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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 7: Featuring Sam Miller, Simon Menzies, Al Bergler/Bobby Wood, Bruce Larson, Pabst Blue Ribbon Charger, Dee Simmons, Bill Dee, Kelly Chadwick, Ken Poffenberger, Kings Ransom Monza, King & Marshall, Earl Phillips Baltimore Bandit, and Kenny Bernstein's Chelsea King.


New Jersey's "Slammin Sammy" Miller's Buttera built 72 Mustang. Car was preceded by an identically painted Duster that carried Miller to his only NHRA National event victory at the inaugural (71) Grandnationals in Canada. Pictured car caught fire at the 72 NHRA Nationals and left Miller with serious burns. In 74 Miller returned with a Mustang II bodied F/C but following a pass in the Pollution Packer rocket, he sold the flopper and went to work building his own rocket F/C. According to SS&DI, Feb 76, Miller envisioned rocket floppers as a way for "...  professional funny car racers...  to ply their trade in a safer manner, much less expensively...  There's no breakage, no fire, no explosions." Although the R/FC craze didn't catch on save for a handful of nitro converts, Miller continued to run rocket powered cars through the remainder of the 70s, perhaps the best known being his "Vanishing Point" entries. (JW Last photo)


Bakersfield 79 winner Simon Menzies at the wheel of Jim Jackson's new-for-79 Challenger. Menzies spent several years wheeling his own BB/FC Cuda flopper and Jackson's highly successful BB/FC Corvette (occasionally ran the car on alcohol in nitro shows at AHRA/local events) before the team stepped up to nitro in 79 with this ride. Shortly after Bakersfield car also won the #2 Division 7 race and seemed to be off to a great start, then faded mid-season. Performance picked up again at season's end as demonstrated by a 6.09 pass at Fremont, CA. In 1980 Menzies moved on to shoe the Arias powered Arrow of Leslie and Bergens. (Photo by John Shanks, used with permission)


Two popular Vega bodied F/Cs lock horns at York US 30 in 72. Funny car aluminum interior builder Al Bergler's "Motown Shaker" entries where noted to be very sanitary floppers; car's were always in show ready condition. After running a killer AA/C dragster in the 60s, Bergler stepped up and raced "Motown Shaker" floppers throughout the decade of the 70s. Bergler occasionally hired drivers, this entry was driven by Butch Maas. Bobby Wood was one of the original funny car racers from the deep south, ran a Rat motored, Hardy built Nova in the late 60s and held the NHRA National record for a period at 7.61. Another Hemi powered Nova preceded the pictured Vega in 71. Both Bergler and Wood were "part time" regulars on the Coke Cavalcade circuit in the early/mid-70s. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


From PA came drag racing's "Mr. Clean," Bruce Larson. Larson's first fliptop F/C was a Logghe chassised Chevy powered Camaro (which he still owns) in 68 which set the world on fire with a then unheard of 7.41 ET. In 72, Larson's then new mini-Camaro F/C burned to the ground; mindful of the ever present specter of fire, he retreated to the Pro Stock ranks through 75. Larson returned with an ex-JJ Monza to the alcohol ranks in 75, upgrading back to the nitro ranks in 76. Pictured Vette was debuted in 79 (sporting it's infamous "USA-1 Survives TMI" 3-Mile Island rear window mural) and continued to run as shown through 1982 when this shot was taken. Larson went on to become NHRA F/C World Champ in 1989... a well deserved and popular victory! (Photo by David Hapgood)


The car generally credited with starting the "beer wars" was Charlie Proite's "Pabst Blue Ribbon Charger" driven by 20 year old Russell Long. Evolved from the Telstar T/F and F/Cs that Proite ran from his Wisconsin home into the early 70s, this car debuted in 73 and ran through 75. SS&DI (May 73) reported that Proite was involved in negotiations with racing buff Augie Pabst for nearly 6 months in order to get the brewery sponsorship. In 76 Vic Cecelia replaced Long in the drivers seat, and the car returned to it's "Telstar" roots while maintaining the same paint scheme minus the Pabst emblem and "Charger" billboard. Arrow bodied "Telstar" flopper driven Doc Halladay closed out the decade. Cecelia moved on to chauffeur the "Image Maker" BB/FC Mustang in 79. (From Pabst Handout, courtesy of Rick Covington)


Photographed at Warner-Robbins, GA in the early 70s is "Mr. Soul" Dee Simmons' Camaro. Simmons was known as a very nice guy who ran the act "out of his pocket". This car was a 427 Chevy (on nitro) with a Torque-Flite(!). His later cars were called "Big Black Go-Rilla", a name that probably wouldn't make it in this politically correct era. Simmons, a high school teacher from NC, was a Div 2 regular throughout the entire 70s with Chevy bodied floppers; started the 70s with the "Thunder Road" topless Corvette and closed out the decade at the wheel of a 76 Monza. Simmons represented a "dying breed" of F/C racers as smaller fields at WWCS level by the close of the 70s had only 5 cars showing for the Div 2 opener in 79, 4 for the Div 3 opener, 3 for the Div 5 opener and 1 for the #2 Div 2 race. By 1981, NHRA had dropped nitro cars at the Division level and split Pro Comp into Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car which became the "big dogs" at the divisional level. (Photo by Franko)


