(Words and photos by Joe Grippo) – The official end to the racing season out here in Pennsylvania happens on the second Saturday each November, that is when former NHRA Funny Car Champion Bruce Larson hosts his annual DragFest at his Stoney Creek barn outside of Harrisburg. The DragFest is part open house, part informal car show, part bench racing session and all fun. The 2017 edition caught some nice, sunny but chilly autumn weather and folks came out strong for one last day of car related goodness. Former NHRA announcer Bob Frey was in town and played MC for a charity raffle and did some neat interviews. There was a small vendor area where you could pick up some vintage photos or some collectibles. Outside, parked in every crevice of Larson’s property were Hot Rods, Muscle Cars and Street Machines, real nice, quality stuff. And, of course, Drag Cars. This gallery will focus on those.
Some favorites were the vintage Gassers in attendance, check out the Drag Addict Chevy coupe and that cool Henty J with the circus wheels. Ida Automotive’s absolutely killer supercharged 4 door Willys, a re-creation of one of Rod Ida’s early race cars. Dragster fans were dazzled by a variety of front motored cars like Brian Beattie’s dead nuts resto of Jim and Allison Lee’s Great Expectations II and a few Flathead urged diggers. I lingered around the Hilborn injected Y-block powered Lynwood Welding rail so long I thought the owner was going to call the cops. What a killer piece.
Funny Car fanatics found themselves flabbergasted by the Rapid Roy Harris “Bud Man” Arrow roller, resplendent in its original paint and bitchin’ lettering and graphics. Please don’t change it! Another surprise was seeing the Concourse winning Maynard Rupp “Chevoom” fiberglass bodied, mid-engine, Cragar SS shod Chevelle fresh from the rest shop of Greg Cook. Photos don’t do it justice, it is a stunner in person. Not to bury the lead but Bruce Larson shop is in the basement of his barn and it is opened for all to walk through. Check out his current USA-1 ’70 Camaro Nitro burner, vintage tools and equipment and current and used-up parts are inter-mix with a life time of drag racing artifacts throughout the shop and storage areas. It’s an honor to be able to check it freely. And yeah, that’s me geeking out next to one of my all-time favorite floppers Bruce’s TMI Corvette. We’ll be back later with more from outside the barn.