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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 29: Featuring Charlie Allen's Charger, Junior Brogdon’s Phony Pony Mustang, Kip Brundage's Parts Mart Camaro, Ed Carter's Young American Corvette, Barry Kelly's Machine Gun Kelly Corvair, Ed Lenarth's Holy Toledo Jeep, Bob McFarland's Demon, Clyde Morgan’s Exp. Javelin AMC Javelin, Tom Sturm's Camaro, and Tom Zedaker's Family Affair Mustang.


Billed as the “All American Boy,” Charlie Allen was a sponsor and race promoter’s dream. Charlie backed up that image as one of the toughest funny car racers of the sixties and early seventies. Allen began his funny car career with the species' beginnings in Super Stock. In Dodge bodied cars sponsored by local California dealers, he made the leap to the altered wheel based factory experimental cars. Allen followed the progression with a Dodge Polara that finally ran 8.03 with a blower in 1966. The Dodge Dart that Charlie built in 1967 became his most famous car. A new Challenger replaced it in late 1969.

“The All American Boy” raced nationwide until 1971 with too may victories to list here. Allen had this new “Mr. Ed” bodied Charger built in 1971. Charlie traveled less with this Charger. He did manage to set an NHRA National Speed Record at 222.22 mph with the car (with a 6.82 elapsed time) in 1972. Allen retired from racing in 1972 and turned to business. He ran Orange County International Raceway until its closing in 1983 and since has run Firebird International in Phoenix. (Photo from Drag Race Memories; info from Draglist.com files)


Junior Brogdon’s series of “Phony Pony” cars will be remembered best for the wild Mustang mounted on the dragster chassis. The car was a failure, but its oddity gained it a following in the late sixties in Southern California. Brogdon had success racing in AHRA Formula Stock before building the “Phony Pony” Mustang. The “Phony Pony” was built in 1967 using many engine variations. The car used both blown and unblown small block Ford engines and even used two engines sometimes. The car was shunned for not being a real funny car and was relegated to infrequent match races.

Junior built a new 1969 Mustang funny car in 1969 that was completely different than the old Mustang. It had a typical space frame of the era, a 392 Chrysler Hemi engine, and stock styled body. The new car was legal and much quicker than the narrow Phony Pony. In it, Brogdon ran sevens with ease. Junior raced the car until the end of 1970, then moved to Oklahoma and quit racing. He returned to race a Pro Stock Pinto in the mid-seventies with little success. (Photo from Drag Racing Memories; info from Bill Duke and Draglist.com files)


Kip Brundage was better than many of the leaker funny cars that appeared in the late ‘60s. The Parts Marts Camaro debuted in 1967 with an injected Chevy Rat. Brundage drove the car until 1970, which is approximately when this photo was taken. The team switched to a supercharged Chevy L-88 427 by this time. Note the use of the old school Hilborn injector, which many had stopped using by this time. The Northern California team rarely came south, opting to race at NoCal tracks such as Fremont and Sacramento.

The team’s best outing was the 1970 Governor’s Cup race at Sacramento Dragway. Brundage ended the race as runner up to the “Snake.” The Parts Mart car’s unique paint scheme was done with the help of famed drag racing filmmakers, the Jackson Brothers. Jamie Jackson took a candle and allowed the smoke to permeate the wet paint. The process caused a weird frosted cobweb design. The car finally ran in the 7.40 range at 195 plus before being retired. Parts Mart also sponsored an injected altered and dragster along with this funny car. (Photo by Drag Racing Memories; notes by Bill Duke)


Ed Carter was from the Northern California area. He began racing funny cars after buying Steve Bovan’s Chevy II in 1966. Carter ran the car under the “Chevy II Heavy” banner for a couple of years. He dropped out of racing for year or so, then returned to the funny car wars in 1969 with the “Young American” Corvette. While sorting out the car, Ed raced mostly in Northern California. He traveled to Southern California when the car started running sevens and was able to qualify for the open SoCal shows.

Booked in shows were rare for the Southern California area and cars had to qualify to earn their money. The car began with a Chevy Rat engine built by Del Doss of Brooks and Doss dragster fame, but Carter switched to a 392 Chrysler before retiring. Ed used Rick Guasco’s engine out of the “Pure Hell” AA/FA, and the night’s winnings in netted more money for Guasco than the last race he’d attended with the altered. This prompted Guasco to build a funny car of his own. The “Young American” was raced throughout the 1970 season. (Photo from Drag Race Memories; notes from Bill Duke and Danny White)


Barry Kelly was one of several African American funny car racers that raced out of Southern California during the ‘70s. He debuted the beautiful candy apple red “Machine Gun Kelly” Corvair in 1970. The car was built by Exhibition Engineering, the same shop that built the Pisano Bros.’ Corvair. Kelly’s car featured a supercharged Chevrolet Rat Engine with a Hilborn injector. Fellow funny car racer Doug Thorley was an associate sponsor on this car. The car was a fusion of steel and fiberglass, making it too heavy by the end of 1970. Kelly parked the car by the end of the year after running seven-second times.

