SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #25. Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller.
I'm always busy gathering info on land speed racing. Today I got an e-maid from my co-worker Henry Astor
at the American Hot Rod Foundation asking for some info on Duke Hallock's pre WWII Model-A roadster.
The first thing I did was get out all my old programs and research info and do a little digging. This is what I came
up with and sent him. Duke Hallock and his brother Jud ran a Speed Shop. From what I gather they shared
everything so I can assume the roadster that Duke ran was the same as his brother ran, since it and the modified
were never at the same meet together and both cars ran Cragar heads. It's also probably safe to assume that
both cars ran the same motor. I have Duke running a Roadster on May 16, 1937. It was number 16 and
powered by a Model-A/B with a Cragar head. I have no speed. This was before the S.C.T.A was formed.
Jumping to May 15, 1938, the first SCTA. meet, his brother Jud ran a Roadster as #22 to a speed of 99.7 mph.
On October 2 of that year Duke showed up with his Modified #50 with a four-banger and Cragar head. I have
no speed. At the end of the year the brothers ran an ad for their speed shop in the December 1st issue of the
S.C.T.A. Racing News. The shop's address was 323 North Hiatt Street, La Habra, California. In Volume 1,
Number 9 of the S.C.T.A. Racing News, dated May 1, 1939 it said Duke switched from the Derelicts Club to
become a Night Flyer. His brother was a Knight Rider. On May 28, 1939 Duke showed up at the lakes with
his Modified and ran it as car #159. I have no speed. On September 10, his brother Jud showed up with a
Roadster with a Cragar head and ran 98.25 mph. That's what I have on the Hallock family racing history, for
the moment. Here are some things about Duke that you might not know about. His modified was on the cover
of the S.C.T.Racing News dated April 1, 1939. Eldon Snapp did the cover art. The drawing shows a strange
contraption on the left side of the engine with a tube connected to it that arched over the cylinder head to the
intake, manifold on the right side of the motor. What was it? At around this time Duke worked for an outfit in
West Los Angeles. The company was involved with making radiators to cool air, not car radiators, but aircraft
radiators. Some of the new aircraft being built at the time had forced induction systems and the air was reaching
temperatures that were way to high. The company solved the air heating problems and changed its name to
AirResearch. So what was that strange contraption on Duke's car in 1939, why it was one of the first Turbo
chargers ever seen on a car. And those radiators he worked so hard on are now called intercoolers. He spent
the rest of his working life at this company and did a little reverse engineering, first adapting the turbo to trucks
and then to cars. We can all thank Mr. Garrett for hiring Duke Hallock in the late '30's. On a more modern
note, this one's for Richard and David Parks. I've been scanning a bunch of pictures from the mid '50's at
Bonneville and found one that you all should like. It features the crew of the Chrisman Brothers-Duncan #177
Class C Roadster. They are getting a trophy at the '54 Bonneville Awards Ceremony for finishing first in class.
Jim Lindsley is wearing the 200 mph club shirt with the stripes above the sleave and handed out the trophy.
Announcer Wally Parks in the dark shirt on the right looks on. Photo by Ed Elliot of Speed Age Magazine
from a collection, lent to the AHRF by friend Joe Henning. Last Friday I got a call from land speed legend,
Thatcher Darwin. We talked for some time and he relayed to me a story on how he witnessed history being
made at El Mirage Dry Lake on July 17-18 1948. He was in the timing stand with timer Otto Crocker and
recorded the first ever record set on the lakes by a hot rod at over 150 mph. He saw Howard Wilson drive
Stu Hilborn's #11 Class B Streamliner fitted with his experimental fuel injection unit to a speed of 150.50 mph.
WOW! Thanks for the story Thatcher.
Editor's notes: A story on Thatcher Darwin will be available at our websites listed above. Thatcher was a long
time secretary of the SCTA and other racing groups and was instrumental in protecting the hot rodding culture
from prohibitive political actions that would have restricted landspeed racing and hot rodding in California.
1) Irwindale Raceway 30-Year Last Race Reunion, Saturday, November 17, 2007, 10 am-3 pm. Legends of
Speed will host a 30th Anniversary Last Race reunion for Irwindale Raceway. Honorees are Funny Car
racer/builder Lou Gasparrelli and former driver/sponsor Mike Bartlett. Admission for the public is $15
and includes Museum entry, BBQ lunch and soft drinks. The proceeds will benefit Linda Vaughns Angels
Charity Program. Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Auto Club of Southern
California, 1101 W. McKinley, Bldg. 3A at the L.A. County Fairplex in Pomona, Calif. Interviews with
drivers and dignitaries who raced and worked at legendary Irwindale Raceway. Plus, cars that raced at
Irwindale, such as the Howard Cams Rattler, will be on display. Media RSVP to: Michael F. Hollander,
PCGCampbell 310-224-4981, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Bill Groak, PCGCampbell 310-224-
4940, email@example.com. Readers: Most of you are already considered Media and the rest could
probably get permission from Mike Hollander.
