Tuesday, April 21, 2015



Who packs the most horsepower in Russia? Prime Minister Vladimer Putin, or motorsports photojournalist Maria Panova? Maria wheels an 8-second Toyota, but Vlad is just so hot...

SGE East Coast correspondent Motormouth Ray snagged this breaking story off the news wire for your enlightenment. Because an informed public is a safe public. Also because we needed content for this week's blog.

Vlad the Imbiber, sportin' sick neon under his trick trike. His bro's in the Night Wolves follow while accompanied by their own blaring theme music. These guys have it all going on. Note: Vlad is not wearing a party hat in this photo. He just comes across that way. The boy can't help it if fun follows him around. (Photos courtesy of Getty)

Russians know how to party, and last week's 70th anniversary of the liberation of Novorossiysk during World War II was a classic example. Like parties the world over, this one got a bit "out there", culminating with a leather-clad Putin cruising the city's main drag with his "brothers" in the Night Wolves motorcycle club, then boarding a vintage warship in Novorossiysk for a free range improv speech (very possibly fueled by vodka). The assembled throng (also very possibly fueled by vodka) found Putin's words so inspiring that they saddled up their bikes for an impromptu invasion of Poland.

It was soon decided that Poland would be but one stop on an all-out road blast to Berlin (the city that invented partying). The ultimate road trip for the world's heartiest partiers. Upon receiving leaked news of the invasion, Polish Prime minister Ewa Kopacz (now known to Russians as The Ultimate Party Pooper) declared the motorized march "a provocation", and warned that should security and public order be disturbed, the bikers would be "put on notice". Pretty harsh. Tougher yet, German Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate threatened the rolling funfest with this: "The responsible authorities will watch it very closely." Whoa. At press time, it is unknown whether Putin and his drunken biker pals have trashed Western Europe or have snuck back into Moscow through a secret back door under cover of darkness, with their tails between their legs. Stay tuned for updates.

This has been an Emergency Public Service Announcement from Scotty Gosson Exposed.



Last weekend was the final event of the season at New Zealand's Meremere Dragway. SGE pal Fingerz Mullan has turned the butterfly of his Nitro Ape Austin Bantam Altered over to partner Andi Whitley, who made her first full-track pass at the gathering, and it was a doozie. From the full drift burnout to the rowdy launch to the over-effective chute deployment, Whitley experienced every Altered-class adrenaline rush available, short of dodging her own burning pistons, in 9.45 seconds at 144 MPH. She made up for the intact reciprocating assembly by performing a successful fire burnout the night before. Congrats, Andi! And welcome to the Razor's Edge Dance Club. (Photos courtesy of Fingerz)


We recently reported on Twisty Ron Austin's makeover of Dave Sattem's '33 Willys. Twisty magically transformed the grizzled veteran race car into a pristine show winner, and we've been nerfing him ever since about going all show queen on us.

Austin and Sattem turned our insults to results last weekend at Woodburn Dragstrip in northern Oregon. Sattem's first baby steps in the reborn coupe (under Austin's supervision) were straight and true. A couple of tentative test runs (to seat the brakes and bed the ring and pinion) were predictably pedestrian fare. Twisty narrates from there: "The third pass was off-idle to 800 feet, going 8.60 at 153, and the fourth was off-idle and down to 1,100 feet: An 8.46 at 158 - straight as a pin. Can't wait to see what it'll do leaving off the converter and going to the finish line. Sorry, but no action shots, as I was preoccupied with making sure everything was alright on the car." Thanks Twisty! Congrats to you and Sattem! Just another example of what can be accomplished with some SGE Nation ju ju behind you. Neat trick, twisting a pitbull into a poodle, then back into a pitbull. (Photos courtesy of Twisty)


This one's personal, so I'm even more biased than usual. Beloved SGE semi-regular Ana Delfosse made the local paper last week, in bittersweet fashion. The Ashland-area resident (now 83) has been diagnosed with scleroderma (a fatal autoimmune system disorder) and is in a bad way. The Patagonia, Argentina native became Formula 1 legend Juan Fangio's crewchief at an early age (see full feature elsewhere on this blog), then married German racer Curt DelFosse, who won five Formula 1 Championships with her help, before Ana struck out on her own as a factory driver for Porsche. Ana and Curt became local fixtures upon moving to Ashland, Oregon and opening a Shell station that became known for going above and beyond with helping motorists. The economy forced the closing of the station a few years after Curt's death in 1998. Medical bills have sucked up any remaining funds and Ana now faces foreclosure of her rural home. Local businesses have set up fundraiser events and a support headquarters at: Ana DelFosse Support Fund, People's Bank of Commerce, Ashland, Oregon, 97520. At this point, a word of support might be as appreciated as a monetary donation. Thanks in advance for any support of my friend. (Photo courtesy of Ashland Daily Tidings)


Last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Witham Truck Stop in Medford. To celebrate, they rolled prices back to 1965, to the delight of diner diners like myself. I've been a semi-regular since 1966, when the place was a street racer meeting place. John Witham (son of the owner at the time) was a particularly heavy hitter, with the baddest '55 Chevy I ever rode in. Not quite as exciting today, Witham's came back to life last weekend with overflow crowds and all hands on deck (wrapped in tie dye for the occasion).

My menu.
My bill doesn't show it, but my breakfast also included fried potatoes, eggs, and toast. Patrons were guilted into overtipping - a devious ploy that worked to perfection.


Your weekly SGE Model A chassis update. Before... 

And after. Can you spot the differences?

We cut off the secondary tie rod boss (it's for cross-steering, which we aren't doing)...

... and we cut off the old spring perches and shock mounts, too.

We even test-fitted some brake components that we won't be using, as my brother Rocky just donated a pair of F-100 Bendix brakes for the front. Thanks, Rock!

Why it took Dr. Lockjaw and I all day at the Custom Metal shop to do a half hour's worth of work on the Model A: We first had to install the drivetrain in a customer's street/strip Willys. That wouldn't have taken long, but in the process, some pesky details popped up that needed addressing. That's how it goes sometimes, whether on a race car or a street car. On a street/strip car - double jeopardy! (Scotty shots)



 Who's photo bombing whom here? (Photo via Shellski)

Gary Dyer and his Craftsman rollaway on the clock at Grand Spaulding Dodge in 1965. Not only is Dyer working on his Mr. Norm's A/FXer during work hours, he's also posing for a Valvoline Oil print ad, as per for his sponsor's wishes. That's efficient time management! (Photo courtesy of Elapsed Times Magazine)


(Photo courtesy of Elana Scherr)

NEXT WEEK: Motormouth Ray, exposed!