DLRA NEWS 32 - February 2008

The Official publication of the Dry Lakes Racers Australia

Moderator: DLRA

Post Reply
Site Admin
Posts: 1464
Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2003 11:03 am
Location: Australia

DLRA NEWS 32 - February 2008

Post by DLRA » Mon Apr 07, 2008 4:57 pm

ISSUE 32 - February 2008
This is the text only version of the newsletter which is for general distribution.
A Newsletter Subscription of just $25 a year (4 issues) includes either a black and white printed copy delivered to your door or a downloadable PDF full colour version available as soon as it is posted on the website.
To Subscribe, send your $25 to DLRA PO Box 349 Castlemaine VIC 3450 and remember to tell us if you want the print or PDF version.

Cover 1
Newsletter Sponsors 2
Contents 3
Presidents Report 4
Rods Rambling's 4
Queensland News 5
New South Wales News 5
Victoria Members Meeting 5
I met a Gairdner 6
Report on Lake Lefroy 6
Burt Munroe Challenge 8
Letter from Al & Gail Phillips 10
The Trip 2008 11
Under Construction 13
DLRA Merchandise 15
Newsletter Sponsors 16

On the cover: T-Shirt Artwork for Speed Week 2008,
why not support the DLRA and buy some T-Shirts
Opposite: Happier Days, start line 2005 with Phil Stelling
and his C/PRO 1968 HK Monaro lined up for a run.

President Rob Carroll Ph/Fax 03 5472 4370
Vice President John Lynch
Secretary Rod Hadfield
Treasurer Rod Hadfield
Chief Steward John Dawson
Motorcycle Steward Gary Baker
Race Director Kevin Saville / Rob Carroll
Starter Cled Davies
Assistant Starter Chris Hanlon
Timer Peter Noy
Assistant Timer Eric Smith
Scrutineer Phil Arnold
1st Assistant Scrutineer Lennie Souter
2nd Assistant Scrutineer Steve Charlton

PO Box 349 Castlemaine VIC 3450
Phone: 03 5472 4629 and Fax: 03 5472 4370
info@ dlra.org.au

Presidents Report
Rob Carroll #012
Welcome to another newsletter. I hope everyone is getting over the disappointment of Speed Week cancellation. Quite a number of members want a tentative date for a race meeting later this year. This will be discussed at the April 27 meeting in Melbourne and I am hoping somebody knows when the lake will be dry. Of course any date that is chosen will be subject to having enough members to run the meeting ie; Fire and Rescue, Medical, Starters , Timers, Meeting Director and enough volunteers to set up and pack up the track.

As some of you will know some members travelled to Lake Gairdner when Speed Week was scheduled, for a working bee. More cleaning up was done around the camp, a vehicle and more scrap metal and junk taken away to tidy up. While at the camp Gary Brennan, Peter Noy and myself had a meeting with Len and Joy Newton at the Homestead. We discussed a range of issues and they explained to us the diverse range of people that visit their property. They told us that some of these groups (in particular the astronomical society) would do almost anything to have a camp like we do, so there are no lights to interfere with their star gazing. This made us realise how fortunate we are to have this camp. If we were to suggest to them today to build this camp there would be NO WAY it could happen. They also told us about the difficulties they are facing with the Native Title Claim that has been placed on Lake Gairdner and part of their pastoral lease. They have legal people working on this and therefore they are not ready to sign the Indigenous Land Use Agreement that most others in The Gawler Ranges will sign early May.

This week I spoke to Ross Allen (DEH) about the application to Dept. of Aboriginal Affairs for use of Lake Gairdner. He informed me that it would be best to wait until the Indigenous Land Use Agreements are finalised and signed off. These cover most of the properties in the Gawler Ranges and should be done by early May. Then we will be able to start negotiations on the use of the Lake (for us and other parties) and come to some agreement on what we can and cannot do. Then we will be able to apply to Aboriginal Affairs for use of the Lake. When we have that permit we can apply to National Parks for a permit.

During February I had a visit from the CAMS representative for SA/NT. He is interested in our speed trials and told me they have been reviewing their speed trial records recently. He said there are quite a few gaps in their classes that have never been contested, and their record book shows this with a lot of them being very old .Not sure if our cars would comply with any of the class structures they have. I told him that D.L.R.A. was not interested in being taken over by CAMS and he replied that was not their interest. I think he was more interested in co-operating with us as we are the only club in Australia dedicated to Land Speed Racing. I hope to speak further with him before the April 27 meeting so I have more information. There may be some possible insurance advantages in it for us.

For members in South Australia that may want to purchase a 2008 event t shirt or poster, give Peter Noy a call on 0427 777661 anytime or 08 88484261 on weekends to place an order.

