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SOCIETY OF LAND SPEED RACING HISTORIANS
NEWSLETTER 213 - July 28, 2011
Editor: Richard Parks [email protected]
President's Corner: By Jim Miller (1-818-846-5139)
Photographic Editor of the Society: Roger Rohrdanz, [email protected]
Northern California Reporter: Spencer Simon

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Some Names To Look For In This Newsletter:
 President's Corner, Editorials, I had the chance to see this movie at its debut at the Newport beach film festival and it's fantastic; 400 mph MOTORCYCLE is next; We are thrashing to get Fred Lobello's Tank to the salt this year; Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion is back and will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum; I've seen your name attached to a number of book reviews on www.HotRodHotline.  How does one go about having their book considered for a review on the site?; "Deuce of Spades" is a period hot rod film by Faith Granger; In the issue draft received yesterday you covered a source for Dry Lakes Car Club plaques that is located in Massachusetts; Lenny Schaeffer from Massachusetts has a nice newsletter; Leonard Abbott was my uncle; I recently came across your website and was wondering if someone might be able to help me; URGENT SEMA ACTION NETWORK ALERT; Dear Coalition Members; Riding Alfresco, Motorcyclist Sets Record With 311.94 M.P.H. Run; This is the world’s fastest motorcycle; Andy Granatelli sent us the following website links to view the Goodwood event where his cars were displayed; The Sam Auxier Jr Show; In your photos of the roadster show, you asked if anyone knew who owned the exquisite roadster...it's for sale in the www.hotrodhotline.com ads under the 1932 Ford; Drag Boat Races and Stock Cars; One month from today, on August 21, the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links will be filled with beautiful cars during the 61st annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance; The Boys Of Bonneville at Speedweek.

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President's Corner:  
Jim Miller is preparing for Bonneville and will return to his column as soon as possible.

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Editorial:   
   “Richard, You have my permission. Thank you for finding the story worth repeating.” The purpose for repeating this message here is to let you all know that it is important to ask permission before borrowing someone else’s work, even when you know that they will probably say yes 99 out of a 100 times. Do I always follow my advice? Well, no, there are times when I am hurrying and trying to get things done on a deadline and I don’t check really close or wait for an approval and then I rush something into print that should have been withheld. Most of the time this doesn’t cause a problem and I receive permission after the fact. I also have about a dozen reviewers who read the newsletter first and sometimes they spot something and let me know. But this is an important topic, because even if it is a simple photograph or a short little story, the photographer or author is the owner of that material and we must respect his or her rights to the material. It is only fair. If we develop a reputation for fairness then our readers and researchers will trust us and confide in us. If we abuse that trust then we won’t find the public so helpful and forgiving when we err. What goes for Jim, Roger, Spencer and me also goes for all the rest of you. Ask permission first, it’s only nice.
   There’s a request for a book review and my response in this newsletter. I would like to encourage all of the members to be book reviewers. We need reviewers and if you send me a review I will post it to www.hotrodhotline.com and www.landspeedracing.com and you will receive full credit in those publications. A book, movie, newspaper or magazine review is highly personal. You write it the way you want to write it. The rules are quite simple; name the book, give the author’s name, publisher’s name, when it was written, address of the publisher and the ISBN number. Give the measurements and how nice the book looks and the quality of the printing. Tell us a little about the quality of the text and the photographs. Give us a brief accounting of what in the book. Tell us how much it costs and where you can buy the book, magazine or movie. Then write what you feel is important about the book and whether you would recommend someone buy it. It’s that simple and you will have informed us all.
   I am working on a bio of a famous oval track record. The writer sends it to me to edit and add some historical background. The word count is 47,000 and the story is fascinating. I don’t think this story has ever been told quite like this. When we are done and the owner of the manuscript wants to publish it I will ask some of you Indy guys for help in proofreading it, because there are a lot of little errors so far. This is normal for a first write up. Some of the guys portrayed are Crocket or Crockett, Ayulo, McGrath, O’Connor, Vukovich, Hoyt, Orr, Clay Smith, A. J. Watson, Zink, Ward, Nazaruk, Carter, etal. I have learned so much with this story. It may be a while though before it can be released. It is a sad story with almost a racer a week getting killed on the track. But it is history and many of the racers were also racing on the dry lakes.

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No passings were reported this week.

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I had the chance to see this movie at its debut at the Newport beach film festival and it's fantastic. On July 3rd I showed it to 64 hot Rodders, got my own copy, and it was a hit. If you like great stories and documentaries this is a must. The fact it's about our hallowed grounds called Bonneville is a big plus.  Sincerely, Brian Brennan, Editorial Director, Performance Automotive Group
   Brian: May I publish your email and would you like to write reviews for us or accept reviews from us to publish in your magazines?
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Sure. Publish the email. Are there any parameters on the review. Length etc.  Brian Brennan
  
Brian: Please see the answer on reviews in this newsletter.

