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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 149 - February 4, 2010
Editor: Richard Parks [email protected]
President's Corner: By Jim Miller (1-818-846-5139)
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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
 President's Corner, Editorials, I just received the following messages from LaVaun Pittman; KS Pittman has passed away, I would like to thank Jack and Mary Ann Lawford, 2010 Sidewinders Banquet, I am getting a call now and then about the possibility of you having the Cacklefest again, Please accept our invitation to join xxxxxxxxxxxx, It bothers me when people who don't know how to raise their car's hood get their nose into technical matters and strive for a quick fix solution to a mess-up (ie: uncontrolled acceleration problem), I seem to recall that I told you a tale of crossing paths with Karl Orr many years after he had closed his Speed Shop and went to work for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, This is really something Read the rules very closely and you will see what I mean, Racing Clubs: Historians listed for each club, Sorry that I didn't meet you at the Grand National Roadster Show as planned, I finally figured out the website and located the info I was missing, This is awesome I didn't realize they were miniature models until I was half way through the pictures, The Auto Club of Southern California NHRA 50th Winternationals Auto Club Raceway Pomona California will be held on February 11 through the 14, I had my car and my family all set and ready to go to see the great show in Pomona California at los Angeles then we had some illness in the family, The Crazy Horses track signing times at Pomona have been confirmed to line up with the Legends Autograph sessions on the same days, The official East Coast launch of Crazy Horses - the history of British drag racing is at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing Ocala Florida, Rosco McGlashan has a newsletter, The following biography for Rod Schapel was written by Dr Mark Brinker, You may recall the Cleveland Plain Dealer last October article reporting of Kay Crawford's protest to the Western Reserve Historical Society's then impending sale of automobiles from the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, The following letter was sent by David Walker to the Bean Bandits car club of San Diego, To VW Challengers, Gone Racin' to the…Bonneville Salt Flats by Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth, Gone Racin'… Real Road Racing The Santa Monica Road Races by Harold Osmer and Phil Harms, Here's to some of the 1960's era top fuel dragsters that deserved a spot in any museum of fine arts for their beauty, style, and true substance

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President's Corner:  
   Last weekend was the Los Angeles version of the Oakland Roadster Show. There are tons of pix up on the web already so we don't have to post any of the great cars that were there. In Building 9 was a special exhibit this year featuring race cars. Us land speed guys were well represented with old and new alike and it was fun sitting there and watching folks walk up and say I remember that or wow it's really cool what is it, or how fast will it go. If you looked a little deeper at the cars scattered around the other buildings and outside you can see how the dry lakes cars of the past and present have influenced builders. We should take it as a big compliment that our toys have set trends in style that will never go away. If you've ever been to one of these shows it's overwhelming. So many cool rides and one out-does the next and next and before long your head is swimming with ideas. To come back down to earth it was walk out to the car and drive 45 minutes over to Lakewood. Saturday night was also the annual S.C.T.A. Banquet where the racers from last season are honored. Exploits of how fast one went were the order of the day. Before you knew it the bell was rung so I ran for a chair and lucked out again and got to sit between our esteemed editor Mr Parks and his brother David to BS a little.
   When you look at other forms of racing these kinds of events usually have the participants receiving big checks from sponsors and zillions of flashbulbs going off. All I can say is yes we have the flashes and the sponsors are the participants own back pockets. That's what's cool about the LSR bunch; they race because they love it. And no higher compliment needs to be uttered. Weather permitting we get to race six times a year at dusty old El Mirage for the right to become season champion. That's happened since 1938 and the list of top dogs is a who's who of our heroes. To get to the top spot you have to have all the cards fall in the right order and it's tough. To become the top dog you have to have competition and usually these guys and gals never get the recognition they deserve so it's only fitting to honor the top twenty in the list below.
1. Buddenbaum Fabrication
2. Hondata RTSX
3. Hondata CRX
4. Noonan/Moreland
5. Eyres Moreland Noonan
6. Steve's Machine
7. Erik Hansson
8. Jamie Wagner
9. Junior Speed Scott
10. Callaway-Burns-Spring
11. Mariani Farms
12. Isley Racing
13. Rice Vigeant Racing
14. Stuhaan Racing
15. Honda Racing
16. Noonan/Moreland
17. Team McLeish Brothers
18. Lattin & Gillette-Moreland-Eyres
19. White Goose Bar Racing
20. Aardema-Eyres-Braun
   To try and put all the hard work in perspective and imagine working say six months straight on your racer. You don't get a chance to test it so it's put it in the trailer. You then drive umpteen hours to some dried-up old lake in the middle of no-where. You pull the thing out of the trailer and up to the starting line, start it and drive it as fast as you can for a mile. If you're lucky you went faster than the record, if not you get in line and try again if there's time left. And don't forget the crew that has to put up with the work and the owner. Do this six times a year and you kinda get the picture of what a die-hard land speed racer does for life. All I can say is you guys and gals are the best.

Hondata-RSX
Buddfab

Caption:
The Hondata RSX finished second in points and was the top car during the 2009 season.

Caption:
The Buddenbaum Fabrication Motorcycle Streamliner is the 2009 S.C.T.A. Points Champ.

