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Honoring the great Drag Racers of the day from 1900 to 1973

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

Kurt "Arnie" Knoerschild passes April 11, 2017....................  

Longtime friend, Kurt Knoerschild passed away last year on April 11, 2017. Better known as "Arnie" to everyone in the area of Long Island was one of the true characters that one meets during a lifetime! To me, he was someone I looked up to with his knowledge of racing and building engines. Arnie was about ten years older than me and I was always mesmerized by his stories he told of him tearing up the streets in Port Jefferson, L.I. with his 1956 Chevrolet. I first met him in 1966 and we immediately clicked. In 1968, I was building a 1968 SS/H L79 Nova and Arnie jumped right in assembling the engine and setting up the 12-bolt rear with a set of 5.13 gears. Arnie had several cool cars that really stood out from the others. Most notable was his mauve colored (pinkish metallic) 348 powered 1956 Chevrolet with a 1955 frontend sans bumper and a beautiful bronze 1955 Chevrolet with a 427 big- block that ran in the 10’s in 1967! His shop, A & K Speed, was an old barn behind his mother's house on Route 25A just east of Route 112 and back in the day there were plenty of the then new muscle cars always parked around his shop waiting for Arnie to install a cam, headers, etc.! I last saw Arnie in April 2012 and always wanted to again travel from my home in Pennsylvania to see him and reminisce of the so-called "good old days", unfortunately, I never saw him after that, but plans were always in the mix to visit. He was a good friend to me and many others. (2/10/2017)

Note: Here's a photo of Arnie's prestine 1963 Corvette, that he had owned since the 1960's (second owner). While in the hospital after suffering a massive stroke in 2016, the car was stolen from his garage!

Gene Altizer added to 2018 DRHOF.com Inductee list...........  

Altizer a popular drag racer from Arlington, VA was a fierce competitor back in the day starting off with an A/Gas Anglia, which won its class at the 1963 Nationals championship drag race and got runner-up in Middle Eliminator to “Ohio George” Montgomery. Altizer then moved on to the injected Corvair Funny Car originally owned by Malcom Durham, then a Nova AF/C and finally a Vega F/C run as a team with Carole Henson. Altizer is deserving of inclusion with the other 2018 inductees. (2/5/2018)


2018 DRHOF.com Inductees named................

The nominating committee has completed the Inductee list for 2018 with seven new members announced for 2018. Already named are Roy Hill, Richard Petty, and Dick Moroso all standouts in their own right! The remaining three although not as well-known as these three have raced since the 1960's and made a mark on the history of Drag Racing. Leading of the additions is Milo Coleman, who raced a D/S 1963 Ford Fairlane powered by a 289/271 Ford engine prior to being chosen along with partner Dean McCann, a Ford development engineer, to receive one of the first eleven 1964 Ford Thunderbolts in late 1963. Next up is another recipient of a fabled 1965 A990 Plymouth Hemi race cars. Dave Lewis. Dave raced the Plymouth, then modified the wheelbase to A/FX style before a 1966 Hemi Belvedere and a Pro Stock Plymouth Duster. Lastly, James Antonette, Sr. a racer from Long Island, NY still out there competing with his son James, Jr. James ran a variety of gasser/modified cars before his stint in NHRA Pro Stock in a Pontiac Firebird. (2/1/2018)


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 racecar 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)


2018 Drag Race Hall of Fame.com Inductee process underway.............  

So far, Milo Coleman, Dick Moroso and Richard Petty lead the list. Coleman at the age of 24 received the keys to a then brand new 1964 Ford Thunderbolt that he campaigned and won regularly claiming several NHRA titles (Youtube Video of Coleman). Richard Petty, well known for driving the NASCAR #43 Plymouths in the mid-60's ran a 1964 Barracuda with a 426 Hemi and of course rounding out the early inductee's list is Dick Moroso. Moroso, whose name is familiar in the performance aftermarket built a gigantic company that started in his basement back in the 1960's. Dick also ran a Modified Production 1962 Corvette.

Updates and recommendation for inductees can be sent to Harry "The Hat" Laplatte. (9/28/2017)

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

John Warehime scored the event win and 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 Banqet will be held on February 3, 2018 at the Springford Country Club in Royersford, PA.




Class of 2017 DRHOF.com Inductees named..............  
Jupiter, FL - Harry Laplatte has just announced several of the 2017 DRHOF.com inductees with more to come as the final tallycomes in. The first four names are Paul Kaufman, Ted De Tar, the "Ciccarone Brothers" (Tommy and Donnie), Jim Amos and Ed Alessi, Sr.

Paul Kaufman, from Long Island, has been an integral part of drag racing scene going way back to working tech at West Hampton Raceway in the 60's to crew chief duties for Comp World Champ, Dennis Ferrera, Richie Zul, then Scott Shafiroff on his Pro Stock race cars on to Gapp and Roush before having a sitdown job at World Racing Products working for Billy Mitchell.

Jim Amos of "Bee-on-Video" has since the mid-1960's been filming many drag racing events and continues to this day, plus Jim has had several prestigious race cars over the years; Former George Weiler 1964 Comet A/FX and the Ferrier Brothers "B" code 1962 Ford Galaxie.


The Ciccarone Brothers (Tommy and Donnie) ran for many years in the 1970's a SS/E 1969 Camaro powered by a Truppi and Kling 427 big-block Chevrolet engine. Brother Tommy shoed the car with Donnie wrenching. The brothers held the NHRA SS/E record for seven straight years!

Ed Alessi, Sr. - Ed, the proprietor of Select Racing Transmissions, with his son Eddie, Jr.,on Long Island has been a fixture to drag racing his entire life! He has campaigned a 1963 Pontiac Catalina for decades and is still out there competing at NED Div. ! events.

Ted De Tar - a name that not to many will be familiar with as Ted died in a crash at Palm Beach International Raceway back in 1968. Ted was right in the mix of the altered wheelbase A/FXers and known to have completed at least to our knowledge twelve cars. Ted also race several Fords of the day Falcon and Torino and partnered in a Mopar project.

Stay tuned as additional names will be announced in the coming weeks! (4/28/2017)

Charles Roberts makes the DRHOF.com 2017 Inductee list....  
Charles "Charlie" Roberts, the former announcer at Oldbridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ has been added to the inductee list for 2017. Charlie's name may not be as familiar as Dave McClelland, Bob Frey or Steve Evans, but his voice is used to this day in the Raceway Park radio commercials! We all remember the "Ha ha ha Raceway Park mouse voice. Charlie needless to say is well deserving.(6/26/2017)  
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.


Aaron Shipley 2016 422 Allstars Champion................  

February 4, 2017 - The annual 422 Allstars Nostalgia Drag Racing Series award's banquet was held at the Springford Country Club with just over 125 attendees. All were on hand as the presentations were made to the Top 10 season points earners along with thanks to sponsors, the tracks and supporters of the popular race series. Headlining the event was the crowning of the 2016 champion, Aaron Shipley! Aaron driving his 442 Oldsmobile Cutlass scored the most points of the years narrowly defeating runner-up John Warehime, the 2009 champion.

Shipley is part of a father-son team with constant help from his family. Aaron's dad,Wayne, also competes in a simialr maroon 442 Oldsmobile. The engines are built out of Aaron's shop A.K.S Race Engines.Wayne. incidentally finished in the number seven spot.

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 memrobilia and of course financial donations. Cars will displayed at the secure building on the grounds of Marco DeCesrias' Marco's Garage located in Lothain, MD.

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


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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