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400 mph MOTORCYCLE is next. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV-TzPTtauE. Sent in by Ron Main

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     We are thrashing to get Fred Lobello's Tank to the salt this year.  Lots of little things need to get done and we are working on it almost every day.  Jacob Bagnell has taken over as head fabricator and he will be driving the car.  Jacob is a novice when it comes to the salt.  But he isn't a novice to racing.  Jacob was a champion flat track speedway motorcycle jockey back in the day and has spent more than enough time at the drags in the seat and in the pits.  Jacob has spent lots of time with the Kacklefest crowd.  He is crew chief for the Paradise Alley vintage T/F dragster.  I know Jacob will do fine as a driver at the salt, if we can get all these loose end taken care of and get the tank to the salt.  Working with Fred Lobello is a true honor and a treat. The stories are great and he does what he can to help out for a 89 year old man.  He is still sharp as a tack when it comes to the racing know-how and jokes.  We will be running a flathead Ford 4 cylinder, with a pair of vintage Riley carbs and an even older cast iron Winfield head.  Considering Jacob and I started helping Fred a few months ago, we are making good progress. 
   We had to haul the new body panels we fabricated over to a guy with a louver press and got those punched today.  The fire suppression system is our project for tomorrow if we get the bottles.  Once we get the bottles mounted and the lines run, we can mount the seat and finish up all the controls. Counting Fred, there are only 4 guys trying to get this car ready.  Two of us work regular jobs and are only part timers at best.  A major thing that we need to take care of is just getting the tank to Bonneville.  Fred's old truck is shot and none of us has an adequate tow vehicle.  Fred's old trailer needs to be lengthened if we have to use it.  We have been making some phone calls and we may have a newer enclosed race car trailer lined up, but that is still a maybe at best.  The San Diego Roadster Club has said they will get the car to the salt.  But we haven't got much more than some promises.  I know some of them and they are great guys, but nothing definite has been set.  Keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer to the salt gods for us.  I'll keep you up dated on how things are going.  Attached are a few photos I took the other day.  Feel Free to use them.  Charles Chenowth, [email protected],  619-994-8187
     Charles: With your permission I will post the photographs and your email (slightly edited) to the newsletter and maybe some Bonneville fans will give you a call and offers to help your team.  A Bonneville meet without Fred Lobello is not the same. 

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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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I've seen your name attached to a number of book reviews on www.HotRodHotline.  How does one go about having their book considered for a review on the site?  I have recently self published the NASCAR-based novel HIDING BEHIND THUNDER. The book is available through Amazon.com, and is downloadable to Kindle as well.  Other ePub formats are available via Smashwords.com.  Instead of going into too much detail in this email, if you have any interest in learning about the book, please search the title on Amazon, or go to my "official" website http://www.hidingbehindthunder.com and look things over.  If you then think it worthy of a review, drop me a note and we can go from there.  Don Falloon
     Don: Thank you for your inquiry.  I'm using your email in order to explain to the readers of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians, www.hotrodhotline.com, www.landspeedracing.com and all other interested parties what our policy is in regards to book reviews.  The websites are owned by Jack and Mary Ann Lawford and they have been very generous in giving us space and staffing to put up the book, magazine and movie reviews.  Their policy is that all books, magazines and movies can be reviewed and put on their websites free of charge.  They also encourage as many reviewers as possible to send in reviews. 
     The second point is that reviews are important and I think that as many reviews of the book, magazine or movie are vital, because a review helps people decide whether to buy or not to buy.  A review is also publicity.  Many times I have bought a book because of the review.  Not necessarily because the review was positive or negative, but because without the review I wouldn't have known about the book. I see a review as this; helping the public to decide on whether to buy the book or not.  I never tell the reader the plot; what I do is give the basics and let the readers decide.  My policy is this; I do not charge for my reviews, but unless I offer to buy the book, a writer or publisher must send me the book to review.  If they want the book back then they must enclose a postage paid return envelope.  While I don't charge for reviews, I cannot always afford the postage.  Other reviewers may charge for reviewing a book, magazine or movie.  Some websites, magazines and newspapers offer free space for reviews and some charge for putting a review in their publications as if they were ads.
     Reviewers are not all the same.  Some reviewers do reviews only to get free books to grow their libraries and they do not have very large publications that will take their reviews.  Some are professionals and have large newspapers that they write for.  Some are just hobbyists who enjoy reviewing.  A reviewer without a publication such as a magazine, on-line site or newspaper won't help an author very much.  But any review is better than none and the more reviewers that will review a book the better.  Also, once a review is completed it helps to take a copy of the review and send it to as many newspapers, on-line sites and magazines as possible; especially if they will publish the review for free.  You should be very cautious about paying for reviews and who you send books to, as that may only add to your costs and not help you with sales.  When someone self-publishes they have to do all the advertising and promoting and the PR effort can be daunting.  The authors also lack a distribution network that helps to sell books.  Publishers like Motorbooks have a large network of buyers and vendors who take books and this spares the author from all that work.  However, they also take nearly all the profits as well. And they often refuse to publish your book.
     It is not impossible or even hard for a self-published book to be promoted, distributed or advertised.  My advice though is to keep a good hold on costs.  Taking out expensive ads in well-known magazines has not always brought in the necessary sales to justify the advertisement costs.  Authors should go to the internet and google constantly, looking for websites that take reviews and "notices" about books.  A "notice" is really a free ad, just written so that it looks like a news item.  I don't take any ads in the
Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter, which I edit.  They really are advertisements, but what I do is rewrite the ads to look like a news item that I received.  You should see if you can get your friends or family members to write a review or write one yourself.  You can also use aliases; it is a common practice.  The problem with that tactic is two-fold; name recognition and finding a site that will take such a review from an unknown reviewer.  As for your book I will be glad to do a review and post it to the websites.  I will also release the review to you to send to whomever else you can find who will publish the review.  I also publish other people's reviews under my By-Line, which gives those reviewers more name recognition as they are then associated with me.
     Reviews are losing their value as book sales are declining and book stores are going out of business.  The internet is destructive to book stores and books in general.  Eventually the market will stabilize, but until that happens it is as important for authors and photographers to be as good at PR as they are at writing and photographing.  Books, magazines, newspapers and movies are a way that we record history, heritage and our culture of the automobile.  No matter how hard it is today to publish things, it is still a vital way to save our knowledge and we try and help in any way that we can.  An author can approach Mary Ann Lawford and request a review from any of the reviewers, or all of the reviewers that are willing to do them at www.hotrodhotline.com, or they can contact the reviewers directly and see what their terms are.  But always do your research and see whether the reviewer is well-known and respected enough before you agree to his/her terms. 

