Latest news

 !cid_part6_09090106_07090003@Verizon

One of the most famous cars in the history of drag racing is the Speed Sport Roadster. The team, led by Red Greth, burst onto the scene in the 50’s and won races at every track they travelled to. The innovative nitromethane burning roadster was far ahead of its time and was the first success­ful rear-engined drag racing car.

Speed Sport raced all over the country taking on the cream of the crop in drag racing and usually sent them home on the trailer. The team held the National elapsed time and top speed records and was also on the Drag News Top Ten Fuel Car List for years.

The restored Speed Sport Roadster has also been the star of many car shows and nostalgia drag racing events.  The original Roadster is one of the historic race cars on display at the NHRA Motorsports Museum.

The Speed Sport Roadster, and Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame, Pima County Sports Hall of Fame and International Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Red Greth, will be in attendance at the Tucson Dragway Reunion at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson on Saturday night, May 17, 2014.  In addition to going down the track, the Roadster will be making noise and lighting up the night in the Nitro Blast at the end of the event.

For more background on the Speed Sport Roadster restoration and the history of the team that will be at the Tucson Dragway Reunion go to http://cacklefest.com/SpeedSport.shtml

For more info on the Reunion and more photos of the Speed Sport Roadster go to the event website at http://tucsondragway.net/ and the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/376065049160480/

Turney-Photo-1

Red with Don Maynard

SpeedSport_TopBanana_Shubie01_04-09-2005

Speed Sport alongside Don Prieto’s Top Banana at Inyokern

Speed Sport vs. the Green Monster

Speed Sport vs. the Green Monster

Speed Sport and Silver Dollar

Speed Sport spotting the Silver Dollar Gasser at San Diego Raceway

speedsport

Speed Sport getting a push start from Steve Gibbs’ Ford

Turney-Photo-3

Red with the Trophy Girl…back in the day

!cid_41F68140B8DD4B1AB75B83021CBD5388@TurneyPC

Speed Sport racing a dragster in the 50′s

Pat Hayhurst pushing starting Speed Sport

Pat Hayhurst pushing starting Speed Sport

April302012

 

Speed Sport at the '13 Tucson Reunion

Speed Sport at the ’13 Tucson Reunion

 

Rusk

 

Drag racing and Arizona lost a friend with the passing of Ray Ferry in Tucson on April 19, 2014.  Ray was born in 1936 and got into drag racing in the late 1950′s.  He was involved with a series of Power King dragsters up until the time of his death.  His last car, running in current nostalgia dragster trim, was the fastest 354 Chrysler powered dragster in history running a 6.23 at 223 mph (with iron heads, no wing and no computer!).

Ray was a fearless driver, an amazing machinist, and a fine engine builder.  Most of all, he was a really good man.  Ray and the Power King were part of the show last year at the Tucson Reunion, even though he was very ill, and he had recently gone through the car and was planning on attending again this year.

The release below is what was run last year on Ray and the Power King dragsters.  It will give you more history on Ray and his dragsters.

The services will be at Evergreen in Tucson on Saturday April 26 at 2 pm.  A get together will be held after at the Elks Club.  The funeral notice will be in the Arizona Daily Star on Thursday and Friday.

 The Power King Dragsters

In the summer of 1959 two Tucson residents in their early twenties, John Patrick and Ray Ferry, built a Top Fuel dragster literally by hand in their garage. Virtually every part of the car, from chassis to engine, was built by the talented duo on their own. They designed and welded the chassis together, Patrick built the motors, and Ferry (a master machinist) fabricated the parts needed. The car rolled on to the dragstrip sporting a virtually stock 354 inch Chrysler hemi with Stromberg carbs. The dragster, driven by Ferry, started winning right from the start. The two men quickly starting adding parts, first a blower and then fuel injection, in the search for more speed. The dragster continued winning and picked up sponsorship from Power King Batteries and Chrome Inc. The Power King dragster (as it became known) was the first car in Arizona to go over 180 miles an hour and notched up wins all over Arizona and in Southern California. The team raced a series of Power King dragsters through 1966 when families and jobs caused them to leave the race track.

