For those who own "Cacklecars"
the California Hot Rod Reunion is the one event that nobody misses.
It is where the Cacklefest phenomenon began and, where every
year, it grows. Dave West and his Beebe & Mulligan fueler
has been a CHRR staple since 2001. Always a fan favorite and
one of the cars most admired by West's peers. Here are some photos
of Team West at the 2004 event.
Unlike most of the Cacklecar teams, West sets up
a "camp" in the pits where fans can get a close look
at the car, buy Beebe & Mulligan T-shirts and visit with
Dave and Charlie.
West also has his scrapbooks out for the fans to
Tim Beebe takes time
out from his Crew Chief duties on Jim Murphy's Nostalgaia Top
Fuel dragster to get the green car serviced.
The green car just didn't sit there and look pretty,
West also did some fire-ups for the fans in the pits.
Dave is one of the few Cacklecars that does "burnouts"
during the event. Here he goes up track on Saturday.
When given the signal, the crew push starts the dragster
and West motors down the fire up road to the approval of the
the turn toward the water box.
After the burnout, West coasts to the turnout road.
After the burnout, the car receives some maintenance.
The upkeep on the B&M car is pretty simple. They drop the
pan after 4-5 fireups or one burnout. That way they are sure
to get all the nitro out of the bottom of the pan. They put on
a new filter, 10 quarts of Kendall GT 70 and spin the engine
over with the plugs out until we have oil pressure. They also
drain all the fuel after running and oil the pump. In addition,
they check the plugs each time they fire as they use a conventional
type plug for warm-ups and cackles and then switch to side electrode
race plugs for burnouts. Chops (Tim Beebe) usually runs the valves
and checks the timing every chance they get him to do it. They
oil the rocker assembly every time we fire the engine as well.
Once a year West pulls
the engine, checks the rod & main bearings, torques the heads,
checks the clutch and pulls out the rearend for inspection. He
started out with an open rear end but have gone to a posi unit
that it setup as tight as possible. He has found that on the
burnouts if one tire starts spinning faster, the tire grows and
steers the car. Dave might eventually go to a spool but has resisted
because of the added difficulty of pushing the car by hand.
West runs a pretty conservative
setup compared to some of cackle cars because he does a little
more than just cackle. Besides, it is set up almost the same
as it was when it ran in 68-69. Then it ran 29 degrees in the
magneto and 80% nitro. Now West runs 31 degrees and 85%. As Beebe
says, the engine is happy with this setup and we know it
could still run 230+
As the afternoon sun
starts to go down down Saturday evening, the marquee part of
the event starts to shape up. The 40+ Cacklefest cars are brought
into the staging lane in preparation for the introduction "parade".
When it was his turn,
West was pushed to the starting line for the introductions and
then proceeded down the track to get ready for the push start
and Cacklefest 2004.
After being push started,
West cackles for the fans before making the turn to his place
on the track.
After firing up in front
of the SRO crowd, West takes his place on the centerline of the
track as the fans listen in awe to the sound of multiple fuel
engines running at one time.
When the last car shuts
off, the fans flood the track to get up close and personal with
the cars, drivers and crews.
Dave & Charlie West post Cacklefest