VIP Sponsors


Land Speed Racing Newsletter #391

Land Speed Racing Newsletter #391


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 Brian Brennan. 
     In reading Burly’s comments on the EPA outlawing personal cars from being converted into race cars.  Well, that’s not what the EPA is doing.  In fact, SEMA issued clarification and admits many of us jumped the gun and conclusions on what the EPA meant.  You can contact: Della Domingo 909-978-6723 [email protected].  Sincerely, Brian Brennan
     I should have specified that Burly's letter was more in line with an opinion and should have been placed in the Guest Columnist section rather than attributed to a present, future or past fact.  However, I'm extremely lenient in allowing public comment; my error is that I should have notated that, "This is a possibility, not a probability."  It was also important to point out that the EPA is separate from California State rules and regulations, which are often at odds with Federal guidelines.  SEMA often points that out that certain states, such as California, Connecticut and Massachusetts among others are much more restrictive than are some other states.  California has considered legislation as far back as 1946 to ban any cars that are not stock, without any alteration or customizing.  Such laws haven't passed the legislature, although individual laws turned into local rules and regulations have affected the hot rodding culture.  Your point is well taken. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------STAFF EDITORIAL, by Richard Parks.    
     Recently Albert Wong sent in a SEMA notice about laws forbidding the use of stock cars made into racing vehicles.  In addition Franklin Ratliff sent in an article about changing the rules in land speed racing.  Both of these articles were run in the Guest Columnist section of the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians Newsletter as opinions.  I allow many writers to submit opinions on racing subjects, but they are not always the opinions of Jim Miller, myself or others who work on the SLSRH newsletter. 
     An OPED column will stretch the boundaries, as they should.  It will get people to think and to consider.  In some cases organized groups will respond and may accept some things that are new, innovative or acceptable.  In many cases those officials in charge of a racing group; or a State or Federal bureaucracy will simply toss out the comments as unworkable.  To refuse to consider any new opinions isn't right, but to support everything without critical review is inanity.  The SLSRH is for everyone's use and in one notable case the presenter of a theory withdrew his research after bitter complaints, which I told him not to take personally.
     That was sad because there was a 4 to 1 favorable response ratio for this researcher.  I have allowed many opinion articles as Guest Columns that I did not fully agree with.  Bear this in mind, if you SUBMIT something to me and you don't want it published be sure to say "Personal or confidential" to warn me of your intent.  I will not publish anything that is slanderous or libelous and I will "edit" out such comments.  All material submitted is the work of the submitter and the SLSRH and staff take no responsibility for the research or the writing.
     As for Albert Wong's submission, the State of California and some states have been anti-racing since the 1930's and it only gets worse every year.  SEMA and other groups have been heroically fighting the good fight for racers.  Franklin Ratliff sent in an alternative view on LSR standards and rules, but the SCTA, USFRA, FIA, MIA and any other sanctioning and rules association can simply ignore such ideas.  But that does not mean that we cannot discuss them.  If you have an opinion and it is reasonable and non-libelous, send it to me and I will publish it in the SLSRH.
     Finally there are two camps or opinions and their variants.  One is that the government has an important function in regulating how the people live and interact and without the guiding hand of the authorities we would have civil discord and our lives would be difficult and the quality of life would be low and miserable.  The other belief among many citizens of the United States is that the heavy hand of the Federal Government is intent on destroying our liberties, freedoms and car racing in general.  Of course there are shades of gray from one extreme to the other.  My view is rather in the middle; that is we need rules and regulations to live by but some government officials believe that Americans are so incapable that they cannot be trusted to take care of themselves and need assistance.  It amazes me that in many cases Americans are that inept and therefore chose elected officials who are just as inept.
     Case in point is Bonneville, where the government has a Congressional mandate not to allow the destruction of a National Monument, Historical, Park, Wilderness area or other designated site.  If you look at Bonneville you can clearly see the destruction of the site, yet all the government documents indicate that there has been no erosion of the lakebed.  Is it possible that I can look at the lake and see one thing and the BLM can look at that same lake and see no destruction to the salt flats?  In another case a well-known road course racer and all around nice man found himself indicted by a state for environmental pollution when it was shown that his underground oil storage unit for his home was leaking.  He offered to repair the damage and remove any pollution on his home site, but the state wanted to send this 96 year old war hero to jail as a gross polluter.  The question is this, when is the state a benefit to civilians and when is it a mindless, unthinking destroyer of our liberties and freedoms.
     Do I trust the states and Federal government to operate above the law, fairly and equally and treat everyone with mercy, fairness and equality?  Sometimes they have, but not always.   The authorities have sometimes proven to be heavy handed, politically motivated, and often unfair and prejudicial and yet as citizens we must reform the political process in a lawful manner.  But trust them?  The answer to that is trust, but verify.  Trust can only be earned by compliance with fair, legal and Constitutional law and that has not always been forthcoming from some of our elected officials.
     The Santa Ana Airport Sunday Drag Strip and Main Street Malt Shop Reunions are going to be held on April 2, 2016 at Santiago Creek Park at 10 AM to 2 PM.  A light repast will be served by Gene Mitchell who has so generously donated all our previous meals free of charge.  Leslie Long will again be our host.  The park is located at the corner of Lawson Way and East Memory Lane in the town of Orange (actually it straddles the line with Santa Ana).  Bring your photos, memorabilia, memories, grandchildren, family and friends.  You don’t have to have raced or crewed at Santa Ana Drags in order to come and have a nice picnic in the park with us and learn more about the first professionally organized, continuously operated (ten years in all) dragstrip in the world.  For more information contact me at [email protected] or call me at 714-963-3557.
     I've been following the latest developments about Bonneville, including the bill moving the Utah legislature demanding the BLM restore the salt. Speedweek and El Mirage seem to be the only financially successful events for SCTA, with the Mojave pavement meet ending up having cost them money.  Restoration of Bonneville might be essential to the long-term financial health of SCTA.  Franklin Ratliff
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------EDITOR'S NOTES: Does anyone have more history on Art Tilton, Jr or his father Arthur Colburn Tilton, Sr?
