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Honoring the great Drag Racers of the day 1900 - 1973    
     

HARRY HAPPENINGS.................click here

   
   
DONATE YOUR RACE CAR TO THE DRAG RACE HALL OF FAME.COM (contact info)
 
   
Former Pro Stock Racer and Master Crankshaft Machinists SONNY BRYANT passes....

Sonny Bryant, former racer and crankshaft builder and supplier passed away on August 9th from complications from Covid 19. Sonny raced in Stock, Super Stock and most notably NHRA Pro Stock. His passion was building the best crankshafts in the industry at his machine shop, which he opened in 1973. (8/10/20)

 

 

 

Pete Tritak of Tritak and Morgan fame sadly Passes....................

Longtime NED ! racer Pete Tritak passed away yesterday (7/9/2020) at the age of 81. Pete along with partner, Bill Morgan, campainged several Mopars in 1960's and early 70's in Super Stock. Most notably was their 1963 Plymouth "War Wagon" 426 wedge and then moving to a Barracuda 426" Hemi under the Super Stock Magazine banner. (7/10/2020)

Chuck Grimsley presented his 2020 DRHOF.com Inductee plaque.....................
The 2020 Inductee plaques have arrived and Chuck Grimsley will be receiving his shortly via mail Chuck one of the standouts during the 1960's driving the "Pasadena Dodge" altered wheelbase injected Hemi. Chuck and Ted Detar were a racing team. Chuck presently resides in a nursing home in Albuquerque, NM. (7/3/2020)
Gary Dyer added to 2020 DRHOF.com Inductee List..............................  
Gary Dyer one of the premiere racers instrumental in the founding of the A/FX Funny Car and driver of Mr. Norm's Grand Spaulding Dodge race cars during the 60's. He teamed up with the legendary Farkonas and Pat Minick with support from Norm Krause from the Chicago dealership. Gary went on rebuilding blowers (superchargers) opening up Dyers Blower Service in 1969. (6/15/2020)  
Lloyd "Dink" Bishop dies (422 Motorsports).................  
A longtime drag racing aficionado, Dink passed away last evening after battling health issues for sometime. He was a character to say the least and a good friend to all! Most of his life he worked around automobiles and racing. He was at onetime a crew member for "Dyno" Don Nicholson and a integral part of the 422 Allstars Nostalgia Drag Racing Series, plus a fabricator at Rich Lamont's 422 Motorsports shop in Oaks, PA. Dink was also partly responsible for the Ford Motorsports Nationals, that originated at Maple Grove Raceway in 1985. His pride and joy was his 1968 Mustang Cobra Jet that was recently sold , but had continually spoke of freshing the car and getting back on the track. (5/22/2020)  
Barbara Hamilton passes....first licensed female NHRA,,,  

Pioneering NHRA female racer Barbara Hamilton, the first woman licensed by NHRA to drive a supercharged vehicle, died April 23.
Hamilton’s place in NHRA history was assured when she became the first woman licensed by NHRA to drive a supercharged vehicle in 1964. Hamilton often said she wasn’t interested in making history; she merely wanted to race her Willys coupe, which was powered by a blown 271-cid small-block Chevy. After she obtained her license, Hamilton won the C/GS class at the following Springnationals and set a NASCAR national record when that group also sanctioned drag racing. (4/23/2020)

 
Carol Bunny Burkett dead April 4th, 2020  
It is with great sadness that we inform you that one of the top women drag racers, Carol Bunny Burkett has passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on 4/4/20! Bunny was without a doubt pioneer for women in a sport traditionally dominated by men. She campaigned a variety of different race cars throughout her career, that spanned 50 years. She is most noted for the TA/FC that she raced. In 1986 she was the IHRA World Champion in the TA/FC category. (4/6/2020)  
DRHOF.com announces additional inductees for 10th Anniversary.........  

Being its the tenth anniversary of the DRHOF.com, we have decided to included several other inductees, whom were heavily involved in Drag Racing during its formative years! The new inductees are Sonny DeCesaris, the co-builder and co-owner of Cecil County Dragway built in the early 60's, along with brother-in-laws, Hugo & Ebby Procopio. The trio also ran Capitol Dragway! Another well known supporter of racing on the east coast is Bob Banning, Sr., who of course ran Stockers, Super Stocks and Funny Cars out of his dealership in Maryland. (2/19/2020)

 
Jesel Brothers added to 2020 Inductee list........  

