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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 294 - September 21, 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 

Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
Ross Kroenert, Debbie Baker, Cruisin’ For A Cure: Guest Columnist, By Ross Kroenert; Santa Ana Drags Reunion, Main Street Malt Shop Reunion, Linda Vaughn, Anna Marco, Pete Haak, Doug Westfall, Calvin Rice, Dick Davis, Stormy Byrd, Roger Rohrdanz, Leslie Long, Gene Mitchell, Jessica Clark; Doug Hartelt, Susan Whitney; Richard “Dick” Davis; Edward Lawrence Kretz Jr, American Motorcycle Hall Of Fame, Trailblazers, Dick Hammer Award; Santa Ana Drags Reunion, C. J. Hart, Ollie Morris, Smokin’ White Owl, Old Yeller Ii, Goodwood Revival Meeting, Lord Charles March, Max And Ina Balchowsky, Ernie Nagamatsu; Macaulay Foundry, Harry Miller, Bancroft Library, Meyer/Drake, Novi, Wayne Manufacturing, Spencer Simon; John Buck, Grand National Roadster Show; Road Runners Car Club, Bud Meyer, Pat O’hern, Johnny Welcher, Tom Medley, Jerry Cornelison, Wally Parks, Welchel Brothers, Muroc, Jim Miller, Orville “Snuffy” Welcher; Burt Munro, George Callaway, National Library Of New Zealand, Liane Mcgee; John Hutchinson, Jim Butler; Leslie Long, Gene Mitchell, Santa Ana Drag Strip And Main Street Malt Shop Reunion, El Mirage, Richard Parks; George “Pierce” Ausburn, Road Runners Car Club, Santa Ana Airport Drag Strip, Eleanor Ausburn Davis; Jerry Cornelison; Matt Kenney, Usfra, Emmanuel “Manu” Thuillier, Bonneville 4 Sick Kids, Tony And Beverley Hawkriggs, Bonneville Salt Flats, World Of Speed, Burly Burlile, Vw Challenge; Gone Racin’, Snake & Mongoo$E, Richard Parks, Roger Rohrdanz, Wayne Holloway, Alan Paradise, Don Prudhomme, Tom Mcewen, Mattel, Hot Wheels, Army And Navy, Kenny Bernstein, Ashley Hinshaw, Lynn Prudhomme, Kim Shaw, Judy Mcewen, Robin Broidy, Noah Wyle, Art Spear, Fred Dryer, Ed Donovan, Roland Leong, John Heard, Alexis Dejoria, Julie Mond, Ron Capps, Jessie Williams, Richard Blake; Le Roi Tex Smith; Christina Michelle Evigan, Mitzi Valenzuela, Kurt “Lucky” Weber, The World’s Fastest Indian, Bonneville, Al Teague, Paul Vanderley, Jim “Brillo” Harris, Jorge Chisholm, Tommy Hanson, Thom Tisthammer, Bob Westbrook, San Diego Roadster Club, Halibrand; Quarter Mile Foundation, Traci Hrudka, Steve Cole, Carl Olson, Don Garlits, Harry Hibler, Don Ewald, Wayne Wolfe, Tom Curnow, Project 1320; Jessica Clark, Irwindale Speedway, Chris Gerchman; All Photos Are Courtesy Of The Parks Family Collection; Good Show! Congratulations To Our Awesome Crew And Sponsors.

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ROSS KROENERT, DEBBIE BAKER, CRUISIN’ FOR A CURE: GUEST COLUMNIST, by Ross Kroenert:  
     For 14 years now, Debbie Baker has been educating folks about prostate cancer with the best tool she can think of: a classic car show.  Namely, the Cruisin' for a Cure event in Costa Mesa, California which combines a huge custom/classic auto show with prostate cancer screenings to raise awareness about the disease and encourage early detection and prevention.  "I call Cruisin' For A Cure the Save Your Life Car Show in California. It's the largest one day charity event in the nation with more than 3500 cars, old and new," explains Debbie. "Over the past 13 years we have tested more than 12,000 men for prostate cancer and have saved over 3,000 men from the disease they would not have known about had they not taken advantage of the free screenings at this event and others." 
     Debbie started the event after her husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. She and the team of volunteers and organizers want to make sure that the disease can be identified early. The event is held in September as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness month.  She knew that the cars would bring in the crowds, and that the availability of the free screenings would certainly encourage attendees to get their numbers checked.  The event has been so successful that a number of shows around the country have sprung up, like Car Show/Cancer Screening franchises.  Cruisin' for a Cure is an all volunteer event, and to make sure the fundraising goes directly research, entry and participant checks are made out to the research institution itself. In this case it is the City of Hope Prostate Cancer Program in Orange County, California. 
     The event is supported by a number of outside sponsors as well including Meguiar's, Magnaflow, Firestone, America's tires, Interstate Batteries, Mac Tools, and Mickey Thompson Tires amongst the 250 vendors.  Dave McClellan, the voice of NHRA, acts as MC.  In addition to the car show, the event features live entertainment, food, and cruisin' lanes. But the most important facet is the screening component.  Debbie will identify survivors and give them blue shirts to wear during the event as inspiration to the other attendees. The efforts are making a difference.  "Men are starting to realize that prostate cancer is not an old man's disease; it is claiming 207,000 lives a year. Getting a simple PSA blood test and tracking their numbers for comparison each year to see if they start to go up makes a difference. We are seeing prostate cancer now more and more in men in their early 40's and with more aggressive cancers too. They need to start screening now." 
     Debbie has words for the men directly, "You put oil in your cars, you check your radiators, why not check your own body with a simple blood test? If you want to do the complete exam, that's free too.  Last year alone, 26 out of 186 men had a full exam, and came back with suspicious lumps. That exam literally saved their lives."  The original Cruisin' for a Cure will be held September 28, 2013 at the OC Fair and Events center in Costa Mesa, California.  Check our events page to find out more about related events in other areas of the country.  For more information, go to www.cruisinforacure.com.