     Some news on the exact dates of Art Tilton Jr:
"War History Online: The WWII Dead of UCLA [...] 1943 [...] May [...] The next loss of this month occurred on the 25th, when 2nd LT ARTHUR C. TILTON, of the 349th Night Fighter Squadron, died in a training crash near Leesburg, FL."
"Harvard College CLASS OF 1910 FOURTH REPORT 1921"
"[...] ARTHUR COLBURN TILTON [...] Children  Arthur Colburn, Jr., Aug. 21, 1917.[...]"
source:;view=1up;seq=13    (page 407)  Records of the class (Harvard) for Arthur Colburn Tilton, born Norwood, Mass, Dec 31,1887, parents were Walter Francis Tilton, Anna Maria Colburn, attended school at The Stone School (Harvard), 1906-1910, earned Batchelor of Arts in 1910, married Marguerite Everts Werneken, of Detroit, Michigan, on May 31,1911, their children Arthur Colburn Tilton, Jr born on August 21,1917 (and a sister).  Occupation was in wholesale millinery, home address 96 Nichols, Norwood, Mass, business address 28 Summer St, Boston, Mass.
     In September 1910 I entered the employment of Clapp & Tilton, wholesale millinery. My first job was that of stock boy.  From that I have passed through various stages until arriving at my present position as buyer for the flower and feather departments.  In January, 1917 I was admitted to the firm of Clapp & Tilton Co. succeeding the old firm of Clapp and Tilton, and was made a director of the new company.  I enlisted in Troop B, 1st Separate Squadron, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, May 23, 1916.  I was called out by the President (Wilson) on June 19, 1916 and served with the Troop as a part of the National Guard, mobilized on the Mexican border.  I was stationed at El Paso, Texas until November.  In February 1917 was advanced to the grade of Corporal.  I was again called into Federal service July 25, 1917.  Upon the formation of the 26th (Y.D.) Division, Troop B became Headquarters Troop, 26th Division.   I sailed for France October 9, 1917.  At that time I was in charge of automobile transportation at Division Headquarters.  I was later transferred to a detachment of the division as assistant to the officer in command; also operated a station of the M.D.S. (Motor Dispatch Service). I was taken ill with pneumonia and sent to the hospital October 26, 1918 and sailed from France (as a hospital patient) on February 4, 1919 arriving in the United States February 12 (1919).  I was discharged from the Army at United States General Hospital No. 16, New Haven, May 3 1919.
     I'm no relative.  I just bought a car, which formerly belonged to Art's, a 1937 Cord 812 S/C Custom Beverly. That's why I am interested in the family and their addiction to cars.  But everything I know is from the web.  And of course I'm mainly interested in Arthur Colburn Tilton senior, who owned my car from 1937 to 1949.  Kay Hottendorf
     Many people restore and rebuild old cars and we admire them for that.  But a few people go above and beyond and gather history and heritage of a vehicle and the people who owned it.  Jim Miller and I would like to thank you for the extra effort you make to preserve history.  Each and every fact is important to us over time.  We can't say just exactly what use we will find for all the history we collect, but we know for a certainty that someone in the future will benefit from what you and others do by your research.
     My father and mother knew Art Tilton, Jr.  He was very popular and on his death, after the war, the SCTA named their sportsmanship trophy after him.  Two decades later the Art Tilton Award, funded by the SCTA, was renamed the Pete Dean Award.  Part of the trophy still exists in the award given out each year at the SCTA Banquet and a portion was in the possession of a previous SCTA President.  My parents gave incorrect information when they said Art was killed after the war.  He actually died during World War II and was training a young recruit when his plane went down.  Art was one of the first secretaries of the new SCTA and I have his handwritten notes of the board and representatives meetings.
     My name is Ed Shadle, owner/driver of the North American Eagle, world land speed record challenger. A couple months ago I posted my new website and trademark, WLSRA, which stands for World Land Speed Racing Association. In the rules, I took on the established rules which we in land speed racing have been required to adhere to in order to establish a recognized speed record. Of course the FIA and FIM rule the roost in these matters. I chose to challenge the convention that required a vehicle to make a backup run within one hour and suggested it be widened to official sunup to official sundown. I also dumped the rule that it had to be done on the same mile of real estate and stated that it could be anywhere on that same lakebed in either direction. In addition, I believe in this day and age, that utilization of timing lights and clocks is not necessary and GNSS is far more accurate and reliable and should be included as a means to validate the speed over a given distance. We need to move our validation into the 21st century! With all that, I created a real firestorm of controversy especially from the armchair racers and the British. That is why I chose to establish an organization, WLSRA, to validate speed records without forcing a small team to pay some guy from France to fly to the USA, charge them $30,000 for the privilege plus all the other expense of timing systems, surveying and setting up the course and putting them up in a 5 star hotel for weeks while they wait for the racer to make his runs. We are intent on making speed runs more affordable and safer. If you want to see what we're up to, check out and I can be found on facebook under Ed Shadle. Sincerely, Ed Shadle
     Ed, thank you for your letter and opinion, which is valued.  I met you at the Grand National Roadster Show some years ago.  Your proposals have created quite a stir, which I see as valuable, but I have to be honest in telling you that many people have been hostile to your view.  But I see your attempt to modernize rules as a valuable effort to get people to consider the problems land speed racing faces and to confront and solve them.  My father was a representative to both ACCUS and FIA as the NHRA was designated the agent for drag racing in the United States and by default the rest of the world.  I cannot say whether the fees going to the International organization in Paris are excessive and their rules are passé and byzantine.  I have only an opinion, but all racers have a stake in a good sanctioning body.  In effect, while the FIA and the FIM are the world-wide body for rules, sanctions and records, they are often virtually ignored.  The effective rules, sanctioning body and record keeping organization that processes the bulk of land speed data is the SCTA and the BNI.  Other bodies in Utah and Australia also are important.  I wouldn't necessarily give the FIA and the FIM any greater recognition than any other racing organization.  I also wouldn't want to disparage any sanctioning body either.  I've heard praise and complaints concerning them all, with some justification.
