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Orangeline

 

 

Photos by: Paul Hutchins, Warren Merriman, Glen Cupit and Lee Schelin

 

In 2003 a few members of Standard 1320, an e-mail group focused on Drag Racing from 1955 to 1971, decided to hold an event similar to the earliest drag races. Laid back, informal, no schedules, at which Standard 1320 members and other racers in the area, could meet and have an opportunity to fraternize and exercise their cars, even if they didn't meet all the requirements for current competition. Arrangements were made and the event was held at Inyokern, which is near China Lake in the northern reaches of the Mojave Desert.

Inyokern was the oldest continuously operating drag event in the country, dating back to 1955. Held monthly by the Dust Devils Car Club at the Inyokern Airport, the main taxi strip was fitted out as a Drag Strip in the morning and disassembled at night. The event was in April 2004 and drew only 20 or so cars, but about 30 Standard 1320 members showed up Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. A reasonable towing distance from Los Angeles made the event a one day for those short of time.

Ron Miller, a former railroad worker, showed the talent to organize had not been lost from the days when he had helped promote and manage the drag strip in his home town, Winslow Arizona and he took the bit in his teeth and has promoted an event each year since.

 

 

This year, as in 2007, the event was held at Speedworld in Phoenix. The move was necessary because the FAA closed down the monthly drag races at Inyokern and tracks that are available for such a low turnout are scarce. Even so, the Standard 1320 event was coupled with a gambler bracket race and stuck in between Friday night's grudge racing and Sundays Junior Dragsters.

Like last year, some of the Standard 1320 members came a great distance, with or without cars, to participate in the Friday night social event and the gathering on Saturday. Friday night, everyone went to the El Paso Barbeque in nearby Surprise, AZ.

Floyd Head, a 60's racer from Texas, brought his original 1967 Top Fuel car and parked it right outside the outdoor dining loggia that the group had to themselves. At dusk, Floyd lit the car up, to the delight of the crowd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Event organizer Ron Miller (in purple shirt) seen conversing with Nick Poloson, driver of the Floyd Head Top Fuel car.

 

On Saturday, the Standard 1320 group set up in a dedicated area in the pits and started visiting with each other and looking at the collection of cars. Steinegger and Eshenbaugh's early 60's top fuel car was there as was the fine 32 roadster built by Al Eshenbaugh.

 

 

The Old Timer was there again, like the S & E car, it is a local car. Peter and Yvonne Broadribb brought their rig with the "Moody Garage" 55 Chev D-Gasser that they restored a few years ago.

 

 

Jim Lazok from Payson, Arizona brought his new creation, a Fiat bodied street car/racer that you will be seeing in car magazines when completed.

 

John Everett brought his brand new contemporary dragster powered by a Nailhead Buick.

 

Lee Schelin, the fearless leader of the Standard 1320 e-mail group, being a nailhead fanatic was hopelessly smitten with this car and spent too much time with it.

 

Another historic car was the "Rollin' Rice Bowl" roadster pickup originally owned by Gray Baskerville.

 

Non-members cars included this restored "Bud King" owned by Wayne and Caroline Galligan from Mesa, AZ.

 

Marc McCormick brought his contemporary Junior Fuel "B" dragster and put his crew chief, Kol Johnson, in the car. Kol hadn't driven for a couple of years after he and his Dad, Ron, quit running the Goodguys circuit. Speaking of Ron, he brought his recreation of the early 60's Shubert/Herbert dragster known as the "Worlds Fastest Chevy". At Inyokern, in 2005, Howard Haight had made a couple of half passes in "Shoobie" and really got a kick out of it.

 

As a "Main Attraction" Ron Miller had booked in a match race between Nostalgia Top-fuel Champions White and Neal and the only late hemi car in Nostalgia Top Fuel, the Bethelo entry being driven for the last time by Mendy Fry, who has moved into a Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car.

 

In the first round Fry was shut off at the line with a slight oil leak leaving White to make a single. Feeling out the track he shut off early to a 6.60.

 

 

 

Round two saw White setting a track record with a 5.98 at 243 while Fry shut off at half track second round due to an oil spray from a transducer to the data recorder.

