NEWSLETTER 211 - July 14, 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, David Kennamer longtime Sidewinder and BNI member passed away peacefully early on Saturday morning June11th after suffering a massive stroke, It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of my brother Gary Partridge, I visited Dema Elgin to see how things are going with his Biography about him and Ed Winfield, If you are on Facebook please go to the new film page and you can see my tour progress and miscellaneous tour related pictures, This month’s Aussie Invader 5R newsletter is now available to read online, Editor’s notes: Faith Granger sent this to me some time ago and I am not sure if I ran this in the newsletter so here it is again, Hi 36hp Challenge and big block VW racers pit crew members and spectators, I just received this from Miriam Macmillan SCTA Secretary, UK Roadster & Pickup Nationals at Twinwood Airbase (report), Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion is back and will be held on October 22 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum, STP 1000 MPH Bloodhound, Hyfire on the HAMB needs info: Barnfind - Bonneville Record Car, I did a Bob DeFazio interview at the LUCAS Oil BBQ and posted it on YouTube, Editor’s notes: Recently I received an email asking for advice on what are the best car shows to attend to sell or promote one’s products, Editor’s notes: The following email comes from a young high school student who is becoming a great oval track racer, Allard Owners Club Vice President Mike Knapman said “We are really pleased that the National Motor Museum Beaulieu is backing the restoration of Sydney Allard’s unique dragster and we thank them for allowing us to include it in our display, Just a quick note to let you east coasters know the Loring Maine (LTA's) land speed event is this coming weekend, Back in the 1940's around SoCal there were many automobiles painted the same gray color with a logotype on the doors that read Technocracy, Fuel For Thought by LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth, SO-CAL Speed Shop Burbank CA circa 1946 author unknown, The Petersen Automotive Museum July Through December 2011 Exhibitions & Events At A Glance, Thanks for the kind comments and we are hoping our crew can take the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster to the Palos Verdes Concours, On Sunday (3rd July) Twinwood airbase played host to the UK Roadster and Pickup Nationals hosted by Dave Lesley and Paul Brown at Clapham Classics, VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park


President's Corner:  
   With the July S.C.T.A. lakes meet a washout with a nasty summer rainstorm it was, “what are we going to do” this weekend.  The solution was found when Dan Warner called and said let's head for the Sixth Annual Bixby Knolls Car Show. Six blocks were cordoned off and loaded with all kinds of cool looking rides ranging from beater Mustangs to AA Top Fuel Dragsters. It took a couple of hours to walk up and down the streets ogling the cars and the Roller Derby gals that were skating up and down the street. Seems the old Spruce Goose hanger is now the Queen Mary Dome and host to the Bixby Rollerettes and the Belmont Hot Broads but that's another story for another day.  (Editor’s notes: A Roller Derby article is being prepared right now)
   Shirley "Cha Cha" Muldowney was the guest and she even had her rear engined rail dragster on display and fired it up a couple of times. And yes, you needed really dark glasses because the pink car was really bright. The line to get her autograph was long all day, a testament to her star power. There were about 20 or so other rail-jobs that one could get up close and personal with before the barricades were moved in and the cars started burning various loads of that thing called nitro. It sure cleared the sinuses. There was also a big building that was turned into an art gallery and featured a tribute to Mickey Thompson and Lions Drag Strip. A couple of the Micksters drag cars were there adding a little extra historical bling to the event. Artists were at work in the gallery that had its walls covered in race car art and pictures. It was all quite impressive. 
   Our first shot shows just a sampling of some of the star cars that were there. Next up is S.C.T.A. impound guy Dan Warner talking to Nick Arias III and his two sons about little ol’ drag motors. This is followed by a big ol’ drag motor that just happened to be from the Arias shop. The last photograph shows a car owner’s worst nightmare. Later on the owner walked up and poured some water next to the tire to make it more real. For our next land speed event all one has to do is hop in their car and head straight for Wendover in about 30 days time to witness what going fast is all about. There are over 500 pre-entries this year and we know of a couple of folks who are going to run over 400 if the cards fall right. Every year it gets bigger and better and some of the BNI folks have already left for the salt to lay out the tracks. If all goes well and Mother Nature has been kind there might even be four tracks for speed demons to ply their trades on this year. 
   The first salt pix shows why most everyone shows up and that is to get in the impound area and then set a record. This was the first day’s record run group. Talk about a lot of work measuring engines. B-ville is still the land of the strange as this Buick inline 8 shows. It even set a record. Our starter, Miriam, has to get up close and personal with Justin Walsh to make sure his belts are tight. Seems he ran into a battery on the first leg with little damage, because the tight belts worked. Last up is history in the making. This is the first ever hi-boy to top 300 mph getting a once-over after the first lap. You only have 30 days to get there and see more history about to be made.

