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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 113 - May 23, 2009
Editor: Richard Parks RnParks1@juno.com
President's Corner: By Jim Miller (1-818-846-5139)

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
 President's Corner, Editorials, Will Scott called and they are airlifting him to Cedar Sinai Medical Center in the LA area, Our dear friend Gordon Betz passed away Sunday afternoon, The following is from the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame J. Gordon Betz, Editor: The following article was edited down from the original story entitled - Catching Up With Famed Official Gordon Betz, Gordon Betz was a good friend of Ted Halibrand, I am the adopted daughter of Kyle Orr - the brother of Karl, I wanted to give you a heads up about a book signing, In the spring of 2008 I was lucky enough to purchase Roy's 1922 Model T Roadster, Dateline-May 17th East Coast Timing Association event Maxton North Carolina, Texas Mile October 16-18 2009 Goliad Industrial Air Park, Doing a Google search on Lee Chapel I just stumbled onto your interesting hotrod historical website, I am pleased to let you know a new land speed racing event will present it's inaugural event on the weekend of August 1st and 2nd, The Loring Timing Association a Land Speed Racing venue on the site of the former Loring AFB in Limestone Maine, I need your assistance with a job at hand assembling a contact list of auto focused clubs, I am pleased to announce a new but separate segment of the International 36hp Challenge, Golden Hawk LSR Project, I am very excited to announce that Lord March has lent his support to the Music City Motor Jam through a special donation, MPG Members Invited to Speedway Motorcycle Racing Opening Night, Autobooks-Aerobooks Upcoming Events, Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous September 17-20, Thought you would like to know that the sales of Crazy Horses in the UK are hitting the roof, 1997 World Champion and seven-time AMA National Champion Greg Hancock will compete in Round One of the AMA/USA Speedway National Championship Series, Random Photos and Videos

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President's Corner:  
   Last Week Dan Warner and I went up to the Bay Area to check out some cars being constructed to run at Bonneville. We do this sort of thing in Southern California quite regularly as it helps the competitor and us eliminate problems up front instead of when they get to the race track. With new safety requirements coming on line every year it gets harder and harder to update the older rides to the new standards so sometimes major surgery is required. We have rules on the books now about lateral head movement and in the next year or two everybody will probably be required to have some kind of devise to hold the helmets from going forward to eliminate the old neck from snapping. This is cool but also causes some problems. Every time they bring out a new helmet they seem to grow in size making it harder to fit inside the cages. It also makes it harder to get in and out of the car. All of the above is what they call progress and it saves lives so we live with it. At the first S.C.T.A. meet on May 16-17 Ron Main's old Phantom roadster from 1989 showed up. It was a great car back then but we had to turn it down. One reason was the driver's legs were outside the roll-over structure.
   Looking back in history it's always been the same fight between the safety guys and the drivers. Wilbur Shaw was the first guy to show up at the old Legion Ascot with a real crash helmet. Everybody called him a sissy until he crashed one day and the hat saved his life. Pretty soon everybody was wearing them. Roll bars were for wimps too and USAC didn't require them well into the 1960's on dirt cars. Same with driving clothes. A T-shirt and jeans were sop for ages. When you look at an old car today one wonders what fool would even get into the things. A couple of years back the old Fred Carrillo rear-engined modified roadster was up at Bonneville on display. No roll-bar, an old aircraft seat with only lap belts, a chassis made out of o-to-thin wing-struts. The thing that really got me was the crank snout was only 2" behind the driver's spine. If it had crashed we wouldn't have had a driver left.
   That said, fast forward to last year at Bonneville. A BoCar roars across the salt at a great rate of speed and then decides to fly. It lands on its head and slides forever. A fire erupts and is put out. The driver is alive. The normal procedure is to cut off the cage and pull him up and out. Only problem is the head restraints are part of the seat so a little extra work is required. He's building a new car already but this time it will have a steel top to keep the salt out of his eyes. The safety stuff really works. The first pix shows the old Chuck Salmon roadster that needed a cage re-do. Tom Walsh on the left is heading up the rebuild project. Ace fabricator Steve Moal in his shop coat with gloves is doing the fabricating work. Impound guru Dan Warner is checking out stuff on the floor from the car as driver Justin Walsh (Tom's son) lowers himself into it. New owner Dennis Mariani helps Justin in. Tom's go to guy Frank watches. Justin fits perfectly because Mr. Moal built a new cage structure, seat and belt pickups just for him. The only major thing we found wrong was the fire bottle mounting location in front of Dennis. With fiberglass bodied cars like this we assume the shell goes away right now in an incident. If a tire went it would take out the bottle. If it's on its side and sliding, the bottles would be ripped off. They're going to mount them inside the cage.
   One thing you have to look at closely now with the new helmet restraint systems is the seat belt mounting positions. Every manufacturer has different specs so checking this is on the top of the inspector list. The days of a short guy and a tall guy driving the same car may require different belt mounting points so they fit. Another option is having provisions to move the seat up and down. Another car we looked at on our trip was the new streamliner of Dennis Varni. His longtime buddy and drag racer Joe Casanova is building it. These kinds of cars aren't easy to construct and seeing them at this stage is always helpful as you see how everything is mounted before it gets hidden with more stuff. The area for most trouble on these kinds of cars is in sealing the firewall between the driver and engine, the parachutes not deploying properly and the driver getting in and out of them. We had Dennis in the car and the belt mounts were great. Without a finished seat we'll have to wait for the egress part. Check out the latest issue of Hot Rod magazine to see what the fastest ever Hiboy roadster (249.129 mph, body on top of the frame) at the lakes looks like. We beat up builder Doug Robinson during construction so all his team has to worry about now is finding a tune.

