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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 212 - July 21, 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, Glenford Vincent Dennee Jr born April 9 1936 and passed away on July 11 2011; I'm the Class Manager of the HOT ROD LEGENDS CLASS; Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion is back and will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum; Thanks for the kind comments and we are hoping our crew can take the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster to the Palos Verdes Concours; Car night gatherings; I always enjoy reading the SLSRH's Newsletter, but my interest was really peaked by the photos of the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster and its team in the July 14, 2011 issue; The Sam Auxier Jr Show. Best In Live Radio Monday, July 18, 2011, 7-9PM EST; 18 July 2011 Hot Rod Hangouts, How and When Did They Start; The Unlimited News Journal has been distributed via snail mail in hard copy since 1973; The first picture is a birthday card that your Dad sent to a friend in 1968; The Nefarious Bunch By LeRoi Tex Smith; Ed Winfield finally gets the nod by the Motorsports Hall of Fame 7 Jan, 2011; The Wally Bell Show, Zeus Radio Network, Wednesdays 8 to 9 pm Eastern Time; Bill Warner just rode into the History books; The premier of “ACK Attack-The Fastest Bike in the World” will air July 21, 2011, at 6:00 and 9:00 PM pacific time and on July 22, 2011 at 9:00 and 12:00 PM on Discovery HD Theater; I am looking for information on Doug Boyd who was (is?) a historian on Legion Ascot Raceway; The Sam Auxier Jr Show

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President's Corner:  
   It's that time of year again folks, the rush to get the racecar ready for Bonneville. Let’s see, new paint, rework the chute mount so it works properly, fix the tach so it doesn't shake to much so one can read it, recharge the fire bottles, the list goes on. If you're lucky doing the little stuff is easy and just takes some time in the garage wrenching.  This last week I've probably gotten two dozen calls from guys all across the country asking questions on some section of the S.C.T.A. rulebook or is it ok to do this or that. It all goes without saying the journey to get to the salt is almost as much fun as actually running down the track.
   If you're making major changes, well that's another story. Case in point: the Poteet & Main Streamliner. Every year this team wants to go faster and indeed they do. What you don't see is the zillions of hours and untold amounts of cash spent to get there. Sunday evening Ron Main called and asked if I could help him the next day in doing a mockup for a new Turbo air box. Between last October and now the engine has been tweaked to make mega HP with the addition of another Turbo. That’s easier said than done. The plumbing for one Turbo is bad enough but when you add a second one, it like starting over in the plumbing department. New headers have to be built, new intercoolers, new intake plenum, new two of everything. The list goes on and on. Like a fool I said yes to Ron, so over to his joint bright and early Monday morning it was. The only problem was a freshly broken tooth and a I've got to go to the dentist right now. We finally headed out at 1 PM. On the way Ron rang the shop to tell them we were finally on the way when he was told that the turbos etal had all been taken over to engine builder, Kenny Duttweiler. A little detour to get the parts, we finally roll in to the race shop around 3PM.
   A couple of days previous to that most of the drive train had been in the car so it would of been a cinch to get at the mockup but nooooooooo. The chassis had to get a coat of paint so it was stripped to nothing. In the earlier phone call Ron had asked his son David to put the bell housing and tranny back in the car as everything is really tight space wise in the area I would be working in. When we arrived it was in the chassis. Cool. One thing is working right. After a couple of hours of back and forth, there's no room to get the mockup in or out of the chassis without having to remove 20 other parts, a cardboard mockup was made that should work efficiently and can be R&R’ed without too much trouble. We rolled out of the shop at 9PM. A real one should be built, and be ready to install by Friday.
   Not to reveal too many go fast secrets here's a picture of the stripped chassis with David about ready to pull the turbos so they could go back to Kenny's Tuesday morning. What you don't see if you haven't been working on the car for the last few years is how much the rear part of the chassis has changed. The substructure from behind the cage to past where the rear end goes is all new. The rear suspension attachment points are also brand new as the car will be sporting a super secret rear end design that will leave the quick change boys thinking there still back in the early '50's. Last year the team had a mini-cam inside the car during their 400+ mph runs and were blown away with how much everything moved around hence the stiffening up project.
   When you take on running for FIA world records maintenance becomes something you don't usually have to worry about at Speedweek since you get to do your return run the next morning. With the FIA stuff you have to break the timing beam within an hour of your last run so quick turnarounds are a must. Behind the rear bulkhead you'll see two of the jacks used to lift the rear of the car during turnarounds. Checking or changing tires is a must do when you run the speeds these boys do. Last year they were using nitrogen to raise the jacks but the plastic pressure lines weren't the most reliable. A new onboard pump (between the rear bulkheads) has solved this problem. The only thing the team has to worry about now is putting all the pieces to the puzzle back on the chassis and that the last tune-up pulls on the engine dyno leave the motor in one piece.
   Talking about Dyno's for a moment, most engine builders will do a quick pull to say they got so and so HP out of the motors. That's cool if you’re at a drag strip and only run the thing hard from 4 to seven seconds or so. Our boys run the motor on the Dyno like it would at the track. Let’s see only five miles to run, four or five gear changes and held wide open for say a minute plus. They simulate the runs exactly thanks to all the data they've collected over the last few years and can predict their speed at the end of a run if everything's worked as it should down to a couple of miles an hour. This year there will be maybe four to five cars at Speedweek that will run over 400 mph. And let's not forget a blue motorcycle streamlined that is knocking on the 400 mph door, or the sit on bike that just topped 300 mph up in Loring, Maine that might show up. You gotta be there or your name is mud.
  Click For Image Caption : David Main is seen about to remove the top secret, one of a kind turbos designed specifically for the Poteet & Main liner. The chassis has been stripped down to its bare bones and been repainted. Now all it needs is to be re-assembled for Speedweek.

