F.E.D. nostalgia or original................

TS3X65MPH

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2016 on: July 16, 2017, 07:35:09 PM »
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2017 on: July 17, 2017, 10:36:47 AM »
Dragsters.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2018 on: July 17, 2017, 10:39:06 AM »
Dragsters.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2019 on: July 17, 2017, 10:41:49 AM »
Dragsters.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2020 on: July 19, 2017, 06:38:58 PM »
*the Case of the Missing Beatle boot*

1965 was a year when "Beatles boots" were in style. It was also a year when drag racing personal safety equipment was in its infancy.

Here is an example where good welds and engineering saved a life…and a Beatle boot.

In 1965, Don Moody had a brand new fueler, with a Kent Fuller chassis, and Dave Zeutchel power. The car was so fresh, it didn’t even have paint on the wild new sheet metal body work.

Don was making a pass when he had a “directional” issue. For one reason or another, the car took a sharp turn towards the guardrail at the top end. He hit the guardrail at about 190mph.

The spectators who were leaning against the guardrail dove into the adjacent ditch, just a moment before Don and his exploding car hit the rail. The car tore apart into a million pieces. Those pieces still had a great deal of inertia, and continued in the same trajectory, filling the air with red hot digger parts.

Except for one of Don’s Beatle boots (which he wore while racing).

One of the boots landed with a “plop” right next to one of the spectators, who by now was lying flat in the ditch. The impact force had removed Don’s boot, and it landed gently in the grass.

“Well, he’s not going to need that anymore.”

When the car came to a halt at the end of the strip, the cage around Don was still intact, although it had been severed just behind the motor. Don’s feet were hanging out of the end of the cage: one boot on: one boot off.

Despite some bruises, Don walked away from that one. He later recounted that everything seemed to be running good when the steering just went loose, and the car took a 90 degree into the guardrail. He says that he remembers going over the first time, then everything went black. When he awoke, he was sitting in a partial cage, with a gouge in his ankle, and bruises from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.

He was back to work the following Tuesday.

What a tribute to the strength of the man…and the Fuller cage.

Thanks for reading,

-Dan

(source: the spectator from the ditch)
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2021 on: July 19, 2017, 06:54:25 PM »
 the Surfers and Champion Spark Plugs

The Surfers Top Fuel Team was based out of Santa Monica California. They were active from 1963-1967. In a lot of ways, what they lacked in knowledge, they made up for with experimentation and bravery.

When everyone else was running 50% nitromethane, they would run 70%...and duck. Their higher percentage was intended to compensate for their questionable tune up. It often worked.

Sometimes, it didn't.

In the instances where they got the tune up wrong, they found that their favourite brand of Champion spark plug would save their parts. They found that, instead of breaking parts, blowing a gasket or blower off of the hemi, the porceline of the Champion 513 spark plug would detach from the metal threaded part. The porceline would be shot to the moon, but the engine would often be saved, due to the dramatic reduction in combustion chamber pressure.

The Surfers actually approached Champion about the benefits of their "disintegrating" spark plug, and begged them not to change the design.

It was saving them money on parts.

Champion obliged.

Now you know.

(source: Tom Jobe, Bill Pitts - photo courtesy of the HAMB)

Thanks for reading,

-Dan
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2022 on: July 19, 2017, 06:57:32 PM »
 Story 2 - the Surfers and the engine block that ended their career.

Santa Monica's "the Surfers" top fuel team never made it to Southern Ontario during their racing career, although they almost did.

In September of 1967, they were one round win away from winning the race, and having enough $$$ to bring their car to Southern Ontario for some race dates here.

They had only 2 things standing in their way: Chris "the Greek" Karamesines; and their engine block, which had been effectively ventilated with a large window, courtesy of a broken rod on the previous pass.

Their strategy for winning was this: they taped up the hole in the side of the hemi block, painted the whole area up to hide the makeshift repair, and they proceeded to the starting line. Needless to say, the hemi was running a little ragged, but they got there. They knew that they couldn't beat "The Greek" in this condition. Their only hope was to get him to red light.

