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THE 17TH ANNUAL GOODGUYS DEL MAR NATIONALS

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals at Del Mar Fairgrounds, CA

The 17th annual Goodguys Del Mar Nationals, presented by Meguiar’s, started early at the scenic Del Mar Fairgrounds on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Known in the past as, where the “Turf Meets The Surf”. It featured speed, beauty, and celebrities. 

Today the “horses” were under the hoods of pre-’72 hot rods, muscle cars, customs, roadsters, trucks, station wagons, Woodys, vintage and classic cars of all descriptions. Talk about “horses”, the Nitrothunderfest featured vintage top fuel dragsters cackling to life just a few feet from the fans! Speed was on-hand in the form of the Goodguys AutoCross racing competition.

 Today the “horses” were under the hoods…

The “Builders Choice Award” went to Brice Graham from Amarillo, TX. for his surprising ’57 Chrysler Saratoga with 354 HEMI

The event ran Friday through Sunday and featured warm, sunny weather with not a cloud in the sky all weekend. After exiting the last building of vendors and the Show n’ Shine cars, there was a huge parking lot dedicated to every type of car imaginable.

 Vendors hawked a wide variety of goods: hoists, auto parts, time shares, personalized license plates, engines, polishes, jewelry, art, original gas pumps, auto insurance, custom car shops, bric-a-brac, Hawaiian and hot rod shirts, golden oldies music and tapes, bicycles, drivelines, hubcaps, tools, motorcycles and choppers, gaskets, rims, wheels, car seats and signs.

Every so often cars left their parking space to take a ride down the cruise route, past the Woodys pavilion, then back down the cruise route to parade in front of the crowd. There were friendly people everywhere who willingly talked to you about their cars, offered you a chair to stay awhile, and made you feel right at home.

Fantastic cars, wonderful people, nice weather, and a show that provided it all, wraps up this 17th annual Goodguys Del Mar Show.

.. a huge parking lot dedicated to every type of car imaginable

Bruce Wanta’s “Mulholland Speedster” won the Goodguys 2017 March Performance, Street Rod d’Elegance

The “Cool Caddy” pick went to Justin Carrillo from Visalia, CA. for his stunning ’60 Cadillac de Ville convertible. Check out the ’60 Chevy dash!

Check out the fresh Cadillac Phantom from Chip Foose and Wes Rydell

The race cars are staged waiting their turn at the AutoCross course

 


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

30th ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

Welcome to the Seal Beach Car Show, presented by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce.

From Pacific Coast Highway all the way to the pier, pre ’72 classic cars, hot rods, and muscle cars lined picturesque Main Street through the tree lined middle of Seal Beach. This was the setting for the 30th Annual Seal Beach Car Show, presented by the Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Weeks before, the show had been sold out. Every year this is one of the more popular Orange County shows. As the 400+ cars arrived they were efficiently directed to their pre-assigned reserved parking places. Through the day, thousands of admiring spectators enjoyed looking over all the cars.

Three live bands entertained all day.  A large display of vintage motorcycles drew lots of interested show goers. To the delight of the fans, nitro burning drag cars fired up several times during the show. Main Street has lots of interesting shops and many show vendors were located along the beach. Several good restaurants are available to satisfy the hunger pangs.

At the pier, the local Lions Club was having a pancake breakfast that seemed to be very popular. Plus there is a beach and a pier to investigate.

Thanks for the show! 

To the delight of the fans, nitro burning drag cars fired up several times during the show.

Right in front of Harbour Surfboards, this ’46 Ford Woody looks at home. The owner is Dave Rosenberg

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

Paul Keohane brought his stunning ZZ4 Chevy powered ’48 Mercury Woody
This striking ’60 Chevy Impala is owned by Tim Young

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

A large display of vintage motorcycles drew lots of interested show goers.

