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The Bleach Pit

Summer 2014

Bill Corbett built the clone of Jim Miles' Magic Muffler Fuel Altered. It's a great story how it came about. Jim Miles wound up becoming involved with the project, as did a number of other hot-rod and drag-race guys like Amos Satterlee, Derek Bowers, Pete Eastwood, Mike Boyd, and the late Jim Deist.

We shot the car in our studio for a full feature on Jim Miles' history in Fuel Altered racing, as well as the recreation of his most famous (exploding) Fiat for issue No. 62 of The Rodder's Journal.

One last note pertaining to the Surfers ("The Epic Saga of the Surfers," Spring '14): A few issues back, I wrote a short article about how the Surfers 2 Top Fueler that was sold to the Bandel Brothers was unearthed last year. It had been stashed away in a rural Maryland shed for a couple of decades and wore the same paint as when it was last campaigned by Gordon Tatum, the third owner. Keep up the good work. I enjoy your magazine.

—Curt Iseli, managing editor, The Rodder's Journal


Thanks for the great article on Arnie Beswick. I first met Arnie around 1984, when I was nine. I grew up nearby and had plenty of exposure to him and his old cars. Attached are some pics of his '61 Passionate Poncho as I rode around in it in the '80s. It was then owned by family friend Alan Ranz and had a healthy 428 Tri-Power and a four-speed. During its rebirth to former glory, it was hand-painted by my late friend, Jim Chandler.

This car hooked me on Ponchos and I have already passed on the love for the hobby to my nine-year-old daughter, Madi. There are many of us second-generation kids out there who love the stories of our parents' time, are intent on preserving the history, and are already passing it on to the next generation. Thanks for a great mag. We count the days until the next one!

—Jason Derby, Kenosha, WI


I read the article on Mike Sorokin and the Surfers with great joy and fondness . It brought back a lot of memories. I met Mike Sorokin in 1956 when we were both in high school—he at Venice, me at Culver City. We met at the place most hot rodders met back then: the Hamburger Handout (you called it the Nineteen) at Sepulveda and Centinela [in LA]. Hamburgers were $0.19, fries $0.11. Mike drove a '41 Ford Coupe, with a full race flathead. It was known to be one of the fastest cars in West LA. Mike was also one of the first guys to run blackwall tires on his car. The rest of us were still running white sidewalls at the time. He was ahead of us in many rodding areas.

I lost contact with Mike after high school, but remember hearing about his tragic accident at San Fernando in the late '60s. Very unfortunate, he was a great guy who made a lot of friends wherever he went. Thanks for the trip back in time.

—Bob Blymyer


Just a note to let you know I think you nailed it—just open an issue of Elapsed Times and go back. Myself and many others lived this time in drag racing and loved it. Keep it up. I just hope I don't miss an issue at the newsstand.

—Jerry Cammack


I enjoy Elapsed Times and really liked the Bill Jenkins/Jere Stahl article ("The Rivalry," '12). My house is close enough to Jenkins's shop that I could hear the dyno runs. Ro McGonegal's Last Look at Bill Jenkins was a fitting tribute to The Grump.

How about a feature on Modified Eliminator? Having worked for Radar Corp., we did a lot of Gas/MP/Super Mod engines. I know (contributor) Rick Voegelin campaigned a C/SM Camaro, so he would probably enjoy doing an article about those high-revving, wheelstanding, four- and five-speed cars, and the drivers.

—Kenny Heyduk

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