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Editorial:   
   I received the following email from our Northern California correspondent, Spencer Simon. “I visited xxxx xxxxx to see how things are going with his Biography about him and xx xxxxxxxx. 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 xx xxxxxxxx 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 erased the names of those who lost valuable documents, although I have printed Spencer’s letter in a previous issue of the newsletter. This has been an on-going problem and therefore I have editorialized about it often; and I will continue to do so as long as people lend artifacts or borrow them. If Jim Miller and I manage to change this mindset and get people to conform to good borrowing standards, then our jobs as leaders of the SLSRH will be worth our time and effort. This isn’t an easy problem to resolve. It seems to be an easy solution; just return the objects on time and in the same condition as you borrowed them. But in real life, nothing is as simple and easy as common logic would dictate. 
   There are two types of borrowers of artifacts; the honest and dishonest. We don’t have to dwell on the dishonest types; their only purpose is to take something valuable and refuse to return it, knowing that sooner or later the owner will pass on and then they can sell the artifact for money. You can’t reason with or do anything to change the dishonest person, unless you sue them in court for the return of the objects involved. It is with the honest people that we can address this problem. First, some honest borrowers are just sloppy in their bookkeeping. They intend to return the objects but get sidetracked with other projects. Making this problem worse is the other culprit in the tragedy; the sloppy lender. Yes, it is the lender who often makes the problem stickier. The typical scenario is this; “I’m doing a book (or a project) on a particular subject and I was wondering if I could borrow your photo album,” said the borrower. “Sure you can,” says the naïve lender, “take this and return it when you are done.” You wouldn’t lend your wife or daughter to a perfect stranger on the chance that they would be returned safely in a year or two, but you would do that with your precious car artifacts.
   A year later a buddy of the lender says, “Bob, where is that album that had all the nice photos of those dry lakes cars, I can’t seem to find it anywhere.” Bob then remarks, “I think I lent it to somebody to write a book about hot rods, but I can’t remember his name or what he looks like, but it will come back to me.” Usually Bob passes away long before he remembers who borrowed his album. On the other side Jake who borrowed the album put it aside, somewhere in the basement and is so involved in other projects that he completely forgets that he borrowed an album from Bob a year ago. Jake passes away after some time and his widow cleans out the basement and garage and comes across the old album. “I didn’t know Jake had this album; I wonder who it belongs to? Hmmm, there isn’t any name or address to return it to; guess I’ll just store it until someone comes to reclaim it,” says Mrs Jake. Eventually Mrs Jake passes on and the children clean up the house to sell it and as they have no interest in history, toss the rare old album into the trashcan for the garbage collectors to take to the dump. Thus we have an idiotic borrower dealing with a moronic lender.
   What SHOULD have happened is this; “Bob, I want to borrow your album to do a book on dry lakes racing. I will give you a receipt for you to hold with my name, address and date of return. Should I fail to follow these rules or return the album in a worse condition I will pay you for any damage,” said Jake. “Thank you Jake, I will inform my wife of our agreement and keep your receipt in a safe place and mark on my calendar when to expect the return of my prized photo album,” Bob added. Before Bob lent the photo album or precious artifacts he got to know Jake and asked around to see if Jake had a good reputation among hot rodders for honesty. The lending of the documents did not take place right away, for Bob was a good lender and made sure that he checked out Jake thoroughly. Jake for his part made sure that he returned everything on time and in good order, thus creating a reputation that was respected by the hot rodders. Bob was also very smart; he took all his photos down to the “copy” store and had them copied on digital scanning equipment so that if a photo was lost or destroyed he still had copies in his computer and printed out from a digital format. In many cases he kept the original photographs locked up and only lent the copied digital photos. Bob also made good captions of the photos telling people the WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHO, WHY and HOW. Bob, you see, understands how to preserve artifacts and how to lend wisely.

