I got up early Friday morning, fueled The 55 and met up with Lucky.
You may know him as the host of “Hot Rod Garage.”
We cruised The Fury Wagon and The 55 to the Irwindale Raceway for the Roadkill Zip Tie Drags rally to Tucson, AZ.
We arrived before sunrise and surprisingly the place was already packed.
I parked The 55 and on my way to get a chocolate donut I ran into Instagram sensation @imemilywilliams who I met years ago on the Hot Rod Power Tour.
The whole Roadkill gang was there, Freiburger, Finnegan, Elana, and Dulcich.
And Lucky from Hot Rod Garage.
Nice photo-bomb Lucky!
So were some of the Roadkill cars – General Maintenance, The Muscle Truck, Draguar and the newest addition to the Roadkill family: The Ugly Truckling.
And in order to be street legal Freiburger and Finnegan had to install a windshield to the Ugly Truckling which consisted of a sheet of Plexiglas being zip-tied to the roll-bars.
Those two actually drove The Ugly Truckling from Irwindale out to Tucson, AZ!
And Jacob brought out The Green Hornet – the car that won the Hot Rod Power Tour burnout contest last year – along for the rally.
There were over 100 cars that were going with us on the rally.
I even got to see my first Demon up close in person.
As Dulcich was leaving in the Draguar someone shouted: “Do a burnout!”
It’s the Draguar…
And it’s a Roadkill car – wadda ya expect him to do?!?
Steve started a big burnout but was stopped short when the torque converter bolts sheared off of the flywheel rendering Draguar as roadkill.
Broke before they even got on the road.
The Draguar wouldn’t be making the trip with us to Tucson.
Once we got on the freeway, The 55 was cruising with 350 cubic inches of maximum performance piercing the open road like a slug from a .45.
It was a blast ripping thru the California desert with a bunch of hot rods.
It was The 55, The Green Hornet, an early 70’s Mustang, a 2015 Mustang, Doug’s prototype P-01 30th Anniversary Saleen Mustang, the Muscle Truck and General Maintenance all running together.
Pretty cool right?
Here’s the prototype Saleen Mustang:
And I learned Saleen is pronounced like Celine Dion, not like the contact solution.
We stopped at Rebel BBQ in Blythe for a delicious lunch and then we were off again.
Our machines needed fuel, so we waited until we were across into AZ to stop for gas – AZ gas is about .80 cents a gallon cheaper that CA gas because of all the CA taxes.
Since I’m running a CPP 29-gallon gas tank I only have to stop once from LA to Tucson which is pretty nice.
Just before Phoenix we turned off onto The 85 to go south to Tucson.
We got on The 85 an hour before the sun set and it was spectacular.
The pinks and purples of the mountains to my left and the brilliant orange sunset on my right.
It was like a scene out of a movie.
When we arrived at the Tucson Raceway it was almost 9pm.
It was cold out but that didn’t stop the Roadkill fans.
They were out in full force.
I was amazed that were 6 lanes of cars lined up a half a mile long all waiting to go down the drag strip!
Those are some hard-core fans!
Freiburger & Finnegan showed up just after 10:30pm in the Ugly Truckling and the place turned into a mob scene.
It got down into the 40’s at night in Tucson, so it was a little chilly.
I was surprised at how many of these hard-core fans were opting to spend the night at the race track in the cold.
The next morning it was cool and breezy and Brian finally brought Blasphemi 2.0 out of the Pilot Transportation trailer.
If you haven’t watched the “Roadkill Nights” episode of Roadkill – do it!
They rebuilt Blasphemi’s engine on a picnic table and then drag raced it down Woodward Avenue in Pontiac Michigan!
That’s right – drag racing on Woodward!
After that episode, Finnegan redid Blasphemi into Blasphemi 2.0 with some newly fabricated exhaust pipes and a fresh paint job by master painter Mike Cotton who hid a bunch of FSM logos into the gold sparkles on the roof and did countless hours of body work on the car.
The way the weather was going, the track sweepers got almost as much track time as the racers.
But the fans didn’t care and neither did we.
We were having a blast.
After waiting in line for over three hours, Doug Glad in the Saleen went head to head down the 1/4 –mile against Jacob in The Green Hornet.
A 730hp supercharged V8 against a Straight-6 with a bottle of juice.
Doug got him off the line in the Saleen and the Hornet didn’t have enough NOS to compete with 730 horsepower.
But it’s always fun to watch friends race.
Freiburger & Finnegan did a “Fans vs. Freiburger & Finnegan” where, if you registered and they drew your name, you could race ‘em down the track in your car vs. them in one of the Roadkill cars.
Pretty cool right?
Finnegan was just about to run Blasphemi down the track against the Muscle Truck when he was told it was raining at the end of the track so he had to abort because Blasphemi is wearing drag slicks.
He switched to General Maintenance and Freiburger got into the Muscle Truck and they decided to do a side-by-side burnout instead of a drag race.
Freiburger is a burnout master.
Here he is warming up the crowd in General Mayhem at the Car Craft Summer Nationals a few years ago – Chick here.
But today the Muscle Truck didn’t have anything for Finnegan at the wheel of General Maintenance.
He did a burnout John Force would be proud of.
Finnegan told us afterwards that the electronic limiter came on when the rear wheel speed reached 208 on the speedometer!!
He said he thought it was a good time to release the line lock when the rear wheel speed read 208mph and he was standing still in the burn-out box.
208 miles per hour standing still.
How nut’s is that??
I think it’d be pretty awesome to see the two of ‘em – General Mayhem and General Maintenance – lined up next to each other and do a side-by-side burn out.
It should probably be sponsored by a tire company.
Continental? BF Goodrich? Anyone?
The day ended with Freiburger and Finnegan surrounded by hundreds of their adoring fans.
These guys are the real deal.
And their fans know it.
One of my favorite parts of the ZTD was when Angel from the “Make a Wish” Foundation made his wish to come out and meet Freiburger and Finnegan.
When they met him, not surprisingly, the conversation quickly turned to cars.
Angel asked about Blasphemi – to which Finnegan said: “Do you wanna see it? Let’s go.”
I got goosebumps.
Finn took Angel for a ride about the fairgrounds in Blasphemi and when Angel got out he was shaking.
It warms my heart to see stuff like this.
And that’s part of the beauty of the Zip Tie Drags.
It’s kinda sad that this event is only one day.
The next morning we’d be heading back to LA.
On the trip back we lost the Muscle Truck but we gained a white Challenger straight out of “Vanishing Point.”
White with a black interior and black 5-spoke wheels, with a 318 that’s powder coated Plum Crazy purple.
On the way I spotted a familiar looking 66 Fury Wagon sitting on the side of the road.
It was Lucky taking in the local scenery.
All he needed was 5-gallons of encouragement and The Fury Wagon was back on the road – until the next gas station.
Funny thing is, he had just installed a brand new Auto Meter fuel gauge before the trip so he wouldn’t run outta gas.
One of the many things I was impressed on this trip with was that Jacob drives the heck out of The Green Hornet.
We were cruising pretty good on the freeway there and back and that little straight-6 AMC runs like a champ.
And what a testament to Dodge.
After beating General Maintenance relentlessly, the thing continues to be a cruising machine.
But I heard from a reliable source that the rear end is crying out for some much needed attention.
We made it back to LA from Tucson safe and sound.
I’m definitely looking forward to the next Zip Tie Drags.
Maybe then I’ll be able to get The 55 down the drag strip.
Hope to see you there.
PS – be on the lookout for the “Hooptie Challenge” coming soon.