January 7, 2013
It’s been a tad to cold outside to be playing so that was a good excuse this last week to sit at the computer with a little heater aimed at the feet.
I will also have to admit that during the week we attended an S.C.T.A. Board meeting, visited a couple of our friendly automotive book stores dropped some bucks for more shelf liners and had a nice breakfast Saturday morning with about thirty car nuts.
It also happened that they had a little drawing at breakfast above and I ended up the recipient of a color photo taken from the camera of Charles Fawcett. Charles said he had taken the shot at the Pomona Drag Strip way back in 1955. Better yet it was of a mystery car that we had gotten a different shot of awhile back from contributor David Selway. I’ve included David’s shot as our first image today so you can see how cool the car looked. (DSC_073). I called it a mystery shot initially because we could never make out the name on the side of the car clear enough to put it in wrighting. The shot that I received this weekend was from another angle and the hood graphics could be clearly read, it said So-Cal like in Speed Shop. Mr. Selway’s shot was a slide that was dated 2-55 that he’d identified as being taken at Santa Ana so we now had two shots of a car from close to the same date.
We are constantly adding reference materials to our archives to help us out of predicaments just like this one. I shuffled through a pile of DVD’s and pulled out our recent acquisition of Drag News Volume One, 1955 to 1961 from the folks at Standard 1320 Productions. I popped the DVD in the computer to see if we were going to have any luck on our figure out who it is adventure. I clicked on the first issue of the News and it read March 4, 1955. Were we going to find something? There were some results from a Feb. 20 meet at Pomona but nothing I could use. I clicked on issue Number 2 and there were results from the March 6 Pomona event. Well guess what, there was a picture of our mystery car and a caption with it. It read- Glen Kindred and Lyle Arizaga, two of the four owners of the “So-Cal” Dragster. Engine is a 5/16 by stock Blown Ardun Merc. How cool was that. Reading the story on the event it mentioned that the driver of the Class A Dragster was a Mr. Glen Kindred. We had three for four now. Way cool. Being a glutton for punishment I checked the next issue to and it listed Mr. Kindred as the winner in Class A of the March 27 Pomona races with a speed of 128.00 mph. We were on a roll now. I couldn’t resist so it was on to the next issue and April 3 results. I couldn’t find our car listed but it seems that one Mickey Thompson running in the same class had turned a lap at 137.87 mph. A little speculation says that nine mph added in a weeks time by Thompson’s streamlined rail probably put our boys car on the trailer for good. We will be on the lookout for more info to substantiate our theory. The AHRF thanks Charles Fawcett for the clue.
Meanwhile back at the foot-warmer and scanner we tackled 30 new George Callaway shots that were taken at Ontario Motor Speedway back on November 22, 1970 at the very first event they called the Supernationals. First up is GCC_187 that shows Don Moody in his Cerny-Lins-Moody Top Fueler doing a burnout before taking on Tommy “The Watchdog” Allen in the second round. “Mood” went on to win with just a little controversy about a staging incident before beating Tommy. Since we don’t have issues of National Dragster at had we had to go to the Feb ‘71 issue of Hot Rod for our info. Note the two aircraft behind the staging barrier that were part of the “Show”.
Show rhymes with Snow so lets have a look at Mr. Gene Snow in his Candy Apple Red Dodge called “Rambunctious” as he warms up his tires up before a blast down the track. After wins at the Summernationals and and the World Finals Gene continued with his luck and was top dog at this meet too with a speed of 214.28 mph in 6.95 seconds. If you look closely you will see a Cyclone Headers sticker on the top of the right front fender. At the time this company was owned by friend and AHRF contributor Chet Knox. Real small world, huh!
Our last Supernationals shot for today shows Sush Matsubara doing a burnout the obligatory burnout. His partner in the Exhibition Engineering-Nye Frank built Candy Apple Red Camero AA/FC was none other than former lakes and Bonneville racer Joe Pisano. During the first round against the Candies & Hughes ride all hell broke loose as Sush got more than sideways before he rolled it and ended up on the wall upside down then finishing his lap as the car tore itself apart. The $15,000 five week old car was now nothing more than trash as Sush climbed out and walked away. For a little more info and the destruction shots see the February ’71 issue of Hot Rod Magazine.
Backing up a couple of years to March 17, 1968 George takes us to the infield of Hanford Motor Speedway and the California 200 Champ Car Race (GCC_202). Our boys are caught dicing for position at the beginning of the 134 lap, 201 mile race on the Northern California 1.5 mile paved oval. In car number 2 we see Mario Andretti who started in third spot and only lasted 40 laps before the Ford V8 powered Brawner waisted a halfshaft. He was credited with a 23rd finishing position. In car number 25 we see Texan Lloyd Ruby in the Gene White Mongoose. He put the Turbo-Offy powered car in the fourth starting position and managed to complete all 134 laps for a third place finish. In car number 8, the G. C. Murphy Eagle powered by a Ford V8, we see Roger McCluskey who started in fifth. Roger completed 133 laps to finish in sixth place. In car number 4, the Johncock Racing Team Turbo-Offy powered Gerhardt, we see its owner Gordon Johncock. Gordy started the race down in seventh and picked up all the marbles by winning the race.
We see the old guard still hanging on at Hanford in our next shot (GCC_211). Max Dudley in his Dudley Trucking Company Gerhardt Chevy is seen leading this group of cars during the 200 Mile on Saint Patty’s Day. Max started way down in 26th and last starting position of the 201 mile race and was flagged home after completing 115 of the 134 laps. Breathing down his neck behind him is Bruce Jacobi in the number 101 Earl Smith entered Offy-powered Gerhardt. Bruce started in 24th spot and managed to complete 92 laps before a fuel leak developed. He was classified as finishing in 19th. One of the last of the old guard is Sonny Ates seen on the outside in the Bruce Holt Racing Chevy V8 powered Turned D Dirt Car. Sonny started the race in 19th spot and was flagged home in 15th spot after completing 121 laps. The casual observer will note old fashioned machine managed to finish ahead of the new fangled rear engined rides.
To break things up a little we always try and do some oddball stuff in between big groups so lets have a look at one of them. After Alex Xydias shut down his So-Cal Speed Shop in the mid-50’s he took up the profession of movie-maker and traveled all over the country shoot races as So-Cal Productions. DBC_201 shows a handout for the screening of some of his works at the Western Theatre in Los Angeles back in 1956. Note it was almost a triple feature for all of $1.00. Wonder if they showed cartoons in between films.
As I mentioned earlier our reference materials keep growing and RWC_188 shows just one of our new arrivals in the form of a Bonelli Stadium Program from October 20, 1946 featuring California Roadster Association Track Roadster races. On the cover is a shot of Bud Van Maanum in the Phil Weiand ‘27 T. Some of the famous drivers who raced in the Hot Rod listed in this program were Indy winners Jim Rathman and Troy Ruttman along with Jack McGrath, Don Freeland, Andy Linden Connie Weidel, Manny Ayulo and Doc Boyce Smith. Some of the owners you’ve might of heard of include John Bond, Rudy Ramous, Del Baxter, Bud Gregory, Karl Orr and Phil Weiand. The programs range from four pages to well over 40 and we have a couple hundred in hand already. The fun never ends.
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