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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 40: Featuring Bruce Neff and the Stroker Camaro,  the Powers & Riley Mustang, Bob Steele's Flintstone Charger, Jim Beattie's Black Stang, the Glenn, Glenn & Schultz Charger, the Fontanini and Nannini Charger, Ken Poffenberger's Cuda, Arnie Behling and the Mickey Thompson Maverick, Chris Karamesines' Mustang, and Don Kirby's Beach City Corvette.


Bruce Neff was one of the last persons to race a match bash AA/FC. Neff raced the former 1967 Camaro that Don Hardy had built for Dickie Harrell. The Camaro featured steel rear quarter panels and roof. The functioning doors and front end were made of fiberglass. Bruce bought the car from Harrell after a sale with another customer fell through. Neff took the car back to Michigan and renamed it the "Stroker.” Bruce match raced the "Stroker" up and down the East Coast. He ran the car into the 1971 season running known best of 7.40. It was said that Neff blew the supercharger on the last run with the car, then turned around and sold the outdated car. (Photo courtesy of Ted Pappacena and Drag Racing Imagery; info courtesy of www.draglist.com)


David Powers is now known as the owner of the Rod Fuller driven Valvoline Top Fueler that finished in the NHRA Top Ten in 2005. But flash back 35 years to 1970 and you’ll find the team of Powers and Riley, a two time UDRA Top Fuel Champion. Powers and Riley had added a Mustang AA/FC to their racing team. The team had raced altereds and dragsters in the sixties. The new Powers and Riley funny car was state of the art with a dragster style frame. Powers and Riley were also known for the manufacturing of a reverser. The device met with some disdain by NHRA when the team did long burnouts with the dragster. A 392 Chrysler Hemi was chosen for power and it was set way back in the chassis. The team did not have the same success with the super clean Mustang as they had with their dragster. They split up at the end of 1970 going into personal business and leaving drag racing. (Photo courtesy of Bob Plumer and Drag Racing Memories; info courtesy of www.draglist.com)


Bob Steele was a funny car veteran of several years before going nitro racing. Steele had raced gas funny cars when NASCAR sanctioned drag races. Steele switched to injected alcohol and nitro to race with Tom "Smoker" Smith’s East Coast Funny Car Circuit. By 1975, Steele went blown nitro racing with the "Flintstone Flyer" Cuda. The car featured the venerable 392 Chrysler Hemi for power. The car’s striking paint design made it stick out from the crowd. The Chrysler engine seemed to be made for nitro racing from the factory. By the end of 1975, Bob Steele retired from drag racing. (Photo courtesy of Kevin at Ultragraphic; info from www.draglist.com)


The "Black Stang" Mustang II is remembered for several reasons. It was good looking, tough to beat, and belonged to a winning team. ATI owner Jim Beattie built the "Black Stang" Mustang II as a team car to the "Black Magic" Vega. S&W Race Cars built the "Black Stang.” A 426 Chrysler Hemi was used for power along with a 2 speed planetary transmission. Beattie hired famed funny car shoe Pee Wee Wallace to drive the sleek ride. Wallace was the defending NHRA Div 1 champion driving the "Alabamian.” Wallace continued that success with the "Black Stang," winning the Division One title again and finishing in the top ten national points. Due to the high costs of running two cars, Beattie sold the "Black Stang." Willie Borsch bought the car and ran it sparingly in 1976. (Handout courtesy of the Jim White Collection; info from www.draglist.com)


The "Glenn, Glenn & Schultz" Charger was the jump into nitro funny cars for a well- known dragster team. The team of Gerry Glenn and Bill Schultz had been one of the last great slingshot teams. The Don Tuttle built dragster featured a chassis design with the engine way out. The team held on as long as they could, but they too built a largely forgotten rear engine dragster. This was the dragster featured in a low budget movie about drag racing. In late 1972, Glenn and Schultz built an AA/FC along with Jim Glenn. The car featured a Bill Schultz built Hemi with a Mr. Ed Dodge Charger body. The "Glenn, Glenn, and Schultz" funny car is best remembered for the 1973 Orange County Manufacturer’s Funny Car Race. There have been several stories about what really happened. The team apparently tried to qualify after the set time. While the car was running, Don Schumacher pulled their parachute pins, ending their last minute bid to qualify for the race. The team spilt up with Jim Glenn taking over the car. The car was repainted as the "Shady Glenn.” Gary Burgin won the 1974 Division 7 title at the wheel of the car. (Photo courtesy of Bob Plumer and Drag Racing Memories; info from www.draglist.com)


