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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 221 - October 5, 2011
Editor: Richard Parks RnParks1@juno.com
President's Corner: By Jim Miller (1-818-846-5139)
Photographic Editor of the Society: Roger Rohrdanz, beachtruck@juno.com
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon

Click On All Images / Link For more Info / Images

Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
 President's Corner, Editorials, I'm very sorry to inform you that Dad passed away last Thanksgiving; Douglas Morrill King, born on 6 May 1937, passed away on 16 September 2011, after a brief illness; George Santos passed away on Sunday morning, 2 October 2011; There wasn't much that I could go to on; It is with great sadness that I let you of the passing of Jerry Pickel of Pendleton Indiana, he was the owner and driver of the 1988 Olds Cutlass wearing the number 819; I'm the acquisitions editor at the University of Utah Press; Speed Demon press release; Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum; My neighbor has decided to have a yard sale this week end so Robb and I decided to hitch on to his star; We plan on having a big party tomorrow to celebrate the Early Rodders 10th anniversary; I ran at the Santa Ana Airport drag strip from 1951 (while still in High School, and got out in '52) until 1957 when I got drafted; The latest item sent by the person is a hand written form by the late Earl Flanders indicating a record; You noted a request from Elaine Kazakoff for info about Russ Palmer; Blacktop Magazine is an edgy, retro style hot rodding publication that is very interesting to read; This month’s Aussie Invader 5R newsletter is now available to read online; A free on-line newsletter from Justice Brothers is available; I would love to send some more pictures and info on my husband's land speed racer to you; American Bobby Cleveland takes his lawnmower up to 96 mph to set a new world record; I promise I will do this but it won't be until at least November or so; How could the Riverside Museum schedule this 'reunion' event when most of the folks interested in the history of drag racing will be at Bakersfield for the California Hot Rod Reunion; See how history gets all confused; Lenny Schaeffer who owns Chop Shop Customs in Massachusetts has a website and newsletter that has a lot of interesting things, especially for those in the northeast; The Petersen Automotive Museum, the Phil Hill Family and the Checkered Flag 200 Club present a very special tribute to Phil Hill in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of America’s first Formula One World Championship winner on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm; Vintage Formula Vee on sale.  I had enough fun building this and rubbing on it; TIPS ON DOING THE SALT.  By LeRoi Tex Smith; When Kitty O'Neil broke the women's land-speed record; Silent Victory; The Kitty O'Neill Story (1979) is a 1hr 36minute movie starring Edward Albert, Stockard Channing, and Brian Dennehy; Please add this link to the museum list; September 14, 2011, by Eric Studer; Richard Elliott sent in a website that has the photography of Ray Gordon at Bonneville, called Hot Rods in Space; Fast Five with Steve “Big Hook” Gibbs.  Longtime NHRA Official Steve Gibbs Named Grand Marshal of 20th NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California; 1933 Ford B/A Coupe Roland Raffanti - Owner from 1957 – 2004. John Raffanti – Driver; Contact: Chris Brown, Information and Marketing Manager; Green Monster #27 1990 - Waldo Stakes Photos; Green Monster #27 1990 at World's Finals, Bonneville Salt Flats.  Franklin Ratliff Photos; Valerie Thompson tops 200 MPH with BMW at BUB speed trials in Bonneville; The Midwest Motorsport Legend - Meadowdale Raceways

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President's Corner:  
   Jim Miller is away at the USFRA Time Trials in Bonneville, Utah and will return next week to resume his column.

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Editorial:   
   The editor brings up a point concerning a letter that he sent to another person:
Editorially speaking, I think that you would be better served if you BCC'd your lists when you sent out mass mailers.  My experience is that when people see all the names on transmissions that I send out that they tend to delete without reading and they also write back and ask that I remove their email addresses from my address book. They do not like their information being spread out beyond their control.  Now that is not really possible, because once they are on the internet they can't control much, but they think that they can.  Also, some will see it as triangulation, or name dropping and resent it.  For me, I have to be readily accessible to perform my functions, so if my name is out there in the open that's just part of the job.  If you BCC the names on your emails then the receivers of your message will get the hint, that they are ONE of MANY, but the doubt persists in their minds as to just "how many that could be."  To secure and enhance your point of view and to make it more powerful and therefore accepted, use BCC to put the email addresses into instead of CC in your messages.” 
   The importance of using good letter writing skills as in the days of pen and paper cannot be stressed enough. The computer is fast and we have done more during the electronic age than we could ever believe that we could in our younger days. But we still need to avoid shortcuts. Open an email with the person’s name, add a greeting like HELLO or HOPE ALL IS WELL and be sure to BCC all the email addresses, because just like in the good old days, you are writing to ONE PERSON at a time, even though the computer can let you write to more than that at a time. Courtesy and skill are still required today.
   You probably noticed in the last issue of the newsletter several things; one, that the newsletter was late, and two that there is a lot of news on slower records. Here’s my response. I rely on Jim Miller to do lots of research, Roger Rohrdanz to process all the photographs and Spencer Simon for a great deal of reporting from Northern California and sometimes they need a break. Eventually I will get all the news into one of the SLSRH newsletters. As to the issue of news slanted toward cars and records that run at a slower speed the only answer is the truth; yes, I encourage those reports. Land speed racing isn’t only about the fast 700 mph cars. LSR is about every type of car and motorcycle that attempts to break a record and one of the most active clubs is a small-engined group. I know that most of them struggle to get these small engines to break 100 mph, but they are just as zealous in breaking a record as are any other group. You should see them when they finally make it to the 100 mph records; this group is really excited. It wasn’t many years ago when breaking into the century mark was a big thing for ANY type of car or motorcycle. I remember those days. A record is a record no matter how fast it is and each attempt is precious. When other racing leagues are threatened with extinction because of injuries and death, as in the recent air races in Reno, Nevada, the sport of land speed racing is alive and growing stronger. Any group that sends me records, reports, bios, photographs or stories will have equal space in the SLSRH newsletter. 
   There was a lengthy report on a LSR team at the USFRA meet right down to who gets the ice and who wrenches on what. It was my intention to run this report in the newsletter until it was brought to my attention that it was a current article in www.landracing.com and we did not have approval to run it. So I recommend that our readers go to that excellent website and read the reports on the Speed Demon. For the record, I have a great many notes and records from the
Spirit of America LSR attempt at Black Rock Desert in 1997. I hope to make those records available to the readers of the SLSRH. Much of those records are dry and uneventful, but they form an understanding of what it was like to create a race team and run a car at high speeds. Unfortunately I have few records for the Noble/Green team that actually set the record, except for my memories of the seven weeks that we volunteered there. What may seem boring and dry to you today will take on a new importance in the distant future.