     One of the problems is that racing organizations are fragile and often disintegrate and their record keeping and rules making are lost.  The FIA (early 20th century), FIM (early 20th century), NHRA (1951), NASCAR (late 1940's) and SCTA/BNI (1937 and 1949) have had sustained life and purpose.  It is hard to usurp their authority or to set up a competing organization because people will side with the group that has the potential to survive over time.  Another problem is that people respect some records more than others so that competing sanctioning bodies generally drive other groups out of business.  A third problem is that size matters and the ability to have huge resources will determine which group survives and makes the rules. 
     The NHRA has made mistakes over the years.  One of them was in not creating a larger scope of events.  The Seattle Hydroplane owners approached the NHRA with a request to have the land based group run the sea based group, but the ceding of control and the high administrative costs stopped this deal.  The NHRA sale of the Pro racers to a private owner failed when the stock market collapsed.  The NHRA was slow to see the potential for Nostalgia vintage racing and now smaller groups operate most of this lucrative business.  In my opinion land speed and drag racing are the same; straight-line racing.  The structure and the financial power of the NHRA is a better fit for combining a sanctioning body than multiple smaller groups.  That being said, such a merger may never work for various racing groups, especially if they are small, sponsorless and have meager resources.  This leaves the door open for a group such as yours to operate and flourish, but I have reservations about longevity, especially as racing venues collapse.
     But how are important innovations going to be made if the few current sanctioning bodies are so resistant to change?  How are costs to be maintained so that racers can afford to compete?  How are records to be maintained?  It is especially unnerving for historians to try and find records and non-record runs from the past.  Even the NHRA does not keep old records, much less times that were set.  How can historians write the history if there are only "current" records available for research?  No matter how much people may complain about the inadequacies of the current sanctioning bodies and their refusal to maintain complete archives and records and streamline the sport if a new organization is unable to provide a complete array of duties.
     The question that needs to be asked is this; can existing sanctioning bodies rise up to the challenge and not only make rules that are safe and productive and at the same time maintain archives of all the records, teams and history of the sport?  If the answer to that is a weak response then a group such as yours has a chance to succeed.  But it takes more than rules making; it takes staffing and archival support as well as race operations, if a new group is to flourish and grow.  But I will say this, if the larger organizations refuse to co-opt the best ideas of the smaller and newer sanctioning organizations over time racers will leave and go to those bodies that are the most functional and productive.  In the meantime send me and other news outlets reports on what you are doing and what you propose to do and I will publish it on the SLSRH Newsletter at  Don't worry about upsetting people; if your ideas are sound they will find a place in land speed racing.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------EDITOR: Some of this material has been previously posted but is being reposted to bring everyone up to date on the proposals of Ed Shadle and Franklin Ratliff.  Provided by Franklin Ratliff
     Below is text from the World Land Speed Racing Association describing their plan for governance of unlimited land speed records. They make some points which are not without precedent, and others which are new. For example, they point out that given a sufficient interval it is now possible with cloud technology to between runs analyze aerodynamic data on the fly and determine what adjustments need to made prior to the second run in a land speed record attempt.
     The current rules for world and international land speed records are the 1935 Malcolm Campbell rules. It was Campbell who convinced the FIA to increase turnaround time from half an hour to one hour. The first two-way record was L.G. Hornsted in 1914. The first fifteen records were all one-way. Bloodhound faces the same small entry window as the Budweiser car, since Andy Green has to time the rocket firing so that the car enters the measured mile at 1,000 mph.
     Land speed rules in and of themselves do not make a record meaningful or meaningless. The purpose of land speed rules is to establish a baseline for measuring technological progress, pretty much the opposite of the intent for the rules in other forms of motorsport. Since the land speed record has long since entered the regime of compressibility effects, air temperature has a significant effect on Mach number (hotter faster, colder slower). If the point of the rules was consistency, the FIA would have to now require everyone to run at the same air temperature to eliminate any advantage.
From the Aussie Invader February Newsletter courtesy of Roscoe McGlashan.
     Safety in running one of these unlimited class cars has always been a major concern to the drivers and crew ever since speeds started exceeding the 600 mph region.  The FIA (Federation Internationale De l’Automobile) have just announced a program by President Jean Todt for a Global Road Safety Challenge, this is a brilliant long awaited strategy and we look forward to seeing it implemented.  We now need an urgent rule change for unlimited class vehicles to increase their tightly sanctioned turnaround time of one hour which puts huge pressure on these race teams and is outdated and dangerous.  The current FIA rules state that after a vehicle passes through the measured mile in one direction it must be rolling in the opposite direction within one hour and cover the same measured mile, the speeds in each direction are then averaged to determine if a new record has been set.
     One of the major problems with this rule is that a car like ours take a lot more distance to stop than it does to get up to speed for the measured mile, as shutting off the engine of our car when we exit the measured mile, would mean the driver would experience about -16G, so the car needs to be slowed gradually. We will probably be about 7 miles down range, whereas it needs only 3 miles to get up to speed. The car then needs to be towed back to its new starting position (about 4 miles away) before it can be refueled, re-oxidized (in our case), new braking chutes fitted, nitrogen banks re-charged and a complete safety check carried out on her. The turnaround and tow back time to reach the new starting location can take 30 minutes alone so the race crews need to invent ways to re-fuel and re-charge our nitrogen supplies whilst the car is being towed, scary stuff.
     Ed Shadle and the mighty North American Eagle Team are addressing this problem through a newly formed organization known as the World Land Speed Record Association. Take a look at and please pass on any feedback you have to these folks."