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Glenford Vincent Dennee Jr, born April 9, 1936 and passed away on July 11, 2011.  Glen was a resident of Saratoga, California.    Glen married the love of his life, Loretta, whom he married 50 years ago.  She passed away prior to Glen's passing.  Glen grew up in Saratoga, attending Saratoga Grammar School and graduating from Los Gatos High School in 1954.  Glen was a member of Saratoga Federated Church and his love for the Lord showed through his generosity to AFnet and many other charitable organizations.  Glen spent his life as a real estate investor and developer being a member of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.  Along with his many real estate endeavors, Glen was also the proprietor of the Chez Yvonne Restaurant.  His many passions included auto racing, boating, fishing, woodworking, and metal working though Glen always put his family first.  His kids and grandkids were the most important people in his life. 
   He was a member of the Discovery Bay Yacht Club and Country Club, Bay Area Roadsters, Prowler Club, the Lunch Bunch, the SCTA - BNI and the Eliminators Club with four land speed world records.  Glen's immense energy and passion for life was contagious.  He was always ready to learn new things.  His creative mind never stopped pursuing the next great adventure or project.  Glen's wisdom, off-beat humor and generous heart will be greatly missed.  He loved many wonderful and dear friends and was loved in return.  Glen was an extraordinary father and grandfather who was kind, strong, encouraging, gracious and who loved his family unconditionally.  He is survived by his children Michele (Mark) Brading, Sue-z (Lonnie) Gaskin and Glen (Sunny) Dennee III and his grandchildren Matt and Megan Brading, Haley and LG Gaskin and step-grandchildren John (Stephanie) Patterson and Joe Patterson.  Visitation will be held Sunday, July 17, 2011, 3-7pm at Darling and Fisher Mortuary at 615 N. Santa Cruz Avenue, Los Gatos, California. A Memorial service will be held Monday, July 18, 2011 at 11:30 am at Saratoga Federated Church, 20900 Park Place, Saratoga with reception immediately following.  Donations can be made to AFnet Ministries, 3630 Charter Park Drive, San Jose, CA 95136 or to Book of Remembrance, Mount Hermon Association, Inc., P.O. Box 413, Mount Hermon, CA 95041.  Sent in by Dennis "aXe" Sylvia
     aXe: Is there a larger and more comprehensive biography for Glen that we can run.  We would like to know more about his car clubs, racing and SCTA history. 

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I'm the Class Manager of the HOT ROD LEGENDS CLASS. We are looking for the owner of the Tommy Lee speedster, Fred Philips. Does anyone have his contact info? Please feel free to forward this email. We need to locate him asap to see if he wants to bring out his car to the Palos Verdes Concours Saturday September 18th. Invites are going out now and need to be returned by mid-August. Thank you!  Jerry Mull, Class Manager, HOT ROD LEGENDS, 1-310-367-0542.
   Jerry: I will post this to the newsletter and ask Jim Miller if he has any ideas where we can find this old and esteemed car.

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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.

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   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 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.

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Car night gatherings. Perhaps you know when and how these things began. I go back to the days when all the Hot Rod and Dry Lakes guys would gather at Piccadilly's Drive-In on Sepulveda Blvd in Culver City, but there were probably other places where these "Roadster Shows" took place all over LA; like Dolores' Drive-In located in Inglewood. To get the memory ball rolling I will craft a brief story about the things that took place at "Pics" in the 1940’s and we will see where it goes from there.   Bob Falcon   
   Bob: Great idea. We often do stories on cars and on people, but rarely do we do a history of the garages, shops and drive-ins where the young men and women of hot rodding used to hang out. Yes, please start the ball rolling and let's get every member of the SLSRH involved in doing a history of their favorite hang-outs and race courses. I would like to see Vic Enyart tell us more about Gilmore. Steve Gibbs can tell us all about Irwindale Dragstrip. Mike Jones can give us a history of Orange County International Raceway. Don Rackemann and Bill Bader can tell us more about the drag strips and tracks that they are associated with. Len Pherigo and Louie Senter can tell us more about Saugus. The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians has many members who were there in the beginning. We have rich resources to tap into. Now is the time to get all these histories before it is too late. Many of the places are now gone. My mother told me about the Golden B-B-Q where my father met my mother when she was a waitress there. These shops, garages, race tracks and drive-ins are part of our history, so let's get started on saving their story for the next generation. Thanks for starting this project.

