Ahhhh, the old days of 1990. Some of you laugh when we mention that but hey, 1990 is now 26 years in the past! This video is a perfect example of the days when top sportsman heroes were morphing into pro mod heroes and they were doing it the old fashioned way, by racing their asses off at small tracks across the south as often as they could. In this video we see Jeff Littleton in his big block nitrous infected (yes, we said infected) Nova taking on the iconic OnSat Willys of Scotty Cannon. This was when the Cannonball was still a nitrous man as well and as you can see, the crowds were lining the fences at Lassiter Mountain Dragway. These guys were the fast rising rockstars of the scene back then and few names drew more people than Scotty Cannon. He was the perfect love ’em/hate ’em character that the sport sorely misses these days. But then there’s the track…
Lassiter Mountain Dragway in 1990 was literally a gash in the surface of the Earth that had been paved. The “walls” were the steep rising walls of dirt on both sides where the strip had been cut into the ground. If you look at a current photo or video from Lassiter Mountain you wouldn’t recognize the place because it has normal walls, the canyon like depth of the thing has been reduced with drastic land leveling on both sides, and the whole program just looks a lot more finished than it did. Frankly the whole scene is pretty much perfect in the video below. The cars have way more power than chassis, the track is super narrow, and they go hurtling into the night like a couple of bottle rockets of the starting line.
Things to listen for? No two steps! You can hear the drivers bringing the revs up manually and keeping them where they want ’em to launch from. Undoubtedly these were both Lenco cars as well. There were no traditional automatics or torque converter drives back then so it was clutch tuning that really separated the men from the boys…and horsepower. These big nitrous engines from the likes of Gene Fulton and others were the staple units of the class and damn if they don’t sound good putting in their work through the eighth mile.
Narrow, crazy, dark, and dangerous. That’s why we all loved pro mod back then and why the cars are still some of the most nutty in the sport.