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NEWSLETTER 48 - March 6, 2008
Editor: Richard Parks

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#1 Ferguson-'34-Coupe1

Don Ferguson Senior founded the Rod Riders, a Russetta Club over half a century ago. He ran a beat up old '34 Ford coupe before moving on to better stuff. His son Don Ferguson II found his dad's old car and recently restored it.

#5 Ermies-Body-as-a-Table1

Along with Immerso's chassis came a couple of extra bodies. This shell on rollers made a mighty fine table for all the food devoured by the party goers.

#4 Ermie-Immerso's-Turbine-C1

Ermie Immerso got hooked on Bonneville early. He ran Chet Herbert's old Beast liner in '59-’60 before building his 4 engined "Bird". Later, between winning the Oakland Roadster Show a few times, he conceived & built this all S/S tube chassised car powered by 2 turbine motors. Sadly it was never finished while he was alive. The Ferguson's now have it and hope someday to run it.

President's Corner: By Jim Miller.
You could say land speed racing is all about Class. No, not the type where you have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth but the type that is determined by displacement and car type. 
Here's a little story on how it all began. Since day one if there were two of anything it was natural to say mine is faster than yours and have a little race to prove it. Maybe it was a foot race, or two frogs jumping. Segue to Roman times and you had your teams of horses pulling chariots in the Coliseum. Yep, the Albata (white chariot) against the Russetta (red chariot), sounds familiar doesn't it. When automobiles hit the planet the same thing happened. 
As early as 1904 the French set up classes according to displacement.
They were - Class A: up to 1639cc, Class B: up to 2048cc, Class C: up to 2458cc, Class D: up to 2868cc, Class E: up to 3851cc, Class F: up to 4998cc, Class G: up to 7784cc, Class H: up to 13972cc and Class J: over 13929 cc. 
Not to be outdone, when British enthusiast Mr. H. F. Locke King built the 2 3/4 mile Brooklands Race Track in his backyard in 1906 he established his own set of classes based on HP ratings approved by the Royal Automobile Club. They were- 16hp, 21hp, 26hp, 40hp, 60hp and 90hp. 
In America every horse track could and would be used to run model T's or whatever else went around in circles and it was run what you brung. 
In 1925 the French set up International Classes with new displacement breaks. 
Most countries had their own National timing associations and adopted these limits. 
They were - Class A: over 8000cc, Class B: 5000cc to 8000cc, Class C: 3000cc to 5000cc, Class D: 2000cc to 3000cc, Class E: 1500cc to 2000cc, Class F: 1100cc to 1500cc, Class G: 750cc to 1100cc and Class: H 750cc and below. 
Today there are so many land speed record classes and distances it's mind boggling. 
Consider this, if you want to do a flying start you can set a record in the kilo and the mile. If you're a stand start kind of guy or gal you can set records for 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 10, 100, 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000 and 100,000 miles. It's basically the same for kilos. You could also set a time record for 1, 6, 12, 24 hour runs. This is all national and International stuff. If you're into tractor pulls, lawn mowers, Muroc, midgets, NASCAR, Motorcycles, El Mirage, etc no two tracks are the same shape or length. Welcome to the world of land speed racing in 2K. 
All the above is a little boring so here's some cool stuff that's happened or is happening. Saturday was the Rod Riders annual get together at the Ferguson's place down Long Beach way. Tons of who's who showed up to bench race and eat cake. It was quite a deal. Here are some pix. 
Steve Fossett's land speed project featuring Craig Breedlove's old car is supposed to make an appearance at El Mirage this week. If it happens I'll be there to record it for you
.

#2 Teague's-Turbo-Chrysl1

Back when Al Teague was driving the Sadd-Bentley-Teague roadster they tried running this turbo-Chrysler in it. Later when Al built his lakester that morphed into the Spirit of '76 liner the engine ran again. Here it is today resting quietly.

#3 Eddie-Miller-Lkstr-3-081

Eddie Miller's lakester lives at the Ferguson's. Originally sold to Lonnie Butts for $500 in '55 it went to Mark Dees then Terry Baldwin and then to its current home. The motor was recently rebuilt and actually runs.