A clean ’67 Plymouth Baracuda, the owner is Dave Dalmas

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

A very well done restored, small block powered, ’57 Chevy Bel Air

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

A pair of awesome ’41 Willys the one on the right is restored to stock, the one on the left has been hot W)

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

This gorgeous ’40 Ford pickup is powered by an injected 427 Windsor Ford and owned by Joe Gregorio
An auction house had a display of exotic cars
Steve & Gloria Gibbs brought this hot rod ’50 Ford coupe powered by a Chrisman built flathead

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

Lots of fine-looking vintage bikes

“Nitro Mafia”, another blown nitro burning Funny Car, got the crowds’’ attention
“Shirley Muldowney’s” nostalgia Top Fuel Dragster was fired-up without a driver in the seat, in memorial for Shirley’s son John who passed away in late April. RIP John!

ANNUAL SEAL BEACH CAR SHOW

The nitro fuel altered “Tocco-Harper-Garten”, “Lit the candles”

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the August 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS

Mooneyes X-Mas Party at the Irwindale Event Center

Just as in years past, it happened at Irwindale Raceway on Saturday 12-10-16. Hours before sunrise, in front of the gates, over 1,500 hot rods, rat rods, customs, lowriders, vans and motorcycles began lining up along Live Oak Ave.

Participants and spectators sat in their idling rides with their heaters on trying to stay warm from morning’s winter cold. The gates opened at 6:00 AM for the event. More than 115 vendors were busy inside the venue making final assembly of their booths in preparation of displaying their cool car culture swag and hardware.

As the participant gates were opened the Mooneyes X-Mas Party staff did a great job directing the cars into the massive Irwindale Raceway parking lot where they were guided to their parking spaces. More than 15,000 spectators visited the event.

It’s become a Southern California December tradition

Chevy, “Mooneyes” Ford Model “A”
This blown Chevy, “Mooneyes” Ford Model “A” pickup was a big hit
MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS
These very cool “Bombs” belong to the “Old Memories” car club of Pasadena, CA

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS

Dale Snoke
Dale Snoke does a burnout in “The Rocket” Mercury Cyclone

The Irwindale 1/8th-mile drag strip was open for two sessions to allow all the 120 contestants to have side-by-side drag racing, including six Cacklefest dragsters. The trailered dragsters were quickly unloaded in the pits then directed to the tech inspection area.

Soon the cold December morning gave way to warm sun and blue skies greeting show goers, many dressed in their Christmas and lifestyle swag.

The smell of, fresh carne asada and  tri-tip on the BBQ’s filled the morning air. The stage was set for another Mooneyes X-mas Party to begin with its Von Dutch/Big Daddy Roth renaissance flare.

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS

’50 Plymouth Suburban
Nicely done ’50 Plymouth Suburban

Engine of ’50 Plymouth Suburban ’50 Plymouth Suburban ’50 Plymouth Suburban

Five bands played live music throughout day: The Go Getters, Colony Boys, Gamblers Mark, Hot Rod Trio, and the Dynotones!

At 3 o’clock, after the Pin Up contest and trophies were presented, the event ended.

The exceptional people in attendance made this show unique. They came with all their imagination, creativity, ingenuity, attitude, and style for all to enjoy.

Thanks to Shige Suganuma and Chico Kodama of Mooneyes for hosting this special event and carrying on the Moon legacy.

5 bands played live music throughout the day

‘71 Chevy Chevelle
‘71 Chevy Chevelle had it all, big block, perfect paint and Cowl Induction!!

Engine of ‘71 Chevy Chevelle MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS

Top Fuel dragster “Check Mate”
Recently completed and being shown for the first time, the “Bivens  & Fisher” nostalgia Top Fuel dragster “Check Mate”.
AFX Ford Fairlane
An AFX Ford Fairlane impresses the crowd with a wheel stand
 318ci powered ’67 Dodge window van
“Sweet Dreams” is a delicious looking,  318ci powered ’67 Dodge window van
model “A” Ford could
This masterfully recreated model “A” Ford could use a little Bab-o on those side walls

The exceptional people in attendance made this show unique.

