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Your most memorable time at the drags

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by OldColt, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. OldColt
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 504


    Love to hear yours, this is mine.

    The year was 1965 best I remember.
    Me and some buddies went to a local strip for it's first ever funny car meet.

    When we arrived there were a bunch of those new fangled crazy looking funny cars that we had only seen in the magazines before. You know, altered wheelbases, long fuel injection tubes, wild names etc...

    The strip was packed with a standing room only crowd and it seemed like a surreal freak show. Guys pitching rosin out of buckets on the track, with others sweeping the stuff smooth. Wheelstands, and more wheel stands, wheelstands with the drivers door open even.

    The announcer was hollering "stay away from the fence", while rent-a-cops tried to enforce it. When one of the cars got loose off the line and nearly crashed through the fence, people finally moved back to a safe distance.

    I recall people crying and coughing from the nitro fumes.
    The smart ones held rags or hankies over their faces.

    As night fell, the header flames appeared. Everybody held their breath as the cars wheelied and swerved wildly all over the track. A few cars tagged the guard rail, but no serious accidents happened.

    I have attended many National NHRA events with 300mph runs and the biggest names since then, but that first little local stip meet sticks the most in my memory.

    God, those were the days !!

    --- Steve ---
  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,792


    There used to be a track just south of Houston. Houston International Dragway, I believe. Some friends and I used to go. It was my first experience seeing cars go FAST in person. I loved every aspect of the experience. Of course, the crazy fun was watching all the idiots leaving when it was time to go home. Every kid thought his car was suddenly faster. Even if it was his moms station wagon.
  3. kyvetteman
    Joined: May 13, 2012
    Posts: 760


    Used to be two drag strips within driving distance of where I lived in Central Kentucky. The one in Clay City had its meet on Saturday night and the other (Bluegrass Dragway in Lexington) had theirs on Sunday afternoon. Tried to make them both as many weekends as I had gas and gate money... :)

    Two very memorable things happened to me at the Saturday night meets; the first was when an acquaintance from my hometown who had a bad ass '55 2 door post that was his daily driver asked me to ride to the staging lanes with him and throw out the water so he could get the tires spinning and heat them up. He was one of those older brooding kids that everybody was a little leery of. He liked to drink and he liked to fight and he didn't take no crap from anybody. Anyway I ride down there and realize after I get in the car that he is three sheets in the wind. I guess he thought there was enough to get his tires in good shape cause he did a monster burnout and the guy at the tree didn't see me still in the car and we both rode down the strip for what for me at that time was the fastest ride of my life! Seems like no big deal now but for a 16-17 year old kid it was freakin cool! After that we were good friends, which freaked all the other kids out and made me gain a few notches on the cool scale. :cool:

    The second was when I was sitting at the guardrail right at the starting line. When you sat down it put you at just about eye level with the door of the cars. A wicked little altered Fiat pulled up to the line and revved way past what it should have at the line and scattered and burst into flames. Shrapnel went everywhere and what kept someone (including me) from getting killed is a pure miracle. :eek: The next week there was a different type of "fence" there and very strict rules about how close spectators could sit to the line. Despite the danger and the close call it was one of the most awesome things I'd ever witnessed. Still is for that matter.

    Saw lots of other cool stuff including the first time they had a funny car meet like was described above, but these are the two that stand out the most for me.
  4. mashed
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,474

    from 4077th

    Fremont Raceway, day before Easter, 1974.

    Evel Knievel debuted his jet cycle and caught his cape on fire during the exhibition run. He then loaded it in the trailer and pulled out his Harley. Jumped 10 Mack trucks. I was hooked.

    Saw him come out of his trailer and address the crowd after the jump from atop one of my "uncle's" shoulders. I was 8 and my mother was a young divorcee.

    I remember he handed out some Evel iron-ons which I later put on a faded red (read: pink??!!) crew neck sweatshirt, proceeded to wear it, and propped a board up on a cinder block..

