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Orangeline

 

The idea behind Dragfest was to put on a real nostalgia drag race. When you looked out across the track, they wanted it to resemble a real, early, 1960’s drag race. To do this the people at Rod & Kulture made the more period correct and history cars their main focus for both the drag racing and the car and bike show. Though the focus of the car show area was more traditional nature, there was an additional preferred parking area in the pits for the guys that show up with their streetrods and muscle cars.

The racing featured a fuel altered show with 14 entries including the Winged Express and Bradfords plus many others. There were several nostalgia classes like pre ’72 top fuel rails and funny cars, straight axle gassers, pre ’64 door slammers, and a vintage bike class just to name a few. They also offered a $500.00 first prize for the best 60’s back-up girl. They encouraged back-up girls to participate in all classes.

The featured cacklecars were John Kiley's newly completed Ewell, Bell and Stecker entry, plus Ron Johnson's "Shubert & Herbert" and Ron's wildly popular Tommy Ivo "Barnstormer". The fans were also treated to a push start and short pass by Bob Muravez in the Barnstormer complete with the deployment of its huge ribbon parachute.

To keep the entertainment going after dark on Saturday night there was a drive-in style screen set up in the pits showing vintage drag racing footage provided by Scot Hamilton from The Dreams of Legends. They also had a couple of honky-tonk bands playing to keep that traditional Bakersfield feeling alive well into the night. Finals were held on Sunday and wrapped up with the winners receiving their trophies from a sweet little 60’s style trophy girl.

Editors Note: We supported this event right from inception. In view of the fact that there were so few cackle cars, we couldn't make a page of those that were there. Additionally the event is not likely to be covered anywhere else. We thought, this one time, that adding some general coverage to give a feel for the whole event would be appropriate. Plus the girls were "bitchen". If any one has a comment, good or bad, please direct it to us.

 

Photos by: Mike Morgan Racing Photography and Sharon Muravez

 

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There was a fully operational beauty salon giving hair-style and make-up assistance to give the ladies the correct "period" look.

 

 

Among the vendors was a Hooters booth with a handful of Hooters girls improving the view!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pits were full of vendors and a fair number of race cars. There were many stockers, gas coupes, roadsters and a few Nostalgia Eliminator cars.

 

The "Grove" area behind the grandstand was the site of a mini car show with a variety of cars including the original "Bluesmobile" which cruised the grounds from time to time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were some H.A.M.B. type dragsters that were not even close to contemporary rules. Because they run so slow they were allowed to compete with the rudimentary safety equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part of the content of Rod and Kulture magazine is pin-up girls. With that thought in mind it's pretty easy to see how the idea occured, to have some attractive girls on-hand. Dressed in "interesting" outfits, they performed back up duties competing for a prize of $500 for the winner.

 

 

 

 

Ron Sterbank and his flathead, crewed by "Mad max" Romero, and the "Flathead Jack" twin Flattie were both making strong passes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The featured attraction was a field of 14 AA/FA's which included Randy and Pops Bradford and their historic Fiat. The Winged Express" of Marcellus, Borsche and Boyd was there as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Daytona Charger alcohol funny car was a fan favorite.

 

 

 

 

Although they weren't booked into Dragfest program the fans got a huge treat when 5 of the best Top Fuel dragsters in the country came out to do some testing prior to the Hot Rod Heritage Series Top Fuel Feature at Bakersfield May 30 - June 01.

They included Mike McClennan in Mike Fullers car, Evan Eirich in "Ground Zero", the two locals - Brad Thompson and Rick McGee along with Adam Sorokin in the RB Entertainment car and the hometown hero, Brad Thompson in the Thompson and Bless fueler who were testing the new Hoosier tires.

 

 

 

 

 

Several of the cars came out to test the new Hoosier slicks that are now legal in the NTF class. Thompson ripped off a stout 5.64 at just 235 and was quite happy with the tire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Muravez still remembered how to pack one of these bad boys.

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to go as soon as the last pair runs. They were using the return road in front of the grandstand for everybody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Kol Johnson and Marc McCormick put extra water on the tires prior to staging".

 

 

It's on a trip! Boy, was Johnson surprised. It never spun a tire. They think they were a little light on clutch pressure and the track was really good. You could see the clutch dust coming out of the cockpit. Since it's a brand new Crower top-of-the-line competition 2 disc pedal clutch, it wasn't an issue of concern. It was just a surprise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob ran it for about 400 feet and then popped that big old ring slot parachute. Red, White and Blue Deist, just like what Tommy had on the car originally.

 

The chute worked perfectly and totally stunned the people in the grandstand, and the competitors as well. Most had never seen a 12 foot ring-slot chute like this, and certainly not a Red, White and Blue one. Only the "Old Guard" had been around 40 years ago when these became obsolete.

The response from the people was almost as positive as if the tires had smoked, as planned. They really loved it. It was a really nice event, too bad there weren't more people there to enjoy the day.

 

 

We believe this run scored a "Cackle Car" first. To our recollection it was the first time a parachute had been deployed on a Cackle Car.

 

 

 

 

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With a pair of wheelstanders and the "Pick-a-part" Jet Truck thrown in for good measure, there was a little something for everyone.

 

 

While the spectator count was less than what may have been hoped for, those that were there got their moneys worth as the track was generally busy all day. The number and quality of cars in the pits was very good and some excellent runs were made. The owners of the track continue to improve the facilities, both on the track and back in the pits. Racers were uniformly treated well and we heard no grumbling about anything.

The Rod and Kulture staff seemed satisfied with the outcome, especially since an NHRA Heritage race was scheduled against them at Las Vegas, 200 miles away. We were told that the event would be run again next year. All in all, it was a fine weekend with no "downers" and we hope this was the first of many Dragfests!

Except for some of the Barnstormer sequence by Sharon Muravez and Ron Johnson, all the pictures in this report were lent to us by Mike Morgan. He has over 1,000 images in a Fotki album which you can access with the link below. Thanks Mike.

 

 

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