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Steve Reasbeck on Drag Racing 1962 to 1965 Mopars

Steve Reasbeck on Drag Racing 1962 to 1965 Mopars

January - February 2010:

I’m back.

First, I wish to apologize to all of you, and especially Gary H., for the tardiness of this blog. There were some unforeseen circumstances which caused its delay, and for that I am sorry.

We’ve had a pretty hard winter up here in the Northeast to this date. There has been quite a bit of snow, at least up here in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, and it has been very cold. We went through a month there where the thermometer never reached over 25 degrees Farenheit. I can do without much more of that.

This past weekend [January 23 - 24, 2010], though, was worth the rough experiences to this date. We were invited to bring up one of the cars to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh for the ISCA “World of Wheels” car show. Both Pittsburgh Raceway Park, the current facility in the area, and the long defunct Pittsburgh International Dragway had a part in the “Drag City” portion of the show. When we arrived to set up on Wednesday evening with Ron McClelland’s Hemi 1966 Coronet Nostalgia Super Stocker, we were asked if we could possibly bring another car, as there was a space they needed filled. Enter my venerable old 1965 Dodge Coronet. The Mopar was in the garage under a car cover, still dirty from the last time it ran last fall, but we ran the seventy mile trip home and loaded it up, and took it to the center. It was well worth it: the weekend was full of meeting up with friends that I had not seen for a long, long time, and the bs was flowing deep and fast.

Nice 1964 Plymouth Hemi Clone

Steve Reasbeck

Steve Reasbeck’s 1965 Dodge

We had thirty some drag cars on display, many of them Mopars, many of them 1962-1965 Mopars. Among the other displays were three of the historic front motored diggers of Don Garlits, Swamp Rat III; IV; and VII;, the front motored Wynn’s Winder digger of Don Prudhomme, and Connie Kalitta’s “Bounty Hunter” digger. For me, personally, one of the highlights was seeing the restored Brougher & Reese Chrysler powered front motored Fuel Dragster, a car which was one of my favorites back in the old days. It has been lovingly recreated by Tom and Barbara Barnhill, two of the neatest folks one will ever meet. They even allowed my wife to sit in the car for a photo shoot, which will be blown up and hung in my office. On a side, when I was young, I never thought that much of how much cajones it took to drive one of those cars. Now, that I am older, I can’t believe they ever found anyone who would do it. You could just smell the nitro, and see the flames.


Bob George Racing 1965 Plymouth

Bob George Racing 1963 Plymouth

Bob George Racing 1963 Plymouth

Bob George Racing 1965 Dodge

Our old 1965 is kind of rough looking, when you get close. The paint and lettering was applied in 1974, and it hasn’t been redone since. It still looks good from the stands, but if you are close to it you can see where we’ve had the hood off and on it in a big hurry a few times. It has seen the closing of Peterson Memorial Dragway in Altoona, old Pittsburgh International Dragway, and the closing and now the reopening of 75-80 Dragway in the DC area. Every scratch tells a story of one of the thousands of trips down the quarter mile it has made over the past forty years, and we’re still doing it. I have been so blessed I am awed when I just think about it.

The weather was good for the trip up, and for the trip home. No blizzards, no ice storms, and everything is back in the garage, continuing to prep for 2010. More on that, later.

I hope you enjoy the photos my daughter took at the show.

In closing, please accept my apologies. It will be not so long, next time.

God Bless,
Steve R.

Contact: Reasbeck Racing
Johnstown, Pa.

January 27, 2010

View Steve’s Other Columns: April 2009  May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October - November - December 2009
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