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Folks Of Interest When did you first go to the drags, who do you remember from "the day"??

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gary Reynolds, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. The first time was 1960 and I was nine years old. My dad took me to Caddo Mills Drag Strip east of Dallas. Lot of locals racing but the car that stuck in my mind all these years was Bobby Langley's Scorpion (not even sure which one it was).
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  2. Down South Racer
    Joined: Feb 11, 2006
    Posts: 172

    Down South Racer

    Feb. 1956 Ted Edwards Sky Port in Fairburn.Ga.Flagman,single lane clocks and I loved it.Fastest car there was an altered type T-roadster with an Olds.
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  3. Dick Stevens
    Joined: Aug 7, 2012
    Posts: 3,316

    Dick Stevens

    First time at the drags was in Sioux City, Iowa in 1965, I believe, and Lou Cangalose was there with the Missouri Missile top fuel dragster and he was bitching because someone told him the strip had good traction so he came with his big engine and ended up leaving 2 solid black marks the full length of the quarter mile!
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  4. guthriesmith
    Joined: Aug 17, 2006
    Posts: 6,496

    1. H.A.M.B. Chapel

    First time I went to the dragstrip was in 1984 if I remember right. I was 12 and an older guy took me to Green Valley Raceway in Texas for Super Chevy. Pretty much ruined me as best I can tell. Just took my two boys (12 & 13) to the dragstrip last weekend (although I think they first went when they were 2 or so) trying to pass on the torch. :D
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  5. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,483

    from So Cal

    Mid 70's for me, Orange County International Raceway. Lot's of local guys running, guys like Big Jim Dunn, and lesser known guys like Doug Dye, who my brother wrenched for. I remember the big shows they used to have, like 64 FUNNY CARS!!! Where they'd line up all 64 funny cars before the race down both sides of the strip in front of the stands and fire them all up at once, that was a glorious sound! The Wheel Standers and Jet Cars also were exciting to watch.
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  6. Like it was yesterday,only I was a kid in 1963 and hanging on the fence watching a local guy that my dad knew just a few blocks away from our house.

    I was 13 years old and watching Gene Cromer,that was 54 years ago and the cool thing about that is just a few short years ago I watched my childhood hero,Gene Cromer once again climb in that very same car at the same track and pull the front wheels of the ground like the old days.

    I am proud to say that Gene & his lovely wife are friends of mine and I would be remiss if I did give credit to Quain Stott for leading the campaign to get Gene's car,The Moonlighter back on the track. HRP

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  7. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 765

    from Motown

    Pretty sure it was '66 or '67, Detroit Dragway, I was 9 or 10. Double A Fuel Dragsters, the way they were meant to be. Push start, still smoked the tires off the line. Garlits, Prudhomme in the Lou Baney Ford, Kalitta, Ramchargers, local guy named Dwayne Ong, pretty sure Warren. Coburn and Miller. I was hooked for life. Nitro does that.
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  8. ST62
    Joined: Jun 27, 2017
    Posts: 69


    I was late going to anything national. I talked to Kenny Bernstein in the 80's. Really nice friendly guy.
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  9. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,303


    My first drag strip was 1960, year I graduated from high school. Dover Drag Strip in Wingdale, NY. Lots of Conn guys there, the Drag-N-Runs out of Bristol, Ronny Abbot's Hellazapoppin dragster from Albany, NY. Good memories, good times, my first trophy at a drag strip there, my old man's Falcon ranchero, had to run VW and a Corvair. Still have the program with the results in my scrapbook.
    My most memorable was in 1966, gal I was fixed up with by a shipmate. We went to Conn Dragway to see the twin engine Howard Cam special run. This gal passed out cold from the heat in the pits. I didn't know whether to leave her for the first aid crew or stay and help (hey I was young, in the Navy and stupid!). Anyway I did stay, got them to allow me to bring my Corvette into the pits and take her home. By the way, that was a good decision because that young lady has been my wife now for 51 years.
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  10. My folks wouldn't take me to the drags (even though Puyallup raceways wasn't very far away), so my first attendance there was in '66 when I got my license. First 'big' show? They booked in as-seen-in-Hot-Rod-magazine Gas Rhonda and his '66 SOHC Mustang (which was supercharged by this time) with some local funny car racers (notably Paula Murphy, the first female funny car driver, driving a Chrysler-powered Mustang). Rhonda beat all comers, and to this day I'm still impressed by the jewel-like appearance of his car.

    I had seen/heard a T/F car run though... Richard Rogers lived a few streets over from us, and would occasionally 'test' his car on the street in front of his house... LOL!
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  11. Cool stories.
    We have a LOT of NW people here!
    I managed several law firms here in Los Angeles over the years.It was actually hard to find a lawyer or other employee that was my age or older ( I'm 63 ) that DIDN'T go to OCIR, LIONS, Irwindale or San Fernando at least once.It was what you did as a teenager in the 1950's-60's!!! I am friends with a great guy whose wife was a niece of William Hannon, the owner of San Fernando. They have some great stuff!
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  12. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    First was with a neighbor. Lions in Long Beach. Then Opening day for OCIR.
    We went about once a month. I was about 40 feet away when Big shaved his toe.
    Breathless moment, I can still see it and hear it.
    I had just finished Revell's Swamp Rat dragster model. The one with the clear oil pan.
    He was my latest greatest hero.
    Met Linda Vaughn, and was hooked. Much bigly.
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  13. ss823
    Joined: Aug 10, 2015
    Posts: 14


