The QDRA is one of Australia’s oldest and largest drag racing clubs being formed in May 1966 by a bunch of enthusiasts when the American Dragfest Team was touring Australia.
Most of Queensland’s famous drag racers have been or still are members. Two of the founding fathers are life members, Jim Reed and Dennis Syrmis. Other members over the years have been, Rod Marchant, Graeme Scholes, Bill Jones, Eddie Castle, Gary Phillips, Doug Phillips, John White, Dave Baxter, Victor Bray, Kym Peterwood, Steve Reed, Rob & Dave Tucker, Wayne Jones, Mike Ebert, Milton Adey, Jeff Watson, Tony Harrington, Dave McClurg, Brett Stevens, Jeff Burnett, John Noonan, Stuart Bishop, Wayne Daley, and many other members I’ve forgotten who though equal to the aforementioned names didn’t gain as much notoriety. Many were team members or racer fans and supporters. Some dreamt of making it big in drag racing, many made it with help from fellow members. Most came to listen and learn from wiser heads or to add their own knowledge or experience. Many of these activities seem lost in the current times to the detriment of drag racing.
The old club rooms in Fortitude Valley were a regular fortnightly gathering for all drag racers, members or not, with many heated debates on drag racing rules and race meetings. Regular party nights or weekend outings were also a highlight of club activities. The club generally always sent a full compliment of racers and supporters to major interstate race meetings.
The club was also instrumental in running street meetings at Surfers Paradise Raceway and subsequently the establishment of Willowbank Raceway. At its peak the club boasted over 250 members, but times changed with many moving on to other endeavours, or were disillusioned by ANDRAs continuous rule changes and the loss of power of the clubs for decisions concerning drag racing. Looking back now over 40 years the golden years of drag racing now seem to be in the distant past.
Currently the club has approximately 100 members and club meetings are less boisterous with bench racing being the major topic of monthly meetings. Many members now have classic street cars and so we are organising club runs and gatherings. Unfortunately we have lost many members to the grim reaper lately and few of the current generation have stepped forward to take up their place.
On Sunday the 15th May we are holding a free club BBQ at The Eliminators Clubhouse to celebrate the 45 birthday of the QDRA. The address is 16 Burchill St Loganholme and we will be running from 12 to 6 pm. The Eliminators members have a liquor licence and will be manning the bar. All current, previous club members and any other drag racers are welcome to attend for a good opportunity to reminisce and try to recognise old faces!