by Jamison Aweau / November 6, 2013
Oilers Car Club was founded by Jim Nelson in the early 19040′s. Famous for his and partner Dode Martin’s string of successful Chrysler-powered dragsters, Nelson is arguably the person most responsible for the birth of the modern Funny Car. He helped assemble the original “Dodge Charger” exhibition match racers, a pair of ’64 Polara 500s with 480plus cubes on gas with blowers, parachutes and 135 mph trap speeds.
But it was the famed Dragmaster Dart that put Nelson and Martin at the top. With a 430-cid Dodge wedge engine, Nelson drove the Dragmaster to a spectacular Top Eliminator win at the 1962 Winternationals with an 8.71 at 170.13 mph against Tom McEwen in the final round.
In the 50′s and 60′s Dragmaster became the country?s most prolific builder of chassis and their customers included Roland Leong, Danny Ongais, Pete Robinson, and Mickey Thompson. Their Streetster hot rod kid was a huge success across the country. Through ingenuity and adaptability, Nelson, along with his partner Dode Martin, remain in business to this day.
The Race of the Gentlemen is an annual event that showcases vintage motorcycles and automobiles that battle it out on the beach against the rising tides for your viewing pleasure. Early Moto Cycles from 1911 and automobiles as early as 1907 such as Indians, Harley Davidsons, Excelciors, Ford, Dodge Brothers are common at this event.
Beautiful Photography by Scott Toepfer