NEWSLETTER 222 - October 19, 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, My name is Michelle and I am Joe Lema's daughter; www.Hotrodhotline.com has added “Employment” to its Classified Ad Section; Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion is back and will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum; I used to receive a boat racers newsletter [the last one I received was 2006] I was wondering who was doing it now?; Mickey Thompson Tire Press Release; The Petersen Automotive Museum, with The Phil Hill Family and The Checkered Flag 200, will present a very special Tribute to Phil Hill on Hill’s 50th Anniversary of his Formula One World Driver’s Championship that he won in 1961, the first American to become a Formula One World Champion; Maxx2Racing Mojave Mile results for October 8-9, 2011; ACAG October News Update; See http://www.jetblack.co.nz/home The new land speed car being designed by New Zealand's Jet Black team provides an informative contrast to Bloodhound SSC in designing a combination jet/rocket land speed car; A New Zealand LSR team will mount a challenge the World Landspeed Record for the first time and unveiled a full-scale model of their speed-machine; Dave McCain reports that a fire destroyed the garage and '40 Ford Coupe belonging to Tom Medley, but that Medley is okay despite being knocked to the ground by the explosion and fire; 18th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show 2011 Report; The 2012 Grand National Roadster Show presents the "Spirit of Rett".


President's Corner:  
Jim Miller is on assignment and will return next week.