Rod's Rambling’s
Rod Hadfield #003
This column used to be easy back in the days when we used to race. It was a full days job to phone all pre-entries and explain the situation, at least that way we didn’t get the abuse we copped last year, however a lot of work of organising the meeting had been done including booking the Department of Environment and Heritage, Insurance and the surveyors had been organised along with the Firies and the Medical people, the posters, T shirts and caps had all been purchased, people had air fares booked and couldn’t get refunds, some Tassie boys and their car still showed up and at least showed us the car and had it checked.Gail and Al Phillips motor had arrived and they had pulled their Streamliner out of Birdwood Museum but it has to go back to the States for Bonneville this year. Bernie Hill, a member from New Zealand arrived and went to the working bee, drove all around the state sight seeing, bought plenty of merchandise and had a good time in general.

Norm Hardinge had to do some work on his ’34 after it was damaged coming back from being displayed at the Perth Hot Rod Show late last year. The car is now scattered over his workshop but he assures us it is under control, he says it is all filed (under MESS).We are working with getting the situation with Aboriginal Affairs sorted as Lake Gairdner now comes under their control, it is slow and must be approached in the correct manner, our past record stands fairly well and with nearly 20 years of using the lake for land speed trials we must be its most frequent occupier.Norm Hardinge has been doing a fantastic job with his “Cruzin the Salt” stories but he will be hungry for information now.

Debra Dawson’s Studebaker was spared flood damage when Emerald went under water earlier this year. The car is now in Victoria where there is not enough rain to fill the radiator.
Thanks to the people who went to the lake and had the working bee, no thanks to the people who put negative comments on the forum, lucky we have Greg Wapling to sort them out, thanks to James Stewart alias Doctor Goggles for a lot of investigation work and positive comments.

I have phoned many people including Rosco McGlashan concerning the possibility of a suitable lake in Western Australia, Lake Debra has been used for car advertisements by Rosco but is not available and is wet most of the time, Lake Bellard is super difficult to get to and has a 99 year lease on it, they don’t want people on it, Lake Lefroy is only suitable for Land Yachts, that is why a road out into the lake has been constructed as it is too thin for cars, by the way it is under water for the first time in years according to the locals. Keep looking everyone, there must be something somewhere.

It was a shame the Nostalgia Drags had to be called off at Heathcote Park (which is up for sale) lack of entries by the closing date was the main concern and in true “car people” form a lot of entries arrived after the postponement. The event has been rescheduled for May the 18th and is being organised by Greg Ford so please support him if possible, ring Greg on 0428176168. There is a Nostalgia Drag meeting scheduled for the 13th of April at Western Sydney Dragway, I think I will run there, it will get rid of a bit more of that fuel I bought 2 years back.
I am writing this column just before leaving for Tassie to attend the ASRF Bi-Nats and it is bloody hot.

I would like to see you all at the next General Meeting on the 27th of April, we will also hold our A.G.M. on that date. The meeting will start at 11am at Aussie Desert Cooler Factory, 350 Murray Road Preston.

DLRA Annual General Meeting
and Victorian General Meeting
27th April 2008 starting at 11am
Aussie Desert Cooler Factory, 350 Murray Road Preston

Queensland News
Don Noble #281
Information Phone: 0401313210
We now have our own information phone set up. There will be a recording of upcoming meetings and events on that number. Meetings and events will also be listed at the DLRA website www.dlra.org.au/forum. There will be no more invite letters posted out.

DLRA QLD Meeting
13th April (Sunday) starting at 10am
Don Noble’s Workshop (G.S.M)
6/65 Meadow Ave. Coopers Plains Brisbane QLD
Don Noble 0413 546 380, Bob Ellis 0418 733 191
A meeting and get together for DLRA members, families and friends and those interested in Dry Lakes Racing.
Bob Ellis and Don Noble will be attending the AGM meeting in Melbourne on 27th April, so if you want any items brought up for mention at the AGM please let us know. Firing up the BBQ, snags $2 and some raffles.
Please bring photos, CD’s or DVD’s or items of interest.
RSVP Don Noble 0413 546 380 for catering purposes

NSW News
The very first NSW general meeting took place on the 16th of March at Kevin Saville’s with about 12 members and visitors. A very informal gathering, they enjoyed a BBQ lunch and catching up on all the latest DLRA and land speed news.
The day was considered to be a great success and future meetings are already being planned.

Victorian Members Meeting
PRESTON on 10th February 2008
The meeting was opened at 11.15 am by Rob Carroll, there were 52 members and 16 visitors that signed the sheet.

APOLOGIES: Simon Muntz, Max Ellery, John Burley, Peter Noy, Keith Stamp, Debra Dawson, Wally James, Len Souter, Nick Rees, Kevin Ryan.

Minutes of Previous Meeting:
were read by Rob Carroll, moved by Rob Carroll and seconded by Rod Hadfield.

BANK BALANCE $51,613.42
PETTY CASH $ -63.05
2ND: John Lynch

The Treasurer requested a petty cash top up, it was moved by Steve Charlton and seconded by John Lynch that she receive $1200.00

* At the previous meeting it had been moved that the club purchase a prepaid mobile phone and as this hadn’t been done. Greg Wapling volunteered to organise this.
* A brief discussion took place on charging a levy on members to help cover the costs of running a meeting, this was voted against.

