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Land Speed Racing Newsletter #380

Land Speed Racing Newsletter #380


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Mary Ann Lawford,   
PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIETY: Jim Miller, 1-818-846-5139
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Richard Parks, [email protected]  
PHOTOGRAPHIC Editor of the Society: Roger Rohrdanz, [email protected]
NORTHERN CALIFORNIA REPORTER: Spencer Simon, [email protected]
FIELD REPORTER/HISTORIAN: Bob Falcon, [email protected]
HISTORIANS: Anna Marco, Dick Martin, Burly Burlile, Jerry Cornelison, Robin Millar, Ora Mae Millar
IN MEMORIAM: Wally Parks, Tex Smith, Tom Medley, Lee Blaisdell, Eric ‘Rick’ Rickman (editors and photographers)
GUEST EDITORIAL: Impound Insights, by Dan Warner - September 13, 2015
     The threat of rain, some actual on the ground during the preceding week had everyone a little anxious for the event. The BLM relented and admitted that our end of the lakebed was dry enough to support a race meet. The racers that entered via the BLM building were routed to a frontage road for approx. 1.5 miles then onto to the lake surface itself. Damp areas were well marked so I guess all is well in BLM land. Inspections went well except for the 90 deg heat and blowing winds. The race morning started very well with an excellent course that held up for three rounds. We left around 4:30 PM after clean up and putting the equipment away.
     Two new members were added to the El Mirage 200 MPH Club. Derek McLeish drove the McLeish Bros Bracket Racing H/BGMS Triumph GT6 coupe to a new 202 record. The replacement of several drive train pieces gave Derek the confidence to put pedal to the metal and he cranked out this impressive record. Dave Kennedy drove the Kennedy, no relationship to Lee Kennedy, C/GT Corvette to a new record of 205. Dave bested Dad Bill's record from earlier in the year. A Father/Son duo in the club so far this season.
     The car impound had 17 new records, two of which I mentioned. The others included Don Ferguson III driving the Ferguson Racing B/FS to a record and Top Speed of the meet of 262 MPH. Jim Hoogerhyde left the front fenders on the Costella Hoogerhyde I/GS and a new record of 191.1. Greg Martinez, aka Dr. Gasoline, brought his lab and V4F/BGL down state from San Francisco. After several trips to impound for a gasoline check he was satisfied with his new blend. Greg set a new record of 158 with his blown Model T engine lakester. The really impressive run was done by the Cummins Beck Davidson Thornsberry high boy '34 roadster. Driver Dave Davidson threw down a dust raising 258 C/BFMR record. This record put to rest a 40 year standard of 256 that many people have chased. Frank Sloan drove the new Sloan Zimmerman G/BFMR to a great 195 record. Bobby Sights Jr. had his On Line Racing G/BGMR running fine with a record of 187. Greg Waters and the White Goose Bar tuning team of John Romero/Mike Manghelli added 10 to their F/BFR record with a pass of 217. The Crisp-Callaway-Warnock A/BGR driven by '300' Pete Prentice has been spinning a lot this year.
     Finally sorted out Pete set a new record of 221 for the class. Eric Eyres drove the Eric & Russ Eyres E/BGR entry to 210. They left their log book, I'll drop it off on Tuesday when we all meet up on the salt. Chet Thomas added a big blower to his street roadster, AA/BStR, and set a record at 202 for an easy pass on the new set up. The bright yellow coupe of the BMR Ferguson Racing team, Neil McAlister driving, set two records in XXF/BVFAlt class. They ended up with a super 175 to be added to the record book. Young Billy Lattin drove the #1 Lattin & Stevens XF/VOT car to a storming 177 record. Tim Cox drove the BC Racing AA/CBGC Camaro to a 226 record. This run confirmed that Tim does deserve that Dirty Two hat he earned last July. Axle Foley and son Larry Foley Jr set another record with their little Subaru coupe in the I/FCC class. That was a new record at 133 with Jr, doing the driving chores.  Aaron Hale, new club member in July, got another turn at the wheel of the Hondata CRX coupe. This run timed Aaron at 213 in the H/BGCC class for the record.
     Motorcycle impound did not have as many records as the car side.  It could have been the gusting winds that bothered us all day. First up was Ralph LeClercq on the 125-APS-BG entry of Team McLeish RS with a new record of 121. Also in the 125cc class was Billy Jahn on the Jahn Bros Racing 125-P-P entry at 97 and change. Mark Summitt set another record on the Woodys Aermacchi in the 350-A-PF class at 118 MPH. Ralph Hudson is still sorting out his 650-APS-BG bike. He set a record at 190, not a bad finis for a day of testing. Dave Iverson had his 1000-SC-VG Knuckle head entry on track with another record at 122 MPH. Last to run in round two was Chris Rivas on the Chris Rivas VTwin entry in the 3000-APS-PBG class, a very fast record of 198 was the result.
     All in all this was a good meet with a track that held up well. There is some talk about extending the October meet to two days. NO firm decision as of yet, standby for further info. The next event is October 18th. See everyone on the lakebed then.
Dan Warner, Record Certification officer
STAFF UPDATE, by Jerry Cornelison
     From the SCTA Southern California Timing Association.  Attention All Racers, Workers, Crew & Spectators:
     El Mirage - Friday's Access.  Today you cannot access the lakebed - You can however camp on the outskirts - DO NOT DRIVE ON THE LAKEBED AT ALL TODAY
     El Mirage - Saturday's Access.  The lakebed will be open - Camping will be allowed - There will be some cones on the west end - DO NOT DRIVE BY ANY CONES, DO NOT DRIVE ON ANY MUD OR THROUGH ANY WATER ANYWHERE ON THE LAKEBED
     El Mirage - Sunday's Access.  The lakebed will be open - There will be some cones on the west end - DO NOT DRIVE BY ANY CONES, DO NOT DRIVE ON ANY MUD OR THROUGH ANY WATER ANYWHERE ON THE LAKEBED
     I've been telling one and all about just how bad the salt is currently and the possibility of the real end of Speedweek and all the other activities we know and love.  Look at this video narrated by a BLM employee and pay particular attention to his thoughts on the salt diminishing and the timeline he gives.  I hope after viewing, many of you that think I over-react will have a different view.,  Doug McHenry
Gone Racin’ … Dick Guldstrand.  Written by Richard Parks taken from sources in, Art Evans and other sources; for photographs go to the September 3, 2015 issue of  4 September 2015.