   Several people have said to me, “You talk too much.” One of these was my father, another my spouse and the third was our esteemed Society’s photographic editor. I’m sure that they meant it in a nice way. Except for my Dad who said that no editorial should go past 400 words and no article should be greater than 600 words. My father would find my articles posted around the internet, at magazines or other strange places (he had a network of eager spies) and then he would red or blue pencil what I wrote and send it back to me with directions to dele (delete) or stet (leave it in). Even when I sent him a Christmas card or an email he would often send it back to me with editorial corrections. He did this to those he loved. You could ask Dick Wells (if he was still alive) and he would tell you, “You are right, I have gotten my fair share of corrections to make.” But then Wells often edited what I wrote to him and sent it back to me. Editors get into this mindset of correcting things. It’s a bad habit and seems to be unbreakable. As to how much is too much, that is a question that all of us face and there is no easy answer. Some blogs, newsletters, magazines, books, websites and news sources edit down so that the reader hardly has to work to understand what’s happening. We call these groups “Caption Reporting.” They have a photograph and add about 20 words of text. Their excuse is that their readers are just dumb shop monkeys and pictures are all that they’re capable of understanding.
   Another reason that they give is that it is too expensive to waste space on textual words and history or photographs as that takes up space that could go to advertisements. So they have a cost and expenditure problem as well as an artistic enigma. I don’t have to pay staff; we all work for free. Well, somewhat free because we are often offered credentials to an event. Not as much as you would think though. I pay for many of the events that I attend and write stories on and for about half of the books, magazines and movie videos that I review. But if I did have costs you can be sure that I would cut here and cut there and curse any writer who went over 600 words or photographer that tried to get me to post more than three photographs of an event. But since the only expense is a few event entry fees (and a huge traffic ticket) to go to some of the activities that we cover, I can expand out to a huge amount of words and dozens of photographs. The owners of www.hotrodhotline.com, www.landspeedracing.com and www.bikeronline.com have budgets and restrictions, but I don’t. I have asked the Lawford family if I were overdoing it and each time they graciously said “no,” they had no problems with what I sent them. In fact, they had no problems with what anyone sends in to them. The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians (SLSRH) and its newsletter, was created to save every fact that we could find and put it on-line to share. Of course, what we mean by sharing is that you ask permission of the website first, but usually they don’t mind.
   So here in the SLSRH you can expect lengthy replies and long articles. Here’s my take on the subject; “It’s better for you to cut down the material than to have to go searching for more later on.” Take this analogy; the SLSRH intends to stock its cupboards with a full range of historical facts that we have found rather than to have them bare when you come looking. Just as you would hope that the corner speed shop has all the parts that you are looking for to fulfill that special hot rod of yours. I suppose Jim Miller and I do talk too much and we write too much; but that’s just who we are and it is better to give too much than not enough. We let you, the racing fans and racers decide what is valuable in the SLSRH, rather than make that decision for you. Yes, there is a lot of information and sometimes it doesn’t apply to you, or it is redundant and stated several times over. That’s because we’re not professionals and we don’t have to draw paying subscribers to our site. We are not here to entertain you, but to provide all the information that we have discovered and let you decide what to do. Somewhere in that big race track in the sky Dick Wells and Wally Parks are sharpening their red and blue pencils and waiting for me to show up so they can cut this editorial down to size.
   Another point; some writers and editors will tell you to never rush anything into print that isn’t fact checked over and over again. Other editors and authors will tell you that getting the information out in a timely manner is the important thing and quality will catch up with quantity. Then there’s Robert E. “Pete” Petersen who insisted that there is absolutely no reason not to make the deadlines, under cost and in perfect, error free condition. I’ll go with Pete. Perfect, cheap and fast; which may be the reason that editors are sometimes called “madams” by the writers who work for them. You can guess what the editors call the writers and photographers. It’s a goal to aspire to, but one which we will break frequently. So we adopt another technique; we apologize for errors and we retract the mistakes. It’s easy when it’s an on-line website. We just redo the document, caption, text or story and send it into the website and ask them to purge the old story and replace it with the corrected version. In the old days once the error was made you couldn’t go back and reprint thousands of issues of the magazine to let the readers know that “Cud” really meant “Cad.” You should hear the blue language when editors find out that they missed a really bad error made by a reporter who couldn’t spell his way out of a Kindergarten class. One thing that I’ve learned is to never, ever use the word ‘count,’ in a sentence, especially around hot rodders. They can’t spell and they usually drop a certain vowel, sometimes on purpose.
   Let’s look at another problem; event date conflicts. Editors hate it when you make mistakes in dates and then come back and say, “Oops, I meant to say my event is next week, October 12 and not December 12 that I asked you to put in your newsletter. Okay, today’s the 11th and by the time I make the correction and get it out to the public it’s already November. Not only that but 200 people are going to miss your event and probably show up in December, when you’ve gone on vacation. Some promoters tell me that they don’t care what’s going on around them, people will come to their event out of loyalty or because their event is better. Please, don’t go up against the Super Bowl, a TV National event or the California Hot Rod Reunion. If you do you’re going to get smoked. Find a calendar of events or ask people for advice, but plan your event around and far away from conflicts and weather problems. If the Farmer’s Almanac says that it never rains on January 15, don’t plan your event for outdoors, because karma says you are about to get what’s coming to you for kicking the cat and neglecting your wife all these years to go racing. You can’t avoid conflicts; there are thousands of events planned around the United States every year and 50 on every weekend. But what you can do is avoid the shows, reunions and race dates that will eat into your attendance.
   A final topic, and one that hot rodders hate to hear about; poor health. We’re getting older as a group, even though we are attracting a lot of young people into hot rodding. The average age is still going up and we are losing people to health problems. Sometimes that means funerals to attend and sometimes ill health robs us of our ability to continue to do what we love to do. Recently I experienced light flashes in my left eye and feared a detached retina. According to the doctors it is not as severe. I have lost vitreous fluid from the eye and they say that is a common occurrence for someone my age. The doctors tell me that it is normal and that it has already happened in my right eye as well. Right now my vision is blurred and it is very difficult to work on the computer for very long. I used to be able to spend 10 to 12 hours on the keyboard, but now I can only stand it for an hour a day. Maybe my vision will improve over time or maybe it won’t, but changes are coming. One of the changes is that I will not actively seek out new material. I will simply react to that which is sent to me. Another change is that I’ve have to let go of several other newsletters that I’ve been editing. I’m letting you all know this in order to provide for a successor, if one can be found. My time as editor may be coming to an end and I have to delegate more of the workload to others if the SLSRH is to survive and continue on.


