Guest Blog: Tram Tran>> H.a.m.b. Drags Pt. 1

If you build it they will come.

Famous lines from the movie, "Field of Dreams," except, on this occasion, replace the baseball field with a drag strip. 

In 1962, a part of the corn field was removed in Asbury, Missouri and in it's place is a drag strip that has been active since that day.

Mo-Kan Dragway is the home of the annual H.A.M.B Drags where traditional hot rods, dragsters, gassers, rails, and bikes put down their quarter mile time and compete against each other.

When some of you JDM focused people think of drag racing, images of the Fast and Furious movies with NOS bottles and front wheel drive Honda's laying down 10 seconds might come to mind.

Attend one of these H.A.M.B Drag events and you will forever change your mind. The rules are simple, bring a traditional pre-1965 car and line up in your class and run your quarter mile. Pure and simple with no logistics behind it.

No giving up a 2 car lengths because your car is running methanol or NOS.

Believe it or not, some of these nostalgic modified fuel drag cars were running in the 8 second range.

These pure traditional hot rodders know their stuff.

Some of them even drive their hot rods from miles away, line up at the starting line and hit 10 second passes, then pack up their car and drive it back home.

They took daily driving to a whole other level that I have never experienced before.

Some of the cars are just immaculate…

…and feels like you can eat your dinner off of it.

Others believe in rust buckets, metal and functionality.

Personally I love all the rods that were out there, these rides have lines that so beautiful to capture in pictures.

The creativity of some of the vehicles make you think why we don't incorporate some of the designs in modern day vehicles.

Car manufacturers brought back some of the old school look for in the new Mustangs and Camaros but I think they should start looking even further back and seeing if some of these designs can be implemented into newer designed vehicles.

There were unique machines all around, like this heavily altered wheel base Crosley…

…or this other altered wheelbase import.

There were also a good number of high nose gassers like this five window Coupe.

What's a nostalgic drag race event without classic rails?

You had to have some real courage or be outright crazy to drive one of these back then! Imagine sitting on the rear differential as you blast down the drag strip!

This blown 'toon style coupe looked amazing flying down the strip with its gigantic engine and blower.

Game face at the line.

I loved this salt flats inspired Roadster.

They just don't make interiors like they used to.

A pair of Ford Roadsters duking it out.

I thought I've seen everything in my time, but an interior made up entirely of street signs? Amazing.

At the event there were also machines of the two-wheeled category as well. 

What awesome tread pattern.

The H.A.M.B Drags is one of the largest nostalgic races in the United States as they get people from California to Florida to come to the middle of nowhere Missouri. One of the reasons is that this is one of the only strips in the US that will allow these cars to run, flat out down the quarter mile.

The most awesome thing about this event is that if you took this event and changed the year to 1965 you would still be seeing the same cars running down the same strip.

They were probably even the same people building and racing the cars. 

H.A.M.B drags is also the place to settle old scores and rivalries, but people of all ages, gender, hobbies and pro racers can show up and have a good time.

Certain car clubs have trophies and awards for the best time in their class.

For others they use the time to hang out have a beer and enjoy a nice ride down the drag strip.

But for me, it was a different excitement in a small town with big fans of racing.




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Love your work Tram!


Wow and no one commented on this? what the heck speedhunter followers, this is a GREAT ARTICLE


I concur with josh m


looks like this event was well atteneded.i do like the look of Rods in general - i like my man's game-face too. - Rods always make me think of 'rebels' and a 'make-do-and-mend' mentality, Rodders are ingenious (hope i spelt it right) with their work ethic & builds. oh yes.. so that's where all those street signs go.. - Thanks for this one.


thumb's up! like it.


oh damn Tram Tran getting big! Great photos man! congrats and it's good to see your work on Speedhunters =]


Awesome, nice change from the other posts.

Love to see older cars used in anger

3rd pic down, the black car in the foreground, what is that?


great post. the diversity of this site keeps me coming back. you never know what will show up next. the salt flat inspired roadster was by far my favorite.


i wish there were events like this here in England. i just love the look of these cars. great post as well.


Awesome job! You nailed it!

-dude with the golfcart and the beer


I second both josh m & D1RGE.EXE.. Tram Tran, you do amazing work man!


This is great !!!!!!!


Great article! Are there any more pictures of the street sign car? I'd love to see how low the roof is.


Los gentes esta muy loca!!

but in a good way.


gorgeous shots and not a sideways motor amongst them! That import is a British Austin A35 by the way... a lot of these still race in the UK roundy-roundy Top Hat revival series. Mainly against more muscular Mustangs, Jags and Impalas but hold their own with grunty A-series performance and sill-dragging cornering. Well worth looking out for!


Thought I'll probably never get to build one in my lifetime, I have a big soft spot for old school hot rods. The level of creativity in hot-rodding is unparalleled by any other group of car modifiers. Great article; keep up the good work!


Damn I live in Missouri and I didn't know this was going on. Shame on me, maybe I'll catch it next year. Great pics as well!


The bit about "for you JDM focused people.....this is not the fast and the furious" made me laugh pretty good. I'm a born and raised hot-rodder, and this is the type of drag racing I grew up with. Excellent article!


Great post loved it!!! awesome work Tram.


Hokey Ass machines!!


yo rRav3n its a 28-31 ford model a sedan with a 39 ford grill. thanks speedhunters for starting show the traditional hotrods. its where my passion lies more hot rod coverage!


meh, would rather hit the March Meet in Famoso


Please tell me you have more of that Drag Racing Dodge Truck!!!!! Awesome Article!


WOW! what an event, ive been at a nostalgia drag/show day at willowbank raceway (queensland, AUS) and been to other smaller events, but this just looks AMAZING! i particuly love how there was such a mix of cars. and the unusual things that were there (like a street sign as flooring) i mean who does that? haha but was cool either way!


Quote> dafty said: i wish there were events like this here in England. i just love the look of these cars. great post as well.

There are!!! Nostalgia Drags, Gasser Circus etc. Dafty, you need a Custom Car subscription guy!


tram, can i contact you regarding one of your photos? you can reach me at the above user name at yahoo mail. thanks!


here in london there is a drag strip with steel guard rails still lol

so oldschool love it


i really love this feature.

freaking awesome!!


here in london there is a drag strip with steel guard rails still lol

so oldschool love it


Awesome! The purple "toon style" coupe is called the Purple People Eater.


ryanh, cheers bro, looks the nuts :D


I thankfully only live 15 minuters from this track and get to enjoy this event every year!


More like this.

Been a member of the HAMB forum for years


That orange 26 T is myn and my Dads.


This is the only place to have a race for cars like these, after all, NHRA stands for "No Hot Rods Allowed". The Jalopy Journal/Hokey Ass Message Board, is the site to keep in touch for these events.


That orange 26 T is myn and my Dads.


Back in '56 -'67 we lived at the S.F. Bay Area drag Strips, looking at these cars brought back many memory's, it was just like turning the clock back to a time that I thought was gone forever. Thank you for bringing them back to life for me.