With the temp hitting the 100
degree mark, Friday found everyone setting up without any indication
of urgency. The Anderson's were the first ones to the track with
the Vagabond and were pretty well set up by the time others started
Ron Johnson, who arrived second,
enlisted the help of fellow cacklers to get his Barnstormer out
of the box and under some shade.
John Dearmore and owner Larry
Crossan set up the beautiful Gingrass & Dearmore car next
to the Vagabond.
The Shubert & Herbert car
rides in the penthouse of the Johnson trailer and descends on
a cool power wench platform.
to the Johnson camp was the Ewell-Bell-Stecker-Olson car, owned
by Bill Steckers nephew, John Kiley. Kiley lives within a couple
of miles of the track.
Steve Gibbs was on hand to have
some fun but as is his style, ended up being the lead horse in
the cacklecar show Saturday night.
Shade and BS sessions were the
order of the day. Left to right, Larry Crossan and John Dearmore,
Jeep Hampshire and Larry Anderson
John "Tarzan" Austin
(center) made a surprise appearance and added a few of his legendary
tales to the mix.
The Hampshire Bros. with
the Schrank car.
If you didn't like the heat on
Friday, you really weren't going to like it on Saturday. Promised
to be the hottest day of the year in Sac, it didn't disappoint.
The first fire-up of the day
was Bob Hirsch in his Marvin Schwartz "Anaconda" with
Jake McCloud manning the starter.
With the players set
up it was a long day in the heat.
Schrank Bros. B/FD
Ratican, Jackson &
Iron Horse AA/FD
Glass Slipper C/D
Alan Jaynes was on hand
with his restored Jim Herbert fueler.
Gene "Geno" Gastelum,
Steve Gibbs and Ron Johnson go over the entry and release forms
for the cacklecars.
This also marked the debut of
the completed Roger & Julie Lee's repop of the Brissette
and Sutherland "Grenadiers" with fresh paint by Low-Low,
lettering by Nat Quick and a running engine by Pops Bradford.
The next "driver" to
subject themselves to the heat was Jessica Anderson for a fire
up in the Vagabond.
A little later it was time for
Roger Lee to see if his dream would actually come to life. With
the help of "Pop" Bradford, Mike Drake, Ken Riley and
Rich Ruggerio, they attempted its first start ever. Now Pop,
even at his age, can still build, tune and fire a 354 fuel hemi.
Mike on the other hand was suffering from the heat and never
started a fueler. We went over the procedure a few times at the
house, but showing and doing are two different things in 106+
heat. He had crewed on Super Modifieds, but those are different
When Jim Brissette saw his recreated
Fueler at the March Meet, he said it was too clean. It's getting
down and dirty now. Pops is giving the Brissette Bomb another
flat fatter. Note the flames in 106 temps.
After a few minor adjustments,
the first fire up was a success. Another step closer to the Cacklefest.
Throughout the afternoon the
cacklecars were taken one at a time in front of the stands while
the announcer touted Cackle Mania that night. Sam Chastain in
the Iron Horse was the first to go.
Back in the pits the
next car to warm up was the Ewell-Bell-Stucker-Olson entry.
Jesse Schrank in the
Schrank Bros. B/FD did their preview in front of the stands.
John Dearmore proved without
a doubt you don't need a "driver" to fire a dragster
and it left more than a few fans scratching their heads.
Roger Garten heated up
the Tocco-Harper-Garten AA/FA.
Ron Sterns then fired
the Ratican, Jackson & Stearns altered.
"It's how FRIGGIN
During the pre race ceremonies
Lisa Jennings watches as Lee Paul Jennings emcees the presentation
of the Best Appearing Cacklecar to Larry Crossan and John Dearmore.
Ronnie Hampshire in the
With the sun finally starting
to go west Ron Johnson fired his Shubert & Herbert car with
Marc McCormack in the seat.
Late in the afternoon the crowd
got a real treat when Ed Cortopassi strapped in to make a pass
in his famous "Glass Slipper". Unless someone can prove
us wrong, we believe Ed (well into his eighties) is the oldest
drag race driver on the planet.
First out was Sam Chastain
in the beautifully restored Iron Horse.
The Jennings' wisely waited until
the sun was almost down to host the inaugural Cackle Mania -
parade and all. With 12 cars it was decided to put them in the
order they last raced - the newest to the oldest. In hind sight
we will probably do it in reverse next year as the ground pounders
were all quiet by the time the rather timid Glass Slipper did
its push start. Be that as it may, here are the cacklecars at
The 1968 version of the Ewell-Bell-Olson
car that car went on to get a late model hemi and full body in
1969. No ID on driver.
Bob Hirsch in the stunning
Marvin Schwartz "Anaconda".
Original driver Roger
Garten in the Tocco-Harper-Garten AA/FA.
The Raynor Bishop Herbert
AA/FD. No ID on driver.
Ronnie Hampshire got
the seat in the Gingrass & Dearmore fueler.
Jessica Anderson seems to have
gotten a permanent ride in the families Vagabond entry.
Marc McCormack was in
Ron Johnson's Shubert & Herbert Chevy fueler.
Kol Johnson got the call
for the Tommy Ivo "Barnstormer".
Original driver Jesse
Schrank in the Schrank Bros. B/FD.
Ron Stearns in the Ratican,
Jackson & Stearns A/FA.
Oldest car - oldest driver.
Ed Cortopassi in his and Doug Butler's "Glass Slipper".
With the ten push start cars
poised and ready at the finish line, and the two self start cars
(Anaconda and the Ewell-Bell car) plugged in and ready, Don Ewald
(with the self starters) gave Geno and Gibbs the signal to let
the games begin.
The first car down was
the Iron Horse.
When Chastain was lit
the two self starters got the signal to lite.
Second down was Roger
The cars made the turn from the
track to the return road and lined up nose to tail behind the
self starters who were at the 1000' mark. This format gave the
fans a real up close and personal look at the cars.
Sam Chastain in the Iron Horse,which
is almost entirely original from seat belts to blower belt and
everything in between.
Following Garten was
Jessica Anderson heading
up in the Vagabond.
Following Anderson was
Followed by McCormick
in the other Johnson car.
Jesse Schrank on all
Ron Sterns failed to
Last down - the Glass
From that point on it
was just shoot who ever was still running.
The Barnstormer doesn't make
much flame with the weedburners and race tune-up, but the noise
is awesome. Ron Johnson stands behind with fingers firmly in
The last car running
was the Vagabond and when i went silent the crowd went nuts.
"Get me out of this
Thank you Sacramento!
That's all folks!