My name is Michelle and I am Joe Lema's daughter.  He asked me to get some things together for you about Julian.  We were also able to talk with his wife.  She has agreed to talk with you if you like.  Her name is Gail.  I am trying to get a hold of his son Jason so you can talk with him also if you like.  If you need pictures Dennis and Gail Vollmar take pictures at the track and they have agreed to send you some.  Dad said that he worked on the safety crew at Fremont, Sears Point, and Sacramento.  There were other tracks in California he worked at as well.  He was such a kind man, everybody loved him and he will be missed.  If you need anything else let dad or I know we will help.  I am attaching a picture it isn't a very good one.  These were stickers handed out at Julian's service.   Thank you for doing this.  Michelle.     
     Michelle: Spencer Simon who is our northern California reporter.  I create most of the newsletter by email as it is quicker.  If Spencer is close enough he can do a more in-depth interview.  Our purpose at www.landspeedracing.com is to save history, but more than that to encourage family and friends to create bios to leave behind.  So many of our readers are looking for any information that they can get to tell them what their fathers, uncles, etc were like.  Reading the bio below tells me that Julian had a wealth of stories to tell about his life and now that he is gone, his family and friends have to write down those stories as best as they are able or Julian's life is forgotten.  And if that happens, it will be sad.  I only publish bios if the family or person writing one wants me too, but I still encourage the family to compile and to hold on to these memories.  I'm very sorry about your loss.  Drag racing was built on the foundation of tens of thousands of wonderful men like Julian.  Please send a notice in to National Dragster as well. 
Julian Gonsalves was born to Ralph Gonsalves and Marie Rodrigues, at home in Hilo, Hawaii, on January 21, 1952.  His family moved to Hayward, California, two years later.  He grew up in the Bay Area, moving with his mother in his teenage years to Lompoc, California and graduated from Lompoc High School in 1964.  He married Debbie McConnel in 1976 and they had a son, Jason, in 1979 in Newark, California.  His drag racing career began when he was about 19 years old, volunteering for any job at Baylands Drag Strip in Fremont, California. As years passed, he worked at all the drag strips on the Pacific Coast for N.H.R.A.  He married Gail Hazen, from Livermore, California in 2000.  After moving to Ruch, Oregon in 2003, he became the Safety Coordinator at Champion Raceway in White City, Oregon.  He was known for his upbeat personality, quick wit, expertise and knowledge of drag racing, dedication to his huge extended family, love of rock and roll and the blues and collecting Native American artifacts and cultural objects.  He will be sorely missed by the Drag Racing community and by his wife, son, family and large collection of friends.  Julian is survived by his son, Jason M. Gonsalves; his sister, Gloria Fisher; 21 nieces and nephews.  He is preceded in death by his parents; and one sister, Rose Gimeno.  His last trip down the drag strip will happen at a celebration of life on Sunday, September 25, at 10:00 a.m., at Champion Raceway, 6900 Kershaw Road, White City, Dave M. Heisner is officiating.  A visitation was held Thursday, September 22, 2011, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, at Conger-Morris Chapel, 800 S. Front St, Central Point, Oregon, 97502.  
Our prayers go out to Julian's wife and family in their hour of darkness.  Working with Julian was an experience I will never forget.  He was always upbeat and if you talked to him for 30 seconds, you felt like you were part of his family.  Julian, we love you and know that you are working at the big track in the sky, doing what you love to do.  We will miss you.  Michael DeCamp
I am happy to have stayed and played with Julian and Gail.  I was intimidated by Julian for about 30 seconds, and then began to love his humor and spirit.  The last time we visited, as we left, I said "I love you, man!" and I really meant it.  I sent him the cd of Robbie Robertson's "Contact With the Underworld of Redboy," because we had discussed our love and experiences with the Native peoples.  He had a very deep love and commitment to life, his drag racing work and family. Will miss you, Julian.  Walk the cloud world in peace and joy.   Claude Palmer


www.Hotrodhotline.com has added “Employment” to its Classified Ad Section.  If you are "Seeking a Job" the Ads are free.  The “Help Wanted” Ads are on special as an introductory offer.  Help Wanted Ads are $50 for a six months placement.  Email for details on how to take advantage of this offer at [email protected] or give us a call at 877-700-2468.


