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Land Speed Racing Newsletter #382

Land Speed Racing Newsletter #382


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, by Bob Choisser.  18 September 2015.

     The NHRA is going to have to be much more friendlier to all its friends of drag racing (my term).  I just received an announcement from the WCHRA (West Coast Hot Rod Association) that said: "If you haven't heard yet we at WCHRA are very excited about the new direction that we are taking!  We are leaving the class and index racing program and heading into the very exciting world of grudge racing!"

     I think it will be interesting to see where this goes.  Boddie/Boddie Racing out of San Francisco, California recently hosted a Grudgefest II event at Sacramento Raceway.  It was hugely successful with 300 cars and 10,000 people in the stands!  That drag strip has not seen that kind of attendance and participation combined in 25 years!  The next Grudgefest event will be in Redding, California on September 26, 2015.

     I blew up the Bad Vega in July, just a few days following my NHRA California State Championship win at Sacramento.  A new motor with more modifications is being installed and will be ready for the ET Finals.  I will continue to race at NHRA sanctioned events, but if they continue with what is more and more perceived as a snotty and uppity attitude at their events, I will start concentrating on other non-NHRA events.  It is not that I don't like the NHRA, but drag racing and all types of racing is changing and those that change with it will be successful and those that don't will likely go out of existence.

     The NHRA should be working hard to add more sanctioned race courses and maybe they are.  I don't see it happening.  As I understand, Irwindale Speedway will close at the end of this season.  That is a real shame with all the history from there; and that will leave only 7 sanctioned drag strips in California!  I apologize for dragging out my soapbox on this issue, but it needs to be said and you do have some voice in this even though I fully understand that you are not connected with the NHRA. 

     I will look for Roger Rohrdanz the photographer.  You can tell him that I will be pitted with or near the team from Sacramento Raceway; just look for the yellow Vega Kammback.  Bob Choisser
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks.

     I received the following email from one of our reviewers.  “I know it is an editorial and I think you use those as written, but I found a typo in one of them.  First sentence, ‘Please share with any interested party in sympathy with restoring the Bonneville Salt Flats to is historic, safe racing splendor.’  I think ‘to is historic’ was meant to be, ‘to its historic.’  Do you make that kind of corrections?”
    I failed to see that mistake and so did my spell/grammar check.  I do correct such grammatical errata when I see them.  I don't accept "as written" articles; I am always fussing with them.  The exception was the material that LeRoi Tex Smith wrote; they were always colloquial and full of deliberate errors.  It was his style, to be as folksy as possible and yet he was a very educated and literate man.  I'm not concerned with errors such as misusing "Is" for "Are," or misspelling "Thier" for "Their."  The errors that I want to correct are more devious and galling to historians and they are NOUN related.  Spelling of names, correct dates, proper definition of terms, percentages of facts must be beyond error.  Those are the mistakes that Jim Miller excoriates us for making.  If I say the "Miller LSR car" is only 50% authentic when it is 30% authentic, then that is a critical error.

     Spelling errors are important to catch.  It is a Duesenberg, not a Deusenburg.  It is not Louie Mayer, but Louie Meyer who won Indy three times.  Dates are vital too; Bonneville is not held on August 32, because there isn't a 32nd day.  Those telling me that they need to add a Framistat to their cams are pulling my leg.  Is there really a framistat?  Someone describing a piston as a battery is giving faulty information.  There were not 5 Summer Brothers, there were only two.  Historians will forgive the misuse of a grammatical rule, but they will never forgive us for using an incorrect FACT.  I guess I should call reviewers FACT checkers, because that's what they really are. 
     Finally, reviewers should look at the overall article and see if it adequately tells the story or if there are big gaps missing.  To say, "Don Garlits was a racer," is an inadequate description, because he was so much more than that.  To leave gaps in the record misconstrues the true facts.  So in addition to finding errors, a reviewer also tells me if the article or story "tells the whole story."  Conclusions that are wrong are also to be corrected.  To say, “Wally Parks was a great mechanic,” is the wrong summation of a person who did far more than that.  It is one thing to string together truthful facts and another thing to then draw faulty conclusions from the facts.  Historians do more than leave a story for future generations; we make sure that the stories make sense and are factually true.  We have too many academic Historians who are nothing more than mouthpieces and propagandists for cheap and tawdry media outlets.  It is our duty to get the facts right and then draw the right conclusion for those facts and that is why I need good reviewers.

     About Jim Parkinson; I'm not sure you knew that I was a Fiat Abarth Zagato Corsa least until last week.  I knew Jim and not only did business with him at Italiano Motors but years later and after I recovered my Abarth which I had sold 17 years earlier we met at a Carmel Italian car show in 1993.  Much to my surprise and joy he advised that when he closed Italiano Motors they simply moved the entire parts department into a cargo container and it was still sitting behind his Toyota dealership in Tustin.  He was a very dapper gentleman.  I raced Joe Parkinson at San Fernando Drags in the early 1960's.  I won...and still have the trophy.  Stan Goldstein
     The Utah Alliance has activated its new website where racers and other interested parties can find PLENTY of info and background documentation about the woeful state of affairs at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  Speedy Regards, LandSpeed Louise Ann Noeth
     Justice Brothers is proud to announce that Ed and Zeke Justice are going to be inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2016.  The ceremony will take place in January at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Past notable inductees include J.C. Agajanian, Parnelli Jones, Lloyd Ruby, A.J. Foyt, and their former boss Frank Kurtis.  President & CEO Ed Justice, Jr. will be accepting this award on behalf of his father and uncle.  Sent in by Ed Justice Jr.
     I don't know if you are aware of the celebration of life for Tex Smith at the NHRA Museum on Saturday October 3, 2015 from 3 until 7 pm.  I will be there for sure.  Tex was a strong influence in my life and we became friends many years ago.  I believe he is one of the most influential people in our hobby/sport/business/passion in history.  In my opinion Tex, Wally Parks, Tom Medley, and of course R. E. "Pete" Petersen are the true greats of it all.  There are others, certainly, but none of this would have happened without these guys writing and doing so many firsts.  The NSRA and the whole street rod movement would never have gotten off the ground if it weren't for Tom and Tex (and Tex donating his check for a freelance article) hadn't made the first street rod nationals in Peoria, Illinois.   Tex could not only write about it so you and I could easily understand it, but could do it too.  And, train so many scribes we have so long read in our sport. During what was to be his final weeks, Tex and I wrote back and forth many times and avoided what we both knew was close and eventual.   One thing Tex wrote me about was a melancholy feeling that all of his life's work would soon be forgotten and be for naught.  He would be surprised and pleased to see the outpouring of affection and reference I have witnessed in print and on the web since his passing.  If you have plans for Saturday, change them and join me at his celebration.  Tex gave us lots of years devoted to helping and informing us about our passion, the least we can do is give him 4 hours on one special Saturday.  Tex was my mentor and GOOD friend.  Doug McHenry
     Part 2 of my article “Tempest in a Teapot” appears in the September/October 2015 issue of “Vintage Motorsport” magazine.  A watermarked copy is attached.  Part 2 covers the Tempests’ participation at Daytona in 1962 and 1963.  Again, I wish to express my thanks to Editor D. Randy Riggs for publishing the article.  You can purchase the magazine on newsstands, via their website at or electronically at
     The list of people who helped tell this story is extensive.  Without their assistance, the story could not have been told.  I am most appreciative to each and every one of them.  In this note I will try to say thank you to them all.  Should I have overlooked anyone, please know it was an oversight and certainly not intentional.  Paul Goldsmith, assisted by Craig Anderson, provided a firsthand accounting of the Daytona races. David Hobbs took a moment from his busy schedule to share his recollections of the 1962 races at Daytona.  Pictures came from Bruce Fulper, Editor of the 421 Newsletter, Pontiac historian Fred Simmonds and Larry Kinsel at the General Motors Media Archives.  A piece of archival footage was provided by Helen Pardee at IMSA and Mitch Mentor at Mentor Films.
