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History The 1958 NHRA Nationals

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HEMI32, May 15, 2008.

  1. Monday's "The 1957 NHRA NATIONALS" (with the Norm Jones video) and Wednesday's "The 1957 NHRA NATIONALS - Part 2" (with the Milton Arnold photographs) The Jalopy Journal Blogs (& resultant H.A.M.B. threads) really inspired me to put my flatbed scanner to work tonight.

    Although my father (Bruce Olson) didn't attend the 1957 Nats, the magazine coverage did motivate him to prep his (now mine) chopped & channeled, Hemi-powered '32 5-window for the 1958 event:

    Coupe After 1958 Nats .jpg

    Back then, the car ran a 1953 331ci Chrysler Hemi with 4 Stromberg 97's:

    Coupe 1953 331ci Hemi - 1958.jpg

    In late August 1958, he & his buddy (Mike Thompson) towed the car from his home in Beach, North Dakota (border town near Glendive, Montana) to Oklahoma City to participate in the "4th Annual National Championship Drag Races":

    Coupe towed to 1958 Nats OK City.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  2. At the 'Nats, the car ran in the "B ALTERED COUPE" class ... It wasn't the coupe's best performance ... they could only muster a 13.40 ET with a top speed of 107 MPH:

    Coupe @ 1958 Nats OK City.jpg

    The car no longer runs the 331ci Hemi [in 1975, it was replaced with a .060 overbore 1958 Chrysler Imperial 392ci Hemi A-1 block (~ 405ci)] ... HOWEVER, a couple "artifacts" from its 1958 visit to OKC still remain affixed to the car today:

    58 Nats Decal.jpg 58 Nats Participant Sticker.jpg
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  3. Goosebumps.....You are very lucky to have that family heirloom!
  4. Here's all twenty pages of the Event Program:




















    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017

  5. L110Mike
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 128

    from North OC

    great stuff! going to have to print that out. thanks for sharing!
    els likes this.
  6. I'll try to locate some more of my father's photos from the 1958 Nationals ... but in the meantime, I'm really hoping someone out there can fill in some of the details of the '58 event ... with stories, images and/or video.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
    els likes this.
  7. Found this one other pic:

    Norman Woodruff's Chopped Merc Vert (aka 'The Moose').jpg

    I believe this Kustom was owned by @Bullet Nose's friend ... they drove it from Redondo Beach, CA to Oklahoma City, OK ... and back!

    I'll keep looking for pics...
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  8. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,091

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    Great thread it!
  9. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,903


    Very cool ! Thanks for sharing .
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  10. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,868

    Harms Way

    Great thread,.... appreciate the post
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  11. hotrod mike
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,728

    hotrod mike

    Those pictures are great. That's a great looking ride. And to have the program too, priceless. Thanks for posting this stuff. Mike
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  12. publicenemy1925
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 3,187

    from OKC, OK

    Soooo cooooooooooool, for a homer like me!
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  13. THis is a great thread, thanks for taking the time to scan this are one lucky guy! Now, lets see if anybody has the same for 1959 and so on.......

    HEMI32 and els like this.
  14. Hotrod F-1
    Joined: Dec 19, 2006
    Posts: 582

    Hotrod F-1
    from OK

    Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing. :cool:
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  15. Prop Strike
    Joined: Feb 18, 2006
    Posts: 651

    Prop Strike

    Very cool that you still got the car. Can't get much better than a 32 with a hemi!
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  16. Awesome!
    HEMI32 and els like this.
  17. Malcolm
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 7,637

    from Nebraska

    Holy shit that is cool! You are a lucky man, Hemi32!

    Thanks for sharing the history.

    kidcampbell71 and HEMI32 like this.
  18. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,428


    Great post.................that Kool-Aid billboard in the third pic rules.
    kidcampbell71 and HEMI32 like this.
  19. Bullet Nose
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 2,045

    Bullet Nose

    Yes we did and we tagged along with the Drifters Car Club from Redondo Beach, CA who took 2 cars to the drags. I also have the same program as you scanned.

    Here's a picture that was taken on Route 66 in Texas on our way back to Redondo.


    That's my friend Norman Woodruff, who owned the car, standing by the door and a member of the Drifters Car Club pointing to the flat we had somewhere in the Texas panhandle on Route 66.

    That's a really cool photo of the Merc we called "The Moose" and there's a story about how that name came about. I also have some other memories of our trip to OKC.

    Woody was my best friend in high school. After he quit school, he went to work for Ed Donovan and he built a blown DeSoto powered dragster in my garage. He also experimented with a manifold he designed and built for the DeSoto engine that had two blowers mounted side by side but it just had too much boost. He later became my brother-in-law (now ex brother-in-law) and is now married to Kathy Donovan, Ed Donovan's widow and owner of Donovan Engineering in Torrance, CA.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
    kidcampbell71, HEMI32 and Finn Jensen like this.
  20. 31whitey
    Joined: Jan 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,214



    great stuff man

    my brain is all loves absorbing late 50,s drag history
    HEMI32 likes this.
  21. TomH
    Joined: Oct 21, 2003
    Posts: 1,253


    Wow, thanks for sharing.

    Just our luck ( currently living in North Dakota ) all the cool guys move away!!
    HEMI32 likes this.
  22. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,572

    Rand Man

    I love that program and I love color photos. If anyone else has programs like that, let's start a thread just for event programs. It's one hell of a historical document.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  23. stan292
    Joined: Dec 6, 2002
    Posts: 857


    Hemi -

    Killer post! Thanks much for taking the time to scan the program. I'll be printing that one out for sure. Tons of great "old days" stuff.

    P.S. Notice there are NO national records for E.T.s? It was all about speed in those days.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  24. Von Franco
    Joined: Nov 26, 2001
    Posts: 1,285

    Von Franco

    This is way to cool man thanks ..............................
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  25. ANewBeat
    Joined: May 1, 2005
    Posts: 245

    from Floriduh

    Fuckin' A !
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  26. Lost1
    Joined: Oct 26, 2006
    Posts: 121


    Great stuff! Thanks.
  27. coop31
    Joined: Jun 24, 2006
    Posts: 160


    Cool post! Lot's of family history which is always the best kind. Thanks
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  28. Doctor Destructo
    Joined: Feb 10, 2007
    Posts: 418

    Doctor Destructo

    Really cool nostalgia. Thanks for posting.
  29. studematt
    Joined: Feb 12, 2008
    Posts: 432


    Cool that you have your dads awesome hotrod. Any pics of it today.
  30. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,522


    Very cool! Thanks for takin the time to put up this thread.

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