Sunday, August 28, 2022

SEMA Nordic. Since we're about to expand...

Suddenly it happens. After years of planning it's time. I'm talking about SEMA Nordic. So, we drove up from the Motor City of Sweden to Stockholm to meet opportunities.

Why? Let's admit it at once.We're into turbos and superchargers since many years (decades) and we know basically what there is to know...but now we want to expand our business and work with more stuff that we really like. Stuff like transmissions, clutches and fuel systems and who knows what for street and race.

How? Due to a series of coincidences, we met Linda Spencer from SEMA and heard all about her plans for a SEMA Nordic event. We met in the Salt Slush Racing workshop back in 2019 and we got really enthusiastic about the whole thing. Kalle and I said at once;

 -Yes, we'll participate!

When? Pandemic years passed by and we were all waiting for the good old normal to happen. Fast forward. Last week it happened. The first ever SEMA Nordic conference.

After a nice evening event, it was time to get down to business. Here is, for once, the full Salt Slush Racing Team in one picture. Kalle, myself, Carina, Anders and Magnus minutes before it all began.
Who to talk to? What is our focus? Think.
Sheraton in Stockholm is not Las Vegas. But it's a start and we met loads of interesting companies who we would like to work with. Companies with products that that we really would like to offer to the Nordic market with technical enthusiasm and good prices. 
In addition, we took took the opportunity to talk to Magnuson Superchargers who had this TVS 2650 hot rod kit on display for those who are in search serious power and direct torque response.
Salt Slush Racing would really like to thank SEMA for a really good event that gave Salt Slush Racing a lot of energy. Special thanks to Linda (far right) for that flow of enthusiasm that is so essential to make things happen!
 Hopefully we have more news soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Accomplishment vs Experience

There are times when you ask yourself if what you're doing is reasonable or not. If it makes sense. Shortly after, the short but relevant question comes to mind. Why?
I ignored those philosophic questions for years since there's no meaning of life, no purpose. The only thing that is relevant is to keep your conscience satisfied. But how to do that? How to reach satisfaction? Accomplishment? New experiences? Pleasure?

Hot to handle disappointments? When things go south. Anger? Bitterness? 
Life was good. The 449 Amazon had just passed Safety Inspection at Bonneville Speed Week 2022. We went back to the hotel room and wrote a blog post. The last sentence was; Will there be rain tomorrow? Let's hope for dry weather. Reason for that prayer? Look at the picture above...
Then Saturday arrived. We all drove to Bonneville Salt Flats early in the morning. Only to talk to a SCTA guy who told all racer that the gigantic Bonneville Salt Flats was flooded and closed for all. I got a very bad feeling about the event, but perhaps there could be race on Sunday instead? So, the Salt Slush Racing Team and the A Bombers Speed division team (camtwister, Nisse and racketeerbop,Trazan) strolled around in Wendover for a couple of hours, talking about when the race could start.
Then, after lunch Saturday August 6th, Carina, I and Magnus drove out to the race track to shape our own oppinion on when and if the race could begin. When I took this picture I understood that there was no hope. So sad.
Sometime around lunch time on Sunday August 7th, SCTA announced that Bonneville Speed Week 2022 was cancelled. At this point in time SCTA allowed and requested all racers to drive out in the "Bonneville lake" and pick up thier vehicles and equipment. So, we did. I will never ever forget those mixed feelings that we all felt when the front wheels of our 454 Suburban sank down in the 10-inch (25cm) salt water. We understood that we had to travel at least 10 miles (16km) out in this lake. Would we get stuck in the salt with our 2WD Suburban? Would the salty sea kill our engine and turn our Suburban in to a monument? 
 More importantly, would shorts be needed?
What happened? The Suburban worked perfectly. We wore shorts in public. 
We managed to get our Amazon into Wendover harbor.
We washed our equipment twice and went out to the car show in Wendover...which was full of restless racers and loads of cool cars such as this one and...
...others chop top 32-34 coupes from Rolling Bones.
 In my opinion, this Mercury Cyclone was the coolest ride in Wendover. A perfect street car with rollcage, Bonneville Speed Week approved and Bonneville participant.
With our equipment on solid ground we had a drink or two with Gerry Clark (right) and his team outside The Nugget hotel in Wendover. What did we learn?  Jim Minneker (in the middle) explained how it feels to flip over at +230mph and survive.  We had a good time with these (former) GM guys.
Eventually, we drove back to L.A. As we tooled our way back, we though that it would be a good idea to test drive our Amazon at El Mirage, California. We had our equipment. We passed El Mirage on our way back. What could possibly go wrong? Closed lake bed, that was what could go wrong.
Eventually we came back to Erik and Ruth, where we washed and polished the Amazon and the Suburban. Over and over again.
Rick-The-Carfixer and Erik did that too. Within a couple of days in the sun and a lot of cleaning, all race equipment was cleaned.
What follows is vacation. First, we went to Old Ford Store in San Dimas (and to CW Moss in Orange) to buy a steering box and more to our future Ford-Ardun based roadster project.
Early, the morning after, we went to Dognut Derelicts and the classic early bird car meet.. Guess who we meet there? 

