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Land Speed Racing Newsletter #385

Land Speed Racing Newsletter #385


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)
     When the Bonneville Salt Flats are completely gone, and totally unusable for a racing surface, and the chemicals that were profitable are mined right out of existence, then, and only then, will the government get involved.  First, naturally, there will be a committee formed to look into how it all happened in the first place.  The committee will be made up of bureaucrats and scientific "advisors" and they'll be funded by the taxpayers (AKA you and I), and after years and years, they'll come up with the answer, which will be; "Yep, the salt's all gone" (no kidding?).  That will only cost us a few million, but hey, who's counting?
     Then, there'll be an oversight committee to find out who got all the money, and that'll only cost a few more million.  Then there'll be an environmental study, to see if the desert Tsetse Fly might be damaged if they run those nasty old race cars again.  We'll get the bill for that one, too.
     The long and the short of it, there is a very real possibility that salt flats racing may be on its way to being run right out of existence.  I hope I'm wrong about that, but when I look around Southern California, the place where drag racing came to be in the first place, and take into account that there isn't a decent drag strip between here and the Mexican border, it makes me realize that what happened to drag racing could very well happen to salt flats racing, and it's called no place to race.
     We had a nice time down there in Pomona.  We were able to meet up with old racer friends and hung out with PSM friends.  We also introduced a young business acquaintance to the wonderful world of NHRA Drag Racing.  I attached his, "this is amazing" picture!  Suggestions; for those of us who do not include substances like "batter covered deep fried butter and or unidentifiable meat substances" as part of the ingestible human food group, please do not ever let the Mexican food kiosk disappear from the food court.  They were good, always busy and there would be virtually nothing left to eat at the track were they to not be there.  Put more emphasis on the vintage race cars.  That is our history, where this sport came from and most people, especially the young do not understand that.  You can see that when they uncomprehendingly and vaguely wander though the area.  There should be an effort there to inform and connect the fans to the cars and the history.  I love Rock-a-Billy music but the volume there was an additional deterrent to any verbal intercourse.  The Hot-Rods, Rat-Rods and Resto-Rods are interesting but this is a Drag Race and the actual vintage race cars were in the back row.  The NHRA Museum is at Pomona yet it seems to me that we have a larger display of vintage race cars up here in Sonoma.  There is also an organized effort to educate and inform the public as to the sports history and that of the people and cars there. 
     Unless the NHRA starts to educate and be inclusive with the fans and competitors, to view them as more than just an unending ambulatory source of finance then this sport will continue to wither.  Between rounds activities such as a carnival barker shooting t-shirts into the stands is fan competitive not fan inclusive or sport instructive. Fan attendance and manufacture row attendance is down everywhere and has been since 2009.   The new Nitro-School is a brilliant idea and long overdue but what about Pro-Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro-Mod?  The nitro cars may put the meat in the seats but the best racing is going on in the Pro Stock classes.  Fans especially the new and occasional fans need to be educated on what these classes and what is going on.  PSM is the only "somewhat affordable" Pro Stock class in Drag Racing.  Why are the Pro Stock classes not promoted more?  Drag Racing is a wonderful way to get boys and girls and young women and men interested in our wonderful mechanical world.  Education is always the key to any endeavor and when we lose sight of that we lose them.
     There is an arrogance towards fans, competitors both Pro and Sportsman and sponsors.  Look how they just "re-organized" Pro Stock Car. No input from the competitors and no real time to adapt. Is fan inclusiveness and an end to secrecy in the pits good?  YES.  Is the use of EFI over carburetors good?  Yes and LONG overdue. But give them a year to adapt not 3 months.
     The Pro Stock class should be racing Mustangs, Camaro’s, Challenger's and ANY automobile (coupe) with an engine of some 500 CID or 8.1 Liters adjusted for 2 valve push-rod and DOHC 4 valve engines.  The same with PSM it is keeping all other MC manufactures away from the class.  Who makes a 2 valve engine anymore beside Harley clones?  No one.  Where is Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, KTM, Triumph, etc? Not here.  You want to attract young people to the sport and to the stands then you must include more than just the V-8 and Harley crowd when you make the rules.
     Look how small the "manufactures mid-way has become in the last few years.  They have all been run off through greed.  You cannot bleed everyone indefinitely.  So I and many, many others hope that this new president will bring the much needed change.  I can see some improvement in the way that I was positively dealt with by Caitlynn in the ticket office now as opposed to years ago when it was a negative experience. 
STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks.
     How about this, three editorials, isn’t that great?  Most people think of editorials as carping and so they don’t read them, just as they avoid acknowledgments and forewords in a book.  Can’t wait, they say, to get to the meat and potatoes, or just to look at the pretty pictures.  Well, you miss a good amount of interesting information when you by-pass editorials.  I sent an email off to Peter Clifford at the NHRA welcoming him aboard and really didn’t think to hear back from him.  But he emailed me and lest you think that it’s easy for me and not for you I have news; I get the same responses that you do.  Here’s what Peter wrote:
            I appreciate your email and I've passed it on to our marketing people. 
           Thanks for the great idea.  Happy holidays to you and your family. Best
            regards, Peter (Clifford)

     Now that doesn’t sound like much, but it speaks volumes.  The guys at the top do listen; it’s just that YOU don’t HEAR them.  It’s a lot like praying to God; he receives billions of requests per day and a lot of it is nonsense and a lot of it is valuable.  The amount of demands going up the chain of command is enormous and the ability to solve and put any of those demands into action is much smaller.  But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.  You have no idea whether your ideas are silly or earth shattering and neither do the guys at the top.  Sometimes an idea doesn’t work today but will work out well tomorrow.  Sometimes your ideas will never work out, but you can’t know that and neither can they.  So instead of repressing your anger; let it out, in a non-angry way of course. 
     I can’t give out email addresses without permission even though I’m sure that all the Bigs at the top have hard working secretaries who screen the mail for them.  But I can give you a clue; NHRA usually creates email names using initials and names.  So it’s initial and then last name or first name and initial (of the last name); then it’s the @ sign followed by dot com.  Or you can write to them the old fashioned way on paper in ink and don’t forget the envelope and stamp.  You’ll stand a better chance of getting a response if your idea is sound, practical, money saving, short and to the point so that the top guys can read it, ponder and decide whether to try it out or not.
