NEWSLETTER 194 - March 4, 2011
Editor: Richard Parks [email protected]
President's Corner: By Jim Miller (1-818-846-5139)
Photographic Editor of the Society: Roger Rohrdanz, [email protected]
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
 President's Corner, Editorials, I just read your review and it is simply fabulous, Classic car judge collector and restorer Tom Sparks of North Hollywood passed on 2/17, The following website has some biographical information on Tommy Sparks, The Main Street Malt Shop and Santa Ana Airport Drag Strip Reunion is set for Saturday May 7 2011 in Santiago Park, The Gold Coast Roadster & Racing Club announces the 18th Annual Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame and ‘GAS-UP’ Party will be held in Buellton, California on Saturday April 30 2011, I have had the pleasure of meeting Mauri Rose back at The Speedway (Indy 500) and right now cannot recall the surroundings or the event but it may have been in the former Old-timers Club gathering trailer, I have had many of my friends burned in racing accidents and it is not pretty, I did not make myself very clear on the Ray McDowell piece, The MAXX2RACING (M2) Team will be competing at our first 2011 event The Mojave Mile in conjunction with the Unique Ford GT event on Saturday April 9th followed by the Mojave Mile on Sunday April 10 2011, What a voice he had Nice obit in the New York Times, Thank you for your marvelous review of the DOS movie, We had noticed an email you sent some time ago as to providing information to you on our car, The Sam Auxier Jr Show Mondays, Ron Main sent in the following link to a video, Thank you for the nice warm welcome for being northern California's reporter of The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletters, John Ewald sent in a video on YouTube about the 2010 Bakersfield March Meet, Here is a continuation of the interviews conducted by Sam Hawley for his book, This month’s Aussie Invader 5R newsletter is now available to read online, As a fan of Deuce of Spades, thank you for the nice review on the film, The Wally Bell Show on the Zeus Radio Network for Racers Reunion Radio, The following information was presented to us by the staff at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona California, Karl & Veda Orr photos


President's Corner:  
   We talk a lot about the old days and land speed racing and as most of you know, Drag Racing evolved from those old Gow Jobs that use to race across the lakes. In the old days after all the cars had qualified for their respective speed classes they would have a runoffs with multiple cars side by side to see who was the quickest. They were all led to the starting line by a pace car at around 20 mph and flagged off for a run-up of a mile and a half, and then were timed over a distance of a quarter of a mile. The winner would usually receive a gift from one of the race sponsors or maybe even a trophy. It was pretty simple stuff. In the early fifties after the lakebeds were worn out by having speed runs every weekend one of the original S.C.T.A. founders started a new organization called the National Hot Rod Association. You probably know him as our Editor's pop, Wally Parks. Anyhow, this last weekend was the 60th Anniversary season's opening race at a rain disturbed Winternationals event at the Pomona Fairgrounds. I was lucky enough to be there on Friday before and during the rains to get a few shots for you, but first a few observations.
   The Show for the folks in TV land was the Top Fuel and Funny Car boys so I got a program just to see who the players were going to be. The first thing that hit me was where were all the players? There were only 17 cars in Top Fuel and 19 in Funny Car trying to make the 16 car fields. “Houston, I think we have a problem.” You use to get twice that at places like Lions or Fontana so what happened. Looking at Pro Stock we had 19 cars and in Top Alcohol Dragster we only had seven entries in the program. I'd call that really thin. Flipping more pages we found Top Alcohol Funny Car with 13 entries and Comp with 18. By this time I was getting really bummed at where Professionalism and TV had taken the sport that we couldn't get enough of 20 or so more years ago. Flipping more pages actually made my day. Super Stock had 73 entries. Now we’re talking. Stock had 71 entries, Super Comp had 81 and Super Gas rocked with 70 entries. Upon further thumbing through the program there wasn't even a listing of the Pro Stock Bikes except in the track record listing. This was pretty sad if I do say so. Even sadder was only 11 pages of advertisements, so it looks like the economy is really in the toilet. To be fair, there were cars that I photographed that were not listed in the program, but how many that were pre-entered didn't make the trip to the show. I know it takes some real big bowling balls to get in these things to drive even half fast (sorry ladies, I don't have a description for you), and that the same folks and teams keep winning year after year, but wouldn't it be cool if there were a different winner in each of the 22 Full Throttle events this year to make it really interesting. Oh, I forgot, we don't have that many cars running. Here are a few pictures that were shot between the tears and sinus clearing whiffs of Nitro. Enjoy.

CLICK FOR IMAGE JMC_1992 - Spencer Massey is the shoe of this Fram/Prestone Top Fueler seen at the '11 Winternationals in Pomona. The Fort Worth, Texas driver sits in front of a supercharged 498" TFX engine fitted into the '11 DSR chassis. As you can see everybody packed up and headed for cover as the rains washed out Friday's running. Sadly he didn't make it to round 1.

CLICK FOR IMAGE JMC_1993 - Robert Height's Automobile Club of Southern California '10 Mustang is left high and dry after the rains came Friday at the '11 running of the Winternationals in Pomona. The John Force owned entry was powered by of all things a 500" Ford. At this time Robert and John were over signing autographs in another of the boss's vender tents. During Round 1 Cruz Pedregon in his Solara ran a 4.330, 251.81 against Robert Hight in the Mustang who was disqualified. 

CLICK FOR IMAGE JMC_2000 - How far is too far when it comes to blower setbacks? Brian Thiel's '10 Charger bodied Funny Car ran this setup on his 500" TFX powered ride at the '11 iteration of the Winternationals in Pomona. Just imagine the load on the snout, hope he's not overdriving it too much. Like Massey's digger, the Charger didn't make it to round 1.

CLICK FOR IMAGE JMC_2001 - Car 1789 does a wheelie of the starting line during the bracket racing part of the show early Friday at the '11 Winternationals before the rains came. These runners are just as serious as the big boys. Quite a few of the competitors were breaking out by fractions most likely because of the cold, heavy air. Bummer.


 Recently I was involved with an honors committee and several points were raised. Many of the SLSRH membership are involved in awards programs or someday will be. A well run program that adheres to accepted rules of selection will create a system that will be respected and long lived. Here is my response to their email. 