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Editorial:   
   I receive emails from many of our members that they have problems that needed to be resolved and frustrated that there seemed to be no recourse.  We can't help if our members don't call us. We are available; Jim Miller prefers the phone and I like email best. While I can't promise instant results, I try and get to it right away and unless I'm away on assignment or vacation, to get the problem solved in 24 hours or sooner. I don't like to wait on things. If it needs fixin' then call or email me. A lot of members will see me at events and they'll say, "I was going to tell you this, but I didn't want to bother you." Well, it becomes a real bother when you put a problem or complaint off. If it irritates you, email me and tell me what's wrong. It's much easier to fix things when they happen rather than to let things go and hope the problem fixes itself. In fact, few problems go away, they just get worse until they get to the point that they can't be fixed at all. The policy of the SLSRH is to fix it right now, without quibbling. That's the hot rodders approach; find out what's wrong and make it better. We will always issue an apology and a retraction. Heck, I issue blank apologies all the time because I'm an amateur and not a professional and I know I'm going to make mistakes. The proper response is to contact me, the editor first, for I act as a manager making sure that your concern gets to the proper source. I know that many people just hit the reply button to the website owner and the website owners, Jack and Mary Ann Lawford, have to take valuable time from their schedule and send me the email. I want you to contact me directly. The editor is the focal point and it will come to me eventually to solve or refer the question to someone else.
   Another gripe that people send in is that some guys get all the ink. Well, that's not true because we have an endless supply of ink. I don't have to stop the newsletter because the owner only has 32 pages or 64 pages. I can go on and on. If some guys get lots of press that's because they send lots of news and we are dependent on you, the members, to provide us with stories and photographs. When I ask our members why they didn't send in their material the answer that they give is, "Well, I'm not that important and you've got better things to do." Or they'll say, "I didn't think you'd want what I have to say." Here's a news bulletin; I print 99% of what is sent to me and let you know why I didn't print the other 1% to give you a chance to rewrite it. I simply print what I receive. If you don't write, then you shouldn't gripe. If I refuse to help you, then you have a legitimate complaint. If anyone has problems with me then they should call Jim and talk it over with him and he'll call me and see if he can mediate the problem between the member and me. The reverse is also true, if you feel that Jim isn't responsive, then you should email me right away and give me your phone number too, in case the situation requires a phone call as well. If both Jim and I are unresponsive, then we have a wonderful website owner in Mary Ann Lawford who knows just how to deal with stubborn old men. Finally, there is a serious inability on our part to get car builders and restorers to give us more history and photographs of their projects that they are working on. We are going to correct this and get their reports on their projects.
   Probably the most important part of our Society and the most skilled historians and researchers are the car restorers. I've talked to a few and they say that doing the research is hard and laborious and not always a fun part of their job, but they have to do it. If they can't get enough provenance or history on the car, then the owner of the car may not go forward on the project and they lose a customer. It is vital for the Society to promote car builders and restorers, for they do the bulk of the research. They don't like to be called historians, that seems too pompous for them, and they would rather work on a car than spend time on the internet, making phone calls and looking through magazines, newspapers and the internet. Yet these men are so valuable to us that we have to reach out and get them to share with us what they do. We need to see their research and documents. We need to see their photographs as they go through the various stages of the re-build. There are good reasons why it benefits the restorers and us. One of the main reasons is that they give us solid history. A second reason is that we give them publicity for future jobs. A third reason is that their research helps to verify and document the provenance to the car. A restored car is only as valuable as its proven history and the workmanship involved. 
   Why do we care about this? Because a car that increases in value takes the pressure off the owner and encourages the owner to go out and find other cars to restore. Nothing saps the zeal of an owner to find out that the value of his car has diminished. But a car that everyone admires and rises in value gives the owner the renewed zeal to go out and do another restoration and this gives work and employment to skilled craftsman like Dave Crouse, Chip Foose, Pete Chapouris and many other able and qualified restorers. The first part of the process is the ability to recognize a good project and an old car of renown. The second process is the skill and craftsmanship of the restorer and his team. The third part of a successful effort is a dedicated and zealous owner who is courageous enough to open his checkbook and support the restorer. The fourth part of the process is the detailed and accurate historical research to provide a provenance. This is especially important because not only is the car valuable by itself, but value is added to the vehicle by all the people who have been a part of the race car. A car gains value over time, by how much it has been used, by whom was associated with it, by its styling, and by its success on the race course or on the dry lakes.

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I just received the following messages from LaVaun Pittman. KS Pittman has passed away. He was a pioneer drag racer and a force in the "Gasser" wars, some of the best drag racing from the golden years of the formative years of the sport of drag racing.
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My beloved KS passed away at 11 PM last night, January 31, 2009 very peacefully. I don't have any of the upcoming details, but will email later. Thank you all for your good wishes and prayers. KS and I are so blessed to have friends like you. Love, LaVaun Pittman
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KS Pittman's funeral arrangements have been made and he will be laid to rest in Mineral Wells, Texas. Services will be at the Baum/Carlock/Bumgardner Funeral Home at 302 W. Hubbard, Mineral Wells, Texas on Wednesday February 10, 2010 at 11 AM.  LaVaun Pittman

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I would like to thank Jack and Mary Ann Lawford at www.hotrodhotline.com and www.landspeedracing.com for their generosity in hosting and staffing our newsletter on their websites. Jack and Mary Ann surprised me with a motorized scooter, so now I can challenge the rest of you old Geezers to a race at the car shows this year.

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2010 Sidewinders Banquet. The Sidewinders were established in 1934 and are the oldest hot rod club in America. The event will be held at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, on the grounds of the Los Angeles County Fairplex, Pomona, California. It starts at 4 pm and dinner is at 6 pm. on Saturday, February 20, 2010. Limited seating available and no tickets will be sold at the door. Contact Ron Main (818) 998-7848 or Nicky Wheeler (818) 363-4901. Please let Ron or Nicky know if you have any door prizes to donate as they would like to make this the best Sidewinders Banquet ever.

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I am getting a call now and then about the possibility of you having the Cacklefest again. Have you given it any more thought? I just hung up the phone from John Brady and he wanted me to ask if there was going to be a picnic in the parking lot again this year with him etc. I was also to tell you that Deb Brady would make her potato salad for you. I need to know so that I can tell people that call or email me is if you are still planning on the Cacklefest. Eileen Daniels
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We are having the Annual Cacklefest Wednesday evening at the museum. Don Garlits
Don and Eileen: Is this an annual event and is it located at the Don Garlits Museum Of Drag Racing, Ocala, Florida? Please include me in your press releases or send as many notices as you can. I will include them in the newsletters at www.landspeedracing.com and www.hotrodhotline.com for our readers. If you have any history on the museum, the Cacklefest, early drag racers and drag racing in your area, please send them to me to include in The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter. We need more biographies for the men and women who pioneered the sport of drag racing or were there to witness the birth of it. The more bios that we have the better we can leave behind a history of the sport for the next generation.

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Please accept our invitation to join xxxxxxxxxxxx. This was sent in to me by a number of people. I have to be honest with all of you, I don't know how to join and I have so little time to twitter and tweak and do all those things that people do with their blogs. I appreciate your concern and desire to include me into your group, but I must decline. Thank you anyway, Richard.

