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Great shot of the Faithful Pursuit!

One really cool part of your dragstrip post: "Drove to the track"! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Remembering my dad, Anton L. Strauss--37090902 T42 43 A (I have his dog tags, dress jacket, and wool coat). In his WWII service, he was stationed at Victorville (now George) AFB in Victorville CA for the duration. Tech Sergeant, hangar chief, flew "test" flights of B24 bombers with just him, pilot and copilot "to find out if there was really something wrong with the plane" and lived to tell the tale(s).

Victorville was a training base for B24 bomber pilots, bombardiers, and crews. The B24 flew between 200 and 300 miles an hour, carrying up to 8,800 pounds of bombs. The Army Air Forces instruction manual put it this way: "The B24 has guts... It can carry a bigger bomb load farther and faster day in and day out, than any warplane..." (this was published prior to the introduction of the B29, of course).

They were good planes, but unforgiving of mistakes. Sadly, many men lost their lives training out in the Mojave desert, and elsewhere. 824 airmen died stateside in 1943 alone in B24 accidents.

For more of the story, read "Wild Blue" by Stephen Ambrose. He maintains that the part played in WWII by the B24 has been overlooked by many historians--there were more B24s built than any other U.S. war plane in WWII, and they bombed Axis military and industrial installations, playing a very large role in the defeat of the Nazi regime in Germany. Remember how Hitler's army "ran out of gas?" The B24 was by far the dominant bomber used in air raids on Axis oil refineries in eastern Europe, flying from bases in Italy to fight what became known as "the forgotten war."

I'm just posting here to help people remember. No need to flag-wave, the crews (in the planes and on the ground) just did their job, and many of them didn't relish it.

Guess who built radial engines used in B24 airplanes? If you guessed Buick, you're right!

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The Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Newburgh, NY Chapter put on a very nice neighborhood picnic in Newburgh, New York last weekend. Hundreds of area residents and youth attended the program under the leadership of Chapter President Glen Frazier.

Our Faithful Pursuit team was requested to drive 200 miles to the festivities. Upon arrival and set up of our tent, I drove the TAI Chapter president, Glen Frazier for a few laps around the park in the Faithful Pursuit! We roared around the neighborhoods letting everyone know something big was happening at the park. Many attendees later stopped by our display and bought our tee shirts and said they had to come once they heard our engine! The 8 of us who visited had a great time.

WWII Tuskegee Airmen pilots Humphrey Patton and Bill Wheeler, pictured with the Faithful Pursuit, were present as well. The veterans spoke to the visitors about thier exploits during WWII. Both men flew fighters during the war and have time in P-47 and P-51 aircraft.

The Tuskegee Airmen entered the war in 1943 flying P-40 and P-39 aircraft in coastal patrol duty in North Africa. Their top notch work here earned them an opportunity to perform fighter escort work for the Daylight Strategic Bombing effort underway in Europe in Italy in the spring of 1944.

The massive P-47 Thunderbolt was their first Red Tail fighter escort aircraft. Fighter escort was critical to the Daylight Strategic Bombing initiative as it ensured the safety of B-17s, B-24s, and other bombers fighting their way toward industrial targets in Nazi Germany or other strategic locations. If you stop the enemy from making weapons, you stop his ability to wage war. Its that simple. The tough part is the Nazis had the toughest air force in the world and they were determined to stop us at all cost.

The tougher thing for the Tuskegee Airmen was that they were hated by the all White American bomber crews because they were black. (It sounds silly now, but that is how it was back in '44) After a few missions however, the bomber guys realized that the Red Tails were not losing any bombers and that their white buddies were getting shot up over targets and not coming home when escorted by the white fighter escort pilots.

After a while, the Blacks were highly sought after and "requested" for this extremely dangerous work. (66 of our boys were killed and 33 were captured doing escort)It is also rumored that a fist fight broke out in one of the bomber planning meetings over just who would get us to fly escort! If you wanted to live, you got the the Black Red Tailed fighters on your side!

They won many victories, including the victory over racism, and then transitioned from the mighty Thunderbolt, affectionately called the "Jug", to the longer ranging P-51 Mustang in the summer of 1944. The Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber that they escorted to enemy fighter action. No other fighter group on any side in any war has matched their record. You can thank the "Old Man", then Col. B. O. Davis, Jr. He was West Point Class of '36 tough as nails and told the men "If you break formation to go after individual Nazi fighters without permission, you will be court martialed before your wheels touch the ground" He contended that: We will be the best fighter escort group, period.


