Arts and Entertainment

Drag Strip Reunion returns to Arlington Airport

Among the many features of his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air that Marysville’s John Eilertsen was proudest to show off at the Arlington Airport last year was the autograph that Joan Jett left on his dashboard three years before . - File Photo
Among the many features of his 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air that Marysville’s John Eilertsen was proudest to show off at the Arlington Airport last year was the autograph that Joan Jett left on his dashboard three years before .
— image credit: File Photo

ARLINGTON — The Arlington Airport will once again be revving with hot rod and classic car engines this fall, as the Arlington Drag Strip Reunion returns for its eighth year on the blacktop.

Visitors will be able to get an eyeful of vintage vehicles and souped-up rigs on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $3 apiece, while entrants in the show will be charged $25 each at the gate. Those who arrive at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9 will be treated to events of their own.

From the 1950s to 1970, the Arlington Airport served as the site of the National Hot Rod Association-sanctioned Drag Strip event, which produced a number of national records in the early years of organized drag racing.

The first Drag Strip Reunion came about in 2004, when the nearby Arlington Boys & Girls Club revived the event to help raise funds for their programs. They received support not only from the city and airport, but also from the former track manager and track announcer of the original Drag Strip.

Two years ago, Arlington Boys & Girls Club Director Bill Kinney approached the Port Gardner Vintage Auto Club about partnering on the Drag Strip Reunion, since their club had been putting on their own auto show to support local charities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs, for the past 29 years.

Jake Jacobsen, of the Port Gardner Vintage Auto Club, expressed his excitement over this year’s new features, including the “Shop Girls,” a trio from Granite Falls who first teamed up in high school to design and build a car to enter in the Shell “Eco-Marathon Americas.”

“They’ve been all over the country setting land speed records for alternative fuels, and they’ll be here in Arlington on Sept. 10,” Jacobsen said of the “Shop Girls,” who took first place in their class in the 2010 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas competition, with a 470 miles-per-gallon performance.

The trio’s high-mileage “Iron Maiden” car will be featured at the Arlington Drag Strip Reunion among hundreds of current and historic classics, street rods, customs and specially restored drag cars from the strip’s heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s.

“This show is in its eighth year and still growing,” Jacobsen said. “With more cars, spectators, vendors and increased support from local businesses, we expect this to be our best event ever.”

The Port Gardner Vintage Auto Club and the Arlington Boys & Girls Club continue to serve local charities with the revenue generated by the show. For more information, log onto the event’s website at www.arlingtondragstripreunion.com.

 

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