We scrolled the SoCal Car Culture Event calendar and found a car show in Long Beach the same day. We wen there an found cars with a certain kind of spark and light such as this Chevy -49. And yes, there's something with the light in California...

In addition, there was this original 3W -32 Ford Deuce Coupe. Built and painted back in 1954.
The most interesting car and person? The owner of and his Humvee. This specific Humvee is a actually an early prototype. One of very few that was not scrapped. Magnus, who like the Humvee's had many questions regarding import and export. The business? The company rent out military vehicles to the film industry.

What's next? We learned that we were close to an aircraft museum. With Tom Cruise P51 and several other cool fighters. But most importantly, they have one of only six flying P38 on display. I mean, P38 is an amazing aircraft. Not only did it serve its purpose in the second world war, it was as well an important inspiration for the automotive industry for decades. It paves the way for the tail fin era. 

We learned all we needed to know about Skidoo. Not only the 23 type. 
Wanna know how to Skidoo?
Has he caught a fish in Alaska? Does he need his reading glasses? Or has he just found a very unusual Chevy small block manifold at Hi Performance swap Meet in Long Beach?

Summary: Its been one hell of a journey. A lot of work, many miles but no speed accomplishment. But we're loaded with new experiences, we've worked hard and met a lot of interesting people. We had good discussion with Magnuson Superchargers and SuperchargerOnLine.
Now it's time to start to think about next step. Texas Mile? El Mirage Race? Bonneville Speed Week 2023.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Blood, Sweat and Bucks. We have been tooling our way to Bonneville Speed Week.

Most people don't do it. Especially not if they are from Europe. There's resistant group of tourists who go there on their vacation to check out the race scene and look at what nature has created.

But there are these chosen few, who are willing to work hard and spend their saving to be able to drive fast on a salt surface at high altitude in blistering, burning sun.

Here's what; A mixture of Swedish (Salt Slush Racing and A-Bombers) and American Landspeed Racers (Erik, Ruth and Rick) meet up at Erik and Ruth place in California. We all worked hard in Eriks workshop to make our race cars ready for Bonneville, then we packed all equipment and loaded our racers on various trailers.

Next up was a 1000km tour though empty and beautiful landscapes in Nevada.

Below is a condensed story. 

The Salt Slush team finally managed to get the Salt Slush Amazon technically race ready, book a trailer and load the 449 Amazon on to it.
We worked though all detailed (tools, cold water, safety gear, adding protective plastic on the floor of the tow car, etc etc.). But then, one morning at 07.00 we all rose to the occasion and started the long haul.
 It's not only about wrenching. Safety gear needs to be updated too. Pictured: Carina and Magnus at Simpsons Safety equipment shop in Long Beach.
Then there those moment when there's an unplanned pause. 
Pictured: Ruth contemplating beside her race car.
The evening before the journey begins. A few beers, pizza and a soft chitchat.
Erik Hansson (Scandinavian Street rods)
Ruth (Scandinavian Streetrods)
 Håkan (Salt Slush)
Carina (Salt Slush)
Magnus (Salt Slush)
Nisse (A-Bombers Speed Division)
Trazan  (A-Bombers Speed Division)
So we set off early in the morning. Magnus, Carina and I enjoyed our big block V8  humming softly in the desert hills towards Baker and Las Vegas. Until we blow a tire. What to do without spare tire in a desert?
Here's what to do; Call Panchos! They arrived after 45min as promised with a tire workshop in a truck. 20 minutes later we shook hands with Panchos and we continued our trip to Ely, Nevada where we spent a night.
When arriving at Bonneville a lot of things needs to be done...unload the race car. Find all documents, tools and safety gear together and go to... inspection.

At some point in time the important line was signed by SCTA inspectors and we only had to fill in medical form and pay the entry fee.

We're now ready to race. The Salt is good and we're really race ready. All good?

Yes, apart from those black clouds that hover around the Salt flats. Will there be rain tomorrow?  Let's hope for dry weather.