I made the trek down to Atmore, Alabama this past weekend for Gasser Blowout 3 at Atmore Dragway. This event was started last year by Jessie Holmes, a member of the Southern Gassers Club and he holds two of them each year, one in early Spring and one again in the Fall.
The event is built around gassers but is open to anything pre-1975, which also included Junior dragsters. The cars were broken into classes for Gassers, FE’s, Altereds and Nostalgia Dragsters, Exhibition, Foot-Brake and Electronics. Ironically, the only thing allowed in the electronics class was a trans-brake. The rules are pretty open performance-wise but don’t even think about running a delay box because they were scrambling the tree.
There is such a rich history of drag racing at these type events and some of the stories told are incredible to listen too. These cars are all from a period long before big sponsors and political correctness came along but with names like “Wompin’ Wagon”, “Bad Addiction”, “Fist Full of Dollars”, “Bullet” and “Gadsden Mafia” they had a ton of character and some big rivalries.
One of the stories I enjoyed most came from the car pitted next to us. It was a ’55 model that the owner purchased in 1962 and immediately turned into a gasser. They campaigned the car in E/Gas through the early 70’s until the class started to die out. The owner parked the car until 2009 when he decided he wanted to go nostalgia racing. Most of the original crew got back together and restored the car trying to keep it as period correct as possible other than some safety updates. They’re now competitively running a handful of races each year and having a blast.
The only thing I was a little disappointed in was that there weren’t to many Mopars in attendance to report on. The only true all Mopar Gasser was this 1965 Coronet 500 belonging to Ronny Sandifer. He bought the car a few years ago out of Indiana as a rolling bracket car that was never real consistent. Ronny owns Hillside Street Rods out of Covington, Louisiana, and builds a lot of gassers, so it didn’t take long to rip the front suspension out from under the car and replace it with a straight axle.
The paint is still the same as when he picked it up; he just had to add some character to it and I think the name “Bad Addiction” does just that. The car is powered by a 408ci stroker small block backed by a 727 feeding into an 8¾ rear with 4:11 gears. At over 3,000 pounds, the car still manages to run 10.90’s in the quarter and 6.90’s in the eighth.
There were several other Mopars running in support classes as well as a Super Stock Barracuda running in exhibition. I didn’t get a chance to get to many details on them because I was helping a friend test some things on his cars but I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you’re looking for a fun event to attend this fall Gasser Blowout 4 at Atmore is sure to be good time.