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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Mr. Flathead's Memories

By John Bradley

John Bradley's Flathead Flyer still flies today! Photo by Bob Plumer
John Bradley's Flathead Flyer still flies today! Photo by Bob Plumer

I must have zillion things in this old head of mine, and I'm sure a lot of people would like to have access to all of them. I've always been afraid that I might drop dead, and then they would have to spend another 40 years figuring out all the answers the hard way, like I did. So, you are more than welcome to publish whatever info or madness I might. I am proud to have made the Drag Racing Hall of Fame with a Flathead (I believe I'm the only one to make it the HARD way)! 

Unique Injection -- I've tried some weird and unique attempts at drawing quiet air from behind the scoop. Many didn't work for me. I wound up with two bread pans over the carbs and only 5/8 of an inch over the throats. This has worked real well for forty years; I still have the whole assembly in the shop. I will run it again some day.

Night drags at Colton -- The old man who ran the searchlights at Colton was of the opinion that if he was paid until 10 p.m. that's when he shut off the lights! I can remember at least three times, running on 100% at half-track, when that old devil would kill all the lights! Great sport -- all you could do was steer to the outside of the lane until you hit the dirt, and hang on the brake for dear life (no chute in those days). It would take at least a six pack to calm me down. Anyway, not too many drivers had such problems. Aahh for the good old days!

Colton on a wing and a prayer During the races at Colton, I used to hang out at a bar called the 106 Club. I would qualify the flatty, and take off for the back door of the club. Tony (the track operator) would send a peon over for us when it was time to run against whoever was left! Considering our condition, and that of the roll cage, etc., I have used up eight of my nine lives!

Yeakel Plymouth Special -- I had the pleasure of beating the Yeakel car two weeks in a row at Colton. First week, Lou explained they were having trouble with car. After second time, Lou came to me and said I had beaten them, fair and square (with a handshake). Lou Yeakel became the only man in my career to admit that the flatty had beaten them. One in a million; may he rest in peace.

John Bradley
"Mr. Flathead"


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