   “I wrote an article on your organization’s awards program based on the notes, programs and conversations that I had with my brother, when he visited your reunion in 2010.  You can find that article at www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist/Richard Parks.  That will give you some idea as to how your event is seen by many people outside of your area.  From what I have learned secondhand, the reunion and gathering of hot rodders was very popular and well run.  The committee that awards the honors program follows approved standards and your advisor has been around my father long enough to know a good program and assist it.  Since I am so far away the message sometimes gets garbled when I receive it, but talking to your representative the other day resolved a great deal of questions.  One, the committee is working correctly to identify and honor very deserving people.  Secondly, they are receptive to outside input.  Thirdly, they are not swayed by politics to honor people who pay to receive the award that you named in my father’s name.  I did disagree with your representative on one issue.  He said that there are ‘some people’ that my father would not want to see get the award that is given in his name.  My father would never agree with that statement.  He might have had issues with people, but he would never blatantly interfere with a committee to sway their decisions.  I have run honors programs in the past and currently run an honors program and there are many times when my committee chooses to honor someone whom I may dislike, but my feelings never stop that person from being honored.  My preferences, and this is not necessarily anyone else's opinion, is for your group to remain a local honors program.  You should try to find local people in your area who deserve to be the main recipients. 
     There are two issues that we talked about.  One is the name of the Award and my father gave that to you.  At his passing his name and image passed to us and my brother and I are cautious about how other people use his name and image.  I am certainly pleased with how your committee is using his name and reputation in your program.  But my father has already given you permission and I would not want to go against his wishes.  You certainly have my permission to continue using it.  And since it was ceded prior to the time of his passing, you should consider it to be a permanent usage for this award.  Concurrently, we would also do what we can to promote your use of his name and image for future awards.  This is rather wordy and long, but we have had problems with other people over the name, reputation and usage of our father.  People tend to do things without authorization and then my brother and I have to clean up the problems after.  The second issue is participation.  Your committee has a good track record and it needs to operate free of outside influence; therefore I don't want to have to weigh in on the selection process.  Such outside influences have destroyed many a committee and organization.  Nor do I think that a person that I favor should have any more weight or electability than anyone else.  That you have simply asked me what I think is sufficient.  This would be the same thing as if my father was alive and you asked him.  He would tell you in almost all cases that you have made a fine choice.  Only in a very rare circumstance would he offer any negative input and he would do so without ordering you to change your mind. 
     A peripheral issue is whether a recipient of an award has to show up to be eligible to receive the award.  Since I ended up with a box full of plaques over the years at my reunions, the natural inclination is to say yes, the recipient must show up.  But it is unworkable.  We give honors based on merit, not whether a recipient actually shows up.  There is a feeling in committees that they have to have famous names for an awards program to work out well.  I belong to a group that falls into this trap.  They keep awarding their honors to the NASCAR guys and overlook the smaller leagues.  At their banquets the big shots never show up, but all the little guys do and with enthusiasm that the stock car guys never show.  It's very embarrassing each year to give out all the awards to a regional NASCAR representative who is bored having to show up and actually tells us so by their yawns.  We would do better if we understood that maybe the local guys who do well in smaller racing leagues are just as worthy of being honored and much more receptive.  Your representative mentioned that we honor a famous celebrity.  My question to him was, ‘Are you looking for a name or a worthy honoree?’  I've been asked to go and get guys who are famous to agree to accept the award.  If they agree to show up they get the honor.  I don't do that.  That cheapens the award.  I only work with groups that nominate and select honorees based on merit; in closed meetings.  Once chosen, whether they show up to receive the award is totally up to the honorees.  If your program continues on the path that it has selected, then within a few years people will be excited and overwhelmed to have been chosen and you won't have to worry about them not showing up. 
     Finally, we all know a lot of men and women that should be honored and in our zeal we go about politicking, often in a frenzy.  Deliberations always need to be done calmly and in committee.  Your members aren’t the only ones excited and enthused; I have been known to do the same thing for people that I thought were deserving.  But the more we politick and broadcast the worse the results.  That gets too many people's hopes up and causes hurt feelings; just the opposite of what we try to accomplish.  Your Hall of Fame committee is always the final arbiter and selector of all honorees and I will gratefully accept whomever is finally chosen
.”  This is the end of the letter to the reunion committee.

   Roger and I won’t be writing an article on the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) Winternationals this year for any publications. We weren’t requested to by any of the magazines that have accepted our articles and photographs in the past. Because of that we aren’t credentialed by the sanctioning race car leagues and we can’t cover the events. The retrenchment of magazines in today’s economy means that fewer and fewer employees are needed or wanted. Publications today get by with an editor, who does all the work, including stories and photographs. When an editor does take a story the money comes out of his own pocket and decreases his revenue. We knew that eventually our sources that would take our articles would dry up. We are very appreciative of the magazines and sources that have taken our articles in the past. We wish them continued success and profitability in the future. We harbor no ill-will for their actions to downsize their businesses in an attempt to survive an economic downturn. Perhaps someday the financial health of the racing media will improve and they will seek us out and we can continue to do what we love doing; bringing you photographs and stories of car racing events.
   Retractions and Apology Department. Recently I sent around a short car newsletter and in it I mentioned how Tom Carnegie was the Official Announcer for the IRL. This information came from a reader and I didn’t carefully peruse it as I copied and pasted it. If I had carefully looked at it as a good editor would, I would have seen that IRL should have been IMS. Tom Carnegie was known among car racing fans as the “Voice” of the Indy 500 and the International Motor Speedway, or IMS. The IRL came later though he announced at the IRL Indy races I don’t know if he announced at other IRL tracks as well. Without having his biography on file to read it and double check, then I simply don’t know. I did ask Tom for his bio and he told me he wasn’t interested in talking to me or discussing it. Well, no matter, there are always other sources and so I retract that statement and apologize. While Jim and I can say that mistakes happen, we also take the view that we should never become defensive about mistakes. If it happens, and mistakes will happen, then the only recourse is to correct them and apologize. 
   We might take a good ribbing from our members, but we know that they tease us out of caring. To try and hide a mistake only makes it worse, as Presidents Nixon and Clinton found out. Are there some things, however, that shouldn’t be broached to the public. Yes, when the subject can ruin relationships, marriages and partnerships then that information should not be publicized. Is that honest? Jim and I will say that history is history and cannot be suppressed, but we don’t have to tell the entire story until the parties have passed on. There are known incidents where the action of a single person has destroyed a family for many generations. Jim and I will carefully look at every situation before we publish. If we err, we will retract and apologize. We never want to make a bad situation worse. Our goal is to recover our history and heritage, not to harm anyone.