Click images below for larger picture and description

Ivo and Garlits Rides

Arias and Warner

Big Engine, Small Car

Bad Doggie

Early Morning Record Run Lineup

Bocks Buick

Miriam checks out Justin

First over 300 mph


The newsletter is a week late due to the difficulty of receiving research and news. It will be published on July 13, 2011. 
   Recently I have listened to or spoken with several people who voiced the same concerns. In one example the person knew that I was present and spoke to another in a loud voice and said, “Why didn’t so and so leave all of his/her money and property to their racing organization.” In another case a person said, “Why don’t you follow the guidelines for the group that you set up and stop failing so often.” These are both categorized under the heading of “constructive criticism.” If, however, you tell a 400 pound woman that she is “ugly and ought to go and hide from people,” then you are hard pressed to explain to others that the crestfallen and sobbing woman has no reason to act that way as it was only “constructive criticism in her own best interest.” The truth is, when people butt in to address an issue and after antagonizing everyone, turn their backs and walk away with no intention of helping, working or volunteering to solve the problem, they are not helpful. What does this person mean when they say, “He should have given his money to his car group instead of giving it to his family.” In the other comment the issue is more complex. Yes, a group like the SLSRH has goals and sometimes these goals are not achieved “at this exact moment,” but that doesn’t mean forever underachieving. There are variations to these topics, such as; “Why are you so lazy.” Or, here’s another, “You’ve been working on your dry lakes car for ten years, when are you going to finish it.”  The proper question should be, “I see that you are still working on your car, do you need my help or sponsorship to finish your project?”
   I know that our group (Jim, Roger, Spencer, myself and the rest of you) have said that we all want to get our bios done, caption and scan our photographs and do a provenance on our historical objects. Every guy that dies and doesn’t do this seriously depletes our history of car racing. But answer me this question, “How do I MAKE you do what I’ve asked you to do when you don’t want to do it?” The last time that I looked the Supreme Court had not ruled on my request to use whips on you for failure to provide your bios and photos. In regards to the rather nosy person who asked about the inheritance given to a deceased man’s family, I can only say this; “I don’t know why X left his property to Y and Z instead of to the racing group that he was with.” I may never know the answer to that question and frankly it’s none of anyone’s business what people decide to do or not do. It is also up to Y and Z to decide whether to re-donate the estate to the racing organization or to keep it in the family. In some cases we are dealing with ignorant people who want to find out gossip. In other cases we simply have mean spirited people who want to bully others around. And sometimes we just have ungrateful people who know how much we do and are still unsatisfied. At any time that “one of the complainers” wishes, they can step right up and fill the shoes of the “only people” who are doing anything. In other words there is no such thing as “constructive criticism.” There is only one option; people who DO something. All the rest are simply “bitching.”
   But, alas, it didn’t end there. At my most recent visit to a well-known cruise and car institution, I noticed a coldness from some of the people there. I started all of my newsletters some ten years ago with the intention of supporting the great museums in our area in the only way that I could at the time; by writing about them for magazines and websites. We hadn’t been there but 45 minutes when my wife and her cousin came to get me and ask if we could leave. They mentioned something about “coldness” on a day where the temperature hovered around a muggy 96 degrees. I noticed that “distance” too, with the exception of those wonderful ladies at the front desk, who are the friendliest people in the world and a tribute to the spirit of that institution. Now I don’t work for any of the local museums and never have. I am just like all of you, a fan and an admirer of these great car racing repositories. I am proud of the facility and the staff and board members. If they have an off day or the heat gets to them that is perfectly normal, but they didn’t know who these ladies were and therefore the visitors left with the feeling that they never wish to return. There is a lot of need for sponsorship and any donations to the institution in question is urgently needed and appreciated. This kind of attitude, though, will not improve their success rate among potential donors and visitors. I was also asked about returning two cars to the institution. I don’t own either of these cars and on numerous occasions I have spent my time and gas money to visit with and advise the owners of the vehicles to consider lending the cars to this institution. But I can’t demand that the car owners do so just as I can’t demand that all of you write your bios and caption your photographs.
   Jim, Roger and I have discussed the subject of heirlooms, inheritances, donations and gifts to our many museums throughout this country and abroad. It is NOT an easy decision and the problems in gifting can get you into trouble if you are not exactly clear in what you want to do. Museums are critical to our efforts to preserve history and teach the next generation of young people about our heritage. There are problems facing museums everywhere; closures, bankruptcies, theft, fires, destruction of assets, labor and volunteer needs and money. Do you remember the complaints that were posted in this newsletter about the sale of the prized vehicles in the Crawford Collection in Cleveland? The administrator had to come up with money fast. It wasn’t her fault that the previous leaders ran up a lot of debt and nearly bankrupted the museum. The biggest money makers were the cars in the Crawford Collection; 140 of the most rare and beautiful cars in the world. If she sold off the quilts, then the ladies would have screamed. If she sold off the pioneer artifacts then history buffs would have bellowed. Sometimes a museum has to do something that is distasteful in order to survive. The leaders don’t want to do it, but they have two bad choices; go out of business or sell that car that you donated to them. Yes, you are mad as hell, but only because you didn’t understand that your gift was not preserved by a grant of money and a contract to preclude the sale of your “life’s work and pride.”
   In the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians, even though we receive no money for what we do, the only way that we can make progress and record history is to have a tough skin and to avoid taking offense with people who are under a lot of stress. On the way home it didn’t help to hear that the ladies never wanted to step foot into the place again or the cop that gave me a ticket for an infraction that I still believe that I am innocent of. Nevertheless, we have to do what we can to not let small frustrations overwhelm what we are trying to achieve and that is the saving of our history and heritage. They had a bad day and we didn’t allow it to change us. I still want all of you to consider supporting this particular institution, and all the museums that you can, no matter the vexations that sometimes crop up. I have eight membership plaques at the institution in question and I am the third “member of the museum” with a proud membership card. I have held four reunions there. They have been good to my family and me as well. It’s the best hot rodding institution by far that I know of and I advise all of you to use the facility and to buy things from their gift shop.


David Kennamer, longtime Sidewinder and BNI member, passed away peacefully early on Saturday morning, June11th, after suffering a massive stroke. He had been in a coma for about 10 days. David drove race cars at El Mirage and Bonneville. For many years he volunteered his time to help set up at SpeedWeek and was also an inspector in recent years. Dave was a friend to many, always ready to give a helping hand. He was an unassuming and quite man, and his talents were not often obvious.  Dave was an iron worker by trade, doing steel work on many of the great building projects of our time, including the magnificent Walt Disney Hall at the Los Angeles Music Center. Dave was a master welder and fabricator.  He did all of the welding and much of the fabricating on both the Crosley and the #65 streamliner. Without Dave and the others, Ken Walkey, Ronnie Benham etc., none of what those two cars did would have been possible. Dave was also a driver, licensing in the Crosley at El Mirage and racing his Pinto. These were the great hands of our sport. Despite Dave's obvious strength he was a gentle man.  Dave was one of the best. He will most certainly be missed.  Ron Main
     Ron: Do you have a bio or obituary for David?  Please be sure to send all photos to Roger Rohrdanz to put in the newsletter. 


It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of my brother Gary Partridge.  The services will be on July 13, 2011 in Victorville, California. Bernie Partridge Jr
   Bernie: Please accept our condolences on the loss of your brother. Bernie Sr and PJ Partridge have been long-time friends of our family. Please let Gary’s family know of our concern and your brothers Jim and John too.
Gary Partridge, son of retired NHRA Vice President Bernie Partridge and wife PJ, died at home in Victorville, California on Wednesday night July 6, 2011 after more than a 10 year battle with a rare form of T-Cell Lymphoma.  Gary was well known for his amazing optimism and fun loving spirit.  He was a starting line official for NHRA drag racing events as early as 1970 with Buster Couch, launching legends such as Don Garlits, Don Prudhomme, Mikey Thompson and John Force. He served as Chief Starter for the NHRA Street Legal Drags at Pomona Raceway for many years and started at Irwindale Dragstrip, Famoso and California Dragway and several specialty events for Goodguys, Super Chevy, Battle of Imports and more, all while bringing his unique and colorful style to the events.  He loved boating, waterskiing and sailing, and was an accomplished yachtsman, competing in 7 international yacht races and countless regattas with his dad Bernie, brothers Jim, John, Bernie Junior and friends.  Also an avid gold mining enthusiast and marginal fisherman, he loved to take his grandkids out to show them “how it’s done.” He was born in Ridgecrest California and lived most his life in Victorville.  He served in the U.S. Air Force where he was exposed to elements of Agent Orange, resulting in his illness many years later. In his final hours he was surrounded by his children Regina Chester, Kristi Mercado, Dustin Partridge and family. He is survived by his father, Bernie Partridge, mother P.J., brothers Bernie Junior, John and Jim, his three children and five grandchildren. Services will be held in Victorville on Wednesday, July 13, 2011. Anyone wishing to attend may contact [email protected] for details.  Jim Partridge - (909) 239-1712
Memorial Service for Gary Partridge.  Come share his life with us.  Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 11:00 am.  Lunch & Friends gathering NOON - 3 pm Zion Lutheran Church, 15342 Jeraldo Street, Victorville 92394.  Got a story to share about Gary (and family)?  Never miss a chance to see your friends.  It's Gary's memorial, there's sure to be something exciting happen.  Help me out here, I'm sure I've forgotten someone this week - give them a call, or text (or forward this) and let them know.   Jim Partridge


I visited Dema Elgin to see how things are going with his Biography about him and Ed Winfield. He showed me some nice pictures that were worth sending in.  He also told me about his bad experiences with some people who did not give him back his original photos of Ed Winfield at the car shows. It was a great disappointment to him. I told him what he could do to avoid that. Simply to just take the photos to Kinko's and to download them to the computer or make copies. He was satisfied to hear of this plan. I also went to check to see how my cam was coming for the Flathead that I am building. At the same time I was in need of a Harmon and Collins Rotor for my Crab ignition. Absolutely a hard find. Luckily Dema talked about how he will invite his experience to his Bio when he worked for Harmon and Collins. I mentioned that I was in need of a rotor. That's when he decided to make a call to a neighbor friend of his, Vern Tardel, a world record holder. Out of the blue he had one. So I made way to see him. As I approached his place I was pretty impressed with his layout of roadsters. He also had a nice Belly tank racer. What a busy and talented guy he was. I was also in need of some other Items that I will soon be asking to complete my roadster. It looks like I got the last rotor he had for that ignition. I heard that he had an interview with you guys a couple of years ago. I might be able to see if he wants to give some history. Spencer Simon, Reporter of the North.