2) Tried to go to El Mirage today, but it was a wash...high winds and lots of dust. Heard that Saturday was
a wash too as the emergency/ambulance crew never showed up. How could that happen? Paula Murphy
Paula and the readers: Does anyone have a report on El Mirage? I haven't heard about an ambulence doing
that for 50 years, but in the early days of the SCTA there were a lot of problems with ambulences and their cost
to the organization. If there was a major disaster, the police or fire marshals could order all ambulence companies
to reroute to new destinations. Warren, do you know? Does anyone want to file a report on the lakes after each
meet? We will post what you send to us on land speed racing from anywhere in the world.
3) What could I do as a volunteer? Now that I am retired, I need something to do other than read and sleep.
Readers: This is an actual email, but I left the name off as it is the message that is important. The purpose of the
Society of Land Speed Racing Historians is to rescue books, photographs, trophies, artifacts, memorabilia, oral
histories and anything else related to land speed racing and hot rodding as it developed from the very first days of
the automobile to the very present. Many of you are already doing that and working with foundations and museums
to find a home for our past. The very FIRST thing that EACH of you can do is write your own history. My dad
started, but never got very far and what a huge loss that was. Start with your grandparents, where they were from
and what they did and then go on to your parents and then yourself and finally your children. Write the story in
detail and leave nothing out. This is the raw material from which other historians and researchers will mine for
valuable clues as to how the hot rod culture grew and developed. Some of it will bear heavily on how land speed
racing developed and blossomed. Secondly, go through all your photographs and do captions. They can be short
or long depending on the photograph. There is NO caption that is TOO LONG. Write the caption on an acid free
piece of paper and glue or tape it with two way tape to the edges, not the middle of the photograph. Do not write
on the photograph if you can help it. Then scan the photographs and the captions and record them on discs. If you
do not mind sharing the photographs, send them to Jim Miller who will store the copies so that if something happens
to your originals, Miller will have a duplicate set. Enough praise cannot be given to men and women like Jim Miller
who spends his money and time saving and sharing and researching our past. Three, and one of the most important,
SHARE your memories with your friends and family, especially children. If we die and leave no one behind who
cares, then all our work is for naught. Invite your children, grandchildren and their friends to visit the many museums
in your area that specialize in the car culture. Become members of the museums so that you can enter and bring
guests at will. Make friends with the museum staffs so that you can enter at will. Go to races with you family.
Show them where you raced, photographed, was a fan, wrote articles or just enjoyed land speed racing/hot rodding
when you grew up. Take them to lunch afterwards. Make the day a joyous one and a time to remember. Be a
proponent for the cause and convert your family to your love of racing. Recapping; 1) Write your life's story, 2)
put captions on your photographs and scan them and get copies to Jim Miller, 3) convert your family to the same
love that you have for the sport. Then, after that is done, you can help us find museums and interview those whose
stories haven't been told yet. We always start with ourselves and work outward.
4) 14 Mar 2007 Subject: Message and tapes made by Ken Berg of Mission Viejo..These are not for sale.
Oral History cassette tape recordings. Editor's notes: This information came from Ken Berg, who is married to a widow of
one of the Drakes, of Meyer/Drake engines. Here are the tapes he has made if anyone wants to contract Ken
about putting the information into the AHRF or some other group.
