At 4 pm the as advertised autograph session began with more than 20 of the legends of drag racing at the table with at least 10 others sitting it out. What was expected to be a 30 minute deal went almost 90 minutes leaving a bunch of old guys with writers cramp.


"Seldom Seen Simon" Menzies in the visor.




Gerry Glenn, Jack Jones and Tommy Ivo, a session in itself.


Harry "Hand Grenade" Hibler. TF driver, track manager and publisher.





Jess VanDeventer signing a blower belt. People brought some strange stuff for the guys to sign.


Herm Petersen and former NHRA Top Fuel World Champion Rob Bruins, two Top Fuel stand outs.



Speed Sport Red Greth



Roland Leong, been there and done that.




Leroy "Doc" Hales, Roland, Mendy Fry and Ed "The Ace" McCulloch.









The Ace and the King, Richard Tharp.



Tharp, Gary Beck, and Mike Kuhl


Now there were some very happy fans. A collection of once in a life time autographs of drag racing greats.





Bob Muravez aka Floyd Lippencotte and "Gentleman Joe" Schubeck.


Beck n' Kuhl



Bill Schultz






Schubeck n' Graham






No introduction needed. The First Lady of Motorsports, the one, the only LV. We were so happy she could put the icing on the cake.






Gloria "Gordy" Gibbs and Pam Conrad


Does Ivo have a side gig as a masseuse?


Carl Olson



Don Ewald and Mike English





Another highlight segment was the plaque presentations to the:

Announced by Jon Lundberg and presented by Steve Gibbs.

For complete Bios of all the Inductees go to: Walk of Fame Bios


Leading off was the legendary Bean Bandits who were honored past and present. More at: Walk of Fame Bios




The late Joaquin Arnette who was the "leader" was honored with the rest of the Bean Bandits via his son Jeff and widow Vi Arnette.




In the 1950s, Dode Martin, a World War II veteran who fought at the Battle of the Bulge, was working his way back into civilian life as a carpenter at Camp Pendleton when he heard that cars were racing at Santa Ana Drag Strip.

Intrigued, Martin bought a Model A frame at a wrecking yard near his Fallbrook, Calif. home, pirated a rear end and transmission from a '36 Ford he had in his barn, borrowed the engine from his coupe, added a crumpled-up body he previously had salvaged and called it a race car.

When he arrived at the track, C.J. "Pappy" Hart, who later would achieve fame as manager of Lions Drag Strip, didn't know what to call it. "You're not a Lakester, a roadster or a coupe," Hart said. "I guess I'll call you a dragster."

Martin's bastardized vehicle may or may not have been the very first "dragster." It was, however, the foundation for his later creation, with partners Jim and Tom Nelson, of Dragmaster Co. which, in the 1950s and early '60s, built dragsters for some of the biggest names in the sport. More at: Walk of Fame Bios






Jesse was a popular, well-liked competitor who loved the sport of drag racing, and truly enjoyed interacting with anyone who shared his passion. His roots in the sport are deep and he has retained a lifelong interest in racing. In the Modified Roadster, Jess set records for speed, points, and time at races throughout the nation. Although he rose to become one of the leading pioneers of the sport, his beginnings were modest.

In 1957, Jess' senior year of high school, he built his first drag car in auto shop class, a 1934 Ford Coupe. For two years he raced it at Paradise Mesa Drag Strip. He graduated to a self-built injected "B" Modified Roadster and used that car to set local records at Long Beach, Santa Ana and most other California and Arizona drag strips. In 1960 he won his class setting the record for elapsed time at the NHRA Nationals in Detroit, Michigan.

The years 1961-63 were great years for Jessies career. In 1961 he raced all over the Southwest setting all class speed and elapsed time records. Jessie won his class at both the NHRA Winternationals at Pomona and the Nationals in Indianapolis. At the Nationals, Jessie recieved the Autolite Electric award for the Best Engineered Car, a singular and distinct honor. In 1962 Jessie was crowned Competition World Points Champion over all the other classes at the Nationals. More at: Walk of Fame Bios




Jerry Baltes was unable to attend. Jerry begin his drag racing career at Paradise Mesa, next to the Mexican border in San Diego in 1951. He started out by driving a 1940 Ford Tudor sedan. Two years of that and Jerry was ready to move up and built a 1932 Ford five-window coupe which he raced in Gas Class. Needing to go faster, he chopped the top on the Ford Coupe and moved up into the Altered Class. In 1955 Jerry took the Ford all the way to Kansas for the inaugural NHRA Nationals in Great Bend.

The following year saw Jerry enlist help from Joaquin Arnette of Bean Bandits fame to build a Flathead Ford powered dragster. He was successful enough to be a member of the Drag News Top Ten list and continued to race around the Southern part of California primarily. In 1962, ready for the "Big Time" Jerry partnered with Red Lathrum and Bud De Boer to field a fresh Tommy Ivo built AA fuel dragster, Croshier, Baltes and Lavato. More at: Walk of Fame Bios



Tommy "The Watchdog" Allen was one of the brightest young stars to emerge from the barnstorming era in which drag racing developed its unique personality as a truly all-American Motorsports.

