ROGER ROHRDANZ September 28, 2022 All Feature Vehicles
The 22nd annual California Hot Rod Reunion at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA
The 22nd annual California Hot Rod Reunion at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, California, welcomed an estimated 20,000 spectators and racers. The crowds that filled the Raceway enjoyed wonderful weather, racing royalty, cool cars and amazing nostalgia drag racing. More than 250 racers, including 14 Top Fuel Dragsters, and 30-plus Top Fuel Funny Cars participated. There was a lot to do aside from racing, with vendors, a big swap meet, lots of good food and hundreds of cool street rods in the Famoso Grove.
The Cacklefest in particular was spectacular. More than 60 classic nostalgia Top Fuel Dragsters produced unmatched sights and sounds. The Reunion was like a “living museum,” an explosion of hot rods, nostalgia cars, racing, friends and drag racing legends. The Reunion also served a greater purpose, “Every dollar spent at this event will go to the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum,” said Larry Fisher, the new director of the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
Several big names in the sport to attended, including “Fast” Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon, Densham, Head, Kenny Youngblood, Gene Winfield, Dave McClelland, Ed Iskendarian, Ed Pink, Greg Sharp and Steve Gibbs. It was a special treat for fans, but for the NHRA pros, the Reunion was their time to enjoy nostalgia drag racing and meet some of their heroes, like Tom McEwen, Don Prudhomme, Tommy Ivo, Roland Leong and Art Chrisman.
This year’s grand marshal was Butch Leal and honorees included Tom Allen, Roy Brizio, Jim DeFrank, Larry Dixon Sr. and John Rasmussen. If you missed the 22nd iteration of the Hot Rod Reunion, don’t miss the 23rd!
Perhaps the show’s most dramatic moment. James Valencia of Tehachapi, CA, finished his car the day before. Fortunately, he wasn’t hurt.