Original Tuskegee Airmen Humphrey Patton and Bill Wheeler, both WWII fighter pilots with Faithful Pursuit

31370TAirmen_112-med.JPGWells Fargo Stage Coach and Driver. 31370TAirmen_089-med.JPG31370TAirmen_086-med.JPG31370TAirmen_098-med.JPG



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Jegs sent 150 lbs/in coil overs on Friday which were installed on Saturday. After the 275s, then 200s, we are finally seeing some body rotation and tire hook up! The engine actually bogged a little upon application of power on dry pavement and tire hook!!! To be honest, she did break the tires loose first then upon re-appliction of power with a 5-10mph roll, she hooked. With track conditions being much stickier, I trust that she will now hook on initial launch.

We will see what she does at the track this week, provided the weather cooperates. I believe that I predicted 12.5 sec @ 105 mph, based upon the suspension, and other mods, good traction and no engine mods.

The body rotates back slightly then rises nicely with low speed applications of power in first and second gears. This means that the suspension is actually absorbing engine energy now instead of allowing it to be lost through immediate wheel spin.

We will load the converter to 1,200 to 1,500 rpm; get our light then drop the hammer fully and see what happens. The new EDGE 2,800 stall converter and suspension should help her get through the low rpm bog area, thus providing a solid launch. 1.9 or so 60' times would be great given our heavy car, lack of drag slicks(we are using D-7 Compound PIRELLI P-ZERO road race slicks!), and relatively low stall setup.

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

God Speed

PS: We went to "Consumer's Square" in Horseheads/Elmira on Saturday where hundreds of street rods gather every Saturday afternoon/evening. There was a Ford GT, T-Buckets, '59 Caddy, Pontiac Chieftain, the new Saturn sports car, and lots of other rods and restos! We had several people come over and talk to us about our car and the Tuskegee Airmen. The HBO movie "Tuskegee Airmen" was on recently and many people made good comments about it. We even had a few military people just back from Iraq who stopped by our Buick tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen. There were a few short videos of the Electra GSX but no photos. I hope that we can sho some action videos at some point!



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We finally got to the the track after being rained out a couple weeks ago and were having other delays. My son captured some nice head to head action video with our '69 Buick Electra and a 2006 Mustang! We beat him by a 2 tenths or so on our first pass. After an initial 14.30 and 13.4, we heated the slicks, found the groove, and put the power to her and got...

<span style="font-weight: bold">12.99 Sec. at 102.95 mph!!! </span> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Best 60' 1.88 sec.


0 - 60mph 4.27 Sec.

0 - 100mph 12.25 Sec.

We now rank #3 in the 50 Fastest Cars (1960's &'70's) '66 427 Cobra, '66 427 Vette, '70 GS Stage 1 are the top three. We are just ahead of the GS with our Electra GSX Stage!

Not bad for a 4,700lb 1969 Buick Electra 225 that was a scrap pile four years ago.

We suspect that there is still some wheelspin and that we are running a little lean. My 12.5 & 105 prediction still stands, we will see if we can get there!

Thanks for all of your support and well wishes. You hung in there checking this site even when it seemed that we had built a dog! Now we have proven to everyone that the classiest Buick of the period, the flagship of the line, can outrun Mustangs, Hemi's, Rat Motored SS cars with real CLASS!

God Speed,

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  • 2 weeks later...


Thanks for your comments. We may be able to squeeze out more performance with some carb and suspension tuning. I really find it amazing how much impact the 60' foot times are as a predictor of 1/4 mile performance. If we can launch consistently, we have a shot at the 12.5.

Here are some photos of our last time at the track!


God Speed,

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We saddled up again for NYIRP in Mount Morris, NY. After working on a few technical problems, the Faithful Pursuit did a fine job. Problem... two days prior we found that one of her slicks was flat after recieving a nail somewhere. The slicks are very sticky and pick up everything on the road.

Still wanting to do atleast demo runs for a sponsor visiting from Virginia, we went back to the 235/35-17's that could not give us grip when the rear clutches glazed. There were probably some 2.2 60' times with the one wheel peel last year. On Friday however, after heating the tires up a few times we were in the 1.9 second range! (The spool helps!)

I made five passes, winning 2 out of five. I raced a fantastic '71 Cougar that ran mid 12s. I got the holeshot with a .5XX light and led him for most of the run. This was my best time. The white Cougar had fat race slicks, external battery, skinnies up front and was a stock appearing car pretty much everywhere else. I was pleased to run against him in test and tune, even though I lost by .4 or so.

One of my Virginia friends, Cal, video taped the run from mid-track. He was impressed with the Cougar and actually did not see me in the near lane as I was out of his view finder range. He videod the Cougar launch with serious nose lift

and as the cars pass I flashed into view with the Electra GSX, leading him.

