Tuesday, February 11, 2014



The big noise from Needle Town crashed some Broncos in the process but mostly stayed in the groove while reviving the memory of the Connecting Highway with the most dominating performance witnessed in the Big Apple since Brooklyn Heavy rode the Wild Pumpkin to glory (take that, comma stalwarts!). (Photographer unknown)

"Best Super Bowl ever!" Over a week later, we just can't stop saying it here in the Pacific Wonderland. From shaky beginnings in 1976 until about five years ago, the Seahawks were pretty much the Merry Pranksters of pro ball. With nothing to lose, they laid it all on the line, all the time, usually with wildly entertaining but ultimately regrettable results. So to wake up today and realize our guys are World Champions is akin to the SGE squirrels and toolboxes being declared the next Beatles. Please excuse us for savoring a moment that is now officially over. But we just can't help ourselves!

Let the games begin. Ron Capps flipped his lid and went topless to open qualifying for the 2014 games. An intriguing start to a weekend that ended with John Force on the podium after blasting both ends of the F/C record completely off the books. Top Fuel and Pro Stock were also contested. (Photos courtesy of Competition Plus)

While Capps stress tested body tethers, Orah Mae Millar and crew provided a CarToons magazine presence in the pits. Or were they just spying on the burgeoning Competition Coupe field? (Photo courtesy of Pete Millar Facebook Page)

In the dark chasm between the Super Bowl and the Winternationals lurked an awkward five day intermission. A time to flip on our internal battery chargers in hopes of buzzing down the Super Bowl hangover in preparation for cracking open the drag race adrenaline valve. NBC Sports rhetoric trumpeted, "All eyes are on Sochi", but everyone I knew in Sochi had their radar set on Pomona, California, knowing that whether we witnessed the resurrection or the utter face-plant of Goliath on Parker Avenue, someones prayers would be answered long before any Wallys were hoisted. My money was on ESPN2 to snatch the Most Prayers Answered award (assuming they got paid). Who saw whom coming here? NHRA presented a somewhat improved show, ESPN juggled time slots and channels with a ruthless glee, but most of the fans were able to follow most of the action. SGE rating: A solid 1% improvement over last season. Read that however you want.


For many, the Super Bowl and Winternationals were welcome distractions from the welcome stresses of participating in the Grand National Roadster Show. Alas, at press time, we still have no updates on the condition of judging coordinator Vic Cunningham, nor the AMBR contender who drove over him. But while recuperating from their own ordeals, some SGE friends sent in snapshots of their GNRS adventures...

Bob Freyvogel braved figure skating traffic from Pennsylvania to Pomona to display his streamliner in the Century of Speed presentation of land speed racers. Built to do battle with a 472 MPH record, Bob says recent computer models indicate a potential top speed of 550. We'll see soon enough. Meanwhile, it looks beautiful fast at 0 MPH. (Photographer unknown)

That's right. And our sources claim it to be the real McCoy. (Photographer unknown)

Veteran author David Featherston signed a Guinness record 4,000 books, raising over 40,000 dollars for the Save The Salt campaign. Hero! Meanwhile, I sold five books. Not quite heroic, but all is relative. (Photo courtesy of David Featherston)

Author Jim Lindsay signed and sold "quite a few" books at the GNRS, raising "quite a few" dollars to fund his Modified Roadster land speed quest and his insatiable lust for In and Out burgers. (Photo by Jim Lindsay)

Kimberly and Peter Vincent hauled a load of Peter's Bonneville Salt Flats books from Idaho. Sales were brisk and a good time was had by both. (Photo by Diana Branch)

15 year old Kaylen Stewart was stoked to find a car that matched her shirt: Wayne Jesel's 262 MPH C/MP effort, urged by a 306" Dodge Ram. (Photo courtesy of Tom Stewart)

Kaylen again, power lounging with Scott Andrews (at left) and dad Tom, in the SCTA display (the social vortex of the event). Why should you care? The GNRS is but one stop on Kaylen's global quest to interview every female landspeed racer for her movie on the topic. She's really 15, really well spoken, and Tom is really the world's greatest dad. Really. (Photographer unknown) 