JMC_543_Justin-Tries-it-out
JMC_544_Varni-Liner

Captions:
 
JMC_543_Justin-tries-it-out.jpg........The old Chuck Salmon roadster that needed a cage re-do. Tom Walsh on the left is heading up the rebuild project. Ace fabricator Steve Moal in his shopcoat with gloves is doing the fab work. Impound guru Dan Warner is checking out stuff on the floor from the car as driver Justin Walsh (Tom's son) lowers himself into it. New owner Dennis Mariani helps Justin in. Tom's go to guy Frank watches.  Justin fits perfectally because Mr. Moal built a new cage structure, seat and belt pickups just for him.



JMC_544_VarniLiner.jpg.................The new streamliner of Dennis Varni. His longtime buddy and drag racer Joe Casanova is building it. 

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Editorial:
   I've had to rush an editorial into print in a hurry, because the one that was slated to go in this issue had not been discussed with one of our members'. Jim and I try to be very careful about what goes into print, but we will tell you right up front that it is an impossibility to be 100% accurate. In fact, we hold back a lot of material from publication simply because we are not a blog. We aspire to be something more than one of those thousands of blogs where people write what they feel, not what might actually be right or wrong. This is not to disparage blogs, because they have a definite purpose and sometimes their accuracy is uncanny and full of factual material. At other times the contents in the blogs are erroneous and takes a great deal of time for true and dedicated historians to root out. That's what historians do, they investigate and research what we don't know and what we think we know and continually refine the truth about an issue, a person, an event or a group of people. In the past you read as Jim and I explained the merits and weaknesses of histories, bios, stories, tales, legends, novels and historical novels. They are not the same and they all have their place in our hot rodding culture. You'll remember how I mentioned that historical novels usually have a fictitious character, who is based on somebody quite real, and the events surrounding him are quite real and researched. Novels often have a great deal of true events woven into them. Biographies are shortened histories, and written so as to capture your attention and by the time your attention wavers, the bio is done. Histories are much longer, share many characters and events and take days, if not weeks, to read. Tales, legends and myths often have true history woven into them, but their purpose is to educate, amuse and provide a moral to our lives.
   This is a topic that as editor I emphasize from time to time. It's important to us as amateur and professional historians to know what sources that we are dealing with. It's also important to investigate and research even those topics that we believe we know for a certainty. Jim Miller and I often find out things that we believed to be true were actually not. He sometimes corrects me and sometimes I correct him. This is perfectly normal in science, physical science or social ones. Remember how I discussed how art historians would be fooled, and unfortunately they are still being fooled by fakes and forgeries. While scientific tools have been invented to help art historians decide what is real and what is fake, the forgers become better and better at their art of fakery. But errors don't always creep into our knowledge due to shams and scams. Most often mistakes occur accidentally, when people believe a misconception. What that error gets into a published work, it becomes nearly impossible to get rid of, with each generation spreading the mistake down to the next generation. The example that I used in the past was the NHRA Fuel ban in the late 1950's, where people to this day still aver that it was done because Detroit and Big Oil paid off officials to ban nitro. Try as I might, searching records and interviewing those around at that time, I haven't ever found anything that corroborates that urban legend which is believed as a sacred fact. Now it might be true and it might be false, but as a dedicated historian looking for the truth, my time and energy is devoted to finding the truth, no matter what that truth may be and knowing the difference between myth and history.
   You see, the fuel ban is important to us as history and as myth. We want to know why it occurred as a matter of history and why people believe in the myth of the conspiracy. Just as historians want to know everything they can about the Kennedy assassination and whether there were two gunmen or just one. They want to know if it was one angry person, the mafia, Castro, LBJ, angry conservatives or Liberals who felt betrayed by Kennedy's political policies. History exists on several levels and as historians we are concerned with it all. At the same time we know that what we have learned, what we have observed and what we know may contain some inaccuracies. At least as far as some other people tell us. There were about 200 volunteers and crew members at Black Rock Desert in 1997 between the British and American land speed racing teams. I have read a few of the books that were published and heard other people lecture and what they said was often new to me and I was there serving as a volunteer for seven weeks. What I saw and heard was often in conflict with what others said, but that does not invalidate either of our testimony. Why is that true? The reason is that we filter knowledge through how we think and feel and that event covered some 600 square miles, so there was a great deal of time and distance between what one saw and what another person observed. Each of us had different vantage points and frames of reference, with our own prejudices and viewpoints about what we just observed. Over time we tend to review what we saw and sometimes our statements change because we get new information to add to our original observations. This all means that history is changeable and moves along a line from point A to Z. Is that good or bad? It's a question that we ask ourselves all the time and will probably never answer. But one thing is certain, we will never stop refining, researching and discovering new facts and details to make our history more interesting and true. Jim and I will be the first to tell you that there are things we don't know that we hope to find out in the future and new facts that will surprise us. We will even find out things that will change our minds and give us new ideas about how things were in the past. Our members will very likely be the ones to tell us what they know and in sharing their knowledge, add new history to our search.
   One final postscript; many readers have a tendency to take a vacation on the weekends, then start sending out their emails at the middle of each week, which is my deadline for publication. Usually they are writing to tell me about an event on the coming weekend and that gives me one or two days to get it published. We call this an impossibility as it takes time for the newsletter to go to the six people who preview the newsletter and then for the two or three websites to post it to their sites and that usually takes up to five more days. Often I will respond to you with a caustic and editorially snide email asking the tardy party is they have thought this procrastinating habit of theirs through. Usually they respond by asking, "Doesn't the internet make things happen instantaneously?" The internet does, but the editorial staff doesn't. If you want your event to be published, give us 3 to 5 weeks advance notice or it won't get done. As often as I've told you about this, it simply goes right over your heads. If it is publicity that you want, as soon as your date and event is decided upon, begin your publicity campaign then and not 2 days prior to the event. You would be amazed at the number of groups that have their dates set 9 months in advance and then take 9 months before they tell anyone. Do you have a clue at all about how ineffective this is with your PR efforts? You advertise from the very first moment when you know your date has been authorized and you don't stop until your event is over. For more clues on promoting and advertising your event read the Gone Racin' articles on www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks/Roger Rohrdanz.
 