Mooneyes X-Mas Party

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW

AFX champ Ken Moreland
AFX champ Ken Moreland
Long and low with flat paint and a very sick grille
Long and low with flat paint and a very sick grille

Drag bikes
Drag bikes were also on-hand

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS
A small but unique collection of VW Transporters

MOONEYES X-MAS SHOW AND DRAGS


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the November 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

HOT AUGUST NIGHTS

Reno rolls out on Hot August Nights

Hot August Nights started in Reno, Nevada back in 1986, with a group of about 10,000 participants and spectators who had one thing in common: the love of rock music and classic cars from a bygone era. As time went on, the vintage rides became even more popular, the bands played louder, and the event swelled to hundreds of thousands of spectators along with tens of thousands of classics, hot rods, street rods, and virtually every type of automobile imaginable.

At the center of the August 8-13th extravaganza are the car shows and cruises. From the Grand Sierra Resort, Atlantis and Peppermill, to the Silver Legacy and Harrah’s in downtown Reno there were miles of pristine paint and chrome, as each area hosts its own spectacular shows. Downtown Reno and downtown Sparks also holds cruises, where spectators can line the streets and glimpse rolling art in motion.

… one thing in common: the love of rock music and classic cars from a bygone era.

Hot August Nights

Hot August Nights
From fully restored vintage corvettes to wild hearse-t-buckets, there was no shortage of diversity at Hot August Nights!

Hot August Nights

While the car shows and nightly cruises may be the main draw, there’s still many other activities for parts scouring crowd and racers. The Nugget in Sparks hosts 1/16th mile drag races where T-buckets and street rods battle it out with blown and nitrous-fed muscle cars for straight-line supremacy.

At the Reno Livestock Center there’s a yearly swap meet, where we saw everything from fully-restored beauties to someone’s latest project. Drifting and an autocross were also part of the festivities; as classic muscle cars raced side by side newer all-wheel-drive technological wonders.

Let’s not forget the music! Bands are everywhere jamming to the classic sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s, and a number of live concerts featuring original rockers can be seen throughout the area.

If you’re in the market for anything from a ignition module to an engine, the Big Boy Toy store also had plenty of new products to drool over.

…  it’s nearly impossible to see everything.

Hot August Nights Hot August Nights

vintage Jeeps, Blazers, and other old iron 4x4s
Four-wheel drives are welcome at the show, which means a number of vintage Jeeps, Blazers, and other old iron 4x4s were in attendance.
Corvair
A Corvair? Yep! Now whether it was a V6, V8, or had a stock powerplant was anyone’s guess.

After nearly a week of racing around to nearly every venue we could find, we had to admit that at Hot August Nights, it’s nearly impossible to see everything. While we’ve all become accustomed to the current year 2017, for a while Reno was transformed into a wonderland where classic cars, music, dancing, and drag racing seemed to be the only thing that mattered.

With folks coming from as far away as Florida and Alaska with cars, it’s clear why the Hot August Nights event has enjoyed 31 years of success, and is prepped for decades more!

Drifting and autocross were also part of the festivities; as classic muscle cars raced side-by-side newer all-wheel-drive technological wonders.

street rods
Plenty of street rods made the show, many of which were geared for highway cruising. This sedan sported 2.73 gears in the rear, which would make it perfect for freeway trips.
‘55 Chevy
By far the loudest car on the cruise was this wild ‘55 Chevy, that was shortened and crammed with a blown and injected Big Block Chevy.
‘70s Cuda
Mopars were the rare birds of the show, but that didn’t keep us from finding Darts, Dusters, Road Runners, or even this bright orange ‘70s Cuda.

With a huge supercharger sticking through the non-existent hood, this tubbed, yellow ‘Stang got plenty of attention. To the surprise of many, it was also Ford-powered, with a supercharged FE-Series big block.
classic Camaro
George Diaz took on all comers at the autocross, and even beat the newer Nissan Skylines and Mitsubishi Evos, scoring a win for old iron in his classic Camaro

classic Camaro

… it’s clear why the Hot August Nights event has enjoyed 31 years of success…

Hot August Nights Hot August Nights Hot August Nights

Nash Metropolitan
This little Nash Metropolitan was one of the cleanest we’ve ever seen. When the hood was popped, we got a surprise, as a newer Ford four-cylinder gave some extra oomph to the traditionally styled ride

