Brent is way too proud of these things to just lock them up and keep them to himself. He practically invented nostalgia racing. He took those by-gone glories to tracks all over the country and staged dream races. After all, he had cars representing more than fifty world championships among them. He figured other people wanted to see them racing again as much as he did, and he was right. His biggest thrill might have been at Daytona when they had the 50th anniversary of of the Daytona 500 a few years ago. He figured out that of only seven surviving Daytona 500 winning cars, he owned three of them. They got another day in the sun and Brent still gets excited when he talks about it.
"At Daytona, we actually ran the cars around the track. You know, pre-race ceremony. That was kind of a cool deal. And at the same time we had another car, the Gas Ronda Mustang at Pamona at the Winter Nationals. It was on the west coast at the NHRA Winter Nationals going on at the same time, and we had that car out there doing some exhibition stuff." You don't have go to Daytona to see these classic cars. When they are not on loan to other museums or running a nostalgia race somewhere, they're on display at Hajek Motorsports Museum in Ames-a little off the beaten path but definitely worth the trip. Make an appointment, enjoy some legendary cars and, if you're lucky, meet Brent Hajek, a hot rod freak who grew up, but not out of it.
Photos by Ron Stahl
Hajek Motorsports Museum link