     Marge Sawruk and sons Jeff & John gave tirelessly of their time in searching their vast archive of Pontiac history including locating and providing the “German Memo” that gave such a clear insight into the 1963 Tempest SD.  Assistance in the translation process was provided by Frank Schmidt, Eva & Erik Fleischner and Eckard Fahrner.  Bill Collins, who was at Pontiac during the period, spent more time than he probably should have giving detail into the inner workings of the unique Tempest SD transaxle as well as Pontiac Engineering.   Jim Christianson, Tom Christmann and Dana Mecum gave me written documentation on the transaxle as did Larry Fleeman and Ken Freeman.   Steve Darling and Andy Bodnar searched GM’s archive for additional information.  Eddie Roche and Dave Westerman at the ISC Archive in Daytona hosted Maureen and I at the archive on a research trip to Florida.  The Volusia County Public Library, Fairfax County Public Library and the Library of Congress provided information.
     Information flowed from a number of sources, all of it instrumental in piecing together this story.  Without the assistance of the following and others, this would not have occurred.  I have said it before and I will say it again, writing motorsports’ history is a team sport.  Thanks go to the late A. B. Shuman, Willem Oosthoek, Garrett Waddell, Franz Estereicher, Terry Nichels, Chis Mente, Tom Nell, Terry Nichels, Scott Tiemann, Brian Stefina, Harry Quackenboss, Marshall Gardner, Bill LaDow, John Alfes, Ron Maty, Larry Jendras, Don Keefe, Paul Bergstrom, Gary Kahn, Gary Stoiber, Diego Rosenberg, Don Casteel, Ryan Lauritsen, Gary Atkins, Tom Schlauch, the late Ed Sova, Susan Tiller,  Art Huttinger, Mike Kerchner  and Todd Lang, among I am sure, many others.  Thanks to my wife Maureen, who has proven to be amazingly tolerant of my efforts to document the legacy of racing.
     There is more to be told about the Pontiac Tempest racing program of the early ‘60’s.  Should you have or know who might have additional information on the topic, please let us know so the information can be promulgated and not lost for future generations of motorsport aficionados.  Before we go (here’s) a note on our automotive event coverage.  It has been a very busy summer and we have covered more events this year than in the past.  As a result, we may be a little behind on some coverage, but rest assured it is in the works.  Perhaps the end of summer and the winding down of “Car Season” will provide an opportunity to catch up.   Mike Matune
THE BONNEVILLE OUTRAGE.  Written by Rich Taylor, for Car & Driver magazine, 1972, and recently submitted by Ron Main.
     Picture if you will, a lake, Lake Tahoe, maybe, only twice the size.  Or Salt Lake or maybe Lake Champlain.  You are in the middle.  It’s absolutely silent.  Twenty miles away in every direction are mountains, tan and shimmering in the fading light of dawn. In between, there is nothing.  Nothing except an endless stretch of dark blue water, flat enough to see the curvature of the earth, with that rippling windblown surface that lake-bound sail boaters search out.  Above is the hazy, pale blue, cloudless bowl of the sky. Now all this pictured firmly in mind. . . make it a negative.  The misty air becomes clear as Waterford.  The distant mountains turn dark brown and brooding.  The sky becomes the inside of an eggshell of purest blue.  And the water?  Ah.  Like Lot's wife, it turns to salt.  It keeps its ripples, it even keeps its quality of reflection.  The mountains, reflected in the surface, float on the horizon.  The surface remains the same . . . except . . . now it is white.  A pure, table salt white that assaults your eyes with its unrelenting glare and nearly unbearable heat.  And always there are the mountains and the space and the silence.  Standing in the center, you hear nothing.  You can stand out there and you will be the only living thing within a radius of 20 miles.  It's not like being in a forest surrounded by trees and little birds and squirrels-not that kind of alone—but alone with nothing but the salt.  Mountains and sky for company.  And the sun glaring off everything.  It is one of the most inhospitable and, at the same time, most seductive locations in the world.
     Bonneville Salt Flats are total experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else. The Grand Canyon is unique, but there are other river-cut rock canyons. Niagara Falls is imposing, but it's still just a waterfall like any other. There is no other place quite like Bonneville in this country. Lake Eyre in the Australian outback is as close as anything, and there is a valley somewhere in the Peruvian Andes formed the same way, but there is only one Bonneville Salt Flats.
     The Salt is dependent for its existence on an irreplaceable deposit of minerals created millennia ago.  Like any dry lake bed, of which there are many in the world, there was once water where the salt now resides.  Before a major prehistoric upheaval cut them apart.  Bonneville was connected with the Great Salt Lake, some 100 miles distant.  Together they formed a great saline inland sea.  For this reason, the amount of Salt at Bonneville is finite and can never be renewed.  Annually, however, the Salt resurfaces itself, using the same salt over and over.  This is what makes Bonneville unique.  During the winter, the rainfall collects on the Salt and raises the water table above the surface.  This creates concentrated salt brine which evaporates from the sun's heat in the summer—redepositing the same white minerals.  The salt settles into a perfectly compacted and leveled surface marred only by wave-like cracks formed by shrinkage when it dries.
     The majority of the Salt Flats belongs to the Federal government, while a smaller portion is owned by the State of Utah.  The Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the Federal government’s portion of the Salt, is represented by Robert D. Neilson, State Director for Utah.  He has, as far as it affects the fate of the Salt, relinquished his power through disuse to the Division of Parks and Recreation of the State of Utah, which owns the remainder of the Salt.  The director of this organization is Harold J. Tippetts, and he, along with the Democratic Governor of Utah, Calvin L. Rampton, is directly responsible for what is shamefully happening to the Bonneville Salt Flats.
     Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation has been at Bonneville since 1940, and it has been pumping away the salt deposits through pipes like this at an ever accelerating pace, which, by Kaiser's own admission, will soon destroy it's livelihood.
What is happening is very simple.  The Salt Flats are being drained away to no purpose. Along with the table salt (sodium chloride) that comprises the majority of the saline deposits at Bonneville, there is also a concentration of potash (potassium carbonate) and magnesium.  Surprisingly, the sodium chloride is of no economic value—it is the other two minerals which have triggered the rape.  During World War I there was a shortage of potash in the U.S.  In 1916 a small mineral operation was begun at Bonneville, but closed after the war.  Another refining plant was begun in the Thirties and changed hands twice before World War ll when the Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation bought it in 1940.
