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70s Funny Cars - Round 3
70s Funny Cars - Round 4
70s Funny Cars - Round 5
70s Funny Cars - Round 6
70s Funny Cars - Round 7
70s Funny Cars - Round 8
70s Funny Cars - Round 9
70s Funny Cars - Round 10
70s Funny Cars - Round 11
70s Funny Cars - Round 12
70s Funny Cars - Round 13
70s Funny Cars - Round 14
70s Funny Cars - Round 15
70s Funny Cars - Round 16
70s Funny Cars - Round 17
70s Funny Cars - Round 18
70s Funny Cars - Round 19
70s Funny Cars - Round 20
70s Funny Cars - Round 21
70s Funny Cars - Round 22
70s Funny Cars - Round 23
70s Funny Cars - Round 24
70s Funny Cars - Round 25
70s Funny Cars - Round 26
70s Funny Cars - Round 27
70s Funny Cars - Round 28
70s Funny Cars - Round 29
70s Funny Cars - Round 30
70s Funny Cars - Round 31
70s Funny Cars - Round 32
70s Funny Cars - Round 33
70s Funny Cars - Round 34
70s Funny Cars - Round 35
70s Funny Cars - Round 36
70s Funny Cars - Round 37
70s Funny Cars - Round 38
70s Funny Cars - Round 39
70s Funny Cars - Round 40
70s Funny Cars - Round 41
70s Funny Cars - Round 42
70s Funny Cars - Round 43
70s Funny Cars - Round 44
70s Funny Cars - Round 45
70s Funny Cars - Round 46
70s Funny Cars - Round 47
70s Funny Cars - Round 48
70s Funny Cars - Round 49
70s Funny Cars - Round 50
70s Funny Cars - Round 51
70s Funny Cars - Round 52
70s Funny Cars - Round 53
70s Funny Cars - Round 54
70s Funny Cars - Round 55
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Round 10: Featuring David Ray, Bob Pickett, Joe Pisano, DuWayne Engness, Pusch & Cain, Bob Cain, Terry Ivey, Ed O'Brien, Carl Ruth, Johnny Valdez, Jim Wemett, Chris Ekhart/Bill Selley, and AA Dale Armstrong


Early-mid 70s "Hired Gun" David Ray at the wheel of Mike Burkhart's #2 Vega, circa 1973. Other 70s rides for Ray included the Steakley Camaro, Stone, Woods & Cooke Pinto, Tyree Firebird, Dickie Harrell Vega, and the Gold Digger Charger. According to Ray pictured Vega "... was a real bad actor... a special fuel pump and Enderle injector via Dan Gear who had one basic philosophy; nitro is horsepower (not the blower, cam etc) so you have to get the nitro in the engine (quickly = barrel valve modification/pump = volume). When you hit the throttle it sounded like a shotgun going off...  like Mazmanian and Schumacher, both running at the same time. When warmed up in the pits, the fumes nearly killed you. Always warmed up and ran on 95+%." Battle scars came via three blower explosions in rapid succession. Ray decided "...  the hell with re-painting it, I'd better stock up on blowers and manifolds!" (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories, info courtesy of David Ray)


Bob Pickett started the 70s wheeling the Mr. Pickett Javelin in So Cal, then moved on to do three years at the helm of Pete's Lil' Demon before taking over MT's Grand Am in 75 after Larry Arnold vacated the seat and moved over to the Lil' Demon ride. Pickett's first NHRA victory came at the 77 Springnationals wheeling MT's Starfire. 1977 also saw Pickett win the OCIR Manufacturers Funny Car Meet in the MT ride before MT called it quits. Pickett struck out on his own with backing from the US Marines and followed up by winning the 78 Cajun Nationals. Marine sponsorship dried up mid-79, so Pickett sold the Monza and debuted an Arrow sponsored by Spartan Financial Corp, a construction financing company. (Photo by Jim White)


