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Author Topic: Doug UNDERDOG Gordon  (Read 8172 times)
johnl
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« on: March 26, 2012, 01:40:22 am »

Going through some old photos to assist Dustin with the new and improved DKP site I came across these photos taken April 17,2010.  Christie, our long time friend Mike Olivieri and myself met Doug for dinner up in his area on this date.

We had seen Doug a year or so prior at a small DKP gathering I was able to put together.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to locate as of yet.

Doug like all of us has aged over the years and has been dealt some health issues.  He now walks with a cane due to bad keens from carring around all the weight for all those years.  Also, a few years back he lost an eye due to cancer, but seems to do well and one can't really tell the loss unless he tells you.

Within the older body the MASS still lives and is full of life and fun.  Unfortunately we've not been able to get him to attend VW events in recent times but hope to have him show up in the future.

I think over the years Christie and I have maintained a closer relationship with him than any others from those times.  As you can see in the last photo Christie is still his #1 gal.

So with these words here is to a VW and DKP Legend that has remained in the background but was very instrumental in those early days of the club and VW drag racing.....
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 03:37:46 am »

Shortly after I sent the post I realized I'd sent these photo right after our visit with Doug.  Oh well, old age has crept in....

I did place a call to the MASS and shortly afterwards he returned my call.  Doug sounded great and has been retired from JPL since last September and is heavily involved in his photography work.  As he said he is "keeping and eye on things".

We are planning for a visit in the near future..................
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
WCB Hitler's Hot Rod
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2012, 05:51:59 am »

Wow! That's ANOTHER GREAT history lesson from you John. Thanks again for sharing. I've always wondered about him. It's wonderful to reunite with old friends. I remember seeing him in some old photos.
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Fritter
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 20:23:44 pm »

Cool stuff, thanks John.  How tall is "the mass", he seems to tower over everyone else.   Shocked
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Mike F.
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johnl
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 22:39:03 pm »

Cool stuff, thanks John.  How tall is "the mass", he seems to tower over everyone else.   Shocked

Way back in the day it was Fleming who named him the "MASS" although I don't recall any of us ever saying it to his face.  Ron based the name from one of those woolly creatures that roamed earth before we humans arrived.  The MASS official apparel was a pair of jeans, white T-Shirt and those Horn Rimed glasses and no shoes.  On rare occasion you might see him with a jacket on but rest assured that indicated it was really COLD.  Well I was at 6 feet, but like all people when they get to this stage of life I think I'm getting shorter.  Doug I'm sure is at least 6'4" and maybe taller.  I remember him in the early days he as much heavier than now and was strong as an Ox.  These days he has lost much of his body tone and his arms are not anything like they once were but I'll be he still has better than average strength.

He and Greg Aronson towered above the rest of us as I recall.  The last time I was at event with Greg and we talked one on one I had to look up and I'd forgotten that.

I gotta go, Jim Brooks is on my cell.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
.
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 00:47:19 am »

Looking forward to meeting him at a VW event in the future.
 Smiley
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johnl
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 01:41:13 am »

Looking forward to meeting him at a VW event in the future.
 Smiley

I hope that happens but over the past few years Ron Fleming and I have tried to get him to events without success.  Doug seems to want to stay out of the spotlight and we haven't figured out why.

Don't give up cause I'm still workin' on him..............
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
.
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 03:10:01 am »

maybe you should take the VW event to him !
Perhaps a surprise DKP cruise to his house ?
A blast from the past could possibly do wonders for his health ?
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Fritter
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 03:37:24 am »

Great idea Richard. 

John, did Doug ever drive the cars, or was there always a driver?  Was Doug the mechanic?  Or, was Doug the owner only?

Sorry if these are dumb questions   Grin
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Mike F.
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johnl
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 04:58:27 am »

Great idea Richard. 

John, did Doug ever drive the cars, or was there always a driver?  Was Doug the mechanic?  Or, was Doug the owner only?

Sorry if these are dumb questions   Grin

The original Underdog was Doug's street car when I met him at Don Burns VW way back.  Shortly afterwards he got hooked up with Fleming and the car came off the street to become the legendary UNDERDOG.  Ron did the driving and most of the wrenching.  Doug was the $$ and some mechanical assistance.  I don't know that Doug was ever back in the car after it became the DOG.

Shortly after F&A came to be and then later FAT Doug and Ron seemed to part.  Don't know if Doug just lost interest but I suspect Ron was trying to grow the new business and needed to devote his attentions to that.  Also at that time TarBabe was beginning to take life.  Times just moved on.