Marv Jenkins, son of Land Speed Racing ironman Ab Jenkins recently suffered a stroke, but according to author and racer Gordon White, he seems to have recovered amazingly well. White recently spoke with him and he sounded pretty good, if tired. Marv was instrumental in the restoration of his father’s last racer – Mormon Meteor III, an orange and blue streamline powered by a Curtiss Conqueror aircraft engine. Speedy Regards, "LandSpeed" Louise Ann Noeth

Dear fellow auto enthusiasts. Today was a huge day in Automotive news. See http://www.bench-racing.com/html/news.html. The car community lost Hot Rod innovator and builder Boyd Coddington age 63 and Sports Car Driver and Writer Paul Ferre age 91. Charles Rollins, Editor
Charles: Roger and I attended the reception and an article on it will be going to
www.hotrodhotline.com.

OUTRIDERS. Hello everyone, For those that are interested arrangements have been made. A wake will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 900 W. La Habra Blvd, La Habra, California on Wednesday, March 5th at 9am. This will be followed by a reception at our shop, Boyd Coddington's Garage, 811 E. Lambert Road, La Habra, California. Both of these are open to any who would like to attend. The idea of you all showing up with your hot rods brought a tear to my eye, Boyd wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you in advance, it means a lot to all of us. Todd Emmons, Boyd Coddington's Garage

The SoCal Chapter of the Society of Automotive Historians will be presenting their Annual Book Fair and Exchange on the museum grounds, 22 June, hours 8 AM-3 PM. Admission is free. Thanks, Bob Falcon

John Butera passed away this morning. As most of you know, he had suffered with a brain tumor. The tumor finally won out. My apologies if this is "old news," but I thought it best to relay the info in case you hadn't been informed. Dick Wells
Dick: Would you send us a short biography on John so that we can post it in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter, posted on www.landspeedracing.com . Thanks.

Editorial: Why does the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians exist? Everyone has their own opinions as to why we formed this group and they all make sense. But here's a reason and a story as to why I think this group exists. The age of classical Greek literature existed from around the ninth century BC to the fourth century BC, and then the Alexandrian Classic Era to the Christian Era. Around the sixth century BC, writers of plays, poetry, dramas, comedies and other works of literature began to write down the works of previous men and women and their own plays. Prior to that, it was an oral tradition, memories passed down from poet to poet and repeated orally. After the playwrights and poets died, their work were preserved by others...the scribes. There were no printing presses and each book had to be copied by hand, slowly and tediously, to make sure no errors got in and changed the meaning. These scribes were the literate men of their day, but unheralded and unknown and yet if they weren't there to do this vital work, then all the literature of the classical Greeks would have disappeared over time. They wrote on animal skins and papyri and when these were frayed or were worn out, they recopied the copy, over and over again. The elements, fire, war and age destroyed many of these records, but the scribes went on with their copying. Often the scribes didn't know or care what they were copying, it was a job and they simply did it. The world changed, dark ages closed in and the scribes gave way to religious monks in monasteries who continued to copy. We are very fortunate that they did, because today the world is richer for the preserved work of literature from the classic age of the Greeks. In some cases all we have left are fragments of plays, or the name of the writer and the title of his work and sometimes a few lines. Today there are tens of thousands of scholars working to recover and restore every last word of every play, poetry and composition from this period of time. They work in universities and for trusts and many do this simply for the love of history. Well, we are those scribes of today, only our passion is the beginnings of the automotive era. Just think, many of us are the 2nd and 3rd generation of the very beginning of the automotive age and we are the writers, photographers and scribes of a new Era. Although the steam and piston powered age can go back to a long ago time, I date the beginnings of the automotive era around 1890. The ancient Greeks experimented with steam. Steam powered vehicles can be seen to become effective in the early 1800's. By the 1860's, the piston engine was defined and in the 1870's, '80's and 90's had become well developed enough to be labeled experimentally a new industry. By 1900, the piston and steam engine automobile was a practical success, although steam and electrics would fade away. So, those born around 1875 constitutes our first generation and that's about when my grandfather was born. The next generation is that of the men and women who were born in the early 1900's, and the third generation during the Great Depression and World War II. Those first three generations knew each other and they are the creators of the Automotive Age. It is their stories that we the scribes of today must record and save before that information is lost, so that scholars in the future can piece together this rich cultural history, just as those early scribes saved the literature of the Classical Greeks. Each story that we save, each record that we collect, each collection that we keep from the dump, means the difference between losing our history or saving it. You and I are the scribes. I hope each of you will first write your story first, then write the stories of those you know. What if two of us interview the same person? Two stories are better than one and future scholars will be grateful that they have two or three documents to look at rather than none.

