The Nicholson family is thankful to the Bloom family for sharing some of J.R. Bloom’s amazing original photos. The Bloom family requests that you NOT post any of these pictures elsewhere.

J.R. Bloom began his racing and photography careers in 1954 in the Phoenix, Arizona area as a member of the DRAGNS hot rod club. From 1954 to 1958 he raced a Bantam bodied roadster powered by a modified Buick straight eight-cylinder engine nicknamed “The Monster”. In addition to racing, he was the DRAGNS club secretary and photographer. He loved filming movies and taking pictures of his buddies racing.

In early 1959, due to finances and a growing family, he stopped racing and focused on
photography. J.R. was regularly at Arizona tracks such as Perryville, Gilbert, Chandler, Arizona Raceway, Deer Valley, Bee Line Dragway and others. He became an official photographer for American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) in 1960. With the opening of Bee Line, that track became his primary focus along with a couple side trips to Lions Long Beach and Green Valley Texas. In 1964 he realized the need for a better camera and bought a Swedish Hasselblad which
resulted in high resolution images. With those improved photographs, he increased efforts in writing stories to cover racing events and specific cars. From 1963 to 1974 he was published 107 times in numerous hot-rodding magazines. In 2002 he was inducted into the Arizona Drag Racing Hall of Fame and in 2010 inducted into the Inliners International Hall of Fame.

With his roadster, J.R. was a key innovator in the early days of Arizona drag racing. As a writer and photographer, hewas well respected with his creative talents and keen eye.

J.R.’s massive photo collection left to his estate includes:
• 7 huge scrap books with photos and articles starting in 1953
• 3+ hours of movies filmed 1955 -1958 at Perryville and Davis Monthan (Tucson) Airstrips with some Chandler & Phoenix Drag Strip.

• 500+ B&Ws taken 1954 – 1962 at numerous Arizona tracks
• 3400+ B&Ws taken 1963 – 1966 mostly Bee Line with some, Lions, Green Valley, and AZ Raceway
• 1100+ Color slides taken 1963 – 1973 mostly at Bee Line with some Lions and Green Valley