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Emerald Empire Sports Car Club
P.O. Box 1204 Eugene, Oregon 97440
President: Bert Jacobson
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March's EESCC Monthly Meeting (4/7, 6:30 PM)
(Click here for EESCC meeting instructions.)

The EEMSP March Monthly Meeting (3/16, 6:30 PM)
Both meetings will be Virtual.

Learn more about EEMSP (Emerald Empire MotorSports Park) click here.

Featured Articles

Was it a Gymkhana?
By Bruce Harmon

My visit with Ted Long
By Tim Steck

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2021 Axe and Saw Autocross Series Registration
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Please print and fill out the Tech form and bring it with you to the event.
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EESCC accepts Credit and Debit Cards
at registration at all events

We can also accept Apple Pay and Google Pay, etc.  We much prefer that you prepay and register online. Checks and cash are preferred at registration. For convenience and for that NFT run in the afternoon that you just have to do because the course was soooo much fun in the morning and you didn’t bring enough cash.  Now you don’t have to run to the ATM.

Guess the 2021 Calendar Theme
Win an individual EESCC Season Membership
(or $25 toward a Family Membership)
if already a member, win a FREE autocross entry

click here download the calender in PDF format
You may pick up a physical calendar at any of our Autocross Events

E ESCC Current Noise Restrictions
Remember we have a 95 db Max noise limit in place
Please have your car quiet so we can continue to respect our event sites and the neighboring areas.

click here for more information

ONLY Snell 2010+ M and SA helmets will be allowed.

Was it a Gymkhana?  
By Bruce Harmon

Reading Jim Mueller’s “Early Days of Auto crossing” story in this newsletter inspired me to recall how I entered my first early autocross, then called a “gymkhana” or “slalom.” What fun that day was in March, 1969 in El Paso Texas, where I was stationed at Ft. Bliss in the US Army. Well, at least as I foggily remember it. Unfortunately, my second event was 30 years later. As a pretty successful ex go-cart racer before my college days and the army, I always wanted to race something. When in 1968 I read about the new Datsun 510 – 2000 pounds for $2000 – I got excited about a car that would be light, handled great and affordable. It had independent rear suspension, McPherson struts on the front. Wow, I thought in those days, this was race car stuff! OK, it had only 95 horsepower from its 1600 cc engine, but that was pretty peppy, especially in that lightweight car.

So, I bought my first new car (Up to that time I could only afford used Junker’s). It was a maroon 510 2-door. I also had read about the advantages of radial tires, so I bought it with slightly over-sized Dunlop radials fitted on the stock 13” rims. I guessed those tires would help the car handle well like the articles I read in sports car magazines.

Next, I heard about these “slalom” events being held on certain Sundays at a local El Paso parking lot. I’m not sure autocross was in the vocabulary then. A fellow army buddy, who owned a cool Triumph GT6, filled me in on the next one, so I showed up that Sunday morning. I also heard they were going to give out trophies. That would be cool.

As I arrived, I was surprised at how many sports cars were there. It looked like there were maybe about 50-75 cars and — no classes — just try to run the fastest through the course. I vaguely remember there were Spitfires, MGs, MG Midgets, even my buddy’s GT6, a couple Corvettes , and what looked like a race-prepared V-4 Saab sedan. Wow, I didn’t know all these neat cars lived in the desert! What chance did I have? Aha, I had radial tires. And that could be an advantage, as few cars had them in those days — at least not in West Texas. I didn’t have a chance to walk the course and I don’t know if anyone did, nor did I think about it, novice that I was. So, the first run was one of discovery. The course was well marked with lots of cones, and I watched other cars so I could see where they went. As I remember, there were no work assignments, course workers must have been volunteers from the community and the vent was run by a local sports car club.

It turned out the turns were very tight, going behind a building and back, with very short straights. I figured out after that first run, because my Datsun could theoretically rev to 7000+ RPM, I could drive it the only way I knew how — like go-cart, in first gear. So, on the second run, that was the plan. Though we were going to have three runs, I had an Army duty commitment that afternoon, so I would have to make that second run be it. As I ran full throttle on the second run, I heard the valves repeatedly floating throughout the course. So what the heck, I stayed with my foot in it, finishing surprisingly with a clean run and without blowing the engine. There was no such thing as a rev limiter in 1969, at least on that car. (The engine would also sputter on left turns, and later I found that it was the carburetor float starving.) Whew. I also had no idea what my time was. (All timing was done with a stop watch.) It certainly was a blast that short afternoon with my GT6 friend and meeting the people there. I was amped up after the run and wished I could have stayed for run #3.

