SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #26. Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller.
Editor's notes: I print all emails sent to me unless you print PERSONAL or CONFIDENTIAL in the body of
the text or in the subject box. If it appears to be confidential or have no historical references, then I won't publish
your email. It is your responsibility to make sure that any emails, phone calls or letters that you DON'T want
made public, be made perfectly clear. I deal in volume with 5 newsletters and the constant computer crashes and
troubles only slow me down. I also reserve the right to edit your letters and correct punctuation, grammar, spelling
and obvious errors. Since my skills are rudimentary, this may amuse some of the grammarians out there. The
editor loves split infinitives. His English teachers developed gray hair in trying to break him of this habit. He also
drops into first, second and third person as you would shift gears racing down the El Mirage dry lakebed. I want
to thank my brother for helping me iron out some recent problems that my computer was giving me. Also, thanks
go to Roger Rohrdanz for computer assistance. I am patiently waiting for your autobiographies. Now that you
are members and reading the newsletters, I expect that each and every one of you will do at least a short 2 or 3
page story on your life and racing memories, except for Kelley who is entitled to go 20 pages any time he pleases.
1) First let me say how sorry I am that your Dad has passed on...what a wonderful life he had though. He
was simply put, A GIANT. I don't know if you've heard yet, but I got a phone call from a very good source
in California that Ray Brown has passed on. I believe the date of his death was last Sunday, November 11,
2007. I have been searching for an obit in a variety of Southern CA newspapers but can't find one yet. I
believe that he lived in the San Fernando Valley and was retired from the Superior Industries Company.
Can you verify this? Anyone you can call? I believe this to be true as my source was very close to Ray.
Bruce Aydelotte, New Jersey Bruce and the Readers: Thank you for your kind thoughts. My definition of a
GIANT is this: A person who needs at least 10 people to match his/her work in life. My brother and I have been
stretched to the limit trying to do only a few of the things my dad did in his life. Yes, Bruce, he was a GIANT.
Does anyone out there know about Ray Brown and did we get his history recorded before it was too late?
2) I am doing some research on a 1928 roadster that I bought. What I'm trying to find is information on
Duke Hallock's 28 roadster or any other 28/29 roadsters that may have had a Hallock windshield previous
to WWII, mainly 28's. The car currently has a standard windshield cross brace welded on and has remnants
of a gas ration sticker on the glass but looking underneath you can clearly see that the top of the cowl
posts were once cut off and there was a hole through the side of the cowl post about centered on the body
line which leads me to believe that the car once had a Hallock or Hallock type windshield on it and judging
by the ration sticker "A." I would guess that it had one prior to WWII. The cowl top was also shaved and
the gas tank relocated to the trunk. I dont know what avenues you may have that could help out or if you
wouldn't mind posting in a newsletter one week? I would greatly appreciate anything that you may be able
to do to help. Anyone can contact me through my e-mail HotRodAV8@aol.com, Thank You very much,
Zach Suhr Zach: Sorry that I couldn't get your letter into issue #25, where Jim Miller gave a fine description
of the Hallock Brothers. My computer is just driving me crazy and has slowed down my mail. Can anybody help
Zach with his question. As to whether the newsletter will take inquiries or even ads the answer is this; if it helps to
increase our knowledge of land speed racing and hot rodding, then we will run what is sent in. Building and restoring
a car is as important to us as recording the life history of one of our original land speed pioneers. Stories about a
unique method, innovation or invention is as much a part of what we do as are stories about people and places.
3) It's confirmed, Ray Brown's Memorial Service will be at 3PM on Monday, November 19, 2007 at Forest
Lawn, North Hollywood, California. See http://www.forestlawn.com/Visitors-Guide/Service-Locator-
Detail.asp?dec_id=114951&tid=27160709340127091179734. I had always hoped to meet your father
on one of my LA Roadster Show trips. I visit the museum every time I'm there and thought I might get
lucky and bump into him, never did. I am sorry to this day. But his was a great life, we should all be so
talented and fortunate! Brucie Aydelotte http://home.comcast.net/~cuznbrucie/WHEELERS.htm
4) Thanks for calling me about Doug Harrison. Mitzie and I took them to dinner and had a wonderful visit.
I am looking forward to the event for your father next year. Yes, I would like to join your society. I asked
Louise about an age requirement and her comment was that I am almost historical in my own right. I
have read each and everyone of the newsletters. Great work. If a get together happens at Jim Travis'
then that is just less than a mile from me. Regards, Kay Kimes Kay and the Readers: It is a pleasure
to have you join us. Kay and many other original 1949 Bonneville Racers were honored at the 1999 50th
Anniversary Reunion hosted by Alex Xydias at the Silver Smith Hotel and Casino, in Wendover, Nevada.
Actually it was the 51st Anniversary, but 50th or 51st, it is always a treat to meet the Bonneville pioneers.
Editor: If you have any stories on hot rodding or LSR to submit, send them to me at RnParks1@Juno.com.
Editor's notes: Both obituaries on Al Holbert come from Tom McIntyre. The editor runs all obituaries whether
they relate to land speed and hot rodding or simply car racing in general. The reason is that there are crossover
topics that affect us all.
