BqUICK

Electra GSX Road Racer

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Congratulations on just taking it to the track! Are you going to go another 2770 miles a quarter at a time? You are one busy racer.

I agree with the seal assessment. I wonder if it was due to how little the engine has been run since the rebuild. I don't know much about mains, but it seems that most automotive seals don't like to sit for too long.

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The leak appeared prior to the burn out. A bit of load actually appeared to cause it to re-seal. Mike at TA said that a switch to synthetic sometimes causes that leak. He noted that a return to an oil like GTX 20/50 would stop it.

I will wait to hear from Scotty Guadagno before doing anything. If it is the choice of an oil change or pulling the engine again, I'm for the oil change!

I really wanted to keep the synthetic in her because of the temperatures and sustained duty but I am willing to change over.

Temperature at the strip was about 75 and conditions were great! It was tough to just pack up and go home after spending the $bux to get in with everyone! There will be some autocross at Watkins Glen this week as our driver Roy Hopkins will be in town doing some more racing with his regular car. It looks like a strong possibility of rain so we will have to try again for a road course at the end of the month!

Silver State may be out for this year. Although we have the truck, trailer, vacation time, a pro-driver, we still do not have the drivers to get the car to Nevada in 36 - 40 hours. Nor do we have the $2000 in fuel needed to make it happen. This in conjunction with various other teething issues like NO A/C may keep us out until next year! The Orlando adventure convinced me that 98 degrees in a car with no A/C was tough. Hmmm...try 110 - 125??? Maybe not!

Stay tuned as the saga continues! smile.gif

God Speed,

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It looks like Nevada in 2006! Over the past 10 weeks, we test drove the Faithful Pursuit, did our Race Fever show, the Tuskegee Airmen National Convention, obtained our Ford Excursion Limited, 7.3 Liter Turbo-Diesel Truck, 24' US Patriot Enclosed trailer. smile.gif

Our attempt to go the the Silver State Classic in 2005 has been scrubbed, due to our teething technical issues. We are excited about many new supporters coming on, 17 in our local area, but it is too little, too late for 2005! frown.gif

I spoke to Steve Waldman today, head of the Silver State Classic Challenge, and informed him of our decision. It was a tough one but we had to be realistic. frown.gif

He told me that he looks forward to seeing us in 2006 and to tell all of our supporters that he is excited about seeing our car there whenever it can come. smirk.gif

I thank all of you for all of your support, we will not let you down! We will hit some high speeds with this amazing vehicle that honors our WWII heroes, the Tuskegee Airmen! cool.gif

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Michael,

Sorry to hear about the scrubbed run, but glad to know you'll have a year of further prep and shows. Are you also planning to race elsewhere? Much as I'd like to hear an affirmative, I also like to see the Faithful Pursuit preseved as a tribute car--I think that's a more accurate term than "show."It's a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and your hard work, whether it's on the track or standing still--or just cruising around. grin.gif

Guy

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Guy,

You are right, it is indeed a tribute to the hard work and bravery of some of our nations greatest heroes. The car is just a car however, our goal is to have people go on their own journey of discovery. Americans of all stripes must learn of why it is important to know about the Tuskegee Airmen.

You and I cannot imagine ALL of the things that the Tuskegee Airmen have done to affect the very lives of all of us today. There was a time when the sight of that bright red tail on a P-51 Mustang fighter plane coming in to escort you home meant you were going to come home! With the horrific death toll exacted upon our bomber crews during WWII it is no wonder that after the Airmen proved themselves, they were always in demand "By Request"!

Two days ago, on Wednesday, I met a husband and wife in a local small shop in Corning, NY. I had brought Tuskegee Airmen Racing Enterprises tee shirts to one of our sponsors who told me "Visit the store next door...". I had to hear about this intersting story unfolding in the Ma and Pa shop. The wife told me "If not for the Tuskegee Airmen, I may not be here!" She mentioned this a couple of times during the course of our conversation. I did not know what she was talking about! Yeah, I thought, they were heroes and the war would have been tougher to win but we probably would not be speaking German or living in concentration camps!

She went to the back of the store and brought out an article about a 15th Air Force B-17 "Flying Fortress" heavy bomber named "Big Yank". It had a big portrait of FDR on the side (Franklyn D. Roosevelt for those of you who never got this in school!!! mad.gif) Well...it turns out that her dad was William S. Strapko, Captain of that ship on the longest 15th AF mission of of WWII. That was the famous 24 March 1945 Benz Tank Works mission where the 332nd Fighter Group, the Tuskegee Airmen, had to fly double duty as escort because the fighters that were supposed to relieve the Airmen did not make the rendezevous point. Luckily, our boys "Aquired" long range fuel tanks by intercepting a train by truck, strapping the tanks on, in anticipation of a long mission, and flying it in true Tuskegee Airmen style, with class!

