I will indeed be at the Bakersfield bash; also will bring the 8 second flatty. Had a
real cuss fight with them in '94 -- was promised six runs, and got 1!!! Still have the
flyer to prove it. Took my problem to Wally himself, and got nowhere. Same with Bernie
Partridge, so I invited them to hold their breath till I came again. I figure five years,
they should have expired by now. [John Bradley, "Mr. Flathead," is the only
driver to make the Drag Racing Hall of Fame by driving a flathead powered car. Catch him
at Bakersfield -- or you might have to wait another five years! bp/drl]
|John Bradley on running
his flathead-powered dragster at reunions, 1/99|
Do I ever remember the sťance! (It was even written up in Drag News!) Do you remember
the hypnotist who used to come over and make us all act stupid? And I actually remember
Tommy Smallwood complaining at one of the parties, someone had made him a sandwich and he
complained for an hour cause the mayo was not spread to the edges of the bread. Weren't
you on the Disneyland trip when a bunch of guys got thrown off the Pirates of the
Caribbean ride and Mickey Mouse gave Jungle the finger?
Danny Ongais had an office in the building in Long Beach where I had my first studio,
along with Bob Kachler, the late Paul Culley (OCIR's first announcer), photographers Phil
Bonnewell and on later Jere Alahadef, illustrator John Jodauga, and Gary
Gabelich. We did
the paint on Ongais' Cox car at Kirby's; I recall doing a bitchin' little
"Mangler" cartoon on top of the nose piece in front of the motor, featuring a
hooded and hairy executioner. -'Blood
|Kenny Youngblood on
what had to be the bench racin'-est office building in Long Beach, 1/99 |
These stories are coming from a winter in CA that JJ and I were having a "trial
separation." JJ and Ron had an apartment together and I and our son shared an
apartment with Ron's girlfriend, Marie, and her son. Needless to say, plenty of partying
went on. I remember one day I was mad at JJ (he gave lots of cause) and I went over, let
myself in, and took his very expensive electric shaver apart and filled it with toothpaste
and then put it back together. What a way to deal with stress!
Kirby, who used to paint and build bodies for most of the Funny Cars, owned the Beach City
'Vette. I don't know if Beach City Chevrolet owned any of it or not, or how much money
they gave Don towards the car. Maybe Kenny Youngblood can give us more info on that time.
When I moved to California, I finally got a job at Beach City where Don was the Truck Shop
Foreman and that's where we met.
While we were there he had a Camaro built and ran that
for awhile which he later sold to Jungle Jim. When he opened up his own shop in
Bellflower, of course I went with him. I left California in '72. I heard this story but it
happened before I moved out there. The 'Vette ran off the end of OCIR and wound up on
5 Freeway. It wound up getting a ticket for
blocking the highway where the 'Vette ended up. How true the ticket part was I don't know as I wasn't
there at that time. Maybe Kenny knows something about that also. I think Don Hampton was
driving it then but don't quote me on that. Anybody know where Bud Kirby might be at now
(Don's brother)? I'm sure you all know that Don has passed away.
Update from Steve Laburn: Ron Goodsell was the driver. He almost met his maker that night and it was a long road to recovery for the former
AHRA Top Fuel World Champion.
|Bob Plumer on the
exciting, dangerous Beach City Chevrolet funnies, 1/99||