2020… What a Year

We are certainly hoping all is well out there in hot rod land. No doubt there were quite a number of readers who were caught up in these fires. The publisher was in the line of fire and evacuated as well. If you are reading this, then we at least got some kind of an issue out. Just that, is an amazing accomplishment during these natural disasters and extreme declining economy.

It appears that it is the Covid condition that is doing the worst damage to the automotive industry. Motorsports will never be the same again. The electric vehicle industry is making major inroads during this time. It looks like we may be entering into a new era of shared ridership where fewer and fewer citizens will actually own their own car.

In the performance sector we are seeing more and more of these EVs running quarter mile ETs in the 9s and showing impressive performance on road courses and places like Pikes Peak. They are coming at us from every angle, that is for sure.

Along these lines, the guys over at Racing Junk have been making some noise about a leaked document from GM concerning the C8 Corvette. It speaks of a hybrid model coming out in 2023 that will feature what they call, eAWD for all-wheel drive. They are saying this one will be the fastest of all time when under full power!

In other news, you know it’s bad when shows like the SEMA show, PRI Show and Drag Week are cancelled. At press time however there is a second Rocky Mountain drag tour scheduled. This will be meant to take the place of the canceled Drag Week. The LS fest was also pulled off. This was a crazy event featuring all kinds of LS powered vehicles involved in all kinds of crazy merriment.

The LS Fest is featured prominently in the new eMagazine put out by Holley. Motor Life Digital Magazine will feature excerpts of the latest in car culture.

Well GearHeads as cool car season winds down, we are certainly wishing the best of luck to those of you who have been affected by this outrageous year of 2020. Sure am hoping there were not too many cool hot rods destroyed by these fires! Do your best to keep on keepin’ on—and stay free.

Recommended Reading

We are all spending more time alone these days and it is easy to slip into a funk. Perhaps what you need is a good read. Fortunately I have assembled my own library of hot rod and racing books to help me through these dark times. I have chosen five books to recommend that I found humorous as well as entertaining. Enjoy!

They Call Me Mister 500 by Andy Granatelli (1969). This is among the oldest books on my shelf and one of my favorites. It was given to me by my Aunt Ruthie who was very supportive and encouraged anything her nieces and nephews were passionate about. Interestingly, this book was published the year Granatelli won his first Indy 500 but ends at the conclusion of the ’68 racing season. So we learn all about the Granatelli brother’s early days; growing up in Chicago, opening a garage, becoming a distributor of speed equipment, promoting races and finally competing in the Indy 500. Would you believe they drove their first entry from Chicago to Indianapolis? The story of Andy attempting to qualify the racecar himself is an absolute classic- I still laugh about it. The chapters regarding his efforts to resurrect the Novi marque and revolutionize the sport with his turbine cars are very informative yet heart breaking. As corny as it sounds, this book changed my life in many ways. I recommend it to everyone.

Stand On It by Stroker Ace (1973). Yeah, this was made into a bad Burt Reynolds movie but if you hold that against it, you’ll miss out. This fictional story (written by Bill Neely under an alias) is based on the true to life exploits of Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Linda Vaughn and others. It was a time when big money was just beginning to permeate the sport but political correctness didn’t yet exist. This book is raunchy and dated, but fun. It’s fiction but if you know the history, it isn’t much of a stretch.

Cannonball! by Brock Yates (2002). I know! Another bad Burt Reynolds movie! But the story of this cross country race is true and Yates was a participant. In fact, he won it in 1971 in a Ferrari Daytona partnered with professional racer Dan Gurney. Yates published the story of his maiden voyage in Car and Driver that year when I was a wee lad/subscriber. When I read his report, it blew my mind! I loved the story so much I gave a speech on it in my middle school English class. Yates raced again in ’72,’75 and in the final edition held in ’79. The book covers the entire history of the event and though it didn’t make me laugh out loud, I smiled throughout. Yates also wrote the screenplay for the original Cannonball! movie and to his credit wanted Steve McQueen to star. I think we can all agree that it would have been a different movie with McQueen rather than Reynolds at the controls.