     The scale of the salt removal operations had never been particularly extensive, and the nibbling at the edges of the Salt Flats done by the various operations seemed negligible in the lace of the apparently inexhaustible field of salt.  Kaiser changed all that.  In a successful attempt to increase its productivity, Kaiser began digging trenches along the edge of the Salt Flats in order to drain the brine off more efficiently.  Later it dug the now infamous Twenty-Five Mile Trench which encloses a large triangular portion of the southern corner of the Salt that Kaiser obtained when it purchased the refining plant.  Kaiser also leases a major portion of the southeast side of the Salt from the State of Utah, to which it pays royalties for the privilege of extracting minerals "pursuant to the public good."  
     The present manager of the successful Kaiser Chemicals operation at Bonneville is M. W. Lallman.  He says, "We employ 55 people.  We're the second largest business in Wendover, Utah outside of the State Line Casino.  That makes us the second largest for a radius of about 100 miles.  ln the summer, lots of people go to work for the motels and tourist services, but in the winter we're the only thing here.  Kaiser came out here 32 years ago for the magnesium, but they never really exploited that.  Most of our business is in potash.  Every winter when the rains flood the Flats, the mineral deposits are floated up into a surface saline brine that's saturated with about 25% sodium chloride, about 6% potassium carbonate and about 2% magnesium.  We pump off the brine in channels and let the salt evaporate out in our pond system dug at the edge of the Salt. Then we process the rest in our on-site refinery to get 97% pure potash.  It's used to make fertilizer.  After we evaporate out the salt, we just leave it in the ponds.  Every 10 to I2 years we fill up the pond system and have to start a new one."
     The first to notice that the Salt was deteriorating were racers from the Southern California Timing Association who annually come for Speed Week.  Some have been coming to Bonneville every summer for 24 years, and they have a valid comparative basis for their complaint that the salt surface is shrinking, that it is getting thinner and that it seems to be less pure in color than it used to be.  They complained to the State of Utah for years before anything was done.  Eventually a token action was taken to keep the racers quiet.  In 1967, and again in 1968, the Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City was hired by the Division of Parks and Recreation to study the problem.  The results of these studies were contained in a letter from Director Harold J. Tippetts to “Environmentalists and/or Racing Enthusiasts."  lt said, "The report is that there appears to be no deterioration of the Salt surface. . . pumping was discontinued at the Kaiser Chemicals plant in one ditch in I966, and the other in 1970."
     This year, Tippetts made an effort to help the racers with Speed Week, and the Salt surface was prepared by the Utah Highway Department, Rangers from the Utah Parks and Recreation Division served as guards and course workers.  Governor Rampton even appeared, dropping down from the sky in a Huey helicopter on Wednesday of Speed Week.  Rampton promised, "The State of Utah has no intention of losing the Bonneville Salt Flats . . . they have an unparalleled record of use as a high speed race track.  The State of Utah intends to preserve the Bonneville Salt Flats as an interpretive site, and continue, encourage and enhance the racing activity that occurs there annually."
     Many of the racers were convinced that all their honest effort had succeeded in preserving the Salt Flats.  Jerry Jones is the President of the Southern California Timing Association which sanctions Speed Week.  He says, "We talked to Governor Rampton, we've seen the University studies, and you can go look at the steel poles that are sunk in the Salt out by the start.  They measure the depth of the salt, and they haven’t changed in five years.  It's still as deep as it ever was.  It just migrates within the basin from area to area in different years."
     Mark Dees, a California lawyer, uses these two U.S. Geological Survey aerial photographs to state his case against Kaiser.  The left photo was taken in 1953, the right in 1970.  In both, the dotted line indicates the Twenty-Five Mile Trench of Kaiser, while the solid line indicates the outer edge of the shrinking Salt Flats.  Jones’ complacent attitude is not shared by all the racers.  Mark Dees, an Inglewood, California lawyer, is president of the prestigious 200 M.P.H. Club.  He has become something of a monomaniac on the condition of the Salt, but he also has factual information to support his case.  One of the most telling pieces of evidence is a pair of aerial photographs taken by the United States Geological Survey.  One was taken in I953 as part of Project 121, and the other in 1970 as part of project GS-UCMV.  As Dees says, “These photos clearly show that the incredible actinic whiteness of 1953 has given way in 1970 to a blotchy area of reduced size, indicating that the thickness of the salt has been materially reduced and the Flats themselves are being pulled in.‟  On-site observation makes this obvious to anyone who was there in the old days.  How could it be otherwise, when Kaiser pumps away thousands of tons of salt solution every year."
     One of those who was there in the old days is Clarke Cagle, a successful Bonneville racer and tough defender of the Salt.  “Jerry Jones,” he says, “doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.  Twenty years ago, the salt was deep and white.  You'd get your chin burned from the reflection.  Now it is thin and it is brown.  There are patches of plain dirt coming through.  The last four years, l haven't even worn sunglasses.  All l have is my own opinion, but it seems like if you continue to take salt from salt, you'll end up with no salt.”
     Harold Tippetts has tried to give the impression that he has put stringent controls on Kaiser Chemicals and that salt is no longer being taken from salt.  He has either been deceived or he is trying to deceive.  In order to get to the heart of the matter, l visited the Kaiser Chemicals plant with manager Bill Lallman.  He was very courteous, and he indicted himself with such unbelievable candor that no prosecutor is necessary.  It would only detract from the defendant's own case against himself.  John Christy wrote an article in Rod and Custom two years ago, in which he speculated upon the amount of salt being removed from Bonneville and set it at 24,000 tons a year.  Had he been energetic enough to actually visit the Kaiser Chemicals plant and talk with Lallman his argument, subsequently picked up by the racers, might have been considerably stronger.  This is what Lallman told me while we talked in his second floor office in the Kaiser plant overlooking the vast evaporative pond system through huge picture windows:
     “Someone from the State of Utah did come by and talk to us last year, but no controls have been instituted on our operations.  We now process more minerals than we ever did.  Nothing has been said about our lease rights or anything like that.  We ship about one million tons of potash on a good year, but in order to get that we’re putting three million tons of salt into our pond system and out of the ecological system. The mill goes 24 hours a day year round.  We are depleting the Salt.  We know that. Kaiser had a geologist do a study and he gave us 25 to 30 years before the Salt Flats are completely gone.  But say, 10 or 15 years ago, we still shipped one million tons of potash a year.  On the Flats, the white surface salt is nearly pure sodium chloride. Underneath is a kind of gray clay with our minerals in it.  The salt is about three feet deep at the basin center, and then feathers up to mud at the edges of the oval salt area. Our actual potash processing isn't hurting the hot rodders at all.  It’s the white sodium chloride salt that we put into our pond system and leave there that will eventually deplete the Flats.  Our geologists tell me that we are entering a 12 to 15 year dry climatic cycle—which is good for us.  Our new pond system is 20% larger and we're looking for a better production record for the next 10 years than ever before.  At this rate, in 20 years we will probably have mined ourselves right out of business.  What will be left will be a soft, grey mud flat.  It will be both impassable and unusable.  We will have completely depleted the Salt.”
