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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 226 - December 12, 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 have many memories of Jim Rathmann; A fine historical obituary was written on Margie Petersen (1935-2011); The latest Outrider Club Picnic pictures are now posted; Hi from Italy, I am Fabrizio. I am interested to buy this book, Run to Glory; Editor: The following letter is in response to an email to www.hotrodhotline.com; "The Road Runners will celebrate our 75th Anniversary in 2012. Our Club, founded by Wally Parks, Ak Miller and others still uses the original Road Runner logo designed by Wally; There were 420 people for lunch in San Francisco for Andy Brizio's car guys; Gil Coraine and Bob Parker sent in this video on the Speed Demon; I am grateful beyond words to have found your newsletter which has given me renewed confidence and leads toward finding my brother Michael and a wonderful resource for racing memories in general; Tim Kennedy, a very respected journalist and contributor as a Guest Columnist at www.hotrodhotline.com wrote this article on Jessica Clark; The magazine began in June 1960 as On The Grid and was known as “America’s Motor Sports Magazine; PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS ELEGANCE ANNOUNCES FEATURES AND CLASSES FOR 2012; November 16th 2011 marked another key date in the restoration of Europe’s first dragster; Please find attached above and copied below the schedule for all of the Volkswagen land speed racing events for 2012; Editor: Look for All Time Artist, Tom Fritz, at these Car show locations; Editor: The Justice Brothers have a free newsletter that is very interesting; I just came across a reference to my father in a 2009 newsletter that resides on your website; I was just reading the latest newsletter and saw the inquiry from Doreen Engle; Editor’s notes: The following was sent in by Don Tubbs and Rick Chew.

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President's Corner:  
   There is a chapter in the book called The Land Speed Record, To the Sound Barrier and Beyond by Peter Holthusen. It consists of 5 pages and is titled Gary Gabelich- A legacy of speed. There is a picture of Ray Dausman with the engine and a couple of construction shots of the car. One page gives specs on it. The book was published back in 1986 by Foulis/Haynes. ISBN 0 85429 499 6. Another book is called Faster than Sound by Harvey Shapero. There is a 14 page chapter called A Rocket is Poised that is on the building of the car and touches on Gabelich. There are 19 pictures of the car.  There is a picture of the cars design team that shows the following individuals: Harshad Parikh, Prahlad Thakur, Paul Torda, Manoj Adhikari, Tom Morel, Sarunas Uzgirisand, and Krishna Pandey of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Another shows project manager Dick Keller. Also a shot of Ray Dausman with the engine. Following is another chapter on Gary Gabelich.  It was published by A. S. Barnes and Co. in 1975. ISBN 0 498 01507 6.
   Brooklands Books did a monster tome that covers every land speed attempt from 1898 to 1999. There is only one page that talks about the Blue Flame and it's a reprint from the February 1971 issue of
Road & Track Magazine. In The Fastest Men on Earth, 100 years of the Land Speed Record, there is a chapter titled New Politics and a New Technology.  It is 11 pages long and covers the Blue Flame. There are 8 shots of the vehicle plus specs. There is again a shot of Dausman with the motor. It was written by Peter Holthusen in 1999 and published by Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0 7509 2203 6. The only other book that covers the car slightly is Weltrekordfahrzeuge published in German in 2003. It shows the USAC/FIA timing sheet dated 10-23-70. There are 3 pictures of the car and a Mongolian Stamp featuring the car.

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Editorial:   
   Jim Miller gave me some details on the Blue Flame LSR rocket car from the books and magazines in his archives. I had asked him what he could tell me about the Blue Flame, Gary Gabelich, Ray Dausman and others who were associated with the land speed car. The reason that I asked Jim was because I had been asked to do a manuscript review of a new book on the Blue Flame. A manuscript review is hard work. A book review is relatively simple as the book has been reviewed by editorial staffs and volunteers and is pretty much a finished project. It is true that I have seen a few books that should never have been published and are a waste of time and money. Most books, however, have some merit to them and I don’t mind reviewing them and even recommending them to you. But a manuscript is a rough draft and it takes a lot of work on behalf of the reviewer to help the author “tighten” up the book and make it more publishable. 
   I truly hope the author of the book takes my suggestions, harsh as they may be, as a way to avoid problems and turn in a rewritten manuscript that will find a publisher and an audience. From my perspective the material in the manuscript is first class and very informative. I want to see this manuscript turned into a published book. When that happens I will review it and give my recommendations. I can tell you now that it has the potential to inform us about a little known era in our LSR history that is a fantastic read. Rocket technology has not gone away and it will return and when it does it has the potential to set records that we can only dream about. The machinations and behind the scenes maneuvering is just as fascinating as the actual record that was set in the early 1970’s. I learned a great deal by doing the manuscript review and hope to learn even more when the book is finally finished and published.
   The newsletter is again behind schedule due to illness. I hope to get back to a more timely schedule once my eyes heal and I get over this cold. That’s one of the problems when the staff is so small and one person out with illness or injury can bring a publication to a halt. 

