Pick any one of the reasons to attend the California Hot Rod Reunion presented by Automobile Club of Southern California, and we guarantee you’ll be back!
40 Funny Cars and 21 Top Fuelers are registered for the 19th California Hot Rod Reunion. They will be competing with more than 300 racers in nine classes on Famoso’s historic quarter-mile. Ron Capps, NHRA Full Throttle Racing Series driver, will be there as well as “Nitro Kitty” Mendy Fry along with heavy hitters Troy Green, Adam Sorokin, Rick McGee, Mike McClennan, Denver Schutz and, look out for Brad Thompson trying to repeat his Bowling Green win.
Free Honoree Reception on Friday night at the Doubletree Hotel in Bakersfield. Honored guests include Grand Marshal Tom Hanna and Honorees Bill Bagshaw, Don Long, Al “Mousie” Marcellus, Tom Prufer and the team of Steinegger and Eshenbaugh. Chris “the Greek” Karamesines, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Tom “Mongoose” McEwen, “TV Tommy” Ivo and countless other drag racing legends will also be there to relive the early days of drag racing. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to say hello to your heroes.
Blue Max Funny Car legend Raymond Beadle and his entire team: Dale Emery (crew chief), “Waterbed Fred” Miller, Dee Gantt, and driver Ronny Young -will be running on the Famoso track just as they did 40 years ago. It’s going to be insane!
Jungle Pam, and ’69 Winternationals Funny Car Champion Clare Sanders will be making an appearance as this year’s Justice Brothers Car Care Products Spotlight shines on the team of “Jungle Jim” Lieberman.
World Comes to Bakersfield as Famoso becomes the United Nations of drag racing. Racers and fans are coming to Bakersfield from around the globe including a team from Alaska and 12 race cars from Canada. One to watch is the Swedish nostalgia nitro Funny Car "Tre Kronor" (Three Crowns) recreated by Johnny Nilsson with driver Erik Wallinder and Crew Chief Jeff Gaynor. Another is Roly Leahy’s Australian Dragster which will be run by Roly’s sons Greg and Peter in memory of their father. A caravan of nine motor homes and 40 Aussie’s are coming to celebrate the Leahy’s Reunion tradition.
World’s Fastest Indian. Hot from winning the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Burt Munroe’s 1920 Indian Scout “Munro Special” where it ran for the first time in 40 years will be displayed in Memory Lane in the Grove at Auto Club Famoso Raceway behind the grandstands. Memory Lane is the place to go see a remarkable array of vintage drag vehicles including drag boats, bikes, and front-engine dragsters.
Mickey Thompson’s Assault Dragster, running for the first time in nearly 50 years, with son Danny Thompson behind the wheel will be part of the spectacular Cacklefest. Often referred to as his favorite car, Mickey’s streamlined Class C Assault powered by a blown 303-cubic-inch Pontiac V-8 competed at the 1960 NHRA Nationals. Assault joins more than 30 other vintage dragsters and race cars in the Cacklefest symphony of sight and sound.
STREET RODDER Road Tour is back again for another adventure at the Reunion. Celebrating 15 years on the open road, the AMSOIL Street Rodder Road Tour travels to various events in a colorful assortment of cool street rods. Their final destination is the California Hot Rod Reunion, and you can find the Tour parked in the Grove area behind the Famoso grandstands. Road Tour Leader Jerry Dixey will be at the Reunion along with his Road Tour roadies. Stop by and hear the Road Tour stories, it may inspire you to come along for the Tour ride.
Quarter-Mile Classroom: This year, the Santa Maria High School Race Team along with teacher Lorin Cuthbert and former drag racer Art Foster return to the Famoso dragstrip to compete in the NE1 Pro class, and boy, can they race. At the 2008 March Meet, the team’s car qualified 14th out of 61 entries. The Pipe Dream Cackle Car Team is paying it forward. Unable to attend this year’s Reunion, the Pipe Dream Team donated four full-event credentials to the deserving Santa Maria High School Race Team. Check them out as they cut loose on the strip, and cheer on these amazing kids who are keeping nostalgic drag racing alive.
What’s better than one Cacklefest? Two, of course! For the first-time ever, Hot Rod Reunion fans will be getting a double dose of Cacklefests at the Reunion. A push-start dragster extravaganza will be held on Saturday (Oct. 16) evening and a static-start up on Sunday (Oct. 17). Over 30 vintage dragsters have already signed up to awaken the cackling nitro beast within, including Reunion Honorees Steinegger and Eshenbaugh nostalgic TF dragster; Ed Pink’s “The Old Master,” originally built by Honoree Don Long; and Grand Marshal Tom Hanna’s exquisite front-engine dragster. The nitro-induced flame and sound show is a must see spectacle.
CHRR Schedule of Events - click here
The 19th annual California Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, Oct. 15-17 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway near Bakersfield, Calif., is a 3-day festival of speed, hot rods and American automotive enthusiasm. The season finale of the NHRA’s Hot Rod Heritage nostalgia drag racing series also takes place at the Reunion event.
Produced by the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California, and located in Pomona, Calif., the Reunion is part of the museum’s “living history” philosophy, which works to bring to life the sights, sounds and people who made history in the early days of drag racing, land speed racing and the golden age of American car culture.
Unique among motorsports events, the Reunion honors some of the top names in hot rodding from the past and features a fabulous array of cool drag cars, street rods and customs of the historic and present-day hot rod eras.
Three-day credentials ($65 each) are available by calling 800/884-NHRA (6472) or by purchasing online at CLICK HERE.
Daily general admission tickets/pit passes will be available at Auto Club Famoso Raceway gate, (www.famosoraceway.com). Cost per person: Friday, $20; Saturday, $25; Sunday, $20. Children 16 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Auto Club discount is also available at the gate.
Information, including a full activities schedule, entry forms and tickets, is available through the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum at http://museum.nhra.com. For general Reunion information, please call the Museum at 909/622-8562.
Proceeds of the California Hot Rod Reunion benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum. Founded in 1998 and named for the founder of the National Hot Rod Association, the Parks Museum, presented by Automobile Club of Southern California houses the very roots of hot rodding.