Old Time Drags
Englishtown, NJ 7-24-16
by Ted Pappacena
No doubt I’ve opened a previous report beginning with “Englishtown in July is “HOT”. Make no mistake about it, this Sunday was HOT. In fact the entire east coast was suffering through a heat wave. I questioned my own sanity just telling people I was planning to go. But early Sunday morning around 9 A M I left cozy air conditioning to ride on out. No traffic got me there in 50 minutes. The minute I got out of my car and got my camera gear together I knew it was going to be a scorcher. Thankfully I have friends with coolers.
The Old Time Drags is in its 37th year at Raceway Park. One of the track’s longest running events. I think it started out as the Old Time Drags & Rod Run sponsored by the Rolling Rods Car Club. I attended a few times in the 80s and 90s. One year they even had the Hot Rods from Hell group. In 2002 with the inaugural Funny Car Reunion, the event morphed into the Old Time Drags/Funny Car Reunion and that run lasted until 2015 when the FCR was on its last legs. This year it’s back to the good old “Old Time Drags”.
Real live Sox & Martin Duster of “Hemi” Fred Ristigno was in the pits
In attendance was NETO (North East Timing Organization) with their variety of cars as well as the East Coast Gassers, and 422 Nostalgia Super Stock group. Pretty good lineup but there were a few surprises thrown in with a special match race between Rocky Pirrone’s, Boss Hydro 33 Willys gasser that is a tribute to his late father’s ride and Joe Morrison’s yellow, flamed, and injected Fiat Topolino. Rocky really knows how to put on a show with immaculate race cars, strong burnouts, and dry hops.
Rocky Pirrone’s immaculate Boss Hydro tribute gasser
Joe Morrison’s Fiat
Racer Brian Gawlik was on hand to make licensing runs in Rocky’s Super Camaro tribute nostalgia funny car. An added treat (for me) was “The Funny Car” altered wheelbase Dodge that was on display. It was recently restored by Dean Miller and acquired by Ray Braun of Mantoloking; N J. Ray also has the Green Hornet altered wheelbase Dodge driven by the late Joe Black in his stable but due to the extreme heat, that car stayed home. There was also a car show with a wide variety of vehicles on display.
(L-R) Brian Gawlik getting comfy in the Super Camaro - Brian Gawlik’s first licensing pass in the Super Camaro
Recently restored “The Funny Car”
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