Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Brisket Grease and Burn-Outs...

It was a wide open, full throttle, sweetheart kinda' New Years Day for the So-Cal Fallbrook car club, the "Shafters." As a club, they always like to start the year off with a bang, and what better way to do it than having a "Burn-out" party, the 5th of its kind for the locals. Professional drag racer, car builder, and all around good guy Mike Hayden donated his home, shop, and private burn-out strip for his fellow club members to fill the air with tire smoke.

You could say, that's wicked enough. However, there was more to the celebration, including a bitchin belly busting BBQ with all the fixins' prepared by fellow racer, George Sevelle during the lunch break. It was just a year ago when this gathering became so popular, the club decided to put it over the top by collecting donations for the "Wounded Warrior" project, and again that was repeated, as the donation can was stuffed full, to say "Thank You" to those that have given for their Country.

Tom Sceberras starts the day off with smokin' some massive meats.
As the day started the cars shot down the strip with ribbons of smoke rolling off the hides, and smiles exploded on the faces of onlookers. It was a good day! Clint Campbell, last years president of the Shafters made an announcement over the PA system that a special effort had been made to invite one of the founding members, Dode Martin to attend. It just so happened, while making a pass to check out the row of rods parked on the grass overlooking the strip, I stumbled across Dode and asked some questions about the Shafter's early days.

With memories rich as hell looking back to the roots of the club in 1949, he began to tell me how it was, with a Cheshire cat smile. As he told it, about four or five guys got together, came up with the name "Shafters," had plaques made for the cars, and started gathering others to join. Dode was driving a '40 Ford convertible with a Carson Top at the time, other members  also favored Fords and Chevy's. The club was more of a racing club early on, with the start of the Santa Ana strip up North as well as Paradise Mesa to the South, in the days while the clocks were being developed, at first Top Time and later ET. Things were still rather primitive with elementary rules, most everyone could drive, just throw a helmet on with a leather jacket and choose someone out. Also, another favorite time to race was after meetings at night, they would head for the local flatlands to drag against other clubs, like the Oilers from Oceanside. On Saturday nights, rather than go racing, the club would do "Hare and Hound" rallies with route directions marked with flour, tearing up the back country roads. Regardless of the outing, they would always come up with hand made awards crafted out of pistons and broken rods to be given out. Dode Martin is a name that has been around some time, as he started the Dragmaster Company along with Jim Nelson, building frames in Fallbrook around 1958. Talking with him, he remembers they built about 200-250 front engine dragster chassis thought the years. There was so much more to the story, but we turned our attention back to the action of the day.

As the cars rocketed by doing burn-outs, I thought, why can't it be the first of the year every day? Writing about what it's like to be at a gathering with these cool guys, their history, and also hearing, and watching these machines is akin to a French Kiss, over a telephone. You just had to be there.

Dave Alcitore lites-em up.

John Bessey came out with his Cobra.

How a real award should look.

Danny Czapski has a such a sweet Dodge.

What, a cool "Axle Dragger" hiding in the shop?

Just made for cat lovers...

Our grill-master George Sevelle's Chevy, is much quicker than you may think...

A few projects in Mikes shop.

How about a true vintage gasser?   Mike Morand brought his to launch...

Hal Engstrom brought his Chevy II gasser in from Valley Center to run.

Time for the lunch line...

Tom Sceberras heaten' up with one quick Camero...

George Steiger one of the clubs re-founding members in his sweet Chevy.

Danny Czapski's un-capped Dodge lookin' so fine...

A good day to hang out and talk cars...

Shawn Pagett driving his Chevy II like he stole it.

One sweet day it was!
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  1. Looks like a LOT of fun, love that 55.

    1. Hey Keith,wish you could bring your car over for this. These guys are a great group to hang with.

    2. do they sell the jax or shurts???

    3. Don, I'm not sure, I'll check. What size?

  2. John, thanks for covering out event again this year. We raised $2000 for the Wounded Warriors as everyone really pitched in. We will let you know when we present the check. Mike Hayden

    1. Thanks Mike for all you do! It's great group of guys!