It was a hole-shot day of racing at the 44th San Diego Antique Drags. The eighth-mile strip in the open lands along Wildcat Canyon Road waved the flag for American power and dirt-floor ingenuity.
Breathe deep the octane-enhanced ethyl. There were old-timers and new-timers, families, friends and fans.
The twice-a-year event is open to all cars from 1975 and older, and damned if there wasn’t just every class of fuel-burning four-wheeler in the pits – and some two-wheelers. Every house of worship was there, from an Avanti to a ’23 Model T rust bucket with a straight six to a Pro Mod Mopar-powered short-wheelbase Fiat that silenced the crowd in a blaze of beautiful noise. (Watching the Witch Doctor isn’t nearly as dramatic as hearing it fire up – and me jumping in fright at the sound, but you’ll get the idea here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-WEDutjVYc.)
There also were several AF/X factory re-creations, like “Old Yeller,” the ’61Ford (Holman Moody) Starliner, a 427 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt and the “Pouncin’ Poncho” GTO.
Watch for the next run of antique drags here: www.BaronaDrags.com.
Tach it up!
Track time. www.Barona.com
Jim Signorelli of Ramona piloting his Duster.
Color me gone.
Fans can get up close in the staging lanes.
’68 Firebird warming up.
Patterson lights it up. Gets down the lane in 5.09 seconds with a top speed of 144.4.
Checking height of the wheelie bar.
Barona Eighth Mile Drags co-owner Duncan Patterson in his ’68 Camaro.
Love the factory group.
Good ol’ grudge matches.
The “Witch Doctor” is out.
Just getting our attention.
The Mopar-Fiat screamer made the run 4.24 seconds and, at 171.18 mph, almost beat the track record of 172.
Pro back-up girl,
‘chute packer and fearless, Leeann Stover helps the team with “Witch Doctor.”
“Witch Doctor.” Walla walla bing … bang!
No old dog.
Looks almost streetable.
… in dad’s Chevelle.
Start ’em young …
FordnStein.com, from Poway Transmissions.
Aero disc wheel treatment.
Isn’t there at least one at every race?
Ranchero, with some tight rear rubber clearance.
A wicked quick Chevelle.
The 350 V-8 in Sonya O’Day’s International pickup was a little outweighed by that wicked-quick Chevelle, but she won by default. The Chevelle red-lighted.
Sonya’s family helps out.
Sonya O’Day at the wheel of her 1940 International, a frequent flyer at Barona.
Another of the many Chevelles today.
Cleared for takeoff.
Great wood-grain paint.
An aerodynamic advantage?
Built for speed.
Gentle Ben. Really?
Just Sunday drivers.
Track time. “Run whatcha brung. And hope you brung enough,” Barona’s motto!
Two women running a nicely styled roadster pickup.
Jon Ohnstad drove his 440 1967 Plymouth Satellite from Oceanside. He’s owned the car since 1995 and swapped out the 318. The interior still looks stock.
Fast and Loud.
So pretty looking, so mean on the track.
Alcohol powered by a 1949 Merc 296 cubic-inch with early Hilborn injection. Owned and driven by Dimitri Lazaris of Murrieta, Calif.
The Antique Doll has been racing in various forms since 1958.
Overnourished ’57 Chevy.
Just the family sedan.
AF/X Thunderbolt re-creation leaves the garage area.
Crower Cam’s sling.
’23 T, old-school body work.
Beats the four cylinder it came with.
In the spirit of Henry Ford.
1923 Model T with a straight six.
These guys bailed me out when my Suburban tipped over off-road.
A different type of recovery service provided by Millers of El Cajon. The photo is from the old shop along I-8 at Ocotillo.
Clean work space in this South Town Chevy.
Brick on the run.
Dick Sappington in his Flyin’ Brick.
There were several Vegas, including this Kammback.
Dump the clutch.
… or NoCar
Getting enough air?
Jim “Old Man” Taylor in his GTO.
Delivering the goods.
’55 Chevy panel delivery.
Buddy, gonna shut you down.
Tach it up …
. Lunch break.