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70s Funny Cars - Round 1
70s Funny Cars - Round 2
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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Previous Cars 2
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Forgotten Funny Cars: Some 70s funny cars, by virtue of having been raced infrequently and/or for a short period of time, having only been raced locally, etc., didn't get much "press" and seemed to vanish into obscurity. However, to the folks who ran them, these floppers were anything but "obscure." The following F/Cs represent some of the "forgotten" funny cars from the 70s with what information was found. If you've got more information, driver background, car history, etc., for these floppers, please forward it and we'll add it to the site...  bilden@draglist.com


From up Detroit, Michigan way in the mid-70s comes the appropriately named "Michigander" of "Farmer" John McNew. Bill Pratt's Draglist shows this as the only nitro funny car McNew campaigned. Anybody got anything else on McNew or the "Michigander"? (Photo courtesy of Mike Hojnacki)


While the "Bluegrass Shaker" Monza may have been billed as 'Kentucky's only funny car' in the mid-70s, the Redd's Auto Parts line held that distinction in the early 70s. Although the decade started with an Eldon Huffman-driven Challenger (made famous at the US Nationals for its suspension breaking, body bending starting line attics) this ex-Al Bergler "Motown Shaker" Vega carried the flag for the regionally campaigned entry towards the mid-70s. Year on this picture would have been 1973, when Jackie Price wheeled the car to a 5th place finish in Div 3 standings. By 75 Price was wheeling the "Bluegrass Shaker" Vega and the Redd's line appeared to be no more. Any clues as to whatever became of the Redd's Auto Parts team or any of their other funny car exploits? (Photo courtesy of Charles Schubert)

UPDATE, 1/03 thanks to Dave Huber: The Vega FC was not driven by Jackie Price. Price and his team bought Eldon's old Challenger and raced it as the Bluegrass Shaker. The Vega was not NHRA legal; the wheelbase was too long. Eldon passed away around 1980 and Redd's Auto Parts went out of business around 1990.


 

Out of the great Northwest, circa 1970, came the "Crusader" Cuda. Not much known here other than the car stuck to the NW, some speculation the car might have been an ex-Kenny Goodell car. Note the killer Whipple & McCulloch Duster in the background. Anybody got any more insights/info on this car or team? (Photo courtesy of Ralph Reiter)

UPDATE, 3/02 thanks to "Flyin Phil" Elliott: The "Crusader" was indeed ex-Kenney (note that his first name has that extra "E") Goodell, an Exhibition Engineering piece (sister to Big John's Barracuda -- same chassis, body, 392, Torqueflite, etc.) whipped up by Pat Foster. Springer & Price from Eugene, Oregon ran it for about two seasons, 1970 and most of 1971.


Yet another "forgotten" Vega from the Northeast. Not much known here...  car's called "Maximum Force," shot was taken at the Eastern Summer Championships at New York National on 8/28/77, car's wearing a AA/Fuel Coupe identifier. Any clues? (Photo courtesy of Ted Pappacena)

UPDATE, 10/01 thanks to Casey Littmann: "Isn't that the same paint scheme as the Moore-Paulding-West-Hagan "Voodoo" Vega, the Aurora plastics "sponsored" car. The nose looks updated to 74 specs, but with Aurora located on Long Island... well, maybe it's the same car. Perhaps Tom West would know."

UPDATE, 12/01, thanks to Tom West: "This is the first picture that I have seen of that car, but I was asking Billy Mitchell about it not that long ago. He couldn't remember what had happened with the car after he and [Richie] Sullivan had split. Unless they copied everything that we had done, that was the old Voodoo car, but it looks rather funny with the big white section like that. It appears that Schacker (Bernie Schacker?) is at least one of the people involved from looking at the front spoiler. I can't read the other name, but I would assume that he would have driven..."


Another "forgotten" New England entry, this time from 1977ish was the Iceman Vega. Car has no competition # on it so making a driver ID in this shot is near impossible. Trade papers of the era had Phil Castronovo of Custom Body fame doing a stint in the seat while brother Fred was running the Custom Body entry. Reports further stated the McGinnis and Lane Iceman Vega would be replaced by a Phil Castronovo driven Vette in 78. Anybody know anything about the car, team or if the Vette was ever built? (Photo courtesy of Mark Hovsepian's "Flood Damaged Negatives Collection")

UPDATE, 10/01 thanks to David Hapgood: "ICEMAN Vega! I drove that car! An old friend of mine purchased the car in 1983. It was residing in a storage unit in eastern Massachusetts - with original ICEMAN paint on it, w/o motor. Right after he purchased it and towed it home we had nothing better to do so we took turns towing it to the top of a hill and coasting it down the road beside his house: my only 'ride' in a fuel funny car. What the hell, we were just 20 years old at the time.