Our guys went on to fly the whole mission coming back dry in some cases. 1555 miles, round trip! The new ME 262, the German's latest "Wunder Weapon", came out in force! They were 100 mph faster than a P-51!!! Our boy's quick reflexes got 3-1/2 ME 262s!!! Tuskegee Airmen Roscoe Brown from New York City got the first one of that mission and the second one of the war. The B-17s of the 15th did a super job having knocked down 6, with the Big Yank's gunner, Lincoln Broyhill, blasting 2! wink.gif

Maryann's dad came back alive perhaps because of the Airmen and certainly because of the dedication of the 15th Air Force bomber command, crews, maintenance, techs, engineers, doctors, nurses, etc. etc. It is ironinc that in the most destructive of human endeavers, the winners are those who are truely brothers and sisters in combat. The more dedication to eachother and God, the more successful the combatants appear to be.

The funny thing was that her husband just found out he has Black relatives although very, very distant! cool.gif It must be a shock to live as a white guy for 50 years and find out you have black ancestors somewhere! laugh.gif This fellow was really pleased with the new found relatives and friends he has made, what an intersting story! One of them was a Tuskegee Airman! cool.gif (I actually spoke to the Airman by cell phone from their little shop in Corning! Yeah, he's the real deal, although he never was in combat! laugh.gif) Now that is what it is all about!

The kicker is that the wife felt she was here because of the Tuskegee Airmen and she never knew that she married a relative of one! Guess what...the Black fighter pilot that shot down the first ME 262 on that raid, Dr. Roscoe Brown, autographed the red tail of the Faithful Pursuit at the Airmens annual Convention a couple of weeks ago!!! shocked.gif

The Tuskegee Airman relative, Wallace Higgens, said that he did not complete the program because he contracted the mumps. He was part of the Class of 45A. My database indicates Wallace C. Higgins, X44K, Roster SO 163, Tuskegee AAF. It sounds like his illness knocked him out of 44K and he was put in 45A! His son, Don, happened to be at a conference in town and we all gathered for lunch. I gave them Tuskegee Airmen Racing Enterprises tee shirts including one for his dad, Wallace. The mom & pop, Don and his wife to be made a generous contribution to the Tuskegee Airmen scholarship fund! Wallace wants to join Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and I will connect him with our chapter president Col. Ed Monroe!

I guess that old Buick has done it again! blush.gif It is starting to look like she has a life of her own, leading me on this wild ride. We have met some really incredible people and the stories could fill a book!

By the way, the vents were plugged, that is why she blows oil every once in a while! She builds pressure, blows out, is okay for a while then blows again! Boy do I feel dumb! shocked.gif We go to the track tonite unless she has other plans! wink.gif

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Michael,

Thanks so much for the "living history" lesson. This is truly the greatest part of your work, I think, the connections with the people you are honoring. As we go into Labor Day weekend, it's important to have these reminders of the amazing Labor that our armed forces have done, and continue to do today. There are no long weekends for the service men and women, and your post was a poignant reminder that we all need to be thankful that we have our freedoms and holidays due in large part to their hard work.

Carry on!

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I took the photos in the above posting during the August 16 - 20 Convention.

1. The youth luncheon was very well attended. It is believed that 78 of the remaining 200 Tuskegee Airmen pilots attended the convention. Perhaps several thousand of the original 13,000 Tuskegee Airmen in total are still alive. Several hundred Tuskegee Airmen, including nurses, mechanics, grounds crew, were present.

2. Youth luncheon awardee, his mother, a Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. member, and our keynote speaker, and Astronaut.

3. Some of my family living in Orlando, my kids, and the Faithful Pursuit

4. A young man wins a 1/18 scale Tuskegee Airmen 99th Fighter P-40 Fighter plane.

5. My mentor within the Tuskegee Airmen,Inc. Mr. Jean R. Esquerre. Jean was a radio operator and gunner in B-25s during the war. He was part of the 477th composite group that was never deployed due to the "bomb" ending the war with Japan. Years later, after obtaining his degree in engineering from CCNY, Jean developed the super sensitive filtration system that eliminated potential fuel leaks on the Lunar Landing Module while an engineer at Grumman. He rose to become the first Black director of a major aerospace corporation, Grumman Aeroscape Corp.