If you are on Facebook please go to the new film page and you can see my tour progress and miscellaneous tour related pictures.  The soundtrack CD will be released soon.  Make sure to subscribe to the DEUCE OF SPADES newsletter to be notified when something important happens with the film, such as new releases, important news and invitation to DEUCE OF SPADES events near you.  I don't send updates very often (once a month at most), but when I do, they are very informative and useful.  See http://www.deuceofspadesmovie.com/mailing_list.htm.   Also make sure to go to our DEUCE OF SPADES FACEBOOK PAGE, so you can access all the updates I post there, including daily behind the scenes photos.  You can follow my U.S tour there as well and post comments and interact with other fans and myself: http://www.facebook.com/deuceofspades.  FAITH GRANGER Filmmaker   


This month’s Aussie Invader 5R newsletter is now available to read online. See http://www.aussieinvader.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/aussieinvader_jul11.pdf (533k - may take a few seconds to load). To view more information about the project, please visit our NEW website www.aussieinvader.com. Best wishes Rosco McGlashan [email protected], July 2011.


Editor’s notes: Faith Granger sent this to me some time ago and I am not sure if I ran this in the newsletter; so here it is again.
   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.  Please keep us informed about how Hollywood sees your movie.  I am pleased to own the DVD and play it often at home


Hi 36hp Challenge and big block VW racers, pit crew members and spectators: September’s World of Speed and the BIG Volkswagen land speed racer gathering is getting close! Just a touch more than two months to go. If you are planning to join us this year, please email me back and let me know your plans. Will you be bringing a car and how is the project coming along or are you coming to spectate or help one of the racers? Please drop me an email with your plans so I will know to keep an eye out and make sure to let you know of any last minute salt racing updates. As of now, Utah is experiencing good hot temps and the salt should be dry or close to dry as we speak. I expect the course to be every bit as good as last year and will be attending next month’s SCTA/BNI Speedweek event. When I return I should have definitive information on the race course and will let everyone know by email. I am also excited about a couple of visitors who will be joining us on the salt whom most of you will be acquainted with but have probably not met in person. This will be a great opportunity to enjoy a little one on one with these folks who make our hobby possible. And remember, R.K. Smith from Hot VW's magazine is planning on being on the salt with us to cover the event as well. It is gonna be fun!  Again, please let me know how your race plans are coming. May the Speed be with you. Burly Burlile


I just received this from Miriam Macmillan, SCTA Secretary. The meet is still on at this time (IT WAS CANCELLED LATER-EDITOR). Check the SCTA Website Thursday evening or Friday for status update. I will also send any official information I receive regarding this weekend's El Mirage meet.  Jerry Cornelison, Road Runners - SCTA (est. 1937) http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners.
Club Presidents and Reps, A thunderstorm hit El Mirage Tuesday evening and flooded a portion of the lake. The BLM has it closed today (Wednesday). I'm planning on going up to check out the lake tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. I'll let everybody know what happening as soon as I find out. Everything is on until you hear from me. The temps have been up and as long as there isn't any more rain then we should be ok.  Tell everybody to watch the SCTA web-site for updates.  Fingers crossed.  D3   BTW- Weather forecast calls for clear and hot next 10 days. 
Official word from the SCTA is that the July 10, 2011 El Mirage meet has been cancelled. Following inspection it was deemed still too wet to race without causing damage to the lakebed. Next El Mirage meet is September 11, 2011.  Jerry Cornelison, Road Runners - SCTA (est. 1937) http://www.ussarcherfish.com/roadrunners


UK Roadster & Pickup Nationals at Twinwood Airbase (report).  On Sunday (3rd July) Twinwood airbase played host to the UK Roadster and Pickup Nationals, hosted by Dave, Lesley and Paul Brown at Clapham Classics. An incredibly wide range of cars and trucks made the journey out to this lost gem of a WWII Airbase to enjoy the sunshine.  Clapham Classic Events are running another shindig in the same location in September. I'd urge anyone who has an interest in cars to attend this event as Sunday proved that any type of car, truck or even bike was welcome at this all inclusive event. More info can be found here: http://www.claphamclassicevents.co.uk/.   Last but not least I'd like to thank Dave, Lesley and Paul Brown for organising such a wonderful event and making everyone feel so welcome.   Two more events to go in my 5 week Marathon:  VMCC 1000 Bikes Festival 8th - 10th July (this weekend) http://www.vmcc.net/1000bikes/index.htm. A mammoth 3 day weekend awaits stuffed full of motorbikes of all kinds I can't wait.  Pre War Prescott 17th July http://www.prewarprescott.com/. This is shaping up to be a really special event with over 200 cars in attendance and a Lancaster Bomber flyby what more could you ask for?   Martin Squires


Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion is back and will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum.  You can't miss this reunion; it is worth making the effort to attend.
Hello good friends, this is the cheap fast way to give you the heads up on the racing reunion that I presented to you for over 20 years. I turned it over to Norma Jordan and the Riverside International Automotive Museum when I was there in March of this year. They have a nice big wonderful place for elbow room and enjoyment. I look forward to being there as a one of you, so I can schmooze my brains out with all of you for a major change.  Living in the "Lone Star State” at this time has given me a new appreciation for So Cal weather! Be well, be happy, big hugs, Hila Sweet
Hila: Yes, we have the California Racers Reunion scheduled for October 22.  Best regards, Bruce Ward, Director, Riverside International Automotive Museum, 815 Marlborough Avenue #200, Riverside, CA 92507.  (951) 369-6966.     www.riversideinternationalraceway.com      
Bruce: I need to know if and when you are having a party for the above mentioned racers group as I have items that I can send ahead that will embellish and add to the interest of the gathering.  Thank you, Hila Sweet


STP 1000 MPH Bloodhound. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdYYbieTTB0. Sent in by Andy Granatelli


Hyfire on the HAMB needs info: Barnfind - Bonneville Record Car.  See: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=606045.  This is a quote from that link. Thanks, Michael Kacsala

     Hello guys, I need some help! I recently purchased a very cool old car with a ton of history, but I need help getting some of that history documented. I am wondering if you guys can dig through your old 1958-1959 magazines and look for articles, announcements and advertisements that may feature this car?  So far I have seen the car in 3 advertisements, but I am hoping to find more.  The car was driven by Norm Thatcher of Van Nuys, California.  There is a ton of documentation of his later stuff, but I obviously want things that pertain to this car.  Norm drove this car to a record breaking 156.387 at Bonneville in '58, but I suspect he ran this car at El Mirage too (since he did both in his other cars).  Can you guys offer any help?  Thanks, Josh
     Josh and Michael: I will be glad to run this request in the SLSRH Newsletter, but normally such requests are rarely answered.  The reason is that it requires a lot of free footwork on the part of good Samaritans.  We are inundated with a lot of requests and to follow up on all of them would be impossible.  What I have suggested in the past is that the requester give as much information as they can to as many websites as possible and follow up with phone calls asking for assistance.  A simple request is often overlooked.  The more information that the requester sends out the better chance he has of sparking someone's memory and good will.  A telephone program of calling as many people as possible and then asking for more phone numbers to keep the tree going is a process that has worked before.  It is how all the great restorers and car builders work.  But I will publish everything that is sent in to me in the newsletter.