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      I always enjoy reading the SLSRH's Newsletter, but my interest was really peaked by the photos of the Spurgin-Giovanine Roadster and its team in the July 14, 2011 issue.  Especially the team’s shirts with Albata scribed across the back.  My first question is: did the team have enough shirts made, or can they make more, so other Albata Club descendants can buy some?  My Uncle Jim (White) Harrell was a founding member of the club when it was formed in December of 1937.
     My second set of Albata related questions is: does anyone out there know something about the original Albata Club plaques?  (A photo of an original is included Click for Original Albata plaque, pre-war, Click for Albata car club plaque, post-war.)   More specifically, does anyone know for sure what the numbers on the original (pre-war) plaques represent?  Terry Baldwin was told by the Schenck family that Ralph Schenck was given plaque number 1 because of his point standing in the year the first Albata plaques were made; that would have been 1938.  This is possible, but hard to verify.  When we look at the SCTA newsletter for the results at Muroc dated May 15, 1938 (from W. Carroll's When The Hot Rods Ran, page 19.)  We can see Albata members ranked as follows: Schenck was number 1 in point-standings; Jim (White) Harrell was ranked second in his car running a Schofield head, and fourth in his car with his own White Special head; then Bob Noble was fifth in points.  If these numbers represent what we currently think they do, then plaque number 2 or 4 should have been Jim White/Harrell's; and number 5 should have given to Bob Noble.  One of the problems with this scenario is these May 15, 1938 rankings show ninth and fourteenth place should have gone to guys who, as far as I know, were not members of Albata at that time.  Of course, there is still the possibility that point rankings were based on the entire 1938 season and ninth and fourteenth places changed after May.  A further difficulty is that, as far as we know, only three numbered plaques remain: number 1 which is still with the Schenck family; number 9 which was sold on e-bay by the original owner's son (sorry, don't have a name) and is pictured in various places on the internet. Terry has also seen plaque number 14 but is not certain who has it at this time or who the original owner was.  If anyone knows of other numbered plaques still in existence, we would really enjoy hearing about them.  And, again, if anyone has more information or is more certain than we are about what the numbers mean, please let us know.
     Last question: we believe numbers 9 and 14 have been replicated and some copies are still in circulation.  If anyone is currently casting replicas or knows of anyone who is, we would be interested in buying a couple of them, regardless of the number they carry.  We are eager to hear more about Albata shirts and plaques.  Thanks, Roger Harrell (www.HarrellEnginesHotRodding.com)
     Roger: The Albata was a major club in the SCTA and was a constant threat to win the individual and club championship in the SCTA.  The Albata and Road Runners were fierce competitors.  The problem is that the Albata faded away while the Road Runners kept going, just barely, and today they have a very hardworking historian, Jerry Cornelison, who works hard on keeping up the records.  But we'll see what we can do.  The person that you need to contact is Ernie Nagamatsu, who is the owner of the Spurgin/Giovanine roadster.  He is the one who had the shirts and other Albata objects made up after a thorough search of the records.  I don't normally give out email addresses, but I will in this case and also cc Ernie, because if there is an owner more dedicated to preserving history, I have yet to find that person.  Ernie will be glad to work with you and to also find out as much as he can from you.  I have a feeling that if you and Ernie can find a few more interested people that the old and distinguished Albata car club can be reformed.  Perhaps it can be reformed as a historical group if not an actual racing club. 
     As to the name of Albata, this is what Ak Miller, Johnny Ryan and others have told me.  The old version of the movie Ben Hur had so impressed many young hot rodders, and especially the chariot races, that they used the Roman names of the chariots as their car club or group.  Thus Albata, standing for the White chariot team was used for a club name. Russetta was the name for the Red chariot team in Ben Hur (1926 version starring Ramon Navarro), which was used for the timing association.  Jim Miller and I would love to see a group formed around the Albata and do more research.  Ernie may have more shirts for sale or he might know where you can have them made.
     As for Albata car plaques you are in luck.  There are several sources concerning an Albata car club plaque.  The first is Stan Chersky who has more than 7000 car club plaques and can have them made for you from either his collection or if you supply the plaque to be used for the mold.  Stan also has a lot of personal information that he has learned and may share with you.  Another source is O'Brien Truckers and they also have car club plaques, hood ornaments and other types of car memorabilia for sale.  Dennis and Sue O'Brien will be glad to help you if they can.  As to the numbering system, I don't know, but it sounds plausible and likely.  Telephone our SLSRH president Jim Miller at 818-846-5139 and ask him what he knows.  Ask everyone who you call or email, "Do you have anyone in mind whom I could call about this."  William (Bill) Carroll is a family friend and I reviewed several of his books.  He was living in Raton, New Mexico, but the last time I tried to call or email I could not get through to him and I don't know what happened to him.  The review of the book may or may not help you.  It's at www.hotrodhotline.com, guest columnist, Richard Parks.  I hope that this helps you.  Write in often and I will be glad to run your emails in the newsletter to see if anyone responds.