Sunday Money by Jeff McGregor (2005). I wish I could remember who recommended this one to me because it made me laugh the hardest. McGregor is a racing outsider that purchased a motorhome and followed the NASCAR tour when it was at the peak of popularity. Obviously well-educated and highly literate McGregor takes it all in and shares his observations with the reader. Sometimes he is critical about what he sees but I think he is fair. He doesn’t simply slam your average, working class fan- he digs deeper. He seems to understand why people become passionate about auto racing. At times his musings are downright poetic.

Cages Are For Monkeys by Kevin Olson (2016). The title refers to a transition in Midget car racing for safety reasons. When Olson began racing Midgets only a simple roll bar (or hoop) behind the driver’s head was required; today’s drivers are completely surrounded by a roll cage and it’s changed the way they drive. My first exposure to Olson was in Open Wheel magazine. There was a photo of him published repeatedly in which he was dancing with a Christmas tree. Apparently it was taken at an awards banquet at which he got drunk and made a spectacle of himself. Years later he became a columnist for Sprint Car & Midget and I discovered that there was much more to him. His essays were sometimes nonsensical but other times serious and quite thoughtful. The book is the story of his life and it turns out that he is an accomplished racer…And he tells some funny stories. In the end, racing and family are the two things that matter most to Kevin Olson. I can hardly argue with that.

1000 Words

Everyone has heard the saying: “A picture is worth 1000 words.” More than ever, with cameras in everyone’s pocket and a fast and easy way to share, those words ring true. Positive or negative, the exposure and sheer mobility that a single photograph can have is staggering. This has always been true for as long as we had photographs, some just stick with us. A first image of the earth taken from the moon, Freddie Mercury playing the sold-out stadium of Live Aid, Muhammad Ali standing over the fallen Heavyweight World Champion, Sonny Liston, protesters on the streets of Selma, AL in 1964 or in Minneapolis, MN last month- these images leave a lasting impression because they are indicative of a special, and often important moment in time. This significance helps us understand and see. The language of photographs is not limited to sports, politics, news, or any one thing or any single emotion that is why each image is worth 1,000 words.

Motorsports is no exception. Through the decades of sanctioned automobile racing, there are some images that stick out. Yes there are moments, people and amazing feats that tell longer stories- but as far as single images—these speak volumes and stand the test of time as being iconic in their own right.

High Speeds and High Tempers
1979 — Daytona 500, Daytona Motor Speedway, Photograph by Ric Feld.

Arguably the most famous fistfight in motorsports history, Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison wrestle on national television the afternoon of February 18th, 1979. The high drama and high emotions of racecar drivers are familiar to those who consume the sport, but this particular brawl was pumped into hundreds of thousands of homes across America—live for the first time. Ever. According to the L.A. Times, that particular race had a 10.5 rating, or a little over 15 million people watching. Yarborough and brother, Donnie Allison’s, duel for the win was thrilling enough before taking each other out on the last lap. Yeah, Richard Petty ended up taking the checkers, but Allisons v. Yarborough hooked a whole new slew of fans and helped put NASCAR on the trajectory they took right to the bank.

Leaping Lotuses
1966 — German Grand Prix, Nurburging, Photographer unknown.

Sir Jackie Stewart (front) with Graham Hill (behind)
If the idea of one or two tires leaving the ground is scary to you, try all four. In a spindly Lotus. In the 60’s. At high speeds. Every lap. At the one of the most dangerous and deadly race courses ever in history. Look no further for evidence of big balls than these guys. If there was ever an image to reference in an argument about the bravery needed in this sport, this would be a good one. Besides the cars, drivers, era, and track being iconic in their own right, this image captured the imagination of fans all over the world.

First Kiss
1969 — Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, photographer unknown.