The next evening my buddy stopped by and presented me with a second-place trophy! I was shocked. Now I really fell in love with my 510. I found out the win went to that prepared Saab. I couldn’t have been happier. Sadly, that ended up being my last such event for the next thirty years.

What with military duty calling, getting married, raising a family, racing bicycles on the side, and a business career, I never entered another car racing event until 1998 when my old college buddy, Tom Kotzian, talked me into doing what I now know was autocross. Already a national champion, Tom was a great help in getting me started. And he even sold me one of his Corvettes, which I ran for a couple years. Today auto crossing is still as much fun as it was at that first “slalom, or Gymkhana,” in El Paso.

I sure wish I still had that 510. And would you believe, I still have the trophy! Thanks Jim, for reminding me about the early days of auto crossing.

Click on the Datsun ad to see the full size picture.

My visit with Ted Long  
By Tim Steck

A while back, at the 2016 Awards Banquet, I had the pleasure of sitting at the same table with Ted Long. He is an EESCC’r from way back, I mean way back in the 60’s. We had a nice chat about this and that and he asked me if I would like to have some old EESCC Newsletters. “Well sure” was my response. He gave me a bunch of old EESCC Newsletters (28 of them) plus some old event results too (3 of those). Every now and then I would think about them and go on a look-about for them. Looking for that 3-ring binder I was sure they were in but I couldn’t find it. Where did I put them? I did this, probably a couple times a year. In January 2021, while looking for something I needed for this year’s calendar, I ran across them and won’t you know it, they weren’t in a 3-ring binder. They were just put in a plain old manila file folder. Now I know why I couldn’t find them.

I always wanted to scan them and put them on the website for everyone to read. Now I have scanned them all and put them on the Publications page of the EESCC website either under “Event Results – Printable Format” or “Monthly Newsletters – Club Information”. Look for these links. (Click on the image to go directly to the documents.)

Click on a particular year’s link to see every publication, for example Newsletters, that was issued during that year.

The earliest one I found didn’t have much of anything to identify it or its author, not even the month or year when it was created and mailed out. But thank goodness this one (on the back) included the person’s address plus the postmark and the 4-cent stamp. With that I could tell when it was mailed and therefore when the Newsletter was created.

A lot of the first Newsletters didn’t have a title, a date or who was the editor and later on they were just titled “newsnotes”. The Vol. I, No. 1, the first issue of “Full Chat” Newsletter came out in November 1966 when Ted Long took over as the editor of the Newsletter.

Here are some topics that were in these newsletters: The text listed was the exactly what was written in the Newsletter, misspelling and all. (read the complete Newsletter on the EESCC website)

August 1966 – “Booze:” We held quite a lengthy discussion during out August meeting about drinking during club events, and decided …

September 1966 – “September Meeting -” The hottest item discussed was the new point system.
    1. Attendance at meetings – 4 points each
    2. Participation in an eescc event – 5 points
    3. Sponsorship of a new member – 6 points
    4. Working in an events – 10 points
    5. Chairmanship of an event (maximum 2 events) – 15 points
December 1966 – Beware – Notice has been given by WMC of several people drinking …

February 1967 – Coming Attractions – February 26 – eescc inaugural autocross: “Icebreaker I” at the Albany Go-Cart Track …

March 1967 – “AW SHUCKS!” – “Icebreaker I” was … er … moderately successful. A total of 229 cars entered …

May 1967 – “New Business:” – Ted Long suggested the purchase of 2 approved crash helmets for our future autocrosses. …

August 1967 – “eescc BLINDFOLD AUTOCROSS” …

October 1967 – “SSORCOTUA SDAWKCAB!!” – The rear engine cars were run first …

There are 28 different old Newsletters from May 1966 through February 1968, which included every month in-between. They skip to 1970 with months from April to August plus December. There were three event results (May Merriment Rallye Results – 1966 which included a mini Newsletter, Icebreaker I – 1967 and Icebreaker II – 1968) that were included with the Newsletters. Some of these Newsletters had some articles / discussions that were interesting – browse through them all.

If you have or if you know of anyone that might have some old Newsletter articles or old results before 2000, I would like to get a hold of them and get them on the website. If they would like them back, I can get them back to them after I scan them. Just let me know … Tim Steck –

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