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SANTA ANA DRAGS REUNION, MAIN STREET MALT SHOP REUNION, LINDA VAUGHN, ANNA MARCO, PETE HAAK, DOUG WESTFALL, CALVIN RICE, DICK DAVIS, STORMY BYRD, ROGER ROHRDANZ, LESLIE LONG, GENE MITCHELL, JESSICA CLARK.
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks:  
   What if a car club or racing organization had a special goal in mind that had merit and value to the community. Is this something that your group has been thinking about? Do you want to start up a new car show, nostalgic race, museum, reunion or youth program? The short term prospects are usually good for these projects, but it is the long term prognosis that is sketchy.  Let’s say that you've got a lot of the basics covered and have done your homework. You have talked to the city fathers, called all the sponsors and got your club members interested and chaffing at the bit. You have found out that there is a need in your area for a new car show, or that a race is very doable, or a series of car events and reunions has interest. You have even developed your own PR committee within your group and you are going after the websites, news media, racing magazines and other professionals to see that your activity is well known in the area. 
   But there is one area that you need to work on and will have to continually work on if you are to be a long term success. That is what I call penetration; which means that your concept is so well rooted in a community that it is impossible to remove because people will step up to save the project.  People come and go and so do sponsors, but an icon is hardly ever replaced or lost.  There are museums everywhere and after a few years the promoters weary of it, or fundraising stalls, or activities dwindle and sponsors are lost.  To survive you have to tap into a resource that is so deep rooted that it simply can't go away.  One such is the nostalgic craze.  Another is youth programs.  Can you incorporate activities that interest young and old, male and female? What about model race tracks for electrified cars, or small go-kart style racecars? How about a mechanical seminar for young kids to show them how to build engines?  The ideas are endless but you have to tap into or penetrate a market and make sure that the community knows that without this service that your club is providing, the whole area suffers because they have lost it.  Just don't rely on the government or sponsors for the long haul; they tend to lose focus and go elsewhere taking their resources with them.  
   On another issue, I am receiving notes back on the Santa Ana Airport Drag Strip and Main Street Malt Shop Reunion. Some will be there and others will not be able to make it. Linda Vaughn says she will try and be there. Pete Haak, organizer of the Fountain Valley car show will try to be there. Doug Westfall, who is writing a book on Calvin Rice, said he will try and make the reunion. Unfortunately we lost Dick Davis as he has passed away. Anna Marco may try to come and bring Stormy Byrd and his crew. Roger and I will be there with Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell. Gene is bringing the pop-up tents, chairs and food, but you can also bring fold-up chairs too if you wish.
   Here’s a statement I received recently; “I do have to make sure that I am not copying anything from the books already written.  It would be nice to find unwritten history.” You can copy what has been written before as long as you attribute what you take to the source and also get permission if you take the entire record.  But it is accepted and legal practice to QUOTE from a source even without the author's approval.  Thus, if I quote from a movie the lines of the actors for a movie review I don't have to get their permission.  If I quote from a book that I am reviewing and I take a few sentences or paragraphs I don't have to get permission. 
   If I am taking a substantial amount of material it would be more appropriate to ask the creator of the material, if that person is alive and can respond.  I will have a hard time asking the Venerable Bede for permission on his works as he has been dead for twelve hundred years.  As for finding original material it cannot be original, for at some point someone created it or edited the material or passed it on.  The only original material that you can find is "the creation of your own mind."  Thus if you find someone to interview and you conduct an interview with that person and he tells you something no one has ever heard before, it is second hand, but if you combine what was said with research of your own, then THAT is a new creation and original and thus you are responsible (or partly responsible) for that new knowledge.  There is nothing wrong with RE-discovering old knowledge that people have forgotten that needs to be brought back into the public trust.
   I received a nice newsletter from Jessica Clark, a young roundy round driver just out of high school and intent on becoming a good race car driver. There are a lot of good young drivers and mechanics who are looking for a ride or a team to work on. I observe race teams at various venues and sometimes there are a lot of volunteers and some paid crewman. But most of the racing teams have just one person, or at most two partners. This is really quite selfish. Notice that I didn’t say unfortunate. That’s because I don’t mean unfortunate that you are slaving away doing everything and frustrated that things are going badly. I mean exactly the word selfish. Yes, you have control over the end product; setting a record or going home with broken parts. But what you are lacking is a team. Even if you don’t need a team the up and coming drivers, mechanics and fans of LSR, the next generation, needs you. But where are you now, except cursing your misfortune and lack of success. 
   Somehow I don’t think LSR people focus on the past and the numerous individuals who created your sport, gave it life and made it possible for you to race. I’m not saying that the volunteers are perfect; just ask Jim Miller and he’ll tell you that I’ve criticized a lot of bone-headed moves in LSR for a long time. And I have praised others who have merited praise. But there is one area that all those in land speed racing can do and that is offer a spot on your team to someone who wants to work and will make a good volunteer. You need more than just another wrench or go-fer. These young people can also video your runs, provide PR and create a website and run that site for you. They need the experience and you need them; even if you can do it all by yourself Mr Super LSR-man. Learn some humility and take a few extra hands with you to the dry lakes. Teach them what you know. Learn from these young people and pass on the heritage of LSR to the next generation. Land speed racing is getting old in years; the average age of those participating is around the high fifties. Only bad things can come from aging out a sport, so get new blood and put them to work. Jessica will one day be a success, but apparently not because of you. It isn’t fun being passed by, so add some young, new crew members and drivers to your team.

Harry Deshazo, Gene Ellis, and Bernie Couch enjoying the event

Johnny Ryan built more race winning flathead engines than just about anyone.

Event organizer Leslie Long meets Hot Rod Deluxe Editor Dave Wallace Jr.

Bob Falcon with Ed Iskenderian.

3 members of the Society of Landspeed Raceing Historians, (L-R) Roger Rohrdanz, Richard Parks, & President, Jim Miller with Leslie Long (seated).

Back row(L-R)  Eileen Date, Gene Mitchell, Ben Iskenderian, Brent Collier, unknown (w/hat), Barry, Doug Wilson, Jim Donoho, Stan Betz, Craig Durham, Bob Marderosian, Leslie Long, John Durham, Bob Falcon, Dave Wallace Jr., Bernie Couch (bald), Dave Cook,

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DOUG HARTELT, SUSAN WHITNEY
     My dad Doug Hartelt passed away peacefully early this AM. I don't have Leslie Long’s phone # with me here in San Diego. Could you please send it to me? Memorial service is September 16, 2013 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Pacific Beach, California (San Diego). Susan Whitney
    
Susan: Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your father.  He was a great man and we will miss him very much.  I hope that your family can attend the Santa Ana Drags Reunion so that everyone can tell you personally how much they admired Doug.