Apparently the Vega shell lived numerous lives before becoming "the ICEMAN"- multiple paint jobs were buried underneath, including what appeared to be a Kosty "Boston Shaker" Ivanof green. My friend ran this funny car as a bracket car until 1987 when he sold it Last I knew it was still running super pro at Lebanon Valley.

As for the other "ICEMAN", Bruce McGinnis taught high school tech. He did not build the Vega but I was told he and his students built an Arrow. I never saw it run, never saw pictures of it, but a couple of New England Dragway regulars (AA/FC drivers) talked about it from time to time."

UPDATE, 12/01 thanks to Todd Berube: "Just a quick note about the ICEMAN funny car; there was a Arrow after this car that was never run. I believe it was an H&H chassis, same paint scheme as Vega. The rolling chassis sat in Rick & Charlie Bell's garage for a year or two during the middle 1980's. It was owned at that time by Allied Tractor Trailer Training School in mass."

UPDATE, 01/02 thanks to Bruce "Iceman" McGinnis: Car was an ex-Kosty Ivanof "Boston Shaker" extensively modified (new nose, etc). Vega was McGinnis' first flopper after coming up through the sportsman ranks and a stint in the military; car ran up and down the east coast in the late 70s running a best of 6.36/211. Drivers included Phil Castronovo and Dodger Glenn. Following Glenn's death at the wheel of the Frantic Ford, McGinnis sold everything, but did get the itch to return, bought Arrow funny car but never raced it.


From New England in the early 70s came the Bill Hardie driven Hardie & Miller Vega. Featuring probably the shortest wheelbase of any nitro flopper of the era, 392 powered entry was descended from a more conventional previous Hardie & White Chevy powered Camaro F/C and a T/F entry in 1970. Anybody got any more info on this team or whatever became of this car? (Photo courtesy of James Morgan)


From Steve Heuser comes this picture of the "Foxy Lady" Monza. According to Steve... "I took the attached photo at Union Grove at their Memorial Day 1977 event. The car is "Tom Frazier's Foxy Lady" and this is the only time I saw it. There was a Tom Frazier who ran a UDRA alcohol funny car in 1976, not sure if this is the same guy. Can't read the name painted on the roof over the window, and the driver number on the car doesn't match any in the "Drag Racing List" site. Do you know any more about this car?"

UPDATE, 3/02, thanks to Steve Ernster: The Foxy Lady was originally Bill Schifsky's Cox Pinto Funny Car. Tom Frazier was working at Schifsky's Speed Shop part time evenings and Bill sold the car to Tom in 1975 when he started building his next car, The Bear Town Shaker. Byron Nelson was also working at Schifsky's at that time and drove for Tom for as long as he owned the car. In addition to driving, Byron wrenched and performed a bunch of fabrication chores on the car including an extensive rework of the chassis lowering the ride height as far as possible. He used to drive the 30 Below Zero Vega F/C out of ND before getting involved with Tom and the Foxy Lady. The winter after buying the car Tom drove down to Texas to pick up the new Monza body he had purchased; several modifications were needed to get the body to fit the chassis and meet the rule book for minimum width dimensions. The body was cut into several pieces by the time it fit properly. Tom needed someone to fiberglass the body together again and paint it. With all the cash plowed into the engine and frame he needed it done cheap. Tom offered me the job for the sum of $50 (Tom bought all the materials) and I took the project on.

Tom was very happy with it and after Schifsky saw the car in paint for the first time he quit riding Tom about the Earl Schieb job he was getting on his car. Tom ran the car as a BB/FC alcohol flopper up until the last season. He then planned to go AA/FC. I don't know if he ended up running nitro or not that last year. Tom sold the car less Hemi/Lenco to a bracket racer. He put a rat in it and covered the blower hole with a snorkel style hood scoop. I saw it a couple of times after...  

