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7/25/2022 11:11 pm  #1


Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

1950
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June 27 – Santa Ana, California – Santa Ana Register – This past week a collection of auto racing enthusiasts successfully opened a new venue to race their beloved cars in Santa Ana.  The race form of choice is what is called drag racing.  A contest in which two cars, also known as hot rods, are positioned on a starting line.  At a signal, the drivers of these hot rods accelerate in an attempt to be the first to cross a finish line a quarter mile straight ahead.  First to cross that line is the winner.  It is a simple race construct, and it requires simple accommodations.  Truth be told all that is required is a straight stretch of road at least a half mile in length, the additional quarter mile required for deceleration and shutdown of the hot rods.  There is perhaps no better suited facility to meet these requirements then airport runways.  For years now hot rod enthusiasts have been known to conduct their events at airports.  Naturally doing so requires close communication with airport management to assure that the racing activities do not interfere with air travel needs.  That is precisely what the collection of men in Santa Ana have done.  They have arranged to work with management of the Orange County Airport in south Santa Ana to conduct races on an auxiliary runway.  They are calling it the Santa Ana Drags.  Their success is now encouraging one of their own to make the most of this venue.  Wally Parks is that man.  He is the editor of Hot Rod Magazine a publication dedicated to the promotion of the art of hot rodding, including racing those hot rods.  In his time involved with hot rodding Mr. Parks has often been approached by private individuals who have built hot rods in their own home garages.  Many of these individuals encourage Mr. Parks to organize the sport of hot rod racing.  A way for many of these garage mechanics into professionals.  It is a thought that Mr. Parks has turned over in his mind for some time now.  It is something that Mr. Parks has finally decided to do something about.  Mr. Parks has conceived a form of team drag racing.  On the first Saturday of the year Mr. Parks will invite twenty-five of the best home built hot rods to compete in what he is calling Race Wars.  This event will be held at the Santa Ana Drags.  Each builder must also be able to drive their own rod.  Through the event four teams will select six owner/operators each.  That means twenty-four of the twenty-five will be signed to a team.  The lone owner/operator not selected will be invited back for the next four years or until a team selects them.  In all you see an owner/operator has five chances at Race Wars to get signed.  Once the teams are put together, they will compete over six weeks of scheduled games.  At the conclusion of the schedule the two winningest teams will be invited to compete in a championship game that Mr. Parks is calling the Title Match.  Mr. Parks has named his new organization the American Hot Rod Federation (AHRF).  In the coming weeks Mr. Parks will hire Crew Chiefs to head each of the four teams.   

 

7/26/2022 1:45 pm  #2


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Awesome, a new racing series! Drag racing is a motorsport I'm not all that familiar with so I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes. I like the logo as well, a very simple and classy logo for an early league. Nice work!


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7/27/2022 2:10 am  #3


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Still 1950
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Monday, July 10 – Santa Ana, California – Santa Ana Register – A couple weeks ago we at the Register brought you the story of a Hot Rod enthusiast named Wally Parks who was embarking on a journey to organize a drag racing league.  Today in our continuing coverage of the development of the league we introduce to you the branding for each of the four teams that will compete this coming season, set to begin on the first weekend of 1951.  We asked Parks to clue us in onto how he arrived at his decision as to how to brand each team.  This was his response; “Well all four teams are going to compete from the Santa Ana Drags so I of course could not call them all the Santa Ana this or that.  Say like they do in other ball sports.  Like the Los Angeles Rams or the New York Yankees.  So, I thought about team A, B, C and D but then it struck me that A would always be considered to be better then B, C or D.  Then I thought about just calling them by a color like Team Red, Team Blue, Team Yellow, and Team Green.  Finally, though I decided on shapes.”  Indeed, he did settle on shapes.  The four teams to compete in the inaugural season of the American Hot Rod Federation (AHRF) will be; Square Team, Circle Team, Triangle Team, and Diamond Team.   Parks has also created logos or crests to represent each team.  The logo for Square Team features a green square bordered in dark blue.  For Circle Team we have a yellow circle bordered in a darker green.  For Triangle Team we have a more true-blue triangle bordered with purple.  Finally, for Diamond Team we have an orange diamond bordered in red.  Each logo has the name of their shape written across it in the same color that the shapes border is done up in.  Simple representative tokens for the humble beginnings of a new adventure.  Parks further explained to our reporters that each driver is free to paint their car as they wish, however the logo of their team will be placed on the hood or roof of their car to help the viewing audience understand which team they represent while racing.  On the driver and passenger side door each rod will be required to carry a number of their choice.  This will also help distinguish who is who for both the audience and any game officials.  Parks is still on the lookout for twenty-five drivers to invite to Race Wars as well as four Crew Chiefs to head each team.  He hopes to have the Crew Chiefs hired before mid-fall. 
[img]http://i.imgur.com/nrocobF.png
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Last edited by JMurr (7/27/2022 2:14 am)

