Reporting on one of the largest one day events in vintage drag racing history is a daunting task at the least. Having to go through thousands of photos from 20+ photographers and then sorting them, insane.

With that fact in mind we feel obliged to offer this extensive overview from Irwindale Dragway not only for the fans who where there and couldn't possibly see everything going on, many times simultaneously, but for those who were unable to attend as well.

We'll present the event by categories. We'll open with pit shots from Friday and Saturday. Not any action, but a true lay of the land. Then people, special events, fire-ups, exhibition runs, Lined of Fire.

 

 

We hope you enjoy our coverage made possible by many members of the media from this year and we want you to mark your calendars for next year when we will be back at Irwindale presenting Nitro Revival 4.

 

 

RIP Gloria "Gordy" Gibbs

 

 

Nitro Revival 3 weekend started off on Thursday evening staging a promo with Ross Howard and his gorgeous Custom Body Enterprises Dodge Challenger AA/FC. Every week Irwindale hosts their Thursday Night Thunder, where for just $20 anyone can bring their cars out for open Test and Tune. On this night the smell of gas was briefly replaced with some nitro.

 

Ex Top Fuel and Funny car driver Larry "Okie Smoker" Brown travels with Ross and stays on top of all things engine.

 

Boogie Cooper, Drag Dog, oversaw the whole deal.

 

Ross got Jamie Shores Fraijo ready to have her world rocked. It was her first fire-up.

 

 

 

The car was parked just past the tree and it was let the noise begin.

 

 

 

 

Our thanks to Ross and Larry for giving the locals a small taste of what Saturday would bring. As for Alan and Don it was off to dinner,

 

 

Friday was move-in day. Steve Gibbs and some of the volunteer crew were on hand bright and early to turn an empty pit into a huge field of race cars and hot rods.

 

Geno and Harley did a fine job of parking people where they belonged.

 

At 7am only a few cars were setting up, by 10 it was a mad house.

 

Could be heading to the pits at old Irwindale in 1966.

 

Honoree Joe Smith's Nitro Harley motorcycle was a very popular display. On this bike Joe won the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis in 1971, 1974 and 1975 and earning runner-up honors in 1973.

 

 

 

By midday set-up was turning into a show of its own. Those who came out to witness this procedure and/or for the In-N-Out burgers got a great preview of Saturdays show. Sonny Messner's Don Garlits Swamp Rat III was one of the first to make camp.

 

Steve Andersen's Tom Hoover "fish bowl"car was front and center and if we would have had a best appearing car award, this would have been it.

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing both his cars, Don Prieto set up early. Prime property and all that. Actually he was next to Kol Johnson and Connie Braun who brought the Tommy Ivo Barnstormer. Ivo was an honoree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coolest trailer award went to this meticulously restored Chaparral. In the '70s and '80s the Raymond Beadle owned Chaparral Trailer Co. out of Dallas, TX was the hauler coveted by drag racers from coast to coast. Built under the management of Sam Harris it employed the likes of Dale Emery, John "Tarzan" Austin, John Dearmore, Earl “the Pearl” Knight, Art “the Dart” Eslinger, Don "Mad Dog" Cook and later on, Chip Woodall was General Manager. Gary Travis was GM at the end. This got as much attention as the cars.

 

 

Although they were far less versatile than the Chaps, the fiberglass Mr. Ed trailers were very popular with the dragster teams. They were light and sleek. Mike Kuhl's restored unit is a classic example of these now-in-demand trailers,

 

 

 

 

A staple at Lions in the 60's was Ike Iacono and his Iacono's Tune Up - Brake Center GMC 6 cyl dragster. The car pretty much ran brackets. The car now is owed by Pat Ganahl.

 

 

Speed Sport Special A/FMR aka Ol Noisy.

 

 

 

 

 

This marked long awaited running debut of the Skinner, Crosser & Jobe “Surfers” AA/FD recreated by Bob Higginson with the help and blessings of Tom Jobe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teams like the Over The Hill Gang AA/FA used Friday to make sure their exhibition cars were ready for action on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Howard Cams Twin Bear got a lot of fan appreciation for its its uniqueness compared to any of the other cars. Donnie Johansen did a great job restoring this beast to its "we don't do pretty" beginnings.

