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Page 1

 

June 15-17 National Trails Raceway, Columbus, Ohio. The first four NHRA National Hot Rod Reunions were held at Beach Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was a great location for a laid back nostalgia event with a few hundred cars, lush and verdant green in the bend of a river. Trees and grass everywhere with covered grandstands to shield the fans from the sun. However, getting in and getting out was a bad joke. Also, the nearest decent airport was Nashville which was over 100 miles away. The location, five hundred or more race and show cars, a high spectator turnout and neighbors combined to make the single lane road (in each direction) slow 'n go at best. Some reported a 2 hour time span to cover the 3 miles in and out of the track. And so a change of venue was made.

Columbus, Ohio's National Trails Dragstrip became available in late 2006 as an alternative site and being only a few hundred miles away, distance was not a factor for most people. National Trails has been in operation since the 60's and has been the site for both major NHRA races and match races at which a number of the cars attending Cacklefest this year competed. The track was originally family owned and the patriarch, Clark Radar, was a colorful character who old time drag racers now remember fondly. The track symbol is a Moose Head, which originally was more prominent but now is home on a maintenance building.

The facility is up-to-date in respect to the track and amenities as it has hosted a "Big Show" event each year through 2006. The pit area is much larger, superb access from the nearby I 70 freeway and Columbus 25 miles away with ample hotel, restaurant and general merchandise availability. Plus, an fine big airport served by all the major carriers. A lot less nostalgic, but much easier to get to and more room once you're there.

There seemed to be more race cars and perhaps a few less Street Rods than previous years. Other than the lack of any nostalgia feel, it  is a good location for an event of this nature and the track management people were on top of most everything. Maybe the larger pit area contributed to less congestion, because it seemed that the event ran somewhat on time and there were only a few unexpected delays. The track had what it took in the way of staff and equipment to deal with the occasional guardrail incident and get track back in operation. Some liked it just fine and will be happy to go there again. Many others would like to see the event move back to Bowling Green. Only time will tell.

 

 

Orangeline

 

The program for cacklecars was pretty straightforward. There were basically three adjoining areas set aside for cacklecars. Many were situated on the West side of the first pit lane behind the grandstand. There was enough room for each car to have a display, e-z up, posters and signs, etc. Some of the cars there were Norbe Locke's "Grandpa's Toy" a blown Chevy powered Chassis Research K-88, David Hoyh and Ralph Kitron's "Swamp Fox" AA/FD which was owned by David's dad Mel Hoyh in the mid 60's, Barnes and Gladstone's 392 Hemi powered Michigander AA/FD, Jerry Baltes was there with his recreated "Croshier, Baltes and Lavato" AA/FD along with the original car that was discovered hanging in the rafters of Jim Urbanek's body shop shortly after the recreation was completed. Al Bergler was there with his magnificent competition Coupe, "More Aggravation" and he just had completed a restoration of "Gang Green", an AA/FD owned by Larry Payne from Michigan. The Ed Golden owned "Probe" AA/FD originally campaigned by Steffey, Marsh and Rupp was there also.

 

The "Bergler Gang" posed for a group shot on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

Norbe Locke's "Grandpa's Toy"

 

 

David Hoyh and Ralph Kitron's "Swamp Fox" AA/FD

 

 

Jerry Baltes had twin "Croshier, Baltes and Lavato" AA/FD's in his camp. On the right is the car he had recreated in 2005 when he gave up ever finding the original. Ironically, in 2006 someone saw an old dragster hanging in a body shop and thought it sure looked like the CHL car. It was. Long story short, Baltes hooked up with Jim Urbanek who's body shop the car was hanging in and Baltes arranged with him to bring his newly-found "original" car down from Eastlake, Ohio to display next to the refabricated C-B-L dragster completed a couple of years ago.

 

 

 

Jerry Baltes, Tom Moyer (the guy from Mentor, Ohio who made the "connection' between the two cars between Urbanek and Baltes), Mike Urbanek and Jim Urbanek - owner of the original C-B-L.

 

 

 

 

Barnes and Gladstone's Michigander AA/FD

 

 

 

The starting line end of the second pit section was dedicated to cacklecars as well. This is where the NHRA Museum trailer was located with the Howard Cams "Rattler", Tommy Ivo's "Barnstormer" and Kenny Safford's "Safford/Gaide and Ratican". Here also were the Guy Boucher Tommy Ivo "1970 FED and Glass Sided Trailer" that has been so marvelously restored and also the Bruce Larson presentation of the RED that Tommy took flying lessons at Pomona in during the 1973 Winternationals.

