Woah Vs GO Part 2: The Proponents Of Nostalgia Funny Car Body Evolution Get Their Say

Woah Vs GO Part 2: The Proponents Of Nostalgia Funny Car Body Evolution Get Their Say

Back in late February we showed you part one of Les Mayhew’s two part series on nostalgia nitro funny cars called, “Woah! VS Go!” which was made for CompetitionPlus.com. If you did not see that first installment CLICK HERE TO WATCH IT. In his typically cool way, Les presents both sides of the argument surrounding the evolution, changes, and morphing of nostalgia funny cars and specifically the bodies that hand over their tube chassis. We can call the guys in the first episode the traditionalists because they were the ones who were against the newest Camaro body that has entered the class and wanted to kind of lock down the bodies to how they have looked to this point.

The body debate is not a new one and has been present in one form or another since the category really got popular 15 or more years ago. The Powers Steel car of some years ago was one of the most controversial during its time for many of the same reasons that people are concerned about the Camaro body that the Ryan Hodgson driven car wears. While the guys in the first video present the case that changes and more aero bodies will be the ruination of everything right and good with nostalgia funny cars, the guys in this video present their case in a pretty logical and interesting way. Bob Papirnick brings it up in an interesting way when he mentions the fact that guys are using billet heads, billet blocks, and all kinds of modern whiz bang stuff under the body so why would the body be any different.

Dan Horan’s point about needing to keep an audience is good although we would argue that there are roughly two nostalgia funny car events that really pack a house and that they are both held in Bakersfield, California. Are more young kids buying a ticket to see nostalgia funny cars because the bodies look more aerodynamic? That’s a question that we don’t have the data to answer. We do agree with his second point that continuing to cater to a rapidly aging crowd is not going to result in a long term future of success.

Ryan Hodgson has some very well measured words about his experience, his goals, and what he wants to do with his car and the criticism that it has gotten. All around, this is a great video. Make sure to watch part one if you have not done that yet.

Press play below to see the counter argument FOR the evolution of nostalgia funny cars –

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13 thoughts on “Woah Vs GO Part 2: The Proponents Of Nostalgia Funny Car Body Evolution Get Their Say

  1. orange65

    IMO- people go to a particular event to see what is billed as being there. If you go to a Nostalgia event, you expect to see period correct pieces. I do not like the swoopier bodies- if you want to run that, go to the big show and race with those guys. As for bringing in the younger crowd- that ain’t going to happen. This type of racing caters to the older generation that still want to see what they used to see as well as a small group of younger fans who yearn for the way it used to be. This will never appeal to the larger audience. If you want to attract the younger fan, go to a radial race where the younger crowd is watching something that they can relate to (car body wise).

    I think that the cars should not break outside the mold of a 1979 funny car. That also goes for what is under the body as well- if they did not run it in 1979, they should not run it now.

  2. Chuck

    Interesting problem, I think for spectator interest side by side NITRO racing is the most important thing, maybe not looking like P/Ms might be a good thing, not sure. A squashed Willys, Aero 57 Chev. funnys might add something. Personally just want to see close racing.

  3. Tyler

    Well I think I’ll just go to the promod race, or the drag radial race. Look at there attendance numbers. Bakersfield is about nostalgia!!!!!!!
    NHRA is the real problem here. Ever think of how hard your making it for a young racer to compete? Nitro nostalgia will be over If this path is followed. We already have a place for that body shape, it’s called the big show! U guys have fubared this all up.
    Thanks a million.

    1. Bob

      If they continue to change the body “Nostalgia” is gone from the formula. I personally love seeing the 70’s body styles. If I want to see areo cars I will go to a NHRA National Event. Keep it period correct!

  4. Ken

    Nostalgia is a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. NHRA and IHRA need to stop the streamlining of the bodies and stay in the sentimentality of the class. Yes the motors and equipment are up to date, but the fans do not care what cubic inch or parts they see on a motor as long as they see a hemi with a blower.
    It would be a real shame to see these cars start to be parked because of the cost for the technology of streamlining these bodies gets out of hand and all end up looking the same.
    Most of these teams have hard working volunteers, work out of single car garages. Have a ton of pride in seeing and racing follow Nostalgia family
    The sport does not need millionaires coming in, spending big money on changing a class to Pro Mods on Nitro

  5. Marc Hunter

    As said above kinda says it all.
    How ’bout having a simple formula where frontal area should be within say 20% of the car being imitated. You could do about the same for stretch and height.
    If you give the guys parameters to work in you encourage that part of the racer that wants to push the envelope but also preserve the nostalgic appeal.

  6. Iain starrs

    This has been on a slippery slope ever since the long pinnochio nose deal started. I don’t get it. It’s supposed to be NOSTALGIA. It’s already gone to far. These guys with the trick aero cars WANT to run Big Show but can’t for whatever reason where as the guys who build the old style bodies do it more for the love/ nostalgia of it all. Personally I am not interested in watching Aero Nostalgia and I won’t pay to watch it.Whats next an ‘Aero’ Winged Express with a 120″ frame. If these guys want to play aero wars they should be in a different class and not spoil it for Nostalgia fans!!

  7. Gino Ofria

    @ Lain Starrs

    Funny you should mention The Winged Express. Word from one of the principles is they are going to build another version of the Wing that can compete at the 6.0 index. A cacklefest version for Mousie is nearly completed and should debut this summer.

    Regarding the Pro Mod/Funny Car, I think in an effort for NHRA to try and please everyone, they have pleased no one. It’s the same in our class A/G. And that is why I think the Heritage Series struggles; the identity is too vague and a clash between the way it was vs. modern technology.

  8. jerry z

    What’s the point of running “Nostalgia” funny cars if they keep streamlining them.

    They should change the name to “Newstalgia” or fake nostalgia.

    I stopped watching these events ever since they started modifying the bodies.

  9. crazy canuck

    Reminds me of when the batmobile showed up ,everybody bitched and whined and next thing you know there’s a whole 16 car field of them . If there is a performance advantage racers are going to take it .

  10. Fewster6

    When all the 50 year olds and older die off, nobody will give a 25 cents to see a slow funny car show. Make them go faster and f..k the cry babies, why does NHRA let them race with primer bodys instead of a mandatory period corrected paint job?

  11. Alvin d

    I’ve been going to March Meet and CHHR with my bro since the first year and it’s better than the big show crap by a country mile!!!! It has to stay old school if not what’s the point I understand that technology moves forward but appearance is very important. No rear end dragsters no aero treated funny cars and no newer cars that’s what attracts.

  12. ratty

    the aero bodies go against the whole point of a Nostalgia event… the only people who like them are fans who could care less about Nostalgia style cars, and those that run them and put down better times because of their performance advantage who just want to win a race… if they cared, they wouldn’t be running the modern aero bodies… What makes events like the March Meet so awesome, is that the cars are NOT modern style… allowing modern aero bodies is going to be the demise of great events like these, they’ll just get too expensive and then the teams will dwindle and the cool nostalgia cars will start to disappear and then it’ll be just as boring as the big car shows… Keep Nostalgia Nostalgia!

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