On Saturday, my husband and I had a lot of fun walking a mile over to the main drag in our part of Long Beach to check out the 7th annual Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo & Car Show. See, we're four miles from the old Lions Drag Strip that hosted roaring machines between 1955 and 1972. Between the area's tradition and the car-savvy of our district's city councilwoman (Rae Gabelich, widow of Gary Gabelich, a racecar driver who held the land-speed record at one time), we've had a dragster expo in town for the past few years. Plus a whole lot of cool cars on display.
This year the featured stars were Don "the Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "the Mongoose" McEwan, and their original funny-car racers, not to mention a dozen other classic dragsters, some of which were available for fans to sit inside, and some of which participated in the "Cacklefest." That was when a half-dozen of them fired up simultaneously, shaking hundreds of spectators to their very bones and shooting flames 15 feet in the air. It was spectacular in the twilight hours.
I added a few classic cars to my wishlist and introduced myself to Jim Michaelian, the president and CEO of the Long Beach Grand Prix. Mostly I marveled at the ongoing tradition of car culture in Southern California, whether it's racing, customizing, or preserving. There were some gorgeous examples on display!