Nationals '20

Santa Margarita Ranch | California

Where Legends Are Made

October 2020

The RPM Nationals is a racer’s race. Now in its fourth year, it honors the traditions of early street-style drag racing with a careful balance of vintage flair and casual regulation, keeping the event open to pre-War custom and stock cars in multiple categories, from speedshops and private garages alike. From their site:


"RPM Nationals is limited to Ford flathead and 4 cylinder cars. Body years are limited to 1936 and earlier. All Cars must represent an early 1950s hot rod-style or prior. Things like radials, billet, etc. will not be allowed.

There will be 6 classes: 4cyl flathead street cars, v8 flathead street cars, 4cyl street cars with power adder, v8 street car with power adder, and two full race classes: one for flathead 4cyl and flathead v8’s, and  the other for 4cyl/v8's with power adders."

While the event itself is fairly new, the drivers and car clubs mostly hail from Southern California and Western US in general and compete against each other often, sometimes across generations with cars being passed down through families and clubs.

The event is presented by Hop Up Magazine and is held at Santa Margarita Ranch — one of the oldest ranches in California. Staged on an old airstrip and flanked by the San Pedro mountains to the south and wine country to the North, it was the perfect setting to shoot an epic day at the races - albeit this year with COVID guidelines in place and no spectators.