     I have met Dick Guldstrand many times at reunions and events and he was always a quiet gentleman who was very approachable and willing to help any hot rodder with his problems.  He was on the Jay Leno’s Garage show a few years back and Leno was as excited as I’ve ever seen him.  In his own quiet manner Dick Guldstrand has always commanded the respect of other car and engine builders.  So it was hard to hear that on September 2, 2015 he passed from us.  There are photographs of him on
     Dick was born in California on December 1, 1927 and attended local high schools before going on to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA Bruins), where he majored in engineering.  He merged this technical learning with his earlier hot rodding roots.  Dick would tell us that, “Either you were a hot-rodder or you were a candy ass!”  In high school he built his own car using ’32 rails and a 1927 Ford body, something very similar to what my father used in his old hot rod.  Like most young men in the 1940’s he went where the action was and that was on the local dirt tracks.  He was at ease behind the wheel of a midget or sprint car and in whatever classed were open to him.  A change to the new Corvettes in the latter half of the 1950’s sent him along a path that made him famous; sports car and road course racing.  They say he liked the safer twists and turns of road racing, but I believe he simply liked the more complex and demanding style that brought out the best in a driver’s skill set. 
     If you ask me I think he just liked the guys and gals in one of the coolest and flashiest sports of all.  Road racers, as in sports car racing, were the apex of the motor racing sports.  Land speed racing was long, lacked action, was in hot, dry and dusty climes and often a labor to reach the dry lakes and salt flats.  But when a car reached full power and speed it was a sight most holy.  Land speed racers like Karl Orr, Randy Shinn and Ak Miller competed for the honor of speed alone; prize money and fame did not exist for them.  Early drag racers also drove for speed and a trophy and little else.  It was a love of speed and competition that set them apart.  Men like Otto Ryssman and Dave Marquez were great racers and innovators long before fame and fortune came to drag racing.  Jalopy racing was tough, virile and made for the guy with little money.  There were some great racers who got started that way, such as Parnelli Jones. 
     Roadster racing was exemplified by men like Rosie Roussel and Walt James.  Open cockpits and roaring engines gave the roadster racers a sort of panache.  Every spectator was enthralled with watching the midgets roar around the oval.  Guys like Danny Oakes knew how to get the most out of the lightweight cars and motors.  Midgets were exciting, fast and dangerous.  But not as dangerous to drive as the very powerful sprint cars, sometimes called the “Big Cars,” or Champ cars.  That is where everyone tried to end up in as a driver, mechanic and owner.  The big race was the Indy 500 and it was a monster of a race and it killed its fair share of drivers.  Then there was boat racing and while the only round wheel is the steering wheel, it still used a motor and not only were they fast and slippery, but it was on water.  What could be better than watching a race on the shore with pretty girls in bathing suits sunning themselves and feigning interest in the race? 
     But the top echelon of all racing was sports car or road racing.  Not the illegal sort that took innocent pedestrian lives, but the organized form of road racing that tested every skill of driving talent, mechanical knowhow and endurance.  This form of racing could be amateur or professional and evolved into endurance racing, mountain and desert racing and closed street racing.  Parking lots and race tracks were also reformed to provide a surface to race on.  Old, abandoned or seldom used military landing strips were ideal.  Twelve hour, twenty-four hour and even longer time spans were used to test a road racer’s skill.  Mountain climbs like Pike’s Peak represented distance runs and timed runs.  They were a sort of land speed race that incorporated extreme danger and called for endurance of machine and man.  It really didn’t matter if the race was long or short, straight or oval or winding and unpredictable.  The goal was speed, time, skill and courage and Dick Guldstrand had it all.
     I’ve met many of his friends, all of them road course and sports car guys who also raced in other genres of the motor racing world.  You might specialize in one section but it was only a matter of time before you participated and enjoyed all the other rich aspects of motor racing.  Dick Guldstrand knew personally or was familiar with a host of very special people; too many to name in full.  Here is a list just so you can see why he loved road racing and the special people in it.  They are people that he partied with at the many Fab ‘50’s social events; Bob Akin, Max and Ina Balchowsky, Jay Chamberlain, Chuck Daigh, Steve Earle, Juan Fangio, Bill Devin, Bob Bondurant, Tim Considine, James Dean (the actor), Lindley Bothwell, Mary Davis, Jack Brabham, Briggs Cunningham, John Fitch, Vasek Polak, Dan Gurney, George Follmer, Jim Hall, Jerry Grant, Sam and Alice Hanks, Ruth Levy, Jim Haynes, Bill Krause, Phil Hill, Parnelli Jones, David Hobbs, Bruce Kessler, Skip Hudson, Jim Jeffords, Ed Hugus, Art Evans, Dennis Hulme, Pete Lovely, Rodger Ward, Jack McAfee, John von Neumann, Ken Miles, Bobby Unser, Sterling Moss, Bill Stroppe, Bill Murphy, Carroll Shelby, Paul O’Shea, Lance Reventlow, Augie Pabst, Brian Redman, Scooter Patrick, Andy Porterfield, Jim Peterson, Bill Pollack and many more.
     The list of his associates, competitors and friends are just too numerous to state, but I can say that the list of his foes is pretty small and perhaps non-existent.  The places that he raced on, visited or followed included; Watkins Glen, Le Mans, Bridgehampton, Sandberg, Palm Springs, Elkhart Lake, Sebring, Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Paramount Ranch, Santa Barbara, Riverside and many more.  It would be easier to tell you the places he didn’t race at than those that he did.
     After his time at UCLA he found employment in the aerospace industry, a mainstay for hot rodders with quick minds and inventive nature.  He raced all manner of race cars at night and on weekends to earn a little extra money and for the thrill of speed.  The road racing bug got to Dick in a big way in the late 1950’s while watching an amateur road race and he bought a 1957 Corvette and entered sports car racing.  He was nearly unbeatable from 1963 through 1965, winning the Pacific Coast Championship all three years and Southern Pacific Championship in 1964.  He was the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Driver of the Year in 1964 in the California region of the SCCA.  Dick won the 24 Hours of Daytona race in 1966 in the GT class and was ninth overall among all the contestants.  He raced Corvettes at Sebring and Le Mans and entered the 1966 Indy 500, but did not qualify.  He raced the Grand Sport Corvette for Roger Penske at Sebring.  Zora Arkus Duntov paired Dick with Bob Bondurant in a Corvette at Le Mans in 1967.  It was primitive by today’s standards with only four crewmembers and minimal equipment.  Sort of like a “run what you brung” sports car race.  The route took them from the famed Orly Airport in Paris along narrow roads to Le Mans.
     To hear Dick tell it, “Damn thing wouldn't go under 70 because of the gearing and it had loud pipes.   So word got out and as we rolled on, more and more people were on the side of the road.  When we got to Chartres, there was a gendarme standing on a box.  I could see his eyes open wide; we nearly blew him off his box, he snapped off a [salute.  At 170 mph, that kink was a corner.  I slid the car through it and stopped at the pit.  They said, ‘Why'd you come in?' and I told them because of the Mulsanne stain in my shorts.”  They were leading the race in their class when they had engine trouble and had to pull out of the race. 
     He raced in Trans-Am up through 1968 at tracks in Las Vegas (Stardust), St Jovite and Riverside.  In 1968 he opened up his own shop which he called Guldstrand Engineering and right up to the end of his life he would work in the shop.  In 1969 he won a contract to provide Z28 Camaros to a South American sports car association and he also traveled to the region and participated as a driver, winning the South American championship in that same year.  Over the years his collaboration with General Motors has seen his innovations become a part of that brand’s performances.  Corvette dealers sell his customized “Guldstrand Corvette” that has a 427 V8 c.i. motor that puts out 500 horsepower (hp). 
     Guldstrand became friends with James Garner through Bob Bondurant in the movie “Grand Prix,” and was part of the American International Racing team owned by Garner.  The team used L88 Corvettes and T70 Lola’s at Sebring and Daytona and Guldstrand drove with other famous racers such as Davey Jordan, Lothar Mothschenbacher, Scooter Patrick and others.  James Garner also drove a Surtees A/F5000 Formula car that Guldstrand worked on, in the movie “The Racing Scene.”  There was never a better time to be a road racer than the fabulous 1950’s and ‘60’s.  There comes a time in every racer’s life when he has to re-evaluate his value as a driver over that of other talents that he possesses.  Dick Guldstrand was a good driver, but he was also a great car builder and he found more of his time was needed in turning out great race cars. 
     His shop in Culver City was popular from day one.  He was also close to other hot rodders, speed equipment manufacturers and popular icons of the day, such as Troutman and Barnes, Stuart Hilborn, Ed Iskenderian and more.  Not far away was the Eddie Miller Garage, Louie Senter, Art Evans, Vic Edelbrock and many of his friends in road racing.  Dick Guldstrand never lacked for friends in the field of motorsports.  Around 2000 he moved his shop to Burbank, California, another hot bed of speed equipment manufacturers and motorsports celebrities such as Carmen and Gordon Schroeder and the Schroeder Speed Shop, Jim Deist Parachutes, Wally Parks and others whom he knew.  He adapted the Corvette into his own plans and sold them under the GS80 and GS90 series.  He was invited onto the Jay Leno Garage show and wowed the famous comic. 
     Dick also joined the Fabulous 50’s and attended their reunions, car shows and events.  It takes a bit of explaining to describe the Fab 50’s.  It isn’t really a club or association.  They call themselves the UNclub and they have UNmembers and there are no fees, dues, duties or responsibilities, except having fun and keeping the old road racing glory days of the 1950’s alive.  No one runs it and no one takes responsibility, yet the 1000 or so members (they let me UNjoin) all pitch in and keep it going.  The UNleaders are Bill Pollack, Art Evans, Alice Hanks (Sam’s widow), Ginny and John Dixon, Davey and Norma Jordan among many more.  Others pitch in and help too and they hold a Christmas dinner where they celebrate the famous and infamous among them.  I used to stand next to the food line and get their signatures on a calendar so that I knew their birthdays too.  I got Dick’s signature many times and he was always gracious in giving it to me.  Then I would donate the calendars to museums.  Dick was a respected UNmember among many respected UNmembers and I will always remember him as a gracious and kind man and a wonderful car guy.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected].
Gone Racin’ …  Al and Jane Teague.  Story and photographs by Al and Jane Teague, edited by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  August 9, 2008.  Republished courtesy of Internet Brands.