William R. (Bill) Burke, Sep 23, 1918 – Nov. 25, 2015.  By Catherine Burke.
     Bill Burke, once known as Mr. Hotrod, passed suddenly from a massive stroke. He was one of the early California hot rodders, racing on the California dry lakes and the streets of Los Angeles in the 1930s. He was best known for creating the first belly tank race car which led to a class of racers known as Lakesters. He created the third covered wheel streamliner, which was the first with a fiberglass body, running it with a motorcycle engine. He also built and raced fiberglass sport cars at Torrey Pines and Laguna Seca, giving even the 1.9 liter Ferraris a good run.
     With his club, the Road Rebels, he helped to found the Western Timing Association, and also was an early supporter of the Southern California Timing Association, and the first hotrod magazine, Throttle. He later worked with Robert E. Petersen as the advertising manager for Hot Rod Magazine. Pete also had him manage some of the first auto shows in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York. He worked with Wally Parks, who was a close friend, and assisted Parks in the founding of the National Hot Rod Association.
     He contributed to the beginning of the Bonneville Nationals in Utah in 1949 where he was a starter and a driver of his lakester that first year. In 1960 he built a new type of streamliner with a glass body like a squashed torpedo called the Pumpkin Seed. It set a record at 205.949 mph that got him into the 200 Mile an Hour Club. He had a number of partners in racing who built engines for his cars including Don Francisco, Mickey Thompson, Clark Cagle, Les Leggitt, Doug Cook and his son Mike.
     He raced at Bonneville for 60 years setting a number of records and modified an Avanti that his son raced into the 200 Mile an Hour Club at 239.208 mph. His grandsons are still racing there hoping to get into the Club.
     During World War II he served in the Coast Guard/Navy from 1942 through 1945, first patrolling the California coast to prevent an invasion and for most of the war captaining a PT boat in the South Pacific.
     He was an active athlete all his life. As a swimmer he was a lifeguard in Hermosa Beach and on Catalina Island and in later life competed in Masters Events. He played professional football with the Los Angeles Bulldogs. As an amateur he played rugby, lacrosse, baseball and later in life he participated in Masters Track and Field. At age 65 he was national champion in the Decathlon and with three others set a record in the 4 by 100 relay. Though his knees got bad, he continued in Master’s Track winning medals in field events and weight lifting. He won the baseball throw when he was 90 and was a pitcher in slow pitch baseball into his 80s.
     Bill was born in Los Angeles at the home of grandmother on Slauson Avenue near Figueroa. He was a happy, gentle man who was loved by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Catherine, his sons William and Steve, his daughter Luana, 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grand children.
     Richard “Dick the Relic” Morse, 80, of Tyngsboro died Monday Nov. 30, 2015 at D’Youville Senior Care in Lowell, MA.  Morse was born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 10, 1934, the son of the late Edward and Ida Morse.  He graduated from Boston Latin High School with the class of 1952.  He served in the US Navy from 1956 to 1958.  Dick worked as a diesel mechanic for the MBTA for many years before retiring in 1985. He also worked as an automotive appraiser for South East Appraisal Company.  Dick loved Street Rodding and was a member of several Hot Rod clubs including En Regle, Pharaohs, past president of Boston Area Roadsters, lifetime member and past state rep of the National Street Rod Association, as well as honorary member of the Canadian Street Rod Association.  He was an assistant manager for the annual Boston World of Wheels Auto Show for nearly 30 years. Earning his 175 mph license, ‘The Relic’ also enjoyed supporting the #1034 ‘Shebad’ coupe at Land Speed Racing events and would talk cars with anyone.  He was a Royal Arch Mason and member of West Roxbury-Dorchester Lodge A.F. & A.M.  Dick is survived by two sons and a daughter in-law, Richard “Rick” and Laura Morse of Norfolk, VA and Gregory “Greg” Morse of Hanover, Massachusetts; three grandchildren, James and Van Morse of Biloxi, MS and Ashley Morse of Foxboro, Massachusetts; and his long-time companion, Judith Biggs of Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.  Visiting hours Dec. 5th Sat. morning 9:00 to 11:00 AM with a Funeral Service at 11:00 AM in the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. CHELMSFORD, MA. For those that wish, contributions in his memory may be made to the American Cancer Society.  Hot rods welcome.
     After a tumultuous year at Bonneville, we were fortunate to enjoy racing at many other venues around the United States and the world. Below is a tentative list of VW Challenge racing events coming in 2016.  I would also encourage you to sign onto the 36hp Challenge "group" FaceBook page to receive almost daily updates on happenings in our Volkswagen land speed racing world along with other non-VW highlights and important issues pertaining to the VW Challenge. The FaceBook link is listed below: Enjoy a hopefully warm winter and may the Speed be with you. Burly Burlile
2016 INTERNATIONAL 36 hp and BB VW LAND SPEED CHALLENGE Land Speed Racing Volkswagens Coming Events Schedule:
Feb 26-27, 2016 Speed Weekend ( Arsunda, Sweden. 1 kilo on ice.
Feb 28 Airstrip Attack (shifts3ctor). Coalinga, California. 1/2 mile on pavement.
Feb 29-Mar 4 Speedweek Australia (DLRA). Lake Gairdner, Australia. 3-6 miles on salt
TBD Mar ? The TEXAS MILE. Beeville, Texas. 1 mile on pavement.
Apr 9-10 The Mojave Magnum. Mojave, California. 1 and 1 1/2 mile on pavement.
Apr 23-24 Airstrip Attack (shifts3ctor). Coalinga, California. 1/2 mile on pavement. TBD Apr ? "Spring Event". Loring Timing Association. Limestone, Maine. 1 1/2 mile on pavement.
Apr 29-May 1 Hot Rod Top Speed Challenge (ECTA) Wilmington, Ohio. 1 mile on pavement
May 14-15 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
TBD May ? The Houston Half Mile. Houston, Texas. 1/2 mile on pavement.
TBD May ? Yorkshire Mile & British National Records (UKTA Speed Record Club-Straightliners) York, England. 1 kilo and 1 mile on pavement.
