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Killing Machine Choppers -- Run what ya Brung Drags -- The Beginning

Drag Racing down the strip in Old Idaho town.

By Algie Pirrello – Killing Machine Choppers

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We moved into our new shop in October 2009. The new shop was nice, all asphalt (no weeds to kill) and we didn’t have to drive 20 miles or more round trip every time we needed something. The very first time I needed a washer and was able to walk to the store across the street was so cool. There were also three bars within in one block. It reminded me of my childhood back on the Strip in Rockford Hellioins. The riverfront was a nice hot spot for a shop. 
So many friends and customers helped with the move, it was an easy one. Harry (the owner of the local pawn shop) loaned us a 45 foot trailer and friends brought their trailers and trucks. I had my chest cracked for 6 way heart by-pass the year before so the help was sure nice. All the Pirates (our friends from Priest River) showed and did a lot of the heavy lifting. I can truely say my friends saved me during that move. We had a blast doing it. And the best part was that the only casualty was my drill press. The rest made it in good shape. 
 We held a huge Grand Opening party in June of 2010. Shortly after the party, the town came to me and asked if they could use my part of the parking lot for Race Pits for the annual Lawnmower Drags. Huh? Yup, I was curious having never seen one before. So, quick like a bunny, I said sure to using the lot, and my shop and my tools if you need them.  I was in!  Just as quick as that bunny I got on the phone and told my pals to come and check this race out. I also got together with one of the local bars to set-up a Beer Garden in front of the shop. Killing Machine was right on the starting line so it was perfect! 
 We will do anything to help kids. And gas and oil sure beats a joint and a beer when you’re just a kid. I was charged up and wanting to help any way I could. And a Beer Garden in front of the shop on a sunny weekend sure made it easy. These racers have a circuit that they run all summer. Oldtown was the last race of the season. Every racer was there to take home the trophy.  And my friends were there to toast ‘em all.  
 The sun shined, the drinks were cold, the motors loud, and the race was on. The kids were all winners in my book. The race sure was something to see. Mowers running wide open four wide down the street. Ok, ok, ok so it was actually two wide before the drinks had taken effect on my old brain. About halfway through the race, an official came over and asked if we would race some Hogs in between heats and during breaks. Seriously? Oh, hell yes we would. What biker with a few drinks in them would turn that down? Not this biker! The races were timed by the cops with a speed gun.  Gentlemen, start your engines!!! Man, the guys loved it. Charging down the strip (Idaho Ave.)!!! The crowd dug it, too. 
While all this was going on someone asked me why I did not have an all Harley race? I thought he must be stoned and sloppy drunk? You’re soooooo cut off, buddy. You can't just race Hogs down main street without getting busted! They pointed to the starting line and said, “They are.” Hell, they had a point there. I made every excuse, hemmed, hawed, pointed out liabilities, insurance, and how no one would ever let us do that. Well, the guy slid under the crime scene tape and started asking around. He comes back and tells me the town’s insurance covers the event. I was floored. Drinking beer in the hot weather had me going. 
 The day after the race while I was helping clean up the beer garden and party mess when my sober mind got to thinking, “Hmmmm, a ‘Run What Ya Brung’ Street Drag Race.” I could see it now: All 60s style, down and dirty, balls out. I pictured flag girls starting the races, point and pull the trigger Street Drags! Dream on, right? WRONG. I was able to convince our mayor Lonnie Orr that a Street Race was in order.  A Run What Ya Brung race, no less. After the success of our Grand Opening party, it wasn’t a hard sell. We brought hundreds of bikers to old town for a grand opening party. Imagine what we could do with the promise of Street Drags! Man, the whole town was in. The Mayor always asked, “How many people are coming?” Hell if I knew. We had a huge crowd for our opening, what could I say?  Whenever you have a party you just never know if anyone you invite will show. 
 We got the Pirates Party Crew onboard, Get It? Pirates on board! The local Party Crew. We all put our heads together over a few drinks in the garage and hatched a plan. Killing Machine Choppers would have the first ever Street Drag Race. RWYB would be a benefit to raise funds to help our Local Veterans out. A Veterans Benefit to end all Veterans Benefits. We enlisted the Pirate Wenches as Flag Girls, Psycho (Mike Lovas ) took care of the music, local friends and customers, and the Pirate Party Crew. Psycho, The Machine, and the Party Crew threw down and held the first annual Veterans Benefit Street Drag Race down Oldtown, Idaho’s Idaho Avenue. 
 Right across Hwy. 2 from the Machine is the Club Rio. They missed the boat on the Grand Opening crowd and were ready to make up for it. They got permits to have a Ride-In Beer Garden and Bike Wash. No shit, you could ride in and get a drink while the ladies washed bugs off your shit. They had it going on! Every bar in town rolled out the Red Carpet for the Veterans. 
We set up the track Friday afternoon and had a few test runs to make sure we could start and stop without incident. We partied and raced well into the night. The vendors were set-up and joined us for a fine party.  Saturday morning came and it was on. 
Editors Note:  For Part Two please CLICK HERE

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