Nostalgia racing….the good ol' days!

By Prof. Boris McCamshafti

So, you came out to see the nostalgia funny cars way back at the beginning of the season! Those old beasts all have a unique sound, don’t they? Every one of them seems to have a different personality, and they were certainly more temperamental than the nitro burners that you see running today. They always were unpredictable. That was one of the things that made them so much fun to watch. You must never knew what to expect next. One round they were running straight and strong, and the next they were coming right at you, sideways, as you sat in the stands, still blistering the slicks out of the gate! And then there was Top Fuel, or as it used to be known as…AA/FD. If you don’t know what that means, there’s an event coming up where you can find out. And, by the way, who said you can’t smoke the slicks with the front end in the air?

Funny thing about nitro fumes, you just never seem to get enough! Nitro and rubber seem to dominate over every other smell at an event where rocket fuel is still part of the show. Here at Norwalk, even during an oil-down cleanup when nothing was on the track, you could smell the ingredients of crazy speed. It’s all around you, and you cannot ignore it! If you don’t understand the feeling I’m talking about, you have to put yourself in the stands to experience it.

Back in the day before there was Pro Stock, there were the Gassers! The shortest distance from point A to point B is a straight line. The Gassers never understood that. With a center of gravity about navel high on an eight-foot basketball player, these unruly creations went every which way but straight! The guys and girls that run the Gas classes today haven’t changed the fundamentals of the early years of the class. They still sit high enough off the ground to give the driver a nosebleed, and they still wobble all over the track on their way to the other end. With a straight axle on the front, and virtually no suspension on the rear, what would you expect?

At the time when the array of machinery we’re talking about was on every dragstrip every weekend, you would pick up your girl and drop her into your rod to head to the strip. Your hotrod wasn’t built by the local professional and paid for with a bank loan, it was built by you! The cars shook, the clutch would wear your leg out in city traffic, it steered so hard you didn’t need barbell workouts, and the thing broke with dismal regularity! Chopped tops were standard, and the lower, the better. Never mind the fact that you couldn’t see a stoplight from halfway down the block, cut another inch out of it!

Now those creations, on and off the track, that dominated the beloved 50’s and 60’s are called nostalgia. If the “nostalgia” factor is what lights you up, you need to check out the Wanda/AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise. For three days, you can get as close to the golden era of hotrods as is humanly possible to do without a time machine. Nowhere, with the possible exception of Southern California, can you find an event that surpasses the Wanda/AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise for reliving those days long gone. The best street rods in the Midwest, along with the greatest ground-pounding drag racing machines of that era will be in attendance for three short days. Don’t miss this once-per-year chance to step back in time (July 19-21, 2013)! The Wanda/AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise…hey man, see you in the pits!

For more information about the Wanda/AkzoNobel Blue Suede Cruise visit

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