Jun 12 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
Jun 18-19 East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) Wilmington, Ohio. 1 mile on pavement.
Jun 18-19 Airstrip attack (shifts3ctor). Colorado Springs Colorado. 1/2 mile on pavement.
TBD Jul ? Test-N-Tune (USFRA) Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah. 1 and 3 mile on salt.
Jul 17 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
TBD Jul ? "Maine Event". Loring Timing Association. Limestone, Maine. 1 and 1 1/2 mile on pavement.
Aug 13-19 Bonneville Speedweek (S.C.T.A./B.N.I.) Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah. 3 and 5 (?) mile on salt.
TBD Aug ? Northern Speed Trials Mile (UKTA Speed Record Club-Straightliners), York, England. 1 kilo and 1 mile on pavement.
TBD Aug ? Oregon Airstrip Attack (shifts3ctor). McMinnville, Oregon. 1/2 mile on pavement.
TBD Sep ? "Harvest Event". Loring Timing Association. Limestone, Maine. 1 and 1/2 mile on pavement.
TBD Sep ? The COLORADO MILE Watkins, Colorado (near Denver). 1 mile on pavement.
Sept 10-13 World of Speed (USFRA) Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah. 1, 2, 3 and 5 (?) mile on salt. Sep 11 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
Sep 19-20 Autumn Mile (UKTA Speed Record Club-Straightliners) York, England. 1 kilo and 1 mile on pavement.
TBD Sep ? Kalahari Desert Speedweek. Hakskeenpan, South Africa. 3 and 5 mile on dirt.
Sep 30-Oct 2 East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) Wilmington, Ohio. 1 mile on pavement.
Sep 27-30 World Finals Speed Trials (S.C.T.A./B.N.I.) Bonneville Salt Flats, Wendover, Utah. 3 and 5 (?) miles on salt.
TBD Oct ? Temora 1000 Temora, NSW, Australia. 1/2 mile on pavement
Oct 8-9 The Mojave Magnum. Mojave, California. 1 and 1 1/2 mile on pavement.
Oct 18 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
Oct 22-23 Airstrip Attack (shifts3ctor). Coalinga, California. 1/2 mile on pavement.
TBD Oct ? The TEXAS MILE, Beeville, Texas. 1 mile on pavement.
Nov 12-13 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
TBD Nov ? Snowy Mountain 1000 Coomba, NSW, Australia. 1 kilo on pavement.
Nov 16 El Mirage Dry Lake (SCTA/BNI), Victorville, California. 1 1/4 miles on dirt (full SCTA competitions cars only!).
     QUESTIONS? Please contact Burly Burlile at [email protected] (new email address) or call 435-752 4359 or 435-890 8832 M.S.T..
Gone Racin’…to Chrisman’s Christmas Party.  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz.  19 December 2006.  Reprinted with permission from Internet Brands, for photographs go to

     Art and Dorothy Chrisman host an annual Christmas Party at their shop in Santa Ana, California, each December.  Besides the delicious food and hospitality that the Chrisman’s provide, there is the added bonus of seeing friends who come from all over Southern California to party.  This year the Chrisman’s brought in an In-N-Out Burgers truck and served double-doubles to everyone.  Justin Alvarez cooked the hot and spicy Southwestern Chili, and Mike Chrisman, ‘Squeek’ and other family and friends pitched in to help.  The party spilled over from the Chrisman’s garage into adjoining garages, which are located in a complex of garages owned by car dealer and collector, Joe MacPherson.

     The Chrisman family has a rich history and heritage in auto racing and car building that goes back to their roots in Missouri, since the early 1920’s.  Art and Mike, with their friends and employees, have built some of the finest hot rods and race cars in the country.  They are still actively involved, and their annual party is a way to bring together their friends and competitors in motorsports racing.  Art’s party is more than pure nostalgia for the hot rodder and racing fan of the past.  One comes to the Chrisman Christmas party to see what is happening in the latest style of hot rod and race car design.  Just as likely, you will find an authentic restoration of a classic car, hot rod or antique racecar, and it will be totally accurate.  The mechanics, craftsmen and builders that work in the MacPherson complex own their own businesses, but they work together in a symbiotic relationship to help bring to life the most beautiful cars imaginable.
     The guests who came have contributed so much to hot rodding and car racing.  They included Frank Baney, Jim Rossi and Chuck Goebel from the Spaghetti Bender and Yeakel Brothers dragster, which they are restoring.  Jim Travis is a land speed legend and racing car restorer, came with his son Randy.  Doug Kruse, inventor and car builder who is busy working on land speed cars for the Ferguson’s, was in attendance.  Doug’s shop in Anaheim also specializes in turbocharging.  Steve and Gloria Gibbs were visiting from Utah.  Gibbs, known as “The Hook,” was a long-time NHRA track manager.  Dick Martin, writer and hotrodder, discussed his latest projects.  Debbie and Jim Baker promote the Cruisin’ For A Cure Car Show every year to help raise funds and awareness of Prostate Cancer.  Jim fought prostate cancer and Debbie created the car show to help fight this dread disease that afflicts so many men.  Pat Berardini, and his brother Jim, reflected on the original drag racing track at Santa Ana, and how C.J. and Peggy Hart were so instrumental in opening the first professional drag racing facility.  Another early day dragracer at Santa Ana was Don Cook, who raced a ’34 coupe.  Cook pointed to Don Montgomery, a fine hot rod writer, and said, “He’s my cousin-in-law.”  Montgomery was a well-known street racer until the dragstrips opened, and then he raced his Hudson to great success. 
     Eric “Rick” Rickman is the dean of hot rod, car and boat racing photography.  Land speed racers included Alan and Gene Barbee, Neil Thompson, Tom “Turkey” Tregeagle, Ron Bell, Warren Bullis, Ron Phelps, and J. D. Tone.  Greg Sharp is the curator for the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.  Louie Senter, racer, speed shop owner and hotrodder came with vintage car insurer, Bob Leggio.  Two firemen, George Steele and Leo Dempsey came with Jack Underwood.  Underwood is well known among the Donut Derelicts as the host of Jack’s Garage, a place where benchracing is encouraged.  Rick Finn, the HotRodArtist was honored.  He passed away at the age of 52, and his artwork and enthusiasm will be missed.  Paul Pfaff, master engine builder for boat and car racing, said that the market is soft this winter, after a strong run of 4 good years.  Dave Parker, the Reverend Scrub Hansen, Paul Miyeda and Roy Watanabe reflected on the party.  Ed Osepian was the winner of the first drag race, at Goleta, in 1949.  Richard Catton, Dorothy Chrisman’s nephew said, “I used to ask Art if I could go to the Pomona drags with him and help out.  As a teenager that was a real thrill.”  Rick Kersh wore the red Santa Ana Drags jacket that his father, Dale Kersh, won as a champion half a century ago. 
