I feel like I can relate to the guys from ONDR (Ontario Nostalgia Drag Racing) quite well. It's like they were just born a few decades too late, imagining what it would be like to have been at the drag strip in the 50's or 60's, and in fact, some of them were!
Drag racing has been part of southern Ontario for many years. In many countries, old WWII airstrips became racetracks for the young and crazy, and Ontario was certainly no different. 2 of the 3 dragstrips in use in Southern Ontario are old airstrips, and before the St. Thomas Raceway Park was built, they were racing at the airport in St. Thomas.
The thing that always changes in racing is the cars. New body styles, new rails, and of course, new engines with new technology. However, that isn't the case for ONDR. The cars must be 1974 or older, only mechanical fuel injection*, no delay boxes, no nitrous, no electronically controlled shifters, etc. There are 3 classes, Street, Gas, and Comp. All of this is outlined on the ONDR website.
Besides the old cars racing, the other big difference is the people. They actually take the time to talk to folks wandering around. I knew a few of them already, but those I didn't know were more than happy to chat. This may be because there isn't many spectators though. The grandstands certainly weren't full. The ONDR racers do it because they love it, not because they're looking to get rich.
Walking around the pits was a real history lesson for me. I had heard of the Hishon Brothers before, but had never met them. Turns out they have had this same car since 1964, and have been racing it since then. I got a bit of a tease of some of what they have done with the car, and I certainly want to hear more. Luckily they only live about 30 minutes from me.
There was no end of cool cars, and this '57 was among the coolest. Straight, black, and classy; a recipe for greatness.
I follow some nostalgia racing online, and I always see photos of Flapper Gassed everywhere. I actually saw it in Toronto at Motorama, and again in Cleveland at the Piston Powered Autorama. It was great to finally see it race in person. It's another crazy car, and a crazy driver, but the thing that really sells me on this is the way it's lettered up. The whole thing is just right for me.
Another one to follow on Facebook is Tazman Racing. Another friendly face at the track, and although I didn't get a chance to chat much, I got a feeling he's a funny guy.
Matt Tuckey was really excited to be trying out his "new" car with the engine he just put in it this weekend too. Old Yeller sure looks and sounds amazing, but I know Matt won't be totally happy until he and the car are running down the track in perfect harmony. Our good friend Rollie Guertin did an amazing job yet again with lettering up this car! I haven't seen him do anything that I haven't been impressed with yet.
And what ONDR event would be complete without a member of the ELTA present. It was great to catch up with Scott Haviland again, and see him have some fun on the track!
The sights and sounds of ONDR were something special, and a lot of fun! I can't wait to hang around these guys for years to come.
P.S. There was a car show in conjunction with the ONDR event. Here'a a few pics from that as well.
* edit to correct rules