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RICHARD “DICK” DAVIS
 
    Richard “Dick” Davis passed away peacefully October 31, 2013, at his home in Westlake Village surrounded by several loved ones, due to complications from cancer.  He was 79.  He was born October 2, 1933 in Wilmington, California to Richard and Lillian Davis.  Later, he was joined by his brother Don.  An avid car guy and mechanic, he grew up in Long Beach and was a member of the Renegades car club in the early 1950’s. He was also a regular at the Santa Ana Dragstrip racing his 1932 Ford Coupe.  Dick graduated from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan.  In 1955 he and Eleanor Ausburn were married and they raised 3 children: a daughter Markell, and 2 sons, Kurt and Michael in Long Beach, California.  He worked for Chrysler throughout the 1960’s then on to Mazda Motors in the early 1970’s. In 1976, a co-worker from Mazda was starting a new dealership, and he wanted Dick to work for him. He and Eleanor moved to Thousand Oaks where he began working with the late John Woodward, Jr, the founder of Westoaks Chrysler Dodge.  Mr. “D” retired from Westoaks as the General Manager in 2003.
     In retirement, he brought back to life his brother-in-law’s Calypso Coral 1968 Mercury Cougar, which brought him back into the “car guy” scene.  He enjoyed talking to anyone about his car or any car in general, and he was always so humble about the recognition he and his car received.  Anyone who knew Dick Davis always knew they were welcomed and important, and that his family meant everything to him.  Dick is survived by his wife Eleanor and his three children: daughter Markell and her husband Vic, son Michael and his wife Janet, son Kurt, and brother, Don Davis.  His pride and joy (the Cougar), 11 grandchildren: Jamie and her husband Aaron, Carmen, Gabriel and his wife Sandra, Ashley, Corey, Robert and his wife Melissa, Pierce, Kenneth, Derrek, Valerie, and Tiffany and 4 great-grandchildren: Liam, Alaina, Gavin, Abel… and his pet desert tortoise, The Judge.  Eleanor Davis.

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EDWARD LAWRENCE KRETZ JR, AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE HALL OF FAME, TRAILBLAZERS, DICK HAMMER AWARD
Edward Lawrence Kretz Jr. (Click For Image)
     Edward Lawrence Kretz, Jr., died suddenly of congestive heart failure on Sunday, September 9, 2013, while on a short motorcycle ride. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 60 years, Elaine; daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Clint Milazo; granddaughters and husbands, Robin and Jeremy Miller, Michelle and Chris Swofford, Holly Milazo, Nicole Milazo; great-granddaughter, Abigail Marie Miller; and sister and husband, Donna and Ed Forstall, niece, nephews, many cherished relatives and countless friends. Eddie was born on May 3, 1932 in Pomona, California to Irene and Edward Kretz, Sr. He grew up in Monterey Park, California, and had a successful career there as co-owner of Ed Kretz and Son motorcycle shop for over 40 years. After he retired, Ed and Elaine moved to Colorado to be close to their daughter and her family.  
     His stories were endless and his jokes legendary. No one was a stranger to him as he made friends so quickly. While he may be most remembered for his motorcycle accomplishments, his greatest love and commitment was to his family. His generosity was endless and his love ran deep. He selflessly cared for his Alzheimer’s-stricken wife at home for many years before having to finally place her in an assisted living home this past July. He would visit her almost daily, bringing toys to entertain her and the other residents. He loved to dance and make people smile and would get Elaine and the other ladies up to join him. Her disease is quite advanced so her doctors and family have requested that nothing be said to her about his death. She would be devastated and then not remember why. 
     Eddie had many accomplishments and many things to be proud of, but the thing that he was most proud of was his family. When he was 29 years old, he welcomed his first and only child, Cindy, which he loved and cherished. He was always so proud of her and her accomplishments, especially his four granddaughters that she and her husband Clint gave to him in the 1980’s. He was a very devoted and loving dad and grandpa, and recently, great-grandpa. He was so excited to be at the hospital for the birth of his first great-grandchild last December. His face would light up whenever he would see her and he enjoyed many fun times with her. His selflessness was also exhibited by his long-term commitment to volunteering at the University of Colorado Cancer Center where he was known and loved by patients and staff alike. He was affectionately known as “The Candy Man,” because he also would always bring bags of candy 
     Eddie followed in his Dad’s footsteps in his love of motorcycle racing. He won many state and national titles, including winning the 1955 Peoria TT National, plus top off-road finishes at Catalina and Big Bear, as well as being the Pacific Coast TT Champion three times. He stopped racing after his daughter was born because he was watching so many of his friends get killed on the track and wanted to make sure that he was always there for his family. He was inducted into the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2002; was inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2012; received the Trailblazers’ top honor, the Dick Hammer Award, in 2013. He loved showing off his many prized “keepers,” an extensive collection of bikes and memorabilia. He was the Ultimate Motorcycle Enthusiast and an incredible individual that will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.
   http://blogs.denverpost.com/sports/2013/09/11/ed-kretz-jr-motorcycle-racing-legend-dies-on-motorcyle-ride-in-colorado/25514/. And, http://www.castlerockfuneralandcremation.com/obituaries/Edward-Kretz/.

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SANTA ANA DRAGS REUNION, C. J. HART, OLLIE MORRIS, SMOKIN’ WHITE OWL, OLD YELLER II, GOODWOOD REVIVAL MEETING, LORD CHARLES MARCH, MAX AND INA BALCHOWSKY, ERNIE NAGAMATSU
   Thanks for the Santa Ana Drags Reunion notice. As I mentioned in the past, we lived a country block from C.J. Hart and the house with the Hot Rod in the front yard. Their kids went to Garden Grove Union High School before me.  As a kid I went to the Santa Ana Drags in the early days; Ollie Morris and the Smokin' White Owl was my all time favorite racer and it was a sight to behold his car screaming down the strip.
     We are invited again with our 1959 Old Yeller II to the Goodwood Revival Meeting Races September 13-15, 2013 and we are humbled as it is a "By Invite Only" and no applications. There will be 160,000 race fans at the event that is sold out months in advance. The invitation is so special from Lord Charles March, as there are only 30 grid slots available for our class which includes a gaggle of D Jaguars, Birdcage Maseratis, Testa Rosa Ferraris, Listers among those selected in our class. This is our third invitation in a row and we are proud to be the American Hot Rod Road Racing Special as well as being proud of racing with the mighty 401 Nailhead motor. We went back to Webers and much more grunt and torque now.  Max even tried Hilborn’s at one time. The OYII had a P-51 gas filler cap and we finally went back to that cap as a cover for our new cap under connected to our fuel cell.  We recently went back to the taller windscreen with special fabrication as Max originally used some motorcycle wind screen. 
     Max and Ina Balchowsky would be so amazed at the recognition of their contribution from the Bu-Ford Special to the Doretti with the Buick... then on to the Morgensen Special and then the Old Yeller II Buick Special. Ernie Nagamatsu

