SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #17. Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller.
I was running around last week in Orange County and stopped by C.W. Moss to buy some '30's Ford parts.
It dawned on me that old friend Randy Ema who restores Duesenbergs for a living was just down the street. I
stopped in for a little chat and ended up staying over four hours. We talked about Board Track racing in the
golden era and some of Fred and Augie's land speed adventures. I casually mentioned about being on a quest
to search out dry lake history and you could see a lightbulb go on in his head. He lead me to one of his back
rooms filled with antique parts and stacks of old photo albums. He rifles through a couple of albums and starts
pulling out some pictures of old lakes cars and says here you go. Wow! I can't believe it. You never know
where a treasure will come from. Thanks Randy. I've included one picture from June 15, 1941. In the shot
are from the left, Jack Ingle, Howard Wilson (sitting on the front tire) and Phil Remington. All these boys were
Santa Monica Low Flyers. Howard's T is pretty crude by todays standards but fast enough to turn 88.23 mph
with a Cragar head on the B-motor. He later drove fellow Flyer member Stu Hilborn's Streamliner/Lakester
and become the first ever to set a record at the lakes of 150 mph. As a little reminder that yes indeed land
speed racing is still going strong, and I do live in the present sometimes, I've included a snapshot of Chet
Herbert's last streamlier that had more than its fair share of bugs. The wild thing about this car was the motor
and driveline. Chet whittled the block, heads etc. from chunks of aluminum as only he could. The front wheel
drive car featured three 30" Mickey's up front and a weird rear wheel steer setup with one tire in what looked
like a cast off Harley fork setup that was trailing. The two fins in the rear were to assist in sreering the thing.
Needless to say the setup didn't work. The torque steer prevented the car from even thinking about going
straight in some runs at Bonneville. You could probably even call it a motorcycle as it was on two wheels a
couple of times and almost rolled over. Yes he cut the car up but kept the engine and three tire setup. That is
now going in yet another one of his creations, this time a rear drive liner designed by the man himself on his
Editor's notes: The following was received July 2006, but sent to an old email address which I could not recover
until I got my new DSL line.
1) I'm looking for photos of my dad Buddy Cagle racing midgets in the 1950's, can you help. Buddy Cagle
2) I really like how the obits have gone, including Barbara along with Wally, which is the way I always
knew them. I hope you share my feelings. You have been doing a great job, keeping the museum well
publicized since the loss of your dad. I will send you a copy of my novel in the hope that you will review
it for your rabid constituency. A fan who came to Carlsbad to meet me not long ago hounded
Amazon.com till he found a copy of my original book, "The Fastest Men in the World -- on Wheels,"
published in the early '70s by World Publishing. In your list of reviews I didn't note it, which I regret. I
don't know how to recover this for you, but I do know how to get an autographed copy of "Blood on
the Wall" to you and will do so as soon as possible. It's on Indy car racing during the USAC period,
but I'm sure you will feel at home with the subject. -- Deke Houlgate firstname.lastname@example.org
3) I keep hearing “the car guys think we have too many classes” and we have to reduce the number of
classes. Why make this a car vs motorcycle issue? I keep asking what is the problem are we trying to
solve? Bookkeeping, tech inspection, number of entrants, track damage, etc. The perception is that
reducing the number of classes will solve the long lines and short number of runs at Bonneville and this
perception is sadly misguided. You could cut the classes in half and if we had the same type, number
of entrants and procedures, nothing would change. Motorcycles had historically represent 30-40% of
the entries, runs and records. I don’t have access to all records in digital form so some of this is from
the Speed Week Official Results. This year at Speed Week motorcycles were: 32% of entries, 31% of
runs, 42% of records, the slowest MC record was 33.4mph 50cc, but the second slowest was 50.7mph
from a 650cc HD. Who would have predicted that a 650cc would run that slow? Attached right off
the SCTA website yesterday are 2 spreadsheets reflecting 40+ years of reality, not theory, not minimums.
Not classes that don’t exist or never existed but real records. Where all you need to do was make two
runs against ALL those potential open classes and guess what? Cars 648 record, bikes 480 records,
42%. A proposal: I think we can solve the perceived problem by requiring and informing every slow
VEHICLE that cannot break 100mph, MUST exit at the 2 mile or lose your qualifying run. This is car
and motorcycles…just like the rookie run…unless you are running on a 100mph record or have run
100mph at EM (for the open class issue)...You must exit at the 2 mile or lose that run. At Speed Week,
there were 7 car records under 100 mph this year and 24 motorcycle records under 100 mph. I just
picked 100 mph, there could be a better number. My proposal would not be a rule change, just a
procedural change. Procedures for El Mirage and Bonneville will always be different because of the
nature of the racing and venue. Derek McLeish Derek: According to the Minutes of the SCTA
1937-1948, unpublished, the SCTA was tempted to buy the land and pave a runway for cars to race on that
would allow continued usage. Perhaps it is the methods and not the length of the course that causes delays?
Editor's notes: This email was received in March 2007.