    my dad made the mistake of taking me to Edmore Mi. in 62 ( I was 11) a T-bird & a vette were going at it all day (still had flag man I believe). then in 64 we were at my aunt & uncle`s & he said there was some big deal over at Ubly (great lakes championship) the FX cars were there & it was big for the time. I was still learning 3 2`s from 2 4`s. a few years latter Tri City dragway near Saginaw Mi. opened & my parents never had to wonder where I was on the weekend. Tri City always had great cars & big shows. the old good days . SS
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  14. First time was mid 60's at Lion's...two out of three match race between Gas Rhonda and Brutus. I was hooked for life both as a fan and a participant
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  15. vintage44
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 281

    from NY
    1. New York H.A.M.B.ers

    I grew up in a junkyard in the 50s and went to a dirt circle track where our cars ran each Saturday night. Eventually built and raced vintage modified. One day a buddy and I went to a double show at a concrete circle track and a 1/8 mile drag strip at the same place - my first ever drag strip experience - at age 57. It was an open competition "run what ya brung" afternoon. The craziest thing I saw was a snowmobile clocked at 140 in a 1/8th mile run! I raced dirt and asphalt circle tracks but those guys were NUTS!
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  16. 1969....Detroit Dragway. Connie Kalitta, Shirley Muldowney, Ramchargers....don't remember the rest.
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  17. els
    Joined: Sep 11, 2016
    Posts: 359


    1967 BEELINE DRAGWAY. Winternationals in Arizona. My father raced stock eliminator. I got to see him run and Connie Kalita, I will never forget the BOUNTY HUNTER. good days. Thanx for posting this thread. very cool.
    Gary Reynolds likes this.
  18. I think the greatest ever is Big Daddy Don Garlits! Made a yuuuuuge impression on me!
    You guys??
    Every time I see Don I think "there's F'n DON GARLITS!
    At the 1967 Nationals, the greatest drag race ever! THE MAN!
  19. echo ed
    Joined: Nov 30, 2013
    Posts: 103

    echo ed
    from fla.

    My first drag race was at Orange, Mass. in 1964, went many times to Conn. Dragway, my Dad took me, usually with my two cousins, he really wasn't into it but liked to see the feature cars run. My most memorable race was the second annual Super stock Nationals in Long Island , N.Y. in 1966,all the funny car, S/S names were there, again my Dad took us, quite a big deal on his part as it was a five hour drive each way. I've attended many drag races through the years but to me those early years were the best, push starts for the fuelers, the popping and roar as they started, the turn around at the starting line, the smoke and noise as they accelerated down the strip and the stillness and quiet at the end of the run with the smell of the nitro drifting over us. The memories are great. Thanks Dad.
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  20. das858
    Joined: Jul 28, 2010
    Posts: 804


    My first time was in August of 1969 at Kansas City for a Top Fuel show. Got to see Garlits ! The cars were started on rollers there that was powered by a small block chevy. One heck of an eleventh birthday !
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  21. Richard Schroeders Nova blew my 13 year old mind in 1966! Saw it at Woodburn all the time! Was obsolete quickly, but man what a beauty!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  22. robracer1
    Joined: Aug 3, 2015
    Posts: 489


    Fairburn Drag Strip was a small air port, sometimes they stopped the event to let airplanes land and take off also I believe it was the first drag strip in Georgia
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  23. 0NE BAD 51 MERC
    Joined: Nov 12, 2010
    Posts: 1,484

    0NE BAD 51 MERC

    Union Grove 1971 . Grew up in Burlington Wisconsin . and the local heros where Fritz Barrel, 67? Camaro. Jeff Mallard . 69 super cobra jet Torino and Jeff Schreader, 69 Barracuda. I know off topic cars , but along with my uncle Dougs 55 Chevy. they where what inspired me when I was 16 and making my first run in my 63 Catalina. Larry
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  24. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 16,059

    from oregon

    That's not Woodburn Gary:rolleyes:
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  25. NO KIDDING!!! What is wrong with you young man? don't make me come up there............
    you going to be one of THOSE guys now?
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  26. Mark Hysong
    Joined: Dec 4, 2016
    Posts: 28

    Mark Hysong

    MuncieDragway 1962 , Dad and his friend Don Nicely ran a S/S 406 Ford. I thought i'd died and gone to heaven. Saw Garlits, EJ Potter (V8 Bike), Art Arfons and a bunch of others.
    els likes this.
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 968

    from Western PA

    1964, Sunset Drag Strip, Charleston PA. Just a normal race day with all the locals, and I was blown away.
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  28. cjsavage
    Joined: Oct 28, 2011
    Posts: 58

    from eastern nc

    258 Drag Strip in Jacksonville, NC, 1968 or '69, Sox & Martin, Little Red Wagon
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  29. badgascoupe
    Joined: Jul 22, 2011
    Posts: 156


    Early 70's Epping NH,Al Segrenie was the big dog
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  30. rhtfo
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 36


    Saw Shirley Muldowney and the Dunn & Reath rear engine funny car run at Cordova Dragway (Cordova, Ill.) in the early 70's. It was night racing and they weren't allowed to run the full 1320 ft., BUT, watching flames shoot up out of zoomie headers as the nitro exploded, well no words can discribe that sight !!

    Sent from my SM-N910V using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
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