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MACAULAY FOUNDRY, HARRY MILLER, BANCROFT LIBRARY, MEYER/DRAKE, NOVI, WAYNE MANUFACTURING, SPENCER SIMON
     I visited the University of California at Berkeley to find some information on the Macaulay Foundry and Harry Miller.  Apparently collecting the history was more complex than I thought.  The material is located in the Bancroft Library at the University in the archival section.  It's a center that is sealed and people aren't allowed to take material out from its premises.  At times the materials aren't at the Bancroft.  You could arrange an order from another special library and the Bancroft would deliver the research material to that facility on loan.  I went to do my research on specific materials, but someone had arranged and just picked up what I was looking for.  I did acquire some information.  The research material that I requested will be delivered to me in a week’s time.  What I have been able to get on the years 1949 through 1954 was a record book on what the Macaulay Foundry had done within this time period.  When it came to specialty castings they were listed in the miscellaneous section. 
   I spotted Meyer and Drake making very few block castings.  Another was Meyer and Welch making the Novi block casting.  I did see that Wayne Manufacturing was casting their cylinder heads. There were no pictures available but just records.  My goal was to get material on the 1900 to the 1930's era, but someone is using this particular document which shows the pictures of illustrations of the patterns that I am trying to get access to.  The library will not let anyone allow these to be published unless they are in high resolution according to their terms which I am willing to do when it comes in next week.   When this is done I will send it in to you with a story.   Spencer Simon

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JOHN BUCK, GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW
John Buck is now taking entries for the 2014 Grand National Roadster Show at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, California. Write to; Rod Shows, 12223 Highland Avenue #550, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 91739, or email to info@rodshows.com.

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ROAD RUNNERS CAR CLUB, BUD MEYER, PAT O’HERN, JOHNNY WELCHER, TOM MEDLEY, JERRY CORNELISON, WALLY PARKS, WELCHEL BROTHERS, MUROC, JIM MILLER, ORVILLE “SNUFFY” WELCHER
The Road Runners are proud to announce the induction of our first three Life Members: Bud Meyer, 1937- 50's; Pat O'Hern, 1947-1949; Johnny Welcher, 1937-1941. Life Members include living Charter Members and those who were Members any time from 1937 through 1949. An invitation has been sent to Tom Medley. We are searching for other eligible candidates. Short bios can be found on the Road Runners Members page: http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners/Alumni.htm.  Jerry Cornelison - Road Runners Historian
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     When I talked with Johnny Welcher today, he talked about your dad (Wally Parks) towing the Welchel Brothers car to Muroc for them on many occasions.  Johnny has so many interesting stories.  I first visited him about 3-4 years ago.  I went back for a second visit and asked Jim Miller along.  We had a wonderful time listening to the stories about the "old days" of hot rodding and dry lakes racing. Johnny shared his personal photo album and one he had recently received from his nephew, Snuffy's son.  Really great stuff. I hope at some point Jim can still do a video session with Johnny for the Pioneers of American Hot Rodding archives. Jerry Cornelison
     JERRY: Johnny and Orville (Snuffy) Welchel, with an L instead of an R, was the name they used during the 1930's and '40's dry lakes racing days.  They were Road Runners and good friends of my father.  Their correct name was Welcher and I have never found out if they changed their name when they raced or if it was a typographical error on the programs.  Almost always the old dry lakes guys would change a person's name in humor or give them a nickname.  Some of the old records are hard to understand because there were no names given; only nicknames.  If you talk to Johnny ask him why Orville was called Snuffy and they spelled their surname of Welcher as Welchel.  Also ask him if he remembers any other nicknames for the dry lakes racers.  I hope you have gotten their history down.  My father was very impressed with the Welchel Brothers car and one of the photos of their car is going into the book by brother and I are working on right now called THE MINUTES OF THE SCTA; 1937 - 1948.

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BURT MUNRO, GEORGE CALLAWAY, NATIONAL LIBRARY OF NEW ZEALAND, LIANE MCGEE
     I am curating an exhibition on innovation in New Zealand and one of the stories I am showing is of Burt Munro and his modified Indian bike.  I have some photographs taken (I think) by George Callaway in 1964.  I want to display these photos in this exhibition at the National Library of New Zealand and just want to get his okay as they are still covered by copyright.  I have stumbled across this article (http://www.hotrodhotline.com/feature/guestcolumnists/richardscorner/08callaway/) by George and wonder if you could possibly supply an email address for George or forward this email to him.  I am attaching a copy of the photos in question.  They were part of a collection of scrapbooks that the National Library of New Zealand purchased this year.  Liane McGee
     LIANE: I am forwarding this message to George Callaway and also post it in our newsletter at www.landspeedracing.com to see if there are others who can verify the ownership of the photographs that you have on Burt Munro.  If you don't hear from George in a day or two, email me back and I will call him directly and get the answer for you. 

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JOHN HUTCHINSON, JIM BUTLER
STAFF NOTES:
John Hutchinson from the UK sends this video to us from Jim Butler on the first firing for their dragster. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjawgqBVTPw.

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LESLIE LONG, GENE MITCHELL, SANTA ANA DRAG STRIP AND MAIN STREET MALT SHOP REUNION, EL MIRAGE, RICHARD PARKS
     Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell are planning another Santa Ana Drag Strip and Main Street Malt Shop Reunion on Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 10 AM to 2 PM, or until you decide to go home.  Gene Mitchell will cater the reunion for free and bring sandwiches, drinks, snacks, salad trays and desserts, all free of cost.  Leslie will bring his extensive photo albums and research on the Santa Ana Drag Strip and also on dry lakes land speed time trial photographs from El Mirage.  The event will be at Santiago Creek Park, right next to the creek bed, in a lovely tree shaded park setting with benches, tables, chairs and easy-up tents.  Directions to the reunion; Santiago Creek Park is on East Memory Lane, just a quarter-mile east of Main Street on the border of the cities of Santa Ana and Orange.  Turn off Main Street and go about a 1/4 mile to a signal called Lawson Way, turn right (towards the south) and drive down the embankment into the paved over creek bed.  You will see the park right on the other side of the creek, up a few stairs.  There is no cost to attend, for food or to park; and there is no registration or check in time.  You simply come, bring your memories and photo albums and meet your old friends that you raced against.  We welcome those who are younger and never came to the old Santa Ana Drag Strip.  The reunion also honors the Main Street Malt Shop, where the local Santa Ana kids used to hang out before and after the drag races.  This was their local place to be seen.  Bring pencil, paper, camcorders, photo albums and your children and grandchildren.  There are places to hike and a playground for the kids.  If you have any questions, contact me at Rnparks1@juno.com, or go to www.landspeedracing.com.   Leslie Long, Gene Mitchell and Richard Parks.  