Jupiter, FL. - The brothers, Wayne and Dan Jesel have been added to this year's DRHOF.com inductee list! The brothers campaigned the infamous "Yoo Hoo too" starting in 1966 with partner Tony Massari. The car ran several NHRA classes G/SA, H/SA and I/SA as the NHRA changed weight factoring, etc over the years. The brothers went on to compete in Competition Eliminator with a 1974 Camaro, then moving on to a couple of Land Speed cars (Bonneville). Of course the Jesel Inc. name is well recognized in all forms a racing from NHRA drag racing to NASCAR! (1/23/2020)

 
(partial) DRHOF.com 2020 Inductees........  

DRHOF.com, Jupiter, FL - The committee has chosen several nominees to date; Bil Stiles, Hemi Barracuda, Billy West 1962 Plymouth "The Little Pilgrim", Bob Rossi Competition Eliminator A/A Oldsmobile Acheiva, Chuck Grimsley altered wheelbaseearly Dodge, Dave Reitz mechanic for Bob Banning Dodge, Don Carlton "Mopar Missile", Ernie McDaniels, Gary Dyer "Mr. Norms Dodge", George Reese George' Corvette Shop, Jack Redd "JACK APPROVED", Jere Stahl Stahl Headers, Jim Oddy Gasser standout engine builder, Jules Schoenberger "Paper Lion" Philadelphia Racing Engines/Products, Paul Blevins another Competition Eliminator (Scotto Blevins), Ray Allen 1970 Chevelle SS/EA NHRA World Champion, Tom Snyder driver of the Bob Banning cars Stock up to F/C and Tom Wright! We will be publishing more details on the inductees as we receive photo, etc. (1/06/20)

PHOTO GALLERY 2020 Inductees

 
Inductees 2020 coming soon....................  

 

The crew at the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com is feverishly working on the latest group of Inductees for 2020! Marco DeCearis, Harry LaPlatte and George Case are tallying the votes and will post them shortly. ((December 21, 2019)

 
Carl Ruth passes...................  

Carl Ruth a mainstay, when it came to drag racing in the Reading, Pennsylvania area passed away on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at the Reading Hospital. Carl was instrumental in convincing Alfred Stauffer to convert the 1/5th mile dirt motorcycle track in Brecknock Township to a dragstrip (Maple Grove Raceway). Carl raced a variety of cars through the years; Modified Production Chevys, Alcohol Funny Cars, etc. driving the "Buckeye Vega" and the Crown Entertainment IHRA 1956 Ford F/C. Carl, also ran a successful dyno shop in Kenhorst,PA for many years. Carl Ruth obituary Reading Eagle (December 7, 2019)

 

Short history of the COPO Camaro……………………..

 

Most people (racers) identify with the COPO moniker presently with the current batch of Camaros, that Chevrolet started to revive in 2011, but the heritage dates way back to 1967. Back in the day Don Yenko of Yenko Chevrolet, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania was looking for additional power that the 396 cubic inch Camaro wasn’t providing! Needless to say, that’s where the 427cubic inch 425 horsepower was born. Initially, Yenko was building the cars, then distributing them around the country through other Chevrolet dealers. The demand became so great, that he approached Chevrolet, who was hesitant to become involved. Special Projects Division of Chevrolet jumped at the chance and the cars for 1968 were available directly from the factory with the 427-engine installed already, supposedly this was hypothetical a “secret” between Yenko and Chevrolet. The success of the program led to the 1969 COPO Camaro, which most recognize and think they were the first “COPO”.

The 1969 COPO’s were delivered to Yenko with the so-called Sports Car Conversion Kit, which consisted of E70x15” tire on Rally wheels, a 140-mph speedometer, and a 1” front sway bar.
Fred Gibb and Dickie Harrell were responsible for seeing the addition of the ZL1 all-aluminum block 427 in the Camaros with an order of 50 cars, but demand opened, and this was increased to 69.