The Cougar, was a much faster car as he ran 12.5 @ 90mph! He shut down before the end of the run and still beat me. I suspect him to be an 11 second car, however on hist first run of the night wanting to be careful he slowed down. The video of the race is really striking however and when I get it on disk perhaps all of you can see it.

We took a few photos at the burnout box, at the tree, etc. I'll post those soon.

Thanks for reading!

God Speed,

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Thanks for posting these pics, and keeping us up to date on progress. I was WAITING for a glamour shot of the Faithful Pursuit like the one in your previous post. Can you say wallpaper??? <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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The 3.33 and traction lock combo is primarily a road race setup. Last year we had zero success hooking up with the Traction Lock and the 4.11. Its locking is based upon clutch engagement, unlike a Detroit Locker that has a positive engagement of teeth.

We will try a few drag style launches but at this point we do not know what the outcome will be. Gary Tyler, our differential expert worked on this problem and hopefully there will be better hookup and balance of power to the ground.

This weekend we do our first attempt at road course. It is a short pylon course sponsored by the BMW club of Rochester, NY. We will see how she responds. The Traction Lock is superior to a spool in road racing applications.

The course can be completed in 50 - 60 seconds. Our driver, Roy Hopkins has posted the best times of the BMW group, about 52 seconds. We will see how the huge Buick handles a course typically set up for tiny rally race BMW 325s, 2002s, etc.

God Speed,

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This Sunday we trailerd the Faithful Pursuit to a BMW Club Autocross Event at Monroe Community College. As my race team was either sick or traveling, alone I unloaded the '69 Buick Electra as the BMW crowd watched in awe. It was a sunny cool moring in Rochester, NY. I scanned the area a saw lots of cars. I suppose we were a good several feet longer and maybe more than a foot wider than most competitors. There were some raced out BIMMERS with taped out headlights and slicks. Some hot factory hot rod M-3s and some really fast VWs too. Some of the fastest cars were two pretty racy silver Honda convertibles driven by a father and son. Now that's a family activity. The son was pretty intense on the track, taking it to the limit and scoring one of the best runs, a 55!

I registered and while on line talked to some of the organizers. Tim Moriarity, Bill, and Mel were the seasoned drivers running the program. I had communicated with them previously and we worked out widening the course for the big Electra. Everyone got a big chuckle out of that!

Tech inspection drew a crowd as the inspectors poked and prodded the Electra, maming sure the wheel bearings were tight and the nuts were secure on the wheels. Tire pressure had to be up. (Uh-oh, the rears are still drag pressure!) Everything checkout fine otherwise and I got some air from Mel. Rears at 32 fronts at 40psi.

The 10:00am driver's meeting consisted of several mini-lectures about driving the course, safety, and operations of the business of Autocross. The starting gate was right over a puddle and the turns seemed awfully tight. We walked the course and checked out the esses, slaloms, turns and routes marked with the bright orange cones. We were told that "if you knock down a cone the penalty is 2 seconds off your time." There were some spray painted guidelines which were "just there for a guide, feel free to go outside of them." "Do not go outside of the cones." "Green flag means go." "Red flag means stop" "Safety first!"

The course requires about 60 seconds for a seasoned driver. My helmet was not up to the SNELL rating so I borrowed a loaner and fired up the STAGE 1 455. My first run was 89 or so seconds as I needed a good bit of direction navigating the unfamiliar course. Mel guided me through it and I blundered my way around, trying not to knock down any cones. It seemed to go way too quickly as I was trying to absorb instruction and drive at the same time. "Not this way that way!""Make a right at this branch!", "Turn your head this way and see what you have to do next!". It was all very intense and fun!!! The old Buick never went so fast around so many turns!

So, like I said the the range of time were from 55 to 89. most people were 65 -69 seconds. There were maybe 15 cars, "a light turnout" they said. The forecast called for rain all day so I was not surprised. The weather got a bit cloudy toward the end but never wet. Temp was about 80 most of the day.

Yesterday, I had spent all my time alternating between necessary home projects, including fixing a toilet and plastering a cieling and working on the car. In the end I only got the new 3.33 TRACTION-LOCK unit on. It was very heavy but I managed to put it in with the help of my hydraulic floor jack by myself. I had NO time to put the roadrace springs on. Rain Pirelli 335/35/17 tires went on the back and the road race R Compound 255 ZR 17 Pirelli CORSA tires went on the front. I thought, "She would have good grip with soft springs if it rained, although there might be a lot of body roll on dry pavement. I packaged up the 4.11 nodular FORD 9" centersection and put it under my workbench.

