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70s Funny Cars - Round 5
70s Funny Cars - Round 6
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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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Round 13: Featuring Stan Bowman, Al Arriaga's Spanish Galleon, Dick Olsen/Gordy Swearingen, Bill Leavitt, George's Corvette Shop, Hell's Cargo Mustang, Paula Murphy, RC Sherman, Don Zoellner, Ray Alley, Connie Kalitta, and Rob Williams.


The other "Flying Dutchman," Ohio based Stan Bowman, circa 1978. In the early 70s Bowman got his nitro start with a AA/FA before switching to the Blue Angels T/F car in 71-72. He began to campaign F/Cs in 73 with a short wheelbase "Flying Dutchman" Vega that won the Div 3 flopper championship in 76. For 77 Bowman emerged with a new "Ohio State Patrol" Camaro complete with rotating blue lights on the roof ala the Chicago Patrol Mustang. He continued to campaign pictured car through 1980 then switched to a Dodge Daytona bodied "Flying Dutchman" F/C entry in 1981. Although Bowman only raced close to home, he was a strong match racer and consistent threat...   (Photo by Don Eckert)


From Tucson, AZ came the "Spanish Galleon" Firebird of Al Arriaga. Arriaga started in stockers, worked up to Pro Stock and then made the switch to blown nitro cars. He started with the Mob AA/FA, then replaced the Fiat body with the pictured Firebird in the late 70s; alternated body types depending on the booking. In the early 80s Arriaga bought Roland Leong's Hawaiian Monza to continue the Spanish Galleon name and ran the car through 85 before switching to jet dragsters... which he and his son still campaign today. Arriaga was known as a "low buck" flopper racer; didn't have a trailer full of spare parts and pretty much confined his activities to match racing and occasional "close to home" AHRA national events. (Photo by Don Eckert)


SoCal stalwart Dick Olsen ran this Challenger flopper in 1970 with Gordy Swearingen doing the driving chores...  although Olsen would occasionally take over the reins. Gordy and Dick went all the way back to the early 60s with a JR Fuel car and gradually progressed to this flopper which was Olsen's first and last F/C before he retired to devote more time to his highly successful "Competition Fiberglass" business. This car was Swearingen's first flopper ride, after which he went on to wheel such well known F/Cs as the Invader Mustang, LA Hooker, Sopwith Camel Cuda, Jim Terry Mustang, etc. Both Olsen and Swearingen based their businesses out of the Mecca of funny car racing in the early 70s, Bellflower, Ca., were within about a one block radius you could get a flopper built, painted, repaired, etc., (Plueger's, Olsen's, Kirby's, Gordy's welding and repair shop, etc). (Photo and info courtesy of Gordy Swearingen)


From 1975 comes the "Quickie Too" Mustang II of Bill Leavitt. Leavitt started out on the West Coast and campaigned a string of cars culminating in a T/F effort before retiring in 68. Leavitt reemerged in 71 with a 354 powered Quickie Too Mustang that set the world on end with a 6.48 pass at Lions in the winter of 71/72. Leavitt later moved to VA and "nursed" the original Quickie Too for the next 3 seasons...  in fact the "new" Mustang II was Leavitt's 71 flopper just rebodied. Short lived S & W built Monza followed the 'Stang... Career highlights included numerous AHRA and IHRA wins and a runner-up finish to Prudhomme at the ill-fated PRO National Challenge at New York National in the Fall of 74. (Photo from a Pennzoil handout courtesy of David Hapgood)


From Maryland came the George's Corvette Shop Vega of George Reese, circa 1972. Reese's first flopper was the "Long and Lean" Corvette in 68...  a 64 Corvette body stretched over a medium length wheelbase T/F chassis and powered by a small block Chevy running 15% nitro. A series of Corvette floppers followed before the Vega debuted in 72 when, for some reason, the Vette became tough to book. "George of the Jungle" name was adopted to the Vega in 74. Drivers included Tom Raley (ex-Jim and Allison Lee T/F shoe), chassis builder Jimmy Byrd and Mark Emery. Tom Stephens was the final "shoe," crashed during licensing attempts in 76 in the "George of the Jungle" car and Reese retired soon after. Today, Reese still runs the George's Corvette Shop in MD. (Photo and info courtesy of George Reese)


Pictured "way out west" at Irwindale is the Colorado based "Hells Cargo" Mustang of Ernie Spickler and Tom Cacy. Car was ex-Jerry Ruth Pay-n-Pak Mustang that the team ran from the early 70s through 76. Drivers included ex-Jeg's shoe Bob Durban and Mike Snively. In 76, Spickler's brother Doug Jordan purchased the car and continued to campaign the flopper through 78 with such drivers as Doug himself, Jere Wilson and Rob Williams. In 78 Jordan built a new Trans-Am F/C and had the first Jolly Rancher sponsorship...  Hell's Cargo cars were "High Country" regulars, ran division meets and match races throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Today, Jordan is negotiating to buy ex-Ed Mullins R/E Duster flopper and go nostalgia funny car racing. (Photo by John Shanks, info courtesy of Doug Jordan)