     Bonneville is a natural wonder unique in all the world—that deserves to be saved.  It is a great symbol of America, and to let it be destroyed in order to provide pocket money for a chemical company is criminal.  The Salt is irreplaceable.  It can't be redeposited. To continue to deplete it is a wantonly criminal act.  The State of Utah owns part of it, the Federal government owns part of it.  They should call the shots on the Salt—not Kaiser Chemicals.  But they, and particularly Harold J. Tippetts, have abdicated their responsibility.  Although Governor Rampton and Director Tippetts have promised yet another study on the matter, nothing is being done.  The Salt is being eroded at the rate of three million tons a year to no purpose. It is not sold, used or given away; it merely sits in unusable ponds.  Twenty years from now the public will demand to know what happened to their National Landmark.  The answer will be that it was pumped
away . . . for nothing.  Like the man said if you continue to take salt from salt you’ll end up with no salt.
     “We are depleting the Salt.  We know that.  Kaiser had a geologist do a study, and he gave us 25 to 30 years at the most before the Salt Flats are completely gone,” said Bill Lallman, from Kaiser Chemicals.
Gone Racin' ... Mike Kelley.  Story and photographs by Mike Kelley, edited by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  March 25, 2012.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands; photographs are on

     I was born in Long Beach, California, the son of Larry and Margaret Loy Kelley, on March 5, 1956.  Both of my parents were from Pomona, California and I grew up in that town.  I had two sisters; Sharon Kelley Andrade and Linda Kelley Harper.  My grandfather was Larry Kelley Sr and he married Bernadine Means Kelley and they lived in Detroit, Michigan. My grandfather Larry Kelley Sr fought in World War I and was a newsman for the Detroit Free Press and later the Pasadena Star newspaper.  My grandmother Bernadine was a housewife.

     Larry Kelley Jr had a machine shop at Slauson and McKinley Streets in South Central Los Angeles and Margaret was a homemaker. My dad had many great stories to tell about his uncle Shorty Cantlon who was an Indy car driver.  During the depression my dad’s father and his brother John Kelley moved into the same house in Detroit, with my dad’s family living on the bottom floor and his brother’s family living on the top floor. My grandfather’s brother, John Kelley married Shorty Cantlon’s sister, Frances Cantlon. We always called her Aunt Frank instead of Frances. Shorty was always at the house visiting. My dad loved going to watch him race at Indy and he became very close to his Uncle Shorty.

     Cantlon was not a bible thumper but he was a devout Catholic. On many of his visits he would bring his buddies to the house and they would put their winnings into a pot and share them equally. These men were also top drivers of the era, and after a few drinks the question of who was the best driver would come up. They would settle it by jumping in their personal cars and have an impromptu race around the block, which of course drew the attention of the neighbors who would call the police. My grandfather’s brother was a Detroit policeman and also the captain so he would take the call and go to the scene of the racing. When he and his officers arrived they would sit down with the drivers and get some autographs. Then they would have a couple of drinks themselves and listen to the stories that the drivers told. After a visit of about half an hour, they would go on their way.

     There were many drivers that came to my dad’s house. The names that I remember were Billy Arnold and Rex Mays. There were others that I can’t remember. Billy Arnold told my dad that Shorty was the best driver he had ever raced against and he never had to worry if Shorty was next to him.   When Shorty was about eleven years old he built a small car with a motorcycle engine and I guess it would be like a Go-kart today.  It was very fast and he raced through the city streets.  Many times the police would try and catch him but it was too fast.  One day they chased him down a dead end street and finally caught him.  They hauled him and his machine in to see the judge, who asked Shorty if the charges were true.   He replied, “Yes sir, it was true.”  Then the judge wanted to know who built this thing for him and Shorty’s reply was, “I built it myself.”  The judge then said to Shorty, “Young man if you’re smart enough to build it you’re sure as hell smart enough to drive it.” Then the judge told him to be safe and have a good day and told the officers to let him go.  About a year later after the incident with the judge, Shorty decided if he could build a car why not build an airplane so he constructed what my aunt said was some sort of a plane. He hoisted the small machine to the top of the barn where he had built a ramp to help launch it. Well let’s just say the results made him go back to cars, the small winged craft crashed straight into the ground not only breaking Shorty’s plane but also an arm and a leg.  
     My dad said Shorty had cut back on his racing and only ran the big money races. Shorty had decided that 1947 would be his last year and the plan was to move to California and open a speed shop. The whole family decided that they would make the move with Shorty and go to California with him.   Then tragedy struck in the 1947 Indy 500. The family carried through with the move to California without Shorty. There were two funerals for Shorty, one in Indianapolis the other in his home town of Detroit where they had an overflow crowd and had to put seating outside to accommodate the crowd. My dad said they had an open casket and you could tell that his nose was artificial. My dad said his goodbyes and went with his family to California where he would become involved in the greatest era of hot rods. They arrived in Pomona, California at the end of 1947 and lived off of Garey right near the cemetery. My dad had brought an engine from Detroit with him. It was a hot 4 banger that Shorty had helped him build. My dad found a machine shop right around the corner from his house on Garey and took the head off his engine to have it surfaced. When he went in the shop he found a line of 4 bangers along one wall and everything you could imagine including Rileys, Millers, etc.  The man who owned the shop introduced himself by the name of Fred Hadley. 
     Fred Hadley’s machine shop was just around the corner from my dad’s house.  When my dad took the head off of his four-banger to be surfaced, Fred made a deal to trade my dad’s 4 banger for a 3/8 by 3/8 Mercury V8.  Fred had every high performance 4 banger made.  It was quite a collection.  My dad sold the Model-T roadster that he had put together for the 4 banger and bought a 1934 five-window coupe to put the V8 in.  He also met Dawson at his dad’s shop and they became good friends.  Dawson would often work at his dad’s shop at night building motors for his race cars and hot rods.  If my dad ever needed parts or machine work Dawson was always there to help.  My dad and Dawson put a blower on my dad’s five-window coupe.  They could not get it to run as it should, so Dawson said he would ride with my dad to see if he could hear how the engine sounded under a load.   They were going down Garey Avenue talking to each other trying to diagnose the engine problem and they were not paying attention to the road.  My dad T-boned a Model-A sedan and knocked it over on its side.  The car was full of farm workers who could not speak English, but fortunately Joe Vallejo lived just around the corner from my dad, who ran over and got Joe.  Vallejo talked to the Model-A driver and calmed him down.  They put the Model-A back on its wheels and my dad paid for the damage to the sedan and then they were on their way.  Tom Spalding once told my dad that the only time he ever got scared in a car was when Fred Hadley gave him a ride through downtown Pomona in his 4 banger powered roadster. Tom said he could not believe that Fred’s roadster could go that fast.  Spalding truly feared for his life and Fred was laughing the whole time.