Al Fontanini could have been one of the biggest names in funny car racing. A bad crash on the Pennsylvania Turnpike at a tollbooth cut Al’s life short. Fontanini had raced the class from A/FX to injected funny cars with his partner Reno Nannini. The injected Fontanini and Nannini A/FC Charger could run with most blown AA/FC cars of the day. The team was the quickest A/FC in the country, running 7.80s at 180 plus in 1969. Fontanini and his partner split with Al going onto blown fuel funny cars. Al Fontanini’s fuel funny car career lasted barely two races of note. The car ran 7.29 at 195 in Pennsylvania. Fontanini and crewmember Jim Christenson died in the turnpike crash. Many people think he could have been one of the best funny car racers ever had he lived. Nannini went on to field another A/FC with a new partner. (Info from Danny Miller and www.draglist.com)


Ken Poffenberger bought this famed Cuda as a used car from Don Prudhomme. The Cuda ended Poffenberger’s string of Chevrolet powered funny cars that began with a match bash Chevelle. Woody Gilmore the Cuda for Don Prudhomme as his first funny car. By 1971, the face of funny cars was changing quickly and Prudhomme built a new, lighter funny car. Poffenberger bought the year old funny car and took it back east to match race with the best the Northeast had to offer. Sammy Miller, Tom Hall, and Poffenberger all drove the Hemi powered funny car. The car ran low sevens at 200 MPH plus. Poffenberger parked the car when the costs got too high. He and Miller teamed up on the "Spirit of 76" Rocket funny car, but Poffenberger retired once again. (Photo courtesy of Ted Pappacena and Drag Racing Imagery; info from www.draglist.com)


Some cars are ill fated from the beginning and Mickey Thompson’s Maverick seems to be one of them. Mickey Thompson had Lil’ John Buttera build the state of the art Maverick in 1970. M/T was fresh off the great year he enjoyed with Danny Ongais. The success was expected to last but 1970 was a bust for Thompson. Mickey picked Arnie Behling to drive his new Maverick funny car. Behling had worked as a mechanic and back up driver for Arnie Beswick and Eddie Schartman, but the job for M/T was a full time ride. The major problem with the Maverick was its engine. Ford had developed the new Boss 429 to replace the SOHC 427, but the Boss 429 proved to be incapable of nitro racing. Behling also crashed the Maverick soon after debuting the car. To add insult to injury, Behling crashed another M/T funny car two weeks later. That put Behling out of a job. Arnie then got a ride in John Mazmanian’s Cuda, but that lasted for only one run. In 1971, Behling found redemption by winning an NHRA National Event in the "Spirit" Top Fueler. (Photo courtesy of Bob Plumer and Drag Racing Memories; info from www.draglist.com)


Chris Karamesines made a short foray into funny car racing in the late sixties with a Barracuda. Karamesines hired other drivers like Pat Foster, Norm Weekly, Ron O’Donnell, and Cliff Zink to shoe that car. In 1971, the "Greek" built a new funny car, this sleek Woody Gilmore built Mustang Mach I. The car was state of the art for early 1971. It had the new style lightweight chassis and a late model Hemi. Unlike the previous Barracuda, Karamesines drove this car himself. But the Greek did not race the funny car often; instead, he usually raced his dragster. In 1973, Karamesines sold the car to John Loukas. (Photo courtesy of Bob Plumer and Drag Racing Memories; info from www.draglist.com)


Don Kirby was a famed builder and painter of funny car bodies in the early seventies. Kirby also raced funny cars on the side including the Corvette Auto Parts Corvette and the Nickey Chevrolet Corvette. In the late sixties with the backing of Beach City Corvette, Kirby fielded his most famous funny car, the Beach City Corvette. The series of "Beach City Corvettes" are best remembered for all the bad things that happened to them. The car crashed several times, burned to the ground on the interstate outside Irwindale, and broke many too many parts to remember. Ron Goodsell, Mike Snively, Gary Gabelich, and Pat Foster all took their turns fighting the beast. The Beach City machine met its final demise in 1970. (Photo courtesy of Bob Plumer and Drag Racing Memories; info from www.draglist.com)


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