Fans Will "Stampede" To See This Iconic Drag Racer
Special Display of Nostalgia Dragsters Planned to Honor Half Moon Bay Drag Strip
Some people purchase cars and proceed to fill them with old mail, empty containers from McDonald's drive-through window, and empty juice boxes.
Then there's people like Larry Knapp, who still has the original purchase invoice from the day he drove his 1966 Mustang off the showroom floor.
Since that day, a lot of people have had their hands on Knapp's Mustang—and he has the detailed documentation to prove it.
"After three years of driving the car on the street—and in the occasional street race—I decided it was time to get serious about drag racing, which meant going to the best in the business to modify my car," Knapp explains. "I have every work order ever written for this car."
The first modifications included a bigger engine, bigger tires, and a name that could live up to the all that power. Thus was born Larry Knapp's "Stampede."
Knapp raced the car until 1985, when his energy was re-directed to off-road motorcycle, an activity he enthusiastically shared with his family.
As for "Stampede," the little mustang was kept under a car cover in the garage for 19 ½ years.
In January 2005, Larry decided it was time to bring Stampede out of retirement.
He got the gleaming black beast back into race-ready condition, and, in the process, reunited with many of his pals from "the good old days" when he and Stampede were regulars on the drag racing and car show circuit.
"It's just so amazing how much fun it is getting back in touch with the guys from back in the day," Knapp says. "And to get back into racing, it's fantastic. I'm just having the time of my life."
Knapp is looking forward to participating in this year's Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, April 26 at Half Moon Bay Airport, where a special display of nostalgia dragsters is planned to honor the old Half Moon Bay Drag Strip, one of the west coast's premier tracks in the 1960's.
Knapp and Stampede are sure to draw fans of the iconic Ford Mustang, and of drag racing. "I'm sure I'll see a few familiar faces," he says. "And I'm looking forward to meeting new friends."