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It bothers me when people, who don't know how to raise their car's hood, get their nose into technical matters and strive for a quick fix solution to a mess-up. They get the story wrong, and then start pointing fingers. Engineering is a discipline and in a broad view it is a pragmatic exercise, so before you can solve a design problem you must first do research. As an engineer that is what I did when I first heard about the uncontrolled acceleration problem with the Lexus line of Toyota products. To set the stage, it should be pointed out that I am not a fan of "Fly by Wire" technology, and haven't been since AirBus demonstrating their new A-318 Fly by Wire equipped aircraft at The Paris Air Show executed a slow flight at low altitude past the crowd. To slow the aircraft during the pass the wing flaps, the leading edge slats and landing were extended and the flight computer assumed the pilot wanted to land the aircraft so the pilot lost all flight control authority and the computer commanded a landing in the middle of a forest. Net result, 16 people killed. Fly-By-Wire technology is when control of a machine is given to a computer which has been programmed by a person of unknown experience operating the subject equipment. The throttle system in modern motor cars is a total non-mechanical design relying on data delivered to the controlling computer via wiring.
   With all vehicle design up to recent years when electronic controls became the standard the gas pedal was connected to the Throttle Body where the fuel and incoming air were mixed, by a steel rod or a cable and the pedal travel on release was controlled by springs. Pretty simple, right? Well, my research into this new technology uncovered that these computer-controlled throttle systems are present on most, or ALL, of present day production. Not just the Toyota line. I spoke with some auto engineers I know from Mazda and Nissan and discovered that this system is on all vehicles using the NipponDenso Computer Systems. My next question to them was about how the driver over-rode the automatic system if it went out of control. There are ways to cut the computer off, but each brand of vehicle has a different method. To make matters worse, the new owner of the car is never told, or instructed in the steps required to stop the acceleration.
   So, my opinion is that the media really erred by not informing the public of the different brands that use the systems and GM is one of them. I feel that the factories are taking the wrong approach by fixing the systems. But the uncontrolled acceleration is the symptom that causes the problem, which is the lack of training on the part of the vehicle driver on the steps necessary to save their life in the event this situation occurs. I have advised my friends and neighbors who have purchased new cars to return to the agency where they made the purchase and speak to the General Manager, or owner, and request a meeting with the Service Manager in an effort to discover if their new car is equipped with an electronic throttle. If so, then request the Service Manager to demonstrate the method to over-ride the computer control and train them in how to exercise the methodology. When a vehicle is rapidly approaching 100 MPH the length of time available to bring it under control shrinks by the millisecond.  Bob Falcon

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I seem to recall that I told you a tale of crossing paths with Karl Orr many years after he had closed his Speed Shop and went to work for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica. When he was working at Douglas he would stop by my dad's wheel alignment shop occasionally to view my progress on the revolutionary Jalopy Racer I was constructing. He offered many tips such as using a 3.78:1 rear end ratio with smaller diameter tires rather that the standard 4.11:1 with the huge diameter tires. Karl felt that I had built the car much lighter than most and that there wouldn't be much difference between the performance and the higher ratio would vastly improve the acceleration out of the corners. He was Right! That probably was in 1954. In the late 1960's, while on a target shooting expedition to the high desert we were driving through the little town of Bouquet Canyon and I spotted a sign that read, and I believe memory serves me correct, "K O Speed Shop" and I told all in the car, "We're gonna stop. I think I know who owns this place!" My turn to be correct.
We walked in the shop and there stood Karl behind the counter and his eyes grew as big as pie plates. We had a good time talking about where we had both gone since we last spoke and he introduced me to his new wife, a very attractive red head. He told me that Veda had relocated to San Diego and remarried. Several years late I heard from Frank Oddo that Karl and Veda had remarried and were living in San Diego. I planned to pay them a visit but before I could I heard that they both had "Crossed the Finish Line." They both were very good folks and tolerant of me as a kid eager for any information about racing. Another post WW2 visitor to their shop was an ex-GI who was one of the Doolittle Raiders. Van Johnson had played this guy's part in the movie, "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo." He had a 1932 Roadster and lived in Venice. Bob Falcon
Bob: This is extremely valuable information. One, because it is something we hadn't known and provides more clues for anyone seeking to do research on Karl or Veda Orr. There are now possible leads and perhaps even descendants. Secondly, it humanizes Karl and Veda and makes us see them in a different light. What I wrote was based on talking to people who may have harbored a dislike towards the Orr's, or maybe not. I also used what records that I could find and then extrapolated from what was known to a logical historical assumption. That is a common technique among historians that is accepted practice, as long as we understand that new facts could change the history that we wrote. For example, we know that the SCTA continued to race or attempt to race long after World War II started, at least for six months. We don't know if there are any Congressional or Presidential bills, laws, acts or executive orders banning racing, but as information comes forth, that will help us understand the government's urgent need to hoard rubber, oil, gasoline and metals for use in the war. We do know that the SCTA was conflicted about terminating the 1942 time trials; some wanted to stop, some wanted to continue. Karl Orr was of the mind to continue as he felt he had all the rights to do so, indicating that no laws forbade it at the time. Besides, football, basketball and baseball were still being played.
Land speed racing in the United States ceased largely because too many of the officials and members were drafted or enlisted in the military. But it also suspended racing and put the SCTA in a legal inactive status due to the feeling that to continue to race would cause the public to label them as disloyal. Karl Orr continued to race and to organize racing throughout the war wherever and whenever he could. So the historian looks at these facts and since these are his only known facts, draws a conclusion from them. Now I'm not saying that we really do know the facts, but we look at what we have and we draw conclusions and these conclusions, in the absence of additional facts, become suspected facts in themselves. That's why we have to be careful when we make these calculated decisions to "fill in the blanks." But we also must do what we do to tell the story. In that case we honestly tell the public that; a) here's what we know, b) here's what we don't know, c) here's what we speculate to be true and finally, d) we are willing to change our theories upon receiving new facts. Knowing what I know, I stated that Karl was a rebel, a man who marched to his own beliefs and was uncompromising. You added new facts. Those facts don't completely change what we know about Karl Orr, but they do modify what we think we know. Karl didn't refuse to help people and if I implied that, then the new facts change my stated views. I knew already that Karl had a following, so he must have helped people he liked and knew and maybe others as well.
There is still a huge gap in what we know about Karl and Veda Orr. Each new fact helps us just that much more to understand this unique couple. Karl and Veda Orr played a huge role in dry lakes and land speed racing. They cannot be praised enough. Their roles were legendary. I've spoken to many racers who said that what Veda Orr did for them by sending word from home to the battlefronts literally kept their flagging spirits up. It inspired men to return from the war and go right back to land speed racing. Veda Orr was huge in lifting the spirits of the men in the service. She was also pivotal in the fight, if you could even call it a fight, to bring women into the racing world. That she managed to race at all is due to two things; the insistence and persuasion of Karl Orr, and the gratitude of so many men for what Veda had done for them during the war years. Eventually women would have come into the sport, but it would have been years later and it would have been a much more difficult task. Veda made it easier for women to achieve this right to race. Veda Orr simply is a pioneer and Karl the tough minded man who stood behind her and helped to make it possible for Veda to do what she wanted to do. We assume that Karl encouraged Veda to race. We have no facts yet to assume that Veda would have tried on her own. The assumption is that Karl put Veda in the car because Karl wanted to do it, and possibly to tweak a few noses of the officials and board members. Do you remember the man's name that was with Doolittle's Raiders? Or the name of the pretty red-head that Karl married?

