N31C LaJolitta Wingwax
N31C Kistler Teenie Too - Leo Kohn Collection

Looking through a photographic collection typically stirs memories. If the collection belongs to a stranger the more likely result will be curiosity. Where and when was the photo taken? What is the story behind the image? Such was the case recently when my wife, Rose, found an interesting image of an aircraft she was unfamiliar with. Using the registration or “N” number, N31C, she discovered the airplane was a Kistler Teenie Two. The image plainly showed another clue, the word “Wingwax” on the aircraft’s cowl. Curiosity got the best of her, and she was headed down a rabbit hole to learn about the aircraft in the image. After discovering that Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Arthur (Art) Everett Scholl had flown the aircraft she became even more enthusiastic about learning more regarding the image. That’s when she asked me to join her.

The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame (WAHF) holds the Leo J. Kohn Collection; a set of more than 34,000 negatives and several thousand more prints. The images span three decades - the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s and focus exclusively on aircraft. WAHF has recently begun a preservation project to digitize the entire collection. Following that effort the collection will be made available through a searchable catalog on a dedicated website. Learn more about Leo Kohn and his photographic collection here.

The airplane
The aircraft was designed by Lockheed Skunk Works engineer Bill Statler and built as a Formula One racer by James J. (Jim) Kistler. The fuselage was made of steel tubing with a fabric covering and a plywood wing. The Kistler Teenie Too was granted a Certificate of Airworthiness on July 28, 1949, and issued the registration number N31C. Markings (name) was first La Jolitta and later Wingwax (as shown in the photo).

Kistler would fly the airplane in three races. At each contest the aircraft bore Race Number 31 and was named Wingwax. During the September 1949 National Air Races held in Cleveland, Ohio, Kistler competed in the Goodyear Trophy race. Racing in the B Feature race he finished in ninth place with an average speed of 153.369 mph. The next year, during June 1950, Kistler competed in the Continental Motors Race - San Jose, California. Racing in the One Mile Course race, Kistler finished in fifth place with an average speed of 160.5 mph. Then, in January 1952, at the National Air Races Detroit, Michigan, Kistler again competed in the Continental Motors race on the One Mile Course. While no average speed was listed, he finished in sixth place. [1]

Interestingly, the civil registration was cancelled in November 1955. Where did N31C go? We know that the aircraft reappeared nine years later at the National Air Races in September 1964 with a new registration, N31Z.

Enter Art Scholl
Born in Brown Deer, Wisconsin, Scholl began taking flying lessons while still in high school. He soloed after little more than one hour of flight instruction. A feat he attributes to his many hours of flying model aircraft. Art went on to earn his Private Pilot certificate and Instrument Rating, Commercial, Airline Transport Pilot, and Instructor certificates, he added seaplane and rotorcraft ratings as well as Airframe and Powerplant ratings to his aircraft mechanic certificate. He would later add the Airworthiness Inspector certificate.

In the early 1960s Art Scholl was assistant professor of Aeronautics at San Bernardino Valley College. He expanded his aviation activities to include air racing and, according to a San Bernardino County Sun article, he also raced boats! [3] The article shared that Scholl’s students had modified the boat. Scholl raced again in a 1964 speedboat marathon where he finished in fourth place.

Air Races
1962, Sep 1-3; Chino National Air Fair, Chino California

In the September 4, 1962, edition of the Whittier, California, newspaper The Daily News it was reported that “First overall was taken by Art Scholl of Riverside flying ‘Skeeter’, a midget racer originally built and flown by Whittier resident Jim Kistler in the Cleveland National Air Races.” [2]

1964, Sep 12-20; National Championship Air Races, Reno, Nevada
The airplane was an entrant in the Formula One class, assigned race number 31, and named Miss San Bernardino. Art Scholl was listed as the primary pilot. The aircraft qualified in fourth place with an average speed of 175.93 mph. Raced in Heat 1B, Scholl finished in fourth place with an average speed of 166.47 mph. Then, in Heat 1A, Art finished in second place with an average speed of 174.42 mph. Finally, in the Trophy race, he finished in third place with an average speed of 171.76 mph. [1]

In the September 19, 1964, edition of the Chico, California newspaper, The Enterprise-Record, reported on race events in an article entitled, Final Qualifying Heats Today for Air Race Finals. “Ten years ago, Whittman (sic) taught Porter the technique of flying the clipped-wing midgets on pylon courses. Friday, Whittman (sic) finished second to his 38-year-old protégé.” Later in the article, “Third was Art Scholl, Colton, California,...” This would not be the only race where the two future WAHF inductees would compete against each other.