It has been called a Cinderella Story. Driver, Mario Andretti (right) was already stirring buzz as a talented newcomer to the sport of auto racing. Car owner and president of STP, Andy Granatelli (left) helped revolutionalize the sport with never-before-seen marketing and sponsorship strategy for the ages. Both would become legends. Year after arduous year, Andy Granatelli and brothers fielded cars without a win at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In the heat of victory, Granatelli’s overabundant excitement made him grab young Andretti’s face and kiss his cheek. This jubilation became immortalized in thousands of ads for Andy’s company and the car’s main sponsor, STP. Making sure that the image was available absolutely everywhere that money could buy for at least the following year, Granatelli did everything in his power to make STP and Mario a household name- both of which eventually happened. Andretti to this day admits that he is still embarrassed by that kiss, but he says it with a smile.

A Show of Force — 1966 LeMans 24 Hour Race, LeMans

It is an unbelievable story. Goliath vs. Goliath of the Ford Motor Company challenging the Ferrari for the crown of endurance racing in the 1960s. After a very dramatic battle, (one that has been recently depicted in the 2018 blockbuster Ford v Ferrari) Ford found themselves not only triumphant over the Ferrari team at the end of a grueling 24-hour race—but decisively so. Looking like a clear first-second-third victory, there was a request from a Ford executive for the team to cross the finish line together. This hammered in a very strong message to the motorsports world, saying ‘we are here, and we mean business.’ Cora Veltman

Magic Muffler
Photo by Ron Lahr. Taken years and years ago at a Southern California dragstrip. This famous photo is on display at the NHRA Museum in Pamona, California. Ron was not a professional photographer. Ed Gilbert

1929 Roadster Pickup

In December 2018, I bought a 29 Roadster Pickup, all stock, and taken apart.  Last December I started working on making a street/drag race Hot Rod out of it.

For the baseline, I bought a reproduction replica, of an original Model A frame, minus the rear section.  In between other projects, this is how far along it has come.  I have been collecting mainly 60s era speed parts, like the Halibrand Championship quick change, floater rear axle, and the Hilborn Fuel Injection.  My Brother Jerry gave me the engine out of his 32 Ford dirt tracker, over 15 years ago. The engine is a 355” Chevy, with 6” rods, JE pistons, Dart “Iron Eagle” heads, and it will run the injector, and a Vertex Magneto, making between 500 and 600 HP, backed up by a Ford Toploader 4 speed.

Between the fenders that came with the package, and the ones that I got from Jim Lindsay, the little truck has some pretty nice sheet metal, and I no plans to paint it very soon. The front axle is a genuine 32 Ford, and will sport Lincoln drum brakes. I built the ladder bars out of thin wall Chromoly tube, that was given to me, by a late friend. The center cross member is an important part of the chassis construction, as you want to limit the chassis flex, when dropping the clutch at 6500 to 7000 rpms.
I am sourcing some small bucket seats, and getting ready to mount the steering and pedals, along with building the headers. It will have a roll bar similar to the one’s shown above. The plan is to have a complete separate engine / trans package to drive it on the street.

With the current world crisis, we are dealing with, our events will get a late start this year but, I am pushing to get it ready for some action sometime this Summer. I hope all is well with you, and looking forward to seeing many of you, this Summer

Cruising 101

With the cancellation of Brooking’s 26th Annual Azalea Festival Car Show due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Leslie Wilkinson had a late-night idea for a replacement.

So she reached out to her friends in the local car clubs, starting with Jim and Kathy Haggerty of the Curry County Cruisers.
The idea went out via social media and before you knew it, the unsanctioned event was blooming.

Rich Wilson of the Better Car Shows team (Southern Oregon Rod and Custom Show) contacted me and we set our goal to motor on over to show support for the cause.

The weather could not have been better if you had placed your order weeks in advance.

A day of smiling faces of grateful participants and hoards of general public members lining the street, sidewalks and lawns to watch and wave as 110 vehicles cruised by.

