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70s Funny Cars - Round 11
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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 11: Featuring Don Sosenka, Cliff Brown, Casey Powell, Bill Bradford, TV Tommy Ivo, Beartown Shaker, John Collins, LA Hooker, Liggio & Light, Harlan Thompson, Larry Reep, Tim Grose, and Lou Azar's Gremlin.


Texas based Don Sosenka, one of the last independent fuel racers still competing today, raced this Mr. McGoo Vega nitro flopper in the early 70s. Sosenka started with an alcohol flopper in the late 60s, bought this car from Houston racer Buddy Warren in the early 70s and ran the car for 3 or 4 years then made the switch to an Arrow bodied car before going T/F racing for a short period. Following a return to funny cars, team called it quits in 89 due to the escalating cost of nitro racing. Sosenka made a return to nitro F/C racing in 97 with another "Mr. McGoo" entry (ex-West/Epler car) bought for Don by wife Lana. Mr. McGoo name was Don's Dad's nickname...  (Photo and info courtesy of Don & Lana Sosenka)


"The Chicago Kid" Cliff Brown got his nitro start in the late 60s campaigning T/F cars on the east coast, then got his funny car start in 1970 behind the wheel of the Stone, Woods & Cook Dark Horse Mustang before striking out on his own in 71. As series of Chicago Kid Mustangs followed, pictured is the third in the line from 75ish. Due to financial considerations, Brown spent most of his time on the match race circuit where he built a formidable reputation as a guy who ran strong and consistent with stock stroke, steel block, late model Chryslers that he built himself! Drag Racing USA (Mar 75) reported Brown's 74 match racing winning percentage as 91%! (Photo courtesy of Curt Fehr)


In 1972 Red Lang & Woody Busse campaigned this Casey Powell driven Dead End Kids Cuda out of Brooklyn, NY. Car was the ex-Midnight Skulker driven on the West Coast by Stan Shiroma and was raced "just about everywhere in Division 1 with one trip to Motor City Dragway" according to Casey. Powell got his funny car start at the wheel of the New Yorker Mustang out of A&P Automotive in 1970. Following that ride, Powell drove the pictured Cuda, then, in his own words "...  went back to driving A&Ps rear engine Donovan powered Top Fuel car and made my last run in it in the right lane at E-town Friday night at the Summer Nationals in 1973 (the same lane that Cristen won her first National event in, in 1997). Blew the motor when the two speed dropped back into first gear in the lights, went home and never went back until 20 years later when I was asked by a customer, Wiltel, to co-sponsor a Top Fuel driven by Michael Brotherton." (Photo and info courtesy of Casey Powell)


From So Cal in 1970 came the Bad Bascomb's Ghost Nova flopper of Bill Bradford. The Fletcher chassised, Rat milled car was run from 68-70. Bill Bradford, Sr., owned the car, Bill Bradford, Jr., drove the car and brother Rick made up the crew in 1970. Name came from a character in an old Wallace Berry western movie... bank robber Bad Bascomb. The ghost part came when Bradford beat Big John Mazmanian at Irwindale, CA after a magazine writer made the statement the team "didn't have a ghost of a chance." Car was sold after the 70 season when, in Bill Bradford, Jr. words the team "stopped racing due to expense of building grenade motors to compete. Didn't have large enough sponsors at that time and had to finance the majority of the racing ourselves." Teams biggest win came at the Gold Cup Championship at Irwindale in 1969. (Info courtesy of Bill Bradford, Jr., photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


Child actor turned drag racer TV Tommy Ivo gave up 20 years of dragster racing in 76 to field this Dodge bodied flopper. Always the showman, Ivo's "credits" included a 4 engine, Buick powered, 4 wheel drive digger, a glass enclosed transporter for his two T/F cars in the late 60s (complete with Corvette tow car on top), the first 7 second and 5 second times on fuel (although the latter has always been considered "unofficial"), etc. Ivo's flopper debut came in at Fremont's 6th Annual Nitro Bowl New Year's Day bash where he ran 6.77 on his first F/C pass. Dodge body later gave way to Arrow shell. Ivo took RU at 78 NHRA Winternationals, his first final since the 65 NHRA Nationals T/F finals. Unfortunately the Arrow split the motor on the starting line and Ivo lost to the Snake, who also beat him at the 65 Nationals. In 1980 Ivo moved on to field a jet dragster. (Photo courtesy of John Shanks, used with permission)


From the land of 10,000 Lakes came the 1977 "Beartown Shaker" entry of trailer builder Bill Schifsky. Early Schifsky efforts were White Bear Dodge with Tom Hoover in 1970, followed by the immortal Cox Toys Pinto shoed by Doc Halladay, then a series of Mustang II bodied floppers. In 75 Rick Johnson took over the reins of the Shaker from Topper Kramer, was Div 5 Rookie of the Year the same season. Car was one of the top match racers in the mid-west during the 70s, seemingly booked every weekend between national event appearances. Pictured car was destroyed in the summer of 77 at a match race in Canada; team returned with red, white and blue Sarte built Mustang II entry for 78-80. According to National Dragster, Schifsky thought the change of colors might bring better luck. (Photo from 77 Beartown Shaker Postcard Handout)