UPDATE, 8/02, thanks to ex-shoe Byron Nelson: Fraze bought Bill Schifsky's Cox Pinto in about 74...  We ran match races nearly every weekend at bunch of mostly obscure tracks around the mid west. We actually made money; an extreme rarity in those days. It never broke or failed to make a full run... The car was pretty heavy with the pinto body and far from streamlined... At the end of the season we ran into the guy that made the Monza body. He said a finished body would only weigh about 140 # compared to about 350 for the pinto. Tom ordered one on the spot...  It turned out it was so flimsy that it wouldn't support itself on the trailer...  Tom through some fancy sales talk convinced Steve Ernster to under take some "minor" rework and customizing for us... 

While Steve was reworking the body, Fraze, Eddie and I redid the entire chassis. We cut every thing off until we had only the top and bottom rails left. At the time most of the fuel guys had the motors back about 52-55 inches. The alcohol guys were moving toward 60. After some discussion we decided to go to 65" This was unheard of at the time and we took a bunch grief for this...  we knew that front end weight was needed anyway. Might as well move the motor and save overall weight...  We all put it together just in time for the season opener at Northstar on a Sat nite... The next day we went up to Fargo for a match with Duane Engness (Hot Sauce). We ran a couple rounds and the 3rd round I remember well. The torsion bar slug broke loose and dropped the car down on the ground right in the lights. It took a hard right and crossed right in front of Duane and I sailed about 300 yards out into a corn field. I just couldn't stop. When it was heading off the track all I could think about was getting the throttle closed so the dirt wouldn't eat the blower (it didn't). 

Anyway the neat aluminum oil pan was 2 inches shorter and minus the entire bottom and the front spoiler was gone and worst of all the headers were history. There must have been a couple hundred pounds of dirt inside the car. The field had recently been plowed and planted so it was real soft. The car was buried up to the top of the front fenders in the dirt. While I was trying to get out the farmer came up and began reading me the riot act about ripping up his corn field... By the time we got the car out of the field we probably wrecked 2 acres of field...  we ran the car for 3 full years. We ran small tracks everywhere but ran only one NHRA event (at home) We lost only 1 round due to breakage... We had a great time together, saw the country, ate good food, cussed at each other and became good friends... won a lot of money. (Spent most of it too). Some of the guys we raced with were experimenting with 50-70 % nitro and going match racing with some of the fuel guys. I tried hard to talk Fraze out of this but we did it. We jumped in big as all of us had some pretty good experience with the 30 Below car... As it turned out we just used up tires and clutch and fuel at a faster rate (read expensive)...  

We didn't break anything until the last race up at Brainerd when the lash caps shattered. It blasted the blower very hard and toasted the windshield. On the way home we finally decided that the expenses were going to catch up with us so Fraze said he was done...  we had all agreed way back when we first got together that when the expenses became too much we would hang it up. This car was so easy to drive that I rarely had both hands on the wheel under power. (didn't have time shifting and hanging on). We built the entire car ourselves, Fraze and Eddie built the trailer, Eddie took care of the truck and trailer at his gas station and I took care building the motor and maintaining it. We had only limited sponsors gaskets, sparkplugs, oil, use of the shop. I also have to give a special thanks to Bill Schifsky for letting us use his shop to build the car and for letting us use the shop stuff to maintain it. It simply would not have been possible with out this...  The Foxy Lady ran with the some of the best of the day and forced them to run hard to beat us.


In the mid-70s ex-Texas Tech football player and Lubbock resident Roger Freeman campaigned the "Freeman's Club" Mustang II in the Midwest. Any clues on Freeman's other drag racing efforts, the significance of the "Freeman's Club" or his whereabouts today? (Photo courtesy of David Ray from "Big Mike" Burkhart's Scrapbook)

UPDATE, 12/00, thanks to James Ruf: "I lived in Lubbock from 1970 to 1975... and here is what I remember...  Roger did play football for Texas Tech, he graduated before 1970. Freeman's Club was a popular Lubbock drinking spot and dance club. Roger's cars always seemed to set out front on an open trailer. He also had a rail but I do not remember what class."


Pictured at PA's York US 30 in 78 is the "Quicksilver" Vette. Name Mac King appears just below the window opening. Comp # of 290 indicates the car/driver was from the southeast. Anybody know the background on this car/driver combination? (Charles Hoopes photo)

UPDATE, 10/00, thanks to Scott Amiss: "From what I recall, this driver was from the Virginia Beach area. Driver ran series of cars with the same name, including an early 70s Challenger. Challenger was a BB/FC. All of these cars were show quality but never seemed to "be there" in the performance department."

