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NHRR Cacklefest






Saturday was forecast to be the hottest day of the weekend and it didn't disappoint. Early on most everyone who didn't have to do anything - didn't. Shade, rest and lots of water was the order of the day.




Adam Sorokin was one of many who stopped by Tom Hanna's put to admire his work of art.




Steve Carbone and Ed "The Mole" Donovan were there in spirit with the Creitz & Donovan restoration (below).



Next to Hanna was the popular Wale & Candies resto.



The NHRA Motorsports Museum hauled 3 cars to the show - the Howard Cams Rattler, Safford-Gaide-Ratican and the Pure Heaven II AA/FA.



One of the cars making its Cacklefest debut was the Hooligan AA/FD restored by Kevin McDonald. This is a real beauty featuring a Logghe chassis and Al Bergler body. Health problems are forcing McDonald to sell his dream car so if you're in the market for a turn-key cacklecar contact Kevin at 330-645-9552.






Roy Steffey & Al Bergler stopped by to visit and relive their mid 60s craftsmanship. Both also autographed the inside of the seat.




Here is what looks like a great cacklecar project. Its the real deal... Jack Hart's 1970 "Golddigger" AA/FD that was driven by Billy Campbell. It looks to be in great shape. This was a real beauty in its day.




Late afternoon they fired up the Wale & Candies car. This puppy really belches the flames.







Norbe Locke was on hand with his "Grandpas Toy". Norbe and his wife go to many events over the year and have a ball doing it. Nice way to spend your retirement.


The Bronson Spec. at rest. Check out the cool hold downs on their canopy.



Last years "Belle of the Ball" the Stephens & Venables AA/FD was back and still looking great. The owners of this beauty are Rip & Natalie Wiley from Eads, Tennessee. It took them 4 years to get the restoration done - and done right. "Tennessee Bo-Weevil" driver Preston Davis built the 392 fuel hemi.






Rip has been collecting autographs on this nose piece for two years and its got a load of heavy hitters represented.


Next to the Stephens and Venables car was Raymond Godman and his two Tennessee Bo-Weevil cars. Both the funny car and dragster are dead nuts original and have been in Ray's care since they retired from the track.



Godman and his long time driver and friend, Preston Davis work out a game plan.




The Bergler camp was its usual class act.


No idea who's car this is but its very nice and appears to need only paint.



Butch Maas warming up the Creitz & Donovan car.







Tom Hanna warms up his beauty.


Cars did practice starts though out the day.



Preston Davis unloading the Bo-Weevil flopper... and then gettin' in.



Now here's a rose between two thorns. The world famous T.C. Lemon and ex-top fuel driver Jim Walther with Natalie Wiley.


Walther was in the seat of Ray Godman's Bo-Weevil fueler for Cacklefest. Below he accomplishes his obligatory practice push start prior to the Saturday night show.



Dick Venables warmed up the Stephens & Venables car with son Dickie working the injectors .







Larry Dixon Sr. was back in the seat of his 1967 ride - the beautiful Smirnoff fueler. He to had to do a test push start.











Saturday afternoon Steve Gibbs held the Cacklefest meeting that required all drivers (race and push cars) and on track crew members to attend.








Arguably the biggest news to hit BG on Saturday was the presence of NHRA Big Show star, Larry Dixon Jr. who would be in the seat of another of his dads rides from the 60s - the Howard Cams Rattler for Cacklefest. The whole deal was overseen by one of the original car owners, Danny Porsche.


LD signed autographs and chatted with fans. Very popular is he.



Brett Johansen, who, along with Nick Arias III restored the Rattler was also in the mix. His dad Jerry was also part of the Ratter gang. Johansen attached this tiny video camera on the injector to record Jr's first push start.







For the first time in his life, Dixon climbed into he seat of at front engine dragster.











In the staging lanes under what was shade that was a rare commodity.



Jr. was joined by his Dad who wanted to be in the push car.




Gibbs made sure he was securely strapped in.

















Like an old pro, Dixon lit the Rattler without issue.



Back to the pits - get ready for tonight.





Much has been said about the incredible model Ralph Kitron built for Steve Gibbs. Using odd parts including but certainly not limited to a car antenna, a metal rain gutter, inner tube and a Barby Doll, Ralph worked all winter recreating the Swamp Fox in his own image. We've included some shots already but it deserves more. Here is the 1:6 scale Fox up close and personal.



On Friday Ralph had the car on display in his "pit" and was gracious enough to give me a dissection and extensive description of the materials he used and all the trick detailed working parts.


First off was a demonstration of the car in action - all done by remote control.



With the lid off the case Ralphie starts his show.


The engine, the only thing he did not make from scratch was the engine from the blower down. It is a GMP 1:6 392 fuel hemi. However, he did modify the valve covers and injector to be Swamp Fox correct.










The detail on the chassis, especially the front end and steering is incredible. Buttera would have been proud.







With the car back together, Ralph fired her up again. The audio tape is a burnout and complete run.


The functional christmas tree is in sync with the audio and the rear wheels turn at the hit. The headers light up and the car yanks the front wheel at the 60' mark. Way cool!



Like said earlier, this really has to be seen to be appreciated in full. There is no word yet on where Gibbs will house this beauty but who knows, it may find its way to the CHRR.





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Till next time - happy cackling!