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Motor Heads

Hot-rodders burn rubber, dress up like Fonzie.

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More than 1,000 hot-rodders rev up their vintage roadsters at this weekend’s Rock & Race Nostalgia Drags & Cruise. They’ll even cuff their jeans and slick back their hair into ginormous pompadours at the second-annual bash. “A lot of these guys are living like it’s 1959,” says Jim Murphy, the event’s organizer. “It’s a Happy Days kind of thing.”

The races take place on a quarter-mile two-lane track, where competitors chase a $1,700 purse. To be eligible, cars had to roll off the assembly line before 1973. “Some people consider that the end of the hot-rod era -- when all these smog-emission laws were enacted,” says Murphy, who owns a 1923 Ford jalopy. “That slowed all the cars down.” Between races, vendors swap car parts, audiences cast votes for the Miss Rock & Race pinup girl, and body-shop owners show off their pinstriping skills. There’s also a burn-out contest. “You just lock your front brakes and give it as much gas as you can until the tires start to smoke,” laughs Murphy. “It’s pretty crazy.” A rockabilly concert caps both days of the two-day fest and features a dozen local bands -- including Uncle Scratch’s Gospel Revival, Lords of the Highway, and the Slack-Jawed Yokels. “We have so many months of snow, when we’re locked in our garages with our cars,” says Murphy. “We can’t wait to get them out.”
Sat., July 21, 10 a.m.; Sun., July 22, 9 a.m.

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