Society of Landspeed Racing Historians Newsletter #9   071004
 

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SOCIETY OF LANDSPEED RACING HISTORIANS Newsletter #9.  Websites posting the newsletter are:
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President's Corner: By Jim Miller
Jim is attending the October Bonneville meet and will report back on the results.  Because of the responses this
week to my father's passing and other news, a second issue of the newsletter will be sent out in the same week. 
Back issues are available from me and by going to the listed websites.
1) I have copies of the old newsletters and I will start posting them on the http://www.landracing.com web-
  site. I will make a special section just for them (on right panel above forum topics) and have pictures
  posted with the articles. I will be in a dated format so whoever looks at them can see them with newest
  first. Great publication and info to keep handy for all interested. I have a very large viewership and it will
  be good.   Jon Amo       Jon: I will post your site with the other two sites.  The SLSRH has a specific calling to
  do research and to find museums and repositories for landspeed racing artifacts, photographs and documents. All
  websites are very much appreciated and can help us spread the message.
Editor's notes: Johnny McDonald is a reporter of long standing from the San Diego, California area and has
written books on racing in Southern California.  He has also written many fine articles on individual racers from
the early years of racing in all motorsports.
2) Following is a story from a 1973 interview I did with  your dad which I submitted to Bil Moore's Speed
  Machines.  Thought you'd find it interesting but I know so much  has been written about him.     Johnny
  McDonald
    The Hot Rodder who developed a sport.  Wally Parks established safaris to sell an idea.  He was a
    hot-rodder, a builder of fast cars and a key member of the Southern California Timing Association.
    Wally Parks stood out among the many drivers who sought speed records at Muroc Lake.  He had
    a vision but he would not be able to cultivate his plans until he completed his service time after World
    War II.  Taken from the pre-war format of the SCTA, he introduced a standing-start, acceleration
    event that would eventually mushroom into the nation's premier competition: drag racing.  Still working
    as editor of Hot Rod Magazine, he began organizing the National Hot Rod Association.  When the
    responsibilities became too large, he resigned his position at Hot Rod to devote full time to the infant
    sport.  And it took a considerable amount of campaigning to convince people it was a legitimate sport. 
    In those early days, he established Safaris that would visit with police, city government and other groups
    to explain the virtues.  He spoke of two types of school kids.  He understood what motivated those in
    the stick and ball sports.  But he explained that there was another segment who devoted time working
    on automobile motors and then seeking a drag strip to satisfy the work done.  Wally waged a campaign
    with newspapers, particularly those who chose to use the word "drag race" for an illegal speed run on
    city or county streets.  And, it took a while before major newspapers would acknowledge this new,
    organized sport and send a reporter to cover sanctioned events.  "We found that as far as the rest of
    the world is concerned, they still didn't know that there is a sophisticated, organized sport called drag
    racing," Parks said.  "Our problem is to expand the promotions."  Drag strips were being constructed,
    customarily in the outskirts of town where property was cheap and there were few subdivisions around. 
    An immediate problem was that the noise of the starting blasts carried for miles.  "As the town grows,
    the property becomes expensive and developers build homes," Parks said.  "The drag strips would be
    forced to shut down, either for promotional reasons or by the noise problem."  Through the years he
    understood so well that the promotional job would not be easy.  "Due to the nature of its multiple
    competition classes its is hard to comprehend clearly all facets of the sport," he said.  "Possibly that is
    the reason the average sportswriter might ignore it.  The sport was too difficult to give a clear, concise
    report."  He said that because of this there was a condensing of some classes, putting the emphasis on
    top fuel, funny car and pro stock as the headliners.  Parks was proud of NHRA's safety record and
    would stack it up against any other sport.  "We don't have to be criticized for being an unsafe activity," 
    he said.  Wally is a firm believer that drag racing has a lot more things going for it than other forms of
    motor sports.  "In drag racing you can invite the public to come into the pits and stand beside the big
    names.  They can talk with them, have their pictures taken with them and get a good look at the cars."