From the very moment of releasing the drivers from the Brookings staging area by blocking hwy 101 long enough to get everyone out in one forward parade motion, to the final resting place in Crescent City, there was no political agenda or law enforcement interference, just fun for all that understood the purpose of being calm and honoring Memorial Day.
The event collected $1,120 dollars and about 300 food items for local food banks from the folks that drove the route through city streets and assorted rest home parking lots.

For my co-pilot and myself, we joined the cause coming from Roseburg Oregon and traveling more than 300 miles over the trip duration without hesitation, staying overnight in Crescent City and talking about the fun of the cruise on the way home in the morning. I mean to tell you, it was a pleasure to not be home doing chores or watching the TV.
Thanks to all that participated and to Leslie for the insight to ignite the day!

One of One

It began as a dune buggy class. When the track operator eliminated the road course and insisted everyone race on the quarter mile dirt oval, it called for a new vehicle. Established chassis builder Jim Belfiore produced a dozen frames and sold them for $800 apiece. One of his creations powered by a four cylinder Datsun mounted up front captured the 1983 track championship.

Energetic racer Bruce Kranak, never one to follow the crowd, had a different idea. He owned a Volkswagen performance shop in San Jose so his choice of power plant was no surprise. What was unique was the configuration. Whereas Belfiore had opted for the traditional Sprint Car layout, Kranak flip-flopped the major components. He positioned the fuel tank in front of the driver and tucked a hot rodded Rabbit engine up under the tail. It remains to my knowledge, the only upright rear engined Sprint Car ever built. It was truly “One of One”.

There was a mad thrash to complete the car in time for the early May season opener. The fiberglass skin was unpainted and the chassis was bare metal but the car was fast! Kranak bowed out before the checkered flag fell but emerged from the cockpit ecstatic- He knew that he had a potential winner. Throughout June research and development continued and Kranak put together a string of top five finishes. Finally on the first of August after a race long battle with a pair of Belfiore cars, Kranak achieved his first win. It had to be a gratifying moment and rewarded the team’s outside-the-box thinking. Throughout the remainder of the season, Kranak either finished third or fell out. (I recall an issue with universal joint failure- This situation was remedied when the team installed u-joints procured from an Indycar manufacturer.) In the final points tally Kranak was ranked fifth overall.

When the 1985 season rolled around the team was loaded for bear and Kranak captured the Opener. After placing second twice more in May he won his third feature with the car on June 21st, taking over the points lead for the division. In spite of a couple more top five finishes, Kranak lost the lead when he took his family on vacation in late July. Then at the final points meet of the season, the likeable veteran wheel hopped another competitor and struck the cement retaining wall upside down. The roll cage of the unique race car was crushed in the accident and Kranak was extracted complaining of neck pain. He was stabilized and transferred to a local hospital where his injury was diagnosed as a broken neck. Sadly the crash ended Kranak’s racing career and the wrecked racecar was set aside.

During the off season Kranak made a deal with fellow VW enthusiast/racer Dion LeBeau for the purchase of the car. LeBeau rebuilt the roll cage and worked out an arrangement with Kranak wherein the business owner became primary sponsor. Personality-wise Kranak and LeBeau were polar opposites. Whereas Kranak was a loquacious extrovert, LeBeau was sullen and introverted. Nonetheless, he was a capable mechanic and a veteran driver in his own right. LeBeau put together a two car effort that included newcomer John Brumund piloting an older conventional buggy (also Rabbit powered).

At a Sunday April season opener, the new team served notice to all that they were serious competitors for the title by both placing in the top five.
LeBeau won his first feature with the car on Memorial Day weekend 1986. He ran consistently throughout the year and finished second in the point standings. At the end of season 2-day challenge race against the Nevada competitors (Quincy, CA), LeBeau placed fourth. It was second highest of the California based entries.

In 1987 LeBeau announced that the car was for sale but planned to race it until a buyer came calling. Though he captured numerous heat races, he didn’t win another feature that year. Still, a string of consistent placings (ten top fives during the regular season) earned him his first championship. One night in July, fearing his mount had a terminal engine problem, LeBeau switched cars with his teammate Brumund and Brumund became the third different driver to win a feature with the car. When the team made the long tow to Quincy at season’s end, LeBeau led the California contingency with a solid fifth place finish.