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7/28/2022 12:28 am  #4


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Monday, July 31 – Santa Ana, California – Santa Ana Register – As part of our ongoing coverage of the formation of the American Hot Rod Federation (AHRF) Wally Parks himself recently came to our staff writers to give an update.  Parks shared with a pair of logos he has drafted for the first ever Race Wars and Title Match.  Each are simple boxes, one blue and one red, with the name of the event they each represent written inside the box.  The lettering for Race Wars is aligned on the left side of its logo while the Title Match lettering is aligned to the right.  Race Wars is the opening event of the season while the Title Match is the closing event.  The lettering on the logos are representative of this.  This was not all that Parks had to share at this time.  He also wanted to introduce ten individuals.  The first three being Marcus Forsberg, Edward Randrup, and Stefanus Southgate.  These are the first three individuals hired to be Crew Chiefs in the AHRF.  Forsberg was assigned to the Diamond Team, Randrup to the Square Team, and Southgate to the Circle Team.  Each of these three men have extensive careers working in the automotive industry.  Parks is still in search of a fourth and final Crew Chief to be assigned to Triangle Team.  The seven other names that Parks introduced today were the first seven owner/operators who have signed the first contracts to compete at Race Wars.   The men are Ashley Aiken of Hayward, California; Oscar Appelhof of Compton, California; Jarrett Backus of Morro Bay, California; Matt Bloxam of Arroyo Grande, California; Christoffer Huxley of Beaumont, California; Thorvald Thorley of Paso Robles, California; and Bernard Ungaro of El Cajon, California.  Aiken has built up a 1936 Willys pickup, Appelhof a 1934 Ford Model B, Backus a 1939 Chevrolet coupe, Bloxam a 1929 Willys-Knight, Huxley a 1947 Ford Super DeLuxe, Thorley a 1949 Packard, and Ungaro a 1933 Willys 77.  Seventeen more open spots to get a chance at Race Wars remain. 

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Last edited by JMurr (7/28/2022 12:29 am)

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7/28/2022 11:41 pm  #5


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Sunday, October 1 – Santa Ana, California – Santa Ana Register – Shortly after the Registers last report on progress towards the organizing of the American Hot Rod Federation (AHRF), Wally Parks came to us with the name of the fourth and final Crew Chief.  That man’s name is Tytus Sinagra, and he is from Fallbrook, California.  Sinagra has been assigned to head the Triangle Team.  We at the Register withheld reporting on this as it came so soon after we had just reported and as it were only a single name.  What we did not anticipate was that we would not here from Parks for quite some time thereafter.  He had so little contact with us for so long we began to fear that the whole project had fallen apart.  As September came to a close, as we neared three months before the first Race Wars are to be held, we decided to chase him down on our own for an update.  When we found him, he had a good explanation for his lack of communication.  He told us “First off, I want to express gratitude towards the Santa Ana Register for all it has done to report on our new league.  I am appreciative.  Still, we have been struggling to get the word out beyond the boarders of California.  I have been scouting talent.  This great expansive country of ours is full of hot rod enthusiasts and so I have been looking for some of that talent throughout the nation.  We have found drivers from places like North Carolina, New Jersey, and even Missouri.  That’s not to say however that I have stopped looking in California.”  Parks was not fibbing at all.  He turned over to us a list of fifteen more names who have been signed to compete at the first Race Wars and the list does include individuals from outside California.  Here now is that list of fifteen: Brent Albronda of Inglewood, California and his 1927 Essex Sedan; Christian Behrends of West Sacramento, California and his 1930 Ford Model T; Ron Borchard of Alhambra, California and his 1947 Ford Deluxe Sedan; Rafael DeAngelis of Huntington Park, California and his 1949 Oldsmobile 88; Fredie Finley of Goldsboro, North Carolina and his 1942 Willys Americar Coupe; Kaj Joyce of Monterey Park and his 1947 Pontiac Streamliner; Elias Kato of Huntington Park, California and his 1949 Mercury Eight; Felix Kertesz of Lake Elsinore, California and his 1932 Ford Coupe; Casimir McManus of Woodbury, New Jersey and his 1929 Ford Model A; Coby Michaud of Nixa, Missouri and his 1946 Mercury Eight; Arhtur Negrescu of Huntington Park, California and his 1941 Ford Super Deluxe; Jonathan Neroni of Monterey Park, California and his 1933 Ford Model B; Bobbie Sparacello of Grand Rapids, Michigan and his 1948 Dodge Coupe; Albie Travieso of Alhambra, California and his 1920 Ford Model T; and finally Addison Winter of Mountville, Pennsylvania and his 1931 Ford Model A Truck.  Only three more spots remain for entry into the first Race Wars.  Despite the present late date on the calendar the AHRF remains on schedule to begin competition on January 6th, 1951. 