* Email from Alan Laing Member # 603 who is employed by NSW Fire Brigades and has Senior First
Aid and Advanced Life Support Qualifications offering his services at our event.
* Emails from Ian Dalby member # 585 regarding Accident Insurance for competitors.
* Letter from Terry Prince Member # 280 regarding the track and volunteers.
* Letter from Terry Coles Member # 645 expressing his disappointment on rule changes and paying extra money for running more than one class. This letter was also posted on the forum, Gary Baker has had discussions with this member.
* Many emails with enquiries about the club and our event

* Letters of thanks to John Dent for use of his truck over the year and Denis Boundy for the use of his trailer to lay out the timing cables.
* Letter to S.A. Country Fire Service requesting the Services of the Kimba CFS to supply Fire and Rescue Services at our event.
* Letter to Dept. Environment & Heritage, Fuel Quality Management Section with details of leaded fuel bought by our members with leaded fuel passbooks during 2007 and number of new passbooks issued.

* Rob Carroll reported that he had spoken to the members at Lake Gairdner the day before, they reported the lake to be very wet, especially at the access point and at the end of the track where National Parks representatives had actually been bogged and had to be pulled out by our member Trevor Beck. This forced the decision to cancel this year’s scheduled event. There was a lot of discussion on the decision with a suggestion that we contact the surrounding stations to find out when the driest time of the year occurs. It was indicated that some members would be travelling to the lake regardless of the cancellation and will report on the lakes condition compared to now.
* Discussion took place on the implications and the rescheduling of a meeting in a few months time, for example November.
* Rob reported that the ramp we hade built at the edge of the lake for easy access had been removed at our cost.
* Rod Hadfield spoke of his discussions with Ian Leitch about the electronic timing and the fact that Ian was unable to run tests before our meeting but was investigating new timing equipment in the USA, Rod is to keep on this matter.
* Rob reported that there were problems with the purchasing of the Generator and it now may go to auction, Wayne Mumford is to follow this up.
* Rob spoke about cleaning up the campsite and area and that the people there this weekend are taking a portion of the unwanted away, he explained that it only has to be taken to Port Augusta to Doc’s yard, he also asked that anyone going there in March take away as much as possible as we need to keep the area tidy.
* Rob reported that Trevor Beck is making up Phonetic Alphabet sheets for those using the two way radios.
* A discussion took place on a driver Insurance enquiry from Ian Dalby. It was generally considered it was too expensive. Robin Csech is to follow up track insurance as used in Speedway.
* Rob Carroll asked who was updating Class Records, Greg Wapling stated he is maintaining the records for cars and Gary Baker is working on the bike records.
* A discussion resulted in a suggestion that the A.G.M. be held over until the next General Meeting, possibly in July.
* A suggestion was put forward that we look for a larger, more suitable premises to hold meetings.
* Bob Ellis reported that some Queensland members are trying to locate a suitable air strip to practice on.
* Brian Nicholson suggested we have another Test’N’Tune/Scrutineering day at Mangalore Airport, Norm Bradshaw offered to organise this.
* A discussion took place on the problems associated with getting written confirmation from the State Ambulance Authorities regarding coverage if the Royal Flying Doctor is called to an incident on the lake. The meeting agreed that it is up to each individual entrant to make sure they have adequate Private cover that incorporates this.
* Rod Hadfield stated that we would advise every person that has pre entered the event of the cancellation plus the surveyors, Insurance Brokers and the Newtons. Rob Carroll would be speaking with the Fire Crew and the Department of Environment and Heritage. Greg Wapling would post the cancellation on the website immediately.

Rob thanked everyone for attending, Norm and Vicki for the use of their premises and providing lunch. He also thanked Robin Csech for organising the raffle and providing the prizes.
Robin drew the raffle which raised $209.00; the winner was Bruce Fischer, 2nd prize Joel Jones 3rd prize Paul Cooney and 4th Alan Blackwood.

Meeting closed at 1pm

I met a Gairdner – An adventure in alternate land speed racing
Paul Lynch #447
Those of you who get on the forum will be familiar with this story…

I flew down to Sydney recently with my family and while they got the centre seats on the plane, I got to sit next to a nice older lady by the name of May Harding. As you do you get to talking and I found out that she and her husband are into tether car racing. She pulls out a few pictures of her husband's cars and they are really quite nice. One of them is a streamliner styled car. I then tell her that I'm in the DLRA and then explained what we do and how it is similar.

Here's the weird bit. When I told her we go racing at Lake Gairdner she says "most people call it Lake Gardner", she then tells me her mother was a Gairdner and that her mother's uncle is the one that the lake is named after (Gordon Gairdner). I pulled out the laptop and showed her a bunch of photo's of "her" lake. She'd never seen it before and loved the fact that we use it as we do (when it's dry).