Without a potential buyer on line, LeBeau decided the campaign the car himself in 1988 in what turned out to be his home track’s last year of operation. On May 27th he won his second feature with the car and repeat on June 10th, tying Kranak’s record. Unfortunately LeBeau crashed the car heavily a month later and finished the season sixth in the points. In post season action the car was cobbled back together but crashed again on October 15th and couldn’t be repaired in time to make the annual trip to Quincy.

At the conclusion of 1988, a new club for the four cylinder Sprint Cars was formed (SORA) and a traveling schedule assembled. LeBeau chose to participate only in the events relatively close to his San Jose home- two at Antioch Speedway and two at Watsonville. By now his racer had five full seasons of wear plus three grueling crashes in its lifespan. LeBeau qualified fourth fastest at Antioch and finished fourth in the feature but the highlights reel ended there. In 1990 LeBeau kept the car at home.

In 1991 LeBeau made his final appearances with the car. The records show that on July 20th at Antioch LeBeau was scored tenth in the B Main. Five weeks later the car was fifth in one of three Heats, earning a transfer to the feature but likely didn’t take the green flag. After that, I never saw LeBeau or the unique car again.

In a perfect world, Bruce Kranak’s successful brainchild received the ground-up restoration it deserved. With seven feature wins and one championship to its credit, it certainly deserves some recognition.

1970 Mac’s IT Rotax Special — Four Engines, Four Wheel Drive

The Can-Am Racing series was an open comp, run what you brung. There were cars that were very successful such as McLarens and Porsches. Then there were cars that were creative. The AVS Shadow with its tiny tires ran, but always seemed to have problems. The Chaparral 2J, was built with a snowmobile engine connected to a fan to suck the air out from under the car in order to create a vacuum. It ran so well it was banned.

These were cars that the designers and builders thought of outside the box. In that time came Jack Hoare, an ex-Shelby American engine builder and crew worker. Jack raced in the Can-Am series in an older McLaren that was Ford-powered. He thought, “How about lighter with better traction?

How about 4 smaller engines, located at each tire, for better weight distribution and better traction?”

The car is sponsored by Mac’s Super Gross Company manufacturing chemicals, products for automobiles, hand cleaners and other items. That is where the name came from. In the name MAC’S IT, the IT comes from Innovation Racing with Jack Hoare.

The car was built around four two-cylinder, two-cycle 775cc Rotax snowmobile engines producing 110 hp each for a total of 440 hp in a car that weighed approximately 1200 pounds. The four engines have two in the front and two in the rear. With a complicated drivetrain system, centrifugal clutches come off the engine’s driving belts through a variable ratio pulley system. These connect to a modified VW transaxle that provide power to the wheels. The same system on both front and rear engines are connected together by a balance shaft. There were problems with push me, pull you action and trying to get everything synchronized. The car did have some power loss due to the drive system.
Now comes testing, at the Orange County Speedway which is a dragstrip. The team set up cones on the strip to resemble a road course. Just about every time test driver Hiroshi Fushida would accelerate hard the balance shaft would twist and break with a loud bang. They eliminated the balance shaft, so the two front engines and the two rear engines ran separately from each other. This made the car more reliable but still had the synchronization problem.

Off to the races: the Can-Am race at Laguna Seca. With a few practice laps the car stayed together, but it was smokey and noisy, sounding like a herd of chainsaws. Now came time for qualifying. The driver Hiroshi Matsushita recorded a lap at 1 minute 29.4 seconds. That was 18.6 seconds behind the slowest qualifier. The pole-sitter was Vic Elford with a time of 58.8 seconds driving the Chaparral 2J. At that rate, Hiroshi would be lapped by the leader about every three laps. The Mac IT Special did not qualify for the race and, unfortunately, the Mac IT was never to be seen again.