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"Deuce of Spades" is a period hot rod film by Faith Granger. Faith is inviting you to join Facebook. Once you join, you'll be able to connect with the "Deuce of Spades," along with people you care about and other things that interest you. To sign up for Facebook, follow the link below: http://www.facebook.com/. Faith Granger has sent you this message through Facebook, Inc. P.O. Box 10005, Palo Alto, CA 94303.

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In the issue draft received yesterday you covered a source for Dry Lakes Car Club plaques that is located in Massachusetts. The E-mail address and the phone number in your piece are incorrect. The second phone number appears to switch over to a Fax machine. I sent them an E-mail this morning that was returned as "Undeliverable."  A lot of your readers are probably attempting to get in touch with them. Please advise.   Bob Falcon     
     Bob: The email address that I have for Dennis and Sue O'Brien is [email protected].  I then went to the internet and googled O'Brien Truckers and came up with this website; www.obrientruckers.com.  Dennis and Sue gave me permission to use their email address and website in my articles.  The O'Brien's are very interesting and their business is casting car plaques and other automotive accessories. To fully understand car plaques as a hobby and in collecting them it is important to add them to your list.  I hope the readers of the newsletter will go to their website and look it over.  The O'Brien's make it possible to collect many old car club plaques that would have been forgotten if not for their efforts.
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Did you BCC me on this Richard?  I couldn't see what e-mail address you sent it to.  The [email protected] address works fine (thank goodness) although we are starting to change over to [email protected] just in case, heaven forbid, that Charter ever goes bankrupt again and doesn't recover.  In reality, I get the [email protected] mail thru Charter since that is my ISP here at home/work.  See you in Louisville?  We leave Friday the 29th.  Happy Truckin', Dennis O’Brien
O'Brien Truckers, 29 A Young Road, Charlton, MA 01507, 508-248-1555, 508-248-6179 FAX [email protected], www.obrientruckers.com (Totally Reconstructed!)
    
Dennis: Normally I don't add contact information to the newsletter unless I'm told to do so, but your contact information is available on the net and you have a business, so I took the liberty, because it's important for collectors of hot rodding car club plaques to know where you are and to have your email address and website on their list of favorites.  I won't be in Louisville, but I wish you and all the hot rodders there a great time.

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Lenny Schaeffer from Massachusetts has a nice newsletter at www.chop-shopcustoms.com. If you are from the East coast look it up on Google.

