Project 1320 - A Piece of American History.
PROJECT 1320 will give the audience an entertaining, educational and historical view of what Good Ol American Elbow Grease can achieve.
Project 1320 - A Piece of American History.
PROJECT 1320 will give the audience an entertaining, educational and historical view of what Good Ol American Elbow Grease can achieve.
Our Mission -
Quarter Mile Foundation's purpose is preserving the real historic places & people, in real time, for this and future generations to see and experience to get a 'charge,' if you will. PROJECT 1320 ... Creating a permanent historical record of drag racing - its people, cars, events and industry, a record that transforms our past into present, and present into future giving context to ideas and anchorage to experience.
The Quarter Mile Foundation is seeking funding for a documentary film series comprised of 25 episodes for television with the working title of Project 1320: Pioneers of the Quarter Mile that will tell the history of one of America’s most popular sports: drag racing. Born in the 1940's from the American ideals of ingenuity, innovation, and competition, drag racing fast became an integral part of our popular culture and the source of an entire industry in automotive advances.
Producing the documentary is John Mullin productions with over 40 years experience in the entertainment industry. Their background includes productions made for NBC Sports, Car & Driver, CBS News & Sports, ESPN as well as the National Hot Rod Association among others.
Even for fans of drag racing, little is known about the origins and pioneers of the sport. Who were the heroes, the legends that took this sport from outlaw status to soaring popularity? What are the stories; the challenges, the successes and the frustrations of the pioneers of the quarter mile? The only historical documentation has been created in sporadic segments, and is largely unavailable to the public. Project 1320 will be the first comprehensive documentary of drag racing, created by industry insiders who seek to share their passion for the sport with devotees and the uninitiated alike.
For instance, viewers will see how a chicken egg, World War II surplus parachutes and engines from airplanes used in the war as well as the OLYMPICS logo all link back to drag racing.
In the drag racing industry the tag line has always been - "Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?"
Here is a trailer showing the three announcers that is comprised of over 150 years collectively of experience in the racing world.
A Piece of American History
The American romance with the automobile is well known, as is our national fascination with speed and technology. Drag racing was born out of these passions when soldiers, mechanics, and engineers returning from World War II transitioned their wartime skills into amusing themselves by making better, faster cars in their spare time. In garages and back lots, young men and women employed their technical know-how by souping up the family car. Then groups would gather on country backroads, unused airstrips, and dry lakebeds to test their engineering and courage against the neighbors. Because of limited space, the races were generally limited to a quarter mile track.
It did not take long before drag racing captured the public’s imagination and became an institution. Popular movies and songs of the 1940s through the 1960s used the sport as a symbol of youth, daring, and freedom. The Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, American Graffiti, Grease, Happy Days, 77 Sunset Strip and countless other movies, actors, and musicians found their inspiration on the asphalt. Teen hearts quickened at the revving of an engine, and all of Hollywood’s A-list movie stars wanted to be a part of the sport that epitomized American culture.
As interest grew, the cars got faster. With no existing manufacturer for racing cars, racers began to make their own parts, building cars out of airplane parts and welding up ever-sleeker chassis and building more powerful engines in the quest for speed. Many of these parts were improvements on existing automotive technology that proved useful even for the workaday car.
The aftermarket industry sprang up around drag racing, encouraging generations of entrepreneurs and profoundly influencing mainstream automotive technology.
Today, drag racing is one of the most popular sports in the United States and Canada. The drag racing organization, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), is the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body with over 80,000 members. There are 5,000 tracks in the United States catering to hundreds of events and hundreds of thousands of fans. The cars are masterpieces of technological innovation: Top Fuel dragsters are the fastest accelerating manned vehicles in existence, faster even than the shuttle launch, capable of reaching speeds of over 300 mph in less than 5 seconds. Legendary drag champion Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, describes the experience of standing by the track: "Loud isn't a strong enough word. It's so overwhelming your brain can hardly compute what it is hearing and seeing. It's damn near a religious experience."
TURN UP YOUR VOLUME!
The automotive aftermarket has grown along with the sport. Many professional drag racers also participate as engineers and entrepreneurs; transitioning the skills they learn on the track into practical products to improve the appearance, safety, and performance of street cars. In the US alone the automotive aftermarket is estimated at over $250 billion, employing over 4.5 million people.
About the Quarter Mile Foundation
The Foundation is recognized be the Internal Revenue Service and meets the requirements established under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. the Quarter Mile Foundation is chartered as a not-for-profit educational charity by the Secretary of the State of Ohio.
For residents and businesses in the United States, it means contributions are tax deductible for the year in which the contribution was made.