     I just read your review and it is simply fabulous.  Fabulous, because you really "got it."  All the layers, the multi-dimensionality of the film and most importantly, Johnny's suffering and redemption.  I especially loved how you compared his struggle to him bearing the cross walking to Golgotha. Thank you for taking the time to write this review. I will cherish it forever. 
     The film is actually subtitled in Swedish.  As far as distribution goes, the only reason why it is not distributed is because I have elected to self distribute at first to insure the film gets out promptly and that I recoup.  I never shopped it and the studios do not know yet of its existence.  So it is not because they don't want it but rather because I didn't contact them (yet).  If I got a distribution deal it would not likely be a theatrical release, but rather a straight to DVD, as are most releases, and they would keep 90% of sales profits and own my film rights for 10 years.  I was not too keen on that.
     As I gather more fans each day, more rave reviews, more sales, I am building a track record that I believe would insure a better distribution deal should I elect to take one.  Being that the industry is so difficult, I am not so sure I want to get a deal from them.  But it would be fun to have offers.  I will shop the movie around in a few months probably just to find out what my options are.
     Please let people know that I chose the self distribution route to retain control and freedom.  I don't want people to think the film does not have distribution because it is not good enough to deserve some and was rejected.  It reflects badly on the film and is far from the truth - no one has rejected the film, it has not yet been submitted to begin with.  We'll find out for sure once I finally shop it.
     On a sad note, I cannot believe that Tom Sparks has left us.  He was a kind man that lent me a hand when many slammed the door in my face.  I will sing his praises forever and ever.  I will miss him.  I hope he is immortalized forever in the film, through his cars and shop and his acts of kindness.  Blessings, FAITH GRANGER Filmmaker
     Faith: Thank you for the corrections about the distribution process of the movie Deuce of Spades.  Please keep us informed about how Hollywood sees your movie.  I am pleased to own the DVD and play it at home. 


Classic car judge, collector and restorer Tom Sparks of North Hollywood, passed on 2/17. His services were held today.   Mike Ryan
     Mike: This was the first that I heard about Tom.  I spoke to him not long ago about the movie Deuce of Spades.  Do you have any biographical material or obituary for Tom.  He will be truly missed.


Editor’s notes: The following website has some biographical information on Tommy Sparks, who recently passed away. See http://steelworksco.blogspot.com/2009/04/tommy-sparks-my-first-hot-rod-and-last_29.html.


The Main Street Malt Shop and Santa Ana Airport Drag Strip Reunion is set for Saturday, May 7, 2011 in Santiago Park.  The event will start at 10 AM and end around 3 PM.  The park is located on the border of Santa Ana and the City of Orange.  Directions: From Main Street, go east on East Memory Lane for two street lights, or about 1000 feet.  At the second light, turn to your right and go down into the paved parking lot at the bottom of the creek.  The reunion is next to the parking lot in plain sight.  The reunion and parking are free.  This reunion celebrates the early drag racers and hot rodders who raced at the Santa Ana Airport drag strip in the 1950's.  Photographs and scrapbooks will be available to look at.  From Leslie Long


      The Gold Coast Roadster & Racing Club announces the 18th Annual Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame and ‘GAS-UP’ Party will be held in Buellton, California on Saturday, April 30, 2011.  The Club is excited about the new Spring date which will kick-off the racing season and expects an exceptional turn-out.  The event begins at 9:00 am, and includes a Buellton-style Barbeque lunch followed by the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame induction ceremony and then concludes with raffle prizes until 5:00 pm.  Land Speed and Dry Lakes racers, hot-rodders and other interested enthusiasts inclined to bench race with famous, and infamous, racers are invited to attend this entertaining and memorable event.  Photos of past events, a list of Hall of Fame Members, (like Al Teague, Vic Edelbrock, Sr. & Jr., Ed Iskenderian, Art Arfons, Craig Breedlove, Wally Parks, Mickey Thompson, Alex Xydias, Ak Miller, Nick Arias, Jr., Don Vesco, Ab Jenkins, Paula Murphy, Gale Banks, Eddie Meyer and so many more).  Space has always been limited and veteran attendees know that pre-registration is highly recommended.  Tickets purchased early are $42, (a limited number will be available at the door for $55). 
     The 2011 inductees are: Historical Race Vehicle; Mormon Meteor, Presently Running Race Vehicle; Ferguson Streamliner, Motorcycle; ACK Attack, People Who Have Contributed; Alan Fogliadini, Harry Hoffman Sr., Joyce Jensen, Judy Sights, Chuck Small, Larry Volk, People from the Past; Ed Adams, Gene Burkland, Jack Calori, Art Tilton, Manufacturer; JAZ Products, Historian; Ed Safarik.  The Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame began in 1992 as a one-time event of the Gold Coast Roadster & Racing Club to honor a few people thought to have made a difference in hot-rodding and dry lakes racing.  The party was such a success that the following year the first official “Gas-Up” event was held at club member Jack Mendenhall’s Petroleum Museum in Buellton, and evolved into this much-anticipated annual event.  Each year the GCR&R Club solicits votes from all 12 SCTA Clubs, current Hall of Fame members, the Bonneville and El Mirage 200 MPH Clubs, USFRA and ECTA to recognize and honor those outstanding individuals who have contributed significantly to the sport of land speed racing on the dry lake beds, past and present – car owners, drivers, builders, manufacturers, sponsors, event volunteers, and the media who preserve the history for everyone.  In addition, and of equal importance, is to honor outstanding vehicles that have been created by these talented people.  To put your name on the mailing list for a registration packet which will include a map and local hotel listings (mailed in March), or for information on how to advertise in the award-winning ‘Keepsake’ program please call or write the Gold Coast Roadster & Racing Club at the address or phone number listed below or email the Club Secretary at [email protected].  Mailing Address; P.O. Box 1234, Buellton, CA 93427.  The telephone number is; 805-245-8519.  Sent in by Don Oaks 


I have had the pleasure of meeting Mauri Rose back at The Speedway (Indy 500) and right now cannot recall the surroundings or the event, but it may have been in the former Old-timers Club gathering trailer.  We discussed his efforts on the first Chevrolet fiberglass sports car.  It was the first of what we now know as The Stingray.  The first model made by GM was powered with a Chevy six cylinder, in-line engine.  Rose had a good "500" record with the Lou Moore cars and I believe he won two races at The Speedway in the three years that Moore raced his Blue Crown Spark Plug sponsored cars.  These were Front Wheel Drive cars that did well at Indy during the period when castor oil was most favored and the track became quite slippery during the later laps. Moore's FWD cars were designed by Norman Timbs who also did the Howard Keck FWD car that was driven by Jimmy Jackson in 1947 and 1948 then Rose drove it in 1949 and 1950.  Norm was the super pencil designer of the Halibrand Shrike Indy cars of 1964 and 1965.  I worked with him on these series.  Bob Falcon
     Bob: What can you tell us about Norman Timbs.  His name comes up frequently.


