Combine a drag strip, nostalgia drag race cars and beautiful September sunshine and you’ve the right ingredients for a superb classic day out.
But this wasn’t California – nope, it was Shakespeare County Raceway – or Avon Park, or if you’re older, Long Marston dragstrip. Whatever the name of the venue, the Nostalgia Drags offered first-time visitors an insight into the mysterious world of altered wheelbases, hi-rise bodies and fire-breathing, rip-roarin’, wheel-popping horsepower. At a time when the retro look seems literally to be going to ground (usually on red steels), the gassers proved the only way is up…
And for those familiar with nostalgia drag racing, here was confirmation of how colourful, spectacular and above all friendly this movement is. Needless to say, American motors are the weapon of choice, and while plenty of muscle cars were in attendance, there’s a trend towards the altered-wheelbase arrangement favoured by Chrysler’s Ramchargers in the early ’60s.
And of course there were plenty of Flathead Fords. The engine that really kicked off the modified car movement still delivers the power, but it looks good and sounds good too. Nestling in the rails of a ’32 or a Model A, the entire flathead V8 package remains unsurpassed.
Nostalgia drag racing also brings with it plenty of traditional customs, among which were two Mark Three Zehyrs. Dep-o especially liked the electric blue example, proudly sitting on a set of gold period Jag wheels.
Nostalgia rods aren’t as rare as they used to be, and freshly-built examples are continually appearing – what’s exciting is that every newly-built car ups the ante at least another notch.
We’ll be back this year for more full-blown, tyre-smoking action…