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Folks Of Interest Zen & The Surfers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jan 18, 2023.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 20,899

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Zen & The Surfers

    [​IMG]

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
     
  2. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 1,103

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  3. deuceman32
    Joined: Oct 23, 2007
    Posts: 384

    deuceman32
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    What a great read. Thanks, Boss.
     
    mad mikey likes this.
  4. Read about them 10-15 years ago. Definately marched to their own drummer. Innovation by necessity. Helped that their driver was absolutely fearless too.
     

  5. Jack Rice
    Joined: Dec 2, 2020
    Posts: 245

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    Good read, thanks.
     
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,625

    Roothawg
    Member

    Good stuff. They used to stress all the other drivers out, just goofing off and riding skateboards between rounds. I watched an old documentary on them....can't remember where I saw it.
     
  7. That author has some excellent writing chops.
    The research into behind-the-scenes, first-person anecdotes put lots of meat on the bones of the story.
     
  8. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,426

    Lone Star Mopar
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    There is a several part documentary on youtube about the Surfers that tells some great stories too.
     
  9. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,523

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    I'll reiterate what @Lone Star Mopar stated, the documentary is almost a "must view". Here's the link for the first video.
     
  10. y'sguy
    Joined: Feb 25, 2008
    Posts: 548

    y'sguy
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    from Tulsa, OK

    Before corporate sponsorship.
    I've always admired what the Surfers did. Real build what you got in your home garage type of setup and figure out how to pay for parts as you go.
    Fire it up in the parking lot and test it on the nearest side street.
    And a mom that supports your dream.
     
  11. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 884

    das858
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    For me the story of the Surfers is the greatest story in the history of drag racing . And Mike Sorokins death is the most tragic I've ever read .
     
  12. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 5,546

    Speed Gems
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  13. The Surfers didn't ride waves, they made 'em. Probably the last, truly pure example of original thinking in the NHRA, possibly all of motorsports. Ignoring all the 'conventional' wisdom, Jobe and Skinner carved their own path and found the perfect driver in Sorokin to execute their vision.

    Tom Jobe's later observation that these days about the only choice left on a class race car is the color is all too true. All that's allowed these days is nibbling at the details.
     
  14. Cris
    Joined: Jan 3, 2005
    Posts: 811

    Cris
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    from Vermont

    This article was incredible. Thanks for posting it!

    Cris
     
    mad mikey and chryslerfan55 like this.
  15. flathead60
    Joined: Sep 10, 2018
    Posts: 32

    flathead60
    Member
    from NH

    Great article! Thanks for posting, Ryan.


    They definitely rode the crest of the wave in drag racing. The only place you find that kind of ingenuity and creativity today is in land speed racing, where the rules aren’t as rigid. Of course, there aren’t the big bucks there that have probably caused the rules to narrow in drag racing.


    As a personal aside, I remember “Nineteen” well. Living in Venice, it was nearby, and our family frequented it in the ’50’s and early ’60’s. It wasn’t until I got to grade school that I find out that the real word for them was “hamburgers”. We always called them “nineteen-cent-ers”.


    Ron Hier, quoted throughout the article, was best man in my parents’ wedding. He always has interesting things to say. He was quoted in Mickey Thompson’s biography, The Fast Life and Tragic Death of a Racing Legend, talking about the early days at Lions’ Drag Strip. It was a small racing world then. Ron partnered a car with Bill (Zeke) Adair, but Bill also had been partners with my dad in their 1950 drag car. Later, Bill gave Craig Breedlove his start in drag racing, as mentioned in Breedlove’s biography, Ultimate Speed.

    nineteen-1.gif

    nineteen-2.jpg
     
    2Blue2, silent rick, alanp561 and 9 others like this.
  16. Old-Soul
    Joined: Jun 16, 2007
    Posts: 3,675

    Old-Soul
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    That was fantastically written, thanks for passing it along.
     
  17. I have watched the entire series on you tube several times. Mr. Bill Pitts did a great job with documenting this very important history. It is A MUST WATCH!
     
  18. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 2,050

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    I could read about those guy's for day's on end... It NEVER gets old! A remarkable group of guy's doing things their way and giving the middle finger to the status quo! :cool:
     
  19. They had quite a reputation for exotic fuel mixtures .
    I remember somewhere reading a caption under this photo:
    It read,,,,,,”I’ll bet the Surfers never mixed up a batch like this “

    At least it was a photo similar to this .

    Tommy

    2570D231-FA76-4025-A09C-4466068C75AD.jpeg
     
  20. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,298

    theHIGHLANDER
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    Wow. Just fuckin wow. I have to read this again in a few days, not cuz I didn't "get it" but rather I want it again. I don't wish to analyze the writing talent or anything else, I got what was in there, I lived those moments, it moved me for real. Fuckin eh, and thanks @Ryan
     
    alanp561, Tow Truck Tom and NoSurf like this.
  21. Dedsoto
    Joined: Jan 7, 2014
    Posts: 265

    Dedsoto
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    from Australia
    1. Aussie HAMBers

  22. Speed Gems
    Joined: Jul 17, 2012
    Posts: 5,546

    Speed Gems
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  23. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 8,544

    Rickybop
    Member
    from Michigan

    "Don't you guys ever work on your car?"

    "No, we don't know that much about it."

    :D LOL!!!
     
  24. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,949

    WB69
    Member
    from Kansas

    Great read, thanks.
     
  25. aircap
    Joined: Mar 10, 2011
    Posts: 1,688

    aircap
    Member

    Man, I read this decades ago on a defunct Cole Coonce blog... what the heck was it called?
     
  26. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,849

    Hollywood-East
    Member

    The best 60 second's on YouTube!
    I'm sure a few have not seen this..
    Thanx for the read Ryan...
     
  27. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,766

    Tom davison
    Member
    from Phoenix AZ

    Thanks, Ryan. I was fortunate enough to see them in action at Lions and Fontana, '64. That '55 210 Tudor push car. Legendary even then.
     
    mad mikey and Hollywood-East like this.
  28. Joe Blow
    Joined: Oct 29, 2016
    Posts: 1,103

    Joe Blow
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    I did too in the Top Fuel Wormhole.
     
    alanp561 and aircap like this.
  29. Speed Gems ,

    You are correct,,,,,that’s the cartoon !

    Sorry about my mistake,,,,,but I hadn’t seen that picture in years.
    I always loved the color pic too,,,,,,because of all the details in it,,,lol .

    Tommy
     
    Speed Gems likes this.

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