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SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #30.  Websites posting the newsletter are:
President's Corner: By Jim Miller. 
      I ate to much on Turkey Day but I also got to talk to some of my hot rod buddies on the phone.  Had
  a little chat with Louie Senter, Monk Thormin, Tommy Sparks and Bob Morton to catch up on what's
  happening and got to thinking about a story Bob told me some time ago.  It seems safety wasn't such a
  big deal in the good old days. You had a T-shirt, some jeans, maybe a seat belt and a skid lid. Anyhow,
  Bob's story was about the time he crashed his roadster.  After the car came to rest all he could hear was
  his friends yelling about where's Bob. They thought he had been ejected from the car and couldn't find
  him. He, as they say, was hiding inside the trunk of his '29.  How did he get there, that's easy.  When you
  strip down your car and put in some surplus seat it leaves basically the outer body, so when you hit some
  thing substantial or roll over, the seat usually parts company from the rusted out floor and you slide back
  into the trunk area.  He was lucky and gets to laugh about it now.  This was in the days of no roll bars.
  Fast foreward to the mid '50's and imagine a '27 Ford roadster that you got from Ak Miller.  You'de
  stuffed a blown Chrysler in it just inches behind your back and now you taking off like a 4-engined
  Constellation.  WHHOOO!  That little roll bar behind and below your head is now at a 45 degree angle
  but just saved your life.  Only problem is your helmet came off in the ordeal.  Damn, have to buy a new
  one how!  Fearless Fred Larsen survived to race many more years and set lots of records.  One of the
  best all time crash shots that I have ever seen that poo-pooed safety was taken at Avus, Berlin, during
  the '59 German Grand Prix. It shows Hans Herman getting up after falling out of his BRM as it pinwheels
  to wrecking yard status.  Seems that in Europe big time racers still didn't use seat belts at that time.
  (You're probably asking what's the land speed connection here, Right?  Well, two gentleman in that race
  can be traced to our sport. America's first Grand Prix World Champion ran at a Russetta meet and set
  some records at Bonneville, both in MG's.  His name is Phil Hill.  The other went to the salt in '49 and
  drove a roadster.  His name is Dan Gurney.)  Now it's on to the 50th Anniversary at Bonneville and
  Bill Burke has built a replica of his and Don Francisco's "Sweet Sixteen" to run.  The problem is now
  there is so much safety stuff to wear that Bill could hardly get in or out of the car let alone stand sitting
  in it wearing his "Sauna" 20 driving togs.  Is all the safety stuff worth it?  Ask a then 72 year-old Earl
  Wooden about it and he'll say yes, because he walked away from his Crosley after leaving the ground
  at around 300 mph.
1) Today I saw Phil Hill as a patient/friend. What a gentleman, even though he is struggling with
  Parkinsons.  I just name the names ... and there is a flash across his face... Novi- Holland- Ruttman-
  Hanks- Chickie Hiroshima- Troutman and Barnes- Winfield- Monza and the Indy cars as he raced for
  Ferrari.  I told him, "Hey everyone asks you the same question, Phil- How are you doing?"  I told him
  to just say, "just like LUCAS!! and everyone will know that there is a short circuit somewhere all the
  time."  He had a laugh, it almost brings tears to my eyes, man locked in his body and cannot walk much
  at all.  So weak, and still always a hero in all our hearts.  Ernie Nagamatsu, Owner of Max Balchowsky's
  Ol' Yeller
2) Here are two more names to add to the list of historians.  They both raced at the lakes in the late '40's.
  Bob Morton and John Chambard.  Thanks.  Jim Miller       Bob and John: Welcome to the Society of Land
  Speed Racing Historians.  Send us your bios or stories about the early dry lakes and Bonneville Salt Flats and
  we will be glad to run your memoirs in the Newsletter.  See the websites listed for back issues of the newsletter.
3) What I have learned is that if you are using a IMac instead of a PC then what you will find is the words
  come in smaller than on the PC.  I have just made the words on the website for Newsletter #29 to a 14
  font.  Have the people who are having trouble go to my site at www.oilstick.com, and see if it will help
  them.  You could make it a larger font in your original by just changing the font number even up to 14.