     My dad’s high school buddy was Dawson Hadley. Dawson was in junior high school when my dad was in high school, so there was a slight age difference between them. My dad said Dawson never went to school much, but he was still a genius. I have some very funny stories about Dawson; one story is that Dawson used one of his buddies as ballast in the trunk of his car at the Santa Ana drags. The car flipped over and the human ballast was found slightly injured and scared out of his wits, but trying to kill Dawson for this stunt.  Dawson was suspended from competition for that trick.  My dad had one sister and her name was Sharon Kelly Fulkerson.  She was a runner up for the Queen of the Rose Parade title and my dad said was the main reason Dawson was always hanging around the house.  Dawson and my aunt would ride horses that my grandfather had at the house in Pomona.  She always thought of Dawson as a nice kid as he was younger than my aunt.  My dad and Dawson and their other buddies would also use the 1/4 mile horse track to race their hot rods when my grandfather was at work.  My dad’s 1934 5-window coupe was a pretty fast car.  He raced Dawson at Santa Ana before Dawson blew up the motor (in the Pierson brothers car).  My dad said it wasn’t even close as Dawson was at least 5 car lengths ahead of him.  My dad said the only other car that ever beat him that bad was Troy Ruttman’s 1940 Ford coupe.  The only time Ruttman would lose was if he broke an axle.   All the street races were set up at the O&R Drive-in over in Pomona.  It would have been an interesting race if Dawson and Ruttman had raced.
     Dawson took possession of the famous Pierson brothers’ coupe and liked it so much that he wanted to buy it.  However, he blew up the motor in the coupe and asked my father what he should do since he still owed the brothers for the car.  My dad told him that since Dawson blew up the engine that he now owned the car and had to pay for it and repairing the engine was his problem.  Dawson, for whatever reason, towed the car back to the Pierson’s house and left it there.  This confused the Pierson brothers as they thought the deal was final and they just wanted their money.  The Pierson brothers talked to my dad and got him to go with them to see Dawson and find out what his intentions were.  They knew that the car was at the home of Dawson's mother or grandmother (I think it was his mother) and that she was very well off.   She had a lot of Macy's Department Store stock plus other investments and she lived in Del Mar.  My dad and the Pierson’s drove down to talk to Dawson and perhaps to do more than just talk.  When they knocked on the door it was opened and they saw the mother coming down the stairs after getting out of the shower with no clothes on.  This unnerved them and they thought about fleeing, but they also wanted the money owed them.  Dawson offered to give them a Duesenberg which his family owned and got the pink slip from his family, though I am not sure if the engine was also a Duesenberg motor.  Dawson also sweetened the deal by giving the Pierson's a lot of cash and speed equipment.  Altogether it was a lot to give for the coupe at that time, but Dawson liked it so much that he was happy with the deal.  At the time a Duesenberg was not that highly valued, but today it would be worth a small fortune.  The coupe was used for joy riding around Pomona by Dawson, my dad and some of the other guys that hung out together.  Usually Dawson would act as the driver while the others sat in the back drinking beer.  Dawson really loved that coupe.
     Tom Spalding had a very nice house in Monrovia with a big garage in the back of the property.  The Spalding Brothers were pioneers in the hot rod business.  The roadster Tom had was very successful at the dry lakes and also in oval track racing with many top drivers.  My dad did not know Tom's brother very well, but he ground cams at night after he got off from his regular day job.  Tom was very low key; he always had his pipe in the garage and would light it up and tell my dad (Larry), "That's enough for today," referring to the amount of work he had done.  Then they would get his car and go into town and visit the local speed shops and Ford dealers to get parts.  My dad said Tom Spalding had the perfect set-up; a nice home, nice wife and a successful business.  Dad said that Tom would work about five hours a day in the garage.  My dad knew Tom Spalding whom he met while in high school.  My dad was working at Vogel’s gas station at the time and said Tom was a great guy and he used to hang out at Tom’s house.  Spalding had his ignition business at his home and his brother had his cam grinding business at home too.  My dad and his high school buddies Joe and Manuel Vallejo also owned a racing jalopy that they were too young to drive.  Dawson Hadley did the engine work on the jalopy, but wasn’t an owner in the race car.
     My dad and the Vallejo brothers met Glen Mathews one day when they had to take a cab.  The cab they hailed was driven by Glen and they got to talking about hot rods and Glen told them that he drove race cars.  They told him that they had built a jalopy and were in need of a driver, so the deal was made in the cab that Glen would drive that weekend.  The young men told Glen that they would come to his house and pick him up.  When they arrived with the jalopy in tow, Glen was eagerly waiting out front, but he had one request before they left for the race track.  They had to go to the liquor store and get his wife a bottle of booze.  It seems she needed the alcohol to calm her nerves while she waited for Glen to get home from the races.  Glen was a decent driver but never a front runner.   The team ran at all the local tracks, including Huntington Beach, Carrell Speedway, Culver City, and many of the races were televised.  One night a race promoter came to the pits before the main event and said the races were very dull and offered $100 to the first driver who would flip his car.  This was a lot of money back then and Glen agreed to do it.  He tried for a couple of laps and then finally did flip the jalopy.  The guys ran out to the track to check on Glen and after seeing he was okay they tried to push the car back on its wheels.  Joe Vallejo had his hand in the door jamb and when the car bounced upright the door slammed closed breaking his fingers.  The hospital bill came to $98 and after the promoter paid them the $100 that he promised, there was only two dollars left to split between them.  After this Glen was nicknamed ‘Upside Down’ Mathews.  Manuel Vallejo was a founding member of the Pomona Choppers car club and the one who got officer Bud Coons involved in drag racing.  That led to the first drag races at Pomona.  Joe Vallejo was my dad’s best friend, but sadly he died of polio a few years after graduating from high school.  My dad lost contact with the Choppers shortly after that
     My mother’s father was Tom Loy and he died in a submarine in World War II.  I asked my mom about her father when I was young and she said he was the most wonderful father one could ever have.  When he died my mom said she never did get over it and it was very hard to talk about. I have forgotten the name of the submarine, and the government only gave a guess on the time he died, which was sometime in May of 1943.  Tom married Phoebe Harris who retired from the post office. My grandparents on my mother’s side were from Pomona, California. Tom and Phoebe had two children; Margaret, my mother and my Uncle Tom.
     In 1961, at the age of five, I raced quarter midgets until 1965 and then I went into Go-Karts for the next four yearsI remember racing in the quarter midget races and they were a lot of fun.  We raced at El Toro and another track that I think was off of Rosecrans Boulevard. It was a very competitive form of racing like Little League on wheels. The parents got into more arguments than did the kids.  Danny McKnight was a racer who I saw and there were others also.  Mike Shaw raced TQs at the same time.  Mike was older than I was by about ten years.  When I was racing 1/4 midgets Mike was racing TQs.  He was a very nice guy and I remember in the seventies my dad, Mike Shaw, Max Sweeny and I would be in the pits at Ascot after the sprint car races and we would be drinking beer and talking.  We would be the last ones there and they would start turning the lights on and off trying to tell us it was time to go home.  The Go-Karts were a lot of fun and there was a guy named Eddie Donnely; he and his father helped us out a lot when we went to new tracks.  They would help us with gearing, etc.  I remember the parents actually getting into fist fights over their kids racing, but the kids would be off somewhere else hanging out.  Go-Karts were the most fun and they were a lot faster when they ran on the asphalt track just east of Ascot.