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I don't have the Albata plaques either in the 12,000 patterns from Speed Gems and Chicago Metal Craft collection or in the 3000 that we have made here at O'Brien Truckers.  That was interesting to learn about the Albata and Russetta naming.  I had never heard that one before.  Guess you can learn something new every day.  The problem is it's getting harder to find a place to store it for later retrieval.  Stan's collection has grown recently - just a while ago it was 4000, then 4500 then 5000 and now 7000 plaques.   Happy Truckin', Dennis O'Brien, O'Brien Truckers, 29 A Young Road, Charlton, MA 01507. 508-248-1555 or 508-248-6179 FAX, [email protected], www.obrientruckers.com (Totally Reconstructed)
     Dennis and Sue: Thank you for getting back to us.  Our website is www.landspeedracing.com and we are interested in all the history surrounding land speed racing and hot rodding. 

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The Sam Auxier Jr Show. Best In Live Radio Monday, July 18, 2011, 7-9PM EST. NHRA Top Fuel Driver Antron Brown, Funny Car "Fast Jack Beckman," Deuce Of Spades Faith Granger, A/F Dragster Karen Stalba, Co-Host Kristin Moeser.  Call in to 877-711-5211, Sam Auxier Jr ([email protected])

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18 July 2011 Hot Rod Hangouts; How and When Did They Start.  Written by Bob Falcon.
     It just popped into my head! Don’t recall how the Saturday night tours of the hot cars gathered at “Pic’s Drive-In” in my hometown of Culver City emerged in my mind that day but, it got me to thinking about those times in the Post-WW2 1940s.  The venue was the “Piccadilly Drive-In” restaurant that was located on Washington Place at the corner of Sepulveda Boulevard. By way of explanation of this area of the town, Washington Place split off from Washington Blvd on the East End and ran parallel with the boulevard, for several miles, to a point just east of Centinella Avenue, where they rejoined. The was a short block that “Pics” anchored; traveling westbound from the low angle right turn “split “from the boulevard to create the beginning of Washington Place. This was a very short block to a side street, Tilden; that anchored the Rollerdome roller skating rink across the street from the popular Karl Orr Speed Shop. Proceeding westbound, there were just a few structures then the popular drive-in.  Each and every Saturday night the entire parking lot and both sides of Washington Place were loaded with curbside-parked Hot Rod cars, all home built. The car owners mingled, chatted and circulated examining all the other cars and taking notice of the new things that were not the norm for the era.   Compared to present day shows, two things you did not see were a lot of fenders and chrome plating!
     Of course we all enjoyed some of the great food served by “Pics” who was also were staffed by some really great looking “Car Hops.” The hamburgers and fries stood on their own when compared with other cafes and they also served the same menu as all the other drive-ins that were popular in SoCal. But “Pics” was at the top of the heap as the only establishment in the area that created the space and welcomed the Hot Rods.  Another thing I recall is the fact that the crowd was not made up of the Hot Rod set but many older folks also came to ogle the cars. My parents, Veda and Karl Orr were among them.  Dad, as an old race car driver from the dirt speedways of Western Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia could be classified as a “car guy,” but what surprised me was that my mom would also attend. She had a patent dislike of high performance cars and race cars, the aftermath of her fright at seeing her new husband thrown out of a tumbling race car like a rag doll at the Jennerstown, Pennsylvania fairgrounds track. But I think the attraction to her was the art involved in these home built cars.  While I was absent from the area serving in the Navy on the Pacific Rim, the activity at “Pics” faded out as the 1950s, and another armed conflict (Korea) came into sight. Perhaps this was also due to the close eye the Culver City Police kept on the Saturday night activities. They began to make unannounced “sweeps” to round up curfew violators and to curtail the street racing. Culver City, like many other surrounding cities, had a 10 PM curfew law to keep teen-agers from wandering the streets at late hours.  Soon two other drive-ins that hosted Hot Rod gatherings cropped up nearby to “Pics.”    They were “Dolores’ Drive-In” at Washington Blvd and Sepulveda and “The Clock” at Venice and Sepulveda. I think many individuals in the drug trades frequented the latter but Dolores’ and one of the regular stops for the CCPD. Neither ever came close to matching the Hot Rod attendance “Pics” enjoyed.  At “Pics”, from time to time, a challenge to stage a drag race was issued by one owner to another. The word spread rapidly to the people viewing the cars and if they had “wheels” they joined the caravan to the pre-arranged race site.  The races were staged at any one of three places.  Culver Blvd west of Centinella, at the Sakita lettuce farm, with the finish line at the railroad tracks just east of the overpass where Culver turned and crossed over Lincoln. Another spot was on Lincoln just south of Washington Blvd and the finish line was at a point where the roadway cut through a low hill.  The third place, most distant and not used much, was north of Van Nuys near Roxford Drive in Sylmar. The track was a long straight stretch of Sepulveda (now I-5 Freeway) near the Van Norman Reservoir.   At all these street racing locations a “traffic observation post” car was stationed at the start and finish that would blink their headlights when the sparse traffic was clear of the race track roadway.  I know there were other locations around the Southland that catered to the Hot Rods. Los Angeles at this time was a collection of small towns separated by large greenbelts and farms.
     What went on in Culver City was only know to the Car Club guys in Santa Monica by word of mouth.  The same goes for Inglewood, Redondo Beach, El Segundo, Hollywood and Pasadena. Once Petersen and Lindsey began publishing Hot Rod Magazine the street racing became passé and the car show circuit began to gather in auditoriums.  Let’s try something!  Search the deep cellars of your memory bank and pass on what you can recall of the Hot Rod gatherings of your youth. Scribble them down and E-mail them to Richard Parks who will publish them in the SLSRH newsletter and soon we will have a very historical account of how this practice got its start.  Let me suggest that all of you who read my scribbling on the topic and are familiar with the Saturday Nights at Pics and spot something I overlooked, or misquoted, make me aware of your read on the topic.  A few lines about the events that went on in your vicinity in the pre war and immediate post war years then all this research can be gathered and edited into a marvelous history of “Hot Rod Hangouts” far superior to the fiction of the screenwriters. You might recall something I missed about Piccadilly’s Drive-In that I had forgotten. At the time I was in the ninth grade and did not have a car so I had to bum rides to attend the racing contests that were few and far between.
   Readers: Please write in and tell us about your favorite hangout when you were a young hot rodding teenager.

