Dennis was a customer when he was doing motorcycles. I got to talk with John around 98/99 or so, but he wasn't a very chatty guy. No one has impacted drag racing like John has except maybe Garlits, or street rodding. And then gone on to build a car in his garage and race at indy , and terrific motorcycles, and and and...And Dennis Rolaine. They formed R&B Race Cars here. I knew Dennis for years after John left. Seriously intelligent guy.
I was in awe of his 27 sedan at the Minnesota NSRA nats in '74. things like hand machined from solid aluminum one piece radiator hose clamps long before CNC, tightened by little stainless t-bolts and aircraft stop nuts. Small and subtle, you had to just stand and look to notice the details. He had male and female multi contact connectors in the door jams so there were no wires to pinch or show when they were open. He started the "billet" parts trend and billet wheels. He developed what we now see as the modern FC chassis. He built the monocoque Mickey Thompson Mustang funny cars. All in his one man shop.