It is with heavy heart that we report that Bob “Grumpy” Chilson passed away on June 17th, 2022. Bob graduated from Garfield High School in 1950. In 1951 he joined the US Navy. After is honorable discharge, he perused his passion for racing. He joined the Gear Grinders in the mid 50’s, running his Studebaker at El Mirage. In June of 1958, he set fast time for the meet, just over 121mph. During 1957 and 1958, Bob was also on a pit crew at the Indy 500, for driver Ray Crawford. The Crew Chief was Edgar Elder. After retiring from a 36 year career at General Electric, Bob would again rejoin the Gear Grinders in 1997. In 2003, driving his G/BGL, he set his first record in that open class at 177.253mph. Bob was a behind the scenes kind of guy and enjoyed working on the car and tuning the engines, more than he did driving. When asked why he painted the engine in the race car orange, he said “that’s the color I’ve always painted every race engine I’ve ever built”. The only color photo of Bob at Indy, was taken inside the garage of him working on an Offenhauser engine and it was painted orange. God’s Speed.
Terry King, 86, of Ocean Park, WA. died on Sept 14, 2021. Terry was born on March 3, 1935 in Longview, WA. After service in the US Army, he attended San Jose State College in California where he received an M.A. in Industrial Education. He taught at the Juvenile Court Schools of Santa Clara County for over 20 years. He retired to Ocean Park, WA. and built a large shop to house the many cars he collected. Terry was a regular at Bonneville for many years, and helped out his friends from Northern California. He accompanied Dick Williams to Australia for the “Thunder Down Under” event in 1995. Services were held at the Beach Barons Car Club House in Ocean Park on May 21, 2022. He is survived by his three daughters.
It is with great sorrow and sadness that the Gear Grinders report the passing of one of our long time members, John Salkins. John was an active member of the Gear Grinders for 30 years. He started out partnering with Burke LaSage and at that time sought an engine builder for their car. John contacted engine builder Les Leggitt. That phone call John made to Les, sparked and was the beginning of a 30 year inseparable partnership and friendship. Throughout the years, John was involved in land speed racing, sand drags and Nitro Pirate Corvette Nostalgia funny car. Though John didn’t perform any mechanical duties or drive, he was always in the shop providing what-ever help the guys needed. John had an incredible smile, wit and sense of humor about him that will be forever missed. Every vehicle John was involved with was first class in both looks and speed. His name was on the side of some of the fastest cars to run at both Bonneville and El Mirage. John will be missed by all those who knew him. A better friend, racer or club member will not easily be found. Godspeed John.
Bob Jackson passed away at the age of 85 on February 12, 2022, in Chandler, Arizona at approximately 5:15 PM. Bob was preceded in death by his wife Sharon Jackson.
Celebration of life will be held at Santan Auto Body on April 2, 2022. Address is 18415 E San Tan Blvd. Queen Creek, Az 85142.
Robert was born August 15, 1936 in Southern California to William and Carol Jackson. He grew up in Michigan and Southern California until when he turned 17 and moved out to find his own way. Bob became a mechanic working for a Ford Dealership and starting drag racing in several national events and he also wrenched on drag boats. He married Sharon Lee Little on October 22, 1960, and there were married for over 50 years before Sharon passed on May 13, 2014.
Bob moved wife, his son, Rocky Jackson and daughter, Glenda Jackson to Southern California in the late 60’s and worked for Beckman Instruments until his retirement in 1995. In 1999, Bob got the Land Speed bug and built a front engine modified Roadster. He raced for 14 years and set two Land Speed Records. Bob provided a good life his family with water skiing and motorcycle riding every month.
Bob and Sharon moved to Parker, Arizona and lived at the dream river house until they moved to Queen Creek, Arizona to bring Sharon closer to better medical facilities and experience doctors. Bob and Sharon traveled around the country going to various street rod shows and experiencing different states and sites.
Lost a true friend of the SCTA in November last year.
November 22nd, 2021 ·
Bring your memories to the Donut shop at Lugonia Ave and Wabash Ave, Redlands, CA. January 15th 6:30am till?
Bob's family will be holding a Memorial on Saturday, May 1st at 2:00p.m. via Zoom.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://cccconfer.zoom.us/j/93809992748
Meeting ID: 938 0999 2748
Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16699006833,93809992748# or +12532158782,93809992748#
Or Telephone Dial: +1 669 900 6833 (US Toll)
I'm sad to pass this along, Bob Webb passed away this past Monday morning. He died of a sudden heart attack around 10:30 AM. No services or celebration of life has been announced, if I hear of any , I will pass the info along. Bob was a lifetime member of SCTA-BNI ,was a member and past president of the Gear Grinders. , Bob served as Chief Timer and tower worker at El Mirage and Bonneville for many years.
Mark Vigeant - President, Gear grinders
Long time land speed racer Terry Haines passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada after a short term illness. Terry first ran at Bonneville in 1983 as a partner and co-driver of the Stevens/Haines/Young GMC six powered front engine lakester. He later campaigned the rear engine Saline Solution car. He joined the Bonneville 200 MPH Club in 2004 with a speed of 203.489. Joining forces with partner Jim Harte they ran Saline Solution II with a turbocharged OHV six cylinder GMC. At their last two races they set records at Bonneville and El Mirage with Jim driving. Terry was a person that was always fun to be around. He had a great sense of humor and was an awesome story teller. He will be truly missed by his fellow racers, friends and family.
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OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE SCTA BNI
Due to unforeseen weather conditions Speed Week 2022 is officially cancelled.
Pat McDowell-SCTA President
Bill Lattin-BNI Chairman