     I was born Elwin Dale Teague, on June 21, 1941 at White Memorial Hospital, in East Los Angeles, a suburb of Los Angeles that was mostly middle class, with a large immigrant population.  I have a brother Harvey.  My father’s name was William Harvey Teague and he was born in Texas in 1900.  William was a pipefitter by trade.  William’s father was born in Texas and was a farmer. 

     My mother was Margaret Vanderwagen and she born in the territory of New Mexico in 1907 and her father was a missionary.  Margaret was a nurse at Los Angeles County General Hospital.  My mother’s father was Andrew Vanderwagen and his wife, my grandmother, was Effa Vanderwagen.  They were missionaries for the Christian Reformed Church preaching to the Indian people in Zuni, New Mexico.

     I attended Harrison Street Elementary School, and then went on to Belvedere Junior High School.  My best friend in elementary school was Alan Kornoff.  My main hobby was building model airplanes in elementary school.  I held several part time jobs in gas stations during high school.  I didn’t belong to any car clubs.  The shop class I took was Electric shop.  I spent two years at Roosevelt High School.   We lived in City Terrace, East Los Angeles, before moving to San Gabriel in 1957 and I transferred to Rosemead High School, where I graduated in 1959.  I wasn't involved in any car clubs while I was in school.  I worked in gas stations from the time I was 15 years old until graduating from school.  My hobbies were racing and cars.  After I graduated from Rosemead I went to East Los Angeles College and earned an Associate of Arts degree in business in 1961, then I went on to Los Angeles State College in 1962. 

     My brother Harvey and I drag raced a roadster from 1959 until 1962.  Harvey was my mentor and got me interested in racing.  Our drag car was a 1929 roadster with a 320 cubic inch Wayne/GMC 6-cylinder motor.  The car ran in the low 11 seconds elapsed times and into the mid 120's in miles per hour (mph). I went 98 mph on my first pass and scared myself silly.  I raced at all the local dragstrips in the Los Angeles area.  Harvey and I purchased the Rollema & Hill Itow dragster and put the GMC motor in it and it ran a 10.50 ET, at 137 mph with gas and improved the speed to 152 mph with nitro in 1962. 

     We then put in George Bentley's injected Chevy V8 and used a dragster body with the driver over the rear wheels, in the traditional slingshot design and turned in elapsed times (ET) of 8 seconds at around 175 mph.  Harvey and I then put George Bentley’s Chevy engine in Nick and Ernie’s Roadster roadster and it ran a 150 mph and 10.4 second ET in the quarter mile and set a record in the D/Altered Roadster class. In 1962 George Bentley and I created a race team that would design and build many race cars over the years.  Then I took over the driving duties in the Sadd Brothers D/FR (fuel roadster).  The tow car was his beautiful 1949 Cadillac Hearse with flame designs and he was known at all the dragstrips in the area.   

     In December of 1963 I was drafted into the Army and made a tour of Vietnam until 1965.  After my Army duty was over I was given an honorable discharge and left the service in 1966. 
     I went to work at Evans Speed Equipment in South El Monte, California after my discharge from the service.  Gene Ohly was my supervisor and teacher, a person l always admired, and he taught me to be a machinist.  I learned the craft of machining and then became a millwright in 1978.  In 1967 I went back to drag racing with Manuel Flores; along with another dragster, the Flores and Teague El Rhino Top Gas Dragster, which ran in the 190 mph range, and in the high 7 second ETs.  That same year Ohly, Bentley and I went to Bonneville to watch the land speed time trials and came back with plans to go racing on the salt.  We built the well-known Sadd/Teague & Bentley roadster, painted red and powered by a blown Hemi.  The Chrysler engine and roadster would give our team a notoriety that is still remembered to this day

     The team also raced in the time trials at El Mirage Dry Lake, near the town of Phelan in the lower Mojave Desert.  We set a record at 205 mph.  The team returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats, near Wendover, Nevada in 1970 and using nitro in the Hemi, l increased the record to 231 mph and in the A/Fuel Roadster Class I ran a 202 mph.  The Sadd/Teague & Bentley team didn’t do much in 1971, but a year later at the Bonneville Speed Week meet in August, we increased the B/Blown Fuel Roadster record to 250.805 mph for a two way average.  One of my runs was at 268 mph.  At that time, it was required to make two runs and average the two speeds, with one run in one direction and the second run in the opposite direction.  This was done in order to nullify any advantage that a tail wind might have on the car.  The '29 Model-A Highboy roadster had an open cockpit and the wind whipping around was quite a distraction.  We set other records at Bonneville that still stand. 

     I set the record for the A/Blown Fuel Streamliner at 409.986; and I also set the record in C/Blown Fuel Streamliner at 366.043.  I began building my streamliner, the Spirit of '76 in 1975.  A streamliner is an aerodynamically built race car that literally slices through the air with little wind resistance.  The new streamliner was long and slung low to the ground and very narrow.  I had to lie down, raising his head slightly in order to see through the window and steer the car.  It is one of the most beautifully designed cars ever made and world famous.  It would become the fastest wheel driven car in the world at the time and hold the record for many years.  A wheel driven car has a power plant that powers the wheels to turn and move the car forward.  A non-wheel driven car has wheels that are not attached to any motor and their only function is to turn, otherwise the car would crash.  The power plants in a non-wheel driven car are propulsion systems like jets and rockets. 

