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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. There are far more than one for me. Like beating Jimmy Nix, Q-Ball Wales and a few others over the years, but none compare to my very first ride.

    I was all of 14. My dad had a AA/G Dragster powered by a blown 430 Lincoln. For many reasons (past wrecks, hospital stays, etc) my mom had made him promise he would not drive again. He had a driver after that, but at one race this driver did not show up. He turned to me and said somehing like "well, you up for it?". Shoving my fear to the back of my head I said yes and climed in. That first pass was 140 MPH. The ET I can't remember. My dad never drove again and that driver was told to go away. I was one happy little boy.
  2. HarryT
    Joined: Nov 7, 2006
    Posts: 590


    Watching the Green Monster and Bustle Bomb run at the 1955 World Series of Drag Racing in Lawrenceville, Il.
  3. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,257


    Sweet! This can't be topped.
  4. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 33,820


    I think a few of us would agree that the very first HAMB Drags was a special day. Just getting to know folks. Pass after pass. It was surreal.
  5. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,143

    Roger O'Dell

    When my dragster went 5.77 254
  6. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,700

    from Canada

    I recall going to St. Thomas Dragway in Ontario, Canada in 1963/64. My buddy (Basic on here) and I would go with his brother-in-law Brooke DeShaw (rip) to race his 23 T B/A car. We had the most important job of anyone at the drag strip, we had to pump up the fuel pressure in the moon tank right on the starting line. Never mind the driver, we were the centre of attention! Well not really but we sure thought we were.

    Brooke would stage the car and then off with a great fury. We then drove the push car down the track to retrieve the altered. Years later my buddy and I shared pictures of our times at the drag strip and they were identical except I was in his pictures he was in mine.

    One race I recall was against Bruce Gowland and his funny car, which I think was a Nova, it was one of the first funny cars in Ontario. They could not start the car and kept pushing it, finally it lit and however Brooke had been running all this time and starting to overheat badly. They finally left and about halfway down the track Gowland's car caught fire, he bailed right onto the track. Never seen anything like it. He is still with us so he must have survived this episode.

    They were great times for kids. We thought we were so cool to be involved.
  7. Bonneville Avanti Dan
    Joined: Jan 21, 2011
    Posts: 243

    Bonneville Avanti Dan
    from California

    Three biggies. First San Fernando age 14 drove my first car down a strip. My moms car and I even won the class. Trophy and check. Saved my butt as mom had seen the run and was not happy until I told her "look what your car won mom". She forgot she was mad and ran off to show her co workers what her car had won. Dad made a comment that night about buckets and poop and the smell of roses?

    Second was standing at the fence at Irwindale. Terriffying Tornando makes a run and losses it right off the line. Climbs the guard rail and slides to a stop right against the fence in the extact spot my buddies and me had been leaning against but vacated when we saw the car coming right for us. There is a picture of me and the incident here on the HAMB under drag cars in motion. I'm the kid with the bright red hair.

    Third was Irwindale and the 64 Funny Car meet in 76. I took my new fiance to see if she might like drag racing. I knew I had found a good one when she just smiled and enjoyed when they fired up all 64 cars at the same time on the track. She didn't even mind the fact that the grandstands felt like they were going to rattle apart. That was 36 years ago and we have been building cars together ever since.
  8. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,449


    A few years ago at Famoso (either the March Meet or the CHRR, cant remember which) I was walking from the Grove to the swap (if you've ever been there you know the swap is located adjacent to the top end of the track) when a piece of bell housing came flying just over the chain link fence at what had to be 100 mph. It narrowly missed hitting my lower leg (would have shattered it at the very least, probably taken it right off below the knee). I took a deep breath and walked away stunned..........still wish I would have picked the thing up for a souvenir.
  9. About 1980? at Adelaide International Raceway.

