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

HARRY here

The Original Super Chevy Show returns to PBIR April 21-22.............  
The original Super Chevy Show jumps back into Jupiter, FL for the annual gathering of Chevrolet aficionados, this April 21-22.

Beginning at Memphis International Raceway, the tour will travel to eight race tracks across the United States. Competition classes at PBIR will include Box, No Box, Junior Dragster and a Street Car Challenge trophy class. 

In addition to racing competition, Lewis Ponzini will manage a car show, located on turn nine of the PBIR Road Course, featuring some of the best General Motors cars from across the state of Florida and Harry "The Hat" Laplatte will manage the swap meet and car corral for used items only. 

Racer entry for Box is $65, No Box is $55, Junior Dragster is $35 and Street Car Challenge is $25. Car show entry is $20 car and driver if preregistered and $30 on site. 2-Day swap meet entry is $40. 

Adult Spectator tickets are $15 for Friday, $20 for Saturday. Junior (13-15) are $10, Children (6-12) are $5 and 5 & under are free.

Preregister for your race class, car show or swap meet or purchase your tickets go to

NHRA Pro Stock Racer Gordie Rivera passes.................  

NHRA Pro Stock racer Gordie Rivera, passed away on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack at his Yuma, Arizona home at the age of 73. Rivera began competing in 1969 and was runner-up in B/Gas at the Winternationals that year. In 1973, he entered the Pro Stock ranks behind the wheel of a small-block-powered Chevy Vega operated out of his Gordie’s Speed Shop in Yuma. Rivera competed in some 250 NHRA national events during his career, culminating in his final appearance at the Sonoma Nationals in 2012.

He made his only final round appearance in Pro Stock in 1990 at his home event, the Arizona Nationals at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park (then Firebird International Raceway), losing to Bob Glidden. He finished a career-high fifth in the Pro Stock standings in 1985.

Gordie operated a speed shop (Gordie's Speed Center) since 1969 in Yuma, AZ.

Rivera is survived by his wife, Debbie, and sons Doug and Gordie, Jr. both of whom were integral parts of his racing endeavors.(2/15/2017)


Aaron Shipley 2016 422 Allstars Champion................  

February 4, 2017 - The annual 422 Allstars Nostalgia Drag Racing Series award's banquet was held at the Springford Country Club with just over 125 attendees. All were on hand as the presentations were made to the Top 10 season points earners along with thanks to sponsors, the tracks and supporters of the popular race series. Headlining the event was the crowning of the 2016 champion, Aaron Shipley! Aaron driving his 442 Oldsmobile Cutlass scored the most points of the years narrowly defeating runner-up John Warehime, the 2009 champion.

Shipley is part of a father-son team with constant help from his family. Aaron's dad, Wayne, also competes in a simialr maroon 442 Oldsmobile. The engines are built out of Aaron's shop A.K.S Race Engines.Wayne. incidentally finished in the number seven spot.

Aaron Shipley (l) receiving his trophy and awards from Rich Lamont, the director of the 422 Allstars.
Bob Fort, Jr. Nostalgia S/SRacer passes.............  

Longtime racer and competitor Bob Fort Jr. passed away after battling cancer for the past several months, today. Bob, a fixture at many on the nostalgia events on the east coast ran a 1964 Plymouth "Jersey Duke II" Jack Werst tribute race car. Bob finished in the number six spot with his wheelstanding nine second Plymouth within the 422 Allstars Nostalgia Super Stock Drag Racing Series, this past season.Bob leaves his wife, Ann and daughters. Bob's son, Rob, passed away a few years ago suddenly at age 40.

As soon as we receive information on funeral services, etc. we'll post them. R.I.P. Bob! (1/28/17)



The "Virginian" Plymouth now in Nick Smith's collection.............  

Well known classic race car collector, Nick Smith, just scored big at the recently completed Mecum Auto Auction in Kissimee, FL. Nick purchased a pair of outstanding vehicles; The "Virginian" Hemi Plymouth originally driven by Pee Wee Wallace back in the 1960's, one of two all black Hemi cars going to two different dealers with Pee Wee eventually driving both at different times. The second vehicle is a triple black 426 Hemi Cuda.

The cars were transported back to Smith's private collection by the staff, which incidentally has done the same for many high profile vehicles and customers, offering "white glove" service. For additional info on vehicle transport call; 561-301-6840 for details and scheduling. (1/17/2016)

2017 Inductee process underway..............  

The selection committee is already at work doing research for the "Class of 2017"! So far, we have a few names that have been thrown in and will make announcements in early February. Nominations with race history and information can be sent to Harry Laplatte at 2017 DRHOF Inductees.







Darwin Doll's 2017 York U.S. 30 Heritage Days set to go 7/7-8/2017.....  

This great nostalgia event will again be held at Eastern Museum of Motor Racing on the grounds of Latimore Valley Fairgrounds located at 100 Baltimore Road, York Springs, PA. Info: (1/2/2017)


Richard Petty drag racing info wanted...............  

