16 Sep, 2020  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

In 2012, the Speed Demon racing team carved a new set of speed marks into the historical record on the revered Bonneville Salt Flats. Driver George Poteet, 12 times, drove the sleek streamliner in excess of 400 miles per hour. The feat was ground-breaking in amateur motorsports.

“You can’t do this by yourself. You can’t do this with just a team either. You need so many people to help that when you finally reach even a small goal, let alone a world record, you are so very grateful for all the help you have been given along the way. What the Speed Demon Racing Team accomplished in 2012 humbled me. I wanted to make sure what we did was not forgotten, or got mixed up as time went on. This book represents the combined efforts of dozens of people but is dedicated to the Speed Demon team members who have allowed me to leave my family with something rather interesting to remember me by.” ~ George Poteet

Car owner Poteet sat down with author “LandSpeed” Louise Ann Noeth to recount the fabulous racing season revealing his heartfelt gratitude about each and every team member that year, as well as a the critical role each played. This authorized chronicle of the 2012 ups, downs, and forehead slapping astonishing deeds includes explanations of the car’s powertrain, how aerodynamics factor into the stunning performance, and supported by fabulous intimate photographs of how it all unfolded.

Less than 200 of these books were printed and only a quarter of them were autographed by Owner/Driver George Poteet as well as each team member.

Only 7 Remain – Get Yours Today!

16 Sep, 2020  |  Written by  |  under Uncategorized

Reserve your AUTOGRAPHED advance copy now!
Release date November 9th

Astronaut John Glenn used Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats as a landmark from space, but on earth amateur motorsports enthusiasts have used the blistering hot, flat pancake as a speed laboratory for more than a century. With their handcrafted cars, trucks and motorcycles, thousands of men and women have hosted pageants of power each summer since 1949. Every single one came looking for the answer to the same question: “How fast will to go?” And those efforts have made them the fastest people on earth reaching speeds in excess of 500MPH. On the salt, people find the limits of their courage, they learn what daring greatly is all about, and understand why a Bonneville Salt Flats speed record is an internationally respected pedigree. People who race on the salt flats become a family bound together by speed – a powerful force that erases ethnic, economic, political and religious barriers: They are land speed racers. And this is their story.


The 128 page book with more than 200 images and art, is a chronology from 1914 to 2020 with three specialty chapters each devoted to Women Racers, Motorcycles & Thrust Powered Speed Machines. After 20 years of research, first time in print: EVERY car & motorcycle that ran at the inagural 1914 time trial thanks to illustrator Robert “Steady Hand” Rampton.

Single copies are $27.00 postage paid via media mail.

24 May, 2020  |  Written by  |  under Journalism

The Memorial Day poem below “BRAVE” written by Mick Lanigan was inspired by gratitude for those that made our nation a safe place in which to live. 

“As you gather with friends and family to enjoy a meal, BBQ, or gathering, please raise a glass, and take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day,” said author Lanigan. “It is a day to put aside differences and remember the brave souls who, regardless of political affiliation, color of skin, country of origin or religious faith, made the ultimate sacrifice to defend  the freedoms and way of life that we enjoy today. They were Americans as are we. They should never be forgotten.” 

 LandSpeed Louise Comments: American motorsports is under attack again! If the RPM Act does not pass the US Senate every car pictured here – and thousands more –  will  become illegal and subject to federal prosecution.  SEMA worked for years sorting out details for strong pollution controls and compliance testing on street vehicles as well what applied to those converted to race-only. It all went well for decades and then, without any precipitating event, the EPA changed it mind any decided ANY vehicle built for the street CAN NEVER BE ALTERED for racing without violating FEDERAL LAW!  How the interpretation changed is a mystery. SEMA responded and worked to reiterate its strong support for clean air, but not at the expense of thousands of enthusiasts who use their vehicles only for racing — in operation drastically less time and drastically much better state of tune than if street driven.

I was part of the original emissions testing rules and regs development to work out cut-points, testing procedures and education at the city, state and federal levels. My national article, “Vehicle Arrest”, brought understanding, cooperation and positive changes to all involved. Led by SEMA, the charge to reasonable began with Bob Burch and Russ Deane, who were  quickly joined by Vic Edelbrock, Jr., Scooter Brothers, John Lingenfelter, Bruce Crower, Harvey Crane and few others whom I don’t recall  – we all dedicated ourselves to making America better place to breathe and race on a daily basis. 

That this earnest, honest work is unraveling is 30 years later is just this side of nuts. Be very clear: this is not partisan, but the work of a couple people in the EPA who felt inclined to upend a successful public private partnership. I am not exaggerating or blowing this out of proportion. I urge EVERY eyeball reading this to be sure to click on the link below that gives you a quick way to tell your respective elected senators that you support the RPM Act. Details below.   

SEMA News Release:

SEMA President & CEO Chris Kersting today praised U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) along with 24 original cosponsors for reintroducing S. 2602, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2019 (RPM Act). This bipartisan bill protects Americans’ right to convert street vehicles into dedicated race cars and the motorsports parts industry’s right to sell products that enable racers to compete.

The RPM Act confirms that transforming motor vehicles into race cars used exclusively for competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. This American tradition was unquestioned for nearly 50 years until 2015 when the EPA took the position that converted street vehicles that compete on the track must remain emissions-compliant, even though they are not driven on public streets or highways. The EPA also maintains that the equipment used to transform a street vehicle into a race car is prohibited.

