Heading into the second leg of our September hotrodding road trip, the clock was re-wound a bit as we found ourselves at Wisconsin’s Rock Falls Raceway. Now, I’ve heard that there are those who believe time travel is, literally, possible. Maybe that’s based on deep theory and high-brow calculation that’s light-years above my pay grade. But really, I don’t think we need that. We have the Meltdown Drags Association.
Their time machine: “The Fall-Out” drags. The destination is 1966 or earlier and the racers have to meet a fairly strict appearance criteria. Period-correct is the order of things – no modern wings, no newer style wheels, no pro-mod or pro-street style cars. Once these cars roll into the staging lanes, you’re transported back to a time when nose-high gassers, front-engine rail dragsters, competition coupes, vintage style stockers and old-style “pie-crust” drag slicks ruled the quarter mile.
Having missed all the earlier editions of the Fall Out Drags, I had eagerly looked forward to this one. For a couple of glorious days, I heard the cackle of tuned engines firing to life in the pits and their distant high-rev screams downtrack. I could smell burned rubber, watch tire smoke drift away into the trees along the track. And I thought, damn! Why did I wait so long to get here?
If you’re at all familiar with the past Meltdown Drags at Byron Dragway, you know what “The Fall Out Drags” are about. This is real drag racing, folks; the way it used to be done and the way many think it still should. Yeah, maybe they are living in the past. But then I ask, what’s wrong with that? On a weekend like this, just a short time in the stands, wandering through the pit area or at the starting line will answer that question. Some of the cars are actual survivors with a history, others are newer. But whether they’re recent builds or carefully-kept veterans, they’re all driven by – and with – a passion: a passion for the past and the traditions that shaped who we are today. It’s a tangible connection to our racing history. To those who embrace it, it might be best explained as…. time travel.
Here’s a link to the photos.
Dig the drive!