portraits  - self portraits
"who i am" - lists and letters
memorial - service for rett
anna - a sister’s poem
letters - special letters
remembrances - fond memories
art & photography  - rett's art
media - videos and songs
art night  - friends and paint
wheels - rett's rides
spirit of rett   - go speed racer go
rett.org  - 2000 - 2001 version
links - networking
store  - posters and shirts
 contact  - share with us

Rett Nearburg, an artist at the birth of his career, passed gently into God's embrace on Friday, January 14, 2005, at 10:40 p.m.

Born July 1, 1983, Rett tenaciously lived each day to the fullest throughout his eleven-and-a-half-year battle with Ewing's Sarcoma. He loved Apple computers, art, video games, music and motorcycles. Completely lacking self-pity, Rett volunteered for numerous Phase 1 drug trials, often bearing significant pain and discomfort. Whenever cancer stole one aspect of his life, he turned another page and charged ahead. He lived joyously and passionately, full of humor, wisdom, and grace.

We were blessed by his courageous presence in our lives.We have chosen to use this online presence to remember Rett, and to share our son's legacy. Here you will find Rett's writing, art and photography, as well as remembrances of him written by those who knew and loved him.

Copyright © 2010
Charles Nearburg
Contributions remain the property of their authors.


Spirit of Rett Breaks 45-Year Old Goldenrod Record!

Dear Friends,

On September 21, 2010 the “Spirit of Rett” made two phenomenal speed runs. The first run averaged 417 MPH with an exit speed of 422.6. The return run, made under more difficult track conditions, averaged 411.7 MPH with a top speed of 417.65. The average speed of approximately 414.4 MPH exceeded the 45 year old Summers brothers’ Goldenrod record set when I was 15 years old. The “Spirit of Rett” now has the fastest single engine car record in history.

The crew, led by Lee Ryan, consists of Roine Andersson, David Tate, Scott Sargent, Ed Stuck, Chuck Horrell, and Tom Brown. The engine, which performed absolutely to perfection, was built by Brad Morgan and Bruce Allen of Reher-Morrison Racing Engines. Our oil, which had to work under extreme temperatures, was provided by Red Line Oil Corporation. The parachutes and safety gear was provided by D-J Safety. 

Rick Cameron helped us throughout the year with engineering and fabrication as well as pit stop and turn around help during the record attempt.

Bob Hansen did a fine job over the winter of lengthening the car for us by 3’, and Kebin Kinsley fabricated new body work for the lengthened car.

A.J. Smith is our aerodynamicist and steered us in the right direction on the new nose for the car, which was put in final form and built by Richard Nauert and his excellent crew at Southwestern Performance Technology Corporation.

I also want to give credit to Howard Nafzger who was the original designer of the car, and to Earl Wooden who made key improvements.

I am extremely gratified for all the hard work of these individuals toward the “Spirit of Rett” effort. Over the last 45 years many people, many times have attempted to break the record, and we are very proud and humbled to have finally done so. 

I am sincerely humbled and grateful for all the kind words and congratulations you have sent to me and the team. I am slowly but steadily responding to each of these individually and I thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.

This effort is dedicated to Rett and all the children fighting cancer. 

Charlie Nearburg

For more information on the Spirit of Rett click here.

"Spirit of Rett: Chasing the Holy Grail - The Goldenrod Record" by Richard Nauert


"Spirit of Rett" now has the following accomplishments:

1. Fastest single engine car record in history 414.316 MPH! (and only 3mph less than the absolute fastest "real car" record of 417.020 MPH held by Tom Burkland!)

2. Fastest normally aspirated car in history - period! (Broke 45 year old record set by Summer's Bros. "Goldenrod" on Nov 12, 1965!)

3. First and only unblown single engine car over 400 MPH!

4. First and only car to ever set two over 300 MPH records in one day!

5. First and only car to ever hold all four of the fastest unblown records at Bonneville at the same time!  A/FS 348.524 MPH,  A/GS 350.728 MPH,  AA/GS 368.136 MPH,  AA/FS 392.503 MPH

6. First and only car to ever hold the two fastest unblown FIA records at the same time!

The only over 400 MPH records that have been set by conventional race cars are as follows (per Tom Burkland):

1. Tom Burkland "Burklands 411" 417.020 MPH SCTA AA/BFS (two engines, blown, fuel, 4wd) Oct, 2004

2. Charles Nearburg "Spirit of Rett" 414.316 MPH FIA (one engine, unblown, fuel, 2wd) Sept 21, 2010

3. Nolan White "Spirit of Autopower" 413.156 MPH SCTA AA/BFS (blown, fuel) Aug, 2002

4. Al Teague "Speed-O-Motive" 409.86 MPH FIA (one engine, blown, fuel, 2wd) Aug, 1991

5. Bob Summers "Goldenrod" 409.277 MPH FIA (four engines, fuel, 4wd) Nov 12, 1965

6. George Poteet "Speed Demon" 404.562 SCTA D/BFS (one engine, blown, fuel, 2wd) Aug 19, 2010

7. Donald Campbell "Bluebird CN7" 403.10 FIA July, 1964


In celebration of Rett’s life on the 5th anniversary of his passing, we have added photos of the finished Rett wagon to the “wheels – rett’s rides” section.  This sleeper hot rod has 450hp, 450’/lbs of torque, and handles like a modern day racecar.  It is great fun to drive.  It is everything Rett envisioned when he conceived and worked on the project.   Thanks to the crew at Nearburg Racing – Lee Ryan, Roine Andersson, and David Tate – for finishing this project the way Rett would have wanted. 

In 2009 the Spirit of Rett, with Charles driving, set two new Bonneville records:   The AA/Gas streamliner record at 368.136 MPH, and the AA/Fuel  streamliner record at 392.503.  In addition to setting these two records, the Spirit of Rett set a fastest speed of the meet at 402.955 MPH.  With these records, the Spirit of Rett has set the following milestones:

  • First unblown single-engine car in history over 400 MPH
  • Fastest single engine normally aspirated car on gas/fuel

There are some new photos and video to be seen.  Click on  “spirit of rett – go speed racer go”.


In memory of Rett on his 25th Birthday, we have added "anna - a sister's poems"

In memory of Rett on the 3rd anniversary of his death, we have added:

  1. Some of Rett’s autobiographical musings,
  2. A version of his earlier 2000-2001 rett.org  with content – fun to look at.
  3. Digital collages Rett created – in the art and photography section.
  4. A new “remembrance” from Lacy Lynch, Yumi Vong, Dan Meyer, Paul Bennet, Vickie Hurst, Jeff Buck, and Chris Hickman.
  5. Photos of new progress on Rett’s hot rod wagon,
  6. Photos and Video of “Spirit of Rett”, a world land speed racing car dedicated to Rett in which Charles set 3 records at Bonneville with a top speed of 375 MPH.


Fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma – What We Are Doing, What You Can Do

* All of Rett's work is copyrighted but is here for you to enjoy subject to the guidelines Rett placed on his web site: "everything here is mine : all rights reserved. anything and everything on this site is for personal non-commercial use only. no re-distribution of any kind allowed without explicit permission (ask via e-mail). be cool. just enjoy my work. don't try and make money off of it or pass it off as yours. if you do i will hunt you down and kill you. i'm very protective of my work."