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GEORGE “PIERCE” AUSBURN, ROAD RUNNERS CAR CLUB, SANTA ANA AIRPORT DRAG STRIP, ELEANOR AUSBURN DAVIS
   My brother, George Ausburn (called Pierce Ausburn by his friends), was a member of the Road Runners car club in the 1940’s.  Most of his pictures are at the Dry Lakes but George also raced at Santa Ana Airport dragstrip.  He passed away in December 2011 at 89 years of age.  Eleanor Ausburn Davis

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JERRY CORNELISON  
   Here is a video of a 1936 Chevrolet assembly factory. Note the automation that was already in place, the workers lack of any and all modern safety equipment, glasses and helmets, and they know exactly what to do. When the body comes together with the chassis that it is in full trim, interior, windshield, all glass is already in place as it is dropped onto the awaiting rolling chassis; simplicity at its best. While the metal finishers are checking the sheet metal for minute and tiny flaws and defects that they are wearing heavy leather work gloves. http://www.dump.com/assemblyline/.  Jerry Cornelison

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MATT KENNEY, USFRA, EMMANUEL “MANU” THUILLIER, BONNEVILLE 4 SICK KIDS, TONY AND BEVERLEY HAWKRIGGS, BONNEVILLE SALT FLATS, WORLD OF SPEED, BURLY BURLILE, VW CHALLENGE
   Well, we got rained out this year. Hopefully most of you got word before heading out on the long trek to Bonneville. For some like Matt Kenney and the Iowa boys, they were well along their journey to Bonneville when word reached them about the cancellation due to water on the salt. And by the way, the USFRA made a good call. Almost a half inch of rain has fallen on the salt flats the past few days even though the 10 day forecast last week for Bonneville was dry, hot and sunny.   
   The Bonneville 4 Sick Kids racer of Emmanuel "Manu" Thuillier, who along with crew members Tony and Beverley Hawkriggs, had already covered 1600 miles of their 2200 mile one way quest to race at Bonneville when they got word of the cancellation. Embracing the "Bonneville or Bust" attitude of all good racers, the trio decided to continue forth and complete the journey to the salt flats. The Bonneville 4 Sick Kids team arrived Thursday evening and the great link below shows Manu's famous "3 times around the world" 1955 Beetle setting at roads end surround by the Bonneville Salt Flats and the water that postponed his racing effort until next year.
   See https://www.facebook.com/groups/193912417434911/?hc_location=stream.  FB Link for Bonneville 4 Sick Kids (lot's of photos of Bonneville "under water" from Manu's camera.    
   Since we cannot be racing today as originally planned, please take this time and go to the Bonneville 4 Sick Kids FB link above. It includes details of this fantastic VW's long history and includes TV newscasts and newspaper articles about Manu's drive to bring the car to Bonneville on behalf of the Sick Kids Hospital located in Ontario, Canada. I am glad he is not going to let this natural diversion keep him from racing in the 36hp Challenge and look forward to his return to Bonneville in 2014.  And speaking of 2014, remember the 2014 World of Speed will be celebrating the "100th Anniversary" of automobile racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats. It should be a very special year to participate at Bonneville and I hope you will bring your VW to the salt to join us competing in "the Challenge."  Burly Burlile

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GONE RACIN’, SNAKE & MONGOO$E, RICHARD PARKS, ROGER ROHRDANZ, WAYNE HOLLOWAY, ALAN PARADISE, DON PRUDHOMME, TOM MCEWEN, MATTEL, HOT WHEELS, ARMY AND NAVY, KENNY BERNSTEIN, ASHLEY HINSHAW, LYNN PRUDHOMME, KIM SHAW, JUDY MCEWEN, ROBIN BROIDY, NOAH WYLE, ART SPEAR, FRED DRYER, ED DONOVAN, ROLAND LEONG, JOHN HEARD, ALEXIS DEJORIA, JULIE MOND, RON CAPPS, JESSIE WILLIAMS, RICHARD BLAKE
Gone Racin’…SNAKE & MONGOO$E. Movie review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

   There is nothing subtle about the movie SNAKE & MONGOO$E. It is a movie much like the sport of drag racing itself; direct and to the point. Nuance is not going to show through in this loud, roaring and thunderous depiction of two men, friends and competitors who are driven by inner demons to excel at a sport both dangerous and grand. There are flaws here and there and moments when the audience wonders at the plot due to the fast pacing of the film. Even seasoned drag racers who were there and knew the history of the events, races, thrills, chills, spills, heartbreak and ecstasy can find themselves trying to catch up with the action. The reason is that the director, Wayne Holloway, has a great amount of facts to present in telling the story. Alan Paradise, the writer, provided a massive amount of data for us to absorb in a very short period of time from 1958 to 1978. You can see the love that Paradise has for the characters in the film. I know many of them and they are remarkable people.

   SNAKE & MONGOO$E is a true story based on the lives of Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen, young men who loved the young sport of drag racing and through their efforts helped that sport to grow and to prosper. Prudhomme and McEwen are contradictions; both friends and competitors, both rivals and teammates. They were both impressive drag racers and also formidable businessmen. Together they helped to develop the concept of sponsorship deals with Mattel and Hot Wheels, the Army and Navy and many other corporations. They began their racing careers when prize and appearance money, trophies and speed equipment was all that racers could hope for. Along with men like Kenny Bernstein the two friends helped to bring in huge sponsorship contracts that changed the sport of drag racing forever. The Hot Wheels contract with Mattel was a major coup and put money into the two race teams, allowing them to excel at race tracks around the country. This deal also paved the way for other businessmen to see how important it was to enter the world of drag racing in order to market their products.

   What makes SNAKE & MONGOO$E sizzle is the broad scope and detail of the lives of Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen. Their personal and family life is a major component of the movie. In some ways it is these personal moments that pack the most wallop. I enjoyed the old racing footage and trying to remember all the people in these clips and the events, even the crashes, which seemed to speed along almost as fast as the movie itself. It was the quiet moments, when the wives and families anguished over their loneliness, as the race car drivers were on the road and away from home that resonated the most with me. Ashley Hinshaw as Lynn Prudhomme and Kim Shaw as Judy McEwen were absolutely wonderful and beautiful in their roles as wives, wishing for stability and children in a sport that is brutally hard on families. There were standout performances by a number of women in the film. Women are often overlooked in racing films. Often they are little more than eye candy or fluff, but the Producer, Robin Broidy, wanted to show the effects on the family as well.

