Racing News - Health and Welfare



Graveside service on Saturday in addition to the Celebration of Life on Sunday.

Grave side service is Saturday, January 10th.
1 PM
Oakwood Mortuary Park
22601 Lassen St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Celebration of Life on Sunday January 11th 2015, at 1.30pm

Elks Lodge
20925 Osborne Street
Canoga Park, CA. 91304

Since Nickie loved hats, wear one in her honor.
Thanks from


My Friends,
It is with a heavy heart I pass along this very sad news. Nickie Wheeler passed away on Friday December 26, 2014. She was a good friend to many, wife, sister, aunt, and supporting member of the Wheeler family. She will be missed in our hearts forever; she touched us in a very friendly way with her never ending smile. Many of you knew her as the gal who passed out the timing slips at the announcer’s trailer at El Mirage during SCTA events. She was also the long time treasurer of the Sidewinders car club. She helped in organizing many of the club functions and was Ron Mains right hand gal. She worked tirelessly in helping her father Cliff Wheeler put together and deliver the SCTA trophies for the last ten years.

If you would like to help her husband Dean Spencer with expenses for laying her to rest it would be greatly appreciated. This is the link from the Facebook page  . If you prefer, you can donate directly to Dean. Dean does not have a PO box set up, so please mail your donation to Werner Schwarz, 30015 Calle Cerrito, Canyon Country, CA. 91351. Please make your check payable to Dean Spencer.





To All,
      It is with great sadness that I report to you, Carolyn Robinson, wife of longtime Miler president Doug Robinson, lost her battle with cancer on Friday December 19th, surrounded by her family. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, she will be greatly missed. Doug, our thoughts and prayers are with you... Funeral services were held Dec. 29th .

God Speed Carolyn...Pat McDowell






Gear Grinder member Lois Oppermann fell a week ago and broke her right hip. It was a major break and her surgery went well. After spending a couple of days in the  Lake Havasu, Az. Hospital to recuperate from the procedure, she was transferred to a Rehab Facility. She is scheduled to stay there for about 3 weeks.

Glenn Barrett is reporting that she is feeling much better and is in good spirits. She has asked that for friends who would like to contact her, to please text her (if you have her cell #), send her an e-mail to, or send cards and notes to:  

          Lois Oppermann C/O Havasu Regional Medical Center
            101 Civic Center Ln.
            Skilled Nursing Unit
            Lake Havasu, Az. 86403





Long time racer and co-founder of SCTA's 2nd club, the Milers, Thomas W. Finn passed away on September 27th from a long illness related to prostate cancer. He first partnered with Glenn Deeds in 1960 with his GMC in Deeds' 35 Ford, Drag Racing on Saturday and changing rear end gears for  El Mirage on Sunday. He raced by himself for a few years before he partnered with Phil Cole and  fellow Miler, Mike Stewart in 1970.  In the early 80's he and his son Tom ran a Vega and later a Monza. He was 7 days away from his 83rd birthday.  He wanted no services.




Timothy Mortimer Rochlitzer

1930 - 2014


The unimaginative would say Timothy Mortimer Rochlitzer entered this world on June 16th 1930 and left it behind September 15th 2014. What a lame gloss over that would be for a man whose life was spent poking holes in the impossible and the improbable. Driving his own hand-built race car to a speed of 246MPH on the pristine Bonneville Salt Flats gives you an idea of the man’s skill and determination. Read More

A celebration of this larger than life character will be held on October 25th, 2014, 1pm, at the Mendenhall Museum in Buellton, CA




It is with deep sorrow to announce that Lifetime Gear Grinder Member Larry Lindsley  passed away on Monday September 22, 2014. Larry was a member of both the El Mirage and Bonneville 200mph Club, 300mph chapters.  Larry was a past two term GG Vice President and holds numerous club awards and SCTA-BNI records. He will be deeply missed by his wife  Anne, family and his Gear Grinder family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Lindsey’s.

We will have a Celebration of Life this Saturday evening.... 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at our home in Murrieta.  I know it’s a drive, but everyone is welcome.