     George and Dennis Striegel relaxed and talked of the past with Steve McElroy.  George won boat-racing championships in the 70’s until he was forced to retire due to injuries.  McElroy also won championships in the 70’s, but after losing 8 of his friends to fatal accidents, gave up racing in 1978.  Striegel owns Clay Smith Cams and is working on fuel pumps.  They spoke fondly of the endurance, drag and oval boat racing that was so popular four decades ago; and how they devised ways to refuel faster, and improve their racing skills.  “There are two things that drivers forgot to do,” said McElroy, “one was to start, and the other was to finish.  Modern drivers only concentrated on the things between the start and finish.”  McElroy was one of the founders of the Donut Derelicts, an unofficial group of hotrodders who met at a donut shop in Huntington Beach, at the corners of Magnolia and Adams.  That gathering still continues to this day, although now there are over 500 cars and a thousand or more hotrodders who come to benchrace and show off their cars.  The annual Chrisman Christmas party is a highlight at the end of the racing season.  Art, Dorothy and Mike Chrisman make this event very special for those who love cars and speed.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected]
Gone Racin’ … From Horseback to Horsepower; the autobiography of Chic Cannon NHRA.  Reviewed by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz, 1 December 2015.  Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands, for photographs go to

     I review all sorts of books, pamphlets, movies, magazines and stories that are sent in to the Gone Racin’ byline.  Roger Rohrdanz is my photographic editor and consultant on this series and it has been a most rewarding journey into hot rodding, drag, straight-line, land speed, oval track and other forms of motorsports.  Perhaps the books that I look forward to the most have to do with biographies, for there aren’t enough of them being done.  Awhile back I encouraged Chic Cannon to write his autobiography and he took me up on it and then he found a publisher and had his life story recorded in print and photos.  I’m amazed at how well he accomplished his task; now for the review itself.
     The first part of the review has to do with the construction of the book.  From Horseback to Horsepower; the autobiography of Chic Cannon NHRA is a paperback book, ISBN (number) 9-781517-558758 and can be ordered through   The price is $14.95.  There is no publisher listed, but the paperback was printed in San Bernardino, California.  From Horseback to Horsepower; the autobiography of Chic Cannon NHRA is a barebones story; there is no index, table of contents or introduction and the acknowledgment is just a quarter page.  Four editions are mentioned, but I believe this applies to editorial corrections and not to four separate printings.  The book has been pared down from the original manuscript which I helped Cannon compile.  There are short captions for each photograph, except for the only color photograph on the cover of the book.  There are 72 black and white photographs of average to fair quality, but 3 of the photographs are barely legible.  The quality of the paper is good.  The size is 5 ½ x 8 ½ x 3/8 inches; a relative small book.  The paperback has a glued binding as do most paperback books.  The cover is quite striking.  There are 72 pages of text; double spaced.
     It seems like I am quibbling about the book, but I am not.  I always give readers a glimpse of the construction of the book and then I approach the ideas, which should always be the reason you buy a book or perhaps, to simply buy coffee table books for show.  Chic Cannon is a family friend and associate of my father, Wally Parks, and while the book lacks an index and other usual features, it is the story that really matters here and why I overlook all the construction problems and highly recommend this book.  Cannon, like almost all his contemporaries except for Bud Evans, spoke carefully and had that conspicuous Hot Rodder’s quiet restraint.  His writing and speaking style are straight-forward and honest.  He tells the story of his life and those around him in measured tones.  He can be humorous without being wordy and as the last of the living members of the famed original Safety Safari sent out by my father, his words and memories are pure gold to drag racers.
     From Horseback to Horsepower; the autobiography of Chic Cannon NHRA is a fast read, as it is only 72 pages and the captions for the 72 photographs are short and to the point.  I’ll tell you this right now; he’s going to get a lot of requests to go into a much greater detail as this book comes out.  His stories are refreshing and much of it is new and never before told in magazine and newspaper articles.  I don’t try to fawn over authors; it isn’t my job to get you to buy the book.  My function is to explain the book in ways that will motivate you to make a decision; buy it for your library or save your money for parts for your race car or hot rod.  Since there isn’t a great amount of information on the original founding of the sport of drag racing except mostly public relations style releases in magazines and the media; this is a book worth adding to your library.
     I knew Chic and Julie Cannon, the Safety Safari men and others mentioned in the book and so for me it wasn’t a new adventure, but a pleasant amble down memory lane.  The leader of the Safari was Bud Coons, the stocky, muscular, black haired, tough ex-cop whom the young men of the 1940’s and ‘50’s respected and the young ladies had a crush on.  Coons was taciturn, strong, charismatic, forceful and in command.  Nothing got by him and nothing ever would.  He was the right-hand man with a good right hand who had Wally Parks’ back, along with Steve Gibbs and Barbara Livingston Parks.  Wherever Coons went the Safari followed and police chiefs and mayors listened to him.  His value to the team and to the survival of the NHRA has never been fully appreciated. 
     Eric “Rick” Rickman was the master photographer and to some extent the Father of all Hot Rod and motorsports photography.  You could say that Rickman and Lee Blaisdell set the model for all photographers from the 1940’s on and it would be hard to debate the point.  Rickman was loved by all, because he labored on behalf of small racing car and boat leagues around the nation.  If your group needed publicity then Rickman was your guy; a quiet, kindly man whom I admired greatly. 