    It has been a series of transitions but from a national standpoint, it rivals other sanctioning motor sports
    organizations in sponsorships, entries and fan support.  Two of the oldest are the Nationals in Indiana-
    polis and the Winternationals at Pomona.  "As far as the fans are concerned, we have a combination
    of sports and recreation which happens to afford entertainment," said Parks.  "We consider the nationals
    represent an on the job training school because most of the crews will come from all parts of the country."
    He was asked in this 1973 interview if such super stars as Don Garlits and Don Prudhomme might hurt
    the sport because of their domination.  "It is hazardous to invest too much in a small group of individuals,
    regardless of how good they happen to be," Parks replied.  "Nobody can question the drawing power
    of Prudhomme, Garlits and Gary Beck.  They are top stars and have earned that status the hard way.
    "But I think when you have 300 total drag strips throughout the country you are stretching your premium
    too thin if you feel these are the only names that will attract."  He indicated that the major national events
    can attract from 300 to 1,200 cars with no two cars exactly alike.  And the action is swift and plenty
    with runoffs every 20 seconds for six to eight hours.  He is particularly amazed by the fortitude and
    staying-power of the fans, who sit for hours in all types of weather conditions to witness these speed
    runs.  "We haven't fully diagnosed the reason for that," he replied.  "Some of the people have been
    coming out for years and years."  Wally never lost sight of his original intentions.  "We must not over-
    look the fact that the main purpose and origin of the association and that we must provide a place for
    individuals to run their cars rather than on the street," Parks said.  "We still have an obligation to the
    community and assure them that this is the legal form of drag competition...whether it is a playground
    or proving grounds."
3) This is Fred Lobello.  Very, very sorry about your Dad Wally.  We were long time friends.  I worked in
  the first Hot Rod show in 1948.  Please let me know when the services are going held.  I don't drive long
  distances much any more.  Is there some one from here coming.  Maybe some one in the San Diego
  Roadster Club.  I want to be there.  I am 85 as of last Dec 31st.  Fred Lobello          Fred: Greetings.  I'm
  going to put your note in the new Society of Landspeed Racing Historians Newsletter and send copies to Bob
  Morton, JD Tone, Jim Lattin and Jack Underwood in the hope that they can coordinate a ride for you and the
  other old timers from the SCTA.  Thank you for your condolences.  Dad, my brother and I were busy working
  on the Board Minutes of the SCTA from 1937 through 1948.  Our father came alive when he remembered back
  to that time and David and I have promised that we will finish his project.  I have been meaning to call you and get
  your life story for www.hotrodhotline.com as I did with Charles McMahon, but Dad's passing has caused a delay. 
  Plans are being made and change constantly.  As of this date the plans are to have a Celebration of Life on Nov-
  ember 5, 2007, a Monday, in the stands at the race track in Pomona.  The time hasn't been determined.  Check
  www.NHRA.com, www.Oilstick.com, www.hotrodhotline.com or any of the SCTA and drag racing websites
  for updates.  I will try and get an email out to everyone if I can solve my problems with JUNO, my computer
  server, which has been delaying my emails.  Hope to see you at the Celebration of Life for Dad.         Editor's
  notes: Photo of Fred Lobello in attachment.
4) Below is a new area of car information.  It came in from Dave Gates in Washington or Oregon, just
  an email buddy. Evey                     Listed below are the car club plaques that have been added this month to
  www.relicsandrods.com/carclubplaques.htm.  This month, I've finished adding the plaques from the collection
  at Speedway Motors' Museum of American Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska.  In all, 408 pictures were added,
  thanks to them giving us permission to copy their pictures. The URL for their website is
  www.museumofamericanspeed.com.  David Martinez sent info that the Dukes (Lote M) plaque on the 'No City
  Shown' page belonged to a club from East Los Angeles and the picture has been moved to that page.  Accord-
  ing to David, the M below Lote stands for Maravilla, and it was used by gangs claiming the name Lote Maravilla.