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Leonard Abbott was my uncle.  His brother, Norris Wayne Abbott, was my father, who was killed in a drag racing accident in Paradise Mesa Drag Strip in San Diego, California on July 19, 1958.  After my father's death, Leonard lost the speed shop the two of them owned, and he moved into the back of Jim Nicoll's shop, continued racing and began working towards the eventual innovations that would become the LENCO transmission and various gearboxes, quick change rear ends, over and under-drives etc.  Jim Nicoll and Leonard worked together, along with other drivers and folks and eventually Leonard opened LENCO in the Federal Boulevard building, where it has been since 1970.  I don't really have much information, as my mother chose to try and keep me from the "dangers" of the Drag Racing world, and most of what I know was from relatives and those who knew Leonard, Don Garlits, Rik Chidester (whom I spoke with before his death a few years ago) and a few others.  I hope that helps Winona in her search for some information.  Michael Wayne (Abbott) Kaufman
     Michael: Thank you for sharing this information with us.  I don't believe that I kept Winona's email address, but I will try and find her and relay the message.  She wrote to us after seeing mention of LENCO in one of the issues of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter, which is posted on www.landspeedracing.com.  We are a group of enthusiasts who try and save as much of the history of straight-line racing alive as we can.  Some of our goals are to encourage people to write their biographies and to caption and scan their photographs.  If you have any additional history of the events of the race at Paradise Mesa, your father, uncle or LENCO, would you be willing to share it with us? 
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I will try and see if I can find anything to add, but I have very little unfortunately. There are no doubt, quite a few folks who may have known or met Leonard Abbott, but since he spent the better part of his time in the shop and not as much on the track in the latter 1970’s most of those folks were likely in the SoCal area. I do know that Gary Sumek was very instrumental in getting Leonard into the IDR Hall of Fame, which I think was very deserved for his contributions to Drag Racing. See:
http://www.competitionplus.com/drag-racing/news/17045-sumek-leonard-finally-gets-his-due, and http://garlits.com/z11-abbott.html.  Michael Wayne (Abbott) Kaufman
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Sumek: Leonard finally gets his due. Written by Todd Veney.  21 March 2011
   The late Leonard Abbott, inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame recently with Joe Amato, Jeg Coughlin Sr., Rich Guasco, Clayton Harris, Fred Sibley, and Ed Almquist, was, first and foremost, a problem solver. Gary Sumek has worked at Lenco Racing Transmissions, the company Abbott founded in 1966, for the past 36 years and has owned it for the past 27. "He was always trying to make things better," said Gary Sumek, who has worked at Lenco Racing Transmissions, the company Abbott founded in 1966, for the past 36 years and has owned it for the past 27. Like many racing innovations, Abbott's revolutionary planetary transmission, the first transmission designed specifically for drag racing, was born of necessity. "Leonard was a Top Fuel racer, and he needed something to keep up with the bad boys," Sumek said. "He had a 392, the 426’s were coming into vogue, and he decided that an overdrive would be the best way to do it. He put one together, went up to Long Beach [Lions Drag Strip] and right away, the car left like a rocket ship because it had the right gearing." 
   The problem was it broke. "Leonard went back to the drawing board, came up with something stronger, went back up to Long Beach a week or two later, and ended up setting low e.t. and top speed and winning the race," Sumek said. Veteran Top Fuel and Funny Car shoe Joe Lee was the driver. "Right away, a bunch of racers came over and said, ''Hey, I've got to have to have one of those,' and then everybody wanted one." The first customer was none other than Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, who won the 1969 Nationals at Indy with a Lenco 2-speed. A year later, Gene Snow, who, with Jack Jones, helped solve the pinion-breakage that plagued the early units, utterly dominated Funny Car competition in 1970, winning three of the last four races of the year, the Summernationals, World Finals, and inaugural Supernationals. 
   Before long, just about every Top Fuel and Funny Car team in the country had one, and they remained a must-have component in the fuel ranks until the switch to the multi-stage clutch/high-gear-only era in the late 1980s. "When he first came up with the idea, everyone thought he was a little goofy, trying to make a transmission for a Top Fuel car," said Jones, the Top Gas great who, with Abbott, ran Lenco in the early days. "I handled the business end of it, and Leonard ran the shop. He always had lots of ideas. At first, he didn't have the machinery he needed – he owned an engine-rebuilding shop at the time – but he never ran out of ideas. There were times when we had every car in every pro class at NHRA national events, 64 of 64. Well, 63 of 64, I guess – everybody but Garlits." "Leonard only had a high school education," Sumek said. "He was completely self-taught. Everything he knew, he learned on his own. When we got our first NC machine, he went to school in Ohio to learn how to operate it. By the end of the class, he was telling the guy who taught the class things that would make it better. That's just how he was." 
   Abbott, an Arkansas native, moved to sunny San Diego in the late 1940s and raced at all the Southern California strips with his brother, Norris, who was killed in an accident at Paradise Mesa in the late 1950’s. Lenco was always at the center of his life. He sold the company to Sumek just days before he died of cancer at age 53 in June 1984. "Leonard was a very quiet guy, Sumek said." It wasn't easy to really get to know him; he was very private." "I don't know what to say about Leonard's personal life except that he didn't have one," said Jones, who won the NHRA Top Gas championship in 1969 and the U.S. Nationals (then still called just "the Nationals") in 1968 and 1970 and helped Abbott develop both the underdrive and the first air-shifter. "Leonard's life was his business. He was probably the most honest, kind-hearted, hard-working guy I've ever met, a prince of a man. I worked for four people in this industry, and three of them were three of the greatest people I ever met – Leonard, Bob Stange, and Keith Black – and Leonard was at the top of the list." 
   After the initial success of his early overdrive units, Abbott got an even better idea: an underdrive. "The underdrive was better because you didn't have to use such a low ring and pinion," Sumek said. "Instead of a 4.88 rear end, you could use a 4.10 ratio, which has a much stronger ring and pinion, and still end up with the same gearing." Comp and Pro Comp racer Dave Mack had the idea for the first 3-speed: Just bolt together two 2-speeds. Billy "the Kid" Stepp and the Motown Missile teams were among the first to use 4-speeds in Pro Stock. "Chrysler called not long after we came up with the 4-speed," Jones recalled. "There was never any disconnect – you didn't have to use the clutch to shift it – and at this private test, every Pro Stock car there except one picked up two-tenths, instantly." The only driver who didn't get faster with a Lenco was Ronnie Sox, long acknowledged as the master of the conventional 4-speed trans. Forty years after Abbott's first successful two-speed underdrive for fuel cars, the same basic design, in three-speed form, is between the framerails of a majority of the top-running Alcohol Dragsters and Alcohol Funny Cars of today. "There aren't too many drag racing parts you can say this about," Sumek said, "but with the Lenco it's true: Leonard's initial concept has carried on for four decades."
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LEONARD ABBOTT BIO; courtesy of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. 
   Leonard moved to San Diego, CA from Arkansas shortly after he graduated from high school and, where he was joined shortly by his brother Norris. Upon his arrival in San Diego, Leonard went to work in a small machine shop where he learned to master the machines that would later allow him to bring his dreams to reality. Also not long after his arrival in San Diego, he became the proud owner of his first dragster, powered by an injected Chevy engine and driven by his brother Norris. When Norris wasn’t available to drive, another San Diego local, Leroy Goldstein, would take over the driving chores. The two brothers soon built their lives around the drag racing world and Leonard began designing and building parts for racing. In 1958, Norris was killed in a racing accident at Paradise Mesa Race Track which led Leonard to turn more and more to the business side of the sport. While he spent a lot of time working on improving the performance portion of the sport, he was particularly interested in improving the safety of the sport.  
   In 1966 Leonard, by now working out of a rented space in the back of a small automotive engine building shop, B&L Auto Parts, founded Lenco Racing Transmissions and began designing his first product aimed strictly at the drag racing market, an overdrive transmission. Unlike some of the equipment available at that time, this was not a rebuilt factory unit but a purpose-built piece designed for dragsters, funny cars and comp cars. In 1965 Leonard put together a Top Fuel dragster which he ran locally and which became the test car for his products. That same year Leonard built a Dodge Charger Funny car that Joe Lee drove for him. Like the dragster, the funny car was also a combination test car and a very competitive race car. By 1969 he was producing and selling his overdrive unit and before long racers such as Gene Snow and Don Prudhomme were showing the racing world what a great product this was.  
   While he raced mostly at the local Southern California tracks, Leonard did attempt the touring circuit for a short time with both the AA/Fuel dragster and the AA/Fuel Funny car but decided it interfered with the business end of Lenco and also his developing of new products and gave it up to concentrate on building the business. In 1971 with the help of Jack Jones, Leonard developed and began marketing an under-drive transmission that was well received but never became as popular as the over-drive unit. The next project Jack and Leonard developed was the "air shifter," a pneumatically operated clutch unit that soon altered how the drive train of a great many race cars was set up. Leonard went on to develop many other products including an over-drive fitted fuel pump for the fuel-burning classes that was an instant success along with several variations of his clutch systems.
   Leonard was (among) the first people to introduce port nozzles on his fuel dragster but a small miss-calculation on the way he set them up pretty much destroyed his engine. Later on, Stu Hilborn asked Leonard if he was going to continue developing this system and when Leonard said no, he and Hilborn worked together to develop their use further and before long Hilborn was successfully marketing the units. In addition to the land based racing products, Leonard also developed a number of products for the marine and oval track arenas of racing. Leonard succumbed to cancer in 1984 at the age of 53 but left his legacy in the form of his company, Lenco Racing Transmissions that is still one of the most popular and reliable sources of products for both racing and street performance enthusiasts. 
Both biographical reports were submitted by Michael Wayne (Abbott) Kaufman.

