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
Previous Cars 1
Previous Cars 2
Previous Cars 3
Previous Cars 4
Remember When?
Where Are They Now?
Lost & Found FCs
Forgotten FCs
Berserko & JJ
FC Links

Round 37: Featuring Division 5 funny cars, including Kenz & Leslie, Art Ward, Curt Wasson, the “30 Below” Vega, Bill Schifsky, Tom Hoover, Danny Miller, Ron Salzbrunn, Kyle Green, and the Jackson Bros.

Kenz & Leslie are Colorado racing legends, but especially in drag racing. In the 1960s, they raced in several different classes in drag racing. The Kenz & Leslie team raced fuelers, blown sports cars, and funny cars. The cars all were Ford powered and mostly driven by Roy Leslie, Jr. In 1966, the “777” team got one of the Logghe Bros. built Comets to race due to their connections. Their success allowed them to become the premier funny car from Colorado in the late ‘60s. The “High Country Cougar III” was the third funny car the team raced. Run in 1969 and 1970, the Cougar was a seven-second car in the rare air. It was replaced a by Mercury Comet in 1971. The team retired from drag racing by the end of the year. (Photo provided by Drag Racing Memories; info from The Draglist files)

Art Ward and Jerry Bradley formed the “Henchman” funny car team and raced this 1968 Cougar in 1970. The car was the former Kenz & Leslie “777/High Country Cougar II.” Ward had previously driven the “Assassination” AA/MSP Corvette and MG, and the original “Assassination” Corvair AA/FC of Roger Guzman in the late ‘60s. Jerry Bradley had raced the “Henchman” Camaro funny car as an AA/Altered. Both men were successful in Colorado drag racing events in the late ‘60s. The team had an average year with the Cougar. In 1971, Art Ward built the first “Avenger” AA/FC. (Photo courtesy of David Ray; info from The Draglist files)

Curt Wasson was one of the Midwest’s best Chevy racers in the late sixties and early seventies. The bright Day-Glo yellow “Superstitious” Camaro was very easy to spot in a crowd. The 1968 Camaro was powered by Chevrolet’s 427 semi-hemi engine backed with an automatic transmission. Wasson match raced the car almost everywhere east of the Rockies. The Camaro ran sevens at 190 plus according to Draglist files. The Camaro became outdated by the end of 1970, and for the 1971 season, Curt drove for Ira Hollensbe in the “Super Star” Vega. The new Vega was one of the first Chevys to run in the sixes. Wasson later toured Puerto Rico and built the “Million Dollar Baby” Monza. Curt Wasson was killed in a highway accident before he could race the new car. (Fred Simmons photo courtesy of David Dilbeck at www.georgiadragracing.com; info from Draglist files)

The “30 Below” Vega was a great name for a funny car from Fargo, North Dakota. Tom Fischer had the car built with the best of everything, including a late model 426 Hemi by Ed Pink and paint by Don Kirby. Jim Swedberg and Byron Nelson both drove the car in competition. Nelson became the full time driver after Swedberg suffered an accident in the car. Byron drove the car in match races, local divisional races, and at a very few national events. Best times were in the high sixes at 200 MPH plus. Fischer and Nelson went BB/FC racing in 1974 only to tip the can again with the “Foxy Lady” Monza. (Photo provided by Gary Grant; info from Byron Nelson and the Draglist files)

Bill Schifsky was a nitro veteran by the time the “Cox” Pinto hit the tack. The trailer manufacturer had raced AA/Fuel Dragsters in the sixties and teamed with Tom Hoover on the “White Bear Dodge” funny car. Schifsky got one the great sponsorships of the ‘70s from Cox Models, builders of nitro powered scale model cars and planes. The Cox company sold many 1/16 scale nitro powered Pintos to model lovers. Randy Scrimer drove the low riding, late model hemi powered Pinto in 1971, then was replaced by Doc Halladay. The Pinto’s best time according to the Draglist files is a 6.74. Schifsky later raced the “Beartown Shaker” funny cars until the early ‘80s. (Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Memories; info from the Draglist files, Dennis Doubleday, and Bill Duke)