  5. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,111

    from Michigan

    Watching Tom "'The 'Goose" make a pass in his Vette flopper in '77 at Detroit Dragway....
  6. I saw Ronnie Sox bang through the gears at an early Super Stock reunion, along with Arnie Farmer, Big Daddy, Nicolson, Malcolm Durham, Bruce Larson, Bob Riggle and the Ram Chargers team. During the induction ceremony while they were all lined up to do interviews, my son who was about seven ran up and asked for autographs. They stopped the interviews and each signed his program. I remember saying how great it would be to get all their signatures and before I could finish off he ran. The announcer was pissed but the dozen or so gentlemen passed his program down the line and some even put in little notes. He was hooked and has been a fan ever since.
  7. Olderchild
    Joined: Nov 21, 2012
    Posts: 476

    from Ohio

    Setting on the back of a friends ElCameno at Quaker City, Salem Oh. Just off the starting line in 62 when a front engine rail broke a axle and came straight at us, we were running in to each other trying to get out of there, luck for us the guy it stopped.
  8. Puyallup Raceway, 1966.... My first funny car show. The 'big gun' was Gas Ronda in that absolutely beautiful SOHC red Mustang (still the nicest race car I've ever seen that actually was run). There was some local talent (Walt Austin is the only one I can remember) but the other 'draw' was Paula Murphy, the first woman funny car pilot. She caused a bit of excitement when an axle broke, the car took a left turn, went across the return road and almost made the spectator fence.... people were bookin' away from the fence.... :D

    Oh yeah.... Ronda beat 'em all....

    2nd place.... Same strip, a few years later. Saw Art Morrison (yep, that Art Morrison) roll Richard Schroder's brand-new AMX wheelstander over just past the finish line on his first pass.
  9. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,541

    from Nicasio Ca

    I won the street bracket and my girlfriend won the powder puff one otherwise unremarkable Wednesday night. I have the picture of us holding our plastic trophies around here somewhere.
  10. 400 4spd.
    Joined: Jan 23, 2011
    Posts: 49

    400 4spd.

    Suffolk Va. dragstrip, about 1970. My brother and I are in our early teens watching the races. Shirley Muldowney was there, and after returning from a run she was swamped with autograph seekers. My brother got in line twice.
    A few years later, same track. I'm leaning on the chain link fence on the pit side. A '64 or '65 Chevelle wrings off the drive shaft about 1/4 track and it (the shaft) comes spinning toward the fence. The fence I'm leaning on. The fence that stops the shaft from going into the pit area. The fence I just vacated a split second earlier.
  11. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    I thought I had gone to heven in 1957 it was Lassiter mountain drag strip near birmingham alabama in coalburg.. Black Widows car club managed.. They had lots of 49 50 oldsmobiles 55 56 57 chevys a lot of hot rod 32/ 34 thru 57 fords and some hot a model fords. A 34 chevy coupe with a gmc called slick six..............................Everything raced studebakers/ chrysler products ford and every thing GM made.. They had a lot of English made motor cycles ............................ Top elimator of the day won a 25 dollar savings bond.. His name was J D Mathis in a 32 ford that they unbolted the body from the chassis and called it a Rail. The time was around 14.8. His son went to school with me.... J D was killed driving his F E D Hemi powered in Halls Tennessee in 1960 or 61.. he hit the box holding the timing light at the finish line. .
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  12. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695

    Member Emeritus

    Most memorable; making my license runs in my old FED to get my NHRA Competition Eliminator Drivers License, first day at Seattle, second at Bremerton. Bremerton was a way better day, got to make FULL passes at SPEED instead of the half track passes the day before I was restricted to. Did't have wheelie bars on it yet; I just wanted to "GO", the dragster just wanted to "GO UP". Butch/56sedandelivery.
  13. 30FordNerd
    Joined: Oct 5, 2012
    Posts: 274


    Best memory was hearing my first funny car at Adelaide International Raceway, the loudest and fastest thing I have ever seen in my life.
  14. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 624


    I was at the 1967 U.S. Nationals where Don Garlits shaved his beard. Still one of the greatest moments in Drag racing.
    In 1968, was in the U.S. Army.
  15. partsdawg
    Joined: Feb 12, 2006
    Posts: 2,946

    from Minnesota

    1968 when I was 9.Neighbor had a bad ass '55 Chevy gasser and we lived 1 mile from the North Star drag strip.He fired up the '55 and drove it(slowly) over to the strip.I was already a full blown car addict and started walking after it.My Dad ran after me and brought me home but a couple minutes later off I went again and this time Dad picked me up in our '55 and took me to the strip.Cant recall what all I saw but the noise and the cars had me grinning.
    It was good for 2 reasons.First I got to enjoy watching and listening to those cars but more importantly my Dad,who is the least interested in cars guy I know,took me there.
    I know he had no interest in it and probably had a household project he put on hold yet he understood that it was important to me.
  16. jaxx
    Joined: Mar 22, 2008
    Posts: 392


    1973 Orange County California Nitro Jam - Flash Cad and the Continental kid - jet cars 32 funny cars - loved it - jaxx
  17. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,074


    I never won shit with drag racing cars at a real strip,did better with bikes but there was always another guy with more money.....

