Mini Cackle

October 27th, 2011

By Tony Thacker

Photos by Paul Sadler and the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum

Photo By Paul Sadler Tom McEwen’s Tirend Activity Booster, recently restored by Mike Kuhl, fires up and comes alive for a thrill-seeking crowd at the Prolong Twilight Cruise mini-Cacklefest.

Since it was initiated by Steve Gibbs and coined by Greg Sharp, Cacklefest has entered the hot rod lexicon and vintage race cars are being restored, recreated and fired up all around the globe. For example, at the recent Prolong Twilight Cruise at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, Gibbs and volunteer event coordinator John Duran assembled more than 20 nitro-burning diggers as a preview of the amazing Cacklefest planned for this year’s California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.

“It’s our twentieth anniversary,” said Gibbs, race director and this year’s grand marshal. “It’s hard to grasp how the Reunions and vintage drag racing have grown in the past two decades. It’s starting to look like the Golden Age of drag racing all over again.”

For the Prolong Twilight Cruise display Gibbs brought along some significant cars, including Lynn Parks’ Samurai, Frank Baney and Jim Rossi’s Yeakel Plymouth Special, Tommy Allen’s Woody Gilmore car and Ed Pink’s Old Master restored by Pete Eastwood and Derek Bower. There was John Ewald’s MasterCar, Ron Johnson’s TV Tommy Barnstormer, Bob Tocco’s Tocco, Harper & Garten car, Doug Robinson’s Horsepower Engineering car, Rod Hynes and Jim Bonn with the Addict, Don Prieto’s Hustler IV, Mousie Marcellus’ Winged Express, Jake McCloud’s Dean Engineering car, Terry Maestrejuan’s Thunder Chief, Joel Gruzen’s Mighty Mouse, Bobby Hansen’s Wynn’s Spoiler, Kuhl and Olson’s FED and Bill Pitts’ Winkel, and the Trapp & Fuller Magicar. Finally, fresh out of Mike Kuhl’s shop, Tom McEwen’s last FED, Tommy Allen’s Tirend Special. Although still in bare metal, the car looks and sounds great.

You can see all these and maybe 100 more at this year’s 20th California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct. 21-23 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway. For more information go to (http://www NULL.nhra and for tickets call 800.884.NHRA (6472) or visit (http://www NULL.nhratix


Oct. 15: Indian Day West
Oct. 21-23: California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Auto Club of Southern California
Nov. 10-13: 47th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Nov. 11: Auto Club Night of Champions, Free
Nov. 12: Racing Collectible Show
Dec. 3: Lions Last Drag Race Reunion presented by Tom McEwen

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