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This is really something! Read the rules very closely and you will see what I mean! Like in the case of two cars both smoking the tires in their pairing, the other pair would both advance to the next round! How do you like that? This is real change! It will be real important to get down the lane each time. Don Garlits 
   Don: I am as amazed as you are that the drag racing world would put 4 cars side by side to race. Yes, there is a concrete safety wall between them and the Safety Safari team is the best anywhere, but it seems more like entertainment than sport. Still, racing organizations have to survive in this tough economic downturn and this might bring back the crowds. Land speed racing can't thumb its nose at this, since the SCTA and possibly other timing associations did the same thing. I've heard that they ran as many as 12 cars side by side and it could have been more. This experiment in the Muroc Land Rush (it could have been at El Mirage), similar to the Oklahoma Land Rush, ended in ignominious failure and was shuffled off to the history pages. The cars that were out in front kicked up so much dust that those in the rear had terrible visibility. Nobody wanted to lose and so the rear-enders charged into a cloud of dust and very nearly hit the cars in front of them. We don't have a record of who thought this up or why the board of directors at that time would authorize it. Like all ideas, it seemed brilliant until it was put into practice and then the flaws became very apparent. A lot of marriages start out that way and end quite abruptly.

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Racing Clubs: Historians listed for each club
Eliminators................................................................none
Gear Grinders...........................................................Glen Barrett
Gold Coast Roadster and Racing Club.......................none
Gophers....................................................................Michael Brennan
Hi Desert Racers.......................................................none
Idlers........................................................................Michael Brennan
Lakers......................................................................none
LSR.........................................................................Mike Cook Jr
Milers.......................................................................none
Road Runners...........................................................Jerry Cornelison
Rod Riders...............................................................none
San Diego Roadster Club..........................................none
Sidewinders..............................................................Ron Main
Super Fours..............................................................Roy Creel
Throttlers..................................................................Michael Brennan

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Sorry that I didn't meet you at the Grand National Roadster Show as planned. I drove over to the Fairplex Gate where I was told that parking was $25 and show admission was $20 and that was way over my budget, so I came home. I am very disappointed that I didn't have the chance to meet the Lawford's, but perhaps another time. I'll catch up with you soon, maybe at the County Board of Supervisors meeting in Lancaster, California next Saturday where the hearing on The Tom Malloy race course construction at Fairmount Butte is again up for a vote. Tom has been attempting to build this neat complex for at least six years now and is being contested by the people at the California Poppy groves. Get the full story at www.FairmontButteMotorsportsPark.com. Bob Falcon
Bob: With your permission I would like to post your letter to the newsletter because it brings up some very interesting subjects. The show promoters, and in fact all of the many activities at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, California do not control parking or security. The control and fees are levied by the Fairplex commission, a non-profit corporation that runs the grounds owned by Los Angeles County. The commission looks at their budget to run this huge complex of buildings and race tracks (horse and auto) and then sets a fee rate for the usage. They are asked by Los Angeles County to put on the Fair each year and to stay in the black and run a profit, which pays for salaries, upkeep and some programs mandated by Los Angeles County. As the county tends to need more and more revenue for its various budgets, it puts the burden on groups like the Fairplex commission to raise their prices and therefore their profits, which goes back to the county. John Buck and the Grand National Roadster Show is just one of many promoters who use the facility. They have to pay for a lot of building space, land area, security, janitorial and other services. The promoters also do not have control over the food and alcohol booths, nor do they get the revenue from them. So visitors end up paying $5 for a six ounce cup of beer, or $25 for parking and they blame the show promoter, who is innocent. Even the Fairplex is innocent. There is parking further away from the event that is cheaper and shuttle buses do run from that parking lot to the event, but it may not have been well advertised. The party that happens to benefit from the high ticket and parking prices is the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. I'm sorry you decided not to come, but I completely understand. Our best to Tom Malloy and his racing venture, except that the environmentalists and the poppy growers are adamant about anyone disturbing the peace and quiet of their poppy flowers.

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I finally figured out the website, and located the info I was missing. I personally want to thank you in particular, and people like you in general for the interest you show and the hard work you put in to preserve the history of the glory days of guys like me. It always seems that the best work always pays the least, as with people like you, who do it for the love of the sport. In our day it was more love than business. I didn't want to know how much it cost, so long as I could scrape together the money. It is very frustrating to find myself with so many great ideas and no spare cash to put them into practice. Innovators never stop thinking. I would like to post a biography. What format or information should I include? Jeff Foulk
   Jeff: Thank you for the compliment. The purpose of the Society is to preserve history and that can be done in many ways. In effect, our group is called the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians. So each of us is a historian of sorts. I do best as an editor and that function is one where people send me material, I edit it a bit and then send it back out to others to use or to enjoy. Archivists are those who work to store and index artifacts, documents, photographs and other memorabilia. Curators restore and save damaged memorabilia. Writers, authors, photographers and researchers bring to light new knowledge or recover old knowledge that was lost or barely known. There often is no difference in quality between an amateur and professional historian. The only major difference is that one gets paid and one doesn't. I'm a trained historian who doesn't get paid. There are others among us who have never gone to college and are untrained in a collegiate setting, learning their skills "on the job," and if they get paid are considered professional historians. It is important for me, as an editor, to continually train and define the duties that we do, even if those duties are voluntary in nature. The reason that we find and save history is that it keeps our heritage alive. Heritage is the value of the person or the group. 
   You are important, we are important, but if we fail to keep the heritage alive for the next generation by neglecting to record our history, then we are simply non-existent, a zero, a cipher, and a nothing. Those that keep their history will keep their heritage. Those that fail to keep their history alive have no heritage to bequeath to their descendants. Here's a starting process to do that; a) caption all your photographs, even the ones you think are worthless, b) write your biography dealing with the facts of your life, c) write your stories, which are events that have meaning in your life and define who you are. Stories can be biographical, but usually they random and ramble and tell a moral or way of living. "He was a good man, who gave me the engine from his car so that I could win the event when my engine broke in the first round," can be biographical, but is more of a story with a moral point to teach our children. Other ways to save history is to find and restore old race cars, or to find and save our memorabilia, artifacts and collectibles. Save everything and see that there is someone to take and cherish your collection when you are gone. 
   As for your biography, a simple way is to write it chronologically, from the day you were born to today. I like people to go back two generations at least, to their grandparents. It's important to save as much information as you can remember and your parents and grandparents probably did and saw some wonderful things that you should record and pass on. Then it's your turn and here's a sample; a) tell us about your birth and first few years. Where and when you were born? Where did you grow up, your schooling and friends in elementary school, junior high and high school? What shop classes did you take? What jobs did you have? What did your parents do for a living? Name your brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents and what they were like. When did you graduate? Did you go on to college or enter the military? Who did you marry, how many children, their names and what they were like? What racing experiences did you have? What kind of jobs did you do? What are you doing today? That's a list for starters. Write it fast and send it to me to edit and send back to you to add more. When you are done and happy with it, and then tell me to publish it. The reason you are writing this is for the future. Think of your children and your family, because they want to know their history too.