I have had many of my friends burned in racing accidents and it is not pretty.  I remember my friend, Jim Hurtubise, got burned in Milwaukee in 1964 and he was never the same.  I worked on his first '37 Ford Sedan in his uncle's garage in N.T., New York before he hauled it to Florida in '56.   Jerry Grobe


 I did not make myself very clear on the Ray McDowell piece.  Fred Chapparo told me that Ray "crossed the Finish Line" several years ago at the age of 100. I also believe he stated that Ray was not in attendance at the Gilmore Party and he may have not ever attended one. His equipment was used on what were known as "big cars" and we refer to them as Sprint Cars now. I think he was not with his daughter at the Gilmore party due to illness, as related by Fred. Just this morning I recalled what Mauri Rose and I spoke about when I met him at Indy. It was probably the year he drove the pace car which you, or Jim Miller, mentioned as being in the late 1960’s. My first year at The Speedway was in 1964 with the Halibrand "Shrike" cars.
   Mauri asked if I was a California Hot Rodder which I answered to the affirmative. He told me that someone at GM wanted to equip that first Stingray with a bunch of specially designed equipment and Mauri was against the plan, stating the buyers could get a vast array of aftermarket speed equipment for the six cylinder Chevy engines for less than GM could design, test and manufacture. He also predicted that the vehicle would soon be outfitted with the V8 engine that was being offered in the sedans. Remember that this new sports car was introduced in the 1954 model year. By the way, Emil Deidt built the Lou Moore FWD cars but he built them as designed by Norman Timbs who was a noted designer and engineer but due to the practice at the time, was never acclaimed.  Bob Falcon


The MAXX2 RACING (M2) Team will be competing at our first 2011 event, The Mojave Mile, in conjunction with the Unique Ford GT event on Saturday, April 9th, followed by the Mojave Mile on Sunday, April 10, 2011.  The Ford GT Event is a never-before-been-done, one-of-a-kind event which may or may not be run again in the future.  In conjunction with the Mojave Air and Space Port, a private airfield in Mojave, California, The Mojave Mile Shootout is the latest and best venue for top-speed mile runs.  This facility features a 12,000 foot runway, which allows a comfortable braking margin for the fastest machines, the latest in accurate laser timing equipment, a top-notch staff of experienced professionals and safety response teams, and a huge Paddock area with P.A. system, catered food, and overnight set-up capability.  Spectators are welcome, with great viewing from the Paddock/Grid area, and the finish line is at their 10 O'clock with the racers coming from their left.  See http://mojavemile.com/.  The M2 Team will have 4 qualified drivers for the events.  The record setting ‘Bad Bird,’ a 1997 NASCAR Superspeedway Ford T-bird holds the AA/GCT record of 205.88 MPH at the Maxton Mile, North Carolina, having set that record in June of last year.  The car has been completely reconfigured for Land Speed Racing (LSR), with ongoing “Aero” modifications currently being completed this week.  Go to the websites shown below our signature to view this great car, and see our entire M2 Team and our ultimate goal of breaking the speed mark for a NASCAR Bodied Car at the Bonneville Salt Flats this year.  We are a small budget team, but demand the utmost quality and performance from each of us.  Check out our list of top known sponsors and suppliers on our websites, and note that we are featured in many auto related websites.   Richard and Judy White.
     Richard and Judy: Keep us informed on your attempts at the Mojave Mile and other events for the coming year.


What a voice he had.  Nice obit in the New York Times.  I am glad I got to hear him at the 1994 Indy 500 in person.  Bob Sykes Jr
     Bob: Thanks for the lead.  I found this short obit in the Times.  What do you remember about him personally?
February 11, 2011, INDIANAPOLIS (AP).  Tom Carnegie, a track announcer who was the voice of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to generations of Indy 500 fans, died Friday at his home here.  He was 91.  His death was announced by the local television station WRTV, where he worked as a sportscaster for three decades.  Carnegie started out in radio and was known for signature calls like “Heeeee’s-on-it!” when qualifiers speeded up approaching the green flag, and “It’s a new track record!”  The sound of his deep, bellowing voice booming over the public address system became one of the track’s trademark features.  Born in Norwalk, Connecticut, as Carl Kenagy, he moved with his family to Missouri as a youngster.  His interest in sports shifted to announcing after he was stricken with polio, and he began preparing himself in high school by entering speech contests.  He began his radio career in 1942 at WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he took the name Tom Carnegie because the station manager thought it sounded better on the air.  Three years later, he moved to Indianapolis, where he was sports director at radio station WIRE and wrote a column for The Indianapolis Star.  In 1946 he met the speedway’s owner, Tony Hulman, who had just bought and renovated the dilapidated track, which was idle during World War II.  Hulman hired him, even though Carnegie knew nothing about auto racing at the time.  “Nobody gave me any help or anything like that,” Carnegie once said in an interview with WRTV.  “I just had names and numbers, like calling a football game.  And I somehow got through it.”  WRTV, which was then WFBM, hired him as sports director in 1953.  He retired from the station in 1985 but continued as the voice of the speedway until 2006.
The only thing I can say is that his voice was unique, his presentation and all. What a great, great story, Tony Hulman probably heard Carl Kenagy on the radio and thought he would sound great at the Speedway. Offering him a job and all with no experience at announcing auto racing thus creating his own style AND new name. Yes, another piece of auto racing has passed but in this case we have his voice recorded to show what made Indy special for future generations.  Bob Sykes Jr


Thank you for your marvelous review of the DOS movie.  I have been following Faith's journey for months and check out any reviews that come along.  Yours is the best so far.  Jerry Johnson
     Jerry: Thank you for the compliment.  The purpose for doing reviews is to inform the hot rodding public.  We try to encourage hot rodders to build up a good library; something that they will be proud of.  Reviews are a means of informing the public.  At the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter, we try to review as many books, movies, magazines and other sources as we can.  We can always use more reviewers and creative artists and writers can use reviews.  A review doesn't always have to be positive to get the public interested in purchasing the book, DVD or magazine.  Any of our readers can submit a review and I will publish it.  I wish we had many more reviews that we have on www.landspeedracing.com and www.hotrodhotline.com.  Our members will support creative people if they know about some work of value and where to get it.  The health of any sport can be judged by the number of writers, photographers, artists and creative people that can make a living from that field.  The more we buy and add to our libraries, the more these men and women will continue to create.  As I said, in the beginning I didn't expect very much from the film Deuce of Spades.  That's because we have been disappointed so many times before.  But when I saw the entire film I realized that this movie is deep, thought provoking and capable of becoming a special classic for the hot rod culture.  Some people will like it, some won't, but a review is meant to encourage people to make a choice; to buy or not to buy it.  That's all a movie maker hopes for; that the public will make that decision.  If you would like to add your comments on the movie, either as a filmgoer or as a reviewer, please feel free to send me your thoughts and I will publish them.


