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Every year this event keep getting bigger and bigger. For the 7th edition at least 8,000 to 10,000 people, attended the annual Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo and Car Show held on Atlantic Avenue between Roosevelt Rd. and San Antonio Dr. in Long Beach. Saturday July 14. A full complement of cacklecars, hot rods, show cars etc. and appearances by Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme.

The event, organized by 8th dist. Councilwoman Rae Gabelich and Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association Exec. Dir. Blair Cohn, is a visible and audible tribute to the sights and sounds of the southland's chrome, horsepower and pre-OPEC car culture. This year's event featured over 200 pre-1975 vintage classic cars, hot rods, street rods and special interest vehicles on Atlantic Ave. stretching from Roosevelt Rd. to San Antonio Rd.

At dusk, the crowd converged on on Atlantic Ave./Carson St. where 15 dragsters were displayed... ...and amid watchful pit crew members, the dragsters lit their 2,500 horsepower engines simultaneously for a flame-throwing, decibel blasting "cacklefest." It was felt viscerally by those nearby and heard considerably beyond. Opportunities to sit the drivers' seats of the dragsters (with drive trains disconnected) were auctioned off on the spot to the highest bidders to benefit the Southern CA Special Olympics.

The cars that made up the bulk of the cacklefest were all somehow connected by their historic link to the time period when the Lions Drag Strip drew massive crowds - not unlike the one at Atlantic & Carson every Saturday. They nearly all fell into that 1955-72 frame that Lions dominated SoCal drag racing.

Now enjoy a mixed bag of photos below that hopefully portray the flavor of the day.

*There was very little documentation of names (those in the car fire-ups etc.) So, if anyone can fill in the blanks let us know. Mail to: Cacklefest Bixby Knolls Info

 

Orangeline

 

Cacklecars in attendance:

Gruzen Racing: Newhouse & Cagle AF/MR
Tommy Allen: Woody Trick Car AA/FD
Jake McCloud: McCloud Bros. AA/FD
Bob Hirsch: Anaconda AA/FD
Dave Mandella: Shirley Championship car
Jay Carpenter: Woody Tribute Car AA/FD
John Ewald: BankAmericar AA/FD
Kuhl/McEwen: Tirend Spec. AA/FD
Trevor Larkin: Tommy Larkin A/FD
Ron Sterns: Ratican-Jackson-Stearns A/FA
Burkholder Bros. AA/FA
Bill Pitts: Magicar AA/FD
Don Prieto: Hustler VI AA/FD
Ron Johnson: Tommy Ivo Barnstromer AA/FD
Bobby Hansen: Wynns Spoiler AA/FD

Seats were auctioned off in Sterns, McCloud, Pitts, Ewald, Hanson & Johnson
cars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominic Cardoza and Roland Leong

 

 

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The afternoon fire-ups started off with the Extreme gas infused coupe.

 

The Gruzen Racing "Cagle Newhouse" fuel roadster with Ken Lee in the seat.

 

 

 

 

The Ratican-Jackson-Stearns A/FA

 

 

Burkholder Bros. AA/FA

 

 

 

Dominic Cardoza in Jay Carpenter's Woody Tribute car.

 

 

 

 

 

McCloud Bros Dean Engineering AA/FD

 

 

 

Bob Hirsch's tribute reproduction of the Marvin Schwartz "Anaconda" with Cindy Gibbs in the seat.

 

 

 

 

Trevor Larkin in the Tommy Larkin SBC tribute car.

 

 

 

Bill Pitts in his Magicar.

 

 

Ewald Bros. BankAmericar with Bob Danly on the injector.

 

 

 

 

No ID on who's in Dave Mandella's "Shirley" car but that's "Famous Amos" Satterlee doing the engine.

 

 

 

Ron Johnson's Tommy Ivo "Barnstormer" with John Sanders in the seat.

 

 

Ron working the throttle.

 

 

Tocco Harper Garten AA/FA with Roger Garten in the seat.

 

 

Tommy "The Watchdog" Allen in his Woody Trick Car.

 

 

 

Bobby Hansen's "Wynns Spoiler"

 

 

 

 

Don Prieto fired his "Hustler VI" up sans "driver".

 

 

 

Mike Kuhl closed out the session with the Tom McEwen "Tirend" car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rae Gabelich and Prudhomme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beautiful Beach City Chevrolet Vette that was driven by Gary Gabelich.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orangeline

 

The recipients of the 2012 Gary Gabelich "Rocketman" Award for outstanding support of this event went to Dave Mandella and John Ewald with with event creator Rae Gabelich receiving one as a total surprise to her.

 

Goose, Fred Dryer (who plays Ed Donovan in the movie) & Snake.
Fred was on the LA Rams and was Hunter on TV.

 

 

The nighttime fire-ups were simultaneous with the fans counting down to one.

 

 

 

Fred Hayhurst in the Magicar.

 

 

 

 

 

In the BankAmericar was Steve Morse, manager of the Brea Firestone store and brother to Vic Morse (Mr. T corvette funny car) who bought him the seat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And with that the noise faded and the aroma of nitro drifted away. This is a great event so try to put it on your 2013 calendar.

 

Now, enjoy the videos.

 

Night Fire Up - Turn up your speakers

 

 

Pre-Cackle Video

 

 

Orangeline

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