Arlington drag strip reunion draws thousands

ARLINGTON — Dan Cooper was quick to bring out his digital camera to snap a few photos of a 1934 Ford Coupe.

While the bright red hot rod, complete with exposed engine and massive external blower, wasn’t from his favorite era of rides — 1960s muscle cars — he had plenty of space on his camera’s memory card.

“It’s really wonderful to see all these cars,” said Cooper, an Arlington resident, about the seventh annual Drag Strip Reunion and Car Show at the Arlington Municipal Airport. “I’ve probably taken hundreds of photos.”

Cooper was one of more than 2,000 spectators to attend the car show on Saturday, Sept. 11. Organizer Bill Kinney said that about 600 cars were on display during this year’s show, matching the number of vehicles that showed up to last year’s event.

“That’s really good considering it looked like it was going to rain,” Kinney said. “It’s amazing how many new people came out of the woodwork.”

Proceeds from the event went toward the Arlington Boys & Girls Club and other local non-profit organizations.

While organizers, as usual, held a poker run and cruise on Friday, Sept. 10, they also dedicated the show to longtime drag racer Herb McNutt, who passed away at age 74 in 2009.

McNutt, who was a track manager at the old drag strip back in the 1960s, was one of the cornerstones in starting the reunion and car show back in 2004. During the first of such events, approximately 250 vehicles showed up.

“He was one of those guys that where he goes, everybody follows,” Kinney said.

Car enthusiasts came from across the Northwest, including Canada, for this year’s show.

Surrey, B.C., resident Warren Look drove south down Highway 9 to enter his 1939 orange Chevrolet Coupe in the show.

The first-time attendee said that he was impressed not only by the amount of cars but by the friendly people.

“I’ve got nothing but praise for the show,” Look said. “It’s a little bigger than I thought it would be.”

Look said he purchased his “bright tangerine” colored car so that his wife and he could have a weekend date car.

“It’s exactly what I was looking for,” Look said. “It was for my wife and I to head down to the soda stand on Friday nights. I’ve been driving it like I stole it.”

Anacortes residents John Bradshaw and Marty Yates didn’t have vehicles entered into the show, but did take a moment to appreciate a red and gray 1934 Plymouth.

“There’s a lot to look at,” Bradshaw said about the show.

While a number of souped-up muscle cars and hod rods were prevalent at the show, gear heads were also able to see the types of vehicles rooted in drag racing.

Auburn resident Jay King brought his two grandsons, 11-year-old Kaiden and 8-year-old Bryson, who are both from Marysville, to the show.

Bryson and King were both sticking their heads under the propped-up hood of a drag racer.

King said this year’s show was his first, but his grandsons had checked it out before.

“It’s great to look the old cars,” Kaiden said. “My favorites are the Chevys.”

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