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This is awesome. I didn't realize they were miniature models until I was half way through the pictures. Wouldn't a display like this be fantastic in the Museum? See http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157604247242338/show/with/2346008881/. Marilyn Lachman
Members: Google the link or look up Paul Michael Smith. He's a great artist and sculpture.

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The Auto Club of Southern California NHRA 50th Winternationals, Auto Club Raceway, Pomona, California, will be held on February 11 through the 14, 2010. I can remember the very first race, can you? There were just hay bales for barriers and a few stands that could probably have seated 500 people in all. Most of the spectators were also family and crew and they stood or sat on the hay bales or the hoods of their cars. The drag racers raced side by side with no concrete barrier, right past the water pumping building on the left or spectator side and a fence on the right side of the track. It was rough, open and it seemed like the parking lot swallowed up an ocean. It was a huge area in the parking lot and the drag racers took up just a little portion of the whole lot. What do you remember?

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 I had my car and my family all set and ready to go to see the great show in Pomona, California at los Angeles. Then we had some illness in the family. I was really looking forward to having a good time there at Pomona and also to meet all you guys as well as to see Jim Palmer's car at the show. It would have been a first there for me. I think the Grand National Roadster Show originated in 1949 at Oakland, California and my friend Dick Williams was the first winner of that show. He showed me some of the most interesting pictures of when the show first started with Al Slonaker. It was pretty amazing and bizarre. They had top hats and were dressed in black mostly. I can not say if any one would have these pictures. When Williams passed away, I was no longer able to procure such documentation. It was a total loss. I hope someone out there has these photographs. It was a really fascinating history. Maybe next year my family and I will have better luck at attending next year's show. Sorry we could not get to chat a little, I had some great pictures and history to show you. Well we hope to have better luck next time. Spencer Simon
   Spencer: The show was great this time. Everyone raved about it and said it was the best and biggest that it has ever been.

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The Crazy Horses track signing times at Pomona have been confirmed to line up with the Legends Autograph sessions on the same days. They will take place at the Wally Parks Motorsports Museum booth situated in the Heritage area and the time table is: Friday 12th February 2.00pm, Saturday 13th February 10.00-11.30am, Sunday 14th February 9.30am. Changes in the race schedule might alter this.
Roger Gorringe hopes to join the Museum signing session at 5.00pm on February 12th as well as some of the track signings. Roger provided most of the color photographs published in Crazy Horses. And Kjell Pettersson is joining us at the museum. Kjell is Chairman of Svensk Dragracing and along with Keith Bartlett of Santa Pod Raceway has played a vital role in developing the European aspect of the sport during the last two decades. And another American drag racing legend from the team that toured the UK in 1965 is joining us. It is Nick Colbert who drove the Continental Divide Raceway Special - a blown Plymouth Hemi rail. The full list of those planning to attend the Museum launch now looks like this: Bo Bertilsson, Gordie Bonin, Andy Carter, Merek Chertcow, Nick Colbert, Peter Crane, Sam Eidy, Roger Gorringe, Chuck Griffiths, Tom Hoover, Traci Hrudka, Tommy Ivo, Cliff Jones, Bob Keith, Pelle Lindelow, Jon Lundberg, Ash Marshall, Dave McClelland, Syd McDonald, Orah Mae and Robin Millar, Thomas Nataas, Carl Olson, Kjell Pettersson, Rex Sluggett, Brian Taylor and Linda Vaughn.

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The official East Coast launch of Crazy Horses - the history of British drag racing, is at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Ocala Florida. With books being available via the museum gift shop, it will take place over March 6th and 7th, the weekend before the Gatornationals, with book signing sessions held at 2.30pm on both days. Those of you who already have Crazy Horses, bring your copy along and get it signed. The book's author Brian Taylor will be there, joining Don Garlits and reigning FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter. Don has raced in the UK three times - 1964, 1976 and 1977. But it is 1964 that he most fondly remembers. These were the pioneering years when Sydney Allard organized American teams to demonstrate the sport to a British audience only just coming to terms with what dragsters were. Most had never heard one until that time and they were blown away by the show put on by the American team at airfields throughout the country.
Don says, "When Brian asked me to write the Foreword to Crazy Horses I was really pleased to say yes because I believe it is most important to record the sequence of events that led to today's European drag racing scene, before too much time has passed by. That's why I'm such a supporter of the Project 1320 team recording the sport's American history - as told by those that were there. We chose March 6th and 7th for the book's East Coast launch because reigning FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion Andy Carter will also be at the museum with his car that I'm proud to be supporting. So over the same two days we will have the history of British drag racing represented by the launch of Crazy Horses and today's top European Andy Carter - quite a weekend."
Andy Carter says, "I feel so honored to be carrying the colors of Big Daddy Don Garlits on my car. I'm looking forward to talking to visitors and it's great that Crazy Horses is being launched at Don's museum over the same weekend. I started drag racing in the 1980s and some of my proudest moments are covered by the book. It will be a truly nostalgic weekend." Author Brian Taylor says, "Having Don Garlits write the Foreword to Crazy Horses has been a great privilege for me and I'm truly looking forward to the weekend. Don has been an inspiration to so many people all over the world and his approach to preserving the sport's history was one of the motivating factors behind the formation of the Allard Chrysler Action Group to restore Sydney Allard's 1961 Allard Chrysler dragster. This car last ran at Blackbushe in 1964, the year that Don first raced in the UK. So as well as signing some books I will be pleased to update folks on how this important project is progressing".
The BDR&HRA Race Director during the 1970's was Syd McDonald and he is joining us for the signings. Other drag racing personalities attending will be announced during the next few weeks. The Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing is at 13700 SW 16th Avenue, Ocala, Florida 34473. Tel (877) 271-3278. Any Europeans in Florida over that weekend please contact [email protected].