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7/30/2022 4:44 pm  #6


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Sunday, October 8 – Monterey Park, California – Santa Ana, Register – The development of the American Hot Rod Federation (AHRF) carries on.  While we await new details in that progress, we thought it might be a good idea to highlight a few of the owner/operators who have signed on for Race Wars 1.  We hope to bring you profiles of these individuals so that you might get to know them better.  The first we had the opportunity to sit down and get to know is 26-year-old Kaj Joyce.  We spoke with him at his home in Monterey Park.  Joyce is not the only signed driver from Monterey Park.  His not to distant neighbor Jonathan Neroni is another resident headed towards a career in the AHRF.  Joyce has always lived in Monterey Park save for four years in service of his country with the Navy mostly onboard the USS Suwannee.  Joyce’s father was proprietor of a small local market.  It was in a small shop behind that market that Joyce developed his interest in mechanics.  The garage, also owned by his father, was equipped with milling and lath equipment.  His father used the garage simply to maintain his store and a couple delivery trucks that he operated.  It was not otherwise a commercial garage.  A teenage Kaj Joyce however utilized the facility to earn some money.  He would pick up odd auto repair jobs and soon developed a talent for making his own engine parts.  Following the attack of Pearl Harbor Joyce, who was about to turn 18 years old, felt a need to lend his talents to his countries war effort.  He enlisted in the United States Navy.  In October 1943 he was assigned to the USS Suwannee, then stationed in San Diego.  Onboard the Suwannee Joyce got to see several points all around the Pacific, including Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, and Japan.  He was even onboard in October 1944 when the ship was attacked by Japanese kamikazes.  In fall of 1945 Joyce completed his service in the Navy and returned home to Monterey Park.  Upon his return home he went to work for his aging father at the family market.  Along with a few war buddies of his he got into the sport of building and racing hot rods through the late 1940s.  Earlier this year while reading through the Santa Ana Register, he learned of Wally’s Park to develop the AHRF.  Joyce was immediately interested in competing in the league.  He went out and found a car he could build into a hot rod.  He purchased a 1947 Pontiac Streamliner, built it up, and took it down to the Santa Ana Drags to meet Parks.  Parks put him to the test to show what this Pontiac could do.  Before the night was over Parks offered Joyce a contract to compete at Race Wars.  Joyce now awaits that event.  His only thoughts on the matter as explained to us were “I’m just hoping that I can get onto a good team with some great guys.  I’m both excited and honored to have this opportunity.” 

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Last edited by JMurr (7/30/2022 4:47 pm)

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7/30/2022 5:34 pm  #7


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Wednesday, October 11 – Hayward, California – Santa Ana Register – In the second of our AHRF player profiles we introduce you to Ashley Aiken.  Aiken will soon celebrate his 23rd birthday on October 29.  He was born in a modest home in Hayward, California to Kipper and Ruth Aiken, both workers in Haywards Hunt Brothers Cannery.  Aiken grew up in very modest conditions.  The family home he was born in was no more than nine-hundred square feet, in which a family of six lived.  Early in his life Aiken proved to be a smart boy.  He graduated from Hayward High School in 1945 with honors.  He applied to and was accepted by a collection of universities.  From among those acceptances, he chose to go to Stanford University.  In the summer of 1949, he completed his undergraduate degree in engineering.  His folks had high hopes for him to earn a good living and turn the fortunes of the family’s financial security.  Aiken was a natural learner.  Academics came natural to him.  Still, his soul never felt satisfied until he came across street drag racers in north Oakland one day.  Witnessing the activities of these street racers stirred something in Aikens imagination.  It consumed his mind through the last days of completing his bachelor’s degree.  It so consumed him that once competed he had no desire to go onto graduate work.  Instead, he returned home to Hayward, got a job at the cannery himself and spent all his free time and money towards building and racing hot rods.  He street raced all over the bay area, anywhere he could find a race.  The better he got, the better his cars got, the more he desired to take on better competition.  He began traveling as far south as Santa Ana chasing any and all competition, he could find with a 1936 Willys Truck rod he so proudly put up against anyone.  His travels cost him his job at the cannery but gained him a relationship with Wally Parks.  Aiken became one of the first people to sign a contract to compete at the first Race Wars.  As we did with Kaj Joyce, we asked Aiken to give us his thoughts on the coming event.  He said “I have some reservations.  I am at my best with just me and the machines.  I have some reservations as to how I will do with teammates and a crew chief.  Still, I need to earn some money as I don’t have any other job.  So, far this is costing me more then it’s earning me.” 

