SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #18. Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller. Nothing received this week.
Editor's notes: You may have been wondering why you have been getting more than one newsletter per week. The
normal procedure is to accumulate the research and correspondence as it comes in and resend it out to the members
on each Wednesday. At some point there will be a lack of research or news and the newsletter may be very brief
or I might be away and be unable to send it that week. More likely, the readers may receive two or even three
newsletters a week because of volume of mail received. If that happens, I cut off a newsletter when it has gotten to
be larger than 5 or 6 email sized screens. There is no use tempting the automatic spam filters of your systems. Since
I have been recovering a lot of emails from my crashed computer system, that has necessitated extra issues. Soon,
we should be getting back to a normal, once a week routine for sending out newsletters.
1) I've seen you since then, I think, but the stay was a lot longer than the estimated four days! We were in
the ICU for about 10 days and then transferred to a Care Center and we finally were released from there
on 2 October! We spent a few weeks with daughter Michelle, who lives in Altadena until I decided I
wanted to be in my own home. While in the Care Center we made a side trip to the ER since the blood
pressure decreased from my slightly low normal to 52 over 72! They had been treating me for hypertension,
an ailment I have never had in my long life! After the return to my own digs, I began having minor dizzy
spells! So I laid out on the couch with the feet elevated on the armrest and my head laying flat on a seat
cushion, and after a spell, the dizziness went away. My theory was that there was no blood getting to my
brain, so I called my regular doc and told the nurse that I was going to check into the ER, which happens
to be across the street from the doc's office. My son rushed over from Simi and on arrival called 911. So,
Bob, the quiet guy on Zerelda Street, suddenly had a fire engine, a paramedic bus and an ambulance
parked in our cul de sac! In the ER they determined I needed blood so they pumped in two units...then
later one more. In ICU the next day they pumped in one more unit...and the next day, before they released
me, they pumped in one more! So, to answer your question, I recovered fine, but the docs tried to kill me!
Thanks, Bob Falcon Bob and the Readers: My computer crashed a long time ago and all my RnParks1
emails were lost in limbo until I got DSL. Bob Falcon had sent me an email, lost in the darkness of the internet,
and now recently come to light. It's been a year and he's alive and well, which is fortunate for us since he is so
useful. Bob is an Oval guy who raced in circles, but he has helped us out on the Boat Racers Reunion, the drags
and the landspeed groups. He helped construct the Shoehorn and he's active in the Society of Automotive
Historians. Bob Falcon is what we call a RESOURCE. And you can't have too many resources when you need
help. Hospitals, as we have seen, can be much more dangerous than the race track.
Editor's notes: Received in March 2007.
2) I will be in Detroit signing my new Deuce-75 years of the '32 Ford book at Autorama. For more info
Editor's notes: This came to me in February 2007.
3) Southern California has produced plenty of horsepower and heroes since Barney Oldfield headlined
San Diego’s first automobile race in 1907. That historic event kicks off 100 Racing Years, a new book
from HotRodNostalgia.com. More than 400 vintage photos document a century of evolution for all
forms of competition vehicles — including SoCal inventions that became known as hot rods, dragsters,
off-road racers and speedway bikes. Everything from go-karts to unlimited hydroplanes is covered by
author Johnny McDonald, 25-year motorsports writer for the San Diego Union. Newspaper excerpts
and detailed photo captions document long-gone race tracks including Paradise Mesa, Torrey Pines,
Balboa, Cajon, Ramona, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Silvergate and Legion Ascot. Hot-rod artist Bob (“Father
Of The Flame Job”) McCoy illustrated both front and back covers. The 144 inside pages are B&W.
