Classic rock ’n’ roll can take a lot of people back to a favorite place in time, but there’s no more enjoyable way to take that trip than in a vintage Chevy. The third edition of the NHRA New England Hot Rod Reunion provided a faster-than-usual path there for many, with some of the quickest and fastest Bow Ties found anywhere on the East Coast.
The famed New England Dragway near Epping, New Hampshire, was the setting this year, with near picture-perfect weather and temperatures. Dragsters, gassers, A/FX’ers, vintage Funny Cars, street rods, and muscle cars were all part of the show with a classic car corral and swap meet. Honorees included Wally Markert, Jr., Nick Marshall, Dave Vermilya, Charlie Seabrook, Walt Weney, and Jack Merkel, with Al Segrini serving as Grand Marshall.
Marshall was a winner at the 1961 U.S. Nationals in a B/MSP blown 1958 Corvette before moving up to nitro. Seabrook ran a Crosley with a Stovebolt six cylinder while Weney built Bill Jenkins’ record-setting Pro Stock Vega. Merkel, whose series of Chevy-powered gassers stood up to the horde of Hemi-powered gassers that were so common from that time. Merkel achieved great fame with his gassers and eventually ran deep into the 8.80s with a big-block-powered 1933 Willys back in 1968. His sons Todd and Scott would later become winners in the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) series. Segrini, best known for his success in NHRA Funny Cars, began his career in a B/Gas 1955 Chevy before switching to a nitro burning, 427-powered A/Fuel Altered.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum will wrap up their season with the 24th Annual California Hot Rod Reunion to be held at Auto Club Famoso Raceway in Bakersfield, California, on October 23-25, 2015.