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Thread: James Diedrich Hallum, 5/18/32 - 7/19/16

  1. #61
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    Thanks for all that, Russ!! For me and Dean, this is wonderful detail to stories we only knew in outline. I need to figure a way to coax some of the others who knew Jim well to contribute here. When they see your contributions maybe they will be willing to share.

    Wayne, you mention boat racers following the Indy 500 and other motorsports. In Reg. 10 we used to have a Stock race (sometimes with the OPC guys, which is where I got to drive Dave Losvar's tunnel boat during testing), in Newberg, Oregon on the Willamette River . . . always on Memorial Day weekend. As Dean will remember, as you walked through the pits between heats you would hear innumerable portable radios, all tuned to the Indy 500 broadcast.

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    Smitty, we followed all kinds of high performance races down here. The marine and motorcycle business that my Dad and his partner Joe owned sponsored a 250cc flat track dirt biker that won a Texas State championship on a Honda our company provided. Joe Rome and I had hooked up with Harry Echols, editor of Motorsport Magazine, and he got us into all kinds of places. USAC, NASCAR, AMA, ARCA, and we got him into APBA with Pro, OPC and Inboard Marathon racing. It was a wonderful time. I bought the best helmet I ever had from a high performance shop that advertised in Motorsport that was owned by the owner of the New Orleans Saints. We lived anything and everything that was racing in those days from Indy, Nascar, AMA in the Astrodome and all the boat racing venues we went to in those days. I can clearly remember I was riding with Steve Jones in Corpus Christi, Texas when news came on the radio that Peter Revson was killed in a Formula 1 race, I believe maybe at Nurembergring in 1972. It was before Mario Andretti drove F1, and Peter was to only American driving on the circuit in those days. Steve and I glanced at one another, then became silent. Steve drove on for a little bit before we talked about the death of Peter Revson. We had just left Grunwald Printing on Morgan Street only ten minutes earlier on the way back to Steve's house. We had sat down with a sales rep at Grunwalds going over the layout of a boat racing program. We had a number of ads, the sizes, the photos we wanted, the text, the pages where spectators could pencil in the results, the names of the drivers, classes, boat numbers, how the start was, flags, scoring, names of the officials, and everything needed for a good program. They had been doing our programs since 1968, and had most of the info already. Mainly Steve and I were bringing in new photos, sponsors and some updated information. We were very high, laughing, talking about the race coming up when we heard the news. To this day it seems kind of strange for Peter Revson's death to be announced over the radio, but it had to be because he was a daring racer and heir of the Revlon cosmetic company. I went way to long on this Smitty, but there are a lot of racers that have stories to share no matter how small or insignificant that can bring us back to those days and times that were all that we lived for. We didn't think about it at the time. But someone else's thoughts can spark a fond memory. Come on guys, Tell us your stories. Even just a couple of paragraphs. People will read them.



  3. #63
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    Master Oil Team.
    Maybe it is possible that almost everyone in Region 10 (and elsewhere) who remained active in outboard racing simply does not have tales to tell from decades past. Being fully involved for decades might leave little outstanding to remember except for reliving a particularly interesting race turn by turn details with others who were in the race or watching. Maybe something else puts a damper on saving their ancient memories that are more than a few words past... “Remember when.....”.

    You mentioned Peter Revson. His transition to racing the European circuit was interesting in that US drivers generally did not have the long, intense learning experience of the Pro drivers in the Manufacturers team positions. I seem to recall that Revson was noted in US sports car racing for building the Scarab race cars. Foggy memory has it as a very nice front engined design similar to several of that type in those years. Sort of a combination of Shelby Cobra & D/E Jaguar with a little old Italian included. Maybe set in the latter times of the Can-Am operations by Jim Hall & Hap Sharp in Midland Texas. All covered pretty well by the new magazine “Sport Car Graphic” which was more focused on the details than Road & Track which had gone adrift. The local Seattle racers were calling it Rod & Truck.

    My sports car road racing days ran 1968-1976 so it was tough to see the end of Revson’s racing. The safety in chassis design and for the tracks sure took a long time to develop since those much more unforgiving years. Dan Gurney was a contemporary builder/driver near that time but his F1 cars were not quite competitive with the major constructor teams. Not much notable from the US in that era with the exception of the Shelby Cobra and the Ford GT-40 LeMans effort (primarily out of England). Fortunately, for the local amateur US road racers there was certainly plenty of events to be had almost everywhere and costs were pretty reasonable.

    One last old observation:
    Outboard boat racing (and inboards) has been defined by the limitations of the hull design and power/speed. Those items are generally tied directly to the ability to purchase (or build) the proper equipment. The drivers become more capable than the hull in fairly short time frames. With the possible exception of the (older type) runabouts, a much more experienced driver will not be able to reduce lap times over that of a newer driver who has a year or two of experience, both driving the same rig. Excellent starts and being able to judge the hull’s limits for particular water conditions are generally the only advantage of more experience.

    With track road racing, the much more experienced driver will almost always be able to step into a race car, (or onto a motorcycle), and run consistently reduced lap times over the driver of that machine who is in their early years of racing. As the novice gains the many years experience of that more advanced driver their lap times become similar. The natural abilities of each driver with equal experience make the only differences in the lap times if the racing machine is the same or is identical.

    Outboard racing is an excellent family sport since very young people can go racing. Sitting beside water or being in it has really practical advantages over hot dry race tracks. A family is often able to have a race boat for each member while road racing families usually have one car, maybe two in smaller classes and their racing kids are adults. The go-cart and motocross racers can have the whole family racing so is good in that aspect.

    I assume that as each racer group gets to that age point where mostly what is left to do is remember the experiences and tell the tales then there is little difference. Maybe in each instance the lifetime racers have less to say other than possibly important points about the racing itself.
    R.R.

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