Editor's notes: The California Racers Reunion is back and will be held on October 22, 2011 at the Riverside International Automotive Museum.  815 Marlborough Avenue, #200, Riverside, CA 92507. Telephone 1-951-369-6966.


I used to receive a boat racers newsletter [the last one I received was 2006] I was wondering who was doing it now?  Doris Pierce
   Doris: I was the co-founder and promoter for the Boat Racers Reunion and the editor of the Boat Racers Reunion Newsletter from 2000 until 2006, when the members split into two factions. I resigned my position as board member of the reunion, but kept the Newsletter going for about a year to give the new group a chance to name someone as editor, but they never did. Around 2007 I closed down the Boat Racers Reunion Newsletter and started a new group called the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians with Jim Miller, Roger Rohrdanz and other interested land speed racers. I became the editor of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter in that year and published our newsletters on-line at www.landspeedracing.com. I am very sorry to hear that your husband, Pete Pierce, has passed away. I remember the great times that we had at the Boat Racers Reunions over the years and seeing the old boats on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and at Irvine Lake. 


Mickey Thompson Tire Press Release.  STOW, Ohio.   Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels is proud to host Danny Thompson for a very special press conference on Tuesday, November 1, from 4:15 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. at the 2011 SEMA Show, booth 43013.  Danny Thompson, Mickey Thompson's son and an accomplished racer and innovator in his own right, will present the details of his plans to complete the restoration of his fathers' Challenger 2.5, building the fastest piston-powered car in the world. Thompson plans to exceed the existing internal combustion wheel-driven land speed record of 417.020 mph with a goal of more than 420 mph by the summer of 2012.  The Challenger 2 was Mickey Thompson's innovative design to achieve his dream of building the fastest piston-powered car in the world. The fully restored vehicle in the form of the Challenger 2.5 using custom-designed Mickey Thompson tires represents Danny Thompson's unfailing dedication to fulfill his father's dream, honor his father's memory and make motorsports history.  Please join Danny Thompson and the Mickey Thompson team on Tuesday, November 1, from 4:15 p.m. to 4:35 p.m. in the Mickey Thompson SEMA booth 43013 to hear the latest on this incredible project. For regular updates leading up to the show, visit http://www.mickeythompsontires.com/sema.


The Petersen Automotive Museum, with The Phil Hill Family and The Checkered Flag 200, will present a very special Tribute to Phil Hill on Hill’s 50th Anniversary of his Formula One World Driver’s Championship that he won in 1961, the first American to become a Formula One World Champion. This event will be held at The Petersen Museum in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.  Tickets should be preordered. Contact the museum at 323-930-CARS. The Petersen Automotive Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90036-3605, with enclosed Museum parking entrance just south of Wilshire on Fairfax Avenue.  For more Museum information go to their website at www.petersen.org.


Maxx2Racing Mojave Mile results for October 8-9, 2011.  

   The Royal Purple Maxx2Racing ‘Bad Bird’ LSR Race Car ran thru its ‘Licensing Up’ qualifications this past weekend, with Richard (aka Maxx) White and Bob Lucas driving the car. A driver must prove to the promoters that he or she is capable of safely driving a “Full Bore Race Car” of this caliber before going beyond the 200 MPH barrier. Both of us can now go that speed and above, actually to 230, as we proved to the MKM/Mojave Mile team.  