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What a day!!! cool.gifcool.gifcool.gif The Faithful Pursuit finally ran a road course! Now I know why we re-designed that suspension and cut it out and welded it in 5 times! I'll be darned if it doesn't turn flatter than my old 250 S Mercedes! We did not go very fast or for many laps but it was an extraordinary opportunity. Back in '48, well before the closed track was established, people were running a race around the town of Watkins Glen. The normally public road course was closed off to traffic and bales of straw set up at the tough turns! They call it the historic course and at the "Vintage" rally held annually, they run two laps of the historic course with cars that must be older than 25 years. There was a jet black Ferrari 275, an absolutely immaculate show winner DB 6 Aston Martin convertible, MGs, all original low mile "upside down bathtub" Porsche 356, a 1926 Ford racecar, a 190? Ford special body "T" speedster (35mph!) complete with "monocle" windcreen for the driver only, a swoopy sleek black Allard, (now I know what the term "It is to 'die for' means!") more than 50 very special cars, some of them valued at well over 1 million dollars!

We sat with the sports/racing crowd in the Concours de Elegance section cool.gif. (It is French, for 'Judging of the Elegant'. Pronounced 'Concoo-D-Ele-Gaa' or something like that!We Americans typically buthcer it by saying 'concoarse!' blush.gif)

Then there we were! "Chrome plated brass knuckles!"cool.gif Proud American iron decked out in red, white, and blue! We took the finest parts from international suppliers to make the Faithful Pursuit a world class luxury super-gran touring sedan. West German Talbot racing mirrors, French Pirelli High Speed Tires, 500 HP and 535 FT-LBS from a beast of 455 Buick, an equally impressive English overdrive capable of withstanding 1200 HP, a NASCAR 4" steel drivesahft, 4 racing seats, two with 5 point harnesses, Bold GSX stipe with stars in it and a GSX tail, 7 point roll cage, blacked out grille and hood! This car looked like the proverbial "Wolf in a sheep's skin!" cool.gif

We really wowed the car and heard comments like..."I heard it and knew I had to find it!" cool.gif; "...I've been coming here for years and we never had anything like this here before!" cool.gif; "Its got a 455 STAGE1!" laugh.gif; "Beautiful!"; "Wow!"; "...labor of love" smile.gif; "...amazed at how many special features!" shocked.gif; "...its got a full cage!" shocked.gif; "That looks like a 1 inch sway bar...is that a 1 inch sway bar!!?!!" wink.gif; "Are those RECARO racing seats?" smile.gif; "You scared me when you started it up, you should give us a warning!!!" blush.gif"wow...its TUSKEGEE AIRMEN!!!" cool.gif; "...look...the oil cooler intake is in the same place as a P-51 Mustang!" cool.gif

Naturally, there were lots of "I did not know Buick made a GSX!?!" comments. I made sure to let them know it was a 'take off' of an actual car that Buick made. "Yes Buick made a Skylark based GSX and although rated at 370 HP it was as fast or faster than the Chevelle SS 454 rated at 450 HP!" cool.gif

It was a blast to run with Ferraris, Astons, and other 'super-cars'! I was honored to be there and we represented very well. We still had the pesky oil drip and when I leaned on it we paid for it with oil smoke in the cockpit. The crowd roared every time we thromped on it! She ran great and it was the most fun I've had yet! smile.gif

The navy blue blazered judges came over to inspect our car. They had clipboards and foam pads that they would put down to inspect under the car. (I was glad we had the underside painted and detailed!) They got a rise out of the trans oil cooler behind the rear license plate and the 1" front sway bar! They were a pretty conservative bunch of five guys in white shirts and ties but they cracked a few smiles when the saw some of the key elements of the Faithful Pursuit! cool.gif

I represented the Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and spent much time letting people know the story of the Airmen and showed them the signatures of the fighter pilots, gained at their national convention weeks ago, and support personnel on the tail!

God Speed,

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Wow, sounds like you had a blast!!! Glad to hear you finally made it to Watkins Glen! Do you think you would ever be able to post a short video of that beast in action.

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It sure is nice to see the Faithful Pursuit on the road. Way too many pics to look through in one sitting, but a good site to return to. Along with the exotics, this event seems to be accepting of the more "plebian" cars like the TR6 and Volvo. The Buick DEFINITELY shows a stately class that stands out among the ordinary sports cars. In fact, even the exotics take on a "sameness" alongside it. It has a "presence" all its own. smirk.gif Gotta get me one of them T-shirts! cool.gif

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Smartin,

Thanks for posting the photos above. It was fun doing 50 foot second gear burnouts! The Watkins Glen road course and judging for the Concours D' Elegance was really special as well.