     Working out of my mother's garage, I began building the Spirit of '76 on a design by Lynn Yakel, from an open-wheel Lakester.  Denis Manning designed a motorcycle streamliner, which Yakel took a mold of.  It took a year and a half to build and l ran it at the Bonneville Speed Week in August of 1976.  The motor was a 392 cubic inch Chrysler Hemi and the car went 260 mph on the long course.  The car went faster at Speed Week in 1980 with a time of 280 and a year later we upped the time to 308 mph.  Our team couldn't race at Bonneville in 1982 and '83 due to rain, but we had learned enough to know how to reconfigure the car for more speed, which I knew the car had left in it.  We moved the front wheels inside the body in a unique and staggered offset design, a feature the British would copy thirteen years later when they set the unlimited record at Black Rock Desert, in Nevada.  The car ran only 268 mph in 1984, but we knew we were on the right track and at the 1985 Speed Week at Bonneville, the car responded with a 353 mph time.  We worked on the car during the 1986 racing season, covering the rear wheels under the body to diminish air drag and swapped the old cast iron Chrysler Hemi engine for an aluminum Hemi race motor.  We knew that we were improving.  The streamliner went 360 mph in 1987.  There to watch him run was Jane Welch Myers, who would become Mrs Al Teague. 

     The streamliner's speed increased to 384 mph at Speedweek in 1988 and would have gone faster if the rear tires hadn't begun to peel and blister.  Land speed racers have trouble finding good race tires to use for their cars, especially when the speeds go over 300 mph.  Many of the racers use Indianapolis 500 open wheel tires and sand the tread off until they have a smooth tire, but still retaining rubber and metal.  At the 1989 speed trials in Utah, we managed to run a 398 mph run and lost two sets of tires in the process.  I broke 400 mph mark at Bonneville in 1990, but it was the next year that l set the record.  At the Bonneville Speed Week in 1991, l made two runs within one hour, going 425.230 in one direction and 394 mph in the opposite direction.  The two-way average was 409.986 mph and the vehicle was accorded the fastest wheel-driven record in the world according to the FIA.

     My friends in racing include Nick Sadd, George Bentley, Earl Evans, Alan Welch, Charlie Hamilton, Gene Ohly, Harry Mardon, Gene Thurman and Ernie Sadd.  Nick and Ernie were running a dragster at the drags and lakes.  My brother Harvey and myself were running our GMC powered roadster at the drags.  We were both sponsored by Daleo and Bisetti, a mechanical and body shop on Monterey Pass Road in Monterey Park.  George Bentley, a truck driver, was in and out of Daleo and Bisetti's shop.  I met George in 1958 in East Los Angeles at a friend's house.  George would go to the drag races with Harvey and I and Nick and Ernie.  George knew Earl Evans and drove his Lakester at Daytona Beach in 1951.  All of us; Nick, George, Gene Ohly, hung around at Evans Speed Equipment.  Alan Welch operated Automotive Balancing Service in Lynwood and Harvey and I were one of his customers having our engines balanced.  Charlie Hamilton worked for Gene Ohly in 1964 and became acquainted with George Bentley in the same year.  Gene Ohly and Harry Mardon ran a 1929 roadster at the dry lakes and Bonneville.  Later, in 1962, Gene purchased Evans Speed Equipment after Earl's death late 1962.  Gene Thurman was a Gear Grinder, drag racer, Bonneville and Dry Lakes racer.  He was a friend of Nick and Ernie Sadd and would go to the drags with them.

     I married Sheila Jane Welch Myers and we raised two step-children Todd Myers and Tracy Myers Moran.  Todd was involved with Speed-O-Motive, with his uncle, Alan Welch, at his automotive balancing service.  I now have a shop of my own at 9624 Atlantic Avenue, in South Gate, California.  My current project is a 1951 Ford Pick-up truck for street use. 

     Jane's grandparents were from Ireland on her father's side and from Idaho on her mother's side. Her mother was Thelma Orpha Reavis from Idaho.  Thelma was an RN at University of California at Berkeley and then later on she was a nurse in Alhambra, California.  Thelma was also a stewardess for United Airlines during the depression years of the 1930’s.

     Jane’s father was Cecil Bernard Welch from Colorado.  Cecil was a production manager for the Los Angeles Times, and after various other jobs, started Automotive Balancing Service in 1957, which his son, Alan, took over.  Jane Welch was born in Los Angeles in 1939.  Jane is an R.N. trained at St. Vincent’s Hospital in 1960.  Like her mother Thelma, Jane became a stewardess for United Airlines for a time in 1963-1964, before resuming her career as a nurse.

     My race cars are in a museum, America's Car Collection, in Winnemucca, Nevada.  They have my #76 Roadster, the Sadd/Teague/Bentley Streamliner #76, the Micro Midget #26, the Clyde Sturdy Associated Gear Special, and the Dragster GMC powered car.  His website, The Spirit of '76, is at

Gone Racin’ is at [email protected].

Gone Racin'...Terry Reed.    Written by Terry Reed and Richard Parks.  This story also has contributions from internet, print media and other website sources and from emails and conversations that I had with Terry Reed.  Photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  26 September 2012.  Republished courtesy of Internet Brands. 

     I don’t remember where I met Terry Reed.  It could have been in reviewing some books, at a car show, or perhaps he responded to my POBB, which is a political opinion emailed newsletter.  Terry has written on the car culture and politics before and is a very conservative writer, akin to my traditional conservative.  Or you could just call it the hot rodders conservatism.  I can define it as, “I have a problem and had better get to work on it right away and solve it.”  How many hotrodders and car racers say, “Maybe I’ll wait around, whine and carp, blame someone else and then ask my Congressperson to give me some money to get my car ready to race?”  Not many, but I do know a few.  I think I’d like to drop by Terry’s garage some day and have a carrot stick and a glass of water.  That’s about all the doctors will allow me these days, although I still look greedily at a chocolate bar.  His conservatism is not contained only in his politics; he has a perfectly good BMW that is working on its 30th birthday.  He also enjoys investing and has been mentioned in such newspapers as the Wall Street Journal.

     According to his bios he lives up in Michigan with another good friend of mine, a lady by the name of Della Wood, and probably not far from Shirley Muldowney, both of whom are the sweetest ladies and formidable drag racers who helped to establish women in that sport.  Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney had some of the really famous shootouts in the past. 
     I do know that Terry Reed attended Grosse Pointe High School in Detroit, Michigan and that he later matriculated at Miami University where he earned his Batchelor of Arts degree.  From there he went on to the University of Iowa where he worked on advanced studies and got his Masters Degree.  He wasn’t done with the Liberal Arts or the Liberal professors and earned his Doctorate Degree at the University of Kentucky.  While there he crafted two graduate school monographs that survive to this day.  One of them was

Theme, Symbol and Wit in the Fiction of L. P. Hartley, and the other was Phillip Freneau and the Art of Political Satire.  He wasn’t all work though.  He loved sailing on Lake Michigan during the summer and also bicycling in Europe.  Terry found time to marry, have three children, a son and two daughters, and write prodigiously.

