Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Dragstalgia! Great Britain’s Best Burnouts!

Dragstalgia at Santa Pod Raceway goes back to the way drag racing used be. It’s a full throttle weekend dedicated to drag racing, hot rods and bikes from a bygone era. Getting there is half the fun.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

When you’re driving out of Podington in Bedfordshire, Great Britain you are in the middle of a picturesque countryside village on the outskirts of Wellingborough. You drive along the windy, curvy small road towards Hinwick and its there you’ll notice a small, inconspicuous sign on your left-hand side. A small sign with a big meaning: Santa Pod Raceway.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

The “POD“ is the birthplace and the home of British drag racing. A former Word War II airfield, it was turned into a drag strip back in 1966 quickly becoming known as “The home of European Drag Racing“. The track, with its rich tradition, celebrated its 50th anniversary just two years ago in 2016.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

In the recent off season, the track has been resurfaced to become Europe’s first permanent all concrete surface drag strip. The track is one of the last of its kind and definitely the biggest in Europe, hosting well over 50 events per year. Over the last couple of years, a rather new format has fast grown to one of the big yearly highlights in their schedule.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel CurveDragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Dragstalgia is an event with Championship and “Run what you brung” sessions for all kinds of Nostalgia Drag Racing vehicles. It’s not primarily about the fastest time, being first or going home with a trophy. Dragstalgia is a big festival to honor the origins of the sport we all love. It’s an homage to the cackling pipes, the smell of nitro, the dry hops, the smoky burnouts, the cars which had names in colorful letters instead of sponsors on their sides and backup-girls in petticoats. And…the trackside announcers and a few other Santa Pod staffers wore jackets and ties!

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve


It’s also a gathering of unique vehicles from show and shine muscle cars, rat rods, classically blown Hemi powered cars and small naturally aspirated 4-bangers. It’s an ode to the engineering, pioneering spirit which has made drag racing great.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

No less than ten categories are being run at this particular event. From the “Slingshot Showdown“ for old style front engined dragsters, to the “Nostalgia Cannonball“ which mixes nitro as well as methanol Funny Cars and Fuel Altereds.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

The E.T.’s of three qualifying runs are added together for a total qualifying time – kind of a cool format! The two racers with the lowest total will face off in the final. The “Wild Bunch“ runs a format where the winner is the racer who records the lowest average difference between ET and Dial-in and overall rounds completed. So basically, the most consistent car is the winner.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

The popular “Outlaw Anglia“ category is a manufacturer-specific heads up class for Ford Anglia, and Prefect. There is the “Supercharged Outlaws“ – a class which welcomes any vehicle that is powered by a roots style supercharger with an index of 9.9 or quicker. The crazy “Gasser Circus“ is a class formed back in 2003 for all Gasser styled cars. Straight axles, classic body types and smoky burnouts, are the trademarks of this class.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Also, a fan favorite is the “Willys Wars“, which puts 1933- 41 Willys coupes, pickups and sedans in the mix. It’s a heads up, match racing format without eliminations, so it’s racing for bragging rights only.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel CurveDragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Then there is “Nostalgia Super Stock“ – a class dedicated to the memory of old school muscle car machines from the 60s and 70s. This is where all the Dodge’s, Ford’s, Plymouth’s and Chevrolet’s can battle it out.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

Finally, two bike categories round out the divisions. The National Sprint Association brings back original bikes from the 70s to the track and last but not least, the “Nostalgia Pro Stock Bikes“ run together with the most important rules being: Stock appearance, only small tires and carbs allowed.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

After three days of sun, suds, amazing burnouts, great racing and show, trophies will not only be awarded for the winners in each category, but special prizes like the “Moment of the Weekend,” Best Burnout, or Best Wheelie award is presented too.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

So, whether you’re into the old Drag Bikes, Hot Rods, Classic Cars, Gasser’s, Altered’s, Funny Cars or Slingshot Dragsters or you just want to listen to rockabilly bands and witness girls in petticoats, Dragstalgia gives it to you and then some.

Dragstalgia Santa Pod Raceway, Fuel Curve

It’s always worth the trip to the holy grounds in the middle of the fields of Northwest Bedfordshire. We will let the images do the rest of the talking!

Dragstalgia Photo Extra!

German photojournalist David Beitler was introduced early to the American Muscle Car scene by his uncles, who were both enthusiastic Corvette drivers. Hot Rod magazines and his passion for model building solidified his love of cars. His father took him to an airfield Drag Race, and he immediately was hooked. Equipped with his father’s analog camera in the grand stands, he eventually worked his way trackside to catch all the action. Today he reports for various magazine motorsport blogs with a focus on Drag Racing.

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