Our main job is to spread the word about the Tuskegee Airmen and I think we are getting through. Here is an Armed Forces article featuring the Tuskegee Airmen and the Faithful Pursuit.

http://www.ngb.army.mil/news/story.asp?id=1740

God Speed,

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Michael,

Hope things are going well. I just got to thinkin' today (not always a good sign) about whether you have an on-board fire supression system on the Faithful Pursuit? I suppose it has to meet some kind of requirements to run on a sanctioned course, and was wondering what they are?

Expect a check for a T-shirt soon. Be safe out there!

Guy

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Guy,

At certain speeds, fire supression equipment is necessary. It is recommended to always have a fire extinguisher anyway. At over 185mph, I believe, an automatic system is manditory.

Also, the local team has "Racing and Curry" meetings where we get together and discuss next steps in the program. I work as a senior project engineer for a huge corporation. Well, our corporate engineering group had a Cultural Food Fest. My Racing Curry Chicken won Second Prize! $50 bucks can buy a few gallons of racing gas!

God Speed,

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I guess we know where you really needed a fire extinguisher! I had a roommate, Joe, from India one time. He'd make "real" Indian chicken curry. The fumes would make your eyes water anywhere in the house. wink.gif Congratulations on 2nd place, hey 50 bucks is 50 bucks!

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Guy,

It was pleasure to sell you tee shirt. They were a hit at the Tuskegee Airmen convention and we sold many of them there. Two days ago, Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Clayton Lawrence of the New York Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen called to tell me about two more sales. One of the Corning, Inc. managers that I work with bought one each for her husband and herself on Monday.

We are working on a web page that will take most of the load off this site and we will be able to market our stuff through it more easily. We sell the shirts for $20 with $5 going to the "Educational Assistance Fund" within the NY chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. The fund is for kids pursuing careers in Aerospace and Technology.

The Vaughn College of Aeronautics did a nice feature article on me, given my latest patent for a telecommunications device I invented. I'll be at the school next week to escort a guest speaker from Corning, Inc. The New York based school is located near LaGuardia Airport and I attended the school in the late '70s. I tell you all this because they did a writeup with the Faithful Pursuit as the backdrop! The car I just restored is the same car I drove to school back in 1978! The school really got a kick out of that.

I have had many extraordinary experiences at the Vaughn College. I even designed the Faithful Pusuit while enrolled there while studying Aeronautical Engineering Technology, Design. Over my long association with the college, I have met many noteworthy staffers including: A designer on the Gee Bee Racer program back in the '30's, Dr. Walter Hartung; one of the Doolittle's Raiders who on April 18th, 1942 made the first strike against Japan after Pearl Harbor, General Dick Knobloch; two Tuskegee Airmen, including Dr. Roscoe Brown, who shot down a German Jet the 24 March 1945 Benz Tank Works raid; and a WWI double Ace George A. Vaughn! Even the late great Four Star General James H. Doolittle (Phd in Aeronautical Engineering from MIT) visited the school back in the early 80's (He was a three star then) and spoke to a packed house about "The greatest aerial armada the world had ever known" talking about the Mighty Eighth Air Force he commanded and the final push into Nazi Germany! Every one of those great men took time to talk with me and answer my questions. I have letters from some of them as well.

While at the school I also saw Francis Gabreski, P-47 ace, on a trip to the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Long Island; and the Pope even passed in front of the school back in '79. I saw John Paul II while I sat in what would later become the Faithful Pursuit, stopped by his motorcade in front of the school! John Paul helped to inspire the name of the Electra GSX as the "Faithful" The Tuskegee Airmen provided inspiration for the "Pursuit" part of the name!

God Speed!

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Hmmm...a B-25 Doolittle's Raider inspired 1969 Buick Electra GSX! I like the sound of that!

Well, the website is being worked on by a friend who does this kind of thing for corporations. I have to design the front end and help establish the links. Are there any links that you would like to see?

I want a dual focus of Aviation and Automotive. It may be wierd to some but we'll see how it turns out.

The Faithful Pursuit and I visited the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology last week. The school offers degrees in Aircraft Design, Air Frame and Powerplant Maintenance, Airport Management, Avionics with a Photonic Technology Option.

A friend of mine gave a talk there and I brought the car. I used to drive it to that school back in the '70s. One school administator remembered it!!!

The students got a charge out of it as well! I showed them my model P-47 Thunderbolt, and talked about the Tuskegee Airmen. They liked the 500 HP Buick, the tires, underside oil coolers, and the sound. I took a few professors and students for rides at the end of the day! It was cool! cool.gif

God Speed,

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