One of the great happenings at the Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals is the Vintage Drags that take place on Friday night at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington. The drags bring out the coolest cars and trucks from all over the region. It’s a time for owners and drivers to stretch their legs and spin their tires for a long evening of loud and fast fun!
Since 1987, the Goodguys organization has been putting on the vintage drag events at the Columbus, Ohio and Puyallup, Washington shows. The drag event features cars from all categories, including hot-rod-style gassers, street machines, and flame-throwing nitro funny cars!
There were plenty of way-cool classic Chevys there to look at. We found a few to spotlight and talked with the owners to get some more insight on their cars.
Classic Style And Semi-Modern Power In A Patina ’54 Bel Air Gasser
One of the coolest hot rods we ran across was Tony Lambert’s 1954 Bel Air. While it looks like a vintage build put together back in the ’60s or ’70s, Tony built this racer about 15-years ago. The paint is mostly original, and the race decals were aged the old fashion way. “I let mother nature do most of the work,” Tony said. “I let it sit outside.”
The drivetrain powering this retro-built beauty is a small block 350ci engine, and a super T10 four-speed, taken from a 1992 Camaro. Finishing the drivetrain out is a 9-inch rearend. “I mostly beat this thing on the street. I drove it to Renegade Raceway, ran twenty passes, and drove it home,” Tony explained.
8.90-Second ’67 Nova
This Nova caught our eye on the track, and we were able to catch up with owner Allen Machan of Everett, Washington, later that evening when he was finishing up for the day. Powering this beast is a 555 cubic-inch Dart big block hooked to a thoroughly built Powerglide transmission with a Hughes converter. The drivetrain is finished with a 4.11-geared 9-inch rearend.
This Nova is able to run an 8.90 quarter-mile at 153 mph, which is an incredible feat for a naturally aspirated ride. For Allen, it’s more than just the speed though, it’s also the history and passion he has for racing that he has carried his entire life. “I started racing when I was 18 years old,” Allen said, “That was 34-years ago.”
Big-Block ’67 Camaro
Another car we loved was Randy Brown’s 1967 Camaro. This is another one we were able to watch up close as it took off. Randy is from Orting, Washington. He and his family love to go to the Goodguys Vintage Drags and experience the classic race cars, the smell of raw fuel, the burning rubber, and the crowds that it brings. “This event caters to the older cars, it’s not all the modern ones coming out here,” Randy said.
Randy has owned the car for 7 years, and it features a 565 cubic-inch big-block Chevrolet engine. It’s naturally aspirated and fueled by a Dominator carburetor. The transmission is a Powerglide, built with a manual-shift valve body and a Hipster transbrake. The rearend is a 9-inch with 4.33 gears and a spool. “It’s a cool car,” Randy said. “And we love bringing it out to this event.”
“It ran 9.12 in the quarter-mile in this 90-degree weather,” he stated. The car is freshly built, and the engine only has 11 passes on it.
The Goodguys organization may be known best for car shows, but this drag strip event is something special. If you’re ever able to attend one of the Goodguys’ race events, at either Kent, Washington’s, Pacific Raceway or the National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, you should make the time to go. It’s a day at the track filled with fun people, cool cars, and plenty of burning rubber!