 

 

 

 

Dragster Row was starting to take shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The exhibition cars had their own area across from the Champion tent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Merek Chertkow's street legal flip top altered. It's rough but does it get the looks. From the horse's mouth, "Street legal, licensed, registered, & insured. Utah has very liberal hotrod laws. I put about 1,500 miles a year on it. I built everything myself five years ago, including tube bending & narrowing rear ended. Billet 383ci SBC with H beam rods. Isky cam and rockers. 4 port Hilborn injectors, cam driven Hilborn 150a fuel pump. Can adjust fuel mixture when driving from dial a jet. Can go from sea level to 7,000 ft. Density altitude. No electronics. Driven all over Southern Cal. Has 4 wheel disc brakes, Strange rear end & axles, front & rear lights & turn signals. Everything, radiator, fan, trans cooler, in rear deck under louvers. 40 gallons a minute electric water pump, alternator runs off third member. Built my own headers, aluminum heads w/ off set plugs. Two speed power glide w/ trans button, Two passenger. N.H.R.A. Cert. to 7.50. Ran one time in 1/8 mil. Ran 4.92 @ 139 mph." BTW, Merek drove Top Fuel in the day including the Ramcharger’s dragster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Think about it....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The showcase Hot Rods were able to set up on Friday.

 

 

 

 

By late afternoon most of the vendors were ready for the masses on Saturday.

 

 

At 7 PM bench racing turned into hunger and it was all things In N' Out.

 

The folks on these trucks have really got their act together. You had two associates taking orders which were electronically sent to the preparers in the truck. It wasn't a one size fits all. You wanted a double-double animal style, you got it.

 

 

 

The line seemed endless.

 

Waiting for your order offered some premium visiting time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on that note it was get some rest and brace for Saturday.

 

 

Saturday morning the lone occupant of what would be wall to wall hot rods was the "Mortician" dual injected Chevy's on nitro that ran in 1967,

 

 

At 8 am the Hot Rods started to roll in and filled the spots in a hurry.

 

 

 

 

Blake Crosby brought the Bobby Langley Scorpion V AA/FD out from Dallas, Texas.

 

The AA/FA class was well represented with the likes of Burkholder Bros. and Groundshaker Jr.

 

 

Jason Rupert getting the Eagle Electric AA/FD ready to push start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Wake me up when somebody brings food."

 

There were several really cool exhibits throughout but this remarkable 1/4 scale build of the '34 Ford Mooneyham & Sharp 554 Fuel Coupe was the best. The detail is awesome and the early hemi engine actually runs. A quintessential example of craftsmanship and machining. More info is welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonny Messner adjusting the rockers on his Swamp Rat hemi,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The four Nostalgia Top Fuel cars were pitted to the left of the Champion tent.

 

For Tom Shelar's High Speed Motorsports car it was a chance to get the car ready to head back to Cordova, IL. and then Bowling Green, KY.

 

 

 

 

Brendan Murry experienced ignition issues and was unable to run.

 

The Neal & White entry came up from San Diego to enjoy a day in the sun.

 

Bob McLennan's Champion Speed Shop SBC was the fourth invited car.

 

 

Both cars are red, both have a nitro hemi engine in front of the driver. One weighs 2400 pounds, the other around 1300. Today one runs in the 5.6 range at over 250 mph. In 1965 the other ran in the high 7 second zone at 190. What a difference 50 years have made.

 

 

 

Nostalgia Nitro Funny Car was represented by the Littlefield & Rupert Vega with Jason Rupert driving.

 

The AA/FA cars were represented in part by Troy Glenn's "Over The Hill Gang"

 

 

The first cars for the Hot Rod Hangout started rolling in before the sun was starting to gleam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIP Ron "Big Yohns" Johnson

 

 

 INTRO - PITS

PEOPLE PAGE 

 AWARDS - AUTOGRAPHS

 PIT FIRE-UPS

 PUSH STARTS

EXHIBITION RUNS

 LINE OF FIRE

 LATE ARRIVALS

 

2019 ENTRIES

MEDIA - HONOREES