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I have many memories of Jim Rathmann.  We knew him for a long time as we met him when he first came to Indianapolis.  Sam also knew Jim from his Roadster Racing days on the West Coast.  We had the privilege of having Jim in our home, as well as staying with the Rathmann’s in Melbourne, Florida in 1966.  Jim arranged a personal tour through the Space Center with Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Ed Chaffee. This was the Apollo flight which was ill-fated.  Jim was a tough competitor, and good friend.  I just don't know how many tales we would all have to relate if we could only all sit round the Flag Room at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Motel just one more time.  We have a good picture of Jim congratulating Sam in 1957, immediately after the Indy 500 race.  The picture is part of a photo montage in our den.  Alice Hanks
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Your note to Betty Packard, who is a friend of mine, was forwarded to me.  I had the pleasure of meeting your dad years ago at Indy. You were asking about memories of one of my all time Indy hero's, Jim Rathmann.  I had the great pleasure of meeting and talking to Jim for several years while he and Warren and at times some of his astronaut friends were sitting outside Jim’s room on the back side of the old Brickyard Crossing. It was so enjoyable hearing the stories that were exchanged at these gatherings on the night before the 500 Mile Race.  I too recall stopping Jim and Kaye coming out of the Brickyard Crossing dining room one morning and asking them if I could please take a picture of them.  Kaye said, “Why don't I just take a picture of you and Jim together?“  She did and the following year I took the picture to Indy and had my hero personalized it for me.  That 8 x 10 picture ever since has a special place in my home Race Room.  Tom Skaggs.
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Obituary on Jim Rathmann (1928-2011) was posted on November 29, 2011 by Sports Car Digest.  You can read this fine history on Richard Royal Rathmann, aka “Jim” by googling Sports Car Digest. Sent in by Dick Elliott

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A fine historical obituary was written on Margie Petersen (1935-2011). You can find it posted on the November 29, 2011 issue by Sports Car Digest. Just google the internet magazine and check for the right date. Sent in by Dick Elliott

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The latest Outrider Club Picnic pictures are now posted at: https://picasaweb.google.com/kidwalt. Thanks to Ron Lee for this year’s photos. He is a new prospective member. I understand that I am being replaced as photo-guy, so thanks for the memories and good luck to the new guy.  Walt (re-sent by Scrub Hansen)

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Hi from Italy, I am Fabrizio. I am interested to buy this book, Run to Glory.  Please let me know price and method of payment (if possible credit card or PayPal).  Fabrizio
   Fabrizio: I have just recently looked up an email address that I rarely use and found your email. 
Run to Glory is a self-published book by the author and you should contact Donald W. Peterson at 1-360-835-7499 or email him at pip1934@earthlink.net, or Donaldwshgl@aol.com.  He will be glad to tell you how you can order his book.  I have included an attachment with the book review that I did for him.  Also, if you are interested, go to www.hotrodhotline.com, Book Reviews and you can see all the book reviews that have been done in case there are others that you are interested in.  Also check www.landspeedracing.com in case you have an interest in LSR.  We need many more interested European LSR readers and writers, since LSR started in Europe and our history of LSR in Europe needs a great deal more research.  Thank you for writing.

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Editor: The following letter is in response to an email to www.hotrodhotline.com in regards to the old Legion Ascot Speedway in East Los Angeles.
  
Kyle: Mary Ann Lawford wrote and told me that you are interested in Legion Ascot, the race track that existed from 1924 through 1936.  John Lucero wrote a book called Legion Ascot Speedway; that I reviewed for www.hotrodhotline.com in their book review section.  I think Lucero is still around and you might be able to reach him at his home phone number.  He might also have a few of his excellent books for sale.  Outside of Lucero there aren't very many more people left who can identify the racers and mechanics in the photographs any more.  My cousin has some programs for sale from the later years in the 1930's.  Programs can also be found on eBay and Craig's list.  There are some fans of Legion Ascot still around and they do get together.  There are also some collectors who have memorabilia to sell or who often buy up collections and photographs.  All the people that I have known who raced there are gone, except Bud Meyer.  He's the last one that I know who had any connection to the track, through his uncle Louie Meyer.  Ken Berg and Joan Denver may also have leads.  Start with Lucero's book and work from there. 

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"The Road Runners will celebrate our 75th Anniversary in 2012. Our Club, founded by Wally Parks, Ak Miller and others still uses the original Road Runner logo designed by Wally. Current member, Steve Gibson, has modified our Club logo to reflect our Diamond Jubilee Anniversary year. This logo will be used throughout 2012 in recognition of 75 years of proud Road Runners heritage and history. Ads featuring our anniversary logo will run all year in the SCTA-BNI Rule Book and the SCTA Racing News. The SCTA Racing News was created by Wally Parks and other Road Runners, originally, as the "Road Runners Newsletter." The Newsletter was requested by and distributed to other SCTA Member clubs. It eventually was renamed the SCTA Racing News. The SCTA Racing News was in publication before Wally Parks became editor of the new Hot Rod magazine in 1948." https://www.facebook.com/groups/119836333254/10150457800883255/?notif_t=like.  Road Runners, an SCTA affiliated member club established in1937. See http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners. Jerry Cornelison
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   Here is a listing of the most common Road Runners Internet links for news, activities, history and general information: Road Runners website: (multiple pages - history, current news, race vehicles pictures and information, "Street Rides" pictures, results and records, Club/member duties, past/current members, historical photos, member spotlight, and more.) http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners/.  
   Road Runners on Facebook: (Club members and non-members social networking. Currently 205 members.) https://www.facebook.com/groups/119836333254/.  
   Road Runners info/posts in Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter (occasional postings): (This newsletter has lots of information from lots of different sources about Land Speed Racing, Drag Racing, Hot Rodding and more.) http://www.hotrodhotline.com/feature/heroes/landspeedracing/.  
   SCTA Website: (Land Speed Racing information about all SCTA Member Clubs.) http://www.scta-bni.org/index.html.  Jerry Cornelison