We had noticed an email you sent some time ago as to providing information to you on our car.  We always make every attempt to have our car and our M2 Team highlighted on the internet, in print, and hopefully the possibility of media coverage at the Mojave Mile events.  The car and the team are on multiple websites and auto related sites on a regular basis, including Bonnevilleracing.com.  Floyd goes out of his way to keep us in the loop, and adds our press releases and results as they become available to him.  See http://www.bonnevilleracing.com/MAXX2RACING-team.asp.   You have provided us with the 3 website links shown below, and we will spend some time this week reviewing each of them.   http://www.landspeedracing.com/, http://www.ahrf.com/, and http://www.hotrodhotline.com/. You will note that we are no longer members of (two other websites).  We chose a NASCAR Bodied car for its safety, one that will provide us with the ultimate protection in case of an accident.  Just that sentence would have them calling us every name in the book, and much more.  When we got "Salt Fever," we built our 1969 El Camino LSR race car, joined the Sidewinders, and met Ron Main and Lee Kennedy.  These two professionals helped in every way possible to provide tech assistance and encouragement throughout the building of the car. We lived in Las Vegas during much of that time frame, finally running the car at El Mirage and Bonneville twice.  We'll make a bet that many on the sites you have provided would attack us from the start.  Richard (aka MAXX) L. and Judy C. White
     Richard and Judy: I publish all correspondences received unless they are marked personal and confidential.  I also slightly edit some things that I feel might be personal.  You have brought up some very good points and they need to be answered.  In fact, these topics that you mention are often the focus of my editorials.  One, that there will be people who have a bias and will attack you in print; that cannot happen here in the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter (SLSRH).  That's because I'm the editor and I learned from the best, my father, who was the first professional editor of Hot Rod magazine and set the trend for future editors to follow.  The purpose of the SLSRH is to record and save our history and heritage.  It is a free newsletter, but though it looks like a blog and feels like a blog, I edit it so that people elevate their facts and opinions to the level of a scientific or historical journal.  Sometimes the entries even include footnotes and textual material and that's hard to include, but I do.  Collecting past and recent events sometimes lead us into arguments.  I allow arguments, but they must be civil.  I know the man that you mentioned, but you will notice that I edited his name out.  Just because he is listed as a member of the Society does not mean that he is allowed to make personal affronts in the newsletter or on the websites.  I control the newsletter and Jim Miller is the President of the Society. 
     We encourage everyone to do these things; write their bios, caption their photos, write down their stories and find a safe place to leave their collectibles before they pass away.  We are therefore a historical society.  The sad part is that there are hundreds of land speed racers and only a few of them take advantage of this advice and share it with us.  I really don't run press releases, but I do edit them and change them into news items.  Secondly, in creating a newsletter of this magnitude, I will come across some very acerbic and uncomfortable characters and I learned early on that if I want to continue to do this sort of work that I must follow my father's example and accept people for whom they are and overlook their character flaws.  We honor them for their achievements and efforts, but we don't go out of our way to challenge their sometimes negative human flaws.  I know many land speed racers, from as far back as the late 1940's, and as a group they are the finest men and women that you could possibly meet.  But many of them have issues that try our patience and they can say that about me as well.  What I want you to do has nothing to do with joining the SLSRH.  What I want you to do is what you are doing now; record your history.  But I would like you to share that history with us.  As Jim, Spencer Simon, Roger Rohrdanz and I are the only volunteers on an unpaid staff, we can't possibly find and report on all the history out there, so we rely on our readers, whom we call members, to help us by sending in what they know.  Finally, the SLSRH reports on events and we have no bias for or against a NASCAR style body.  Land speed racing is meant to be eclectic and we want to know about everything related to straight-line racing and hot rodding.  We look forward to receiving periodic updates and photographs as you race this season.


The Sam Auxier Jr Show, Mondays; Hear TV Tommy Ivo/Tom Cotter Bio Book, Californian Butch Leal, Rolex 24 HR Lawson Aschenbach, Christine Chambless, Dina Parise Pro Mod. See www.automotiveradionetwork.com.


Ron Main sent in the following link to a video. See http://vimeo.com/20247765. It shows car crashes in oval track racing. Some of them seemed familiar and I remember as a boy seeing my uncle, Kenny Parks, crash his jalopy through the fence at Ascot Stadium. Does anyone else remember that crash around 1949?


Thank you for the nice warm welcome for being northern California's reporter of The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletters.  I would like to say also that I have finished reading two books that I have purchased from Don Garlits.  One was Don Garlits and His Cars, and the other was Hot Rod Pioneers by Ed Almquist.  Both were great books, I was surprise to see how much Don involved his racing life with his family very closely.  I did not expect that and did not see that coming.  It shows that he paid a lot of attention to his family while making his successful climb up the ladder.  I was also impressed by how much the pioneers were embedded into Ed Almquist's book foreword by Don.  Great books, definitely worth the effort of getting.  I will be giving great reports from this area.  I know a few old-timers as well as hardcore racers that have great back grounds, and they are very interesting.  I am getting the scoop asap.  My thanks to Richard Parks, Jim Miller, and the gang at SLSRH.   And thanks to Don Garlits for the great books.  Spencer Simon
     Spencer: Welcome aboard.  If you want to write book reviews, please do so.  They can be of any length.  We can always use reviews.


John Ewald sent in a video on YouTube about the 2010 Bakersfield March Meet. In the video he explains about the uses of Nitromethane and why it is preferred by racers. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynBbhBXnn10, or google Ewald at the 2010 Bakersfield meet.


Editor’s Notes: Here is a continuation of the interviews conducted by Sam Hawley for his book, Speed Duel. I am only printing half of the interviews so that you will have to go to Sam’s website www.samuelhawley.com to read the rest of it. I am doing it this way because Hawley’s website is worth visiting. For you history buffs who love more than cars you should see what Sam has written on. He has a very sharp and incisive mind and he is one of the best interviewers that I have read.
GREEN MONSTER: TIM ARFONS INTERVIEW; Tim Arfons is the second of Art Arfons' two sons. He was about ten years old when Art was locked in the LSR jet car battle with Craig Breedlove back in the mid-1960s and he went on to work with jets himself. I had my first interview with him over the phone at his Pickle Road shop in Akron, Ohio (his dad's old shop with some of Art's stuff still in it) on June 12, 2009. Tim was on speaker phone and was working while we talked--kind of like how I imagine Art would have been.

Sam Hawley: I know your grandfather Tom Arfons had a feed mill, but I’ve also seen reference to him working at the Firestone plant. Did he do both those things?

