BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 30, 2008) - Charles "Boogie" Scott said he has no idea where he got his nickname from. 'I've had since I was a baby," the Louisiana native said in his distinctive drawl. "I grew up with it."
Boogie has also earned the title of being a "racer's racer." His career is the envy of all hot rodders: for some 50 years, Boogie has built and driven championship quality cars for the street, the strip and the salt.
Still active, Boogie was a recent inductee into the exclusive Bonneville Salt Flats 200 MPH Club, and continues to construct a variety of cars at his Covington, La. shop. In fact, he's building a Cacklefest car (a remake of the Cupit and Cunningham dragster). He'll take a break when he visits Beech Bend Raceway Park as an Honoree at the 6th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, June 13-15.
1. How does it feel to be an Honoree for the 6th Annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion? What does the Reunion mean to you?
Boogie Scott: I'm pretty much honored. I didn't know they'd take someone from this area (Louisiana) and I wasn't famous across the country. I was really surprised, especially when I found out who else was being honored, (Bob) Stange, (Dick) LaHaie, Gabby Bleeker.this is really an honor to be in that group.
I've been to all the National Hot Rod Reunions. I drive my '27 Track T Roadster up every year. Even been to Bakersfield. The Reunions mean a lot to me. A lot of guys just aren't around anymore. I like to see the younger guys there and the old guys who keep coming back. I'm not out of racing - I'm still building race cars. I've been building race cars and street rods for 50 years, so I never left. I have a car going to Bonneville. I got the record there in my class a few years back. I went238.5 mph.
2. When you were racing and building cars decades ago, did you think you'd be honored years later? Are you surprised that people remember your racing and rodding exploits?
Scott: I didn't think about - nobody thought about it back then. We were just havin' fun. I had a regular job doing sheet metal work. Building cars and racing was more like a hobby. Then I got more work building cars and realized I could make a living doing what I enjoyed. I never, ever thought about the future. Never knew there was anything to be honored for. Back then, hot rodders had a bad name - we were called hoodlums. Who would have thought that hoodlums would be honored one day?
Am I surprised people remember me? Well, yes and no. People are glad to see me and I'm glad to see them. People come up to me after 40 years and we just talk and have a good time. Younger people know me as a car builder, not a racer. Young or old, we always have something to remember and talk about.
3. What are some of your fondest (and funniest) memories about drag racing in the in the early days? What do you miss most?
Scott: I've got lots of good stories to tell, so it's hard to pick one.I remember a race once in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1961. It was in the A-Altered class and I was in '32 Ford that was being push-started by my'51 Ford station wagon with a '51 Olds engine. I was up against a guy with a '39 Ford with a Chevy engine. My car and the push car left him standing at the line. Not only did I beat him, but so did my push car! I beat him twice. It was like rubbing it in, beating him twice.
Another time I was racing and I veered a little of the track and took out all these little flags the promoter, Bob Veselka, put on the side of the track. I also took out some timing equipment. When I got back I told Bob I was sorry, but he said to 'do it again. The people in the stands enjoy it.' I guess I put on a good show.
I guess I don't miss it that much 'cause I'm still doing it. I do miss racing without spending a lot of money. It takes more money to race today. Now it's work. Back then it was fun.
4. Are you surprised at the popularity of nostalgia drag racing and hot rodding? Why do you think people enjoy it so much?
Scott: I'm not really surprised because there are still a lot of people who enjoy it. Old-timers are racing again and people are coming back to watch. People get tired of watching the same 16 cars compete over and over again. The cars are pretty much the same today. Back then, no two cars were alike and you had 40 in each drag racing class. People remember old-time racing and good it was.
5. What do you think of drag racing today compared to when you were on the circuit?
Scott: Today you need experts and a paid crew. Everybody use to be there for a good time. Today there's a lot of work and expenses so there's no way to have the same kind of fun we did. It's more of a business today.
The drivers today really don't do anything else besides drive. That's why I've always admired Don Garlits - he did it all: built his own cars, towed them, and raced them, everything but drive the push car. It's too specialized today. But I can't complain 'cause today they hire guys like me to build the cars, and I can't say that's bad.
The 6th annual Holley NHRA National Hot Rod Reunion, June 13-15 at Beech Bend Park in Bowling Green, Ky., is a 3-day festival of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm. Produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum and presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, the Reunion is part of the museum's "living history"
philosophy, which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture.
Unique among motorsports events, the Reunion honors some of the top names in hot rodding from the past and features a fabulous array of cool drag cars, street rods and customs of the historic and present-day hot rod eras.
Individual tickets are available at the gate. Cost per person: Friday, $20; Saturday, $20; Sunday, $15. Children 15 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
The Reunion features a wide variety of activities and events, including:
- Hot Heads Eliminator NHRA vintage drag racing, featuring somethe sport's most famous and historic cars and drivers, racing in such classes at Nostalgia Top Fuel, Altereds, Supercharged Gassers, Classic Super Stock, Hot Rods and others.- Street rod "show 'n shine," presented by SoffSeal, withthousands of gleaming pre-1972 hot rods, custom cars, classics and muscle cars. "Memory Lane" will have a display of nostalgic race cars.. Open house at Holley, Thurs., June 12, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.,followed by the Heacock Classic Insurance Show 'n Shine cruise (featuring the 2008 Vettetastic Treasure Hunt) to the Holiday Inn University Plaza, the host hotel. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 5 p.m.- National Hot Rod Reunion Reception, held at the Holiday InnUniversity Plaza's Sloan Convention Center ballroom on Friday evening, June 13. Open to everyone at no charge, it's a tribute to the Reunion's Grand Marshal and Honorees and a chance for fans to meet some of drag racing's heroes.- Cacklefest on Saturday evening, where nitro-burning historic,front-engine top-fuel dragsters and other classic race cars are push-started just like in the "old days." - The Swap Meet and Reunion Midway filled with manufacturerexhibits and demonstrations- A separate amusement park with rides and games for all agesadjacent to the park.
Information, including a full activities schedule, is available through the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at http://museum.nhra.com.
Proceeds of the Holley Hot Rod Reunion benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Celebrating its 10th anniversary and named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Parks Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California houses the very roots of hot rodding. Scores of famous vehicles spanning American motorsports history are on display, including winning cars representing 50 years of drag racing, dry lakes and salt-flat racers, oval track challengers and exhibits describing their colorful backgrounds.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific. Current NHRA members are admitted free and Auto Club members enjoy a $2 discount. Admission for non-members is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors 60 and older, $5 for juniors six through 15, and free for children under the age of five. The Museum is also available for special group tours. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at Fairplex Gate 1, 1101 W. McKinley Ave.
in Pomona. For further information on special exhibits, museum events or directions, call 909/622-2133 or visit http://museum.nhra.com.