Sunday’s Results: 
Richard's final run-195.4  
Bob's only run-192.1  
Richard's 1st run-188.5  

Saturday’s Results:  
Bob's 2nd run-175.8 
Richard's 2nd run-171.9 
Richard's 1st run-163.5  
Bob Lucas 1st run-141.5  

On my (Richard) last 2 runs, the car moved slightly right to left shifting from 3rd to 4th. The guys running 215 or so said the surface was causing them to move quite a bit sideways at those speeds. Same with the other NASCAR Bodied Race Car, the Discount Tire car out of Sacramento. They just resurfaced the 12,000 runway, and felt it was the new surface doing this. On my final run, we also had quite a headwind, so that didn't help.  The car is now at the shop of Tony Taylor, owner of CMF Fabrication in Fallon, Nevada, for repainting/car wrap for the SEMA Show, which is November 1-4, 2011.  We again thank Royal Purple for their continuing sponsorship, and all of those who have now joined our efforts by being added to the ‘Brag Board’, proudly displaying their decals/logos on the car for this past weekend’s Mojave Mile and the SEMA Show.  
   We are offering the ‘Premium’ areas of the car, that being, the hood, top, and trunk areas of the car for additional sponsorship opportunities for your companies, or other ‘Exhibitors’ already at the show. Contact us at your earliest convenient time frame for pricing on these areas of the car. Sponsorship driven teams always are more successful, as they are under the scope to perform. We chose that avenue early on just after purchasing the ‘Bad Bird’, deciding that offering companies exposure was the best way to build, test, drive, and set records in the car. This avenue has worked to everyone’s benefit, and that shows in the fact that the interest in the new ’99 Firebuild ‘Build’ continues to grow. All who are displayed at the SEMA Show will also be shown on the Firebird, unless they make a decision otherwise. Our great friends Alex and Earl spent the entire day on Saturday with their equipment to provide us with professional pictures and videos of the car running thru its paces, and many hours of preparation to have the car ready for each and every run down the mile. 
   We also met many new friends, including the owners/drivers of the Discount Tire NASCAR bodied race car, another fellow race car driver ”MO”, plus many new friends who enjoy our passion for this sport of ours. Our Royal Purple display proved to be an attention getter, as many spent many minutes telling us their stories about switching to the Royal Purple line of oils and lubricants. We gave away Royal Purple t-shirts, caps, literature, decals, business cars, and post cards of the car itself. One motorcycle enthusiast gave us some insight to how the oil reduced the temperature of his motorcycle by 30 degrees, which was important as he traveled thru Pahrump and Las Vegas in the heat of the day. The MAXX2RACING (M2) Team. The Royal Purple Maxx2Racing ‘Bad Bird’ LSR Race Car. LTA Loring, Maine C/GCT Record Holder/208.490 MPH. AA/GCT Maxton Mile, NC Record Holder/205.886 MPH. Mojave Mile NASCAR Bodied Car Record/202.4 MPH. Mojave Mile Land Speed Auto 1st Place/April 2011. (M2 website) http://maxx2racing.com/ (Picture/Video website) http://maxx2racing.org/ (’99 Pontiac Firebird ‘Bad Bird II’ website) http://maxx2racing.info/. Richard (aka MAXX) L. and Judy C. White 


