Register now to get rid of these ads!

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

    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Zen & The Surfers


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

    Joe Blow

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


    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

    Jack Rice

    Good read, thanks.
  6. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 23,624


    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

    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


    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

    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


    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

  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

    from Vermont

    This article was incredible. Thanks for posting it!

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

    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.


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


    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

    427 sleeper

    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 .


    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 9,298


    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

    from Australia
    1. Aussie HAMBers

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

    Speed Gems

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

    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

    from Kansas

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


    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


    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: 5,761

    Tom davison
    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

    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 .

    Speed Gems likes this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.