An Old Idea for the New Millenium cont...
by Tom Pohorilla
At the gasser race at Thompson in 2008, Ray and I were staying at the same hotel, and another altered racer happened to be staying there, too. Though he doesn’t realize it, he probably had a bigger impact on the club than anything Ray, Kurt, or I had done to mold The Gunslingers into the group we have today. We all pitted together, raced together, had dinner together, and communicated like we had known each other all of our lives. When the weekend was over, Jeff Bahret was officially a Gunslinger, and I realized we had work to do. Jeff was the real deal – he had a little 96” wheelbase car with a lot of engine, he was an accomplished wrench that really knew his way around a race car, and he was a hell of a driver who obviously had a lot of seat time under his belt. We needed to step up our game a little. By this time, Ray had gotten his welding business going, and I had sold my altered and was trying to re-group. Without knowing it, this all became the catalyst for us to become a real club – one whose members rely on each other for help and support, and share a common goal.
(left) Mike Petry at Dragway 42 2007 - (right) ay Hudic and Kurt Gehring at Virginia Motorsports Park 2010; photos by Bob Wenzelburger
Ray and I had talked a lot about having real nostalgia cars, i.e. short wheelbase, zoomie headers, smaller tires, etc., and realized that we just didn’t have them at that point. Ray did, however, have the makings of a short chassis started, and that became the basis of my current car. Wanting to keep as much in-house as we possibly could, Kurt set up the rear, and Jeff sent me dozens of pictures of his car to give me ideas on how to mount things and fabricate lots of little things that go into making a race car from scratch. In turn, Ray made a set of zoomies for Jeff’s car, most recently, Ray and Kurt have shortened their cars to 100” and 105”, which is the maximum we’ve decided to allow in our group. What do I do? I guess, from doing the sales/tech thing at Jegs and S&W, I’ve become the go-to for information, and boy do I get asked the questions! This is all done long distance, since Jeff is from New York, Ray and I are at opposite ends of Pennsylvania, and Kurt is in Ohio, but, thanks to modern technology like the internet, cell phones, and digital cameras, we make this work fairly easily most of the time. We’re trying to all get together for a race somewhere this season, and are always looking for new members. This is kind of a work in progress, and I hope to have some updates to this story as the season progresses. We’re all eager to see how the updates we’ve done work out, and, most importantly, race each other again to see who takes home the perpetual Top Gunslinger trophy until the next race. The main thing is, though, we’re keeping the club alive, helping to grow our sport, and proving that the concept of the car club is not only alive, but very relevant today. It takes work, and a strong commitment, but so does racing, itself. We really believe the rewards make it worth it.
Nostalgia Drag World - by Tom Pohorilla; photos by Bob Wenzelburger
<<<PREVIOUS PAGE NEXT PAGE>>>
click advertisement below