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There were 420 people for lunch in San Francisco for Andy Brizio's car guys.  We had most of Northern California, Bonneville racers, drag racers, car builders, painters, engine builders, store owners, car collectors and circle track racers. I spoke with Andy and he agreed to send me the attendee list so that I can pass it on to you folks.  Towards the end of our meal I spoke to the entire group on the P.A. system about how it was important to preserve the history of the racing scene in our area.  A few people like Ed Pink arrived from Southern California. Ed sat with Kent Fuller and Jesse Schrank along with some of the drag racing people. All in all it was the largest gathering that we had in the last 9 years since Andy started getting people together. Andy had someone with a large video camera walking around and I gave him my card and asked if he would send me a copy of the DVD.  I'll call Andy next week and find out more about the DVD and the attendee list.  I talked to Don Smith who used to have High Performance Distributers in San Francisco. Dimitri" Dema" Elgin
   Dema: Thank you for keeping a record of events like these. Tell Spencer Simon that we appreciate his efforts as well in keeping us informed about events in Northern California.

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Gil Coraine and Bob Parker sent in this video on the Speed Demon. It is at the following site; http://youtu.be/BPMGPXrNxro
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Watch the Replay XD/ Speed Demon film, 462 MPH Top Speed Run, which broke the 1 million view mark today! Thanks to George and all our crew and sponsors. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Le6aCV_CRvQ#!.  Ron Main
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I forget which engine class they ran on this run, but it might have been a "D" engine around 300 cu in.  Watched this car run at Speedweek and it is really something to see!
Alan Pinho

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I am grateful beyond words to have found your newsletter which has given me renewed confidence and leads toward finding my brother Michael and a wonderful resource for racing memories in general.  I had thought to write you back immediately after having your response, but meandering through the links given in your newsletter led me back to www.findagrave.com where I had contributed a memorial to my Dad Norris Abbott.  Once there, I found a message from my brother, thanking me for adding it and saw that he had left an e-mail address as well. I sent off a note to that address.  Also, you left great suggestions for me. I continue to work along those lines. Most of what I have that is public oriented has been shared by people like you. I will share more with you should I find something meaningful new of interest.  You may publish my request about making connections as you like. I'd appreciate that so much, in fact. I have given two e-mail addresses as I've written you both times and probably labbott5@gmail.com is primary, but either will work.  Again, many thanks, Linda (Abbott) Kaufman
    
Linda: The hunt for knowledge is what drives all of us.  The greatest advice that I can give anyone is to just keep asking.  The word does get around and when you least expect it someone will approach you with news or memorabilia relating to your family that will expand your knowledge.  It happens to me all the time.  What's strange is where we find these sources and artifacts.  Keep hunting and send me the history that you uncover and I will publish it.

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Tim Kennedy, a very respected journalist and contributor as a Guest Columnist at www.hotrodhotline.com wrote this article on Jessica Clark. 
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   This personable 17-year old Westlake High School senior and racing driver from Westlake Village was the subject of a three minute feature Monday, November 14, 2011 on KCAL Channel 9 in Los Angeles. The TV piece aired from 10:30-10:33 pm and was titled “Driven to Succeed.” “She faces dangers at every turn. If she was your daughter would you let her do this?” Her dad Richard, a Pasadena fireman, and mom Julie also were interviewed on camera. Her dad said Jessica raced go-karts at age 11 and he asks her every year if she wants to continue racing. She does. TV showed Jessica in her #44 midget turning practice laps at Irwindale and next to her stock car ride. It also showed her spinning her midget in traffic at Irwindale during a race. She said she doesn't get scared racing. There was a preview of the Jessica feature on Channel 9 both Sunday and Monday nights. Jessica races her orange #44 Ford Focus USAC Midget at numerous west coast tracks and is leading two 2011 USAC FF Midget series point standings--Western FF Pavement Series by 184 points, and the Southern California FF Series by 53 points. She has raced Tim Huddleston's NASCAR # 56 High Point Racing S2 stock car at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Jessica finished tenth in 2011 S2 points (19 drivers raced) and she was absent from four of the 11 races while racing her USAC FF Midget elsewhere. She has a best S2 finish of third. Several times she raced both her midget and the S2 stock car on the same night at Irwindale. She will compete on November 24 in the Turkey Night GP to cement her USAC Western FF championships officially.

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The magazine began in June 1960 as On The Grid and was known as “America’s Motor Sports Magazine.” The title was changed in February 1961 to Today’s Motor Sport’s and was known as “The Racing Pictorial Magazine” due to its focus on photo journalism. The magazine ceased publishing in January 1964 due to a fire at the publishing house. Issues also include international/national/local race reports, entry lists, race schedules, photos, ads and feature articles. Everything is copied to a mid-sized USB flash drive (4GB, PC and Apple compatible) and organized by year and month. The scanned archive has been run through an OCR program (optical character recognition) is now completely searchable by keyword. Save time and money whether you are searching for articles listing a driver, track or a particular marque. This format allows for ease of use and portability. See Sports Car Scan's website at www.sportscarscan.com for more information and magazine samples. We are also the exclusive distributor for the digitized library of Sports Car© magazine, 1944 through 1970. Information and samples are also available for that publication. Chad Struer,
Sports Car Scan, Website:
www.sportscarscan.com. Email: cs@sportscarscan.com, (831) 277-1118. Today's Motor Sports (1960-1964) digitized and searchable, now available.

