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Back at the track one car that had no shortage of attention was the Smirnoff AA/FD owned and restored by Joe Passelaqua (below).
Leading the multi-car cackle teams is Bucky Austin who rolled in claiming his own zip code with 5 cars including Jerry Ruth AA/FD, Dead End Kids A/FD, Eagle Electric AA/FD, Austin Bros. Northwest Hitter AA/GD and the first Jr. Fuel cacklecar. It's not clear if the car is a restoration, recreation or partial recreation. It was a Woody originally. Jerry King is the owner and he raced in the late 60's into the 70's.
Cacklefest staples Kuhl & Olson. Just visible to the right is the magnificent restoration Mike Kuhl just completed of an original Mr. Ed trailer.
Ron Johnson's pit was the home to his two red beauties - the new Barnstormer and the seasoned Shubert & Herbert car.
John Ewald's Mastercar and the Ewald Bros. BankAmericar were lost between the massive rigs of Tom Hanna and Bucky Austin.
The Mondello & Matsubara AA/FA restored by Karpo Murkijanian and Pete Eastwood could not have come out better. A real work of art.
John Loukas finally got his old shoe Neil Leffler out of the woods and into the car.
The Grand daddy of cacklecars - Bill Pitt's "Magicar"
One of the many cool sights over the weekend was watching NHRA Chief Starter, Rick "The Iceman" Stewart climb into the Howards Cams Ratter for a fire-up.
Dusty McWilliams making sure the injector blade seal after an engine whack.
Needless to say, Stewart really enjoyed this deal. If was the first time he'd been in a fuel dragster since 1967.
Is Rick thinking, what am I doing at the Big Show? These guys have all the fun! With John Ewald and Bob Danly looking on, Don Ewald warms the BankAmericar. The Mooneyes dragster was on hand but did not participate in Cacklefest.
What the hell? Yep, for the first time a Blown Fuel Hydro (now the first cackleboat) was added to the Cacklefest program. Mary Rife was drag boat racing's answer to her land counterpart, Shirley Muldowney. The only difference is that not one female followed in Mary's shoes - at least in Blown Fuel Hydros.
In 2004 Mary found her old 1973 boat in California and decided to buy and restore it. The end result of her and husband Scotty McCally's labor was alive and well at Bakersfield. For the many of us who followed and participated in drag boat racing it was a real sight to see. The entire restoration and Mary career are documented on WDIFL.com.
Now here's proof that boat racers can thrash with the best of them. When they warmed the engine for the first time on Friday there was no oil pressure. So, with the help of a tractor, they yanked the engine out and fixed the problem (pump shaft). They fired it again 3 hours later.
Then and now.... wow.
The art work on the McCloud Bros. nose is really trick.
Tom Hanna took cacklecar rigs to a new level with his new 45 foot 2007 transporter fit for a king (in this case, his car).
The rig easily transports two dragsters and a push car.
One can only scratch their head or laugh hysterically when they roll out the Creitz & Donovan car from the top deck of the trailer. The front wheel dollies are not that baffling but the rear ..... ?
Another Cacklefest first timer was the Shrank Bros. car.
Old time East coast drag racing photographer Charles Milikin Jr.got a huge thrill firing up the Stellings & Hampshire fueler.
It was not by any means the quickest restoration on record as it took Bill Turney, with the help of his Tucson buds, four years to get Chuck Griffith's "Starlite III" AA/FD from a barn rat to one of the nicest pieces anywhere.
Bill Turney watches as Jim Allen who lettered the car and also pinstriped it puts on the 1965 United States Drag Racing Team sticker that were reproduced honoring the 1964 and 1965 British International Drag Festivals.
The Starlite was pitted in the Speed Sport camp. "The Grove" was home to about half the cacklecars.
Among the cars in The Grove were Dennis Prater's "Stellings & Hampshire" car and the well traveled Frantic 4 fueler.
Another new entry was the unique Tognotti's Speed Shop car. They ran out of time to get it "live" for this years Cacklefest. But they promise to make flames in 2008.
With so many incredible restorations hitting the deck every year its gotten to hard to pick a "Belle of the Ball" anymore but if we were, the Yeakel Plymouth Special would be deep in the running.
Tom McEwen with his 1965 ride. Engine builder Mike Kuhl oversees a Friday fireup.
Although it was on the lot for the 2006 CHRR, Dave Beck's "Warren-Coburn-Miller" restoration was done and running for 2007. This was another marathon project that was well worth the wait.
A big welcome back to Ed Cortopassi and his Glass Slipper. This was Ed's first Cacklefest for 4 years.
John Ewald warms up his Mastercar on Saturday. Mark McCormick warms up Ron Johnson's Barnstormer. The Chubasco fueler was on hand again this year but did not do the Cacklefest.
Talk about a bad fit! Jerry Gross got a fire-up in the Frantic 4 car and obviously he's way bigger that Norm Weekly.
Jay Carpenter warms up The Syndicate. Double your pleasure, double your fun! Talk about a nitro fix! Brian Kaplan samples the goods in the Vagabond pit.
Leave it to Big - here is his latest addition to the Swamp Rat fleet. A new (really new) 392 Chrysler Hemi between the frame rails of Swamp Rat XIII. Don't know if it ever fired but it sure looks different.
A work in progress is Larry Anderson's newest project - the 1965-1966 Zeuschel-Fuller-Nix AA/FD restoration. You can look for this guy to debut in 2008.
Here's an oldie for sure.
The "Trick Part" award went to Tom Hanna for his incredible "injector primer". The small tank hidden under the scoop is filled with gas and when Tom first pushes the throttle the tank rotates on a cam and dumps the gas into the injector. It then locks into place freeing the throttle pedal to actually fire the engine on nitro.
During breaks Friday and Saturday the required practice push starts (new car or driver) were pushed up the strip (or up the push road) to insure (hopefully) they would not have a problem during Cacklefest. Here Butch Maas gets a feel for the Creitz & Donovan car.
Dave Jeffers prepares to push the Dead End Kids.
Don Hampton waits his turn in Bucky Austin's Eagle Electric car. Ringleader Steve Gibbs pacing the action.
Jack Jones in the Northwest Hitter. Tom Hanna waits to try out his new engine primer. Jerry King test fires his slick Jr. Fuel car. Trevor Larkin give it a go. Terry Maestrejuan isn't new to his car but did a practice push anyway. Even The Ace had to go back to school. Mike Leach pushes down in The Poachers for a burnout.
Jessica Anderson goes for a practice start in The Vagabond. Second generation driver Jimmy Scott Jr. does his test in Poison Ivy. Bill Crosby finally got a chance to push start his Scorpion V and this was his first test.
Mike Kuhl makes final checks of the engine while Paul Rossi gets ready for the first push start of the Yeakel Plymouth Special.
On Sunday Cindy Gibbs got the final Mastercar fireup of the weekend and we all know how much Cindy likes fire ups!
Keeping with the current theme, Valerie Harrell then got to fire the BankAmericar for its fuel tank drain.
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