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On August Fourth, Cacklefest.com sponsored an event strictly for Cackle Cars at Irwindale Speedway. As it happens, Irwindale is right across the 605 Freeway from the original two San Gabriel dragstrips and just around the corner from the original Irwindale. This added an element of sentimentality for many because some of the cars that attended this event had made their "bones" at San Gabriel.

The track allowed the group to bring cars Friday night and get situated and the event took place between 10:00 A. M. and 4:00 P. M. on Saturday. There were fewer cars than had been anticipated but some last minute additions made up for that in a big way.

For those who missed the Irwindale Cacklecar Showcase, here are some shots. Due to various unforeseen problems they had a lower car count than hoped for but the cars that did show up made the day for everyone in attendance.

There were about a dozen cars and the push start practice time was well used. Bob Muravez took a spin in the Shubert & Herbert car, Tom Ivo got out of bed before noon and was there at 11:15 to drive the Barnstormer.

The "spectator" count was not huge but people like Paula Baldwin and her boyfriend Gary Flanagan were there as were a number of people who weren't expected. Barry Kaplan, Marvin Graham, Bob Muravez, to name a few. The NHRA crew were great, Steve Gibbs ramrodded the deal with some help from Ron Johnson. Rod McCarrell and Gary Edwards came and helped. Ray Lake drove his 57 Ford F-100 push truck up from El Cajon area and had a great time. Jay Carpenter said Poison Ivy was all loaded in the trailer, but Ken Blackmore didn't have a spare truck to tow it so it stayed at home. Jay brought his 67 Chrysler wagon and pushed someone.

Photos by Tim & Cindy Cope, Jim Phillipson and John Ewald




Kol Johnson's rig was one of the first there and he and his dad, Ron, planned to stay at the track Friday night so a few of the others joined in for a good old fashion BBQ.



Steve and Gloria Gibbs and Gwen Drury.




The cars started arriving around 9 AM Saturday. Bill Pitts brought his legendary Fuller chassied Magicar. Pitts has also had this car at every Cacklefest and is the originator of the static start display, having done this for the first time behind the grandstand at the Bakersfield California Hot Rod Reunion in 1998. The original driver of the car was Jeep Hampshire who has been at almost every major event the car has attended.


The NHRA Museum crew, Dusty McWilliams, Gwen Drury, Wayne Phillips and Jim Adolph led by Steve Gibbs brought three cars from the Museum. The Howard Cam Rattler here sits in front of the Museum trailer. In the foreground is the Swamp Rat VI which was one of the two top fuel cars to go to England with the US Drag Team that NHRA |assembled in 1964.


The Rattler has been a perennial entry in Cacklefest since the very first one. Here Dusty McWilliams has his back to the camera, his son Shane is on his left and his fiancé Gwen Drury is peeking over his shoulder.


The NHRA Museum also brought the famed Kent Fuller car which was campaigned by Greer, Black and Prudhomme. The car was restored some years back by Steve Davis and is owned by collector/preserver Bruce Meyer and has been in the Peterson Museum, however now resides in the NHRA Museum.




The Ewell, Bell and Stecker "Chubasco" is now owned by Clyde Diedrick who just completed a mechanical update to make the car more Cackle friendly. Rick McDonald or Pro-air in Escondido performed the upgrades and would be in the car on this day.


Bob Deburn of San Diego brought his Paradise Alley car. It was the top competition car trophy winner at the 2006 Grand National Roadster Show. This is Bob's second car, as he first restored the Poison Ivy car which now belongs to Ken Blackmore of Temecula and is brought to events by Jay Carpenter.




Ron Johnson, owner of Cacklefest.com brought his two cars. The newest is the Tommy Ivo Barnstormer which was completed just two months ago. The car appeared in two entirely different colors between 1962 and 1965 and Ron has not yet made a final decision as to which of the color it will be. It was Ivo Red originally and made the first side by side seven second run across the street at San Gabriel Dragstrip in 1962 with Greer, Black and Prudhomme. It was the other Top Fuel car to go to England in 1964 along with Swamp Rat VI and was then sporting a Candy Tangerine paint job by George Barris. In the meantime, the magnificent body work is appreciated by all who see it in bare metal. Also in the pit was Johnson's Shubert/Herbert "Worlds Fastest Chevy" recreation.