In Loving Memory
Larry J. Monreal

Larry was born on May 12, 1927 and passed away on April 21, 2014 due to complications of Alzheimer’s. He was born in Los Angeles and attended Mt. Carmel High School. He quit school to join the Coast Guard. After the war he went back to school and graduated with his class and won a football scholarship to San Diego State. He married Annette and they moved to San Bernardino Ca. They were married for 67 years. Larry had four sons, Michael, Stephen, Rodger & Ronnie and three daughter-in-laws, Linda Lou, Linda Jean, & Becky.
Larry was a hard-worker and spent all of his working life the mechanic field & was very enthusiastic about race cars & motorcycles. He became a San Bernardino Fireman and worked 30 years for the fire department. On his days off Larry spent his time at his shop “Larry’s Old Volk’s Home” building race cars. In 1987 he drove to Bonneville, Utah to capture the Worlds fastest production Volkswagen record (169 mph). Larry won many trophies at El Mirage & Bonneville. He was a lifetime member of the Southern California Timing Association (S.C.T.A.) and the Sidewinders Car Club, of which he was very proud. Larry loved motorcycling, car races, cowboy movies & partying with his life-long friends from the Fire Dept.
Larry leaves seven grandchildren, Jennifer, Nathan, Ross, Morgan, Michele, Christina, Brian & 12 great grandchildren, Elsie Lu, Emily, Jada, Rachele, Alexis, Jordon, Baylee, Jessie, Joey Lynn, Jeri, Boston and Damon.

We will miss you Larry!




Long time vintage four cylinder Bonneville racer Dan Iandola passed away on 3-31-14 at age 82. Dan and partner Jim Brierley ran a lakester at the salt during the 1970s-1980s. Dan was a longtime member of the famous "Four ever Four" club. He requested that there be no funeral services.





Ken Pike - log time Rod Rider passed away last night. Services to be held March 28



Dear Friends,
Our longtime friend Clifton Wheeler passed away last night 2/8/2014. Our hearts and prayers go out the entire Wheeler family. Cliff is represented around the word with the trophies he hand crafted for the association for many years. His contributions have helped mold the SCTA into what it is today. He will be missed by all. Information regarding his services will be posted when available.
Werner Schwarz


Clifton Wheelers Celebration of life

 Saturday March 8th, 2014, 12:00PM to 4:00 PM

Located at Canoga Park Elks Club

20925 Osborne St.
Canoga Park Ca , 91304




Hi all, I'm sorry to say my dads racing partner Elmo Gillette of Lattin and Gillette racing team passed away this morning. He was SCTA President, BNI Chairman, course set up for Bonneville and El Mirage, Race Director, amd gave many years of service for the land speed racing world. He built many cars and engines to get people into both 2 clubs. I knew him all my life, just like my Dad!    Elmo Gillette rest in peace!  God speed!



Long time drag and land speed racer William "Tiny" Roberts passed away at
2:38pm January 30th, 2014 with his family at his side. He had been fighting
several illnesses over the past several months. Tiny was a favored crew
member with Stone Woods & Cook, Don Schumacher & the Candies & Hughes racing
teams in the 60s & 70s. He also ran a 1957 Chevy with Mel Chastain at El
Mirage. Later Tiny and his family crewed for his son Tommy in desert
racing. Tiny has been involved with SCTA for the last 10 years, he and his
wife Ruth have been the caretakers for the SCTA El Mirage property as well
as offering to work course patrols at both El Mirage and Bonneville. He will
be missed by all and our sympathy goes out to the entire Roberts Family.

Memorial arrangements will be posted soon.



I just wanted to let know that Dick Peters died last week, he was a member of the Gear Grinders and a long time racer - Bill Lattin



Miriam and I have just returned from visiting Brian Gillespie at the Arrowhead Medical Centre in Colton. He was admitted with a collapsed lung, a cut on his shin and severe bruising around the head. He is progressing very well; sitting up, talking - still sharp as a tack. All the vehicle's safety equipment functioned perfectly. His family extends their thanks to the SCTA for their help and support.

Doug and Miriam Macmillan



Jack Dolan passed away last week onThursday October 17th.

Jack's Celebration of life is scheduled for Sat. Nov. 2 at JBA Speed Shop in Kearny Mesa, San Diego.

Location: 5675 Kearny Villa Rd, San Diego, CA 92123. View Map

There will be information in his obituary sometime later this week. Any questions you can email Sami Dolan at the email address below.



We are saddend to report that former of former LSR club member and past president , Capt. Billy Hodges passed away yesterday. Services will be held at Forest Lawn, Long Beach, 1500 E. San Antonio Drive, Long Beach, CA 90807. Ph: 1800-204-3131. The viewing will be held on Monday 21 Oct, 5 - 9pm, with Services to follow on Tuesday 22 Oct at 2pm.



Joe Murray, former Super Four and Sidewinder and the current holder of some V-4 records at El Mirage passed away on Sept. 18, 2013. Joe was 83 and suffered a brain damage as a result of an accidental fall at home. No services are planned.



We lost one of our Bonneville Racing Team 608 members and lifetime supporter of SCTA and the Salt Flats, A.B. Shuman, on May 10. I had thought one of our other teammates had posted an obit to the SCTA site, but that was not the case. I would appreciate it if the following can be posted:

Arnold Baer "A.B." Shuman, 72, a longtime member of Bonneville Racing Team 608 and a former U.S. Navy Pilot and editor at Car Craft, Hot Rod & Motor Trend magazines, passed away at his home in Hillsdale, NJ on May 10, 2013. A.B. went to Mercedes-Benz after leaving the magazines and had the reputation of being, " the auto industry's best product public relations man."