     When I was about 12 there were some guys down the street who owned the Mother-in-law Fuel Altered.  I would go there and they would let me do simple jobs like cleaning, etc.   I got to go to the races as a kid and watch the fuel altered and the funny cars at the drag races.  I would also get to go to Lions with them when they ran the car.  Another guy lived across the street from me and his name was Al Tschida.  He had Bill Mitchell’s c/gas record-holding Willys in his garage that he worked on and drove.  Bill never touched a wrench; he was into real estate.  I was always helping Al with the car and he is the one who taught me how to tune the fuel injection by the time I was 14.  I would tune the car until Al got his own AA fuel Funny Car and moved back to Minnesota.   Tschida was a mechanical genius and he taught me so much it’s a shame this guy didn’t have the money to race.  He would have been like Garlits or Prudhomme.   Al was a very good teacher and he and his wife were always very nice and treated me like their own family.   I would go with Al to the Halibrand and Jackson fuel injection shops and to any other specialty racing equipment store that he would go to.  Al was a millwright by trade and he worked for Tonka when he was in Minnesota.  He raced an AA Funny Fuel car for years when he moved back to Minnesota.  I got to see Tschida when they would run out west for the NHRA Winternationals.  He had a guy named Carl Swanson driving for him and they could run as fast as anyone, but they just didn’t have the money to replace any broken parts. 
     I first practiced in a midget in 1969 that belonged to a friend of my dad and his name was Barnes.  He had a shop on Cherry Avenue.   We took the midget to El Toro Speedway to race.  After a couple of slow laps I brought the car in complaining that the thing was shaking all over the place and my dad said to go faster and you will skim over the ruts like a rock.  I took his advice and went back out and he was right as usual.  I thought I was the next AJ Foyt that day.  I was backing the car into the corners like my heroes at Ascot.  This ended a couple of laps later when the car jumped the berm and I smacked the wall bending the car and my ego.  I went a bit slower after that.  My dad ended up buying this car from Barnes and I practiced for about a year.  My dad knew someone at Ascot, I think his name was Harry Schooner, and they let me go out and hot lap the midget.  Everything I thought I knew suddenly changed with cars all around me.  I never got to run the car on the half mile at Ascot, but I ran on the quarter mile track and this was probably for the better.  I eventually raced at Ascot, El Toro and in Arizona, but I was never a front runner.  The experience was something money couldn’t buy.  The midget racing ended when my mother found out what my dad and I were doing.    1972 was the first year that I actually raced a midget all the others were practice runs, and then I only raced for about a month.  El Toro Speedway was near where El Toro Road is today on the west side of the 5 Freeway.  
     Tim Mulligan was a very unique guy and his background was in aviation.  I met him through a friend of mine named Tony Silva.  Tony and a guy named Jim Kregar had a machine shop that Mulligan had put the money up for them.  They ran the shop and Tim was the financial end of the deal.  Tim also had a shop in Los Alamitos where he worked on hot rods and he needed a welder.  Tony told him that I worked for him part time.  I was also working full time for Page Oil Tools at the time.  Tim later moved his shop to Santa Fe Springs in the same building where the Egge Machine Shop is now located.  In the mid-eighties Tim tried to help his friend, Richard Lockerman, get his life back on track by living at the shop and porting cylinder heads.  But by that time Richard was too far gone with an addiction to vodka; it was such a waste of talent.  Richard knew everybody in all facets of racing and was such a nice guy.
     I attended a grammar school and then went to Helen Keller Junior High School   I went to Millikan High School and all these schools were in Long Beach. I took metal and auto shop classes in high school.  Tom Silva, Dan Cross and Brent Robinson were my best friends in high school.  I met Dan Cross on the first day of third grade.   We were lined up in front of our class ready to go in and he said something to me that I didn’t like and I said something back to him.  The next thing you know we were beating the hell out of each other.   The teacher came out and stopped the fight and sent us both to the principal’s office.   Mr Pike, our principal, asked us what we were fighting about and we really did not know; so he suspended us both for three days.   On the way out of his office Dan and I started talking and we became the best of friends.  Mr Pike had bought a new Mustang and he parked it out on the street so Dan and I put some rocks in one of his hubcaps to make a lot of racket when he drove it.  Hot rods and boxing were my hobbies.  I didn’t belong to any car clubs though.  We did a lot of cruising and that was fun, but I always wanted to go racing.  We used to cruise Bellflower Boulevard every Friday night.  There were some very nice cars with Watson paint jobs.  We would get pulled over by the cops at least once a night because our engines were too loud, or the car was too low or we didn’t have bumpers or fenders.  The cops would pull us over for anything that they could think of to cite us for.
     Greg Falconer and I grew up together.  He was just a few years older than I was.  Greg was my good friend and he was always on the straight and narrow path while I was a little on the reckless and wild side.  He was the smart one in our group of kids.  Greg started getting sick right after high school and had to have both of his kidneys removed, but this never slowed him down and he still liked to paint.  He painted my first roadster, tuned some of the cars I drove and we rode mini bikes in the field behind my house as kids.  Greg was a great friend and I knew him my whole life.   My dad was a great influence on Greg since his father died when Greg was very young.  My dad took us to all the local racetracks; Lions, Ascot, and Western Speedway among them.  Dad also took Greg to see his first boat race at Marine Stadium and he was hooked on cracker box racing after that.  I met many of the great hot rodders through my dad when I was a kid, such as; Dawson Hadley, Tom Spalding, Barney Navarro, and others.   We were always at somebody’s shop.  The neighborhood where Greg Falconer and I grew up was full of racers.  I built my first roadster when I was 17, in 1973.  I drove my roadster at Orange County International Raceway every Wednesday night.  My roadster was not the best bracket car, and it wasn’t very consistent.  It was fast and a lot of fun; I always went a couple of rounds with it but never made it to the Finals in that car. 
     Greg Falconer tuned the cars for Tim Mulligan.  Tim was not related to the Mulligan who drove for the Beebe/Mulligan Top Fuel dragster.  I also drove for Tim Mulligan and those were fun times.  It was fun to race at Orange County International Raceway (OCIR).  Some of the popular regulars there were Phil Cameron, Mike Cook, Bud Treadway, the Marcum Brothers and many others.  Of all the Marcum brothers I knew Ronnie the best.  He was very helpful and he was one of the drivers who signed off on my racing license.  Ronnie had some very nice cars, but he would never keep them very long.  As soon as he built a car he would sell it to get the funds to build the next car.  Ronnie was killed in a pit accident while warming up his car.  Phil Cameron was the king of selling race cars; he always had a for sale sign on his cars.  Phil could build a car for less money than anybody that I knew.  Bud Treadway and I raced together for years.  Bud had a successful tile business and always had very nice looking cars.  He was a good friend of mine, but I haven’t seen him in years, though I still think that he is racing.  Mike Cook had a successful career winning at the national level, but he was always just one of the guys at OCIR and never made us feel inferior.  My ex-brother-in-law, Bill Stone was a big help with my altered.  He lived in Bakersfield and we raced there a lot as that was his home base.  He was always ready to help work on my car and would buy tires for me.  We still communicate. 