She asked how fast the cars go. I said that the streamliner photo she had was similar to our lakesters and bellytanks and the fastest I've seen was John Lynch's tank on it's 301mph run. She thought this was good and said that a 10cc streamliner tether car can do over 330kph!!!! She then told me that there was a race meeting coming up in a few weeks in Brisbane that would be worth going to as some European racers would be attending. One of the racers would be Paul Otto Ströbel current 10cc World Speed Record Holder.

So the big day arrives and a group of DLRA members from the Brisbane area went out to the MRCC track to check out the tether car action. We had 5 members and 6 guests come out for the action. The tether car guys were great. They let us into their pits and told us all about their cars. It turns out there are a lot of similarities as far as aero, balance and innovation.

The Group 1 cars are powered by a 10cc engine that puts out about 5 hp - that's 500hp per litre! They use a combination of methanol and castor oil for fuel and the whole group shares the race fuel out of a 5 litre can. The cars have a 1.5:1 diff and no gearing other than that. The materials they use are reasonably exotic, one guy explained that his chassis was cast from Cummins pistons and the tether was magnesium. The tyres are some kind of urethane compound (unobtainium?) and come from Belgium.

So, racing starts and the Group 1 cars come out and we see several runs that go close to 200mph and then a 200mph run. This is pretty amazing stuff. Then Paul Otto Ströbel starts up his car and it is timed at 339.622kmh (211.031mph) everyone applauds and after a few phone calls it is announced to be an official world record. The previous mark was 339.200kmh set by the same guy. The funny thing was that it was like being at the lake. You hear the noise of the car and it tells you that something special is going on. Same thing here.

One of the guys we were talking to was Wayne Hartman. He'd told us that previously he'd set an Aussie record in his class of 237kmh and to do this he had broken one of his mates records that had stood for 12 years. So he starts the car up and sets a new record of 239.936kmh. His secret was to enlarge the air intake to allow the car to breathe better.

All in all we had a great day out and I’m sure I’ll go back sometime soon. The benefit of the tether track is that it dries out quicker than a salt lake. We’ve all since discussed the possibility of tying a cable to a light pole in a Woolies carpark and strapping it on to our cars.

This is the car with the chassis cast from pistons (sounds like Burt!), the tether is machined from a VW torsion bar, the tyres are from Belgium and sandwiched between the discs, the motor is 10cc and heavily modified. If you get the chance get along to a meeting, these things are incredible!

Report of Lake Lefroy
Ian Dalby #585
All investigations so far have in the west have hit brick walls. It appears that Rod Hadfield has already made extensive enquiries about Lake Lefroy at least. All leads that I have received and acted on so far as other salt lakes in the west are concerned have come to nothing, for one reason or another. That is not to say there is not a suitable lake, but the most accessible and likely looking prospects are, at this stage a non event. Several of the people concerned with salt mining that I have spoken to have passed on to me that in their experience (and some of it is extensive) that the subterranean water table is definitely affected by lunar phases.

It looks like every one just has to be patient, put every possible effort into maintaining its use and wait for Lake Gairdner to come good.
Hope you soon have some positive news on the future at Gairdner for us all.

Burt Munroe Challenge
Had a great weekend in Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge. Good friend John Connolly picked me up from ChristChurch and we drove down with his two BSA's on the trailer.
Friday afternoon was the beach racing on Oreti beach (Burt’s beach ) with the drums set 1/4 mile apart and around 6 to 8 lap races with a 50 lapper at the end. Went for a ride around the drums before the racing started but man it was rough, as the tide had left huge ruts on its way out, they put the grader out to smooth it over and then it was all on. Weather was normal, rained on and off, and was freezing. John Munro (Burt’s son) was there to show us at riders briefing the new trophy the family had donated for the overall winner of the Challenge.

Saturday was circuit racing at Teretonga race track, weather was fine but didn't stay long as we were anxious to get to Neville Hayes' shop and check out the Indian and Velocette. Very interesting seeing the detail in the bikes, and you can appreciate the difficulty Burt must of had in making a lot of the parts for them to stand up to the horsepower required to run 200 mph. Try running a Busa or ZX14 on one single carb with a 1" venturi and no ram air and see how fast you'd go, lucky to hit the ton.

Here’s a few classics for you........
The handlebars on the Indian were held on with 4 U-bolts to the bottom yoke. He made them out of 4 old wheel spokes, bent them round then rolled another thread on the end and stuck another nipple on it.
There were three different types of head nuts holding the head and barrel assembly to the crankcases, plain, flanged and nylock. No particular order, just all over the place.
The output drive sprocket I found interesting. Its 2mm thick with 1/2" holes drilled around to lighten it, then goes out to 5/16" for the teeth. That sprocket, like a lot of parts that Burt made for the bikes would of started life as being 1mm thick, then increased in increments until it didn't break. Machining it was a mission, as I could see on the face where the tooling was trying to rip the steel off instead of turning off a nice piece of swarf. The old super cobalt tooling wasn't up to it.
Another notable thing was pressurizing the fuel tanks as running on alky fuel and having no head between the tank and carb, the motor would of starved real quick. He'd drilled out a 3/8" bolt, countersunk the end and stuck it in the centre of the fairing, then ran a plastic tube off that to the tank. The 9 mile Bonny tank at the end of his seat was done the same way. Always wondered how he got the fuel all the way up there against the G's. Just enough ram air eh!