  The other complaint is not having paragraphs.  Just Hit the Enter button after you finish 1, 2, 3, etc and
  it will give you a break.  It doesn't take any more space on the page really.  Now maybe that will help
  you.  You might quit using the Italization for your answer and make the question in bold - then the answer
  in regular print.  You are doing a great job - and thank you for sending it in a regular email to me.  I
  appreciate it.  Evelyn Roth
4) Hello All, Does this Society have any information relating to global records or just those set in US.  The
  reason I ask is, because on behalf of the Cooper Car Club, I'm trying to find out more about an Australian
  National Land Speed Record set c. 1960 and can find no list of past records on the Australian Land Speed
  website and they don't respond to my emails via the contact link.  Can anyone help please.  The extent of
  present knowledge is > Austin Miller set a National Land Speed Record on Bakers Beach, Tasmania, in
  Cooper T51 F2-20-59.  The car started life as an unsuspecting single seat racing car in Australia owned
  by Stan Jones and the engine was the usual 4 cylinder Coventry Climax FPF.  Miller installed a Corvette
  V8 engine and created an enclosed cockpit & rear bodywork for the record attempt, after which the car
  was returned to standard specification and Bib Stillwell raced it for a number of years.  Miller's record
  stood until 17th July 1964 when Donald Cambell surpassed it on his way to the new World Land Speed
  record set at 403mph on the dry salt Lake Eyre in southern Australia.  I don't know what date Miller set
  his record or what speed he achieved.  Any further information, or a steer to where I may find that, will
  be gratefully received.  Attached is a photo of Miller at speed on the beach.  Thanks and regards,   Peter
  Jackson, Peter@Jaxontrax.freeserve.co.uk        Readers: I was unable to copy and send the photo.  If you
  can help Peter, please send him a reply and BCC your response, if appropriate, to the Newsletter so that we
  can advise our readers where the records are being kept.  It would be sad indeed if the records were lost.  What
  happened to the old records of Western, SCTA, Russetta, Muroc, Australian Land Speed Association and
  others?  What about the FIA in Paris?  What do they have?
5) Hall of Fame Journalist Shav Glick's Books at Autobooks, Burbank, Calif. - - He was one of the most
  respected and most honored-ever, newspaper journalists.  Shav Glick, who passed away in late October,
  was a native Pasadenan and a sports writer for his entire life.  He also had a modest collection of books
  on the subject of motorsports, many of the volumes were personally signed for him by the authors them
  selves.  "A few weeks ago Autobooks-Aerobooks was able to purchase Glick's personal book collection
  directly from his family.  We are now making many of those books available to the public, " said
  Autobooks co-owner Tina Van Curen.  "Some of the books are first editions and many had been per-
  sonalized to Shav by the writers.  We're very pleased to be able to put some of these books back into
  the hands of the people who really want to own and read them."  Beginning this Saturday, December 1,
  Glick's personal book collection will be on view and on sale at Autobooks.  The books will not be
  auctioned, nor sold as a lot, but available individually to any interested patrons.  As an honor to Shav,
  who had visited the Burbank shop many times over the years, a portion of the proceeds from the sale
  of his books will go to the two charities that he had designated before his death.  They are: Vitas Hospice
  Charitable Fund, 598 S. Grand Ave., Covina, Ca.  91724 and the Pasadena City College Foundation for
  the Shav Glick Journalism Scholarship, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena Ca. 91106.  One of his close
  friends summed the man up recently: "Shav Glick was one of the real good guys in the business, many
  of us wanted him to write the story of his own life but he was always way too busy writing about others
  to worry about that.  His legacy is just that, the thousands upon thousands of column inches that he
  wrote in the pursuit of a good story.  He never wanted to be the story himself."  In 2004 Glick became
  the first and only print journalist ever to be honored with induction into the Motorsports Hall of Fame
  of America.  His dear friend, Chris Economaki, is the only other reporter in the Hall and he went in as
  a broadcast journalist.  Glick often said that his favorite form of motorsports was the one he was
  attending and that his favorite subject was the one he was writing about, right then.  He was the favorite
  of literally millions of motorsports fans.  He was a true gentleman and the real deal.  He is sorely missed
  by all knew him and all who read his words.   See www.autobooks-aerobooks.com, David Scully and
  Doug Stokes
Editor's notes: Here is another story on Ak Miller.  Dick Martin organized a tribute to Ak just before Miller
  passed away.  We will always be grateful to Martin for his efforts to honor Ak before it was too late.  Your
  stories will be published in the newsletter.  Please send them in.