    John Mayer in his top fuel dragster in lane one is staged deep and the revs come up for the green light. Just as the nitro Hemi is at full take off revs a split second before the green,the car then blows the blower clean off of the intake manifold and the big drive belt stopped it from flying into the crowd. I have never heard such a power punched sound that you could actually feel the sound waves hit your chest. 15,000 people hit the deck instantly - ears ringing, every one looking around asking if they are alright - wow, just wow!:eek::eek:
  10. Yes dude! Like being punched in the ear!
    Another you saw with me was the end of Georgette's Fiat. That was a memorable meet, thanks to that car.
    But I like the fellas who'd turn up in showy cars & run the numbers. Cats like Jim Read.

    That's far out Muttley. I guess the coolest souvenir is your intact leg.

    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
  11. 30FordNerd
    Joined: Oct 5, 2012
    Posts: 274


    That sounds like the good old days when drag racing was with no computer junk.
  12. cigarcaptain
    Joined: Jun 11, 2009
    Posts: 43


    1970 Cordova Dragstrip I was 18 and Shirley Muldowney was running that night. Me and my buddies always went into the pits. I was the one that was always ready for a burger, the others not so much. So after a bit I headed over to the burger stand that was inside the pits and Shirley Muldowney was the only other person there at the stand. It was a dark night and not much for lighting but I could see she was a very attractive woman. Had the top part of her fire suit tied down around her waist. Trying not to be a pest I chated with her and gave her cuts in front of me, thanking me she said she was famished and hadn't eaten all day. We stood there in the dark eating and talking and shared a couple laughs. She wont remember me but it was a very memorable moment in time meeting her .
  13. That's cool cigarcaptain. Shirley's Champ rail was an attractive car too. And I recall seeing a half decent movie about Cha- Cha too (Heart Like a Wheel).
  14. 30FordNerd
    Joined: Oct 5, 2012
    Posts: 274


    Hot-Rod Dude told me that this car at Adelaide did some crazy stuff, like reversing into people and basically not doing what its told to do. I wish I was living in the 70s and 80s.

    Attached Files:

  15. Six-Shooter
    Joined: Jul 12, 2010
    Posts: 341

    from Ohio

    Going to National Trail Raceway as a kid with my Dad in the mid to late 60's was awesome! Saw many of the legends including Big Daddy Don Garlits, Stone, Woods, & Cook, Big John Mazmanian, Ohio George Montgomery, and more!!! Also, one time in 1967 when I was 13 Al Conn let me hop in the seat of his and Steve Roscoe's AA/SR (street roadster) and steer it back into the pits after a run. That was so cool!!! I still have a lot of photos and other memorabilia from those days. Can't forget the local radio commercials of the day either.....Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! Be There!

    Attached Files:

  16. Al Napier
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 400

    Al Napier
    from Central CT

    Around 1970 or 71 I was at CT Dragway with my Dad one day when Frank Ferderici was running his Shark Corvette funny car. Something happened, I heard later a broken axle but don't know for sure, and on his burnout Frank ended up making an unexpected turn left and did donuts in the grass next to the track, twice I think.

    He lined back up, took the green and the car proceeded to make another hard left and he drove most of the Quarter in the grass. He took the first turn off road, pulled his Chutes and drove up the return road with his Chutes out, right past me standing there at the fence and into the Pits to his hauler. It was the coolest thing a 10 year old had ever seen :)

    A year or two before, The Shark was also the first funny car I'd ever sat in. They let me sit in it in the Pits at CT Dragway...

    Al in TN
  17. ADVANCE1
    Joined: Nov 9, 2008
    Posts: 270

    from Ohio

    Anyone remember Hot Rods Caddy Hack and Mopar Actions Chrysler cut up issues? Well I did the same thing but used a 78 Lincoln with a 460. Started out at #5250 and ran 12.40s in the 1/8 mile and progressed with the roof coming off next with an et change to the 11.50s, Long story by the bend of the day it went a best of 8.90 and still weighed #2900. To mount the slicks I used lighter fluid, while cutting the floor behind the front seat with an axe I got a little out of hand and put a nice dent in the driveshaft, its all documented if one of you ford magazines want to run it in an issue, lol.
  18. Gene Boul
    Joined: Feb 9, 2006
    Posts: 805