                                                  -------------------------------  Submitted by Ed Shadle.
     "The World Land Speed Racing Association was established out of the need for a set of rules that recognize the dangers of unlimited land speed racing. These vehicles are closer to research aircraft and missiles, than your standard automobiles."  The World Land Speed Racing Association™ (WLSRA™) was started out of the need for a set of rules that recognizes the dangers of unlimited land speed racing. Vehicles that are closer to research aircraft and missiles, than your standard automobiles.  The purpose of the WLSRA™ is to strive for incident and injury free competition. Rules that require runs in opposite directions within a certain time period are no longer valid when vehicles travel a mile in 4 seconds, and real estate to make such runs are limited to less than five places in the world.
     The WLSRA™ also recognizes that technology is on an exponential curve and that methods to measure distances and time are far more advanced than the stop watches and flag men that were used at the turn of the century.  The WLSRA™ also recognizes that teams attempting such endeavors know more than anyone the dangers they are facing, and will do what is necessary to ensure their vehicles and drivers are safe. Rules for existing motorsports are excellent and the safety record of those organizations is commendable. If it was as simple as adding a roll bar in an aircraft, or air bags that open upon impact to save a driver in the event of a catastrophic event, then fighter jets would have integrated them years ago. The way to ensure safety is to analyze the vehicle in the computer and compare test run data with the model; then make adjustments that further refine that model.
     Over the years vehicles have made extraordinary runs, but because they did not meet all of the strict requirements, records were never established. Stan Barrett in the Budweiser Rocket Car, and Kitty O'Neil are but two examples. They ran speeds never seen before, but were not officially recognized. So they went on with their lives with no posted records; and having to explain why. This is not fair, and the WLSRA™ will now recognize these people and their efforts.

The Rules
Types of Records
Any vehicle that runs on land, water, or ice.

All vehicles will make two runs, then an average of those two runs will be the official time.  All vehicles must start the 2nd run within 24 hr. The 24 hr time starts when the vehicle first enters the timing zone.  The two runs used to validate the record can be run in any direction.

Timing Validation
Any acceptable timing organization may be used. Methods to obtain times may use timing clocks spaced and certified over a one mile distance, certified GPS (Global Positioning System) or certified GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System), or some future technology not yet invented. Prior to making a run, the team must contact the WLSRA to verify that the equipment they will be using is acceptable. Course layout for timing light systems will be based on accurate survey points and must be set by a licensed surveyor.

Speed, per WLSRA, is the distance traveled over two points in time.  The location of these points, geometrically, is indeterminate, but can be calculate.

Licensed Surveyor
A Licensed Surveyor will be required when conventional light beam technology is used. The Licensed Surveyor shall hold license from the following countries: United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom.

Vehicle Classes
Records may be certified based on the following categories:
Thrust powered, multiple engine, 4 or more wheels.
Thrust powered, single engine, 4 or more wheels.
Thrust powered, multiple engine, 3 or fewer wheels.
Thrust powered, single engine, 3 or fewer wheels.
Wheel driven, multiple engine, 4 or more wheels.
Wheel driven, single engine, 4 or more wheels.
Wheel driven, multiple engine, 3 or fewer wheels.
Wheel driven, single engine, 3 or fewer wheels.
Unlimited watercraft.

     In commentary below, Tom Burkland (previous holder of the FIA land speed record for piston-engine wheel-driven cars) brings up some important points about the obsolescence of FIA rules for land speed records. Because speeds are so high, all of the suitable courses are essentially level, eliminating the justification for the two-way requirement.  Putting the measured mile in the middle of the course handicaps both wheel-driven and thrust-driven cars.  It prevents wheel-driven cars from demonstrating their true potential and increases the hazards for thrust-driven cars by reducing the available stopping distance.  The optimal placement of the measured mile would be closer to the end of the course for wheel-driven cars and nearer the start of the course for thrust-driven cars.
     Tom Burkland on rules changes: "I could not agree more with your safety related assessment of the one-hour turn around requirement. There were numerous communications between our team and the FIA committee addressing the complexity of the vehicles and the logistics of the two-way runs that resulted in significant operational decisions that decreased the safety of the attempt for no real purpose other than to say it was traditional. The purpose of these record attempts is to demonstrate the vehicle performance, not really the servicing crew's proficiency.
     Since all of the suitable venues are very close to, if not exactly level, there is really no competitive advantage to running both directions. This adjustment of procedure to allow for a pair of runs in the same direction to be averaged would make other potential venues functional in comparison to the longer track distances required for the two way runs. Ironically for the wheel driven folks this track distance issue is the opposite of Rosco's situation in that we use the long run accelerating into the timer and can then stop in significantly shorter distances with aerodynamic braking systems. In either case the result is a placement of the timed section of the course at some point other than the center of the available running space that will allow for the diminishing distances at many of the traditional venues. If this is going to actually provide any benefit the time allotted between the two runs must also be increased to allow transportation of the vehicle back to the original starting point, since this recovery and transport will detract from real maintenance time."
     Officials from American organizations such as the SCTA have been complaining to FIA for years about sloppy record keeping and apparently nothing has changed. The FIA list of Category C records is still a cock-up. It makes no mention of the Art Arfons or Walt Arfons records, and lists Kitty O'Neil as having run at Bonneville instead of El Mirage. They would have you believe the first jet record was Breedlove's 600.601 mph average in 1965.  Sincerely, Franklin Ratliff
      Below are some of the proposals I've sent to Ed Shadle outlining rules for the WLSRA.  What I would like to see for the rules is something that the public can follow intuitively and easily digest; in other words, the exact opposite of FIA and SCTA rules.
     The FIA calls jet and rocket cars "specials" and wheel-driven cars "automobiles." Define everything with four wheels or more as an automobile. Record categories become Jet Automobile, Rocket Automobile, Turbine Automobile, Piston-Engine Automobile, etc.