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PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS ELEGANCE ANNOUNCES FEATURES AND CLASSES FOR 2012. Entry Applications Close January 27.  Contact: Kandace Hawkinson (831) 622-1700 (khawkinson@pebblebeachconcours.net
   PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (November 21, 2011) The search for the world’s finest cars and motorcycles is once again underway. The Pebble Beach Concours Elegance has announced the featured marques and special classes for its 2012 collector car competition, and entry applications are now being distributed to enthusiasts, beginning the process of selecting the 200 automotive gems that will be displayed on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links on August 19. Features for the 62nd annual Pebble Beach Concours Elegance include Maharaja Cars and the marques of Mercer and Fiat. Special classes will recognize Saoutchik Coachwork, AC and AC Cobra, Sport Customs, and German motorcycles. “Selecting the best cars to compete in the Pebble Beach Concours is vital to our success,” said Chairman Sandra Button. And the first step in the selection process involves choosing the marques to be celebrated and the designers and engineers to be recognized for leading the way in style and technology. Entry applications are being distributed this week to past participants and other enthusiasts with cars that might be of interest and are due to be returned by January 27.
   Applications will then be vetted by the Concours Selection Committee, and formal letters of acceptance will be delivered in the spring. Peter and Merle Mullin of Los Angeles went through this same selection process a year ago with their 1934 Voisin C-25 Aerodyne, the car that was ultimately named Best of Show at the 61st Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August. “The 2012 Concours will feature several notably distinct classes, drawing together some unforgettable cars,” said Button. “This is not an event to be missed.” The 2012 Pebble Beach Concours Elegance will feature: Cars of the Maharajas. As befit their status, these rulers ordered the most luxurious automobiles available from Rolls-Royce, Daimler, Hispano-Suiza, Maybach, Bugatti, Duesenberg, Minerva and others, often specifying unique custom coachwork to accommodate their use in ceremonial processions and oversight of their vast lands. The Mercer Automobile Company of Hamilton, New Jersey, operated from 1909 to 1925, building some of the most famous high-performance cars of the era. Mercer road and race cars, including the quintessential Mercer Raceabout, will be on display at Pebble Beach. 
   Fiat Special classes will feature cars drawn from many periods in the 113-year history of the Turin, Italy-based manufacturer, including the hugely powerful Grand Prix racers; coach built prewar classics, and small postwar cars, with variants on the original Fiat 500. Special classes will include: Saoutchik Coachwork. Jacques Saoutchik (SOW-chick), a Ukrainian-born cabinetmaker, started his coach building company in 1906 in France. The company became known for crafting extravagant bodies for many marques including Bugatti, Delahaye and Pegaso. AC and AC (Shelby) Cobra. In 1961, automotive designer Carroll Shelby and AC Cars began a partnership to create a car to compete with Chevrolet’s Corvette. The result was the legendary AC Cobra, also known as the Shelby Cobra, a roadster built from 1962 to 1965. Sport Customs (1930s-1950s). This class will feature one-of-a-kind cars built in the United States on modified American production chassis or hand-built chassis. German Motorcycles. The Pebble Beach Concours will include motorcycles for a fourth straight year, with the creations of German manufacturers like BMW, DKW, NSU and Zndapp on display in 2012. For the current preliminary list of classes, along with additional entrant information, go to http://www.pebblebeachconcours.net/pages/3008

