Classic muscle gets rowdy at the Nostelgia Drags
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Last Saturday’s 2019 edition at Meremere Dragway was a smoky, wheel-standing drag racing spectacle for machinery as diverse as sedate flat-head V8s and supercharged 200mph racing machines.
The special attraction for his year’s Nostalgias was a celebration of 1990s style Wild Bunch racing — the supercharged full-body sedans and coupes that were the forerunner of modern Top Doorslammers.
The cars were set to be the stars but Tauranga’s Mike Reid added to the significance of the event by convincing former Doorslammer ace Chris Tynan to return to the sport.
Tauranga's Mike Reid launches his ex-Chris Tynan `55 Chev Wild Bunch racer. COLIN SMITH PHOTO
Reid now owns both of Tynan’s iconic ‘55 Chev Doorslammers and wheeled out the original Rat Attack for the Wild Bunch revival. Tynan made two passes in the car, a shakedown and a storming early evening 7.038s/199.8mph pass that showed his aggressive driving style remains very much intact.
Other top performing Wild Bunch racers were the ‘64 Falcon XP of Bobby Owens (Te Awamutu), the ‘41 Willys Coupe of Mark Gapp (Palm Nth) and Auckland racer Michael Franklin in his ‘66 Pontiac GTO.
The Wild Bunch winner was the "wheels up’’ ‘69 Camaro of Brent Whittingham (Feilding) who beat Franklin in the final.
The crowd-pleasing Vintage Gassers returned to entertain with long burnouts and some enormous wheel stands.
Christchurch’s Angus McKay was the Vintage Gasser winner in his ‘52 Chevrolet with Tauranga’s Dave Best runner-up in his Hemi-powered ‘30 Ford Model A Coupe.
The quickest pass of the day was posted by Tauranga’s Karen Hay with a 6.384s/213.9mph best in her Evil II twin turbo ‘27 T Roadster.
Six-second passes were also posted by Raymond Smyth (Auckland) in his blown Hemi-powered front engine dragster and Hunua’s Andrew ‘‘Squig’’ Miles in his ‘65 XP Falcon Doorslammer.
The annual Front Engine Dragster Challenge was won by Hamilton’s Grant Briffault with Whangarei’s Ross Brown runner-up.
Invercargill's Karl Boniface was a crowd pleaser in his `76 Chevrolet Vega nitro funny car. COLIN SMITH PHOTO
The cackle of nitro was provided by the Nitro Flashback Chevrolet Vega funny car of Invercargill’s Karl Boniface making its first on-track appearance for 12 months and posting an impressive run of 7.093secs.
A big part of the annual Nostalgia Drags is Pre-49 Hot Rod and Pre-72 Muscle Car competition.
For many owners the Nostalgia Drags and the NZ Hot Rod Magazine Club Champs the following is the annual competitive outing for street-driven cars. Its popularity was reflected by 38 Hot Rod entries and 54 cars competing in the Pre-72 category.