The 5th Generation Camaro reintroduced the COPO signature and went into “production: for 2012/2013 model year and is currently only available to 69 cars in the production run! (8/12/19)

 
Skip Asay receives 2019 Inductee plaque.........................  

Harry Lap latte out and about the country giving out the 2019 DRHOF.com Inductee plaques. Harry made a trip to Sanford North Carolina to visit with NED1 Stocker standout Skip Asay! Skip ran a trick for the time (1970's) 1968 Chevelle convertible in M/SA out of Raceway Park.

Now retire and living in North Carolina still keeping up with drag racing and looking for photos from back in the day of his race cars. (8/7/19)

 
ART MARSHALL, a 2013 DRHOF Inductee  

2013 Drag Race Hall of Fame.com inductee, Art Marshall was recognized ans photos displayed in the "Holley National Hot Rod Reunion" event program.

The 1972 Grandnationals marked the last National event win for a front-engined car in Top Fuel, as Art Marshall drove to an unlikely victory in the former Don Prudhomme Hot Wheels machine, beating Clayton Harris, Carl Olson (both of whom red lighted) and in the final, Jeb Allen, who went up in smoke. (7/26/19)

 
Dickie Estavez recieves 2019 Drag Race Hall of Fame honors.....  

Dickie Estavez was presented his plaque from DRHOF' Harry LaPlatte last night during the weekly gathering at Marco Decesaris' "MARCO'S GARAGE", part of the American Racing Performance Museum in Lothain, MD. (phone 240-375-4329).

Dickie a longtime racer was hurt in a fall last year at Maryland International Raceway, while assisting with some scoreboard repair. (7/17/19)

 
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Roy Hill joins list of 2018 DRHOF.com Inductees......  
One of the prolific characters in drag racing has to be none other then Roy Hill! Roy has been in the game for many years and is without a doubt one of the first to come up with the concept of a drag school to teach people how to drive a race car and help Pro race drivers hone their skills behind the wheel.

Roy was tied closely to race car legends the Petty's of NASCAR fame and through them was introduced to the reigning Chrysler elite, Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin later becoming one of their crew.

During the late 1960's, Roy ran a Super Stock Mopar, the in 1973, Roy had the Petty's build him his first Pro Stock car a Petty blue and red Plymouth Duster and as they say, "the rest is history!" Roy stayed with the Mopars until 1982 before switching to Ford.

At the age of 72, he is still very active both racing and operating the school.

We are glad to nominate Roy into the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com in 2018. (12/2/2017)

John Warehime claims 2017 422 Allstars season title...........  

John Warehime scored the event win and 2017 season championship defeating 2016 422 Allstars Champ, Aaron Shipley. Warehime had an awesome season compiling four wins and and two runner-up finishes on his way to the title, thats a 57% average! John claimed the 2009 422 Allstars Championship and has been in the top five every year except for one. Congratulations from the DRHOF.com staff! (9/25/2017)

Note: The 422 Allstars Awards Banquet will be held on February 3, 2018 at the Springford Country Club in Royersford, PA.

 
Greg Zyla a man for all seasons..............  

Greg Zyla, well known in the annals of Motorsports journalism has long been associated with several publications during his career. Many know Greg from his twenty plus years writing for Performance Racing Industry Magazine interviewing hundreds of racers, manufacturers, promoters of the various forms in the Motorsports industry. Greg has had conversation with the likes of Smokey Yunick, Jack Roush, Ed Iskenderian,Tony George, Forrest Lucas, Doug Yates to name a several. His contributions to the sport to say the least is staggering! Greg, now semi-retired, stays active still writing doing "Test Drives" on new vehicles, for The Ledger, plus campaigns a race car with his son Tim, who is the Sports Editor at the daily newspaper, the News-Item in Shamokin, PA and of course garage time with his cherished 1972 Dodge Challenger and 1994 Pontiac Trans Am.

