Obituary: Engine builder and racer Lamar Walden dies at 74

Obituary: Engine builder and racer Lamar Walden dies at 74

By Victor Moore: Lamar Walden was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2012. He had been given six months to live when a further spot was discovered on his liver. He subsequently attended the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and fought the insidious disease bravely for 36 months before succumbing to its malignant side effects on August 28, 2015. His family believes harsh chemotherapy sessions in Atlanta proved to be unpromising territory and may have hastened his end. He was 74 years of age. Lamar Walden was a successful engine builder, who had specialized in the Chevrolet 409 power unit since its inception in the early 1960s. He oversaw business growth include other GM performance engines, particularly the LS, as well as an accomplished restoration service. He was the only person to receive three COPO Camaros from the factory, all of which are now on display in Rick Hendrick’s museum in North Carolina. Born in 1941 in Flintstone, Georgia, a mountainous region twelve miles south of Chattanooga, Lamar was the youngest but one of his six siblings—four brothers and two sisters. His father was a house builder but neither he nor any of his siblings had interests in auto racing. In 1967 Lamar established one of the first franchises for Honest Charlie. Based in Marietta, an affluent suburb of Atlanta, it was one of the first speed shops in Georgia. The following year he sold the building and the franchise and purchased R&L Automotive in Steve Street, Doraville, Georgia. There he established Lamar Walden Automotive, which has remained at this location since. Lamar was at...
The allure of Goodwood

The allure of Goodwood

By Bertie Scott Brown: When you first stand at Goodwood’s St. Mary’s corner, a fast, sweeping left hander, and race cars explode into view, you completely forget everything—your camera settings, your notes, the name of the race—every rational thought can vanish except one: this is living! An enticing step back in time, the annual Goodwood Revival is the world’s largest historic motor racing event. Staged every September since 1998, the venue is located near Chichester, a West Sussex cathedral city situated near England’s Southeast coast. Each year the Revival introduces an unfailingly unique experience to a sellout crowd of nearly 150,000. They attend in period clothing, marvel at the world’s most enchanting motor cars, bikes, and planes and revel in its inviting atmosphere. It remains the only international motor sport venue that has been preserved in its original form. Goodwood commemorates a racing era that began in 1948 and ended in 1966. During the second German war, the grounds had served as a Battle of Britain airfield and when the RAF closed the base after the war, landowner Freddie March, grandfather to current owner Earl of March, converted the perimeter road into a racing circuit. This year’s event took place on September 11-13 and included 15 races for cars and motorcycles that had been constructed up to and including the year of 1966. A special tribute to motor sport legend Bruce McLaren was laid on as was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Shelby’s Daytona Coupe. Also, Sir Jackie Stewart demonstrated the BRM P261 in which he won the Italian F1 GP exactly 50 years ago to the...
Grass Bridge: Beacon of engineering prowess and daring act

Grass Bridge: Beacon of engineering prowess and daring act

By Archie Bilk: In racing we are keenly aware of load paths and forces. When we find more power, more downforce, more traction, it usually reveals more consequences—the next weakest link. Of course, this is the fascination that draws inquisitive minds to our industry. It is they who are our problem-solvers, and we survive on their astuteness. For centuries Peruvian villagers have been constructing a bridge from grass that is installed in three days and renewed every year. Their motivation was simple: natives needed to find a way to cross a wide, deep ravine and the most common material available to them was grass. The inspiration to convert grass into braided cords, ropes, and finally large diameter cables was the mark of considerable insight by the their ancient ancestors, the Inca, conquered by the Spanish in 1572. To view this brief yet captivating model of remarkable engineering click...
Drive Belts: How not to install them

Drive Belts: How not to install them

Ray Bohacz is a journalist in the automotive field and author of CarTech’s book “How to tune and win with Demon Carburetion”. He is also a monthly contributor to Hemming’s Muscle Machines magazine. Additionally, Ray writes short articles for the agriculture industry and is featured in a series of videos as the SF (Successful Farming) Engine Man. His videos introduce brief, informative features which apply to both farm and automotive equipment.  Topic: drive belts When drive belts are first installed, their molecule structure conforms to the belt’s direction of travel. As a result, drive belts don’t perform well when fitted in the reverse direction. Here, in fewer than 75 seconds, Ray shares valuable information on installing a drive belt that was previously used. Click here or on the video to...
Wilwood Engineering’s New Tru-Bar Balance Bar Pedal System

Wilwood Engineering’s New Tru-Bar Balance Bar Pedal System

Camarillo, California: Wilwood’s Tru-Bar brake balance-bar system is now available in the eight popular pedal styles used in virtually all types of competition applications. Tru-Bar pedals use a fixed-trunnion bearing in the pedal arm with spherical rod-end bearing pushrod attachments. They provide ultimate precision, control and adjustment of the brake bias on race vehicles. The new Tru-Bar pedals adopt the same chassis and master cylinder mounting arrangement as all Wilwood balance-bar-style pedals. A stronger and larger diameter 7/16-20 bar provides quicker adjustment and features a shouldered 3/8” diameter end to attach the standard remote adjuster cable for further proficiency. M.S.R.P. starts at $328.31. For more information contact Wilwood Engineering at...
What made the 75th Sturgis rally so memorable?

What made the 75th Sturgis rally so memorable?

By Martha Maglone: For the motorcycle dealership, Black Hills Harley Davidson, the 75th Sturgis Rally will remain indelibly in the memory, for they sold 602 motorcycles in ten days during this year’s anniversary event. Seventy-three machines were purchased in one day, a dealership record! Apparently, 85 percent of these buyers originated from outside the state of South Dakota. Notably, most Harley dealers don’t sell 600 bikes in two years. Motorcyclists are an enigma to most onlookers with their image poised somewhere between the ‘Wild One’ and fast, irresponsible road users. The Harley guy, with his outstretched feet set on pegs like shoe boxes four-feet apart in the evening sun, arms held high, chin in the air making enough noise to waken every sleeping child within a five-mile radius is often the antithesis of the sport-bike guy who tends to get his thrills from the machine’s acceleration, cornering and braking. Stealth—quietness—is usually the best strategy to realize his thrills without attracting the unwanted attention of the law. But in Sturgis, although the Harley community outnumbers the others by, perhaps, fifteen-to-one they all seek adventure together. And the adventure? Roaming the scenic beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota and eastern Wyoming for days. Because the terrain is one of such enticing contrast, varying from wide open prairies with grazing buffalo herds to tight, twisty well-surfaced roads, the entire experience deepens the delights of motorcycling. Co-founded by Pappy and Pearl Hoel, Sturgis is a motorcycling Mecca, an annual pilgrimage for its devoted followers. And this year, its 75th was the magnet for hundreds of thousands of like-minded souls who take...