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Will Scott called and they are airlifting him to Cedar Sinai Medical Center in the LA area right now. Below is off the net information. See http://www.csmc.edu/73.html . To call a patient, contact the hospital operator at 310-4-CEDARS or 310-423-3277 to reach a patient by telephone. There is only one doctor in Southern California that can perform this procedure and he works out of Cedar Sinai. For Gastroenterology issues this is the first medical center in Southern California to receive Magnet designation. Evelyn Roth
Evelyn: Thank you for letting us know and I will post this to the newsletter for our members who know Will. He was a major volunteer on the security team at Black Rock Desert in 1997 when the Brits and Breedlove battled to see who would set the unlimited land speed record. We will keep Will in our thoughts and prayers.
Readers: A second email from Evelyn states that Will Scott may only be in Cedar Sinai for a day or two starting on the 25th and then he will be returned to Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara for observation, so if you want to reach Will, try both places.

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Some sad news from Arizona. Our dear friend Gordon Betz passed away Sunday afternoon. He watched the start of the Indy 500, slept a bit, saw the end of the race and went to lie down for a rest. When the nurse went in to check a short time later he was gone. Arrangements are pending. Art Meyers
Dear Art: Is there a biography or story about Gordon that I could post to my newsletter, The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians, on www.landspeedracing.com? I'm very sorry to hear about Gordon and would like to devote some space to his memory so that our readers can properly say their goodbyes to him

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The following is from the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame J. Gordon Betz. Inducted into the Hall of fame in 2001.
   When Gordon Betz was one year old his father became the superintendent of the Beverly Hills Board Track Speedway. When that track was torn down in 1924 his father assumed the same position at the new Culver City track. In 1932 Gordon began working on the back gate at the Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles, CA. He was 14 years old. In 1935 he served as the Chief Steward for a Big Car race held in Tucson, Arizona. He was 17 at the time and perhaps the youngest person to ever hold such a high position in auto racing. In 1946 he became the Zone Supervisor for the American Automobile Association in the west, a position he held until AAA ceased operations in 1955. During that period he supervised all AAA races in seven Western States including midgets, sprints, and championship cars. He served the Pikes Peak Hill Climb for 2 years and was a referee for the Mobilgas Economy Run for 15 years. Gordon remained with the United States Auto Club after the demise of AAA and served on the USAC Board for 12 years. He was the Chief Steward for the first California 500, was the FISA International Steward for Formula I races in Montreal, Canada in 1992 and 1993, and at the time of his induction, was a member of the Board for ACCUS (Automobile Competition for the USA, FIA) having served for 18 years. He was also Chairman of the Board for 11 years. Gordon is one of the original members of the Hall of Fame induction committee.

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Editor: The following article was edited down from the original story entitled, Catching Up With Famed Official Gordon Betz, taken from the internet article on National Speed Sports Magazine.
While his professional career was in banking, Gordon Betz was involved in racing for decades. Betz was born into racing as his father was manager of the famed Beverly Hills board track. Betz grew up surrounded by racing activities and many of its racing personalities. He recalls, as a youngster, Indy's first two-time winner, Tommy Milton, giving him with one of his cloth helmets. In his early years trackside, Betz served as a gofer, assistant starter and with scoring. Betz became the West Coast Zone Supervisor for the AAA. He worked with midgets during their glory years sandwiched around World War II. The tracks included the famed Gilmore Stadium in Hollywood, the Atlantic track and at times the Rose Bowl and the L.A. Coliseum. He served on the USAC Board of Directors. Betz was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and National Midget Hall of Fame. Chris Economaki referred to Betz "as the finest racing official this writer ever saw in action." Betz recalled walking among a group of old timers several years ago at a vintage racing affair and saying hello to a former driver who did not reciprocate. Betz then informed the former driver who he was. The fellow replied he had not liked Betz for 42 years and he was not sharing greetings, just getting even. Why the rejection? Betz asked. The reply: "You insisted on following ALL the rules." Betz found it unbelievable that the fellow harbored some sort of grudge for more than 40 years. A vast majority of individuals involved in racing during Betz's tenure would identify Betz as tough, yet fair-minded. No favoritism was noted. Betz recalled with some despair an episode regarding a hallowed Turkey Night show at Gilmore Stadium in the late 1940's. With the conclusion of time trials, it was noted that the fastest qualifier had failed to go through tech. Traveling to a racing shop a short distance from the Stadium, the car's oversized engine was in the process of being removed. While admiring the clean cut, popular and charming driver, Betz had no choice but to remove the car from the forthcoming race. Such was a painful experience, but no exceptions were permitted. Another Gilmore episode Betz readily and understandably recalled dealt with a highly temperamental and unpredictable driver arriving at the track carrying a gun. Obviously, unhappy and presumed inebriated, the driver was removed from the track. As a result, Betz acquired a weapon of his own, yet it never came into play and Betz admitted he did not have the slightest knowledge of how to handle his new acquisition. He was not one to procrastinate. When a 100 miler was red flagged after only a handful of laps due to horrendous track conditions, he gave the promoter 24 hours to correct the treacherous surface or there would be no further action. The stoppage saw a vastly improved track the following day. Officials' orders were not easy to enforce. Betz informed one driver that no smoking was allowed in the pits. As Betz walked away, he looked over his shoulder to see the errant driver lighting up another cigarette. Betz's stellar handling of any racing event was such that he was selected to serve as Chief Steward when Ontario Motor Speedway in California opened in 1970. His knowledge elevated him to the ACCUS (the Automobile Competition Committee for the U.S.) Board. Betz served as a U.S. rep for seven years and then as the U.S. chairman for 11 years.