After a few hours looking at what Burt had done to these two bikes it was now photo time. I stuck a DLRA sticker on the Indian and Velo and took a few shots for you guys. Got them up at the lake last March and yes I actually came over for Speedweek. Good mate Jeff Lemon picked me up from Adelaide and we shot up Monday, stayed the night for the second auction, had a kinghitter of a breakfast at the canteen then cruised up to Alice and stayed at Peter Lewis' for the night. Out to the Rock and kept driving west till we hit Perth, via Docker River, Laverton, Kal etc. Flew home from there a week later. That’s all another story though.

Now we're off to the Southland Museum to see the Burt Munro display. Bearing in mind that the Hayes' purchased everything in Burt’s shed as well as the two bikes just before he passed on. All the props in the movie were the genuine articles that Burt had made and were on loan to Roger from Norman and Neville Hayes.
A lot of these are now in the display at the museum.
There's the jig for fly cutting the valve pockets in the pistons, scores of pistons all blown up. Burt had experimented on the Velo piston with running a 2 ring set up. There were only 2 top compression chrome faced rings on it, no oil scraper ring. Just like a 2 stroke piston, but he had oil holes underneath the second ring to let the oil out. Don't know if he liked it or not as there were no Indian pistons done like this.
Then we spotted a roped off section of the inside of Burt’s shed with his original bed, suitcase, sandshoes he wore on the beach and boots he wore for flat tracking. There was no one around so I jumped the rope and tore off over and sat on Burt’s bed for a real quick photo by John. The sandshoes were under the bed so I picked them up to bring out for the photo and they nearly fell in half. They were as brittle as anything after years of salt water then 30 plus years after that. Nearly wrecked them!
The other highlight of the museum was actually getting in the streamliner. Once I tucked down in that it felt like it could go 200 easy. I'm only 5' 4" and it fitted me like a glove, Burt was 5'-9" so it must of been a real squeeze for him to get into. I can see how he had to throw the first alloy body away if it was smaller than this one. Never would have moved in it.Everything else is in glass cabinets now for protection, methinks the sandshoes need to get in there too, before some fool destroys them.

Ok, Saturday night was speedway at Oreti Speedway. Solo bikes and sidecars only. Sidecars were spectacular as one would expect, but the solos were even better. Around 25 to 30 bikes turned up and the pace was hot from the start. Last years winner and 9 time NZ champ Larry Ross who is now 53, still showed the young guns he's not passed it yet, put up a great fight. It was flat out side by side racing all night and when the final came Larry was out in front with everyone right up his back wheel. Second to last corner he drifted wide by about a foot and that was enough for young Grant Wotshisname to squeeze through for the win.

Sunday we were off to Wyndum for the street races. Rained a bit at the start but cleared up great for the afternoon. There was a bike there that some guy built in Invercargill in the ' 70s that was powered by 4 chainsaw engines. Seemed to go ok too.
Met Noel Atley, the guy that built the Duke powered streamliner for the movie. He said the whole project was done on a handshake with Roger and that they had 53 days till camera roll in the U.S. That’s 46 days to build the bike and 7 days to ship to Bonneville.
Noel and Roger drove up to Dunedin bike wreckers where they found a Ducati engine in the corner, which was the only one they could find to fit inside the streamliner. All the Jap engines were too wide at the gearbox/clutch area. The only criteria was that it had to look authentic from the outside and be able to do a 100 mph on the salt for filming. Then Noel got called up on the dummy grid, his race was next, and that was that.

Great weekend had by all, the Museum and the Hayes' shop was bordering a spiritual experience. Next stop Lake Gairdner with DRY SALT.

Regards.......... Jim Ashcroft,
Palmerston North. New Zealand

Al & Gail Phillips say goodbye to DLRA
Land Speed Racing

To: Dry Lakes Racers Australia
From: Allen and Gail Phillips, U.S. Members
Date: March 25, 2008

As the POP Motorsports race team puts the final touches on shipping the Streamliner and race gear back to the U.S., it would be an understatement to say we are disappointed in not being able to race for the last two years on Lake Gairdner, but as they say “that’s racing”. It saddens us deeply, however, to be leaving the good friends and cquaintances we have made within the DLRA while in Australia.

We can’t give enough thanks to good “mates” Rod and Carol Hadfield for all their untiring hard work for the club and support for us and the hot rod and racing community, along with Mike and Anne Davidson, Andy and Beris Jenkins, Chris Weir, Peter Noy, Greg Wapling and the list just goes on and on. Having our Streamliner memorialized on the event T-shirt was an honour as well.