    Gene Boul

    I think the 1st big time race I attended was the 1965 Winternationals @ Beeline. I raced a 56 chevy that was home built. It was an NHRA legal DMP. We set it up for AHRA ...replaced the three 2GC's with one cut in half Holley 4 barrel. The car ran high 13's @ 100 mph or so (with one 2 barrel). What makes this significant was:
    1. I was 18 @ the time
    2. My long time buddy and I towed it on the ground from Baytown, Texas
    3. We broke the block (freeze) somewhere near Globe Arizona(on the way)
    4. My dad wired me 100.00 dollars to try to fix it in Phoenix
    5. Much help from Friendly Cheverolet we finished it in their parking lot
    6. Drove it down the main drag of Scottsdale @ midnight open headers
    7. Blew a headgasket the first day of time trials. Met Del Blades
    8. Towed the 56 to Del's shop to replace headgasket (s)
    9. Met Grumpy and his black arrow @ the end of the strip after a pass.
    10. Grump took one look at a plug and said, "2 degrees too much timing"!
    11. Won class!!!
    12. Raced almost non stop for the next 35 years or so!

    Attached Files:

  19. RDP
    Joined: Dec 3, 2010
    Posts: 242

    from Kansas

    My earliest memories of going to the dragstrip were of me and some other kids climbing into the trunk of the car and sneaking into the races at Lawrence Dragstrip in Lawrence, KS. Another of my best memories was when I was about 8yrs old and I helped a then young John Force pack his chute at KCIR in Kansas City, MO.
  20. 65 Hemi Coronet
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 98

    65 Hemi Coronet
    from Florida

    It was 1968 and my uncle's best friend was a hot rodder, and ex Navy seabee. I was 15 and he calls me up and asks if I would like to go with him and a friend in his "new" (to him) 66 Chevelle SS 396 to see a funny car show at Bear Creek Drag Lodge, or Pocono Drag Lodge as it became known later. We lived in north central New Jersey, so it was quite the ride out to Scranton Pa. to the strip. We get there, and what an experience. There was Bruce Larson USA 1 Camaro, Brutus Pontiac, Poff's Puffer Corvair, and probably 6 or 8 more I forgot. The strip was unreal, only a chicken wire fence and a low embankment separating the stands and the track. The strip was only about 40 foot from the stands, and the return road came right in front of the stands. Holy crap was that ever cool.
    Second event was being at my local track, Island Dragway in Hackettstown NJ when Don Garlits went 200 mph.....what a night.
  21. 70chev
    Joined: Apr 14, 2013
    Posts: 20

    from knox, pa.

    Lowville Dragway, now called Lucky's Drag City, Wattsburg, Pa. 1969. My teenage girlfriend was lining up in my '66 SS396 against a REALLY terrified bopper in a gasser per the bracket powderpuff class. Vicky [my lovely date, now a retired doctor in Colorado, have not seen her since 1970] dumped the clutch to clean the tires and kept going, out past the tree to the end of the 1/4 mi. track and back via the return road in low gear. I think I recall that she knocked some springs outta the clutch disc which jammed the pressure plate, clutch would not disengage. Drove the 80 miles home via a couple of big towns with non disengaging clutch.
  22. Late 60s or early 70s we were running at GEORGE RAYS WILDCAT DRAGSTRIP,we were paired against Jerry Flippos 40 Willys which ran a injected Hemi, four speed.
    On a hard pass the car twisted up so bad the driver door would come open.The car left with the wheels pretty high in the air. On this pass I can remember his left hand reaching out to close the door. and hearing him shift to second,
    He drove with his knee against the steering wheel till he shifted to second. Had a piece of tape on the steering wheel to be sure the wheels were stright when the wheels touched the ground.
    This was before cubic money and computers took over Drag Racing.

  23. rjaustin421
    Joined: May 1, 2009
    Posts: 337


    Since my father was heavily involved in oval track racing on LI I infrequently went to the drags but I sure remember my second time in 1964. Garlits showed up for an exhibition at Islip Speedway which had a 1/8 mile strip and a minuscule shut down area. Big made 3 runs that evening and was on a quest to hit 150 mph. He was tossing the chute before the lights and standing hard on the brakes to whoa that sucker down and his best run was a really high 148 MPH. What an incredible experience from the best ever showman.
  24. To be perfectly honest I have been a big fan of drag racing since I was in my teens,,and as much fun as I had driving a low buck caddy powered Rambler back in the day see my Child hood hero and friend Gene Cromer drive his car down the Greer Drag strip.