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I'm very sorry to inform you that Dad passed away last Thanksgiving.  I had sent out notice along with a Christmas greeting to all on Dad's list.  I'm pretty sure I sent one to you, but it may have been misrouted in some way. I'm attaching the letter I enclosed with the cards. Dad enjoyed so much working with you on the reference material for the early days of hot rodding.  Even though his interests had moved on later in his life, he always had a passion for cars.  The friendship he had with people like you, Dave Seeley and Rick Cannon was very important to him, and he often talked about the projects you all were working on. The family and I very much appreciate the enjoyment you brought to his later years. My very best regards, Larry Darwin
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   My name is Larry Darwin, Thatcher Darwin’s second son. I regret to inform you that Dad passed away the day after Thanksgiving of congestive heart failure. After returning from a solo trip to his beloved Hillsdale College for a seminar, I had taken him to the hospital for some tests as he had complained of shortness of breath. The attending physician explained to me that there was a problem with his heart. I knew right away what he was talking about. Congestive heart failure is the same thing Mom passed away from, almost to the day, three years ago. The night I took him home from the hospital, I explained to him what the situation was with his heart. Dad knew that for the last few years of Mom’s life, she needed him to be with her 24/7 because of her condition. We talked late that night, and he told me that life to him was waking up in the morning, reading the papers, driving to the mall to walk, returning, having lunch and going back to the computer to write. When he could no longer do that unassisted, he was not interested in going on. I had talked from time to time of his living with us, and we discussed it again. But he did not wish to inconvenience any of the family, did not want a live-in and certainly did not want to live in a home.
   He told me he had had the good fortune to live 91 years with no physical limitations, the gift of a beautiful 64-year marriage, four happy and successful children, good friends and a whole host of rewarding and fulfilling projects to be involved with. Death is a part of life, and he was now ready to move on. We spent a beautiful Thanksgiving Day with the whole family together, talking about old times and looking at photos. Dad was sharp, alert, telling jokes. We sat around the sofa. It was the first time the whole family had assembled in one place in years. He slept the next day, and did not wake up. His final wishes were that no one grieves for him, but celebrate life as he did. Among his last words to me were, “I’m the luckiest man in the world.” And indeed, he was.
   Larry: Our family has known Thatcher for more than sixty years. Land speed racing and hot rodding owe your father a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid in this lifetime, but we can bring out all the things that Thatcher Darwin did that made it possible for us to continue to work on cars and to go racing. During WWII and just after it ended, your father was the secretary of the SCTA to the board and was a close friend of Bozzie Willis who was the acting president at the time. Most of the membership and much of the leadership of the racing group was still overseas in the military. The SCTA played a big role in stopping illegal street racing while they were active. They not only set an example of how to organize racing, but they told the young kids that they had to race in the right way and not on the streets. Those who decided to ignore these warnings often found Ak Miller, Jim Lindsley, Jack Henry and a number of rather imposing SCTA members visiting them. 
   But during the war these leaders in the community were absent and illegal street racing became a public nuisance, killing many innocent people. The state of California in the Senate and Assembly, were considering the passage of laws to outlaw hot rodding and racing as we know it. Several bills were introduced; the most onerous prospective law mandating that non-stock cars could not be run on the roads or on the racetracks in the state. If that law had been passed the police could confiscate and crush all hot rods and race cars and our sport would have died. Bozzie Willis and Thatcher Darwin made the decision to contest these laws and Thatcher went to Sacramento and spoke on behalf of the SCTA and all hot rodders. He paid his own way to go, and was partially reimbursed later. Thatcher Darwin spoke to state Senators and Assemblyman and in their chambers. There were others who spoke up, but we know that Thatcher was one of the leaders in the fight to save our sport of auto racing and hot rodding, as well as customizing. This was years before SEMA and NHRA would form and take up the fight to protect hot rodders. We all owe your father our thanks and I will never stop mentioning his name, for he was a giant force for good and safety and the continuation of the car culture. Please send us any history that you have for your dad and I will gratefully publish it.

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Douglas Morrill King, born on 6 May 1937, passed away on 16 September 2011, after a brief illness. He was a resident of Castro Valley, California.   Doug was the oldest son of Augustus and Leva King. Doug was born and raised in the Hayward area and graduated from Hayward High School in 1955.  He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1959, and later married Mary Lou King in 1965. Doug moved to Castro Valley where he lived the rest of his life.  He enjoyed a career as an airline pilot and retired as a captain in 1990 from TWA.  Douglas was an avid antique car and plane enthusiast, fraternizing with several clubs, such as the Hayward Head Hunters, The Horseless Carriage club, and the Early Ford V8 club. His passion for racing led him to numerous achievements and afforded him many friendships. Doug leaves behind his wife of 46 years; Mary Lou, and four sons Greg, Eric, Scott and Brian.  Sent in by Spencer Simon

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George Santos passed away on Sunday morning, 2 October 2011. A service will be held for him on Saturday, the 8 October 2011 at 11 AM at the Holy Angels Home located at 1051 Harder Road, Hayward, California 94542. From Skip Govia and Spencer Simon

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There wasn't much that I could go to on.  I know that Julian was on the Juggers racing team of the Bay area near San Francisco, California.  I have a dozen pictures of Sweikert that I acquired from Hillary Govia.  I am trying to put together for the next story.    Spencer Simon
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It's with great sadness that I pass this (Julian Gonsalves) along to you.  Dawn Kucker
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My name is Mike Lema, it is with heavy heart that I send this.  Julian Gonsalves has passed away (circa Sunday, September 18, 2011).  He was the safety guy at Champion Raceway.  We will definitely miss him R.I.P.   From Joe and Arlene Lema
   Spencer, Dawn, Joe, Mike and Arlene: I'm sorry to hear about Julian.  I would like to publish a bio or obituary on Julian for the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter which is located at www.landspeedracing.com.  If you can put together some information and send it to me I will edit it and put it on the website. 

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It is with great sadness that I let you of the passing of Jerry Pickel of Pendleton Indiana, he was the owner and driver of the 1988 Olds Cutlass wearing the number 819. Jerry lost his battle with cancer on July 28, 2011.  I am his nephew and fellow racers who enjoyed watching his creation perform and the pleasure he got from being involved in land speed racing. I would ask if you could please pass this word onto your membership via email that the car, trailer, engines, and all tools will be auctioned on the 24th of September.  The auction will be held by: http://www.Jacksons-Auction.com, which can be previewed on line and offers can be made before the actual date.  If you have any questions on the items available or how the process will take place you can direct your questions to Dennis Jackson at dennis@jacksons-auction.com or call 877-797-2117.  I have placed a few photos of the car with this email however there will be more pictures for viewing on the web-site.
   Please know that this car was built and designed by an engineer that has every step of the process written out and diagramed in manuals that will go with the car, an example would be a complete wiring diagram for every switch and sensor, auto shifter design, gauge packages, warning lights and sensors to back-up gauge performance. He only purchased the best equipment for this car.  When it came to safety he met or exceeded all rules and regulations governing land speed racing. The car is truly something that someone must see, drive, and experience.  I had the opportunity to get my license in 2010 and it was truly a thrill of a lifetime, at 185mph I felted safer and more security than at 30 mph in my family SUV.  I understood more that day about his passion then every before and why you ladies and gentlemen enjoy the art of land speed racing. Best wishes to all and may you achieve your goals within LSR.

   To understand the totality of the effort, creativity, and passion that went in to this race car – you have to know the man. You need to know that he had no sponsors – no backing of any kind – just his enthusiasm – drive – and love of engineering and challenge of solving problems that drove this guy to create and continually “tweek and twick” till he got what he wanted – but then he would want to make more changes to see what these changes would produce. There would have been no finish point. His educational background: graduating from Anderson Hi School with honors, attending Purdue university for a year – then graduation from General Motors Institute with a BIE led him to working at General Motors in Anderson in the fields of Mechanical Engineering – Mgr of Plant engineering, Mgr maintenance and equipment engineering, mgr of Health and Safety and environmental standards – and prior to retirement in worked in the educational fields with sigma learning.  
   He also received many awards due to his cost savings projects many saving millions of dollars for the corporation – and various awards for his creativity and dedication to his job. In the 1960’s he was involved in mechanics/engine designs of a dragster that won its class at the world nationals in its division – won trophies in the hot rod association – had motorcycles that ran on some circuits – in addition to attending many NASCAR races – road races – which lead to his last “big” passion land speed racing; at Bonneville, Maxton and the Texas Mile. This all got started when my dad Keith Fraundorfer talked about how he would like to go to Bonneville someday to see these races – well that did not happen – but when my day passed away – and the car was left to me his olds cutlass – that started Jerry on his road to land speeding racing. 1st – he gutted the car – did some revamping on the engine – bought two sport seats and drove it on the street for a short time – then – it was a roll bar – and a better engine – and more revamping till the first attempt at Bonneville.
   Then we needed a welder – and lessons to make better welds – then a mill had to be purchased to make parts for the engine area and elsewhere on the car. Over the years more changes – more twicking – wind tunnel tests – special weights made for the car…on and on and on….more engines to build and try…more transmissions to build and try…body work – paint job…..In the end over 8 craftsman double tool boxes of tools – and a garage full of other tools for his hobby…But sadly he did not get that last race in – the car was finished started up and a test race at the Muncie drag was planned – reservations at The Texas Mile for May 2011 were made – but the cancer was raging and the chemo was not working and he was too weak for the trip. I know his biggest racing thrill – was not just the race – the speed. The sense of accomplishment when his work proved out as planned – or his changes panned out…..it was the design – the engineering – it was the creating that drove this guy. So many people have said he was the smartest man they had ever met. I never saw something he could not do – and if a tool could not be bought for a job – he MADE ONE. This racing passion never would have ended for him…if it had not been for his health. Thank you all for the opportunity to be involved in each of your outstanding organizations.  Mike Newton
(This report was sent in by Jerry Cornelison, from a message that he received from Mike Newton.)
  
