Dragstalgia 2014 and Station 109

July 18, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

One of mine and many others highlights of the Drag Racing timetable is the spectacle that is Dragstalgia at Santa Pod.

In its 4th year now it just gets better and better with lots going on for young and old alike.

The event is primarily to show off drag cars and bikes from yesteryear both on static display and wowing the crowds on the 1/4 mile strip.

As well as the fantastic array of cars and bikes there were a few visitors from overseas.

Two of these were a couple Fuel Altereds from the good old US of A in the form of Rat Trap and Pure Hell which were sat in the publicly accessible pits for all to admire and also showing off the purest form of drag racing on the drag strip with some demonstration runs which thrilled the crowd over the weekend.

Pure Hell Fuel Altered

Pure HellFuel Altereds bought over from the USA by Ron Hope and Rich Guasco.

Rat Trap Fuel Altered

Rat TrapFuel Altereds bought over from the USA by Ron Hope and Rich Guasco.

There were some good examples of downright bizaare vehicles on display including a hugely modified VW Camper van to 'The Beast' which was a modified Daimler (Add more info)

I think this was once a VW van!

The Beast!

Also adding to the yesteryear vibe there were many tribute bands on over the weekend keeping us entertained with songs from the era and a huge Drive in Movie was setup in the live action arena area where people could bring their cars or just sit on the spectator banking and enjoy movies based around the drag racing years. This was hugely popular with all that attended including the Funny Car Timewarp although nobody would have been able to hear anything when it drove in!.

I was even able to get my GoPro onto Dave Nelsons Dragster 'Dorris Doormouse' for his Fire Burnout

If this is slow to load you can see it over on youtube - HERE

To see many more pictures from the event go to:

 

http://www.darrenskidmorephotography.com/dragstalgia2014

 

Station 109

What is station 109? I hear you ask.

Because Dragstalgia was thought up to commemorate the history of drag racing then it was also the ideal opportunity to commemorate the history of Station 109 which is better known today as Santa Pod.

Originally Santa Pod Raceway was an airfield known as RAF Podington or Station 109 and was used as a base for many squadrons of American B17 'Flying Fortress' Heavy Bombers and its most well known resident was the 92nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) also known as 'Fames Favored Few' which was part of the 108th

Everyone involved with Dragstalgia made a point of paying tribute to these brave airmen (and women) and all of the supporting ground crew and an especially moving tribute was a fly past by the 'Sally B' which is the only airworthy B17 in Europe and it didn't disappoint with several passes over Santa Pod. They were also honoured by a clipped wing Spitfire flypast.

B17 Flying Fortress 'Sally B' the only airworthy B17 in Europe

Sally BThe B17 Flying Fortress 'Sally B'

Clipped Wing Spitfire performing a flypast for the Dragstalgia Crowds

Clipped Wing Spitfire

There was a very special guest attending Dragstalgia this year. Candy Kyler Brown who's father Staff Sargeant John Roland Kyler was a ball turret gunner based at RAF Podington during WWII and she has written a book called 'What I Never Told You' which tells the history of her fathers stay at RAF Podington and his later time spent as a prisoner of war.

Some people that were especially excited to meet Candy were Suze Morris who runs the Media Centre at Santa Pod and her partner Phil Pratt. Suze and Phil are fascinated about the history of Santa Pod and have gathered lots of information about it.

As their tribute to the 92nd Bombardment Group they had Phils Suzuki GSXR 1000 drag bike which he regularly races at Santa Pod hand painted to resemble a B17 right down to every 'rivet'. They named it 'Satan's Lady' after one of the aircraft which belonged to the 325th based at RAF Podington

Suze and Phil had been in contact with Candy many times before over email but this was a chance to finally meet her in person and I know that it was a very emotional time for them all.

The picture below shows Candy, Phil, Suze, Joe de Lorimier and his father Arthur de Lorimier. WIth Phils bike 'Satan's Lady.

Candy and Arthurs fathers both flew onboard B17s from Santa Pod back in WWII - Candys with the 407th and Arthurs with the 325th to which 'Satan's Lady belonged.

Satan's LadyCandy Kyler Brown with Philip Pratt, Suze Morris, Joe de Lorimier and his father Arthur de Lorimier.

Suze and Phil have put together a fantastic leaflet telling the history of Santa Pod and Satan's Ladys last mission. if you are ever at Santa Pod make sure to pick one up from her.

 

To find out more about the 92nd memorial go to 

92nd Memorial

Dragstalgia has, as always been a fantastic show and will certainly take some topping, I cant wait until next year.

Darren Skidmore


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