   There were notable supporting roles as well. Noah Wyle portrayed Art Spear at Mattel with just the right feeling of a man committed to sales, infatuated by the project and yet able to jettison the drag racers when the time came to do so. He was neither evil nor good, and Wyle held his own against the two stars. Fred Dryer as the tough and no-nonsense Ed Donovan, crew chief for McEwen, was born to play this role. And since the drag racing world is full of colorful crew chiefs with stories of their own to tell, Dryer should have a long and full plate of movie roles if more racing stories end up in production. Leonardo Nam was excellent as the soft-spoken, yet intense Roland Leong, the owner of the Hawaiian dragster that propelled Prudhomme to victory at the NHRA Nationals in Indianapolis. Julie Mond was wonderful as Wendy, a young girl smitten with McEwen and the excitement of being with a successful racer. Her scene of rejection still stands out in my mind. Some of the lesser roles and cameo appearances were well done, but some were confusing. I’m not sure what the role of John Heard or Alexis DeJoria was intended to be, since they were so short. Other cameo roles are definitely meant for the in-the-know drag racer who can point out to their friends something that the general moviegoer is not going to understand.

   The director managed to get a number of drag racers into the film, sometimes causing the crowd to roar with delight and sometimes confusing us as to the intent. The real Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen made guest appearances as did Alexis DeJoria, Ron Capps and Roland Leong. I would have liked to have seen more of them in this movie. Many of the original drag strips have been closed down or altered. The movie showed buildings, fences and other objects not in the old screen footage from the past. There were time-correct props, such as glasses, household furniture and clothing that were spot-on and at other times there were articles that were incorrect for the time period. These are technicalities that I don’t consider mistakes by the director, nor do they detract from the essence of the film. The racing sequences from old film footage were spectacular, loud and nice to relive once again; and the stunt drivers did an excellent job of staging the racing in the movie. 

   It is the two actors in the lead role that finally determined whether this movie is a success or not. Jesse Williams played the role of Don “The Snake” Prudhomme and Richard Blake was Tom “The Mongoo$e” McEwen. I’ll leave the Snake and Mongoose appellations for movie viewers to discover. Williams looked exactly like Prudhomme and his command of Don’s mannerisms was excellent. Blake also got McEwen’s habits and mannerisms down pat. Yet fifty years from now no one will understand or possibly care how close these two young actors came to imitating the men they portrayed. The art and craft of acting is to bring to life the energy of the roles they are cast in. Williams and Blake have the talent, they did their jobs superbly and I learned some things I did not know and was reacquainted with things that I did know about Don Prudhomme and Tom McEwen. They had a friendship that was deep, lasting and true and survived the most severe crises. Williams and Blake made this movie come to life. They made me believe. I can’t get their roles out of my mind. When you can do that you can make a great movie. This is more than a movie about car racing. The director could have cut half of the racing scenes out and this would still have been the movie that it turned out to be. The movie was predictable and there are some flaws, but no movie is perfect. Is it entertaining? Is it watchable? Is it worth seeing a second time? Yes, it is. I rate SNAKE & MONGOO$E a 6 sparkplugs out of an 8 and advise you to go see the film with a loved one.
Gone Racin’ is at RNPARKS1@JUNO.COM.

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LE ROI TEX SMITH
NOW THEY ARE ONE. By Le Roi Tex Smith. Story courtesy of www.hotrodhotline.com.  
   I have very little patience with university trained workers. I mean the ones just out of school and terribly self-important and willing to work for me or you up to three months until they take over the operation. You know the ones. For me, I prefer the age-old practice of practice. That is, if I want a left fielder, I don’t go to a school of sports theory and expect to find a talent. I’m not ashamed to admit I like the old dictum ‘He that can, does. He that can’t; teaches!’ Because to an alarming degree, this is the fact. I know, I know. The lines are forming on this old debate. And it is offensive to the teacher legions, more so to the teaching unions and university’s that are supposed to train the teachers. No, I do not have a hard-on for teachers, but I do discredit, across the board, instructors. There is a huge difference, you know.

