Make the Haul to the 2017 Meltdown Drags
Summer means hot rod happenings, and one of the biggest of them all is going down this weekend on an old strip of asphalt near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. There will be straight axles and slicks, mag wheels and more horsepower than anybody will know what to do with. Hundreds upon hundreds of-’60s-era drag cars will be invading Byron Dragway for another installment of the Meltdown Drags.
It was on this day a few years ago that I was hitting the road in Steve Bailey’s lowered ’64 Pontiac Catalina with a tank full of gas, a car full of friends, and a trunk filled with old (but still very usable) camping equipment. Sure, the hand-me-down Coleman cooler may not have kept our snacks all that cold, and yes, we should have packed our own firewood, but once we rolled onto the streets of Byron, Illinois, that all became irrelevant—we knew we had come across something truly special.
The excitement of this year’s racing has moved through the airwaves and made its way into just about every form of media. From my desk in California, I’ve seen the posts, heard the hype and checked my calendar time and time again. Unfortunately, I can’t make it to Illinois this time around, simple as that. But one thing’s for sure; you know I’ll be following along every step of the way.
Just like any great hot rodding event, much of the joy lies in the journey. And I’ve truly enjoyed seeing how people are getting to the drags—it’s a perfect blend of traditional cars and a very traditional way of travel. Keeping that in mind, I’ve assembled a gallery of some diehard racers making the haul to the 2017 Meltdown Drags. Feel free to add your own!
Note: A number of other machines were driven to the track, too. Know of anybody flat towing?