Gail just about to set a new E/MS record of 205.538 MPH in 2001. Doug set a C/MS record of 220.237 MPH

Our container should be back in the U.S. by the first of May, then we hope to make some slower test runs at El Mirage with the Streamliner, and then off to Bonneville in August to see what the old girl will do, I am referring to the Streamliner of course and not Gail :)

If our race team can be of any help to any Aussies coming to the U.S. to race or otherwise, please email us at fastdrvr@verizon.com. On behalf of the POP Motorsports Team we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we wish all of you the best of luck in being able to race next year. Hope to see you on the salt someday and please remember,
Be SAFE - Have FUN - Go FAST!

Speedy regards,

Al Phillips – Logistics/Crew
Gail Watson Phillips - Driver
Doug Odom - Crew Chief/Builder
Wayne Villard - Crew
Kelly Pusley – Crew

(On behalf of the DLRA I’d just like to say how much we
admire and appreciate what you all have done. It’s not
an easy or cheap thing to come half way round the
world with a car and set records like you did. Friendlier
folk you will not find anywhere. Sure would have liked to
have seen that streamliner run on Lake Gairdner. – Ed.)

The Trip 2008
I doubt that there is anyone who this newsletter got sent to that would be unaware that the 2008 Speedweek got cancelled and, um, the one before that.
We’ve all felt the seesaw of emotions .....at about May you think to yourself “I’ve got heaps of time” and you’re right I mean you can do almost anything in ten months , that feeling of security lasts until about late July when it suddenly occurs to you that if you’d been flat out working on your ride for the last two months you could have got a lot done , still it’s eight months til Speedweek so there’s no real need to panic , but you’d better start making some sort of list because there’s bound to be more to do than you thought and there’s always something unimportant like a family holiday , birthday , work , a death a birth or a marriage that is going to take up time that you could spend in the shed. So we put up a list in the shed on a chalkboard , at the top of the list was “install chalkboard” it seemed like a long time before anything else was ticked off, steadily though we made headway , other items were added , then ticked off. Items that were compulsory for the tech inspection and other items that we had wanted to change after the car’s maiden run at Mangalore airport...Christmas passed , New year...tick , tick tock , tick , tick tock tick tock , tick, tick tock tick tock, “struth , we need more ticks and less tocks”.....in late January we were getting to a point where it looked possible that we might get everything we wanted to do done....except the super flash paint job....now anyone who fought their way past the security cordon at Mangalore to get a close look at the car would know that I hadn’t wasted any of the three hours I spent painting it early last year .....we really wanted to at least get a “ten foot” job on it this time.......then it happened.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when news of the postponement came through, I felt a strange sense of relief to be honest and then I just felt numb. Four years earlier we’d gone to the salt for the first time after beginning the build of our bellytanker and it had been a long hard expensive slog to build the car and the emotional rollercoaster had really taken its toll. After a few weeks of discussions on the club website about the environmental factors involving the lake and much discussion of whether there were any alternative venues that might be considered I was feeling an itch just to go out there. Last year I’d worn myself out and spent everything I could lay my hands on and when the event was cancelled before we left I really had no alternative but to go straight back to work.
I wanted to go and look at Island Lagoon south of Woomera and see whether it was a potential venue for a track and also just go to Gairdner and have a look for myself , stand on the salt and recharge my batteries as it were...Pete Quick rang up and said “I’m in , let’s go” so we loaded up the old Troopy got a couple of push-bikes so we could ride out onto the lakes ( Gairdner was closed to all vehicles ,and not risk getting bogged on Island Lagoon with no support) some camping gear and a few other bits and pieces and off we went.......here is the story that I posted on landracing.com ( with a few additions)

Greeting Folks, we're back from our pilgrimage.....3000 kilometres or 1800 miles and quite a few of those were on the dirt and all of them were hot.
From Melbourne it's about 13 hours drive to Lake Gairdner, we stopped in the wine making area of the Barossa Valley near Adelaide on Monday night where we had a "counter "meal with “Dirty“ Dave Hinds and talked about the state of the nation , we had a great old laugh ....we jumped back in the Land Cruiser and headed off north towards Port Pirie where we stayed for the night , two hundred miles short of the Lake. An hour the next morning and we were at "the Gutter" or better known as Port Augusta where we stocked up on ice, beer , some food......and filled the tank . The drive in was smoother than recent years the corrugations in the road not being continuous....and it wasn't in the low forties Celsius which was a relief. We drove straight to the salt after a brief chat with the Newtons who own the pastoral lease which covers the access to the lake. When we got there it was immediately apparent that the ramp where the usual on/off point is was unusable for vehicles as it was slushy. We got our push-bikes out and set off towards the track. it was heavy going and the tyres were flicking up a rooster tail of wet salt and water...but after about 100-150 meters the salt was hard and as we went out the sound the tyres were making became crisper and brighter . The surface had walnut sized salt growths on it which I hadn't seen before....here's a shot to give you some idea of the coarse nature of the ungraded surface ,this shot was taken about where the track would normally be.

We sat around on the salt out there and had our little spiritual moment and lamented the fact that although where we were was probably fine for racing the track further down wasn't and besides there was no way to get a vehicle onto the lake...... sad but true....

