The Termites were nice to us
May 20, 2013
This last week is was what we call a short one because the first S.C.T.A. meet of the year took place. It was a two day event which means that all us fools went out to El Mirage on Friday to set up and inspect cars for the Saturday morning race start.
The first part of the week was spent scanning yet more unknown negatives from the early ‘70’s. On Wednesday David Steele and I took a trip down to our favorite lunch hangout, Isky’s, to do a little show and find out answers to who was in some old shots we had just printed out. After returning to my Casa I lateraled David a bunch of old cassette recordings we had just been lent that were done back in the late ‘70’s early ‘80’s of some early day racing pioneers like Ed Winfield and Bob Rufi to name just a couple. It’s amazing what we have learned on our roots with the littlest soundbites from our early day heros. The tapes are being cleaning as we speak and will eventually be added to the site and show up in more of our documentaries. The best part is we get to hear the wild stories from our heros own mouth.
Lets have a look and just one of many shots from the early in the week scans. DBC_484 shows an unknown ride at this time sponsored by early day lakes racer Tony Capana and his Wil-Cap Company. It’s a sprinter from what were guessing the mid ‘60’s. We have no clue to the location and the best we could do on a date was discovering a ‘63 1/2 Falcon Sprint amongst the vehicles scattered in the background. In the same group was one of Don Blair’s Speed shop sponsored rides sliding through a turn. The more we know about the early Pioneers the more we discover that if it had an engine in it, they played with it. We’ll be on the lookout for info on these rides.
As mentioned earlier El Mirage was our weekend playground. Friday was spent setting up our campsites and inspecting cars, old and new. In the evening it’s bench racing, quenching the thirst with a favorite beverage and try and decide which one of the many eats was the best.
After rolling out of bed Saturday morning to the songs of engines being warmed up it was time to take a lap of the pits on foot to grab a few shots before the action of cars racing started. JMC_4097 shows Burle Brown’s recently purchased ride. He and his crew came all the way from Texas to “check out the dirt” and get a little experience with his new car. The car was originally built for Johnny Lee a few years back by Mike Cook and his crew and has more than a few records to its credit. I’m sure Burle will continue the tradition and add a few more to the car’s history.
A few pits down was another head turning ride (JMC_4099). The owners took one Kawasaki 250cc and did a little S.CT.A. rulebook tweak to it and turned it into a APS-G-250 Class ride. The builders went one step further and named it the F*BOMB and added a WWII fighter paint scheme to it. The result is one fine looking machine.
For our next shot, fellow Sidewinder Logan Davis put together this classic looking roadster with a bunch of vintage parts (JMC_4098). He then teamed up with the boys at H&H Flatheads who built a hair-dryer huffed Model B block fitted with some Joe Gemsa go fast parts. They brought it to shake down before taking it to Bonneville later this year. I ran into Logan later in the day and he showed me a shot of his in-build streamlined inspired by the old MG EX 181. He’s planning a B-ville debut so stay tuned.
We at the AHRF are lucky in that we have a lot of warped friends that are also on the lookout for historical treasures that we can be add to the growing archives and passed on to you. This weekend at the lakes we were handed an old pre-WWII scrapbook with 95 cool shots pasted inside. I have to make a few thank-you calls because this one is really special and passed through many hands before it got to us. All the photos in it were shot by then Riverside resident Leonard “Whitey” Johnson. I’ll have to add that this scrapbook is lucky to have even survived. Seems a few termites decided they liked the paper the pictures were pasted to and put a few holes through it. Luckily they must not of liked the photo prints as much so there were only a few holes in them.
Take a look at Logan’s ride shot on Saturday and then transport yourself back to 1941 for the first of Mr. Johnson’s shots (LWJ_024). Looks like we could be in a time warp, both are Model A’s and both proudly display their respective club Plaques. We know that the Detonators weren’t an S.C.T.A. club and that both Western and Russetta used El Mirage before the war where this shot was taken so we have some research to do before trying to figure out the owner of this ride.
Our next two shots are also from the new-old scrapbook. First up e see Euchi Matsuo of the Albata standing next to his number 20 Model A Roadster at Muroc in 1941(LWJ_006). Euchi ran a Ford V-8 flattie under the hood of his ‘31 that featuring milled heads. In June we have him turning 102.50 mph, in July we have him at 99.45 mph, for August we don’t have a speed and in September we have him at 100.11 mph. In this shot we couldn’t figure out the number on the Howard’s Top Shop sponsored entry out of Culver City on the left but never fear, our next shot LWJ_015 solved the problem. We can clearly see the number 153 on the background roadster now. This car just happened to belong to a Bungholer member by the name of Dick Butler. A quick look back to _006 reveals a guy standing next to the roadster wearing a Bungholers jacket. Could this be Mr. Butler? A quick check of 1941 programs revealed Dick entered his car at the June and August races that year. He ran a speed of 91.09 mph in August. The ride was powered by a banger fitted with a Super Winfield head. Better yet we also get a glimpse of Euchi’s 21 studder with aluminum heads and dual 97′s that was covered by the solid sidepanel in the previous shot as well as the V-8 painted on the cowl.
We drug out one of our Don Montgomery books as a cross reference and found a shot of Euchi from the same year. Don’s shot showed the car with black wall tires. By cross referenceing the two cars and dates they ran we’re pretty sure that both the pictures were shot at the August 24th meet.
That’s the great thing about having as many shots as you can get because what you don’t see in one pix will be revealed in another and help solve a mystery.
A special thanks to JoAnn at the S.C.T.A. office for making all this new stuff possible.
After the meet was over I stopped at the “Mayor of El Mirage”, George Callaway’s place. He had discovered another box of slides and wanted to add it to the ones he has already passed on the AHRF. George had captured Richard Petty at Riverside International Raceway during the NASCAR Winston Cup/Winston West race held way back on June 8, 1975 (GCC_249). The race was called the Tuborg 400 and consisted of 153 laps of the 2.62 mile road course. Mr. Petty started the race in second spot and came home first in front of 46,000 fans after leading 60 laps of the race. He pocketed $18,135 for his efforts.
I Better get back to work now figuring out all of our new unknowns.
Jim’s Hot Rodding News
- May 20, 2013
The Termites were nice to us
- May 13, 2013
Some lost to history, some found
- May 6, 2013
The more we know, the less we know
- April 29, 2013
This week we get everything and the Kitchen Sink
- April 22, 2013
Just more old stuff and cars