Project 1320 – Capturing Drag Racing’s Storied Past

Project-1320-nostalgia-Willy's drag racing vintage photo

Keep your eyes and ears open for Project 1320 described in the press release below, you’ll be glad you did.  The project’s goal is simple. Get the facts about the how, why and where drag racing started and how it developed over the years from a first hand perspective of the people who were there. Traci Hrudka is the chairman for this project and comes from a long line of drag racing herself. Traci’s uncle Joe and father Tom Hrudka started the great Mr. Gasket empire. (Click on the picture to see them full size)

Project-1320-nostalgia-drag-racing Hrudka Bros Willy Sedan Deliverynostalgia-drag-racing-photos- Mr. Gasket Gasser Camaro

Look closely at these pictures taken from Traci’s page at the community she’s making for Project 1320. Notice the “Hrudka Bro’s” and “Mr. Gasket” proudly displayed on the side? Traci worked at the family business for 20 years and in her words, “Boy do I have some stories!” That’s what this project is about. An “oral history” of everyone from the legends like Don Garlits to the no name grassroots fellas (and ladies!) that made drag racing what it is. I can’t wait to hear more about this project and keep you posted along the way.

Project-1320-nostalgia-drag- Another wheels up Willys vintage photo

Project 1320 to chronicle drag racing’s pioneers

Documentaries to provide an oral history of the sport

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Contact: Traci Hrudka
Quarter Mile Entertainment, LLC
Phone: 440.888.0088/ten.labolgcbsnull@akdurH

Parma Heights, Ohio – Drag racing fans have long had a desire to learn about the birth of the sport from the legends and heroes of the formative years.
To this point, there has been a patchwork of efforts but without an integrated approach to tell the story of how men and women with mechanical talent, fearless determination and skill built the cars and events to capture the glory of being the quickest and the fastest down 1320 feet of asphalt.

The focus of Quarter Mile Entertainment LLC (QME) and its Project 1320 is to capture first person narratives about the life and times of these early heroes…from the period immediately after World War II through to the beginning of the “modern era”. The narratives of the sport’s pioneers will be supported with still images and home movies of the period to deliver the “Who, What, When, Where, Why” of the times.

At the heart of the project is the goal to produce a series of high quality documentary films centering on the individuals, manufacturers, sanctioning bodies and the behind the scenes people…what it took to bring this great sport to its current level. The individuals and manufacturers who will be a part of this series will include many household names but will also include many of the “lesser-knowns” whose contributions have faded in our minds, but who helped launch the sport, nurtured it through its early growth and finally saw it become a major motorsport. The goal is to place the series on a cable network to expose the greatest number of viewers to why and how this sport has grown in popularity.

Project-1320-nostalgia-drag-racing-vintage Willy wheel stand photograph

“Our greatest concern is to capture the stories and personal perspectives of the legends of the sport that are still living,” says Traci Hrudka, chairman of Quarter Mile Entertainment. “We have lost a tremendous number of these people over the years, and time is running out to capture those oral histories in a digital format. If we ever want to do this, now is the time!”

The initial effort will be to provide an overview of the historical perspective of the sport – the key people and moments…the passion and the blood, sweat and tears it took to evolve the sport from a grassroots, never quit, “run whatcha brung” level to the point where corporate America and thousands of racers are involved on a weekly basis. It will also touch on how successful racers became successful business owners, supporting the racers with the products needed to get the finish line quicker and faster.

The blueprint for Project 1320 calls for a breaking down of the sport’s dramatic growth…by decades, the evolution of today’s major classes of competition, plus a look at the growth of the racing parts aftermarket, the influence of automaker participation and the support of corporate America, the historic race tracks and their owners and how the ideas of a small handful of men and women created the sanctioning bodies that have guided the sport.

Project-1320-nostalgia-drag-racing- old front engine dragster racing photo

The early grassroots support of Project 1320 has been amazing, fed by a word of mouth, internet-based network of old racers. A significant number of fans and racers have volunteered their home movies and pictures to this project. These images and movies will be digitized and archived for future use, as well as the first person interviews. The archives will provide much of the resource material for the subsequent project episodes.

Project 1320 will be seeking both corporate and grassroots support to document drag racing’s historic moments and personalities. The “Friends of Project 1320” program will soon be launched to allow individuals to help produce this undertaking, and to build additional support.

The Board of Directors of QME hope the project will generate even more support by fans and racers who uncover their personal archives of yesterday and share it with future generations of fans and racers.

The Board of Directors of Quarter Mile Entertainment LLC consists of: Traci Hrudka (Chairman), Harry Hibler, Don Garlits, Steve Cole and Wayne Wolfe. The Board of Directors is assisted by an Advisory Board of Wally Booth, Darwin Doll, Don Ewald, Carl Olson, Stephen Krystek and Bill Pratt.

NOTE: The Project 1320 website at Check it out, sign-up and if it moves you, donate to the cause!

All photos courtesy of Traci HrudkaProject-1320-nostalgia-drags rubber tracks on the strip

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