Here, also, was an e-z up for Ivo to meet and greet his numerous fans from his many years of "back east" touring! Ted Guth set up here with the Hawaiian AA/FC and Larry Reyes was in attendance as well. Also in this area was the two car display of Don Trasin, with the Tom McEwen "English Leather" AA/FC and the fabulous "Jade Grenade" AA/FD. As usual, Pat Foster was with Trasin to lend his experience to the program and Raymond Godman's Top Fuel Car was next door. A little farther on down this row, Don Ross had both Scorpion 1, the original Bobby Langley unblown car, and the really freshly completed Scorpion 5 owned by Bill Crosby which was assembled during the 24 hours prior to loading into the trailer for the trip. Bobby Langley was on hand along with his wife Ruthie.

 

One of the 5 cars making their Cacklefest debut was the incredible "TV Tommy" Ivo "Barnstormer". The car was recreated by Ron Johnson with Ivo's blessings and help. It would get a lot of attention over the weekend. Johnson opted to bring the new car east without paint as that is the way the original cars was first seen with a full body in 1962.

 

 

 

Ivo climbs in for the Barnstormers maiden fire up.

 

 

 

With the help of Dusty McWilliams, Ron Johnson fires the engine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Ivo spent much of his weekend signing autographs.

 

Paul Hutchins, who was shooting the event for WDIFL.com, got to wheel the Barnstormer to the end of the track for a photos shoot. He looks good in there.

 

 

 

Don Ross pit with both Scorpion 1, the original Bobby Langley unblown car, and the newly completed Scorpion 5 owned by Bill Crosby.

 



 


Bobby Langley tries out the seat of the newly restored Scorpion V.

 

 

 

 

Safford-Gaide-Ratican Olds powered fueler. This is one of three cars that resides in and were transports east by the NHRA Motorsports Museum.

 

 

Another museum based car, the Howard Cams Ratter on display with the Barnstormer.

 

Larry Dixon Sr. (who drove this car in 1969) gets ready to do a test push start.

 

 

 

 

With a Big Show weekend off, Larry Dixon Jr. was on hand to see dad back in the Rattler. Obviously he was asked for his autograph a lot but this fan got the kids to sign as well. Who know, we might be looking at the third generation of Dixon drivers.

 

 

 

Guy Boucher made his long awaited debut of the 1970 Tommy Ivo dragster and it is drop dead gorgeous. This was the last FED Ivo campaigned but like most other restorations, it never looked this good. Unfortunately, this beauty sustained some front end damage during the Cacklefest. More on that in the Cacklefest page.

 

Tom Ivo admires Boucher's work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boucher even restored Ivo's famed glass sided trailer.

 

 

 

 

Ray Godman's "Tennessee Bo Weevil" AA/FD back for its second NHRR appearance. Everyone is hoping that Ray will make the trip west for the CHRR but he is uncommitted.

 

 

Ray Godman can work on an engine better than most people who walk. Here, with original driver Preston Davis in the seat, is static fired.

 

 

 

The last part of the Ivo trifecta was TV's 1973 car that was restored by Bruce Larson. Like Boucher '70 car and Johnson's Barnstormer this is nothing short of perfect.

 

 

 

The detail is right down to the engraved "TV" "Tom" on the steering wheel and "Ivo" on the break handle.

 

 

 

 

Larson even made an exhibition burnout on Friday.

 

The Hilton Family were on hand again with their restored Tom Hoover car.

 

 

Don Trasin was on hand with his beautiful "Jade Grenade" and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen Corvette funny car.

 

 

 

 

Green on green - a fan with the Grenade.

 

One of Jungle Jim's funny cars was there to cackle - which one we don't know.

 

 

Ted Guth's Hawaiian AA/FC

 

This was in the Bergler pit area and stopped dead most everyone who walked by.

 

Across the main traffic lane from these two areas, adjacent to the staging lanes, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits set up camp with his traveling road show and the first Swamp Rat to run a 426 Hemi. There were a number of other cackle cars scattered around the area. Next to the Hospitality tent on the other corner of the intersection, Red Greth displayed the Speed Sport Roadster which he and his son Ken Greth brought along in the Speed Sport AA/FC trailer.

 

 

 

 

Orangeline

 

That about covers all the players in the pits. We all know the real reason they came here was for the Cacklefest so just click the link below and we'll get right to the meat of this site.

 

NHRR Cacklefest Page 2

NHRR Cacklefest Page 3

More Ivo Barnstormer

Orangeline

 

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