There are many aspects of life that trucks naturally go hand-in-hand with: farming, construction, recreation, and even drag racing. Yes, that's correct-drag racing! For those who know what I'm talking about, visions of vintage work of art front-engine dragsters being pushed by equally vintage and equally artful pickup trucks should immediately fill the mind.
I will definitely acknowledge that not everyone is familiar with the relationship between trucks and nostalgia drag racing, so hopefully this will serve as a friendly enlightenment. For me, while I don't have the distinct pleasure of saying, "Been there, done that," in regards to the heyday of Lions and other now-defunct hotspots for drag racing in the '50s and '60s, I do have a strong passion for the past, especially vintage racing. My appreciation for antique dragsters brought upon an almost equal love for some of the rigs used to not only tow, but start the glorious FEDs, Gassers, and the like-the behind-the-scenes push trucks.
If any of you have ever had the chance to attend the National Hot Rod Association's annual California Hot Rod Reunion (or even the recent Bowling Green, Kentucky, Reunion), then you've had the chance to see some of these flawlessly restored racers, oftentimes accompanied by resurrections or recollections of the trucks that were part of the original "ensemble" decades ago. While it's a lot easier to view and appreciate the dragsters and various race cars, what with the highly anticipated Cacklefest as well as the open pits and an overwhelming display of vintage machinery, it's worth the time to check out the push trucks. With fellow photogs Mike Harrington and Nick Licata on hand at the recent 14th Annual Hot Rod Reunion at Famosa Raceway in Bakersfield, California, the effort has been made for you.
For all the trucks, past and present, that have made astonishing quarter-mile runs possible, this one's for you!