Mike and Jerry: Due to staff absences, this newsletter is way behind schedule and I couldn’t get your notice in soon enough to inform our readers about the recent auction, but I will try and help you in the future. Please give me as much time as you can so that I can get your request into the newspaper promptly.

Salt Flats 2009 033.JPG ~ Salt Flats 2009 043.JPGDSCF0730.JPG ~ DSCF0745.JPG

DSCF0787.JPG ~ Muncie Drag Racing 013.JPG

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I'm the acquisitions editor at the University of Utah Press.  I have recently received a manuscript on the creation of the rocket engine used in the Blue Flame.  It was written as the autobiography of Ray Dausman by his daughter Sarah Kasprowicz with the help and support of Ray Dausman.  It is entitled Blue Flame Rocket Man.  I am currently looking for reviewers for this manuscript.  Is there a curator or someone that might be a potential reviewer for this manuscript within the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians?  Please let me know and thanks for your consideration of this request.  Reba Rauch, Acquisitions Editor, The University of Utah Press, 295 S 1500 East, Suite 5400, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-0860, 801-585-0081.
http://www.uofupress.com, http://www.facebook.com/uofupress, http://twitter.com/uofupress, http://www.archaeologyoftheamericas.com/.
     Reba: I will be glad to publish this in the SLSRH and ask our members if they would be willing to review the book.  I do book reviews on request.  You can find the reviews at www.hotrodhotline.com, Guest columnist, Richard Parks.  I do not charge for the reviews and the books, movies or magazines must be sent to me.  I will return them upon completion of the review if there is a pre-paid return pouch.  I would also suggest that you contact the curators at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and the Petersen Automotive Museum and see if they would be interested in writing a review.  I will also publish any review sent to me in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter and at the website for HRHL.  The reviews can also be published elsewhere.  I always suggest multiple reviews for books, magazines and movies. 

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See http://www.dragracingonline.com/agent1320/2011/1320-xiii_9-47.html, for the Speed Demon press release. Bret Kepner

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Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum.  Hila Sweet and her friends created this unique reunion to honor all race car drivers, owners and fans.  Hila was there in the beginning when jalopy, roadster, sprint and champ cars were racing in their heyday.  This is an event for all racing fans who remember the California oval track racing during the post WWII era.  The Riverside International Automotive Museum (RIAM) is located at 815 Marlborough Avenue #200, Riverside, CA 92507.  Main Office and General Information Line is at 951-369-6966. 

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My neighbor has decided to have a yard sale this week end so Robb and I decided to hitch on to his star. The sale will take place in my driveway. This is the very first of the “Falcon Tool Sales.”Over the years hand tools have been accumulated for use at three different locations and the collection began when I was in high school in the 1940’s; the Home Work shop plus my Sargent Fletcher Workshop and at the El Monte Airport hangar. That has all been changed and I find that my toolboxes now have nearly three of everything in the way of hand tools. So this Saturday, xxxxxxxx 24 we will stage our initial sale between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM at my home. Bob Falcon
   Bob: Due to interruptions in the processing of the newsletter I was unable to publish a newsletter until after your date. It is completely my fault and I apologize because I’m sure that a number of your friends would have liked to attend. Things are back to normal and I am now processing dozens of overdue emails for next week’s newsletter. If you do this again please let me know. The sale is over and Bob relates that he did very well and will have another sale soon.
  
Readers: If you have a sale of your memorabilia send me a notice, but do so at least three weeks in advance of the event. I will publish lists of articles and some photos as well as your information on the sale. We do not charge for such a service.

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We plan on having a big party tomorrow to celebrate the Early Rodders 10th anniversary.  Please join us at our picnic and celebration.  If you have a car and want to participate, check with Dwight below, there are a few spots left.  You don't need to have a car to enter, it's a free show.  Don Tubbs       
     Well, the Early Rodder's 10th Anniversary picnic is this coming Saturday (9/24).  If you're not signed up, it may not be too late.  By the way this event is being advertised, there will be more participants than I initially anticipated.  Look at the links below and read about the coming event.  Get a hold of Dwight Sityar if you're not signed up yet.  It may not be too late.  There are about 150 cars already registered and that is approaching the allowed amount permitted for the grassy knolls of Crescenta Valley Park.  See http://www.crescentavalleyweekly.com/news/09/22/2011/celebrating-the-love-of-cars-–-early- rodders-plans-10th-anniversary/, or http://www.crescentavalleyweekly.com/news/09/22/2011/from-the-desk-of-the-publisher-6/.     Rick Chew
     Don and Rick: I apologize for missing your deadline.  The SLSRH newsletter has been inactive due to unforeseen problems and it is just now up and running.  This has caused numerous events to be held without notification in our newsletter.  I am still going to run your notice and the websites because there is a good likelihood that you will be holding an 11th Annual Early Rodders Anniversary and you can never be too early to advertise and promote your event.  I advise the following schedule for promotions; Once a month for the first nine months before an event.  Then send a notice twice a month for the next two months before an event.  Finally, send a notice once a week for the last month prior to an event.  This can be done by email and by US Postal Service, but somewhere in that time span the club should start phone calling as many people as they can.  Email, snail mail and flyers are effective, but the most thorough way to get people to respond is by phone or in person.  I'm sorry to have missed your event but if you send me notices for next year I will certainly run them for your club. 

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I ran at the Santa Ana Airport drag strip from 1951 (while still in High School, and got out in '52) until 1957 when I got drafted.  It sure is getting lonely at the top of the seniority chart.  I'm off to Bonneville for the SCTA/BNI World Finals, October 6-9, 2011.  I'm one of the early arrivers getting things prepared for the event so I'm leaving on the 30th.  Best wishes to all.  Mike Waters
     Mike: We need to get you started on your biography and also to include Dana Wilson.  Many know that you are a long time LSR racer but how many know that you were involved in boat racing back in the '50's and '60's.  So we need to work on your bio.  Soon we will have to have your wife and your son start on their individual bios as well.  You know too much history and we need to capture all your stories and history that we can. 

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The latest item sent by the person is a hand written form by the late Earl Flanders indicating a record. The club needs to have proof of the record's ratification from the FIM.  While I was at Bonneville last week I sat in on presentation of the FIA/FIM Land Speed Record Commission, LSRC.  This meeting marked the first time in history that the members met at a single location. That is a true testament to the efforts and capabilities of the SCTA-BNI, USFRA and Mike Cook to put on and provide valid results for International records.  I learned that not all records submitted to the LSRC are approved.  Many factors are considered and a majority of the submissions are rejected.  The key word here for the club to consider membership of a driver or rider is RATIFICATION.  I have yet to see this from the person and subject under discussion.  The membership requirements for the club can be found in Section 18 of the 2011 SCTA/BNI rulebook and on our website. Kitty O'Neil's 207 MPH El Mirage record does not qualify for membership. We are a Bonneville 200 MPH Club. The sitting board at the time had the option to make her an honorary member and apparently chose not to. Dan Warner, President, Bonneville 200 MPH Club
     Dan: Most people have a distaste for record keeping, but it is a vital step in saving history.  There are several aspects of keeping good records and the FIA/FIM/ACCUS and/or other groups that do keep records have an important job.  The first thing that should be considered is the actual record itself and each governing body sets the rules by which it accepts a record.  The official club or league sets the standards and those standards are enhanced or lessened in the eyes of the public if the rules are not consistent and obvious.  Another goal of a group is to keep all times and points of facts, regardless of whether it is a record or not, for future historians will judge the efforts of a racing league based on how well they keep the history for the next generation.  Any group that is certified to represent the racers has to be involved with record keeping and not just high speed records.  The officials are authorized by the group to be the holders of the records.  Yes, there will be criticisms at times, but the officials represent the clubs and leagues and their responsibility is to the membership. 
   For example, I might question the officials about calling a select group a "Hall of Fame," rather than using a more understandable "Honorary Awards Program."  But that is merely my opinion and I have no influence when it comes to the rules.  The officials of the group carry that obligation and when the leaders follow the rules and guidelines then there can be no question as to the correct record keeping.  It may be that a person has gone 500 mph on land and that in itself is a distinguished mark.  But if the rules state that a speed of 500 mph must break the previous record in order to be eligible for a certain honor and the driver does not break the record, then no matter how fast that person went, they can't receive the honor being bestowed by the group.  I've pointed out before that there are many ways to honor people besides Clubs, Halls of Fame and Honorary Societies.  One of the best ways to honor someone is simply to record their feats by way of a story or a biography. 
   Those that leave behind a record in the form of a book or article are more likely to be honored by their peers than someone who has set records but doesn't write much about themselves.  In fact, that is a pet peeve of mine, that there are Halls of Fame that award honors to more recent honorees because they are known by the voters.  Many deserving people are never honored because they lived and raced long before the present voters were born and are now forgotten.  Finally, record keeping has rules, as you saw with the FIA/FIM and those rules have been codified so that what was done long ago is the same as what is done today.  In some cases the rules are changed for good reasons.  Once the SCTA/BNI required that a record run had to be backed up with a return run in the opposite direction, but this proved too hazardous and the rule was amended.  Rule changes are fine when they are needed.  The SCTA/BNI is a fine organization.  The one problem that I have with it is that old records and nearly all timed runs are not kept over time.  Jim Miller, Leslie Long and others search constantly for old records that have been discarded.  Other than that the SCTA/BNI follows the rules set down by sanctioning bodies.

