David Thwaites Steve Thomas (Fuel57)

Welcome to the first issue of Cackle & Chrome, the brainchild of a pair of ageing loonies and good mates, Dave Thwaites and Steve Thomas. We’ve been mates for about 14 or 15 years and for the last 10 or so of them we’ve thrown various ideas for magazines around, recently deciding that if we were going to do something, it was now or never.

Both of us have a love of drag racing and hot rodding, although our passion lies unashamedly with nostalgia drag racing.

Steve’s love affair with rails and rods began at the beginning of 1966 after he saw ‘Bikini Beach’ at the movies, then bought his first hot rod magazine and nagged his dad to take him to the First Australian Drag Fest at Castlereagh in April of that year. He was hopelessly hooked after that and made the trip to Castlereagh whenever he could con someone into taking him, loading his trusty little camera with a roll of film when he could afford it, then race around to his mate’s place to develop and print the photos in the darkroom his mate’s dad had built.

During the early to mid 1970s Steve was shooting more super 8 movie film than taking still shots until, in late 1977, he became one of the track photographers, remaining there until circumstances changed in 1982. It was 2001 when Steve once again began shooting and writing about drag racing for Dragster Australia magazine. As well as DA he’s also contributed words and photos to other magazines as well and is currently doing so as his profession.

Dave is just a nut bag drag racing and hot rod memorabillia collector who has spent most of his 40ish years creating car related art, publications, sponsor props and promotional material for teams and companies both here in Australia and in the USA. His love of nostalgia racing and preserving the history of Australian drag racing is a driving force behind this publication and future issues.

Well, that’s us, so what’s the go with Cackle & Chrome? The concept is simple...each issue will be devoted to a particular event or theme. We may occasionally feature two similar, smaller events in one issue but the essence is to have each issue its own separate entity. We don’t want to bog you down with volumes of text so we’ll rely heavily on photos and captions to tell the stories, keeping text to a minimum.

Nostalgia will feature heavily in the magazine but we intend covering other drag meets as well, both at major and regional tracks. Rod runs, shows and car culture festivals will also figure prominently and, as Dave is a huge fan of swap meets, we’ll devote some space to the more interesting items he sees on his travels. We’ll also cover certain non-drags/rodding events, such as Ford, Chev or Mopar days and similar shows.

One thing we won’t be doing in this magazine is getting involved in any way in the politics involved with running the sports we love. Cackle & Chrome is devoted purely to the art, beauty and history of the most colourful and exciting vehicles ever conceived by man!

That’s the basic rundown on who and what we are. If you like the mag, let us know and buy a copy. If you don’t like how we’re doing things, let us know and tell us how we can change things. We’re finding our way here and doing it for fun but we still want to produce a magazine you’ll enjoy, so your input will help steer us in the right direction.

We hope you enjoy the mags and however many may follow.

Dave & Steve.

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