What many might not realize, Greg designed the the Vallco Professional Drag Racing Game back in the early 1980's. The game is still available and for those that are aware of it always enjoyed the competitive action of the game. Sure, its not like the electronics games the world has come accustomed to, but it is great fun for racers who understand the ins-and-outs of drag racing. If interested take a look at Greg's site at Greg Zyla Syndicate & Motorsports. Also on the site is many of the of the articles that were published in PRI magazine.

 
VARGO REUNION...............A+  

Novemember 5, 2016 - We had heard great things about the annual Vargo Dragway Reunion for a number of years, but this year was the first time we were able to attend. First off, the fabled and now idle dragstrip located in Perkisie, PA is a site to behold nestled in the south corner of the AGA Farms. The farm is spectacular, but the once a year "reunion" is what would definitely light the fire of any automobile aficionado. The track close to a half mile long (including the shutdown are) was lined with vintage race cars, period correct cars, modern muscle cars, trucks high and low, that seemed to just go on and on as far as the eye could see. The event is basically a static display with music via a DJ where the starting line originally was located, but everywhere you looked there were people talking about cars, racing, etc. or in our nomenclature "Bench Racing!" The quality of the cars on display were second to none. Although we did not get a photo of Steve McBlane's awesome Ford truck (pretty sure it was an 1965 F650), that he uses to haul his equally amazingly detailed 1965 Comet nostalgia race car to events is a sight to behold. The big truck is restored and finished to full show car standards and beyond! Other cars that stood out was this 1967 427 FE Fairlane R code, the breathtaking 1963 Plymouth Max wedge car and past DRHOF.com inductee, Joe Gerdelman's twin engine dragster. Needless to say, this is just a few of the astounding cars that were displayed, so mark you calendars and make plans to attend the 2017 reunion. .(11/6/2016)

More photos- Joe Grippo Flickr..........

 
The American Performance Museum now accepting support................  

The American Racing Performance Museum is ready to accept your support via cars for display, automotive memorabilia and of course financial donations. Cars will displayed at the secure building on the grounds of Marco Decesaris' Marco's Garage located in Loincloth, MD.

For additional information on viewing the present collection or speak with Marco contact the museum at 240-375-4329 EST. (11/1/2016)

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8th Annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion..................  

Bear Creek, PA (8/13/2016) - The 8th annual Pocono Drag Lodge Reunion saw about 200 drag race vehicles and classic muscle cars on display at this year's event for the spectators to view and recall the "OLD" days of drag racing! Headlining the event was former Top Fuel Champion, Joe Amato, who started his racing career at the now closed facility. Pocono Drag Lodge operated from 1963 through 1971.

Reunion planner extrodinaire, Charlie Hulsizer, was pleased with the participation, but noted that he does not know what the future will bare for the event as the property owner is in poor health and his family is uncertain of their plans with the land. The event raises dollars to pay the property taxes each year.

For more info please Call Charlie at 845-635-3662, or email ecoair9798@aol.com. (8/22/16)

 
American Racing Performance Museum ready roar..........  

Marco Decesaris has his American Racing Performance Museum/Facebook page up and running. Take a look at some of the cars now in the collection! Marco has been working diligently to get the museum incorporated and now registered as a 501(c)3 designation. The museum is also listed as a member of the National Association of Automobile Museums. The museum is a non-profit organization.

The goal of the museum is to be one of the top collections dedicated to the development and history of Detroit built race cars and include documentation of originality of each vehicle, as well as their lineage. The collection will include famous race cars from Stock through the Pro Stock ranks, plus memorabilia, parts, etc. from the 1960's and 70's.

The museum presently houses a wide variety of drag cars on the grounds of Marco's Garage in Lothain, MD. Appointments are required for viewing of groups of six or less. Contact info; Marco DeCesaris at 240-375-4329 EST or via email marcosgarage@earthlink.net.(8/23/2016)

