"Fast Five" with Bill "Short Round" Roell and Jim 'Dauber" Farr

Famous painting team reminisces about the good old days and the Hot Rod Reunion

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 9, 2006) Short Round and Dauber are back!

For nearly 40 years, Jim Farr and Bill Roell, better known as "Short Round and Dauber", teamed up to paint countless race cars, motorcycles and hot rods. For the first 10 years they worked continuously in a custom paint shop and turned out wicked paint jobs for such noted racers as Jim and Allison Lee, and Raymond Godman, and Frakes and Funk. Now it's their turn to be in the spotlight as they are Honorees at the Holley NHRA National Hot Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive Finishes, June 16-18, at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky.


Still happy after all these years, Bill "Short Round" Roell (L) and Jim "Dauber" Farr will be Honorees at Bowling Green.

1. How does it feel to be named an Honoree at the 4th annual NHRA Holley National Hot Rod Reunion? What does the Reunion mean to you?

Bill Roell: It's a great feeling to be recognized by fellow racers especially those who remember or were around back then. The Reunion means a lot to me because I was part of the experience of racing when it was fun to do.

Jim Farr: It is a most humbling experience. Knowing that there are and were thousands of unknown, anonymous artists, often underpaid and underappreciated by their patrons, requires my attention and appreciation of this honor. It is furthermore poignant, especially since Bill Roell will by the first custom painter and me, the first artist/striper/designer/calligrapher, to be so honored.

2. When you retired, did you think you'd be honored years later? Are you surprised that people remember your exploits?

Roell: I never gave it a thought. I was just glad to be honored along with Tom Hanna, George Cerny, Don Long and the rest of history. I sure hope some people remember all of the hard work that was put in on some really ugly race cars to make them look respectable. We had many customs that won best appearing awards and I hope that we made a difference in the lives of those racers.

Farr: When Bill Roell closed that shop, we continued to work in shops, doing street cars, hot rods, motorcycles, customs and race cars. As a result we still refer work to one another, and have a much broader, more appreciative and diverse client base.

It's a base sophisticated enough to know the value of original hot rod
flames, real gold leaf lettering and freehand pin striping.

3. What are some of your fondest (and funniest) memories about the drag racing sport during your time? What do you miss most?

Roell: My first project was painting a dragster body in the 1960s. I applied talcum powder to the panels to keep them from sticking together. When the car first raced, it came speeding down the initial pass spraying the talc everywhere! There are some other funny stories I vividly remember, but most can't be told publicly! You know racers&. I really miss creating color schemes and layouts, along with the old trick paint work that we used to do. I still keep in contact with quite a few guys. I'm glad they're still around to shoot the bull with.

Farr: I miss seeing the cars I'd painted hurtling down the track toward the finish line.

One time I heard a nationally ranked driver tell another that he "didn't make the car go fast enough" because he didn't "know how." The other driver, not willing to readily take such an insult, challenged him to a few laps. The following Monday the loud-mouthed driver brought his car into our shop with a flattened right fender, like it had recently come into extended contact with a guard rail. Upon seeing my broad smile, he snorted, 'Not a word outta you!

4. How did you two start working together? Are you surprised at the popularity of vintage drag racing?

Roell: I met him at a car show. We had a 48/ Anglia B/G car and he asked me if I would like him to stripe it. I told him that I could stripe, and he showed me pictures of things that he'd done and we hit it off right away. Two months later I called him about lettering for me at my new painting business, doing race cars only. I worked at a Cadillac dealer in Cincinnati and ran my own shop after-hours. That lasted about a year and a half then I went full-time and so did he. We painted from 1967 to 1976.

Farr: I can honestly say that I am not surprised at how popular the vintage drag racing is between the NHRA nostalgia races and the ones that the GoodGuys puts on, there are some very good programs for vintage cars. I think there is a large group of people that really enjoy seeing the style of cars that ran 25 to 30 years ago. I also think the nostalgia races are at a somewhat slower pace than the fuel classes of the modern day races. The vintage programs have allowed people who cannot afford to run a car on the NHRA PowerADE series the opportunity to be involved in the sport in a less costly alternative.

5. What sort of projects are you involved with now? What do you think of today's painting techniques versus those employed during your day? How about drag racers today?

Roell: I still paint flames and do some striping if I have the time for it. Lately, my biggest claim to fame is the Ohio style flames which we started doing for street rods. They've gotten a lot of ink in the magazines lately. House of Color and all the paint companies have custom colors out now, but back then I had to make all of my candy colors from scratch. We experimented a lot with color mixing and layering. The new paint is a lot like the old stuff, but I still like the old lacquer colors for clarity and depth.

The 4th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive Finishes, June 16-18 at Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, Ky., is a 3-day festival of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm. Produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California and located in Pomona, Calif., the Reunion is part of the museum's "living history" philosophy, which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture.


Unique among motorsports events, the Reunion honors some of the top names in hot rodding from the past and features a fabulous array of cool drag cars, street rods and customs of the historic and present-day hot rod eras.

Those purchasing their credentials at least two weeks before the event receive significant added value in Saturday's
Parish Heacock Pit Pass Barbeque, a "goodie" bag and a colorful and collectible plastic souvenir credential. A junior credential has been added this year at only $10 for a three-day admission and the barbeque.

Credentials are available at 1-800-884-NHRA or through an application on the Museum's web site at http://museum.nhra.com.

This year's honorees are Malcolm Durham, Bobby Langley, Gene and Ron Logghe, Jim Farr and Bill Roell known as "Short Round and Dauber" and Mike Spitzer. The Justice Brothers Reunion Spotlight award will shine on Top Fuel Pioneer Motorcycles.

Those honored will be feted at a reception open at no charge to the general public.

The Reunion features a wide variety of activities and events, including:

Hot Heads Eliminator NHRA vintage drag racing, featuring some the sport's most famous and historic cars and drivers, racing in such classes at Top Fuel, Supercharged Gassers, classic Funny Cars and Super Stocks

* Street rod "show and shine," presented by SoffSeal, with thousands of gleaming pre-1972 hot rods, custom cars, classics and muscle cars. "Memory Lane" will have a display of nostalgic race cars.

* Cruise Night through historic Bowling Green to the Holley plant on Thurs., June 15.

National Hot Rod Reunion Reception, held at the Holiday Inn University Plaza's Bowling Green Convention Center ballroom on Friday evening, June 16. Open to everyone at no charge, it's a tribute to the Reunion's Grand Marshal and Honorees and a chance for fans to meet some of drag racing's heroes.

* Parish Heacock Pit Pass Barbeque on Saturday afternoon, June 17, in a special tent.

* Cacklefest on Saturday evening, where nitro-burning historic, front-engine top-fuel dragsters and other classic race cars are push started just like in the "old days."

* The Swap meet and Reunion Midway filled with manufacturer exhibits and demonstrations

* A separate amusement park with rides and games for all ages, including a brand-new roller coaster, adjacent to the park.

Information, including a full activities schedule, entry forms and tickets, is available through the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at http://museum.nhra.com or by sending a post card or note to NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, P.O. Box 2345, Pomona, Calif. 91769. Requests can be emailed to themuseum@nhra.com.

Proceeds of the Holley Hot Rod Reunion, presented by DuPont Automotive Finishes, will benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

Named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing more than half a century of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds.

The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave. in Pomona, Calif. For further information call 909/622-2133 or visit http://museum.nhra.com.

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