Rod and Custom Page 1
It looks like a show car, but is one of the most competitive cars in Nostalgia II this year. The late Warren Brogie built this '27 Dodge, now raced in NE2 by Jim VanGordon. Jim was looking for a Brogie-built car when he found this one in a garage in Boise. The 565 ci Chrysler B engine with Brodix aluminum heads makes 960 hp, but just as impressive is the bodywork. Harley billet road lights flank the authentic grille shell. Look closely and you'll see that the fenders have been cut out. After a lifetime of racing in numerous classes, Jim says he got tired of all the electronic stuff and wanted to go back to some real racing, "When it's just you and your car, you're shifting and you're driving. Nostalgia Elliminator just fit what we wanted."
The popularity of Goodguys' Vintage Drag Racing could turn the first decade of the 21st century into drag racing's glory years. At least that's the feeling we get watching the competition at the March Meet, the Nitro Nats, the Hot Rod Nats, and the Fuel & Gas Finals. For everyone who loves Gassers, Altereds, Roadsters, front engine diggers, and early Funny Cars, it's nostalgia all over again.
For a lot of fans, an old-time strip like Famoso in Bakersfield (home of the March Meet) is the perfect place to watch vintage drags. For a lot of the racers, however, pulling up to the starting lights at the historic but up-to-date Pomona Fairplex (home of the NHRA Winternationals since 1961) is pretty exciting.
We spent the last weekend in June at the Fairplex for the Goodguys 7th Pomona Nitro Nationals. With hundreds of hot rods running in a dozen categories and classes from Top Fuelers to Gassers, Nastalgia Eliminator to Hot Rod bracket racing, the racing lasts from before breakfast until way after dark, with hours of action under the lights.
We had a taste for roadsters and Altereds that weekend and spent most of our time watching the category packed with those cars: Nostalgia Eliminator. Goodguys has divided this category into three index classes. Nostalgia I is the 7.60-second elapsed time index, with Nostalgia II and Nostalgia III running 8.60 and 9.60 indexes respectively. All NE classes are open to center-steer cars, including dragsters, with '72-or-earlier bodies. Left-hand-steer cars can race in NE2 or NE3. Cars can be blown or injected, gas, alcohol, and even nitro are allowed. Electronic driving devices? Not allowed!
Most of the altereds and roadsters in NE run big-block or small-block Chevys. There are plenty of Hemis, a few big-block Fords, and the occasional "other" such as the injected VW in Marty Stagg's '23 T roadster. We noticed an almost even split between blowers and injectors, and between gasoline and alcohol, with injected cars favoring alcohol. Powerglides are the most prevalent transmissions.
January 2005 ~ Rod & Custom