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You noted a request from Elaine Kazakoff for info about Russ Palmer.  Russ was a good friend.  He worked for Don Blair in the early 1950's.  He ran Blair's sprint car and also did some drag racing and lakes racing.  For a period in 1954 - 1955, Russ and I shared a garage with my fuel coupe and Blair's sprint car that Russ was running.  Later he went into his family publishing business and eventually moved to London, England.  I have not heard from him in the last few years and I am sorry to hear that he has passed on.  I did use a couple of pictures of Russ and/or his cars in my books.  You can forward my email address, montysbooks@nethere.com to Elaine if she wants to get in touch.  My wife and I do remember a very young Elaine.   Don Montgomery
     Don: I will put your letter in the SLSRH with your email address and remind our readers to contact you to add to their collection of fabulous hot rod books.  I've enjoyed every one of your books and they stand out as the Bibles of Hot Rodding.

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Blacktop Magazine is an edgy, retro style hot rodding publication that is very interesting to read. It is sent out free over the internet and you can join by sending T-Bone an email at tbone@blacktopmagazine.com. All of the articles are interesting and written by a real hot rodder of the modern day.  -Editor

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This month’s Aussie Invader 5R newsletter is now available to read online at: http://www.aussieinvader.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/aussieinvader_oct11.pdf (499k - may take a few seconds to load). The newsletter can also be viewed on our website www.aussieinvader.com. Rosco McGlashan, rosco@aussieinvader.com

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A free on-line newsletter from Justice Brothers is available. If you want to receive it just send an emailed request to Ed Justice Jr at newsletter@justicebrothers.com and he will add you to his list.  -Editor

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I would love to send some more pictures and info on my husband's land speed racer to you - that is if you would be kind enough to publish some info about the car - it did not sell in the auction here in Indy - so of course we then could not sell the car trailer/hauler either - so we have it back home of course and in the garage.  Do you know of any other publications or sources I - we (my nephew Mike Newton) could send some video - pictures and info to - in order to continue to try to sell this great car and the trailer.  Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much - Jeanne Pickel
     Jeanne: You raise a great question and one that comes across my desk as an editor on numerous occasions.  I am going to answer your questions in a broad sense, so that all of our readers who have the same problem can learn what we can do for them.  After that I will give you as many websites as I can recall and encourage you to contact them.  First, almost all automotive racing has a problem with disposing of cars and equipment after the owner/driver/team has left racing.  There is a surplus of cars and equipment and it gluts the market.  Also, cars are often built for the owner/driver and are not always easy to retrofit and change to meet a new owner's needs.  Race car teams often prefer to build their own cars rather than buy cars that have been raced before.  Secondly, rules change and cars are often outdated.  Race cars also age and are sometimes uncompetitive with newer race cars.  My brother's Camaro was the record holder before a Firebird (twenty years newer) beat his record.  Many older cars simply can't keep up with newer cars as the technology and the science of aerodynamics improve.  Thirdly, the recession which started five years ago shows no signs of abating and many racers are calling it quits or have lost their jobs and cannot find sponsors.  This does not mean that a race car cannot be sold, only that the problems of selling previously raced cars are more difficult.  Sellers need to be creative and persistent in their approaches.  Many have decided to park their cars and wait for times to get better, but this may not be the best way to go.  Parking a car and waiting could result in a storage problem and the aging of the vehicles.  The longer a car is stored the harder it is to put it back into racing shape.  So if it is hard to sell a car today, yet parking it is also a problem; the answer is to find new markets and get creative in what you can take for the car and equipment.
     The first step is to decide just how important the car and equipment are to you and your family and just what you feel they are worth.  If you do decide to sell these possessions then you need to find out a rough estimate of their value from those that might know and then set a low and a high range that you are willing to negotiate within.  The next step is to google the internet and ask those in the racing world for some contact points.  I have found that there are five ways to best get your message out; face to face contact, phone calls, magazines and newspapers, websites, snail mail flyers and email messaging.  Postal letters and email messages have a very low response rate, but they are cheaper and faster and reach a large audience.  Magazine and newspaper ads can cost up to $500 for a small advertisement run once and they may not reach your target audience.  Face to face contacts at car shows have a very good record of at least getting your message across, but you may have to tow the car to the shows and pay a nominal fee to exhibit the car, usually around $100 in total for gas and entry fee.  Phone calls can be free if you have one of those "all you can call long distance plans" that usually cost $50 a month.  Phone calls are better than most ways of getting the word out, but the buyer cannot see the car that way.  Finally, websites reach a huge audience and they beat magazines and newspapers hands down in the cost of advertisements and in the sheer numbers of people that look at websites.  I look at about 300 or more websites for each newspaper or magazine that I read.  Some websites and newsletters, like mine, are even free to read and to post news and articles.
     The important thing to realize is that there is no perfect way to go about this.  What works for one person may not work for another.  There are probably only 2 or 3 buyers out there who are perfect for this car.  There are lots of buyers who will offer you a price that is way lower than your asking price (the lowest to the highest that you will consider).  There are even scammers and crooks out there who will offer you a bum check or who will offer to make payments on the car, but who will default and not make their payments.  But I am sure that there are 2 or 3 buyers who are trustworthy, interested and who will come close to your price.  You just have to find them.  When you do you have to be creative in how you sell the car.  Perhaps they don't have a lot of money, but have you thought about a trade?  A cash sale is not always the best way to go.  In a cash sale there might be legal or tax questions or you might get less than you feel the car is worth.  In a trade you might pick up something that you always wanted, but didn't think that you could afford.  Maybe a potential buyer is a dentist who would give you ten years of free care or a person who sells and installs spas or small swimming pools.  Trading can increase the pool of buyers and give you more value than you can get in a simple cash purchase.  A businessman might have a huge mark-up on his products and thus he can give you more of a deal than if you were to purchase his product at retail.
     Identify your market and then try to expand it.  There are probably 5000 people around the world who follow land speed racing and some of them might want to step up from being a spectator to being a racer and you have a ready-made unit (car and equipment) ready to sell them.  There are a lot of oval track and drag racing people who have always had a desire, but probably not the time, to build a land speed car and go racing.  So you want to approach those people as well.  Bonneville and dry lakes time trial racing has always attracted people's attention because it is so challenging, and yet it is a very doable sport.  The high speeds and excitement draws a lot of interest.  Stay away from publications that charge you a lot of money to advertise.  You could end up spending more money to sell the car than a buyer would pay you.  Strange as it sounds, giving the car away to a charity and taking a tax deduction can help some people more than others.  If the car and equipment is worth $30,000; then to a person owning the car in a 33.3% tax bracket that car is worth at least $10,000 in tax deductions.  Museums that can give tax deductions include the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona and the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. 
     I can't give you any names of newspapers or magazines that I know of, but you can google the internet and see what kind of drag racing and land speed racing organizations have publications.  The SCTA, Maxton, Loring, and a few independent groups exist that do land speed racing and they may have magazines that you can post an advertisement in.  Don't forget that there are organizations overseas, especially in Australia.  The British, Australians and Swedes are crazy about the sport.  The largest groups are here in the United States.  I prefer websites and the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter, which I edit, will take all of your photos, text and history of your husband and the race car that you would like to send me.  But since we do not take ads at the moment, you have to construct the text as a history and then at the end you can mention that the car is for sale and give a contact point for people to reach you at.  I have to be honest and tell you that there are plenty of sellers and few buyers today and that is not likely to change for a long time.  I send out thousands of emails and my response rate is very low.  Bulk mailings do not always result in positive results, but they are necessary.  Other publications that you can try (some may charge a fee) are; H.A.M.B., www.landracing.com, www.dragracingonline.com, www.SoCalCarCulture.com, www.benchracing.com, www.AHRF.com and www.JusticeBrothers.com.  Another website that is huge is www.hotrodhotline.com, which owns the website that I have my newsletter on.  They charge to place an advertisement, but it is only a fraction of what others charge and the $125 fee allows you to post your ad there for six months and they have a very good success rate.  I would also suggest The Bonneville News, the SCTA News and any other publications that cater directly to land speed racing and whose ad rates are relatively low.  There are many other publications as well and you should google the internet to find them.  Remember, take your time, do not panic, broaden your market, set your limits, be open to trades and be very careful about overspending on advertisements.