We are all aware of Richard's outstanding career in NASCAR with 200 wins, which tops the all-time list, but few know his exploits into the realm of drag racing. Currently, we are gathering information on NASCAR's Richard Petty and his early ventures into the drag racing world. If you have any info, please forward to Harry at


VARGO REUNION...............A+  

Novemember 5, 2016 - We had heard great things about the annual Vargo Dragway Reunion for a number of years, but this year was the first time we were able to attend. First off, the fabled and now idle dragstrip located in Perkisie, PA is a site to behold nestled in the south corner of the AGA Farms. The farm is spectacular, but the once a year "reunion" is what would definitely light the fire of any automobile aficionado. The track close to a half mile long (including the shutdown are) was lined with vintage race cars, period correct cars, modern muscle cars, trucks high and low, that seemed to just go on and on as far as the eye could see. The event is basically a static display with music via a DJ where the starting line originally was located, but everywhere you looked there were people talking about cars, racing, etc. or in our nomenclature "Bench Racing!" The quality of the cars on display were second to none. Although we did not get a photo of Steve McBlane's awesome Ford truck (pretty sure it was an 1965 F650), that he uses to haul his equally amazingly detailed 1965 Comet nostalgia race car to events is a sight to behold. The big truck is restored and finished to full show car standards and beyond! Other cars that stood out was this 1967 427 FE Fairlane R code, the breathtaking 1963 Plymouth Max wedge car and past inductee, Joe Gerdelman's twin engine dragster. Needless to say, this is just a few of the astounding cars that were displayed, so mark you calendars and make plans to attend the 2017 reunion. .(11/6/2016)

More photos- Joe Grippo Flickr..........


The American Performance Museum now accepting support................  

The American Racing Performance Museum is ready to accept your support via cars for display, automotive memrobilia and of course financial donations. Cars will displayed at the secure building on the grounds of Marco DeCesrias' Marco's Garage located in Lothain, MD.

For additional information on viewing the present collection or speak with Marco contact the museum at 240-375-4329 EST. (11/1/2016)


8th Annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion..................  

Bear Creek, PA (8/13/2016) - The 8th annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion saw about 200 drag race vehicles and classic muscle cars on display at this year's event for the spectators to view and recall the "OLD" days of drag racing! Headlining the event was former Top Fuel Champion, Joe Amato, who started his racing career at the now closed facility. Pocono Drag Lodge operated from 1963 through 1971.

Reunion planner extrodinaire, Charlie Hulsizer, was pleased with the participation, but noted that he does not know what the future will bare for the event as the property owner is in poor health and his family is uncertain of their plans with the land. The event raises dollars to pay the property taxes each year.

For more info please Call Charlie at 845-635-3662, or email (8/22/16)

American Racing Performance Museum ready roar..........  

Marco DeCesaris has his American Racing Performance Museum/Facebook page up and running. Take a look at some of the cars now in the collection! Marco has been working diligently to get the museum incorporated and now registered as a 501(c)3 designation. The museum is also listed as a member of the National Association of Automobile Museums. The museum is a non-profit organization.

The goal of the museum is to be one of the top collections dedicated to the development and history of Detroit built race cars and include documentation of originality of each vehicle, as well as their lineage. The collection will include famous race cars from Stock through the Pro Stock ranks, plus memorabilia, parts, etc. from the 1960's and 70's.

The museum presently houses a wide variety of drag cars on the grounds of Marco's Garage in Lothain, MD. Appointments are required for viewing of groups of six or less. Contact info; Marco DeCesaris at 240-375-4329 EST or via email hooks up with Marco's Garage  
The Drag Race Hall of's, Harry Platte has been out and about of late thrashing on a variety of vintage race machines and classic cars in Jupiter, FL. For the past year or so, Harry has been in continuous talks with Marco DeCesaris about linking DeCesaris' museum/car collection with the The collection is located in Maryland. All things are now in line and the shall be housed as part of the DeCesaris collection. We are presently seeking 501C3 status for the, which hopefully will be approved shortly. On that note, we are pursuing donations for plaques, etc. for the 2016 inductees. For additional and donation information email Harry at; 2016 Inductee- Donation Program ( or give him a call at 561-301-6840. Also in the works is Harry has been in search of a building to house a collection of Drag Racing memorabilia and vintage drag vehicles. Here's Harry (right) and a building he is in discussion for the permanent location to house the Drag Race Hall of The building here is in Georgia with plenty of space. (3/19/16)  
Happy 50th 426 HEMI engine...  

The 426 cubic inch Hemi was available in February 1964 strictly sold as a race engine. The first Hemis made their way into NASCAR with Richard Petty taking Satellitehis 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 Funny426 Hemi Cars as well as the SS/AH Hemi Barracudas and Darts (1968/69). In 1966, Chrysler came out with a milder detuned version called the Street Hemi, which made it accessible to the general public. Prior to the Street Hemi powered cars only a select few of proven racers were able to obtain 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 earliest 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 debuting at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals, where they competed 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 legendary in drag racing history. Several other notable driver's including Len Ritcher, "Gas" Ronda, Dick Brannan, Les Ritchey, Al Joniec, Terry Harvey, Clester Andrews, Paul Norris, Phil Bonner to name a few participated. 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 PelligriniNASCAR 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 ascertain, Ron Pellegrini campaigned a 1964 Mustang notch-back with a 427 FE motor in 1964. The drive-train 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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