ACAG October News Update. By Brian Taylor
   Lucas Oil supports Allard Chrysler dragster restoration. Lucas Oil has been very generous and donated several items for us to auction off for funds. Some are available on the Lucas Oil website in the USA, but in the UK they are not generally available.  Thanks also to Dzus Fasteners has been located thanks to Southco Manufacturing, whose Head Quarters is in Concordville, USA. The company was founded in 1899 with the fastener business being launched in 1945. The Allard Owners Club has donated a replacement enamel bonnet badge for the dragster. Those of you familiar with the restoration will know that the current badge is damaged.  As many of you will have read elsewhere, Nick Davies purchased the original painting showing the Allard Chrysler Dragster at Silverstone by Paul Whitehouse. He paid �500 and is now the proud owner of this plus the Paul Whitehouse original painting showing the Allard Chrysler against Mooneyes at Blackbushe and Norwegian artist Tommy V�gen’s acrylic painting of the car. After Performance Direct he is currently our joint biggest benefactor along with F&A Racing and we have asked him to join Nick Mason, Allan Allard and Doug Hill as our team of official cackle drivers.
   We now have another original work of art to offer for auction. Gloucester based artist Stuart Taylor has donated his ‘original’ illustration of Sydney Allard’s 1961 Allard Chrysler dragster to the ACAG for it to be auctioned for funds. Prints have been available for some time but this is the original. Stuart specialises in transport and racing cars of different types, and for most of his work he uses graphite pencil. More recently he has returned to using colour pencil to add depth to his drawings and it is this technique that he has used on the drawing being auctioned. It features a unique illustration of the ‘Guv’nor’ himself – Sydney Allard - and the Allard Chrysler at Kemble in 1964 sporting the race number 121. Measuring 23 � inches by 16 � inches and on 220 gsm heavy weight cartridge paper, the original drawing is signed by the artist, ACAG Patron Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Alan Allard. It is mounted, framed and glazed. Offers to [email protected] or phone 01395 579733. We already have one sizeable offer but the auction remains open until the end of October. Thanks to Andy Carter and Paul Whitehouse we also have a limited edition of twenty-nine prints of a painting Paul prepared for Andy to celebrate his record breaking 4.572 seconds at 320.19 mph run set on September 11th 2010. Just 29 numbered prints have been produced to mark Andy’s number of years in drag racing and his recent retirement. With the sport moving to 1000 feet this record could stand forever.
   Each print is individually signed by Andy in the bottom right hand corner. They are printed on textured rag paper with a 1.00 inch border around the artwork. The size of the print including the border is 24.00 inches by 17.00 inches and I have decided to supply them in the roll to keep the price of �20.00 reasonable. Postage and packing will be extra; �4.50 for UK. Overseas postage and packing costs on request. Contact [email protected]. By the way, although retired Andy still has his Facebook Page operating so fans can keep in touch. Also, while I was in London getting Nick Davies’s original Silverstone painting signed, I managed to get a few A4 size prints of the Silverstone painting signed by Nick Mason and Alan Allard. Unsigned prints of this size would be �6.00. �15.00 for the signed prints including postage and packing. Stocks are limited so it’s first come first served. Contact [email protected] or telephone 01395 579733. The painting was also featured on the front cover of the National Motor Museum’s Friend’s Summer 2011 newsletter.
   Additionally, the issue included a page of editorial featuring the engine installation.   Allard Chrysler Action Group (ACAG) website www.allardchrysler.org. Europe’s premier on-line drag racing news stream, www.eurodragster.com where I will be publishing a regular Nostalgia Drag Racing blog. You can also get links to the Allard Register and the Allard Owners Club along with most of our sponsors. My contact details are published on www.allardchrysler.org.  There is an article recently published in the on-line mag Mopar Collector’s Guide (www.moparcollectorsguide.com). I was asked to prepare a piece covering the dragster, its history and the restoration. The title they have given the piece must be the best yet – Shagadelic Slingshot. You’ve just got to love Mopar huggers. The 2011 Mopar Euronats DVD should feature an interview I gave about our project. Signed copies of my book Crazy Horses – the history of British drag racing are still available at �25.00.  The ACAG finances see us back in the black again with funds available to continue the restoration work.  Brian Taylor, [email protected]


See http://www.jetblack.co.nz/home. The new land speed car being designed by New Zealand's Jet Black team provides an informative contrast to Bloodhound SSC in designing a combination jet/rocket land speed car. It looks like it will be both shorter and lighter (in spite of using an older model turbojet) as well as having a more optimally located center of gravity. The use of LOX as the oxidizer for the hybrid rocket motors will make the car much less expensive to run.  Franklin Ratliff