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The Unlimited News Journal has been distributed via snail mail in hard copy since 1973. J Michael Kenyon of the Unlimited Hydroplane Racing Commission once described the UNJ as "arguably, America's finest source of Unlimited hydroplane news and views."   With the June, 2011 issue, UNJ is no longer being sent via U.S. mail The UNJ is now on-line and FREE! It features Breaking News, Race Reports, Statistics, Color Photos, History, and more. The url is www.unlimitednewsjournal.net. Mark it in your Favorites and visit frequently year-around for the latest in Unlimited hydroplane information.  Bob Senior

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The first picture (CLICK FOR IMAGE) is a birthday card that your Dad sent to a friend in 1968. We purchased it through E-bay in June 2009. The E-bay seller said he purchased it from the friend along with a few other things. But he didn't give the person’s name or location. In checking this item and the name badge we previously e-mailed you; we bought both items from the same seller, but a couple of years apart. The second (CLICK FOR IMAGE) & third (CLICK FOR IMAGE) pictures are of the 1:18 scale 32 Ford Coupe Wally Parks Birthday Edition with a limited quantity run of 50. The die cast was made by Hot Wheels (Mattel). These die cast were center pieces at the 90th Birthday Party and Dinner held at the Sheraton Hotel. One person at each table won the die cast. I was the lucky one at our table. Approximately 25 - 30 of these cars were autographed that night by your Dad. I had the privilege of helping Carson Lev from Mattel as he opened the sealed boxes to have your Dad autograph the car, then put them back into their box. Your Dad was given the same die cast car but in candy apple red (1 of 1), not black primer. We were so fortunate to have been invited to the 90th Birthday celebration. One of our favorite pictures is of us with your Dad taken that night during the reception in the museum. Bud and Lynne Rasmus
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You are more than welcome for the photographs. The only history that was included in the e-bay description was: “Beginning in 1965 the NHRA held a track owners convention in conjunction with the World Finals. This is an early 70's name tag issued to Wally Parks during one of the conventions held at Amarillo. Slightly bent but that is mentioned merely for the sake of accuracy.”  We purchased it through E-bay. We were glad someone saved it also. We have a few things pertaining to your Dad that are very special, and the name tag is one of them. We are going to send another e-mail with a couple of pictures of other things we have, and the history. And, we do have www.landspeedracing.com on our list of favorites. Bud and Lynne Rasmus

