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Small Show - Huge Hit


The Cacklefest event at Gainesville went off without a hitch and was very popular with the "Big Show" fans. The participants were Barbara Hamilton and her Willys Gasser, Frank Spittle and the dual Harley Freight Train motorcycle, Pure Heaven AA/FA, Barnes and Gladstone "Michigander", Jerry Baltes AA/FD, Kenny Safford A/FD, Sy Sidebotham's "King and Marshall" AA/FD, Denny Fenstermaker's Roger Gates Chevy AA/FD, The Howard Cam "Rattler" AA/FD and The Rat Trap AA/FA. Cacklefest.com was on hand to capture the action and events surrounding Cacklefest South.

Photos by: Marvin Smith and Ron Johnson


Traditionally the Drag Racing Hall of Fame ceremonies are held at the Garlits Museum on Thursday night during the Gatornationals. This year was no different. This shot is a classic taken during the event. L to R: Don Garlits and his daughter Donna, Steves daughter Stephanie, 2006 Inductee Steve Gibbs, daughter Cindy, Chris Karamesines and his daughter, Paula.


Cacklefest.com website producer Ron "Big Yohns" Johnson pictured with Paula Karamesines-Baldwin, Gary Flanagan and Karamesines lady friend Sandy Shields in front of the Chizler in the Garlits Museum. Ron and John Loukas are working together to prepare the Chizler for a series of appearances at Cacklecar events. The appearances will be sponsored by Cacklefest.com. The first is scheduled to be in the Standard 1320 display at the Goodguys Del Mar car show the end of April.


The Chizler was removed from the Garlits Museum Friday morning.


Left to right, Rex Rexroat, Bob Muravez, Dusty McWilliams and John Loukas prepare to load the car into Rex's trailer for the trip to the Gainesville Drag Strip.




The Chizler (aka The 204 Car) had been removed from the Garlits Drag Racing Museum just shortly before Steve Gibbs, Bob Muravez and Rex Rexroat move it along side the trailer. After Gainsville the car was taken to the West Coast where it will be fitted with a "live" engine and begin its new life as a "cacklecar".

Watch for a new page on the Cacklefest.com as we follow the progress of rejuvinating The Chizler and preparing it for it's debut under the canopy of the host hotel at the National Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green June 15th, 2006.


All the cars were on display in the Gainesville pits and drew a constant interest from the fans. On one side of the tent, the gorgeous Baltes-Croshier-Lavato 1964 Top Fueler sits in front of the Howard Cam Rattler and the "Freight Train" twin Harley motorcycle brought by Frank Spittle.


On the other side of the tent sits the Don Garlits Swamp Rat VI alongside the original, one and only "204 Car", the Chizler. Garlits was absent as he fulfilled an obligation to appear at the rescheduled Goodguys March Meet.


Steve Gibbs stands on the left as the appreciative crowd enjoys Dusty McWilliams and Bob Muravez cackling the Rattler in the pits (below).



The Fenstermaker crew for the weekend was dad Denny, Dale Smith (making sure they didn't blow themselves up), son Cody and two of his friends from GA tech. Below is their car getting ready to push over to the fire up road.



Prior to the Sunday afternoon Cacklefest Steve Gibbs goes over the procedures and timing with the group. Jerry Baltes, Frank Spittle, Sy Sidebottom, Greg Bovio (NHRA Museum crew), Dale Smith, and Bob Muravez pay attention.




Barb Hamilton gets comfortable in her Willys BB/Gasser. Barb was the first lady that NHRA licensed to drive a supercharged car long before Melanie, Shelley, Lori, and even Shirley. She was the first car in the Cacklefest and had just been sent to the starting line by Steve Gibbs. The car was started once it was in position.




The "Freight Train" twin-engined Nitro fueled Harley bike headed for the starting line next with Frank Spittle aboard.


The Pure Heaven AA/FA driven by Jim Adolph was pushed by the very tasty Chevrolet powered '53 Ford F-100 owned and driven by Carl Litzkow.



Barnes and Gladstones "Michigander" AA/FD begins its push start down the return road and then makes the turn toward its spot.



Cody Fenstermacker in the "Roger Gates" Chev AA/FD heads being pushed by dad Denny in his own '57 Chev Coupe that he has owned for over 20 years.


Cody Fenstermaker makes the turns up track in the potent "Pipedream Racing" AA/FD.



Kenny Safford in his Safford-Gaide-Ratican A/FD. Safford came all the way from California to sit in his car for Gainesville. The Olds powered AA/FD was pushed by "The Other" James Warren, former Top Fuel owner/driver in his Green Pontiac powered Ford F-100 which is for sale for $16,000.



Jerry Baltes in his beautiful Tom Hanna recreation (Rod Pepmueller chassis) of the Croshier-Baltes-Lavato 1963 fueler.



Bob Muravez aka Floyd Lippencott Jr. at the controls of the "Howard Cam Rattler" was pushed by Fred Bear's lovely 56 Chev Nomad.



Ron Hope in the Rat Trap AA/FA on the way to the starting line after being fired up by an electric starter.



This was a fitting appearance for the King & Marshall as it took the 1970 Gatornationals Top Fuel crown with Jimmy King in the seat. King beat Eddie Carrecia in the final. At this event the car was handled by Tom "Tuna" Steed.


Pure Heaven gets a barrel valve adjustment mid cackle.


Barnes and Gladstone "Michigander" AA/FD


The Roger Gates Special with Dale Smith tending the motor.


Kenny Safford at his spot under the warm Florida sun. The only downside to a daytime Cacklefest is the lack of visible header flames.


Jerry Baltes on all eight.


The Rattler in place under the watchful eye of its keeper, Dusty McWilliams


Sy Sidebottom doing a couple of moves next to his King and Marshall car. The sticky track surface won out over Sy's "Flip-flops" and they just wouldn't stay on.



Cacklefest lineup from the roof of the tower.


Bob Muravez and "Bear" ready to celebrate another successful Cacklefest.


The ageless Kenny Safford acknowledges the cheers from the crowd.


Ron Hope enjoys the moment.


Dale Smith and Cody Fenstermaker, got it done together.


The Barnes and Gladstone team were more than pleased with their showing at Gainesville.





Check back for more event coverage as they happen.



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