     I did a Bob DeFazio interview at the LUCAS Oil BBQ and posted it on YouTube.  Turned it into a Toyota Speedway of Irwindale promo piece.  I think you will like it; Judge for yourself at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1k57dPY-Pc.  I made several other videos at this year’s LUCAS BBQ.  Below are the others I’ve finished to date (more to come).  Speedway with #48 Scott Talkington, http://www.youtube.com/user/speedwayzar#p/u/14/gt5o0Yp7Bt4.  I interviewed Wayne Talkington at the LUCAS BBQ and will have a video on him finished next week.  It will include footage of him drag racing his truck at the drag strip. 
Neil Facchini YouTube interview  http://www.youtube.com/user/speedwayzar#p/u/13/jUJ_bzhfefg
My speedwayzar http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=speedwayzar#g/u.
YouTube channel has a lot of other good videos on it.  Here are a couple of recommendations. 
20th Annual LUCAS Oil BBQ  http://www.youtube.com/user/speedwayzar#p/u/4/1Dn_ZvR2yK4.
17th Annual Racers Reunion  http://www.youtube.com/user/speedwayzar#p/u/3/doKbHr2L3Wk
Worlds Fastest Indian Bike & Story: http://www.youtube.com/user/speedwayzar#p/u/1/mznWOgroxHU
The Glen Helen Pro Hill climb 5.22.11 http://www.youtube.com/user/speedwayzar#p/u/15/oxO4lTlh0YU.  
     The LUCAS BBQ was one of the last standard definitions RAZ just did a camera (Sony HD), editing system (MAC OS X 2x2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon) and software (FCP System 7.1) update.  Looking forward to shooting and editing in High Definition. Instead of pasting these URL’s into your browser open the word document attachment and you can access all the videos listed on this email by clicking on the blue links.  See more at Howie Zechner on Facebook.  RAZ Video Productions, 626.449.1175, [email protected], 1828 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, California 91107.
     Howie: I will post the information and the contact information to all three websites; www.hotrodhotline.com, www.landspeedracing.com and Bikerhotline.com.  Please let me know if that's okay.  Thank you for sharing these videos with us.
I just got in from doing the Chino Demolition Derby.  It’s a charity event and the place was sold out.  They auctioned a demolition derby car for eleven thousand five hundred dollars.  The person who won the bid got to drive the car and a pit crew to go with it. The guy drove well and made the main. I called Bob Beleno a couple of weeks ago. I asked for permission to video the Indians West event. Howie Zechner
Howie: The brochure gave a different time for the event. The Indian Day West event celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Indian Motorcycles will be held at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California on Saturday, October 15, 2011 from 8 AM until 2 PM. Anyone bringing a pre-1980 Indian motorcycle will get a free admission to the museum as well and all others will get a reduced admission to the motorcycle event and museum at only $5 each. I’ve been to these Indian motorcycle shows in the past and I can tell you that they are one of my favorite shows to attend and to cover for the newsletter. You should make sure that a reporter covers this event for www.Bikerhotline.com.


Editor’s notes: Recently I received an email asking for advice on what are the best car shows to attend to sell or promote one’s products. Below is the answer that I gave to this person.
It has been awhile since I checked, but here are some sources; www.SEMA.com, www.SoCalCarCulture.com, Automotive Calendar of Events (Miss Information), DRIVE magazine and www.hotrodhotline.com.  However, simply looking up a car show and making a decision to go to it will only be half the solution.  As you point out you need a car show that gets plenty of spectators and they are the kind of people who are motivated to take action. That is where you need to find vendors and sponsors who go "coast to coast" and attend all the different car shows.  I learn a wealth of information from such vendors and big sponsors.  You know one of the best of them all, Jack and Mary Ann Lawford at www.hotrodhotline.com.  The Lawfords’ and their family and employees go to almost a car show a week around the country and they are well qualified to tell you which ones are worthy of your time and expense.  They can also tell you where you might find sponsors or people who would help you in spreading the message of your movie.  You can find the lists of car shows in the publications that I have listed, but what you cannot know is the quality of that show; but the Lawfords’ can help you there.  Always trust the sponsors and vendors who make their living at car shows and car events.  Their knowledge is learned the hard way and their advice is always sound.


Editor’s notes: The following email comes from a young high school student who is becoming a great oval track racer. I met her at the opening of the AXC (Alex Xydias Center). She also knows the value of a good PR effort and is a very personable young lady who knows what she wants to do. If any of you land speed racers are looking for a young lady to pilot your car give Jessica a call. Her commitments are heavy, but she just might be interested in driving a straight-liner car. 
   Hi Everyone! It’s summer – school is out – I’m officially a senior – and there’s a ton of racing ahead! Life is good! June was a light month of racing with one race in the Limited Late Model and one in the Focus Midget. I also spent several days at the LA Roadster Car Show promoting Hotrod Parts Guide with Dick Dixon and Mindy Tennenhouse, and I was fortunate enough to attend the opening of the Alex Xydias Center of Automotive Arts. We were at Irwindale Speedway on June 4th for our third race in the Limited Late Model where I continued to gain some stock car experience. The depth perception is quite different from midget cars, so I rely on my spotter, Joe, to tell me where the other cars are. He’s an amazing spotter who stays calm and guides me safely around the track. However, since we generally stay spread out in practice, the only chance to drive in close quarters is in the race. Needless to say, most of my stock car education comes during the race. Midway through the race I was trying to make a pass for forth position and got on the throttle a bit too soon coming out of turn four and ended up spinning myself. After being sent to the back for that mishap, I quickly began setting up as many passes as possible and worked my way back to 7th position before the checkered flag. 
   After taking my last final exam on June 9th, I hopped in the van and went straight to Madera Speedway for a Focus Midget race. All of the drivers were within a couple hundredths of a second to each other going into the feature on Saturday, so any one of us was capable of winning. There were two red flag cautions during the race, which meant we had to stop our cars and shut them down – twice. That really breaks up the flow of a race. Anyways, I figured out a really fast line on the track with about seven laps to go and charged down the leader. I needed one or two more laps to set up a pass but the checkered flag came out, and I had to settle for 2nd place. We considered it a successful day. On Father’s Day weekend, I took the Focus Midget to the LA Roadsters Car Show at the Fairplex in Pomona. This was a great opportunity to promote Hotrod Parts Guide and talk about racing with car enthusiasts of all ages. One of the really cool aspects about racing is getting to meet lots of people with backgrounds in racing and interesting stories to tell. I consider myself very fortunate. Stay tuned for more updates as the summer unfolds, and thanks for your interest in sharing this journey with me! Jessica Clark, [email protected], Jessica Clark Racing


Allard Owners Club Vice President Mike Knapman said, “We are really pleased that the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu is backing the restoration of Sydney Allard’s unique dragster and we thank them for allowing us to include it in our display. When it was first fired up in 1961, nobody could have known the important influence it would eventually have on European motor sport and what a treat to have it here exactly 50 years after its official debut on the old Club Straight. We are so lucky that it has remained in original condition; all thanks to the National Motor Museum, the Allard family and Allard Owners Club member (the late) Brian Golder.” If the ‘Allard Celebration Ale’ promotion receives good feed-back then the Hogs Back Brewery will sponsor a production run of the beer under license, using a slightly different recipe and with the bottles carrying improved labels with more information about the restoration project. This will be available for purchase at selected outlets and via a link on the ACAG web site to Hogs Back Brewery who offer a national delivery service. A generous donation from every case sold will then go to the ACAG for the restoration funds needed for completion of the work and everywhere the beer is seen will publicise the project. The final details of the full production run arrangements are being discussed with Martin Hunt and Tony Stanton, directors of the Hogs Back Brewery, and Brian Taylor chairman of ACAG along with Alan Allard, Lloyd Allard and John Hunt.  Sent in by Brian Taylor


Just a quick note to let you east coasters know the Loring, Maine (LTA's) land speed event is this coming weekend. Please see the link below for details (Hey, they even have a Jumbo Tron-how kool!). I hope some of you can make it to race of spectate. This event is held on a 1-1/2 mile long course so it ups your odds for higher speeds. See http://lta-lsr.com/default.aspx. Have fun and speed safely! Burly Burlile


Back in the 1940's around SoCal there were many automobiles painted the same gray color with a logotype on the doors that read "Technocracy." Each vehicle had a large PA Speaker mounted on the front bumper. Was this a political group or was it a religious group? What were they trying to achieve? Also, I want you to know that the management at ADM is quite happy with the results of the recent Lit Fair. We will be working to do a better job for the vendor participants by doing a study that will better identify the type of products each of the attending buyers are searching for. It is my feeling that we need to reach all aspects of the car people not just those who only focus on vehicles with square brass headlights. We will also endeavor to have more writers in attendance since the attendees seemed to gather around that particular table. For many years, under SAH guidance, the focus was more on the old cars but with some of us a classic old car is a '32 Ford Roadster with a Cragar Model A engine. Thanks for your help to make the 2011 event the success it turned out to be. Bob Falcon
   Bob: I don't recall the gray colored cars that you are trying to locate, but perhaps some of our readers can help you. The Lit Fair was very interesting and my only "constructive" comment would be to echo what some of the vendors told me, "That we wish there were more buyers." Sometimes it just takes time for an event to grow in size. Also, the only way to get more people to show up is to put more effort into PR and advertising (free if you can do that). The newsletter will be glad to run as many notices as you send in. The poor economy could have something to do with this.


