Dragmaster

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Quint Meland's 1931 Ford Model A Roadster of Oceanside, California. Quint bought the basic car, without an engine in 1956. After spending countless hours in school auto shop and at his father's gas station the roadster was finally ready for its first trip to the Paradise Mesa Drag Strip in 1957. In 1958 Quint was asked to join the Carlsbad Oilers car club and the Dragmaster racing team. He owned the car from 1956 to 1961, and he only lost two races with it.

Dragmaster was a shop in Carlsbad, California run by Jim Nelson and Dode Martin. Formed in 1959, Jim and Dode met through car clubs. Jim was a member of the Carlsbad Oilers car club, and Dode was a member of the Shafters of Fallbrook. Jim had a motor, and Dode had a chassis. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and the famous Dragmaster shop. "We started messing around in Fallbrook," Dode told a reporter from Carlsbad Magazine in 2014. There were no roads in and out of Fallbrook, so it was hard to get parts, so they decided to move to the 101 in Oceanside for a short time before they settled down at 2725 State St. in Carldbad in the late 1950s. "We were out to build race cars," Dode told the journalist.[1]


The Ol' Man, Ratchet Jaw and the Fossil

In the shop, Jim was the engineer and Dode was the driver. Jim's brother Tom was the mechanic. Everyone had nicknames. Dode was known as "The Ol' Man." Jim as "Ratchet Jaw," and Tom as "The Fossil." Jim was also known as "Seven-Eights" because of how he would start a job and wouldn't finish it.[1]


The shop toured the country dragging cars and building dragsters for other people. According to Jim's son Dirk, designs were chalked out on the floor. They would finish a car at midnight and test on Beach Street, which was a dirt road back then.[1]


The Two Thing

Dragmaster developed The Two Thing, the first dragster with two engines.[1]


The Dragmaster Dart

The Dragmaster Dart was a dragster that boosted sales for Dodge and the first stock cars. The shop would get orders from all over the country.[1]


The shop kept the name into the 1970s and 1980s as the crew transitioned to a domestic automotive shop. The Ol' Man, the Fossil and Ratchet Jaw eventually sold their business in the mid-1990s.[1]


References



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