OK OK OK...now this is when the fun started...! It must have been about 11:00am when "One Lap of America" Champion Roy Hopkins rolls up in his Neon. The skies parted and the sun shone through onto our track! Roy was working on his racecar prepping it for a competition in Newfoundland and was too busy to compete in today's event. He did me a solid in coming out to take the Faithful Pursuit for a lap. We get our helmets on, buckled our harnesses, and waited for the green flag.

When the green dropped, we roar off down the winding leg and do a first right 90 degree hard right into the 7 cone slalom, probably a good 1/8 mile long, we are pulling some good G's as Roy skillfully leads the huge Buick past the cones alternating from side to side through them. At the end, there is a "Y" where we take a sharp 180 degree turn onto the left branch which leads back through a winding esse and turn even more sharply into the beginning of the same slaom course we first negotiated. I am hanging on for dear life as the car feels like a bucking bull! I'm taking video but the ride was so intense I had to keep some focus on what was going on and at some points forgot I was holding a camera. We go through the slalom again, it is wicked fast as we run almost up to redline of 6000 in 1st gear. At its end we now take the right branch of the "Y" and now take a sweeping right into a mini three cone slalom. There was a tight right, a short straight, a 160 degree right turn and a blast out the back end hitting the 6000 rpm rev limiter as we shot out through the timing lights. 65 seconds in the hands of the master!

I told Roy that that run was "Amazing" Roy noted that the brakes felt good and the power was great. The springs needed to be 3x harder. I apologized for not having the road race springs on.

We drove off the course to the lot, parked, she idled for 20 seconds and then cut herself off...out of gas! (The low level of fuel caused starvation and I had to blow into the vent by mouth to prime the Holley Blue electric fuel pump!)There was a rear axle tube leak and a little slick forming under the right rear tire. That knocked us out for the rest of the day!

A State Trooper came by with the Trooper z-28 over lunch. The group was happy to see him as he is a member and regularly participates in his off time. The black '99 Z had yellow stripes. The speedo is calibrated to 155, and she has seen every bit of it! He was a member of the BMW club and crews for Roy, lots of people there crewed for Roy!

I asked the Trooper if he would mind taking photos with the Buick. Several people, including the Trooper came by and took photos with the big Electra. One guy commented he felt the Earth move when we took the course. They probably registered something on somebody's richtor scale! We got some good photos and some pretty amazing video.

What is good about the video is that it is crummy! You see...the ride was so intense that the video picture was bad and the sound was too loud so it distorted. All of this gives you the sense of the intensity. I had NO IDEA the Faithful Pursuit could pull those kinds of Gs!!! I was in a stunt plane once, a PITTS S2B biplane. We did over 6Gs and performed many rolls, hammerhead, wing over, power dives, and lots of other stuff. This felt a little like that!!!

Harder springs would have lessened the "violence" of the movements some, but the G forces may have intensified if she would still stick!

With road race springs and shock back in and tires up to 51 psi, I wonder what time she would to next! At 65 we were one of the better times, probably just below the average some.

Toward the end, I was happy to volunteer as a red flag and fire extingusher man right next to the final turn and near the second set of slalom cones. We were all done by about 3:00pm! A short 2 hour ride home and I was back at work with the rest of the home chores!

God Speed, <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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WOW! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> And you didn't even have your road race suspension setup!!! You are very hot on your performance goals, I would have loved to see peoples reaction to the "Big Buick" <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> navigating around the coarse so succesfully especially considering that Electras never originally had a reputation for slolom road coarse handling! That is truly amazing!

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Swap out 4.11 Spool for TRACTION LOCK with NASCAR 3.33 in NODULAR FORD 9"




















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The saga continues, from the drag strip to the autocross and now on to the road race course? It must be nice to be just a set of springs and suspension tune away from the ultimate goal... the variey of applications for the Faithful Pursuit makes it that much more of a legend in the making. You must have a heckuva log book already. Best part, you've been very safety conscious while sorting 'er out. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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We drove the car to the weigh station Saturday morning. It was good to have 3.33s and cruise at 70 in OD turning 2,800 instead of 4,000! In a navigator plus drive Silver State Mode we previously weighed about 5,100 lbs! (Estimated) Our base weight on high precision scales is about 4,450 lbs without gas or driver. We wrote that up some time ago with the actual photo of the scale readout. It was 4,555 4,450 or some other "Buick" number. Two occupants, fuel, gear and there you have it 5,100 lbs or more! Top speed estimated at 170 mph!


A little weight loss goes a long way. We removed some heavy parts and got the weight down from 4,700 to 4540 lbs with driver in. Roy and I in the car would be back up to 4,740lbs but in drag trim she is 4540.