This softbound book measures 10-3/4 by 8-1/4 inches. Touring pros such as Oldfield, Don Garlits,
Jimmy Caruthers and Roger DeCoster are pictured alongside homegrown heroes Phil Hill, Rex Mays,
Don Prudhomme, Jim Rathmann, Don Vesco, Jack McGrath, Rodger Ward, Troy Ruttman, Johnny
Parsons, Phil Hill, Carroll Shelby, Dan Gurney, Jimmie Johnson, Bill Thomas, Ted Cyr, the Bean
Bandits, Emory Cook, Jerry Baltes, Jim Nelson, Jess Van Deventer, John Mulligan, Tommy Allen,
Sandy Belond, Bill Muncey, Bill Stroppe, Parnelli Jones, Ivan Stewart, Mickey Thompson, Larry Minor,
Marty Tripes, Frank Arciero, Marty Smith, Broc Glover and Rick Johnson, among many more. “San
Diego Motorsports: 100 Racing Years” (PN 1066) can be purchased 24/7 from Hot Rod Nostalgia’s
SECURE Web store at http://hotrodnostalgia.com/Store/Books/books01.html#1066. To charge to Visa
or Mastercard, call (209) 293-2114 Monday through Friday, 9-5, PT. To order by mail, send $24.95
plus $8.95 delivery charge to Hot Rod Nostalgia, P.O. Box 249, West Point, CA 95255-0249. (Calif.
residents, add $1.81 tax.)
Editor's notes: This came back in January 2007.
4) 1/23/2007 - Photojournalist Peter Brock Injured at SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge Las Vegas, Nevada,
Photojournalist and Vintage Motorsport contributor, Peter Brock, 66, was badly injured Saturday, January 20,
while covering the SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge event in the Nevada desert. Brock was photographing
on a section of the course when an out-of-control 1600-class race truck left the course and hit him from behind,
throwing him about 30 feet. He suffered a badly broken leg, including his femur and ankle and numerous bruises.
Medical personel on site immediately rendered aidand transported him to a nearby hospital, after which he was
airlifted to University Medical Center in Las Vegas for surgery. Brock spoke to us today from his hospital bed
and is in very good spirits despite his injuries and knows that it will take some time to get his leg back in shape.
His wife Gayle, who accompanies him to all the races and who also is a photographer, has been with him since
the accident. He's expected to remain in the hospital for several more days and then will recupertate at his
Washington state home. Although Brock is widely known today for his work as a photojournalist covering
races around the world, he is also known as the designer of the world-famous Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe
back in 1963, a car (six were built) that went on to beat Ferrari for the World Manufacturers Championship in
1965. He is also the designer of the current Brock Superformance Coupe. www.vettefinderjim.com
Editor's notes: The following was received in January 2007. Ken Kelley sent this in.
5) Here are some photos of an engine an ex-Rod Rider has for sale. He has two of them. Contact George
if interested. I have no first-hand knowledge of these engines, but they look good in the photos. Summary
is from an e-bay ad. His name is George Noriega. email@example.com. Summary; Built by an
experienced racer and professional builder, this engine is made specifically for alcohol. This is a power
packed engine right for the professional racer. This has been run only 5 times and then removed and
stored. Here's what you get: Moon timing cover with 110 Enderle Pump Steel Crank Aluminum Rods
Aluminum Pistons Iskenderian Cam Mondelo Heads Donovan Rocker System Weiand Intake Manifold
with Certified SFI Burst plate and Down Nozzles Hampton Blower Crower Injector Hat With Nozzles
Vertex Magnito Zoomies Exhaust This is a dry block engine perfect for your short runs down the track.
What's your record? This complete 392 Chrystler Long Block Engine is located in Tehachapi, CA.
Tehachapi is located only 2 hours from the San Fernando Valley, 2 1/2 ours from LA, 1 hour from
Bakersfield and 2 1/2 hours from Ventura County.
6) Editor's notes: Thatcher Darwin has given me some information on the Dills Bills that would have restricted
hotrodding in California just after WWII. As soon as I can, or Thatcher can write the account, we will get this
historic and fascinating part of our history out to the members.
Editor's notes: The following email came from Glen Barrett and was sent October 2006.
