Words by Darr Hawthorne - Photos by Tim Marshall, Donna Bistran and James Drew

The recently completed 52nd March Meet found us dozens and dozens of Bow Tie faithful with plenty of Tri-fives, Novas, Chevelles and a few Impalas. There are probably more GM Big and Small blocks than any other engine choice on the planet at the March Meet and you’ll find every configuration within the Gasser Classes, Altereds and Dragsters with old school injectors, superchargers or carbs, but no nitrous is allowed. Here we’ll focus on some great looking and super performing Chevy-powered hot rods with doors among the nearly five hundred entrants to this legendary West Coast event.

Dave Warren from Cloverdale, California powers his cool ’62 Chevy Bel Air on a burnout. Warren runs his black and blue “Blue Max” Chevy in the very competitive A/Gas class where he runs on a 7.60 elapsed time Index with a 632-inch big block.
Another Californian in A/Gas is Jim Ferrin,
from Anderson, CA in his ’67 Nova powered by a 621-cubic inch Chevy.

The March Meet was originally called the U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships, spearheaded by the Smokers, a local Bakersfield area racing club. The Smokers, who began racing at Famoso Raceway in 1951, became skeptical of reported times and speeds set in the eastern U.S. by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. They invited Garlits to Bakersfield to compete and in March 1959 he did just that. The result was the March Meet, often called the “Woodstock of drag racing.” Garlits’ appearance at Famoso spread the fame of the track, the March Meet and Bakersfield far and wide. 

Today the March Meet is the race and Auto Club Famoso Raceway is the place to see the best nostalgia racers from the United States and Canada, there was even a team who flew in from Finland.