A group of individuals from within the drag racing community launched the Quarter Mile Foundation with the express intent of creating a documentary to capture the history of drag racing. Now that the sport is so popular, with large corporate sponsors and a multi-billion dollar industry attached, industry professionals felt that it was essential that the new generation of drag fans and car enthusiasts have access to the history of the sport. How did drag racing grow from its DIY, grassroots beginnings to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today?
“Our greatest concern is to capture the stories and personal perspectives of the legends of the sport that are still living,” says Traci Hrudka, chairman of Quarter Mile Foundation. “We have lost a tremendous number of these people over the years, and time is running out to capture those oral histories in a digital format. If we ever want to do this, now is the time as our legends grow older and disease sets in, they are literally dying to tell their stores!” Your support and belief in this mission will forever preserve a era, were their innovation was considered a hobby, passion and determination and hard work was done with love, truly a culture that will not pass this way again!
The all-volunteer board of directors and advisory board of the Quarter Mile Foundation are comprised exclusively of people who have long histories with drag racing and are personally involved with the sport.
Don “Big Daddy” Garlits – Drag Racing Pioneer Don (“Big Daddy”) Garlits began his racing career in 1950 and scored his first major victory in 1955. His first NHRA National event win came in 1963 at the Winternationals in Pomona, California, and he has won the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals a record 8 times. The name “Big Daddy” is synonymous with drag racing – even to those who have only a fleeting interest in the sport. He has been dubbed the “King of the Dragsters,” and could be considered the patriarch of Top Fuel drag racing. Garlits’ distinct ability to conceptualize his dreams has allowed him to be master over the end result. The Drag Racing Museum and Classic Car Collection in Ocala, Florida, the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, 17 World Championship titles and numerous racing milestones are all reality because Don first saw them as worthwhile dreams. Across six decades of racing, Don’s famed “Swamp Rat” series of hand-fabricated black race cars – 34 in total — carried him to 144 national event wins. “Big Daddy’s” living legacy and racecar design innovations are so significant that his record breaking Swamp Rat XXX is enshrined in the Smithsonian Museum of American History. His decades of drag racing have filled the pages of seven books. The list of significant honors is a testament to Don’s innovative spirit, his indomitable desire to compete and win, and to the recognition of his staying power with race fans and his fellow competitors.
Carl Olson is one of the most versatile individuals in the automotive aftermarket and motorsports world. Championship winning competitor, business executive, sanctioning body executive and industry leader all describe various facets of Carl Olson’s career. He has been an owner and/or driver of several well-known Top Fuel cars, was IHRA World Champion in 1972, but perhaps the most important win came on December 2, 1972 – winning the last Top Fuel race at the Lions Drag Strip in Wilmington, Calif., over Jeb Allen on the final pass ever made on that revered quarter mile. Over the years, Olson’s career has included the General Manager’s role at Trans-Dapt and Waterman Racing Components, 25 years at the NHRA in a variety of positions – leaving as Vice President, Insurance, Risk Management & International Relations, three terms on the Board of Directors of SEMA (plus a term as the organization’s Secretary), President of the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA) Drag Racing Commission (responsible for all international drag racing activities), and currently serves the Motorsports Manager of the SFI Foundation, Inc. He was awarded membership in the prestigious SEMA Hall of Fame in 1991, is a member of the Cragar 5-Second Club (1974 -5.94 sec.), Bonneville 200 mph Club (1994 – 2-way average – 234.276 mph) and received the NHRA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. As a hobby, he restores race cars – midgets, sprint cars and dragsters, and is an avid deep sea sport fisherman. In 2012, he entered two prestigious drag racing Halls of Fame, the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame (a part of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Ocala, Fla.) and the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Harry Hibler is currently the President of UNI-MARKETING, LLC, an advertising and marketing firm that is focused primarily on the automotive high performance market. Hibler has a long history of involvement with performance automotive industry starting in 1952 when he first began building and racing a variety of vehicles. During his early years, he was the manager of San Fernando Raceway for over fifteen years where he interfaced with a large share of the drag racers of that era. He was also a partner in a General Contracting firm during that period. He went to work for the Petersen Publishing Company in 1969 where was employed for nearly thirty years. During his tenure at Petersen, he was at various times the national advertising director for Car Craft Magazine, Publisher of several PPC magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, Circle Track and Event Scene. During his 11-plus years as Publisher of Hot Rod, the magazine’s circulation increased to the point it had the largest readership of any automotive title in the world. He has served three terms on the Board of Directors for the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was inducted into the Northwestern College Hall of Fame for his contribution to its High Performance Motorsports Education Program. He was named California Business Man of the Year for 2002 by the Business Advisory Council. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Quarter Mile Entertainment Foundation/Project 1320, the Board of Selectors for the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame and the SEMA Hall of Fame committee and Task Force. In 2013, he was inducted into the prestigious International Drag Racing Hall of Fame (a part of the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, Ocala, Fla.).
