About

OILERS CAR CLUB

Oilers Car Club

A Brief History...

Oilers Car Club was founded by Jim Nelson in the early 19040's. Famous for his and partner Dode Martin’s string of successful Chrysler-powered dragsters, Nelson is arguably the person most responsible for the birth of the modern Funny Car. He helped assemble the original “Dodge Charger” exhibition match racers, a pair of ’64 Polara 500s with 480plus cubes on gas with blowers, parachutes and 135 mph trap speeds.

But it was the famed Dragmaster Dart that put Nelson and Martin at the top. With a 430-cid Dodge wedge engine, Nelson drove the Dragmaster to a spectacular Top Eliminator win at the 1962 Winternationals with an 8.71 at 170.13 mph against Tom McEwen in the final round.

In the 50's and 60's Dragmaster became the country?s most prolific builder of chassis and their customers included Roland Leong, Danny Ongais, Pete Robinson, and Mickey Thompson. Their Streetster hot rod kid was a huge success across the country. Through ingenuity and adaptability, Nelson, along with his partner Dode Martin, remain in business to this day.

  • Oilers Car Club founder Jim Nelson at El Mirage in 1950

    Founder Jim Nelson's 1929 roadster on 1932 rails. Notice the lack of front brakes as this car was strictly for competition. This car also displays the "Masters Auto Supply" logo that would later be seen on the Dragmasters famous Dode Martin/Jim Nelson Dragliner Special.

  • Oilers member "Dago" Cantarini's sister in law

    Dolores Proctor mugging for the camera with the Oilers guys at Jim Nelson's house. Dolores never smoked and she thought this picture was a riot. Oilers member Melford Robbins' red 1940 Ford Kustom is seen in the background on the right.

  • Aprox. 1949 Oilers club members planning their next build.

    Allen Christopherson behind the drivers seat and front passenger is Bob Telford. In the back seat on the left is Melford Robbins, in the center is Red Lewis and on the right is Jim Nelson. Melford Robbins' red 1940 Ford Kustom is seen in the background. Photo taken at the "bug barn", a chicken shed behind Jim Nelson's house.

  • New batch of photos discovered!

    Oiler Melford Robbins 1939 Ford Kustom from front (seen previously from rear in color photos) had removable Carson style top. Roadster is Oiler Banning "Dago" Cantarini's roadster, a narrowed 1927 "T" on and Essex frame powered by a Stroked Mercury engine with Offy heads and manifold and Pounden mag.