5) Bob Holbert, father of legendary Porsche racer Al Holbert and a renowned sports car racer in his own right as
well as a leading Porsche dealer, passed away on Monday in Warrington, Pa, at the age of 84. The Warrington
dealership that Holbert started in a garage in 1951 now has 93 employees, and is America's oldest authorized
Porsche dealership. As a racer, Bob Holbert won four SCCA National Championships and won the United
States Road Racing Championship title. He won six class victories at the 12 Hours of Sebring - where his son
Al would go on to win twice overall - before he retired in 1964 after the death in Indianapolis of his friend and
co-driver Dave McDonald. In 2004, both Holberts were inducted into Sebring International Raceway's Hall
of Fame, a group that also includes Mario Andretti and Carroll Shelby. "Through his dealership and racing
successes, Bob Holbert helped establish the Porsche brand in America," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, president
and chief executive officer of Porsche Cars North America. "He was a true American Porsche pioneer."
6) Robert Holbert, one of the United States' first Porsche dealers and a prominent Porsche race driver in the '50's
and '60's, died in his native Warrington, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 12, 2007. Holbert was born in Warrington in
1923, and he opened a garage in the late '40s. The business moved to the more famous Holbert's Garage building
across the street in 1951, when Holbert started a repair and parts business specializing in foreign and sports cars.
In 1954, Holbert's Garage became one of the first authorized Porsche dealers in the country, and it continues
today as one of the most well-known and oldest Porsche dealerships in America. Holbert's love and knowledge
of cars included a distinguished racing career, with awards ranging from the New York Times' "Best Sports Car
Driver" for three separate years to top finishes in the 12 Hours of Sebring. He drove to a record six class victories
at Sebring, including second overall in 1960. Holbert started racing in 1953 in an MG, then switched to Porsches
in 1957 after seeing driver Jack McAfee pass seven drivers--all in cars with bigger engines--in a Porsche 550
Spyder at Cumberland Raceway. His subsequent racing activities in Porsche's RS-550 and RSK led to four
SCCA national championships and a podium finish at Le Mans with Masten Gregory. Holbert also sold Roger
Penske his first race car in 1958. "Through his dealership and racing successes, Bob Holbert helped establish the
Porsche brand in America," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America.
"He was a true American Porsche pioneer." Holbert later became a Shelby Cobra team factory driver, winning
the first United States Road Racing Championship title in 1963. He and frequent co-driver Dave McDonald
won the GT class at Sebring in 1964. McDonald's death in a racing accident at Indianapolis several months later
was a major factor in Holbert's decision to retire from racing later that year. Holbert's son Al helped run the
dealership and was the president of Porsche Motorsport North America. He had a strong racing career of his
own, winning Sebring twice (1976 and '81), the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times and multiple IMSA titles
before his career was cut short by a 1988 plane crash. Holbert's other son, Larry, has been the president and
general manager of the family-owned dealership for the past 25 years.
Editor's notes: The following came from Art Evans and is directed to road course racers. If any of you are
members and have not received notice, contact Art asap. If you are not a member of the Fab 50's you must be
invited by one of the members as a guest. All road course racers and fans are welcome to join the Fab 50's if
they are sponsored by a member.
7) "Fabulous Fifties Banquet, Wednesday, December 5, 2007 Banquet at the Petersen Museum honoring
John Fitch, who just turned 90. He has had a sensational career as the first SCCA National Champion,
Sebring winner, Stirling Moss co-driver, WWII hero and POW, course designer, car developer, safety
engineer and more. Speakers will outline his accomplishments. December 1 is cut-off date. The event
is at the Petersen Automotive Museum 6 pm, cost is $60 per person. You must make a reservation. It
includes an all-you-can-eat feast."
8) Re: El Mirage. Info in the newsletter is incorrect. Saturday was great. Weather beautiful, nominal
tailwinds all day (El Mirage horsepower). Had a couple of spins and a spectacular spinout-semi crash
where the car left the ground, did a 360 during which it shucked the left rear axle assembly and came
back down. Driver uninjured. There were a lot of entries, but everyone present got their one run and
several records were set. Meet called at 2:30pm. Sunday morning, no ambulance. Heard that the
ambulance driver quit in the middle of the night and there was nobody to drive. While we were waiting
around for a relief driver to show, the wind came up and blew big time. We waited around till about
11:00am and they finally called the meet. Check the SCTA web site for records and what I understand is
a terrific video of the spin/crash. Bob McMillian
9) I was at El Mirage Sunday as was Jim Miller. He'll agree, at one point you couldn't see your hand in
front of your face the blowing dust was so bad. In fact I drove by tech before I realized I passed it. They
prayed for rain in Georgia and got some. We need to do likewise because El Mirage is as chewed up as
I've seen it in years from lack of water. Dick Martin Dick: The Rain God and the Weather Chief have
already been thought of by past land speed and drag racing pioneers. My father had a "Keep the Rain Away"
tie that he always wore at Indy. I saw the tie. It's well worn and a priceless collectible that we will keep and
protect. "Indian Chiefs" often did anti-rain dances prior to the events. The word RAIN was actually a forbidden
word when I was growing up. Dad tried never to use it. He would say, "that wet stuff," or "liquid problems," or
a variety of phrases, but he avoided the R word. A lot of racing groups, especially the oval track guys, had a
number of superstitions about the weather and what they could do to control or mitigate it. The SCTA would
be wise to designate a special volunteer position called "Chief Blow away the Wet Stuff." He would bring back
the original spirit of our pioneers who created dry lakes and Bonneville racing.
10) 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: I have the documents and I'm
sharing your letter with our members. We are trying to find the correct dates when these records were typed out
and include them with the documents that my brother and I have. The results will be published and made available
to whomever would like a copy and read about the origins of the SCTA. My brother and I have read and reread
the manuscript and asked my father about what happened in the formation of the SCTA and other land speed
time trial associations.
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,
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, 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.