In the back of the Toyota we had some FZR wheels that my good mate Tiny (Generator shovel on landracing.com) had bought from free-bay and seeing as how we were going the long way home we thought we could take them to him in Silverton way up near Broken Hill.....and seeing as how we had them we figured we'd better take a few snaps of them....kind of like a "gnomes holiday shot"...

we stayed at the members camp that night ..it was a raucous affair...lets just say when some people say they like to get away from civilization they have their own check-list.....leave the social mores behind but take a TV and a BBQ , some people seem to have a constant obsession with conquering the environment.....I copped an earful for mentioning various preferences with regard to where I stay when at Gairdner ( for the record that is next to the lake , on the sandy soil with the cold showers within walking distance of the canteen and earshot of the lake).....not at the members camp five dusty , rutted miles away . The next day we headed west and north from the lake toward Woomera. Another 160 miles of blazing hot sand road....we made a few stops like this one at the only road sign we saw... We spotted a Sturt Desert Pea the state floral emblem of South Australia a rare and beautiful little thing that grows in an environment that only salt bush seems to like....

Woomera has a history as a testing range which has also included various tracking stations including Island Lagoon and Nurungar...there's a rocket park where we saw some genuinely weird home made looking stuff, well it looked home made ....turns out the air-force and the Army made it .....this is called a sea slug

That afternoon I spoke to the owners at Oakden Hills station on the Eastern edge of Island Lagoon. They were busy crutching at the time and would be unable to see us out to the eastern edge of the lake as the roads are unmade in that area .This was area we’d wanted to look at as it is a large expanse a long way from where there are any inflows .We stayed that night on the Northern edge of Island Lagoon near the old tracking station...it was beautiful , the stars of course were incredible...the food, well.., the beer was cold but about two of those and it was nighty night after the hot and arduous days driving....this is a shot of Conical Hill in the north eastern arm of Island Lagoon. There are a lot of tributaries at this part of the lake and the salt as a result is just a thin crust.We did see an emu (Hey Ben!!!) walking across the lake about two or three K’s out....I clapped my hands and when the sound reached him he started running, head down ....stopped, looked around we clapped again and off he took ....dunno what he was looking for out there....might be the same emu that you nearly ran over Benny!!

The next day we drove into the Oakden station homestead anyway...it was murderously hot and red sand everywhere.......I'm glad i'm not a sheep!! We decided we'd head up to Broken Hill, another 340 miles ...lots more salt bush...it was kind of manky in the truck , could have done with a razor and a mediator at times...

At the "Hill" we headed up to Silverton and the famous Silverton Hotel, the area where Mad Max 2 was filmed. Apart from being treated to a great feed of freshly caught fish we had a great nat with Chris Fraser and Trevor Clare who built and ran the stretched blown V8 bike at the lake ....of course Tiny showed up to collect his wheels and crap on with us , we had a great time I wish we could have stayed until Sunday when the recovery party for the Broken Hill St Patricks day races was to be held at the Pub....however while were there Chris had to exterminate some mosquitoes...he had just the thing....an 8/71 blown methanol big-block on a trolley...

the next day we drove the 560 miles to Melbourne ...once again it wasn't freezing.
gee we had a time

I f anyone has any questions, ideas or scores to settle give me a call (0400 818 080) or shoot me an email at fourdoorshitbox@hotmail.com

James Stewart
Aka Dr Goggles
DLRA #374

Under Construction
Steve Barnett who has been running a GT 750 in the DLRA for a couple of years has made new bodywork for his bike. The last two years he has run what we all called "Mr Squiggle" a streamline body that he made from the remnants of an ultra-light 'plane body that he found( literally) on the side of the road....it was a strange but beautiful thing , this is something else altogether. Steve has as he says " a couple of tons" of waterbottles , he just got a 250 motor that he thinks he may even build up to use in the body despite protests from his girlfriend Nicky that " that's for my bike"..... He's a clever cat and a hard worker to boot.

Steve did a bit of a Burt ( he is after all a Kiwi) and worked dawn to dusk and beyond for over five weeks losing thirteen pounds in the process to beat and wheel this body from 2mm Al plate. Feeling a bit flat after the cancellation of Speedweek and having heard about the new build from Ben James I got in the ute and went up to Lancefield where Steve is living in a Nissan hut and took these shots , hope y'all like 'em.

In this shot the headstock bracing is cut away as he has relocated the radiator and wanted something simpler and lower here instead of the usual filler arrangement.

* There are a lot of email addresses that we have on our records that are no longer active. If you have changed your Internet Service Provider or changed employer in the last year, send us your new email address.

* We are always looking for articles for the newsletter, It doesn’t have to be very big, just some words and maybe a couple of photos of your project or where you’ve been, anything you think others would like to read.

