Year End Party and Award Ceremony 2013

Dwight Gilliland

Dwight Gilliland

Brent Hergenraeder

Brent Hergenraeder

The Region’s Annual Awards were presented at the year-end party on January 26, 2013.  The Dick Hager Spirit of the Sport trophy was awarded to long-time Region member Dwight Gilliland.  Nominators noted Dwight’s consistent contributions to Region events during 2012 despite dealing with significant health challenges. The Grant Cameron Driver of the Year trophy was awarded to Brent Hergenraeder.  Nominators noted Brent’s consistent improvement in driving technique resulting in multiple class wins and a fast-time-of-day in 2012.  Check the Member Profile pages for Dwight and Brent for more information regarding these deserving recipients.

Adrenaline-Filled Speed Demons Play on Makeshift Course

June 30, 2013, by Dustin Klemann – Q-2 News

BILLINGS – Although racing is not prominent in Billings, if you look hard enough, you will find car-enthusiasts burning rubber on a track.The sounds and smell emanating from the Skyview High School parking lot were a dead giveaway of racing. Fifteen drivers took turns speeding around the makeshift course — as cones and faint lines mapped their path.” You can’t have a course over a minute because you never breath. If you hit the corner perfect, there is just nothing, it’s just there. It’s when you don’t hit it perfect that you begin to talk to yourself and try to get it right the next time.But it comes down to the love of it,” said Steve Gruver, who’s held the fastest time in his stock 1986 Corvette.He’s part of the Yellowstone Sport Car Club of America, SCCA for short. It provides the fix of adrenaline for anyone interested in racing around a track and doesn’t find go-karts too easy.But not only does it fill the need for speed, it’s a community of car enthusiasts who welcome anyone of any skill level to join.”Some people get really good after a lot of experience. And some people, teenagers 18 19 years old, after two events, they’re running with the top drivers,” said Jay Reuss, the club’s secretary treasurer.Reuss runs everything behind the scenes, organizing events, getting out the word to other drivers, and occasionally finding himself behind the wheel.The Yellowstone Sports Car Club has history to its name as its helping drivers master hairpin corners since the early 80s.While racers’ foe is the clock, there is a fair amount of friendly competition that never trumps camaraderie.“The love for vehicles goes for every one of us. Each one of us has a different passion. My particular one is the car needs to look good and work good. Other guys are just more interested in that they work good. They will spend their time and money making them go faster,” Gruver continued, “They share it between each other. We’re always talking, always telling each other what we do different, what we do to make the car better. And we also tell each other what we did to make the car worse.”The passion is what drives (yes, pun intended) these races. Not only do they learn how to shave precious seconds off their time, but understand the capabilities of a car, something that could help protect or prevent everyday roadway hazards.“The thing that it teaches – and I think it’s more important for the young people than anyone—if you know what the car can do, in many cases it will keep you out of trouble and maybe even save your life,”said Gruver.

Are You a Car Nut? Can you Identify this Beauty?

Can you Identify This Car?


The stylish pink beast is, of course, a “Muntz Jet.” The Muntz Car Company was created in Glendale, California, by Earl “Madman” Muntz and was in existence from 1950 to 1954. He was assisted by Frank Kurtis, who had earlier attempted to produce a sports car under the Kurtis Kraft marque (the Kurtis Kraft Sport, which sold just 36 units by 1950). In 1951, Kurtis sold the license to manufacture the cars to Muntz, who quickly rebadged them as the “Muntz Jet”, extended the body to make it a 4-seater, and exchanged the Ford engine with a larger Cadillac V8. Later, this engine would be replaced with a less expensive Lincoln side-valve V8.

The car, a sports coupe, was manufactured in Chicago, IL in the 2900 block of N. Sheffield Av. and featured its own unique design, with aluminum body panels and a removable fiberglass top that were manufactured in-house. Other parts (such as the engines) were sourced from other manufacturers. It was capable of 112 mph, a significant achievement for a road car at the time.

The company managed to produce only about 400 cars during 1951-1954, and due to the high manufacturing cost, Muntz himself estimated that his company lost about $1,000 on each car; this financial drain eventually caused him to close the company.

If you would like to know more about the Muntz Jet, click on this Wikipedia link. If you would like to go for a (virtual) ride in a pink 1952 Muntz Jet, click on this YouTube link.