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Gordon Betz was a good friend of Ted Halibrand and the two of them served together for many years on the USAC board. Gordon's father was an LA banker and heavily involved in a new subdivision known as Beverly Hills. The investors decided to build a wooden speedway, a Board Track, at the subdivision as an attraction to have people visit to watch an auto race and be exposed to the available land parcels. As I understand, Gordon worked at the race track as a youth. Once the land had been parceled and sold the track was disassembled and moved to Culver City, possibly to serve the same purpose as it was used in the Beverly Hills scheme. It was once again moved to Playa Del Rey. Gordon moved from Beverly Hills to Arizona when he retired from banking in Los Angeles in the 1970's as did many of the retiring USAC board members; Art Meyers, Jack Beckley and Dick King, to name a few. I became acquainted with Gordon through his friendship with Ted Halibrand.  Bob Falcon
  Bob: Thank you for the information on the board tracks. I never knew the reason for building them in the locations that they were built and this answers quite a few questions.

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 I am the adopted daughter of Kyle Orr, the brother of Karl. I was in awe of Uncle Karl and aunt Veda. I can't put into words how excited I was when I stumbled upon your story about them. Aunt Veda was not just a housewife; she was a secretary for a director at MGM. She was even an extra a few times. She was the neat one. She would clean up the oil on the driveway if any got on it. Did you know James Dean had hired Uncle Karl to be his mechanic? Uncle Karl was born in Kingston, Missouri. There were 4 boys and 2 girls and two half brothers. They were raised on a very large family farm. I thought they were the most exciting people ever and I wanted to be a race driver just like my aunt Veda. This sound a little since I am now 72 years old, but I'll tell you something, I drive a supercharged 2001 Buick and it can move when it needs too. Phyllis McNeil
   Phyllis: Thank you for your remembrances of two of dry lakes racing's greatest heroes. Please write down all that you remember and share it with us. We are learning a lot about the Orr's.

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I wanted to give you a heads up about a book signing. You may already know about the book, “Harrell Engines and Racing Equipment Jim (White) Harrell and Nick Harrell”. It was written by Roger, Richard and Alec Harrell. I just got done reading the book, it really captured the era, the creativity, the focus and the longevity of Jim and Nick's passion for building race car engines and their love for drag racing. Roger Harrell recently sent me some information about a book signing in Burbank on May 30. I thought I would pass along the information to you. If you think your readers may be interested the information is below. Thank you, Susan Foshee
A THIRTY YEAR JOURNEY THROUGH HOT RODDING”, at AUTOBOOKS-AEROBOOKS, 3524 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. 818-845-0707. The signing is on May 30, 2009 between 10am-2pm. ISBN: 1439225753. ISBN-13: 978-1439225752. Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4, Trade Paperback: 154 pages. Authors: Roger H. Harrell, professor emeritus, California State University, Northridge, lives in Hermosa Beach, California; Richard C. Harrell, retired drag racer, lives outside Cedar City, Utah; Alec R. Harrell Carlson, docent at the Automobile Driving Museum in El Segundo, CA., and a young "Old School Hot Rodder," lives in Hermosa Beach, California. Richard and Roger are Jim and Nick Harrell's nephews, and Alec is their great grandnephew. The book and additional information about it are also available at: www.HarrellEnginesHotRodding.com.

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In the spring of 2008 I was lucky enough to purchase Roy's 1922 Model T Roadster. I'm trying to get more information on Roy and the car. Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. See: http://www.streetrodderweb.com/events/0906sr_7th_annual_alter_boys_jalopy_jamboree/photo_12.html . Thanks, Don Lang
Don: We have discussed Multy Aldrich in the past, but our newsletter is not indexed, however, you can find out where the articles are by doing a Google Search. Look at a recent issue of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter at www.landspeedracing.com and you will see Jim Miller's telephone number. Give him a call. He's very knowledgeable and helpful. I will also send him a copy of this email. The next step is to post your comments to the next newsletter. But don't stop there, because whatever comes into the newsletter is just a small sampling of what is available. You should start a phone tree and you can start with Miller. Ask him for as much information as you can, then when you have all the knowledge that he has, request Jim to give you 4 or 5 phone numbers for people who may have known Multy. Unless Multy and Roy are different people, I knew about Roy "Multy" Aldrich and his wife Vera through statements made by my father and other early SCTA members. Roy was a long time official and the roadster that you purchased is the kind of beater that most of us saw. The SCTA honored Multy and Vera on many occasions for their selfless and dedicated service to land speed racing. I will post your email, slang87@msn.com, for our readers to contact you, but not your address or phone number unless you ask me to. When you get the provenance for the car and Roy's life story, send it to me to publish, for we would like to have as much knowledge as we can about our racing pioneers. The photos that you sent were great. Is that you and your wife? Great retro look.