Fast forward almost 40 years…. In 2005 John Patrick (then living in Florida and who was Chris Karamesines’ brother in law) was visiting Tucson when a long evening together with Ferry rekindled the flame and plans for a new Power King dragster got underway. Once again the duo built the car themselves by hand, from chassis to engine. A number of local racers lent a helping hand including Ted Sitterley from the Speed Sport team and Larry Steinegger from Steinegger & Eshenbaugh. The car was powered by what the guys were familiar with: an iron 354 Chrysler that was very old school and up against much more modern equipment in the new Nostalgia Top Fuel class. With talented sportsman driver (and skilled jeweler and goldsmith) Dan Rusk in the seat, the car raced from the CHRR to Bowling Green and Indy, running in the low sixes at over 223 miles an hour. It is the quickest and fastest 354 Chrysler engined dragster in history.

The car was parked in 2009, but will return to the dragstrip at the Tucson Dragway Reunion, now sporting an all aluminum 425 cubic inch Chrysler and other new pieces, with Dan Rusk again in the seat.

Come out and see another famous Tucson team that has been racing together since the 1950’s at the Tucson Dragway Reunion on Saturday, May 18th, at Southwestern International Raceway. Ray Ferry and the rest of the Power King crew will be doing what they love to do: making a lot of noise and smoke at over 200 miles an hour!

 

photo1

The first Power King Dragster

photo5

L to R: Ray Ferry, John Patrick, Ronnie Root and Lloyd Earle

The Power King out front at Bee Line

The Power King out front at Bee Line

The Power King dragster that will be at the Reunion in the staging lanes

The Power King dragster that will be at the Reunion in the staging lanes

Dee Charles up, 178.96@8.41, Tucson

photo2 copy

June 1, 1963

 

!cid_part1_05010409_01020400@Verizon

The Special Car Display Area

Returns to the Reunion

In addition to non-stop action on the track and in the pits, the Reunion will again host the Special Car Display Area for pre-’73 street rods, hot rods, race cars, and custom cars.

Best of all:  Participation in the Special Car Display Area is absolutely free!  You pay only the $10 general admission.  You get to park inside the track area in the pits next to all of the action and participate in the Special Car Display Area for free.

The photos below show the diversity and quality of the many beautiful cars that were on display during past events.

For info on the Special Car Display Area call Joe and Nancy Owens at (520) 955-1331.

More details on the Tucson Dragway Reunion set for May 17, 2014 are available on the event Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/376065049160480/ and on the website: http://tucsondragway.net/

Thanks to Lee Schelin and Jim Kelso for the images.

!cid_part6_06010206_05070304@Verizon

yellow hot rod

IMG_1496

white car

grey truck

301742_331978576867368_100001656840253_955420_824918445_n

!cid_part3_07030009_03090505@Verizon

JKP_D3A7720

!cid_part1_07000501_03040603@Verizon

!cid_part3_02070805_08020000@Verizon

TV Tommy Ivo’s Barnstormer Top Fuel Dragster

untitled

Veteran drag racer Ron Johnson has recreated three of the most famous top fuel dragsters of the 60′s.  In 2003 the bug bit Ron hard and he created a replica of Zane Shubert’s Schubert & Herbert dragster.  That was followed by Chris Karamesines’ Chizler and then Tommy Ivo’s Barnstormer. The Barnstormer will be one of the stars at the Tucson Dragway Hot Rod Reunion on May 17th. 

“TV Tommy” began in Hollywood as a child actor in 1948 and in a 19 year career appeared in more than 100 movies and 200 TV shows. His credits include Sunset Boulevard, The Babe Ruth Story, My Three Sons, Mike Hammer, Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver, Lassie, a host of westerns, and starring roles in hit TV shows like the Donna Reed Show and Margie. 

Much to the dismay of his studio bosses, Ivo was also a true car guy who started in hot rodding in the 50’s and was quickly drawn to drag racing where he became a respected driver and car builder. When his hit show Margie ended its successful run, Ivo became a full time professional drag racer who notched up a host of wins and set records around the country.  

In 1962 he built the Barnstormer that became one of the best known and longest running competitive cars in the history of drag racing. The Barnstormer was the first car to run the quarter mile in 7 seconds, toured the country in a series of match races, was a star in the movie  Bikini Beach starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and toured England in the first NHRA world drag racing tour. 

Ivo built and raced more than 30 cars in a distinguished racing career. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, is ranked #25 among the NHRA Top 50 Drivers of all time, and was the 2012 Grand Marshall of the California Hot Rod Reunion.

