Who'd have thought, when Steve Gibbs, then executive director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, stated, "We're only going to do this once", that 22 years later the Hot Rod Reunion would still be going strong? In fact, stronger than ever, as Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield reverberated to the sound of nostalgia Top Fuelers, Funnies, Altereds, and more.
Speaking of Funny Cars, who'd have imagined just a few years ago that 0.9 seconds would separate the 16-car field of Funnies, with the top qualifier on 5.73/241? Or that you'd be able to watch "Winged Express" duke it out with "Pure Hell"? Or that nostalgia racing would be so popular?
But it's not all racing, as the swap meet and car show draws the crowds in too, and the latter was this year one of our Rod & Custom/Coker Tire Fab 5 events. Of course being a dusty dragstrip means the cars aren't parked in pretty locations or spotlessly clean, so you'll have to forgive us for that, but any excuse to sniff our annual dose of nitro fumes will get us heading for California's lower Central Valley, and what is now depressingly the closest regularly used quarter-mile dragstrip to the sprawling Los Angeles conurbation.
Don and Dave Cederquist’s bored and injected Hemi-powered center-steer Model A roadster wa
We were diggin’ the chop and stance on this F-100. Mercury rear lights always look good on
It’s almost expected that a Willys such as this would be blown and injected, but check out
Probably our favorite Willys at the event, in part because of the use of the earlier front
Another personal favorite entrant was Luke Balogh’s tribute to Moneyham & Sharp’s 554
There’s no trim whatsoever on this ’57, except the grille bar, which now makes up the enti
Rod & Custom/Coker Tire Fab 5
1938 Ford DeLuxe Cabriolet
Fresno’s Kent Kozera turned his dad’s old street rod ’38 Ford Deluxe Cabriolet into a kustom. It now rolls on Coker whitewalls and steels wearing DuVall ’caps, the body mounted to a TCI Engineering chassis with ’bagged rearend, and power coming from a 350 TPI. The white top actually folds down.
Santa Clarita, California
1951 Chevy Pickup
Robert Atkinson’s ’51 Chevy pickup has a ’54 bed and a 4-inch chop, nosed hood, and frenched headlights. Brad Masterson painted the truck, with the panel paint on the roof handled by Matt Egan. There’s a Mustang II IFS and four-link rear under the bodywork, with a 292 straight-six and T5 trans, all rolling on whitewall-shod Supremes.
San Lorenzo, California
Chrome reverse steels with wide whites grace each corner of “Whitewall” Ray Bannister’s ’51 Fleetline, for which he paid $500 in 1992. The engine is a 235 straight-six with a four-barrel, though the trans and rearend came out of a ’69 Nova. Those taillights are from a ’50 Cadillac.
1928 Roadster Pickup
You can’t fail to notice the ’65 Corvette 396 big-block in Troy Howard’s ’28 roadster pickup, or the Hurst cheater slicks wrapped around Rocket wheels. With a Blackboard Hotrods chassis, 9-inch rearend with Auburn posi, and Boling Brothers Lincoln brakes with Buick 45 fin drums, Howard finished it off with DuPont Hot Hues green with gold micro flake paint.
1925 Ford T Roadster
One of our favorite cars at the Reunion was Richard Hineman’s ’25 Ford T roadster. The 271ci ’47 Flathead runs twin Holley two-barrels and an Isky cam, and feeds a Columbia two-speed rearend. Coker Firestones grace the 16-inch ’35 Ford wires.