DryLakes Hall of Fame
President's Corner: By Jim Miller.
Merry Christmas everyone. We started this thing because we love Land Speed Racing and want to thank you for your support. Like anything new we've had our growing pains but being of the racer mentality we'll fix them if we haven't already. It's our job to preserve and collect the history of go fast jobs, whatever form they take so lets all make a resolution to do just that this coming year. Find a vehicle that drops your socks and find out as much about it as you can and write a story for the newsletter. Happy New Year
Editorial: The Newsletter needs articles about land speed racing and hot rodding. Another goal of the newsletter is to find and save the records achieved in the last century of land speed racing. It is strange that the FIA in Paris holds the records of a small minority of overall land speed records. The SCTA, BNI, Russetta, Western, Muroc, Bell and numerous other timing associations have timed, recorded and sanctioned more records in one year than the FIA has done in over a century. The question therefore is "what good is a sanctioning and record keeping organization that neither sanctions nor keeps very many records?" We need the history of all the timing associations and copies of their records in order to hold and store. Do we know what records were set in 1940? Or, what records were set in 1957? How can we claim to be a historical society and have no history to relate? Happy Holidays to you all, the Editor.
1) Since Ed Justice crowed about his MPG Award, Iím gonna chime in as well. In the Photography Category: the judges thought my "Salton Sea Roadster" image that appeared in the June 2007 Goodguys Gazette was the best for the year. What a delight it was to have a land speed car snap up the top honors. I championed over an image of a Lamborghini! I include the background on the competition for those who may not have known Dean. The Dean Batchelor Award Excellence in Automotive Journalism
Established by the Motor Press Guild in 1995, the Dean Batchelor Award recognizes excellence in automotive journalism as exemplified by the man it is named afteróDean Batchelor. The Award singles out individuals demonstrating outstanding achievement in the profession of automotive journalism. Each year MPG presents the Dean Batchelor Award to the journalist judged to have produced the single piece of work which best represents the professional standards and excellence demanded by Dean Batchelor during his life as an editor, writer, and chronicler of the automotive industry. In addition, the Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award, selected separately by the Motor Press Guild Board of Directors, is presented on a case-by-case basis to individuals for outstanding contributions to the automotive communications industry. The Dean Batchelor Award was first presented posthumously to Dean Batchelor in 1995 for his seminal book on hot rodding, The American Hot Rod, which was published after his death in 1994. The career of Dean Batchelor spanned many disciplines, from aircraft builder, B-17 flyer, to race car driver and automotive journalist. He was the consummate historian, editor, racer, designer, and hot rodder. Dean's passion for automobiles led him to editing positions at Hop Up and Road & Track magazines. In the late 1970s, Dean began writing such signal books as Ferrari: The Early Berlinettas & Competition Coupes, Ferrari: The Early Spyders & Competition Roadsters, and Ferrari: The Gran Turismo & Competition Berlinettas. He went on to produce a series of other specialty books and buyer's guides. His last book, The American Hot Rod, was published posthumously and, in 1995, received the first Dean Batchelor Award, presented to Dean's widow, Pat. Whatever he was involved in, Dean did it with style and with the highest ethical and professional standards. From those who worked with and for him, Dean expected the best, and they willingly gave it, knowing he only accepted the best from himself. Of course, Dean's best was difficult for most other people to match.
Following his death in 1994, to honor his memory and contributions to the automobile industry, the Motor Press Guild established the Dean Batchelor Award. The Award singles out persons demonstrating outstanding achievement in automotive journalism and communications. Each year the Motor Press Guild presents the Dean Batchelor Award to the journalist judged to have produced the single piece of work which best represents the professional standards and excellence epitomized by the career and life of Dean Batchelor. In addition, the Dean Batchelor Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to individuals on a case-by-case basis and is selected by the MPG Board of Directors for outstanding contributions to the automotive industry. As of 2006, the Dean Batchelor Award recipient is selected from among the winners of the MPG Best of the Year Awards in four journalistic disciplines: Articles, Books, Photography, and Audio/Visual. Entries are judged in their respective categories, with the Batchelor Award recipient being chosen by a separate panel of judges from among the four Best of the Year honorees. It is the goal of the Motor Press Guild, through the Dean Batchelor Award program, to inspire automotive journalists, both present and future, to produce work of the highest professional caliber, and to acknowledge those who exemplify the exceptional standards of Dean Batchelor. Speedy Regards, "LandSpeed" Louise Ann Noeth Landspeed: Congratulations. You have worked hard over the years to establish a presence in land speed racing and those of us who have read your books, articles and seen your photographs know how important you are to the saving of land speed and hot rodding history.