In 2006 long time drag racer Ron Johnson decided to recreate the legendary Barnstormer with the help and approval of Ivo. After painstaking research and with the able help of some of the best craftsmen in auto racing, Johnson debuted the “new” Barnstormer at the 2007 NHRA U.S. Nationals. Since then the beautiful car has been the star of a number of nostalgia drag racing events and car shows.

Rumor has it that the Chizler may make a surprise visit to Tucson this May as well!

For more information on Ivo and the Barnstormer – old and new – go to http://cacklefest.com/Barnstormer.shtml   Go to http://cacklefest.com/cacklecars.shtml for more on the Chizler and on Schubert & Herbert.

Come on out and see some of drag racing’s most famous cars light up the night at the Tucson Dragway Hot Rod Reunion!

Barnstormer Chute Sun 1 BB

Marc McCormick in Ron’s recreation making a smokey pass and getting the laundry out at Bakersfield in 2008

 

Picture-151

TV Tommy with Annette Funicello

 

Picture-501

Ivo racing Don Prudhomme in the 60′s

 

4a-Barnstormer-480

The Barnstormer in the 60′s

 

Post-CF-Ron-Tom

Ron Johnson and Tom Ivo

 

barnstormer

Barnstormer-053

Ivo-England

Match racing Don Garlits in England.
Smoking the tires, all crossed up and never lifting.

Making flames at the California Hot Rod Reunion Cacklefest

Making flames at the California Hot Rod Reunion Cacklefest

TV Tommy with Martha Hyer and Keenan Wynn

TV Tommy with Martha Hyer and Keenan Wynn

The Barnstormer and its push car:  a matching Buick Riviera

The Barnstormer and its push car: a matching Buick Riviera

 

Ron's recreated Chizler with the Greek in the seat

Ron’s recreated Chizler with the Greek in the seat

The Chizler in the 60'sThe Chizler in the 60′s

CHRR

 

More Cars making Their Debut

at the 2014 Tucson Dragway Reunion

In addition to many returning cars, a number of historic race cars will be making their debut at the 2014 Tucson Dragway Reunion on May 17 at Southwestern International Raceway.

Schultz & Glenn

Schultz & Glenn Back in the Day!

Schultz & Glenn Back in the Day!

The Schultz & Glenn fuel dragster is the last front motored car to win the NHRA Top Fuel Championship.  In addition to winning the Championship in ’71, Driver Gerry Glenn, Crew Chief, Owner and Designer Bill Schultz, and Builder Don Tuttle (California Chassis Engineering) took the car to victory at the PDA Meet at Orange County Raceway, the Grand Prix at
Irwindale, and defeated Don Garlit’s First Rear Engined Car for the NHRA title.

The dragster was bought in 1972 by Paul Gerber and ran in different classes in various configurations in the years that followed.  In 2012 Paul, Mark Smith and Troy Glenn reassembled the car back into the Schultz & Glenn trim.  During this time Paul was stricken with ALS, but the car was completed before his passing.  Paul’s Son Danny and his wife Crystal now own the car and Troy Glenn displays it at major events.  There is an article on the dragster in the current issue (Spring) of Nitro Madness magazine.

 Schultz & Glenn

 

Schultz & Glenn

Schultz & Glenn

 

Schultz & Glenn

 

Schultz & Glenn

 

The crew

The crew

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse top fuel dragster was from Salt Lake and was owned by Rex Parmain and Dan Richens.  There were a series of their dragsters, with this one being the second one that was built for the 1971 season.  The dragsters were driven by Al Person at first with Dan Richens taking over in 1972.  The Iron Horse dragsters were always hard runners and frequent competitors at major events throughout the West.  The Iron Horse is now owned by Sam Chastain.

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

 

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

 

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

 

The Iron Horse

 

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

 

The Iron Horse

The Iron Horse

The Newhouse Special

The Newhouse Special in 1963

The Newhouse Special in 1963

In 1963, Gary Cagle, one-time police officer, avid drag racer, and innovator built one of the most prolific Nitro-burning roadsters ever to hit the Southern California drag strips.  With the sponsorship from local speed shop Newhouse Automotive Gary scorched many of the local drag strips by running elapsed times in the mid to upper 8 second category with speeds exceeding 175 MPH.  He successfully defeated many of the top fuel dragsters of that time, set a number of speed records, and won a number of Top Eliminator races.  In 1968, the car was sold and over the course of several years vanished.   This car is a “Tribute/Replica” of the old “Newhouse/Cagle” fuel roadster and was built by Joel and Dee Gruzen.