     Bud Evans was the clown prince of the team, but make no mistake; he knew how to rouse a crowd from the announcing stand.  I could never get the same story out of Evans, no matter how much I tried, but each story, always changing from the original, was a laugh-riot.  Evans should have had a comedy show; he was that good.  His brother starred in Hollywood films portraying the tough sergeant always keeping his rag-tag soldiers alive in impossible situations.  Evans himself served in the Korean War, which politicians spun as a “police action.”  Evans hated the lack of respect the country showed for Korean veterans and yet his sense of humor overtook his feelings of that brutal war.
     Coons, Rickman and Evans have passed away, much to the sorrow of those who knew how important they were to the survival of early drag racing.  Chic Cannon is the only one left and his mind and memories are as sharp as ever.  Cannon was the Tech guy; the man who set everything up and made sure it ran well.  He inspected the cars and trained young people in what it took to set up their own regional drag races.  Later in life he sold his home and purchased a motorhome and with his life-time pass to all NHRA drag races, he and Julie set out to revisit all the drag strips and national meets and to see how the present has altered his memories of the past.  My impression is that Cannon soon learned on his epic adventure that, “You can’t go home again.”  What’s in the past is meant for our memories and as a tool to guide us in our present day decision making. 
     From Horseback to Horsepower; the autobiography of Chic Cannon NHRA is a fine biography, on the life of a very interesting and very important man in the creation of a new, American motorsport.  It’s short, easily read, fascinating and full of twists and turns, which is what life is all about.  Cannon lived life to the fullest and in doing so he witnessed some of the most positive highlights of American history.  I know he left a lot out of this biography, especially if it did not dwell on motorsports.  I know because I read the original biography.  But he hit all the highlights and this is one of those books that will make your understanding of drag racing more complete.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected]
Gone Racin’ … The Old Car Nut Book #3: A Century of Road Trips Around America.  Compiled and edited by David Dickinson.   Book review by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz.  29 October 2015.

     The Old Car Nut Book #3: A Century of Road Trips Around America is the third book in the series and is a 6x9 inch paperback book, published by Evancourt Press in Seattle, Washington.  The ICBN # is 978-0-9898065-2-7.  The price is in the $20 range.  You can order the book through your local book store, which is a good way to encourage them to stock a healthy selection of books on the car culture.  You can also email the editor and compiler, because David Dickinson is not only interested in your comments on the books he is producing, but will probably try and pick your brain and get your story too.  He told me that he has set a limit on the car adventure stories, but I have a feeling that he is going to collect so many wonderful stories that it will be next to impossible not to put out more books in this series.  He isn’t unique in creating books that compile stories about a subject; such anthologies are an ancient and honored way of telling the past.  Perhaps what we should applaud Dickinson for is the high quality of the stories and how they have stimulated people to think back and recall their own adventures.  One doesn’t have to be famous to have had fascinating events in their lives; the only criteria is being on the scene when the adventure happens.
     This has got me all revved up about stories that I’ve been thinking about and simply have put off.  I’m sure the same is true with everybody; we have these fantastic events that we witness and for the rest of our lives we relate them to others and then when we are gone so are these stories.  That is really sad.  I admit that not everyone is a writer and from experience it seems that most people have trouble even trying to explain themselves in the written word.  But we should all try our best to get our stories down on video or some other means and leave these stories to our family and friends.  For some reason I have never found anyone who can’t tell a good ORAL story; benchracing seems to be in our blood.  However we record our tales we must do it or the consequences are that we leave the next generation with a blank in their history and our descendants have a right to know.
     I have stories about the Bean Bandits of San Diego that are hilarious.  The trips that I took with Jack Mendenhall, the ol’ blue-eyed Lothario; especially the time we went to Black Rock Desert to work security for the land speed runs in 1997.  Or the stories that Ak, Zeke and Dorothy Miller told me about their illegal road racing.  I collect all these stories because they are my friends and sometimes they tell me about my father, Wally Parks, who seemed to be everywhere and who knew everyone, yet never got around to telling me or my brother what he did.  That’s a sad heritage when one has to find events in magazines, old newspaper accounts or second hand stories passed down from person to person.  I was lucky enough to have known these men way back when, though I was just a small tot.  Over the years some of them became extremely famous and well-known and others drifted off into oblivion, but each and every one of these men and women influenced me to become what I have become.
     I wasn’t really sure when I spoke to Dickinson what he had in mind or the quality of his product, but he was dead set on sending me the first three books in the Old Car Nut Series to review.  I admit to a bit of confusion as I opened the first book and began reading.  I recognized a few names and some that I thought that I knew, but most were unfamiliar.  The stories, and there were a lot of them, varied in quality of writing and ideas, but every one of them was interesting in their own style.  Book One exceeded my expectations by quite a bit.  Book Two was even better, but this was to be expected since the editor was getting better at his craft.  Book Three was simply breathtaking in its depth and story-telling.  As with any anthology there will be some writers that I like better, but they probably won’t be the same writers that you, the purchaser of the book will like. 
     That’s the strength and the weakness of an anthology; you have differing writers with styles and ideas that run the gamut.  What makes the Old Car Nut Books so appealing is that there really isn’t a weak writer or story in them.  Dickinson chose very well which writers he wanted to include and which stories that were the most appealing.  This does not mean that there aren’t any flaws.  One area of concern is that car guys speak a language that is often foreign to outsiders.  When you use a term that you know well, but non-car enthusiasts and non-hot rodders may not understand, give a brief explanation of the word.  In the far distant future we may see a world without cars and the unexplained terms create a barrier of understanding.
     The first story that I reviewed was written by Dickinson’s grandfather, Dr Stanley Burr Dickinson in 1915, exactly 100 years ago.  Stanley was moving his family from South Dakota to Oregon and decided to go by car instead of train.  The 31 pages in this story resemble the story of my grandfather’s trip from Kansas to California in 1921.  Stanley Dickinson gave a fascinating account of the trials and tribulations on his trip and I got out the old Atlas and followed along the route he described.  I’ve taken some of those roads at 75 miles an hour, covering 900 miles in a day and marveled at the difference in the roads then and today.  Yet I can remember the California roads in the 1940’s and they were only slightly better in many cases than the roads were in 1915.  Stanley’s account was crisp, informative and hilarious.  I felt as if I was there in his touring car with his wife and two children, having the thrill of a lifetime “driving rough.”  It is amazing how our roads today go straight over mountain gaps or through tunnels and the distances are not that far from “as the crow flies.”  In 1915 Dr Dickinson had to go far south around a mountain range, then far north in order to make any progress at all.  One had to carry every conceivable tool to survive as well as extra oil, water and gasoline.  One also had to make friends easily for sometimes lodging, food and car supplies were obtained at a farm house, instead of a hotel, restaurant or garage.
