What It really is Like to Start a Nostalgia Nitro Humorous Car

“I test to keep quiet,” Jason Rupert says when questioned what it is like proper before a run in a Nostalgia Amusing Car or truck. “I set on the fireplace go well with, the boots, and the helmet. It is almost regime acquiring the things on. I check out not to fear about the mechanical issues I check out to turn into a driver. A fantastic crew is vital you have to believe in people men.”

Rupert has won quite a few instances in Major Alcoholic beverages to Nitro courses. These vehicles are fast and perilous, so Rupert takes advantage of all of his concentration when it is activity time. “As soon as the motor starts, it is really all instinct,” he suggests. “I try to set every thing out of my mind and become the vehicle itself—the brain of the vehicle.

“Just after the burnout, I am seeking at the groove, creating a be aware in my head if I have to make a go a single way or a further to get it back again to the starting up line. I check out to see if I am in 1st gear two or three times so I really don’t go away it in superior equipment on the run. My dude pulls me within just 6 to 12 inches of the beginning line, so I really don’t have area to wander. A good deal can happen right here, and it can be quick to do one thing silly.

“I drop the visor, change on the new-air bottle, and mild the initially beam. When equally lights are on, I enable off the clutch pedal, and the clutch tugs the motor down, and I stage genuinely shallow. At this issue, my remaining foot is on the floor and my appropriate foot is on the throttle pedal. I attempt to go away when I see the yellow for the reason that with the clutch, the tire wrap-up, and a little bit of tire slippage, it may possibly acquire 1.5 seconds from large open up to get the car moving. It’s a definitely very long time. I shut almost everything out of my mind and aim on managing the automobile. If the track is on a narrow groove, you have to watch it. On a fantastic monitor I just rev it to 9,000 and permit it fly.

“I hit 200 mph at 50 percent observe, and these very little Nitro vehicles genuinely begin pulling. I shift my hand to the chute lever in scenario I have a small tire or a thing goes incorrect. When I cross the end line, I give the brake a tough tug in case the chutes you should not arrive out, hit the fuel shutoff, travel all around the corner, and leap out. It is like a bull—if these issues want to throw you off or crash, you are very significantly in a helpless scenario. You check out to be in manage of the beast.

“I don’t forget the initially time actually very well,” Rupert proceeds. “A buddy had an alcoholic beverages dragster. I was performing with Gary Densham, and I went out to Palmdale for a licensing move. I was hoping not to be nervous. When you acquire a little something so serious and you’ve got in no way finished it before, how can you not be nervous? Went to the line, I couldn’t believe how responsive the throttle was. It was like, ‘Wow.’ Richard Bays and Gary Densham had been there, and Richard instructed me to shut it off at the tree. I slammed the gasoline down. It was like a hammer strike me in the back again of the head, it was so quickly. I imagined if something takes place, I am going to crash. It was a lot extra than I believed it was heading to be. With these automobiles, you by no means know what is going to transpire.”

Rupert’s father started off racing Top rated Gas Dragsters in the ’60s, at some point teaming up with Richard Bays to campaign the Bays and Rupert Black Plague, the to start with Vega-bodied Amusing Car. Of class, 5-year-outdated son Rupert wished to participate in. Fifteen many years afterwards, he received the prospect when he went to Australia with Gary Densham to work a, AA/FC Amusing Auto. When he returned, it was straight to the observe for license passes and on to Major Alcohol Funny Automobiles.

“I was driving Charlie Marquez’s Top Alcoholic beverages dragster in the early ’90s, and we made a decision to create a motor vehicle,” Rupert suggests. Along with Ed Vanderwoude, Rupert bought Dale Pulde’s rolling chassis and an Olds Cutlass physique from Densham.

The family set it jointly, carrying out most of the fabrication. The engine came from Densham, the sections from Valasco, and Mert Littlefield helped them with a blower and other components for birthdays and Christmas. “Anyone pitched in,” Rupert states. “We met Horace Lucas and got in on the floor floor with Lucas Oil.” It was a fledgling sponsorship that got him the relaxation of the sections he essential, and by means of it he acquired parachutes, a fireplace match, and a vital dry-sump oil system.

Rupert ran the alcoholic beverages motor vehicle right up until the ’10 Winternats in Pomona, California, in which he certified and was defeated in the first spherical. “Right here enters Dave Schwartz from Infineon raceway,” Rupert says. “He was hoping to convince individuals that the Nostalgia Funny Vehicles were a ton of fun.” Confident, Rupert begun collecting components for a Nostalgia auto. At to start with he was hoping to make 1 motor vehicle do both equally work opportunities, a strategy that was slowing down the process. Quickly it was all nitro, and he has not seemed back. At this year’s March Fulfill, the auto experienced No. 1 and established the monitor file at 256.11 mph. He recurring the feat with a No.1 at Boise and a report of 250.00 mph. “Boise reminds me of racing in the earlier, when it was a great deal much more pleasurable. The group was great, very little youngsters had me signing things, and it built me sense great.”