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I recently came across your website and was wondering if someone might be able to help me. I like older cars, i.e. Allards, MG, TC, and TD cars, Arnolt Bristols, and the like and have always been interested in 2 cars built by Jack Hagemann. Those cars were the David MG and the Gillespie MG.  I have tried to find pictures of both cars and have acquired only a few, but more importantly I am interested to see if either car still exists today.  I have spoken with a few friends on the west coast and folks have not seen either car in many many years.  Would you know of anyone who would have information on either of those two cars?  Any help would be grateful.  Thanks. Mike DiCola, my email address is [email protected].
     Mike: Spencer Simon might know the whereabouts of Jack Hagemann or people who know of him.  There is an Allard dragster, but most of the cars you are looking for are road course cars and the place to go is The Fabulous Fifties, a group of veteran road course racers who keep the history and heritage of road racing alive.  I modeled the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians on The Fabulous Fifties.  One is a straight-line form of racing and the other is road course racing.  Art Evans, John and Ginny Dixon, Alice Hanks, Bill Pollock and others are members of The Fabulous Fifties.  I have forwarded your email address to all of these individuals and hopefully they will contact you.  It would help you tremendously if you will put together all the knowledge that you have about the subject that you are researching and send it to me to publish.  The reason for this is that the more information you provide in your letters to people the more memories you will jog and the more likely that you will receive a better response.  Whatever request is sent to me I will publish, even if it isn't quite along the lines of land speed racing.  I'm including your email address only and not your phone number, unless you tell me that you want that information made public too.  If you are a fan, spectator, driver, mechanic or relative of road course racing, then you should seek to join The Fabulous Fifties, a group of people that I highly admire and who are doing a great service in keeping road course racing history alive for future generations.

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URGENT SEMA ACTION NETWORK ALERT.  The Bonneville Salt Flats Are Being Destroyed – Help Save the Salt!  The history of the Bonneville Salt Flats is well known.  Since 1914, racers have gone to Utah to set land speed records and achieve personal best times.  In addition to its professional racing programs, Bonneville remains at the heart of every racer’s dreams.  For decades, the Salt Flats have decreased in size, strength and thickness because salt has been removed by an adjoining potash mining operation.   Preservation of the Salt Flats is under the authority of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The BLM has conducted multiple studies to confirm that salt is being removed and not adequately replaced by the mining operation.  However, the BLM has failed to stop the destruction and institute a permanent solution.  Originally 96,000 acres in size, the Salt Flats are now about 30,000 acres.  The BLM is “studying” the problem -- again -- and set to issue an “environmental assessment.”  The assessment must call for a permanent salt replenishment program.    We Urge You to Contact BLM Director Robert Abbey and Demand That He Protect the Bonneville Salt Flats.     
* The Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) is central to the history of motorsports.  Scores of world land speed records have been set on the Flats.  The area is a “National Landmark” and an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern.”  The BLM is responsible for protecting lands that have these two designations.    
* We are seeking an assurance from the BLM that the upcoming Environmental Assessment will require the mining operator to implement a permanent salt replenishment program, that will require that salt be replenished with the same or more salt than is removed from the mining operation.     
* The salt must be of the same or better quality, and the replenishment program must occur over a period of many months so the salt is dispensed throughout the BSF basin and the underground aquifer is replenished.    
* No salt should be removed from the BSF region for commercial sale.    
* The program must be permanent and verifiable.  
DON’T DELAY! Please contact the Bureau of Land Management Director (contact information below) to urge a permanent solution for protecting the Bonneville Salt Flats!  Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Stuart Gosswein at [email protected]    The Honorable Robert Abbey Director, Bureau of Land Management U.S. Department of the Interior e-mail:  [email protected] fax:   202-208-5242.  Sent in by Ron Main