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November 16th 2011 marked another key date in the restoration of Europe’s first dragster – Sydney Allard’s 1961 Allard Chrysler – when members of the Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) assembled at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu workshops to strip the car back to its bare bones.  The dismantling crew consisted of the usual ACAG suspects (it would be nice to get some new volunteers) Brian Taylor, Andy Robinson, Bob Roberts, Chris Eames, Syd McDonald and Dave Davies. Earlier in 2011 the engine had been installed for 2011 display purposes and a previous partial strip down of the rolling chassis had confirmed that most components were in pretty good order for the car’s age.  However, removing the engine/blower assembly proved to be even more difficult than installing it due to the tricky maneuver around a top chassis brace. Repositioning the hoist straps part-way through the operation was interesting. The front-mounted Potvin set up requires the sump to be removed to detach the blower so manhandling the combined unit off and on the engine mounts looks a better option for maintenance – apart from that one brace. We have some ideas about this and we will discuss them with Museum Manager Doug Hill. By lunch time everything had been stripped back apart from the rear axle.
   Luke Robinson had arrived with a trailer and after a food break in the Brabazon Restaurant (staff discounts now of course) the strip down was completed and sub-assemblies allocated to different team members who had volunteered to take them away for restoration. Hence Europe’s first dragster is now spread across southern England; something even Jim Tiller failed to do when he blew up the engine.  Andy Robinson took the chassis for soda blasting and crack testing. He also took the front wheels for cleaning and x-ray. More components taken for soda blasting were steering rods, radius arms, drag links and the steering box cross link. And he took the master cylinders for cleaning and restoration. Chris Eames took the cockpit dashboard complete with instrument cluster. These will be sent to Smiths for checking and recalibration. The Ford gearbox was a major item and on strip down he has found some gears with missing teeth (something that happens to all of us as we get older). He has the Cragar adapter, the driver’s seat and the headers. Dave Davies volunteered to restore the front end. He took front disc assemblies, calipers, axle attachments, suspension units, rod ends plus the front axle and spring. He has already found an Allard perch bolt end bush that needs replacement and this could prove tricky to locate. Bob Roberts took the throttle pedal and body panels along with the fuel pump and flywheel. He also took the steering box and steering wheel (to be transported to David Hooper who has volunteered to restore it), along with the front tyres and tubes.
   The original tyres are crazed so we are trying to get replacements, but just in case these don’t arrive before the test rebuild Bob has the original’s available. Beaulieu retained two boxes of various parts plus our 354 Chrysler Hemi engine mounted on its display stand. They also retained the rear axle and wheels waiting for Alan and Lloyd Allard to take them to their Gloucestershire workshop for restoration. There will be a bit of work to do here because one of the half-shafts is broken.  The plan is for the restored sub-assemblies to be gathered at Andy Robinson Race Cars ASAP so that a trial build can take place. This will involve lowering the engine mounts until the engine profile is the same as original – we think about 1.00 inch. Our recreated engine is slightly higher than the original due to adjustable rocker gear being installed rather than hydraulic; something recommended by Booth-Arons for ‘cackling’.  We hope to start this between Christmas and the New Year and Bob Roberts will be posting a task list closer to the date. He would like to hear of any mechanical engineers who would like to work on the project and Andy has put his full machine shop capabilities at our disposal. So why not get involved. Working on such a historic car is an opportunity not afforded to many. You will get as close as is possible to how David Hooper, Sydney Allard and John Hume felt when building the dragster during the early months of 1961. Contact Bob at roberrl-1@robinson-race-cars.co.uk. Contact Brian Taylor at brian@allardchrysler.org. Tel 01395 579733 brian@petrolhead.vianw.co.uk

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Please find attached above and copied below the schedule for all of the Volkswagen land speed racing events for 2012. Information on the Texas Mile is currently not available but will be forwarded upon receipt.  Should you have any questions, please contact me at the e-address above or by phone at 435-752 4359.  Thank you for your support.  Burly Burlile
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2012 Schedule Press Release INTERNATIONAL 36 hp LAND SPEED CHALLENGE.   Coming Events Schedule.   
  March 19-23 Speedweek Australia (36hp Challenge). Lake Gairdner, Australia. Annual land speed event (no facilities-very isolated). Volkswagen racers and spectators welcome. For information, visit http://www.dlra.org.au/http://www.volksculture.com/profile/36hpChallengeNews. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com.    
  March ? The TEXAS MILE (36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Goliad AFB, Goliad, TX. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.info@nasatx.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com.      
  April 28-29 East Coast Timing Association (36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com
  May 5-6 The Mojave Mile (36hp Challenge). Mojave, California. This will be their third event for the Southern California/Nevada area. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information, visit http://www.mojavemile.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit
www.burlyb.com.   
  June 2-3 The Mojave Mile and a Half(36hp Challenge). Mojave, California. This all new event will allow additional track distance adding greater opportunity for setting land speed records. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information, visit http://www.mojavemile.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit
www.burlyb.com
  June 2-3 East Coast Timing Association (36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com.
  July 13-15 Loring Timing Association (36hp Challenge). One and one half mile standing start time trial, Loring AFB, Limestone, Maine. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.lta-lsr.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com
  July 7-8 East Coast Timing Association (36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com.
  September 8-11(Note: Change of days during week)  World of Speed (130 MPH Club and 36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial (along with unlimited top speed streamliners and hot rods on the long eight mile course) at the world famous Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.saltflats.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com. Pit set-up and tech inspection begins September 7th. 
  September 29-30 East Coast Timing Association (36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Wilmington, Ohio. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.ecta-lsr.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com
  September 29-30 The Mojave Mile (36hp Challenge). Mojave, California. This will be their fifth event for the Southern California/Nevada area. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information, visit http://www.mojavemile.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit
www.burlyb.com.  
  Oct ? The TEXAS MILE (36hp Challenge). One mile standing start time trial, Goliad AFB, Goliad, TX. All VW racers and spectators welcome. For information visit
www.info@nasatx.com. For 36hp Challenge guideline information visit www.burlyb.com. QUESTIONS; Please contact Burly Burlile at burlybug@comcast.net, or call 435-752 4359. 

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Editor: Tom Fritz, one of hot rodding’s all-time artists will be at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction, January 15 - 22, WestWorld of Scottsdale, Scottsdale AZ, Grand National Roadster Show on January 27 - 29, Fairplex, Pomona CA, L.A. Roadster Show on June 16 & 17, Fairplex, Pomona CA, and the AFAS Premier Exhibition, Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, August 18 & 19, Pebble Beach CA. You can reach Tom at tom@fritzart.com.

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Editor: The Justice Brothers have a free newsletter that is very interesting. If you would like to receive the emailed monthly newsletter then send an email to newsletter@justicebrothers.com and ask to be added to their mailing lists. 

