We got a note from pal-o-BangShift Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian cluing us in the on the fact that she unearthed and posted an totally cool old drag racing documentary film called “Dynamite Run”. The movie was made at the 1974 AHRA Winternationals which was held at Arizona’s Beeline Dragway for years. Beeline has been closed up for more than two decades now, although the timing tower still stands as a lonesome reminder of the days when nitro motors roared in front of packed stands, like those in this movie.
This era of drag racing is one of the coolest to look back on. The Funny Car bodies were fantastic looking, Top Fuel Dragsters were all low slung, rear engine rockets and Pro Stock was still a bad ass class featuring cars that the average Joe could really get into (although as we know, this was the dawn of the Lenco and Grumpy’s tube chassis Monza which sent us to where we are today!). The Top Fuelers looked fantastic with their front “wheel pants” on as well, although they would be banned from the sport after a short period after being blamed for several high profile crashes.
In this video, you’ll see Garlits, Tom McEwen and lots of the other big runners of the day. Schedules being what they were back then, racers often raced the NHRA series, IHRA, and AHRA over the course of a season along with a butt-load of match races. These were the waning days of the true barnstorming professional drag racer. By the end of the 1970s the NHRA and IHRA schedules began to swell, the AHRA was all but dead, and increasing costs limited the ability for small tracks to book in match race cars like they had in the 1960s and 1970s.
This move captures a great moment in time. A beautiful Arizona weekend with the biggest, fastest, and most famous cars and names in the sport of drag racing circa 1974. It is nearly 20-minutes of time-machine goodness!
Thanks to Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian at DragStripGirl Designs for the tip!