“SEMA looks forward to working with Congress to enact the RPM Act and make permanent the Clean Air Act’s original intention that race vehicle conversions are legal,” said Kersting. “We thank Senators Burr and Manchin for reintroducing a bill that will protect businesses that produce, install and sell the parts that enable racers to compete.”

The RPM Act cleared several major legislative hurdles in the previous Congress, including passage by the U.S. House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee. The bill also received hearings in both the House and Senate, which underscored the importance of motorsports as a great American pastime and economic stimulus in communities across the country. Lawmakers were able to find a pathway to a consensus on the language of the bill last session, positioning it to become law in the 2019-2020 Congress.

“American racing runs on traditions,” said Senator Burr. “For more than 50 years, motorsports enthusiasts have purchased cars and modified them to race, off of public roads. However, this tradition was threatened when the Obama EPA attempted to make these modifications illegal. This legislation upholds Congress’ intent of the Clean Air Act and protects motorsports, for professionals and amateurs alike, for years to come. I’m proud to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation, and I look forward to seeing it move through the Senate.”

Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a nearly $2 billion market annually. A majority of the estimated 1,300 race tracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, dirt and off-road tracks, feature converted race vehicles that the EPA now considers to be illegal.

“A big part of the fun of motorsports is the tradition of modifying regular cars into race cars,” said Senator Manchin. “This legislation upholds amendments to the Clean Air Act that exempt modified vehicles and race cars from certain environmental regulations, protecting motorsports for years to come. I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan bill and look forward to the boost it will give to motorsports.”

It is important that members of Congress hear from the racing and automotive enthusiast communities about the importance of passing the RPM Act into law during this session of Congress.

To write a letter to your U.S. Senators, visit sema.org/rpm.

For updates and additional information:
– visit sema.org/epa-news
– use #saveourracecars, #rpmact

LandSpeed Louise comments: “Keen kudos to Karl for his exceptionally complete and correct contribution to the historical record of land speed racing. His book has garnered the attention and respect of not only very appreciative readers, but that of colleagues. Until Karl dug in, most motorsports people today had no idea what Railton did, had forgotten, or that he ever existed. Readers have but to scan but a few pages to realize what a void has been filled. All should be prepared to be absorbed into yesterday. “

LONDON (Oct. 19, 2019) – Karl Ludvigsen’s book, “Reid Railton: Man of Speed,”has won the coveted Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (English) for 2019. Presented by the Society of Automotive Historians in the United States, this award is made each year to the book that best advances the understanding of the history of the automobile.
Supported by Railton’s daughter Sally Railton Joslin, “Reid Railton: Man of Speed”is the first book dedicated to the life and career of Reid Antony Railton, automotive engineer par excellence and the creator of an extraordinary range of cars. He rose to renown during the 1930s as chief engineer at Thomson & Taylor, Brooklands-based racing-car builders. There he realized the dreams of that era’s top men of speed, including Tim Birkin, Malcolm Campbell, Whitney Straight, John Cobb, Raymond Mays and Goldie Gardner. His great cars powered them all to sensational racing and record-breaking success.
“It was the joy of a lifetime to have the opportunity to write about Reid Railton, whose work I have admired for many years,” said Ludvigsen. “I was especially happy for my work to be honored this year, when the SAH celebrates its 50th anniversary. It is also significant for readers to be reminded of Railton at a time when the Bloodhound, another great British land-speed venture, is nearing its first major trial in South Africa. Its aerodynamicist wrote the book’s Foreword!
“I was lucky in finding revealing Railton vignettes such as his solving of a mysterious noise in a Hudson prototype. For a 21st-century audience I endeavored to set Railton’s work within the context of his times so it could be better understood by the modern reader. I hope this contributes to a better appreciation of the career of an engineer who deserves to be ranked among the greats of Britain and the world.”
Published by Evro Publishing in April 2018, this magisterial two-volume work by one of the world’s foremost automotive historians tells Reid Railton’s personal and professional story in superb detail and fascinating depth. Set against the turbulent background of the 1930s and 1940s, its special focus is on Ludvigsen’s interpretation of Reid’s unique insights – amounting to genius – and technical accomplishments. All are illuminated in 1,000 images in this superbly designed and beautifully produced book.
The Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot Award (English) is this book’s fifth award and its second in the United States. Its other awards are the Mercedes-Benz Montagu of Beaulieu Trophy (presented by the Guild of Motoring Writers), the Royal Automobile Club’s Specialist Motoring Book of the Year, the Michael Sedgwick Award (presented by Society of Automotive Historians in Britain) and Best Automotive Heritage Book (presented by the Automotive Heritage Awards).
About the author:
Karl Ludvigsen is respected as a close and knowledgeable observer of, and participant in, the world motor industry. In addition to his activities as an executive with GM, Fiat and Ford and head of a consulting company, he has been active for over 60 years as an author and historian. As an author, co-author or editor he has some six dozen books to his credit, most concerning cars, drivers, racing and technology, his life-long passion. Many have been garlanded for their high standard of writing and research. The 2019 SAH award is Ludvigsen’s fifth Cugnot prize. He and his wife Annette live in Suffolk, UK.
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