Should you need more information about the short lived Desert Iron's of Imperial Valley, I can tell you the reason it was formed and disbanded. In the mid 1940's when I was in high school we had our Hot Rods and we would race at night on a lonely stretch of highway. One night there was an accident and a very popular student at Central Union High School was killed. Almost everyone in El Centro, CA attended his funeral. The final answer to our drag racing was for a sponsor to take charge and set up a real car club and drag strip. After many people turned it down the local California Highway Patrol Officers said they would sponsor us. We were the happiest guys and gals in the country. We had drags on highways that were blocked off by the Highway Patrol, meetings, parties where trophies were given out and our jackets were the greatest (I only wish I still had mine). Then our whole world caved in. The State of California ruled that the California Highway Patrol could not sponsor any gun or car clubs. That my friends is why the Desert Iron's was so short lived. For verification of this, see the Imperial Valley Press archives in El Centro, California and the Laws of the State of California. I was born in Brawley, California, September 5, 1930. I quit Central Union High School in El Centro, California in 1947 and joined the US Navy. Our dad was the druggist at Clement's Drug Store and others in El Centro, California. I have purposely excluded names, as there are many of the families relatives that were involved in our car club still living in the Imperial Valley. My name when born was DeBow and it was that until I changed it to de Beaux in the late 70's. I do genealogy and my family has known all about my racing days starting with the Desert Iron's and then on to the San Diego Racing Association and the Flying Ford. I had an automotive machine shop in Colyear Motor Sales Co. (the NAPA Warehouse for San Diego). I built the engines for car owner Ben Sander - Driver Jim Wood from the area of Ramona, CA. Jim Wood is alive and enjoying his retirement on his ranch. He has Jim Culbert's sprint car in a barn on his ranch. Culbert was inducted into the Sprint Car Hall of Fame and then passed away a short time later. "Culbert clutches and his world famous in and out box." I surely hope that the young people today have as much fun as we had. Have you ever raced for "Pinks?" Smile. I to want to keep Land Speed, Hot Rodding and Drag Racing alive for all generations to enjoy. Thank you for everything you and your company have done. Still Rodding in the desert (Quartzsite, AZ for the winter), Dave DeBow (aka de Beaux)

"Jim Culbert, 82; built 400 sprint cars, was a speed record holder," By Jack Williams. San Diego Tribune, July 30, 2004. By the time he was 16, Jim Culbert didn't have to sweep out the speedway grandstands anymore to earn his way into an auto race. He had his own car – built from the ground up with components he randomly acquired – and he had a dream: to win his first race at Balboa Stadium. Lying about his age to meet the entry requirement of 18, Mr. Culbert raced and won. "At that point, the heat was on and there was no end," he later told his family in an oral history of his life. "The thrill of racing had taken over. It became my life." Mr Culbert, a La Mesa resident who was inducted last month into the National Sprint Car Racing Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Iowa, died Saturday at Lake Shore Hospital in Lake City, Fla. He was 82. The cause of death was heart failure and complications from a fall, which occurred during a visit with relatives, said Dave Rogers, a stepson. Mr Culbert built more than 400 sprint cars that he shipped worldwide and was in 1957 the first driver to exceed 200 mph in a sprint car. In his rear-engine modified roadster, he reached 205 mph at a Southern California Timing Association trial at El Mirage Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert. Later that year, at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, Mr Culbert again surpassed 200 mph before his car flipped. "He wasn't injured, but it destroyed the car," said Bill Taylor, one of his racing partners. Mr Culbert went on to build a front-engine modified roadster with front-wheel drive in which he reached a speed of 219 mph at Bonneville. He also raced midgets and jalopies at Balboa Stadium and a super modified at Cajon Speedway in the 1960s. "Racing is serious business now, with so much money involved, but we treated it as fun," Taylor said. "What we had was more than a business and more than a friendship." After forming Culbert Automotive on Federal Boulevard, Mr Culbert began concentrating on manufacturing sprint cars and super-modified cars. He eventually renamed his business Culbert Automotive Engineering and produced a factory car that Jim Wood drove to local victories and raced in Arizona, South Africa and Australia from 1970 to 1977. "He said many times those were the best years of his life," Wood said. "Jim and I traveled all around the world together in those days, including one trip of over two weeks to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji. "He loved to build things and he was a very sharp engineer." When Mr Culbert sold his business in 1977, he continued to indulge his automotive passion in the machine shop at his home. He built replicas of vintage Indy 500 racing cars and developed a valve system for antique Model T's that he called the Culbert T'Go head. "It allowed the Model T to go 100 mph and was sold worldwide," Dave Rogers said. In building antiques from scratch and restoring other cars, including two 1911 Fords, Mr Culbert took little time to admire his handiwork. "After it was painted, chromed and upholstered, he would set it aside and build another one," Taylor recalled. "It was a hobby he did for the fun of it. He didn't have to show it off." James O'Neil Culbert was born and raised in San Diego, where he saw some of his first auto races at the old Silvergate Speedway. "When we were 12 or 13, we would sweep the stands to get into the speedway," said James Robinson, one of his childhood buddies. At 15, Mr Culbert built the frame of his first racing car from components he had gathered wherever he could. He became a founding member of the Balboa Racing Club, but World War II interrupted his quest for local racing fame. After graduating from San Diego High School, he joined the Army. Serving overseas, he rose to sergeant in charge of a motor pool and saw action at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. In Remagen, Germany, he helped build a bridge across the Rhine that German forces had worked frantically to destroy. When he left the military after four years, he worked as a machinist for Consolidated Aircraft, the forerunner of the Convair Division of General Dynamics. The expertise he gained helped lay the groundwork for his business, which evolved from general auto repair to manufacturing race cars and gear boxes. Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Louise Beatrice Culbert; stepdaughters, Debra Inman of Goose Creek, S.C., Amanda Grooms of Live Oak, Fla., Polly Bilger of La Mesa and Elizabeth Ann Dusenberry of Del Mar; stepsons, Charles Anderson of Boston, David John Rogers of Jamul, and Joe Rogers Jr and James W. Rogers, both of La Mesa; 14 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. A viewing is scheduled from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Greenwood Mortuary. Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. tomorrow at La Mesa First Ward Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 5555 Aztec Drive. Entombment will be at Greenwood Mausoleum. See: http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040730/news_1m30culbert.html . From Dave de Beaux

