The (Almost) Complete History of Drag Racing
1949 through 1971
©2001 Bill Ott
All Rights Reserved
A few weeks ago Don Ewald sent a request for help in trying to write the history of Drag Racing in 500 words (or less!) I assumed he meant from the sport's humble beginnings up until the advent (and eventual takeover) of those dratted rear engine dragsters.
Turns out they wanted the whole big picture from start right up to 2001 season! In 500 words? Perhaps the history of Roman Empire or World War II, but Drag Racing... in 500 words? I think not.
Anyway, I spent an entire Sunday afternoon attempting to chronicle the 'old daze.' Perhaps I need to get a life. But it seemed to be an awful lot of work just to send to the recycle bin. So here goes... one man's version of The Complete History of Drag Racing... up until those damned REDs showed up. Happy holidays!
Goleta, Calif., Tom Cobbs, Fran Hernandez, Nitromethane, Santa Ana, Calif., C.J. Hart, Dick Kraft, Howard Johansen, Harold Nicholson, Chet Herbert, Vic Edelbrock, Ed Iskenderian, Paul Schiefer, Lou Baney, Louie Senter, Wally Parks, Barbara Parks, Art Chrisman, J. Otto Crocker, Fred Davies, Barney Navarro, Joaquin Arnett, Bud Coons, Chief Ralph Parker, Pomona, Famoso, Bob Rounthwaite, Phil Weiand, Tony Waters, Mickey Thompson, Lions, Great Bend, Calvin Rice, Kent Enderle, Lloyd Scott, Jazzy Nelson, Red Henslee, Speed Sport, Stu Hilborn, Ernie Hashim, Joe Hunt, Melvin Heath, Fritz Voight, Scotty Fenn, Chassis Research, Gary Cagle, Setto Postoian, Romeo Palamides, Don Garlits, Swamp Rat, Pat Garlits, Emory Cook, Bruce Crower, Money Olds, Marvin Rifchin, Harry Rifchin, Doris Herbert, Art Arfons, Cyr &Hopper, Jack Ewell, Stan Shiroma, Robert 'Jocko" Johnson, John Bradley, Rodney Singer, Jim Nelson, Dode Martin, Dragmaster, Bobby Langley, Tom Ivo, Chris Karamesines, The Chizler, Don Maynard, Jack Chrisman, Steve Gibbs, Haines & Cross, Lou Cangelose, Albertson Olds, Leonard Harris, Gene Adams, Sidebotham Engineering Special, Ray Godman, Connie Kalitta, Art Malone, Pete Millar, Pandemonium, Lefty Mudersbach, Dave Zueschel, Kent Fuller, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Pete Robinson, Tom McEwen, Eddie Hill, Joe Schubeck, Freight Train, Floyd Lippencott Jr., John Wenderski, Rod Stuckey, Vance Hunt, Keith Black, Jeep Hampshire, Joe Jacono, Greer-Black-Prudhomme, The Snake, Ken Safford, The Sour Sisters, S&H Red Stamp Special, Billy Scott, Ernie's Camera Spl., The Shadow, Masters & Richter, Dead End Kids, Frantic Four, Gordon Collett, Ted Gotelli, Denny Miliani, The Surfers, Crossley-Williams-Swan, Don Moody, Jungle Four, Rick Stewart, Tom Hanna, Jim Minnick, Terry Cook, Jim Dunn, Ramchargers, Mike Snively, Gary Gabelich, Sandoval Bros & Madden, George Bolthoff, Frank Cannon, Paul Sutherland, Jerry Baltes, Ed Pink, Marvin Schwartz, Joe Jackson, Jim Brissette, Woody Gilmore, Frank Huzar, Jim Davis, Danny Ongais, Jerry Ruth, Maynard Rupp, Carroll Bros.-Oxman, Tom Hoover, The Hawaiian, Don Westerdale, Yeakel Plymouth, Brand Ford, Wayne King, Dave Jeffers, Sid Waterman, Reese Bros., John Edmunds, Pat Foster, Bob Spar, Lakewood Industries, Tex Randall, Bob Harrop, Ronnie Sox & Buddy Martin, Shirley Shahan, Dave Beebe, Marshall & Vermilia, Butch Leal, Bruce Larson, Don Grotheer, Bill Jenkins, Charlie Seabrook, Gene Snow, Brutus, Jungle Jim, Jungle Pam, Gene Coleman, Ron Rivero, Maverick, Stellings & Tapia, Powers & Riley, Chuck Kurzawa, Larry Dixon Sr., The Guzler, "Big" John Mazmanian, John Wiebe, Stone-Woods & Cook, Bob Downey, Leroy Goldstein, Butch Blair, Hayden Proffitt, Don Cook, Texas Motorplex, Don Johnson, Wheeler Dealer, Bennie Osborn, Jim and Allison Lee, Al Vanderwoude, Dickie Harrell, Don Yenko, Bill Heischler, Don Gay, Frank Pedregon, 554, Marcellus & Borsch, Tom Grove, L.A. Dart. "Dyno" Don Nicholson, Dick Landy, Mr. Norm's Charger, Gas
Ronda, Walt Stevens, Bill Lawton, Jim Nicoll, John Bateman, Steve Carbone, Kelly Brown, Leland Kolb, Kaiser Bros., Fred
Forkner, The Addict, Richard Tharp, Beebe & Mulligan, The Zookeeper, Gary Cochran, Mike Kuhl, Don Garlits Swamp Rat XIII, King & Marshall, Tony Nancy, Ronnie Martin, Jim Paoli, Connie Swingle, T.C. Lemmons, Don Garlits Wynn's Charger... the one with the engine in the back.
More old B.S. later.