Be­hind the Scenes

Drag Racer - - Contents -

ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT DRAG RAC­ING IS THAT IT'S A GREAT FAM­ILY SPORT— THE PAS­SION OF­TEN TRAN­SCENDS GEN­ER­A­TIONS. An­other great as­pect is that by de­vel­op­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing prod­ucts for race cars, you can com­bine busi­ness with plea­sure.

In a true “best of both worlds” sce­nario, we have the Meziere fam­ily of Es­con­dido, Cal­i­for­nia.

To­day, this multi­gen­er­a­tional drag rac­ing fam­ily can point to an ever-ex­pand­ing tro­phy col­lec­tion. This col­lec­tion is high­lighted by eight NHRA Na­tional event “Wallys” earned by four dif­fer­ent fam­ily mem­bers, a boat­load of di­vi­sional cham­pi­onships, and ma­jor wins with many se­ries and as­so­ci­a­tions.

On the busi­ness side, Meziere En­ter­prises is known for its lineup of premium-qual­ity elec­tric wa­ter pumps, flex­plates, starters, re­mote pumps and a plethora of other nifty, CNC-ma­chined prod­ucts (www.meziere.com).

It all started with Harold Meziere Sr., the fam­ily pa­tri­arch. He was a tal­ented me­chanic and fab­ri­ca­tor who worked with rac­ing lu­mi­nary Par­nell Jones, among oth­ers. His son, Harold Jr., was a hot rod­der with a pen­chant for '32 Fords. How­ever, his new bride, Marie (whom he mar­ried in 1960), made him prom­ise not to drive

any­thing fast be­cause of their bur­geon­ing fam­ily of three boys and two girls.

So, Harold turned his fo­cus to the me­chan­i­cal side of things and even­tu­ally founded Meziere En­ter­prises in 1980 as a fab­ri­ca­tion and re­pair fa­cil­ity. He was later joined by sons Dave, Mike and Don.

Thanks to em­brac­ing emerg­ing CNC tech­nol­ogy early on, the Mezieres found many op­por­tu­ni­ties to turn their ideas into prod­ucts that were em­braced by their fel­low rac­ers.

Harold was true to his word and never drove race cars, but he was in­volved in build­ing sev­eral drag­sters. The first was a front-en­gined, SBCpow­ered Econo­rail in 1972 built with his brother, Dan. He and Dan also built a unique, rearengined stream­liner in 1980, en­joy­ing mod­er­ate suc­cess with the sleek en­try. Fi­nally, in 1998, with the kids all grown and on their own, Marie agreed to the idea of Harold driv­ing a race car. So, at age 65, he

With a sta­ble of com­pet­i­tive race cars and a cadre of very ca­pa­ble driv­ers, there’s no telling how many more wins this clan will ac­cu­mu­late.

em­barked on a decade­long sa­ti­a­tion of his “need for speed,” pi­lot­ing sev­eral Su­per Comp drag­sters.

Dave Meziere built his first race car, a '23 “T” road­ster, at age 17, cam­paign­ing it into the mid-1980s with much suc­cess. This led to a 1962 Corvette that won nu­mer­ous races, in­clud­ing Su­per Gas Elim­i­na­tor at three NHRA na­tional events.

Dave strayed from his drag rac­ing roots, par­tic­i­pat­ing in the IMSA GTO se­ries for a few years. He then came back to the fold and drove the Mezieres' “com­pany car” (a 1995 Firebird). Dave spent much of the early 2000s help­ing his sons, Zach and Chan­dler, com­pete in NHRA's Jr. Drag­ster League. In re­cent years, he tasted vic­tory as the 2015 NHRA Divi­sion VII Su­per Gas Cham­pion and 2016 Race of Cham­pi­ons win­ner.

Mid­dle brother Mike built and raced a 1981 Pro Gas Monza in the mid-'80s and then drove the Mezieres' Su­per Gas Firebird and Su­per Comp drag­ster with lim­ited suc­cess through the early 2000s. He, too, “strayed from the 1320,” get­ting in­volved in lo­cal cir­cle track rac­ing through 2016.

The youngest of the three Meziere broth­ers, Don, em­barked on his drag rac­ing ca­reer in 1986 with a rear-en­gined drag­ster and sub­se­quently moved to Su­per Gas through 2006 and then Su­per Comp. In

2014, he ac­quired a Jerry Bickel-built 2009 Chevro­let Cobalt that has been con­verted for com­pe­ti­tion in NHRA's new Top Sports­man class. Don has won Su­per Comp Elim­i­na­tor at the 2014 Win­ter­na­tion­als and Top Sports­man at NHRA's Sonoma and Las Ve­gas na­tional events in 2016.

Now, we have the next gen­er­a­tion of Mezieres mak­ing its mark. Dave's sons, Zach and Chan­dler, have ac­quit­ted them­selves well, both start­ing off with Jr. Drag­ster Di­vi­sional Cham­pi­onships. Zach won Su­per Comp at the 2016 NHRA World Fi­nals, as well as two NMCA West cham­pi­onships. Chan­dler also has a Wally to his credit, win­ning Su­per Comp at NHRA's Ari­zona Na­tion­als in 2016.

With a sta­ble of com­pet­i­tive race cars and a cadre of very ca­pa­ble driv­ers, there's no telling how many more wins this clan will ac­cu­mu­late. And, bol­stered with a hard­earned rep­u­ta­tion for man­u­fac­tur­ing topqual­ity com­po­nents, the Meziere fam­ily's fu­ture is bright, in­deed.

The Meziere clan, here gath­ered around Don at the NHRA Win­ter­nats (left to right): Harold and Marie (par­ents), Yvonne (wife), Don, brother Dave and his sons, Chan­dler and Zach. Miss­ing is brother Mike.

The Mezieres' first Wally came in '86, when Dave won Su­per Gas at the NHRA World Fi­nals.

Af­ter rais­ing a fam­ily and start­ing a busi­ness, Harold Meziere Jr. fi­nally got to drive a race car ... when he reached el­i­gi­bil­ity for Medi­care and So­cial Se­cu­rity!

Don Meziere built this dig­ger in the late '80s and raced it through 1993. He is pic­tured here—in ac­tion at LACR 25 years ago.

Zach Meziere, shown with his un­cle Don's Cobalt in the back­ground, wheeled the fam­ily dig­ger to a Su­per Comp ti­tle at the 2016 World Fi­nals.

Chan­dler Meziere tasted vic­tory with the fam­ily's Su­per Comp drag­ster, shown here at Pomona.

Don Meziere, the youngest of the three broth­ers who own Meziere En­ter­prises, won Top Sports­man at LVMS and Sonoma in 2016.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.