Ivo needed a comfortable place to sit down.


The Mastercar is owned by John Ewald and is a 60's Jim Davis chassis. Ewald is more active than anyone in the Cackle Car realm, attending as many as 30 events a year, often sponsored by Firestone. John and Bob Danly take two cars to all the events, with the able assistance of Mario Garcia.


The BankAmericar is the other Ewald entry and was originally campaigned by Don Ewald in the late 60's and early 70's. It is a John Buttera chassis built for Don Ewald and was located about 6 years ago in Georgia running with a Chevy motor. John and Don got the car back and did a complete restoration taking it back to the exact appearance of it in 1969.


Don Prieto of Torrance now owns the Chrisman & Cannon "Hustler VI" which was the last in the line of Hustler dragsters. Don is getting close to getting the driveline installed so he will be able to join in push start events. Up until now, he has settled for static starts and is anxiously awaiting completion of the car to do push starts.



The Tocco-Harper-Garter team brought out their restored AA/FA.



Later in the morning Bruce Dyda pulled in with the newly finished Ivo "Showboat" 4-engine recreation. Dyda was commissioned to this project over 1 year ago and it turn out to be the longest, hardest project he has ever done. However, the finished product was worth it all as it is magnificent - and perfect to the point Ivo could find no flaws.


The 4 motor car was built originally by Kent Fuller and Ivo. This time it was built by Dyda and overseen by Ivo. Dyda is in the black shirt and pants. The car is a stunner. It is not operational, but was built strictly as a Museum piece. It will be displayed at The NHRA Museum for the next few months and will ultimately end up alongside it's later iteration "The Wagonmaster" in a museum being created by a wealthy collector in Winnemucca Nevada.


Needless to say the car, at one time or another, attracted everyone in attendance.






The Showboat next to it's successor, The Barnstormer.




There were two "photo op" line-ups during the day and this was the first.








The "Bank Cars" getting ready for their respective push starts.


Promptly at 11:30, the push starts took place, here Muravez guides the Shubert/Herbert car, overseen by Kol Johnson. The cars were lined up at far end of the return road and started one by one, stopping in front of the main grandstand for a minute or two and then proceeding back into the pits.



In no particular order the cars that wanted to did push starts (both for practice and fun) on the return road. Here Tom Ivo cackles Ron Johnson's Barnstormer. All are hoping the car will be painted by the CHRR to distinguish its appearance at the NHRR.




Ivo, a notorious late riser, got out of bed hours early to be at Irwindale and sit in the Barnstormer. Ron Johnson is attempting to plug his ears, as the din from the Barnstormer, with the weedburner pipes, is something awesome.



Jimmy Scott's son (Jimmy Jr.) here is going through an orientation push in Paradise Alley. It was pushed by Chuck Ross, in his Chev pickup. The car was not fired up in this session.



Rick McDonald lights up Chubasco for the first time, being ably pushed by Ray Lake of Tierra Santa in his ever-so-nice 57 Ford F-100.




Another "newbee" behind the wheel as Maxed Out Racing's Mario Garcia gets his first experience in a dragster. That was what this event was meant to be, an opportunity for practice starts, new people working together and everyone to have an opportunity to spend some time together in a low stress environment.




The only museum car to fire was the Howard Cams Rattler with Dusty McWilliams in the seat.





After having the car for 9 years the Godfather of Cacklefest, Bill Pitts, finally did a push start in his MagiCar and did it with the skill of an old pro. It was the first time Pitts had ever push started any dragster so kudos to The King.





After firing on the track Pitts drove the car back to the pits to savor the whole experience. When all was said and done he was "pumped!"





Another first time cackle "driver" was Vic Woods in John Ewald's Mastercar. Woods, who once ran TF cars in Australia, had no problems and a lot of fun.







The second "photo op" line-up included the Showboat.




Finally, "The Girls" knew how to enjoy a warm Saturday at Irwindale!









Check back for more event coverage as they happen.


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