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We now start our coverage of Cacklefest proper. In the different segments some cars have several shots and others very few or none at all. After pouring through thousands of photos we took the best of what we received but for whatever reasons some cars just didn't get the attention of many photographers. We try to not slight anyone but we can only put up what we get.
During the second session of Top Fuel qualifying the cacklecars were called to the staging lanes. With this many cars participating that were spread all over the facility it was impossible to maintain any semblance of order. It was just grab a lane and wait. There is no need to ID these random shots as everyone will be recognize in the parade segment below.
Leading off was Mary Rife McCally who was having a ball at her first Cacklefest. Her Blown Fuel Hydro was the equivalent to its land counterpart, the Top Fuel dragster but far more dangerous.
Peter Broadribb and his honorary cacklecar - the Moody's Garage 1965 World Champion D/G car.
The beautiful Big John Mazmanian AA/GS Willis
This 1971 Jungle Jim Camaro owned by Henry Guiterrez of San Antino TX. It was built by Texan Henry Garcia and had Bobby Rex in the seat.
Ed Lenarth's "Holy Toledo" Jeep funny car. This "Wild Willie" Funny Car repop was done by Jim Kipp and Tommy Thompson. No info at all on this first time attendee called "Cherry Baby". The only info on this new entry is it is the Schrank Bros car from 1960.
Another Cacklefest newby was Joe Mondello in the beautifully restored Mondello & Matsubara AA/FA.
The McCloud Bros. Goodyear Blue Streak Special with Don [a.k.a. the
brat] McCloud in the seat.
Red Greth's "Speed Sport II" AA/FMR with Kenton Greth in the seat. Don Prieto in his Hustler V here for the first time as a runner.
Like the other self start cars, Prieto pushed back down the return road to park on the track once the parade was over.
On the top of the locals most popular list was the Dave Beck restored 1969 Warren-Coburn-Miller AA/FD. James Warren, Roger Coburn and Marv Miller are legends in Bakersfield and this particular Woody car was one of their best.
Beck chose to self start the car for its first outing so he too was towed back to the line. Ron Sterns in the Ratican-Jackson-Stearns A/FA.
Chuck Griffith was back in the seat of his 1965 Starlite III thanks to its current owner and restorer, Bill Turney.
The Starlite III was yet another self start car.
The first of the push start cars was "Stormin Normin" Weekly in the Frantic 4 car of Weekly-Rivero-Fox-Holding. All but Rivero were on hand for this years Cacklefest.
Mid 60s AA/GD star George Bolthoff back for his 4th CF appearance. "Little Tommy" Larkin in the restored Larkin & Weiss Top Gas dragster. Ronnie Hampshire was in the seat of Dennis Prater's "Stellings & Hampshire" beauty.
Next down was "Wild Bill" Alexander in his Ernie's Shudder Bug repop. After sitting out the last two CHRR's it was good to see Bill back.
As perviously noted, Ed McCulloch was in the seat of the newly restored Northwind - the other Fuller "magic car".
Rod Hynes was back with the Childs & Albert "Addict".
As the sun sets in the west the behemoth "Syndicate" heads to the line with Jay Carpenter in the seat.
Trevor Larkin in his small block Chevy fueler.
This car may not have a history but its driver does. Paul "The Kid" Sutherland was in the car dubbed "The Old Timers". It's a car Sutherland, Don Prieto and Pete Ogden built in the 60's but never ran. Sutherland had his signature pointy-nose face mask remade for this event.
Terry Maestrejuan in his 1967 Woody "Thunder Chief" AA/FD. Another Cacklefest vet is the Samurai owned and driven by Pete Eastwood. Bobby Hansen in the newly restored Wynns Spoiler AA/FD. Top Fuel vet Rob Bruins got the call to fire Jim Green's beautiful "Assassin". Jimmy Scott got the seat in Poison Ivy this year.
John Ewald in his well traveled Mastercar. In 2007 Ewald took this (and the BankAmericar) to 18 events and appearance and fired the engine well over 300 times. That's a lot of nitro!
Speaking of the BankAmericar, it was out next with Don Ewald in the seat. This was a special Cacklefest for Ewald as the man who built this car for him in 1968 (John Buttera) was a 2007 CHRR Honoree and in very poor health.
This is a 1958 TE440 Chassis Research Dragster owned by Bill Lazaris sporting a 296 cu '48 Merc flathead.
Sam Chastain in the restored Dan Richins "Iron Horse". Another Bakersfield native is Wayne King and he was in his Doss-Clayton-King AA/FD. Red Greth in his legendary Speed Sport roadster from 1958.
Roger Gates back in the seat of his old digger that is owned and restored by Denny Fenstermaker.
The Howard Cams Rattler is another well traveled (coast to coast several times) that resides at the NHRA Wally Parks Motorsports Museum. It has also had more different drivers than another cacklecar. For this event 70's TF star Marvin Graham was at the controls.
Herm Petersen was back for his second appearance with his Petersen & Fitz restoration.
Original driver Walt Stevens in The Poachers that was restored for Paul & Pam Schavrien at Dyda Race Eng.
No stranger to Cacklefest is the Loukas & Preising AA/FMC handled here by a guy who goes way back in drag racing - Neil Leffler. John Loukas and Leffler had teamed up in the early 60's and kicked some major butt. It was great to see Neil out for his first CHRR.