After retiring from M-B North America, he concentrated on building his hot rod, working with Team 608, and co-authoring COOL CARS, SQUARE ROLL BARS, with his brother, Bernie Shuman. Link is to obituary at AutoWeek,

Many thanks,



Fred Carrillo, of Carrillo Rods passed away September 16th. Fred was a hot rodder from the early age of 14 when he purchased his first car for $5.00. When Bob Betz came to Bonneville in 1946 to break the land speed record, Fred was there. In 1953 Fred was driving a streamliner that he and Betz owned when disaster struck with a wheel/tire assembly exploding and launching the car into a cartwheel. Fred survived with only a loss of part of his leg. Carrillo Rods has been one of the racing industry standards for many years, thanks to this racing pioneer.

At this time, there are no details available regarding a Memorial Service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the S.C.T.A. Please send checks to the SCTA/BNI office – P O Box 10 – Orosi, CA 93647.

Robert Carrillo has advised us that there will be a private Memorial on Sunday, October 20th in Dana Point.



Frank Silva from Crusing Tees passed away this morning 7/26.

Services will be held on Tuesday July 30 at Pierce Bros Crestlawn Memorial Park. 11500 Arlington Ave, Riverside, CA 92505. Ph: 951-689-1444. The viewing will be held at noon with Services to follow at 2pm. Please bring your Hot Rods and wear casual dress.



Ken Kelley of Happy Jack passed away Wednesday, July 17, from pancreatic cancer.  He was 75 years old.  He had been married and divorced twice but lived alone for the last several years.

Ken had lived in Lytle Creek for many years.  He had a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and had been employed by Bechtel Corporation and had worked in Indonesia.  He had also worked at Cape Canaveral in Florida on a machine called the “crawler”.  This machine was used to move the Apollo type rockets from the building site to the launch pad

His passion was speed and racing. He was a member in good standing of the Southern California Timing Association and the 200 MPH club.  He held records at Bonneville Flats and at Lake Mirage. We have seen a picture of him with film star Anthony Hopkins taken during the filming of “The World’s Fastest Indian” at Bonneville.



Marion Deist passed away over the weekend. The celebration of life will be at the NHRA Museum in Pomona on 06/29/13 at 2:00 p.m. Please contact Maggie Green-Summers Peace or Donna Deist for further details.



Services for Mike Waters are as follows:

LACo Fire Department Flag ceremony:

Monday April 8th – 10am
Fire Station 84
5030 West Ave L-14, Quartz Hill. CA - Map


4 – 7pm with rosary at 7pm

Joshua Memorial Park
808 East Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster CA - Map


10am Tuesday April 9th
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
565 West Kettering St., Lancaster CA - Map

Gravesite following Masst:

Joshua Memorial Park
808 East Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster CA - Map

Reception to follow:

Leona Valley Community Center
8367 Elizabeth Lake Rd. Leona Valley - Map

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Save The Salt in the name of Mike Waters. Donate Here




With great sadness in my heart, I report that Mike Waters passed on this afternoon due to complications in conjunction with his recent GI surgery. The surgery resulted in an abscess and in a secondary surgery to drain the abscess, he experienced a cardiac arrest.
I am in contact with Greg Waters and soon we will know details about subsequent memorial arrangements. Details will be posted on the SCTA website.

The last words that he spoke to me this afternoon  were about the future and welfare of the SCTA.





Margaret Bryant recently passed away. Tom and Margaret are a long time family in LSR. Married 62 years, Tom is a former SCTA President.



Johnny Wofford of Eustis, Florida, passed away December 15th after a 5 year battle with cancer. He was 69 years old. Johnny ran a 1928 Ford Roadster – 4 cylinder flathead at both Bonneville and the Ohio Mile. You might remember Johnny – always wearing overalls and a straw hat. He will be missed.  



Robbie Cohn is in the UCLA Medical Center with kidney problems.Elaine has asked that anyone who wishes to contact Robbie to use his cell phone # (818) 601-1396. He will be under observation for a few more days and would welcome a cheerful conversation.



Al "Shakey" McKee, Russetta Timing Association Screwdriver, passed away recently.
For further details contact Ed Safarik at 

Thanks, Ed



Robert C. (Bob) Westbrook, Jr., longtime land speed racer (modified roadster and motorcycle) and record holder, passed away on October 21, 2012. A copy of his obituary is attached. Bob was a friend and employee of and mechanic for Don Vesco and later for Kurt Weber.
Thank you.
Don W. Riske, BNI member

View Obituary