by Jim Amos


DVD #165

This video covers all the activities of the Tenth Annual York US30 Musclecar Madness Reunion held at the York County Fairgrounds in York, Pa and the Nostalgia Nationals Drag Races held at Beaver Springs Dragway over the July 8-10 2011 weekend. This is the event that is too big for a normal length video so we have expanded our coverage to two hours and fifty minutes.

The Reunion segment looks at the terrific group of cars that came out to the show and the special people who own them. We saw everything from Stockers to Dragsters.  

The event featured a Lyndwood Eliminator Dragster Reunion and a tribute to Pat Bilbow who was one of the pioneers of drag racing from the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre area of Pennsylvania. Pat’s son Bob was on hand with one of Pat’s original Lyndwood dragsters and he was joined by ten other historic race cars that rolled out of the Lyndwood Welding Shop.

A decade of performance heritage unfolded at the 10th Annual Musclecar Madness Reunion with the original “Hellzapoppin” Dragmaster dragster, Fred Carrillo’s Bonneville roadster that was featured at the Detroit Auto Show, the late Dave Strickler’s Ammon R. Smith Auto Co. sponsored ‘62 and ‘63 Old Reliable Chevrolet’s, Jungle Jim Liberman’s Vega Funny Car and Pro Stock Vega, Doug Thorley’s Javelin Funny Car, Joe Amato’s top alcohol pro/comp dragster, Wally Booth’s Gremlin and Hornet Pro Stock entries, along with the Funny Cars of World Champion Bruce Larson, Kenny Warren and Carol “Bunny” Burkett.

Little did we know that this would be the last York Reunion for the legendary Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins. Bill has been a loyal supporter of the show through the years and unfortunately he passed away on March 29, 2012. At the 2011 event Bill participated in an unveiling of a 1961 Chevy replicated from the original “Old Reliable” 409 that he and the late Dave Strickler campaigned. Hear the story of how Jenkins helped with the construction of the tribute car. Grumpy was also joined by several members of the Ammon R Smith Racing Team at the ceremony and it was a moving experience. Later Bill had a “Rev Off” competition with Bud Faubel that had the spectators cheering. Bill used his old 1963 Z-11 Chevy while Bud used one of his old Hemi Honkers. You have to see it to believe it. We also found one of Bill Jenkins old car transporters at the show and did a special story about it. The transporter was used by Bill and Larry Lombardo when they raced both the Vega and Monza. Great story.  

We also did some personal interviews with show attendees and you will learn the story behind several cars including; Mike Strickler’s CamaroFrank Morawski Bonneville Roadster, Terry Brennan ‘61 ChevyJim Kleim AA/C CpeBill Klein Bilbow Dragster, Stan Shoppel Bilbow twin engine Dragster, Ron McHugh OldsDonnie Schmitz Gremlin, Doug Krinky 57 Chevy, Al Liebmann & Bobby Frey Frantic Ford F/C, Charlie Shoppel’s 32 Chevy, Marco DeCesaris Cobra Jet MustangBob Yanni’s 53 StudebakerJeff Marvill’s 32 OldsBarry Wallner’s 57 ChevyJim Dennis’s 57 ChevyLayton Finkbiner’s C65 Chevy Truck, among others. 

We also did a feature on the cars that Nick Smith of Stuart, Fl brought to the show. The first was the original 1962 Pontiac 421 Super Duty “Swiss Cheese” car that Mickey Thompson owned and the other was an original 421 Super Duty 1963 Pontiac Tempest Station Wagon. These cars ended up winning awards at the show but the story behind them is even more impressive. We even talked to Akron Arlen Vanke about these special cars and he had original factory documentation to back up his story. Very cool.  

The scale model car area was full of great projects. They also had the “Build it and Take it” program at the show once again and you get a chance to see some of the youngsters who built a scale model car at the show and then took it home with them. When I was looking at a model of the “George Shaker” Thunderbolt Wally Bell happened by and he told me the story of when he actually drove the real car back in the 1960's. Of course Wally also had a whole bunch of other stories to tell.  

I also ran into the guy who made the last official pass at York US30 in 1979. Bill Drayer tells the story of how he was the last car down the track on October 6, 1979. Since the track never reopened in 1980 he holds the distinction of being the last driver down the track. Bill even had the time slip to back up his story. Very interesting.

While I was at the show I was approached by a lady who said she was a former Miss York US30. As I talked to her I recalled having movie footage of the event where she won the award. The contest is in the 1972 Funny Car Nationals segment in our Psychedelic 70's Volume #1 production. When I showed it to her she could not believe it. She had never seen a photo or video of the event and was thrilled to see it. Of course I did an interview with Sandra Osborne about all this and it is included in the video. This was one of the special stories that is not planned but just happens. That is what is great about the York Reunion event. It is very special.

We also profile the recipients of the 2011 Legion Of Honor Award. Fifteen new inductees were taken into the Class of 2011. In addition to the new inductees many of the former inductees return each year including the ever popular Linda Vaughn and Bob Harrop and former York announcer George Nye.

We also did a walk around of the “Cruisin’ Into Summer” Cruise-In area and took some shots of vehicles that stood out to us. I think you will enjoy this segment.  

The York Nostalgia Nationals drag racing action takes place at Beaver Springs Dragway in Northeastern Pennsylvania. This segment runs about twenty-five minutes and we feature the first round of Nostalgia Super Stock and some other Nostalgia ET bracket racing. We also show a special match race between Bruce Larson’s “Mister Clean” ‘32 Chevy and Charlie Shoppel’s “Gang Green” ‘32 Chevy. This was way cool. Also included is a match race between Freddie Bear’s Willys Gasser and the K S Pittman Willys of Rocky Pirrone. Next up is Rocky’s Funny Pontiac going up against Bunny Burkett and her ‘79 Corvette Funny Car. We also show the Frantic Ford doing a single run with none other than Jungle Pam serving as the back up Girl. Another match race took place between Dick Estevez and his Daddy Warbucks Falcon and Jay Zolko and the 64 AFX Dyno Don Comet Wagon. This was a wild one. I think I should do a complete video of just the drag racing part of the weekend some time since there is so much to see at the Beaver. Perhaps next year!  

It just seems like this show gets better and better each year and the 10th Anniversary Event is icing on the cake. This will surely be a collectors edition of an epic event. Remember this video runs two hours and fifty minutes or 170 minutes in length. That is like getting two and a half videos for the price of one. Order your copy now for only $24 delivered to your door!  

The attached YouTube video clip is a low resolution sequence from the 2011 York Musclecar Madness Reunion & Nostalgia Drags video. Keep in mind the full 2 hr 50 min video is in broadcast quality digital video. The full length video is fully narrated unlike this promo clip which only includes limited narration.