Here’s a sincere thought that has run through my head ever since I started writing here at BangShift: How do you relate to a time period that is older than you by decades? We have a broad spread of different disciplines, and for just about all of them, there is a history that has to be understood and incorporated into the view. Brian dedicates his work to being a kind of historian and deeply immerses himself in the back catalogs. It’s great to watch him work. But I’m one of those people who need to see, needs to hear and feel and experience in order to properly convey what it’s all about. I’ll tell anybody who asks, my best work comes from when I’m hands-on or in the moment with the fumes in the air and the echoing in my eardrums. But, luck of the draw, I wasn’t born in 1958. I didn’t get to cruise in 1975, or snap up dirt-cheap musclecars at the turn of the 1980s. I was born in 1983, when pretty much all of the new cars sucked for one reason or another and all of the cool old cars were starting to be squirreled away. I didn’t go to my first dragstrip until I was 19, in a piece of shit Chevy Blazer that had no business being registered and plated, let alone raced. My first race experience was on a backroad in Olalla, Washington under circumstances best left unprinted. How do you relate to the old-school when you weren’t there?
That’s the beauty of period-correct races. Be it the Southeast Gassers or Vintage Drag Racing 101, it’s a way to kind of peer into the past and to get a better understanding of what was what back in the day. Bathtub Mopars, Tri-Fives, straight-axle C1 Corvettes, altereds, rods, front-engined dragsters…I might have missed a lot of good stuff just by luck, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be experienced in my lifetime. This event is the “Uncle Sam’s Pie Eating Contest”, put on by Vintage Drag Racing 101 up at Byron Dragway in Illinois. They’ll do a second round on June 29th, 2019, and will have two days of racing at Rock Falls Raceway in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in September that you can check out too.