Even though it did not qualify, it just goes to show the ingenuity of people like Jack Hoare that think outside the box. Others that try something different don’t do as well as everyone else and some do far better than expected. Oh, by the way, one car that did far better was the Chaparral 2J , the sucker car that was later banned from racing.

And the Beat Goes On

Greetings GearHeads and GearHeadettes. What a year this has been, eh? By now we would be hitting all kinds of cruise-ins and all kinds of racing would be going on. Except as of press time, there is nothing going on!

So who knows what is coming? I will not even digress.

National collector car day is coming right up—July  10. There won’t be a whole lot happening. Perhaps you could fire up your hot rod for a moment of noise or something?

So I did take notice of a number of pretty cool car events which consisted of people driving their cars and staying in them. Heard there was some big ones. So could drive in theaters be making a comeback?
So did anyone see Jay Leno driving around in a Cybertruck with Elon Musk? They were last seen disappearing down some tunnel.

Oh and now this: Tesla car makes Edmunds Top 10 Muscle Car List! A four-door electric car? My, my—times, they are a changin’  And then there was the new Tesla Roadster. The MuskFather is adding a rocket thruster behind the rear license plate, James Bond style! Sounds like it is going to be the fastest, factory street car on earth!

So I should mention The FarSight Viewers again. Remember… The ones that report on the news before it happens. So, one of their top remote viewers reported on a gunship taking a missile strike. Well, it happened on the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. I have been there. Yes, not that long ago I was a US Merchant Marine sailing the world. Yes, I was a driver of ships once upon a time.
Anyway, it was a friendly fire incident between 2 Iranian warships conducting war games on May 11. And let me tell you, there were some unhappy Ayatollahs over there. The rest of the remote viewers were all predicting a bunch of rioting. I will say they sure hit that nail on the head, ya think?

Here is something else to think about. This brave new digital world that we are all running towards, head over heels… Cybersecurity is what I often think about – hackers. Anyway, Honda was forced to close a number of their factories around the world recently, due to a ransomware attack. Sounds like genuine cyberwar could be on its way!

So we have mentioned USMA before. They have developed a new hashtag- #TogetherWeRace . Go check it out. You will find their Covid-19 toolkit. They have developed protocols to revitalize Motorsports in such a way as has been done before to revive this nation’s economy.

That’s all folks. Chuck Fasst #GearHeadsWorld

A Race of Two Worlds

The image captured my imagination—a photograph taken on the white, high banking at Monza. A rolling grid of fifties-era Indy roadsters and bringing up the rear was a pair of D-type Jaguars. I was probably ten years old but it was clear to me even then that something was wrong with this picture. How did I know D-types? Because I owned a Matchbox car of one and it was a favorite.

A match race pitting Indy roadsters against European Grand Prix cars had been volleyed about for years. During the summer of 1956, USAC Director of Competition Duane Carter sat down with Italian promoters and hammered out the details. Tire wear was a huge concern as the Firestones being used at Indianapolis weren’t designed for the amount of downforce the roadsters were likely to encounter. As a result, a new tire was developed and Firestone headed to Monza with their test mule and veteran pilot Pat O’Conner. In short order O’Conner was clocked at 170.8 mph, beating World Champion Juan Fangio’s track record by nearly 10 mph!

The news spread like wildfire and soon after the factory Ferrari and Maserati teams withdrew from the event citing that it was “too hazardous”. Germany’s Mercedes Benz and England’s BRM team followed suit and it was starting to look like only American iron would participate. Then two weeks before the event, an entry was filed by the Scottish Ecurie Ecosse Team for three Jaguars. The Jags had finished first and second at LeMans that year and though underpowered in comparison to the roadsters, accepted the challenge.
Tony Bettenhausen broke the one-lap qualifying record in the Novi at 176.826. He was followed by the nine other Indy cars (seven of which shattered Fangio’s record). The Jaguar’s best speed was 151.635- a full twenty miles per hour slower than most of the roadsters so they filed in at the back.

