A century of speed has rolled across the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. Starting in 1914, with “Terrible” Teddy Tetzlaff, the velocity milestones are still rising, roaring and raging. The 2014 racing season brings Kaylin Stewart, a rookie 16 year-old teenager to the starting line determined to set a class record in excess of 200 miles per hour.

 First-time racers at the Bonneville Salt Flats are affectionately called “salt virgins” because running on the panoramic sodium-soaked pancake always imparts startling insight about its many hidden difficulties. Every smarty pants who thinks otherwise gets a life lesson that hopefully doesn’t cost too much in crunched parts and bunched undies. Containers of cash won’t ease the pain either. The original salt virgin came to this hallowed speed Mecca back in 1914. “Terrible” Teddy Tetzlaff was the King of the West Coast drivers, a two-time winner of the Santa Monica road races and holder of innumerable course speed records.

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26 Feb, 2015  |  Written by  |  under Hot Rods, Journalism

Manns Restoration

Manns Restoration Does World-Class Work in a Tiny Missouri Town


This small town crew knocks out world class cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and fire engine that can be found in museums all around the globe. This humble gang of talented guys have won every “Best of Show” from Pebble Beach to Amelia Island and even had a command performance with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.

Let’s get this out of the way: Festus. Yes, Festus. As in Missouri. A name that begs comical commentary despite its biblical origins. It is certainly not the first place one would think to look for a world-class auto build and restoration shop. However, it is disbelief, not amuse-ment that will greet you when you first step into Festus’ own Manns Restoration & Maintenance.



It was an odd, yet unquestionably puzzling way that I discovered I had been fired. When the January 2015 Goodguys Gazette arrived and my name was gone from the masthead, a spot it been for more than 12 years, I finally got the message. My Fuel For Thought column and the occasional special features and photos were history.


Emails had gone unanswered for months and phone calls were never returned. I should be livid, but I am only saddened by the reality that the one place the land speed racing community could count on reading something monthly about their marvelous motorsport in a national publication was no more.

God Bless ‘em — Goodguys published every one of them in their entirety. I didn’t think my cold dismissal could be about money because I hadn’t asked for one raise in 12 years.  

Of the 150 stories about land speed racing for the Gazette, a good number of my columns won international writing and photographic awards from the Society of Automotive Historians (SAH), All American Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association (AARWBA), Motor Press Guild (MPG), International Automotive Media Competition (IAMC).

In 2009,  Goodguys named me  “Woman of the Year” and presented me with a fabulous hand-crafted piece  from artist extraordinaire, the late bob McCoy.

Because so many land speed racers, enthusiasts, family and friends have told me the only reason they became members of the Goodguys was to get the publication that contained my Fuel For Thought column, I am obliged to inform you of this odd and awkward development.

Perhaps you have come to value more than just my writing and will continue to subscribe, but now you have the facts to decide what is best for your reading pleasure.

Please don’t ask me for the “back story” when you see me, I simply don’t know anymore than I have written here. The ones who have, “the rest of the story” (tip-o-hat to Mr. Harvey) are VP of Media Travis Weeks and Editor John Drummond and they aren’t talking – to me at least.


Below is a letter one loyal reader sent to the publication in response to dumping FUEL FOR THOUGHT. It is letters like this that warm this writer’s heart to know the work is appreciated and ignites inspiration to stay the course in the future.  

 Dear Editor,

I was very disturbed to learn that the Goodguys Gazette will no longer publish “Fuel For Thought” prepared by Louise Noeth (Landspeed Louise). When my magazine arrives, hers is the first article I read, long before checking the monthly editorial, or gazing at page after page of advertisements. Not only can she keep her readers in touch with latest news in the land speed world but she also tells the readers the history of land speed racing. Louise has helped bring a whole new generation to the sport of high speed world records. She has also encouraged many of us to visit the salt and to participate. You have done a great disservice by eliminating her articles. She is a valuable resource and not someone to be eliminated on the spur of the moment. Her tireless dedication to the sport is unmatched.

History is very important to us as a country and also to us in our sports. To appreciate what we have today we must study our past. The history of motor sports is directly tied to land speed records and racing. The dry lakes of southern California brought us today’s hot rods, landspeed racing, and drag racing. The beaches of Florida brought us early high speed records and the foundation for NASCAR and the Daytona Speedway.  This racing heritage is the foundation for the hot rods that you write articles about, photograph, and promote events.   Frequently Louise writes about our racing history. Much of this could be lost without her efforts to keep it alive and recorded.  

Please reconsider your decision to eliminate Landspeed Louise from your magazine.

John Kimbrough
Neosho, Mo


“Who loves ya, baby? –  Kojak aka Telly Savales

One of my readers brought to my attention that my very last published piece in the Gazette also carried a public declaration of unwavering support from the editor that I have linked below (Click on GG_Spangler).  This was part of the “letters to the editor” called “Rodders Respond” that appears monthly. The letter was written by veteran land speed record holder Dave Spangler, the current driver of TEAMVesco’s Turbinator II, that is seeking to exceed 500MPH on the Bonneville Salt Flats this racing season.  Upon reflection, the actions of the Association and publication staff reinforces my long-held work ethic of, “trust, but verify”. . .


LandSpeed Louise and Penske Indycar driver Helio Castroneves at the Shell Technology Center in Houston, Texas

In the Shell Technology Center: LandSpeed Louise and Penske Indycar driver Helio Castroneves

In late June, I was the guest of Shell and Pennzoil at the Shell Technology Center as well as the Grand Prix of Houston. While many were enamored with the double-header of open-wheel racing I was focused on getting details about the Pennzoil Platinum synthetic motor oil. Yeah, OK, another snake oil in a pretty silver package, right? Maybe.