Hot August Nights Hot August Nights


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the November 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

MOONEYES OPEN HOUSE

Most of the cars at Mooneyes open house are not seen at the usual car shows

It’s not technically a car show, but an Open House, and the streets surrounding Mooneyes headquarters in Santa Fe Springs, California, were filled with hot rods, vintage rods, race cars, custom cars and motorcycles. Cars were bumper to bumper along both sides of Norwalk Blvd. The Mooneyes parking lot, the Café parking lot, and the shop across the street were packed with hundreds of cars. Most of these cars are not seen at the usual car shows. The only thing hotter than the cars was the weather. The temperature was around 90° but the humidity made it feel like 100°!

Most of these cars are not seen at the usual car shows

The “Mooneyes,” dragster is a running clone of Moon’s original Potvin-blown small block Chevy. In 1963, the original car took A/Dragster top honors at the Winternationals in Pomona, California.
Out on the street, cruisers are looking for a parking place

The Mooneyes Open House was free to the public. Fans came from all over to mix with other fans of this legendary auto parts and service supplier. Since 1956 (at this location) Mooneyes products and logos have been an unforgettable part of Hot Rod nostalgia, easily recognizable to gearheads and novices alike.  The famed Mooneyes logo has adorned more cars than any other in history and those two peeping eyes are still iconic.

Live music went all day from the Hot Rod Trio, DJ Dan Moses, the coolest cars and bikes rolling in all day and as always, the signature “Chico” burgers are served at the Café!

Thanks to Shige and Chico for their open house and for taking pride in producing high-quality Mooneyes products.

Thanks for the Show!!

The famed Mooneyes logo has adorned more cars than any other in history…

The store and shop parking lot were packed
Dean Moon’s original ’34 Ford roadster sits in front of the Mooneyes Open House
Ray Dunham brought his outstanding, small block powered, ’33 Ford hot rod roadster

“Van Go” is a wildly customized, small bock Chevy powered, ’63 Ford Econoline Van

A good number of motorcycles were on-hand.

One of the few VW’s to first enter the U.S. in 1949.
Proud owner Scott Aoyagi shows his amazing ‘split window’ A rare ’47 Chevy fastback.
A rare ’47 Chevy fastback.
Steve Metz drove his small block Chevy powered, rusty ‘47 International, one ton pick-up from Monrovia, CA.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the November 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

FALLBROOK COUNTRY CAR SHOW

250 Hot Rods and Classic Cars in the Fallbrook Country Car Show

It’s 6:00 am and you’re driving with your lights on. You’re following someone because you have never been here before. You turn onto a single lane road. In about a quarter of a mile, you see a forest is on your right and a lake is on the left side.

As the morning light begins to shed some light on the flourishing landscape, you think, “Is this a golf course?” It doesn’t look like your usual spot for a car show. You’re then directed to leave the road and drive over the lush green grass to your parking spot.

You find over 250 hot rods and classic cars are parked on the grass inside The Grand Tradition Estate and Gardens with its 18 acres of first-class botanical gardens surrounding a Victorian estate and the luxurious Beverly Mansion.

Fallbrook Country Car Show
One of the more scenic routes to a car show.

Fallbrook Country Car Show

Legend Dode Martin.
Local drag racing legend Dode Martin.
Fallbrook Country Car Show
Phil put “Wild Thang” through its paces! See above.

This was the inaugural Fallbrook Country Car Show hosted by the Fallbrook Ag boosters. Meguiar’s and Jack Powell were proud sponsors of this event. Special guests included local long time resident and drag racing legend Dode Martin and the fire breathing extreme hot rod called “Wild Thang”.

The music was provided by Brett Harrell and his High Energy Sound Machine. There was food, beverages and some unique grounds to enjoy lunch. The handmade trophies were awarded to deserving cars and there was a cool “JR” class for 21 and under.

From the looks of the first edition of this event, it will surely be followed by many more. We certainly hope so.

Chuck & Jim prep their cars.
Chuck & Jim prep their cars.
’70 Chevy Chevelle SS
This sharp 454 Chevy powered ’70 Chevy Chevelle SS belongs to John Clifton.

