Illegal street racing has been a problem since the 1930’s. Not having a local dragstrip available, hot-shoes would show up on the backroads and side streets all over America to race their cars against one-another to see who was the fastest.
The races are conducted on a blocked-of public street with a marked 1/8-mile stretch marked out to simulate a dragstrip.
Everything was great, until accidents started happening and passerby’s would complain of maniacs on the road. That’s when the local constabularies started breaking up the parties, and it officially became illegal to race your car on the street.
Fast forward seven or eight decades, and not much has changed. Sure, there are dragstrips all over the country now, and the vast majority of the races happen in controlled environments.
But gearheads still manage to find a reason to race on the street, and cops continue to crash the party, often with penalties more severe than anyone could have imagined back in the old days.
But there’s one town in Iowa that’s bucking the trend. Instead of forcing racers to go to the dragstrip, they embrace the idea by sealing off the roads for an entire weekend every year, so gearheads like you and I can legally race on the street! How freakin’ cool is that!?
Dubbed the Sioux City Rock N’ Rods, city officials block off certain sections of road to create an 1/8th-mile drag strip, runoff area, and staging lanes to mimic the effect of both that of a small dragstrip, and a typical street race. There’s also a show and shine as well.
At the Rock N' Rods show, you can expect to see all kinds of different cars from various makes. This is the scene in the video where an onlooker sounding remarkably like the Annoying Orange makes an obvious observation to the Camaro's owner. (NSFWL)
Naturally, there are several rules and regulations, including the stipulation that it’s only open for street cars, and only for those that run no quicker than a 6.4-second 1/8th-mile time as per their rulebook. Makes sense, since the city probably doesn’t want to be involved in any sticky lawsuits.
We just ran across this video on YouTube of a ProCharged 5th-Generation Camaro lining up against a Kenne-Bell equipped C5 Z06, both of which ram less than 8’s on the track by evidence of the video timer.
Here are the combatants...
There are several different cars to see in the “staging lanes” as well, including an early-C3 Corvette, a mid-60’s Pontiac Bonneville, and an ’87 Buick T-type. The official website claims that over 150 cars showed up to race, and 375 were registered in the car show this year.
Despite being located in Southern California, we’re looking forward to next year’s event that’s going to be held July, 19-21. If you’re going to be in the area that weekend, you should register now!
The Corvette trounced the Camaro on both runs. Of course, police and medical officials were on hand at the end of the 'track,' just in case.