SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #11. Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller.
Hi all. Had a great time at Bonneville. Besides being a historian I have one of the best jobs on the salt. For the
past 11 years I've inspected the cars and also work in impound. The cool thing about this is getting to look at
each car up close and personal and making friends with the drivers. The downside is not being able to take
pictures for future racers and historians. Maybe someday when I retire. On Tuesday 102 vehicles passed
through inspection. On Wednesday the fun began and 51 go fast machines made it to impound after qualifing
for a record. Thursday morning Dan Warner and I opened the salt and had the cars out of impound by 8 AM.
After the runs those that returned to impound were certified. This involves checking engine displacement etc.
Busy best describes impound. By Friday 601 runs were completed counting spins and 41 records were set.
Two new members were even added to the B-ville 300 mph chapter of the 2-club. Jim Miller
1) From the Salt to the Carrera Panamerica. The year is 1952. Benson Ford (yes that Ford) calls a man who
started his racing career at Muroc in 1937. That man was Bill Stroppe. Seems Ford had the '53 Lincoln proto-
type hidden away in Colorado and wanted to see if it could cut the mustard in the up-coming Carrera Panamer-
ica in Mexico. Bill and his buddy Clay Smith jumped a plane to get the car and do a little road test on the way
back to his shop in Long Beach. They were cruising along and had this brilliant idea. How about a stop at
Bonneville to see what she would do. The engine wasn't in the best of shape after the thrashing it got at Pikes
Peak so they did a Banzai run to the shop bypassing the salt. Once there they literally did an all nighter and re-
built the engine including a valve job then took off again for Bonneville. Back on the salt they tried out the 10 mile
circle used for endurance runs and were blown away as the big Lincoln cruised along at 118 mph, and good news
to Ford who decided to field a team of Lincolns for the '52 race with Stroppe as the constructor and team man-
ager. Stroppe's Lincoln's dominated the Carrera's large stock car class from '52 till its end in '55. In '53, he even
helped out his old dry lakes buddy, Ak Miller with his "Iron horse." Seems the Lincoln's rims fitted with special
Firestone tires bolted right on Ak's '49 Ford chassied hot rod. The combo was good enough for eighth overall. In
the early years Bill hired many dry lakes notables for his Lincoln team. Among them were Jack McGrath, Mickey
Thompson, Manny Ayulo and Chuck Daigh who drove in '52 and '53 and prepped the cars in '54 after Clay
Smith was killed. All of these gentlemen graduated from dry lakes racing like Bill Stroppe did. The Bill Stroppe
& Sackett Special entry is seen at the Muroc Time Trials on May 16, 1937. The car was powered by a S.R.
Fronty and ran 90.91 mph with Bill Stroppe at the wheel. Bill went on to fame in the racing game after WWII.
2) Captions by Jim Miller, photographs courtesy of American Hot Rod Foundation/Nordskog Family and the
Jim Miller Collection. The Bill Stroppe team of drivers and co-pilots for the '53 Mexican Road Race is a
who's who of talent. From the left, Bill Vukovich, Vern Houle, Chuck Stevenson, Clay Smith, Walt
Falkner, Chuck Daigh and Johnny Mantz. They are leaning againsy Vuki's '53 number 65 Lincoln Capri
south of the border. Could this be the Bonneville car? Second photo; Stroppe/Sackett Special Number
25 car at Muroc in 1938.
3) Wally Parks, 23 January 1913 - 28 September 2007 Celebration of Life Tributes. "Many people have asked
when the NHRA will hold a Tribute to our father. We are in the planning stages right now and we want
to do it so that as many people can come as possible. A short tribute will be held at the California Hot
Rod Reunion (CHRR) at the Auto Club of Southern California Raceway, in Famoso (north of Bakersfield),
California on October 12-14, 2007. NHRA will have a special trackside ceremony honoring our father on
Sunday, November 4, prior to the final round of eliminations at the Automobile Club of Southern Calif-
ornia NHRA Finals. A full Celebration of Life will be held in conjunction with the CARQUEST Auto
Parts Winternationals, in Pomona, California in February of 2008. Final details haven't been worked
out as of yet. The public is invited, but due to the uncertainty of the weather, please check with the
National Dragster or the NHRA website at www.NHRA.com. Other groups have mentioned holding
tributes and as I hear of them I will pass the news on. Our family thanks you for your concern and con-
dolences. Richard and David Parks"
Editor's notes: I apologize for the attachments and hope they are readable to those who requested no attachments.