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Last edited by JMurr (7/30/2022 5:34 pm)

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7/30/2022 8:27 pm  #8


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Saturday, October 14 – Nixa, Missouri – Santa Ana Register – Looking over the list of places that drivers signed to the AHRF come from, one place stands out as different: Nixa, Missouri.  Standing out as different is something that Coby Michaud is accustomed to.  Not only is he one of the few drivers from outside of California he is the lone colored driver.  Michaud was born in Nixa on September 11, 1924.  His father, Walsh Michaud, worked in a local factory until 1930 when he was let go from that job due to matters related to the Great Depression.  These times were hard on the Michaud family.  These hardships began to come to an end in late 1931 when Coby’s father got a job with Frisco Lines Railroad.  He worked onboard the trains and therefore was away from the family home frequently through this period of time.  The job afforded him the opportunity to meet some wealthy and powerful people.  One of those men, Lorenzo Carmichael, hired Walsh to come work for him maintaining his estate in Jefferson City, Missouri.  After getting settled Walsh brought his family including the now 9-year-old Coby to the estate to live.  The Michaud family was given a small house on a grand property.  Coby’s mother was also hired to work for Carmichael as a housekeeper.  Coby maintains that he has fond memories of his time living on the Carmichael estate.  The Carmichaels allowed him to play on the grounds with their children until there was an altercation one day between himself and a Carmichael boy about his same age.  Coby explains it this way “I would say Mr. Carmichael was a considerate man.  When we first arrived there, I often played with his children.  I was not allowed in the big house, but I could play on the grounds with his children.  One day we were all playing our own version of baseball.  His son Tony and I had a difference of interpretation of the rules, and we settled that difference with fists.  I don’t think it would have been so bad, but it was Mrs. Carmichael who first saw what was going on and came running out to put a stop to it.  The whole thing really bothered her, and things got really sensitive for my family there for a while.  It even looked like Mr. Carmichael was going to have to let both my parents go.  Of course, that would have meant we would have been without a home.  Somehow it all settled down and Mr. Carmichael kept my folks working but my father decided it would be best for him to keep my time occupied otherwise.  He basically put me to work.  I worked along side of him.  He really was a self-taught man.  He even worked on things like trucks and tractors.  He never had any training.  He worked things out and figured them out on his own.  For me however I was lucky enough to have his training.  It was at this time that I began to work on engines.”  Despite all that happened between the children Mr. Carmichael maintained a good relationship with both Walsh and took a liking to Coby.  In 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked Coby was in his final year of high school.  After he graduated, he enlisted with the Air Force and became a part of the legendary Tuskegee Airman.  Not as a pilot but rather as a mechanic.  He was never sent overseas during the war but rather spent most of his time at Moton Field in Macon County, Alabama.  He completed his service in 1947 and returned to Nixa, Missouri.  He worked odd jobs making his own way in life.  Once while visiting his father up at the Carmichael estate in Jefferson City, Mr. Carmichael overheard a conversation about the difficulties Coby was having keeping work.  They would end up working out a deal in which Mr. Carmichael would purchase a car for Coby who in turn would come up often to do work for him.  The car that was purchased is the same 1946 Mercury Eight that Coby will soon race in the AHRF.  Shortly after acquiring it from Mr. Carmichael Coby began working on it to improve its performance.  “All along I feared Mr. Carmichael was not going to be happy with me if he knew all the altering, I was doing to the car.”  Coby confessed to us.  “Instead, when he found out I got a knock on my door in Nixa that I never would have expected.”  The man who was knocking on his door was Wally Parks.  It turned out that Lorenzo Carmichael worked with the publishing company that Parks worked for at Hot Rod Magazine.  When Carmichael discovered all that Coby had done to the car, he arranged for Parks to come out and take a look at Coby in consideration for entry into the AHRF.  Clearly, Coby meet the expectations of Parks.  Coby continues to live and work in Nixa while he awaits the first AHRF season. 

