NORRA 1000: 1928 Willy’s Whippet



It all started two years ago and  rebuilding the Willy’s took more time than I thought. I changed the suspension three times, I changed the motor mounts ten times, the radiator was moved at least 3 times and the list goes on. Butch Burtness changed the timing cover 3 times in order to change from the EFI motor to a carburetor motor. The installing of the serpentine belt created its own complications. I worked many weekends and would not have been ready for the Norra 1000 without the help of Butch and Stewart Dixon.

testing norra 1000
Projects get started everyday, few are completed. Overcoming some of the obstacles have been very challenging.  Working with a frame of almost 100 years created many limitations. Each component had to be redesigned to merge the old with the new. For example, adding a 4 link suspension to a very narrow framed car caused us to create a link connection along the outside of the front frame and somewhat traditional in the rear.

norra 2
But I couldn’t give up, the April 27, 2013 deadline for the Norra 1000 was approaching fast. I knew that if this project didn’t get finished this year, it may never get finished. There is always more to complete, change this or fix that, but we made it!

2013 NORRA 1000
There are so many people to thank. J.R. and Dana Leaner who had the Whippet sitting it a pile in Idyllwild and sold it to us. Mogi, who built the transmission. The rebuilt engine came from Power Train – a 97 Ford explorer. And of course, the driveline was built by Inland Driveline. The front and rear axles came from Sierra Towing in San Bernardino. I have Summit Racing on my quick dial list and Ebay motors has burned a hole in my lap top screen. The final body work and custom paint was done by Jim’s in Temecula. Fabrication, roll cage, floor, welding and creating new parts and pieces to fill in the gaps done by Gary and Stewart Dixon. Butch Burtness completed the brakes and wiring, motor plumbing etc.  And we can’t forget our tire sponsor, we have General Tires on everything we race.

I am now on my way to Baja!




Time ran out on the Whippet with three weeks to go. I called it and we are going to race the AMC Hornet again. I have all the parts to finish the 1928 Whippet but racing the Mint 400 with 3 vehicles changed all my plans.

General Tires asked us to run the AMC at NORRA while we were out at the Mint. We agreed but little did we know that Jeff had blown the motor running it low on oil. We had three weeks to completely tear down and rebuild the engine. I had to call in a couple of favors. Dave Whitehead at Dugan Engines in Riverside agreed to bore the motor and re-ground the crank. But the rest was up to us.

Add in a couple of Saturdays by Butch, a fantastic job by Dugan’s, and welding by Stewart and Jeff is driving the car home today to put a couple of hours on the new motor.

I can’t believe people aren’t calling me daily to see if they can go out with us. One week in Baja, racing down the peninsula, good food, great people, Mexican beer, and ending up in Cabo.

You may have missed this one but no one said you have to sit out the whole game 2013.
We leave for Mexico at 4am on Saturday.

Mint 400

We are going, going, gone to the 2012 Mint 400!  With 3 vehicles racing this year we have been busy.  Come on out and join us or you’ll miss the biggest race of the year.

Upcoming Race: Parker 425

Anyone who’s interesting in coming out to the race to either help or watch give us a call at the office 951-672-992.  Go to Best in the Desert for all the details.

Vegas to Reno Here We Come

LBR is sporting a new look, what do you think?

NORRA 1000 Tech Day

Silverstate 300

We are heading to Vegas!  Keep checking back for updates.

Henderson 250

We are out testing today, who’s going?

Good Luck at NORRA!


Click on the photo above for a full slide show.

Here’s the Hornet looking great and ready to race!  Here’s hoping it comes back in one piece!

NORRA 1000- 1 Week Out

We’re almost ready to go but there’s still a lot of last minute work.  We are changing the ring gear in the rear end, building a new light bar, and stocking the new trailer after we add a cross over box on the front.  Our hotels are all booked except for one night.  We may need to sleep in the chase truck.  The GPS files are up and Iam going to load them and check out the course.

If you have never been to Baja to race you wouldn’t believe how long the check list is.  It changes daily and will take up to the last day to finish then you just ling things out like the President.

Chase Crew Meeting TONIGHT!

Meet at the Shop at 6pm.

We only have 1 week, we leave Tuesday, 4/27 AM.

We need to be in Mexicali by 12pm for the Navigation Meeting.