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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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Round 17: Featuring the Chicago Patrol Mustang II, the Pure Hell Demon, Keith Smith's Nova, Clarence Bailey, the Sno-Town Shaker, the Super Twister Camaro, Tom Johannsen's Sour Grapes Cuda, Mr. Ed Satellite, Rapid Ronnie Runyan, Playboy Magazine Special Corvette, the Gold Digger Mustang, and the Fireball Vega.


From Chapman Automotive in Chicago came the Chicago Patrol Mustang. Doubling as a promotional liaison for the Chicago Police Department, car debuted in the early 1975 with Allen Gillis wrenching and ex-Chi-Town Hustler shoe Ron Colson at the helm who soon vacated the cockpit to vagabond flopper shoe Pat Foster. Dale Pulde followed in late 75, early 76. In later 76, after crashing the Fever Vette, Ed O'Brien bought the car and did a stint at the wheel before the car was sold to Fred Goeske who bought it after crashing his own car at Portland. Tom Anderson drove it while Goeske was on the mend... Goeske later converted the Mustang to a Rocket FC. While piston powered car was a multi-sanctioning body national event regular, best finish was runner up at 75 IHRA Summernationals to the Blue Max. (Photo courtesy of Don Eckert)


A follow up to the highly popular Pure Hell AA/FA of the late 60s was this Demon bodied funny car campaigned by Rich Guasco and partner Larry Huff. Car debuted in early 72 with Elwyn Carlson, who moved up from blown gassers, at the wheel. Dave Beebe later moved over from the Mr. Ed entry to take over driving chores. Cars magazine said of the flopper "Rich Guasco...  constructed one of the prettiest funnies of the over-abundant 72 season"...  a descriptor that definitely couldn't be used to quantify the year 2000 flopper crop! Car stuck close to the southwest, but did win the 73 NHRA Springnationals with Dave Beebe at the wheel wearing a Soapy Sales Challenger shell. In fact, Huff's Challenger was the Pure Hell entry rebodied for national events; car utilized the pictured Demon body for local shows and match races. (Photo courtesy of Dave Milcarek)


On a cold winter's day in 71, New Jersey's Keith Smith poses with his freshly Circus repainted Logghe chassised Nova flopper. Car was originally built in 69 as an eastern match race F/C campaigned as the all black J&F Super Special. For the 71 season new paint scheme was also complimented with a move from Rat power to 426 Hemi motivation coupled to a Lenco 2 speed. Car was sold at the end of the 71 season and in conjunction with opening Garden State Speed in 72, Smith bought Paul Aray's Illusion Maverick and converted the car to alcohol. He campaigned the car on the east coast during the 73 & 74 season before funds ran out and he retired. After 74 Keith went on tour wrenching for Larry Fullerton and the Maverick was sold to Don Hulse. Hulse sold the body to Dwight Meyers, who put it on an ex-Jungle (Camaro) chassis and called it "Love, Labor & Luck." Interestingly Keith's brother Jerry found the Nova for sale in the northeast in 98 and today campaigns it as a nostalgia flopper! (Photo and info courtesy of Jerry Smith)


Clarence Bailey was one of the few Black fuel racers from SoCal in the 70s...  short list included Rodney Flournoy and Leon Cain. He ran nitro floppers from the mid-70s through the end of the decade. Bailey ran a slightly dated Hemi powered "King Cougar" 71 Cougar in 74 and 75, ran this "King Boogaloo" Duster from 76-79 and stepped up in 1980 with a Challenger. Bailey was one of the many floppers owners in the 70s that confined efforts to match racing and open local shows filling the almost weekly nitro events occurring on the west coast. Bailey's entries almost always made the show, rarely advanced past the first couple rounds. In 95 he came back for a short time with a TA/FC Firenza. (Photo by John Shanks, info courtesy of Danny White, Bill Pratt and Bill Duke)