Bill Dee from Connecticut spent 3 seasons teamed with Al Hanna on the Eastern Raider Pinto/Mustang in the mid-70s before striking out on his own with the "Nor'easter" Mustang II in 78. Car was a former "Frantic Ford" with an S&W chassis and paint by Circus. Driver was Bob Beaulieu, who prior to this ride, ran the short-lived "Eastern Raider" top fuel dragster which was the stable mate to Al Hanna's flopper of the same name. Nor'easter was a "middle of the pack" competitor, limited appearances to Division 1 and by 79 was only being sporadically campaigned. Car didn't reappear in 1980. (Photo courtesy of Dave Milcarek)


High school teacher turned full-time racer "The Professor" Kelly Chadwick never wavered in his loyalty to Chevy powerplants throughout his funny car career from the mid-60s to the early-70s. Pictured is Chadwick's last flopper from the 72 season before he made the move to Pro Stock in 1973. According to Pop Hot Rodding, Feb 70, "The Professor" started racing funny cars "before it was called anything but super stock cheating." Chadwick was one of the charter members of the popular Coke Cavalcade circuit, won the season title in 1970 and became the quickest Chevy powered flopper in the land by clocking a 6.73 at the 71 OCIR Manufacturers Championship, better than most Hemi powered cars had run up to that time! (Photo from 72 Chadwick handout, courtesy of the Greenberg Collection)


New Jersey's Ken Poffenberger's 72 Cuda bodied flopper at York US 30. Previous "Poff's Super Puffer" efforts included a Chevy powered Corvair in the late 60s and the ex-Prudhomme 70 Cuda flopper (original Hot Wheels car) which was initially driven Sam Miller before Miller left to field his own Duster F/C. Ex-Hot Wheels car was destroyed at an 1/8 mile track at Utica, NY, with Poffenberger at the helm in July 71 when the throttle stuck and Poff took a wild end-over-end ride off the end of the track. Following the above pictured effort, Poffenberger went on to team with Sam Miller on the "Sprint of 76" rocket powered Mustang II flopper in 75. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


Mr. Norm employee and Chicago resident John Pott drove the "Kings Ransom" Monza throughout the Midwest in the mid-late 70s. Thought of as a "match race special," car was competitive and consistent, could run in the 6.50 zone all day with a "parts saving" stock stroke motor. Car was also a regular at Detroit Dragway's 1976 "World Championship Funny Car Series" which ran every Saturday night during the summer/early fall and featured a $2.95 (about $9 in 2000 dollars) spectator admission tab! Pott took over the reins of the Mr. Norm "Super Charger" and "Sport Center" Arrow entries from Pro Comp champ Dave Settles in the late 70s then went on to drive Larry Coogle's Sting Firebird in the early 80s. (Photo courtesy of Rob Potter)


Don Roberts in the Winner's Circle at the Labor Day Funny Car program at New England Dragway, September 71, where he shoed the King & Marshall Duster to a 6.96 210 to beat Mart Higginbotham in the Drag On Vega in the final. This car was a match race only car, with a Don Long 130 inch wheelbase (the NHRA legal WB then was 115") with power from a 392 Chrysler with direct drive. In Don's words "This car was a great car... but I didn't fit in this car worth a damn. I'm 5'8" and King is 5'3" and it was built for HIM only... I didn't drive this car very much, maybe 3 or 4 times after that into the 1972 season." Later K&M efforts included more conventional Satellite and Monza bodied F/Cs. Pictured car was put out to pasture as the mid-70s approached then came out of retirement in 1980 and burned to the ground at NED with Jimmy King at the wheel. (Photo courtesy of Don Roberts by Paul Wasilewski Jr.)


Earl Phillips and the Baltimore Bandit were mid-Atlantic regulars in the late 60s and early 70s. Starting out as an injected gas flopper on a local circuit, car was upgraded in 1970 to nitro flopper status and was a popular regular on the Div 1 Pro Funny Car circuit and at division events. Team also ran a Pro Stock Duster (Baltimore Bandit, Jr.) during the same period. One thing about this car... it proved if you couldn't decide what paint scheme to put on a car, put 'em all on! Car was later sold, went on to become the "Wild Heritage" injected flopper on the east coast for a short period with an even crazier (read more difficult to appreciate with red lace over tan covering the Baltimore Bandit billboard and the red flames) paint scheme. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


Kenny Bernstein's comeback 78 Chelsea King Arrow was one of the prettiest floppers of the decade. Bernstein spent the late 60s/early 70s kicking around with Texas TF efforts, went on to drive Ray Alley's Engine Master's Cougar and Charger (took runner-up at 73 NHRA Winternationals) and the LA Hooker II Mustang before "retiring." Bernstein remerged at the 78 NHRA Summernationals with this car and took home the "Best Appearing Car" award. Bernstein envisioned and modeled this effort after the Barry Setzer Vega of the early 70s, even ran the car directly out of Ed Pink's shop ala Setzer. First NHRA win came at 79 Cajun Nationals over a broken John Force. Chelsea King name disappeared in 1980 and was replaced by "Bud Arrow" effort. (Photo courtesy of Dave Milcarek)


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