Meet Dana and Diana Casto. Now if you haven't heard of these two already, you're in for a treat. And if you have, well, keep reading. There's probably more to their story than you know.
For Dana, this all started alllllll the way back when he was a kid in Northern Ohio. He remembers his Dad making the bed of the truck up as a bed for him and his siblings, and then they'd go to the track, watch until they fell asleep (at this time, he remembers races running consistently until 2 or 3 in the morning) and then Dad would drive them home.
That kind of influence was prevalent through all of his life, with his family owning a menagerie of cars, including a 64 Comet Cyclone, a 67 Chevy II, and even, a 69 Boss 429 Mustang.
Dana remembers one particular story about that Boss Mustang, in which a local shop had put an exhaust system on it and his mother was the one who picked it up. The guys at the shop told her to light them (the tires) up. She happily obliged, for 2 city blocks, and to the amusement of Dana's father, a teamster making deliveries in the area, that heard the ruckus and knew exactly who it was, even though Mom played coy about it.
These sorts of things were fairly standard in Dana's family because, as he puts it, "Everybody was just all around Gear Heads, messing with anything that had an engine just about." And that has played big into his life, as he's had his fair share of old iron, a couple of Cobra Jet Mustangs, a back halved 69 Dodge Dart, and a 41 Willy's with a blown 392" Hemi, to name a few.
Enough about Dana for a moment though, and let's talk about Ms. Diana. Raised as a farm girl, cars were always viewed as a tool rather than something to spend frivolously on in her family, with the exception of one Uncle who had an early Falcon that Diana always wanted to drive, but was told, that she couldn't, on the grounds that "She couldn't handle it" and that always stuck with her. She always loved nice cars, and wanted one for herself but life kept her from enjoying something like that until she actually got to know Dana.
Now, Dana and Diana have run some pretty funny parallels in life that led them together and to where they are now. The funniest of which, is that at the point that Dana had the Black Cobra Jet Mustang (see photo right), he happened to be working with Diana's, then, husband. Diana saw the car, fell in love with it, left a note on the windshield with her number so she could try to buy it. Someone else saw that note, removed it, replaced it with their own, and ultimately ended up buying the car, thus keeping Dana and Diana from meeting, for just a little longer.
When they finally did meet, they went through your usual ups and downs, even took a break, during which Dana ended up engaged to another woman. That engagement lasted less than 3 weeks. Dana and Diana got back together and in a quick draw, almost immediately got married.
Once married, as often happens, hot rods went to the wayside for a time so the couple could grow in different areas of life. But, people don't just give up fast cars, and during this time they ended up with a 2009 Mustang, through which Diana really found her own love for driving, through cruising with locals, and making passes at the local track and that ultimately led to where these two are now. Racing the Quick Draw #304 Falcon with the prominent Southeast Gassers Association.
Now, when hot rods went to the wayside, is when Dana had his 41 Willy's. He always wanted a gasser, he feels they're some of the toughest, meanest, most awesome vehicles ever, and so when the time came for another hot rod, naturally, the couple started looking for something to build a gasser out of. This is where things really started to come full circle.
You remember Diana's Uncle had an early
Falcon that she never got to drive because, "She couldn't handle it" Well, lo and behold, they found a dilapidated second generation Falcon, sitting in the flood plain of a creek bed. (The lights on the car still show the muddy water line where it'd rise to consistently)
The duo immediately went to work building a low budget, period correct, solid axle gasser. The car initially started out with an automatic, but when Quain Stott (Founder-Southeast Gassers Association) saw the car in bare metal, he reached out and invited the pair to an event so they could see what they thought.
The first race they went to see was in Mooresville SC, and if you've ever been to a SEGA race, you know, they were hooked immediately, Diana announced that she wanted to drive the car, the automatic was sold to fund the conversion to a manual transmission, and the rest, is history!
Mike Burch and Dana built the 306" powerplant in Mike's basement, and it is a true budget build with stock rods and crank, hypereutectic pistons, a solid flat tappet cam, and off brand, no name aluminum cylinder heads. The fab work, body, and paint were handled by Dana and Diana, with the lettering being done by Larry Conway in Dawsonville, GA. Most of the parts in the car are used and they traveled all over to acquire them, making a family trip of each adventure. With the tunnel ram being from Winston Salem, the front axle hailing from Indiana, and several other parts coming from far and wide, and their son Tyler being a part of the build, and technically the first to "shift" gears in it, it's safe to to say that their core belief that racing is about family and fun, has never changed.
Since completion, Diana and the car have driven their way to 2 Top 10 Overall season finishes, and are currently 7th in points in their class for the season. (And her Uncle said she couldn't handle some old hot rod, HA!) For this success Diana would like to thank Bill Revells, Daniel Haynes, Robey Myrick at GForce Transmissions, their Family, Friends, and the other great racers they run with in the Southeast Gassers. Without them, none of this would be possible.
Be sure to follow this team on Social Media:
YouTube- Quick Draw #304 Racing
FB- SEGA "Quick Draw" 64 Falcon
And if you're interested in sponsoring this team to help their racing go even further, please email them at, firstname.lastname@example.org