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 Dateline-May 17th, East Coast Timing Association event, Maxton, North Carolina. Submitted by Burly Burlile.
   The month of May was very good for participants in the International 36hp Land Speed Racing Challenge. Bruce Cook brought his beautiful tan 1951 Volkswagen Beetle, a standard Canadian split, to Maxton with a new big bore and stroked 1493cc 36hp engine featuring Whitey Worsham ported and polished single port heads, dual Porsche 32 carbs prepared by Mr Okrasa, Dave Ruiz, and tuned by Bruce's son Cody Cook. Their first pass down the Maxton Mile resulted in the fastest speed ever attained by a naturally aspirated 36hp Beetle, 99.815 miles per hour which finally broke the speed record set by Mel Ellis and John Gosvig clear back in 1962 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Bruce now holds two 36hp Challenge speed records, his first being the Stone Stock record of 73.006 miles per hour set in 2008. Tom Bruch pulled his 103 mile per hour record holding New Age turbo 36hp motor and replaced it with a 1415cc Super Stock Single motor. SSS is sort of like restrictor plate racing because you can only use a single 28 PIC carburetor and single port heads, regardless of the other modifications you apply underneath. SSS is really a mechanics category because having unobtainable parts is not a factor. 
   Tom's first pass down the Maxton Mile also resulted in a new SSS record of 90.203 miles per hour. This exceeds Toms Bonneville speed of 89.92 MPH he set in 1965 with an Okrasa dual carb equipped motor. Like Bruce, Tom now holds two 36hp Challenge records. Last month a non-36hp VW also set a record on the Maxton Mile. A sixteen year old young lady named Talor Burns from Caryville, Tennessee, drove her 1974 Karmann Ghia fitted with the street motor from her brother's bug to a class record of 114.09 miles per hour. The two year old street motor is a mild compression 1914cc dual port fitted with dual 40mm carbs. Talor is a Junior who plays tennis at Clinton High School and is also on the drill team. And I know she is the only girl in the class with a world land speed record. Coming soon will be new news about the International 36hp Challenge "1" Club for 36hp drag and land speed racers who have exceeded 100 miles per hour in competition and the addition of a new land speed race track due to open in August in the northeast. May the Speed be with you.

Maxton 09 Racers 1

Captions:
Maxton 09 Racer 1.jpg....photo I.D. left to right; Talor Burns, Orange 74 Ghia, Tom Bruch, Green 74 Bug, Bruce Cook, Tan 51 Bug.

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Texas Mile, October 16-18, 2009. Goliad Industrial Air Park, $10 per person, Children 12 and under are free. See www.texasmile.com, for complete spectator and entrant rules and directions. For directions via a map, map program or Internet, utilize either Beeville or Goliad as a destination point, then Berclair and then follow the directions given below from Berclair to Goliad Industrial Air Park. Goliad County Seat, South Texas, Hwy 183 and US 59: Population: 1,975 (2000), 25 miles SE of Victoria, 29 miles NE of Beeville. From San Antonio 93 miles via US 181 S. From Austin 104 miles on US 183 S. From Houston 152 miles on US 59 S. Texas Mile, 9006 Sundown Dr, Pearland, TX 77584. Phone 281-303-1844 or 281-802-9863. e-mail: info@nasatx.com.

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Doing a Google search on Lee Chapel I just stumbled onto your interesting hotrod historical website, where I learned of your prolific 94 year old father's subsequent death from a hip injury. He was an amazing contributor to the developing innovative American hotrod scene. I'm trying to find information about Lee Chapel, and pics of his cars, especially his late 1940's-early '50's streamliner. Can you possibly suggest where, or whom I could talk with, to learn more about Lee. As a kid I would occasionally talk with Lee at his Oakland speed shop. When I built a modified V8-60 flathead engine to fit in my mid '50's English Ford Anglia/Squire wagon I would ask Lee questions about Ford flathead problems and modifications. Any suggestions you might have for me on researching Lee are most appreciated. Best regards, Bob Pratt, Oakland, California. "Over 40 years repairing and supplying parts for '60's English Ford Anglias & Cortinas." 
   Bob: Greetings. Thank you for the nice compliments. Jim Miller, myself and many other submitters work very hard to track down every fact that we can find before it is lost. One of our greatest sources was my father and we feel the loss his input more and more every day. He made so many things easier for so many people. Concerning Lee, if you read the newsletters you will find suggestions on how to do research, but I will give you some leads here. 
a) Call Jim Miller and ask him, because he can tell you who was closest to Lee and who's still around. His number is on the masthead.
b) Google Lee's name and see who wrote about him and if they left an email address for you to follow up with.
c) Post your research here on the newsletter, because that let's others know what you are doing and where to contact you.
d) Write in often to the newsletter so that I can post your correspondence. 
e) Give out as much information and details as you can, because facts that you know will trigger memories among our members.
f) Attend the California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield and the GCR&R Club's annual Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame in Buellton.
g) Make up a sign-board or flyers to pass around at these events to let people know what you are looking for.
h) Do a phone tree. After you talk to Miller, ask him for 5 references and phone numbers. Every person you call, ask for more numbers.
i) Use the H.A.M.B., Bonneville News, SCTA Racing News and other valuable newsletters and websites.
This will get you started and as you are working on your end, we will be passing your request through our system seeing what leads turn up.

