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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 5: Featuring Chuck Etchells, Mickey Thompson, Dale Pulde, Ramchargers, Candies & Hughes, Custom Body Arrow, Steve Tansy, Big John Mazmanian, Gary Richards, Ron Potter, Drake Viscome, Dick Harrell, and Wayne Stoeckel.


Chuck Etchells' first flopper, circa 1979, started life in 1975 as a JJ Monza, then was run as a Bruce Larson "USA-1" car from 76-78. Etchells got his license in March of 79 and campaigned this car through 1980 when he put a 280-ZX shell on this same chassis which he had lengthened. The nickname on this car prophesied Etchells' future in the sport quite accurately! (Photo and info courtesy of David Hapgood)


MT's unique Grand-Am, dubbed "Thompson's Torpedo" by the press, with Dale Pulde up, circa mid-70s. A lot of credit has to be given to Thompson for his flopper innovations. In 1969 he introduced the dragster style chassis to F/C racing, zoomie headers, etc., with his all conquering SOHC powered "Blue" Mustang driven by Danny Ongais (and it's sister "Red" car driven by Pat Foster). Some innovations weren't quite as successful... the "Monocoque" Mustang funny car in 1970, titanium chassised Pinto in 1971, persistent development on the Boss 429, etc. Not every idea worked... but what did work changed the face of funny car racing! MT retired from F/C racing at the end of the 77 season...  his last effort was the Bob Pickett shoed US Marines Starfire. (Photo Courtesy of Don Eckert)


By 1977 Dale Pulde had moved on from the MT ride and built the first of the very popular "War Eagle" F/Cs. Pulde's resume through the years included stints in Charlie Wilson's Vicious Vette, the S-W-C Mustang, Dick Bourgeois's Javelin, the MT Pinto & Grand Am, Eastern Raider Mustang/Monza, Plueger & Gyger Mustang, Arizona Wildcat Vega, and Chicago Patrol Mustang before teaming with Mike Hamby on the War Eagle floppers. Pulde won the IHRA World Championship with this car in 77 and his first NHRA race at the 78 Gatornationals. Team was noted for outstanding performances and minimum parts breakage while utilizing a stock stroke 426... rumor had it the team burnt only 9 pistons all of the 77 season!!! (Photo from Pennzoil Handout, courtesy of Jim White)


Casting a long late afternoon shadow is the Ramchargers' Challenger. The Israeli Rocket, Leroy Goldstein, piloted this flopper to the bracket's first 6 second clockings at New York National Speedway in the summer of 70. A consistent threat, they captured 70 Springnationals title, 71 Gatornationals title and numerous AHRA races. Arnie Behling took over the reins in late 71 when Goldstein moved on to drive for Candies & Hughes 2 car team. Low slung Demon driven by "Jungle" Clare Sanders replaced the Challenger in 72. Trivia fodder: Dick Rosberg was the last Ramchargers flopper shoe in 74. (Frank Thomas Photo)


Goldstein's 72 ride... Goldstein's stable mate was Leonard Hughes in a nearly identical Candies & Hughes' F/C. C&H had the distinction of being the first team to have their cars finish one-two at an NHRA national event; at the 70 Gatornationals Leonard Hughes won the event with a new-for-70 Cuda over their 69 Cuda driven by Larry Reyes. C&H moved on to T/F cars in the mid-70s and won an NHRA World Championship with Richard Tharp at the helm while Goldstein went on to crewchief Kenny Bernstein's comeback "Chelsea King" Arrow in the late 70s. C&H returned to flopper wars in 83 with a blue multi-hued Firebird driven by Mark Oswald. (Photo from C&H 73 Handout courtesy of the Greenberg Collection.)


