5 Things to See and Do at the California Hot Rod Reunion

September 23rd, 2009

Drive-0911-NHRA_Piccopy_thumbThe 18th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California is scheduled for the weekend of Oct 16-18 at Auto Club Raceway Famoso – more commonly known as Bakersfield. High on anybody’s bucket list, the reunion is a great weekend of vintage drag racing, the finals of the NHRA Heritage Series and a cool time for the family.

Justice Bros. Car Care Products Spotlight Award: This year the Spotlight highlights the team of Stone, Woods & Cook, voted the Favorite Race Car ever in an NHRA.com poll. On display will be both the first and last cars, Swindler II and Swindler A, from this iconic race team.

The Grove: is always the place to check out cool stuff from the hundreds of rods and customs that gather there to the special static displays. This year, museum friend John Stein will bring a display of vintage drag bikes, including Pat Miller’s triple-engined Yamaha – one of only a handful (pun intended) of triple-engined drag bikes. It had three, three-cylinder Yamaha TR2 350 road racing motors. Ya gotta hear it!

Honoree Reception: The reunion is all about the people, and it’s as much our pleasure to honor the honorees as it is theirs to be honored. On Friday night, we throw one heck of a free party to recognize those in the sport who have made a difference. Join us at the Doubletree Hotel at 7:00 p.m. and say hello to Grand Marshall Jess “Mr. Pontiac” Tyree and honorees Danny Broussard, Don Moody, Steve Reyes, “Jet Car” Bob Smith and Walt Stevens.

Cacklefest: Coined by our curator Greg Sharp, the word “cacklefest” describes the cackling noise a Top Fuel motor makes on nitro. While it has now entered mainstream vocabulary, nowhere is the word more expressed than at hot rod reunions. As the sun goes down on Saturday, dozens of vintage, front-motored race cars will be push-started and fired up just like they used to be in the day for all to see. It’s a sight and sound guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes as nitro fills the sky.

Renegade Vintage Dragster Display: You may have seen the Renegade/Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum vintage dragster display at several NHRA National events and at Beech Bend. The vehicles change for each venue, so be sure to visit the trailer that also contains vintage drag racing images from the museum’s archives. For more information about Renegade trailers, go to www.kibbi.com (http://www NULL.kibbi NULL.com/).




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