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American Bobby Cleveland takes his lawnmower up to 96 mph to set a new world record. Eclipsing the recent efforts of British driver Don Wales, American Bobby Cleveland claims to have set a new world speed record - for driving a lawnmower. Cleveland recorded an average speed of 96.5mph over two runs on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats on his custom built 104+ mower. This beat the 87mph target set by Wales (nephew of Donald Campbell and grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell) at Pendine Sands, Wales, earlier this year. Although shy of the 104mph target Cleveland was aiming for, the record is nonetheless impressive given that the rules stipulate the machine used must be built primarily from lawnmower parts. See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/motoringvideo/8029374/Worlds-fastest-lawnmower-sets-ne w-record.html.  Ron Main
   Ron: Records come in all forms. I can’t believe that a lawnmower can go as fast as many of those dry lakes cars could go back in the 1930’s and ‘40’s.

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I promise I will do this but it won't be until at least November or so. But I will get that done. At least I have a start on it.   (Name withheld upon request)
    XXXXXX: If you check out www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist/Richard Parks/Bios, you will see about 80 biographies that I have written or edited.  I have people send me a quick outline of their lives, spending no more than 15 minutes to give me just a basic overview.  They don't worry about grammar, spelling or punctuation.  They just send me 15 minutes worth of NOUNS.  Who, what, where, when.  I organize it and do the editing and send it back to them to answer more questions.  It's a choppy, but quick way to do a short 2000 word bio.  Longer bios take maybe 10 to 12 hours to finish, but that's over several months.  I'm working on a 63,000 word bio and a 54,000 word bio now.  Most average just 1500 words.  I can help you with your bio and I will not publish it unless you tell me to.

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How could the Riverside Museum schedule this 'reunion' event when most of the folks interested in the history of drag racing will be at Bakersfield for the California Hot Rod Reunion?  I suppose their target market is everything except drag racing, but they sure picked an odd weekend to try and attract a Gearhead crowd.  I'm always amazed when this type of thing occurs.   Bob Brown
     Bob: When Hila Sweet organized the California Racers Reunion (CRR) many years ago she consulted with various racers and racing organizations.  Hila was very concerned that the reunion attracts a cross section of the racing public.  When Hila moved to Texas she passed the reunion to the Riverside International Museum to run.  I know some of the people at the museum and they are very committed to racing history, but the problem is that museums have a schedule that is very full and sometimes the only dates that they can place reunions is limited.  Reunions are normally one day events with a small turnout (about 200 people).  Larger events like nostalgia races and multi-day activities take precedence.  I only just found out about the conflict or I would have mentioned this to Hila or the Riverside International Museum.  It is a huge conflict.  The California Racers Reunion evolved out of the Jalopy Racers Reunion.  Hila realized after a few years that she was attracting a number of drag, open wheel and land speed racers to her event.  Since racers in the 1940's and '50's often raced in all sorts of leagues and types of speed events (boats, drags, land speed, oval, sprint, endurance, open wheel, and road racing), she decided to open up the event to all and call it the California Racers Reunion. 
   There were very few racers in the '40's and '50's who concentrated on only one type of racing; most would try many automotive racing sports.  I never tell people to schedule their events to conflict with the California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR).  That would be like telling people to schedule their activity on Super Bowl Sunday and that would kill their event. I don't think the Riverside International Museum knew that the CHRR was on that weekend.  Major sponsors of the California Racers Reunion will not be able to attend as they have contract agreements with the CHRR in Bakersfield.  That is pitting an event that attracts 20,000 up against an event that has about 200 attendees, so the sponsors can't go to the CRR or even afford to send a second team to it.  By now the Riverside International Museum, Hila and many others are aware of the conflict in dates, but there is little that they can do to change anything right now.  I have worked on lots of publications and I know that it is impossible to avoid conflicts in scheduling. 
   I can tell you that there are a few situations where you don't want to schedule an event against a major event like the CHRR.  The Riverside International Museum knows this now and if they don't, then the number of attendees at their event will tell them all that they have to know.  As the editor of the
Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter (SLSRH) it is my obligation to report all the news that I receive.  I give emphasis to straight-line racing, but I do not restrict news and historical coverage because racers cross over from one sport to another so often that to do so would result in a form of censorship.  I know that the CHRR will be well-attended and I have mentioned this event in the SLSRH repeatedly.  I wish both reunions a successful outcome. 

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See how history gets all confused.  I didn't race in the National Drag Boat Association (NDBA).  I raced in the Southern California Speedboat Club (SCSC) circle boat races.  I raced a 266; later to become 5L, Hydroplane.  Yes, I guess I should do that BIO thing.  Keep pestering me and I'll do it.  Mike Waters
     Mike: I stand corrected and I will keep pestering you to write your biography.

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Lenny Schaeffer who owns Chop Shop Customs in Massachusetts has a website and newsletter that has a lot of interesting things, especially for those in the northeast. See http://www.chop-shopcustoms.com/Home.html

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The Petersen Automotive Museum, the Phil Hill Family and the Checkered Flag 200 Club present a very special tribute to Phil Hill in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of America’s first Formula One World Championship winner on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm. Join us at the Petersen Automotive Museum for an extraordinary evening honoring Phil Hill; author, historian, gentleman and one of the greatest race car drivers of all time. He was America’s first F1 World Champion in 1961 for Ferrari. He won his first race in 1949 in an MG TC, and his last in 1967 driving a Chaparral. He was the first American to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, and then won again in ’61 and ‘62. He was the only person ever to win both the Sports Car Race and Best of Show at Pebble Beach. The Tribute to the Phil Hill evening includes;
● A buffet dinner and film screen program highlighting Phil Hill’s Formula One racing career, as well as his participation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where he drove from 1953 through 1967 during arguably the world’s most exciting era of long distance auto racing.
● After the film we will interview famous race drivers who accompanied Phil to Europe, and others who came after, to share their stories of knowing and competing with him.
● Invited to attend are Jesse Alexander, Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Jim Hall, Denise McCluggage, Augie Pabst, Sam Posey and Carroll Shelby.
● An exhibition of Phil Hill race cars, among them Bentley, Chaparral, Cobra and Ferrari, will be on display in the Petersen Museum; some are cars that Phil and our honored guests themselves drove to significant finishes at famous venues around the world.
● Tickets are available by calling the Petersen Automotive Museum’s landline at 323-964- 6359, or 323-964-6325. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.petersen.org.  RSVP – Tribute to Phil Hill: $125 per person for Museum Members and $150 for nonmembers.  Please make checks payable to Petersen Automotive Museum, detach and mail with payment to: Tribute to Phil Hill, Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036-3605.  Credit card payments may be faxed to 323-930-6642.  Limited seating means reserve early, as we expect this event will sell out.  From John and Ginny Dixon

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Vintage Formula Vee on sale.  I had enough fun building this and rubbing on it.  I just can't find the time to race it and would prefer to get it into the hands of someone who wants to get into the Vintage Racing world at the shallow (price-wise) end.  VARA (here on the west coast) currently sees 20+ Vintage Vees at an event and this little Beach (no pun intended, unless you think that's funny) will offer a great deal of racing fun for the money.  You must bring a trailer.  The car is located in the eastern San Gabriel Valley.   Doug Stokes
   Readers: I just received word that the Vee has been sold, but I am putting this in the newsletter to let you know that we will run notices like this and so will the sister website at www.hotrodhotline.com. Parts and collectibles are free. There is a fee for complete cars listed on the website, but it is very reasonable.