What caught my attention is that this “synthetic” is derived from nearly pure natural gas. Some big brains figured out how turn gas into a liquid to form a base oil into which they then blend in some additives and come away with what Shell/Pennzoil claims will kick the butt of Mobil 1 and Royal Purple. Seriously.

Now it helped that Roger Penske uses the stuff in his Indy engines. My respect for “The Captain” runs deep; he does not run junk nor does he “cheap out.” Ever. Never.

Did you know Indy cars can’t use “secret snake oil” anything they put in their racing engines MUST be commercially available.

The Shell Technology Center is no little shack, home to some 2,000 scientists and engineers, the oil giant spends a staggering amount of cash on R&D each year – more than a billion annually since 2007.

If they were opening their doors to me, I figured it was worth a few days to find out if land speed racers might benefit from this ingenious method of lubrication. After all, these ingenious amateurs racers are the fastest people on earth who have, for decades, set extraordinary speed records using mostly modest means.

To prepare for the trip I consulted with some leading and respected LSR engine builders: Al Teague, Mike Le Fevers, Ken Duttweiler, John Beck, Dave Brant, Rex Svoboda, Doug Albietz and Rick Yacocci to get their views on dinosaur oils versus synthetic versions.Pennzoil Platinum with PurePlus Technology Bottle

I explained that Pennzoil was claiming its Platinum Synthetics would provide complete protection, without compromise, in five key ways:

1. Cleaner pistons
2. Better fuel economy
3. Protects horsepower
4. Unsurpassed wear protection
5. Excellent extreme temperature performance

The engine builders held basically the same opinion that synthetics had a clear advantage in protecting any engine, but the price made many people hesitate when taking something off the shelf – especially when talking about street-driven cars.

While I savor technical discussion, I am no lubricant or fuel expert so I am grateful for the time they spent coaching me on what was important. All were very generous with their knowledge and insightful about what wsolar121as important for me to discover. From the conversations, I came away with specific questions for the Pennzoil science and tech people. some I have answers to, others are in-process of being answered.

My goal was to take home details about how the stuff worked in high performance and racing engines. I am all too aware of how LSR must simultaneously protect their investment while wringing out every last pony of giddy-up out of every run.

I was introduced to power-packed group of people and given a great deal of time to talk with each candidly. Participants in the PurePlus™ Technology Innovation Tour included Shell’s brain trust of  Dr. Opinder Bhan, Dr. Alison Falender and Scott Rappaport  together with senior motorsports engineer Paul Bastien, and Penske driver Helio Castroneves.


Dr. Richard Dixon

Later, trackside, we met with Chris Hayek, Shell Lubricants Global Brand Director; Dr. Richard Dixon, Shell NA Motor Oil Technology Manager; Penske drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Will Power; Dr. Tony Sime, Senior Design Engineer, Ilmor Engineering. You might think that was enough, but Shell hit us with the power tools later that same evening where we  enjoyed private, leisurely cocktails followed by dinner with all of the above PLUS Tim Cindric, President, Penske Racing; Derrick Walker, President, IndyCar Competition and Operations and Will Phillips, IndyCar VP Technology.

I am NOT crowing about the VIP line-up. Rather I believe it important to mention these people because all were willing to talk at-length and in-depth about whatI kept calling the “fancy new snake oil.” What a fine, respectful guest I turned out to be. . . .,  thankfully, the irreverence was taken in the spirit it was intended: lighthearted but pointedly skeptical until proven otherwise.

The non-technical highlight of the entire five-day immersion was a rip-snorting, fun-poking, who’s-the-best-driver banter at dinner between Castroneves, Power and Montoya reminding all of us that we were the slowest in the room. It was bench racing at its finest and funniest. Those boys could easily do stand-up with Leno or Ferguson on their days off.

Once I get the questions back and answers sorted, I intend to share the information with the entire land speed racing community. That will include my Fuel For Thought column in the Goodguys Gazette, Bonneville Racing News and

Stand by, this stuff has some merit, but there are miles to go to show you what and why.

PurePlusbaseoilgraphic_pdf - 27 Feb 2014


Happily, mainstream media is starting to recognize the tremendous efforts of land speed racers — the fastest people in the world!

The  a  7-minute segment on Mike Cook’s Bonneville Shootout Saturday,  November 5th at noon (EST), part of the NASCAR nationwide pre-race show.

Can’t wait? No problem, watch the fast-paced, energy-laden mini-saga here:

Rocky Robinson, the fastest rider on 2 wheels at 376MPH didn’t wait; he checked in with me saying, “Just watched the ESPN video of the Shootout. Awesome job. Wish I could have stayed around to be part of it. I sure hope you are coming back next year. If me and the team decide to come back, we’ll get her right, I promise.  Love your work.” 

Well, I love you too Rocky! you, the team, the bike, and especially Tricia who gets scared crazy when you’re thundering across the salt but stands by you nonetheless! What a gal!

Look for the Poteet & Main’s Speed Demon, Charles Nearburg’s Spirit of Rett, Richard Assen from New Zealand, Rocky Robinson and Mike Akatiff’s Ack Attack, Leslie Porterfield, Mike and Terry Nish running for their glory story of speed.

I’m included as well, waxing with affection about the greatest motorsports venue on the planet, the place where more records have been set, lost and regained at higher speed than any place on earth — all done by amateurs, on shoe-strings budgets to test an idea, a hope, to make a dream come true. This where the age old question is put and answered, How fast will it go?” with every run across the salt.

George Poteet in Speed Demon Streamliner

George Poteet in the Speed Demon Streamliner

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