     “On The Road with Harold LeMay” by Charlie Maxwell was a story of road trip companionship.  I never knew Harold LeMay, but I knew of him and I regret that I didn’t take the time to stop by his wonderful museum around Tacoma and visit with him.  It was a sweet story of a time shortly before Harold’s passing and how we either make the effort to spend time with our loved ones and friends or we don’t.  “Meeting Big Daddy” by Dick Page was another hilariously told story about the time the writer met Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.  Many of us have Ed Roth stories, either from the big man himself or second hand.  We treasure these stories just as we do with stories about Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, Ak Miller, Jack Mendenhall, Ed “The Camfather” Iskenderian, Danny Oakes, Parnelli Jones, Carroll Shelby, John Fitch, Joaquin Arnett, John Force, Eric “Rick” Rickman, C. J. Hart, Walt James, Dave Marquez, Earl Mansell, Rodger Ward and many others.  I had the opportunity to know these people and to write articles about them.  Page relates many stories about Roth that are priceless additions to our cultural history.
     David Dickinson relates stories on road trips with his wife and how one crisis after another vexed them at the time but are now priceless tales to tell the grandchildren.  I’ve had breakdowns on the road and know exactly how he felt.  One of the shortest, but most endearing stories was written by Dave Darby and was titled “Don’t Tell George.”  Darby was involved in getting historic signs displayed along Route 6 in Southern Iowa, better known as the pioneer road west.  Many settlers and westward settlers crossed the Mississippi River around southern and central Iowa and headed west, in the vicinity of Route 6.  I took my son along this famous road, but in my haste I failed to stop at many of the places Darby pointed out.  It’s a beautiful and scenic trip and if you’re in that part of the country stop by the Wilton Candy Kitchen and say hello to George and Thelma Nopoulos.  
     “In the shadow of Sputnik” was written by Albert Drake from around the Seattle area.  I’ve never met Drake though I’ve reviewed his books.  Drake is a mystery celebrity of sorts around hot-rodders and land speed racers.  I’ve tried to make contact with him and yet I’ve never had a conversation with him.  His books and his interviewing techniques I admire greatly.  He publishes them on a shoestring and they are cheaply done, but his research and writing are first rate.  Drake writes with humor, that special kind of hot rodding humor that makes fun of himself but never puts down or disparages others.  It’s an easy style and I could listen to or read his works forever and still find it amusing and informative.  On his trip from Oregon to San Francisco he has the same breakdowns, encounters the same helpful, small town Americans that always rise to the occasion to help others and makes hilarious errors in judgment.  He and his buddy chase girls, end up in bars, survive the trip and pass those memories on to the rest of us.
     There are forty stories by twenty-seven writers and a very nice forward by John D’Agostino.  It’s hard to give a rating on an anthology but if I must I’d say the entire series deserves a 7.5 out of a total of 8 sparkplugs.  It is just that good.  It’s the type of book you can read at home, during a lunch break or on vacation to pass the time.  The stories are short and the ideas and plots are interesting.  Where it really got the blood boiling and the heart pumping is when I can relate to the road trip, knew the people involved or know of the people in the story.  I have a feeling that many readers will also have that déjà vu feeling; “I was there once, way back in the day.”
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected].
Gone Racin’ … California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR).  Story by Richard Parks, 6 October 2002.
     The 11th Annual CHRR (California Hot Rod Reunion) was held on October 4-6, 2002, at the Famoso Dragstrip, just north of Bakersfield, California.  This reunion mixes in a multitude of events for the typical Hot Rodder.  Continuous vintage drag racing from the golden age of the sport (1950’s-1970’s) held the rapt attention of the fans that filled the stands to overflowing.  Pauses in the action gave us an opportunity to tour the pits and talk to the drivers and their crews.  Famoso Raceway is famous for the Smokers March Meet and for a tradition that stretches way back to the early 1950’s as a hangout for drag racers and for memorable races among the sports more famous and infamous names.  Famoso is just drenched in drag Racing history.  A special “Walk of Fame” was established that runs parallel to the track, where trees are planted in the memory of loved ones, with bronze plaques commemorating their deeds in drag racing.  This has become hallowed ground to drag racers, and while we were there, a memorial service was being held for Mike McCabe.  Eric Rickman and other members of the original NHRA Safety Safari were on hand to bid farewell to one of their own.  Between the trees were parked hot rods, coupes, roadsters, drag and land speed cars representing every facet of the sport.  For over a quarter of a mile, on both sides of the “Walk of Fame,” were parked some of the most beautifully restored cars from all over the country.  The layout of the event is very practical.  Each section is a quarter mile in length.  The race track is on the north, and to the south, running exactly parallel, is the “Walk of Fame.” 
     Next to that is the swap meet and vendors area, where every conceivable type of product, souvenir, food or car part can be bought or sold.  Intermixed with the vendor’s stalls are more vintage hot rods and racing cars.  The variety of goods is mind boggling.  It is reminiscent of a medieval bazaar or country fair.  The Swap meet is huge.  A massive circus tent is at the center of this maelstrom of business activity.  In the shade that it provides, people sit at the tables and swap stories and see old friends.  Eric Rickman, Hot Rod Magazine’s indefatigable photographer from the earliest days, holds court with a legion of his fans, listening to stories about Mickey Thompson and Doc Ostich and the old “Flying Caduceus.”  Behind the tent, the pit area beckons.  Groups have staked out their special spot.  The flathead guys have come from all over, and their loyalty to this special engine burns as brightly today, as when they raced the dry lakes, and early drag strips during the 1940’s and ‘50’s.  The 1320 Club defends their area just as fiercely.  This group formed around those who remember Doris Herbert and the “Drag News” publication, which is their “Bible” for facts and race data, from the mid 1950’s to 1971.
