Old School Racing, TEXAS STYLE

Early hot rods and drag cars were an interesting mix of machines created by local speed hounds. OCW reader Bill Burns takes us back to the July 1958 Rio Grande Valley Drag Races in Texas to take a look.
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From Old Cars Weekly reader Bill Burns comes a fine selection of photographs taken by him in July 1958 at the Rio Grande Valley Drag Races. The racing was held outside Edinburg, Texas, a city at the southern tip of the Lonestar State, near the international border.

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A 1934 Ford five-window coupe has its hood raised to show off
its engine, but it’s still obscured from this angle. The non-stock
rear bumper and headlamp housings and light-colored paint
indicate this was a hot rod with a hot powerplant.

The passenger compartment of this dragster is nearly in a
different zip code from its front wheels. That’s a Hemi in the
middle. Perhaps the passenger compartment was lifted from a
ca.-1930 truck.

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Burns found the early hot rods and drag cars to be interesting “grass root” efforts by local speed hounds. Among the wild cars Burns spotted was a Deuce coupe with end-to-end flatheads, the rear-most engine cutting into the firewall.

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This mid-engine dragster is a dual-carbureted beast with an open
cockpit. Note the cool ‘57 Ford push car and the ���55 Bel Air and
‘56 Chevy wagon in the background.

Other trends among racers of the late 1950s can also be seen. Wind-cheating wheel discs were fitted to the wheels of many vehicles pictured, flatheads and Hemis were the engines of choice and the boys around Edinburg weren’t afraid to channel their cars’ bodies over frames!

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If one flathead is good, two are better, right? The street-driven
days for this chopped Deuce coupe are over, thanks to the dual
engines, with the rearmost unit neatly poking through the firewall.
You can’t help but wonder what kind of times this ‘32 Ford posted.

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Those aren’t wings, those are headers sweeping off the Hemi
engine. No doubt, this mid-engine dragster flew. Check out the
‘56 Ford Sunliner push car.

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A Model T was severely channeled over its frame and given a
Deuce grille shell, or at least the top half. The roll bar indicates
this car was no stranger to the drags, and perhaps wasn’t
acquainted with the street any longer.

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