2005 NHRR at Bowling
The so-called "Sour Sisters"
A/FD (1961-1964) of Safford-Gaide-Ratican dragster was very successful
during its competitive years and one of a handful of Oldsmobile
powered fuelers ever. It it had a 135" Rod Peppmuller chassis.
Engine was a 400" Olds running on 70%, that in its heyday,
saw runs as good as 7.88-197.64. It also took home honors at
an AHRA national event (Fresno 64), captured three top
eliminators over New Years weekend 1964 (Ramona, Pomona &
Fontana) and won the Last Drag Race before San Gabriel closed
its gates in the mid-60s. It may have been dubbed
the "Sour Sisters", but to the legions of Olds fans,
its motor was nothing but "sweet" music to their ears.
After this car was sold in 1966 (and turned into a dune buggy),
Safford went on to own or co-own other dragsters and drive for
some of the biggest names in the business. He retired from the
seat in 1970. Don Gaide and Don Ratican also went on to be involved
in several race cars throughout the 60s and 70s.
Kenny Safford (Safford-Gaide-Ratican)
and Tom Hanna (Hanna & Blair) smoke the hides at Ramona,
Safford and Gaide found their
drag racing roots as members of the Road Kings car club in Burbank,
CA. Arguably the Road Kings is not only the oldest "car
club" still in existence, but it has also spawned more drag
racing "super stars" than any such organization in
history. To think that a bunch of kids from the San Fernando
Valley (just north of LA) could endure (and basically survive)
50 years of drag racing is remarkable. And the Road Kings are?
To name a few: Tommy Ivo, Don Prudhomme, Tony Nancy, Tom McCourry,
Bob Muravez, Roy Fjastad, Don Prieto, Don Johnson, Harry Hibler,
Jimmy Miles, Ralph Marshall, Skip Togerson and many more.
Great shot of the "bathtub" cockpit in the Safford,
Gaide & Ratican fueler at Pomona, 1963.
Kenny and the car were
one of the dragsters used in the 1963 Frankie & Annette "Bikini
Safford on a classic
pass at Lions Drag Strip in 1963.
San Gabriel, 1964
Kenny Safford had the
car was recreated in 1999. It has a 135" Rod Peppmuller
chassis (the original chassis builder) with a Steve Scott body.
Safford built another fuel burning Olds. It is an exact copy
of the original.
Sisters" on display at the 1998 CHRR. Safford had restored
the car to its running trim in 1992 and it was one of the first
dragsters to call the NHRA Motorsports Museum its home.
brings the famous "Safford-Gaide-Ratican" (Sour Sisters)
A/FD to a halt after an exhibition run on Sunday during the 1999
California Hot Rod Reunion.
start for 2000 CHRR - Cacklefest One.
Safford, followed by
his restored (and original) push car (1959 El Camino) push starts
at Cacklefest One in 2001.
Kenny Safford, fresh
off a very serious medical procedure, was a welcome site at the
first NHRR at Bowling Green in 2003.
NHRR at Bowling Green, KY
The S-G-R car was also
featured at the 50th NHRA US Nationals in Indy. Here it waits
in line with the restored "Bounty Hunter" of Connie
Pre Cacklefest parade.
2004 CHRR push start.
Don Gaide and Kenny Safford
kick back prior to the 2005 Cacklefest.
Don Gaide watches over
the fuel burning Olds in 2005. Be sure to check out the "Sour
Sisters" at the next CHRR!
When its not at the CHRR
or doing a special event Safford's car is on display at the Wally
Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.