Tim Arfons: He bought the mill...I think he might have worked at the plant earlier, but the mill was his number one job. 

Sam: Did he also have a hardware store at the mill?

Tim: Yes.

Sam: [I ask about the layout of the houses on Pickle Road. There was the mill and Tom’s house, then Art built a house and Walt built a house...]

Tim: Yeah, but they weren’t near the shop. Walter’s was up the street from the shop, my dad’s was about a mile away. Walter’s wasn’t that far away.

Sam: Less than a mile?

Tim: Yes.

Sam: And they had their respective shops there at the mill site?

Tim: They worked together out of the mill. Then they split the property up and my dad built a building adjacent to the mill.

Sam: So he and Walt were in two separate buildings working on their cars. How far apart were they?

Tim: Thirty feet.

Sam: [I mention that someone told me Art had been adopted.]

Tim: No! Actually, he’s one of the few Arfons. Walter’s father was not named Arfons. They were step-brothers.

Sam: So they had the same mother, but different fathers?

Tim: Yes. Tom Arfons was dad’s dad.

Sam: [I next ask about the Green Monster having two seats. Was it ever the plan for Ed Snyder to ride along with Art?]

Tim: No, it was never designed for that. He was never supposed to ride. Charlie Mayenschein sneaked in though.

Sam: I’ve read that story. So you’ll verify that?

Tim: Oh God yes.

Sam: The second cockpit, was it just a seat, or was it fixed up with steering?

Tim: No, there was nothing over there.

Sam: And there was never any intention to drive from over there?

Tim: Oh God no.

Sam: Was additional weight added to the second seat to counter the weight of your dad on the other side? 

Tim: No. When you start figuring the torque of the engine and all that, there’s no way to figure out all that. So two hundred pounds would be minuscule on a car that weighed sixty-five hundred.

Sam: [I ask if Tim remembers anything about hanging around in the shop, watching his dad work. He doesn’t recall anything that sticks out. “Just the same thing every day.” I ask about when Art test fired the J-79.]

Tim: I remember my aunt passing out.

Sam: Lou Wolfe?

Tim: Yes. She thought it was a monster coming after her. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a 79 when the doors start...the exhaust pipe goes in and out before it goes into burner. And it gets to a certain point, at about 95 percent, where it makes a distinctive sound that sounds like Godzilla or something from out of this world. It’s the neatest sound in the world. If you ever get on You Tube and get a 104, if you keep listening, I’ve heard it on there a couple times, but it gets to a certain rpm, it makes a howling sound. And if you watch any of dad’s old movies you’ll hear it. The first couple of records he set, he never used the afterburner, so the exhaust was doing what it was supposed to do.

Sam: [I ask about Tim's memories of being a kid at school, with a drag racer for a father, and then the world’s fastest man as a dad. I suggest that he must have been the coolest kid in school.]

Tim: It wasn’t like that, honestly. Everyone just kind of...He [Art] was accepted around here. Everybody thought it was cool and everything, but no, there was nowhere where you were treated...my brother [Ron], maybe, when he was in high school. But I was in grade school; a lot of kids didn’t understand it.

Sam: [I mention the story told by Tim's older brother Ron in Harvey Shapiro’s book, about the shock of hearing about Art’s accident in 1966.] Do you remember that? What was it like for you?

Tim: Yeah, they called me to the office.

Sam: Did they say your dad was dead?

Tim: Oh no.

Sam: They knew it was an accident and he was alive?

Tim: Yep. And if my brother said anything different...WAKR came on and I think one of my cousins heard that he got killed. All the rest of us, Firestone let us know.

Sam: [I ask about the “four stages” on the afterburner of the J-79, saying Breedlove’s GE expert told me there were no stages on the thing, it just kicked in.]

Tim: Well, who am I to argue with a GE guy who doesn’t know what he's talking about. The nozzles had four separate rings, and when it went into burner they came in in stages. One ring would fire, then another. It was a smooth transition. It was almost...I’m trying to think...If you can image the fuel pressure pushing on a piston, now there are four ports in that slide, and the more fuel pressure you get, it keeps opening up more ports...There were like steps in the rings. Each nozzle had four lines going to it. Not really rings. They were bars that stick in [out?].

Sam: The throttle on the Green Monster was a foot pedal, right, not a hand lever?

Tim: That’s correct. And there was no button for the afterburner. Once you pushed your foot down so far, it would automatically go into afterburner mode.

Sam: [I mention Breedlove describing in his book about slamming the pedal to the floor to start a run, just like a dragster. Was that how Art did it?]

Tim: No, he always had a theory. He wanted to come in the mile slow and come out high so that he was at the highest speed for the shortest amount of time. He ran it like [on] a drag strip.

Sam: Because it was dangerous?

Tim: Well, yeah! [Laughs]

Sam: [I ask after Walt Arfons. Is he still alive?]

Tim: Yes. He’s 93.

Sam: Does he still live in Florida?

Tim: Actually, he’s moved back to Akron. His son [Terry] is taking care of him. He’s not doing too good. They got tired of having to fly to Florida every time he was really sick.

Sam: [I ask about the tattoo on Walt’s forearm.]

Tim: I don’t know what it is. Dad’s was just the standard navy anchor. [It was on Art’s forearm, same as Walt's.]

Sam: [I mention that everyone I’ve talked to so far were in what seems to have been in Art’s outer circle; that his inner circle, especially Ed Snyder, Charlie Mayenschein and Bud Groff have all passed away.] Do you know anyone else in the inner circle who might still be alive?

Tim: No, because he kept the circle pretty tight. Not as tight as most people think. Not a day goes by when you don’t run into somebody in Akron whose dad helped build the Green Monster. I think there’s twenty thousand people here.

Sam: [I ask about Art’s different approach to land speed racing, taking fewer runs than Breedlove, and taking only a two-mile speed build-up rather than five miles.]

Tim: Well, Breedlove didn’t have near the horsepower on the first car.

Sam: So the short speed build-up distance was a matter of horsepower.

Tim: And also he [Art] didn’t like to spend too much time at speed. He ran it just like a drag race.

Sam: So it had to do with minimizing risk.

Tim: Yes. That’s why...because he was always reaching his peak speed coming out of the mile.

Sam: [I ask about Tim's other uncle, Dale Arfons.]

Tim: I know he worked for the division of water craft. I don’t know if he was with Walt, but I know he went with my dad every time.

Sam: He’s passed away now, I guess.

Tim: Yeah, he committed suicide when I was twenty-something.

Sam: [I mention a reference from 1956 about Dale having been injured when a stick of dynamite that he was holding exploded.]

Tim: I wasn’t going to go into that, but yeah, he was showing off. That’s when he was with the fish and the watercraft.

