The last time I saw him he was excited to show me a restored Chevy he had recently completed. Once a car guy, always? Oh, and about the spelling of LeRoi(y). Early on in my schooling, I read where LeRoi was the French word for king. So I changed the Y for an I. Big LeRoy didn’t care. A true real hot rodder attitude.

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LE ROI TEX SMITH, RON CERIDONO
Betcha He Changes His Mind! By Le Roi Tex Smith
   I am not a big fan of fads in hot rodding, especially fads that spill from the drag strip to the street. These hiccups of the moment range from running fake window numbers to quarter-mile only engineering exercises. Take the newly evolving Gasser giggles.
   Yes, I know that my buddy Ronnie Poo Ceridono is making a semi-clone of that high and mighty Mopar thingy out of Detroit. It’s interesting, but not at all my thing, especially not the solid front axle stuff. Been there, done that, got the bruises.
   Remember all the whizz-bang about Pro Street not so long past? I have no idea how much money and effort was wasted on that exercise in futility, but I certainly got to see some fine examples of just how atrocious some projects became. In particular, I remember doing the Goodguys Indy outing one year, then jumping in the Junkyard Dog roadster and heading back to Idaho. Somewhere over near the Missouri border, I came up behind a Pro Street car that had been at Indy. It was very shiny, with all the necessary bling, and the guy was poking along at about 40mph. At an almost immediate gas station, I pulled in to fill the tank and shortly thereafter that POS pulled in. The guy did the plastic man imitation out of the drivers office, and in the course of conversation, he conceded to how the car drove awful, was totally unsuitable for any kind of comfort, and he was lucky to get four miles per gallon from the overkill, blown big-block. Plus, he couldn’t exceed 40 MPH or the car wanted to leave the four-lane. Have I missed something here, or is the gee-whiz factor from pre-pubescent adolescence at the corner candy shop more important than reality in hot rodding?
   Years ago, guys running pre-cave age front suspensions started to run big slicks on the rear. The tires would not fit in the Detroit fenders, so the rear was jacked up and wider tires began to stick out the side, sometimes as much as five inches. Wow, that must be a real wicked hauler (the Bon Ami fake class and numbers on the windows were confirmation this was a for-real race car!) Big whacker at Bob’s drive-in on Van Nuys Boulevard. In short, it’s a pretender. Look back at pictures from street rodding in the ‘60s and you see the same rear tire treatment on street rods. The same cars often had a proliferation of speed equipment decals on the glass, giving rise to the deprecatory snigger of “lick ‘em, stick ’em” hot rods. The major reason we set that original street rod nationals cut-off date at 1948.
   Posing may have worked OK at the high school parking lot, but it didn’t wash with the real rodding world. And it created some very unsafe vehicles. Ok by me what you do to yourself, just don’t hang results of your mistakes on others. Take those slicks, for instance. An example: I pulled up to Foothill Boulevard one day, right where the road sweeps down from Sunland to cross the Tujunga Wash Bridge. It was raining softly, and a Model A coupe whizzed by, at about the speed limit. All of a sudden, the driver lost control as the slicks lost pavement contact and began to hydroplane. That coupe did a number of 360s on the wide bridge. Luckily there was no oncoming traffic. This was all caused by a wannabe poser. Big drag slicks did not make a drag racer.
   And maybe that last thing is the real crux here: knowing what you are about. There is no excuse for poor hot rod engineering these days. The magazines and books are full of good designing, if not perfect execution. Yet, on occasion, bad examples slip by, especially from that small group wanting to do things like “we yoosta!” I can tell you this, if Ronnie Poo ends up with a poor handling or unsafe gasser on the rack, it will go for a full reconstruction. And he’ll be the first to tell you.

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Pictures of Paula Murphy they are from John Hutchinson

paula03DRMCollection

paula05SteveReyes

paula07DRMCollection

paula08PHR2-70

paula18DRMCollection

paula19DRMCollection

paula20DRMCollection

paulaMikeDitty

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240 Gordie Pictures Are From John Hutchinson

bonin025HO

bonin027DRMCollection

bonin030HO

bonin036MikeDitty

bonin037MikeDitty

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Bonneville Speed 2013 Salt Lake Tribune Speed Demon Steals the Show
Click for PDF

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The Century of Speed will be the show of the Century. The book will be the Holy Grail of Bonneville.
Click for PDF

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 [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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Contact Mary Ann Lawford: 208-362-1010
Email: maryann@lawfordmedia.com