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The Nefarious Bunch By LeRoi Tex Smith   
   I got a phone call from the head Good Dude a few years past, while I was sojourning in St. George, Utah, way down there in the southwest corner of Utah. “Hey,” says he “a bunch of us are coming through your area next week, and we need some guidance getting over to Highway 89 from your place. Can you do?” Hey, is the Pope Catholic? What they needed was a point rider as their entourage set their cayuses east toward the rising sun. “I’ll meet you on the north edge of town, and do you one better. I’ll go with you clear up into Green River country. I’ll leave you there and continue north to my spread in Idaho.” Done deal, Jose. We left town just ahead of the sheriff and went through Zion Park and picked up 89 northbound just down the road a piece. A rather nice piece of two-lane that Burly Burlile tells me is the only numbered highway left linking all the way from Canada to Mexico border. Haven’t verified that. 
   So, up and down, left and right, a really great hot rod trail, and I called a halt for noon biscuits and beans at a place I knew near the crossing of east-west freeway 50. Inside the café, we sort of ended up huddled around a large table, nervous perhaps that someone might recognize us from the wanted posters. I was visiting with the Purple People Eater, aka Guasco, when the middle aged waitress sauntered. “Them neat cars belong to Y’all?” Our spokesman in the bright yellow sedan (all his cars seem to be yellow, probably because he got some left over from a school bus painter) opined as how, Yep, that was our herd. “Boy, I’d like someone like that to ride through this burg and carry me off……yada yada yada.” Immediately all eyes at the table were on me. Because I had recently become separated at birth with loss of my long time partner. The purple marauder was equally uncomfortable. “You need to take that filly up on her deplorable situation, Tex. Sashay over there and invite her to ride off into the sunset in your roadster. Take her away from all this…….” Yada, yada, yada. With friends like these, who needs anything else! 
   Unseen by me, one of those rapscallions slid a note to the lady fair with my phone number, the one in Utah thankfully, where I would not be for the next year. This, along with a tale of woe and how lonely it was on the roadster trail with no pardner and so on……..Like I said about friends. I wondered why the little lady was so friendly like as I sallied up to pay my bill, and why I was catching covert glimpses from my saddle pals. Later that day, over at Green River where we would stay the even’, one of my companions mentioned in the parking lot, “Say, that waitress back there left me this note, and asked if I would pass it along to you.” After handing me a many-folded scrap of paper, he scampered into the sagebrush. The note was succinct, “tex, you get back through this way, call me at……..” I went up to Idaho and never looked back. And, I don’t stop in that café anymore.

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Ed Winfield finally gets the nod by the Motorsports Hall of Fame 7 Jan, 2011. Sent in by LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth.
   Ed Winfield finally gets the nod by the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Ed Winfield, high performance pioneer. I am a member of the nominating and voting contingent that determines the annual inductees to the Motorsports Hall of Fame. I have long campaigned for land speed racers to be recognized and this year one of the stunning pioneers of high performance got the votes to get in; Ed Winfield. Don Vesco got the nod a few years back and I am doggedly trying to get Al Teague and Bob Higbee some recognition. Here’s the official press release: Detroit, Michigan. Racing legends Donnie Allison, Sid Collins, Roger McCluskey, Ed McCulloch, Augie Pabst, Bruce Penhall and Ed Winfield will be enshrined into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America when the organization stages its annual induction celebration on August 23 and 24, 2011 in Detroit. “This class is an extraordinary group of pacesetters,” says Ron Watson, president of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, “not only on the track, but in the engineering department and the broadcast booth, as well.” 
   Donnie Allison, a member of the famed “Alabama Gang,” compiled nearly 400 short track victories before joining the NASCAR Cup circuit in 1968. He won 10 Cup races and captured 17 pole positions. In 1970, he scored three wins and had 10 top five finishes. Allison, who earned the Rookie of the Year title in the 1970 Indy 500, will join his brother Bobby in the Hall of Fame. Sid Collins was the original broadcast voice of the Indianapolis 500 and launched the IMS radio network in 1952 shepherding its growth from 26 to 1,200 radio stations. Listening to his dramatic, often poetic, race descriptions became an established tradition for families at holiday picnics and homesick members of the armed forces at remote locations around the globe. Roger McCluskey won Sprint Car championships in 1963 and 1966, National Stock Car championships in 1969 and 1970, the Indy Car title in 1973 and competed in all but one Indy 500 between 1961 and 1979 when he retired from driving to become USAC’s vice president and director of competition. 
   For 30 years, Ed “The Ace” McCulloch split his time between drag racing’s two most powerful divisions, notching 18 Funny Car victories and four Top Fuel wins. He was named Driver of the Year in 1973 and 1988, was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2000 and continued in the sport as a tuner and crew chief between 2001 and 2010. Augie Pabst was one of the brightest and most versatile stars of road racing in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. He won USAC and SCCA road racing titles in 1959 and 1960 behind the wheel of the Meister Brauser Scarab. During his career he won 13 major races including the Road America 500 three times and the GT category at Sebring in 1963. Bruce Penhall was considered to be America’s greatest speedway motorcycle rider. After establishing himself in the U.S., he won several important European motorcycle racing titles and led the U.S. comeback in World Championship speedway racing in the early ‘80s, winning the World title in 1981 and 1982. In doing so, he was the first American to win that crown in 44 years. 
   Ed Winfield was regarded as one of the all-time great mechanical minds motorsports has ever known. He was an expert in engine design and carburetion and played a major role in the development of the famed Novi engine with his brother, Bud. He is generally recognized as the “Father of the Racing Cam Business,” making his first performance camshaft in 1914 at age 13 and is credited with creative cylinder head designs and other engine advancements. The new inductees will unveil their permanent Hall of Fame sculptures at the “Heroes of Horsepower” Reception to be held at the Detroit Science Center on Tuesday, August 23, 2011. The black-tie Twenty Third Annual Induction Ceremony will take place at the historic Fillmore Detroit Theater on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. Tickets for the both events can be purchased by calling 313-577-8400, extension 482 or by visiting the Hall of Fame website at www.mshf.com.  The Motorsports Museum & Hall of Fame is operated by the nonprofit Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame of America Foundation Inc. Currently housed in the Detroit Science Center in the Motor City’s Museum District, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America features the compelling stories of 188 Heroes of Horsepower along with the display of a wide variety of racing and high performance vehicles.

