I was thinking -- if Sterling Moss had a son named Pete, he'd be called Peat Moss ...
er, sorry 'bout that! Lemme tell you about the FLIES! When Wally was Editor of Hot Rod and
I had just completed the 1st issue of CAR'toons, Wally went through each and every page to
make sure, in his words, we didn't BESMURK the good name of hot rod. I had panels of
scuzzy lookin' hot rodders wearing undersize T-shirts with guys' bellybuttons showing and
FLIES flying around the kids' DIRTY Levis. When I was rodding in High School, the fad was
NEVER EVER WASH YOUR LEVIS! So to show the kids' DIRTY Levis, I had FLIES buzzing around.
Wally made me take them OUT! I was young and hungry, but ever since then I've tried to
include a coupla flies (just to remember the old days).
When I was at Muroc two years ago
I was standing with Dave Wallace, Jr., and Wally walks up. We all greet one another in the
usual fashion. The subject of flies comes up. Wally then, in good humor and I took it in
good humor, tells us that when he and Barbara swat a fly (and I have to presume they kill
it), they say "Well, there goes Pete Millar." The moral of this long story is at
least Wally will remember me for SOMETHING! Peter Punkin
Millar on what the flies represent in his drag racing cartoons, 1/99|
After Al Friedman qualified the Wheeler Dealer #1 for the 64-car PDA race at The Beach
in '67, I -- while driving down to get Al and the car -- kept yelling at the top of my
lungs, "EAST COAST RULES! EAST COAST RULES!" over and over and over again! (Was
I 'hoarse' later on, or what?) For awhile that glorious evening, the East Coast did rule!
Jack Ware had the car when Danny Ongais promoted it from him. They had sandblasted the
car, body and all, cut the shark fin off and it was left to rust in the back yard. When it
got up to me, it had weeds growing in the belly pan. I moved a few things around, new roll
bar. I think we used part of the tail, made some new panels, don't remember which ones.
Straightened out the rest and that was the "Mangler." Named by Dave Davis,
because it kept falling on people and getting them bloody. Kenny Safford's Shark car was
sold to Chuck Flores, then I traced it to a guy in the Gold Country who said he thinks the
body was stolen by metal scroungers because it is a small community and the body never has
surfaced. Don Neal's car from Texas, I think J.L. Payne drove it. If you guys know either
of them, I am curious to know what happened to the car. I think Don Neal has a commercial
fishing boat on the Gulf. I'd like a picture of the car.
|Kent Fuller on what
happened to the unique Shark fuelers, 1/99|
On the Honda
of Wilmington car -- I found this rather dim shot of it, fresh out of the paint shop and
back to my old Chula Vista shop (down south) in the back of Byron Blair's emporium, down
the street from Crower's. In a beautiful little barrio known as Otay Mesa. One might conclude from the spelling that the name of this quaint village was pronounced
the same way Buckwheat (of Our Gang fame) would say "ok." Such is not the case.
It's Oh - tie. I only burden you with this because it may come up in the final exam.
The road out front had the rather unique title of Main Street, undoubtedly named for some
hero of the Mexican revolution. After a hot rod assembly session you could shove it out in
main street, fire it up on the way down to Crower's, turn around in their parking lot and
get in a thousand foot pass back to the shop for a plug reading.
No belts, no helmet, no goggles...plenty of stupid.
Tom Hanna on the charms of the Chula
Vista, California, test track, 1/99||