Arguably the most popular funny car in So Cal during the 70s was also the most "snake bitten" through the mid-70s. Joe Pisano teamed with ex-AA/FA shoe Sush Matsubara in the early 70s on the Pisano & Matsubara Camaros, all of which seemed to meet untimely ends, a trend which continued with the first Vega in 72. By 73 the team had gotten things on track, won the OCIR Manufacturers Meet. In 75 Matsubara vacated the driver seat which was filled by ex-Snow driver Jake Johnson. In late 77, Pat Foster debuted Pisano's Firebird, stayed through most of 78 before leaving for the Super Shops Arrow. Johnson returned for a short stint when the pictured Arrow debuted, but alky flopper shoe Tom Ridings finished out the decade at the helm. (Photo by John Shanks, used with permission)


From far-away Fargo, ND came DuWayne Engness and the Hot Sauce Vega. Engness jumped into nitro floppers after Top Gas was eliminated by NHRA, ran pictured car for five years. DuWayne drove for the first two years, then Ray Motes drove it for the next three. As mid-west bookings for nitro cars began to dry up due to the $$$$ required for promoters to book the cars in, Engness built and drove the Hot Sauce alcohol Monza F/C, which was later sold to Roger Guzman and became the Assassination car for a short period in 79 after the Arrow was wrecked. Engness brought Mexican Food to the tri-state area in the form of the Taco Shop restaurants and developed his own line of hot sauce, hence the name. (Photo and info courtesy of DuWayne and Vernette Engness)


Another Top Gas transplant to nitro floppers was the Kansas City based team of Pusch and Cain. Team campaigned out of Div 5, won division title and placed second in NHRA Western Conference points in their first year of F/C racing in 72 with a Mustang. Don Cain drove the 392 powered entry, was noted to be the only Chizler powered car to qualify for 72 NHRA Springnationals at 13th, lost in first round. Team installed Donovan 417 towards season end. In mid-70s pictured Satellite debuted. In 75 former Top Gas rivals John Pusch and NHRA T/G champ Ray Motes teamed up to campaign the Satellite which was repainted black. Pusch and Motes confined efforts to mid central region, continued to compete in Div 5. (Photo by Don Eckert)


Bob Cain and the Hurri-Cain Cuda, circa 1972. Like many early 70s East Coast flopper campaigners, Cain came up through the gas injected funny car ranks in the late 60s. First nitro car was 70 Hurri-Cain Cuda sponsored by Fred Cain Chrysler Plymouth, Bob's dad! Cars ran on the Division One Pro Funny Car Circuit, took runner up in 71 points chase with consistent performances despite not making it to a final round in 25 circuit events. Cain ran up and down the East Coast almost every weekend during the season, but come Monday morning was back at work as an insurance broker. Pictured Cuda was built around a Haulin Chassis, tipped scales at a feather weight 1750 lbs! This was Cain's last flopper; when partner/wrench Dick Perreault got married and called it quits, Cain hung up his gloves, sold car to Jim Wemett. (Photo courtesy of Dave Cain, info from Bob Cain)


While the East Coast had the two car Jungle Jim team and the West Coast had the two car M/T team, the Midwest had Joplin, Mo's Terry Ivey and his two Maverick floppers in 1970/71. One based on a Logghe style chassis, the other based on a Fletcher chassis identical to the killer Whipple & McCulloch Duster of the period, the latter was later rebodied as the "Poison Ivey" Duster. An all-new low slung Charger followed driven initially by Omar "The Tentmaker" Carrothers before Jim McMurray took over the reins. Charger was lost in crash at KCIR; McMurray and Ivey purchased an ex-Curt Wesson Vega, ultimately went their separate ways with Ivey retiring in 77. Ivey confined his efforts mostly to AHRA events due to their close proximity to home and the booked in $$$$. (Photo and info courtesy of Terry Ivey)


From Chicagoland came Ed O'Brien and the Fever Corvette photographed up Michigan way in 75. O'Brien cut his teeth in the early 70s with the ex-Chi-Town Hustler Cuda, named Flite Master, then campaigned the "Qu Voe" Charger in 73 sponsored by the Qu Voe Chemical Company. After crashing the car in Aug 73, O'Brien returned with a couple Fever Corvettes. Unfortunately O'Brien was one of the many victims of the Corvette "jinx"; totaled the Vette at a Div 3 race at US 131 in May 76. After the crash O'Brien took over the reins of the Chicago Patrol Mustang II in the summer of 76 before Fred Goeske bought the car and eventually turned it into one of the few rocket floppers of the late 70s. (Photo by Michael Beach)