As our research continued, we had at least two questions: is it possible that Scholl purchased the plane from Jim Kistler? If so, is it possible that Scholl’s A&P students at San Bernardino Valley College worked on the aircraft? An article in The San Bernardino County Sun on Thursday, November 26, 1964, shared that the San Bernardino Aviation Department would hold a “party” at the Chino Airport. One aspect of the event caught our attention. The article indicated that among the attractions would be, “… Art Scholl, Valley College professor with his plane ‘Miss San Bernardino’ will also be present.” This appears to answer our first question. It was reported elsewhere that his students worked on modifications to Scholl’s Chipmunk along with a boat that he raced so it is possible, we might even say probable, the students worked on the Formula 1 racer as well.

1965, May 28-31; Los Angeles National Air Races, Fox Field, Lancaster, California
The top three finishers of the 12-lap Formula One race were California based pilots and common names on the air race circuit. Bob Downey in his Little Gem finished in first with an average speed of 195 mph. Art Scholl finished in second place flying Miss San Bernardino and in third place was Bud Jerry. [4]

1965, Sep 23-26; Las Vegas International Air Races
“Competing in the Midget Class, the primary pilot was Art Scholl. Raced in the One Mile Course race. Finished in 4th place with an average speed of 195.7 mph.” [1]

1965, Nov 14; Palm Springs International Aeroclassic, Palm Springs, California.
“Competed in the Continental Motors race. Raced in the B Feature race, finishing in 5th place with an average speed of 190.14 mph.” [1]

1966, May 27-30; Los Angeles National Air Races, Lancaster, California
The Formula 1 category results were: First place: Bob Downey, Miller Ole Tiger (189.48); second place was Art Scholl, Miss San Bernardino (187.97); third place went to Howell Jones, Jones Half-Fast (185.26); and finishing in fourth was John Paul Jones, Cosmic Wind (151.46).

1966, Sep 21-26; National Championship Air Races, Reno, Nevada
The first-place finish in the Formula 1 category went to Bill Flack, Rivets (193.10); second place went to Steve Wittman, Wittman Bonzo (191.90); Bob Downey finished in third place, flying Miller Ole Tiger (189.01); finishing fourth was Art Scholl, Miss San Bernardino (185.25); and in fifth place was Roy Berry, Miss Dallas (174.75).

“Qualified in 4th place with an average speed of 193.97 mph. Raced in Heat 1B. Finished in 2nd place with an average speed of 185.38 mph. Raced in the Trophy race. Finished in 4th place with an average speed of 185.25 mph.” [1]

1971, Sep 21-26; National Championship Air Races
“The aircraft N31Z, now named “Skeeter” would again be piloted by Art Scholl. Qualified in 26th place with an average speed of 174.76 mph.” [1]

This was the last time we could find evidence of Scholl acting as pilot in any race aircraft. N31Z, the aircraft would continue to compete in various races, flown by several different pilots. In addition to Skeeter it bore the Little Niner, the paint scheme would change at least twice. In 1971, the aircraft registration changed to show Marshall Wells as owner. Then in 1982, the aircraft is back with its traditional white and red paint scheme and a new name, Scholl Special. The last time the aircraft was observed at a race was September 1984. [1]

Art Scholl was a much-accomplished pilot, mechanic and instructor. In addition to being an award-winning competition aerobatic pilot, we now know he was a competition air race pilot. An old photograph can hold memories, it may even hold little-known facts. What other stories are held in the nearly 34,000 images in the Kohn Collection? We will continue to seek out those stories, those little-known facts and of course share them with you.

[1] www.aerialvisuals.ca/index.php

Long Beach Telegram, Long Beach, CA
1950, Jan 9
Long Beach Designed Plane

[2] Evening Vanguard, Venice CA
1962, Aug 31
Sky Full of Excitement

The Daily News, Whittier CA
1962, Sep 4
Mishap Costs Local Flyer Race Victory

[3] The San Bernardino County Sun, San Bernardino, CA
1963, Nov 8
SBVC Professor Will Drive Boat in Salton City 500

Record Searchlight, Redding, CA
1964, Sep 4
Air Races Attract Top Fliers

[4] The Register, Santa Ana, CA
1965, Jun 9
Tustin Pilot Wins Air Race

Stockton Evening and Sunday Record, Stockton, CA
1966, May 28
National Air Races Now Under Way

The Van Nuys News and Valley Green Sheet, Van Nuys, CA
1966, Mar 11
Plan $35,000 Airplane Meet at Lancaster

Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles CA
1966, Sep 5
Executive Flies P51 to Victory