The endless winter drags on. Great news for anyone wailing on a shop project. Or making good use of last winter's project, like this enterprising individual. (Photo via Motormouth Ray)

So far, the Winter Olympics have been entertaining. We only wish it were televised. We're referring, of course, to the XVLIII New York City Puddle Jumping Olympics, submitted by Motormouth Ray hisself, in New York itself. The pride and inspiration that these amazing athletes instilled in Ray resulted in his first trip to the mailbox in weeks (in robe and slippers, but still...).

The U.S. team, showing shrewd strategy and a wise pragmatism at one of the trickiest crossings on the 200 meter course. All but one made it through unscathed. Tragically, New Hampshire's William Bendig (in brown cap) went completely under, disqualifying him from competition and badly spraining his connectazoid in the process. The loss of the wily veteran definitely hurt this team. They settled for bronze this year.

Oh my! A very bold move by India's young upstart, Assah Ngyeshia. Look at the sick air he gets over the water hazard as the truck attempts to recover from the swerve! The heart attack kid! Assah would've liked to have extended that left arm a bit more though - an uncharacteristic mistake of form that cost him a medal.

The South Koreans have owned Team Puddle Jumping for decades and swept the podium in all categories at Vancouver. They're moving with a brisk confidence here, but - well, New York isn't Vancouver. They did not medal.

We move now to 114th Avenue, where the final round of the 100 Meter Burden Slog is wrapping up under brutal conditions. Germany's Hans Brueller skates across an inch of solid ice, as Chinese national Margaret Cho (racing for the Dutch team) makes her move after a long chase from a handicap start (as Cho chose the lightweight "purse" burden). The pass was clean and Cho took silver as Brueller faltered. A stunning upset.

Martin Schroeder, the hometown favorite from Queens, marched through the field for bronze, capping a stellar Olympic career for the parts counter veteran and father of three. These are the heartwarming stories that make the games so inspiring.

Canada's Mike Fox appeared to have the gold in the bag when his stroller was totaled by a sliding taxi. Fox pressed on stoically and finished to cheers, in last place. Team mate Suni Fox remains in that leg cast at press time, but is expected to make a full recovery. She vowed to return in 2018.

Oh no! Oh no... You hate to see this. Sheila Doerring, star of the Great Britain team is hopelessly "slogged-in". But after agonizing seconds, she finally chained up, broke free, and sprinted to the finish to take gold for Britain! The feelgood story of the games!

By far the most dangerous event, the Men's Coffee Delivery Traffic Dodge came down to this lone contestant, 10 meters from the finish line. Alas, he didn't make it to the stripe, continuing the grim history of the only event to never have a finisher. Our congratulations to (name withheld pending notification of next of kin), for going further than any previous contestant! (Photos courtesy of New York Daily News)


In retrospect, my personal favorite aspect of the winter media binge had to be the intermission. Obsessing over AMBR competition, Super Bowl odds and ESPN trickery completely exhausted me. Consequently, not a damn bit of work was accomplished on this blog. So in lieu of actual content, we hereby present some stories we hope to get around to doing, eventually. Good luck reading the following captions without hearing that guy's voice intoning, "In a world..."

Tesla vs Model T street comparison!

We road test the 2014 VW Microbus!

Strip tuning the 2015 Huffy tricycle (it's a prototype)!

We build a Chevy pickup, blindfolded!

Chassis tuning Motormouth Chris' daily driver!

A thousand and one hood ornament ideas!

Exclusive stolen photos of NASCAR Nationwide Series star Johanna Long!

Lori Bentley Law's new '36 Harley project!



Regretful for missing the GNRS (I'm a notorious show hater, but missed seeing old friends there), I atoned by attending last weekend's Southern Oregon Rod and Custom Show here in Medford, Oregon.

