What is a fairgrounds car? It's a representation of cars that you see or would have seen in the past at local dirt tracks which are often located at the county fairgrounds. On the VASCRA Yahoo! Group, Mr. Stumpy gives a history and vocabulary lesson on fairgrounds cars. He writes:
Actually, we call these "short track" Stock Cars. Up until the mid fifties, they were all coupes and sedans. Only NASCAR, USAC, and the few other "national" sanctions had "new" cars then.
During the mid-fifties "modern" cars with the "envelope" bodies (no fenders which stuck out) began to appear on local tracks and were often called "Hardtops" as the feeling was that "real" Stock Cars were still the coupe and sedan bodied cars. Few local guys could afford a late model car tro chop up for a Stock Car anyway.
By the early sixties, the Hardtops were popular enough that the coupes were relegated to support class status. The '56 Fords, '57 Chevies and such were the now the top class.
In the mid-sixties the debate began as to whether to allow the "mid-sized" cars to race, such as Chevelles, GTOs, Fairlanes, and so on. In '67 and '68 tracks began to allow these cars to run with the herds of '57 Chevies and '56 Fords in the "Hardtop" class. Eventually, the term "Late Model" was applied to any car five years old or newer, but many tracks allowed the fifties cars to keep running as "late Models" anyway.
The "Pony Cars" were NOT allowed as they had no frames and the wheelbase was considered too short. It was not until some pavement tracks allowed home made or custom built chassis to be "legal" under Stock Cars that the Pony Cars appeared in the mid-seventies. These cars used the longer wheelbase of the mid and full size cars which led to bodywork further and further from "stock" until we have the flat tin, wedge shaped cars which look nothing like a highway car.
So, if you're going to run a sensable Fairgrounds class, you would have to run 1950 to 1969 bodies and no Pony Cars."Joe M of VASCRA reports that they are adopting fairgrounds cars as a support class in the next race season. The rules will be the same as their stock class, using RT-HO wide double flange wheels on the rear and narrow double flange wheels on the front using stock axles. The rest of their rules for the stock T-jet class are pretty simple, stock magnets, stock gears, stock chassis (can cut the gear plate to lower the body), stock, unbalanced 16+ ohm arm, stock this, stock that, stock the other. Road Race Replicas has been supplying fairgrounds cars and inspiration for quite some time. In addition to bodies, they have the tires, wheels and decals to whip up a fairgrounds car or two of your own.
Whatever you're nostalgic for, keep it going. There's an unlimited amount of inspiration, tools, pieces and parts out there to bring whatever you have in your head to life. Time, however, is often in short supply.