UPDATE, 10/00, thanks to "Raider": "Okay, now for what it's worth. Mac King and his son Lance run Royal Silver, a plating company, here in Norfolk. They do live in Va. Beach. At one time Mac was co-owner/operator of the Creeds Drag Strip out in Pongo (no kidding) a rural area just south of Va. Beach. Last thing I heard ('bout two or three years ago) their receptionist Melissa was running an alky car here on the "right coast". Mac's been involved with Alky cars as long as I've known Lance, call it mid-80's.


Butch Claunch's "All American" Charger is pictured in 73 at St Louis...  car was destroyed later in the season at Tulsa's National Challenge race. In 72, "All American" billboard read "Blackwell Dodge." Anybody know Claunch's background and/or the background on this car? Did he return to funny car racing following the accident at Tulsa? (Photo courtesy of Don Eckert)

UPDATE, 11/00, thanks to Bret Kepner: Butch Claunch was still running his FE AA/FD at the 73 Gateway Nats, so the photo of the ex-Clark Blackwell Charger is actually from 74. Butch's son is looking for any and all memorabilia of his late dad, by the way.


From an early 70s, slightly out of focus, Amalie handout comes Bob Taylor's "Time Machine" Vega. Car was driven by Harlan Thompson before Thompson moved on to the "Tom & Jerry" entries. Anybody know anything about this car, where it was from or Bob Taylor? By the way, note the wing...  a not too terribly successful experiment tried by such other teams as Mickey Thompson, Eddie Pauling on the "Whine Maker" Mustang, etc. (Handout courtesy of Robert Flitsch)

UPDATE, 6/00, thanks to Paul Katata: "The following is from what I remember almost 30(!) years ago. Bob Taylor was from Costa Mesa, Ca. I think he worked in the service dept. of one of the Datsun dealers in the area. Before the Vega shown here, Bob purchased and ran Marv Eldridge's "L.A. Challenger" after Marv had his accident in Hawaii. That car was called "Time Machine II". I forget what the first "Time Machine" was, though something tells me it was a Dodge Dart similar to Brad Anderson's or Keith Bush's "Bushwhacker". Anyhow, Bob had Mike Kase (whose shop at the time was in Bill Simpson's Gasoline Alley in Torrance) reposition the engine, mount a Lenco 2-speed, change the roll cage to more of a dragster style, and mount the rear end solid. He put Denny Savage behind the wheel, and they went racing. 

After selling the Challenger, Bob had Mike build the Vega. Late Hemi (by Doug Fisher?), Mr. Ed body, paint by "Paul", lettering by Mike DuBiel. Denny Savage still drove. Then when Bob decided to tour back east, he put Harlan Thompson in the seat. I think it was at this time the wing was added. Mike Kase was building quite a few wings at the time (Jack McKay's "New Dimension" R/E dragster, among others) so it was a natural. After coming home from touring, the car ended up in Northern Ca., with I think the Del Rio Brothers being involved at this time. After that, who knows?..."

UPDATE, 11/00, thanks to "Riceman": Car ended up in NorCal continuing to be campaigned by Schimer-Dell-Stiers (Paint by Tony Del Rio) from San Lorenzo, Ca., as a nitro flopper. Photographed at Sacramento in the mid-80s, car burned to the ground soon after this shot was taken!

UPDATE, 11/00, thanks to Bret Kepner: Bob Taylor's "Time Machine" Vega was banned by AHRA Tech director Vance Brady because the body could not be lifted after the wing was attached... something Danny Ongais found out while testing the original concept on MT's "blue Mach I" at Bristol just after the 69 AHRA Springs. Taylor moved to St. Louis in 1983, bought the Steve Picou/Tom Koulan "Gateway Shaker" Mustang II BB/FC, renamed it "Time Machine", (of course), and ran it on nitro at local match races until 1985, when it burned down at Harrisburg, IL.

UPDATE, 1/01, thanks to ex-Time Machine driver Denny Savage: "On the "Time Machine" of Bob Taylor`, it was a brand new car built by Mike Kase, from scratch. I drove it a few times in So Cal, and then he decided to go on the road with it. I wasn't quite ready to tour then, and that's when Harlan stepped in."