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TIPS ON DOING THE SALT.  By LeRoi Tex Smith         
     If you are a first timer at Bonneville, or if you have not been there for twenty years, you can save some hassles by planning well ahead. Your major focus should be on getting a room reserved. Now! Although a few veterans have learned it is possible to go to Wendover with no thought of a room, instead relying on the possibility of last minute room cancellations. It works, of course, but not always, and I can tell you from experience, sleeping in your car in a desert night goes from hot miserable, to bug miserable, to cold miserable, to just plain grungy miserable.  Although you can get some good discounted casino hotel rooms by booking early, the regular chains, such as Motel 6 actually increase prices during Speedweek, primarily on Friday and Saturday nights. This is when there is maximum demand, from racers, normal freeway traffic, and weekend gamblers. If you make a reservation up to a year in advance (advised--you can always cancel up to the last minute), check back in 6 months, then reconfirm 3 months in advance. Always get the agent's name who serves. Personnel is often revolving door.  Unless you are in a multi-floor casino hotel, get an east facing room. The 5pm sun can be brutal on hot days. The large hotels have very large parking lots, and normally security is minimal. 
     Wendover, Utah is not the same as West Wendover, Nevada, although they are separated only by a white line across the main drag. In Nevada, everything goes, not so on the Utah side. Each "town" has a high school, most of the civilized amenities are in Nevada, although the school cheerleaders each have car washing fund raisers worth your support. West Wendover is in the parking lot just west of the state line, the Wendover wash is a small motel parking lot on the east side. Neither side has a charge, you make a donation, so be generous.  The old Wendover Will statue once identified with the Stateline casino is now astraddle of the old highway at the end of West Wendover. The new food market is in this area, as well as Ace hardware and the coin car wash. The auto parts store, which is remarkably well stocked, is on the east end of Main Street (Utah side) and gets some unusually quick deliveries from Salt Lake City. I think this store must import counter help during Speedweek, as they seem to know what we car nuts need.  Food is a roulette adventure, with several fast food outlets in either state, a dozen years past the casino buffets were the ticket, but today they are poor value for mediocre grub.
     My favorite is the cafe just inside the door of the hotel just across the street north of the Nugget (Stateline). Decent food, decent prices, lots of old timey hot rodders easily identified by the grey hair (usually thinning) and hot rod T-shirts.  You can fly into Salt Lake City and rent a car or camper, but never ever disclose that you are going to the salt flats. When you return a rental, be sure you have washed it top and underside, and thoroughly cleaned the interior. Normal thick plastic sheeting over the carpets is advised, if you return a vehicle that has been on the salt, you can pay a hefty penalty, a clause artfully hidden in the rental agreement.  Wendover is a far cry from the stage stop I first knew in 1949, but the salt flat arena remains eternal. Come prepared to be blown away...year after year.

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When Kitty O'Neil broke the women's land-speed record, Sports Illustrated 17 January 1977. Sent in by several readers. 

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Silent Victory; The Kitty O'Neill Story (1979) is a 1hr 36minute movie starring Edward Albert, Stockard Channing, and Brian Dennehy.  This was a made-for-television movie.  It is a true story about a woman (Stockard Channing) who overcame her deafness to become one of the top stunt women in Hollywood, as well as earning the female land speed record.  Sent in by Dick Elliott

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Please add this link to the museum list.  C-110 G Korean War Fairchild Cargo Plane Exhibit, Nevada Vintage Race Car and Aviation Museum. See    http://www.fabulousracers.com/gallery_C-119_cargo.html.  Glen Barrett

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September 14, 2011, by Eric Studer
   Kerry Alter and Julian Bivins Land Speed Racing Team set multiple land speed records at the recent 8th Annual BUB Speed Trials held at the Bonneville Salt Flats (Click for PDF File). During the 6-day event, team members broke 5 different National and World land speed records and established a personal best speed for Valerie Thompson at 201.01 mph on the Alter tuned BMW S1000RR Superbike. Alter’s 14 year old nephew, Harley Alter from Covington, Georgia, drove a 100cc Honda to two new National land speed records in the AMA Production and AMA Modified classes. He received the “Buell Brothers Racing Enthusiast” award signifying his achievements to land speed racing. Kerry Alter, team owner/crew chief/racer of A/B LSR, broke three World records on two different bikes. The BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials were held August 27 through September 1 at the Bonneville Salt Flats. The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) verifies and sanctions all US national records. All world records are verified and sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Motoclisme (FIM). Approximately 300 racers attempt motorcycle land speed records each year, yet less than 10% typically set records.

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Richard Elliott sent in a website that has the photography of Ray Gordon at Bonneville, called Hot Rods in Space.  There is a lot of interesting 1950's and earlier car, motorcycle and subjects at The Selvedge Yard.  See http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/.

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Fast Five with Steve “Big Hook” Gibbs.  Longtime NHRA Official Steve Gibbs Named Grand Marshal of 20th NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.   Steve Gibbs has a busy next few weeks ahead of him. Along with planning one of largest nostalgia drag racing’s events on the West Coast and just returning from Bonneville and Indy, Gibbs will be honored as Grand Marshal at the 20th Annual NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct. 21-23, at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in McFarland, CA near Bakersfield. This year, the Reunion celebrates 20 amazing years, and who better to act as Grand Marshal than the man who played a major role in the creation of the first California Hot Rod Reunion back in 1992.  Steve took a moment in his busy schedule to talk with us about the past 19 Reunions and reminisce of his 30-plus NHRA career. 
Museum interviewer: The California Hot Rod Reunion is celebrating 20 years, now, did you think it would come this far?  
Gibbs: When we initiated the CHRR, we had no conception of where it was headed …. but we’re still here after 20 years – so I guess it was a pretty good idea. Drag racing and hot rodding was such a big part of so many of us especially those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s, and we were all reaching an age when we started looking back on shared times - the best times of our lives. It has been a very rewarding event that has brought many friends back together, and continues to do so after 20 years. The event has grown, and changed, but I hope we always keep our focus on the original intent. 
Museum interviewer: When did you get hooked into drag racing?
Gibbs: One of the first places I went to, when I got my first car in 1956, was to the original San Gabriel Drag Strip. I was intrigued by the cars, and the challenge. The sport was young, the rules were wide open, and so many new things were being tried. You didn’t know from one week to the next what might show up. I didn’t have the money or skills to race, so I started working my way into the organizational part of drag racing and I have been fortunate enough to carve out a long career. Being a kid of the 50’s, I shared the love affair with cars that so many of us experienced. I’m not overjoyed with the fact that I’m now a 71 year old senior citizen, but I’m glad that I grew up when I did, and was able to experience this sport through so many exciting phases. 
Museum interviewer: How has drag racing changed since you’ve started?
Gibbs: It has evolved tremendously, and is now a highly sophisticated professional motorsport. When I first got into the sport, everyone basically did their own creating and development and it led to some really unconventional cars. The development continues today, but it is much more refined and less visible. Also the sheer expense of competitive racing has taken the sport to a level that is beyond the reach of the general public. Also, in the past, there was a sense of unpredictability which has faded due to the domination of the elite teams. It’s just evolution and refinement, and not something unique to drag racing. We need to continue to find ways to attract the younger folks into drag racing, and perpetuate all that we collectively created. 
Museum interviewer: What are some of your other memorable moments at the California Hot Rod Reunion? Tell Us about the Ring of Fire?
Gibbs: The “Ring of Fire” was a fun deal, and I would like see it done again someday. We definitely maximized the sounds, smell, and feel of power by having 50 cars … mostly nitro burners line up a huge circle, and fire their engines simultaneously. All of the cars had their drivelines disconnected for obvious safety reasons. To raise money for the museum, we sold 1320 tickets, at $13.20 each, to stand in the middle of the circle, and the fans are still talking about the “sensory overload.” Anyway, it was definitely something that was never done before…or since…and it generated some well needed funds for museum projects. There are many great memories from the past 19 reunions, including the introduction of Cacklefest…which has done so much to get legendary cars and racers re-involved. In the end however, I appreciate, and take pride, in what the reunions have done to pull old friends back together. It’s easy to get a little sentimental, as I recall so many old friends that have passed on, but I’m thankful for the chance we had to cross paths once again at the CHRR events. I certainly miss Wally Parks, and the never ending support he gave us. 
Museum interviewer: What are your thoughts on the future of the Museum, the Reunions and nostalgic drag racing in general?
Gibbs: I am very encouraged on the future of the Museum. We have a great Board of Directors, and a dedicated staff, with a rich history to share. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate the continued support of individual donors, the backing of NHRA, and Fairplex, and the concentrated efforts of Mr. Tom McKernan, and The Automobile Club of Southern California, in supporting the goals of the museum. I think Wally would be proud of the progress that is being made.  As for the reunion, I am hopeful that enough of the younger folks share the same feelings about the sport, and continue to keep things going after we old timers fade away. There is a great deal of current interest in the more traditional…or nostalgic style of drag racing, and it is encouraging to see a lot of younger guys and gals getting involved. We have a great heritage to preserve.  Along with Gibbs, this year’s Honorees to be recognized for their contribution to drag racing’s history are Harry Hibler, Wayne King, John Peters, Dwight Salisbury, and George Santos.    
For more Information visit us on the web at: 
www.Museum.NHRA.com.