4) To all of our friends....or more appropriately "extended family", I say THANK YOU from the bottom
of my heart for all of your concerns and thoughtful words. Many of you have heard that my Dad left
us this last Saturday morning due to liver cancer. Everything happened so fast it's still hard for me to
accept. In short, I took him to Long Beach Memorial on Feb 16th because he was very week and
delusional. He spent the night....then another night, and on it went until the doctor informed me on
Sunday Feb 25th what was going on. He was moved to a nursing home, and finally a hospice home
where he was in great care for his last remaining days. I was told he had 3 to 6 months left; 13 days
later he was gone. Per his wishes, there will be a private memorial service for family only. I will be
hosting an event in his honor in the near future(probably at the Peterson), and promise to keep every
body informed when I have a final date and details. It's going to be an evening of some serious bench
racing! I apologize to those I haven't returned phone calls yet, but will do so shortly. Again, thank you
for your thoughts, and I look forward to seeing all you soon very soon. Sincerely, Rex McAfee
5) Good to meet with you again and talk about those wonderful early dry lake years. The best times of my
life, when we had the two day meets right after the war, 1946 -1949. I would go up on Thursdays with
Harvey Haller and Frank Breen to assist J. Otto Crocker set up the timing lights and the timing stand.
Also we would try to choose a good course. The Lake bed was always tricky. We would camp out by a
little row of Cypress trees and dream of going fast. Thank you for a wonderful evening and your courtesy.
I hope we can keep in contact. Doug Harrisonn Readers: Doug Harrison worked for the Miller Brothers
in the 1940's and was with Ak at the Carrera PanAmericana Road races in the 1950's. His heart was stolen by
a young lady while in Leon, Mexico on a stop during the race and he married her. It was one of Ak Miller's
favorite stories and he retold it often. Doug is one that we have to interview for stories about the 1940's dry
Editor's notes: Received in March 2007.
6) DEUCE: The Definitive Documentary on an American Icon. The DEUCE documentary is now avail
able at our online store! STARRING Lil' John Buterra, Ray Brown, Alex Xydias, Jeff Beck, Jay Leno,
Billy F Gibbons and Chip Foose, Ed Iskenderian, Robert Williams, Wally Parks, Robert Petersen and
many more...This one hour documentary celebrates the history of the ’32 Ford. From Detroit to the
dry lakes and drag strips to Hollywood and the Billboard charts, this film captures the essence of one
of America’s most enduring legacies, as told by the legends who made it all happen. Full of never-
before-seen film footage and photos from the AHRF archives, this is a film for gearheads and anyone
interested in American history and culture. Visit our store and get your copy today! Get 20% off the
listed price when you become an AHRF member! www.ahrf.com/store.php All net proceeds from
dvd sales go to The American Hot Rod Foundation and help us further preserve and promote hot rod
history. The AHRF is a 501(c)3 charity.
Editor's notes: Received in March 2007.
7) Rick Stewart did announcing for me at Laguna, teamed with Bruce Flanders ... Art Glattke
"Sacramento Radio Vet Rick Stewart Dies. Written for the web by Jason Kobely, Internet News Producer
Radio personality Rick Stewart, a veteran news anchor who spent more than 30 years on Sacramento air-
waves during stints at KFBK and KRAK, died Friday afternoon at Mercy San Juan Hospital. Stewart, who
most recently anchored the KFBK News at Noon, had been hospitalized several weeks battling a kidney
ailment. After starting his broadcast career in Nebraska, Stewart became a Sacramento radio fixture starting
in 1974 on then Gold County 1140 KRAK. Stewart, known to friends for his wry wit, encyclopedic know-
ledge of country music and a passion for auto racing, joined KFBK sister station KSTE in 1992. Over his
15-year stint at KSTE and KFBK, Stewart filled a variety of roles, including several years as co-anchor of
the KFBK Afternoon News. Stewart was a former NASCAR driver, who kept a hand in the sport for more
than 20 years as the radio voice of Grand Prix events at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. Stewart is survived
by his wife Nina, son Michael and daughter Andrea.
8) Could anyone tell me which year Jack Mendenhall was born? Or even better, exact date of birth thanks.
Henry Astor Henry: Jack's son, Mark can be reached at Vvulture@hwy246.net.
9) ...The tribute for Wally Parks...will take place on Sunday November 4th. This will be an emotional and
memorable occasion for sure. We're aware that many of you will still be in competition that day, so we
will do our best to accommodate your needs. Cindy Gibbs email@example.com Cindy: Thank you
for all your hard work and preparation to make this a special tribute to Dad. There will be another and larger
tribute for our Dad in February and details will be forthcoming.
Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Glen Barrett, Lee Blaisdell, Warren Bullis, Gary Carmichael,
G. Thatcher Darwin, Jack Dolan, Ugo Fadini, Robert Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Don Garlits, Bruce
Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Andy Granatelli, Walt James, Wendy Jeffries, Mike Kelly, Mary Ann and Jack Lawford,
Fred Lobello, 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 memoriam), Eric
Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg, Charles Shaffer, Mike
Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Pat Swanson, Al Teague, JD Tone and Jack Underwood.