  He also said there is a street called Lote Maravilla just east of Caesar Chavez Blvd in East Los Angeles.  If you
  no longer wish to be notified when pictures are added to these pages, please send me an E-mail and your name
  will be removed from my mailing list.  Best wishes, Bill Junge, Relics & Rods Webmaster
     No City Shown - Tractioneers (Thanks to Richard Case)
     Not Sure - Need Help.  Sons of Speed (Thanks to Chuck Leone)
     Boston - Kingpins CC (Thanks to Butch Daly)
     Edmonton - Dragons (Thanks to Brad Hassler)
     Kingston - Igniters (Thanks to Al Liebmann)
     Lake County - Cruisers (Thanks to Fuzzy Fuerholze)
     Louisville - Louisville Lead Rod and Custom (Thanks to Fuzzy Fuerholze)
     Orange - Sevilles (Thanks to Tim Musico)
     Richmond - Coachmen (Thanks to John Witt)
     Sacramento - Los Sagrados CC (Thanks to Craig Kovarik)
     San Gabriel Valley - Chevaliers (all thanks to Speedway Motors), Cosmen, Radicals
     San Luis Obispo - Bachelors (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Sanger - Rollers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Santa Ana - Road Agents (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Scattered - Anteeks (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Seaford Harbor - Wanderers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Sheboygan - Sandmen (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Siler City - Chatham Street Rod Assn (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Socorro - Infinities (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     South Bay - Jousters (Thanks to "SoCalPal")
     South San Francisco - Cheaters (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     South Omaha - Road-Stars (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Southbridge - Stockers (Thanks to Speedway Motors), Street Runners Car Club (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Springfield - Angels (Thanks to Speedway Motors), Rod-Knockers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     St. Louis - Archer's (Thanks to Speedway Motors), Avenue Gents (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Stewartstown - Gear Jammers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Stokie Valley - Bandidos (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Summit - Prowlers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Swampscott - Peace Pipes (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Sycamore - Motor Monarchs (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Sykesville - Crusaders (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Sylvania - Knights (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Tama - 63-30 Club (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Timberville - Wheelers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Tri-Cities - Pharoahs (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Tri Valley - Classic Chevy Club (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Trouble City - Tits and Wheels Cruisers (Thanks to Terry Cochran)
     Tucson - Barons (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Tyndall - Accelerators (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Vallejo - Road Idlers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Valley - Asphalt Gamblers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Van Nuys - Fourbanger (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Viroqua - Loafers (Thanks to Larry Farmer)
     Wapak - Rebel Rousers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Waterbury - Stockers (Thanks to Speedway Motors), Wheelers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Watertown - Customs (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Waynesville - The Igniters (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Westchester - Wheelers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Westminster - Landaus (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Whitehouse - Coasters (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Wilder - Essayons (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Winchester - Valley Cruisers (Thanks to Dick Willhelm)
     Winnemucca - Winnacams (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Winnipeg - Cam-Rods (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Worthington - Lobes (Thanks to "SoCalPal")
     Yankton - Classic Cruisers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Yorkville - Drifters (Thanks to Speedway Motors), Streamers (Thanks to Speedway Motors)
     Zanesville - Y-City Custom Car Assn, Zancudos (Both thanks to Speedway Motors)
     NJ - NY - Road Trotters (Thanks to Mike Goni)
     WV- Golden Oldies (Thanks to Butch Daly)
  Evelyn and Bill Junge: Stan Chersky has a scrap yard close to Ken Black's in Lynwood, California.  Stan
  started saving car club plaques from the scrap heap years ago and now has over 4000 car club plaques,
  which he believes is the largest or the second largest collection in the world.  If the members would like to
  see Stan's collection, mounted on the walls of his plant, let me know and I will ask him for a date.
5) My copy of the Landspeed newsletter seems to have a lot of "carriage returns" (sentances not following
  in paragraph form ... each standing alone) am I doing something wrong?  Doug Stokes      Readers: Have
  you noticed the same thing? If so, let me know.
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Members: Jonathan Amo, Brett Arena, Henry Astor, Glen Barrett, Warren Bullis, Gary Carmichael, Jack Dolan,
Ugo Fadini, Robert Falcon, Rich Fox, Glenn Freudenberger, Bruce Geisler, Stan Goldstein, Walt James, Wendy
Jeffries, Mike Kelly, 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 memorium), Eric
Rickman, Willard Ritchie, Roger Rohrdanz, Evelyn Roth, Ed Safarik, Frank Salzberg, Charles Shaffer, Mike
Stanton, David Steele, Doug Stokes, Bob Storck, Al Teague, JD Tone and Jack Underwood.