NHRA - National Hot Rod Association

Hot rod history with Jack Beckman—Episode 8: In 1958, drag racing innovation booms

Jack Beckman: NHRA Funny Car driver, drag racing instructor, car guy, and hot-rod historian. During this pause in racing action, Jack is taking us through his favorite moments in drag racing history.
22 Jun 2020
Posted by NHRA.com staff

In the early days of drag racing there were lots of cars, lots of would-be racers, and lots of open land. The one thing in short supply was the structure needed to bring early hot rodders together to turn them into drag racers. Wally Parks, and his vision of a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), promised to do just that.

In Episode 8 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—Jack takes us through the front-engines, rear-engines, twin-engines, and even airplane-engines (running gasoline and nitromethane) powering speed machines across America, and around the globe. Don Garlits is named NHRA’s Southeast region advisor, Lynn Sturmer (the only woman licensed to drive a dragster) wins a Top Eliminator, we see the first purpose-built drag slicks debut, and the proliferation of prizes over prize money for winning a drag race.

Watch Episode 1 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—From Hot Rod Magazine to National Dragster

Watch Episode 2 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—How NHRA Created Sanctioned Drag Racing

Watch Episode 3 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—How Pomona Became Drag Racing's Hallowed Ground

Watch Episode 4 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—The Drag Safari—the precursor to the NHRA Safety Safari

Watch Episode 5 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—The 1955 explosion of drag racing innovation, performance, and media coverage

Watch Episode 6 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—Top speed records, the 150-mph club, and the challenges to drag racing in 1956

Watch Episode 7 of Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman—In 1957, the world of drag racing banned nitromethane

Watch Episode 8 of Hot rod history with Jack Beckman—In 1958, drag racing innovation booms!

BONUS! Watch Rare footage of ’50s drag cars from the 1958 NHRA U.S. Nationals

Future installments will be hosted on DodgeGarage.com, NHRA.com, and Jack Beckman's Facebook page. All episodes will ultimately  be indexed on all three platforms for your reference and enjoyment.

What is Hot Rod History with Jack Beckman: A Quarter-Mile at a Time?

This is a master’s class in drag racing, taught by a 300-mph professor. Jack Beckman offers a unique perspective on our sport, as one of the few active NHRA racers who’s also student of the sport’s technology, history, records, and exceptional moments. We are joining Jack on this journey, and partnering with Jack and Dodge Garage to share the experience.