     A special Hall of Fame ceremony was held on Friday night at the Double Tree Hotel in Bakersfield.  Honored at this event were; Marvin Rifchin (Grand Marshall), Bob and Don Spar, The Surfers (Roberto Skinner, Tom Jobe and Mike Sorokin), Bobby Tapia, Doug Thorley and Don Vesco.  The NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California, actually puts on this reunion.  Their director, Steve Gibbs, and his very capable staff, put on the “Cacklefest” on Saturday evening.  Lined up along the track are some of the famous cars from the Museum’s collection.  Honorees start their engines and the ground trembles, nitro fumes fill the air and the flames from the headers light up the sky as the fans scream their delight, as they are transported back in time to the days of their youth.  A new event was added this year called the ROF, or "Ring of Fire.”  Sponsored by the 1320 Club, drag cars are formed in a circle on the track and the center is filled with members and fans that have donated $13.20 to the Museum.  Then the engines are started, and the ground shakes anew, the sky is again filled with nitro, and the flashing of flames illuminates the darkness.  Word from the 1320 Club is that everyone survived the experience, however terrifying, and plan on coming back next year to try this harrowing action again.  They won’t have long to wait, as the NHRA Motorsports Museum is planning on creating a 2nd Hot Rod Reunion, to be staged in the East at Bowling Green, Kentucky, on June 20-22, 2003.  Then, in early October, the 12th Annual CHRR will again be held at the Famoso Dragstrip.
     There were tons of slingshot dragsters at the Reunion, including the Foothill Flyer, Iron Eagle, Fugowie, Voo Doo, Western Special, American Eagle, The Howard Cam Special, Birky’s Bunch, Hansen and Jensen, Mike Fuller, Nitro Thunder, Circuit Breaker, Tom Hanna’s new car, and John Bradley, who pulled a monstrous wheelie that got the crowd on its feet cheering wildly.  George and Jan Calloway brought their jet car that went 330mph in 1972, driven by John Paxson.  The Fuel Altereds were represented by the Winged Express, Pure Hell and the Rat Trap.  Alex Xydias and Pete Chapouris brought several of the famous So-Cal Speed Shop cars, including the Bonneville Belly Tank.  The hearse drag car from the Munster’s TV show was on display, as well as “Professor Fate’s” car from the movie, “The Great Race,” starring Tony Curtis.  The trip to Famoso from Los Angeles is not as long as the map would have you believe, and the weather is warm and sunny in October.  Make hotel and motel reservations far in advance, as the numbers attending the reunion are growing larger at each event.  See you there in 2003.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected].
Gone Racin’ to the…12th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion.  Story by Richard Parks, October 5, 2003.   Reprinted by permission of Internet Brands and the website
     The 12th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR), sponsored by the Auto Club of Southern California, and hosted by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, was held on October 3-5, 2003, at the famed Famoso Raceway dragstrip, just north of Bakersfield, California.  This three-day event has everything imaginable for the avid drag racer and fans of the sport.  Hundreds upon hundreds of hot rods, muscle cars and vintage and classic drag cars are out in the pits, and on the track for display.  Restored drag cars from a by-gone era bring back memories of the golden age of drag racing.  Vintage warplanes from WWII periodically buzz overhead and the roar of the dragsters and the smell of nitro evoke a mysterious pull from the past.  In the pits are vendors selling T-shirts, memorabilia and souvenirs, and all sorts of salvaged parts for the racer who is looking for that original part to complete his project.
     Separated from the pits by a fence is the hallowed memory lane, where people have donated funds to plant a tree for their loved ones, friends, famous racers or those who have passed on.  Along the tree-shaded lane are the old vintage race cars and tents for organizations involved in keeping alive the history of drag racing and hot rodding.  Ed Justice Sr was busy unloading one of his Midget racers from his Museum in Duarte and remarked how the CHRR has grown over the years.  I stopped by to see Ora Mae Millar, Pete’s widow, and their family.  The Cartoon tent was filled with Pete’s cartooning and memorabilia, and people were milling around and reminiscing about the past.  It was great to see the Millar family keeping the past alive, and Pete would be proud to know that his fans haven’t forgotten him.  The 1320 Club was well represented as well.  This large and boisterous group of drag racing enthusiasts maintains a large website where all the members can congregate and send emails back and forth.  They were staunch readers and fans of Doris Herbert’s old Drag News publication, from 1957 until 1971, and maintain, with a great deal of zeal, was the heyday and Golden Age of drag racing.  The 1320 Club had tents on both sides of the drag strip, and along with many other groups, partied on all day and into the night, for three solid days. 
     I spoke to Clyde Dedrick, car and boat builder and racer, who had just restored the CHUBASCO.  Like so many other restorers, Clyde searches for the original race car or boat, researches the provenance or history to be sure it is accurate, and then commences on an all consuming effort to restore the vehicle to the way it was.  Strolling down memory lane was a walk back into history, as car after car has been lovingly restored and the past comes to life again.  Then the roar of old engines storms through the air, and our attention is turned to the track, just a few feet away.  Classic drag cars are hauling down the runway, directly into the sun, creating a spellbinding sight of sound, images and burning fumes.  One tends to walk in circles at the CHRR, passing the track and wending through the vendors and sponsors bazaar, and then into the pits, which seem endless.  I came across John Ewald, who was carrying broken parts and looking forlorn.  His car had just been given the best appearing award, and was in the hunt for Top Eliminator, but the damage was severe, and their chances slim at best.  Top Eliminator eventually went to that steady and consistent racer out of Utah, Jack “The Sheriff” Harris.  Jack, a young but thoroughly veteran racer at age 60, ran a 5.878 E.T., at 250.13mph, to beat Bill Dunlap, who ran a solid 5.926 E.T., at 235.41mph. 
