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Cacklefest VI

 

With the sixth edition of Cacklefest in the books, to use movie terminology, what was once a "Short Subject" now qualifies as a full fledged "Extravaganza" of sights and sounds. It is apparent that after 15 years the California Hot Rod Reunion has become "The" cornerstone event of the season for Nostalgia Drag Racing and many will say that Cacklefest is the heartbeat. It's impossible to tell how many of the sell-out crowds come primarily for the Friday and Saturday night extravaganzas. The horde of spectators at the Doubletree "Fire-up" on Friday night and the full stands at 10:00 p.m Saturday night would suggest it's a lot.

There was a full complement of return cacklecars and several first timers ... most notably Ted Guths restored Hawaiian funny car, the final appearance of the "204" Chizler under the www.cacklefest.com banner, John Wiebe's first Donovan powered car and the Sam Chastain's lovely Iron Horse AA/FD. The 2006 car count was over 50 cars and they literally filled the quarter mile of Famoso Raceway from start line to finish line. Cacklefest has gotten so big that maybe its time to focus on quality opposed to quantity to insure great shows for years to come.

It is our pleasure to present the end result of the efforts of Tony Thacker, Steve Gibbs, Greg Sharp, Wayne Allison and the rest of the staff of the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum. Kudos as well to Blake and John Bowser and the Famoso Raceway staff for superbly preparing the facility.

 

Photos by: Bob Brown, Jason Ellis, Steve Justice, Dan Kaplan, Jim Sorenson, Tim Hanaseth, Warren Merriman, John Ewald, Paul Hutchins, Tom West, Don Ewald, Tom Hurley, and Vic Cooke.

 

Orangeline

 

As is customary, Cacklefest officially kicks off amid the Honorees Ceremony at the Double Tree Hotel. This year there were four featured cars staged to do post award fire-ups in the parking lot. Getting the honors were the Chizler restored by Ron Johnson, John Wiebe's "Violin Car" restored by Don Love and Lynn Bruch, Roland Lelong's "Hawaiian" restored by Ted Guth and the Marv Eldridge L.A. Challenger.

 

 

But before the nitro there were the awards to tend to. Host, Dave McClellan opened by introducing 94 year old Wally Parks.

 

Honoree Don Enriquez

 

Honoree Bill Crossley

 

Honoree Don Hampton

 

Honoree Hershel "Junior" Conway

 

Chris Karamesines and Ron Johnson were the 2006 recipients of the Justice Bros. Spotlight Award.

 

Tom Ivo and Chris - 90+ years of drag racing history on the hoof.

 

 

Grand Marshall Roland Leong

 

Capping the event Kenny Youngblood presented The Greek with one of his incredible pieces of art. Prints will be available to the public.

 

Orangeline

 

John Wiebe prior to getting in.

 

After the indoor activities were completed it was time for the mini-cackle. Ron Johnson and Brian Kaplan pour a heavy dose of nitro into the Chizler.

 

When the cars were ready the respective "drivers" climbed in. Chris Karamesines in the Chizler and John Wiebe into the car he ran 35 years ago.

 

 

 

 


 

Ron "Big Yohns" Johnson lites the Chizler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ron and John examine the blower belt as the Kaplans look on.

 

The Hawaiian had Larry Reyes in the seat and Dale Pulde on the engine... a foolproof combo.

 

 

 

 

 

Later, across the street at another hotel The Poachers car drew another huge crowd of onlookers.

 

 

 

 

Orangeline

 

Back at the track everyone was gearing up for the Cacklefest scheduled to follow the first round of Nostalgia Top Fuel Saturday night.

 

Steve Gibbs and Ron Johnson get the Chizler ready for its trip to the hotel.

 

There was no shortage of photo ops. Here Bob Creitz, Tom Hanna, John Wiebe, Herm Peterson and Dan Richens group up for a shot.

 

There were cacklecars pitted all over the place and this particular group was dubbed "Digger Row".

 

 

 

 

 

"Shoobie"

 

Through out Saturday drivers new to Cacklefest did their mandatory test push starts. Here is Don Hampton in the Eagle Electric AA/FD of Bucky Austin.

 

 

 

Obviously Don Garlits is an experienced Cacklefest show but he was new to this car, the Swamp Rat III recreation of Sonny Massner.

 

 

 

Don Garlits and John Wiebe share some war stories (above) and go over some photos with Tommy "TC" Lemon (below).

 

 

Steve Gibbs and Jerry Ruth

 

 

Don Prieto debuted his Chrisman & Cannon "Hustler VI" AA/FD. Don had the engine running and sounding great but ran out of time to get a clutch in. This may be the nicest "business coupe" restoration ever... pure race car.

 

 

 

Two more new additions to the mix was the Iron Horse and Warren-Coburn & Miller. Both are incredible restorations.

 

"TV" Tommy Ivo doing his push start test in the BankAmericar.

 

 

 

Saturday afternoon the Godfather of Cacklefest was presented with this beautiful award recognizing his endless contributions to the event.

 

Walt Stevens put on a great burn-out show in Paul, Pam and Ryan Schavrien's "The Poachers".

 

 

 

 

And just like days of old, the crew pushed the car back by hand.

 

 

 

 

Walt then staged the car, gave the throttle one whack and idled it down the track. It was a very cool scene.

 

 

 

Don & Claire Westhaver's K-88, named The Flying Fenn did a test start.

 

 

 

Yet another new fueler this year was the beautiful Bruce Dyda restored Thunder Chief of Terry Maestrejuan.

 

 

Trevor Larkin gave his fuel SBC a pre cackle test.

 

Jessica Anderson in the Vagabond while sister Rachelle was practicing driving the push car.

 

 

 

Jay Carpenters "Syndicate" was yet another Cacklefest first timer.

 

 

Every year Dave West does a burn-out in his Beebe & Mulligan digger and this year he took his show to a new level with the smokiest blast from the water box ever seen from a cacklecar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our final pre Cacklefest sequence is the test push by John Wiebe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRR Cacklefest Page 2

 

CHRR Cacklefest Page 3

 

More Chizler/Karamesines

 

Orangeline

 

Check back for more event coverage as they happen.

 

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