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I just came across a reference to my father in a 2009 newsletter that resides on your website.  http://www.hotrodhotline.com/feature/heroes/landspeedracing/2009/09newsletter125/.  Apparently, Bob English wrote you asking if you had any additional information about Victor Carr.  I don't know if this guy is still looking for information, or if I even have what he wants to know, but I would be willing to help him if I can.  If you still have his email address, feel free to pass mine along to him.  Leslie Carr, lcarr348@gmail.com
   Leslie: Unfortunately I didn’t keep Bob English’s email address, but I will run his prior message from issue #125 and hope that he sees it and corresponds with you.
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“I came across your website and hope you can help. I'm a freelance auto journalist and one of my main outlets is the Globe & Mail in Toronto, for which I write new car reviews and old car articles. I'm also a Morgan owner. I have just come across an old photo which shows Victor H. Carr of Wayland, Massachusetts driving a Morgan in what is described as the NASCAR speed trials in Florida in 1956. I've searched but can't find anything about the guy. The car has a Purelube sponsor decal on the door. Do you have any record of Carr, or can you point me at someone who might be able to help. Thanks, Bob English.”
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To Bob English: Regarding the above, Victor H. Carr is my father.  I am Gail H. (Carr) Waibel and old enough to remember driving to Daytona Beach as a family in the station wagon and following Dad & his mechanic in the Morgan down from MA.  There was quite a group of folks that would go to the drag races on the beach from MA.  Mostly the group consisted of fellow members of the Sports Car Club of America.  I was pretty young at the time (10) but remember the car and riding in it and many other cars Dad owned over the years.  He was a real sports car buff.  I believe the Morgan had been modified with a different rear end & engine (thus the mechanic traveling with him).   I also remember Mom driving past him pulled over on the side of the road and all of us waving as he talked himself out of yet another speeding ticket.  Getting there was the fun.  Sports cars were a hobby of his -- by day he was an advertising exec & owned his own company in Boston.  He did a substantial amount of business advertising for Boston & surrounding area foreign and domestic car dealerships. 
   I believe his love of cars came from the fact that he was born with club feet and spent much of his youth in & out of hospitals undergoing experimental surgeries.  He walked w/specially made shoes & had a substantial limp.  His many cars were his way of getting around in a fun way. He raced on the track in Daytona but only fooling around I believe – the actual reason for being in Daytona was for the beach drag races.  He always enjoyed going to races and was a flag man on occasions in the NE area.  His racing was not a career; however, he would probably have liked it to be.  Around the same time he participated other sports cars races i.e. Mt Equinox mountain race in VT.  My sister came across the post and sent the link to me: 
http://www.hotrodhotline.com/feature/heroes/landspeedracing/2009/09newsletter125/.  I have no idea how she came upon it but knowing her she will probably be able to send you something also even though she was only 2 years old in 1956.  This was quite a walk down memory lane in a time prior to the electronic age.  Sorry to tell you that there wasn’t any more to his reputation as a race car driver but he did love his cars. Gail H. Waibel

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I was just reading the latest newsletter and saw the inquiry from Doreen Engle.  Kent Carliss was the chassis builder of my funny car, "The Finagler," back in 1967.  I e-mailed her, saying that I have no knowledge of Kent's whereabouts, but saying that I did know her Dad, Bill Travaglini. He worked for Kent Carliss, during the time period, when our car was under construction.  On another subject, I want you to know that I am working on a bio for you, which I will use as an outline for a full length auto biography.  I recall you mentioning that you do free lance book reviews. I have recently published a book, and am interested in anything I can do to promote it, and get the word out about it. If you have any suggestions, I would be most appreciative. Writing comes fairly easy for me; marketing no so much.  Best regards, Jeff Foulk
     Jeff: I will post your letter to the newsletter at www.landspeedracing.com, which I edit so that anyone with knowledge of Kent Carliss can let us know where he is presently.  The nostalgia craze has been a boon for historical research.  Send me your bio and I will edit it.  I have a format where I ask people to spend no more than 15 minutes to type as fast as they can and then send their bio to me to put into order.  Then I re-send it back to them with more questions.  After about the fourth or fifth revision the bio is usually complete.  Only when the writer is satisfied do I add it to the Gone Racin' series of biographical articles stored at www.hotrodhotline.com.  We have about 80 bios so far.  Bios are the first step.  We like them around 2500 words and it doesn't take us long to get to that level.  The reason for the bio is to give us an idea of who you are.  Even your close friends know little about you.  We THINK that we know someone well until we read their bios and then we realize how little we really knew about that person. 
   Once the bio is done and published, then we ask the person to take out their photo albums and caption them.  We encourage racers to do this with their families and make it a fun project.  I ask people to buy acid-free, peel-off labels and have the best printers in the family write on the labels the WHO, WHAT, WHEN and WHERE.  Then attach the labels to the back of the photograph.  An uncaptioned photo becomes a worthless photo over time; especially after we are dead and cannot tell others the details in the photographs. 
   The third project is to write one's stories.  Stories are different from biographical history.  Bios are rigidly correct and accurate, while stories are meant to entertain and enlighten people about what we believe in.  I have written several articles on promotion, marketing and publishing books and you can read those articles at
www.hotrodhotline.com, Guest Columnists/Richard Parks.  Several people who I have helped have increased the size of their bios to over 40,000 words.  It really doesn't take long to turn a bio into a book.  I encourage people to write their bios and also to turn the project into books as well.  It is as easy as typing at a computer or it can be as hard as any project one has ever tried to accomplish.  A manuscript can easily be put on-line for next to no cost, or turned over to a publisher to be put into a high-quality hard bound book with color photographs and gilt edging.  It's all up to the tastes of the writer.  Few books are published at the expense of a publisher/printer.  Therefore most books have to be self-published in what we call Vanity Publishing.  When one self-publishes it is the marketing aspect that is the most trying and difficult. 
   I have suggestions for you, but you should read my articles on the subject first to save us a bit of time.  I would be glad to do a book review for you.  I don't charge for my services, but an author has to send me the book to review.  If the author would like the book returned to him after I review it then a self-return, pre-paid mailing pouch has to be included with the book.  I also encourage other people to review the book as well and I will publish those reviews at the two websites that I write for.  Every reviewer has their own style and the more reviewers the better.  I also help review books and manuscripts before they are published to help an author fix any flaws before they get into print. 

