Push Start Down Memory Lane

Well, I'm gathering some photos from Bowling Green for future use on this site, but I had to post this video clip since it landed in my inbox today. It appears that there are four such clips of the restored
Stephens & Venables top fuel dragster over at the video repository known as You Tube, but I think this one says it all in hand held video camera glory. These photos and videos are also a pretty decent look at the finished appearance of the restored dragster. I'd say it turned out good! Congratulations to Rip & Natalie Wiley on a job well done.

In case this looks easy, you should know that these push starts can be kind of tricky. First, you have a notoriously fickle nitro burning Hemi mere inches from your soft parts. Then, it's a given when burning the witches brew nitro, that most anything can go haywire most anytime. Search the web and you'll find photographic evidence of push cars & trucks that managed to tangle with the slicks and get tossed on top of the roll bar, with the driver still in the hot seat. Of course, there's always the possibility of a banged blower, or other such mechanical mayhem. In other words, you need to pay attention. After all, it is an unpredictable top fuel dragster, even if it's an oldie.

While watching the video, make note of the vintage breather mask the driver uses. Watch Steve Gibbs guide the car through the staging lanes, and the successful push start that results. Also note the beaming smile that is etched onto original driver Steve Stephens face as he shuts the Hemi off and removes his helmet and mask. Looks like it was a good trip down memory lane. Just like these reunions are supposed to be.

So here's the 'film at eleven', but stay tuned as there is more to follow.