The Cars

Event Photos




Irwindale Hot Rod Show





The pre-Irwindale "Cacklecar Showcase" was a huge success. There were 10 cars there. The NHRA Museum crew led by Dusty McWilliams brought the Pure Heaven altered, the Safford dragster and the Rattler. John Ewald had both Mastercar and BankAmericar plus his 58 Chev show car/push car. Ron Stearns brought the Ratican, Jackson & Stearns altered and Bob Deburn brought the 2006 Grand National Roadster Show winning Paradise Alley 392 AA/FD. Ron Johnson brought both Shubert/Herbert and the Barnstormer. Wayne Phillips brought the Stone, Woods and Cook Willys from the NHRA Museum. Nice mix of really nice cacklecars.

Most of the cars did at least one static start from 4:00 to about 7:00. Then they started to get ready to do a cackle, scheduled for 8:30. The cars would be the Rattler, Stearns, Paradise Alley, Barnstormer and Ewald's pair. All Six cars were in the parade lap pushed or towed the length of the track, lining up on the return road at the end of the track. The cars participated in two different fashions. Ewald's cars, Mastercar driven by John and the BankAmericar driven by Bob Muravez were the first cars scheduled to go. They were push started from the finish line on the return road, which has only a chain link fence between it and the spectators. After passing by the starting line grandstand they made a turn and circled behind the tower and drove through the staging area out to the starting line, where they staged briefly and then idled down the track together.

As the Ewald cars passed the 1/8 mile track's finish line, the Barnstormer, with Tommy Ivo in the seat, was push started and he stopped in front of the starting line grandstand. Next was the Ratican, Jackson Stearns altered which was also push started. Ron Stearns pulled up alongside a space between the starting line grandstand the main grandstand which is at half track. Then Paradise Alley with Jim Adolph in the seat was blower started and drove down and stopped behind Stearns. Dusty McWilliams was push started in the Howard Cams Rattler by Bob Danly in Ewald's '58 Chevy and pulled up in front of the main grandstand.

The Barnstormer was moved closer and closer to the starting line 4 times along the length of the grandstand, giving people all along the fence the opportunity to get a snoot full of Nitro. There were no hitches in the actual "performance". It went off just as intended, after minor adjustments were made up to shortly before they were scheduled to go.

This was the first time Ron Johnson had ever tried to mastermind one of these deals and even though he had superb help from Wayne Phillips, Rod McCarrell and Gary Edwards, it was a challenge with just 6 cars. One can only imagine what Steve Gibbs goes through with 50 players.

It was a very rewarding experience though, and Johnson feels he will be much better equipped to handle another, should the occasion ever arise. They had a number of people from the area turn out to help in one way or another. They were short of push vehicles so Frank Baney and Jim Rossi brought the Yeakle Plymouth tow vehicle, and original mid 60's Dodge pickup painted to match their soon-to-be-completed restoration. They pushed Ron Stearns and also towed Dusty and the Rattler in the parade.

Photos by Darrell Conrad, Pam Schavrien, Darr Hawthorne, A.L. (Fullbloom) Billings and Ron Johnson




Ron Johnson's Barnstormer and Shubert & Herbert fuelers in their pit.



John Ewald's traveling road show took up a large hunk of Irwindale real estate.


Although there were no fan fire-ups at this event, several spectators took the opportunity to sit in the seat of the Mastercar.



Gwen Durry manned the NHRA Motorsports Museum pit and made sure nobody went hungry.


Bob Deburn's Paradise Alley in the pits.



Looking toward the track from the end of the Cacklecar "pits", the Ratican Jackson Stearns AA/FA, and the NHRA Museum display with Stone Woods and Cook AA/GS and the rest of the Museum cars. Across the lane was the Ewald display, Paradise Alley and the Cacklefest.com entries, Barnstormer and Shubert/Herbert.


Although it didn't cackle, the Pure Heaven II AA/FA was on display thanks to the museum.




The perfectly restored Custom Body funny car was also on display.



John Ewald joins Ron Stearns and crew kick back in the Ratican-Jackson-Stearns pit. Ewald noted how much easier it must be dealing with a short wheel base car like their altered than his dragsters.


The Howard Cams rattler with a freshly rebuilt 392 between the rails was one of four cars that got the day off from just sitting around the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum.



Another museum car was the classic Stone, Woods & Cook AA/GS Willis.






John Ewald goes over the start up procedure with Bob Muravez.


Bob Danly and Mario Garcia fire the BankAmericar for its pre-cackle warm-up.






"TV" Tommy Ivo climbs into Ron Johnson's "Barnstormer" for a warm-up.



Johnson explains to Ivo that these are a steering wheel and a brake handle. Tom seems a bit overwhelmed with the concept.



Dusty McWilliams monitors the engine temp and throttle response.




Ron Stearns in the seat for his warm-up.


John Ewald warms up his Mastercar AA/FD.



Crew Chief, Bob Danly oversees every fire-up the car does.



Tom Ivo did double duty in the warm-up department. After firing the Barnstormer he was deposited in the seat of the Paradise Alley car.



"I want you!"




McWilliams has his hand in several cacklecar tune ups.


Ivo is reminded of the difference between the Weedburners on the Barnstormer and the Zoomies on the Paradise Alley car. Weedburners let the guy in the seat smile for the camera. Zoomies make you want to cover your face!


Like we said, McWilliams is everywhere. Here he fires the Howard Cam Rattler.








As the sun set in the west, the cars were assembled in the staging lanes.



Ron Stearns


John Ewald


Tom Ivo


Jim Adolph


The "Bankcars" ready to push up.


Bob Muravez goes up track in the BankAmericar.



John Ewald with Bob Danly behind the wheel of John's '58 Cevy take the Mastercar to the top end for the push start....Danly also pushed the Rattler to life while Ewald was going down the track.




Tom Ivo takes the Barnstormer up track.



Jim Adolph parades the Paradise Alley fueler.



Mastercar fired and getting thumbs up from the fans.


BankAmericar fired.


Maxed Out Racing crew member Mario Garcia brings up the "Bank" cars to stage.





Tom Ivo cackles The Barnstormer.


This was the first time that Irwindale had hosted a cacklecar event with push starts. To our knowledge it is the first time that a pair of cars had been push started at night and staged together and idled down the track. Both spectators and track management were enthusiastic about the entire cacklecar agenda.










Check back for more event coverage as they happen.



2021 National Hot Rod Reunion

All Cacklecars

 Event Photos   History   First 9 Cacklecars  

CF Stories       Video Clips

Links      Tributes         

Cacklefest Guidelines

SEMA Chassis Builder Numbers 



Search for Cars or People

© COPYRIGHT NOTICE NHRA Museum 2005-2023All Rights Reserved.