Heilbron Benefit Car and Cycle Show
Speed Motorsports Team Helps Fellow Motorhead in Need
October 21, 2006:
The High Speed Motorsports/SilverThin Bearings Nostalgia Top
Fuel Team was the featured event at a fund raising car show that
took place in Lompoc, California on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2006.
The park was filled with 125 classic cars, hot rods and motorcycles,
a top fuel dragster, an alcohol dragster, and nostalgia funny
cars - all in support of local resident, mechanic, car and bike
enthusiast Josh Heilbron who is stricken with several forms of
cancer and faces an uphill battle to recover. The medical bills
are mounting so several local car-enthusiast friends decided
to organize a Benefit Car Show to help him out. Some appeals
were made and the HSMS boys answered the call in a big way. Also
his friends, and most of the business community came out to give
support and raise money to help him in his battle. The show sold
over 1800 raffle tickets, 480 chicken dinners, and raised over
$11,700 on Joshs behalf.
You ask- where
the heck is Lompoc? It is a small Central California Coast town
not far from the city of Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County.
It is known for its beautiful fields of commercially grown flowers,
wine grapes and nearby Vandenberg Air Force Base. Local residents
are accustomed to having their windows rattled at times from
the sound of rocket motors boosting military and civilian payloads
into space from Vandenberg. But a different roar came to downtown
Lompoc on this day- the sound and feel of a 3,000 HP nitro burning
engine at close range. Trust me
this got everyone who attended
the festivities at Ryan Park in Lompoc pretty excited.
Here are a few
scenes from this day of fun and good will.
text by Bob Brown
picture shows mostly local cars. Joshua appears to have many
friends who brought out their cars for a little show and shine.
Spectators could vote for their favorite car and a silent auction
was also held to help with the fund raising. A first class chicken
Bar-B-Que, park style, was held starting around noon and the
portions were hefty. Mmmm!
Johansen with one of the many visitors who got to sit in the
the back of the park was the High Speed Motorsports car and support
trailer just the way it appears at the races. The only difference
here is that there were lots of trees and grass to make for a
nice setting instead of the usual asphalt. It was a relaxed atmosphere
for the crew, having time to enjoy things as they worked.
Around 11AM, the car
was to be fired for the first time. Bellemeur gets in.
Brett squirts the methanol
into the injector while Rian Konno prepares to disengage the
blower start motor.
Brett watches the readout
on the data computer. The blower pulley is spinning quite fast
although the camera's flash freezes its motion
As the crowd gathers
and the engine comes up to temp, the crew watches and listens
to make sure all is functioning OK.
With the valve turned
to change from alky to nitro, the exhaust is now quite visible.
Brett whacks it and the unsuspecting crowd are startled by the
violent spike in the noise level.
With slicks spinning
rapidly, Sean prepares to pull the brake handle while Brett gets
ready to shut the engine down.
round" maintenance included pulling the valve covers and
some adjusting. Here, Roger McMartin gives the rockers a squirt
of Sure Shot.
Roger works the right side, Rian Konno goes through the important
steps of checking and adjusting the valve clearance under each
rocker. I love the adjustment tool that you see used so commonly
in the pits at the races. Once the locking nut on the rocker
is loosened and the proper gap set with the feeler gauge, a second
specialized tool restrains the adjustment screw from turning
while the locknut surrounding it is re-tightened. Ingenious.
High Speed Motorsports
CEO Dale Singh and his wife, Amelia are ardent supporters of
the team. It is fun to see the joy on their faces when the crew
is doing a fireup. Dale is an integral part of the crew, always
ready to do what needs to be done for the team's "big picture".
Amelia shares her husband's enthusiasm and is always present
when the team is on the road.
of the other featured cars at the show belongs to Ron Anzalone
of Los Osos, CA. Ron brought his beautiful "Teapot"
'23 T to the fund raiser. As you can see, it runs an in line
6 cyl. Chevy 292 engine bored to 306 with Sissell injection.
