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British teams prepare for the CHRR

Two British drag racing teams will be flying the flag at this year’s California Hot Rod Reunion, October 12-14, 2007   Jerry Denning and Lee Pike, two hot rodders who got a taste for drag racing several years ago will be taking their fabulous altered wheelbase, ‘57 Chevy gasser out for exhibition runs.  Likewise, Bob Glassup and his team will shortly begin preparations to export his immaculate ‘blown’ Chevy-powered Fiat Topolino–bodied altered to the US. 

Typical wheels up action from Honky Tonkin. Photo courtesy Sharkman


Commenting on their exciting plans, Lee Pike says; “arrangements for shipping and running the car at the CHRR are well under way - exhibition passes only.  Logistics at the other end are largely being taken care of by So Cal’s John Reid.  We owe, Tony Thacker, Steve Gibbs, John Reid and Julian Balme many thanks for helping us get this dream into a reality.” 


“We are busy at the moment finalising a T-shirt design; - a fabulous picture of Honky Tonkin' drawn by Chris Froggett, to sell in a bid to help raise funds.”



Lee adds, “Honky Tonkin’ has been out on the track for the last 4 years and has earned some notoriety with its huge rolling burnouts, amazing 1/8 mile wheel stands and lively runs.  It’s always a crowd pleaser with its blown 461ci big block Chevy producing 980bhp and 780lbs torque. 


“We achieved 8.90 sec @ 150.54 mph when we participated at The Main Event held at Santa Pod in May this year!!  This is significant for as far as we know this is the fastest a Gasser has run in the UK.”


Matt Glassup, Bob’s son, gave us the low down on the plans for their altered.  “One day in the pits a discussion arose regarding the CHRR and how great it would be to make the trip over, like many other Brit’s, to spectate, take in the atmosphere and see what happens at this prestigious event. While sitting down with the crew one evening at the track, we began to discuss how great it would be, not only to go and watch but to take the car with us. Dad had always considered racing in America as his long-term goal for achievement, but perhaps had never really thought it could be realised.


Fresh from the paint shop - the Xtreme Coupe


“Fresh from the paint shop this year, Dad displayed the car at the famous Essen Motorshow in Germany and the CMT Show in Stuttgart - thanks to Andy Wilsheer.  Andy has a media interest in the CHRR and pointed us in the direction of Tony Thacker at the NHRA Museum.  Tony put us in touch with former NHRA vice president of competition, Steve Gibbs.  We explained our intentions and how we felt it would be a great privilege to race at the Reunion either in a class or as an exhibition/demo vehicle. There were smiles all round when Steve confirmed that our trip would indeed be a possibility.



“As you can imagine the logistics of getting the car and the team to the event isn’t exactly going to be a walk in the park but we have made a considerable dent in the list of things to plan. We have arranged the shipping of the car which is going to Long Beach.  Some friends of friends; Dale and Jenny (Xtreme fan club Bakersfield), have offered us extra support in the way of storage for our trailer and racecar at their home in Bakersfield for the time leading up to the event. We have been overwhelmed with the support and genuine enthusiasm shown by friends, fellow racers and fans towards the trip and it looks like there will be a lot of familiar faces in the stands at Famoso this year. I think this has hyped us up even more and we can’t wait to be taking part and spectating at this favourite nostalgia drag race event.”



Bob Glassup would like to pass on special thanks to: “Cathie my wife for letting me play cars, Richard & Lee (J&W Autos), Matti, Holley & Tom who have been the best crew possible, Derek & Gary at Gold RV for their support and sponsorship, Lawrie Gatehouse for the support of the NFAA and everyone helping and supporting the team with our trip to the CHRR.


Finally, one thing is for sure, you couldn’t have picked a nicer pair of vehicles to represent UK drag racing interests in the US, and with excellent performances on track to match, let’s hope they can show our American cousins a thing or two in the California sunshine.    

Story: Andy Kirk with contributions from Lee and Matt

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