2016 Hall of Fame Weekend: Friday Fun With The Cruise-In At Kerr Lake

November 10, 2016

Story and Photos by Jim Hill

Part of the fun of the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame Weekend is the very laid-back, casual cruise-in gathering at Kerr Lake’s Satterwhite Point, just north of Henderson, NC. Kerr Lake is an enormous 77 square mile reservoir that provides great water recreation for residents of both North Carolina and Virginia. Besides picnic, swimming, boating, camping and fishing activities, Kerr Lake also hosts several big-time fishing tournaments each year and is considered prime largemouth bass and crappie fishing grounds for sportsmen and families.

Each year ECDT Hall of Fame Weekend entrants and fans gather on Friday, prior to the big car show in Henderson, for a quiet and relaxing, unofficial cruise-in and show. This mini-event has steadily grown where it attracts more than 100 race cars, muscle cars, street machines and hot rods. It’s “just for fun”, and of course, the other popular part of Fridays is the annual barbeque lunch at the Satterwhite Point pavilion, hosted by Vance County (NC) Tourism Development Authority.

Following are just a few of the cars on hand at this year’s Friday Fest…



More than 100 cars of all descriptions, and their drivers, came out to Friday’s casual cruise-in at Point Satterwhite, Kerr Lake. The two pics above cover just a small part of the scenic Kerr Lake facility and the easy parking it offers. (Jim Hill Photo) 


Ever wonder what a genuine, real “Honest To God” ’65 Dodge Coronet with the bad-ass 426 Hemi, gutted interior and lightweight aluminum sheet metal looks like? Charlie and Denise Caldwell brought their sparkling red Dodge from Ohio.


Here’s the business-end of Caldwell’s ’65 Dodge. The 426 CID Hemi needs no introduction. This car caries the A-990 option which meant a cross-ram intake manifold with dual Holley four-barrels, and 13.0:1 compression. This car uses non-stock Vertex magneto ignition. Also included was lightweight aluminum front-end with cold-air hood scoop, bare-minimum interior and featherweight window glass. Special production grille carries only two headlights, making an A-990 car easy to spot. Such “strictly for racing” optioned cars were designed for drag racing and carried no factory warranty on engine and powertrain. And yes, these cars were b-a-d! (Jim Hill Photo)


Bill Klein fired up his vintage Lyndwood Welding, early 60’s AA/Fuel Dragster. Klein, from Manassas, VA, built the car as a replica tribute to 2016 HOF inductee Joe Tucci. Crew member Bob Bilbow, son of Lyndwood founder, the late Pat Bilbow, provides capable assistance. Nitro-fed 392 Hemi thundered the Point Satterwhite grounds! (Jim Hill photo)


What respectable cruise-in could exist without at least one vintage 1957 Chevy Bel-Air? This turquoise Sport Coupe had all the desirable amenities, including a 350 small-block Chevy V-8 for power. (Jim Hill Photo)


The classic lines of Chevy’s 1969 Camaro Z-28 are a familiar sight at car shows, cruise-in’s on the street and at drag strips. This Hugger Orange beauty sits with Kerr Lake in the background.


The song went: “She’s Real Fine, My 409…”, and this maroon ’65 Impala Super Sport is a fine example of the “09” legend. Chevrolet installed 409 engines up to 425 hp (high compression, two 4-barrel intake) in ’65 until mid model-year, when the 409 engine was discontinued for the then-new Mark IV, 396. (Jim Hill Photo) 


So, you say you like the underdog qualities of a well-appointed, AMC drag strip warrior? “The Little Stud” brings AMC V-8 power and state of the art race prep to Super Stock/H class. Rambler is marque-true throughout. (Jim Hill Photo)


This bad to the bone Fiat bodied AA/Fuel Altered is not something you want to see in your rearview mirror! Bill Hayes wheels the “Extreme Pursuit” with 426 Hemi power. (Jim Hill Photo)


Sitting comfortably next to each other, this fine, black ’41 Willys and classic early 50’s Chevy truck are framed by early autumn color. (Jim Hill Photo)


So, gearhead, what is this? It’s a genuine Rochester mechanical Fuel Injection system on a Pontiac V-8! Tony Feil, renowned eastern race engine builder, assembled this one. The FI was a rare option on 57-59 Pontiac V-8’s, and similar to the Rochester injection offered on the 283 Chevy in 57-58. (Jim Hill Photo)



In 1969 Ford built a limited number of Mustangs with the Boss 429, a Hemi-head V-8 meant to challenge the Dodge-Plymouth 426 Hemi on NASCAR’s high banks. NASCAR rules makers nixed this deal, but the Boss 429 Mustangs have since become highly desirable classics, with appropriate price tags! Check out tight the shoehorn job was to stuff the Boss 429 into the Mustangs. (Jim Hill Photos)



Bob Ida drove down from New Jersey with this unique, BB/Altered, Hemi powered Austin-Healey. The “early” Hemi sports a rare Rotofaze high-rise, cast aluminum, blower intake manifold with Hilborn high-profile, 4-Venturi fuel injection. The “Hemi Healey” was a terror in Comp Eliminator in the 60’s. (Jim Hill Photos)



Jim Henry’s vintage Altered Wheelbase Funny Car, “Bad News” sports 426 Hemi power and long injector stacks. This type extreme chassis modification was common in early Funny Cars. Moving body weight to the rear improved traction, but cut-up, cobbled cars gained the nickname “Funny Car”, as in: “Gee, that thing sure looks funny!” In 1966 Logghe’s Mercury Comet, tube chassis, flip-top fiberglass body cars (Don Nicholson, Eddie Schartman, Jack Chrisman) forever changed the game!

NEXT WEEK: More from the 2016 Hall of Fame Car Show.