     Friday night was the Awards Ceremonies for the CHRR honorees, or what many call the Gathering of the Geezers, and it truly was amazing.  Held at the Double Tree Hotel in Bakersfield, the event is truly worth the trip.  The parking lot was packed with hot rods and vintage and classic cars.  Many never made it into the hotel to see the ceremonies and speakers.  Groups formed around their cars and the event turned into one cruise after another.  Old friends slapped each other on the back and recounted the old lies one more time.  Inside there were racing celebrities everywhere.  Ed Iskenderian came with his trademark cigar, the “Bushmaster” was there taunting all his victims, with his blue headband wrapped firmly in place.  Bob Muravez, the famed “Floyd J. Lippincott, Jr” held court everywhere, as the Grand Marshall of the event.  Dave McClelland emceed the proceedings and praised the late Ernie Hashim for his contributions to the sport.  Wally Parks, John Bradley, Ed Justice Sr, and Louie Senter were present.  Along with Bob Muravez, the other honorees were Bruce Geisler, Pete Millar, Gary Cochran, John Bradley and Glen Stokey.  Drag racing and hot rodding just doesn’t get any better than the CHRR.  Don’t miss the next one.
Gone Racin’ is at [email protected]
Aussie Invader Newsletter December 2015  
     With Xmas fast approaching, a big hello goes to all of our loyal sponsors, supporters, Supersonic Selfie contributors and followers of our world beating project, thank you all for your continued support.  Another year has nearly blasted past and some fantastic progress has been made with our project, yes we would have liked to be on a mud lake right now and testing our car, but we are happy we are moving in the right direction.  We are sure our good friends with the Bloodhound SSC project and the inspiring North American Eagle project out of Washington State, would have liked to been attempting records, long before now also. I believe that the 3 teams currently in contention to set a new LSR are the last of an era in attempting the Unlimited record. When a new record or records are set, it will take the wealth of a nation or a large multi-national backed project to break it again.                              
     The mighty crew at SDR Engineering in Waroona, West Australia have just completed our drogue (parachute launcher) guns. These guys looked at the space we had to fit our guns, the trajectory needed to fire our drogue chute into clean air behind a vehicle travelling at 440 metres per second, and the weight of the projectile that has to pull a sear pin from chute retainer straps and throw a 30 foot bridal line into clean air to initiate main chute deployment.    Initial tests have been carried out and SDR Engineering have devised a bleed off channel in these guns that will allow us to fine tune the trajectory of the launchers by using several bleed off pill sizes.  Thank you SDR Engineering, the legendary John “Ackers” Ackroyd and Fike for their brilliant gas generators.   
     We mentioned in our last newsletter that Australia’s Fastest Car Aussie Invader 3 has been sold to a Museum in New South Wales. This sale came along to me at a time when we were desperate and we could not believe how quickly and professionally this sale was handled. Aussie Invader 3 now resides at Gosford Classic Car Museum in NSW and I feel like it was sending a favourite son off to war, sadly missed already. Our Team Manager Pete Taylor was extremely disappointed that she left our state as he and his Whitman Park Motor Museum had big plans to display her there as part of our states heritage. Sorry Pete.    Our great mate Garry Hunt from G&S Transport is the only man we could trust to haul her around on his truck, Garry scored the job of transporting her from my shop in Western Australia to her new East Coast home, a distance of approximately 5000 kilometres one way. Our American friends use the slogan "As big as Texas", our state Western Australia fits Texas into it about 4 times, and the big difference being is that we don’t have the concrete INTERSTATES or infrastructure to support long distance travel, just narrow dual lane goat tracks for 3/4 of the trip. Garry you’re a trooper she got there safe and sound. The team can’t wait to see her in her new home.  
     Newland Associates have just completed stage one of our cars horizontal/directional stabilizer (tailfin). This is a HUGE job requiring hundreds of hours of machining time and hundreds of hours of CAD and aero input from our aero guru in the UK Paul Martin, who is working closely with James Sutherland in Sydney. The stabilizer uses Calm Aluminium 6000 series material series alloy and has an adjustable horizontal stabilizer to control down force on our rear axle, it also has forward and aft Oz Firecams to capture vision of our runs… Thank you all this will be a work of art.  
     We have been working really full on at perfecting our air brake linkage mechanism, it’s amazing to see it work in CAD but not so in real life, this is a really confined area for it to operate in but we are real close. This design was compounded with the fact we wanted the hydraulic ram to be as efficient as possible and push the air brakes open and not pull them.   
     One of Perth’s leading artists, John Dixon who did our limited edition Rosco Portraits, has decided to enter one of Australia’s most prestigious art competitions, The Archibald Prize.  The Archibald Prize is awarded annually to the best portrait, 'preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, and painted by any artist resident in Australasia’.  John asked if he could use one of the stabilizer originally used on our Aussie Invader 3 car and has gone to work with a portrait of me on it in the hope of winning this prize and showcasing his amazing artistic talent. We will show you his progress when we can.  
     Once again this year I was privileged to be invited to the TMT Making Life Better Golf Challenge at our Vines Golf Course in Western Australia. The people that arrange this charity event are truly the salt of the earth. I teamed up with 3 ripper guys and we had a fantastic day out in perfect weather. I was honoured to be invited to do a presentation on our project and to rub shoulders with Jeremy Dale from the UK. Jeremy is a trickster golfer who can do anything with a golf ball, left or right handed, this guy is something else please see his website...   Thank you to all the great people from who make this day the success story it is, I am honoured to be a part of this special day.
     This is a cartoon that has just appeared in our local newspaper, a couple of years ago I would have taken offence to it. The "S" sign being attached to our car means Senior driver at the wheel and this is a new idea being considered by our government to make law.   We had some visitors to our shop over the last couple of weeks; Shorty Ryan an old mate from Kalgoorlie paid me a visit and sponsored our project with a brand new air compressor for our shop. Shorty was a good friend of the late and great Steve Fossett the legendary record setter from Chicago IL. Steve died before his time in a plane crash shortly before he was to attempt an 800 mph run in the revamped Craig Breedlove Spirit of America jet car. Thank you Shorty and the mighty CAPS GROUP for your support.   
     A special mention must also go out to Mario and Janine from Videocraft in Claremont Western Australia. These people have supported our mission for the past 25 years and their skills in creating first class promotional videos are the best in town. If you need award winning producer of broadcast quality productions encompassing corporate videos, television programs, commercials and interactive multi-media presentation, give these guys a call.   Thank you also to Paul Blank for the invite to his ripper celebration of the Motor Car Charity event and to all the exhibitors who supported this cause. Boy there were some unique and exciting cars on display.   Rosco McGlashan and the Aussie Invader team.