1993 Lou Meyer, Dale Coyne, Chuck Sprague, Nick Goozee, Dale Coyne, Ross Bentley, Emil Andres,
Johnny Pawl, Frank Burany, Jim Wright, Ross Bentley 2,
1995 Al Unser jr, Alan Mertens, George Bignotti 1, Madsen, George Bignotti 2, Bill Kerchenfault, Don
Hayward, Doug Clem, EV tapes 1 thru' 5, Richard Freshman, Galmer team, Gary Gordon, Lou Meyer 1,
George Parker, Steele Therkleson 1 and 2, Fred Gerhardt, Harry Meyer 1 and 2, Jim Lattin, Don
Weber, John Drake, Stewart Van Dyne, John Drake, Yvonne Meyer, Lou and Fran and Santee party,
Lou Meyer 2, Lou Meyer 3, Lou Meyer 4, Lou Meyer 5 and 6, Sonny Meyer,
1996 Jamie Wetmore, Paul Metzger,
1997 Bud Melby,
1998 Buck Boudeman, Dennis Wood, Herb Porter, ICMS, Stuart Hilborn,
1999 Bill Fisher, Dick Jones, Ed Bautz, Fred Carrillo, Jimmie Leach, John Whitehill, Johnny Boyd,
Presentation to Franklin Club, Racer's Edge 1, 2, 3, Steele Therkleson, The Racer's Edge,
Stewart Van Dyne,
2000 Bignotti, Bob Wood, Butch Meyer, Dick Amacher, Frank Williams,
2001 Bignotti part1 and 2,
2002 John Drake, Sonny Meyer,
2002 John Drake, Stewart Van Dyne, 9 CDs Leo Goossen, Gloria Madsen, Janicek, Szymansky,
Mini tapes, Lou, Freshman, Hamlin, Tex Johnston, Bud Meyer, Tom Sneva, Ed Rannberg,
Latrobe, Alec Giaimo, Alan Mertens, Jim Toensing, Steele Therkleson, Gordon Schroeder,
My comments on Goossen tapes, Sonny and Lou Meyer, Steve Olvey, Dick Perry, Rob White,
Andrea Montermini, Missing Stuart Hilborn, Pat Patrick, Rick Galles, Tom Brawner, Jon
Beekhuis, Kay Bignotti-Meyer, Missing Racer's Edge tapes of Danny Sullivan, Jim McGee,
(The) next step involves getting together an influential advisory board and funding a report on
motorsports to lead on to a stronger linkage between motorsports and academia. (Ken Berg)
Ken: I've done tapes on-Lloyd Stehling, Dave Julius, Vance Ziebarth, Howard Gardner, Jerry Curry, Kong
Jackson, Johnny Klann, George Forteville, Mary Parks, Ralph Foster, Jim Lindsley, Earl Mansell, Dick Kraft,
Johnny Ryan, Roland Mays, John Riley, Dante Gonella, Fred Hadley, Bud Van Mannen, Gordon Schroeder,
Ak Miller (missing), and Marvin Jenkins. Maybe we can find a library to help us catalog the past. Tapes Not for Sale.
5) I know a guy who's legally blind. He was injured working on a vehicle. His goal is to set the world land
speed record on the salt flats for a blind guy. He approached me in late 2005 about PR. Is this a story
that would interest you? He currently owns a team of drag racers. Cindy Meitle firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers: Would anyone like to help Cindy do a story?
6) How does one sign up for the Society Of Landspeed Racing Historians? By way of provenance, I have
been going to Bonneville since 1961 and have only missed three times when there was a meet. I have
been (at Bonneville), a tech inspector, assistant timer under Otto Crocker, assistant timer under Gary
Cagle, assistant to Daryl Smith who provided the timing equipment for several years, and a driver. I
have attended and driven at El Mirage off and on since the late 60's. During my trips to Bonneville and
El Mirage, I have taken hundreds of photographs, both film and digital. I have several published articles
re El Mirage, Bonneville, Wendover AFB, etc. I note that many of the current members are friends of
mine. I was also on the SCTA-BNI board of directors in the late 60's. Please let me know if you need
any further qualifying information. Bob McMillian, San Diego Bob: Greetings. The back issues of the
newsletter explains how to join, but the simple answer is that people just ask. There are no dues or duties. We
are a working group, which means that our goal is to preserve history. If you do that in any facet, then we want
you as a member. Welcome to the group.
7) Back from El Mirage and getting caught up on things....I have scanned (.jpeg) images of the first pages
of the documents you are interested in and attached them to this reply. If any of these items look like it is
something you need and can use, I will Xerox hard copies and get them to you. It was interesting reading
the minutes of these meeting again, especially the March 3, 1941 meeting. Your Dad declined nomination
for the SCTA Presidency as did Bob Rufi. Neat seeing a bunch of historic names mentioned in these minutes.
Also interesting to see that some of the same issues we have today they also dealt with "back in the day."
Samples attached. Let me know what you need. Jerry Cornelison Jerry: My brother and I would love to
add what you have to the 130-some minutes that we have put into Dad's books. These records just keep popping
up and they delay publication, but we will need to have some help editing anyway. I asked Dad about why he
turned down the job of secretary pre-war and he said it was due to the pressing needs of the war. Those who
did not go directly into the military were working long hours in the war plants. Dad test drove tanks for GM at a
plant near South Gate. Then he volunteered to go into the Army when they said that they needed trained tank
mechanics. He wrote extensively of this period and my brother and I hope to have it published one day as well.
Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Glen Barrett, Lee Blaisdell, Warren Bullis, Gary Carmichael,
Jerry Cornelison, 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, Ken Kelley, Mike Kelly,
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, Mark Morton, Paula Murphy, 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, Zach Suhr, Pat
Swanson, Al Teague, JD Tone and Jack Underwood.