    As slow as it was driving down the track,the excitement of actually helping with the resurrection Gene's family and friends had to rate as the the most memorable time to me. HRP

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


    Great response I can totally relate to HRP. My childhood local track hero was a guy named Sonny Elliot who also drove a '41 A/G Willy's. His was a maroon color with a big rebel flag painted on the deck lid, and named "Proud Rebel" on the door. I actually raced beside him on a time trial run back in '71 shortly before he retired the car. Had that car been restored and returned to the track like Genes, It probably would be my most memorable time at the strip also.

    --- Steve ---
  26. The Bomber
    Joined: Dec 10, 2005
    Posts: 529

    The Bomber
    from mass.

    Seeing my first Willys at Connecticut Dragway, which was Angelo Greco's orange 37 Coupe.

    Taking my younger brother to New England Dragway his first time and watching his eyes light up the first time he saw a funny car burnout.

    Starting my friend's dragster on the rollers at New England.
  27. 26hotrod
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 949

    from landis n c

    my first time at the drags was early sixties at concord drag strip in concord n.c.(its gone now) ronnie sox was driving a chevy-mr.409 aginst jake king in a big block i help my friend larry bell in his 74 camaro super pro.wont forget 1st time he got into eights in the quaeter at zmax dragway!!!!!!!!!!later sox&martin with jake king got mopar sponsership and the rest is history...............
  28. Most memorable for me was when I was 45 degrees sideways pointing to the guardrail at approx 90 mph! This was in my 70 Camaro drag car, in about 1993 at Ohio Valley Dragway in Louisville, KY where I lived at the time. My car's trans went into reverse, which caused the driveshaft to lock up, which instantly had the rear end sliding. I countersteered out of instinct, and slowly got the car heading parallel to the guardrail while on the brakes some. I did eventually slide along the guardrail and put a rub mark and small dent along the side of the car. I just called it my racing stripe!

    Trans case had a 10 inch crack in the bellhousing, 9-inch rearend center casting had a crack around the pinion support area. Crazy thing is once I was stopped and figured out what happened, I was able to start the car and drive back to my truck and trailer and put car on trailer. It was leaking a bit of fluid from rearend, but not from the trans. Took me about 4 beers just to get calmed back down to normal, i was so jittery from the adrenaline.

    Replaced the rearend center section with new gears and spool, the 33 spline axles were good still. Put a PG with a transbrake and never had any more trans troubles.
  29. TomWar
    Joined: Jun 11, 2006
    Posts: 727


    In the late 50's everyone said "No one can ever go over 150 mph in the 1/4 mile".
    I was standing within a few feet of Cook and Bidwell's dragster, at Vacaville Calif. when they took off and broke 150 Mph. Today it doesn't seem like much but at the time it was unreal!!
  30. tylercrawford
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 726

    from Buford, GA
    1. S.F.C.C.

    First time I went to the drag strip, a friend of mine took me to see alcohol funny cars run. Don't even remember how many were there but I saw enough to get me hooked.

    My most memorable experience though has to be working on a nitro funny car. 2009 at bristol with andy kelley. Rode up on wednesday, beautiful track, setup awning/mat/tables etc. We were super low buck so andy's mom grilled for us, r2b2 actually invited us over for dinner friday night, all the crew slept in the top of the trailer on cots, rained saturday night and dropped the temperature 20* easily overnight . . . We bumped out robert hight to qualify 16th and of course NHRA interviewed Robert on what happened not Andy on qualifying in his 2nd NHRA race. Lost to Ashley Force first round but really could have taken it. Car was staged a little out of the groove and made it 60ft, AFH went up into tire smoke about half track and went .3 slower than we had gone all weekend.

    My first crewing experience . . . won't forget it.

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