There was a time that Doug, Ron and Stan Davis shared living quarters.  Ah the stories I could tell of those times......
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
volksnut
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 12:54:36 pm »

I love a good history lesson....thanks
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Fritter
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 14:48:30 pm »

John, what were the "years of existence" for the orange Underdog 1 and the white Underdog 2? 
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Mike F.
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johnl
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 16:23:06 pm »

I love a good history lesson....thanks

One of my Chrysler buddies has always referred to me as THE PROFFESSOR".  Maybe there is some truth to that.   Wink Wink
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 16:28:14 pm »

John, what were the "years of existence" for the orange Underdog 1 and the white Underdog 2? 

I'm kind of throwing the dart at the board on this one.  I'm thinking 1969 to early 1971 for the Dog 1.  Ron joined the flying club and that was the end of that one.  1971 through 1972 for Dog 2. 

Sarge will I'm sure know more on this than me as I seem to remember he was involved with the car.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 04:48:19 am »

For those of you who wonder what Doug Gordon does these days go to:  http://www.douggordonphotography.com/
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
marc1951
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« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 04:17:01 am »

Great idea Richard. 

John, did Doug ever drive the cars, or was there always a driver?  Was Doug the mechanic?  Or, was Doug the owner only?

Sorry if these are dumb questions   Grin

The original Underdog was Doug's street car when I met him at Don Burns VW way back.  Shortly afterwards he got hooked up with Fleming and the car came off the street to become the legendary UNDERDOG.  Ron did the driving and most of the wrenching.  Doug was the $$ and some mechanical assistance.  I don't know that Doug was ever back in the car after it became the DOG.

Shortly after F&A came to be and then later FAT Doug and Ron seemed to part.  Don't know if Doug just lost interest but I suspect Ron was trying to grow the new business and needed to devote his attentions to that.  Also at that time TarBabe was beginning to take life.  Times just moved on.

There was a time that Doug, Ron and Stan Davis shared living quarters.  Ah the stories I could tell of those times......





I became a partner in the Underdog with Doug and Ron the last season it raced. My memory is a little fuzzy, but we dismantled the car to build a VW powered Fiat to be sponsored by Ken Lowry. We had the car and started working on it but unfortunately, Ken insisted we use a Hewland 5 speed with straight cut gears and a dog-leg shift  from 1st to 2nd which Ron insisted would not work. I'm not clear of the details, but the whole deal fell through and we all went our separate ways. The Fiat was never finished and I think Ron struck a deal with Greg for Tar Babe, which Greg had finished about the time we took apart the "Dog" . Greg was trying some new ideas with the motor (spread port heads) and was becoming frustrated with the results although I don't think he gave it a fair chance. This might be why he lost interest in Tar Babe.

I laugh when I remember Doug at the starting line in his bare feet. We were quite the crew, especially when you add Stan Davis who tagged along and added a bit of.........well.......how can I say this?.................Let's just say he was an interesting person and he taught me a lot of things I wouldn't want my grandson to know. LOL


Marc Buehler
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Fritter
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« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2012, 05:44:55 am »

Interesting Marc. A dog leg shift for drag racing doesnt seem ideal.
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Mike F.
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« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2012, 09:13:09 am »

 Wink

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

is the fiat behind the dog is the one  you're talking ??

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 09:47:15 am by speedwell » Logged

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Fritter
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« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2012, 16:53:24 pm »

As usual, Fabs you are amazing with your ability to connect this stuff and also produce the pictures!   Shocked
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Mike F.
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marc1951
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« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2012, 17:11:54 pm »

Wink



is the fiat behind the dog is the one  you're talking ??

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]




Yes, that it be.


My memory is a bit hazy about those days (perhaps I indulged in too many drugs in the sixties?)
so I usually refrain from sharing my stories in fear I might not have all the facts exactly right.
Often, the professor (John) is able to penetrate my memory blocks and little snippets leak out.

Doug Gordon;
I had never met Doug until I became involved with the Underdog so I didn't know him well.
What John describes as his dress code is correct..........except when he went to work where he wore a suit....an amazing contrast.
With his size, The Mass came across as very intimidating but he is one of the nicest guys. As the 'new guy', I wasn't about to tell
Ron or Doug how to do things. I just coughed up a few dollars, did what I was told, and really enjoyed myself.
I wouldn't trade my times with Doug and Ron for anything.

