Just wanted to pop in real quick between Midwest trips – just landed from Dallas and leave again for St. Louis in a few days – to get something real cool and real important on your radar screens ASAP. The annual California Hot Rod Reunion presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California in Bakersfield is just around the corner – Oct. 19-21 – and though there are a million reasons you’d want to be there anyway, Steve Gibbs called the other day to alert me to reason No. 1,000,000,001, or maybe for some of you, it might be reason No. 1.
A loose-knit group of guys that calls itself Nitro Alumni has put together one of the most amazing and impressive collections of nostalgic items that will go up for bid in a silent auction at the reunion, with all proceeds benefiting the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California.
There are truly wondrous items, such as a classic NHRA official's cap from early 1960s that was owned and worn by NHRA National Tech Director Bill "Farmer" Dismuke, Kelly Brown's firesuit from his 1978 NHRA Top Fuel championship season, and Jim Nicoll's firesuit that was worn in the famous 1970 U.S. Nationals final-round crash, plus unique drawings and sculptures and tons of vintage posters, trophies, jackets, firesuits, helmets, and gloves as well as new stuff such as hard parts, including blowers, rods, wrist pins, shocks ... even a gasoline-powered margarita blender. You can see an up-to-date list here.
A brochure of auction items will be distributed at the reunion, and silent bidding will begin Friday, Oct. 19, and run through 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20.
OK, back to work to finish this week’s National DRAGSTER, then back on a plane. After the St. Louis trip, things settle down a little for me until the Las Vegas national, so the columns should resume their traditional twice-weekly schedule.