by Jim Amos


DVD #188

This one hour and fifty minute video production takes an in-depth look at the activities found at Drag Strip Riot #3 held at Orlando Speed World in Orlando, Florida on November 2, 2019.
Drag Strip Riot is billed as the only true nostalgia car show/drag race event in Florida. The event is limited to cars and trucks 1979 and older.  

Our video begins with a trip around the race pits at Orlando Speed World where we found a great group of drag race vehicles. During our travels we talked with several attendees about their vehicles. We talked with our old friend Sam Branch who races a 427 powered 1964 Ford Fairlane and a bunch of new friends including Mike Kern and his 1969 Flip Top Corvette Funny Car and Jim Cefalo and his 1962 413 Chrysler.
The pits were full of great looking gassers, altereds, front engine dragsters, funny cars, door slammers, street stocks and minibikes. Best of all they were all pre-1979.

The car show area had an equally impressive group of vehicles and we talked with Dennis O'Brian about his absolutely gorgeous 1941 A/GS Studebaker. You won't believe the paint job and chrome work on this beauty. I also talked with Rich Martin about his very rare 1958 Ford Edsel 2 door station wagon. Great car and great story. We also talked with Long Island John who had a 1946 Ford Sdn gasser. The old Ford had a World War II theme and even contained some bomber seats in place of the original interior. I also found a German hand grenade in place of the shifter handle. Very cool car and LI John was a cool guy.

The drag racing action on the track was all heads up racing. No handicap or bracket racing at this show. Line 'em up and first car to the finish line is the winner. That is if you don't have a foul start. Speaking of the start, this event featured some flag start action as well as some Christmas Tree racing. The flag starts were conducted by Victoria Cossota who was dressed in 1950's style clothing and looking mighty good. Victoria was joined by a group of female "Back Up Girls" who added to the beauty of the event. Race co-promoter Bill Hartzell made the ladies available to any racer who wanted to have them back up their vehicle after doing a burn out. I think you will be impressed with the ladies.

The action out on the track was very exciting and we captured some great footage using two video camcorders.

One of the highlights of the event was the presence of "Big DaddyDon Garlits and one of his original "Swamp Rat" Front Engine Dragsters. Don fired up the digger and had it "Cackling" on a load of NITRO.
After he shut the car down Don held a seminar about the car and the unique hemi that provides the power. It is hard to believe "Big" is 88 years old. He still has the strength and enthusiasm of a guy half his age. I recorded the entire seminar and it is included in the video.

This is the third year the Drag Race Riot event has been held at Orlando and they have promised to do it again in 2020.  

In the meantime check out all the action at Drag Race Riot #3 in our DVD #188.