Now Rupert is on an abbreviated tour, going to Bakersfield, Las Vegas, and Boise, and is wanting to sign up for the freshly reinvented Nitro Humorous Car or truck Match Race series. “The alcohol automobile leaves more durable, but the nitro cars and trucks pulls more difficult all over the place. Now I get to race Densham, Ron Capps, Jeff Arend, all the significant names. It’s a thrill.

“That issue freight trains everybody. It feels so very good.”


  • Who: Jason Rupert
  • What: Nostalgia Nitro Humorous Motor vehicle
  • Where by: Anaheim, California
  • Physique: Even however it seems to be like a vintage AA/FC Camaro, the physique is new. It was built in 2010 by clandestine “nearby men.” The regulations for Nostalgia say the system need to resemble a ’79-and-earlier Humorous Automobile but have new basic safety tools, like dual parachutes, hood burst panels, and a roof hatch. In any other case, the principles keep on being unfastened.
  • Engine: The motor is from Brad Anderson Enterprises. It actions 496 cubic inches to retain with the below-500-inch rule for all nitro cars and trucks.
  • Supercharger: It can be an LB20 6-71 loaded with two-stroke oil and constrained to inventory GM conventional lobes and 18 percent overdrive. Limitations aside, it continue to would make 35 lbs of enhance. The 4.500-inch Velasco billet crankshaft utilizes Mahle bearings, and the tin is from Williams Production. The 4.187-inch pistons are from JE, and the billet aluminum H-beams are by GRP. A Cirrello magneto fires one Autolite plug for each cylinder. Get your headers created by Electricity Professionals in Placentia, California.
  • Heads: The billet gas heads are by Brad Anderson and have a Manton valvetrain, PAC springs, and only two valves per cylinder. The ingestion is 2.450, but the exhaust valve is only 2.00. Any larger sized, and you are not able to get it open versus the cylinder tension. The copper head gaskets are made by Hussey.
  • Trans: The Amusing works by using a two-velocity B&J transmission. These vehicles nevertheless go the whole quarter mile, so you go away in initially and go into substantial equipment at about 50 percent monitor. At the rear of the Molinari clutch is the gearbox, then a pair of splined couplers connecting to the Chrisman 10.5-inch rearend and Moore axles.
  • Chassis: The AA/FC chassis was crafted by Grant Downing at Worsham Racing in Orange, California. Rupert purchased it from Chuck and Del Worsham after crashing his alcoholic beverages automobile in Woodburn, Oregon, all through the finals.
  • Wheels/Tires: Those people are superb 16×16 Centre Line Convo Pros with Goodyear 34.5×17.-16 Eagle Dragway Specials. The skinnies are 15×5-inch with a 23.0×5.-15.
  • Inside: On the still left is the contemporary-air bottle lever, and on the flooring is the clutch pedal off a ProBell housing. On the wheel, the lessen switch activates the Racepack. The change buttons (there are two) are for the 3-pace in an Alcohol Humorous Car or the two-speed in a Fueler. On the appropriate is the throttle pedal and the hearth bottle activation button down by the hip the eliminate switch is on the steering shaft. The large handle is for the brakes, with a hand grip for the gasoline shutoff. To the much ideal is one particular deal with for just about every chute. The only gauge is oil tension.
  • Fuel system: The Waterman pump is belt-pushed at 1:1 offering 21 gallons at 8,000 rpm. Then the throttle is frustrated and opens the Enderly barrel valve up by the Bird Catcher (Bug Catcher is scaled-down, Buzzard is more substantial, and the Major Hideous is more substantial than all a few). As soon as the engine will come up, you get all or nothing—it’s a chain reaction, so maintain on.
  • Crew: Frank and Brenda Rupert, Ed Vanderwoude, Matt Bynum, Matt Rupert, Jennifer and Nickolas Rupert, Brad Littlefield, Devery Howard, Billy Payne, Brett Crowe, Richard Corbitt, Dave Schwartz, Craig McGee, and Richard Bays.
  • Names on the auto: Mert Littlefield experienced a Vega in the ’60s, and his nickname was Sparky, so it finished up on the vehicle. Rupert worked for Littlefield, and their family members had been fantastic close friends. When he obtained unwell, the automobile was red, so they decided to paint the automobile in his livery. Rupert is heading to build one more system with the Black Plaque livery. This is a family members deal.
  • Many thanks: The Denshams, the Worshams, and Dave Schwartz.