Here is a photo of 1 Lap of America Champion driver Roy Hopkins and his racing BMW M-3. If you go back in the archives, you'll see the writup I did on our laps at Watkins Glen! Exciting isn't the word! He drove the Faithful Pursuit last weekend and did some amazing things with her!!! What a wild ride, caught on video!


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During WWII, GM Designer Harley Earl had a vision of a "Super" car that was far advanced of current Automotive technology. This BUICK was the sleek forerunner of things to come. Supercharged V-8, convertible top rain sensors, radio, and a whole host of other goodies that would not be seen on production cars for many years.

How much did it cost to make this one super special, and I mean special motorcar, you ask? 50,000,000.00 yeah, thats right! 50 Million back in 1951 dollars. They nicknamed the car the "Star Buster" as it was superior to the three pointed star bearing Mercedes, pride of the Third Reich.


Five star General Dwight D. Eisenhower, WWII Supreme Allied Commander, and his staff are pictured with the technilogical marvel.

This car visited the Watkins Glen area, within 15 minutes of where the Faithful Pursuit received her coachwork modifications, on a special tour with its designer, Harley Earl back in 1951 or so.

31370IKEBuick.jpg <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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Wow convertible top rain sensors in 1951! My brother and I were talking a while back about how quickly automotive and aerospace/aviation technology has advanced in the last 100 years. It's mind bogling to say the least. But just like with your faithfull persuit it had to start with a dream, a concept, then ALOT of hard work to become reality. When I look at photo's of cars like the Buick Star Buster for the time they were created I just think, man there really is no limit to the imagination, and creativity of the human mind. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Another thing that makes me wonder is in 1970 Buick started their stage3 development when they cast a handfull of 4 bolt main blocks but then abandoned the project when musclecars died off. Where would factory Buick performance have ended up?


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Perhaps the last chapter of Buick performance has not been written yet. Hot Century's of the '50s, Wildcat's, Gran Sport's, and others in the 60's and '70's; the Grand National in the 80's; and the Supercharged 3800 Regal's of the 1990's! Buick always seems to come up with something unexpected every decade, I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

If we were able to continue development of the big block, we might have seen an 800 hp turbo 455 with fuel injection by now! Too bad those dreams only exist in the minds of Buick enthusiasts like you me and others who tap into this thread.

One thing is certain, Buick is good for its word. "When better cars are built Buick will build them!"

God Speed,

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Thanks for continuing this thread and branching out into some more history. You cover at least 4 of

my passions by doing so: Buicks (especially '69 Electras), WWII Army Air Forces, P-51 Mustangs, and

Packard (re-designer and builder of all "Packard-Merlin" Rolls Royce V12 engines used in the P-51

and other WWII aircraft). Also of particular interest is your connection with the Tuskegee

Airmen, a part of WWII history that I've only been exposed to in anecdotes and passages in various


I'll share the following from "The Wild Blue" by Stephen E. Ambrose:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> "[Lt. Roland] Pepin of the 741st [bomber] Squadron spoke for many. 'It was a favorable day for

us when we caught escort protection from the [Tuskegee Airmen] of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

Because of the P-51's long-range capabilities they were able to escort us to and from most of the

targets. It was quite a vision to observe these great pilots engage the German jets and prevent them

from attacking us. We would watch them as they dispersed the enemy with their superior skills.

They never let the Germans get close enough for our gunners to fire at the enemy.'"

[Two Tuskegee Airmen commented]:

"Lt. Woody Crockett called the plane 'a dream. It could climb, turn, and fight at low level and high

altitude.' Lt. Lou Purnell said, 'if that plane had been a girl, I'd have married it right on the spot.

Damn right! It was like dancing with a good partner.' They painted their tails bright red. Lt. Herbert

Carter explained, 'We wanted the Amercan bombers to know we were escorting them. The red tails

would also let the German interceptors know who was escorting those bombers."

-From "The Wild Blue--the Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s Over Germany" by Stephen E. Ambrose,

2001, Simon & Schuster, pp 212-214</div></div>

Just thought I'd share a couple of gems that you might not have seen yet.

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Dear Friends,

The Tuskegee Airmen are more than just a name on our racer. We are their

racecar and I am proud to carry on a bit of their legacy every time the

Faithful Pursuit visits a racing venue, a church, or other program where

we can spread their news.

It saddens me to inform you that one of our supporters, a WWII Signal Corpsman,

Lt. Whittie English passed away last Friday. He had a wonderful funeral

service this past week at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in New Jersey.

Whittie was one of the airmen that voted to support our race car in 2003.

A successful realtor, he loved cars and drove a black V-12 S600 sedan for

many of his last years.

Let us never forget the people behind the sacrifice for our nation's

security. The men and women who came home to be teachers, doctors,

laborers, factory workers, who are the backbone of our society.