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1933 Ford B/A Coupe Roland Raffanti - Owner from 1957 – 2004. John Raffanti – Driver.  This story is by Rick Raffanti, who gave permission to print it here. (Click for PDF File)
   This all steel car was purchased in 1957 by Roland Raffanti, a native of Memphis, Tennessee for the sole purpose of drag racing. In the beginning from what the remaining family can surmise; he ran the car from like 1959 till 1974. When he obtained the car, his first task with the car was to free up weight by removing the fenders, running boards and hood and side panels. Then he chopped the top 3 inches and channeled the body 6 inches given it the lower profile stance he was looking for. A lot of enthusiasts mistake the car for a 1932 since he always ran a ’32 front grill but the body is a 1933. He then focused on the motor where he always said, “There’s no other motor like the early model Chrysler hemi”. Over the years he ran various hemi motors from the 331, 392 and towards the end of his racing days a late model blown 426. The car originally ran knockoffs, a quick change rear-end differential and a Cadillac transmission. Back in the day that was trend.
   By far he had the most fun and competitiveness with the injected 392. He also got quite known for his stroker 392 motors he assembled and even sold them to some Florida drag boat connections which became highly sought after. He later pursued and planned for the car to go to Speedweek in Bonneville. Unfortunately he was never able to see it through due to health and finances. Racing Days His primary track of choice was the local track opened by Larry Coleman, Raymond Godman & Bill Taylor; Lakeland International Raceway. This is where he ran the car and unless it was a big event rarely had competition running in the B/Altered Class. He did run the car at Carlisle Arkansas several times as this was also a local track. This was an old airfield that was all concrete and drew some decent crowds but nothing like Lakeland. He did have the opportunity of meeting Big Daddy Don Garlits at Lakeland and it was a highlight of his racing days.
   He also ran against Gene Snow’s funny car in Carlisle as pictured in this archived burnout. He also had a couple of instances with the wall as most short wheel-based altered cars do. Ask Big Daddy about the extensive bondo and door re-skinning he had to do to accurately restore the car. Garlits did a phenomenal job with restoring the car. Memphis Rodders Roland was a long time member of the Memphis Rodders. Among his close friends there was a camaraderie often times long forgotten in today’s world of the sport. Some of his closest were Marshall Robilio, Raymond Godman, Arnold Bonner, and Eddie Wilbanks just to name a few. It was like a big family. The car ended up a total basket case as Roland could no longer chase his dream here on earth. He passed away with a garage full of old parts and many great memories.
   The car was at a friend’s house out in the country resting in a barn, by and large exposed to the elements rusting into the past. The day the car was picked up in Memphis on its way to Ocala, Florida August 2004. Rebirth In May 2004 Roland’s youngest son, Rick Raffanti lived next door to a man by the name of Jim McFarland. Jim, ex-editor of Hot Rod Magazine, Car Craft and numerous others; happens to know just about everyone when it comes to cars, racing and motorsports. When Roland passed away; Jim mentioned to Rick that this car would be an ideal car for Don Garlits Museum. Contact was made, pictures were emailed and conversations commenced. Don said he would be very interested in the car and thought it had a great history that should be preserved. After 6 ˝ years, to the day, the car has reached completion. Don chose the restoration era when the car had the 392 hemi and the rest is as they say, history. Excellent choice!

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Contact: Chris Brown, Information and Marketing Manager, (323) 964-6320 or cbrown@petersen.org.
THE PETERSEN AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM SEPTEMBER 2011 THROUGH MARCH 2012 EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS AT A GLANCE (see below for more detailed information).

September 3 ..................... Discovery Day- Race Car Design
September 3 ..................... Bruce Meyer Gallery- Phil Hill: A Life In Cars
September 20 .................. Gallery Talk- Mods and Rockers
October 1 .......................... Discovery Day- Halloween Special! AutoBingo and Treats
October 29 ....................... Automotive Authors Book Fair at the Petersen
November 5 ...................... Discovery Day- Turkey Crafts
November 10 .................... Tribute Night- Phil Hill
November 12 .................... Art Wall- The CARtoons of Pete Millar
December 3 ...................... Petersen Garage Sale and Swap Meet
December 3 ...................... CARnival Family Fun Day
January 4 ........................... Curator's Tour- Scooters: Size Doesn't Always Matter
February 29 ....................... Bruce Meyer Gallery- 1932 Ford
Feb 29-Mar 3 ..................... Deuce Week
Through Feb 5, 2012 ......... Supercars: When Too Much Is Almost Enough
Through May 28, 2012 ....... Scooters: Size Doesn't Always Matter

