Junk 1957 Chevy Wagon: Will Run Sub-8 Seconds in 1/4 Mile

Though only out for test runs Aydan Bailey’s 1957 Chevy wagon looks like it was dragged in out of a field. But it has a hidden secret. Inside is a twin-turbo LS engine, full roll cage, and the ability to highway drive for hundreds of miles at a time. The point? To see who really has the fastest, honest street car out there. 

Drag strip to drag strip, make your best pass, then move on to the next drag strip

Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy Drag Week rear 3/4 view
Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy | Bailey via YouTube

This isn’t cable TV “outlaw” racing which tends to be artificial drama draped over a well-scripted production. Instead, this is where you build a car with everything from windshield wipers to turn signals. Then drive it 250 miles each day from drag strip to drag strip, make your best pass, and then move on to the next drag strip.

Hot Rod Magazine invented the yearly event back in 2005, and since then a second, unaffiliated event has popped up in Colorado. So these cars are purpose-built to both haul and crawl. Each day’s happenings are aired online, and tens of thousands share comments and root for their favorites on social media.

 No crew is allowed, and you can’t have a support truck full of parts

Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy staging
Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy | Bailey via YouTube

Participants do this strip-to-strip for a solid week. There are plenty of rules to follow. No crew is allowed, and you can’t have a support truck full of parts. You bring your tools and extra parts to each strip. Breakdowns on the side of the road are common. If you use street tires for the highway bouts you must carry your slicks with you. 

Small dimension trailers are permissible, but restricted in size. In the end, he or she who has the quickest average time of the five day’s passes is crowned Fastest Street Car In America. It’s hard to pull off, makes every day a real drama and mystery, and cuts through the crap. 

This 1957 Chevy was built to haul, and we don’t mean groceries

Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy making a pass
Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy | Bailey via YouTube

Now, all of that is a prelude for what Tom and Aydan Bailey from Ohio, are doing with this clap-trap derelict 1957 Chevy station wagon. Looks are deceiving, so take a close look. It was built to haul, and we don’t mean groceries. But it was also built to take the grueling 1,000 miles of highway, city, and two-lane driving to prove it can.

Tom is a veteran of this madness. He’s won the event before, dipping into the five-second twilight zone with his 1969 Camaro. Yes, a car driven on the street that can blip in under six seconds in the quarter-mile. It’s insanity, but it’s fun.

Aydan Bailey can now devote some time to buildin’ and bookin’

And that’s where son Aydan comes in. Just out of high school, for years he’s been hanging around with his quiet, unassuming pop taking this all in. Now that he has his license, and can devote some time to build instead of books, he’s all in. 

With help from some racing friends, this is a father-son project years in the works. Not because it took that long to build, but because it took that long for Aydan and Tom to put a plan together. Then wait until Aydan was of age. And here we are.

This car was originally built by racer Richie Crampton before ending up in the Bailey stable. It has seen a multitude of engines and has run a multitude of tracks. Known as the “S••tbox of Doom ” it’s notorious. And now it’s a way for the Bailey’s to team up for father and son dragging and driving. 

Right now the Baileys are in the middle of the 2021 Rocky Mountain Race Week

Aydan Bailey's 1957 Chevy wagon Drag Week car
Tom and Aydan Bailey 1957 Chevy Drag Week | Bailey via YouTube

Right now the Baileys are in the middle of the 2021 Rocky Mountain Race Week event. Monday was the kickoff and the entrants will blitz from Greatbend, Kansas, to Bandimere Speedway, and other assorted quarter-mile tracks. It ends this week on the 18th of June.

Aydan is getting his shake-down passes, some behind-the-wheel time, and some grueling drives with temperatures at 100 degrees. It’s hard on the machine, driver, and psyche. And there’s drama in that Tom and Aydan ran out of time getting the ‘57 ready, so while they made it to the event, there was no time to check anything. So every pass is a pucker. 

If you find this compelling and have some time to take it in there are YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook posts throughout the day. If you like drag racing and some authentic drama, you should check it out. 

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