"Woody" we will miss you!


Look in our past post for a photo of Woody and me #197797 - 12/21/03 07:34 PM


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502 crate motor Vette


50's Oldsmobile


70's Olds 442


60's Ford Custom Job


1957 Chevy


1969 Chevelle SS 396


1970 Buick Electra 225 Custom Coupe, 20 K original time-capsule


50's T-Bird


Hot Trucks


1930 Buick


1969 Electra Gran Sport eXperimental


Starboard Aft


Winston CUP NASCAR 5 Bar


Honoring the 332nd Fighter Group and their big P-47 "Jug" fighter, The Tuskegee Airmen. 313702006-09-10_006-med.JPG

New Display Setup


455 STAGE I by Scotty Guadagno & the old Brooklyn, NY Pee Gee Performance


Look out for Scotty's New Shop in Florida!

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  • 3 weeks later...

The 36th Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolt Reunion was held in Corning, NY a couple of weeks ago. There was a Mark Twain impersonator, Andrews Sisters impersonators and the Faithful Pursuit. Here are a few photos.

My P-47 Thunderbolt display and models were on display as well. The group was there to honor the uncle of a friend of mine who was killed in WWII.

At the end of their program, the hotel curtains were opened and we fired up the Faithful Pursuit which had been in her trailer the whole afternoon. It was dark so photos did not come out well, however the effect was great. The Buick sounded

like a P-47 Thunderbolt starting and idling. One of my aero buddies said it was cammed just right and sounded a lot like the old Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine that the Jug used. The men and women of the 36th FG were very pleased and I received a very nice letter from the nephew of the 36th FG pilot who was killed in combat back in '43.



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  • 1 month later...

The Tuskegee Airmen and I are pleased and proud of the decision to Award the Congressional Gold Medal to the surviving WWII Tuskegee Airmen. There were over 900 original pilots, 450 went overseas and saw combat. Over 13,000 other Americans of African descent, both civilian and military supported the effort.


Here is a good Buick story for you. Below is an interview with one of the Airmen, Lt. Colonel Herbert Carter. Herb and his wife Mildred live in Tuskegee, Alabama. I visited them there many years ago and had dinner with them. After dinner, Herbert showed me the photos of his flying days with the Tuskegee Airmen and his pride and joy, a red 1955 Thunderbird!


I had driven my 1969 Buick Electra about 200 miles to their home from where I lived in Georgia. (I got 19 mpg going and 20 mpg on the return with the 430 powered convertible.)On the way back to my hotel in Tuskegee, the old fighter pilot gave me and my Buick an escort part of the way there!

I saw Herb and Mildred last year at the convention in Orlando, Florida and they looked great! It was good to be there with the Electra GSX and show so many people our passion for Buick and the Tuskegee Airmen!


God Speed,

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BqUICK, thanks for the links and the photos on the Tuskegee Airmen. It's extremely great that they are getting even more recognition by congress for their highly successful contribution to this countrys success in the war! The photo of the Faithful Persuit at the air base looks soo in fitting! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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THE CHARIOT RACE (from "Electra")

by: Sophocles

THEY took their stand where the appointed judges

Had cast their lots and ranged the rival cars.

Rang out the brazen trump! Away they bound,

Cheer the hot steeds and shake the slackened reins;

As with a body the large space is filled

With the huge clangor of the rattling cars.

High whirl aloft the dust-clouds; blent together,

Each presses each and the lash rings; and loud

Snort the wild steeds, and from their fiery breath,

Along their manes and down the circling wheels

Scatter the flaking foam. Orestes still--

Ays, as he swept around the perilous pillar

Last in the course, wheeled in the rushing axle;

The left rein curbed,--that on the dexter hand

Flung loose.-- So on erect the chariots rolled!

Sudden the Ænian's fierce and headlong steeds

Broke from the bit -- and, as the seventh time now

The course was circled, on the Libyan car

Dashed their wild fronts: then order changed to ruin:

Car crashed on car; the wide Crissæan plain

Was sea-like strewed with wrecks; the Athenian saw,

Slackened his speed, and wheeling round the marge,

Unscathed and skillful, in the midmost space,

Left the wild tumult of that tossing storm.

Behind, Orestes, hitherto the last,

Had yet kept back his coursers for the close;

Now one sole rival left -- on, on he flew,

And the sharp sound of the impelling scourge

Rang in the keen ears of the flying steeds.

He nears, he reaches -- they are side by side --

Now one -- the other -- by a length the victor.

The courses all are past -- the wheels erect --

All safe -- when, as the hurrying coursers round

The fatal pillar dashed, the wretched boy

Slackened the left rein: on the column's edge

Crashed the frail axle: headlong from the car

Caught and all meshed within the reins, he fell;

And masterless the mad steeds raged along!