They took their time, played all of the psychological games they could muster, then finally deep staged.

The Greek wasn't fooled. He didn't red light, and beat them handily.

The Surfer's career was over. They had just enough $$$ to get their junk home. The team never raced again. They never made it to Canada.

The Greek lived to race another day.

Thanks for reading,

-Dan
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2023 on: July 19, 2017, 07:00:51 PM »
*Random Drag Racing Anectode from Dan..................

Story 3 - Scott Wilson, 30%, and his fire suit

It's no wonder that drag racing pioneering was done by fearless young men, at an age when they thought they were ten feet tall...and bulletproof. If they had thought logically about the dangers, drag racing may never have evolved through the first few decades, when the real pioneers did their courageous work.

Local drag racing legend; Scott Wilson, was one of those brave men, campaigning a Ford SOHC-powered digger in the late 60's. Like his contemporaries, he straddled the differential, cranked up the nitro, and hoped that it didn't blow up in his face.

Time can change a man's perspective.

At a recent Cacklefest demonstration event, Scott once again sat behind the nitro-burner, cackling on a whopping 30% nitro. He bravely made his parade lap down the strip, with the car cackling nicely to the delight of the fans.

He later admitted that he was terrified the whole time. He nearly wet his firesuit!

Afterwards, the crew enthusiastically suggested cracking the nitro up to 70% or 80%.

Scott emphatically refused. His racing days were over.

The suit Scott wore for that pass is hanging in the ELTA Clubhouse today. Only Scott knows for sure if the fire suit was ever wet.

Thanks for reading,

-Dan

(sources: Mark Rogerson, Scott Wilson, Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame)
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2024 on: July 19, 2017, 07:21:46 PM »
tales from Dan
*Quit While You’re on Top – a Tale of 100% Nitro, and the rapid rise and fall of “The Surfers”*

Any student of fuel drag racing history will tell you that the 60’s were the pinnacle of the sport. The height of this frenzy was the period from 1964-1967. Over 100 fuel dragsters ran 2-3 nights a week in Southern California alone. The same can be said for Southern Ontario, but to a slightly smaller degree.

One of the best loved; and most successful of the Southern California teams was a group of guys who called themselves “the Surfers”.

Bob Skinner and Tom Jobe had been racing together for a period of years prior to being joined by Mike Sorokin. Together, the three turned the collective heads of the drag racing community, and changed the course of fuel racing.

Skinner and Jobe began building their dragster in a garage space at the Red Apple Motel, where they collected parts for their car. In Jobe’s words, “Every day after work, we’d hit all the garages and ask questions till they’d throw us out, and then we would go down to the next one. We finally found out enough stuff because we had to build the whole thing ourselves. We didn’t have any money to buy anything.”

Their early efforts at the track were not successful, and the Team became the object of scorn by the other racers.

Mike Sorokin was tapped to be the driver. He showed no fear in the cockpit; and soon, the team began to enjoy success on the track. The Team quickly became very skilled at servicing the car between rounds. They were eventually so quick, that they had spare time between rounds to ride skateboards and goof around. Fans and media grew to love their colourful antics, and The Surfers gained a following.

Tom Jobe didn’t like that the hydrometers used to measure the specific gravity of the fuel mixture were inaccurate, leading him to develop ways of just making the car work on nearly 100% nitromethane. This percentage was key to a lot of their success, but they described the strategy “a last ditch effort to make horsepower”. They were just going for broke a lot of the time.

By comparison, racers like Tommy Ivo were only running about 40%, which allowed him to keep his stuff from breaking. He got longevity. The Surfers were living for the moment.

The culmination of their efforts came in March of 1966 in Bakersfield, California, when they defeated a 64 car field, including the likes of Garlits, Kalitta, and Malone. On that day, they ran an all time low pass of 7.34 seconds, and became the first independent team to win the prestigious March Meet.

By Labour Day weekend of 1967, the team officially disbanded, and sold off all of their equipment.

Skinner and Jobe turned away from the sport, and never again campaigned a dragster.

