A Year in Photos: Joe Grippo Shares His Favorite Images Of 2018 – Great Stories As Well!

A Year in Photos: Joe Grippo Shares His Favorite Images Of 2018 – Great Stories As Well!

(Words and photos by Joe Grippo) – It is a few days before Christmas as I tap out this post which means we have BangShifted our way through another 12 months. Now it’s time to take a glimpse in the rear view and look back on what was the year 2018, Grippo style. Most of this stuff you may remember seeing but I have slipped in some never before seen images, my Christmas gift to the BS Nation. You can thank me later. While we are in the holiday spirit, I want to take the time to thank the readers who check out my photos and read my gibberish. And a huge tip of my Rinehart’s Performance baseball cap to Brian, Chad and Bryan for allowing me to hang around year after year and showcase my hacky shit on the site. Rulers, one and all.

So, let’s kick off my Year in Review with January of ’18. My wife Stacey and I had been planning the restoration of her father’s 1969 Mustang GT and after spending the second half of 2017 disassembling the car and taking inventory of its condition, we dropped it off at Mustang specialist shop Rides Restored to get the rusty sheet metal replaced. You will be able to read much more about this project in the coming months, so take this as a teaser –

A few weeks later we cruised out to Hummelstown, Pa to hang at Posies Rod and Custom’s Open House where we spied Posies old Model A Panel truck in all its original glory and awaiting its return to the scene –

Due to some health issues I missed a few early spring events, so I finally got my race season going in May with the NMRA Ford Motorsports Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. My Brother Dan went a few rounds in his Maverick and all the NMRA heads-up classes were well attended –

By June we were hitting it hard at the NHRA Divisional race back at the Grove. All of D1’s finest were polished up and hanging the hoops high –

Early June found us at one of my favorite weekend events of the year, the Carlisle All Ford Nationals. Lots of variety but they all had the blue oval in common, the all original Pantera had me drooling and the EcoBoost Maverick was way cool –

On a hot July Saturday while working on the GT Mustang, I had to run to Eastwood Restoration Supply a town or two east of Grippo Racing Headquarters and low and behold, their Summer Cruise was happening –

A few weeks later it was time for the first fire up of my dad, Joe Sr.’s flathead powered ’40 Ford Deluxe. It was a complete success and it sounded real strong –

Rolling through the Summer of 2018 we were back at Maple Grove Raceway for the Glory Days Nostalgia Drags. Fuel Funny Cars, slingshot dragsters and vintage doorslammers filled the place –

We hit the road for our one big road trip in late August. We pointed the rig west on the PA Turnpike toward Norwalk, Ohio for the NMCA All American Nationals for a weekend of Index Racing and were left slack-jawed at the event within an event, the 50th Anniversary of the Cobra Jet. We got to hang out with Lohnes that weekend too, so that was…something –

As we headed into my favorite time of the year, Autumn, I finally was able to check off a huge bucket list item: I got to race at the NHRA Dutch Classic National Open. Division 1 director Dave Mohn added Index Classes to the schedule, so I jumped in the Pro Dial category. Basically, Pro Dial is bracket racing using a .500 pro tree. It was loads of fun and we will be doing it a lot more in 2019. The super stockers, stockers, comp and others packed the joint, helluva weekend –

October is our busiest month on the calendar, but we always take in the massive Fall Carlisle Swap Meet. I wanted this survivor Econoline bad, really bad. And the early 60’s Ford Taunus wagon was giving me all kinds of evil thoughts but how about that T/A straight from the 80’s? It reeked of Skid Row cassettes and dirtweed –

A new classic car dealership opened in our neighborhood taking residence in a closed-up shopping mall, so it was my Bangshift duty to investigate. Each store is filled with cars, 400 plus in total! It is currently housing the owner’s car collection along with all kinds of good stuff for sale everything from customs and street rods, muscle cars, a huge barn find section and yes, a Jet Funny Car. They are hosting weekly Thursday evening cruise nights and it is 5 minutes up the road –

We did a bunch of fun stuff in the fall but the highlight for me every year is one word….Hershey. It was raining, it was cold and windy, and it was, as usual, awesome –

By the end of October, the racing season here in the northeast is winding down but if Mother Nature cooperates it can be serious go-fast weather. With that in mind we loaded up and headed to Cecil County Dragway to run with the new United Nostalgia Sock/Super Stock group. UNSS is a great group of guys with some absolutely killer cars –

My wife caught wind that our nearest Cabela’s was having a charity car show and I needed a new winter coat, so off to Hamburg, PA we went. Long live the local parking lot car show –


Heading into the home stretch of 2018 now…flipping the calendar to November found us at Bruce Larson’s Dragfest checking out some awesome vintage drag racing car and catching up with some old friends –

Which brings us to the last big outing of the year, the East Coast Indoor Nationals in Timonium, MD. You may have seen this coverage in the last few weeks –

We started off 2018 with my wife Stacey’s ’69 Mustang getting dropped off for some major reconstruction and the middle of the year was spent getting ready for the paint shop. So, I will end this 2018 year in review with another sneak peek of the Mustang as it came home from Paintin’ Place after getting a fresh coat of Candy Apple Red applied over all that fresh metal in early December. I will fill in the blanks on the project and as reassembly commences, there will be way more details to come on this deal –

Thanks again for reading and here’s to a BangShifty 2019!



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3 thoughts on “A Year in Photos: Joe Grippo Shares His Favorite Images Of 2018 – Great Stories As Well!

  1. andyb

    Really cool! Best photo gallery format ever–having a little insight into each small set of shots makes it much easier to relate to!


  2. Marty Rinehart

    Joe Grippo, you do so much for the great sport of Drag Racing that goes unnoticed. You and your Brother Dan do great work by hanging out, racing and putting your experiences on social media for all of us to see. By you being at the coolest races in the country, your sharing with most of the people who can’t make it to all of the events, truly keeps our sport alive and well. You keep America gear heads hungry to attend what Evers going on at their local drag strip.
    So Thank you for all that you do for us.
    And thank you for supporting Rineharts Performance Race Cars. It’s very appreciated!

  3. Brian Beattie

    Joe, Thanks for including my car in the Larson coverage. I always have \”GREAT EXPECTATIONS II\” going to that show. At least my tow vehicle is a FORD.

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