Joel and Dee extend a very grateful and special “Thank You” to the following people and companies for their help, support and assistance in making this beautiful recreation of a very special drag race car come back to life:

Jeff Smith – Hesperia, CA

Tracy Terry – Lakewood, CA

Dave Gruzen – Long Beach, CA

Brad Terry – Lakewood, CA

Robert (Stormy) Byrd – Reseda, CA

Dick Moseley – La Habra, CA

Art Carr – California Performance Transmission – Huntington Beach, CA

Joe Hansen – DJ Safety Equipment – Los Angeles, CA

Larry Ofria – Valley Head Service – Northridge, CA

Chico Kodama – Moon Equipment – Norwalk, CA

The Newhouse Special at Lions

The Newhouse Special at Lions

 

The "new" Newhouse Special

The “new” Newhouse Special

 

The Newhouse Special at Colton

The Newhouse Special at Colton

 

The "new" Newhouse Special with Ed Iskenderian in the seat

The “new” Newhouse Special with Ed Iskenderian in the seat

 

The Newhouse Special in 1963

The Newhouse Special in 1963

 

This will not buff out!

This will not buff out!

These historic race cars will all be in Tucson, along with many others, to light up the night at the Tucson Dragway Reunion!

tusca_main01

 

The Airport Marriott Hotel will again be the host hotel for the 2014 Tucson Dragway Reunion.  Discounted rates  of $64 per night for either a King or a Queen double room are available!   Book soon before they sell out. Rates are good from May 15th through May 18th.

Go to http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=Tucson+Dragway+Reunion%5ETUSCA%60TDRTDRA%7CTDRTDRB%6064.00%60USD%60false%605%2F15%2F14%605%2F18%2F14%605%2F14%2F2014&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes

The Anaconda and the Olde Timer getting ready for side by side burnouts and putting the chutes out

The Anaconda and the Olde Timer getting ready for side by side burnouts and putting the chutes out

Our thanks to all of you who made this year’s Tucson Dragway Reunion such a huge success. We were blessed with a cool Tucson evening, had a record number of great cars in the pits and going down the track, the grandstands were full all night long, the pit area was always crowded with spectators, the car display area had over 200 hot rods and custom cars, the Nitro Blast at the end of the event had the spectators on their feet clapping and cheering, and most of all, many old friends got to see each other, new friendships were started, and a lot of bench racing took place (some of it even true!).

A very special thank you goes out to the Standard 1320 drag racing group for supporting the event.

A number of photographers attended the event and their images are available through the links posted on the event Facebook page.

We welcome your suggestions to help improve the event and make it even better next year. Please post your suggestions on the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/106292232861298/?notif_t=plan_user_invited or send them to dowens@merlesauto.com.

We are looking forward to making next year’s event even more spectacular.

Krista Baldwin launches under the watchful eye of Rick McDonald. Krista is the granddaughter of Chris Karamesines.

 

Speed Sport with Kenton Greth in the seat

Speed Sport with Kenton Greth in the seat

 

The Holy Toledo Jeep returned to Tucson

The Holy Toledo Jeep returned to Tucson

 

Paula Roth making noise and having fun during the Nitro Blast in the Beaver Hunter

Paula Roth making noise and having fun during the Nitro Blast in the Beaver Hunter

 

Big John’s FC launching hard

The Green Monster with owner Jon Rowley at the wheel

The restored Green Monster with owner Jon Rowley at the wheel

 

Del Wiesner's beautiful Gas Coupe

Del Wiesner’s beautiful Gas Coupe

 

Ray Ferry's Power King driven by Dan Rusk

Ray Ferry’s Power King driven by Dan Rusk

 

Jim Frye launching the Olde Timer TF dragster

Jim Frye launching the Olde Timer TF dragster

 

One of the WFA Fuel Altereds that put on a great show

One of the WFA Fuel Altereds that put on a great show

 

Ron Johnson’s beautiful recreation of TV Tommy Ivo’s Barnstormer with son Kol Johnson mashing the gas.

The Sidewinder TF dragster shoed by Cory Lee and tuned by Johnny West

The Sidewinder TF dragster shoed by Cory Lee and tuned by Johnny West

Another WFA Fuel Altered

Another WFA Fuel Altered