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CHRISTINA MICHELLE EVIGAN, MITZI VALENZUELA, KURT “LUCKY” WEBER, THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN, BONNEVILLE, AL TEAGUE, PAUL VANDERLEY, JIM “BRILLO” HARRIS, JORGE CHISHOLM, TOMMY HANSON, THOM TISTHAMMER, BOB WESTBROOK, SAN DIEGO ROADSTER CLUB, HALIBRAND
STAFF NOTES:
The following story is from www.hotrodhotline.com. To see the photographs go to their website.
Story by Christina Michelle Evigan; Photos by Mitzi Valenzuela. 
   Kurt “Lucky” Weber has his own hook: his arm! Pun definitely intended, for you see, where his right arm once was resides a daily reminder of the accident, which left him with one arm. That’s not what defines him because “Lucky” is a racer. His pride and joy is a modified, custom built 1929 Ford Roadster, also known as the 109 racer that was featured in the movie ‘The World’s Fastest Indian’. Kurt’s roadster has been over the world record in the D street roadster class at Bonneville five times and is now a gas roadster; by removing the back fender, headlights and the radiator, thus, making the roadster even faster. Racecar driver, Kurt Weber, lost his right arm from the elbow down in a train accident at the age of 27; however, for him, racing with one arm comes easy. It’s more about his lead foot and balls of steel. “You don’t drive Bonneville cars, you coax them: you let them do what they want and then you slowly bring them back to where you want them.” Steering through a modified reversed Corvair steering box helps “Lucky” steer straight with his left arm. 
   Raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Kurt Weber has always known the value of hard work: “To build something with your own two hands and know how it works really makes you grow. That accomplishment flows into the rest of your life.” As young kids from Wyoming, Kurt and his buddy Flory first made a road trip to Bonneville as “tourists” in 1985 to watch the races as spectators. It was love at first sight. Racer Al Teague had just blown his engine racing on the flats at 380-390 mph, but he still peaked his head out from under his streamliner to talk to the curious big-eyed newbies and offer advice. It was that sense of community that welcomed the boys into Bonneville and had Kurt hooked for life. Growing up racing streetcars and motorcycles, he knew he had to come back to Bonneville as a racer. 
   Paul VanderLey saw the potential in Kurt: he drove well and never let up. In other words, he had a lead foot. Mr. VanderLey, from Biloxi, Mississippi, was a well-known engine builder, designer and racecar driver that started out in the late 50’s. The legendary Paul VanderLey helped Kurt by sponsoring him and building him a racecar engine out of leftover parts he had in his garage. Kurt Weber built his own racecar over the course of the next year after his first awakening at Bonneville as a “tourist”. In the beginning of the build Jim “Brillo” Harris, acted as “crew chief” and helped on these long, draining nights, as well Jorge Chisholm, Tommy Hanson and Thom Tisthammer, who worked alongside Kurt to build the dream in his 2-car garage, a bunch of kids from Wyoming chasing the American Dream to break ‘top speed records’ at Bonneville Speed Week. “If you want to be a winner you have to stay focused,” are words of the wise Kurt Weber. 
   Building a race roadster car can be a bit tricky. One needs to keep the center of gravity as low as possible to keep the car going straight. Roadsters tend to lift at over 175 mph, so they need weight added to them to stay on the ground at the salt flats. To overcome this problem, Kurt melted 1,500 Lbs of lead into the roadster’s frame before welding the boxing plates on. Using an old 1929 Ford body as well as hand fabricated parts for most of the inner frame; Kurt kept the outside pretty by using parts from a 1932 Ford for most of the outer frame. The 1932 Ford grille is chopped 3” and the metal grille cover was custom fabricated by friend and wheelchair bound welder and “do-er of all things” Bob Westbrook. The 109 racecar was painted white and ‘1956 Chevy tropical-turquoise’ by Kurt Weber in his very own front yard. Mr. VanderLey created the 301 cubic inch power plant by boring a 1957 Chevy out 1/8 of an inch. The engine runs two four-barrel carburetors on a VanderLey fabricated intake ram manifold. The heads use huge titanium valves and valve keepers. Kurt fabricated the homemade exhaust. This year, the MSD electronic ignition features a brand new rev limiter. 
   The 109 racer is equipped with a master cylinder from a 1975 Harley Davidson. The drive train consists of a Chevy 2-speed TCI power glide transmission and vintage Halibrand quick-change rear end from Culver City, California. The suspension is made of a buggy spring in front and coil overs in the rear. The two front tires are15”x23” M & H’s while the rear tires are 15”x27” Good Year’s. For racing at high speeds the centrifugal force expands the tires, so most of the tires tread needs to be shaved off the fronts until they are almost bald, but not so much as they cut the cords. You will find there are no front brakes on this race car, only rear breaks and those are from an old 1956 Ford pickup truck. Weber jokes, “The idea is to go fast, not to stop.” However, rules require all racers that go over 175 mph must be equipped with a parachute for stopping. “Bonneville is a way of knowing who you are and proving who you are. You take all of your fears and lay them out there. That makes you a fuller person in the rest of your life.” 
   Kurt Weber has been to Bonneville every year since his first visit in 1985. “Bonneville has cost me a couple of wives. It’s a lot of hard work and long nights to be a Bonneville racer, not to mention, costly.” An art teacher, father and good racer, Kurt loves to ride his 1969 Triumph motorcycle when the weather is nice. Kurt is a member of the San Diego Roadster Club, which was the first club to race on the dry lakebeds. Kurt grew up driving on black ice, which also helped him prepare for driving in the salt’s conditions.
   Speedometers became obsolete: Kurt’s roadster isn’t even equipped with a speedometer; the tachometer tracks the revolutions per minute. “There is nothing like driving on the salt. “It’s just you, your car and your balls.” Early morning runs are best on the salt; by 2pm the moisture from underneath the surface of the crust starts to rise. Kurt has been racing on the salt for over 25 years. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into racing on the flats. It took Kurt five or six years not to spin out while hitting speeds over 180 mph. Kurt Weber once spun around nine times and for the first two revolutions his rear tires were completely off the ground (and to put that into perspective, a spin out at high speed is faster than the speed of a tornado!) Kurt has gone through a couple engines, four or five transmissions, two roll cages, re-fabricated the front and rear end, as well as the frame, but he has always driven his one and only love, the 109 racer, and the car has always been turquoise and white. This year at Bonneville Speed Week, the 109 racer ran with a 1957 Chevy engine with 656 horsepower and a redline of 8,000 RPM built by Paul VanderLey and hit the top speed of 200.787 mph. 
   At the Bonneville Salt Flats on Saturday, in honor of Bob Westbrook’s memory, Kurt Weber dispersed the ashes of good friend and fellow fabricator into his parachute that deployed at the 5-mile marker going 200 mph, sprinkling the ashes over the Bonneville race course. Bob and Kurt go all the way back to when the 109 was being built. Bob moved to Wyoming and sought out Kurt to be a part of his team, and they became very close over the years. It meant a lot to Kurt to honor Bob at Bonneville. The crew is the most important part of it all, and this year as a reward, Kurt let his whole crew drive. “I was never in a fraternity, but if I had been, this would be it: a fraternity of speed.” People of all ages, shapes and sizes come out from all over the world for Bonneville Speed Week. Kurt “Lucky” Weber does it all to be a part of the infectious Bonneville land racing community.

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QUARTER MILE FOUNDATION, TRACI HRUDKA, STEVE COLE, CARL OLSON, DON GARLITS, HARRY HIBLER, DON EWALD, WAYNE WOLFE, TOM CURNOW, PROJECT 1320
     On behalf of the board of the Quarter Mile foundation; Traci Hrudka, Steve Cole, Carl Olson, Don Garlits, Harry Hibler, Don Ewald, Wayne Wolfe and Tom Curnow we need your help in preserving the history of drag racing and the automotive aftermarket industry by producing and distributing a feature length documentary film that shares the memories and stories of the racers, builders and industry pioneers.  We have completed 233 interviews are we are currently working on beginning the pre-screening of each interview to start the process of organizing all of the content we have.  This is an awesome accomplishment.  We have all worked very hard to get to this point but we still need help.  Please take a look at what we have put together, in uniting together we can make our target pledge, every dollar pledged goes directly to the production process.  http://kck.st/18kTll6.  From all of us at the Quarter Mile Foundation we thank you and are very grateful for your support.  The Quarter Mile Foundation is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit foundation, which is producing PROJECT 1320, a for-television documentary film series about the history of drag racing and the parallel growth of the performance automotive aftermarket. Quarter Mile Foundation, 440-888-0088, hrudka@sbcglobal.net, http://www.quartermilefoundation.org, 6210 Beverly Dr, Cleveland, OH 44130-2910.