The car is a regular NE3 competitor at Goodguys and NHRA Nostalgia
events. It moves right on down the track pretty quickly, posting
a best of 9.34 and 142 mph. And, it looks superb in doing so!
The sound from the 6 is quite unlike the familiar B-8 we're all
accustomed to hearing. You KNOW when he's on the track.
quite a long talk with Ron. He described building the parts for
the throttle linkage on his lathe a couple of rainy winters ago.
He chose not to fire the car at this show, as it requires quite
a lot of cleanup to get the shine back on the chrome, and he
was signed up to do another show the following day.
youth, he was a neighbor of the Mazmanians, and pretty much grew
up at the drags with Big John & Co.
was planned that Josh Heilbron would be taking the seat in the
HSM car for their mid-day fire up. But, as the time neared, it
was felt that with his precarious health condition, it might
be a danger to him to be in the car (nitro fumes, etc.). So,
the seat was offered to his dad, Chuck Lee. Chuck promptly suggested
that since his wife (Josh's step mom) Mona had been quite excited
all morning about the dragster being there, that it would be
fitting if she were to take the seat instead. Here you see her
receiving instructions about what to expect with the fire up
of the beast.
Dale Singh helps
her up onto the tire for her entrance into the cockpit.
"I was here!" photo.
Sean settles her in, installs the butterfly steering
wheel and explains the procedure.
As she puts the earplugs
in, Rian Konno engages the blower starter onto its mounting frame
to prepare for the start.
Sean helps adjust the mask.
Once again, Sean
gets her masked up while crewman Roger McMartin announces to
the audience what to expect. He explains the difference between
the alky portion for the first minute or so and then nitro portion
of the fire up.
Eyes closed and
white knuckled, she waits
Rian hits the
starter and WHAM, its running!
Sean watches the
controls just to be sure
the crowd reaction when he whacks the throttle.
Looks like Mona's
got a fume leak!
Game over! Brett
squirts the juice in the injector to begin the shutdown procedure.
The mask comes off
ahhhhh, fresh air!
shutdown, Sean went over to talk with Josh Heilbron, our Man
of the Day. I don't know the story behind the HSM hat, but it
looks like an old favorite with signs of heavy use.
Mona is beside
herself after she gets her feet on the ground. Brett has that
look of - "nothing can compare to it, can it?"
A few other items of
interest at the show were this pair of Mercs with Santa Paula
Fire & Police emblems on the doors. Probably enough protection
for the whole town back in the 50's.
This car easily took the most "elderly"
award of the show- its placard stated 1890's for the date. It
had a one-lunger engine, and putt putted around the field at
a jogging speed.
I had to leave before
the raffle drawing was made to see who would get to sit in the
HSM car for its 3rd and final fire up at 3PM. I'm told that Josh
Heilbron's 6 year old daughter pulled the ticket from the hat
and some lucky person got it. The important part, however, is
that when the day's receipts were totaled up, the result was
$11,706.81 to go to Josh and his daughter. As an outside observer,
I'd say the High Speed Motorsports Team - Dale and Amelia Singh,
the entire crew and driver Sean Bellemeur showed themselves as
great Ambassadors for the sport of Drag Racing in this undertaking.
More coverage from
Lompoc's Nancy Rodrigue
One of the day's highlights came when the winner
of the Hot Seat Raffle got to sit behind the wheel and then fire
up the HSMS dragster something just about unheard of in
a small, local car show. But it wasn't unheard for
long. After the smiling winner suited up in protective gear,
the engine lit up. As the decibel level rose, ears were plugged
and eyes started streaming as the nitro fumes drifted over the
crowd. But not one person backed away. The envious spectators
cheered and clapped when he climbed out.
Ron Anzalone and Sean
Bellemeur were asked why they would come to a little town like
Lompoc with their nationally known cars. Both men and
members of their teams have had family or friends touched
by cancer. They didn't even hesitate when they were invited.
They both said, Well be there. What do you need?