VINTAGE DRAG RACE VEHICLE DESIGNATION
The following presentation constitutes
a series of recommendations dedicated to sorting out the many
and varied approaches to an increasingly popular movement - the
return of historically relevant cars to nostalgia/vintage drag
racing events. Contributors to the results of this effort are
neither rules makers nor event sanctioners. Each person participated
agenda-free. Should event-holders and/or service professionals
choose to adopt these contents, such is their free will choice.
The increasing population of
returning-to-the-sport vintage drag race vehicles is a really
However, the methods and means
by which such vehicles are discovered and returned to the sport
has - as usual - experienced growing variance between claimed
origination, results and reality. The duplication capability
of modern digital equipment and machines adds to the potential
As the value of such vehicles
increases, and the creativity of their owners grows, so too will
the results of those choices. In an effort to avoid future conflict
at check-in; bracket, class or event placement and valuation
results - a group of concerned individuals recently created guidelines
for individuals bringing vintage drag race vehicles back into
the sport. It is to those who have created the current population,
and those who now seek to, reflect and preserve our sport's history
through glorious physical examples, that these guidelines are
Steve Gibbs -- Former NHRA Vice
President - Competition, Member, Board of Directors of the Wally
Parks NHRA Motor Sports Museum, co-founder of the National and
California Hot Rod Reunions and the "Cacklefest" concept.
Jon Lundberg -- Former drag race
announcer, drag racing historian, performance aftermarket (SEMA)
industry veteran, owner of Southwest Valuations, LLC and credentialed
as an Accredited Senior Appraiser by the American Society of
Carl Olson -- Former champion
drag racer, former NHRA Vice President, performance aftermarket
(SEMA) industry veteran and Motorsports Manager at the SFI Foundation,
restorer of both oval track and drag race cars.
Bill Pitts -- Attended his first
drag race in 1964, restorer of the Fuller "Magicar"
- the vehicle which launched a national wave of restoration and
return of many former drag race competition vehicles to the sport.
Greg Sharp -- Curator of the
Wally Parks NHRA Motor Sports Museum, drag racing historian,
co-founder of the National and California Hot Rod Reunions and
the "Cacklefest" concept.
SUGGESTIONS TO INTENDERS:
It is with profound interest
in enabling more veteran drag race vehicles' return to drag racing
that the following suggestions/ recommendations are presented
to those considering such a project.
1. Learn all you can about
the vehicle and its history. Then pick a focused timeframe
and avail yourself of all the pertinent magazine stories and
photographs you can find of the vehicle AT THAT MOMENT and create
what you will from that information. Race cars change and evolve
almost from that minute the paint dries. Restoring an individual's
or team's vehicle lacking a specific build target - time-wise
- and proper authentication/support may result in your expensive
investment being classified or valued in an identity class that
presents a cruel surprise. Be able to put forth such documentation
upon request by officials.
2. Make every attempt to obtain
an endorsement(s) from the original builder, participant(s),
team or extended family of such and involve them in the project.
Such folks can help you identify components, special vendors
and can endorse - and thereby enhance - the vehicle's authenticity.
They are part of the resulting project's history - and of the
sport. Their involvement is a value-adder both to drag racing
history and the vehicle's "Provenance" (aka the origin
and performance accomplishments resume back to the builder).
3. Contact all individuals
and companies involved in the construction and sale of all
vehicle components to determine and memorialize their correctness
for the particular timeframe and vehicle. Further, attempt to
chronicle all changes and modifications made subsequent to the
original sale. Keep the records you create handy for inspection
- document, document, document.
4. Conduct and record interviews
with anyone either involved with the vehicle or those who observed
it in competition at motor sports events. Retain those recordings
and/or transcripts for future reference. Keep documentation for
your vehicle, and your claims for it, available for inspection
upon request by event officials or contract professionals.
5. Take all necessary steps
to prevent unnecessary deterioration of any component, with
particular attention to such items as tires, fuel lines, polished
6. Beware of "over-restoration".
Modern finishes and techniques create glorious results. However,
they do not necessarily enhance your project's correctness.
7. Do not employ the use of
vinyl graphics or "wraps", other than period-correct
equipment maker or sponsor decals. Graphics should be hand-applied
as they were during original build and the original artist should
be retained for such work where possible.
8. Retain all invoice copies,
bills of sale and any other fringe part or component "tailoring"
that takes place during your project. Should something unthinkable
happen, you're going to need them - organized.
9. Should you decide to make
the car operational, spare no expense when it comes to safety.
Read the current rules and follow them to the letter.
10. Should you wish to exhibit
or "compete" in an event or demonstration your
vehicle must pass all safety regulations in effect for that occasion
(e.g. to enter a Cacklefest, your car MUST be fitted so as to
allow positive clutch and/or driveline-to-engine disconnect).
11. Should your goal be to
attend demonstration or public events, seriously consider
extra "spectator" insurance coverage for those occasions.
12. Fire-up your vehicle on
a regular basis so that it remains easily operational while
both the fire-up techniques and attendant safety precautions
become "muscle memory".
VEHICLE CLASSIFICATION: Effective June 1, 2011.
(HV) HERITAGE VEHICLE
(aka Barn Find, Survivor, Unrestored Original): Such vehicles
represent the classic "barn find". Such a car is in
exactly the same condition as when it was last operated. Preparation
should involve merely a thorough clean-up, detailing and replacement
only of damaged or unsafe components. Should the vehicle's finish
be deteriorated to the point where fresh paint and protective
finishes are mandated, such is allowed but restricted to those
colors and livery congruent with the vehicle's chosen timeframe.
" (HV 1) Functional condition
" (HV 2) Non-functional
(RO) RESTORED ORIGINAL:
Such cars are based upon varying degrees of available components
from the original vehicle. Builders will provide photographs
of the car - so as to illustrate the car's original and/or timeframe
appearance - which was used as target for the restoration.
* Degree of Original Components
1. (RO 1) Complete vehicle with documentation or authenticity
2. (RO 2) Significant Components - A majority of original car's
structural parts on the subject with documentation or authenticity
3. (RO 3) Limited - Identified primary components from original
car exist on the subject with documentation or authenticity evidence.
(RR) RECREATED / REPLICATED: Cars built to replicate an
earlier vehicle that was no longer in existence or unavailable
for restoration. Classified in terms of race history (provenance),
authenticity execution of workmanship and the degree of involvement
form the original team and/or family.
1. (RR 1) Built with validation/endorsement
plus active participation of original team member(s) and/or original
2. (RR 2) Built with Validation/endorsement
of family and/or original team member(s).
3. (RR 3) Does not have Validation/Endorsement.
(TC) TRIBUTE CAR: A vehicle
constructed of what might be period-correct parts but from other
vehicles wherein the fit, finish and livery characterize a tribute
to a specific (earlier) year's individual or team.
1. (TC 1) With validation/endorsement
of original by original team members.
2. (TC 2) No validation/endorsement.
(PC) PERIOD CORRECT: A
vehicle built from period-correct, but dissimilar, components
from several donor vehicles finished to resemble a vehicle of
its genre (dragster, funny car, gasser, etc.).
1. (PC 1) Because of the finished
subject's general nature, no validation or authenticity requirement
exists. However, event participation will be determined by the
individual sponsoring/sanctioning organization.
(UN) UNIQUE: A finished subject that resembles earlier
era race cars but with completely unique construction standards,
details and livery. As such these vehicles are unable to be classified
in any of the above categories.
1. (UN 1) At the time of this
writing (May 2011) but one example is complete.
FINAL NOTE -- IMPORTANT: