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A Mile High

...And A Quarter-Mile Wide!

Tony Kelly Jun 26, 2002

Wherever you are at Bandimere Raceway, you are close to the car show and the drag strip. It's an enveloping experience which we thoroughly enjoyed. One of our favorite moments was meeting Rick Hartmann who got our attention when he entered a front-engined dragster in the car show.

Not only is it built on a '58 Chassis Research frame, the engine is a four-cylinder '28 Chevy. Before this car disappeared for several years in the '60s, it had been built and campaigned by Rick's dad, Duke, who built it for racing with a Fenton cam, a log manifold with two Stromberg carbs, and a 4.56:1 rear axle. When Rick found it, the engine was in a shed, but intact, and the frame had been in a junkyard and was covered with rust.

During the restoration process, dad helped and recalled his own work on it, 40 years earlier. Just as the car was finished, Duke became ill and passed away within two weeks. However, he did get to see it and hear it run, so Rick and his family felt that their work was not in vain. The car has run 77 mph in the quarter at a sizzling 16.4 e.t., but that isn't bad considering what it is. Now it's a family treasure.

Not that we were looking for old car stories to tell, but we couldn't pass up Sonny Hegarty from Albuquerque, New Mexico (is there another Albuqureque or do we have to always say that it's in New Mexico?). Sonny's wife woke him up early one morning and said she heard a noise down the hall. Apparently she did, because as Sonny realized when he opened the door to the garage, the water heater had exploded sending their double garage door across the street and igniting the house.

The Hegarty's escaped but had to watch as their house and a '32 Chevy coupe burned up. Fortunately, Sonny had another '32 in Don Garlits' museum, which is the one he was showing in Denver. Between that and the safe escape of Sonny and his wife, the Hegarty's feel lucky. And we were lucky to have them on hand at the Denver Super Chevy Show.


This is the '58 dragster with a '28 Chevy four-banger that Rick Harman of Fort Morgan, CO, restored after his father built it 40 years ago (see story).

This is the '73 Camaro belonging to Jon and Cindy Squier from Colorado Springs. We thought you'd like it as much as we did, and it took home an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.

Be at the SUPER CHEVY magazine booth when the right staff member comes by and you might be a winner like these people. On Saturday, Chad Krueger and family from Lakewood, CO, and on Sunday Roland Pihlaja from Colorado Springs, all won free subscriptions to SUPER CHEVY magazine, along with cool T-shirts. Even if you don't win a freebie, you can't beat the discount prices at Super Chevy Shows.

Ralph Martinez is a racer from Thornton, CO, and we admired his '70 Malibu so much we presented him an Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car award.

Beginning at the Denver Show, we've added the Custom Rodder Magazine Outstanding Custom Rod award, to the long list of awards presented at Super Chevy Shows. We could not have asked for a better car for the inaugural Custom Rod award than the '53 Chevy of Dan Plomske from Englewood, CO.

We first saw Chuck Coulter's '59 Suburban at the Phoenix show. He brought it to Denver from his home in Sedona, AZ, and won SUV-Modified class.

This '32 coupe, belonging to Sonny Hegarty of Albuquerque, was in the Garlits Museum when Sonny's house burned along with another '32 (see story). We're happy this one survived to see another Super Chevy Show.

You've got to be into green, and spend some of it, to have a car this nice. Jeff Shockey, Lakewood, CO, earned an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award for this crowd-stopping '66 Nova.

'38 Chevy coupes are classic rods and this one is a great example. Steve and Tammy Easdon, Thornton, CO, are the proud owners of this flamer, and now they own an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award, also.

Speaking of street rods, here's the one that took home the Street Rodder Magazine Outstanding Street Rod award. It's a Chevy powered '39 Ford, recently completed by Andy and StacySmith of Littleton, CO.


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