6) Gone Raciní toÖAk Millerís Tribute.  Story by Richard Parks, photographs by Roger Rohrdanz
     Ak Miller was honored on June 28, 2005, at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona,
  California. The event was organized by Dick and Beverley Martin and was attended by nearly 100 of Akís
  friends. Ak Miller is a legend among hot rodders and racers. He followed his brothers, Lawrence and Zeke, into
  dry lakes racing in the 1930ís, and has participated in all forms of motor racing, including road racing, Pikeís
  Peak Challenges, landspeed and offroad racing. Ak returned from fighting in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII to
  continue with his racing career and opened a garage with his brother Zeke. He followed his good friend, Wally
  Parks, as the President of the SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) and was an avid landspeeder.
  Parks also asked Ak to serve on the Board of Directors for the new NHRA. Miller left the Miller Brothers
  Garage to open up his own auto repair and speed shop garage. Then came a stint with the Ford Motor
  Company as the racing program consultant. But whenever Ak heard of a race, he closed the shop and went
  racing. He built the famed El Caballo de Hierro, or Horse of Iron, and took it down to Mexico to race in the
  Pan-Americana Road Race in the 1950ís. Ray Brock and Doug Harrison were among those on his team, and
  they raced and partied their way from Southern Mexico all the way to the American border. Ak also raced at
  Pikeís Peak and in the Miglia Italia road race in Italy, where he is remembered to this day. At the age of 72, Ak
  was offered a ride in the Earl Wooden Crossley Coupe and set a record at Bonneville over 200 miles an hour to
  join the prestigious 200 MPH Club and earn the privilege to wear the Red Cap.
     Ak met Jack Lufkin in the early 1950ís, just after Lufkin got out of the Air Force, and these two became a
  potent racing team, with Miller tuning the engines and Lufkin setting hundreds of landspeed records. They later
  teamed up with Leonard Carr to form the Miller/Lufkin/Carr landspeed racing team that put many people into
  the 200 MPH Club. Ak was instrumental in helping many young racers, including my brother David, with advice,
  parts and engines, which assisted them in their racing careers. Miller turned to turbocharging and began another
  successful career. He made a lot of friends in this new business, including Dick Martin, known as Turboguy. Ak
  made it a lifetime goal to help others. Many people at the Tribute came to pay their respects and to tell Ak how
  much he has meant to them. Jim and Steve Shaw edited film of Akís career and made a video that was riveting
  to watch. Marilyn Miller donated the food and beverages for the guests. Robert "Pete" Petersen, Mr. Hot Rod
  Magazine, Jerry Kugel and others donated funds to help put on the tribute. Boyd Harnell developed his photo-
  graphs from the Pan-Americana Road Race and enlarged them to give to his old friend. Ed Justice Jr, president
  of Justice Brothers Car Care Products, put on a magic show that kept the audience enthralled, except for his
  dad, Ed Sr, who knew all the tricks. George Barris came to pay his respects and to note that "the car culture
  has really come along." George had just finished his own car show and auction in Hollywood in conjunction with
  Debbie Baker to raise funds for cancer research.
