Born on Mar 02, 1948 in Wenatchee, WA. I was raised in a small logging community 10 miles up a raging tributary of the Columbia River. I went to high school in Chelan, WA a resort community. I also spent summers in S.E. Alaska in the king crab industry. After attending the University of Washington in Seattle, I graduated with a degree in engineering.
There I met my future wife and life-long companion Linda. We were married in 1969. My engineering jobs carried me to Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Washington and Alaska. We returned to North Central WA in the early 70’s to start farming apples. We have 4 children: Adam 1973, Alex 1975, Amber 1983 and Audrey 1985(notice all names begin with an A and the second letter is in alphabetical order-actually just a coincidence, not planned).
Having raced motorcycles a little in high school, I now had the opportunity to pursue racing with a vengeance. In the mid-70’s, off-road motorcycles went through what I call the “suspension revolution”. Wheel travel went from 3” to 12”. Everyone was experimenting with different shock angles and swing arm pivots. I rode a brand that used a high content chrome-moly steel that required a heli-arc for good welding. I heard of a man that had moved into town (Brewster) who had such a machine. I decided to meet him and see if I could persuade him to teach me to use his welder. The first time I went to his shop, I discovered a rear-engined sidewinder dragster that he had built and was experimenting with. In the next few years we became fast friends. I went to several of his races and he went to many of mine. As a matter of fact, the first race of mine that Ed went to, he ended up hauling me to the hospital with a broken foot. Ed told me one day, that he wanted to build a car and get in the 200 MPH Club and did I want to partner up. I asked, “What’s the 200MPH Club?” He replied “that’s when you set a record at over 200 MPH”. SOUNDED GOOD TO ME. In early 1979, Ed came to me and said “Speed Week is next week, let’s go” So I put the canopy on my pickup and we headed for the salt.
Though we were hardly wet behind the ears about the salt, we did what many veterans have done and still do today, WE DROVE ALL NIGHT. We had a great time there for four days. We took rolls and rolls of pictures, talked to countless people, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Everyone was very friendly and open. Don DeBring spent two hours with us going over all his stuff. We met and talked with Al Teague, Rick and Nolan White, and the Vescos (had met Don previously through motorcycles). Some one from SCTA/BNI gave me a current (1979) rule book. As everyone knows, having a rule book is the first step on the road to perdition. Your fate is sealed. Ed and I came home thoroughly pumped.
In the next year we did a lot of planning and scheming. When we headed for Speed Week 1980, Ed bought some magazines to read on the trip. One was a Popular Science that had an article about the Vector bicycle that had just upped the human powered vehicle land speed record from 50 mph to 60mph. Ed took one look and proclaimed “there’s our car”. The next thing I knew, we’re on a plane to Anaheim CA, and have signed a contract with Alan Voight and Dan Fernandez to build a body for our new car. Our job then became one of designing and building a vehicle to fit inside that body. I have a photo of Ed and me sitting on his front porch on July 4, 1981. At that point, we had only a bare rolling chassis. Oh yes, one other small item, I was on crutches because I had blown out my knee, and Ed was going into the hospital for 10 days of traction on his back.
We had the car on the salt for the Sept. Speed Week and came within 1.3 mph of the current record. We would chase that record until 1989. We made a lot of false moves, did some really dumb things and made our full share of rookie mistakes. Ed always said “if you build like everyone else, you will run like everyone else”. Trust me, there was more than one point that we both wished that we would run like everyone else. We set our first of many records in 1989 at 262.848 mph. It’s been quite a ride for us, the crew, our families and friends. We have been truly blessed, not only in our successes and failures, but by the people and the relationships we have made.
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