     Lakesters, streamliners, roadsters, and competition coupes all get combined into a single category called Special Construction Automobile.
     Once upon a time, SCTA streamliner and lakester rules were based solely on engine displacement. There was no such thing as blown, unblown, fuel, or gas. Get back to that simplicity and dump all the alphabet soup classes.
      Jack Costella - "1969 was my first Bonneville trip and I built four mini-bikes and set some motorcycle records which caused a new wheel/tire rule. My designs were so successful that the rules no longer allow mini bikes or small tires."
     Land speed bike racing has become homogenized and cookie cutter clone, with the real innovation being done in drag racing. I would like to see is an end to rules which place artificial barriers on motorcycle design and stifle innovation. This includes recognition of automotive engines in bikes, an end to displacement limits, an end to the minimum wheel size rule, and an end to the ban on enclosed front wheels. So that safety is not compromised, I would like to see a mandate that bikes use drag chutes and a recommendation that riders wear stabilizer chutes.   Sincerely, Franklin Ratliff
Subject: New plan for governance of unlimited land speed records, by Franklin Ratliff.
     Current rules for the World Land Speed Record were established in 1935, prior to the introduction of drag chutes and thrust-driven cars.
     When Art Arfons set his 536.71 mph record in 1964, his first leg was 515.98 mph with a return leg of 559.18 mph for the mile and 571.38 mph through the kilo. So not only did speeds vary wildly in the absence of wind, but the resulting record of 536.71 was almost 40 mph off the fastest speed Arfons had clocked. Breedlove would not go faster until he set his 600.601 mph record.
     Breedlove's runs for his 555.127 mph record in 1965 were 544.382 mph for the first leg and 566.394 mph for the second leg.  In other words, Breedlove broke Arfons 536.71 mph record with what was at that point still the SECOND fastest car.  It was not until the first leg of his 600.601 mph record when he clocked 593.178 mph that Breedlove ran faster than Arfons. Breedlove's return leg for that record was 608.201 mph.
     Starting and stopping in the same distance is not "a fundamental design requirement implicit in the rules." Arfons used a two-mile run-up to the measured mile while Gabelich used only a one-mile run-up. Gabelich started so close to the mile he could see the entrance markers from where he started. When Bob Tatroe drove the Wingfoot Express II rocket car he started even closer to the mile than Gabelich. For Arfons, Gabelich, and Tatroe, putting the measured mile in the middle of the course simply reduced their braking distance without contributing anything to their speed.
From Ronald Ayers

     I note with interest all of the proposals to change the regulations for WLSR records.  If the FIA is approached with such proposals, I have little doubt that they would ask me, as co-designer of the existing WLS record holding vehicle, for my views on the matter.  I have strong views and I am here giving you advanced warning of what my reply would be.
     David Warby makes a good point.  Changes of regulation can invalidate existing designs and cause great additional expense and frustration to teams. Thus, rule changes should be made very infrequently, only when absolutely necessary, and definitely in consultation with existing teams.
     Starting/stopping distances.  As Andy points out, these distances do not start out as being equal. Starting and stopping in the same distance is a fundamental design requirement implicit in the rules. We achieved it with Thrust SSC and with Dieselmax, but purely because in each case the distance-matching was thought about from the very start of the design process. In the 21st century there is no excuse for getting it wrong, as modern computers enable a designer to create sophisticated performance programmes which will enable him to assess the effectiveness, and distance required, for each mode of propulsion and of chute/brake systems.
     Records from one run only, or runs on different days, or two runs in the same direction. The idea that two runs in opposite directions is unnecessary since modern tracks are horizontal is simply not good enough.  Another reason for the second run in the reverse direction is to take account of prevailing wind.  It is not well remembered that Thrust SSC set the record twice; look up the record books.  On 25th September 1997, some three weeks before our supersonic record, Thrust SSC set a record of 714 mph. It so happens that on that day there was a strong wind blowing along track.  I do not have the actual run speeds immediately to hand, but from memory I believe that the down-wind run was at around 730 mph while the reverse run was struggling to get up to 700 mph.  Thus we could, quite inappropriately, have set a much higher single-run record on that day.  Another reason for insisting on a return run soon after the first one is that this ensures that the vehicle’s engineering is not so way-out as to need a complete rebuild/repair between runs.
     Longer turn-round time between runs for safety checks. Condition-monitoring instrumentation is now commonplace in the aircraft industry and in F1 and, to an ever greater extent, on road cars. Why have record breakers not caught up? The cost of instruments is falling rapidly, and the much-heralded “internet-of-things” is bringing the costs down ever further. Having identified the safety-critical items (e.g. bearing temperatures, oil condition, brake pad wear, high-stress components, etc.), these can be monitored and readings both displayed to the driver and radioed live to the run controller back at base who can call “abort” if necessary. So, you do not wait until turn-round before inspecting, you do it during the run. The recorded results from each run can then, at leisure and between pairs of runs, be studied in detail to further ensure that there are no incipient problems. This is the type of application where record breakers should be leading, not trailing.  If any team lacks the expertise in some areas, they should involve a local university or technical college.  I have yet to encounter an engineering education establishment that refuses the chance to become involved with an exciting engineering project; particularly if it is located near them.
     As an engineer with 66 years professional experience, I do not do short-cuts or easy options. It is the task of the FIA to specify the rules and maintain them over long periods as the standard to aim at. It is our job as professional engineers to meet those targets; not simplify the operational requirement for our own convenience, or bend the rules to match our own limitations.  That equates to failure.  Suppose we tried it with athletics? What about putting a spring-board at the take-off point of the high-jump?  How about a rocket-assisted javelin?
     I suspect that my own views will not be universally popular, but now you know where I stand.  Regards, Ron Ayers
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Gone Racin’ to the … 12th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion.  Story by Richard Parks, October 5, 2003, Roger Rohrdanz, photographic consultant, reprinted with permission of Internet Brands.
