Posts Tagged ‘slingshot


Gathering of the Faithful

To start this off I’m going to set straight exactly what show we attended.  We drove to Plum Corner in Rochester for the one and only “Flathead Jacks” 10th annual Gathering of the Faithful New England Speed Meeting.   We have  attended this show for a few years now, every year guarantees cool cars and cold people since it’s in October in New England. 

 This show draws a lot of cars that don’t go to everyday cruise nights and local shows.  The type of cars that show up are old roundy rounds, midgets, vintage racers and of course the enthusiasts.  This pre- 1960 show draws mostly hot rods, though you will see some customs and muscle cars in the mix.  The Gathering is one of the only shows around where you can see a variety of cars from vintage slingshots, old race cars and hot rods in the same place. 

On the front row sat a black on black 1931 Ford Model A roadster which wore old salt flat numbers 37b. Under the louvered hood was a warmed over 1941 Flathead motor. The motor had been bored to 239 cubic inches with Edelbrock heads ported and polished to let the flatty breathe deeper. Bolted to the top of the motor is a Thickstun 2×2 manifold with two Holly 94’s (Ford of course) to complete the hopped up motor. This roadster is a real driver and has frequented the salt flats on the west coast numerous times in the last few years.

A few hours into the show everyone huddled around the stage with coffee in hand while a seminar was put on by Mac Van Pelt.  Mac is the author of the How-to manual “The Ins and Outs of Early Ford Transmissions”.  Mac pulled apart and went through an early Ford transmission in great depth with lots of questions and answers interspersed enabling the studious crowd to absorb his knowledge. 

This was the ending show of my Massachusetts season and what a way to end the year.  I can’t wait for the spring!


Drag-n in the 50s

Sunday, Sunday, Sundaaaay!

Pulling into New England Dragway on this beautiful Sunday morning, my eyes are drawn to the cars just leaving the starting line with their cloud of burning rubber smoke being swept away by the slight breeze towards the spectators. I say to myself, “This is going to be a good day”. Walking through the staging lanes we see a few slingshot dragsters that are in line to run in the Nostalgia class which only allowed Flathead V8’s, in-line four and six cylinder engines pre 1969. Slingshot dragsters have such a Nostalgic vibe, their high compression and thumping cam help squeeze all the potential horsepower out of the injected engine. There isn’t much to a slingshot dragster the chassis with steering, the hopped up engine which emits scorching exhaust fumes through headers into the driver’s face, usually a glide transmission or in some cases a four speed manual then the rearend. The driver sits directly behind the engine, which leaves him nowhere else to sit but actually straddling the rearend’s center section. One of the safety features for the driver is the custom half inch steel plate that is formed and welded on the pumpkin between the driver’s legs just in case he grenades the rearend.


Approaching the starting line is an A/A slingshot named King & Marshall. The power from the blown injected Hemi can be felt in the ground and in my body. The driver is wearing a vintage gas mask and scalloped 3/4 helmet which completes the nostalgic look. The pilot launched the vintage dragster from the waterbox doing his burnout to warm the tires for traction, the entire crowd is in awe of the intense power of the vintage rail. When the driver is ready to launch the dragster you can feel the adrenaline rushing from the driver into you. Yellow, yellow yellow…GREEN the rear tires stand up from the acceleration and the dragster blasts down the track. The track is only allowing 1/8 mile runs today because of the weather and the King ran a low 4 second pass and in the high 140mph range!


The Gassers rumble in after the front engine dragsters finish their runs with an awesome array of vehicles from blown Willys coupes to Nailhead Henry J’s and 1940 Fords with small block Chevys all of which are running in the six to eight second range. A couple of cars that really stand out are the Paciello and sons Anglia and their Henry J that have been running strong all day.


The car show always has a nice variety of hotrods and customs from New England. One car that really stands out to me is a 1933-34 Ford that looks to be built back in the day. The Ford really shows its New England roots with the motorcycle style fenders, heavy channel and non-chopped roof. The car is chromed head to toe expecially the interior. The interior is wrapped in white diamond pleated vinyl and the headliner is held in place with custom chrome braces across the roof completing its 60’s style showrod look.


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July 2018
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Matt Wood