Jack Chrisman could arguably be considered the "father of the funny car" dating back to his blown Sachs and Son Mercury Comet of 64. Chrisman was well out in front of the early funny car craze, had one of the first flip-top Comets with his dominating GT-1 entries of the mid/late 60s time frame. Chrisman stuck with SOHC power, went with a Mustang for 69 and was one of the original members and the original captain of the Coke Cavalcade circuit. Pictured car was campaigned by Chrisman in 70 with limited success on the West Coast still utilizing SOHC power. Towards end of 71 season Chrisman returned to his sidewinder roots of the 50s with a chain driven rear engined SOHC powered Mustang bodied F/C. According to Hot Rod magazine, Nov 71, rationale was "...  why not turn the motor sideways and let torque act to "bury" the rear wheels." Chrisman never campaigned the car which went on to become John Force's first funny car called the "Night Stalker." (Photo by Pat Smith)


Nelson Lengle's Sno-Town Shaker Arrow out of Lakewood, CO., ignites with NM's Dave Benjamin chauffeuring at the 78 NHRA World Finals at Ontario...  an event famous over the years for devouring floppers. In 76 first Sno-Town Shaker F/C entry was ex-Smokey Joe Lee Charger from early 70s driven by Frank O'Brien. Although the car wasn't too competitive, it did manage to win the Div 7 final at Bonneville that year with a best ET of 8.56. Pictured Sno-Town Shaker Arrow debuted in 78, initially driven by O'Brien who later gave way to Albuquerque chassis builder Benjamin who was at the wheel when the car was destroyed on the pictured pass. Challenger bodied flopper debuted in 79 with Benjamin, then Brian Conway at the helm. Ford Dealership put up some $$$ in 80 and the Challenger grille was filled in, car repainted to look like a Mustang, which later gave way to a Corvette body in the early 80s. (Photo by John Shanks, info courtesy of Bob Gibson)


From NY in 1971 came the Haskett and Petrocelli "Super Twister" Camaro driven by Joe Petrocelli. Team started in the early 60s, worked their way up through the gasser and altered ranks before going F/C racing in 70 with the ex-Super Shaker Corvair. Car didn't make too many straight passes, ultimately met it's demise at Cecil County MD early in the season after a squirrelly pass that ended up in a ditch at the finish line. Rear spoiler proclaimed "You Have Just Been Twisted," an irony not lost on photographers at the race. This Rat powered Logghe chassised Camaro followed, was raced with limited success in the northeast through 71 when the car was sold and become part of the ill-fated, short-lived UHRA alcohol funny car "circuit." (Photo by Ted Pappacena)


Tom Johannsen ran the purple Cuda bodied "Sour Grapes" F/C out of the mid-west in the early 70s. Car got it's start in the late 60s as Al Vanderwoude's "Flying Dutchman" Charger...   Johannsen purchased the car, repainted it purple and renamed the car "Sour Grapes"...  a reflection of the car's purple color and the team's propensity for throwing sour grape candy into the stands. Charger body gave way to the pictured Cuda shell in 71. In 72 Johannsen moved to Kansas City to drive the "Flying Dutchman's" Maverick and Mustang floppers. Following a serious fire in the Mustang, Johannsen and Vanderwoude went their separate ways. Johannsen returned in 74 with a yellow Cuda bodied, Chevy powered alcohol F/C sponsored by Midwest Technical Institute where he was an automotive instructor. He retired from F/C racing in 76. Today he is still involved in motor sports, drives a IMCA Late Model dirt car that still retains it's Sour Grapes heritage with a purple chassis and body accents. (Photo and info courtesy of Joel Johannsen and Ladena Johannsen)


