- Written by webmin
That drag racing gets the blood pumping definitely holds true for the drivers challenging each other on the quarter-mile, but what about the spectators? What gets their hearts to really pound? The answer comes in two of the NHRA’s guests at the 19th annual California Hot Rod Reunion next weekend: Al “Mousie” Marcellus and “Jungle Pam” Hardy.
Marcellus, one of five of this year’s CHRR honorees, is most famous for building the Winged Express, the Fuel Altered dragster famously piloted by Willie Borsch that debuted 50 years ago. Marcellus and Borsch thrilled crowds like few have since thanks to the brutal power that the Winged Express produced and thanks to Borsch’s habit of driving the Winged Express sideways, with one hand on the wheel.
Other honorees at this year’s CHRR – Super Stock and Pro Stock pioneer Bill Bagshaw, renowned chassis builder Don Long, Nostalgia Drag Racing Association founder Tom Prufer, the duo of Steinegger and Eshenbaugh, and CHRR Grand Marshal Tom Hanna – all made significant contributions to drag racing in their own rights, but we imagine the line for autographs will be much longer for Jungle Pam Hardy, making an appearance at the CHRR with the Jungle Jim Funny Car Team. Hardy, who did eventually learn to wrench on a car but never drove, always provided a thrill for drag race spectators whenever Jungle Jim Liberman came out to make a pass. With her go-go boots and short shorts, perhaps few spectators even bothered to watch Jungle Jim’s Funny Car after it left the line.
Along with the featured personalities, the CHRR will also feature the finals of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Racing Series, a swap meet, midway and the perennial favorite Cacklefest. It takes place October 15-17 at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway just north of Bakersfield, California. For more information, visit museum.nhra.com.