     I worked for Howard Keck at Page Oil Tools from 1976 through 1982.  Howard owned Superior Oil and also owned the cars that Billie Vukovich raced and won at the Indy 500 in 1954 and 1955.  Keck was a very unique character to say the least.  Keck was a very different type of person as he had more money then he knew what to do with.  He had Frank Koons and Jim Travers build the famous fuel injection special that Vukovich drove to victory at the Indy 500.  Howard would come by the shop once in a blue moon usually at night where I ran the night shift, and he always came in a limo with his driver.   One night he asked me how things were going and I said good, except for the new NC lathe machine that he had just bought.   I told him that it was down and our maintenance man said the part had to come from Japan and it would take about two weeks to get it.  Howard asked for the part and I showed it to him and he stuffed the oily part in his very expensive coat pocket and told his driver to take him to the airport. He took his private jet and went to get the part himself.  A few days later he showed up with the new part and a phone number to the Japanese company’s president which we were told to call directly if we had any future problems.  I once asked Howard how it felt to be at Indy and to win the 500 and he replied, “Oh, I wasn’t there for the race, I was golfing.” He told me after Vukovich was killed that was it for him, no more racing.  He ended up giving Page Oil Tools to his son as a birthday present.  The son was not like his father at all, just seemed to be very spoiled and the best machine shop on Signal Hill was never the same after that.
     I left Page Oil to go and work for the sprint car racer Rick Goudy, who owned Streaker Racing Wheels, in 1982.  I was a machinist at the shop for a few years.  Rick was a soft spoken guy and we all had the highest opinion of him.  After I left Streaker Racing Wheels I found a job with Hydromation Metal Fabrication in 1985.  At the shop I worked on virtually everything from the smallest parts for ink containers on printing equipment to welding high rise buildings.  We had a huge shop in Santa Fe Springs that we shared with Lowers Welding.  Ron Lunder owned Hydromation and he was one of the nicest guys anyone could work for.  I didn’t have the same opinion of Don Lowers who owned Lowers Welding.  He was hard to work with and he didn’t get along well with others.  I felt bad for his employees and what they had to put up with on the job.  After I left Hydromation I went to work for Fred Hill, who owned Hills Forklift Service.  I was a mechanic and repaired the forklift equipment for Fred.  He was just like Goudy and Lunder; a really nice guy to work for.
     I built my own altered and raced it for many years.  My nephew, Ronnie Harper was a very good Go-Kart racer.  I met Parnelli Jones and his sons while they were racing Go-Karts with Ronnie.   There were many talented kids who came out of that Go-Kart group that became good Indy 500 racers such as; Richie Hearn, Tony Baron, P.J. Jones, etal.  They were all older than my nephew who was five when he began racing.   Out of all the racing I’ve done that was the most fun I ever had when I was with my nephew.  The altered that I built was a nostalgia car and I ran mainly at Bakersfield.   We ran NDRA and then ANDRA when Frank Fedak started his association.  Frank was good friends with Tim Mulligan and has, “In memory of Malinga” on his Fiat altered which was Mulligan’s nick name.  Mulligan owned the cars and I drove for was him.  Greg Falconer was the tuner and he was on dialysis back then, but was still very healthy.   We were racing with the go-karts at Adams track in Riverside, when my nephew told me that he was talking to Parnelli Jones down in the pits a few spaces from ours.  My nephew was only 5 at the time so we didn’t think he even knew who Parnelli was; so my dad went with my nephew to see if it really was him.   Parnelli was there with both his sons and they were racing in a different class than my Nephew Ronnie, as the Jones’ boys were older than him.  After the races Parnelli came down to our pit area and he and my dad shared many stories.  The more beer we drank the better the stories got. Parnelli was just like one of the guys and my dad and I loved talking to him about the old jalopy days.  Richie Hearn and my Nephew Ronnie got to be good friends.  Richie was older then Ronnie, but they were always running around together.  Richie’s dad was a great guy; it was great to see these guys as kids before they grew up into pro drivers and Indy racers.
     I bought a Nostalgia Junior Fueler off of my buddy, long time racer Manuel Flores in 1994.  Manuel was a Bonneville Salt Flats, dry lakes and drag racer and a very nice guy.  He was one of the most knowledgeable hot rodders I’ve ever known his passing was a great loss of one of the pioneers that I’ve met in my lifetime.  Manuel passed away and I sold the Junior Fueler.  I met Manuel back in the 1980’s; he was one of the pioneers in the hot rod field.  He was involved with the Sadd/Teague/Bentley roadster and many others.  Manuel had a nice house in Pico Rivera where the neighbors liked him enough they never said anything when he would fire up his NHRA top alcohol dragster in the driveway.  Then we would drink beer until the wee hours and load everything up to go racing.  I bought my junior fuel car from him.  We drank a lot of beer through the years and we were always trading something.  I had a nice little Chris Craft style flathead powered boat that I traded him for race car parts and a fire suit.  As time went on he slowed down a bit and got remarried.  Manuel spent time on his boat, a nice wood Trojan that he would relax on the weekends.  He would come over and have a few beers with my dad and they would talk about the flatheads that they both loved so much. They would always say that if they had a couple more main bearings that they would have the perfect engine.  I am truly lucky to have known him and I regret that I didn't visit him as much as I should have in his later years.  It's now too late as my friend is gone.
     The Mother-in-Law was the name of a fuel altered drag car that was down the street from our house when I was a kid.  The driver’s name was Red, but that’s all I knew him by.  Gary Cochran was always down there at the house when they were working on the fuel altered.  Gary asked Red if he would like to drive his top fuel car and Red said sure.  That Saturday we all went to Lions and Red drove Gary’s top fuel car.   After the run Gary asked him how the race car handled and Red said he wasn’t sure; he jokingly said, “I fell asleep about half track since you don’t have to do anything in those cars.” 
     My first wife was Melanie Stone and we were married in 1980 and separated in 1982.  My second marriage was to Lori Buralgia in 1988 and ended in 1995.  My present wife is Darlene Alvarez and we were married in 2007.  Darlene has two daughters, Michelle who was born in 1982 and Natalie who was born in 1985 and they are so special to me.  My sister Linda has three children; Ron, Ryan and Kelly Harper.  My sister Sharon has two twin daughters, Heather and Amber, who were born in 1979.  I am very close to Ron, who was a very successful Go-Kart racer as a kid.  I helped Ron with his race truck.
      I started Ronnie racing karts when he was 5 years old.  He was very good and won everything there was to win; such as the California State championship, various club championships, and track records everywhere we raced.  We got help from Yamaha of America and Burris Corporation gave us tires and a lot of advice from Mike and Kurt Burris.   I know it has been said many times, but the people we met while racing were the best you will ever find.  Richard Herrera was the driver of the Herrera and Son’s gas supercharged car.  This was a father and son team and Richard was the son.  Richard’s son also raced with us.  Richard’s son was very fast until he got hurt and then he never seemed to be the same after that.  Richard Herrera really helped us when we first got started.  Everyone helped everyone else; Jones, Hearns, Barron were all great people. After the Kart deal Ronnie got into racing in ASA, but he never had good equipment.  Ronnie always ran near the top though and I helped as much as I could with his racing, but at that time my dad was very sick and it was hard for me to travel with him.  The setup on the stock cars was not something we were used to.  Then the body shop that he was partners in ran into trouble with one of the partner’s shady dealings.   They lost their AAA accounts and then the shop was closed and that was the end of the race cars.  I am very proud of Ronnie’s Kart career and with more money I’m sure he could have gone on to big things in racing.  Those years were the best times of my life with Ronnie and my dad; who was always there to help.   I had more fun racing with him than I did with my own racing.  
     I had a friend of mine, Jeb Scolman; build a 1932 roadster for me in 2005.  I met Jeb in 2004 when he came to my house to look at some flathead stuff I had for sale on eBay.  We got to talking and he said that he had a shop in Long Beach called Jeb’s Metal and Speed.   Even though Jeb was a young guy he knew more about hot rods than anybody I knew.  I told him that I always wanted a ‘32 roadster and I had been gathering parts for it for years.  I decided to have Jeb build a frame with all original k member and Model-A front and rear cross members.  I was so happy with the frame I had him do the whole car, and by 2005 Jeb had it finished.  He is a true artist.  Recently he recreated the Frank Lockhart streamliner for Jim Lattin and it is truly a work of art.  It was left in bare metal so it had to be perfect.
     Darlene and I have a traditional flathead powered 1932 Ford roadster that we take to car shows and cruises.  I am now employed driving a fuel truck in Southern California for the Mike Roche Fuel Company.  I spend some time every day at my wife's barber shop bench racing with the old timers about the good old days and spending as much time with my wife and grandchildren as possible.
Gone Racin' is at [email protected].
Aussie Invader Newsletter by Rosco McGlashan, October 2015.
     It’s October and welcome to our monthly newsletter, a very special thank you to all of the great companies and individuals who have helped us to get closer to the start line. Without this brilliant support, we would still be pouring over drawings of a car we planned on building, instead of surging ahead with our construction schedule and the thousand other jobs that need resolving to run our race. This past month we have been chasing up suitable sites for our rocket motor tests within a radius of 200 km from our Perth, Western Australia base, and also a suitable test track for the car within 2000 km.
     One of the pressing issues we have to get sorted is to source approved shipping containers for High Test Peroxide (90% H2O2). Along with the trying to obtain these IBC certified containers, we have also been negotiating with suppliers of this product from around the world and trying to locate a suitable chemical storage facility to hold this Class 1 chemical.   We also need to have the H2O2 in an approved facility and then have this product road transported to our test and race location, via a Dangerous Chemical licensed road transport operator. Everything we are doing is out of left field and even to other racers I find it hard to explain just how tough this project is, everything has to be 100% right. The great thing is we are meeting a lot of new companies and making a lot of new friends.
     We finally got a lead on the containers or IBCs that are needed to ship our HTP in after working with Tank Management Services in Sydney. As we have to refill our oxidizer (HTP) tank on our allotted 1 hour turnaround time, and this tank holds 2000 litres. We knew that we needed a 2000 litre container to do this job instead of several smaller barrels that would be a hassle to use and take forever to transfer into our propellant tank. By using 1 big IBC per fill a lot of our re-oxidising worries are over, we now are working on having the HTP producers agreeing to fill our containers with their product, find a licensed storage facility, and an approved trucking company to transport our oxidizer to our test and race venue. Thank you Dick Keller from The Blue Flame LSR Team and Anthony Alpen from TMS for your brilliant support in helping resolve this issue.    
     We launched our supersonic selfie campaign with Red Bull F1 and Le Mans 24 hours star Mark Webber. We would love the motor racing public to help us spread the word on the Supersonic Selfie campaign.  For as little as $20 AUD allows our supporters to quickly and easily upload their selfie onto the car, and into history. They will be able to follow myself and their selfie through the sound barrier, right to the record and into history. These are just some of the people who have already uploaded their selfies! If you want more information on Supersonic Selfie, please contact... [email protected].  
     We had a visit this month from our newly found friends at SDR Engineering based at Woroona Western Australia. These guys run a professional engineering shop in their country town which is about 100 km south of Perth. They have been following our progress via our monthly newsletters and asked to come and take a look at our car. We were very impressed with their motivation and ideas and talked about them developing our "Ackroyd" drogue gun to a stage that we can tune its firing trajectory, simply by changing a pill size on the guns bleed port (accessed from the rear of the gun). Our braking chute deployment needs to be initiated via a gun the fires a drogue chute into clean air possibly 25 metres behind our car at high speed. We are using Fike gas generators kindly supplied by Fire Protection Technologies to do this job. Thanks must go to Anthony Whelan from FPT, Shane and Wayne from FDR Engineering and of course the legendary John "Ackers" Ackroyd.  
     Newland Associates based in Kalgoorlie are busy setting up their machining operation to start to create our cars tailfin and horizontal stabilizer. This is a work of art and we will put up some work in progress pics on our Facebook page and in the next newsletter. Thank you Peter Newland and the mighty Newland Associates Team.
     During the month, Bloodhound SSC, was unveiled for the first time in Canary Wharf in east London. "It’s a really exciting time in the project," said chief engineer, Mark Chapman. "Many of us have lived and breathed this project for eight years now but to see the car put together like this is something else. It looks stunning. We can’t wait for people to see it and tell us what they think." The car will be tested on a runway in Cornwall next Easter when it is expected to reach a (relatively) modest 200mph. The team will then deploy to South Africa to begin high-speed testing with a target of reaching 800mph – thus breaking the current world land-speed record of 763mph. The plan is then to return to the UK, review the data and travel back to South Africa in 2017 with the aim of reaching 1,000 mph. Well done to the Bloodhound team.  
     The final fit-up of our cars nose is being done by Fibrelite Boats, thank you Ben Punch, Billy and Glen Oldfield for your professional input on this aerodynamic structure.     We have been given some great support to locate a suitable lake to test our car on in our states far north. Steve Forrest a local Wyndham Speedway legend is on the job researching a suitable venue that has the length and firmness to support our car, with the longest available flat surface, with some kind of infrastructure not too far away, fingers crossed. Thank you Steve and Sheryl Kehl from the Kununurra Visitors Centre for your assistance.   Thank you Ben and team from Couplers WA who have just celebrated 20 years being in business in Western Australia, a great day of celebrations was had by all and my team and I are most thankful for your brilliant support towards assisting our mission.  
     We were honoured also to have a visit from a team from the Dry Lake Racers last week. Allen Shephard races an E Type Jaguar on the sometimes dry lake bed of Lake Gairdner and has been a great ambassador to the sport and demonstrates the desire needed to stay on top of his motor racing ambitions. In closing I would like to wish my good friend Juan’s wife Yoya all the very best from my team for a speedy recovery from her sudden untimely illness, our thoughts and prayers are with you both. Juan is the Mexican Rocketman.       Well that's about it for this month, but remember if you want to be kept up to date with our progress in between newsletters, make sure you LIKE our Facebook page...Kind Regards, Rosco McGlashan and the Aussie Invader team.