’70 Chevy Chevelle SS

Fallbrook Country Car Show
Miss Fallbrook, Taryn Sehnert (R) and her first princess, Valerrig Craig, presided over the show.
’57 AMC Rambler Marlin
A “Marlin” was at the show! This is a very original ’57 AMC Rambler Marlin with the original 287ci Rambler motor.

’57 AMC Rambler Marlin

’37 Ford Coupe
Check out the special intake and suicide doors on Patric O’Brien’s very modified ’37 Ford Coupe.

’37 Ford Coupe ’37 Ford Coupe FALLBROOK COUNTRY CAR SHOW

58 Pontiac Bonneville convertible
Joe Free cruised in on his Tri-power equipped ’58 Pontiac Bonneville convertible.
 2017 McLaren 570 S
This very stealthy 2017 McLaren 570 S belongs to Dana Hinke.

’51 Ford Victoria ’51 Ford Victoria

’51 Ford Victoria
This kustom ’51 Ford Victoria has it all ribbed bumpers, skirts, appeltons, scallops, 9 Corvette teeth, lake pipes and an Olds wheel. Cool! The owner is Steve Cogdill.

’53 Mercury

’53 Mercury
Alfredo Virgen brought his kustom ’53 Mercury from Lake Elsinore. Check out the exhaust pipes thru the narrowed bumper.
’67 Chevy Camaro
“Agent Orange” is a highly modified ’67 Chevy Camaro that runs a 454ci Chevy small block dyno’d at 600hp! The owner is Jerry Macenas.
’55 Willy’s Jeep small block Chevy powered sled
Teens, Dylan and Cole Janikoski won a trophy in the JR Class-21 and older, for their ’55 Willy’s Jeep small block Chevy powered sled.

FALLBROOK COUNTRY CAR SHOW FALLBROOK COUNTRY CAR SHOW


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the January 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

SO-CAL’s 20th Annual Father’s Day Weekend

Celebrating SO-CAL’s 20th Annual Father’s Day Weekend Open House

Our open house just seems to be getting larger—and this time, I think better. Our main obstacle always has been, and will continue to be, parking, for both hot rods as well as spectators. We had over 40 volunteers plus people who spent a tremendous amount of time making the parking run as smooth as possible.

We now block off a quarter mile of Grand Ave., and hire the Pomona Police Department, supervised by retired Detective Wally Berri, to handle traffic, which has proved time and again, to be the only way to really make things run well.

The podcast crew from Shift & Steer
The podcast crew from Shift & Steer was on hand again this year raising a ruckus as usual. Shown here interviewing SO-CAL Speed Shop’s founder Alex Xydias celebrating 70 years of the SO-CAL brand, is also 94 years young. Next to Alex, is R to L, Brad Fanshaw, Aaron Hagar, Matt Andria, and I’m part of the crew but someone had to take the photo!
Flanked by Limefire and Jim Jake Jacobs, the “A” Panel Truck are L to R, Mike Cardenas, Bob Rothenberg, Adolf “Butch” Severloh, “Jake”, Gary Lorenzini and down in front “Big Joey” Angelo.
I called a bunch of old pal’s and damn if they didn’t show up and it got CRAZY. Flanked by Limefire and Jim Jake Jacobs, the “A” Panel Truck are L to R, Mike Cardenas, Bob Rothenberg, Adolf “Butch” Severloh, “Jake”, Gary Lorenzini and down in front “Big Joey” Angelo.

This year’s street lineup was three wide and stretched a fourth of a mile for a total of a couple hundred cars. That added to the 130 rides already on the property, putting us conservatively at 330-plus rods, customs and muscle cars. That’s a lot of modified vehicles for just a 5-hour show!

Many thanks go to the Palm Spring Cruising Association for making the thankless job of parking hot rods a walk in the park. They had their part of the gig done in less than 45 minutes. Well done to all, especially the over 3000 patient guests!

One last thing—I’m sharing a few more photos than normal this time around, and if you were there, terrific; if not, enjoy and see you next year!