John Collins got his start in So Cal driving Jr. Fuel and T/F cars in the late 60s before stepping up to his first funny car ride in 1970; the Atlas Oil Tool Special Maverick. A Mustang next carried the Atlas Oil Tool name, car which Collins eventually bought and replaced the Atlas Oil Tool name with his own. In 74 Collins took over the driving chores of Goose's #2 car when Russell Long's contract expired and in 76 won the Pro National Challenge. Collins campaigned Goose's car 'til 78 when he struck out on his own with the pictured ex-McEwen car and Pioneer sponsorship. Duster was later replaced by Firebird; rumored Porsche 924 body for match racing never materialized. In 1980 Firebird gave way to one of the first 280ZX bodied floppers; JVC sponsorship and Camaro followed in the early 80s. (Photo courtesy of Don Eckert)


From Lions Last Drag Race comes the popular LA Hooker of the Beaver Bros and Dave Condit. Team got their flopper start in 1970 with an ex-Nelson Carter Super Chief Charger, upgraded to a Maverick in 71, then this Coke Cavalcade overall points winning Mustang in 72. For the 73 season team called it quits; Condit went to drive the Plueger & Gyger Mustang, the Beavers toured with Goose's #2 car and Kenny Bernstein campaigned the LA Hooker name in Texas. Team reemerged at the end of the 74 season with a Vega. Mustang II followed in 75. Hooker remained a funny car mainstay throughout the 70s, was one of the cars that seemed to always spend the winters touring "down under" in Australia. In the late 70s, the Condit Bros struck out on their own with an Arrow flopper, while the LA Hooker name was applied to a Pat Johnson owned, Gene Beaver tuned, Henry Harrison driven Corvette. (Photo courtesy of Dave Milcarek)


The seldom seen, Texas based, David Light driven, Liggio & Light Donovan powered Astre photographed at Green Valley Raceway in 75. Car didn't race often, didn't seem to show up anywhere but Green Valley, a track sometimes, rightly or wrongly, reputed to have "fast clocks." Following a 5.97 by Tom Prock in Mar 76, and 5 second blasts by Tom Hoover and JJ at Green Valley shortly thereafter, the AHRA newspaper, Motor Racing News, reported "There is not just bite at the Valley, there is JAWS." When reporting on the Hoover and JJ runs, the paper reported "Chrondek representatives checked out the clocks... and Cragar measured the strip and found everything in order. In fact, the strip was slightly longer than the required 1320." Paper credited VHT application and a 10 mph tailwind for the performances. Still, runs didn't count for entry into the Cragar 5 Second club. (Photo courtesy of Jim White)


In 1973 Harlan Thompson, who got his start shoeing floppers in the NW and later of Fireball Vega/Monza and shoeing funny cars in England fame, wheeled the Tom and Jerry Mustang out of Dragsters, Inc from Richmond VA. Car was named for owners Tom Woodbridge and Jerry Bates; hence the name Tom and Jerry. In 74 the team added the Nitemayer Duster wheeled by Bob Mayer to the Tom and Jerry stable. East Coast T/F veteran Fred Forkner took over the reins of the Tom and Jerry flopper in late 75 and ran the car in conjunction with his Wilmington, De., Atlantic Speed Center and CB radio store. Cars were middle of the pack performers; almost certain to qualify but only last a couple rounds. (Photo from Amalie Handout courtesy of Gary Osborn)


Larry Reep from Austin, TX started racing in the late 50s, served as crew chief for the "Greek" in the late 60s. Reep ran this ex-Linford McElmore Banshee Cuda in the early 70s before retreating to the more "wallet friendly" alcohol flopper class in the mid-70s. Reep continued to campaign this Cuda as an alky car on the Texas based All American Funny Car Circuit through the late 70s. Ex-Gordon Mineo Monza (which was destroyed at Green Valley) followed this ride, then a Tempo before Reep made the switch to alcohol dragsters in the 80s. Today, Reep is building an Fiat bodied Outlaw Fuel Altered. Career highlight with the nitro flopper was an invitation to OCIR's Calif Vs Texas F/C show in the early 70s where this shot was taken. (Photo by John Shanks, info courtesy of Larry Reep)


Tim Grose started funny car racing at the age of 18 wrenching on Nelson Carter's Super Chief Charger, a car Grose licensed in during 71 and drove infrequently. Grose later become chief wrench for Don Schumacher and wrenched the team to 11 national event titles. Following a stint wrenching for Kosty Ivanof, Grose debuted his own flopper in 78. Pictured Grose, Engler & Reed entry was 79 Division 3 champ and carried Grose to his first national event victory at 79 IHRA Northern Nationals at Milan Dragway with a stout 6.15 best, defeated Kenny Bernstein in the final. Throughout the 80s, Grose continued to persevere, ran ill-fated 280 ZX bodied entry in the early 80s, Skoal Bandit Firebird in the mid-80s, independent Corvettes in the late 80s. (Photo by Michael Beach)


Talk about a "funny" car! Lou Azar from Hialeah, FL campaigned this "one of a kind" Gremlin bodied flopper during the 71-72 season. The Feb 72 issue of Drag Racing USA said of the car "The perky styling of the bob-tailed Gremlin makes it a natural for funny car treatment..." Riviera Plastics in CA molded the body, stretched the wheelbase to 120 inches...  a full two feet longer than a stock Gremlin! Car was a southern and Midwest match race regular, ran Div 2 events at the NHRA level. No slouch, car won 72 division WCS race at Miami, finished 2nd in Div 2 points in 72 behind the Tennessee Bo-Weevil. In 73, Azar moved on to wheel the Fireball Vega for a short period. Rumor has it today Azar is a wrestling promoter! (Photo courtesy of Carl Wilcox)


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