Fuel For Thought, by LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth.
    Nearly two decades have elapsed since a few land speed racers, most members of the Gold Coast Roadster and Racing Club (GCR&RC), got the idea to throw a party where they would honor those whom they believed had made a difference in hot rodding. By December of 1992 Tony Capanna and Tom Spaulding, both racers who have a long history in dry lakes racing, were so honored and would later be inducted into what would soon become known as the “Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame”. Rather remarkable when you consider the club itself had only been chartered by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) a few months earlier – the first new SCTA club in 20 years. The party was as much a celebration given by central California coast racers about their new club as it was to pay homage to old racing greats. Of Capanna (often misspelled as “Capanna”), land speed racer and former Chief Bonneville Timer Glen Barrett once remarked, “Tony was always fair and helpful to all racers.” Spaulding, together with his brother Bill, owned a popular speed shop and whose ignitions were extremely popular among the lakes racers, were themselves pioneer racers who fabricated one of the first streamliner-style land speed cars.
     The following year, in 1993, the event became known as the “Gas Up” and was now staged in the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley at Jack Mendenhall’s Buellton, California Petroleum Museum, attended by all the club members and their friends. A “Buellton-style” BBQ fed the guests, many of whom wore specially designed t-shirts heralding the full day event with plenty of time to visit with the personalities, friends and competitors that make up Land Speed Racing. Loaded with bench racing, reacquainting with old pals and making new friends, more than 300 people watched as Tim Rochlitzer, Bob Joehnck and Al Teague were honored along with the Mendenhall/Vanderley #234 roadster, a 200MPH Bonneville racer. It was clear to GCR&RC that the event needed to be an annual party. Plans were made, standards adopted and procedures developed giving rise to the Dry Lakes Hall of Fame. The club hoped the work of a select committee would form a backbone of credibility that would ensure respect for all future inductees. Alan Fogliadini, a member of the GCR&RC since the early ‘90s who was inducted in the Hall of Fame this year, recalled the club’s thought-process as the party and honors grew, “We recognized that in order to bring validity and worth to the process that the nominations and voting needed to extend beyond just our club members. That is why we gave a vote to every car club in the SCTA, one to the sanctioning body and one vote to each inducted member.”  
     More than 500 showed up in 1994 for the 2nd “Gas Up” where Vic Edelbrock, Sr., Bob Higbee, Bob Rufi, Ed Iskenderian, the Pierson Brothers Coupe and Art Chrisman’s #25 lakester were inducted into the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame. By 1995, the club chairman announced that a committee responsible for the nomination, voting and induction ceremony had agreed that a racecar was a reflection of the dreams and sprits of the builders and therefore, they too, should be honored. It was decided that, when appropriate, the builders/owners should also be inducted as well. In 1998, all 50 inducted members received the specially designed Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame ring that depicted a perspective lakes course vanishing into a mountain range with three diamonds evenly spaced across the sky. The Hall of Fame name was artfully carved into each side accented by black enameling. The rings were paid for by sponsorships from the inductee’s family and friends. Today, there are 264 individual members and 47 race vehicles, an eclectic mix of cars, trucks and motorcycles – all with great tales connected to them, their builders, drivers, owners and teams. Long time club member and early HOF honoree Tim Rochlitzer pointed out the thoughtful efforts of hot rodders and racers years ago made a significant difference in how the sport is viewed, “It was something that needed to be done for our special kind of racing, to recognize the achievements made by the pioneers and others who excelled in the sport of land speed racing.” Indeed.
     This was the same thinking that gave rise to the Bonneville 200MPH Club more than a half century ago and spawned other “2 Clubs” including El Mirage, Muroc and the ECTA among them. By 2010 it was clear the event’s recent low attendance numbers were directly linked to an uptick in the number of racing events held at the Bonneville Salt Flats – hot rodders were racing, not partying! The Gold Coast club chose to shift the annual September grand affair from the fall to the spring, skipping the 2010 nominations and voting until 2011. The Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame change saw more than 400 people attend the weather-perfect April 30th shindig at the marvelous Mendenhall Museum of Gasoline Pumps (www.mendenhallmuseum. com) enjoying the many historic racecars and rods on display. Inductees were Ed Adams, Gene Burkland, Jack Calori, Harry Hoffman, Sr., Alan Fogliadini, Joyce Jensen, Ed Safarik, Judy Sights, Chuck Small, Art Tilton and Larry Volk with JAZ Products as Manufacturer of the Year. The honored vehicles on display all day with their teams and owners were the B & N Roadster, Ferguson Streamliner and the world’s fastest 2-wheeler, the Ack Attack Motorcycle Streamliner.
