FUEL altereds and gassers go together like nitromethane and methanol, and you’ll be able to get a massive dose of both at the Aeroflow World Fuel Altered Challenge when it hits Sydney Dragway on 21 September. It’ll be a massive day of drag racing full of cars with too much horsepower and not enough wheelbase, with the extra attraction of a three-way battle between the Aussies, Yanks and Kiwis.
Graeme Cowin is bringing in four legendary US fuel altereds: Pure Hell, High Heaven, Rat Trap and Randy Bradford’s Topolino. Kiwi racer David Gauld is bringing his Nitemare ’34 Ford across the ditch, and he’ll be joined by expat Morice McMillin driving Spooky. Psycho III, Chucky’s Toy, Agro and Berserk from Cowin’s stable will make up the rest of the field, for a total of 10 nitro-burning monsters. This may well be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these cars together in the same place.
Adding to the old-school action will be a 32-car gasser field put together by Damien Kemp of Funderbolt fame and the Australian Nostalgia Racers crew. They have graciously given up the club’s beer money to bring three killer cars across from NZ: the Lark Ness Monster Studebaker, the Twistin’ Pistons Model A and the Pist ’n’ Broke Henry J. With massive wheels-up launches and bang-shifted manual transmissions, the gassers always put on a great show.
But wait, there’s more! For those who like their drag racing a little lower to the ground, there’ll be Pro Extreme cars, Extreme Bike, Boosted Outlaws, Top Modified and a Street Machine class.
The event isn’t just about drag racing though, with a big push to attract families, with activities for the kids, market stalls and a show ’n’ shine being set up along the top of the terraces, which means you can go shopping and watch drag racing at the same time. If you want to be part of the show ’n’ shine, you must enter online prior to the event. It’s only $10 (plus booking fee), and that gets the car and driver through the gate, so get onto it quick.
Spectator prices are dirt-cheap too – just $25 for adults and $15 for kids aged 12-16, and if they’re younger than that, they get in for free! Head to sydneydragway.com.au and click on the ‘Buy Tickets’ button.
If there’s a hell, then there must be a heaven to balance things out. Dating back to the early 70s and based in Colorado, High Heaven, like many cars of the era, has evolved from running injected small-blocks to blown, nitro-fuelled big-blocks.
One of the most recognisable and famous fuel altereds of all time, Rich Guasco’s Pure Hell has been laying it down on the quarter-mile since 1963 in one form or another. While we probably won’t see any of those legendary fire burnouts, you can bet it will still be a show worth seeing.
Ron Hope’s Rat Trap is one of the most well-travelled fuel altereds going, and it’s not always drag racing. Ron was even invited to the Goodwood Festival of Speed and ran the hillclimb, smoking the tyres at every opportunity.
One of the driving forces behind the Vintage Gas scene is Damien Kemp’s ’64 Fairlane, Funderbolt. It might look rough and ready, but at the moment it’s the quickest in the land, running in the 8.70s.