The 2015 Meltdown Drags action started shortly after I arrived. I made my way to the starting line of the Byron Dragway. The air was heavy, the clouds were thick, but the reports were that the Friday temps were much worse than Saturday’s. It didn’t take long for the lanes to fill up and the cars just kept coming and coming until I finally had to take a break.
For a couple of years I’ve seeing and hearing photos of this near mythical drag event near Chicago called the Meltdown Drags. So in my quest to hit a bunch of new events in 2015, the plans were made to head to Illinois to find this mythical event. 2015 marked the 6th annual Meltdown Drags held at Byron Dragway outside of Byron, IL just southwest of Rockford.
That’s about 650 miles one way from my place, what the heck, I wanted to go for it. When I got to the track on Saturday morning just looking through the fence at the cars in the pits it was all worth it. This was the greatest collection of vintage drag vehicles that I’d ever seen and I wasn’t even in the gate yet.
With the numbers down due to the weather, it didn’t take long for me to cover the show. I hated to, but with a 10.5 hour drive ahead of us we decided to get on the road early and make it home in 1 drive stint and save the hotel fees. Thanks to John Wells and everyone involved for putting on a great event and having a couple of Kansas boys up for a great time.
The rain turned to snow which turned back to rain, really more of a mist than really rain. Just enough to be annoying but not enough to keep me from having the camera out shooting photos. The cars kept rolling in throughout the day, into the main show area, the preferred parking and even into the indoor show spaces. The weather wasn’t kind to the pinup contestants but they were TROOPERS and went on anyways. I was not envious.
The cool weather and precipitation might have kept some folks away but those of us that traveled to the show were going no matter what at that point. I made sure to publicly shame anyone on Facebook into showing up :). If a little inclement weather keeps you from hanging out with the rod/kustom family, well then you just don’t have your priorities right, especially when the show is to benefit a great cause like Helping Hannah’s Heart.
In 2012 a new show arrived on the scene. A weekend had been vacated by the Hunnert Car Pileup ending it’s run. The new show was put on by a friend so of course I had no problem driving 701 miles each way to check out a 1 day show. The weather was less than pleasant, but the turnout was fantastic. 2013 I didn’t make the show due to attending another event, so when the date for the show changed in 2014, I booked a room and made plans to attend the 2014 Iron Invasion.
Guest Blog! My buddy Dan Podobinski is a photographer based out of Indiana, he attends a lot of the same type of shows that I do. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, Dan was nice enough to share some of his images from the 2014 Meltdown Drags with all of you through the blog here. You may have seen some of his work recently in Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine, or on the HAMB. You need to go follow his page on Facebook here and buy some prints of his great photographs! And now on with the show!
In the five years since its first appearance, the Meltdown Drags has grown from a very small gathering of vintage drag race fans to an event of major proportions. This year drew over 500 race cars, some from as far as California, in addition to a nice little show ‘n shine area and a swap meet.
The organizers have managed to put together one hell of a show, at a cool old dragstrip…at a reasonable price. If you love vintage drag racing, the way it was in its heyday of the mid 60’s, then you absolutely must make plans to attend the 2015 Meltdown Drags in the quaint river town of Byron, Illinois. You will regret it if you don’t!
Guest Blog! My buddy Dan Podobinski is a photographer based out of Indiana, he attends a lot of the same type of shows that I do. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, Dan was nice enough to share some of his images from the 2013 Iron Invasion with all of you through the blog here. Okay class now all together say “Thank You Dan!” You may have seen some of his work recently in Car Kulture Deluxe Magazine, or on the HAMB. You need to go follow his page on Facebook here and buy some prints of his great photographs! And now on with the show!
The McHenry County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, Illinois once again played host to The Iron invasion. After a very successful debut in 2012, show creator John Wells returned for a second edition in 2013 and did not disappoint.
Despite the threat of rain on Saturday, the much warmer than last year temperatures brought out the traditional hot rods, customs and motorcycles in droves. Friday afternoon and evening treated early arrivals to a party like atmosphere including live music, great art vendors and a twilight display by some of the flame thrower equipped rides.
Saturday brought even more cars in and with one new building on the premises there was more room for indoor “feature cars.” Though a brief period of rain in the late morning did put a bit of a damper on the do-it-yourself stunt show that was planned, Saturday turned out to be a great day. The sunshine even made an appearance after the rain had passed.
Take a look at the photos and plan to attend this show next year. With a ton of great cars and bikes, numerous art vendors, a swap meet plus live bands and the pinup show there is no shortage of activities to occupy your time. If those reasons are not enough to convince you to attend, go to www.HelpingHannahsHeart.com to see the work that the gate proceeds from the show help to do. Now, make your plans to attend the 2014 edition of The Iron Invasion!!!