Friday, April 04, 2008
Stay alert.... A Big surprise is coming regarding the HD DVD.
Today I had the great pleasure of having a couple wonderful phone conversations with none other than Ben Iskenderian, the brother of the famous Ed Iskenderian. Back in the early 70's when I drove dragsters and hung out at Gotellies Speed Shop, with ole Man Gotelli better known as "Terrible Ted" I was blessed to be able to call Ed any time I needed advice and great advice Ed had plenty of. Today was the first time I had ever talked with Ben but he is just as fine a gentleman as his brother Ed. Before we hung up both Ben and his wife invited me to come visit them the next time I was in Southern California not to mention we would head down to the Isky Cam factory for a personal tour with Both Ben and Ed. That is an invitation I will look forward to and one I will not pass up on.
Funny that I would be talking to one of the most famous cam grinders of the racing world from Southern California since on this very weekend our production company and I will be traveling to Southern California to meet one of the most amazing me who has ever had anything to do with regards to La Carrera Panamericana. His name is Frank Ruppert, of Ruppert Motors who in fact sponsored some of the Lincoln and Mercury teams that won so many races during the first years of La Carrera Panamericana. One of those teams included Clay Smith. Borrowing a quote from Hemmings.... If you've been around a long time you likely remember the woodpecker decal, the one with the snarl on its face and a cigar hanging out to the left. That redheaded bird is a trademark and a characterization of Clay Smith, who was known as Mr. Horsepower and whom none other than Smokey Yunick called "the world's smartest mechanic." Another compliment paid to Smith by his peers was the title "America's Genius Mechanic." So adept at fixing cars was Smith, he could tell how an engine was running by pressing his loins against the body of a car, according to another hot rod pioneer, Ed Almquist.
Interesting footnote; All three of these racing giants (Smith, Isky & Gotelli) were very seldom seen without holding or chewing on one of their signature cigars.
Frank Ruppert has invited our production company to spend the day aboard his yacht while sharing his wonderful involvement in La Carrera Panamericana. Having spoken on the phone numerous times with Frank I am amazed how many famous drivers, owners and other famous racing rascals he and his brother (Also Frank Ruppert) knew on a first name basis.
If that isn't enough excitment to make me crazy then let me tell you about a phone call I had this week inviting me to visit with Herschel McGriff. Talk about feeling like a kid in a candy store! Hershel McGriff has won NASCAR races in the last six decades and won the Mexican Road Race in 1950.
When I said our upcoming HD DVD was nothing short of the greatest La Carrera Panamericana video ever made bar none I wasn't kidding so stay tuned.