7) October 8, 2006. We (SCTA/BNI) bought our mobile home in September of 05 and I am elated to report
that A&A Mobile Homes has finally finished their task of relocating it to our El Mirage site. Prodding
them along required numerous phone calls during this past year. Tiny and Ruth Roberts moved in on the
Saturday of our September Lakes meet. All utilities are now in place and operating. We are currently
operating on the storage tank for water supply. I met with Mike Simons (Bell Steel) Friday morning at 7
AM on my way to the World Finals and did a walk thru on the storage building. This was my first sighting
of the building and it is definitely a landmark. My son taking a commercial flight spotted it from the air.
With the exception of a few nuts and bolts that needed to be tightened everything looked great. Pat Morin
of Pro Line doors arrived at 8 AM to measure the openings for the large sectional doors for the parking
bays. It takes about 2 weeks to get the doors made so they more than likely will not be installed by the
weekend of our October Lakes meet. At 8:15 Tiny and I are off to the SALT. The drilling rig for the water
well arrived on Saturday while the advance work party was gathered at roads end looking at the lake that
we normally refer to as the Bonneville Salt flats. A heavy duty rain storm Friday night deposited about an
inch of water down the whole course as attested to by Mike Waters and Fast Freddie Dannenfelzer braving
the lake in Mike's amphibious Ford Courier. (BNI is investigating an air boat for future course checks.)
I'm sure that some of the water was from the tears of our gathered volunteer group. It was a huge
disappointment to be forced to call the meet. Back to the water well. It will be done in a couple of weeks.
Jay Bowman will soon finish the electrical work in the storage building which includes a few fluorescent
lights and a couple of outlets along with power to the radio tower. This electrical is on the permit and
is the last item remaining to call for a final inspection on the building. We will be doing some concrete
flat work for approaches, etc., which does not require permits. Be sure to visit the property during the
upcoming lakes meet and don't forget BLM's Annual El Mirage Trash Cleanup on Saturday. Info is on
the web site. Jim Dunn
Editor's notes: The following email was sent by Charles Shaffer in October 2006, but my system couldn't receive
it at the time and open it.
8) I have been able to confirm the rumor--there is no doubt. Two or three weeks ago, Craig Breedlove
sold his 1996-1997 jet car to wealthy aviation and sailing record-setter Steve Fossett, complete with
semi-trailer and presumably parts. If you would like more information on Fossett, see
Breedlove believed he was within sight of a possible sponsorship deal, but the offer from Fossett was
too good to pass up. Sir Richard Branson, a sometime collaborator with Fossett, is not thought to be
involved with this particular venture. The Deseret Morning News reported on Oct. 3 that on Sept. 30
Fossett drove 298 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Ron Main's EcoFire streamliner to gain some LSR
driving experience. http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view2/1,4382,650195707,00.html?textfield=Fossett
Breedlove will remain involved with the car and the record attempts, though not as owner nor primary
driver. I think that his role could be characterized as team operations director, consultant, designer,
and driving instructor/coach. He has opened a shop facility in Reno to serve as the project base. The
car will probably be moved there within the next few weeks. Presumably a crew of mechanics and
technicians will be hired. I do not know if the car will continue to be called the "Spirit of America" nor
do I know of the planned color scheme. It is anticipated that the cockpit and perhaps some of the body
will have to be modified to allow Fossett adequate room to sit in the car; he is somewhat larger than
Breedlove. The planned venue for running the car will not be the Black Rock Desert. More than a year
ago, Breedlove located another dry lakebed in Nevada of suitable length. It is on BLM land, but there
is no public access. Access is only possible via privately-owned ranchland. He has secured agreements
from the ranchers for the team's access. This will allow them to control access as necessary to avoid
safety issues with large crowds. The location is secret--I do not know any more about it. We may not
be able to see the runs. I hate to hear of Craig having to give up part of his dream, but as an LSR fan
it is good news that the car may be run again with possible record attempts 11 months from now (just
my guess). He remains firmly convinced that the car is easily capable of speeds above 800 mph. In
1998-2000, considerable work was done on the frame to straighten it from damage done by the world's
fastest U-turn accident in Oct. 1996. Some other aerodynamic modifications have also been made, and
there may be further modifications that are planned but not yet implemented. Charles Shaffer
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.