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I am pleased to let you know a new land speed racing event located in the upper northeast in Limestone, Maine, just beside the Canadian border will present it's inaugural event on the weekend of August 1st and 2nd. Presented by the Lorin Timing Association on the retired Lorin Air Force Base, this great location will provide one and one half miles of top speed acceleration. All Volkswagens street cars, both air and water cooled, are welcome to race in the under 135 mile per hour Street classes. In particular, those folks following the 36hp Challenge will be glad to know all classes of 36hp engined VW bugs, buses and Ghias are welcomed and will run against ECTA records from the Maxton Mile in North Carolina and the official International 36hp Land Speed Racing Challenge record history. For further information, go to: www.lta-lsr.com, for Lorin Timing Association specific information. www.landracing.com, for general LSR updates and links. www.ecta-lsr.com, for East Coast Timing Association specific information. www.usfra.com, for Bonneville USFRA specific information and www.texasmile.net, for Mid-America specific information. Please come out and spectate or participate in racing for top speed. For further information on the 36hp Challenge go to www.burlyb.com. Also watch for news on the new International "1" Club. Information to follow! Burly Burlile

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The Loring Timing Association, a Land Speed Racing venue on the site of the former Loring AFB in Limestone, Maine. The LTA was conceived by Bob Wanner and Bob Jepson, two LSR devotees from the North-East who desired a place to run their cars a little more convenient to their homes. Our Inaugural event will be held: July 31 through August 2nd, 2009. The track itself is a large former USAF heavy bomber facility, maintained quite well since its tenants left over 10 years ago. Our preliminary media event, and subsequent research, makes us feel comfortable allowing at least 1.5 mile run to the timing traps, leaving about a one mile shutdown. The surface is as follows: Begins with 1000 feet of concrete, coupled with 6920 of asphalt to the traps, for a total of 1.5 miles of acceleration. Then followed by a shutdown of 3000 feet of asphalt, 1000 feet of concrete and final 1000 feet of asphalt. Early turn-offs to the left (west) are located at approximately 3800 feet and 6700 feet. Please utilize these early turn-off exits to the left (west), if your vehicle is not running well as to not hamper other competitors waiting in the staging area. There are two exits after the traps at 9000 and 12000 feet. If a competitor has any situation that requires emergency assistance they are to pull over to the right, (east), come to a complete stop and emergency (fire/medical) crews will respond to that location. The middle lane is off limits, while the left will be used for returning to pit/staging area. As this is our first event, we will stress safety first. Though most of those present are likely to be LSR veterans, both in competing and working, we are all new here, so bear with us! 
   THE INAUGURAL EVENT; July 31st, August 1st, August 2nd, 2009. Tech Inspection Friday July 31st (no test/tuning/timing runs allowed) Racing August 1 and August 2nd. We currently are only recommending THE CARIBOU INN, 1-800-235-0466, 1-207-498-3733, 19 Main Street, Caribou, ME 04736. When you call and reserve a room, be sure to mention that you are an LTA racer and you will receive a 20% discount on your room of up to four individuals. Saturday night there will be a racer's get together indoor poolside at the Inn. Contact email address is located at: LORINGTIMINGASSOCIATION@GMAIL.COM. (From the LTA Website, courtesy of Burly Burlile)

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I need your assistance with a job at hand. I'm not selling anything, but trying to assemble a contact list of auto focused clubs for the Greater Los Angeles area along with contact information for the director, or secretary. The SoCal Chapter of The Society of Automotive Historians is planning to propose an arrangement wherein the Chapter will exchange space in their annual Literature Fair for promotional consideration. The Chapter will provide the space for a recruitment table to be operated during the fair in exchange for the local club's support making their membership aware of the event. If they "plug" us in their newsletter, that would be nice--but not a requirement. Anything you can provide will be appreciated, just send it to my E-address. If you will be forwarding a document, please send a cover message so I can give you credit, where due. Thanks, Bob Falcon
   Bob: You can and should send us updates on a weekly basis about the Literature Fair, i.e. what it is and what it isn't, the date, place and what to expect. The SLSRH Newsletter is glad to take such notices and we don't charge anything to do it. If we can help you put together a contact list we will be glad to do it, but you should always leave plenty of lee-way and time for people to do that. If your event is in June, then you need to start notifying your contact list, including the SLSRH, around October or November for the following year. You don't have to do a weekly notice, but a monthly notification of the Literature Fair is imperative. The more that you plug the event, the better the attendance. When you get down towards the last two months, you should have weekly or every other week announcements. Always vary the announcements, such as one week tell us something about one of the members or volunteers. Another announcement can be about what's offered at the Fair or who some of the vendors are. The important thing to remember is this; each time you send out a notice you reinforce in our minds the need to schedule your event on our calendars. Hot rodders have a lot of conflicting things in our lives and the more that you emphasize your event, the greater the likelihood that we will attend your event rather than some other activity that day. For example, let the public know that Jay Leno often attends the Literature Fair. Things like that will stand out in our minds and make us more committed to attending. With the wealth of activities that face all of us, you need to constantly bombard the public with your message.

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Click to read message. Please read it or the sender will think you ignored this.
   Dear Sender: Thank you for sending me a message, but I only take messages that are normal emails and that is because I have to protect my system from viruses and other forms of attack from the internet. You can write to me anytime, but do so by a simple email.