     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].  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Gone Racin’ … California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR).  Story by Richard Parks, 6 October 2002, Roger Rohrdanz, photographic consultant, reprinted with permission of Internet Brands.
     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 illuminated 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' ... Tony Thacker.  Biography and photographs by Tony Thacker, editing by Richard Parks, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz, 29 September 2015, Reprinted with permission by Internet Brands.         

     I was born in England and grew up loving automobiles.  In the 1950’s England there was nothing much else to love as it was gray skies, gray cars and gray faces.  However, somebody on my paper route had a HOT ROD Magazine and I was exposed to red and yellow cars and the clear blue skies of California.
      It took a long time to get there but eventually, as an accredited automotive journalist, author and book publisher, I made the move to the Golden State to work for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA); the trade association for the automotive performance industry.  There, as editor of SEMA News, I learned the secret of networking and met everybody from George Bush Sr, to the bearded front man of ZZ Top, Billy F Gibbons.  Bush I don’t remember at all.  It was one of those SEMA-in-Washington trips.  Billy, of course, is way more memorable and we have been friends since ZZ Top toured the UK in 1985 when we flew the Eliminator, tied under a helicopter, over the crowd at the Donnington Monsters of Rock Festival.  Consummate car guy, talented pinstriper, Billy is just one of the best ambassadors this industry could have.
      After eight years and several positions at SEMA, I realized a dream to launch my own auto book publishing company with David Fetherston.  We published about nine books under the ThaXton Press imprint; How-to books with George Barris, a big coffee table book with Boyd Coddington, a history of Goodguys, etc.  I think they are all out of print now but you can find them on the Internet.  The book business is tough.  For example, Boyd’s went into liquidation just as the books arrived and we never got paid.  Then a call came from legendary racer Alex Xydias that caused me to shelve the books and become marketing director at the famed SO-CAL Speed Shop working with my best friend and mentor Pete Chapouris.
      Alex is one of my favorite people in the world and we’ve taken many a road trip together; including a couple to England and always had fun.  What was more fun though was enjoying the banter between him and the late Wally Parks.  They had it going on with their barbed rapport and I really cherished their friendship.   At SO-CAL I was instrumental in launching the company’s influential clothing line as well as numerous other products.  Meanwhile, with partner Jimmy Shine I rebuilt a 1928 Model-A Ford to go 200 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats where we eventually set a D/BSTR record at 206.454 mph in 2006; thanks to a lot of help from John Beck and Bill Mitchell at World Products.
      Shine and I became fast friends with me “the wallet” and Shine “the wrench.”  Of course, Shine can be the guy we see on TV but to me he’s a hard working, determined racer who wants to win.  He worked his butt off to get that record and he deserves that $14 red hat.  Bill Mitchell at World Products supported us from the get-go but in 2006 we forgot to order the engine (go figure).  Nevertheless, in short order Bill built us a strong 302 motor and shipped it to SO-CAL where Shine partly assembled it before driving the 450 miles to John Beck Racing Engines in Chico, California.  Beck and Shine thrashed to finish the build and dyno the engine at 841 horsepower; amazing for a 302 engine and enough for a record.  However, Shine still had to drive the 450 miles back to LA, install the engine in the racecar and drive the 13 hours to Bonneville.  He did all that in a week whereas I just said, “Let’s go next year.”  Shine though was determined and I love that about him.
      SO-CAL’s return to land speed racing resulted in a call from Britain’s MG Rover group that had successfully set records at Bonneville in the 1950’s.  MG’s Design Director, Peter Stevens who also designed the McLaren F1 but races Model-T speedsters in his spare time has been a good friend and mentor for more than 40 years and wanted to see MG return to the salt.  Consequently, MG Rover contracted SO-CAL to prepare an MG wagon powered by a 740 hp Roush NASCAR engine with slide injection.
      Although it went 225 mph, the wagon never set a record; however, it initiated a call from General Motors’ Mark Reuss.  Reuss, whose father Lloyd was president of General Motors (GM) in 1990 is now himself president of GM and is one of those few Detroit guys that gets it.  Reuss understands what makes a good car and more importantly what makes us car guys tick. His enthusiasm propelled SO-CAL’s successful return to the Bonneville Salt Flats almost 60 years since they had set numerous land speed records there.  Over a period of six years GM and SO-CAL set even more land speed records.
      My recognition in the hot rod field resulted in a call from Wally Parks, founder of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), and an offer to run the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, California.  Working for Wally was a joy and we had so much fun together but sadly he died in 2007 just 18 months into my tenure.  As exciting as that task was, in 2012 I received an offer I couldn’t refuse and moved to Portland, Oregon to oversee the planning and development of a new educational motorsports museum.  The museum was called the World of Speed (WOS) and was founded by Dave and Sally Bany.  The World of Speed (WOS) museum opened April 2015, and is a new kind of experience in the educational/entertainment field that will use the excitement of motorsports to educate young people about the career possibilities in the auto and motorsports industries.
      Of all the varied displays and exhibits in the World of Speed, I am most proud of the exhibit ZERO to 1,000 mph, the history of the land speed record (LSR) presented by Castrol and the three racing simulators developed jointly with Maher Solutions.  The ZERO to 1,000 mph exhibit time-lines the history of the LSR with an image and related artifacts of every car and motorcycle that ever set the LSR from Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat in 1898 to the current contenders Richard Noble and Andy Green and their 1,000 mph (hopefully) Bloodhound SSC.
      Being English, I grew up with Noble and Green and have great admiration for both, Noble as a man driven and Green as one heck of a driver.  I remember when Noble first arrived on the scene with his ill-fated Thrust 1 that he rolled in 1977.  “That’s the end of that.”  We pundits scoffed.  Of course, Noble proved us all nothing but slack-jawed bystanders.