     Wally Parks praised Ak for all that he did in SCTA and for their club, the Road Runners. Parks told the
  audience how Ak inspired people to do things. He related how they all worked together to help Doc Ostich
  build and race the Flying Caduceus, an early jet car that helped to set the stage for the successful advent of the
  Breedlove/Arfons/Noble jet cars of the 1960ís. He said that Ak and Ray would tease each other unmercifully
  and get a rhyming patter going about how awful the other one was. They both had a comedic talent that kept
  everyone in stitches. Ak was a clever punster and could change anyoneís name or personality into a catchy
  nickname, which would become permanent as soon as he uttered it. Joann Brock spoke of the old times
  together. He had that twinkle in his eye and a kind word for everyone, and a boyish charm that never went stale.
  Joann and Ray went with Ak to Pikeís Peak, Baja California, Bonneville, Mexico and many other exotic racing
  locales and never tired of their trips together. She spoke of the one-liners that Ray and Ak pestered each other
  with and told the audience of some of the nicknames Miller came up with.
     Charles Rollins, Joann Brockís son-in-law, also mentioned how Ray and Ak would torment each other in a
  kidding way. He talked about the rich stories Ak would tell them, and referred to it as Millerís Syndrome; "for
  making a good story better." Rollins said that Miller is still collecting a small pension from the Army for his WWII
  war injuries. Ak interjected and said he was fortunate to have kept his toes after suffering frostbite in the Battle
  of the Bulge. Rollins thanked Bruce Glasscock for restoring the El Caballo de Hierro racecar. He then said that
  Akís cars had unusual names, like The Misconception, and The Blob, because the cars were nothing to look at.
  Miller brought the house down in a surge of laughter and applause when he retorted, "I came to race, not work
  on my car." Bob Corn of Roush Racing, traveled to the event from Michigan along with his wife Nancy. He spoke
  to the crowd about his days with Ak at Ford Motor Company when he was a young engineer and Miller was
  Fordís Racing Consultant. Ak traveled all over the country setting up the Ford Racing Team displays, and recalled
  how that had been some of the best times of his life. "Iíll always be a Ford man," said Ak. Dick Martin recalled
  the time a man came to him and tried to sell him a truckful of turbochargers. It seemed fishy and he called Ak.
  "Donít buy them from that guy, he stole them from me." Earl Wooden honored Ak for all that he has done for the
  landspeed racing community over the years and spoke with pride about having Ak attain the Red cap of the 200
  MPH Club in his Crossley Coupe in 1991. He talked about the days at Bonneville and on the dry lakes of Southern
     Fred Carrillo told the throng that he was Millerís best man at his first marriage. They were both Road Runners
  and raced against each other at the SCTA dry lakes meets. George Barris returned to the podium to talk about
  the days when he and Ak traveled the country on behalf of the Ford Custom Car Caravan. It was a time when
  the greatest car engineers and designers met with the best of the hot rodders and racers like Ak. Ed Iskenderian
  raised his hand and asked to speak. "Set the stopwatch," someone yelled from the audience, but the ever
  good-natured Isky was not deterred and took over the microphone. He said that Ak brought color and excitement
  to the Mexican road races that he entered. He added his comments about the stolen shipment of superchargers.
  "They were sold to Chuck Potvin, who lost a good deal of money when he found out they were stolen." Then
  he left the podium and announced, "If I think of something else I might come up later," which brought out groans
  and comments of "bring a stopwatch," from the audience. The hot rodders tease Isky, but there is no one that
  they would rather hear from, unless it is the irrepressible Miller himself.
     Ron Benham spoke about Akís record run in the Earl Wooden Crossley Coupe. Benham had built the car and
  sold it to Wooden. That car qualified many a landspeed racer for a record, and Benham has built cars that put a
  lot of people into the record books, including Ak. Travis spoke of the time Miller took him out in his roadster and
  went over 120mph down the city roads. "That was the last time I let him do that to me." Jim spoke fondly of the
  Miller/Lufkin/Carr team at Bonneville. They would have 4 cars at the Salt Flats and they were always breaking
  records and later the parties would be notorious. Lufkin was known as quite the gambler and had a mathematical
  method for winning. Sam Jackson, director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, thanked the crowd
  for coming to the tribute for Miller and said, "this is the first time that I have met Ak, but I have heard about his
  exploits, the trips to Goodwood and Millerís other deeds." Jackson went on to add, "the museum is a living place,
  a place of history," and to come back often and hold events such as the one today. Boyd Harnell presented
  enlargements of Ak racing in the Pan-Americana Road Race and how fascinating that time was. Ron Cummings
  told the audience many of his Ak stories. Cummings said that Ak raced in SCCA Road races, and had 5 cars.