Sam: Was that a serious injury?

Tim: Oh yeah. It burned him bad and he didn’t have many fingers on that hand, so I’d call it pretty serious.

Sam: About your dad’s crash in the Baloney Slicer, I’ve read that the only permanent damage he suffered was his finger.

Tim: His index finger was crooked.

Sam: He couldn’t straighten it out?

Tim: No. Actually, when I was a little kid he’d offer me ten bucks if I could straighten it out and I’d sit in his lap and do all I could to straighten it, but it wasn’t going to move. [Laughs]

Sam: [I say that Art and Breedlove had a professional rivalry, but on a personal level they were quite friendly.] Is that your take too?

Tim: “Amicable” would be the word I would use.

Editor: The interview continues at www.samuelhawley.com


This month’s Aussie Invader 5R newsletter is now available to read online at http://www.aussieinvader.com/newsletters/aussieinvader_mar11.pdf. To view more information about the project, please visit our website www.aussieinvader.com.  Rosco McGlashan


As a fan of Deuce of Spades, thank you for the nice review on the film. However, you told so much you gave the movie away, in my opinion. Further, Faith never gave anyone a chance to pick up the film, she put it on DVD without seeking the big screen. All and All thank you for an overall good review. Lea Dunham, publisher Still Runnin magazine at http://www.stillrunnin.com/magazine/
   Lea: Thank you for writing. I do reviews for www.hotrodhotline.com and www.landspeedracing.com. I encourage anyone and everyone to do reviews as they are most beneficial for the public and creative talents, like Faith. The review of
Deuce of Spades is about twice the length of my normal reviews and about a fifth the size of overly wordy New York and Los Angeles Times reviews. When I first decided to review the movie and having only looked at the trailers, I thought that this movie would be another attempt at recreating the B movie genre of the 1950's, but without the budgets that they had. When I finally got a copy of the movie and reviewed it, I realized that I had set the bar too low for Faith Granger's film. This is a very complex film. In fact it went against every stereotype I knew of. It certainly wasn't a typical Hollywood, prepackaged and stale copy of the standard work. That's why I had to go into more detail than I normally do. 
   This film will have great cross-over appeal. There are a few movies that I enjoy seeing over and over again. 
Casablanca is one, or any movie with Humphrey Bogart in it, or directed by Orson Welles. In the hot rodding world we have lots of B movies that are fairly good. Two movies American Graffiti and The World's Fastest Indian are great movies. Faith Granger's Deuce of Spades actually joins these last two films and in my mind it is more riveting and unforgettable. Deuce of Spades is so full of meaning that I could watch this movie over and over again and still find something fresh. Some of the acting is stiff and there are flaws, but this is a great movie. That of course, is my opinion and other critics and reviewers may find reasons to pan it or to praise it. I actually had to go out and buy a DVD to review it; how many critics will do that? Deuce of Spades isn't an easy film to review and it often is a hard film to watch; exactly the kinds of films that over time become cult favorites. 
   As for going straight to DVD, I was mistaken at first and Faith sent an email to tell me that it was her decision to do that and the Hollywood movie companies were never given an opportunity to review the movie or to make a decision to distribute it. Faith is very particular about control issues. This was her film and she resisted outside efforts to tell her how to make her movie. In the end she may be correct, for
Deuce of Spades is no ordinary movie. I even offered to do a review prior to the Premiere, which I missed, and Faith told me no, she wanted to finish the film first before she accepted any reviews. I hope that Faith will choose to do another film, because hot rodding has a wealth of stories to tell and a market eager to receive them.


The Wally Bell Show on the Zeus Radio Network for Racers Reunion Radio, Wednesday Evenings at 7 pm eastern time. Call in number 877-500-9387. Gordy Foust, Patrick Reynolds, Jeff Gilder and Wally Bell. See www.dragracersreunion.ning.com or www.wallybell.com.