     For the past decade, generous advertisers have allowed the club to produce a Gas-Up event program that includes a one-page biography and a full page of photos for each inductee and vehicle. This not only explains why the person and/or vehicle were voted in, but also provides a historical snapshot into the sport. The cover is a full-color reproduction of original t-shirt art produced by Cruisin’ Ts that actually prints shirts at the event! Take a look at the complete list of names and speed machines, published, I believe, for the first time altogether. Some names will be obvious standouts, others you may not recognize, but all have made enduring contributions in support of straightaway speed. The names in italics denote those members who have made their final speed runs. It is hoped to someday create a website where every inductee biography, photos, and information can be listed for worldwide access by land speed racing fans.
     Chuck Abbot Ed Adams Multy Aldrich Don Alderson Keith Allen Art Arfons Joaquin Arnett Nick Arias, Jr. Bill Baldwin Gale Banks Glen Barrett Gray Baskerville Dean Batchelor Steve Batchelor Tom Beatty Ron Benham Ernie Bennett George Bentley Keith Black Noel Black Don Blair Mark Brazeau Craig Breedlove Vance Breese Bob Brissette Ray Brock Racer Brown Tom Bryant Warren Bullis Larry Burford Bill Burke Gene Burkland Clark Cagle Gary Cagle George Callaway Dave Campos Tony Capanna Jack Calori Fred Carrillo Don Carr Lee Chapell Mel Chastain Art Chrisman Don Clark Ron Cohn Doug Cook Mike Cook Penny Cook Frank Coon Wes Cooper Jack Costella Roy Creel J. Otto Crocker Bruce Crower Jim Culbert Don Cummins Dennis Dalton Fred Dannenfelzer Pete Dean Glen Deeds Mark Dees Jim Deist Ed Donovan Julian Doty Jim Dunn Vic Edelbrock,Jr Vic Edelbrock, Sr Bill Edwards Chavin Emmons Kent Enderle Quin Epperly Earl Evans Tom Evans Russ Eyres Don Ferguson, Sr Don Ferguson, Jr Don Ferguson III Jim Feuling George Fields Alan Fogliadini Don Francisco Glenn Freudenberger Phil Freudiger Ted Frye Gary Gabelich Bruce Geisler Elmo Gillette Rick Gold Andy Granatelli Bud Greenleaf Emil Grisotti Scott Guthrie Seth Hammond Tanis Hammond Kenny Harman Duke Hallock Ernie Hashim Meb Healy Carl Heap Bob Hedman Chet Herbert Bob Herda Bob Higbee Stu Hilborn Harry Hoffman, Sr. Wes Hutchens Ermie Immerso Ed Iskenderian Kong Jackson Wendy Jeffries Ab Jenkins Jim Jensen Joyce Jensen Bob Joehnck Harold Johansen Howard Johansen Bruce Johnston Chico Kadama Barry Kaplan Bob Kehoe Lee Kennedy Bill Kenz Jerry Kugel Eddie Kuzma Fred Larsen Jim Lattin Joe Law Les Leggitt Burke LeSage Roy Leslie Jim Lindsley Larry Lindsley Phyllis Lindsley Fred Lobello Jack Lufkin Ed Mabry Dave Macdonald Ron Main Mike Manghelli Denis Manning Bob Markley Charlie Markley Verlin Marshall Ernie McAfee Allen McAlister Moose McCaulley Cec McCray Bob McGrath Duane McKinney Tom Medley Bobby Meeks Bruce Meyer Jack Mendenhall Eddie “Bud” Meyer Ak Miller Eddie Miller, Jr. Jim Miller Moe Mills Dean Moon Gene Mooneyham Johnny Moore Joe Mondello Don Montgomery Bob Morton Burt Munro Paula Murphy Barney Navarro Leroy Neumayer Mike Nish Terry Nish Louise Ann Noeth Bob Noice Gene Ohly Carl Orr Veda Orr Romeo Palamides Wally Parks Bert Peterson Gail Phillips Bob Pierson Dick Pierson Joe Pisano Lionel Pitts Chuck Potvin Levan Prothero Cal Rayborn II Roy Richter Eric Rickman Doug Robinson Tim Rochlitzer Bob Rufi Otto Ryssman Ken Ruble Nick Sadd Ed Safarik Chuck Salmen Paul Schiefer Charles Scott Gene Scott Walt Scott Tom Senter Cris Shearer Ed Shearer Louis Senter Greg Sharp Judy Sights Chuck Small Clay Smith Tex Smith Gus Sommerfeld Tom Spalding Chuck Spurgin Mike Stewart Clyde Sturdy Bob Summers Bobby Sykes, Jr. Bill Taylor Al Teague Clem Tebow Bill Temple John Thawley, Jr. Al Thayer Richard Thomason Mickey Thompson Neil Thompson Art Tilton Steve Toller J. D. Tone Ed Tradup Jim Travis Marlo Treit Roscoe Turner Jack Underwood Paul Vanderley Dennis Varni Eric Vaughn Don Vesco John Vesco Rick Vesco Larry Volk Ken Walkey Dan Warner Mike Waters Robert Webb Phil Weiand Mary West Sam Wheeler Rick White Nolan White Dick Williams Matt Williams Dana Wilson Bozzy Willis Ed Winfield Monte Wolfe Earl Wooden Ted Worbieff Alex Xydias Don Zig and Wade Zimmerman.
     (The cars are) 1993 Mendenhall-Vanderley Roadster 1994 Art Chrisman’s Coupe Pierson Brothers’ Coupe 1995 Larsen-Cummins Streamliner So-Cal Special Lakester 1996 Don Vesco’s Motorcycle Streamliner Vesco Family Streamliner 1997 Markley Brothers Lakester Chuck Salmen’s Sum Fun Roadster 1998 Bruce Geisler’s Studebaker Mike Cook’s Thunderbird Earl Wooden’s Crosley 1999 Kenz and Leslie #777 Streamliner Seth Hammond #77 Lakester 2000 Verlin Marshall’s Crosley Coupe Nolan & Rick White’s Streamliner Sam Wheeler’s EZ Hook Motorcycle Streamliner 2001 Carr & Kaplan Lakester BMR Coupe Burt Munro’s Indian Motorcycle 2002 Tom Beatty’s Belly Tank Carl Heap’s Phoenix Diesel Semi Dave Campos/Easyriders Motorcycle Streamliner 2003 The Redhead Streamliner McKinney & Kehoe Sundowner Corvette Eric Vaughn’s Indian Motorcycle 2004 Fred Lobello’s Ladybug Lakester George Fields’ Competition Coupe Ed Mabry’s Big D Cycle 2005 Sadd-Teague-Bentley Roadster Phil Freudiger Modified Roadster Bud Greenleaf’s Harley Davidson 2006 Roy Creel 1934 Ford Coupe Lindsley-Leggitt Pontiac Firebird Coupe Tom Evans Motorcycle 2007 Larry Burford’s Roadster Ron Main’s Flatfire Streamliner Denis Manning’s “Seven” Motorcycle Streamliner 2008 Glenn Deed’s 4WD Roadster Danny Boy Streamliner Vance Breese’s Harley-Davidson Sportster Motorcycle 2009 Mickey Thompson’s Attempt Streamliner Walsh Walsh Cusack 333 Roadster Scott Guthrie’s Yamaha “Stretch” Motorcycle 2011 B & N Roadster Ferguson Streamliner Ack Attack Motorcycle Streamliner.