Sparks, NV, Feb. 29 - The Steve Fossett World Land Speed Racing Team today announced a preliminary short list of eight driver candidates for its jet-powered race car that will attempt to establish a new Absolute Supersonic Land Speed Record in excess of 800MPH. Candidates are from motorsports and aviation and include: Vicki Cruse - 2007 US Unlimited Aerobatic Champion; Lt. Alex "Kone" Deitrich - Naval Aviator, F-18E Super Hornet; Jessie Harris - Jet Dragster Driver; Kathy Jarvis - Pro Rally and Off-Road Racer and Professional Stunt Woman; Peggy Llewellyn - NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Rider; Dr. Jeanine Pflum - Bonneville Salt Flats National Record Holder; Melanie Troxel - NHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel Driver; Felicia "Petey" Verrett - Motorcycle Racer. "A few remaining applicants are still reviewing their ability to work with our schedule, and that's been the hardest requirement for the qualified candidates," said Program Manager Eric Ahlstrom. "We accepted going in that most of them would have other commitments with racing teams and sponsors. We reviewed many qualified applicants, and selected our short list based on applicable professional experience, physical constraints of the cockpit, and the ability to commit to our 2008 test and run schedule." The team remains committed to Steve Fossett's vision and with the successful test firing of the jet engine, the driver evaluation and selection is in full swing. The driver will be exposed to a combination of G-loads and visual distortion greater than any other person has ever experienced. Assisting project manager Eric Ahlstrom in the process will be an advisory board of notable motorsports and aviation professionals. They include: Lee Behel - Aviation World Speed Record Holder, Phantom pilot, Fossett LSR test driver, and Reno Air Race instructor; RAF Wing Commander Andy Green - World Land Speed Record Holder, Thrust SSC at 763MPH and Dieselmax at 350MPH, Phantom and Tornado pilot; Andy Granatelli -- "Mr Indy 500", Bonneville World Record Holder, driver development expert; Paula Murphy -- First female licensed by NHRA to drive a fuel car ; also driven jet, rocket, sports, off-road , stock and Indy cars, driver instructor; Al Teague - World Land Speed Record Holder at 409MPH; The 48-foot long racer successfully completed static engine testing in January and will conduct low-speed rolling systems tests in March with test driver Lee Behel. The streamlined Fossett racer is powered by a single, 40,000 HP S&S Turbine LM-1500 jet engine said to have less than 1/4th the drag of the current record holder, Thrust SSC. Media Contact: Louise Ann Noeth via email, media@fossettlsr.com. 805-445-8414

