Through many years of racing, every now and then you meet up with someone special. Dooner was that kind of guy. His real name was Don Alderson (aka Muldoon). Born in Hawaii, he was 6ft. 5in. and weighed about 300lbs. Don had a machine shop in the San Fernando Valley which eventually became “Milodon Engineering”. I don’t remember exactly where he picked up the nickname but I think it was from the Dead End Kids (Spider Razon, Joe Anahory & Red Lang) from New York, when they came out to Ca. All they had was a ‘57 Chrysler limo with six 392 Hemi’s and parts, stored in the back, a little bit of money and some clothes. Dooner had his machine shop right down the street from my business in the valley and offered them a place to stay at his home and they could work out of his shop for free. He eventually hired them and they would sell and trade Hemi parts and engines to build their Dead End Kids Top Fuel dragster. A fireman friend of mine had an Ed Weddle Chassis and one of the new Cal Automotive Fiat Topolino bodies and wanted to go drag racing, so I introduced him to Dooner. Together they built the McElvain and Alderson AA Fuel Altered, with one of Dooner’s engines and became good friends and partners.
Dooner liked airplanes. He had an A-36 Beach Bonanza and a T33 Trainer at the same time. At one time he and some partners owned the pieces of a P-51-A, one of the 1st Mustangs that looked like a Messerschmitt. They never put it together. His last house was built on the Rosamond Ca. airport with a taxiway and double hangar in back. When he sold Milodon to B&M (before Steve Morrison bought it) he maintained a machine shop in his hangar. When the “Pyramid meetings” (actually ponzi schemes) were going around back in the 70’s, Dooner collected enough money to pay cash for a riverfront house in Laughlin Nev. On our trips to the March Meet in Bakersfield Ca., we would always hit the KC Steak House and Dooner would tell everyone that couldn’t finish their steak to send it down to him. Boy could he eat. He made an all aluminum 4 barrel engine, adapted his big Milodon V8 for crop duster airplanes, ran Blown Buick V6’s at Indy, ran roadsters and streamliners at Bonneville and El Mirage, ran dragsters and altereds and just before he passed away he finished his beautiful black ‘48 Ford business coupe. These are the kind of guys that made drag racing great “back in the good ole days”. He was a good friend and we all still miss him.
See ya at the races