Tom Hoover left the top fuel ranks to drive the “White Bear Dodge” in 1970. There were four different “White Bear Dodge” funny cars. Gary Algory and Bill Schifsky owned the first couple of cars. Hoover alone owned the last two. The first two machines were painted basic solid colors and the final two were decked out in candy colors, something that became a Tom Hoover tradition. The pictured Charger was built in 1973 and ran mid sixes. In 1974, the team split up, and Hoover built the first Showtime Vega. (Photo from Drag Racing Memories, info from the Draglist files)

The Danny Miller Dodge Challenger began life as the former LA Hooker Maverick, a Fiberglass Trends Maverick shell on an S&R Race Cars chassis. A blower explosion destroyed the Maverick body in Wichita, KS, during the summer of 1972 and Miller installed a new Ron Pellegrini Challenger body with the help of Fran's Pit Stop. The Challenger body still sees action; it’s now mounted on the Westport Dodge nostalgia machine. In 1972, Miller used a 426 inch Keith Black cast iron block with iron heads and goodies such as an Isky cam, Bowers blower, Cragar drive, and Enderle injection. In ’73, Miller stepped up to a 454 C.I. Chrysler. The best ET for the car was a 6.43 and a bunch of 6.50s. Danny tuned and drove with Bob Aroldi or Bob Hafele along to help.

Miller quit racing his car in late 1973, and Don Schumacher recommended to Shirley Muldowney that she hire Danny as her crew chief. Miller tuned Shirley’s car in late 1973 and Bill Taylor's Super Duster for four months in 1974 before leaving racing entirely. Before the 1972 season, Danny Miller had raced a Willys gasser and the former Ramchargers ‘67 Dart on the Injected UDRA circuit. The MCS Enterprises Dart in finished 2nd in UDRA points in 1968. Miller built the “Plastic Fantastic” funny car in the winter of ‘69-‘70. Danny believes it was the first modern narrow funny chassis. After racing, Miller became a manufacturer’s rep for the computer industry until he retired in 1996. He now builds rear ends in his garage five days a week. Some retirement! (Photo provided by Don Eckert; text and info provided by Danny Miller)

Ron Salzbrunn began his fuel funny car career in the final “Jungle Jim” Monza. Salzbrunn bought the Monza from Jungle’s brother Bob Liberman, after Bob had unsuccessfully campaigned the car with Carl Ruth driving. Ron Salzbrunn had the same lack of success with the car after a moderately successful career in UDRA BB/FC racing. In 1979, Salzbrunn kept the “Jungle Jim” logo on the Monza and managed to finish in the top ten in Division 5 points.

In the ‘80s, the car was renamed the “Twin Cities Shaker” and managed a best time of 6.40 seconds. Ron had a very dangerous accident in the car in 1982, when the throttle hung on the way to the burnout box. The Monza went out of control and into the guardrail, with Salzbrunn exiting the still running car. An official shut off the car with a fire extinguisher. No one was hurt in the incident, but Salzbrunn retired soon afterwards. (Photo courtesy of Hugh Munro; info from the Draglist files, Bret Kepner, and Hugh Munro)

Kyle Green entered the funny car wars with the “Mile High Express.” The Firebird was originally built as the “Mob” Fiat AA/Fuel Altered. Ed Moore drove the car in 1977 and then Miller and Moore sold the car to Al Arriaga. Al raced the car as a “transformer,” switching between the “Mob” Fiat body and the “Spanish Galleon” Trans Am body as bookings required. Kyle Green and the Green Family bought the car from Arriaga, who purchased another funny car from Roland Leong. The young Kyle Green began racing the car in AA/FC, but the cost of racing the car on nitro and Kyle’s lack of experience prompted an exodus to TA/FC by 1981. The “Mile High Express” TA/FC team still races to this day with hired drivers. (Handout courtesy of the J.W. Last files; info from the Draglist files)

The “High Heaven” team officially did not get their funny car start in the ‘70s. Instead, the Jackson Bros. spent the seventies as the premier AA/FA team in Colorado. In 1979, the Jacksons began to build the Vega AA/FC in order to race more often. The beautiful Vega began with the team’s blown fuel Chevy, and later switched to an aluminum Rodeck Chevy. Cal Jackson did the driving while Les handed the tuning. The Ken Cox built Vega hit mid-sixes while running mostly match races, Division 5 events, and an occasional national event. Photo courtesy of www.autoimagery.com; info from Les Jackson and the Draglist files)

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