For over 30 years, Steve Cole has been a marketing communications professional – editor, public relations manager and marketing communications company owner, specializing in the motorsports and high performance automotive aftermarket. His multi-faceted career has included involvement with tractor/truck pulling as the editor of The Puller the house publication of the National Tractor Pullers Association, plus serving as the association’s Director of Public and Industry Relations. He served as editor of the International Hot Rod Association’s Drag Review magazine. He also was the long time editor of Babcox Publications’ Specialty & Custom Dealer trade magazine. He also served as the Director of Communications for the Mr. Gasket Companies, Holley Performance Products, Inc., Barry Grant, Inc. and Flaming River Industries, Inc. He was the owner of In-Motion Communications, a marketing communications firm throughout the 1990s. In addition to marketing communications for aftermarket clients, he provided editorial services to such publications as Performance Racing Industry, SEMA News, Trackside, Super Stock & Drag Illustrated and Speedway Illustrated. Presently, he is the owner of WRITEWords, a marketing communications firm located in Medina, Ohio, near Cleveland and Akron.
Don Ewald has been involved in drag racing for 48 years. Born and bred in Long Beach, Calif., which was the home of Lions Drag Strip, he got the bug in 1962 and by 1966 was driving an injected fuel dragster. From 1968 to 1979 Ewald owned and drove a variety of Top Fuel dragsters making the transition from front engine to rear in 1972. From 1974 to 1979 he served as Director of Racer Relations for the legendary Keith Black Racing Engines. In late 1979, he went in a completely different direction going into the television industry in the capacity of cameraman for CBS which led to his own production company and a long venture into high end home entertainment products. All the while keeping close ties with the drag racing community. Starting with the first California Hot Rod Reunion in 1993 he returned to an active involvement in the sport. In 1997 he sold his business and moved to Oregon where he started a small website with a few photos of dragsters. It was dubbed “We Did It For Love” based on the fact that in the day there was little or no money to be made in racing so you had to love it. Twelve years later, WDIFL.com is the largest drag racing photo and history website in the world. Aside from maintaining WDIFL.com, he publishes Cacklefest.com and other sites relating to nostalgia top fuel racing. His knowledge and love of drag racing history make him and We Did It For Love a perfect fit into PROJECT 1320.
Wayne Wolfe has been a longtime fixture within the motorsports and performance aftermarket as a tech. sales person, a media salesman and manufacturers’ rep. for his adult life. Across his career, he has worked in the industrial design group for Goodyear, in Akron, Ohio, and then moved to Michigan, where he was with Holley Carburetor for 10 years. During that span, he worked the outdoor events, drag races/street rod meets, plus worked all the major warehouse distributors in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and eastern Canada. He gained valuable OEM experience with Cars & Concepts, Special Vehicles Group, where he was involved with the Pontiac “Banshee” program. During his career in media sales, he worked for the two leading publishers at the time, Petersen Publishing Group and Argus Publishing. He then moved to SLP Engineering , where he was the Business Development Manager for the company’s Automotive Group, which developed General Motors vehicle packages (Ram-Air Grand Prix, S-10) which were marketed through automotive installers nationwide directly to new car dealers. Currently, he is self-employed as a Manufacturer’s rep involved with private brand parts creation and sales to specific customers. Drag racing has been a part of his life since the early 1970s, when he had unique opportunity to travel with Wally Booth and Dick Aronís Pro Stock team. He has always carried a passion for the golden days of the sport, and currently is involved with restoration of the AMC “HORNET X” Pro Stock car.
About Project 1320: Pioneers of the Quarter Mile
The Quarter Mile Foundation is working with John Mullin Productions., to create a twenty-five episode documentary about the birth, growth, and supporting industry built up around drag racing. It will cover the people, the vehicles, the races, the technology, and the entrepreneurs that made up drag racing from the 1940s through the dawn of computerization in the late 1980s.
Episodes will cover each decade of drag race history from the 1940s to the end of the 1980s, the key figures in drag racing history, aftermarket innovations that made their way into mainstream automotive technology, the influence of corporate sponsorship, major racetracks and their owners, and the birth and growth of the sanctioning bodies that govern drag racing.
More than just a historical archive, the documentary will bring the daring, genius, and excitement of drag racing to a new audience, and a new generation of racing fans. It will be composed of both first-person interviews with drag race and performance aftermarket greats and archival footage that brings the sport to life.
Because the Quarter Mile Foundation members are intimately acquainted with drag racing, they are uniquely positioned to portray an insider’s view of the sport. The documentary crew has access to the big names in drag racing.