Sunday morning at 9:00 is a lonely place in the Medford metro area . This '50 Pontiac was the only car I saw on the three mile drive to the Jackson County Exposition Center.

While I battled city traffic and sub-tropic weather, Twisty Ron Austin and Jim Lindsay stopped off en route to the show for a few drinks. They figured out how to shoot selfies and sent me this one to ponder at the long stoplight at Biddle and Table Rock Road. The longest light ever got even longer. Real funny, guys. (Photo by Twisty and Little Big Man) 

Finally made it. The big show building usually hosts livestock shows and rodeos, but the dirt floor was covered in sumptuous plastic and duct tape for the Rod & Custom show. Nice.

Gordy & Cheryl White's '29 RPU took the coveted SGE Pick, but just barely: This A-bone, built in '61, sat in a driveway for years wearing crusty orange paint, making me salivate every time I drove by it. Then it vanished for a year and reappeared as you see it here. I was so in love with the original that I took an instant dislike to this modern resurrection. But it still charmed me with it's history, exquisite execution, and seductive stance.

Thanks to the Whites for displaying this reminder that the truck was yellow before it was ever orange. My apologies to the Whites for my color bias, and to you readers for these shaky photos. Hadn't had my coffee yet.

Parking lot action. This '56 has been tormenting me for years. I see it everywhere, all the time, in all kinds of weather. But I've never caught up with the owner to get the scoop. For my taste, it's very close to the perfect daily driver. Besides the obvious (STANCE!), it rumbles nicely and performs well (as witnessed on street and strip). We'll connect when it's meant to be.

Hot rods in the parking lot are usually my favorite part of the show, but this year's selection was slim, so I snapped a couple of the cars for sale behind a vendor building. The (440) Charger was someone's beloved project being sacrificed for bill paying - a sad southern Oregon tradition. I know nothing of the sano Lincoln, but used it for target practice.

Jim Lindsay eventually found his way to the show. He towed his restored Duedall Competition Coupe through blizzard conditions and sold some books, too. We hijacked a passing show goer to snap this shot of us with Dr. Lockjaw, moments after Jim phoned in an appearance on the Motormouth Radio Hour in New York. L - R: Doc, Jim, and some pathetic photobomber, bottomfeeding off of other people's glory. (Photo by Mr. X)

Jim Lindsay and I exchanged books at the show. Afterward, I cracked open his The Little Bastards and was instantly transported back to my own dubious adolescence. This is the most accessible read I've come across in years. Lindsay somehow conjured the gift of (my first writing mentor) Henry Gregor Felson, ran off with it, and made it his bitch. I was already painfully aware that Jim was my superior in fabrication and racing - and now this. Once again, I am reduced to being his humble fan. Join the club at Amazon.com. Aspiring authors: Keep a copy in your box of tricks. (Scotty shots)



You'd be wide eyed too, if you experienced half of what this guy has in the last two weeks. The SGE Squirrels were the toast of New York following their talk show blitz and ensuing halftime appearance at the Super Bowl. It is my proud honor to report that the squirrels are currently in Oklahoma City, negotiating with representatives of The Discovery Channel regarding the possibility of them joining the cast of the Street Outlaws "reality series". All of us at SGE wish the squirrels the best on their possible future endeavor.

We intercepted this image being e-mailed by someone on our SGE network account. The accompanying text included numerous disparaging remarks regarding toolboxes in general and this one in particular. Records indicate the e-mail originated from Rockefeller Center in New York City on the same date that the SGE squirrels appeared on Late Night with David Letterman. Pending an internal investigation, this may be the final appearance of the squirrels and/or toolboxes on SGE. Stay tuned...


We end where we began, with a tip of the SGE cap to Brooklyn Heavy - long considered to be Big Willie Robinson's East Coast counterpart. These images illustrate the caliber of iron that competed on New York's Connecting highway in the 1970s. The Camaro was an ex- Grumpy Jenkins Super Stocker and the Mopar had formerly been campaigned by Sox & Martin in Pro Stock. (Photos courtesy of Motormouth Ray)