From the mid-70s came one of the several "High Plains Drifter" entries campaigned during the decade. In the early 70s Brian Lengle (future Sno-Town Shaker) ran the High Plains Drifter Charger, in the late 70s Chris Eckert ran the High Plains Drifter Camaro and in the early 80s Brain Ranney ran a High Plains Drifter Vega. All were Midwest/high country cars... but this Mustang II seems to have missed the same recognition longevity. Competition # of 512 on the car doesn't match any of the previous or later entries! Any clues? (Photo by Jim White)

UPDATE, 11/00, thanks to Bret Kepner: The "High Plains Drifter" Mustang II AA/FC was owned and driven by Jim MacMurray of Paoli, KS. He ran the car from 76-78 infrequently at AHRA events, a few NHRA Div. V WCS meets, and several match races at Wichita and Kansas City.


Fred Snavely's "Quick Trip" Vega, ran out of Div 5 in the late 70s. Car was rumored to be ex-Ira Hollensbe flopper. Suavely went T/F racing in the early 80s. Anybody got any info on Suavely? (Photo by Don Eckert)

UPDATE, 11/00, thanks to Bret Kepner: Fred Snavely's Vega WAS an ex-Hollensbe ride, but he teamed with Don Denner to run TF for most of the 80s. He later came back with an injected big block Chevy RE Super Comp dragster, but the entire rig was stolen a few months ago from his shop at his new home in St. Louis!


Not much known here other than the name on the side of the car. Photographed at Irwindale in the mid-70s. (Photo by Dave Kommel at Auto Imagery)

UPDATE, 6/00, thanks to Tim Pearl: "The shot you have of the Desperado Maverick funny car belonged to a guy named Giant Jim Moore from S. Calif... not the same Jim Moore from Alaska. Car was very short lived... Jim ran front and rear engine Top Fuel cars prior to this car, if my memory serves right his front motor T/F car was Jim Dunn's last front motor car... he ran the Desperado funny car around 73 or 74... then that was about it. I talked to Jim Moore at the Hot Rod Reunion last year...  he's putting together a new front motor Top Fuel car for the nostalgia drags."


Vic Cecilia, previously of Telstar and Pabst Blue Ribbon flopper fame, drove this Charger bodied car in the late 70s. Car didn't get much "ink" and didn't seem to travel far from the Great Lakes region. (Photo by Don Eckert)

UPDATE, 4/00, thanks to John Lorbiecki: "Saw the picture of the GAMBLER F/C driven by Cecilia and thought you may want a bit of background about it. I was crewing for Proite and Halladay with the Telstar at that time. Charlie, in his usual way, had a "deal" going with a local owner of a gas station by the name of Mark Schultz. Well, Charlie owed him some money (that is different!!) and Mark wanted it. So, Mark got the car, truck, and trailer (I think). Mark decided to race it. He had absolutely no experience with a fuel car. Vic did all the tuning, etc. The car hardly ever got out of its own way. 

In fact, Mark was a Monday night softball player. He was working on the car, changing oil, when he realized he needed to go play. So, he put the drain plug in an left, to add oil later. You can guess what happened. Vic and Mark went to warm it up at the 'Grove (Union, that is) and Vic waited for oil pressure. Didn't get anything and couldn't figure out why. Asked Mark if there was oil in it. He said yeah. Vic didn't believe him. Pulled the plug, didn't have any, and that basically ended the deal... Oh yeah, then there was the time that they backfired the blower in the pits, trying to start it. But that's a different story..."


"The Okie" Mustang of Jim Roberts pictured at Green Valley TX in the mid/late 70s. Car seemed to race infrequently in the TX/OK area. Mid-70s Vega, also known as the Okie, followed the Mustang in the early 80s. (Photo by Jim White) 


Greg Brewton's "Voodoo Chile" 484 KB 79 Corvette from Winfield, Louisiana pictured at St Louis Intl Raceway. According to Bill Pratt's Drag Racing List, best times for the nitro flopper were 7.15 at 197.80. (Photo by Don Eckert)

UPDATE, 11/00, thanks to Bret Kepner: Greg Brewton's Corvette actually followed his "VooDoo Spirit" TF car. The Vette was originally christened "VooDoo Chile II", but was quickly renamed "Maybelline".


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