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Rosco McGlashan has a newsletter at www.aussieinvader.com and invites all of our members to see what he is doing. The Aussies own the water speed record, set by Ken Warby and we're hoping that Rosco can take the record away from the Brits and spur Richard Noble and the Brits to build another car and create an on-going LSR challenge.

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The following biography for Rod Schapel was written by Dr Mark Brinker.
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Rod Schapel is a living land speed racing legend. His pioneering work in the area of streamlining began in the early 1950s and he's credited with designing some of the most influential cars to ever race across the salt. His work was groundbreaking and his accomplishments were vast. But what is so amazing about this man's story is that so few people in our sport know anything about him. Rod was born in Los Angeles in 1929. He attended the 79th Street Grade School and Southgate High School. He later studied at Orange Coast College, West Coast College and the University of Nevada at Reno. His career has spanned several disciplines, always innovating as a mechanical engineer. He designed novel methane separation systems for Tioga Wells Corporation and served as the Chief Design Engineer for Bill Lear on the Allegro Airplane project. Rod's education and aptitude for aerodynamics and streamlining brought him to Cal Tech. There he worked as a consultant in their wind tunnel, evaluating the behavior of airplanes under various stresses and loads.
In 1952, Chet Herbert heard about this brilliant individual and hired Rod to design and build the ultimate aerodynamic body for a streamliner he was going to run at Bonneville later that year. The liner would become known as Beast III and Rod got down to work. In point of fact, Rod had never been to Bonneville nor had he ever seen a streamliner. But he says none of that really mattered. He was a scientist, a mechanical engineer, and intrinsically he understood how the car needed to be designed to be fast and stable relative to the laws of physics. Rod built a 1/10th scale model and extensively wind tunnel tested the form at Cal Tech. Remember the year was 1952 and this was extremely forward thinking at the time. He next spent two months building the full size body which was a 20 foot long masterpiece. We all know that our best plans for the salt don't always turn out the way we draw them up but then again we aren't all Rod Schapel. With a 331 hemi putting out less than 300 horsepower, Beast III raced at Bonneville in 1952 to 235.991 MPH. At the time, this vehicle was the fastest single engine car in America and it put Art Chrisman in the Two Club. This achievement was the result of the talents of Herbert and Chrisman but there is no denying the importance of Rod's seminal design.
Rod's next LSR project was for a liner raced by Bill Orndorff in the early Sixties. Powered by only a 5 horsepower engine, Rod's streamlining allowed this one to go an impressive 98 MPH on the salt. Rod has said that this project challenged his ingenuity particularly as related to tire pressures. After settling on Vespa motorcycle tires, Rod designed a series of tests and plotted curves relating speed, drag and pressure. The knowledge gained would prove important for projects to come. Throughout the years Rod did a great deal of consulting work and designing for other racers and streamliner projects. He's also been a competitive road racing driver and has won various championships throughout the years. But of course there is much more to his story.
In 1962 Rod was contacted by a 25 year old kid with a dream. That kid was Craig Breedlove and he hired Rod to design The Spirit of America. Like Herbert's Beast, The Spirit was an engineering marvel. Measuring 36 feet in length, weighing in at 7800 pounds dry and powered by a J-47-15 jet engine, this streamliner was another quantum leap forward inked by Schapel. And as we all know, this one also worked. On August 5, 1963, Breedlove and The Spirit of America went 407.44 MPH, becoming the world's fastest car. The following year in October of 1964 Breedlove bettered his world record at 468.72 MPH, before shattering it again at 526.28 MPH…all in another awesome liner designed by one great man. Rod has been missing from the LSR community for decades but he was recently located by Jim Miller. He attended Art Chrisman's holiday party in December of '09 and stood with his Beast III streamliner and Chrisman for the first time in more than half a century. In January he attended his first-ever SCTA Banquet where he received a well-deserved round of applause. Rod is now 80 but he is hardly taking it easy. He's sharp as ever and remains active working as an engineering consultant. And of course he's working on a new 500+ MPH liner.

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Caption:
Three living legends (left to right): Rod Schapel, Art Chrisman and Stu Hilborn at Art’s 2009 Christmas party. Mark Brinker collection

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You may recall the Cleveland Plain Dealer last October article reporting of Kay Crawford's protest to the Western Reserve Historical Society's then impending sale of automobiles from the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. I am saddened to report to you that she has passed away on Saturday, January 30, 2010. Here is a link to Kay Crawford's obituary from the Cleveland Plain Dealer. See http://www.cleveland.com/obituaries/index.ssf/2010/02/kay_crawford_fought_for_her_la.html. Thanks again for your advice, concern, and interest. Mike Kacsala
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Kay Crawford fought for her late husband's museum, By Grant Segall. February 01, 2010.
Even when too frail to speak, Kay Crawford flew to Cleveland in October and typed out her hopes of saving the legacy of her late husband, Frederick Crawford, a leading industrialist and philanthropist. She died Saturday at 94 at her home in Westwood, Massachusetts. "The auto collection was near and dear to Fred," Kay Crawford typed during an interview in October, while protesting plans by the Western Reserve Historical Society to sell 23 vehicles from its Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum. "Fred wanted to share his collection with everyone." Despite efforts by Crawford and more than 100 protestors on the streets of University Circle, the society held the sale. It had sold other vehicles over the years. Dave Ford, a museum volunteer and a friend of Crawford's from Moreland Hills, said she was quiet, cerebral, curious and informed.
Joseph T. Gorman, retired TRW chairman, remembers when she was Fred Crawford's secretary before marrying him. "She was a lovely lady, hard-working, highly professional," said Gorman. After the marriage, "She took good care of Fred. He adored her."
She was born Kathleen Marie Saxon, the oldest of two girls, in New York. She went to secretarial school and joined Fred Crawford's corporation, TRW, in Alaska. She later moved to the Lyndhurst headquarters. The widower married her in 1978. "Fred and Kay Crawford had one of the great love affairs of our time," said Lanie Hadden, a friend for more than 40 years. The childless couple lived in a condominium in Bratenahl and a waterfront estate in Cotuit, Massachusetts. They traveled frequently around the world. Kay also went on long research trips with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. She helped fund the group and many others. Frederick's leading collections of cars, planes and other vehicles went to the Crawford Museum, part of the Western Reserve Historical Society in University Circle. After his death in 1994 at 103, Kay continued to donate heavily to the society and to serve as honorary chair of fund-raising events. Until the last year or two, she remained fit and worked out a couple of times a week with a personal trainer. Waterman Funeral Home is handling her arrangements. She will be buried privately beside her husband at Lake View Cemetery.