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JESSICA CLARK, IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY, CHRIS GERCHMAN
 
  The month of August went by so quickly. Actually, summer itself went by quickly, and I can’t believe I’m back in school already. August 17th was the much anticipated race at my home track, Irwindale Speedway. Around 50 friends and family came to show their support - what a special feeling. As the weekend approached, I was concerned about the size of the motor in our car; since we would have less horsepower than the other cars on the half mile track there were going to be some challenges. However, after making gear and carburetor changes, we were able to create just enough horse power to keep us competitive.
   On race day, I was about half of a second behind the top ten drivers during the practice session, which was a bit worrisome heading into qualifying. I was especially determined to qualify in the top ten in order to reach the high standards I set for myself! I knew exactly what I had to do in order to qualify well. I needed to carry the throttle about two car lengths deeper into the entry of the corners - but how? I came up with a plan that turned out to be genius. I decided that the word “hamburger” takes about 1.2 seconds to say at a normal speed (I know this because I timed myself saying the word), which would equate to about 20 feet on the race track at full speed. So...when I got to the end of the straightaway and wanted to take my foot off the throttle, I said, “hamburger” before lifting my foot.
   It worked. I was able to carry momentum all the way through the turn and easily carved a half second off my time. I could see my whole team jumping up and down in celebration because I had qualified 4th out of 27 cars. After the first place qualifier, Chris Gerchman, pulled a four invert for the main event starting order, I had a new list of things to think about. A four invert puts the 4th place qualifier on the pole for the main event, which was me. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to starting on the pole of the 75 lap main. There are two scenarios - you either have to run away as fast as you can from the fire breathing dragons behind you, or you get passed and go backwards through the field. Both of these scenarios aren’t as fun as passing your way up to the front.
   Starting on the pole did have some benefits. The many fans and supporters who came to the race were able to see me lead the pack to the green flag. Racing is a team effort, and I wouldn’t be able to do what I love without the help from everyone on my crew, especially my Dad and Mom. We made a few adjustments going into the main event, and I was mentally prepared to run away from the pack and win the race. Unfortunately, the car was extremely loose all the way around the track from lap one. I wasn’t able to carry the throttle in as deep as I wanted.
   I even tried saying, “hamburger” thinking maybe it was just in my head, but no, the car was on the edge of disaster. I transitioned to the low line knowing it was only good for a few laps at a time since it wears out the right rear tire. I was in a respectable 8th place, with about 20 laps to go, when my right rear tire began chattering - it was absolutely cooked. My dad, who was spotting for me, spent the last 15 laps reassuring me while I tried to hold on to the car as best as I could. I ended up finishing 13th. Although I was bummed because no one likes to go backwards when starting on the pole, I was really proud of my qualifying effort and thankful for my crew’s hard work. I feel like we’re knocking on the door, and very soon we’ll put together a great race. Sincerely, Jessica Clark, info@jessicaclarkracing.com.
Click for PDF

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All photos are courtesy of the Parks Family collection.

The photograph of the six men should be dated to about 1940.  Ak Miller on the far right, who looks to be about 16 at the time.  Wally Parks is standing to the left of Ak.  This looks like it could be a Road Runners meeting.

My father in front of his jeep that he hopped up during WWII in the Philippines.  In January of 1945 the United States landed at Lingayen Gulf on the west coast of Luzon.  My father was the sergeant in command of a repair tank, but the commanding officer

Corporal Wally Parks on leave in 1943, before being sent overseas to the South Pacific during WWII.  He is standing on Pine Street in South San Gabriel in front of my grandmother's home and my mother, Mary Parks, is most likely the photographer.

My father, Wally Parks, sitting on the running board of the SCTA truck post WWII, probably in 1947 when he was the General Manager of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA).  The orange grove is probably somewhere in Orange County, California a

My father in the C&C Spl (Carothers & Carothers Special) #6 car being given a push start at El Mirage sometime around 1946 or later.  The C&C Special later was sold to Art Chrisman who lengthened the car, renamed it the #25 car and had great success with

Top photo is the 27 T pickup at El Mirage post WWII.  Bottom photo is the 27 T pickup before the war without the nose cone and dated sometime around the early 1930's at his father's home on Dearborn Avenue in South Gate.  Across the street is the elementa

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GOOD SHOW! CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR AWESOME CREW AND SPONSORS!

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By Sam // August 21, 2013
Upspeed1

George Poteet and Ron Main’s Speed Demon has established a new land speed record for a piston engined wheel driven car. During Bonneville Speed Week the car hit 451.933 mph with Poteet at the wheel, setting a new combined record of 437.183 mph smashing the old record by 47.183 mph.

During Speed Week a car that beats the old record on a single run qualifies for a record attempt. It then makes a second run. The two times are averaged and if that number beats the previous record, a new one has been set. This does not meet the FIA criteria for records which require a two way pass within one hour.

Speed Demon is powered by a five-litre 2,200 horsepower V8 engine and has won the prestigious Hot Rod Trophy at Bonneville for five straight years. The team is not resting on its laurels however and has stated that it intends to be the first wheel driven car to break the 500mph barrier and exceed the current outright wheel driven record currently held by Don Vesco’s Turbinator. Speed Demon will be back on the Salt next month in an attempt to establish a record recognised by the FIA.

This years run at Bonneville is not the cars fastest, in late 2011 it hit 462mph during a run – which can be viewed below.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le6aCV_CRvQ

Responses to Speed Demon smashes land speed record

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Dave PETERSON
says:
August 23, 2013 at 11:15 pm


Missed the salt this year, but never again. super run, and staggering engineering

Reply

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Lemuel V. Mclaughlin says:
August 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm

The fastest wheel-powered car -Turbinator 2001, Top speed 750kmh.http://www.ugofadini.com/turbinatorst… Land Speed World Record. Run NO: 69 Experts said that if it were to increase its speed for 5 more seconds, it would’ve took off from the ground.(21 MB file)EDIT: For all you who are confusing with Thrust SSC, Turbonator holds world record for the fastest ‘wheel driven car’!

Reply

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Robert Main says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
September 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Post #2 put the Turbinator’s, a non-piston engine car, record speed at at 750kmh. That’s 458.440 miles per hour and was set on October 18, 2001. The Turbinator was powered by a Avco Lycoming T55-L-11A gas turbine engine which produced 3,750 HP at 16,000 rpm.
Turbinator II was also out at Bonneville for speed testing, but did not make any full-powered runs. Turbinator II has a powerful new T-55, turbine engine with 4,213 horsepower @ 16,000 rpm.

We’ve all be awed by the rocket, jet and turbine powered vehicles, and it remains to be seen what Turbinator II will do, but one can’t helped but be impressed with what Poteet and Main have accomplished with a modified 368 cubic inch small block Chevy type engine. Be sure and check out the “Shootout” at the Bonneville Salt Flats next week for the latest speed records.

line12
[Email Land Speed Racing]

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