      The unique WOS simulators comprise three real racecars: A 2000 Roush Ford Taurus NASCAR originally driven by Jonny Benson; a 1995 Lola-Mercedes Indy Car originally driven by Adrian Fernandez; and an original 1960’s Lotus 31 Formula 3 simulator developed by Colin Chapman.  Though I never met Chapman I did meet a guy who purported to have moved Chapman’s body rolled in a carpet from the place where he actually died to his home where he should have died.  Chapman was another of those driven car guys who got caught up in the DeLorean scandal.  Unfortunately, the night before he was to give evidence he apparently suffered a heart attack while flying back from France.
      The three WOS simulators are coupled to 180-degree, wrap-around screens and state-of-the-art computer systems that provide simulated driving experiences as close as you can get to a real racecar. I keep in touch with Keith Maher as he keeps me close to the emerging technology of virtual reality that is fast changing our world.  I opened the World of Speed successfully in April 2015 and then I semi-retired and moved back to be with my family in Los Angeles.  However, far from being retired I’m as busy as ever consulting for a number of clients that have included the Goodwood Festival of Speed and Rod Millen’s Leadfoot Festival in New Zealand.
      Lord March, Earl of March and Kinrara but known to car guys as simply Charles is the man behind Goodwood and a more affable Lord you could not hope to meet.  His Festival of Speed and Goodwood Revival have changed the complexion of motorsports events the world over and for the better.  I have been extremely lucky to have been invited to both events many times over the years and have even spoken with Peter Stevens and Andy Green about land speed racing as part of the Goodwood education program.   While attending Goodwood, I met Rod Millen and his lovely wife Shelly Campbell, the niece of Mickey Thompson.  Rod is a renowned New Zealand rally driver and Pikes Peak racer who has his own hill climb event in New Zealand called the Leadfoot Festival.  I attended the first one in 2012 chaperoning Billy F Gibbons, his lovely wife and my 85-year-old-mother; what a trip.  We took the old Ak Miller Caballo de Hierro (Iron Horse) and ran it in the hill climb.
      Late in 2015 I got a call from my old racing partner Jimmy Shine who was undertaking a project car build for Diane and John Beck (not the engine builder John Beck).  Project Jetstar is a 1964 Olds Jetstar vehicle that will be used to raise awareness and funds to benefit wounded American service men and women.  It is great to be working again with Shine and the industry response to Project Jetstar has been overwhelmingly positive.
      I’ve also been lucky enough to carve out a niche speaking to various industry groups including Nike about land speed racing, car design and other related subjects. I’m now back in front of a computer working on my first love, books.  I collaborated with Mike Herman at H&H Flatheads on a book for CarTech about rebuilding the flathead Ford V8 and now I’m working with Mike’s father Max on a similar book about rebuilding and tuning the Model-A 4-banger.
      Unfortunately, I have realized that writing books is like restoring cars.  They take a year or more to complete and consequently there is only so much life left and therefore only so many books that can be written and I have a list of at least 35 books I want to write.  I can’t get ’em all done; so much for retirement.  Gone Racin' is at [email protected]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Gone Racin' ... Jenny Dame.  Story by Jenny Vasquez, with Richard Parks.  Photographs by Jenny Vasquez, photographic consultant Roger Rohrdanz, 4 February 2016, reprinted by permission of Internet Brands, photographs can be found on

     Jenny Dame is my stage name.  In high school I was a bit of a jock and nerd.  I played Varsity Tennis and Softball and also loved my AP Art; enjoying my painting and drawing courses.  I always had the utmost respect for my teachers and admired them for what they have accomplished.  In high school I admired my AP Art teacher Mrs. Williamson.  She was the super fun Rock 'n Roll teacher who was an incredible artist.  I strove to reach her level of artistic ability.  She introduced me to a whole new world of going to art museums for the first time, appreciating artists from the past like Salvador Dali.  I had a chance to visit the Dali museum in Spain.  If it wasn't for Mrs Williamson I would have never been introduced to art and have such appreciation for the artistic world.
     After I graduated I flew straight to Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which was located on Oahu, just above Waikiki Beach.  For the first two years you could have found me in the art building painting away trying to make my project deadlines.  Rainbows would regularly be shining over the Queen Liliuokalani Center.  I loved walking around campus center or taking a break in the Japanese garden.  It's one of the most beautiful university campuses.  In regards to the rockabilly scene, I felt I was the odd ball because there isn't a big rockabilly scene in Hawaii.  Music in the Islands is mostly reggae and Hawaiian and this is what everyone is into in Hawaii, which allowed me to have an appreciation for other types of music.  Going to the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus, allowed me to experience so many opportunities like studying abroad in Sevilla, Spain in 2011.  I met my good friend Megan who lost her mom around the same time my dad passed away in 2013.  That same year, as a way for us to deal with the depression we felt over our loss, we trained for a marathon and completed the Kona Marathon on the Big Island together as a tribute to our parents.
     I had never been to Hawaii prior to this; it was my first experience being away from my parents and living on my own in a completely new state with different cultures than I was not used to.  It was an unbelievable experience and I met my very best friend Onye who I consider like my sister.  I experienced the Hawaiian culture and Hawaii will always feel like a second home to me.  I try to visit about once a year to see friends that still live there and it's a chance for me to completely relax.  I love to hike and run; I have a favorite trail in Waikiki.  I love to get up really early before the sun breaks to run along the beach to a secret pier where at the end it's just you and the Pacific Ocean to stare at and admire. 
     I got into modeling very organically.  At first, I always had a love for watching old movies.  With my mother growing up I would watch all of the old Hollywood films to name a few from Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow, and Clark Gable.  My mother's affection for Clark Gable definitely transferred to me.  I admired the clothing that the Hollywood stars wore and how beautiful their hair and makeup looked and always dreamed of creating it myself.  In college coming back home for summer and Christmas break I would play around and practice the pinup and vintage hairstyles.  I remember feeling very accomplished showing off my 1950's dress and Bettie Page Bangs to my dad and always feeling and looking very happy and proud. 