My 29 A Roadster026
My 29 A Roadster 2 027

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Road Runners Club025

I have been contacted by another former Road Runner and he sent along three pictures which I will attach to this e-mail. He describes his #148, 29A roadster, 2 pictures enclosed, and sent a picture of 6 Road Runners members and 5 roadsters. I asked him if he could identify the members and cars for me. Unfortunately, I am not able to help Don with his question about pictures of his #55, 27T rear engine roadster. Would you possibly have anything in your archives? I have collected enough "vintage" pictures now that I am planning on creating a new page for our Road Runners website with the pictures and info. Hopefully, that will "shake the trees" and more will show up! There are three pictures attached. Jerry Cornelison

Hi my name is Don Baker, I was in the club in 1947 and '48 I ran a 29 A roadster and later a 27-T rear engine roadster. My partner in the T was Fred Renoe also a member, we took 1st in B roadster class a couple of times with the T at El Mirage, my 29A number was 148 the T's number was 55. I have a couple photos of the model A which I am sending along, I have lost all of my model T photos and was wondering if the club has any photos from those years with my model T included. I am also sending a photo I found with some of the members from those years, you may recognize some of them. I will send the photos in another e mail. best regards Don Baker djbaker3@mac.com

Hi Gerald, regarding club photo, the second from the right is Ak Miller, the two on the far left are his two brothers, I can't recall the others, that's only part of a club photo and I have lost the rest of it. I do remember all of the guys who were in the club when I was. The president was Randy Shinn, he had a beautiful 27-T roadster and held the C roadster record at 150 mph. He also built my alcohol carbs for me, we won a 3 carb Navaro manifold for 1st place in B roadster at one meet. I would dearly love to come to your bbq, but I moved to Sandpoint Idaho in 1960. Don Baker

Always great to find the lost racers. Did a little digging and here's what I found. Didn't find Don or Fred in the '47 results. The panoramic shot looks like it was shot at Santa Anita. Ak is standing next to his deuce powered by a Buick straight-8 and featuring Buick independent front suspension. He ran the car at the lakes in '47 as car # 115. The fellow to his right in the darker jumpsuit looks like Ak's brother Sigfried
(Editor's notes: Sigfried is Zeke Miller, the original spelling in Denmark was Moeller, with dots over the oe).
 
Don't know the others. Here is a list of some Road Runners from that year. The names might ring a bell. George Kalem, Pete Henderson, Ric Howard, John Bedford, Crawford, Stoner, Jack "John" McDermott, Ray Charbonneau, Harvey Haller, Chas Ferris, Don Lodes, Ed Scheller, Si Westbrook, Glen Roark, Dick Westling, Johnny Johnson, Dean Batchelor, Earnest Thompson, Ralph Chamberlain, Luther Eldridge, Doug Caruthers, Paul Laurance, Jack Avakian, Bert Letner, Randy Shinn, Johnny McCoy, Bob Byars, Reed Bingham, Roland Mays, Walter Rose, Ed Scheller, Tommy Thompkins, Dave Glotch, Leland McCormick, Bill McBurney, Fred Reidman, Dave Cruz, Bud Marcia, Henry Johnson, Dick King, Dick Finkle, Jim Woods, Lee Enfiajian, Jack Ratledge, Lute Eldridge, Bill Phy, King Fisher.
(
Editor's notes: Don't forget Wally Parks, Zeke and Lawrence "Old Dad" Miller)
For the first meet of 48 in April, Fred Reno ran a B liner #147 that turned 110.29 mph. At the second meet in June Fred was back with his #147 and Don was entered in B rdstr as #148. The program listed the motor as a 249" '46 Merc with Navarro heads and manifold, Smith cam and Kurten ignition. Fred ran 106.54 mph and Don ran 118.89 mph for 13th in class and got 90 points. Both were entered again in July. Don switched to a Finkle cam for this meet. Fred ran 117.18 mph for seventh in class. Don ran 122.78 mph for around 21st or 22nd in class. In August again both cars entered. The program listed Fred's car as a '29 A chassis with a T body and Don's as a Deuce. Don't have any results from that meet. In September both were back. The program now had Don's car as a '29 on '32 rails. Fred ran 126.76 mph for 7th and Don ran 120.96 mph for 19th in class. In October they were back. The program said Don now was running a Huck ignition. Fred ran 124.30 mph for 4th and no speed was listed for Don. In the December '48 issue of Hot Rod there is a pix of Fred's car on page 9. Here's what I found on the B Lakester #55, '27 T body with a '46 merc of 249." Now with Meyer heads, Evans intake, Finkle cam and Huck ignition. Entered in May, no speed. Entered in June, ran 137.82 mph for fourth in class. Entered in July, ran 139.96 mph for 5th in class. Entered in September by Fred alone. Ran 139.96 mph for 4th. Will have to go through my pix to see if I have any shots. Is it OK to put the shots on the AHRF site. Will give credit to Don. Thanks. Jim Miller