Kelly returned a couple of years later with a new Hemi-powered “Machine Gun Kelly” Vega in 1974. It was a mishap in the Vega that gave Kelly his greatest claim to fame. While racing at the P.R.O. Nationals on Long Island, the car caught fire. Kelly ran the Vega into the back of the “Fireball Vega” with Paul Smith at the wheel. Kelly retired from drag racing afterward. The photo of Machine Gun Kelly on fire is one of the most recognizable photos of the 70s. (Photo from Drag Racing Memories; info from Dale Pulde, Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Danny White)


The "Holy Toledo” might have been as aerodynamic as a brick, but it was tough to beat. It was built by Ed Lenarth and Brain Chuchua in late 1968 after the breakup of the ‘Secret Weapon” team of Roger Wolford and Lenarth. The ‘Secret Weapon” had proven itself to the point that Jeeps were banned from legal funny car action. The new “Holy Toledo” was built with state of the art equipment of the time. It raced in open SoCal races and match races. Roger Wolford left to drive the “Mako Shark Corvette, leaving Lenarth to drive for himself.

Ed could hang with the best California had to offer at that time. According to the Draglist.com files, the best times for the car were a tough 7.37 at 197 mph. The ”Holy Toledo” Jeep was raced until 1971. The car that replaced it was even wilder, a rear engine sidewinder Gremlin. Bob Hightower wrecked the car before the body was done. Lenarth retired from asphalt drag racing and took the Jeep to the dirt. The car was a winner on the sand, too. It was finally retired from the sand to sit outside Lenarth’s shop. In 2004, Lenarth restored the car to 1970 specifications. (Photo from Drag race Memories; info from Draglist.com files)


Bob McFarland had a short but memorable funny car career from 1968 to 1971. He began with the “Mastercharge” Nova that featured a Chevrolet Rat engine backed by an automatic transmission. In 1970, McFarland rebuilt the Nova and had his best year in racing. The car won the Arizona State Championships at Beeline Raceway and the biggest funny car race of the year, the Manufacturer’s Race at Orange County. The win by McFarland has been considered by some the biggest upset in funny car history. The Nova ran sevens all night to beat a 100 plus car field.

The money earned with this win, plus the sale of the Nova, allowed McFarland to build this new Dodge Demon. The Demon was a state of the art car. It had the latest Chrysler Hemi engine and clutch setup inside a new style dragster chassis that funny cars were beginning to use. The car ran low sevens until it was destroyed in a fire at Lions. Mickey Thompson pulled McFarland from the fire. The fire and loss of his new car prompted Bob to retire from racing. (Photos from Drag Racing Memories; info from Bill Duke and Draglist.com Files)


Clyde Morgan’s “Exp. Javelin” was one of a handful of AMC funny cars that raced during the late sixties and early seventies. The car was built in 1969 by Fletcher chassis with a full suspension. The Southern California American Motors Dealers Association sponsored the “Exp. Javelin.” The valve covers read “AMC,” but a 427 Chevrolet Rat really provided the power. The car’s known best time was a 7.49 at a strong 200.35 mph. It was one of first funny cars to break the 200 mph barrier. This was Morgan’s best-known ride and the only one he toured with. Morgan also drove Charlie Wilson’s “Vicious Vette,” Dickie Harrell’s Camaro, and Tom Sturm’s “Just 4 Chevy Lovers” Corvair. The “Exp. Javelin” was moderately successful until the end of the 1970 season. Morgan built a new Trans Am in 1971 but retired soon afterward. (Photo from Drag Racing Memories; notes from Draglist.com files)


Tom Sturm was one of the first funny car racers in the United States. The “Just 4 Chevy Lovers” Chevelle was a fan favorite. Sturm shared the driver’s seat with famous racers such as Bob Churchill, Tom Jacobsen, Mark Bullet, Bob Smith, Gordon Mineo, Clyde Morgan, and Dale Armstrong. When Sturm rebuilt the “Swapper” into this Camaro, he took over the driver’s seat again. The Camaro’s success was limited, running in the seven-second range with speeds in the upper 190s. The old style space frame chassis was too heavy compared to the new John Buttera style dragster chassis his competitors were using. Sturm crashed this Camaro at Lion’s Drag Strip. His last funny car in 1973 came complete with a roof-mounted, top fuel-style wing. The new Camaro, like this one, was not as successful as his early rides. (Photo from Drag Racing Memories; info from Bill Duke and Draglist.com files)


Tom Zedaker was among a handful of low-buck funny racers that raced in the Southwest during the early seventies. Zedaker’s funny car career was short, lasting two to three years at best. Tom worked as a peace officer in Nevada to support his racing team. The “Family Affair” Mustang was the second flopper raced by the Zedaker team. The first car, the “Trouble Maker II” Camaro, was raced in 1971. Zedaker’s best finish was making it to the finals at a Sacramento Raceway Division 7 race. The “Family Affair” featured a 392 Chrysler in the soon to be outdated space frame chassis design. The car ran into the seven-second range. Zedaker left funny car racing by 1973. (Photo from Drag Racing Memories; text from Draglist.com files and Bill Duke) 


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