SO-CAL Speed Shop, Burbank, CA circa 1946; author unknown.
   Unlike many tales, the story of the So-Cal Speed Shop is not one made up by some clever marketing types; it's a true story of friendship, hot rods and the need for speed.
   Our story begins on March 22, 1922, in Los Angeles, California, with the birth of Alex Xydias. Although his father was a prominent producer of silent movies, Alex's childhood was fairly normal, and like most young boys, he naturally gravitated towards automobiles. His first hot rod, a '29 Ford roadster with a milled head and a chopped flywheel, which he drove to Fairfax High School, was paid for with part-time earnings. After graduating, Alex worked in a gas station and saved enough for a '34 three-window coupe which was followed by a beautifully customized '34 cabriolet-found in the lower basement garage at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. In 1940, Alex joined The Wheelers, a Southern California Timing Association club located in Norwalk, California. However, his life, like that of so many young men, was about to change when, in 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, serving as a B-17 engineer. According to Alex, "All we talked about during the war was cars, and once, when on furlough, a friend took me to a street race out in the San Fernando Valley. I was really surprised at how fast the cars ran, and I got the idea to open a speed shop." On the day of his discharge-March 3, 1946-using some borrowed money, Alex opened the first So-Cal Speed Shop on Olive Avenue in Burbank. "I really struggled to keep it going," says Alex. "Sometimes I made less than $100 a month, but the hard work paid off. When my one-year lease was up, I moved the shop to 1104 South Victory Boulevard in Burbank where I placed a Sears Roebuck prefab two-car garage."
   The hot rods that bore the So-Cal logo ran in pretty fast company. For example, a V8-60-powered belly tank lakester clocked 136 mph in 1948 and appeared on the cover of the January 1949 issue of a fledgling
Hot Rod magazine. This early success was quickly ratified when Alex teamed up with legendary auto enthusiast and author Dean Batchelor to develop a purpose-built streamliner. Powered by an Edelbrock-equipped Mercury V8, the liner ran 210 mph in 1950. The following year, Alex and some racing buddies formed the So-Cal Speed Shop Racing Team and built the first hot rods to go 160, 170, 180 and 190 mph. In 1952, Mechanix Illustrated magazine voted the So-Cal gang the Number One Racing Team. In 1952, the editors of Mechanix Illustrated voted the SO-CAL Team the Number One Racing Team. The team consisted of Alex standing to the far right of the cover. Seated in the SO-CAL belly tank lakester is Dave DeLangton. Behind the lakester is the ’27 T which ran in Class A Modified Roadster. Bill Barker took the car to 129.15 mph. The channeled Deuce roadster of Clyde Sturdy ran in Class B Modified Roadster and clocked 142 mph. The 3-window coupe was driven by Loren Miller who clocked 120 mph in Class B Coupe.
   While fast cars continued to run under the SO-CAL banner, Alex embarked upon another endeavor: documenting auto racing events. He filmed everything from Bonneville to NASCAR, including Pikes Peak, Indy and the 24 Hours of Sebring. "It was hard work," says Alex. "I'd spend hours behind the wheel getting to an event which I'd then have to film, before spending hours printing and editing the film." Meanwhile, in the adjoining San Gabriel Valley, in the town of El Monte, another California kid was bitten with the hot rod bug. Born of a hot rodding father, Pete Chapouris started "cruisin' the boulevards" with his friends around 1955. They'd start at the El Monte In-N-Out on Valley, go straight west to Farmer Boys, out on Colorado to Bob's in Glendale before turning around and going east to Henry's in Arcadia. Like Alex's childhood, it too was an influential time for a young man. Pete's first hot rod was a '32 roadster, but at the time, nobody cared about roadsters so he sold the body for fifty bucks and substituted a Model A coupe body atop the Deuce rails. A $200 Chevy V8 was mated to a Packard trans at Blair's Speed Shop, and Barris Kustom was paid $10 to reverse the wheels. Like most enthusiasts, Pete went through a string of cars, wheeling and dealing his way up market until he could afford a brand new '61 T-bird. For Alex, the speed equipment business had undergone many changes. The flathead Ford, in which the So-Cal Speed Shop specialized, was no longer the hot rodder's favorite, and small firms like Alex's were under increasing pressure from the "big boys." The final straw came when Alex's right-hand man at the shop, Keith Baldwin, left. Alex closed the doors in 1961.
   Although Alex's filmmaking was doing well, he accepted a position as editor of Petersen Publishing's Car Craft magazine in 1963. He stayed with Petersen 12 1/2 years, transferring to Hot Rod Industry News where he later became publisher. While there, he also served as director of the annual Petersen Trade Show, which eventually became the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show-the tenth largest trade show in the U.S. After leaving Petersen, Alex went on to work with partner Mickey Thompson, organizing the SCORE off-road equipment trade show. At the time, Pete was working as a product development technician at Clayton Industries, manufacturer of dynamometers. During his tenure, he met Mike Hoag who had left Blair's to form M & S Welding with Sherm Gunn, building dragsters. Pete wanted to work for them and consequently took welding classes at night until they gave him a part-time job. In 1971, he left Clayton and went to work at Blair's. A member of the Vintage Tin Hot Rod Club, Pete began work on a chopped '34 coupe that would have a seminal impact upon not only his life but also the hot rod world. Finished in traditional black and flames, the coupe was photographed for the cover of the November 1973 issue of Rod & Custom along with a similarly chopped canary yellow coupe of Jim "Jake" Jacobs. The two rodders hit it off and decided to start a small hot rod repair business in Temple City, California. Then came the call from Hollywood, specifically Howie Horowitz, producer of the hugely successful Batman series. He wanted Pete's car for a made-for-TV movie called The California Kid. The show starred a young actor named Martin Sheen.
   The Kid put Pete and Jake's Hot Rod Parts on the map, and the pair ran a thriving business which, because of their innovative style and seat-of-the-pants marketing savvy, took the hot rod business out of the backyard and into the mainstream. Meanwhile, in 1982, Alex was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. Pete and Jake's was eventually sold in 1987, the year Alex retired, and Pete went to work as Vice President of Marketing at SEMA. Having been instrumental in the formation of the Street Rod Equipment Association (SREA), the job was a natural, and Pete became a driving force in the transformation of the SREA into the Street Rod Marketing Alliance, a council of SEMA. Pete was also elected into the SRMA Hall of Fame. Pete has never been a stuffed shirt or desk-bound kind of guy, and when it came time to move on from SEMA, in 1990, he formed an alliance with Bob Bauder called Syntassien and, among other exciting projects, completed a pair of Harley-Davidson "HogZZillas" for Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top. The friendship with Billy has resulted in numerous projects. Syntassien was a long word but a short-lived company. Pete had a bigger vision, and in 1995, he opened The Pete Chapouris Group (PC3g) at 1357 East Grand Avenue, Pomona, California.
   Under Pete's direction, and with the help of his team of craftsmen, PC3g quickly evolved into one of the world's premier hot rod shops, garnering magazine ink for the cars it built like a Guttenberg press. One of the first cars that PC3g was involved in was the restoration, for Bruce Meyer, of the Pierson Brothers' coupe, which led to an enduring association and the eventual restoration of Alex Xydias' So-Cal belly tanker. Cover-quality cars were produced by PC3g with prodigious speed, and the list included Don Simpson's "Killer Coupe," several cars for Billy F. Gibbons (including a '36 three-window coupe and "Kopperhed"), and an extended-cab Model A pickup for Chuck de Heras. However, the crowning glory in PC3g's body of work is the restoration of the Doane Spencer roadster for Bruce Meyer. Built by Doane in 1948 to compete in the infamous Carrera Panamericana Mexican road race, this car has an impeccable pedigree. By installing Lincoln drum brakes, 16-inch wheels, and raising the engine, exhausts and gas tank to increase ground clearance, Doane unwittingly spawned the classic "highboy" look that enthusiasts the world over continue to emulate more than 40 years later. It's also a look that won the hearts of the Pebble Beach judges, winning the inaugural Pebble Beach Historic Concours d'Elegance Hot Rod Class. It also won the perpetual Dean Batchelor Memorial Award for Excellence.
   The win at Pebble Beach would be a fitting end to a chapter but not before Pete and his friend Alex were selected as two of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the high-performance industry and, as such, were inducted into the Hot Rod magazine Hall of Fame in 1997. Our story doesn't end there, though. For a while, Alex had been working behind the scenes with Pete Chapouris to resurrect the famed So-Cal Speed Shop. On November 21, 1997, that dream became a reality, and PC3g changed its name to So-Cal Speed Shop to begin another chapter in this on-going hot rod history.


