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Christmas-N-Paradise Part Two: Car Show and Vintage Drag Racing

As promised, here is the second installment covering the Christmas-N-Paradise festivities at the Paradise Dragstrip in currently snow covered Calhoun, Georgia.  This post is just a glimpse of the car show and the vintage drag races that made up the bulk of the event.  The weather was pretty gloomy at the start, and a fairly long period of warm up passes were allowed.  Car after car blasted down the 1/8 mile strip, with none making full passes, but all displaying bursts of speed that were neat to hear and see.  Once the sun creeped out from behind the clouds, the passes began in earnest and it was the late 1960s all over again!  Below are a few more pictures taken at the event with a bit of commentary.  I hope all of you enjoy this little diversion from our usual format, and, if you have a chance, please consider donating to the United States Marine Corps Toys for Tots program so that all the little gearheads out there can wake up to something from Santa.

The picture at the top of the article is one of the coolest Mustangs I have ever seen.  We often ridicule the word patina on these pages, because a lot of sellers think hosing down a rusty car with clear coat is preserving its “patina,” and will make it worth more than a vintage Ferrari at a Sotheby’s auction.  The Stone Pony Mustang you see above has a patina that was earned over years of drag racing.  The parts on it are not only period correct, but they were period used as well.  One final touch to mention on the car is the use of horseshoes as “bumpers.”  Just take a look closely at the picture above to see them.  Old school cool!

Next in our picture lineup is this radically painted 1955 Chevrolet gasser and an official from the Paradise Drag Strip.  Gassers are pretty popular in this area, and there are a couple of Gasser associations that tour here, complete with wickedly beautiful cars and lots of wheel standing excitement.  As for the official’s outfit, if you look back at the old Hot Rod magazines from the fifties and sixties, this was what officials traditionally wore.  Pith helmet and all!

Heading down the road that paralleled the drag strip are two old school Camaro drag cars.  Nearly everything on these cars was period correct, including the paint.  However, the 1968 model in the lead was wearing a more modern set of wheels.  While they weren’t the fastest cars of the day, they sounded good.  With a new era of LS engines, turbochargers, and all the other improvements engines have gone through over the past couple of decades, it makes me wonder if the sound of the older cars is becoming extinct.  Racers like these, with their less competitive engines, sound a lot different than today’s racers.  Preserving the sound of older engines should be a priority for us as well.

This Mustang was one of the most gorgeous cars at the event.  It is finished out well, and the black paint with blue stripes scheme is amazing.  I have come to fall in love with Mustang fastbacks, and I think one like this would be a good addition to my bucket list.  Of course, I am attempting to redefine the term poverty due to my current automotive projects, so getting a sweet Mustang fastback might take a decade or three.

As if it were straight out of one of the old Southern California hot rod shows, this little Ford pickup stood out in the pits like a diamond in the sun.  Built in the fifties and sixties style, this pickup was very well detailed, from its body color painted frame to the drilled and painted front axle.  The only thing I would change would be to get rid of the moon discs and install some sort of custom but period correct wheels.  Given that the car was well built and finished out well, the wheels needed to be a bit more upscale as well.  Overall, a gorgeous ride!

Sorry to say that I didn’t see this Fairlane run at all.  I don’t even know if it has ever made a pass, as the whole car was polished to perfection.  Even underneath, everything was polished and perfect.  Still, it is almost a crime to have a built up big block Ford with a hellacious nitrous system and not use it in anger when you are at the drag strip.  The World of Wheels show is coming to the area in January, so maybe the owner is saving it for that.

Taking the title for the most interesting car at the track was this old Chevy Nova.  I have seen this car before, and it is basically a beat up old Nova four door with mismatched panels and a ratty interior.  Yet, in the tradition of the sleeper, what you see is not what you are going to get.  This thing packs a built small block Chevy with a monster turbocharger.  It flies.  I mean this thing sounds like an enormous vacuum cleaner, and it does a great imitation of the Millennium Falcon as it rockets down the track.  If you look closely at the photo, you can see that it is already off the ground in the front, and it just got crazier from there.  I didn’t get a time and speed, but, if you see it at a stoplight, you’d best leave it alone.

As participants and spectators entered the event, they had to make either a financial or toy donation.  Toy donations were placed inside this Bonneville wagon, and, when all was said and done, the wagon was stuffed to the gills with toys.  A few were even tied on to the roof.  When you think of how much one of these old Ponchos can hold, this was a pretty good haul for what started as a blustery, winter day.  I am happy to say that fun was had by all, and a lot of good was done by the car community.  We may argue a bit and talk a little smack, but we come together like a brotherhood for charity and other good deeds.  We truly have the best hobby and best people out there.

Once again, if you can spare a bit, please donate to Toys for Tots to help needy kids this holiday season.  Also, if you want another installment of pictures, let me know in the comments.


  1. Maurice

    Nobody commenting on the fact the green gasser is a Chevy and not a Ford? Or is it a trick of some kind? 8-)

    • Jeff Bennett Staff

      Sorry for the silly mistake. Should be fixed now.

      • Marc

        Hi Jeff,
        The Stone Pony Mustang you wrote about was my Brother in Laws Car in the 70’s. He and his Brother built it. He has all the paperwork, photos, etc and would love to get in contact with the present owner. I am sure the owner would love all that stuff and all the stories….Would you by any chance know who the owner is now?
        Thanks so much.

        Like 2
  2. Dave Mc

    I’m partial to the sport coupe because I used to have one. Hi po 289 3 speed.
    Only problem was keeping the traction bars from busting leafs, otherwise pretty quick.

  3. Larry

    More pictures please !!

  4. terry

    My Drag car was a 65 mustang 2+2. Raced in the early 70’s. . My 1st car ever was a 62 Fairlane Sport Coupe in Black.

  5. Jeepster

    The mustang in the lead photo looks alot like the Harper Brothers car out of Franklin, KY

    Like 1
  6. roy stone

    the mustang in the lead article was built by my brother and i roy and dennis stone ,from wantaugh ny. the cars original name was stones pony and raced at ny national speedway in the 70s and early 80s.

    Like 4
    • Melanie Grigonis

      Hey there! I believe my Dad owned that car for a bit. I remember watching him race it at the drag strip I believe in Westhampton. Would you happen to know where the car ended up?

      Like 3
      • Douglas Flerx

        Yes Melanie you are correct, your father & I raced that car in the Hamptons when you and your brother Jonathan were little kids, ur dad would bring you guys to the track sometimes, I worked with your dad at Sears automotive on Hicksville 😎

    • Douglas Flerx

      Hey Roy, my name is Douglas & my friend Jerry & I bought that car here on Long Island & raced it in the Hamptons back in the late ‘80s – early’90s and it was a blast, we had it running 11.00 with headers uncorked when we could get away with it, damn noise rules

      • Roy Stone

        Hi Douglas,
        So glad to have found you after all this time. I have so much documentation on the car include a bill of sale when we bought it n 1968.
        Curious, when you owned, did it still have “Stones Pony” on the side?
        Do you know who owns the Mustang now?
        Best Regards,
        Roy Stone

        Like 1

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