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Editor’s notes: The following was sent in by Don Tubbs and Rick Chew. The author was Brock Yates, from a 1993 Car and Driver article.
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Interesting L.A. Auto History-Bell Auto Parts, by Rick Chew. 
   From the earliest hot-rod cylinder heads to Bell helmets and Cragar wheels, a huge chunk of the speed-parts industry grew out of one modest storefront in L.A. By Brock Yates, 1993
Car and Driver magazine 

   The buildings stand blank faced, iron-barred, and ignored in the midst of a seedy Hispanic neighborhood. For nearly 60 years, they served as the epicenter of high-performance madness for the entire Los Angeles basin, if not the whole nation. Bell Auto Parts--once located at 3633 Gage Avenue in the L.A. suburb of Bell, and now dispersed and fragmented into several multimillion-dollar industries across the country-was for years the mother lode of speed for every hot rodder, sports-car nut, dry lakes competitor, street racer, round tracker, and crazed backyard wrench wizard in America. Dreams were born here: hot Ascot sprinters, Top Fuel dragsters, Bonneville streamliners, land-speed-record machines, revolutionary sports cars. All manner of woolly iron was sourced from these vast stockrooms, where the inventory was exclusively devoted to speed and power. And it had been thus almost from the time men began to drive fast in the Golden West. 
   When a grizzled little Okie named George Wight drifted into Bell in late 1919, it was a sun-fried podunk on the western bank of the arid ditch known (somewhat gaudily) as the Los Angeles River, six miles south of what was to blossom into America's second- largest city. Even then, the great basin's citizens were loopy for automobiles. Most had used them to migrate west, and they still depended on Model Ts and the like for movement among the patchwork of tiny towns that were soon to meld into the L.A. megalopolis. A bizarre, high-banked 1.25-mile board speedway was being built in Beverly Hills, with another planned for Culver City. The first of these fantastic hardwood speedways had been erected at Playa Del Rey in 1910, only to be consumed by city (to be replaced by the infamous "Legion" Ascot on Mission Boulevard in 1923). Upon his arrival in Bell, Wight began to eke out a living operating a small wrecking yard at the Gage Avenue location. Because most of the small-time competitors running on the area's dirt tracks relied on souped-up Ford Model T engines, Wight soon learned that salvaging blocks and cylinder heads and trading for rare high-performance manifolds and camshafts was an untapped profit center.
   Within a few years, his dealings in racing equipment superseded the junk business, and his "Bell Auto Parts" evolved into a viable enterprise. He began manufacturing a few small engine pieces, and also buying and selling complete racing cars on the side, qualifying his tiny emporium as the first true "speed shop" in the world. Wight, who claimed he had been born in a railroad caboose somewhere in the Arizona desert around 1878, was an avid reader of dime novels. The little man, perpetually unshaven and clothed in grease-smeared coveralls, loved to entertain the local kids with tall tales of his own Wild West adventures. Despite his seedy appearance, Wight was a solid backyard mechanic; as the years passed, his reputation as a tuner and modifier of racing engines grew. American motorsports was booming in the late 1920s. The fabled firms of Duesenberg and Harry A. Miller were creating exotic machinery the equal of anything built in Europe, both in terms of mechanical sophistication and craftsmanship. Miller's Los Angeles factory on Long Beach Avenue was turning out the insanely powerful 91-cubic-inch supercharged machines that were lapping the board tracks at more than 140 mph. The grandly schemed George Miller-Schofield Company was intended to revolutionize the motorsport industry but a combination of financial chicanery and the Great Depression crushed the organization by 1930.
   Among the few salvageable items were the patterns for three-cylinder heads created by Miller's brilliant designer, Leo Goossen. They were intended as conversions for the Ford Model A four-cylinder engine, which was quickly replacing the Model T as the power plant of choice on American dirt tracks. Goossen's cylinder heads included a low-priced high-compression flathead, an over head-valve pushrod type, and an exotic double-overhead-camshaft four valve-per-cylinder version (only three of the latter were built, and they proved to be as powerful-and expensive-as their Miller and Offenhauser rivals). At the same time, Crane Gartz, an heir to the Los Angeles-based Crane Publishing fortune and an automobile enthusiast, had teamed up with former racing star Harlan Fengler (the "boy wonder of the speedways" who would later become chief steward of the Indianapolis 500) to form Cragar Corporation, Ltd., located at 940 North Orange Drive in Hollywood. Fengler, using Gartz's funds, purchased at auction the tooling, machinery, and patterns for the Miller-Goossen heads for $40,000 and began manufacturing the OHV version under the Cragar name. It was an instant hit. For the aspiring racer starting with a stock Model A producing 41 hp at 2400 rpm, the $100 expended for a Cragar head and a Winfield racing carburetor gave a quick boost to 86 hp at 3200 rpm. 
