New Zealand drag racing continues to ride the Nostalgia wave, and, as a result, more and more cars fitting the ‘old school’ theme are popping up all over the place.

Masterton Motorplex recognized this, decided to embrace it, and held a very successful nostalgia-themed race meeting over the weekend of January 23–24, showcasing the ‘diggers’, gassers, and pre-’72 hot rods from the lower North Island — a great spectacle it was.

Masterton certainly turned on a scorcher, in stark contrast to the wind and rain of the original date, which was a washout. Conditions couldn’t have been any more different if you tried!

Diggers, front-engined dragsters (FED), or slingshots — call ’em what you want, but it seems everyone either has one, wants one, or is building one. Lower Hutt’s Dion Crook is still piecing his together. Steeped in local and family history, his labour of love is still awhile away from hitting the strip, though, visually, it ticks all the boxes. She will be one sweet ride when finally finished!

Superchargers, stupidly short zoomies, and seating positions with the potential to turn you into a eunuch at will … What’s not to love?!

Race cars had epic names back in the day!

Not only were the race cars impressive, even the tow cars deserved a closer look.

No nostalgia meeting would be complete without a flathead or two. This old girl may not have been the quickest vehicle of the day, but it was certainly one of the favourites.

Snout high in the air, straight front axle, no front brakes, and a 440-cube Chrysler in a ’51 Henry J kind of sums things up perfectly, doesn’t it?

You want to know how wide a Hemi is? Check out how much is spilling over the sides of the Hell Razor FED.

The MMP crew made sure there was plenty of rubber down so everyone could be aggressive on the start line.

Allan Hartley in the New Zealand Home Loans altered was taking advantage of the sticky start line. Raisin the wheelie bars a tad, and hanging the wheels a foot-and-a-half in the breeze all day long, without backing off so much as an inch, made for some spectacular passes.

There was no denying the weekend was a success, with riveting action both on and off the track. The nostalgia scene is definitely alive and well, which is great to see, and it only appears to be getting stronger. If old-school cool is your thing, then make sure you visit your track when the boys are in town!

Shane Wishnowsky

My first experience of the V8 engine was not a good one. Picture a white-haired young boy bawling his eyes out when an un-muffled sprintcar was fired up. My Dad, who had been car mad all his life, thought I was broken and he’d produced a dud! He persevered though and a few years later took me to Thunder Park; it was here that I fell in love with the V8 engine and I was hooked! Since then I have been a regular on both sides of the fence at drag strips in the North Island, both as a spectator and a crew member. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that 40 years down the track I would end up photographing and writing about them, not that I’m complaining!