     Lana Turner is my absolute favorite old Hollywood actress.  I can watch "Imitation of Life" and "Latin Lovers" over and over again.  She is so stunning; I admire her grace and how she carries herself with such confidence.  Lana Turner also has an impeccable sense of style and I love all her dresses and outfits she wears in her movies.  My research, watching films for clothe styles has definitely transferred over to my personal style.  I try to coordinate and be inspired from a certain scene in a movie or be inspired by a certain color theme.  It's what I truly enjoy and it makes me feel like I'm being my most authentic self.  I would consider myself a vintage pinup model.  I learned and researched from old Hollywood films, classic Vargas pinup drawings and all of those references I take to create my own esthetic.  It's in my pin-up name of Jenny "Dame."  Dame holds a classic reputation which I always try to represent.
    During my last semester of college, my father passed away from a heart attack which was extremely difficult and still hard to manage.  After coming back home I decided I would follow my dreams of becoming a pinup model after seeing firsthand how short life can be and doing what you are truly passionate about, which is most important to me.  Now when I do anything pinup related I like to think my dad is smiling from heaven and beaming with pride.  My dad was one of a kind.  I remember asking him how would he describe himself and he said, "I'm badass, but humble."  It's a pretty accurate description.  He was the best father growing up and he was very strict but also very loving.  I was close to my father and sometimes I would call just to talk to him about anything and he would always give me an honest answer.  He influenced my love for playing sports and for Rock and Roll music; he would crack up Grand Funk Railroad and play air guitar to all of the songs.  I will always miss everything about my dad and this will always be the biggest heartbreak of my life.  Having my mother to lean on is what I'm most grateful for; I would not be as well grounded if it wasn't for her.  My mother is incredible and I really couldn't have asked for better parents.
     I have met so many wonderful people during my modeling career these last two years.  I remain close friends with photographers and boutiques owners that I have worked with and also with my fellow pinup dolls (friends) that I have made that are also in the pinup scene.  I eventually want this to be my main career and I am currently working towards that by building my brand.  I see my modeling career as a building block to reach my goals and I'm just loving what I do and having a great time.  I can't wait to see what amazing opportunities lie ahead.  By winning the Mooneyes 2014 and GNRS 2015 pin-up contests I had the wonderful privilege in meeting Mitzi Valenzuela and being able to work with her which sparked this amazing working relationship in modeling.  I'm very grateful for the opportunities she has given me and I'm always so honored to be in her company.
     Working with Audrey, from Audrey K Boutique, whom I would also call a very good friend has also given me opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had, such as being a trophy model at the classic Burbank car show and also being a window model during the holidays in the park.  She is so sweet and always up for giving advice and sharing her accomplishments; I truly admire her work ethic.  Working with Audrey led me to meeting Nicole from Niccoco Creations which I'm proud to say I represent being a Niccoco Dame.  Nicole is unbelievably talented and is so creative with her hair accessories; she is trying to be one of a kind.  I'm very proud and honored to call her my friend.  I guess with everyone I meet and work with I create a real friendship. It's the only way I know how to be and I try to equally be there for my friends just as much as they are for me.
     I've also had the pleasure of posing for Christina Chiquita Photography.  She has become a really great friend of mine and is the ultimate threat as she models, is an amazing photographer and also does incredible makeup and hair styling.  I absolutely enjoy every photoshoot with her.  Tim Hunter Photography is another amazing friend I've had the pleasure of working with.  Tim is one of the sweetest, sincere and genuine person and so incredibly talented.  He has a unique eye and always works very hard to do the best work possible.  He is really a joy to work with.  Another noteworthy photographer is Ron Detrick who is incredible at both studio and outdoors work and a pleasure to be around and shoot with.  I always enjoy collaborating and bouncing off ideas together. 
     Yolanda with Vintage Image Photography is a great friend and has an incredible sense of style with her images.  She is one of the most creative people and she makes all of her props and some of the clothing to go with the whole themes of her photoshoots.  She's incredible and so sweet.  Steven Caudillo is the publisher and editor of Bombs Magazine.  Steven is hilarious and a pleasure to be around.  He has a wonderful creative eye and extremely skilled at what he does.  Shooting at the Petersen Museum for the GNRS poster with the legendary 1951 Hirohata Merc, along with Mitzi Valenzuela and Steven was such an honor to be able to shoot with such an amazing piece of classic car history.  It was overwhelming and a complete honor.  I had an incredible time and I will always cherish that moment and all the laughs Mitzi, Steven and I shared during that photoshoot.
     In my two years in the pin up community I have meet nothing but amazing and incredible individuals who have enriched my life more then I can explain.  Everyone I have encountered is amazing and I really cannot say anything bad about anyone.
     I would say to the future generations of pinup models and to girls that aspire to be a pin up model that the best advice that I can give is to just do it.  If it's something you have always wanted to try I would totally encourage that young lady to go for it and not worry about what other people might think.  I too had my reservations in starting something new or what people might think but I have never once regretted my decision.  I can say today that I'm living a wonderful life without any regrets.  I love being a pinup model creating vintage images and carrying a vintage soul around in the modern world.  I'm a part of a wonderful community that has the same interest with the pinup and vintage culture.  Even when "modern" individuals question your attire just know that you have a community of people that understand that same love you have. Remember I will always have your back.
     Contests, in all honesty, are nerve racking and thrilling at the same time.  It is nerve racking of course being in front of a crowd and trying not to stutter while speaking into the microphone.  It is thrilling getting all dolled up and to answer the questions as honest and true to heart.  What I enjoy the most about participating in pinup contests is getting to meet the other contestants.  I love to make friends and to meet the other pinup dolls I've seen around but never had the privilege to meet in person.  It's a sisterhood I try to keep intact and I enjoy being a part of it.
Gone Racin' is at [email protected].