York US30 Musclecar Madness

Grand Finale…or Not

The year 2015 was the 50th Anniversary of the 'Woodstock of Drag Racing,' the 1965 Super Stock Magazine Nationals, and racers, fans and friends of the sport of drag racing all gathered at the historic York Fairgrounds on July 10-11 in part to recall that event. The glory days of Mopars in east coast racing come alive along with the other Detroit manufacturers for this Pennsylvania show each year. However, the reality that long-time managers Darwin and Pat Doll were planning to retire following this event brought a sense of sadness as well.

The former NHRA Division 1 Director and his wife grew the reunion and associated Legion of Honor from an idea back in 2000 into one of the best indoor/outdoor vehicle displays on the yearly show schedule. By emphasizing vintage racecars and musclecars, with a handful of other interesting vehicles mixed in for good measure, theyhad helped attendees expect something spectacular each year. As one might guess, 2015 was no exception, with cars coming in from around the nation to take part in this celebration of performance.

Moreover, there has always been the appearance of some of the sport's more noted personalities as well. Bob Harrop, winner of the S/S Nationals race 50 years ago, 1967 World Champion Ed Miller, the Bob Banning Dodge team of Sneden and Rietz, top fuel pilot Jim Walther and others were among the Mopar celebrities on hand, signing autographs and enjoying the atmosphere they had been responsible for creating years prior. In terms of cars were a solid selection of big-blocks, racercars, Hemi restos, the Golden Commandos 273" Barracuda, and 'Best of Show' accolade-winner, the 1965 factory-sponsored Dodge of Dave Strickler.

For many attendees, Carlisle's Chrysler event nearby being held on the same weekend was a draw into the area and York was merely a visit for a partial day or evening; diehards who left on Saturday evening headed north, however. This was for the annual Nostalgia Nationals at Beaver Springs Dragway, a wonderful experience in the rural hills of central Pennsylvania. Limited to vintage cars for the day, the historic raceplant never fails to be 'the final element' for photography as it is without guardrails at trackside, instead relying on wide grass aprons on both sides of the course. While no Mopars were winners, the show itself featured altered wheelbase '65s, a group of Mopars in the Nostalgia Super Stock class that topped 50 entries, and an assorted number of cars in Modified, Junior Stock and other classes.  We should note that regardless of what happens with the show at York in the future, the BSD Nostalgia Nationals will remains intact, but the two events do play off of one another.

So following is a pictorial on the happenings over a special weekend in July. We hope it is not the last one…

Nick Smith and the 1965 Dave Strickler altered-wheelbase Dodge took home Best of Show honors; members of the Strickler family are standing behind the fender.

For fans of a little more radical power, how about the Hemi-powered Bad Habit Fiat fuel altered? All motor, nitro, short wheelbase, Halibrand sindle mount wheels; this was a he-man ride.