     Today Terry lives in his condo, observing golfers ruin a perfectly good golf course and peppering the air with words you can’t use in front of your grandmother.  Writing consumes his life as it does mine.  He mentioned also that he loves horse racing and by extension due to his writing, auto racing as well.  “My goals over the years have been devoted to loving women and making the world safe for the dry Martini,” he said and I am sure he was serious at the time he said that.  In addition to his books Terry has had his writing published hundreds of times (330 by his last count) in all aspects of the media.  He also wrote for Microsoft, Oxford University Press and Penthouse magazine.  
     Terry added this in his last email to me, “I have written on Truman Capote which is still in print after 20 years.  I wrote on Broadway Playwright/New Yorker essayist S. N. Behrman, which is now distributed on CD by the University of Michigan.  I wrote two books on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Indy: The Race and Ritual of the Indianapolis 500 (Second Edition, Potomac Books, 2005) marketed by Doubleday, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.  I also published, Of Herds and Hermits: America’s Lone Wolves and Submissive Sheep (New York: Algora Books, 2009) available in hard cover, soft cover and e-book format; which was acquired by Harvard, Columbia, Michigan and Chicago university libraries.  In progress is my latest project, Book of Fools: The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Fops, Jackasses, Morons, Dolts, Dunces, Halfwits and Blockheads.”  Somehow I think you all stopped reading after Penthouse was mentioned.  Go ahead and pick up a copy if you can find it and let me know how you liked the article or maybe the lack of articles draped on the models.  I’m getting to like this fellow I have never met in person better and better.

     But enough of this Tom Foolery, the man’s a writer and a good one and so here are the titles that he wants you to buy on Amazon or the local bookstore and read.  And you should, for we would all be better off in America if we made our decisions on facts instead of how pretty the clothes were that our leaders were wearing.  In his book “Of Herds and Hermits: America’s Lone Wolves and Submissive Sheep,” Terry extols the creativity of the loners, cultural hermits, independent minded and those who exist on the fringe of society refusing to kow-tow to the pretty and powerful people.  Of course he had me in mind as one of the iconoclasts of modern day sheepdom, but I am not mentioned in the book.  His book on the Indy 500 is titled, “Indy: The Race and Ritual of the Indianapolis 500” and tells the story of the famous 2 and a half mile tracks layout, the dangerous quarter mile long turns and the men who made history there including Vukovich, Foyt and such modern day racing dancers as Helio Castroneves.  He doesn’t shy away from the horrible crashes and loss of life.

     A book with a catchy title is “Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA.”  In it Terry Reed posits that our political leaders were under the influence of the CIA and won election with covert backing.  It’s hardly a minority opinion as most of us feel the government could be run perfectly well with a donkey stabled in the Oval Office.  Reed writes a descriptive examination of the writer Truman Capote in his book by the same name.  The gifted Capote is laid bare in all his talents and failings for as controversial as Capote was, he isn’t going to be abandoned anytime soon by our Liberal Intelligentsia.  Reed also wrote “Guided Imagery and Beyond: Stories of Healing and Transformation,” and “The Book of Fools: An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Fops, Jackasses, Morons, Dolts, Dunces, Halfwits and Blockheads.”  For those of you who love H. L. Mencken, G. B. Shaw, Mark Twain, Ambrose Bierce and many of our satirists and humorists, you can add Terry Shaw to your list of writers.  For hot rodders who like to work the brain cells there is “An evaluation and comparison of the leadership styles of administration in secondary schools and administrators in the United States Army,” “S. N. Behrman,” the celebrated playwright, “Enterprise Zones: The Concept, Financing, and Site (etal),” and a novel, “The Full Cleveland: A Novel.”

Gone Racin' is at [email protected]

Gone Racin'...Randy Walls biography.  Text and photographs by Randy Walls, edited by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.   26 March 2012. Republished courtesy of Internet Brands. 

     My grandfather was Will Walls and he was born in 1885 in Breckenridge County, Kentucky.  Will was a farmer and outlived two wives but the third one was too young and outdid him.  He died at the age of 97 and was still joking and laughing to the last minute.  His third wife was only 67 years old at that time and they had three children, my half aunts and uncles.  Uncle Helm was my oldest uncle by Will Walls and was my father's oldest step brother.  My Uncle Helm lived to be 94 before he passed away.  Uncle Arthur was a Hatfield and a brother to my Grandmother Jane Hatfield Walls. Aunt Jose is still alive at the age of 89, as is Aunt Goldie who is now 83, and my Uncle Wilson is 92 and brags that he is going to hit at least a 100.  My Grandmother Jane died when my father was only 3 so I never met her, but I was told how great a lady she was.  We were in constant contact with her brother, my great-uncle Arthur and he actually spent several summers with us; he was a great guy.  The Hatfield and McCoy feud went on for years and supposedly was started by the McCoy's for stealing property from the Hatfield's when they took the timber off the land to sell.  I really don't know if this is true or not, but that's what the family said.  Jane Hatfield was born in 1892 in Indiana and she descended from the Hatfield family that was made famous in the feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families.  Jane passed away in 1917, from drinking unpasteurized milk and I never met her.  The Hatfield and McCoy feuds were way before my time so I don't really know when they began or ended but if they were still going on when my granddad met Jane then he probably made a big joke out of it and stopped the whole feud.

     My father was Thomas Hatfield Walls and he was born in June, 1914 in Breckenridge County, Kentucky. My father Thomas was a very nice, honest and generous man but very hard on me. He was in the general merchandise business, owning small grocery and hardware stores and later service stations; all while farming as well. He was also educated and was actually a school teacher as well. He was a mechanic of sorts due to owning several service stations, but he would have nothing to do with racing. He wasn't real happy with me being in racing but didn't try to stop me; except of course if I did any street racing. I could never do anything right to please him and moved to California in the Air Force so I could get away from him and develop myself. 