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Challengers and friends: I am pleased to announce a new but separate segment of the International 36hp Challenge. From the forties till today, 36hp Volkswagen racers (and 25hp) have been striving to achieve higher and higher speeds. As we have seen from results over the past five years of the 36hp Challenge, hitting 100 miles per hour is a difficult yet not impossible task. In Land Speed Racing for top speeds, the elite racers who have exceeded 200 (and now 300 and 400) miles per hour have been recognized by automatically achieving membership in the SCTA's exclusive 200 MPH Club. They even have a separate, unique club for those 200 mile per hour racers who set records in the dirt at El Mirage and Muroc called "the Dirty 2 Club."
Membership in these clubs is impossible for VW racers in almost any VW powered racer to gain, and for our 36hp racers today and our past 36hp VW pioneers it will always remain just a dream. With this thought in mind, we created the "1" Club to recognize and honor any racer who exceeds the 100 mile per hour barrier in a 36hp based four wheeled vehicle. Membership is simple and gained by exceeding that magic speed in sanctioned and verifiable competition and is completely free. No sign ups, no memberships, just 100 mph plus speeds in a 36hp VW based car will get you the special Gaylen Anderson sponsored, Wizzard created, commemorative decals to be placed on your racer.
There are other 100 mph clubs for boats, electric powered racers and even a 100 mph club sponsored by Hop Up magazine for flathead four cylinder powered old fashioned hot rods. The 36hp VW group will be distinguished by it's designation as the "1" Club. As you can see from the attachment showing the recognition decal, the International 36hp Challenge "1" Club is represented by a red oval with silver bezel, the same size and inspired by, oval window VW taillights. Requirements to qualify: 36hp engine case (or 25hp) - no early Porsche 2 piece! No other engine guidelines are mandated which means any heads, cylinders or cylinder head stud configuration, exhaust or intake/fuel system and transmission are acceptable. Four (4) wheeled vehicle --- Stock bodied, dragster, Formula V, kit car, race car, modified body (chopped, etc.) streamliner, lakester, Porsche, Fiat, are acceptable. Validation requires:
a. Photo of car and photo of car with engine installed and functioning.
b. Photo of engine case with case number clearly visible.
c. Copy of verified timing slip and/or published magazine article specifying speed of 100 mile per hour or greater.
d. Date, event, sanctioning body where speed was set.
e. Name, address, email, and phone number of driver.
f. Name, address, email and phone number of car owner.
g. Name, address, email and phone number of engine builder.
h. List of engine specifics and components.
Confirmation should be emailed to Burly Burlile at burlybug@comcast.net. All photos sent may be used for publication and sending to this email address will be considered copyright release. Charter members include:
Peter Muller ~ 120.110 mph ~ Autobahn, Germany ~ 1949
Dick Beith ~ 101.296 mph ~ Bonneville, USA ~ 1961
Dick Beith ~ 129.000 mph ~ Bonneville, USA ~ 1963
Tom Bruch ~ 109.572 mph ~ Bonneville, USA ~ 1967
Tom Bruch/Anderson ~ 103.496 mph ~ Bonneville, USA ~ 2008
Note: If anyone is aware of other VW racers in the U.S. or around the world using 36hp engines to exceed 100 miles per hour, please contact me with information so I can confirm the speed and add them to our charter member list. Your assistance will be greatly appreciated. May the Speed be with you. Burly Burlile, www.burlyb.com.

scan002001 (Small) copy

Caption:
36hp VW "1" Club, Gaylen Anderson sponsored, Wizzard created, commemorative decals.

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Golden Hawk LSR Project, see www.goldenhawk.ca, (or click) http://goldenhawkproject.blogspot.com/. Randy Pierce

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I am very excited to announce that Lord March, the founder of Goodwood Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival, has lent his support to the Music City Motor Jam through a special donation to the AMP Education Program. When I got the opportunity last year to be involved with setting up a vintage dragster display at Goodwood, I relished the thought of visiting the Mecca of motor sports events. Charles March is aware of the AMP Education program and its importance and was keen to help. When I emailed him last week to see if there was something he might donate to the raffle he replied: "More than happy to give a couple of passes to the Goodwood Revival and suggest, if this is someone coming over from the States, that we do 2 entry tickets for each day, so they can be here all weekend. We can also put paddock passes in the pack too, which would make them very sought after, as only members and VIP guests can get access to the paddock. I do hope this helps." The Goodwood Revival held in the UK on September 18th-20th. It does indeed! Where else are you going to find VIP Goodwood tickets, a signed guitar donated by Eric Clapton, sheet metal from Dale Jr and Tony Stewart and VIP pit passes to the Chevy Rock & Roll 400? Block the 27th of June (for the raffle) out and come join us for what is shaping up to be an amazing event. All the Best, Henry Astor, Founder & President, Astor Motor Productions Inc. info@astormotorproductions.com. 100 Avenue of the Americas, suite 1238, New York, NY 10013

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MPG Members Invited to Speedway Motorcycle Racing Opening Night: Free Admission, Parking and Pit Access. Wednesday, May 27, 2009. MPG members (and one guest per member) are invited to attend opening night of Speedway Motorcycle Racing. When: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. Where: Industry Hills Expo Center, 16200 Temple Avenue, City of Industry, CA 91744. MPG Members get free parking, free admission and access to the pit area. An evening of racing consists of more than 40 sprint races. Those who wish to attend should RSVP to howie@razvideo.com with "Motor Press Guild/Speedway" in the subject line. If interest is high enough, co-promoter, CHIPS star and 1981/82 World Speedway Champion Bruce Penhall will arrange a pre-race get-together that will include free food and drink. For more information on Speedway Motorcycle Racing, go to http://www.industryspeedway.com/. For more information on MPG, go to www.motorpressguild.org. Ed Justice Jr
Ed: Thank you for the heads up. Speedway motorcycle racing used to be huge in America and is still very important in Europe. Specialized Coatings has asked Roger Rohrdanz and myself to do more coverage on Speedway and we need to get out and cover these events at Industry Hills and Costa Mesa. We are privileged to have two first class facilities in Southern California and if we don't support these venues then we risk losing them. I'll post this to the next issue of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians newsletter.

