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Honoring the great Drag Racers of the day from 1900 to 1973

HARRY HAPPENINGS.................click here


Island Dragway....see "Big Daddy" Don Garlits return to site of first 200 mph run!


Top Fuel Motorcycle racer Russ Collins passes (belated)

One of the innovators of drag racing motorcycles has to be the late Russ Collins who passed away on May 14th at the age of 74. Collins ran a series of exotic bikes with multiple engines. His most successful ride with the twin engined 1000cc Honda named “The Sorcerer” that held the national record for eleven straight years. The bike was designed as he lay in the hospital recuperating after crashing his three 750cc Honda powered machine the “Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe” machine. Incidentally, the bike was the first motorcycle to receive the "Best Engineered Award" at an NHRA event in 1973. Collins continued to race motorcycles until the early 1980s when he turned to drag racing Top-Fuel cars. RC Engineering eventually became a leading maker of racing fuel-injection systems for Japanese-made sports cars. Collins was originally from Somerville, NJ prior to relocating to the west coast.(7/15/2014)

Potvin Supercharged Fiat Alltered with Lynwood Welding Chassis (circa 1960)

We are trying to gather the history and information on this beautifully restored Fiat Topolino Altered. The car has a Lynwood Welding Chassis and powered by a Potvin supercharged Buick nailhead engine. From what the owners are able to piece together think the car was built in the late 1950's, early 1960.The owners have plan on display the car in the DRHOF.com booth at the Don Garlits 50th Anniversary Weekend, which is set to take place at Island Dragway August 1-3.The car reportedly ran at ATCO Raceway and Island Dragway in the early sixties. (6/30/2014)
2014 DRHoF.com Inductees named....

The class of 2014 has been announced with five inductees being nominated. Leading off the pack is Joseph Bambace followed by photographer and graphic designer, Steve Bell, custom car painter Bob Gerdes, racer Bob Lee and the last, the deceased Paul Linderman. Linderman's name may not be familiar as he passed away in 1964 while racing a Super Stock Dodge in Canada, Linderman also owned a Dodge dealership. The accident occurred at the completion of his pass and while attempting to pus the the neutral button hit the reverse pushbutton by mistake. The car went into reverse and flipped violently when the seatbelt attachments ripped out of the floor. Unfortunate happenings such as this is how many of the safety measures were introduced into drag racing. (2/5/2014)




Happy 50th 426 HEMI engine...

The 426 cubic inch Hemi was in February 1964 strictly as a race engine. The first Hemis made their way into NASCAR with Richard Petty taking his famous #43 to several wins before NASCAR disallowed the venerable engine in competition. The 1964 Plymouth's and Dodges instantly became the ultimate race cars of the era in NHRA drag racing circles and still today racers covet owning one of these treasures. Originally built for Super Stock the basic engine has become the standard for Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny Cars as well as the SS/AH Hemi Barracudas and Darts (1968/69). In 1966, Chrysler came out with a mild tuned version called the Street Hemi, which made it possible for the general public. Prior to the Street Hemi powered cars only a select few of proven racers were able to attain one of these jewels.

Our own Harry Laplatte's Dad, Harold, purchased a 1964 Hemi Plymouth and campaigned it in the mid-60's. The car, called the "Satellite" ran on the east coast. Fortunately, the car is now in the care of Wade Laplatte (Harry's brother) in its original form. Take note of the seven inch rear slicks! (2/7/2014)

Who raced the earliset 1964 Mustang?

Here's what we do know; In late 1964, Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-powered Mustangs to contest the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) A/Factory Experimental class in the 1965 drag racing season. Five of these special Mustangs qualified for competition debutting at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals, where they qualified in the Factory Stock Eliminator class. The car driven by Bill Lawton won the A/FX class and his connection with TASCA Ford is now a legendary in drag racing history. Several other notable drivers like Len Ritcher, "Gas" Ronda, Dick Brannan, Les Ritchey, Al Joniec, Terry Harvey, Clester Andrews, Paul Norris, Phil Bonner to name a few. The Mustangs were a replacement for the infamous 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, which were outfitted with the tried and true 427 FE side-oiler sporting dual Holley four barrel carburetors. The 427 cubic inch "Cammers" were originally designed for NASCAR to battle against the 426 Plymouth and Dodge Hemis of the era, but both the Cammer and Hemi were outlawed and transitioned into the drag racing, hence the A/FX Mustangs.

Mike Matune did track down the list and article provided by Charles Morris of the ten A/FX Mustangs built for competition; Car Tech Auto Books article HERE

  •     5F09K380230, Dick Brannan
  •     5F09K380231, Show car   
  •     5F09K380232, Tasca Ford (Bill Lawton)
  •     5F09K380233, Performance Associates (Les Ritchey)
  •     5F09K380234, Wickersham Ford (Clester Andrews)
  •     5F09K380235, Al Swenson Ford (Al Joniec)
  •     5F09K380236, Holman & Moody (Paul Norris)
  •     5F09K380237, Paul Harvey/Bob Ford (Len Richter)
  •     5F09K380238, Phil Bonner
  •     5F09K380239, Russ Davis Ford (Gas Ronda)

UPDATE - From what Mike has been able to acertain is that Ron Pellegrini campainged a 1964 Mustang notchback with a 427 FE motor in 1964. The drivetrain came from the Hawkison 1964 Ford Thunderbolt. More information on the car in the Car Tech article Ford’s 1965 Factory Experimental Mustangs (2/14/2014)




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