   Despite the success of the Cragar head, Gartz and Fengler could not stave off the numbing impact of the Depression, and the business collapsed in 1932. But George Wight, whose Bell Auto Parts was making a modest profit, recognized the potential of the Cragar unit and borrowed heavily to buy the patterns and fixtures from Gartz's concern. Bell Auto Parts had by now begun to manufacture a small inventory of racing pieces: Model A intake and exhaust manifolds, valve covers, side plates, and magneto drives. The Cragar head was to become the capstone of the line. A lanky redheaded kid from nearby Maywood named Roy Richter was showing a true genius for pattern making and fabrication at the tiny Cragar operation. He was also a talented race driver, running a modified Model T in the increasingly popular speed events being organized at Muroc, Rosamond, and El Mirage dry lakes in the California high desert and in various dirt-track contests around Los Angeles. Working out of a small corner of Bell Auto Parts, Richter built a Saxon powered (sleeved-down Model A) midget and began serious competition at tracks like Atlantic and Gilmore stadiums. In 1936 he moved east, basing his operation in Detroit, where he built a number of flawlessly crafted and very fast dirt-track cars. After a racing tour to New Zealand in the winter of 1938, he moved back to California for good. 
   It was Richter's masterful touch with aluminum that separated him from the crowd that now hung out at Bell Auto Parts, both as workers and as curious fans on hand to witness the comings and goings of the famous drivers and mechanics who used the place as a kind of forum for purchases and deal-making. They could also watch Richter hand-forming aluminum into graceful, sweeping compound curves. His sprint cars and midgets were as beautiful as they were fast. Sam Hanks-who was to retire after winning the 1957 Indianapolis 500, purchased a Richter-built, Offenhauser-powered midget in 1939 and drove it to literally hundreds of feature victories from coast to coast, making it the single-winningest racing car in the history of the sport. Richter's reputation as a fabricator brought him to Northrup Aircraft in Hawthorne in 1942, where he worked as a senior welder for the duration of the war. George Wight, the former junk dealer who had started Bell Auto Parts, died in 1943 at his modest bungalow behind the shop, leaving the meager inventory, a few machine tools, and the store on Gage Avenue to his widow. Two years later, Richter sold his customized 1939 Ford roadster and all available assets to lease Bell Auto Parts and its inventory, which according to Richter's biographer, Art Bagnall, consisted of little more than a "few used race car parts, a few cases of Sta-Lube racing oil, and numerous boxes of old junk parts that had been piling up for years." 
   The end of World War II unleashed a flood of pent-up enthusiasm for racing and high-performance cars. Veterans returned with newfound enthusiasm for machinery discovered while working on sophisticated military equipment. They plunged into competition on speedways, the dry lakes, and road courses-and in illegal street contests with hot rods (a term believed to have originated as a contraction of "hot roadster"), known from the beginning as drag races. One example of this enthusiasm: on August 17, 1946, a crowd of 65,128 fans crunched into the Los Angeles Coliseum to witness Hanks win the 250 lap "Gold Cup" in his Richter-built Offy. Interest in "speed" or "hop up" equipment soared, and cottage industries grew up across Southern California to meet the demand. Men like Vic Edelbrock Sr. and rival Phil Weiand began manufacturing intake manifolds for the then engine of choice, the Ford flathead V-8, while Ed Iskenderian triggered a boom in high-performance camshafts. Talents like fuel injection genius Stu Hillborn and master technician Phil Remington (who was later to become a mainstay of Shelby-American) also rose out of these ranks. Bell Auto Parts became a major outlet for all manner of speed equipment, and in 1946 Bell began to publish the first-ever mail-order catalog in the speed industry.
   By 1948, the catalog contained more than 10,000 items, ranging from $300 quick-change rear ends to $1.50 war-surplus plexiglass goggles (replacement lens, 35 cents each). The West Coast racing scene was booming by 1950. The Southern California Timing Association had a major event at the Bonneville Salt Flats, while the California Sports Car Club was running a full calendar of road races from San Francisco to San Diego. The National Hot Rod Association was established by Wally Parks, the former editor of
Hot Rod magazine (which had been started as a glorified newsletter two years earlier). Weekly drag races, the first in the nation, were promoted at Santa Ana. Richter and Bell Auto Parts were in the forefront. Kenny Parks, Wally's brother, had started work as a delivery man at Bell a year earlier, and he recalls those days: "It was a zoo. Every day the store was jammed with drag racers, Indy chief mechanics, sporty-car guys, you name it. Roy was such an honest guy, he never boosted a price, no matter how scarce a part was. A lot of guys were short of money, and Roy would carry 'em on the cuff for a while. He was so well liked that very few never paid up." 
Editor: For the rest of this fine article go to Car and Driver magazine, 1993.

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