* I have recently joined the Society of Land Speed Racing Historians. Most of these guys are US based, as you would guess and I figure the only way to get a bit of recognition for a few Aussies is by being one of them. Their goal is to record the rich history and heritage of hot rodding and land speed racing from around the beginnings of the automotive age, 1890 to the present day.
So my plan is to try and document as best I can the rich Australian Land Speed Racing history. All of the information I collect will appear on the DLRA website and some of it may make it’s way into these pages. Anyone out there with stories or photos that they can lend would be very gratefully accepted Or even just a name that I should follow up.
You can contact me, Greg Wapling, on drylakeracersau@hotmail.com or 0434 821 307

Grand Sale! DLRA Merchandise
2008 Speed Week
All sizes available
(plus $5.00 each for postage)

2007 Speed Week
All sizes available
discounted to just
(plus $5.00 each for

DLRA Club T-shirt
All sizes available
(plus $5.00 each for postage)

with DLRA Logo
(plus $10.00 for postage)

with DLRA logo
(plus $5.00 each for postage)

2008 Speed Week
A3 Size
(plus $8.00 for postage,
for up to 10 posters)

with DLRA Logo
(plus $5.00 for postage)

(clear or white background)
Large 150mm x 120mm
Medium 90mm x 75mm
Small 60mm x 50mm
(plus $5.00 for postage)

DLRA logo, 100mm
Diameter. Calculate speed
by tyre diameter, diff ratio
and R.P.M. formula,
gearbox ratio formulas for
(plus $5.00 for postage)

200 MPH Achievers
(plus $8.00 for postage,
for up to 10 posters)

All items are subject to availability; please contact us
prior to placing order. Prices shown are in Australian
Dollars. Postage is extra, contact us to confirm.
International orders welcome.
Payment can be made by personal cheque, postal order
or bank draft. Do NOT send cash.
Please send your orders to;
DLRA Merchandise
P.O. Box 349,
Castlemaine VIC 3450
Ph: 03 5472 4629


The hottest in heat management coating
More power less heat, unmatched durability, great looks!

To order call 1800 700 HOT (468)
Free call or Tech Info (03) 5470 6416

Jet Hot Coating Australia
26 Elizabeth Street Caastlemaine VIC 3450


Radiators and Replacement Cores
Made in Australia, by Australians, for Australians
3 year warranty, built to fit into existing support panels
350 Murrary Road Preston VIC 3072
Phone (03) 9470 4449 Fax (03) 94714446


Race Engineering
Wheel Repair Specialists since 1983
Custom narrowing and widening for Steel and Alloy wheels plus
gutterscrapes, re-rolling, axle resplining, general milling, mig and tig welding
See our range of rims, centres, garage & air tools at www.raceengineering.com.au
(07) 3376 6275


Smash Repairs, Resprays, Insurance Work, Fleet Work, Sign Writing
9 Ashley Park Drv Chelsea Heights VIC 3196
Phone (03) 9776 2333


For all the latest news, event information and coverage, Hot Rod Swap Meet - buy and sell.
Now with the new Bench Racing forum, talk to 100's of other rodders from all over the world.



Sculpting classics of the future from bronze, silver and gold
Investment castings for the finest detail, strength and tollerance

*Event Merchandise *medalions * Jewellery *Awards *Gifts
*Mascots *Artifact Restoration *Custom Sculpting Anything

1 Russell Street Springvale VIC 3171
Telephone 03 9546 6867



Custom made to compliment your cars interior
For a free quotation and information on our full range, contact;
Neil and Desma Stamp,
44 Browning Street, Kangaroo Flat 3555 Bendigo Victoria
Telephone (03) 5447 7555 Mobile 019 333 314
Technical Enquiries 6p.m. - 10 p.m. 7 days.


North Terrace Tyres
In Adelaide are now agents for cold fire ext systems. System costs around $900
Contact Domenic Lepro on
08 83624417 or


Spa - Lite Fire Suppression Systems
Available from
OG Speed Shop
65 Og Road Klemzig South Australia
Ph: 08 8261 7931 or 8261 7700
Suitable to replace Halon systems,
as fitted to Australian Rally Cars.
Contact Leonard


Suppliers and Installers of "JURALCO"
Aluminum Roof Walkway and Guardsafe Handrail Systems
25 Pritchard Place PEAKHURST
02 9584 9566


Cambridge Concrete Services
Bob Ellis #202
25-27 Harrier Avenue
Loganholme QLD 4129
Ph: 0418 733 191 A/Hrs 07 3801 4050
Fax: 07 3801 4160
Keep the shiney side up........
DLRA WebMaster / Editor

User avatar
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 7:36 pm
Location: Tasmania

Re: The Trip 2008

Post by Cookey » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:00 pm

Dr. G,
See that you have edited your story a little from the one you posted on Landracing.com :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
Worried about possible repercussions from "The Vincent" crew :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:
Cheers from the "Backwater (& only true Dry Lake State)
:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
P.S. I personally prefer the ambiance of the lakeside campsite but just simply cannot be away from the telly and catered meals for more than 8 hours, beside that one tends to tell more truths when under the influence of embalming fluids :!: :!: :wink: Eh Trev :!: :!:

Post Reply