Mike Sorokin continued to drive for other teams, but was killed in December of 1967 when his clutch exploded, cutting the car in two.

Although The Surfer’s quick demise reduced the shadow of their legacy, their innovation in the interest of running high percentage nitro laid the groundwork for all who followed. They had broken the percentage paradigm, and the course of drag racing has never looked back.

(Source: Dan Himmel, the Surfers, Tom Jobe, and www.wediditforlove.com
)

Thanks for reading.

-Dan
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2025 on: July 23, 2017, 01:31:38 PM »
Another Surfer's story

*a Tale of Duct Tape, Cardboard, Conspiracy, and Nitromethane*

It's May of 1965, and The Surfers have won the semi finals at Fontana. They are on to the Final Round against the Howard Cams Special. The only problem is that they have punched a melon sized hole in the side of the block, when a connecting rod broke. There day is over.

Or is it?

The decision is made to patch it back together; keep the news of the damage quiet, and try to limp to a win.

I'll let Tom Jobe of The Surfers tell the story:

"You may have heard the stories of the Surfers rolling the car over on its side to patch up the side of the motor with cardboard and tape. If so, here are some pictures of that event. Keep in mind that everything we took to the drag strip fit into the trunk of our '55 Chevy. That included fuel, oil, tools, etcetera. If it didn't fit into the trunk, we left it home. We liked to keep it simple so we could have some fun at the drags and not work on the car any more than we had to.

When a problem like this came up, it required the help of half the pit area. The team of Gall & Thode put us up to this deal and offered to loan us whatever parts we needed off of their car. Jim Brissette's team and Gene Mooneyham's team offered their help too, so we went for it.

We realized that the only way we could clean up this mess was if we could get the damaged side up, so we could wash it down with acetone (so the duct tape would stick). So we rolled the car up on its side and got after it.

Whenever you needed to know what you could get away with in one of those disaster deals, you went and got Jim Brisette. He surveyed the deal. We asked him how far it would go. He thought for a minute and said, 'A thousand feet.'

We mashed the piston up into the top of the cylinder, put a hose clamp around the journal where the rod used to be, pulled the push rods, taped the sparkplug and wire to ground, put the borrowed oil pan on, then put cardboard and duct tape over the gaping hole in the side of the block. It looked good, so we flopped it back on its wheels and filled it up with 98% nitromethane.

Mike Sorokin jumped in that thing like it was brand new, and we pushed down for the last round. It sounded great on seven cylinders! The thing marched right down the track for a thousand feet and then blew up, just like Brissette said it would. Bob Downey (in the Howard Cam Special) won that final round. We enjoyed that evening, and everyone at the track got a good laugh out of it, too." - Tom Jobe

Thanks for reading,

-Dan

(sources: Tom Jobe and Bill Pitts
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

jaded iconoclast

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2026 on: July 23, 2017, 02:13:51 PM »
Beacon Auto, Rick Stewart driving, Gene Adams tuning, early Woody chassis, FAST car. Jerry Ruth ran this car later on. Another pic from my files.

DavyJ

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Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2027 on: July 24, 2017, 07:40:26 AM »
It is pictures like that which make me believe they should go backwards to hard rubber slicks and have to work to get down the track............................. ;D

Nice pics!
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

TS3X65MPH

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  • THANKS TO MY DAD & MOM,WIFE GLYNIS & SON STEVEN
Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2028 on: August 04, 2017, 06:08:37 PM »
Dragster's
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

  • Hero Member
  • THANKS TO MY DAD & MOM,WIFE GLYNIS & SON STEVEN
Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2029 on: August 04, 2017, 06:11:48 PM »
Dragster's
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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  • THANKS TO MY DAD & MOM,WIFE GLYNIS & SON STEVEN
Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2030 on: August 04, 2017, 06:13:26 PM »
1969 NHRA Winternationals
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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  • THANKS TO MY DAD & MOM,WIFE GLYNIS & SON STEVEN
Re: F.E.D. nostalgia or original................
« Reply #2031 on: August 04, 2017, 06:15:48 PM »
Dragster's
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.