Debuting in 72 was the first Satellite bodied F/C, a body style conceived of by "Mr. Ed" Willis from Fresno. Initial Satellite was team effort between driver Dave Beebe, Mr. Ed and Art Whipple, previously of the killer Whipple and McCulloch effort and was a follow-up to a Charger bodied flopper campaigned the year before. Following Beebe's departure Mike Snively drove the car, toured back east on the IHRA circuit for a period. In 73 ex-Schumacher shoe Bobby Rowe took over reins of the pictured Mr. Ed car, held NHRA national record at 6.29/232. In 74 Jack Martin took over reins of the Mr. Ed car but was soon replaced by Leroy Goldstein. Concurrent with running funny cars, in the mid-70s Mr. Ed entry also held drag boat top speed record at 202. Pictured car went on to become the only non-Chevy bodied F/C campaigned by Mike Burkhart, driven by Richard Tharp in 75. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories)


Ronnie Runyan's "Rapid Ronnie" Vega from Missouri, circa 1973. Origins of the "Rapid Ronnie" name came in 66... Ron reports: "I had a blown nitro Corvette that handled terribly, so many people thought I might be a little crazy. The announcer at Irwindale began calling me "Rabid" Ronnie but everyone thought he was saying "Rapid" and the name stuck. Now 35 years later many friends and even my wife still call me "Rapid." Pictured 100% Chevrolet entry (even the rear end was a GM product) was descended from that early "Blue Hell" Corvette funny car of the mid-60s which was one of the first blown funny cars on the west coast. Blue Hell Corvair followed, had a three year life span during which Runyan won several AHRA races including the "Mr. Chevrolet" meet in Phoenix in 70 and held the AHRA 1/8 mile record at 5.03/168. Runyan confined his activities with the pictured car to shows in the mid-west and south, opted for match racing and eight car shows with an occasional AHRA event thrown in. (Photo from Ronnie Runyan Handout)


From 1979 comes the short lived Playboy Magazine Special Corvette flopper driven by Jim Adolph. According to Jim "This car was the old [Jim Glenn owned] Shady Glenn S&R Chassis...  Gene Beaver and Pat Johnson bought the car to campaign in Australia that winter. Jim Glenn and I agreed to run the car for them at Ontario, World Finals that year based on the agreement at sale. The Playboy sponsorship was a deal that Beaver dug-up in Australia the last time he was down-under racing. The problem was that LA/Chicago PEI didn't know anything about it. After Ontario the Playboy people got up-set and so Beaver repainted the car to be the LA Hooker which Henry Harrison drove the next season. They never got to Australia that winter so they ran her in the states." (Photo by Joe Fuchita, info courtesy of Jim Adolph)


The Gold Digger flopper line started in the late 60s as the Tension II Camaro campaigned by Bud Richter and Gary Bolger. Gold Digger Mustang was born in the early 70s, won the prestigious Popular Hot Rodding meet in 71. Following a brief stint with a Don Garlits Charger body, car was rebodied as a Mustang, later again as a Charger. Gold Digger Charger won the 73 National Dragster Open in Ohio before David Ray took over the reins in 74 and toured with the Coke Cavalcade and Bolger moved on to campaign the Chapman Automotive T/F car. Bolger and Richter reunited in 76 with this effort before Vic Tiffin took over the helm in the late 70s of the Mustang II bodied effort. Bolger later went on to drive Creasy Family flopper entries into the 90s. (Photo by Michael Beach)


The Phillips and Shores Fireball Vega debuted in 72, was self proclaimed "Florida's Fastest Funny." Former T/F shoe Tom Crevasse shoed original effort in 72, Lou "Funny Gremlin" Azar and Paul Smith wheeled the Vega in 73, then Crevasse returned when Smith moved on to the Sir Wells Charger in mid-73. Smith returned to the Fireball Vega in 74 and had the flopper as high as 2nd in NHRA point standings, finished 3rd overall. Harlan Thompson took over the helm of the Fireball entries in 75. Black version of the Vega followed the pictured orange car, then a Monza closed out the Fireball line in the mid/late 70s. Cars where competitive Div 1 and 2 regulars; arguably biggest win was 1977 32 car New England F/C Nationals at Epping NH. (Photo from Amalie Handout courtesy of Jim White)


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