The following information was presented to us by the staff at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California and www.hotrodhotline.com
     Legendary Funny Car Champion Bruce Larson will be leading an extraordinary pack of NHRA legends to Bowling Green, Kentucky for the 9th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion slated for Father’s Day weekend, June 16-18, 2011. Joining Grand Marshal Larson will be former Super Stock sensation Dave Boertman, former drag strip manager Jack Doyle, Pro Mod legend Jim Oddy, Top Fuel Championship team Bill Pryor and Jim Naramore, and multi-talented racer Tom Raley.  “The Reunion Honorees are what makes the Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunions so unique,” said Tony Thacker, executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, which produces and benefits from the annual event. “As part of our ‘living museum’ focus, we’re bringing together these legends in the sport with fans who may not have seen them for many years, as well as honoring these heroes for their contribution to the sport.”             
     Also, the Justice Brothers Car Care Products Reunion Spotlight will shine on the Cluster Busters Hot Rod Club of Indianapolis, IN, founded in 1948.  In 1950, the Cluster Busters became affiliated with the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) advocating safe driving and organized racing. The Cluster Busters is the third oldest, still active, car club in the United States. This amazing lineup of Honorees and drag racing legends will be honored at a special reception on Thursday, June 17, 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn University Plaza, host hotel for the event. Admission to the Honoree Reception is always free and open to the public.                          
     Grand Marshal Bruce Larson began his drag racing career as a 16-yr. old in a chopped fenderless ’32 Ford coupe. He was a consistent winner on local strips in a ’54 Olds and a ’32 Chevy A/Gasser. He first gained national prominence in 1965 when he won the NHRA Winternationals, Springnationals and U.S. Nationals driving a Ford Cobra. In 1966 while working at Pennsylvania’s Sutliff Chevrolet he built his first match race Funny Car, an injected ’66 Chevelle. It was the first of his familiar red, white and blue Chevys. In 1969 he won the prestigious Super Stock Nationals in York, Pa. driving a Camaro Funny Car. In 1985 Larson teamed with Joe Amato and raced with his first major sponsor. He won his first NHRA national event in Funny Car at the Cajun Nationals. In 1989 he led the points from beginning to end to become NHRA Funny Car World Champion. From 1992 to 1995 he drove Don Garlits Top Fuel cars. Now retired Larson enjoys restoring race cars, and has even restored his first ’32 Ford hot rod.             
     Dave Boertman is a household word in the ranks of Sportsman drag racing. He got his start when he and friends visited Central Michigan Dragway in 1962. It began his lifelong obsession with drag racing. Along the way he won 17 NHRA National events in Stock and Super Stock, five NHRA World Championships, and 15 IHRA national events all while acting as his own engine builder and tuner as well as driver. He was named to the Car Craft All Star Drag Racing Team four times as well as numerous regional honors. He has been a National Class Record holder more than thirty times. After a seven year retirement, he returned to NHRA competition and earned his fifth World Championship, this time in the Super Stock category.             
     Jack Doyle has been actively involved in hot rodding and drag racing in New England since the early 1950s. He was one of the founders of the New England Hot Rod Council made up of car clubs in and around the greater Boston area, southern New Hampshire, and southern Maine. The NEHRC rand races at the airport at Sanford, Maine and brought in big time professional racers to the area. As a competitor he was a consistent performer driving a competition coupe at the NHRA Nationals as early as 1959. He later turned to Top Gas dragsters winning Top Gas honors at the AHRA Nationals in Long Island with Don Roberts driving. When the NEHRC was dissolved his focus turned to New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire one of the premier tracks in the Northeast. He became the first strip manager then general manager. Content to stand in the background while others took the spotlight, Doyle is a giant in the history of east coast drag racing.             
     Now a legend in the Pro Mod category Jim Oddy has dominated just about every way possible on the drag strip. Since his first National event win in B/G in 1965, he’s won races, broken records, and earned championships. He’s been a champion driver, crew chief and team owner. When he wasn’t winning races, the chances are his engines were. After his unblown gasser, he showed his talents as a Renaissance man building a blown Chrysler-powered ’48 Austin on which he did the bodywork, paint, built the chassis, the engine, and drove. In the ‘70s he won Comp Eliminator at the U.S. Nationals driving his BB/GS Opel and started Oddy’s Automotive specializing in supercharged engines. In the 1990’s when the Pro Modified category was created his entries driven by Fred Hahn began to dominate. In 1996 they won six consecutive Super Chevy events and in 1997 they won ten. In their fifteen years together Oddy and Hahn won countless events and championships in both IHRA and NHRA. In 2005 Al Billes became Oddy’s driver running in the 6.0s at 238 mph until Jim’s retirement from drag racing in 2006. He moved from Buffalo to North Carolina and enjoys building street rods.        
     Bill Pryor and Jim Naramore were three-time NHRA Division 3 Top Fuel champions in 1975,’76 and ’79 regularly giving fits to drivers such as Dick LaHaie and Shirley Muldowney. Bill started his drag racing career in the early ‘60s with MoPar stockers, a ’57 Corvette and ’55 Chevy C/Gasser. In ’68 he competed on the Midwest fuel circuit and in ’72 decided to go racing full time with a new Woody Gilmore chassis and an Ed Pink engine. Appropriately, he did his final Top Fuel licensing at Beech Bend Raceway Park.  Following lots of match racing, he won Top Fuel at the AHRA Nationals in St. Louis and advance to the semi-finals of the NHRA Springnationals by beating Don Garlits and Clayton Harris.  Jim Naramore bought out former partner Chuck Hurst in late ’74.  In 1975 they had an unforgettable season culminating in the Division championship over Dick Rosberg, Dave Settles and Jim Bucher.  Seeking a new challenge the team bought a former Plueger and Gyger Funny Car to match race while running the Top Fueler at National events.  They were Division 3 runners-up in 1978 before winning again in ’79 while finishing sixth in National points. They parked the car after the ’79 season and Pryor worked throughout the industry and is now with a top NASCAR team.  Jim returned to his motorcycle dealership in Illinois.      
     Tom Raley is one of the most skillful and versatile drivers in drag racing history. He actually began his career in oval track racing winning the 1963 Maryland state Modified championship. The following year he competed in the Autolite 250 Sportsman (now Nationwide) race at Daytona the day before the Daytona 500. In 1965 and ’66 he won NASCAR Top Fuel championships when they had their own drag racing program. He also raced in the NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint) series against Petty, Pearson, the Allisons and other greats. In 1968 Jim and Allison Lee offered Tom the seat of their first class Top Fuel operation. He drove for the Lees for six seasons winning 1969 and ’70 Division 1 Top Fuel championships and recording some of the sports quickest times including a 6.51 to 6.54 win over Steve Carbone at Indy in ’69 and a 6.53 No. 1 qualifier at the World Finals in 1970. In 1973 car in the other lane drove over the top of his roll cage and broke the car in half ending his drag racing career. After recuperation he returned to stock car racing until accidents in Charlotte and Daytona knocked him out of racing for five years. He continued to run short track events until his retirement and move to Florida several years ago. Of racers today he says, “My quickest e.t. was in the high fives at below 250 mph. I’d love to go in the fours at more than 300 just once.”    


Karl & Veda Orr photos
CLICK FOR IMAGE 1: The two 1950 photos were taken on one of the days that Sweikert would go over to the Orr's to check blueprints with Karl Orr and make adjustments. After every mechanical session Sweikert especially looked forward to the great meals that Veda served them. During Sweikert's short life he often boasted that his mom and Veda were the only 2 women that he had ever known who actually knew how to cook. 

CLICK FOR IMAGE 2: Where both men, Bob Sweikert and Karl Orr, are sitting in the cars they were laughing that they should not have eaten before getting into the cock pits!  Courtesy of the CG Collection
CLICK FOR IMAGE 3: The 1951 photo was taken in an attempt to cheer up Veda. That day Karl told Veda that he was not going to adopt any children. Karl was unable to have children of his own. Karl proclaimed that racing was the only family that he needed. As Veda's goddaughter, I was much closer to Veda than I was to my mom. Veda's brother was as kind, generous and loving as Veda was. Courtesy of the CG Collection
CLICK FOR IMAGE 4: Lithograph "Loves" by Stephen I Newman. Portrays Karl and Veda Orr builders of this sprint car, and best friends of their driver, Bob Sweikers (who later won the 1955 Indy 500). Sweiker's 1950 Victorian Home is shown with Sweiker's toddler C.G and family boxers

IMAGE NOT INCLUDED: Enclosed is Veda Orr's "Lakes Pictorial" 1946 Season booklet. There is a very good image of your father, Wally Parks, in it. Veda and I spent a lot of time sorting through many boxes of photos during the process of putting this booklet together. It was very important to Veda that these great guys and their accomplishments be remembered. Veda subscribed to lots of newspapers all over the country to keep track of her beloved racing world. Veda cut the news articles out and made many 10-12 inch thick scrapbooks about various race tracks. Each album had articles about most of the drivers. Veda also compiled a huge volume for each Indy winner through the mid 1980's. Her home looked like a library. Veda saved all of the mail that she received from the WWII car buffs serving overseas. Veda occasionally mused that some people have baby albums but she had these collections. Her sense of humor was wonderful. Veda was healthy and could have lived a lot longer had it not been for the accident in her home. Courtesy of the CG Collection, and from an anonymous blood relative of Bob Sweikert.







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