Two hundred and thirty three interviews have already been filmed with legends including Carroll Shelby, John Force, Joe Amato, Linda Vaughn, Jack Roush, Don Garlits, Don Prudhomme, Barbara Hamilton, Ed Pink and Ed Iskendarian. We are now beginning the next stage of pre-screening these interviews to catalog, and edit the beginnings of the documentary pilot - This takes funding, with your support we will be able celebrate and recognize those that for so many reasons gave us what we have today.
Project 1320 Documentary Project Plan
The pilot episode of the twenty-five episode series will be a feature-length documentary showing the highlights and shining stars of drag race history. The documentary is designed to appeal to both drag racing enthusiasts and newcomers.
After the documentary has been completed it will be divided into twenty-five specialized segments that will be expanded to approximately one hour each, forming an episodic and extremely detailed history of drag racing that will also be available in a DVD box set available to the public.
The documentary website, www.quartermilefoundation.org is live and attracting audiences and sponsors to the project.
The documentary has received overwhelming interest and support from the racing and automotive communities. We always have a strong presence at drag racing events with celebrity appearances, car shows, and information about the documentary project.
With your support we will be able to dedicate more time and resources to complete the documentary. This will also rapidly close the window of opportunity to reach the legendary figures of the sport and the performance industry before it is too late, many of these remaining figures are elderly, and in some cases, chronically ill. For those pioneers that are still alive, how awesome will it be for them to see themselves on film and have the viewers watching their exploits as well as hearing the tales of the absurd way they built a 60 billion dollar industry?!Together we will be able to preserve forever the stories the brave and brilliant pioneers that helped to shape American culture and made the automobile what it is today. Their stories are the stories of the American dream, creating greatness from nothing but their seemingly impossible dreams. The spirit of innovation, technological exploration, competition, and entrepreneurship is still alive today, and more important than ever as we move into the 21st century. Project 1320 celebrates the history of the car because, in knowing where we come from, we can imagine our
Some of our rewards - You've earned them,thank you for your support and mostly for believing, you will not be disappointed!
Risks and challenges
In any endeavor you take on whether it is building a house, starting a new job, or even just beginning school, there are always risks and challenges. This project is no different - will enough funding come in to complete it? Will the television channel want to air it? Will we have enough footage to back-up the narration? All of these and much more come into play in making a documentary - Just ask Ken Burns. You must have a back-up plan to address each one. So far with the support of the backers we have, the belief and steadfastness and mostly the passion and love to complete this labor of love has bought us to 233 interviews and ready for pre-screening. We did this with dogged determination and a will to never give up or quit (much like our pioneers). We will take this approach on any challenge that comes our way. The risk, to be blunt that it doesn't get completely funded for completion. In the world of television today, it is a complicated twisted pretzel that I know our production company has seen and overcome each and every time. When you have a winning team obstacles are always overcome. Always have faith in what you believe in!
Nuts & Bolts
Those creating the documentary must plot out the story timeline using all available facts. The acquisition of hundreds – if not thousands of photos and film clips are no easy task. Each must be cataloged for the correct year, model, class, driver – and in many cases, specific weekend of capture. That’s not to mention the painstaking removal of artifacts; dust scratches, color fades, etc., all of which must then be digitized.
While on the subject of logging and digitizing, consider more than 200 (up to perhaps over 300) on-camera interviews from individuals. Each must be transcribed, with their quotes and subject matter logged for particular eras and relevance. Separating fact from fiction is nothing short of mind-boggling, as tall tales must likewise be verified. Just because a certain racer might claim to be the first over, say, 180 MPH, or the first to win six straight national meets, doesn't mean that’s what actually happened. Indeed, the staff must remain keen to presenting the story in a manner akin to an attorney plotting the facts, and presenting a case.
There are a myriad of other things to consider, which also takes time and patience, and that’s in the actual editing phase. While following the timeline script and inserting pertinent interview clips, for example, accompanying photos must support what the speaker is saying. And film clips, most of which were created before the advent of sound, often need audio effects. Such sound clips all have to first be located, then transferred – and must be perfectly timed relative to what is shown. For instance, you can’t show a Pro Stock car that lifts the front wheels in each gear change, while using audio of a bracket car with an automatic transmission. Sound effect location and timing is a huge project unto itself!
The history, timeline/script creation, cultivation of interviews, gathering and logging of film, photo metadata, sifting of fact from fiction, plus the actual editing and onscreen presentation is something which, much like the creation of hot rodding, takes a bit of time. After all, there’s only one chance to get such an important, meaningful documentary correct. Like the runoff for Top Eliminator, there’s only one chance to pull this off at the drop of the flag. It’s a race against time, but one where it must be done right to be considered a winner.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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