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The following letter was sent by David Walker to the Bean Bandits car club of San Diego. The Bean Bandits played a very important role in both early land speed racing and drag racing in the 1940's and '50's when the two sports were beginning to divurge and go their separate ways. The only thing that I need to know is Dan's last name as when we comment on historical facts we need to have the names of the people who make the statements. 
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Dear Bean Bandits,
   Do you know the what ever happened to Paul Schiefer's 1927 Ford Model T Roadster, which was reported last campaigned by your club? The body was channeled over a custom built frame, had run a Mercury engine with alcohol. I would guess the Bean Bandits took possession of the car sometime in the 1950's; but this is only a guess. Thanks for any information you can provide. Sincerely, David Walker, Ardmore, AL/TN
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   Dan from the Bean Bandits sent a wonderful picture of Fred Lobello in the Paul Schiefer's '27 T roadster, presumably at Bonneville. His scan is 5 megabytes so I reduced it. If you want the large image let me know. Dan's correspondence is below. 
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David, Joaquin Arnett ran the car for some time, but from when to when I do not know. He was the one who made it a rear engine roadster. However the car was only on loan and all the information that I have on the car has it being returned to Paul Schiefer. I attached a photo Freddie Lobello gave me of him at Bonneville in Paul's Roadster. It is one of the most beautiful Roadsters ever built in my opinion. I hope that this information is of some help. Dan

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Caption:
Fred Lobello in Paul Schiefer's 1927 T Lake Racer at Bonneville. Photo courtesy of Fred Lobello

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To VW Challengers:
Take a few minutes to watch this classic B&W film of Dick Beiths 1961 record run of 101 miles per hour at the Bonneville Salt Flats using his vintage Pepco supercharged 36hp motor. This record still stands today, a half century later. If Dick gets his new 36hp Challenge racer(s) completed by this summer, you will have a chance to meet him at the USFRA World of Speed event in September. Burly Burlile
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Hi Guys, I've extracted / converted / posted the portion of the 'men salt and speed' film with Dick's record run in it, on the website. The direct URL is http://www.vdubber.com/video/gallery/Dick-Beith-1961-36hp-Record. Feel free to share it with others. Burly - maybe a mail out to the 36hp challenge list would be a great way to increase exposure for the challenge and share the nostalgia. Cheers Mick, [email protected], www.vdubber.com, Next Generation Air-cooled Community. PO Box 2105, Hilton Plaza, Mile End, South Australia 5033.
Burly and Mick: I included Mick's contact information because he said in his note that he would like public notification. Be sure to give me first and last names because we are a historical newsletter and we have to have full disclosure.

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Gone Racin' to the…Bonneville Salt Flats, by Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth. Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz

Louise Ann Noeth has written an outstanding book on land speed racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats, in Utah. Everyone refers to the author as "Landspeed" Louise, and she has the remarkable talent for getting close to speed-focused men and women, in order to get at the heart of a much-misunderstood sport. No one has written about Bonneville with the fervor, stamina and attention to detail that "Landspeed" Louise has in her book, Bonneville Salt Flats. This is not the first book to be called by this name, only the best one to date. The author has found photos that are unique and not previously published. Most of the photographs are in color, though about a third of them are in black and white, from the very earliest days on the Salt Flats. These photographs are stunning and historic, and only the author could have coaxed these priceless relics from the private albums where they have resided for all these years. A major complaint is that racing books are heavy on photographs and short on text. For the first time, I actually preferred the preponderance of well-documented photos over text. The author also displays diagrams and charts, in order to show the original road course and race tracks. The very progression of the pictures is in itself, worthy of the name "pictorial."
Bonneville Salt Flats, however, is not simply a pictorial coffee book meant for easy display. Its historical text is as well thought out and written as any work of history that you will find on auto racing. The chapters cover the various decades of the 20th century, with a substantial review of the discovery and early history of the Salt Flats. Most "Hot Rod" books put in text around the photos as mere filling, but in Bonneville Salt Flats, you are in for a true education. A good many authors skip over the early history of an event due to a paucity of information and photographs, or because they do not feel that it is very important. In fact, the earliest days of the Salt Flats represents the author's best work. Here the writing flows from her pen with a zeal and love that is unmistakable. The text matches the original and never before seen photos to simply entrance the reader.
This particular book on Bonneville should be the centerpiece on which you build your library on Land Speed racing. I would have liked this book to be extended out to a firmer 200 pages. Try as I might, this book comes as near to perfection as any work can. The author of Bonneville Salt Flats has dug deep into the psyche of the racers for the motivations, which drive men and women to spend mind numbing hours and thousands of dollars in an attempt to push the speed limit higher and higher. World wide, there cannot be much more than 10,000 drivers, mechanics, fans and spectators who appreciate this sport, though their zeal cannot be doubted. "Landspeed" Louise is their chronicler and chief historian, who believes in the crusade, no matter how large or small the audience, might be.

This is a sport that exacts a price from all concerned. It is methodical and deliberate, and the goal is to increase the speed, not "win the race." It lacks the great acceleration and power of a top fueler or funny car in drag racing. It does not have the crowds and dangerous passing of a NASCAR race. There is no traditional "Pagoda" and heritage rich "brickyard" track, as there is at the INDY 500. There are no fancy twists and turns as there are on the fabulous European road courses. What Bonneville has is pure speed, guts and sweat, mixed in with ingenuity and a hot rodders desire to improve things. Get this book and read it. Share it with your friends. There are only a few books on Bonneville, and I'm hoping that if we encourage "Landspeed" Louise, she'll get to work and bring us "Bonneville Salt Flats II." Gone Racin' can be reached at [email protected]

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Gone Racin'… Real Road Racing, The Santa Monica Road Races, by Harold Osmer and Phil Harms. Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.

