2nd Annual Hot
Rod Reunion
Bowling Green, KY
June 17-20, 2004
Pics by A.B. Shuman
 

Hi All
The second edition of NHRA’s East Coast version of the mythic California Hot Rod Reunion was a howling success. Held at again at historic and unique Beech Bend Raceway Park (how does covered wooden grandstands grab you?) in Bowling Green, KY., land of $1.69 a gallon gas and home to sponsoring Holley carburetors, it drew a varied field of hot-performing cars, dozens of drag racing legends and thousands of enthusiastic fans. The cars parked in the pits and lining the rolling hills surrounding the strip ranged from the nastiest, rustiest rat rods ever to crawl out into the sun to sparkling $250K pro-built Phantom Coupes and everything in between, and the flea market area bulged with all the authentic oxidized old stuff you never realize you needed before.  The highlights included honoring pioneers funny car shoe Al Bergler, car show impressario Bob Larivee Sr., top fuel car owners and tuners Jim and Allison Lee, daring driver Art “The Dart” Malone, “Speedy Bill” Smith of Speedway Motors and the inimitable Miss Hurst Golden Shifter, Linda Vaughn, complete with a H/O convertible, with folks like Don Garlits, Ohio George Montgomery, Junior Thompson, Raymond “Tennessee Bo-Weevil” Godman, Hugh Tucker, Dale Funk and Charles “Boogie” Scott among others also on hand.  The best part of the show for nostalgia diehards was the top fuel slingshots -- how about 233 mph at night with a front-motored digger (and 244+ mph and 6.12 sec., by the Plaza Top Fuel team from Las Vegas for best performances of the show)? -- and, of course, the 28-car “Cacklefest” that capped the evening. Among the snarling, flame-spewing cars pushing down from the far end of the strip were funny cars and fuelers, each turning around at the starting line and then parking diagonally across the centerline of the strip, with the track lights out.  What a sight! What a cacophony of nitro-fed noise!  But, most of all, the people putting on the show and just sopping it up were pretty much all great. Here are some pics of the scene Saturday.  Enjoy... A.B.!!!

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