The last Jungle Jim funny car, circa 1978. Jungle drove this car once (at Atco NJ) before his death, then the car was trailered until early 78 when it was resurrected by Jungle's brother with East Coast veteran Carl Ruth at the wheel. Ruth drove the car through most of 78, making approx 20 appearances with the car before returning in the fall to his Pet Vette alcohol flopper. Ruth's funny car career began in 72 with the Buckeye Vega alky flopper before he built his first Pet Vette in 74ish. Ruth upgraded his license to nitro in the pictured Monza. Today, Ruth runs the world's quickest nostalgia flopper, a 56 Ford Crown Victoria, a concept originally developed as a match race companion in the late 80s to McEwen's 57 Chevy F/C of the same era. (Photo and info courtesy of Carl Ruth)


From San Antonio and the early 70s came the Johnny Valadez driven, Bobby Rex wrenched Mexican Revolution Camaro. Car started life as Cecil Lankford's Brand X Camaro before Valadez bought the car. Car toured extensively on the East Coast in match race competition (Rex reports car was booked 4 to 5 times a week) and IHRA competition before burning to the ground in a Texas match race. Car was rebuilt at Hardy's and rebodied as a Vega, Hemi powerplant replaced the Chevy mill that motivated the Camaro. Team called it quits in mid-70s as the cost of flopper racing began to escalate. Best event finish was r/u at 75 AHRA Drag Nationals at KCIR, lost final to McEwen. Today, Rex is team manager for Doug Foxworth's T/F effort. (Photo from Amalie Handout courtesy of the Greenberg Collection, info courtesy of Bobby Rex)


From a mid-70s Amalie handout comes the Mustang of Div 1's Jim Wemett. Wemett started his flopper career with an ex-Tasca Ford "Mystery 7" car, which he later sold. Things rapidly improved as Wemett went on to campaign the ex-Hurri-Cain Cuda, this Mustang, several Mustang IIs with which he shared the driving chores with George Johnson, and an exclusively George Johnson driven "Wombat" Corvette to close out the decade. From the mid-70s on Wemett's cars were some of the strongest running cars in Northeast; was #2 qualifier at 78 Grandnationals, won title Div 1 title in 79. (Handout courtesy of David Hapgood)


Starting life as the stable mate to the Div 3 dominating Jim Narramore's T/F car came the Chris Ekhart owned, Bill Selley driven "High Plains Drifter" Camaro. Bill Pryor drove this car as the Bill Narramore flopper in 77 to an 5th place finish in Div 3 flopper racing before the car changed hands, under went minor cosmetic alteration, picked up the Drifter name but continued to resemble the former owner's T/F car. Car ran AHRA races and match races under the new ownership in 79. Car was unique in that it was one of the few Camaro bodied funny cars of the late 70s; short list included Billy Meyer, Henry Harrison, Powers Steel and Mike Burkhart. (Jim White photo)


An alcohol flopper? Read on... Dale Armstrong started the 70s in Tom Sturm's Swapper Challenger, moved on to Pro Comp in 74, ran in the "all Veney" final at the 74 NHRA Winternationals. Following a successful AA/A altered venture, Armstrong built the "Alcoholic" BB/FC, which ultimately gave way to this car in mid-76. Armstrong ran this Satellite in AA/FC at start of the 77 season with a low percentage of nitro and nitrous... only ran a couple times at Sacramento, Phoenix, OCIR, and failed to qualify at the NHRA Winternationals. National Dragsters Hauler's Handicap said of the setup "won't be ready for this field quite yet" and Drag News reported the car "had problems with banging blowers." After the Winternats, Armstrong returned to AA/DA with a similarly painted dragster. In early 1980, Armstrong took over driving chores of the Speed Racer flopper, became the 6th member of the Cragar 5 Second club with a 5.98 at Gainesville in 81. (Photo from Quaker State handout courtesy of Gary Osborn)


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