NEW EXHIBITS
PHIL HILL: THE LIFE OF A LEGEND
September 3 through November 27, 201, Bruce Meyer Gallery
Few motorsports icons command greater respect than Phil Hill, but his accomplishments did not stop with winning auto races. In addition to being the world’s first and only American-born Formula 1 champion, he was a student of automobile history, an accomplished mechanic, a classic car restorer, a skilled photographer, and a family man. Created in collaboration with Phil’s son Derek, the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Phil Hill tribute exhibition will take a revealing look into the life and work of this racing legend interpreted through artifacts ranging from the vehicles he raced to the clothes he wore. 
THE ARTWORK OF PETE MILLAR. Opens November 12, 2011, Art Wall
This exhibition will feature original illustrations of satirical cartoonist Pete Millar, best known for his hot rod and drag racing comics of the 1950s and 1960s.  Originally an engineer before changing careers, Millar created Rod and Custom’s famous cartoon mascot, Arin Cee, and oversaw the creation and development of CARtoons Magazine and Drag Cartoons, publications that are now highly collectible.
HOT RODDING ICON: 1932 FORD. February 29 through March 25, 2012. Bruce Meyer Gallery
As part of Deuce Week and to celebrate 80 years of the 1932 Ford, the Petersen Automotive Museum will also display several iconic Deuces in the Bruce Meyer Gallery. Vehicles on display will include winners of America's Most Beautiful Roadster, 1932 ford race cars, vintage hot rods, and modern high-tech street rods.
NEW EVENTS
DISCOVERY DAY
Car Activities & L.A. BookPALS. First Saturday of every month, 1-4pm
Join us on the first Saturday of each month for arts and crafts, and at 2:30pm, actors from L.A. BookPALS read stories. The program is included in Museum general admission. Call 323-964-6308 for more information. Future topics include:
September 3, 2011 Race Car Designs
Show off your wacky personality by drawing on a mini race car!
October 1, 2011 Halloween Special! AutoBingo & Treats
Join us for some fiendish fun as we play Automotive Bingo!
November 5, 2011 Turkey Crafts
Thanksgiving will be turkey-ful with these turkey crafts!
December 3, 2011 CARnival
Join us for many fun activities in our 5th annual CARnival Family Fun Day!
GALLERY TALK: MODS & ROCKERS
Tuesday, September 20, 2011, 7:30 p.m. Gordon R. Howard Gallery
The "Mod" youth movement thrived in England in the early 1960s and was characterized by an appreciation of modern music, flashy continental style, and scooters. "Rockers" of that era rode motorcycles, wore denim and leather, and loved rock 'n' roll. The two groups famously came into conflict with one another in the cult film Quadrophenia. Join special guests Tom Ingram, a British rocker and founder of the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly festival, and Michael Burns, long-time fixture of the California Mod scene, for a discussion of the history and influence of Mods and Rockers and how the cultures are still thriving today. Call 323-964-6347, email cdrescher@petersen.org  for more information or to RSVP.
AUTOMOTIVE AUTHORS BOOK FAIR AT THE PETERSEN
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Grand Salon
Join us for a fun and informative day with your favorite automotive authors! Over a dozen top automotive authors will be on hand to present their latest books and speak about their experiences creating their work. The presentations will be followed by an autograph session. This event is included with General Admission ticket.
TRIBUTE NIGHT; Phil Hill: An American Champion. Thursday, November 10, 2011, 5:30 p.m.
Celebrate the exciting life and successful career of race car driver and restorer Phil Hill. Have dinner and cocktails with other racing legends as they speak about their interactions with Phil both on and off the track. See a short film of vintage racing footage. Bid on priceless racing memorabilia, and preview the vehicles in Bonhams and Butterfields California Classic Auction Saturday, November 12. Go to www.petersen.org for additional details.
PETERSEN AUTOMOTIVE MUSEUM GARAGE SALE AND SWAP MEET. Saturday, December 3, 2010, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Petersen Parking Structure
Now is your chance to buy some of the vehicles, props, parts, store products and duplicate literature that is no longer needed here at the Museum. Museum members will also have booths set up to sell items and vehicles from their personal collections as well. Find that missing part for your exotic, classic, or muscle car or motorcycle, buy a Christmas gift for the auto enthusiast in your life, or purchase a restoration project, or drive home in the car of your dreams! While you are here, learn how to properly detail your car at the Griot's Garage car care seminars going on all day! Griot's garage is the Official Car Care Product Provider of the Petersen Automotive Museum.
CURATOR’S TOUR – SCOOTERS: SIZE DOESN'T ALWAYS MATTER
Tuesday, January 24, 2012. 7:30 p.m. Gordon R. Howard Gallery
Join Petersen Automotive Museum Curator Leslie Kendall as he guides you through Scooters to explore the unique two-wheeled vehicles that have spawned cult-like followings in some countries and mobilized others. Reservations recommended for all programs. Call 323-964-6347, email cdrescher@petersen.org, or go to www.petersen.org for more information.
DEUCE WEEKWednesday, February 29 Saturday, March 3, 2012
The streets of Los Angeles' Miracle Mile will once again resonate with the sounds of finely tuned V-8s when the Petersen Automotive Museum celebrates the 80th Anniversary of hot rodding's most popular car, the 1932 Ford, during Deuce Week in March 2012. Exciting events each day of Deuce Week include tours to other automotive museums, private collections, and hot rod shops, a round table discussion and dinner with hot rodding's biggest heroes, a silent auction, book signings, and a concert with legendary rock musicians. The event ends with the Deuce Day car show on Saturday, March 3 when 500 Deuces from all over the world will be on display in the Petersen Parking Structure. Each event is priced separately. Registration opens September 1. Go to www.DeuceWeek.org for details and to register.
ONGOING EXHIBITIONS
THE ARTWORK OF TOM FRITZ. Through November 6, 2011, Art Wall
Born and raised in San Fernando, California, Tom Fritz's vivid childhood recollections of the motorcycle and automotive cultures that were prevalent in Southern California during the 60's and 70's are a part of the power that shaped the artist he would become. Tom was a designer and illustrator for major corporations including Northrop Grumman and Petersen Publishing. Today, he paints out of his studio in Ventura County, California.  As a member of the Automotive Fine Arts Society, Tom has been honored with the coveted Peter Helck Award (Best of Show) at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as well as being the recipient of several Awards of Excellence at the Meadow Brook Concours.  On view May 7, 2011 through November 6, 2011.
SUPERCARS: WHEN TOO MUCH IS ALMOST ENOUGH
Open through October 16, 2011. Grand Salon
Supercars have existed since the first decade of the twentieth century and while their mechanical and design specifications have evolved from era to era, they have always had in common immensely powerful engines, minimal passenger carrying capacity, adventurous mechanical specifications, and a commanding presence.  Like supermarkets, supermodels, and supercomputers, supercars represent an extreme.  More than mere transportation, they offer a bold and extroverted means to express oneself.
SCOOTERS: SIZE DOESN'T ALWAYS MATTER
Open through May 28, 2012. Gordon R. Howard Gallery
With today's high fuel prices, growing traffic congestion, and environmental consciousness, people are looking for easier, cheaper and cleaner ways to get where they are going. The diminutive scooter has been popular for generations in other countries, yet until recently has remained but a footnote in American transportation culture. This exhibit will explore different types of scooters from around the world, how and why they differ, and the culture that surrounds them.
NEW CAR SHOWROOM: 1941 CADILLAC. Now through March 4, 2012, Streetscape
The Petersen Automotive Museum’s prewar new car showroom exhibit currently features the 1941 Cadillac.  A pivotal year for the prestige car manufacturer, 1941 was the year that Cadillac introduced luxury features such as the fully automatic transmission and air conditioning.  It was also the year that Cadillac introduced its now famous egg-crate grille design, a styling feature still in use today.
IMAGINING THE FUTURE: The Southern California Automotive Design Studio,
Presented in Cooperation with Art Center College of Design. Ongoing Exhibit.
Visitors will see a comparison of a 1930's studio with a modern-day studio with various examples of the creative process in 2-D and 3-D form from different points in California's rich automotive history. Design demonstrations by Art Center students will occur in the exhibit on the second and fourth Sunday of every month from approximately 10am-3pm.
HOT WHEELS HALL OF FAME
The Hot Wheels Hall of Fame at the Petersen Automotive Museum, features Hot Wheels® full-size and die-cast cars, original models, wooden patterns, injection molds and drawings of original vehicle designs.
ALTERNATIVE POWER: LESSONS FROM THE PAST, INSPIRATION FOR THE FUTURE
From the highly styled 1963 Chrysler Turbine to the General Motors EV1, automobiles equipped with innovative propulsion systems are presented to illustrate the growth of alternative vehicle technology.
MAY FAMILY DISCOVERY CENTER
Open Tuesday-Friday, 10am-4pm, and Saturday & Sunday, 10am-5pm
The May Family Discovery Center is an interactive learning center that teaches basic scientific principles using the fundamental elements of the car.

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Click for Green Monster #27 1990 - Waldo Stakes Photos

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Green Monster #27 1990 at World's Finals, Bonneville Salt Flats.  Franklin Ratliff Photos
Click for Image 1
Click for Image 2

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Valerie Thompson tops 200 MPH with BMW at BUB speed trials in Bonneville.  Photos courtesy of Eric Studer
Click for Image 1
Click for Image 2
Click for Image 3

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The Midwest Motorsport Legend -
Meadowdale Raceways

157


If you ever saw a race at Meadowdale or
were part of the crews, drivers and workers that
enjoyed this great track, this book is for you.

The Meadowdale Racetrack had its inaugural race on September 14, 1958.

Many racing heroes of the '50s and '60s appeared at Meadowdale. Jim Jeffords, Lance Reventlow, Rodger Ward, Curtis Turner, Fred Lorenzen, Al Unser, Bobby Unser, Roger Penske, Harry Heuer, Jim Hall, Lloyd Ruby, Augie Pabst, Jim Rathmann and Mark Donohue were just a few of the drivers that raced at Meadowdale during its heyday.

Detailing the history of Meadowdale Raceways with text, news articles and photographs, this book will preserve the history of this once famous track nestled to this day, 35 miles west of Chicago, just off of Route 31 in Carpentersville, Illinois.

Book description

9" wide by 11" hard cover, 208 page book with dust jacket
Printed on premium quality, bright white gloss 100 lb. paper so that
the photos really "Pop"!
The book includes hundreds of photos, the majority never till now
available to the public.
Photos dating from the early 1950's before the track was even built,
on up and including photos of the Raceway throughout its glorious years.
The closing chapter "Then and Now" highlights and compares current photos to those taken during the 50's and 60's of the same locations!
This "one-of-a-kind" historical photographic book on Meadowdale Raceways is definitely a keepsake
that will be treasured and enjoyed by tens of thousands!
Limited Introductory Pricing is only $37.95.

http://www.aleopublications.com

Phil Aleo

line12

 

 

 

line12

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www.hotrodhotline.com, www.landspeedracing.com

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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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