Underdog;
For a short while, we had a sponsorship with Ken Lowry. One night at Lions Drag Strip, the DDS oil pump seized, with disastrous results. As people came by and asked us what happened, we couldn't tell them what a piece of junk the pump was (sorry if I step on anyones toes). After that we ran the always reliable Gene Berg pump with the DDS cover so it looked like we were running that pump. So just because a car is sponsored by a manufacturer, doesn't necessarily mean it is running their parts.

Marc
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johnl
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« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2012, 18:41:34 pm »

Often, the professor (John) is able to penetrate my memory blocks and little snippets leak out.

Should I use a longer and larger drill bit to get more data out of Marc's memory??  Will someone PLEASE supply some drop cloths for the mess that will come of this action???    Wink Wink
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
edcraig
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« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2012, 19:55:33 pm »

So here’s my take on Doug Gordon.  Both Marc and John are correct.  Doug was one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.  For me, I was about 17 when I first met him, (around 1970), and just got into VW’s.  I spent just about every Wednesday nite down at OCIR watching any VW’s that showed up to race.  As it was pretty common for the Underdog to be there on a Wednesday, I got to know Doug and he was nice enough to let a young kid like me hang around with the pit crew and ride along in the tow car.  It was a great learning experience for me to see racing that close up.  Doug, along with Marc and John were my mentors on VW’s and VW performance back then.  They were pretty much my information source on cars, and products by explaining what worked and what didn’t.  Nice of all three to help out a kid still in high school. 

One of my favorite stories about Doug watching him explain to police one nite that it wasn’t street racing going on, but actually a car rally.  Part of Doug’s story was that he was not a finish line marker, but actually a rally “check point” All while about 50 cars were scattering in every direction!  They bought his story too!

This might sound crazy, but back around that time, between the car rally’s and racing, (both track and street), and all of the different cars and people in the VW seen, I always felt it would make a great movie.  Being a little younger than most involved at that time, I think I had the chance to sit back view events more as a spectator and less as a participant, than the others involved.   It was fun to watch back then, and still a great memory now.

…Ed.
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dougsfriend
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« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2013, 17:49:58 pm »

I worked with Doug for over 20 years. We were good friends. Here is what we did at work when Doug lost his eye.

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]
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deano
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« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2013, 02:07:21 am »

Trivia..... Douglas Oliver Gordon..... aka "D-O-G" Betcha didn't know that one.
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dougsfriend
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« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2013, 17:16:36 pm »

Actually, I did. His mom was Ann Oliver Gordon and his grandma was Josephine Oliver.
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Russell
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« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2013, 10:05:13 am »

As mentioned on another post, but here's the photos.

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Russell
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« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2013, 17:48:22 pm »

Sorry to be late here.  I shared many a good time with Doug years ago.  I can still smell the spilled bottle of gear oil
and stale McDonalds left-overs while out chasing parts in his white bus to this day.  He was a great friend; one who
would do anything for you at the drop of a hat.  I lost my ring and pinion one night at OCIR.  Ron Fleming and Doug
were there with the Underdog, too.  Since I'd driven my car to the track, I had no way of easily getting it home.  So
the Underdog got trailered back to F&A then Doug turned around and came back for me... something I never forgot.
Wish I had the original of the 'Dog and it's crew.  L-R Ron Fleming, me, Doug, Gene Berg, Dennis DeMarco and Roy
Jimenez; the white pants and orange t-shirts were the hot ticket!  The other pic is with Christie Lazenby at the first DKP
reunion.  RIP Doug.
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johnl
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« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2013, 02:45:58 am »

Our final goodbye to Doug came today.  Several of the DKP I members met and drove up to Monrovia early.  There was special parking for our cars which were enjoyed by all attending the art festival there. 

A presentation was made to the club in honor of Doug's work for the art society in Monrovia.  Ron was our spokes person (who else) and accepted a model of the Underdog which will go to the Schley Museum.  The Mayor said a few words regarding what the art group had lost in Doug's passing.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2013, 02:52:12 am »

A group shot taken at the Art Center with DKP I members in attendance.
Top row, L-R:  Ed Ravae (sp), Jim Holmes, Ron Fleming, John Lazenby, Art Alvarez, Dennis De Marco.  Front row, L-R:  Gregg Bunch, Mike Mahaffey, Craig Foster, Mike Johnston.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
johnl
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« Reply #29 on: October 14, 2013, 02:58:34 am »

Another group shot taken out close to where our cars were parked.  Second photo is some of us discussing times of long, long ago.
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Volkswagens Limited, DKP I
Celebrating 56 years of Volkswagens in my life 1963-2019

Life is a learning experience and then you die but when you do you've lived a good life if you contributed to your fellow man.
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