Throughout the 1990's Nostalgia Drag Racing grew increasingly popular and has now developed an incredible fan base. Maybe as popular as the actual racecars themselves, are the "Cacklefest Cars" (so named because they have functional fuel burning engines, but are not legal to race due to their age) are a hit wherever they appear -- at the racetracks or at any number of functions that want a "thrilling attraction".

There are currently 40 or so 'Cacklecars' from the 1960s throughout the country with more being restored or reproduced all the time. These were all real racecars in their era and most were famous. On the forefront of this movement is the beautiful and quite functional "Frantic 4" A/Fuel Dragster - circa 1962. While most of these cars spend their time at the NHRA Museum or in the owner's garage, the Frantic 4 is on the road as much as possible. Norm Weekly and Ron Rivero would be quite happy to have this be a full time "job". That could only come from a couple of guys who are retired.

We now invite you to view a small sampling of the the teams "road show" over the last two years.

 


 

Museum

The Frantic 4 is frequently invited to appear for nostalgia functions at the Wally Parks - NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, CA.
Tom West Photo



 

debut

Original team members Dennis Holding (orange shirt) who financed the replication, Norm Weekly (in car) and Ron Rivero (right) were like a bunch of kids with a new toy when the car debuted in October of 2001. The Jim Fox built 354 hemi never sounded so good!

 

first fire up



 

push start

Static starts on display are one thing, but THE thing is a good old push start. These are only done at race tracks on approved fire-up roads ... like the one at Bakersfield, CA. Here, during its 2001 debut at the CHRR, the Frantic 4 with Norm Weekly in the seat makes its first push start in over 3 decades.

 

CHRR

 

CHRR 2

 

from stands

 


 

staging

The push start got the fans on their feet - when Norm staged the car and smoked the tires - the crowd went wild. Due to safety rules, Weekly could only make a 400 foot "run", but that was enough for the 20,000 folks in the seats.

 

SMOKE!

 

run 2

 

run 3

 

run 4



 

Mindy

Another aspect of the Frantic 4 Racing Traveling Road Show is the fact that fans can actually get to sit in the car. And if they are so inclined, they can actually be in the seat for a static fire up. What a great birthday present that would be for fans of any age.

 

Jake

 

Jake 2



 

Pomona

Talk about prime time - during the finals (Sunday) of both the 2002 and 2003 NHRA Winternationals 16 of the best "Cacklecars" around push started down the track and then parked side by side in front of the spectator grandstands. The 30,000 plus fans were on their feet applauding these warriors of old. Since they last ran in 1972, thousands had never even seen a front engine fueler before.

 

Pomona

 

Pomona 2

 

History

During most events classic "photo ops" (aka Kodak moments) are plentiful. At Pomona one of the true legends of drag racing made a point of visiting the Frantic 4 display. From LtoR: Randy Hargrave, Norm Weekly, Chris "The Greek" Karamesines, Ron Rivero and Dennis Holding.

 


 

office

Birds eye view of "The Office".

 


 

Nude

Randy and Katie Hargrave (new owners of the Frantic 4 fueler) stand behind their car in a rare shot with the body off. This was at the 2002 California Hot Rod Reunion.

 

Hargrave

Randy Hargrave looks intently down the track as Weekly prepares to make another smokey 400 foot pass at Bakersfield.


 

Cacklefest

Then there's the event that started it all. For the 2000 California Hot Rod Reunion, event "ring master" (Steve Gibbs) along with a few racers who has old cars capable of push starting came up with the wild idea of "Cacklefest". The concept was simple. Take all the cars that could do it, and line them up at the top end of historic Fomosa Raceway (Bakersfield). Then when the sun set, push start them the way it was done in the 60s. Maybe a few fans would stick around to watch? The first year there were 11 or 12 cars and yes, the fans did stay to see it happen. About 5,000 to be exact.

 

Cacklefest 2

The 2001 event within an event already had a life of its own and there were 24 cars ready to cackle, including the brand new Frantic 4 fueler. At the 2002 Cacklefest over 32 cars participated and rumors have it that the 2003 show will be limited to just fuel dragsters. The Frantic 4 will be at the top of the list.

 

Cacklefest 3

 


 

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