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FINALLY! The First Night!




Blue Blazer

Bob Hankins' Blue Blazer, one of the prettiest Altereds around.

photo Steve Hankins collection

The Blue Blazer story started out in 1967 with two guys, Keith Drum and Bob Hankins. Bob had been running an A/Altered, and Keith was building an AA/FAltered.Keith saw Bob's car sitting in his driveway, and then looked up Bob, and asked him if he'd like to drive for him.

Bob agreed, and drove for while, until a throwout bearing failure caused a drivetrain explosion, injuring Bob, and tearing up the car. While a new car was being constructed, during some bench racing, Bob expressed a thought of "going 200 miles per hour could be scary". This put some doubt into Keith's mind, so he filled the driver's seat with Larry Maldanado for 1968. Larry did okay, turning an 8.04 at 191 mph. But Bob was still bring his firesuit with him to the races, just in case.

Well, after a year or so, Keith had to sell the car. One of those things, but he offered it to Bob. Bob jumped on the deal like a hungry dog, and got everything, right down to the tow car. You have to figure now, with Bob owning the car, it's a pretty fair assumption, that he's not gonna be dragging that firesuit to the races, and bringing it home unused.

Hankins Collection

This shot was set up By Steve Reyes, at a bank on Sunset Strip. At the time, they were supposed to have police to block off the street so the car could be moved in, and the shot set up. Well, wouldn't you know it, there's never a cop around when you need one. So Bob backed the car off the trailer, fired it up and drove down Sunset to the bank.

Talk about stopping traffic!

And, yes, the police requested did finally show up. Right as the photo shoot was over. Go figure.

Steve Reyes Photo - Provided by Marie Hankins

Okay, here's Bob Hankins posing in his nice, clean firesuit. And who's Rick? And why don't I have any of his photos? And what's the deal with the stuff painted on the fuel tank? In the pic at the top of the page, it looks like Piglet, saying"Long Live Fuel Altereds".

Hankins Collection

Bob and Marie Hankins. The family that races together...

Hankins Collection

Where's the blower, Bob?

Bob Plumer Photo

Why, it's my young correspondent, Steve Hankins! Steve! Ask Dad if he'll let you take the car for a spin!

The Hankins Collection

Lions Program, April 18, 1970. Photo on the cover is from the final round at Lions, 12/6/69, which the Blue Blazer took with a 7.67 @190.67 against the Lo Blow.
Irwindale Drag Strip's regular souvenir program for December 5, 1970.

A couple of the local track publications, featuring the Blue Blazer...

Another ad from the Altered Wars. Seems that 1969 and 1970, whenever the Blue Blazer came up against Mike Sullivan, there was a fierce battle. And it also looks like the Blue Blazer came out on top, more often than not.

May 1970

Here it show the Hankins gang running just 1 mph lower than the record held by Dave Hough in Nanook. Go Moon!

Nice Header Flames!

The Blazer ran a blown (duh) 392, with Hilborn injection, 100" wheelbase, chassis by Jack Eskelson. Direct drive was the name of the game here, no two speed, no auto trans., 8 3/4 Chrysler rear end, with paint by Molly. Wow, that makes 2 AA/FA's that I know of with Molly Paint, Bradford's Crank being the other.

Photo from the Hankins Collection



Completely reconstructed from scratch by Bob Hankins, and after an arduous bout of wrangling with the
NHRA High Sherriffs over chassis certification, the Blue Blazer agains smokes down the dragstrips of California.

Now driven by Bob's son Brett, they've made a couple of appearances at Sacramento Raceway, and run a best of 8.05,
shutting off with a missing blower belt at the 1000' mark. I believe they'll be into the sevens in NO time at all...

Mike Boersma Photo © 1999

Brett Hankins

And here's Brett getting ready for one of his licensing runs at Sacramento...

Mark Hunerlach Photo © 1999

Blue Blazer Pits

Nice shot of the Blue Blazer in the Pits at Sacramento...

Mark Hunerlach Photo © 1999

Staging Lane

In the Sacramento staging lanes...

Mark Hunerlach Photo © 1999

Long Live FA

I think this just about says it all.

Mark Hunerlach Photo © 1999


Awful Awful Fuel Altereds © 1999-2001 Jim Sorenson
all rights reserved.
Images are used by permission of copyright holders,
and may not be reproduced in any form, without express written permission.

All text is either copyright 1999-2001, Jim Sorenson or used by permission.