Word comes that Dan Gurney, the racing driver, and Writer Brock Yates recently drove a Ferrari Daytona from New York to Los Angeles in 35 hours 54 minutes. It was sort of a race—other teams essayed the same course—and the Gurney-Yates car won by averaging nearly 82 mph for the 2,925-mile trip "without ever exceeding 175 mph."
In one way it sounds like fun, especially to those who have taken a long, dreary week to make the coast-to-coast trip. In another way it sounds deplorable, especially to those who, holding at 70 on an open highway, have been scared half to death by a car whomping past as though they were standing still. And we sure hope no one tried to cross the road.
The Harlem Globetrotters became Globepickets last week when 15 of the 19 players went on strike, forcing cancellation of a game in Port Huron, Mich. Money was the big bone of contention—Trotter rookies, for example, said they made only $7,800 a year compared to $12,000 and $16,000 for first-year men in the ABA and NBA. But there were complaints, too, about the lack of meal money, about pensions and even about uniforms. "Every night I come back to the hotel and wash my uniform by hand," said Frank Stephens, a six-year veteran from Virginia State. "And they call this a first-class organization."
George Gillett, who runs the Globetrotters, did not question the players' facts on salaries and meal money, but argued that it was oversimplification. "They didn't want a pension plan," he said. "They voted for stock options instead, and we gave them half a million dollars worth. These guys stand to collect anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 each in stock—and they're complaining." He indignantly rejected the uniform charge. "I'll send them seven uniforms right now, a new one for every day of the week."
Whoever is right, the Trotter situation is a far cry from the way things were in the early days of the team. When the late Abe Saperstein began touring the Midwest in 1927, he packed his five players and himself into a Model-T Ford, and each night he would divide the gate receipts seven ways—one share for himself, one for each player and one for the car.
Chris-Craft and Pacemaker have both announced that they will give boat buyers the option of selecting Ford's new gas-turbine engines in some of next year's models. The gas turbine needs no cooling system and can burn furnace oil, jet fuel, liquefied gas or nonlead gasoline. Exhaust is said to be much cleaner, and there is almost no odor, little vibration and practically no noise. It is considerably smaller than the conventional engine, half as heavy and so simple in design that one man with a wrench can replace malfunctioning parts. One other thing you ought to know: selecting the gas-turbine engine in place of a comparable diesel adds about $15,000 to the sticker price.
THEY SAID IT
? Dan Devine, Green Bay Packer coach, after his team lost 3-0 in Minneapolis: "This is an unbelievable place. I come into town and all I hear is about all the problems the Vikings have. They've lost six games in three years. In Bud Grant they have probably the best coach in pro football. All their tickets are sold to all their games. They have a great team. I wouldn't mind having some of their problems."