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Bristol drag racers

Jerry Denning

Jerry and son AJ larking around

Lee Pike

Lee Pike enjoying a pint or three
Jerry and Lee, as well as building hot rods, are now involved in the drag racing side of things, the both of them building and driving the Honky Tonkin' '57 Chevy. The guys did not go the usual route with their race car - they wanted an up-to-date race car which ran the numbers, but with a nostalgia gasser look and feel. The car has been successful in all the ways they wanted.

With the gasser look they have secured their popularity with the fans of the gassers of yesteryear, and with the car running into the eight second bracket on the quarter mile, they have also gained the respect of the new sportsman racers.
Honky Tonkin' in the burnout box at Shakespeare County Raceway, 2006
Lee and Jerry have run this car in many different classes from the heads up of the Gasser Circus, to the ET Class of Super Pro ET, (Ed: I'm waiting for it to run Pro Mod), with much success. In fact Jerry and Lee have captured so much within this car, they have been invited to attend the California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California, in October of 2007. An appearance at one of the most famous race tracks, and one of the most prestigious meetings of the Hot Rod/Drag Race calendar, in the world. I'm sure they will do us proud.
Honky Tonkin' with the infamous Roaring Rat '57 Chevy gasser at Shakespeare County Raceway, 2006
Jerry Denning is probably the most well known name of all of the Doorslammers, as everyone who builds a hot rod seems to want to build a rod just like Jerry does. His cars have been on the cover of every UK hot rod magazine - in fact you'd be hard pushed to find an issue of a UK magazine that doesn't have at least one of the cars that he has owned or built within its pages. Jerry is just putting the finishing touches on his new street car, a '31 Model A, and a gasser Pop for his son AJ, which I'm sure we will be seeing in all the magazines.
With the hood off, showing the blown 461cu in motor.
Lee Pike got bitten by the drag racing bug after running his flamed 1932 roadster down the quarter mile. This car ran into the elevens, which is very quick for a real street car - the roadster was driven to the race track and then raced - but was always pristine and well maintained. The proof of this is that Lee and Jerry took this car to America, drove around California, and then took a top ten award in the LA Roadster Show. They did say that nothing would top that feeling, but after speaking to them, they now reckon that driving the '57 Chevy gasser at Famoso Raceway will certainly do that.
Lee Pike in the '32 roadster, with Jerry acting as crew chief.
The 32 Roadster has now been sold to a guy in Sweden, who I hope enjoys the quality build of this car. As well as racing, Lee is building a new street car, no doubt it will be as popular as all his cars have been.
Lee Pike at the top end of the Shakespeare County Raceway track.
Words and pics: Chris Kenny
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