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Saturday May 30 10AM - 2PM. HARRELL ENGINES AND RACING EQUIPMENT: Jim (White) Harrell & Nick Harrell A Thirty Year Journey Through Hot Rodding. Jim and Nick Harrell were well known LA area racers and builders from the 1930's through the 1950's. This is their story as told by their 2 nephews, Roger and Richard and their great grandnephew Alec who, at 13, is the youngest docent at the Automobile Driving Museum. Meet them all, hear the stories!
    and...
a) Saturday June 6 10AM - 2PM. Lou Hart and Friends. See the famous Yeakel Top Fuel Dragster and meet some of the drivers who made history. Lou will also be signing his new book Kings of the Quarter Mile.
b) Saturday, June 13 10AM - 2PM. Hot Rod Garages. Meet author Peter Vincent and Builders; Bill Vinther, Cal Tanaka, Pete Eastwood and Don Small. See some of their fantastic cars. Bring your own.
c) Saturday, June 20 10AM - 2PM. Meet the legendary George Barris. He will be signing his new book Cars of the Stars. Barris cars will be on display.
Tina Van Curen, Autobooks-Aerobooks, 3524 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: 818 845-0707
   Tina: Thank you for the schedules. Make sure, if you can, to give me at least 4 weeks notice of events, because the newsletter is approximately three weeks behind the time that news is received.

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Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous, California's largest cruisin' classic car show is to be held on the downtown streets of San Bernardino, September 17-20, 2009. See www.route-66.org. Karen Blanco
 

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Thought you would like to know that the sales of Crazy Horses in the UK are hitting the roof. It is very significant. In Britain, the home of Formula One, the best selling motor sports book on Amazon is about British drag racing. Wow! That's one for potential sponsors. I'll get a copy to you closer to the release date in the USA. Brian Taylor, E-mail brian@petrolhead.vianw.co.uk.
Brian: Do you have a website that you would rather publish than the internet address that you gave me? I'm glad that your book is doing so well in England and I will do a book review for you if you like. All the Brits that I have met who came to America to see drag racing at our tracks have been passionate about their sport. England has always been a pacesetter for automotive sports in Europe.

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1997 World Champion and seven-time AMA National Champion Greg Hancock will compete in Round One of the AMA/USA Speedway National Championship Series at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California on Saturday, June 6, 2009. Sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association and USA Speedway Inc, and inscribed by the Federation Internationale de Motociclisme (FIM), the National Championship Series is considered one of the most prestigious motorcycle races of the year. If you want to be the AMA Speedway National Champion then this is where it starts. You can't get there unless you're here. This is the fourth consecutive year International Speedway has hosted round one at the Orange County Fairgrounds and it has gotten a real following from competitors and fans alike. "This is serious high-dollar stuff," Costa Mesa promoter Brad Oxley told USA Speedway Board member Harald Zechner. "The best of the best will be here. They want the title, they want the money." Hancock, who competes in and is currently third in the exclusive European-based World Speedway Grand Prix Series, makes his home in Costa Mesa. "I started my career here in the Costa Mesa 'bullring' as a junior and won my first AMA National Championship here in 1995. Now I want to be the first American to win an eighth U.S. National Speedway title." Hancock is currently tied with retired Speedway legend Mike Bast who won seven national titles back in the 1970's.
"Forget what Hancock says," Billy Janniro the defending AMA National Champion told Zechner. "I'm winning that #1 plate again this year and nothing's going to stop me." He could be right. Janniro won all three rounds in last year's AMA National Championship Series and has been very strong in his early showings this season. "I can beat those guys," is Zechner's quote from 17 years old two-time U.S. Under 21 National Champion Ricky Wells. "I'm flying in from England and I don't plan on losing." This will be Wells's first appearance in America since leaving to race for the Coventry Bees in the British Elite League earlier this year. In 2007 the Yorba Linda resident became the youngest winner of the Costa Mesa Fair Derby race when he won at the age of 15. Last Sunday he qualified for the 2009 Under 21 World Championship Semi-Finals to be held next month. With a $10,400 cash purse plus contingencies the 22-rider line up is impressive and will feature the very best we have in America. It all starts at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night, June 6 at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Come see for yourself why we call Speedway Motorcycle Racing the Original Extreme Sport. Want more? www.CostaMesaSpeedway.net. Howie Zechner

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Random Photos and Videos

The BruchBurly NA36 goes through tech

Caption:
The Bruch Burly NA36 goes through tech on the salt at World of Speed in 2006.   Photograph by Carter Kudrie

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Captions: Subject: Speed Demon 5-21-09. Streamliner photos sent in by Ron Main.
Click Here for Photo Gallery

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LIONS DRAGSTRIP PHOTOS, Subject: YouTube - Return To Lions

 

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

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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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