At 6 feet, 4 inches, Dick needed every inch his Modified could spare. Dick chopped the frame, moving the rear crossmember to shorten the wheelbase. His close friend (particularly when riding shotgun), Bob Wenz, would later become his best man. This photo captures the essence of hot rodding where it all began at the dry lakes of Southern California. Dick ran 99 mph in spite of his wind resistance at El Mirage. The silt and clay of El Mirage took its toil on the Modified's windshield. One advantage of being way-tall was Dick didn't need it. This is how November and 2,800-foot elevation looks at El Mirage-cold and windy. That's Dick's girlfriend, Lois (with the scarf), and Bob's girlfriend, Virginia.