Allen first made a name for himself when he set an NHRA record in a small block Chevy-powered D/Gasser but it wasn't until 1963 when he put that same Chevy between the frame rails of a bracket dragster that he attracted the attention of fellow San Diegan Larry Huff. More at: Walk of Fame Bios





There's not a drag racer on the planet who's been in more winners' circles than San Diego's Jack Jones. A brilliant driving career notwithstanding, Jones is most widely known as the driver from whose likeness the distinctive NHRA winner's trophy, the "Wally," was fashioned.

The 12-pound trophy, which made its debut in 1969, is an 18-inch tall replica of Jones in driving gear, standing next to a racing "slick" upon which he is resting his right hand. Beneath his fingers are a head sock and gloves. A helmet is tucked under his left arm. The 18-inch, brass-plated statuette is mounted on a solid walnut base and it has come to symbolize success at every level of the sport. More at: Walk of Fame Bios




Accepting for the late Ted Cyr were members of his extended family.

Before the NHRA cobbled together enough events to constitute a series, there were only two drag races of any real significance. One was the U.S. Nationals, which originated at Great Bend, Kansas before moving to Oklahoma City, Detroit and, finally, Indianapolis. The other was the U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships, better known as "The March Meet," contested in Bakersfield, Calif.

The only thing one needs to know about Ted Cyr's driving career is that he won both of those races, the Nationals at OKC in 1958 and Bakersfield two years later. More at: Walk of Fame Bios




Dick Lechien never met a race car he didn't like. Sedans, roadsters, coupes and dragsters, the talented San Diegan drove them all on the legendary California tracks on which organized drag racing originated in the 1950s and '60s: Paradise Mesa, Santa Ana, Ramona, Carlsbad, Colton, Lions, Riverside and Bakersfield.

Lechien was just 17 in 1956 when he took his first ride down a drag strip in a 1933 Plymouth coupe. It was the same car in which he had courted his wife with a few minor alterations. After gutting the interior, he added a driver's seat, roll bars and a plywood floor, revved up the six-cylinder Plymouth engine and called it a race car.
More at: Walk of Fame Bios





Accepting for the late Jim Nelson wasJim Nelson award was accepted by brother Tom Nelson, and son Dirk Nelson.

Few individuals left their fingerprints on more aspects of the sport of drag racing than Jim Nelson.

At a time when Wally Parks still was trying to take the sport beyond its car club roots, Nelson distinguished himself as a driver, an NHRA official and, with his brother Tom and partner Dode Martin, as one of the first to mass produce high performance parts and equipment for other racers.

In drag racing's formative years, Nelson was active with the San Diego Timing Association before becoming an NHRA tech inspector and, ultimately, a member of the NHRA Safety Safari when it embarked on its initial tour. More at: Walk of Fame Bios




For years the elite in drag racing trailered to Chula Vista to get some valued help from innovator Bruce Crower.

His reputation was far and wide as the wrenchman who could develop added speed from any engine. Starting with the 1956 assistance and guidance he provided the upstart drag race team Emery Cook and Cliff Bedwell, who immediately became famous by running the fastest speeds ever in a quarter-mile. More at: Walk of Fame Bios





Johnny McDonald award accepted by friend Darrell Kinney on behalf of McDonald Family.



Accepting for the late Emery Cook was his son Ernie.

In about 1956, Scotty Fenn moved from Oklahoma to the LA area and brought with him a dragster chassis he had built. Shortly after arriving here he met Lou Baney who was service manager at Yeakel Cadillac dealership. Lou had a race car engine from a Roadster sponsored by the dealership. Lou and Fenn put the Cadillac engine in the dragster chassis, put the dealership name on it and got Kenny Arnold to drive it. They won a big AHRA race with the car and that got the attention of a pair of racers from San Diego. The San Diego guys, Cliff Bedwell and Emery Cook came to check the car out and bought the chassis from Fenn who sold it to get seed money for a chassis business he wanted to start.




Levity was added with the presentation of the framed Tucson T-Shirt that was a was a personal spoof gift to Red.




Kol Johnson and Mark McCormick getting ready for their big show.


For those lucky enough to see it, the old school, Lions style push start from the top end by Kol Johnson in the Chris Karamesines ChiZler and Mark McCormick in the Tommy Ivo Barnstormer (both owned by Ron Johnson) was one of the true highlights of the whole show. Another feather is Ron's hat.






Both cars pushed down from the topend.










The lane swap was reminiscent of so many tracks in the day to help get the cars pointed down the track if they couldn't make the turn behind the starting line. Don Ewald, Don Irvin, Alan Miller and Ivo himself were on the Barnstormer.







The ChiZler smoked the tires at the hit while the Barnstormer motored on down the track leaving all of us feeling like we just went through a time warp. Great job all.


Sadly most of the photographers did not choose to share their shots of this classic show. There will be fewer media credentials issued for the 2nd Annual Nitro Revival on September 29, 2018.



As everyone was getting ready for the Line of Fire. Tommy Ivo and Larry Dixon share some memories prior to the Line of Fire. Larry Ofria to Ivo's left,



Mark McCormick doing his best Tommy Ivo impression.


Marvin Graham in the seat of the Custom Body Enterprises AA/FC for the Line of Fire.


Steve Barcak and Rod Hynes waiting to see the finale.


Ron Johnson with two of his chief helpers, Jesus Ricardo (Richard) Vasquez and Mark McCormick. Both will join with Kol and Connie to continue Ron's legacy.



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