     My mother was Lois Fern Dutschke and she was born in March, 1917 in Breckenridge County, Kentucky.  Lois was a very wonderful person and mom, and she worked as a postmaster in different locations. Lois was also a member of many women’s organizations. My mother’s father was Elmer Dutschke and he had a farm where my mom and her siblings were raised. Elmer died at the early age of 37 from a heart attack and my grandmother, Cora Bennett Dutschke raised her five children all by herself. She was a wonderful lady and both of my grandparents on my mother’s side were highly respected in the local community.
     My older sister, Sherry Walls Barger, was born in November, 1939.  I was born on January 14, 1941 in Sample, Breckenridge County, Kentucky.  Sherry married Kenneth Barger and they had three children; Kent, Becky and Bryan. My nephew Bryan worked on my race team when I was racing back east. Sherry was a school teacher and we were very close. Sherry passed away in 2004 on Easter Sunday from breast cancer.           I was born in Sample, Kentucky in a general store that we lived in on one side and the store was on the other side.   My grandmother was the midwife. We moved to Holt, Kentucky, just a few miles away to a larger store and home when I was 4 years old in 1945. It was much like the first place we lived in, except it was a much larger store and home with running water and indoor plumbing.  By most standards we were rich and had one of the very first television sets in the county. At first there was only one channel and of course it was all in black and white. Lots of neighbors would come over to see it and we would put the TV in the front window so we could all sit out in the lawn and watch. I would sweep and clean the store, stock the shelves, mow the lawns and do whatever other work needed to be down. 
     My hobbies generally consisted of lots of work. I always loved to work and stay busy and I still do, especially building lots of stuff and being outdoors.  I worked in the fields for the local farmers from the age of seven. I did a lot of work, erecting and repairing fences and buildings that we needed on the farm. I worked in all kinds of weather back east, even when it was hot and humid, or bitterly cold, but I much prefer the mild climate here in California.
     In 1952 we paid cash for a 104 acre farm on the Ohio River in Ammons, Kentucky. All these places were within 8 miles of each other. It was called ‘The Grand View Farm.’  We grew corn, tobacco, alfalfa, pasture and great steaks there. I’ve always loved being outdoors except when the weather turned cold or very hot and always thought it kept me healthier that is until I found out about skin cancer.
     When I was 14 I bought myself a new 1955 Chevy which I actually had to have because I was raising crops on our farm, as well as my grandmother Dutschke's place and also my grandfather Will's place. I was also going to school as well. I would get out and start working the field at 3 am, and then drive 15 miles to school. When my classes were over I would rush back and lots of time I wouldn’t finish on the farm work until midnight. My mom would often bring me food in the fields.
     I attended a one room school in Holt where I walked from my home to the school house and transferred to another one room schoolhouse in Stephensport where I was able to ride the school bus. Due to the fact there weren't many people around it would have been real boring if they hadn’t put all of the grades together, and we would have no one to play with at recess. I had only one teacher I didn't like, and some that I loved. Most of my teachers were great friends and mentors.
     My mom passed away a few years ago at the age of 90 and about a year earlier she said to me that she had never seen a person before that went to school and came home and worked their butt off with all those chores and never studied; then went back to school and still got straight A's.  I asked her, “Are you talking about me?” She said, “Of course.” I really worked hard, but efficiently at my school and devoted 100% to school when I was there.
     All of my friends in grade school were nice but most of them were always trying to get me to smoke and I always said no. In the seventh grade I transferred to Breckenridge County High School for the last six grades.  High school was great, very busy, and we had basketball, but no football or baseball. We were the first high school class to be integrated in that part of the country and I loved it. We had no car clubs or race tracks, but we all did way too much street racing and of course I always won and luckily never crashed or hurt anyone. Everyone tells me that I never really knew what people thought of me as a person or as a competitor until recently.
     My friends in high school were into cars, like I was. Douglas Morgan and GW Dotson were into music. Douglas has been in many recordings, singing and playing guitar and was in electronics in the Air Force.  Paul Cundiff likes to restore old cars. Paul Butler became postmaster. Ronnie Spurrier was a star basketball player, who later went into the security business. Another good friend of mine in high school was Terry Pullen. 
     After high school, when I turned 19 in 1960 I enlisted in the Air Force.  When I joined the Air Force I made the highest entry score ever in the state of Kentucky. The military gave me my choice of tech schools and career fields. I chose digital computers, which was their longest and toughest course at 57 weeks of pure studying. I graduated 2nd out of 100 students so I again got my choice of my next assignment, which was Mount Laguna, California, just outside of San Diego. Mount Laguna was the most important and secretive radar base in the world at that time, and it covered such a large segment of our borders, oceans, etc of perceived threats. I kept the digital computer running correctly. 
     Since I was also interested in cars they let me run the auto shop on the base as well. I started racing a 1957 Chevy and then a ‘60 Chevy at San Diego Raceway in Ramona while I was still in the Air Force. I achieved the highest ranking in the AF that you could get in the four year stint that I signed up for. My friends in the service came from everywhere; Florida, Buffalo, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, etc. They were so spread out that over time we have finally lost contact with one another. 
     I was always involved in street racing and my street car was a 1957 Chevy, dual quad 270hp, 283 cubic inch engine and I got the racing bug.  I raced the Chevy in Biloxi, Mississippi and in Gastonia, North Carolina, before moving to the San Diego area while I was in the Air Force. My next car was a 1960 Impala that I put a mild 327 c.i. motor in and turning a low 13 second elapsed time at up to 104 mph.  
     I was so over trained in electronics that when I got my discharge I couldn't get a job because I was overqualified for what was available.  McDonald Douglas said I would be bored to death with any of their jobs. I was collecting $25 a week unemployment and looking for jobs and at the same time building cars and motors and porting cylinder heads, etc. on many fast cars, so I had to go in that direction.
     In 1963 I built a race car with a 301 c.i. engine in a 1955 Chevy. The color was orange so I named it the Flying Pumpkin and the name was painted on the side by the well-known car racing artist and racer Bob McCoy. The car ran C/mod production and the first day out I earned the national record in E.T. of 12.74 seconds and beat Jack Jones convincingly. He was the champ at that time. I went on to way outdo the national record, but due to the politics involved in the sport, which I didn't play, I was always aced out by cheaters that had friends in higher places so I never got the official record, but they knew of my speeds. I ran this car in 1963 through ‘65 and got the E.T. down in the 12.30 range but couldn’t get the National record due to politics in the sport.  I always felt that my car was too legal for the cheaters to comprehend.  I then went into the new Funny Car class.  
     They shut down San Diego Raceway in Ramona in 1966. I raced there from 1963 to the time that it closed. I did well enough that the track offered me a portion of the gate proceeds to accept challenges from other racers. I was the local guy that the outsiders wanted to knock off. Some of the guys that ran against me were; Richard Schroeder, the Jolly Green Giant, Dea Keaton's Peanuts, Harry Canary, Blumin’ Bullit Camaro, Jack Jones, and Fast Eddie Sharpman. I won all of the races but one.  I raced the last race there in 1966 and then they shut the drag strip down. Jack Jones is the guy that posed for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) trophy that they call the 'Wally' and was top gas champ in 1968.  He is the one I raced and beat in 1963 the first day out with my C/M Production. Jones was the engine builder and was partners with two other guys. 
     In 1964 I raced that car in the Winter Nationals at Pomona and had by far the fastest car there and while racing the national record holder and leading by a three car length over my opponent I broke 3rd gear in my transmission and by the time I got it in 4th gear he was in front of my car, but he only beat me by half a fender length.  The announcer for that event was Bernie Partridge; he is a hard guy to forget. The guy I raced was in a Corvette and was sponsored by Castler tire.  That was the last run of the day.  I had already beaten him once so they gave him another chance, and this time he won the meet.  I felt like the sanctioning body was playing politics.  
     A similar thing happened at a National records meet at Carlsbad and I set the National record and so did another guy.  They P/G'd and weighed both cars and mine came out completely legal but not so for my competitor.  He claimed his engine was 283 c.i., but he his car was too light and didn't have the required weight for that size. When they measured his engine it showed that it was 337 cubic inches.  My car checked out at a 288 c.i. and was actually over weight. The lighter the car the faster it goes as long as you don’t go under the weight limit for your class.  I was legal and he wasn’t. Guess who they gave the record to, it certainly was not me.  There was a race back east where a guy was able to cheat even more than my opponent and had better contacts so he actually wound up with the record. 