 
DRHOF.com hooks up with Marco's Garage  
The Drag Race Hall of Fame.com's, Harry Platte has been out and about of late thrashing on a variety of vintage race machines and classic cars in Jupiter, FL. For the past year or so, Harry has been in continuous talks with Marco DeCesaris about linking Decesaris' museum/car collection with the DRHOF.com. The collection is located in Maryland. All things are now in line and the DRHOF.com shall be housed as part of the Decesaris collection. We are presently seeking 501C3 status for the DRHOF.com, which hopefully will be approved shortly. On that note, we are pursuing donations for plaques, etc. for the 2016 DRHOF.com inductees. For additional and donation information email Harry at; 2016 Inductee- Donation Program (lapattehar@aol.com) or give him a call at 561-301-6840. Also in the works is Harry has been in search of a building to house a collection of Drag Racing memorabilia and vintage drag vehicles. Here's Harry (right) and a building he is in discussion for the permanent location to house the Drag Race Hall of Fame.com. The building here is in Georgia with plenty of space. (3/19/16)  
Happy 50th 426 HEMI engine...  

The 426 cubic inch Hemi was available in February 1964 strictly sold as a race engine. The first Hemis made their way into NASCAR with Richard Petty taking Satellitehis famous #43 to several wins before NASCAR disallowed the venerable engine in competition. The 1964 Plymouth's' and Dodges' instantly became the ultimate race cars of the era in NHRA drag racing circles and still today racers covet owning one of these treasures. Originally built for Super Stock the basic engine has become the standard for Top Fuel Dragsters and Funny426 Hemi Cars as well as the SS/AH Hemi Barracudas and Darts (1968/69). In 1966, Chrysler came out with a milder detuned version called the Street Hemi, which made it accessible to the general public. Prior to the Street Hemi powered cars only a select few of proven racers were able to obtain one of these jewels.

Our own Harry Laplatte's Dad, Harold, purchased a 1964 Hemi Plymouth and campaigned it in the mid-60's. The car, called the "Satellite" ran on the East Coast. Fortunately, the car is now in the care of Wade Laplatte (Harry's brother) in its original form. Take note of the seven inch rear slicks! (2/7/2014)

 
Who raced the earliest 1964 Mustang?  

Here's what we do know; In late 1964, Ford contracted Holman & Moody to prepare ten 427-powered Mustangs' to contest the National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) A/Factory Experimental class in the 1965 drag racing season. Five of these special Mustangs qualified for competition debuting at the 1965 NHRA Winternationals, where they competed in the Factory Stock Eliminator class. The car driven by Bill Lawton won the A/FX class and his connection with TASCA Ford is now legendary in drag racing history. Several other notable driver's including Len Ritcher, "Gas" Ronda, Dick Brannan, Les Ritchey, Al Joniec, Terry Harvey, Clester Andrews, Paul Norris, Phil Bonner to name a few participated. The Mustangs were a replacement for the infamous 1964 Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, which were outfitted with the tried and true 427 FE side-oiler sporting dual Holley four barrel carburetors. The 427 cubic inch "Cammers" were originally designed for PelligriniNASCAR to battle against the 426 Plymouth and Dodge Hemis of the era, but both the Cammer and Hemi were outlawed and transitioned into the drag racing, hence the A/FX Mustangs.

Mike Matune did track down the list and article provided by Charles Morris of the ten A/FX Mustangs built for competition; Car Tech Auto Books article HERE

  •     5F09K380230, Dick Brannan
  •     5F09K380231, Show car   
  •     5F09K380232, Tasca Ford (Bill Lawton)
  •     5F09K380233, Performance Associates (Les Ritchey)
  •     5F09K380234, Wickersham Ford (Clester Andrews)
  •     5F09K380235, Al Swenson Ford (Al Joniec)
  •     5F09K380236, Holman & Moody (Paul Norris)
  •     5F09K380237, Paul Harvey/Bob Ford (Len Richter)
  •     5F09K380238, Phil Bonner
  •     5F09K380239, Russ Davis Ford (Gas Ronda)

UPDATE - From what Mike has been able to ascertain, Ron Pellegrini campaigned a 1964 Mustang notch-back with a 427 FE motor in 1964. The drive-train came from the Hawkison 1964 Ford Thunderbolt. More information on the car in the Car Tech article Ford’s 1965 Factory Experimental Mustangs (2/14/2014)

 
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Bob Glidden's PRO Stock Ford Fairmonts on display at NHRA Four-WideBob Glidden's PRO Stock Ford Fairmonts on display at NHRA Four-Wide

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