’57 Chevy Bel Air 4-door
Have a look at the nicest ’57 Chevy Bel Air 4-door on the planet…this one belongs to “Big John” Struiksma whose grandfather bought the car new in ‘57.
’57 Nomad
That bitchin’ Troy Trepanier prepped ’57 Nomad belongs to rock bassist Michael Anthony. The SO-CAL crew just installed an LS1 to give her a little more power. That cool COE behind the Nomad belongs to Barron Guss out of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Ryan Reed built Deuce 3-window
Local resident and SO-CAL friend, Chris Crum (L), is seem checking out that cool Ryan Reed built Deuce 3-window belonging to Brian Williams, of Newport Beach. Nice car!
The SO-CAL shop
The SO-CAL shop with this year’s lineup (L to R): John and Sean Devine’s Iridium Silver ’72 Bronco, Robin “Silky” Silk’s Pro-Mod, Bill and Brad Lindig’s Deuce Sport Coupe, the Veazie Bros. Olds powered Hiboy, and Carl Akins “Bad Boy” Deuce 3W Coupe.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the October 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

BUILDING A CAR FROM SCRATCH

Building a Car, Getting It Done and Saving Money 

Over the years I’ve had a lot of people ask for advice on their car projects. Most often the questions are technical, but today they’re asking what they can do to save money.

The answer is always the same. If you want to save, “Don’t cut corners”! That’s right, cutting corners in the long run will be your biggest expense, and you could end up hating the project, as many do.

Building a car from scratch is a long and tedious process at best. Now I’m not saying it isn’t fun; it’s a lot of fun. But, you’ve got to have a plan, and it cannot include cutting corners.

John Devine’s Deuce Hiboy
Here’s a great shot of John Devine’s Deuce Hiboy as I explained…a  “complete roller” ready for paint.

Putting a car together or car mod is just like building a house. You can’t start until you’ve laid a proper foundation. You can’t get ahead of yourself, you know what I mean. How many of you guys have painted something premature in the project (let’s say spindles, because you got a deal, or included them with some other parts you were doing), only to find out that they have to be heated to fit. Say good bye to your shortcut.

What are the worst shortcuts? The “biggie” is not fitting up the complete car with all the sheet metal in place before going to paint. People seem to think that since the fenders, hood and deck lid came off of a car just like theirs, they must fit. Wrong—every time wrong! When you fit up a car, it has to be all the way.

I’m talking a rolling chassis with the finished wheels and tires (make sure it steers and doesn’t rub anything) and a complete engine and transmission. Go ahead, adjust the doors with no weight in the car and see what that little shortcut gets you; or better yet, try chopping a top not using a complete chassis as a foundation. It’s not a pretty sight.

John’s Hiboy
Here’s another photo of John’s Hiboy completed and ready for years of great service!

When you take the time to put it all together, you win big time: you save lots of money, it’s fun, and you can deal with problems as they arise—not through costly compromises later. Be patient. I know the car looks cool with a little color or chrome on it, but it looks a lot cooler when you’ve only had to do it once.

Another major cost savings is avoiding “project burnout”. You can bet on at least three burnout points during a build, so be careful not to stumble. Watch out for the one between chassis completion and fitting the body and sheet metal. The next involves not wanting to tear your car down for paint because it’s cool having what appears to be a finished hot rod in the garage.

The last is assembly and wiring, which is fun but also frustrating. Burnout leads to shortcuts, and remember they can be expensive. Hot rods cost enough as it is, so make a plan, stay cool and don’t burn out.


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the September 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.

GOOD VIBRATIONS MOTORSPORTS MARCH MEET

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Rain was the headliner of the 58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet, a huge four-day, action-packed event at the Auto Club Raceway at Famoso, near Bakersfield, CA, filled with nitro burning funny cars, dragsters, and hot rods. Saturday had some rain and on Sunday it poured, stopping the racing for almost two hours. This was the first race of the Hot Rod Heritage Series and the Famoso crew worked their tail off to keep the track running, and all the classes finished.

