Teen breaks 100 mph in dry lakes racer

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Jim Welles grew up in Riverside. In 1939, at 17 years old, he drove 100.56 mph at Harper Dry Lake (north of Barstow) in the car shown above. The photo and information was provided by Jim’s son, Dave.

You can see a film of the event with Jim making Mickey Mouse ears at 0:55: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5ENn_hxv64 .
The home movie footage was shot by Dave’s “uncle” Tommy Lorbeer, Jim’s lifetime best friend.

Shown below is Tommy’s roadster.
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Racing, one car at a time using an electrical timer, on dry lakes was an affordable and relatively safe way to “prove” one’s car. First organized by the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA) in the 1930s, dry lakes racing continues today. To learn more, go to: http://www.scta-bni.org/ .

To race at an SCTA event, one had to belong to an SCTA-affiliated car club. Jim and Tommy belonged to the Detonators.

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