2) May I be so bold: I almost made it to Akron. I finished second, the final race in the 1950 Soap Box Derby plus made the front page of the Ellwood City Pennsylvania newspaper. Bob Bauder and I are from the same little steel town north of Pittsburgh. I still have my helmet...somewhere. I've been a racer ever since. Dick Martin Dick: Another Soap Box Derby guy was Louie Senter. I know that I'm supposed to call him Louis, but everybody calls Senter, Louie and it is a habit. My article on Senter includes a 1935 race at Gilmore Stadium. Senter's brother was the driver and Louie was the "pusher." In those days it was a two man operation and on a level track with the driver and the pusher working as a team. Exactly when the Soap Box Derby started using the "downhill" strategy is unknown to me. Does the Soap Box Derby constitute a valid category within land speed racing? Jim, what do you think? The early rules of the FIA called for 4 wheels and an engine, so the Soap Box Derby would not qualify as land speed racing, though it was run in a straight line AND on a circle track.
3) John Fox took one of the Cooper Streamliners, based on a Mk V, to Bonneville about this time. He later sold the car to Pete Lovely who installed a Porsche motor and VW transmission. The rest is history. Fox was the Northern California importer of Cooper cars. Fox also brought the second Cooper streamliner, based on a Mk VIII, over and it ended up as Ted Corraza's Cooper-Porsche. The second car is profiled on Tam's web site; http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/CorrazaCooperPorsche.html. Ron Cummings
4) I have come upon the newsletters for the Society and would love to become involved. I am Richard Venza, the reciently retired owner of Rod 'n Race Fiberglass. Rod 'n Race began business in 1962 as Ai Fiberglass in the Baltimore, MD area, and was one of the companies at the first SEMA show at Dodger Stadium. Like most east coast hot rodders, I was allways fascinated with Bonneville. But unlike most, I actually found a way to get involved. Long story-short, I'm the fellow who talked Don Garlits into a Bonneville Streamliner project in late 1987, and was the project manager who brought it all together by August of 1988. We were able to get not only Don, but 2 other drivers into the 200MPH club, all with Flathead and/or Ardun power. Before building Swamp Rat 33, I was part of a Lincoln, Nebraska team that restored and raced the Tommy Thomson built "Original Golden Rod" Streamliner from Golden, CO. Broke a lot of Ardun flatheads trying to get that car to go 200. Now that I've sold my business and moved to Georgia, I find that I don't have very much to do, so digging and retreiving racing history is just the thing to keep me involved with what has been my passion and business for over 40 years. Best Regards, Richard Venza, 3524 Bonneville Way, Suwanee, GA 30024. Yes I bought an existing house on Bonneville Way. I just didn't buy some land and makeup a cool street name. Richard: Welcome to the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians. There are no dues, duties or responsibilities other than what one wishes to do within the group. Jim Miller is our President and I'm the Newsletter Editor. We ask, but do not require, that to belong to our group that a person be actively involved in saving and recording the history of land speed racing and hot rodding. We are not the only group involved in doing this and we cooperate with others in this process. Please send us whatever you have in the way of biographical material, stories or articles on land speed and hot rodding history. We are affiliated with 6 websites and they run our newsletter and other material on the topics we cover. Back issues can be found at the websites.