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The Wally Bell Show, Zeus Radio Network, Wednesdays 8 to 9 pm Eastern Time, www.dragracersreunion.ning.com.  7 pm eastern Bobby Unser on racing. Gordy Foust, ProMod racer. Also on the program is Greg Zyla, George Nye, Charlie Hulsizer Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion organizer.  See www.racersreunionradio.com, or the call in number is 877-500-9387. You can listen in at 347-884-9756.  Wally Bell Show, 1002 W. Kensington Circle, Fredericksburg, VA 22401. Email [email protected], or [email protected].

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Bill Warner just rode into the History books. Bill did 311 MPH on a sit-on motorcycle. This is the first full pass on the bike as yesterday the winds were strong and did not allow a full run. I have been around LSR for 40 years, never thought I would see this, it is just amazing. The power level was nowhere near its maximum. 300 in the mile can be done. Larry Forstall (re-sent by Dick Elliott)
   Dick: Was this done at the Loring, Maine meet and can anyone send me a story for the newsletter?

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The premier of “ACK Attack-The Fastest Bike in the World” will air July 21, 2011, at 6:00 and 9:00 PM pacific time and on July 22, 2011 at 9:00 and 12:00 PM on Discovery HD Theater.  From Ron Main

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I am looking for information on Doug Boyd who was (is?) a historian on Legion Ascot Raceway.  Any guidance is appreciated!  Regards, Chad Struer, [email protected]
     Chad: The only Doug Boyd I'm familiar with is a high school teacher who was interviewed for John Lucero's book Legion Ascot Speedway.  That book came out in 1982 and is almost thirty years old, so I can't say whether Boyd is still with us.  He lived in the Burbank area and taught at Woodrow Wilson High School.  In the interview with Lucero, Boyd mentions that he went to the racetrack.  Since the first date is 1924 and the last date is 1936, Boyd would be somewhere around 96 to 108 years old.  If this is the man you are looking for the best that you can do is find his aged children and see if they have any papers or information on the subject.  I'm publishing your email address so that people can contact you.

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The Sam Auxier Jr Show. Live Radio Monday, July 25, 2011, 7-9PM EST NHRA Funny Car "Fast Jack Beckman," NHRA Pro Mod Danny Rowe, Pro Mod Jim Feurer, T/A F/C Cassie Simonton, Guest Host Rick Markko, Co-Host Kristin Moeser. [email protected]WWW.TheSamAuxierJrShow.com.  Call in Number 1-877-711-5211. 

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

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Members:

Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Gale Banks, Glen Barrett, Mike Bastian, Lee Blaisdell, Jim Bremner, Warren Bullis, Burly Burlile, George Callaway, Gary Carmichael, John Backus, John Chambard, Jerry Cornelison, G. Thatcher Darwin, Jack Dolan, Ugo Fadini, Bob Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Don Garlits, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Andy Granatelli, Walt James, Wendy Jeffries, Ken Kelley, Mike Kelly, Bret Kepner, Kay Kimes, Jim Lattin, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford, Fred Lobello, Eric Loe, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don McMeekin, Bob McMillian, Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Bob Morton, Mark Morton, Paula Murphy, Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth, Frank Oddo, David Parks, Richard Parks, Wally Parks (in memoriam), Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg, Dave Seely, Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Zach Suhr, Maggie Summers, Gary Svoboda, Pat Swanson, Al Teague, JD Tone, Jim Travis, Randy Travis, Jack Underwood and Tina Van Curen, Richard Venza.

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