 

 

Mendy on the left, Howard on the right.

 

Coincidentally, on Sunday Mendy was being replaced by Howard Haight who has driven the Fugowie car for the last 4-5 years. Howard was coming out to Phoenix, to take a test ride or two in the Botelho Racing car, preparatory to appearing at Boise, Idaho in two weeks. Howard called Ron Johnson a couple weeks prior to the event and they decided that if everything was right, they would do a smoky with the Shubert/Herbert car, to make Howards trip a little more interesting.

 

 

The program got a little behind schedule and Mendy had a plane to catch. Since the issue of who was in the car for the last run was not of great importance, it was decided to send Mendy to the airport and put Howard in the car to race White and Neal.

White also won this bout with a 5.99 at 244.82 while Haight had some top end problems running a 6.27 and about 200.00. According to Haight it ran pretty good to about 900 ft but was movin to the right real bad - then just shot over to the wall on the left side so he shut it off.

 

 

Orangeline

 

On Saturday afternoon, during a break in the tracktivity, the Shubert/Herbert car was pushed out at the big end and fired by a push start headed for the starting line.

 

 

 

 

With a little help, Howard made the 180 behind the line and Ron and Kol and Marc made sure there was a little water on the tires and Howard nailed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He got out about 400 feet and the car drifted to the left side wall, Howard lifted and after correcting direction, nailed it again.

 

 

 

The tires lit up again and Howard kept them lit to about 800 feet.

 

 

Orangeline

 

Right before the match race final run, a few of the cars lined up at the finish line to do a push down fire-up and line up in front of the grandstand. The Jim Lazok Fiat followed Peter Broadribb in the Moody's Garage Gasser, the Rolling Rice Bowl, then Johnson's Shubert/Herbert (with Marc McCormick in the seat), and the Old Timer.

 

 

 

 

Orangeline

 

When the last car had shut off, Floyd Head with Nick Poloson (sp) in the seat, was right behind the water box. They fired up the 392 Hemi on a stout load and rolled through the water box and Nick laid down a "John Force" 8-900 foot burnout.
Paul Hutchins photos

 

 

 

 

 

Following this, with the exception of the third run of the match race, the Standard 1320 gathering concluded for another year. Participant count was down from last year, partly due to NHRA's event at Las Vegas, only a couple of hundred miles away.

 

Hal Sanguinetti, a long-time Standard 1320 member, has been a track announcer and general booster of the track at Speedworld for some years. He was very helpful in getting the event set-up, he also displayed his announcing talents for the days event.

 

Orangeline

 

A "Smoky" Synopsis

by Ron Johnson

Speedworld was prepped well enough for Rick White to make 2 runs in the 5’s and 244 mph, so the sticky lasted all the way to the finish line. To be able to do a smoky on a prepped track is something that I have been working toward, for both Shubert/Herbert and my other car, the Tommy Ivo Barnstormer. I recently switched the original, weathered, 1960’s M & H’s for new Hurst slicks on both cars. These are new recaps on new, never used, casings and have a dimple wall appearance similar to the original M & H’s. The tires are a hard compound for use on Gas Coupes etc. and are available in 9” (approx) x 15” and 10” x 15” or 16”. The 9 x 15’s are 29 x 8 ¾ and the 10 inchers are 30 inches tall and a full 10 inches wide.

I put 38 pounds of air in them for this experiment and as can be seen in the preceding pictures, the tires were still lit nicely approaching the 330 foot beams. Shortly after this the car moved to the left and Howard lifted and straightened it out. When he got back in the throttle, the tires lit up again and stayed lit for another 2-300 feet when Howard got out of it and coasted to a stop at the end of the track. In discussion afterwards it was decided that tire pressure of 25 pounds would probably be sufficient in the future. As can be seen in the pictures, Howard had the car right in the middle of the "groove". The combination of the hard tire and the high air pressure seems to work, at least for Shubert/Herbert. The Barnstormer will be next, perhaps at Bakersfield at Dragfest, Saturday May 3rd. I'll keep you all posted.

 

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