Wild Bunch drag racing is strong and its return is in its second year and is starting to dominate the drag racing calendar.
Back in the late eighties/early nineties at Champion Dragway (now Meremere Dragway), a new class of quarter mile drag racing was sweeping the nation – WILD BUNCH! This class essentially took the street appearing two door saloon car and stuffed it full of supercharged methanol fuelled drag racing goodness. Crowd appeal was huge as these cars were something people could relate to in the crowd due to their bodies looking very much street like.
Like most things, Wild Bunch evolved and went from cars making 7 or 8 second passes to guys chasing the 6 second mark, 200 miles per hour mark and more recently the 5 second mark, the class morphed into Top Doorslammer. As the elapsed times dropped, the cost went up the faster you ran. As a result, the slower Wild Bunch cars were parked up with nowhere to race as most felt that the spectacle had changed. For the past two years, Ryan Sheldon and Mike Reid and family &friends have revived the Wild Bunch movement with in excess of 20 Wild Bunch cars making the field for the various Wild Bunch based drag meetings on the calendar.
This shot in the arm to New Zealand drag racing is exactly what the racers and fans wanted – to relive those days of supercharged “street appearing” drag racing cars racing in the most unpredictable manner. The last meeting was at Meremere Dragway where these photos were taken on Saturday 13th of February where a great field of cars raced well into the night. Next appearance for the Wild Bunch cars will be at the Nostalgia Drags hosted by Bay Rodders at Meremere Dragway on Saturday 3rd of April and Sunday 4th of April. This meeting is a great event not only featuring the Wild Bunch cars but also front engine dragsters, vintage gassers, the Flathead Challenge and hot rods racing. For further events at Meremere Dragway visit www.meremeredragway.co.nz.
For further information on the Wild Bunch class, visit the Facebook page Wild Bunch NZ, where you will find all their sponsor announcements, event details, photographic history and very soon a bunch of unique merchandise for sale. It is also where you will soon find details of a second event later in the year, so check back often.