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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 23: Featuring Rich McMichaels, the Pink Chablis Vega, Rick Williamson's Hairy Canary, Jr. Monza, Ron Williams' Mustang II, Bill Hoge's Willie and the Poor Boys Vega, Leon Cain's Mustang, Larry Van Zandt's Monza, Rodney Flournoy's Mustang, Gary Southern in John Lindsay's Impulse Vega, Ray Romund in the Romund's Chariot Astre, and Dave Uyehara's Kamikaze Monza.


Rick McMichaels' Pink Chablis Chevy Vega

One of the most finished funny cars of the seventies was the Pink Chablis. Owned by Rich McMichaels, the Pink Chablis was chromed, polished, and anodized from top to bottom. The Donovan-powered Vega had three drivers in its career: McMichaels, Jake Johnston, and JoAnn Reynolds. The owner was driving in this shot at Ontario. The car was seen mostly at Western match races through the late seventies. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Rick Williamson's Hairy Canary Chevy Monza

Rick Williamson is more famous as the son of Don Williamson and brother of Bret Williamson. Rick was an up-and-coming racer when the Hairy Canary, Jr. Monza hit the track. Rick had driven an AA/DA in Pro Comp and for a while, drove both cars in some races. The Hairy Canary, Jr. was a return to funny cars for Don Williamson after a three-year hiatus. In a 1985 National Dragster article, Rick said the car was a "leaker" and that it ran a best of 6.33 at 233 mph. The Hairy Canary, Jr. later switched to alcohol. Rick and Bret Williamson both drove the car in TA/FC. Rick Williamson retired form driving in the mid-eighties. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Ron Williams' Ford Mustang II

Ron Williams' funny car career lasted over a decade. All of Williams' funny cars were immaculate. Ron's first funny car was the Shakey Pinto in 1972. The Williams & Schirmer Dodge Charger came next. The Mustang II in the photo is his least known ride. Being very appealing in appearance did not make it a winner, however. This car was mostly a bottom of the ladder runner in the incredibly tough Division 7 wars. Before retiring, Williams again raced versions of the Williams & Schirmer and Shakey funny cars. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Hoge Bros. Willie and the Poor Boys Chevy Vega

Willie and the Poor Boys racing team was comprised of the Hoge Brothers and friends. Bill Hoge did the driving and brother Larry did the tuning. Before going funny car racing, the team had raced gassers, Junior Fuelers, and Pro Comp. The Hoge Bros. were the third owners of this Vega after Gary Ormsby and Jack Holsey. This car raced on "nitro" or "alky," depending on the race. A cast-iron Hemi backed by a three-speed transmission powered the Vega. The Hoge Bros. raced it in 1977 and 1978. It was repainted with the Polyglycoat logo but the sponsorship deal fell through. The Hoge Bros. raced two more funny cars and a transformer AA/Fuel Altered before retiring. Bill Hoge's stunt driving can be seen in movies such as Hot Rod, American Graffiti II, and Heart Like A Wheel. (JW Last Photo)


Leon Cain's Ford Mustang

Leon Cain was one of several African American funny car drivers in California during the seventies. Leon Cain began racing this Mustang with the help of Eddie Flournoy. Cain raced the Mustang from 1976 to 1979. Leon's best performance in the car had to be at the 1977 March Meet, where he ran a 6.44 to qualify near the top of the field. While Cain was usually not a contender for low E.T. of the race, he got it down the track more often than not. That's what made Leon Cain a good match racer. Cain raced one more funny car after this one, the seldom seen "Ebony Prince" Omni. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Larry Van Zandt's Chevy Monza

Larry Van Zandt's Monza was a regular at West Coast races during the late seventies and early eighties. It is seen here towing back from another run at Orange County. The Monza was good for mid sixes at best. The Northern California based racer shows the scars of an accident in this shot. Just fix it and keep racing! (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Gary Southern in John Lindsay's Impulse Chevy Vega

Gary Southern has driven just about everything, an impressive list of cars spanning several classes (and much too long to list here). Gary Southern's longest ride had to be John Lindsay's Impulse. Gary drove for John from 1976 to 1979. Lindsay started building this Impulse in 1973 and finished it by 1976. Lindsay was in fact the first driver of this car but decided that driving was not for him. The cast-iron Hemi was an underdog favorite to win, running times in the mid-sixes for the most part. In 1977, Lindsay bought a new Vega body for the car along with a 27 Ford T body. Lindsay continued racing through 2003 with other hired drivers in AA/FC and AA/FA. The year 2003 was scheduled to be the Impulse's final tour, but don't be surprised to see the independent funny car team pop up at one of the Western races. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Rodney Flournoy's Ford Mustang

Rodney Flournoy was only 17 years old when he began driving this Mustang in 1977. The car was owned by tuned by Rodney's dad Eddie Flournoy, who bought the car from Jerry Ruth. The team's sparse finances did not allow for a new paint job. They began racing with a cast-iron Hemi, good enough for match racing. The young African American racer enjoyed amazing popularity in So-Cal, so much so that he was simply known as Rodney. The Flournoy family raced this car until 1985, picking up a new Omni body in 1981. Flournoy also raced the alcohol classes in the 1980s. At one event, he raced in three classes! Flournoy raced AA/FCs until 1993, when rising costs and a lack of match racing began to decimate independent funny car teams. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Ray Romund's 'Romund's Chariot' Pontiac Astre

This was low buck racer Ray Romund's first AA/FC. Ray had just switched over to nitro from alcohol, but the car still retained its BB/FC class lettering. The Romund's Chariot was the Pontiac version of the Vega called the Astre. Romund still used the aging 392 Chrysler Hemi for power. Romund's Chariot ran in the sixes with the 392, but later got a Donovan. Ray Romund was a regular at Orange County from 1977 to 1982. The final Romund's Chariot had a severe fire in 1982. Romund never rebuilt the car and retired from racing. It has been said that Ray Romund still has the final car in his garage. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


Dave Uyehara's Kamizake Chevy Monza

Dave Uyehara is a famed chassis builder by trade and fuel racer on the side. Dave made a short foray into the fuel funny car wars in 1976 with the Kamikaze Chevy Monza. The car ran big numbers right out of the gate, including a great 6.15 at the 1976 Fremont points race. This was Uyehara's shining moment in funny cars and was immortalized in the film American Nitro. The Kamikaze, like many other cars Uyehara drove, was destroyed in a crash in 1977. Uyehara went back to Top Fuelers in 1978. (Photo courtesy of Mike Ditty)


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