Here's one that definitely looks out of place. The info we have it's the restored 1929 Ford roadster of Dale Lambrose that ran at the dry lakes in the mid '50s and drag raced as well. It was rebuilt by Mike Smith of California Hot Rods using all original components except for a chassis replacement that was necessary. It is now owned by Neil O'Kane of Castro Valley, CA. We don't know if that is him in the seat or not.
The is suppose to be the 1968 version of the Ewell-Bell-Olson car but since this car went on to get a late model hemi and full body in 1969 no one is sure if its the real deal or not.
The Creitz & Donovan car is a prize ride for sure and this year Butch Maas got the honors.
A car that always gets awe and admiration is Tom Hanna's ultimate dragster. Hanna, who has been drag racing since 1959 and built some of the most fabled bodies ever seen on dragsters, took all his vast knowledge and nearly unlimited resources to build the "ideal" 60ish AA/FD. If you ever get a chance to see this work of art up close and personal take your time to let the detail and trick parts boggle your mind.
Bobby Langley was in the seat of his Don Ross restored Scorpion II and he claims its deals like this that keep him young.
It leaves you breathless. In the 57 years of recorded drag racing only one car ever had a hard spirits sponsor and this is it. In 1968 test pilot extraordair Daryl Greenamyer secured the most famous vodka company of the time as a sponsor for a state-of-the-art AA/FD. The results were a stunning car that experienced limited performance. After being parked in 1969 it sat for 37 years before Joe Passalaqua somehow convinced Greenamyer to sell the car and after a year long restoration this is the end result. Unfortunately Passalaqua must have put too much vodka in the tank as the engine seized the exhaust valve guides (bending 7 valves) on a Friday fireup and they were unable to fix it for Cacklefest but graced the fans with an appearance for the parade. New car woes won't stop this baby next time out.
Roger Garten in the restored Tocco-Harper-Garten AA/FA. "Paradise Alley" owned by Bob De Burns and driven here by Jimmy Scott Jr. Bill Crosby in his Don Ross restoration of Bobby Langley's Scorpion V.
One of the most "real" - as in not spruced up - cacklecars is the 1965 Steinegger & Eshenbaugh fueler out of Phoenix. Although Larry Steinegger left us last year, his son Jamie and Albert (Eshenbaugh) keep him memory alive with this car which has appeared in every Cacklefest since its inception.
Jessica Anderson got the seat this year in the Anderson Family Vagabond" which is another of the original nine cacklecars.
Next out was Jeep Hampshire in the patriarch of cacklecars, Bill Pitts' "Magicar".
In what was seeming like a never ending parade of drag racing history the next car to be introduced was Dave West in his brilliant recreation of the 1969 Beebe & Mulligan AA/FD.
Following West was Zane "The Beard" Shubert in Ron Johnson's Shubert & Herbert recreation.
Making its official Cacklefest debut in full dress was Tom Ivo in Ron Johnson's most recent recreation, the 1963 Tommy Ivo "Barnstormer".
Leading the Bucky Austin cars was Jerry Ruth in his 1970 Don Long car restored by Austin.
One of two new additions to the Austin camp this year is Jerry King in the repop of Cross-Mann-King. The original was one of the top Jr Fuel cars in the NW.
Dave Jefferes in the newly recreated west coast Dead End Kids car that consisted of Joe Anahory, Spider Razon, Frank Huszar and Dave Jeffers. Dave was the driver of the Dead Ends Kids car and listed as the shop foreman of RCS in the December 1965 Car Craft magazine. It doesnt list Red Lang and was probably involved with eastern Dead Ends Kids car along with Joe and Spider. With Austin's support, Dave Jeffers built this new RCS chassis with as much period correct parts as they could get their hands on.
One of the more unique bodies Tom Hanna crafted over the years was on the Northwest based Eagle Electric car - the figure head of the Austin collection. For the 2007 Cacklefest Don Hampton got the seat.
The Austin Bros. "Northwest Hitter" Top Gas car had Mr. Wally - Jack Jones on board. It was great to see Jack alive and looking well after receiving a heart transplant earlier this year.
Sonny Massner was back with his Garlits Swamp Rat III reproduction complete with a Handicapped placard hanging from the rollbar.
It goes without saying that the debut cars get more photos, more ink than the vets. This year the Rossi-Baney family restoration of the 1965 Yeakel Plymouth Special originally driven by Tom McEwen falls in that category. In the seat for the parade was Frank Baneys son Tyler. Jerry Bivens was up for the push start.
Don & Claire Westhaver's K-88, named The Flying Fenn.
Lou Cortopassi in his 1955 "Glass Slipper" which was arguably the nicest dragster of its day. Earlier in the day Leo actually made an exhibition pass in this baby.
No mistaking this Cacklefest staple - Carl Olson in the Kuhl & Olson entry.
Another of the original nine is Kenny Safford in the Safford-Gaide-Ratican Olds powered A/FD.
A man and car that needs no introduction - but we will - Art Chrisman in his Hustler I. Last but certainly not least, Big and his Swamp Rat VIII. CHRR Cacklefest Page 1 CHRR Cacklefest Page 2 CHRR Cacklefest Page 4 2006 CHRR Cacklefest DVD