A Day at The Vipe's




The guest list read like the who's who of SoCal drag racers. Jay Carpenter shaking hands with ex-drag racing photographer, now famous thoroughbred race horse trainer, Mike Mitchell, with Danny Broussard and Don Prieto in tow.


A rather fuzzy shot of the hauler with John Ewald and Spider Razon.


"I don't know Prudhomme very well, although I have probably known him longer than most. He was with Ivo when they came to Minnesota in 1960 with the twin Buick car and I was PR guy for Minnesota Dragways. The three of us spent most of a day, going from newspaper to radio station to TV station in Minneapolis and St. Paul to promote the event coming up that weekend.

Don has always been friendly but preoccupied. This day he was fully occupied with here and now as well as the past. He was a charming host and circulated and talked to everyone. Here's Don in the center with Bob Muravez on the right and Mike Mitchell in the foreground." - Ron Johnson


Roland Kleinsorge, a member of the Tommy Allen crew, on the left and Don Prieto (back to the camera) talking to Steve Gibbs. Prieto assisted Prudhomme with putting the event together. Prieto knows everybody!



Cacklecar Godfather Bill Pitts center right in a conversation.


"Don has done a pretty darn nice job of hanging onto artifacts from the past. I was told that Lynn had a hand in that. That makes sense. There must have been 30 or more "letter" jackets from various tracks on display and then another area on the right where there were driver suits and team racewear. Don showed me what was on the shelves behind the Skoal banner on the right side of the shot. They was full of crates and boxes which he said were full of magazines, Drag News, trophies etc. etc. etc. He called it "my stuff". There was a "lot" of stuff. I hope someday it will get cataloged. Probably enough there for a Museum." - Ron Johnson



The remainder of the photos on this page are by John Ewald.


Most racers never had the means to save complete race cars and room to store them. One car was sold to build a new one. A firesuit was sold to buy a new one etc. etc. It's a good thing that a few, like Prudhomme, Force and Kalitta did have the ability to save some great pieces of drag racing history and now share them with those who appreciate the effort.









Dode Martin, part of the original Dragmaster Duo of Martin and Nelson at age 84 just passed a competition driving license proceedure, with Don Irwin and Jay Carpenter.


Spider Razon, one of the original Dead End Kids from New York, Prieto and Scott Cochrane, editor of Drag Racer prior to Randy Fish.



Ron Johnson, Dale Armstrong and Prudhomme.


Left to right, Darrell Reid (makes cnc'd hi-zoot rocker arms for top fuelers etc,) Don Mongomery, the author and former lakes racer, in the checkered shirt, Roy Meirsch, Jimmy Scott and Danny Porsche.







Left to right, Spider Razon, Roger Garten who recently moved from Huntington Beach to Fallbrook, Mike Kuhl and Frank Pisano.


Bob Muravez and Larry Ofrea in the middle.


The Floyd and Vipe show.




Bob with Lynn Prudhomme


Don has probably signed more autographs since his retirement than he did whole career. He's finally having fun.



Prieto displayed his deep admiration for The Goose...


"Wild Bill" Shrewsberry and Steve Gibbs




In back of the shop is the recently found Mongoose transporter that was a twin to Prudhomme's during the Hot Wheels years. Its in really rough shape but you can bet it will be as nice as Don's when restored.




Tom Jobe, Muravez, Dale Armstrong and Rick McDonald


Everyone took a break to Nucci's for lunch.






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