A New Zealand LSR team will mount a challenge the World Landspeed Record for the first time and unveiled a full-scale model of their speed-machine.  See http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150323005971403, and http://www.jetblack.co.nz/aerodynamics. The Jetblack challenge is aiming for a record attempt by 2016 with a team led by Richard Nowland and driven by former Royal New Zealand Airforce Wing Commander Stephen Hunt. The duo are supported by a team of engineering and technology specialists. The current record is 763mph and was set by Britain's Andy Green in October 1997 at Black Rock Desert, in Nevada, USA. Green's winning run was the first supersonic land speed record. Team Jetblack today revealed a 13-metre, all black, full-scale model of their vehicle as part of the REAL New Zealand showcase of innovation during Rugby World Cup 2011. The car will sport solid, aerospace-grade aluminium wheels with no tyres, have an all-composite chassis and will be powered by a turbofan engine and two "hybrid" rockets - similar to those used for space exploration. 
   Auckland University of Technology is assisting with Jetblack's cockpit design and has built a cockpit simulator to conduct research. Nowland said he hoped Jetblack would be a showcase of New Zealand's engineering and innovation. ''Every single part of the car must be designed - there is almost nothing we can take off the shelf. And that poses great opportunities and challenges for our technology, engineering and manufacturing industries.'' Nowland's speed dream was born out of a successful bid for two ex-RAF Rolls Royce Avon 206 turbojet engines in an online auction in 2007. Back then he was aiming just to break the New Zealand and Australian Landspeed Records. Leon Grice, director of NZ 2011, hoped that showcasing Jetblack during the World Cup would inspire future engineers. ''Jetblack will literally be a promotional vehicle for New Zealand's engineering and technology talent and capability.'' Technology and research partner, Industrial Research Limited, called Jetblack's record attempt a ''classic New Zealand adventure that stretches the horizons of technology developed in New Zealand on the world stage''. Possible locations for Jetblack's record attempt include India, the Arabian Gulf, USA and Australia.  http://www.jetblack.co.nz.  Sent in by Ron Main


Dave McCain reports that a fire destroyed the garage and '40 Ford Coupe belonging to Tom Medley, but that Medley is okay despite being knocked to the ground by the explosion and fire.  Tom is the author and creator of the famous hot rod cartoon character and strip called "Stroker McGurk" that ran in Hot Rod magazine in the early years.  We send our best wishes to Tom.


18th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show 2011 Report

I was kindly invited by Vintage and Veteran (purveyors of fine motorcycles) to attend the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show and sketch on their stand. Well what a day! All the bikes that I would have sketched at the show were all on one stand (luckily it was the Vintage and Veteran stand). After a warm welcome from the Vintage and Veteran team and a cup of tea I set about sketching.

1923 Harley Davidson JD

"A nice old Harley Davidson on the road and ready to ride away to Harley Heaven.
This 1200cc V-Twin has been upgraded with a later carb and generator and an added regulator" Vintage and Veteran


A lot of bits and pieces to fit in in this sketch especially with the V-Twin.

18th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show 2011 017001
I especially like the light and horn arrangement up front...

18th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show 2011 016001

and I've always liked the cut-aways in the tank to allow for the over head valves.

1908 FN 4 Cylinder 500cc

"Very Rare and desirable FN 4 Cylinder pioneer motorcycle. A lot of work has been done but the restoration still needs finishing.
Rare opportunity to acquire one of these fantastic shaft drive bikes." Vintage and Veteran


Not a belt or chain in sight due to the shaft drive, but still lots of lovely elements to this machine. I always love the long sweeping handlebars on these early Pioneer bikes.



Close up of the engine showing the beautifully simple pot like exhaust and drive shaft.

Rudge TT Rep style 250cc

"This Authentic reproduction was built by a long time UK Rudge Enthusiast in the 1980s in the style of a1933 TT Rep. The German Owner from 1984 has continued the work to complete the authentic styling and components.
This Bike Featured in the recreation of the historic "Rudge Sweeps the Board" photo from 1931." Vintage and Veteran


I was really happy with how this sketch turned out. It has just the right balance of detail and loosness to the pen marks. I must have been doing something right as someone bought it straight away!



These two pipes are drainage for the oil when under high pressure..

This white one runs from the crank right the way the the back of the bike, to avoid getting oil under the bike. It must be some serious pressure to get the oil all the way along this tube.

1923 BSA Model E 770cc V Twin combination

"An outstanding outfit offering luxurious, smooth and sedate motoring for the decorative couple."Vintage and Veteran


This was certainly attracting a lot of attention at the show. Luckily the odd interested party would give my eyes a break by standing in the way, thanks to those that did as you may well have helped me avoid having my eyes fall out


The sidecar is a fantastic design especially with the large tono come windscreen.