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Dear Coalition Members: After providing the BLM with ample opportunity to substantively address our grievances, we are now launching a grassroots campaign to help institute a permanent salt replenishment program.  The following provides context for the campaign along with information about the Coalition website and related activities.
Grassroots Campaign
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing an “Environmental Assessment” (E.A.) as part of managing the potash mining operations at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  It may outline requirements for a salt replenishment program.  The draft E.A. is expected to be issued in the near future, possible before Speed Week.  A final E.A. may be issued in as little as 30 to 60 days after that, providing little time for public comment and BLM consideration of those comments.  Our legal counsel, Russ Deane, has had numerous conversations with BLM officials about the need to institute a permanent salt replenishment program.  The officials include BLM Director Bob Abbey, Field Office Manager Jill Silvey and District Manager Glenn Carpenter, among others.   Russ has stressed that the “Save the Salt” Coalition worked with the previous mine operator to implement a successful salt replenishment program from 1997-2002 and the Coalition was seeking a similar outcome.  Russ noted that the Coalition has identified several minimum elements for a successful program: 
·        salt replenished in the same amount or more,
·     of the same or better quality,
·        over a period of many months to ensure above-ground dispersal and underground aquifer replenishment,
·        no salt removal from the BSF region for commercial sale, and
·        a permanent and verifiable program. 
For months, Russ has requested assurance that the upcoming E.A. will satisfy these basic elements.  The BLM officials have refused to provide such assurance.  For months, we have delayed a public grassroots campaign as the assurance was sought.  Failing to achieve the goal, we are now launching a grassroots campaign. The campaign message is simple: we are seeking assurance that the BLM’s upcoming Environmental Assessment satisfy the elements listed above.  The message is being directed to BLM Director Bob Abbey.
Attachment A (below) is an action alert that the SEMA Action Network (SAN) is issuing to all of its members.  Source Interlink Media is also posting the action alert on its websites/blogs (about 60 sites).  Source editors are also publishing BSF educational materials on the websites and in magazines. 
Members of the Coalition are encouraged to undertake similar individual grassroots efforts.  Feel free to use the SAN message text or to craft your own message. 

Coalition Members, Website, Press Release

Attachment B identifies companies/organizations that have joined the Coalition, along with the primary contact person/e-mail address/phone number information.  Please let me know of any changes.  Also, we encourage you to enlist more members.  We apologize that the www.SaveTheSalt.org website does not currently reflect all of the names of the Coalition members.  The website is now being updated.  The Coalition issued a press release when it was launched in April and will now issue a second press release in early August to announce its expansion and grassroots campaign.  I will circulate a draft next week.

Congressional Action

The Save the Salt Coalition has secured a letter to BLM Director Abbey from Utah’s Congressional delegation (Reps. Rob Bishop, Jim Matheson, Jason Chaffetz) –

Attachment C -- which encourages the BLM to carefully study and evaluate how best to preserve this important national asset and ensure its continued multiple-uses.  Rep. Rob Bishop chairs the House Natural Resources Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the site, and the BSF is in his House district. 

The letter carries significant weight and is also considered a first step.  If the BLM does not issue an Environmental Assessment with sufficient protective elements, the Utah Congressional delegation is prepared to pursue a House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing and other actions.  We have also briefed Utah’s Senators (Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee) and are in the process of “educating” House Natural Resource Committee members about the issue.  We are also will pursue additional Congressional intervention to secure adequate protections if necessary.  Please let me know if you have any questions. Stuart
Stuart Gosswein, Sr. Director, Federal Government Affairs
Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)
1317 F Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC  20004
202/783-6007, ext. 30, 202/783-6024 – fax, [email protected]

Attachment A

URGENT SEMA ACTION NETWORK ALERT

The Bonneville Salt Flats Are Being Destroyed – Help Save the Salt!

 The history of the Bonneville Salt Flats is well known.  Since 1914, racers have gone to Utah to set land speed records and achieve personal best times.  In addition to its professional racing programs, Bonneville remains at the heart of every racer’s dreams.  For decades, the Salt Flats have decreased in size, strength and thickness because salt has been removed by an adjoining potash mining operation.  Preservation of the Salt Flats is under the authority of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The BLM has conducted multiple studies to confirm that salt is being removed and not adequately replaced by the mining operation.  However, the BLM has failed to stop the destruction and institute a permanent solution.  Originally 96,000 acres in size, the Salt Flats are now about 30,000 acres.  The BLM is “studying” the problem -- again -- and set to issue an “environmental assessment.”  The assessment must call for a permanent salt replenishment program.   

 We Urge You to Contact BLM Director Robert Abbey
and Demand That He Protect the Bonneville Salt Flats

 · The Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) is central to the history of motorsports.  Scores of world land speed records have been set on the Flats.  The area is a “National Landmark” and an “Area of Critical Environmental Concern.”  The BLM is responsible for protecting lands that have these two designations.

  • · We are seeking an assurance from the BLM that the upcoming Environmental Assessment will require the mining operator to implement a permanent salt replenishment program, that will require that salt be replenished with the same or more salt than is removed from the mining operation. 
  • · The salt must be of the same or better quality, and the replenishment program must occur over a period of many months so the salt is dispensed throughout the BSF basin and the underground aquifer is replenished.
  • · No salt should be removed from the BSF region for commercial sale.
  • · The program must be permanent and verifiable. 