  He raced against Stirling Moss, Richie Gunther, Phil Hill and Dan Gurney in the L.A. Times Road Race. He was
  very good and if he had better equipment would have been a household name. But at this race he was getting
  black flagged off the track by a referee for dropping oil on the track. Each time Ak would make up ground on
  the leaders, this referee would black flag him off the track. After the race Ak found out that the man who had
  blackflagged him was the husband of a lady Ak knew.
     Leslie Long said that Joe Reath had challenged Ak to a race and lost, whereupon Jack Lufkin piped up, "Akís
  never been beaten in a fair race." Dick Martin said, "Akís gotten a lot of speeding tickets in his lifetime. Heís an
  unregimented racer just like Max Balchowsky was." Ak made such an impression on Martin with his vast racing
  experience and folklore that Ak became the first hot rod legend that Martin wrote about for Rod & Custom
  Magazine. Ed Iskenderian, as he promised grabbed the mike. "Iíd be willing to pay for Akís stories." Ron Hope,
  driver of Don Greenís fuel altered drag car, The Rat Trap, told about hanging around Millerís shop. He learned
  a great deal and said that "Ak and Jack Lufkin were a great influence and launched many a career and helped the
  kids along in their racing ventures." Frank Morimoto spoke about the dry lakes days and Kam and Harry Oka
  and the Miller brothers. Finally, the great man himself took the microphone and though he was in a wheelchair,
  his voice was still strong and full of life and he regaled the audience with his wit and charm. "Itís been a lot of fun
  listening to all you racers," he said. The audience was quiet as Miller continued, "all these guys were always trying
  to beat me, with my reputation and all, and getting me into trouble," he said with a twinkle in his eye. "The police
  gave his mother a ticket for me, and she boxed my ears. It was 3 dollars or 3 days in the pokey in those days,
  and we always opted for the pokey. Money was really worth something in those days." Miller spoke about the
  good old days of hot rodding, and teased all those that had teased him at his tribute. Then he became serious
  and said, "If you want to know about the early days in hot rodding, go talk to my good friend Wally Parks,"
  and with that he handed the microphone back to Dick Martin and received a standing ovation.  
     Others who came to show their respects included: Storminí Norman Benham, Richard Miazga, Don Kanotick,
  Phil Hara, Johnny Ryan, Bob Keller, Mark Saxlond, Bruce Eikenberger, Jim Moran, Rory Rinebold, Eric "Rick"
  Rickman, Michael Rickman, Don Blair, John McDowell, Dennis Jones, James and Earlene Smith, Mike Jones,
  Nancy Corn, Pete and Doris Pierce, Barbara Parks, Roger Rohrdanz, Jack Gingrich, John Watt, Dan and Doris
  Eames, Chuck Nippress, Vic Cunningham, Wayne Phillips, Jim "Jake" Jacobs, Tim Timmerman, Mike Cincola,
  Bill "Whizzer Bike" and Joey Graham, Bruce Glasscock, Jim Miller, Louis Senter, Ross Haas, Rick Burley, Bob
  Millner, Nick Arias Jr, Randy Schmitt, John Della Porta, Sherry Watkins, Lee Wasden, Bob Wildoner, Ernie
  and Dion Chapman, Don Zabel, George Callaway, Jon Meyer, Duane McKinney and many others.  Gone
  Raciní is at RNPARKS2@JUNO.COM
Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Gale Banks, Glen Barrett, Lee Blaisdell, Warren Bullis,
Gary Carmichael, John Chambard, 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, Bret Kepner, 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, Bob Morton, 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,
Dave Seely, Charles Shaffer, Mike Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Zach Suhr, Pat Swanson,
Al Teague, JD Tone, Jim Travis, Randy Travis and Jack Underwood.