     From there I jumped straight into blown, injected fuel funny cars and somehow survived.  Being one of the first fuel funny cars we were all very lucky to survive.  Lion’s was always my favorite track with C.J. Hart as their track manager. You just can't say enough about that man; he knew how to put on a race and keep it fair for all.  I also liked to race at my home track at San Diego Raceway in Ramona. I raced at Carlsbad, OCIR, Irwindale, Fontana, Riverside, Phoenix, Sacramento, Albuquerque, US 30, and Gary, Indiana. I raced at drag strips in Florida, Connecticut, and London, which is in Ontario, Canada. I even raced in my home town of Hardinsburg, Kentucky, which finally got a drag strip. I set the track record there and at most of these smaller race tracks where I raced. My record stood for years and after someone went faster, I took it right back again in 2009. These small drag strips were sometime bumpy and never really tight. There were always lots of variables which made it imperative that you figure out the surface so you wouldn't spin the tires.  My judgment on this won me lots of races. I loved the early days where you had to outsmart everyone or else you never won. It was inexpensive and actually I made good money at it, but I always had fun whether I won or lost. 
     In 1969 I had approximately 70 bookings and mostly in match races, but had some heavy fields. My races and match races were always against the big names, and I won over 80% of these races. Those that I raced against included; the Chi-town Hustler, Eddie Sharpman, HAWAIIAN, Don Schumacher, Charlie Allen, Jungle Jim Liberman, Atlas Oil Tool Special, Gene Snow, Dick Harrell, Pete Gates, Nelson Carter's Super Chief, Pat Foster, Big John Mazmanian, Sheryl Greer, Mr Norm, Ramchargers, Tasca, Color Me Gone, etal. Depending on the year, but early I raced with my friends Dennis Hespeler, Tom Rundell and with others who were my crew members.  Some of the crew guys on my team were M/T, Austin Coil, John Hogan, Gary Dyer and others. 
     My first wife was Cheri Waite Walls.  She was the very first back-up girl at the drag races, some four years before Jungle Pam Hardy did the same thing for Jungle Jim Liberman.  We were married in June of 1968.  Cheri and I had one daughter, Laurie Walls, who was born with a heart problem in August of 1969.  I did very well that year, making $50,000 in drag racing and this was lucky because that is what it cost to save her life.  Cheri loved drag racing and really loved the attention she got as the pretty back-up girl.  As beautiful as she was, there were dysfunctions in our marriage that couldn't be resolved.  Cheri got caught up in the destructive lifestyle of the times and I asked her to stop.  We had a beautiful little daughter together and I wanted the marriage to work.  Cheri wouldn't give up her risky behavior and that was a deal breaker and I told her that she had to change or our marriage would end.  We separated in 1972 and continued to try and get her to change, but by 1992 I realized that I had to move on; Cheri is living somewhere in Virginia now.  My daughter took Cheri's side and we haven't spoken since. 
     In 1969 my cousin Ronnie and Mike Cook, the son of Doug Cook, went on tour back east with me.  Doug Cook built and tuned all the famous STONE/WOODS & COOK entries of that era.  He was a very nice guy and of course very intelligent to put all those winning combinations together.  In 1969 Doug asked me to take his 16 year old son Mike with me on tour and do three things; teach him about cars and making them run, keep him out of trouble, and keep him busy.  Well one out of three wasn't too bad was it?  We had a great time and won lots of races that summer all over the East and Midwest.  Mike is the one now that is so dominant at the Bonneville Salt Lakes and also builds land speed racing cars.   He recently finished the recreation of the STONE, WOODS & COOK Candy Blue Mustang funny car that his son Mike Jr is driving at the drags.
     I always had great respect for the other racers but they would never share any secrets with me. 1969 was a very busy year for me. I raced everywhere and some of the tracks were Gary US 30, which was Dragway's future Hall of fame race, Martin, Michigan’s Popular Hot Rod magazine meet, Hartford, Connecticut, Nashville, Tennessee, Hollywood Raceway in Miami, which was a 4 lane track, St Louis, Cordova, and Rockford. I was supposed to race Pat Foster at Byron, Illinois.  Most of the tracks were a little rough and most didn't have great traction. 
     I've worked for the likes of Jim Nicoll (The Mad Man). I've also owned service stations, been service manager at different dealerships that need them straightened out, and was actually the very first service manager for Mitsubishi Motors when they came here in 1983.  Nicoll was a really nice guy but a little crazy too, and a real joker.  He was a practical joker, but obviously he was also very sharp to make his car go so fast.  I remember one day in Pacific Beach in the front of the Der Wienerschnitzel on a main street he fired his car up and made a smoky burnout.  It was very loud in the middle of town and a little dangerous too.
     Now I build motors, race, build some cars, and manufacture automobile rotators for car shows and car dealerships. I also display at shows, schools, etc.  These units are set on the ground and then you drive a car or truck on them.  The rotators use 110 volt outlet and the car rotates for show purposes. I've been doing this since 1983 and have built thousands of them and they are used all over the world. 
     I married for a second time to Lory Walls and she is a cancer research scientist.  When we met she didn't know of my involvement with drag racing.  We meet in 1983 and got married in 1986.  She figured it out when I got so anxious about finding my old cars.  Lory goes to some exhibition races close to home but I scare the heck out of her when I am racing.  I have a wonderful stepdaughter, Wendy Evette, and stepson Eric that are great and doing well in life.  They have given me three grandchildren; Ashley, Riley, and Reese.  Wendy and her husband Greg are Ashley's parents and they live in Huntington Beach. They own a home, finance and escrow company and are doing great.  They have horses and enjoy riding them.  Wendy goes to some of my races, but just for moral support.  Stepson Eric and his lovely wife Julie have two wonderful kids as well; Reese and Riley.  They live in Sacramento, California and his job requires him to travel a lot.  A few years ago Eric started a computer program for his employer, Miller Coors, to keep track of all the inventory of the company at all of their locations, plus the company sales.  He is now in charge of IP Marketing for the company. 
     I'm in charge of three of the big cruise nights on Wednesdays here in El Cajon that deal with performance cars and one of those nights is actually my night.  El Cajon, like a lot of other places, have a CRUIZE night on a regular basis and they have it scheduled for every Wednesday night during the summer.  Each Wednesday night they have a different category or theme and that type of vehicle is displayed on the big Promenade in the center of town.  The show attracts hundreds of vehicles each time but the biggest crowd comes out on the FUNNY CAR FRENZY NIGHT.  I bring in a variety of different types of race cars and different types of drag race vehicles. I go around with the intercom and introduce each owner and driver and ask them what they are trying to achieve why they are doing it.  I ask them questions about their car, what class it's in, what is the difference in classes, and then have them start their car's engine. To keep anyone from feeling slighted I try to arrange the interviews in the order of the noise produced by their car; in other words, the quieter ones go first.  I also explain why a turbo car is much quieter but still has ridiculous horsepower.
     I race with other teams for the fun of it and help others as well.  I race specifically in Nostalgia competition with both of my cars.  I've actually been invited to New Zealand to race and I will be the first American to race there since 1976, so I'm stoked and am going to have one great vacation. I'm so pleased to be picked for this event and it will be great fun. We will be the first Americans to race there since 1976.  The organizers have rented us a home with everything including a 24 hour transportation service.  They are sponsoring everything.  There will be parades, parties, two fishing trips, tours, and so much more.  They want my original 1970 Grey car that won the 2004 GoodGuys Championship also started the Nostalgia Funny Car class.  This car is featured in the soon to be released movie; "The Snake and the Mongoose."  They picked Army Armstrong and Nick Lanzarette's recreation of the original M/T 1972 Pontiac Gran Am (REVELLEADER) funny car of which Dale Pulde was one of its drivers.  We are spending Christmas and New Years with Craig Mullen and Andy.  We have met some really nice people down there. 
     This race is their biggest one of the year for the Kiwis and they have reconfigured it with a new theme; THE YANKEE INVASION OF NEW ZEALAND.  This race is equivalent to our Winternationals in Pomona.  It will be held at the nearly new Taupo Racing Complex in Taupo, New Zealand.  Originally I was supposed to take both of my cars over, but I felt that it would be better to have other Americans join me, so I convinced the organizers to include others.   Also going are the Modified Roadsters' of Stormy Byrd (his 1964 Revelation car) and Randy Winkle's (Famoso Speed Shop) car GRINGO.  Our cars have already been shipped and we fly down there on December 19, 2012.  The race dates are December 28 and 29, 2012 and also on January 2 and 3, 2013.  All the cars have already been featured in The NZ Magazine that is like our Hot Rod magazine here in the states, very nice and extensive articles and photos.  I have to brag as I got the center fold; how cool is that.  This is one beautiful country and we are receiving the royal treatment with several tours and two fishing trips (both deep see and trout) scheduled.  We will be there for a little more than three weeks and we will be busy all the time.  I am very pleased and humbled to be picked for this great honor and to represent America "down under."
Gone Racin' is at [email protected].
Gone Racin' ... Dick Martin.  Story and photographs by Dick Martin, edited by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.   22 October 2012. Republished courtesy of Internet Brands and the author. 