5) I was wondering if you could post this in one of the upcoming newsletters, it's not of dire importance, but I'm always on the hunt for new information. As some of the members may know, together with some friends, I have revived the original Flyers Car club which existed up untill 1945 when it became the Pasadena Roadster Club. I have a good bit of information and have been in contact with Bill Farren and also Keith Landrigan both of which are a wealth of information and great to talk with. I am just looking for anything at all that anyone may know to help me compile more history on the club. Any pictures, copies of newsletters, programs etc, that may have mentioned the club, anything at all would be greatly appreciated. I've been wondering if there's anyone who has a way to find duplicate copies of old "SCTA News" newsletters before that or any old SCTA programs, all mainly pre-1948 and most importantly pre-WWII. I am trying to complete my set to help with research. I am not necessarily looking for originals as I most likely can't afford them but the information in them is like gold to me so photocopies are just as good. I can be contacted through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks a lot! Thank you for continuing with this mailing, I really look forward to each and every one. I hope you have a very nice christmas tomorrow and a happy new year! Zach Suhr Zach and the readers: Congratulations on bringing back the Flyers/Pasadena Roadster Club. Those of us who have been involved with the various member clubs of the SCTA, Russetta and other timing associations, know how much hard work that entails and we salute you for what you are trying to do. What writers, photographers and historians do, is to simply call as many people as we know, explain what you are trying to do and ask if they can give you a few names and phone numbers to call. Better yet, ask the person you are interviewing, such as Farren and Landrigan, to introduce you to their friends who were club members back in the '30's and '40's. My brother and I are working on the SCTA Minutes book that my father started covering the years 1937-1948 and we should have it ready for publication by this summer. It won't be the complete Bible of the period, but it will be a significant addition to our knowledge. Jack Underwood allowed me to copy his extensive collection of SCTA News newsletters. It is my intention to scan or photograph the complete collection of all the newsletters and programs for all of the timing associations and publish them in a book or magazine style format for researchers to use without having to go to the horrendous cost of buying the few remaining copies on eBay. Your email has been posted in the newsletter as you request and I'm hoping that those who have material will share it with you or give you an option of visiting them and copying what they have. Underwood is our acting archivist and Historian. He has been honored by the Gold Coast Club in Buellton, California with the Historians Award and is a member of their Dry Lakes Hall of Fame. Landspeed Louise Ann Noeth has also been honored with the same award. Jack would gladly open up his treasure trove of material to you, but you actually have to go to his place to search the records. The Society of Land Speed Racing Historians (SLSRH) does not encourage the sending of materials back and forth by mail, even registered mail, as their is always a chance of loss and therefore hurt feelings. Any borrowed material should be copied and returned within a promised time frame, which we define as the time it takes to copy and drive the material back to the owner. Original material should always be copied on-site wherever possible and we encourage historians to purchase laptop computers and scanners to do the job. Where material is borrowed and taken offsite, it should be returned as soon as possible. We suggest no more than one week. Our reputations as historians is at stake whenever one of our members, or any other historian, borrows material for research. The SLSRH was created EXACTLY for this purpose, to save documents and photographs from destruction and to make them available for researchers. Another purpose of the SLSRH was to interview and record the histories of our few remaining pioneers in land speed racing and early hot rodding. Jim Miller and I would be glad to talk to you by phone if you would like to talk to us. While email addresses and phone numbers are guarded in the newsletter, my email address and phone number are always available since I cannot effectively put out the newsletter without being more available to the members. My phone number is 714-963-3557.
Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Gale Banks, Glen Barrett, Lee Blaisdell, Jim Bremner, Warren Bullis, George Callaway, Gary Carmichael, John Chambard, Jerry Cornelison, G. Thatcher Darwin, Jack Dolan, Ugo Fadini, Bob Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Don Garlits, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Andy Granatelli, Walt James, Wendy Jeffries, Ken Kelley, Mike Kelly, Bret Kepner, Kay Kimes, Jim Lattin, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford, Fred Lobello, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don McMeekin, Bob McMillian, Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Bob Morton, Mark Morton, Paula Murphy, Louise Ann Noeth, Frank Oddo, David Parks, Richard Parks, Wally Parks (in memoriam), Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg, Dave Seely, Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Zach Suhr, Pat Swanson, Al Teague, JD Tone, Jim Travis, Randy Travis, Jack Underwood and Tina Van Curen, Richard Venza.