 DON’T DELAY! Please contact the Bureau of Land Management Director (contact information below) to urge a permanent solution for protecting the Bonneville Salt Flats!  Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Stuart Gosswein at [email protected]  

    The Honorable Robert Abbey
    Director, Bureau of Land Management
    U.S. Department of the Interior
    e-mail[email protected]
    fax:   202-208-5242

Attachment B

Save The Salt Coalition Members & Contact Information

American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)

The Bonneville Nationals (BNI)

Blue Ribbon Coalition

BUB  Motorcycle Speed Trials

Cooks Land Speed Events

East Coast Timing Association

Motorcycle Industry Council  (MIC)

Off-Road Business Association (ORBA)

Save the Salt Foundation

Source Interlink Media

Southern California Timing Association (SCTA)

Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)

Speed Demon

Utah Salt Flats Racing Association (USFRA)

United States Automobile Club (USAC)

Legal Counsel: Russ Deane, Trainum, Snowdon & Deane

IT/Website

Attachment C

July 21, 2011

The Honorable Robert Abbey, Director
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management
1849 C Street, NW, Room 5665
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Director Abbey:

As Members of Congress representing the state of Utah, we write to you regarding the Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Plan of Operation and Reclamation between the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and a mining operator, Intrepid Potash - Wendover, LLC, near the Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF).  As you know, the BLM manages the BSF as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area.  It is a 30,000 acre expanse of hard, white salt crust on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake basin in Utah.  The BSF is also the location where world famous land speed records are set. The BSF is an important national asset and we strongly encourage the BLM to take into consideration the concerns of all BSF users in its efforts to protect and preserve the BSF as it has historically.  We also believe it is important that the BLM continue to apply sound scientific principles to the study and evaluation of the BSF consistent with its several recent evaluations of the BSF.  Since the BSF is an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, we encourage the BLM to continue to carefully study and evaluate the BSF to determine how best to preserve this important national asset and to ensure its continued multiple-uses.  Thank you for your time and consideration of our request. Sincerely,
                                                                                                                                               

    Rob Bishop                                                                             Jim Matheson
    Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress

                                                   
    Jason Chaffetz
    Member of Congress

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Riding Alfresco, Motorcyclist Sets Record With 311.94 M.P.H. Run. By DEXTER FORD.  Sent to us by Dick Elliott
     Until recently, going faster than 300 miles per hour on two wheels required stuffing oneself feet-first into a torpedo-shaped, outrigger-equipped streamliner motorcycle.  But on Sunday, Bill Warner, a Florida fish farmer, logged a record-breaking run of 311.94 m.p.h., whistling down the empty 2.5-mile runway at the decommissioned Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine. His mount, a much-modified Suzuki GSX1300 Hayabusa, was the first non-streamliner motorcycle to break 300 m.p.h., according to the East Coast Timing Association.  Mr. Warner said that accelerating to his record-breaking speed was routine, “was very smooth. The bike was handling very, very well,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “I was in sixth gear, and my shift light flickered at 12,000 r.p.m. before I’d gotten to the end of the speed traps. So I knew I was going fast. I’ve been working on this speed for the last two or three years, and with this big fairing on the bike, the air is really going right around me.”  But if gathering speed felt perfunctory, slowing down was anything but.  “The fun of it was trying to stop that thing,” he said. “It skips and bounces and slides. There’s so much weight transfer to the front that it takes most of the mile-long braking area to get it back down to a comfortable speed.”  Despite Mr. Warner’s high terminal velocity, his budget was very low.  While the motorcycle started out as a stock Suzuki, nearly every part was reconfigured by Mr. Warner or replaced with a donated hot-rod alternative.  The motor, which originally generated about 160 horsepower, was turbocharged, fueled with methanol and refined to handle as much as 1,000 horsepower.  “It’s got a ginormous turbo on it,” Mr. Warner said. “People don’t even put that size on big trucks.” The aluminum frame, meanwhile, was raked, stretched and fitted with lightweight, high-strength carbon-fiber wheels. To save money, he built the crucial aerodynamic fairing by hand.  Mr. Warner already wants to go faster. The limited braking area at Loring, however, presents a significant obstacle.  “The day before, I went to the end of the runway in my truck,” he said. ”There’s a grassy hill. I ran the truck back and forth a couple times to make a path to follow through the grass.”  “I was trying to be a good boy scout,” he said. “I wanted to be prepared.”

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This is the world’s fastest motorcycle. By Justin Hyde. Sent in by Dick Elliott.
   For the first time, a driver of an open-cockpit motorcycle has gone faster than 300 mph, thanks to a turbocharged Hayabusa engine and titanium guts. Bill Warner passed the mark Sunday, beating his own best of 278.6 mph like it was a broken Vespa. Using an abandoned runway at a former Air Force base in Maine, Warner pushed his turbocharged Hayabusa to a new world record of 311.945 mph for a vehicle with two wheels and an open cockpit. While the bodywork has been shaped for aerodynamics, the Hayabusa's frame is mostly stock. The 1299cc engine grabs power from a massive Garrett turbocharger and has no cooling system; it runs for 25 seconds, then shuts down. At 300 mph, the tires are moving at twice their speed rating. This is the world's fastest motorcycle. Warner told the Bangor Daily News that getting to 311 mph wasn't nearly as hard as slowing down; he didn't mention that his front fender broke near the fastest point of his run. "It was a little scary." May the world never see whatever exists that can scare Bill Warner a lot.