In the early 70s, Fleer Corp issued a series of baseball card sized drag racing trading cards called "Official Drag Champs" featuring AHRA regulars. One of the many floppers featured was the pictured Paula Murphy "Miss STP" Duster from 1970. Back of the card said "Paula Murphy has been one of the few girl race car drivers to really make a name for herself... Currently campaigning in the Funny Car ranks, Paula is not taken lightly on the starting line by her male counterparts. Her Jack Bynum prepared Valvoline sponsored Plymouth Duster can be seen all over the country running match races against the other pros and winning her fair share to boot!" Best performance was listed on the card as 7.17/203. (Photo from Fleer Drag Champ card by Jon Asher)


RC Sherman got his nitro flopper start wheeling the Black Magic Vega in 76 when Al Segrini vacated the cockpit. Sherman was probably the most successful of the Black Magic shoes, won numerous IHRA events with the Vega. For 78 Sherman split from Black Magic team when ex-Top Gas campaigner D.A. Santucci took over the driving chores and debuted the pictured "Black Arrow." Sherman got off to a rumored unceremonious start, being forced to tow the flopper with a 68 Bonneville and flat bed trailer after a crash damaged his tow rig. In the 80s Sherman campaigned the K-Mart backed "Motorvater" Arrow and took over the reins of the Raybestos flopper in the late 80s, winning an IHRA World Championship in the process. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


From St Louis came Don Zoellner and the "Spirit of St Louis" Vega from the late 70s. Zoellner got his start in nitro flopper racing when he leased the Mr. Sinister Camaro in mid-73 from another St Louis based funny car team... the Jokerst Bros after they built the Snidely Whiplash Vega. He confined his racing activities to the mid-west and when the Jokerst's quit racing in 76, Zoellner leased the pictured ex-Snidely Whiplash F/C. The car was re-nosed and power switched to Hemi motivation. Zoellner moved to Indiana in the late 70s and took the Vega with him and after a couple years of infrequent racing, returned the car to the Jokersts. (Photo by Don Eckert, info courtesy of Jerry Jokerst)


Ray Alley's Engine Master's Charger pictured at the 73 NHRA Winternationals with Kenny Bernstein at the helm. Bernstein previously shoed an Engine Masters Cougar for Alley in 70 and drove the pictured car to a runner-up finish at the Winternats. Alley's previous flopper efforts included an Engine Masters Dodge Charger in the mid-60s, a series of Plymouth bodied F/C's to close out the 60s and start the 70s, then a Buttera built Mustang for the 71 season before the Charger was built in 72. Alley might be best remembered for being runner-up at the first NHRA event to feature Funny Cars, the 69 NHRA Winternationals with a Cuda bodied flopper. After giving up F/C racing Alley went on to drive Age of Aquarius rocket dragster in 77, became Bernstein's crew chief in 1980! (Photo from Amalie Handout courtesy of Gary Osborn)


One of Ford's mainstays from the mid-60s to the early 70s was Michigan's Connie Kalitta. It was Kalitta who introduced the SOHC and Boss 429 motors to fuel racing with his T/F entries, but by his pictured 72 ride, the "Bounty Hunter" had made the switch to Hemi power. Among Kalitta's other accomplishments were his tutelage of Shirley Muldowney into the F/C and T/F ranks and giving a young Tripp Shumake his first driving assignment...  in a Bounty Hunter Mustang when Kalitta was unable to show for a match race obligation. Following the above flopper, Kalitta went back to his T/F roots in the mid-70s, but remerged in the flopper ranks in the mid-80s with a Mustang driven by son Scott and sponsored by his own Kalitta Flying Service. (Photo from Amalie handout, courtesy of Randy McGinnis)


From Div 5 came Rob Williams' Vega, circa 1973. Williams confined his activities mostly to the "high country;" first taste of nitro came with an A/FD in 68. In 70, Williams moved up to AA/FD, set national record but never got credit because Garlits ran a quicker mark the same weekend. Williams went F/C racing in 72 with the Williams Bros Cuda, debuted pictured Vega the following season. Due to a lack of funds, Williams abandoned his solo effort, took over the reins of Ed Mullins rear engined Duster flopper in 74, wrenched the Assassination Duster and drove the Hell's Cargo Mustang before going on to drive for Roger Guzman fulltime in 76/77. The Kerchal and Guzman "Super Rat" Monza followed before Williams took over the reins of the Guzman tuned killer Assassination Arrow to close out the 70s. (Photo by "Pete" Garramone)


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