     My grandparents were Joseph and Gertrude Martin.  I called my grandfather 'Pope Joe,' who was kind of a land owner and that is about all I know of him. Joseph was born near Altoona, Pennsylvania, and my grandmother in the same area.  My grandmother Gertrude, who I never liked, was a housewife. 

     My father was Carl Martin and he was born in the Altoona area on January 7, 1902.  My dad was the domineering type, a successful man in everything he did.  He owned a radio station, a race horse and was a member of the Variety Club in Pittsburgh with a lot of celebrity friends.  We were not close. 

     My mother's maiden name was Maude Poland before she got married and probably was born in Pittsburgh on October 27, 1902.  My mother was a fine lady and a very good mom.  My mother was a housewife.  I was born on September 13, 1938 in Pittsburgh and soon afterwards my parents moved to Ellwood City, 50 miles north of Pittsburgh where my dad managed a furniture store.  I was an only child, born late in my parent’s lives when they were in their late thirties.  My dad was on the Pete De Paolo race team because of the board track in Altoona, which must have been an influence on his interest in racing.  As far as what he did when he was on the crew of DePaolo’s I could not say, but he did go to the Indy 500 in 1927 with the team.

     The Catholic School I attended was attached to the church.  I was an altar boy for a short time before I was kicked out of school for taking something out of the cafeteria. I then went to public school called Hartman School that was right across the street from my house.  The school was named after the founder of Ellwood.  We lived in the Hartman house that is now a historical building in Ellwood.  Ellwood City was a steel town that had a US Steel Tube Mill that employed most of the town.  My dad got me into the Soap Box Derby in 1951. I almost went to Akron when I came in second and got my picture in the Ellwood City Ledger on the front page.  When my dad died in 1952 I couldn’t wait to get out of Ellwood City.  My dad died at 48 in Florida while my mom and I stayed behind at home.  He had gone down with a lady friend of the family but she was really his mistress.  He had cancer and went to Florida to get away from the cold.  He died in St Petersburg in 1952.  I had one friend in school Joe Arvosi and one girl friend that lived next door.  The girl that lived next door and I got into trouble when her dad caught us making out.  He was a big band member in the 1940's out in California and taught trumpet back in Ellwood.  I had to open my window in the summer and practice the trumpet so he could hear me.  I hated the trumpet.  My dad then got me to play the violin and I was a failure at that as well.  I took tap dancing and didn’t last long at that either.  I was kind of a disappointment to my father. 

     When I was 13 and my mom and I moved to Arcadia, California the same year. When we moved to Arcadia we lived with my aunt Tude and my uncle Warren until my mom purchased a duplex renting out the front apartment while we lived in the back on 2nd Avenue in Arcadia.  My mom never worked, never dated and never drove a car.  My friend in Ellwood, Joe Arvosi, moved to Arcadia and rented an apartment along with his sister and mom. His sister went nuts and got into trouble so much that his mom moved back to Ellwood.  I went to First Avenue Elementary School in Arcadia.  When I enrolled I went to a board to look what classes I was assigned to and saw my name. There were two other Dick Martin’s on the board and I went to Print Shop.  I found out later that the other Dick Martin wanted print shop, so we both took it.  We three would stay together through Arcadia High School.  One even had the same middle initial.  I ended up taking a lot of shop classes at Arcadia High and my academic side was spotty getting mostly C’s and D’s except in Journalism class and in Speech class.  I was lousy at math.

     When I first moved to Arcadia my mom rode with my aunt to the store since she didn’t drive.  When I got my driver’s license she bought a used Pontiac, since my dad always drove a Pontiac.  It turned out to be an ex-police car with lots of issues.  She went to Bates Chevrolet in Arcadia and purchased a new `55 Chevy.  That was just one of my wheels in high school.   We would race up and down Chantry Flats that was a mountain road behind Arcadia.  One of the guys that raced with us on the mountain road went off in a Jag and broke his neck going down the side of the mountain.  There were some really fast cars at Arcadia High School and I traded the Chevy for a Corvette which my aunt Stell helped pay for. I was working as a box boy at the Shopping Bag super market and made the payments while going to school.  I was street racing so much that the speeding tickets were piling up.  Too many accidents were happening and I decided to cool it as far as racing on the mountain road and on the street.  I started hanging out at C.S. Mead Chevrolet in Pasadena.  Dave MacDonald worked there who I met at Bates Chevrolet in Arcadia.  Dave was a line mechanic at Bates and had a Corvette.  He worked at Mead as a mechanic as well.  That’s when I started racing on road courses.  I raced at Paramount Ranch in the Malibu Mountains and joined the Road Race Training Association that had Ken Miles and Sam Hanks as our instructors.

     I remember standing in a group listening to either Miles or Hanks.  I think it was Ken Miles telling us about the Riverside Raceway course and the guy behind me asking me about my helmet that I had.  It was the same kind of helmet that Sterling Moss wore.  The guy was Steve McQueen who was in the class.  At the time he was on Wanted Dead or Alive a TV show, but I didn’t know who he was.  I was working at a store called The Akron in Covina and had gone back to street racing.  The straw that did me in was going to the beach with my girl in my car and blowing a stop sign in Hacienda Heights on Highway 39.  A sheriff lit me up and I took a sharp right to lose him in a residential area like a fool.  When he pulled me over I thought he was going to knock me out he was so mad.  When I went to court the judge looked at my rap sheet and gave me two choices; join the military or go to jail.  I had no intention of enlisting in the service as my racing was starting to pay off with an offer to drive a Corvette on a road course in Mexico.  When I was on the bus going to be sworn in I saw my Corvette on a trailer (it had been repossessed) and I started to tell the guy sitting next to me on the bus that was my race car, but then I thought he wouldn’t believe me.  To hell with it I thought and clammed up; off to Fort Ord I went.

     In the Army I was stationed in Poitiers, France and this changed my life in many ways.  We were a communications unit and my friends were mostly college types.  I did attend Pasadena Collage before the service, but never graduated.  The guys I was stationed with were exceptional as far as knowledge.  It rubbed off on me and I spent much of my time in the post library reading.  On weekends I worked in the Armed Forces Network doing comedy skits and learning the ropes as far as radio was concerned.  Mike Meter was in charge of the station that was located on post and we spent a lot of air time together.  I never liked France or the people but I fell in love with Spain on several leaves I took there as well as the Brits on several leaves to London.

     My friend, Frank Adams, was stationed in Poitiers and he was from Baldwin Park.  He had a 1954 Studebaker that we took to LeMans to watch the 24 hour race together and also to Reims, France to watch the French Grand Prix as well.  I got into the pits and met Dan Gurney who drove for Porsche and Phil Hill who drove for Ferrari.  Of course I knew them from the sports car races at the various road courses in California, but to be at the tracks in Europe was a wish come true for me.  I also went to Silverstone, England while on leave to watch the British Grand Prix.  Gurney was racing a 409 c.i. Chevy against the Jags there and what a thrill to hear the booming 409 Chevy motor against the ripping cloth sound of the Jag engines.  He had California plates on the car no less.  I did a story for Rod&Custom on Gurney and I mentioned that to him and in the story about watching him race when I was a PFC in the Army.
Gone Racin' is at [email protected].  **************************************************************************************