I was not able to take them out of the attachment and print them as a regular email. In fact, the only way to make
them readable was to put them back into an attachment/Word format. I am also trying to learn how to get DSL
and improve my system, but at this point I'm simply lost.
4) I know you are very busy and overwhelmed but I wanted to keep you in touch with the people who are con-
tacting us. The link to your fathers page is www.Hotrodhotline.com/wallyparks. We have many sentiments and
memories and I am keeping these emails for you so that you can have them when you are ready. Let us know if
we can help in any way. Sincerely, Mary Ann & Jack Lawford, www.HotRodHotLine.com,
5) Here is corrected logo with ALL the words. . . .Speedy Regards, "LandSpeed" Louise Ann Noeth
6) I will copy and paste all that I have (tributes to the passing of Wally Parks) so far into one email to you and
then send the rest one at a time forwarding them as they come in. We would love to carry the newsletter. Please
send us all that you can and we will archive them and add to it every time we receive sometihng from you. This
is a wonderful group and we would be proud to carry their information and perhaps let more people know about
them and the work they do. Just send it when you have time. Thanks. Mary Ann & Jack Lawford Readers:
Mary Ann and Jack Lawford own and operate the largest hot rodding website in the world and have been big
supporters of car shows, racing and all motorsports. Their website is www.hotrodhotline.com.
7) Latest Shoehorn News...The Salt Lake City Shoehorn Field Test began last Wednesday. Current plans
are that the testing period will be eight weeks. The test vehicles are the four, day-to-day, busiest vehicles
in the fleet. At the conclusion of the test, a decision will be made regarding the quantity of Shoehorn units
that will be adopted and the type of vehicle where they will be added to the tool box. Total fleet, including
city ambulance vehicles number approximately 35. The Shoehorn Rapid Extrication Tool will serve as a
replacement for the KED's now carried on assigned vehicles. Bob Falcon
8) Hello Richard. This is Terra Gengo your Uncle Kennard's Granddaughter. I was wondering if you had
any information on the trubute this weekend in Bakersfield for Uncle Wally. My family is going to be
camping at Lake Buena Vista in Bakersfield and would like to be there and also tape it for my grand-
mother Billie. So if you know the day and time that would be great. I'm very sorry for your and David's
loss and your families. Wally and my grandfather were great men and are missed very much. But it gives
me great peace knowing they are all together now. Terra Gengo Dear Terra: The Auto Club of Southern
California Famoso Raceway is a very special place in the hearts of racers and a fitting place for one of the many
tributes to Dad. According to Tony Thacker, the Museum Director, it will be on Friday Night, around 7pm at the
Double Tree Hotel in North Bakersfield, where the racers usually gather to honor the men and women who have
been chosen as the honorees for that year's California Hot Rod Reunion (CHRR). That's October 12th, and the
address is 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, CA 93308. Take the 99 Highway and exit off the Rosedale offramp.
The Friday night Honoree/Tribute is free to the public at the Double Tree Hotel. The 3 day Nostalgia Dragracing
Reunion is $20 per day per person, children under 15 are free. The only tribute to Dad that we know of at the
CHRR will be on Friday night. There will also be a short tribute to our father at the World's Finals in Pomona on
November 4th, right before the final race. The Celebration of Life, which is what he wanted in lieu of a Funeral
or Memorial is scheduled for the Winternationals in February and final details for that have not been worked out
yet. Car racers, in general, do not like funerals but enjoy Celebrations of Life events. Perhaps too much tragedy
in racing conditions them to feel that way. All family members and friends are welcome at any tributes that are
planned for our father, but the one in February will be special and we are trying to make sure that we have a
special place set aside for all of you who wish to come. We will have a trackside Celebration followed by a
special gathering at the museum in Dad's honor. Part of the problem with having it delayed has to do with notify-
ing everyone and that the racing organization that Dad founded is in the midst of a hectic racing season. There
have also been some severe accidents and injuries to key racers, like John Force and so we are hoping to give
them time to heal and be able to attend the Celebration of Life. David and I hope to see as many friends and
family members come in February as possibly can. We have found letters from many of our family and friends
that Dad received over the years and kept, as he loved you all very much.
Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Glen Barrett, Warren Bullis, Gary Carmichael, Jack Dolan,
Ugo Fadini, Robert Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Walt James, Wendy
Jeffries, Mike Kelly, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford, Dick Martin, Ron Martinez, Tom McIntyre, Don McMeekin,
Tom Medley, Jim Miller, Don Montgomery, Mark Morton, Louise Ann Noeth, David Parks, Richard Parks, Wally
Parks (in memorium), Eric Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg,
Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Al Teague, JD Tone and Jack Underwood