Draggin’ at Caddo

Draggin’ at Caddo

For the past few weeks I’ve been digging deep into Texas drag racing history. On my kitchen table, photos flood from borrowed three-ring binders as my notebooks fill themselves with all sorts of scribbles. I’ve accumulated hours of interviews and it seems as if I’m always on Google Maps looking up a small town or big city somewhere in the Lone Star State. As I was in the middle of my research, I came across some footage that I couldn’t help but share.

Our subject today is an 8mm movie shot in Caddo Mills, Texas, in the early-’60s. The focus? Drag racing. Located 40 miles northeast of Dallas, Caddo Mills’ hot rodding roots date back more than half a century—and much of its colorful past has been covered right here on the H.A.M.B. But this particular clip captivated me and, for a solid six minutes 19 seconds, we’re invited to take a glimpse at a time where everything was period perfect/era-correct/H.A.M.B. friendly. It’s rich, crisp and visually striking.

As the cars roll into the frame, I can’t help but call them out. There’s the “Scorpion!” That Fiat looks like the “Widdle White Wabbit” Oh, it is! And Larry Teter in the background? That’s a looong haul from the Midwest. I’ve always liked his matching support truck. Check out the collectors on that full-fendered Model A coupe! Wild! Those slot mags and wide whites work well with the louvered decklid and quickchange…

The only thing better than recognizing old competition cars is coming across ones you’ve never seen. In my case, there are plenty of them here. Bright colors, homebuilt machines and head-to-head action under a clear blue sky—kick off your weekend right with a trip to Caddo Mills.

—Joey Ukrop

P.S. You’ll see my Texas-related feature in the upcoming issue of The Rodder’s Journal. It’ll be worth the wait!

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