Brian "Big B" Westerdahl


I was born December 24, 1952 in Spokane, WA. I have lived on an Apple Orchard all my life located near Brewster Washington. I married Cathy in 1973 and had two children; my son Jason in 1975 and daughter Amber in 1977. My first car was a 56 Willys CJ-5 that my Dad gave me for Christmas when I was 14 years old. Thought that was the greatest thing ever. I worked on it drove it all through High School. I had to do a little work to it by taking out the 4 banger and putting a 302 ford v8 in it. We used to have to drive to a town about 30 miles away to get our big tractor tires fixed. So while I was waiting for the tires to get fixed I would wonder around looking in all the dark storage areas of the tire shop.


One day back in the corner and covered with dust were four 15 inch cheater slicks. I had to have these for my Jeep. I got them. That woke the sleepy little town up. I then wanted to go Drag racing. I bought a 62 Nova that didn’t have a motor in it and I put a straight front axle under it and a rebuilt 12 bolt posi under it also. I heard there was a guy that had moved to town that had a race car I had to meet this guy. This guy was Ed Tradup. I went to his house and introduced myself and said that I was building a race car.  He said bring it over to my shop and I will help you build it. I did of course and it sat in there for a week or two and Ed said you know lets get you a real race car. I said I can’t afford it OH he said we can find something.


I bought my first Race Car in 1976 with the advice of close friend Ed Tradup It only cost 1200 bucks for the car and enclosed trailer. Our wives worked together in the local Warehouse packing Apples in 1975 and we have been close ever since. It was a 190" wheelbase Dixon chassis front motor dragster. "Man!" That was fun. We went from a stock 350 with carb. To a 500 cubic inch Big Block injected with Alcohol. This went on for 13 years, 1976 thru 1989. I sold it, which was tough. In 1981 I started helping Thomason and Tradup Racing when I could as my job wouldn't let me go all the time.


I ran a 1500 acre Apple Orchard for 13 years, 1976 thru 1989. I bought my own orchard in 1982 and still farming to this day; Cherries, Peaches, Apples, total of 225 Acres. We still live to this day 1/2 mile from where my mom was born in 1918. In 1996 we built another race car, a Lakester from scratch. Two pieces of 2x4 Tubing on the floor was the start. The Danny Boy Too all this time I was farming, and raising two kids. Now we have two grand kids and they are great. I have to say God Blessed me very much with all the people that I have met in racing especially in the Land speed community. They are a great group.


Brian “Big B” Westerdahl




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