Nostalgia Drag Race History from 2010 GNRS

Nostalgia Drag Racing, GNRS, 2010, hemi, fuel injection

You can almost smell the tires burning cruising through the “History of the Race Car” hall at the 2010 Grand National Roadster Show.  The exhibit, of course featured drag racer from the way-back-machine, especially my favorite: Nose in the air gassers!

Altered Wheelbase, Gasser, A/FX, hemi, injected, nostalgia, drag racing

Getting up-close and personal with the “Outer Limits” Mopar, I’m reminded of a buddy who saw his first altered wheelbase A/FX’r and asked, “Who’d do that?!”  That’s exactly why I love them! Make noise, look near ridiculous and have more fun than anyone! I want one, and some day I’ll get it.  I might have to build my 61 Rambler American wagon as a gasser. Low-buck, fast and loud = funner-mostess.

Flathead, nostalgia dragster, fed, drag racing, injected

Continuing my stroll, I found the, “Fastest un-blown Ford V-8 powered dragster running in National Nostalgia Drag Racing.” …and it’s driven by a woman named Kathy Lloyd out of Castro Valley, CA. According to their show card, the car was built in 1969, then restored in ’85, then back-halfed in 1996, no doubt to return to racing. Safety rules have changed, juuuuussst a little since 1969. Running on a cocktail of 85% Nitro and 15% methanol, this 286 cubic inch flattie’s best speed is 158.337 mph at 8.94 seconds. Go Kathy!

Nostalgia Drag Racing, Willys, GNRS, hemi, stacks, gasser

Next up? Another sky-scraping injector stacked hemi in a 1941 Willys. The lettering on this old racer belonging to long time Willys racers, the Reinero Bros. out of Merced, CA is terrific! Did this car race at the same time as the flamboyant “Hippie” Corvette we covered? here’s a closeup of the lettering on the back… 426 Hemi roid, custom pinstriping, nostalgia, gasser

Stone Woods and Cook. nostalgia drags, Willys, drag racing

Sticking with the Willyseze’ (plural of Willys if you’re wondering) this is the legendary Stone, Woods and Cook racer. I won’t say much about the “Gasser War” dominating car right now, but watch for a story about this with the help of the current co-owner Joe Troilo. Joe held onto the original race gear, undisturbed in his garage for over 20 years until it was all put back into this, the original race car.

willys, nostalgia drag racing, gasser, hot rods

Talking drag racing from the way back, it shouldn’t surprise you to find yet another Willys, this time the sedan variety, set next to something I don’t see enough of: A gasser styled model A roadster.  This is a race I would love to have seen.

Drag Racing, trophies of metal and wood, grand national roadster showYou probably noticed the trophies next to the Reinero Bros car. Here’s a few more. Remember when the trophies were made of metal, marble and real wood? What looks like a spider web is a metal wire securing all the trophies. I’m sure they’re priceless to the owner.

Nostalgia Drag Racing History - rail jobs, grand national roadster show

Although not the gasser style, no talk of drag racing history would be complete without mentioning the earliest “rail jobs” that were nothing more than an engine, frame and wheels. With nothing left to strip out of it, they started cutting holes in said frame to lose more weight. Safe no, fast yes. There’s a special place in the driver’s compartment to store and protect the over-sized rollers the driver needed.

The original rail job, "the bug" flathead, drag racing, grand national roadster show, 2010

Finally, in all it’s beauty, “The Bug”.  This stripped down lakes race car built by Dick Kraft is as simple as it gets.  The Encyclopedia Britannica (yea, you read that right!) says, “Kraft’s obsession with weight extended to peeling of his T-shirt!” Good for 109.09 mph and top speed at Santa Ana in 1950, you’re looking at the birth of the dragster and the shock of moms across all of California!

Our friends at also got some great pictures from the “History of the Race Car” hall. Check out their GNRS coverage here.

Anything you like? Let us know in a comment below.

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