Loud from that mighty multitude arose

A shriek -- a shout! But yesterday such deeds,

To-day such doom! Now whirled upon the earth,

Now his limbs dashed aloft, they dragged him -- those

Wild horses -- till all gory from the wheels

Released; -- and no man, not his nearest friends,

Could in that mangled corpse have traced Orestes.

They laid the body on the funeral-pyre;

And while we speak, the Phocian strangers bear,

In a small, brazen, melancholy urn,

That handful of cold ashes to which all

The grandeur of the Beautiful hath shrunk.


The Electra

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I hope that you enjoyed the poem about "The Race". It reminds me of a story about a Buick Electra racer who crashed into an overhead train trestle at extremely high speed. In the late 1970's while at school, we would often get back on Monday and talk about our racing exploits over the weekend. About then, there was a curious phenomenon of Buick Electra "Sleepers" whose brief reign of terror stunned and fascinated many rodders of the day. It would blow our minds to see an immaculate 1969 or 1970 Electra roll up to the line, whisper quiet, and blow away the fastest big block race car there that night. Every once in a while things would go awry. One of my friends witnessed some street race and the horrific crash. He said of the Electra man, "He was 6 foot 4 when he jumped into that Buick and 4 foot 6 when they cut him out!"

Typically, Electra's had a reputation for being indestructable. Many people, including me, owe their lives to the legendary toughness of the Buick. Even a Buick has its limitations however!

Last summer we just scraped the surface of the 12s. We have about 500 HP on the engine dyno which translates to about 425 HP at the wheels, give or take a few HP. When the Electra GSX concept was initially developed in 1979, 500 HP was a big number and very few cars could run on the street and get into the 12s with slicks, let alone consistent low 13s in street trim. The performance calculators show that 12.85 @ 105 is possible and with some ram air work I believe we can do it with no other power adders.

Based on the calculator, I feel confident that the suspension is working as it should. We are converter limited to a 2,800 rpm stall however. I asked EDGE to develop a converter that could push a lot of air at 170 mph, our main goal of sustained high speed, without losing a lot of RPMs and at the same time give us a decent launch for the quarter. As I am not made of $dough$ I had to use the "one Converter Fits All" method!

It appears that we have an opportunity to develop another motor with a bit more kick to it. When the Faithful Pursuit concept was finally drawn up in early 1982, it called for a Paxton Supercharger; however the cost of building a blower motor was out of the question. It would have blown our schedule, pardon the pun.

The 430 we are building in Florida is the original engine for this body.

As you may remember from the frantic 2002 - 2004 effort to ACTUALLY BUILD the thing, we had no time and lots of problems. Our chassis guy died in 2002 (Which was the traumatic start of this thread!), Our electronics guy died in 2004, we had a major garage fire just a month or two before the roll out, our painter changed his mind about doing the job and we had to scramble to find someone else with only six weeks to go...Between the funerals, working most nights at the shop till midnight, neglecting the family, and perhaps my own health, it was a tough road. I have to thank my wife Deborah for being a real trooper through all of it, including her accepting the many dollars and sacrifice it took to make my design of the Tuskegee Airmen's rolling P-47 Thunderbolt a reality!

We finally had a successful roll out on 24 April 2004 and had our NY Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen brought 300 miles to the Wings of Eagles, Elmira Regional Airport, to witness the Faithful Pursuit unveiling by Major General Michael Hall, United States Air Force, retired. Mike said (I'll paraphrase) "We are here to dedicate two things to the Tuskegee Airmen. One will stay here and the other will GO AS FAST AS IT CAN!"

We will stay true to the General Hall's words!


455 STAGE 1 Powered 1969 Electra GSX "Faithful Pursuit"


Michael receiving an award from the Tuskegee Airmen, inc. Claude B. Govan

Chapter for the Faithful Pursuit unveiling event/fund raiser he coordinated.

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Oh yes I enjoyed the poem! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> You're absolutely right about the Electra's being tough, or buicks in general. I remember from going to demo derbys in my youth of how the 57-58 buicks were outlawed because the sheet metal was WAY to thick <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> to give other automobiles a competetive chance. So a 430 is in the works, another great Buick motor! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Faithful Pursuit was originally conceived with the 1969 Buick Electra 225 Custom Sport Coupe as the baseline. The motor selection came from my research into what was the most powerful standard motorcar of what is commonly referred to as the "Muscle Car Era".

The GSX was the obvious choice as it was third only to the '66 427 Cobra and '67 427 Vette in straight line 1/4 mile. Cars with similar weight and the same 427's were no match for the brutal torque of the Buick 455 STAGE 1.