    One month ago,not exactly drag racing,a bit off topic....With this bike and engine I built with hand tools from a pile of junk,ridden by a younger friend who paid for it all,we set a ECTA class record at the Ohio Mile standing start LSR....I am finally a fucking champion :D
    Me on the right holding the record breaking time slip.

  18. I was 15 like 30FordNerd (^^^:) once. That's when I first climbed the mound at A.I.R. to see & hear the first or second round of Super Stock at the '77 Nationals. That was memorable.

    Seeing Claus Malausczach debut his sano Pro stock was a highlight too. Rooman had a hand in that one, I recall reading here.

    Finding Palmyra in the Queensland canefields- that was a cool scene too. Race cars being sorted in industrial backstreets the arvo before Saturday night- you can't do that anymore.
  19. You guys up there.. we'd freak to see 1 nitro car in the old days down under. USA parts were real precious & ++$$$ down here.

    I can't imagine how cool 32 funnies were. My eyes burn just tryin' to think of it.
  20. Besides piloting the flat fed it was Oct 0f twelve got a chance to pilot the Evil Twin.......... a real E Ticket ride!!! ........Thanks Rocky!!!
  21. 1oldracer
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 195


    I have had many memorable moments at the drags, but the two that stand out most are;
    Being at part of the 1967 US Drag Team and taking our dragster to England for the month of June.

    Second, taking my 10 year old son to his first drag race, the US Nationals at Indy and watching his responce. He hasn't missed one since.
  22. ADVANCE1
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 270

    from Ohio

    Also have many from growing up going to Lions and OC, but would say a most recent one was taking my 59 galaxie 8.80s in 1/8 and 73 jeep wagoneer 7.50s in 1/8 and entering both in pro class and making the finals with both, I was one tired guy by days end.
  23. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,776

    from Oregon

    For me it's hard to chose. My first trip to the drags was with my buddy and his dad in the early 60's, and that's what really hooked me! But in the late 60's I had built a '55 Chevy gasser and I still remember my first trip to run it down the 1/4 mile vividly!
    Both were moments that will never fade from my memory!
  24. OldColt
    Joined: Apr 7, 2013
    Posts: 504


    Great stories guys. :D Keep 'em coming.

    --- Steve ---
  25. Ole don
    Joined: Dec 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,915

    Ole don

    When you get as old as me, there CANT be just one. The time I was pit crew on a funny car at the Winter Nats in 1980? The time I raced my flathead roadster at the HAMB drags? The time I held a class record at Minnesota Dragway for three weeks in 1960? There CANT be just one!!
  26. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257


    My moment was when i sidestepped the clutch in an alcohol funnycar. I didn't launch past the tree, it just wasn't there any more!
  27. earlymopar
    Joined: Feb 26, 2007
    Posts: 1,327


    Woodburn Dragstrip, Woodburn Oregon in roughly 1964. In between runs we hear the tell tale sound of a 12 cylinder aircraft in a dive. Everyone in the stands looked up and saw a P-51 Mustang directly above in a steep dive and coming quickly toward us. He pulled up in what seemed to be "just in time" and then buzzed the track a few times at top speed and landed on the dragstrip. He was promptly arrested and taken away, the Mustang pushed to the side and racing resumed. As I recall the pilot was a Salem businessman who had been drinking a bit before the "ride".

    - EM
  28. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,109


    Letting my cousin's son drive my 51 Merc coupe in the high school drags at Renegade Raceways about 23 years ago and having him go from a kid who had never been on a drag strip to a trophy winner by the end of the night.

    With an Olds 350 R and turbo 350 the car ran consistant mid 16 second times and by the third pass in practice rounds he had it down pretty good being a quick learner.
    After about 4 rounds he had won his class and got to run for top eliminator where he got aced out by a kid with a full on race car who had a couple of years of experience of racing every week.
  29. Bounder
    Joined: Oct 31, 2011
    Posts: 251


    First time I went to Bristol in the 80's and sat on the concrete bleachers, when they shook and my ears stopped up, I learned why they called it "Thunder Valley"
  30. chevy3755
    Joined: Feb 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,044


    being a Photographer for the Navy and getting out on the track at Dragway 42 to take pictures..........what a hoot.....for me..........

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