The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Jan 18, 2023.
Ryan submitted a new blog post:
Zen & The Surfers
Continue reading the Original Blog Post
What a great read. Thanks, Boss.
Read about them 10-15 years ago. Definately marched to their own drummer. Innovation by necessity. Helped that their driver was absolutely fearless too.
Good read, thanks.
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.
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.
There is a several part documentary on youtube about the Surfers that tells some great stories too.
I'll reiterate what @Lone Star Mopar stated, the documentary is almost a "must view". Here's the link for the first video.
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.
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 .
I posted the whole series of videos here. https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/the-surfers.1008561/
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.
This article was incredible. Thanks for posting it!
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.
That was fantastically written, thanks for passing it along.
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!
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!
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 .
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
"Don't you guys ever work on your car?"
"No, we don't know that much about it."
Great read, thanks.
Man, I read this decades ago on a defunct Cole Coonce blog... what the heck was it called?
The best 60 second's on YouTube!
I'm sure a few have not seen this..
Thanx for the read Ryan...
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.
I did too in the Top Fuel Wormhole.
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 .
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