Hi Richard, I do remember most of the guys from that era, but I lost contact with them years ago. I remember an incident with your father at El Mirage. I'm not sure of the year, he was manning the phone at the starting line, and some one asked him to drive their car thru the traps, he asked me to take over the phone which I did, he took off in the car, I can't remember the car, he had a bad wreck with it, we all thought he must have been badly hurt, but he wasn't, the car was very torn up. Don Baker   
Don: I've never heard this story, but I'm sure that Dad would never have told us about it because he didn't want the family to worry. Do you know who was there at that time that we could ask? What else do you remember about this wreck?

Thanks Jim, You never cease to amaze me with the information you are able to come up with! Thank you so much. Sure is neat to find these wonderful old guys. Our Road Runners website is a great tool for that search... many of them find us! We have had the same result with the USS Archerfish website. We have found dozens and dozens of lost Shipmates, many from the WWII days, that we were otherwise unable to locate. Thanks to web searchs and our maintaining a presence on the web, we connect! I must say also that along with the reconnection come many stories, pictures and memorbilia. I'm in hopes that we end up with the same result in finding lost Road Runners, or their families. Jerry Cornelison

El Mirage Visitor Center. Here are the photos that I want to share with you. Ron Main
Ron and the Readers: The graders are busy setting the foundation for the visitor's center. When they are done we hope their will be more accountability of the lakebed, but the negative aspect is that there will be a cost to enter and use the premises.

El Mirage 3-4-08_0434_edited-1 El Mirage 3-4-08_0438_edited-1 El Mirage 3-4-08_0440_edited-1

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This probably will not be news to you all, but another passing happened as well, 'Lil John Buttera passed Saturday or Sunday. Just thought I would let you folks know if you hadn't heard. Thanks for great reading. Best, Michael Mrak

Issues 34 through 47 are now available at Autobooks-Aerobooks.com. The link is Newsletters. Thanks, Tina Van Curren

In the RacingHistory yahoogroup Kevin Triplett wrote: In the RacingHistory yahoogroup Kevin Triplett wrote: "Lil" John Buttera, noted drag racer and hot road builder, passed away on Sunday, March 2. John was one of the last hot rod shoestring budget racers to attempt Indianapolis. In 1987 Buttera headed up the BCV racing attempt using a year old March chassis equipped with a stock block engine; a special aluminum 'Hawk' block (designed for all acsessories to be external) equipped with Pontiac heads. While the car driven by Sammy Swindell was not fast enough to qualify, John's fellow chief mechanics were impressed by his innovations, and John was awarded the inagural Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award. "Now my questions- I've always suspected that the 'C' in BCV was Bruce Crower - who was the 'V'? Does anyone know what happened to the car and engine? I always thought the "stock block" proviso was one of the great stimulators at Indy with Mickey T, Gurney, AJ, Ford/Lotus, Menard, etc creating so many versions of Chryslers, Fords, Chevys, AMCs, Studes and finally Buicks. In its own way, I feel this niche in the rules spawned Oldsmobile's program that dominated Indy for a decade." Kevin Triplett Kevin's note stimulated some great memories. I recall Buttera's interesting effort, and don't think it got the publicity it deserved. I'd be curious as to the fate of the car and more importantly, the engine. I'd suspect the chassis might have gone into the road racing series that was sporadically active in those days, using old Formula 5000 and Indy cars with stock block engines. Does anyone have any knowledge of any of this? Cheers, Bob Storck

I am well into adding the new section to our Website called "Back in the Day: Vintage Road Runners pictures - a nostalgic visit to Dry Lakes racing and Hot Rods!" It will have what pictures and info/stories collected so far. I think it will be pretty cool when it's online. Hopefully it will be lead to other pictures, stories and info coming our way too! Jerry Cornelison
Jerry: I hope the other clubs find someone who will record and keep their history alive as well.

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Members:

Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Gale Banks, Glen Barrett, Mike Bastian, Lee Blaisdell, Jim Bremner, Warren Bullis, George Callaway, Gary Carmichael, 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, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don McMeekin, Bob McMillian, Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Bob Morton, Mark Morton, Paula Murphy, 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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