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Andy Granatelli sent us the following website links to view the Goodwood event where his cars were displayed.
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZub3m9miBM&feature=player_embedded. Goodwood Festival of Speed 2011.  
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKK6DMyhXmw. STP Car 60 at Goodwood 
See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRr-DGO2sOw&NR=1.  Indy 500 Turbine Car History

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The Sam Auxier Jr Show. Best In Live Radio Monday July 25, 2011, 7-9PM EST. NHRA Funny Car driver "Fast Jack Beckman," NHRA Pro Mod Danny Rowe, Pro Mod "Animal Jim" Feurer, T/A F/C Cassie Simonton, Guest Host Rick Markko, Co-Host Kristin Moeser. [email protected]

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In your photos of the roadster show, you asked if anyone knew who owned the exquisite roadster...it's for sale in the www.hotrodhotline.com ads under the 1932 Fords; of course you might already know this by now.   Doug
     Doug: Thank you for responding.  The captions to the photographs are done by our Society's photographic editor Roger Rohrdanz and I will include him on this email. 

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Drag Boat Races and Stock Cars. Join all our friends and family in this great weekend of fun!  See www.lucasoilspeedway.com.  Pattie Prestidge Frost ([email protected])

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One month from today, on August 21, the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links will be filled with beautiful cars during the 61st annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.  Some of the automobiles will travel great distances for the event.  Dan Smith  
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     PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (July 21, 2011) – The countdown to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is on. This week, Dr. Christian Jenny of Thalwil, Switzerland, carefully loads his 1961 Jaguar E-Type Fixed Head Coupé on a transporter to Luxembourg—the first of several stages in its long journey to Pebble Beach. The automobile is one of 44 classic automobiles crossing international borders to participate in “the world’s Concours.”  “It takes a great deal of effort and time for Concours participants from Europe or Australia to bring their cars here,” said Sandra Button, chairman of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. “For them, the reward comes when their car is one of the select few to drive onto the 18th fairway at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Concours Sunday.”  More than 220 beautiful and elegant vehicles are traveling from 14 different countries—and one principality—to participate in the Aug. 21 Concours. In some cases the trip takes days; for others, it takes weeks or months. Here’s how three overseas participants are getting to Pebble Beach.
     From Zurich (5,870 miles / 9,450 km).   For Dr. Jenny’s E-type—the very E-type (chassis 885005) that was first unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show fifty years ago—stage two in the journey involves a transatlantic flight to California via the cargo airline Cargolux. Then the show car will ultimately be placed on another transporter for delivery to the Monterey Peninsula, where it will be stored at a friend’s home on 17-Mile Drive until the start of Pebble Beach Automotive Week.  “I consider a classic automobile to be a living cultural object of historical value, and I feel an obligation to its creators to present the car to the public,” said Dr. Jenny. “Exhibiting a classic automobile at a Concours is an honor, and it will be the ultimate honor for 885005 to be shown at Pebble Beach. No name is better known among enthusiasts.” 
     From Brisbane (7,060 miles / 11,400 km).  The 1946 Allard J1 Supercharged owned by Peter and Robin Briggs begins its trek to Pebble Beach on July 29, departing from Brisbane, Australia. One of the original Allard team cars that raced under the moniker “Candidi Provocatores” (the white challengers), the car has undergone months of preparation and is now in Concours-ready condition.  The Allard J1 will be shipped 580 miles (930 km) by road from Brisbane to Sydney, where it will be securely fastened into an airline container for the trip across the Pacific Ocean.  After arriving at Los Angeles International Airport on Aug. 1, the car will be trucked 1,150 miles (1,840 km) north to Seattle, Washington. Then Peter, Robin and their Allard will participate in the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, a nine-day, 1,500-mile tour through the Pacific Northwest on their way to Pebble Beach.
     From Monte Carlo (6,040 miles / 9,720 km).  Hugo Modderman’s 1950 Delahaye Guillore Atlas, one of only five still in existence, has taken a somewhat circuitous path from Europe to the Aug. 21 Concours. Through experience he discovered “the fastest way to get a car to the U.S. is to ship it from Rotterdam, Holland.” Fastest, that is, if you’re not going by air.  “The stories of how cars from around the world travel to the Concours each year are always an interesting component of our event’s story,” says Button. “But Hugo’s adventure may require an entire chapter.”  Starting in Monaco, Hugo drove three hours through southern France to Alessandria, Italy and loaded the Delahaye on the Autotrain for a 15-hour trip north through Switzerland and on to Dusseldorf, Germany. From there, Modderman again was behind the wheel for a two-and-a-half hour drive to Rotterdam. The fact that the car was not yet registered in Modderman’s name presented a few complications—but these were surmounted. And in Rotterdam, the car was loaded onto an APL container vessel for a 27-day voyage across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and through the Panama Canal to Oakland.  From there it would have been a quick two-hour jaunt south to Pebble Beach. But the Delahaye, like the Allard, is joining the Pebble Beach Motoring Classic, so it was trucked 800 miles north to Seattle, Washington.  “All in all, it’s quite an expedition,” says Modderman. “Monaco through France to Italy to Germany to Holland, then up and down the West Coast. The good news is that I was able to get the Delahaye (which he recently purchased) registered in my name in Monaco while it was floating on the Atlantic.”  At least the trip home will be a little simpler.  
     Since 1950, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance (www.pebblebeachconcours.net) has grown to be the world’s premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, and connoisseurs of art and style flock to see these masterpieces.

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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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