The 500 mile contest was divided into thirds, each of sixty three laps. There was to be an hour break after the first and second segment to allow for servicing of the vehicles. Bettenhausen brought the field around for the green flag and hesitated, expecting the starter to wave it vigorously. In Europe the starter need only “display” the green flag and seeing this Englishman John Fairman pulled his Jaguar out of formation and motored around the stumbling roadsters. He was first to hit the banking and a check of his rearview mirror revealed that no one else was in close pursuit. You can imagine the response of the crowd when the days’ slowest qualifier led the field coming down to the start/finish line.

It took a full lap around the 2.6 mile course for the Offenhauser engines to clear out and the Novi plummeted backward outside the top five. Then the roadsters exploded past Fairman with Eddie Sachs snatching the point followed by Troy Ruttman and Jimmy Bryan. On the second lap Bettenhausen’s Novi awoke, powered by the Jaguar and ran down the leaders. The popular Novi led the third circuit then headed for the pits with a throttle linkage problem. Bettenhausen returned to the action and gave the crowd a thrill before retiring for good with a broken sway bar.

Bryan won the first segment followed by six roadsters and the three Jaguars. During the hour long intermission major repairs were necessary to keep the roadsters in the fray. The Indy cars were bottoming out coming off the parabolic curves- frames were cracked and fuel tanks developed leaks. Meanwhile the Jaguar crews casually swapped tires and topped off their fuel- no repairs were necessary.

Only the Novi failed to make the start of the second segment. The sway bar was replaced but the fuel tank could not be. The rest of the roadsters were cobbled back together and eleven cars took the green flag. Cigar chomping Bryan was again the leader when the checkered flag fell. He was followed by three other roadsters and the Jaguars in fifth through seventh. The other entries fell out with mechanical problems. The drill between the second and third segments was much the same but this time only eight racers made the call. One roadster was late due to the replacement of engine bolts.

The final segment was won by Ruttman but Bryan was second and Johnny Parsons was third. Due to attrition Fairman finished fourth followed by both of his teammates. Bryan (with the sleeves ripped free from his driving suit) was declared the overall winner and received nearly $35,000 for his efforts. Fairman was awarded fourth with the other D-types in fifth and sixth respectively. They didn’t receive much for their days work other than the respect and admiration of their fellow competitors. The Ecurie Ecosse Team was formerly invited to partake in the 1958 Indy 500 but regrettably, they declined

Everything’s Canceled?

I’m told that “June is out” for the local “Beaches” cruise-in that used to happen on Wednesday evenings. Apparently, PIR and Beaches are still hoping that something can happen over this summer but no one knows for sure yet. We will try to keep you posted on this cruise and/or any other car related events going forward. Stay tuned.

Other cancellations.

Many events have already been canceled for the 2020 season. Some organizers are holding out hope and haven’t canceled, but please, please, do your due diligence and try to verify whether any event is actually still going to happen before you make a trip to a venue. I know we all want to get back to normal sooner than later but check before you go, to be certain.

Spontaneous Cruises.

Apparently, according to a friend, there was a “Cruise-In” on Main Street in Vancouver. From what I’ve learned it was kind of spontaneous, via a Facebook announcement from a young man. According to my friend, there were a lot of cars that showed up, and according to an article in the “Columbian,” a lot of garbage was left behind, the cops were there but did not disperse the crowd and no one got in trouble or was arrested. Normally, we car folks don’t make a mess when we hold a cruise-in so I don’t know what that was all about. My friend said it was loud and chaotic, something else that doesn’t usually happen at car events. I hope this nonsense isn’t part of a “new normal.” (Photos by Bob Patterson).

Also, the first cruise-in/car show that usually happens early in May is the Portland Transmission Warehouse Show. Of course, with everything canceled this year so far, this show was not supposed to happen. It turns out about 20 or so car guys showed up at the venue and there was an impromptu event anyway. Not sanctioned or organized by anyone, it just happened.