While the action on the track is hot and heavy at Bakersfield each year during the California Hot Rod Reunion, it is only part of the show. Note that this event is specifically called a “reunion”. That’s because while the competition is an important element of the whole deal, the major goal is to get people together to celebrate the great history of drag racing, meet the legends that helped build the sport, and rekindle friendships, relationships, and memories that have sustained people through their lives. It is not uncommon to be walking around only to witness people who have not seen each other in year suddenly throw their arms around each other and drip a few tears of joy. This event, this track, and this sport mean a lot to people and you can really see that while cruising the pits, checking out the cool cars in the Famoso Grove or even hanging with some of the freaks that populate the end of the grandstands. We use that term freaks in the fun and congratulatory way, not in a demeaning one because those guys and girls have some of the coolest cars and trucks in the place.
This photo groups highlight that stuff. There are some shots of race cars in the pits but the majority of these photos show off the amazingly diverse hot rods, customs, and trucks that show up and cram the pits, grove, and every spare nook and cranny of historic Famoso Raceway. From ratty coupes like the one below to absolutely drop dead gorgeous customs that look like they are ready to win any major show in the country, this one draws them all out to the orange groves in Bako. Check out the photos below –