This mid-70s version of the Custom Body flopper continued a long line of Utica, NY., based F/Cs run through the decade of the 70s to the mid-80s by the Castronovo family. Cars were originally shoed by Phil Castronovo, Tom Prock then took over driving chores through the late 70s when Al Segrini stepped in. In 76 Tom Prock driven entry became 2nd F/C into the 5s with a 5.97 at Green Valley, TX., and was welcomed into the Cragar 5 second club, an honor later rescinded when Cragar decided to only recognize times at meets certified for records. (Also bumping out JJ's 5.96 and Tom Hoover's 5.99, both recorded at Green Valley in 76.) Team's top "claim to fame" was winning the 71 NHRA World Championship. (Don Eckert Photo)


"The Godfather" Vega Panel Wagon of Indiana's Steve Tansy, circa 1972-73. Tansy was a car show producer whose clean F/Cs reflected that background. Although this car reportedly ran 6.90/211 on it's first full pass, car was destroyed at 73 York US 30 Funny Nationals and replaced by a more aerodynamic green and white International Championship Auto Shows Cuda in short order. Not a "heavy hitter", Tansy ran infrequently in the mid-west and on the east coast. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories.)


West coast "killer" cars, whether in AA/Gas in the mid 60s or AA/FC in the late 60s/early 70s, were Big John Mazmanian's entries. This car, the 70 flopper dominated F/C racing on the "coast" with Rich Siroonian at the wheel and was the first F/C to run over 220 mph. Car was tuned by Doug "Cookie" Cook of S-W-C fame. Later drivers for "Big John" included Mike Snively in 71 and Danny Ongais in 72. Pictured car was later transported back east to become the "Brief Encounter" Cuda of Joe Jacono and afterward survived through the 70s as a F/C econo altered running out of PA. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


New York, NY., based Gary Richards 1979 effort. In the early 70s Richards ran the Shadow and Black Shadow Mustangs in the NE and was a Division 1 regular. Usually considered "middle of the pack" cars, Richards ventured to Div 3 for the 70 season and took home the division flopper title as well as runner-up at the 70 NHRA Summernationals. After vacating the cockpit in the early 70s, Richards used hired drivers to shoe his floppers... Harlan Thompson of "Tom & Jerry" and "Fireball" Vega/Monza backgrounds drove this car. This car was originally the mid-70s Custom Body flopper pictured above, then was purchased by Al Hanna of Eastern Raider fame before ending up in Gary Richards colors. (James Morgan Photo)


"Ron Potter Stakes His Claim: 'Golden Nugget' goes prospecting in Funny Car Eliminator" started a Drag Racing USA, Oct 72, article on this car. Potter, from Cleveland, Ohio, raced a series of T/F cars before stepping up and turning full time pro with this F/C. An NHRA WCS regular, Potter also ran selected AHRA and IHRA events. Potter's biggest win with the car came at the Fall 72 National Dragster Open at Columbus, OH., over Bob Durban aboard Jeg Coughlin's Camaro flopper. Based on a Don Hardy chassis with Ed Pink power, this car was one sanitary F/C! (JW Last Photo)


When talking 70s nitro floppers, don't forget injected nitro F/Cs. Popular on both coasts, the east coast had the East Coast Fuel Funny Car Circuit that toured in the late 60s and early 70s and included such east coast stalwarts as the "Virginia Twister", Gene Altizer, etc. Pictured is Drake Viscome's New York based (ex-Stone, Woods & Cooke Tinkerbell) Vindicator 5 Pinto which was motivated by a rare nitro burning injected Boss 429 powerplant. Best performance was in the 8.30 range. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


Mr. Chevrolet and Mr. AHRA are just two of the many titles/nicknames carried by Kansas City's Dick Harrell. One of the most popular funny car drivers of the late 60s/early 70s, Harrell stuck with Chevy power until the late in the 71 season when he switched to a Hemi powerplant. His #2 car during the 71 season, Larry Christopherson (in a Vega) utilized Chrysler motivation from the beginning of the season...  a unfortunate foreshadow of things to come in the Harrell camp for Bowtie fans. Tragically, Harrell was fatally injured in a racing accident in Canada as the 71 season came to a close. (Photo from 71 Harrell Handout, courtesy of the Greenberg Collection)


An unidentified crew member thrashes on Wayne Stoeckel's "Boogie Man" Monza (body in background) between rounds at Beeline in 78. Stoeckel ran the "Vulture" AA/DA in the mid 70s and was the AHRA Pro Comp World Champ in 75. He stepped up from the alcohol ranks to nitro flopper racing in 78-79, then returned to the alcohol ranks. Stoeckel continued to run the popular "Boogie Man" Chevy alky F/C out of Div 7 20 years later! (JW Last photo)


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