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7/31/2022 11:57 am  #9


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Friday, October 20 – Santa Ana, California – Santa Ana Register – Yesterday Wally Parks brought to the Register the final three individuals who have signed to compete at the first Race Wars.  All three are from California.  They are Idan Villeneuve of Sausalito with a 1940 Ford Coupe, Damien Cuellar of Emeryville with a 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition, and Rolf Roggeveen of El Cerrito with a 1927 Dodge Series 128.  Along with this announcement Parks released a schedule for the season.  The schedule is listed here:
Jan. 6 – Race Wars 1
Jan. 13 – Circle vs. Square
Jan. 20 – Triangle vs. Diamond
Jan. 27 – Diamond vs. Circle
Feb. 3 – Square vs. Triangle
Feb. 10 – Square vs. Diamond
Feb. 17 – Circle vs. Triangle
Feb. 24 – Title Match 1
Looking forward to this coming first season and continuing to gather interest in the AHRF overall we at the register decided to put together a profile of one of these final three drivers.  In putting together these profiles we interview the subject and try to go out and visit the places of their lives.  In this case we only had time for a single interview.  As it turned out the subject, we choose happened to be just the right person for such time constraints.  Our subject is Rolf Roggeveen.  Rolf was born in San Francisco, California on September 30, 1926.  Today he is twenty-four years old.  Rolf confessed to our interviewer “I have read your other driver profiles and I must confess my life is so much plainer.  I grew up in a modest family home.  My father worked and my mother stayed home to take care of four kids.”  Rolf’s father is an educator by profession.  Today he is a professor at the University of California in Berkley.  When Rolf was a smaller child, his father was both working and going to school to become a professor.  It was his fathers work that caused the family to relocate from San Francisco to El Cerrito.  Rolf is the third of four children.  All three of his siblings being female.  “Growing up in the house I did I suppose it was expected I would go off to college and become something along the lines of my father, he teaches math subjects you see.”  Rolf told us, “But that just wasn’t in me.”  In his high school years Rolf fell in with a group of car enthusiasts.  He performed much better in shop classes at school then he did in tradition academic subjects.  When he was seventeen years old Rolf got a job at a restaurant washing dishes.  He saved everything he made just to purchase an old 1927 Dodge Series 128.  Even after he bought the car Rolf continued to save money so that he could buy parts needed to improve the cars performance.  All the while he was putting his car up against others in local street races.  Wally Parks had caught word of the illegal street races going on in Northern California, so he came looking in his final hunt for talent to fill the rosters of AHRF teams.  Rolf was one car and driver who caught his attention.  As he entered his twenties Rolf’s parents continued to place pressure on him to do something with his life, to find a career path.  “When I came home and told them I signed with the AHRF at first, they had no idea what I was talking about.  When I explained to them someone was going to pay me to race my car, they were happy, that is until I told them how much I was going to make.  Then they said I’m still going to need to find another career.”        
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7/31/2022 8:00 pm  #10


Re: Professional Team HOT ROD Drag Racing

Monday, October 23 – Santa Ana, California – Santa Ana Drags – Race Wars, the opening event to the AHRF season is drawing near.  We now have a schedule.  Recently league founder Wally Parks came to us to provide an insight as to how the schedule was drawn up.  He told us “Well the schedule has something to do with the picking order for Race Wars.”  Parks went onto describe that he recently had all the Crew Chiefs together down at the Santa Ana Drags.  They each drew straws to determine the picking order for Race Wars.  Longest straw picks first, next longest picks second, third longest picks third, and shortest picks last.  This resulted in Circle getting the first pick, Square getting the second pick, Triangle getting the third pick, and Diamond getting the fourth pick.  This will be the order for the first round of picks.  There will be six rounds.  In the second round the order will be reversed.  All odd number rounds will have the same order as the first round and all even numbered rounds will have the same order as the second round.  This process should balance the teams as best can be.  Circle will have the first and therefore expected best pick, but they will also have the final and lest desired pick. 

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