But there is more to the March Meet than drag racing. From a car show, clothing, automotive swap meet treasures to manufacturers midway, there is something for everyone at the event. No matter how many times you walk up and down vendor row, you’re sure to discover something new.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
Nostalgia Funny Car: Kris Krabill of Tacoma, WA.(far lane) ran a 5.582et & 256.94mph in a close win over Steven Densham of Oceanside, CA. 5.640et & 254.57mph.

Once at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway you won’t have to wander outside the gates to have a euphoric experience. Past parties thrown in the pits and in the campgrounds have been of epic proportions. Fire up a fuel car at 2am? Sure, no noise ordinance or curfew here.

In the “Grove”, behind the grandstands, the beautiful Show & Shine cars stretched the length of the track. The “Rat/Vintage Rodders” occupied their usual spot at the end of the grandstands. The weather was perfect for the Hot Rod Heritage Series season opener, where 400+ racers, competed in 15 classes. The show also included three awesome jet cars!

Fans were able to mingle with the racers and hot rods all while enjoying food and drinks. Drag racing celebrities on-hand included Ron Capps, Tommy Ivo, Isky, Bob Muravez, Leon Fitzgerald, Del & Dad Worsham, Cruz Pedregon, Gary Densham, Steve & Gloria Gibbs, Dave Wallace Jr., and many others.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
A/Fuel: Drew Austin of Tacoma, WA (son of former Top Fuel pilot Pat Austin) ran a 6.418et & 220.04mph, beating Kin Bates’ of Anderson, CA, 7.583et & 132.31mph.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
B/Gas 8.60 Index Runner Up: Val Miller of Bakersfield, CA 8.592et.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
A/Gas 7.60 Index Runner Up: Frank Merenda  7.655et.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
B/Gas 8.60 Index Winner: Roy Castagnetto of Elk Grove, CA. 8.606et.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
A/Gas 7.60 Index Winner: Jerry Jahnnsen Jr. 7.604et.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
C/Gas 9.60 Index Winner: Jim Finn from, Rancho Cordova, CA. 9.676et.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
C/Gas 9.60 Index Runner Up: Wayne Hoover from Alta Loma, CA. 9.528et.
58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
Fuel Altered 6.00 Index

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet 58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet
Shawn van Horn in “Choo Choo Mama”, great name!
’38 Chevy Coupe
AA/Supercharged Winner(near lane): Howard Anderson, ’38 Chevy Coupe 7.494et. Runner Up – Gary Reinero, ’48 Austin 7.706et.
’38 Chevy Coupe
AA/Supercharged Winner(near lane): Howard Anderson, ’38 Chevy Coupe 7.494et. Runner Up – Gary Reinero, ’48 Austin 7.706et.
Nostalgia Eliminator lll 9.60 Index Winner
Nostalgia Eliminator lll 9.60 Index Winner: Ed DeStaute from Rosemead, CA. 9.592et. Not pictured: Runnerup Wes Anderson from Wales, UT. Foul. Nostalgia Eliminator ll 8.60 Index Winner was Charlie See of Bakersfield, CA. 8.560. Runnerup: Jay Huckleberry of Long Beach, CA.
Randy Winkel
Randy Winkel smokin’, driving the “Revelution” Top Fuel dragster.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

’70 Cuda Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car
Chris Moral of Reno, Nevada launched his ’70 Cuda Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car and it very quickly made a left turn toward the wall where several photographers were standing.
A small fire broke out in the car
The car to rolled over on to its roof, sliding along the wall upside down for several 100 feet. A small fire broke out but it was quickly extinguished by the safety crew.
The crew extracted the driver who was unhurt.
The crew extracted the driver who was unhurt.

58th Annual Good Vibrations Motorsports March Meet

Cruz Pedregon
Cruz Pedregon takes a break from his “California Charger” nitro Funny Car.
Leon Fitzgerald
Leon Fitzgerald and his “Pure Heaven” altered are legendary.
John Bowser
John Bowser does everything at the track.
Adam Sorokin of Top Fuel dragster
Adam Sorokin, driver of “Champion” Top Fuel dragster.

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.