The Petersen Automotive Museum July Through December 2011
Exhibitions & Events At A Glance (see below for more detailed information)

July 9                         Scooters and Supercars Day
July 18-29                 Culture, Craft, & Cars Summer Camp
August 6                    Discovery Day: Automotive Bookmarks
September 3             Discovery Day: Race Car Design
September 20           Gallery Talk: Mods and Rockers
October 1                  Discovery Day: Halloween Special! AutoBingo and Treats
November 5              Discovery Day: Turkey Crafts
December 3              Petersen Garage Sale and Swap Meet
December 3            CARnival Family Fun Day
Through Oct 16       Supercars: When Too Much Is Almost Enough
Through May 28      Scooters: Size Doesn't Always Matter
Chris Brown, Information and Marketing Manager, (323) 964-6320


Thanks for the kind comments and we are hoping our crew can take the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster to the Palos Verdes Concours. The planned Pre WWII Land Speed Racing "Tribute" can truly reflect the fact that Southern California was the historical Southern California "fountainhead" for such incredible minds in that special period of time in Land Speed Racing. It was the attempt at each Dry Lakes event to "bump up" the existing records using every innovative racing trick and spectacular inventive designs... under the shroud of mystery that would show up in the early mornings at the dirt pans of the Dry Lakes ... with spirit and passion. The Club scene is a story in itself and should also be a part of the story of the Tribute. We are racing the Old Yeller II Buick Special in England and the "Hot Rod" sports car is invited to the Goodwood Revival Meeting races... it is invite only and we so honored as a true "American Sports Car" racing against 29 of the very best Ferraris, Maseratis, Jaguars, Listers, with a "take no prisoner" attitude... and and a breathtaking event but the Old Yeller II with a 401 Nailhead is a hot rod at heart as Max and Ina Balchowsky can be proud of their achievements somewhere up there...
I was recently contacted by one of the Danny Sakai family and will try to meet with them. I look back myself and recall being a little kid with a Red Ryder BB gun walking the fields in Mile Square just following planting lettuce seeds and trying to shoot down sparrows after the seeds were planted (later I realized that I was just a walking kid "Scare A Crow" and don't think I ever killed a sparrow) and recall seeing the strings of hot rods driving into the Mile Square on weekends as we farmed the corner plot of land (Hunts Foods had the master lease) and see them race on the triangular landing strip painted exactly like a Aircraft Carrier. My dad gave me the impression that they were the "bad boys" but later my heroes were found at the Orange County Drag Strip as my Uncle in Los Angeles (he had a custom lowered Business Man Coupe with a Hot Rod motor all chromed up and he used to say to me all the time..."If it don't go- chrome it")... and he gave me those small Hot Rod Magazines as Stroker McGurk was my hero again... and CJ Hart lived less than a mile from us on the same street in Santa Ana and I would drool over that black roadster as it sat in the front yard every time we drove by (except for weekends). Ah... Hot Rod memories. Thanks Ernie Nagamatsu
Ernie: Congratulations on receiving an invitation to Goodwood. Would you do a story on the Sakai family if you meet them? They were well thought of by the other SCTA clubs. Danny's funeral was well attended and he was well liked. I'm hoping we can learn a lot more about the Japanese land speed and oval track racers who raced before WWII. That's an issue that we haven't much information on. Best, Richard

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Albata Club Shirts Pebble Beach 2010


On Sunday (3rd July) Twinwood airbase played host to the UK Roadster and Pickup Nationals, hosted by Dave, Lesley and Paul Brown at Clapham Classics.
An incredibly wide range of cars and trucks made the journey out to this lost gem of a WWII Airbase to enjoy the sunshine. Here's a few snaps and sketches from the day.

First sketch of the day was this Sherpley Sports known as "Beastie".
It was an apt crossover from my visit to the Bentley Drivers Concours D'Elegance last weekend. The car started off as a 1983 Freight Rover dropside truck. The build took 5 years and was based around the chassis and running gear from this truck. The engine and gearbox came from a scrap 1965 Vanden Plas 4R, the engine being a Rolls Royce 4 litre, straight six. The owner said it would look silly with anything smaller, and I must agree.



Second Sketch of the day was this fantastic early morris rat rod.
This I must say is possibly my favourite build, due to the execution and inventiveness that has gone into it.�The owner is constantly changing bits on it as he said "I get bored". Since I first saw this car in Custom car it has had a new morris grill and bonnet installed, along with a fantastic use of an old oil tin to cover the air filter poking out of the bonnet.



Morris cars obviously run in the family as the father bought along his morris van too.



Third sketch was of these conveniently place early rods. Looking great against this period airfield building. obviously attracting a lot of attention.



The fourth and penultimate sketch was of the front end of this 40s Ford pickup. I love the art deco details that they put into the grills in these models.



The final sketch of the day was of this Vanguard Woody. A great little car with a one off woody body. There was a contingent of Vanguards on display, apparently owned by just one person. Hats off to the owner and his friends for bringing them all along.


Here's the full line up.


Had to include this early Ford pickup a real favourite
as my wife and I are currently looking for one!
As well as all the cars there was also the Twinwood Museum chok full of old stuff.




Whilst at the event I met Tim and Paul two very friendly artists from Raygun Industries. I would highly recommend visiting their website and checking out their artwork, DVDs and t shirts:


Clapham Classic Events are running another shindig in the same location in September. I'd urge anyone who has an interest in cars to attend this event as Sunday proved that any type of car, truck or even bike was welcome at this all inclusive event. More info can be found here:


Last but not least I'd like to thank Dave, Lesley and Paul Brown for organising such a wonderful event and making everyone feel so welcome.

Two more events to go in my 5 week Marathon:

VMCC 1000 Bikes Festival 8th - 10th July (this weekend)

A momouth 3 day weekend awaits stuffed full of motorbikes of all kinds I can't wait.

Pre War Prescott 17th July
This is shaping up to be a really special event with over 200 cars in attendance and a Lancaster Bomber flyby what more could you ask for?


VMCC Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park
What a weekend! Loads to see and sketch.
In between manning my stall I went around the site and spent some time with some amazing bikes. Most of my time was spent sitting on the ground and sketching, so much so that at one point a little girl walked past and said
"Look Mummy there's that man with no legs".
Here are my sketches along with some photos of my favourites from the festival.
For info on Upcoming VMCC Events please visit their website:


First up on Friday evening was this 1903 Werner.
I'm getting more and more obsessed with these veteran bikes. The connection with what were called safety cylces (or bicycles to you and me) is still there. You can really feel the pioneering spirit when you look at these bikes.
Also thanks to the guys and gals at�Vintage and Veteran for being so accommodating to my sketching habits over the weekend. Oh and for the free bottle of Cider!
With lots of fantastic old bikes for sale I'd recommend a visit to their website:




The next morning with the autojumble taking shape I took the opportunity to sketch this Trojan Mini Motor, gold model a motor powered push bike.


Trojan logo on the filler cap



Also on the same stall was this BSA C15. An ex police bike with extra trimmings.


The Vincents were out in force at this event. This sprint bike took my eye. I like the minimal nature of sprint bikes, small tanks low slung frames.....


The sprint bike theme continued as I was asked to sketch the�500cc Krauser "Frankies Monster" which is ridden by ridden by Alan Tinnion.


This was a fun bike to sketch due to the complex hand fabricated outlet pipes that twisted around each other in order to utilise the empty space between the front wheel and the engine.



The Classic Bike Team were in attendance and looked to be having a great time. I have been avidly reading about Rick Parkington's 1919 Blackburne (or is it 1915 the debate continues) in the build up to the Banbury Run, which by all accounts it completed!




Rick Parkington also bought along his 1927 Rex Acme TT.


And of course the Classic Bike D1 Bantam was holding it's own in the line up sporting a rather fetching tartan seat!


For more Info on Classic Bike which is always a thoroughly good read please visit their website:


I couldn't resist another visit to the Vinatage and Veteran tent to sketch this early Peugeot.
On Sunday morning I spent some time sketching this 1938 Excelsior Manxman works at Paul Ingham's stall where he was promoting his latest book "Excelsior the racing years": A fantastic book depicting the racing history of this legendary mark. The book presents a good balance of text and photographs, many of the photos in this book have never been seen before. If you are interested in the Excelsior then I would strongly recommend you pick up a copy of this book (limited to only 500) from the following site:



Bonhams were showing some of there upcoming auction lots with some rather drool worthy bikes.


One of only 4 ex-works 1954 AJS E95 Porcupine
estimate $750,000 - 950,000


Unrestored Barn Find, c1955 BSA 499cc Gold Star
Estimate 3000 - 4000
Even when packing up my display I was seeing bikes leaving that I hadn't got round to seeing on over the weekend. This truly is a festival of 1000 bikes.



A fantastic early Indian.


There was a lot of Motoring events on over the weekend. Of course there was the Grand Prix but I got more excited seeing this pull up at the service station. It runs in the Nostalgia class, a late 60s style slingshot dragster. Apparently running a Buick V8 at around 11 second times.
I'm attending another event Coming this Saturday and definitely not one to miss:
Pre War Prescott
This is it's first year but with over 200 cars confirmed and a Lancaster flyby I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday. More Information can be found here:

Hope to see you there.







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