I thought, "Why not take the Electra, the flagship of the Buick line, and build a version of the GSX. Gran Sport eXperimental meant that a standard Skylark could be taken and modified with performance extras. The original concept for the GSX called for a much stronger and lighter car, so I have heard.

My Electra GSX has custom paint with stripes, 455 STAGE 1, posi, racing suspension, sport mirrors, agressive stance, ram air induction, functional Cruiseline Ventiports (You can actually feel the air blowing out of them with the electric radiator fans on!) The best part is she is faster than a Skylark based GSX and can pull serious G forces!


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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

The GSX was the obvious choice as it was third only to the '66 427 Cobra and '67 427 Vette in straight line 1/4 mile. Cars with similar weight and the same 427's were no match for the brutal torque of the Buick 455 STAGE 1.


BqUICK, you're absolutly correct! As much as muscle car enthusiast of other brands may contest this, 455 STAGE 1 powered cars were the most understated and underated cars on the muscle era. Here's a vid link I found while surfing the web from the popular speed channel program Musclecar: http://media.putfile.com/Muscle-Car-Flashback---1970-Buick-GSX-Stage-1 ENJOY!!

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  • 1 month later...

The upstate New York weather has certainly gotten cold, sometimes down

to 4 degrees. It will probably go down to negative numbers before long.

The Faithful Pursuit is going through some upgrades this winter and I am

going to discuss other things for a moment.

It has been interesting to watch various programs on TV that feature

Cadillac's, Lincolns, and Oldsmobile's doing great things. I am pleased

that the American Luxury Grand Touring Sedan is getting some respect in

the world of motor sports. If the big car thing catches on, it would be a

good thing. I look forward to seeing more big Buicks drag racing, road

racing, high speed racing, auctions, monster cars, hot rods, pro street,



Here is a photo of me and a faithful pursuit of another kind. Well

over 1,000 horses on tap with a blower and a V-12 Packard-Merlin!

She is the last flying P-51C with the colors of the 332, the

Tuskegee Airmen.

God Speed

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Now there is some serious muscle, definately a real man's machine <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />! Winter can be a real bummer, especially in the climates both you and I live in. But that's when some have alot more inventive thinking for upgrades and improvement which I'm sure you do all the time anyway. From what I see in the performance car hobby there are ALOT more big cars being built nowadays simply because it's becoming the cool thing to do. I think it is. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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  • 3 weeks later...

On 13 February 2007, we hosted a reunion of two WWII Tuskegee pilots who have not seen eachother since 1945. They were both being recognized for their accomplishments in engineering at a luncheon in Corning, New York. One man, Herbert Thorpe worked as an aerospace research engineer and the other was a civil engineer who worked on the original World Trade Center. The coordinator of the lunceon knew both men and realized that they both had received their wings at Tuskegee in 1945 or so.


We drove escort for thier limo to the museum in the Faithful Pursuit


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Thank you for your interest in this activity. I always appreciate your

writing back with your comments on what we are doing with the Faithful


It was a real thrill getting the call from the security officer with their

limo telling me where to intercept them. It was probably 14 degrees outside

and the Faithful Pursuit has not heater core, to save weight. I sat at the

exit near the off ramp as the limo pulled off the highway. When it stopped

at the light, I then smoked it across and took a position ahead of the limo.

The Faithful Pursuit led the limo about 1 mile to the Wings of Eagles, where

the press were waiting. There was a cameraman on the limo and he captured

some escort footage.

The press interviewed the men and their wives. The two tv news stations,

18 & 36 were present and taped the interviews. The Elmira Star Gazette did

an article as did the Corning Leader.

Both men were surprised when they recognized each other earlier that day.

They had not seen each other since 1945. Burton kept saying, "The last time

we saw each other we were 19 and now we are both 84!"

It was wonderful to be part of that experience. The cameraman said he

liked following the Faithful Pursuit with the American flags fluttering

just ahead of the limo. I have not seen the footage yet but hopefully we

produce our second video soon.

God Speed, 31370101_3174-med.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Faithful Pursuit and I participated in a benefit for a co-worker friend of mine who suffered a severe head trauma as a result of an accident. We pulled the trailer out of the snow bank and drove to the LOCAL 1000 Union Hall in Corning, NY.

There were two bands, lots of pasta, and a couple hundred friends and well wishers. They gave away tee shirts, had a auction, and raffled off a LCD TV!

<img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

His air lift ambulance bill was $8,000.00 and NOT covered by his insurance! Well, we raised a sight more than that and had a great time doing it! I hope he has a complete recovery.

Good luck Jeff!!!




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