1911 Humber 3.5hp 500cc

"Nice early Humber in good unrestored condition. Interesting history file and once owned & ridden by CH Bullen in the Pionneer Run in 1946... I have ridden this bike on the road and it goes very well. I was able to stop the engine and restart by pedalling while still sitting. Very impressive. Really enjoyed it.


The styling on the tank and the handle bar grips were the highlights of this Humber for me; real attention to detail was executed by the manufacturers of this Pioneer bike.


These two pioneer bikes were featured in my VMCC 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park report but I had to feature them again because they are that good:


1903 Werner 344cc


1904 500cc Peugeot

Thanks again to Vintage and Veteran for inviting me along and being so accommodating, a true joy to sketch for such a friendly and professional bike purveyor.

More bikes and information on all Vintage and Veterans Bikes can be seen on their website:




The 2012 Grand National Roadster Show presents the "Spirit of Rett"


On September 21, 2010 Dallas based racer and businessman Charles Nearburg broke the 45-year old land-speed record with his Red Line Oil-equipped "Spirit of Rett" streamliner. The fast and sleek car averaged a speed of 414. 5 mph, beating the previous record set in 1965 by the Summers Brothers "Goldenrod," by a little over six mph. In addition, Nearburg also set the fastest single-engine car record.


Nearburg's son Rett passed away on January 14, 2005 at the age of 22 from a long battle of a rare cancer known as Ewing's Sarcoma. A year after his death, Nearburg bought the now famous streamliner, and named it in Rett's honor. "He lived joyously and passionately, full of humor, wisdom and grace," said Nearburg. In addition to racing and his side job as a businessman, Nearburg also donates a significant amount of time and money to fight the battle against cancer. After breaking the long undefeated record in late September, Nearburg said "this effort is dedicated to Rett and all the children fighting cancer."


Not even a year after his triumphant accomplishment, a determined Nearburg beat two of his own records on August 25, 2011 on the notorious salt flats in Western Utah during the Bonneville SpeedWeek. The first of his victories was A/GS for gasoline-fueled, naturally-aspirated streamliners with less than 500 cubic-inches, and was set at 352.8mph. The second record was A/FS with the same engine running with nitrous (putting it in the "fuel" class), set at 379.6mph.


"Spirit of Rett" now has the following accomplishments:

  1. Fastest single engine car record in history 414.316 MPH (and only 3mph less than the absolute fastest "real car" record of 417.020 MPH held by Tom Burkland)
  2. Fastest normally aspirated car in history (Broke 45 year old record set by Summer's Bros. "Goldenrod" on Nov 12, 1965)
  3. First and only un-blown single engine car over 400 MPH
  4. First and only car to ever set two over 300 MPH records in one day
  5. First and only car to ever hold all four of the fastest un-blown records at Bonneville at the same time! A/FS 348.524 MPH, A/GS 350.728 MPH, AA/GS 368.136 MPH, AA/FS 392.503 MPH
  6. First and only car to ever hold the two fastest un-blown FIA records at the same time

The "Spirit of Rett" will be on display at the Grand National Roadster Show January 27-29, 2012.

If you would like to know more about Rett's story and the "Spirit of Rett" click on the following link:
YouTube Video


Attention Vendors!

There is still space available, don't miss your opportunity to showcase your products and services! Click on the links below to register:

2012-gnrs-entry                        2012-sa-vendor

Advertise at either or both of the shows!


Attention Vehicle Owners!

Want to showcase your vehicle at our shows? Enter the Grand National Roadster Show (January 27-29, 2012) and Sacramento Autorama (February 17-19) by clicking the links below:

2012-gnrs-entry                        2012-sa-entry



With the show season underway, we will be emailing important information and updates on a regular basis.

In the mean time, we invite you to visit our website www.rodshows.com, for show dates, show history and so much more!

Or if you would like to connect with us on Facebook click on any of the following links!


Click on the following two links to join Rod Shows Facebook Groups:

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See you at the shows!
The Rod Shows Team







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


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