An extremely good book on early American road racing is Real Road Racing, The Santa Monica Road Races, by Harold Osmer and Phil Harms. Osmer began his writing career by compiling the history of various racing tracks in Southern California. His books were short but filled a valuable need. In this book on the history of the Santa Monica road race, he expands the size of the book and looks at just one race and the quality and tone of the book increases considerably. Phil Harms is the co-author and historian. Harms has amassed racing results for over 9000 open wheel events from 1896 to the present. His photographs and knowledge have helped many authors compile first class works on motorsports in the United States. The collaboration of Osmer and Harms has produced a very good story about an important series of races that began in 1909 and ended in 1919. Real Road Racing, The Santa Monica Road Races is a paperback book with the highest quality waxed paper, measuring 8 inches in height and 11 inches in length. This is a strange size since most bookcases are set up to receive books that are 11 inches in height and 8 inches in length. The cover has a racing car of the era and is suitable to use as a coffee table book.
Real Road Racing, The Santa Monica Road Races has 132 pages, two-thirds of which are well researched text about the history of the road race in Santa Monica and its impact on racing. There are 4 color photographs, 12 maps, one drawing of the early Santa Monica City limits and 6 insets of programs and various rules requirements. Because the races took place before color printing, 138 photographs are in black and white but their quality is very good. In addition there are 6 Ads of the era, 8 race result sheets and additional driver information in the index. Real Road Racing, The Santa Monica Road Races was first published in 1999 by Harold L. Osmer Publishing, P.O. Box 4741, Chatsworth, California 91313. There were only 200 books published in the original printing. To find this book, check with Doug Stokes at Autobooks/Aerobooks at 818-845-0707, and give the ISBN# 0-9659533-1-9. Osmer and Harms also had access to the photographic collections of Chuck Groninga at Red Lion Racing, Brian Blain, Carmen Schroeder, Lindley Bothwell, Herald Examiner Newspaper, Los Angeles Public Library and the Security Pacific Collection. The price is $29.95, but since it is in a limited edition, the book will be valuable as a collector's item of early auto racing memorabilia.

The cover design and artwork is by Neil Nissing. Phil Harms and Harold Osmer wrote the Preface, explaining the origins of auto racing. The Table of Contents breaks the book down into ten sections, with a Prelude and ending with an Afterword. The Prelude to Santa Monica is the first chapter and discusses the road racing that took place in America before the Santa Monica Road Race. The Long Island, New York Road Race was held from 1904-1910 over a length of 30.24 miles. Following that road course race was the Savannah, Georgia Road Course Race that ran from 1908-11. The Santa Monica Road Race began in 1909 and continued on through 1919. The Venice, California Road Race was run from 1910-1916. Other races were held in Milwaukee, San Francisco, Europe and elsewhere. These races were being organized a mere ten years after the invention and marketing of the automobile. The desire of the public to view these new machines became a frenzied mania. The second chapter is called The First Year 1909. Santa Monica is eager to gain notoriety and the road race is just what the city fathers need. The road course was 8.4 miles long and looked every bit like a modern NASCAR stock car. There was a long straightaway on Wilshire Blvd, which had a wicked turn onto San Vicente Blvd. Three short turns on San Vicente led to a sharp turn onto Ocean Blvd and a mile run before an equally sharp turn back onto Wilshire. Long courses meant little action and crowds would often become restless. Dogs, horses and people would venture onto the road courses, creating obstacles for the drivers to dodge.

Harris Hanshue won the 1909 race over 24 laps at an average speed of 64.44mph, a remarkable speed for that day and age. Bert Dingley won the light car race averaging 55.32mph. Chapter Three is entitled Reaching out 1910 and details the race in that year. Four classes raced in 1910, but it was Teddy Tetzlaff who won the top two races with Bert Dingley taking second place in both. Tetzlaff recorded a 73.142mph in his Lozier and won the race by nearly a six-minute margin. Chapter Four is named Coming of Age 1911 and discusses the growth and complexity of the road race. Harvey Herrick set a national record of 74.603mph in winning the top class but his margin of victory dropped to three minutes and the racing became tighter and more exciting. Chapter Five is called The Shriners Come 1912. With the Shriners, a new and improved organization takes over the Santa Monica Road Race. A $5000 purse draws some of the best race drivers in the country. Tetzlaff won his second title in a row at a speed of 78.718mph. While the race proved successful, tensions were brewing between East and West Coast racing associations. Chapter Six is named One Tough Year 1913. The effort by New York's AAA to control auto racing resulted in many drivers preferring to go it alone. Barnstorming was a term for racecar drivers and promoters to hold their own unsanctioned races and challenges. It proved highly profitable for drivers like Barney Oldfield. The AAA and other sanctioning bodies truly believed that it was imperative to control auto racing in order to keep down injuries and fatalities.
Earl Cooper won the 1913 race and there were no fatalities. So far the Santa Monica Road Race had only gotten bigger and better each year. Chapter Seven is titled Going Bigtime 1914. The AAA transferred the Vanderbilt Cup and the American Grand Prize Road Race to Santa Monica. The promoters now had the premier road-racing event of the year set for Santa Monica. The purse expanded to $15, 000. Ralph DePalma won the Vanderbilt Cup Race in his Mercedes with an average speed of 75.49mph over 35 laps. Eddie Pullen won the American Grand Prize Race in his Mercer at an average speed of 77.32. DePalma won $4000 and Pullen won $3000, a fortune in those days. The attendance topped 100, 000 people, there were no fatalities and the prize money was upped to $20, 000. With everything going right, the city of Santa Monica had the premier auto race. Chapter Eight is called Back Again 1916. Santa Monica officials lost the Cup and Grand Prize Race to San Francisco and did not put on a race in 1915. The Vanderbilt Cup and American Grand Prize Race returned to Santa Monica in 1916, after a dismal mess at the 1915 races in San Francisco.

Dario Resta won the 1916 race in the Vanderbilt Cup and Howard Wilcox in the Grand Prize Race. A tragic accident took the lives of a driver and three spectators and injured three more. The race was suspended due to World War I and there was no racing in 1917-18. Chapter Nine is named Return From The Trenches 1919. The racecourse was shortened by about a mile in length and no longer ran through Ocean Blvd. Cliff Durant won the race with an average speed of 81.27mph. This was the last year a race was held in Santa Monica. Road racing had taken its toll and the town had grown to the point that it was more of an inconvenience than a fun event. Auto racing was exploding all over to newer and bigger venue sites. Chapter Ten is titled the Epilogue. Various drivers are discussed and what happened to them. There are tables and charts with interesting statistics about race drivers and the races they won. A short bibliography and Afterword ends the book. Unfortunately, there is no index. This is such a spectacular book that the absence of an index is very puzzling. Should the authors decide to do more reprintings, they would be well advised to add an index for the use of scholars and fans of auto racing. Gone Racin' is at [email protected]. Autobooks/Aerobooks is at 1-818-845-0707.

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swoopy-20gotelli

Caption:
Here's to some of the 1960's era top fuel dragsters that deserved a spot in any museum of fine arts for their beauty, style, and true substance. You all remember individuality and free thinking that inspired all of these beautiful cars. And all of them were raced hard. From Topfuel169.

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

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Members:

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