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
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
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"
Chris Karamesines and
Ron Johnson were the 2006 recipients of the Justice Bros. Spotlight
Tom Ivo and Chris - 90+
years of drag racing history on the hoof.
Grand Marshall Roland
Capping the event Kenny
Youngblood presented The Greek with one of his incredible pieces
of art. Prints will be available to the public.
John Wiebe prior to getting
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
Later, across the street
at another hotel The Poachers car drew another huge crowd of
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
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.
Steve Gibbs and Jerry
Don Garlits and John
Wiebe share some war stories (above) and go over some photos
with Tommy "TC" Lemon (below).
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.
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.
And just like days of
old, the crew pushed the car back by hand.
Walt Stevens put on a
great burn-out show in Paul, Pam and Ryan Schavrien's "The
Don & Claire Westhaver's
K-88, named The Flying Fenn did a test start.
Walt then staged the
car, gave the throttle one whack and idled it down the track.
It was a very cool scene.
Trevor Larkin gave his
fuel SBC a pre cackle test.
Jessica Anderson in the
Vagabond while sister Rachelle was practicing driving the push
Jay Carpenters "Syndicate"
was yet another Cacklefest first timer.
Yet another new fueler
this year was the beautiful Bruce Dyda restored Thunder Chief
of Terry Maestrejuan.
Our final pre Cacklefest
sequence is the test push by John Wiebe.
Cacklefest Page 2
Cacklefest Page 3
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.
Check back for more
event coverage as they happen.