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70s Funny Cars - Round 19
70s Funny Cars - Round 20
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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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70s Funny Cars: Round 54

Text by Danny White




Kenny Martin was one of the early funny cars racers out of the Pacific Northwest with his homebuilt Funny Corvette. In 1969 the rugged looking car was replaced by the new state of the art Ken's Speed Shop Corvette. The new Corvette was powered by Chevrolet on moderate does of nitromethane to make it competitive but bulletproof. Martin did very well in the Northwest funny car scene during the late sixties and early seventies with the Corvette. Martin added new partner Don Rae and switched over to a new Chrysler powered funny car. Kenny would continue to race his Corvette until 1973 before retiring from racing. (Photo courtesy of Terry Kong; info from Fred Vosk)   



Don Gay was one of the best known funny cars racers of the sixties, but Donís younger brother Roy also raced funny cars. Roy Gay seemed to run his brotherís older cars and did not travel far from the Gay Pontiac home base in Dickinson, Texas. By 1972, Roy was in the cockpit of a Don Hardy built 1970 Pontiac Firebird tuned by James Osteen. Roy ran a known best of 7.23 at 190 in the Infinity Firebird in 1972, but unfortunately lost his life in a highway accident. Don Gay and the Gay family also retired at this point to concentrate on the family dealership. The Gay family returned to racing in 1985 when Don Gay, Jr., began to drive. (Photo by Ray Mann, courtesy of Quarter Milestones)  



Here is a very rare photo of the seemingly forgotten Nitro Alley Vega raced by Fuel Altered owner Bob Sweatt. Sweatt was best known for running the El Toro series of AA/FAs through the seventies. Like many of his altered brethren, he went funny car racing, putting a Vega body on the short, but low-slung El Toro chassis. The driver was most likely Gary Algory who drove the El Toro AA/FA at the time. The Nitro Alley Vega was short lived and the team went back to running the El Toro as an AA/FA and then as an AA/A. (Photo courtesy of Tom Kasch) 



This funny was raced for a very short time in the seventies. Dean and Vic Ferguson's Moonraker Pinto was once the Bob Hankins' Blue Blazer. The Fergusons bought he car and renamed it after the James Bond movie of the same name. The car like many others became outdated because its transitional space frame chassis was made obsolete by the lighter John Buttera style dragster chassis run by the top cars in the class. More stringent chassis rules soon outlawed these early chassis from nitro competition. Cars that raced in the years 1971 and 1972, which saw the highest numbers of funny cars in history, were relegated to use as econo funny cars and bracket racing machines. (Photo courtesy of Tim Newmeyer)  



With the success of Gordie Bonin and others in this car, Frank Kirchner has been forgotten. Kirchner, from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, also drove the Automatic Radio backed Vega for Gordon Jenner and Ron Hodgson for part of the 1973 season. The team had famed So Cal chassis man Don Long build a new car at the beginning of the Ď73 season to replace the 1971 Automatic Radio Vega that the team sold to Mike Lycar. Gordie Bonin began the year in the car, but the unknown Frank Kirchner replaced him at mid-season. Kirchner's high point had to be qualifying for the 1973 U.S. Nationals before fading back into obscurity. In 1974, Bonin returned to the driverís seat of Hodgson and Jenner's funny car. The partnership lasted for the rest of the decade, and the team was one of the top funny cars in North America and by far the most successful outside of the United States. (Photo courtesy of Thomas Nagy; additional info from Bud De Boer)  



Jim Epperson was a funny car racer from Calumet City, Illinois, who raced in the early seventies. Epperson is best known for his previous rides the Beaudry Barracuda and the Schuljak & Epperson Duster, in which he made it to the finals of the National Dragster National Open at Columbus in 1973. In 1974, Jim struck out on his own with this 1973 Mustang. The Mustang body has been forgotten in drag racing history as most remember Eppersonís stock body Duster. Jim could be seen racing mostly at Midwest match races before he retired from drag racing. (Photo by Al Tracy; info from Dennis Doubleday) 
    


The Moore, Pauling, West & Hagan "Voodoo" Vega was previously featured in the Forgotten Funny Cars section  with a later owner but here it is in its prime. The Voodoo was built by the team headed up by driver Sam Hagen, owner of A&P Automotive. The car was sponsored by Aurora Models, a company that was based on Long Island as was the Voodoo team. The team's stint on nitro was very short lived and by 1975 the car returned as a BB/FC with Richie Sullivan driving. The car later returned to AA/FC as the Maximum Force AA/FC driven by Bernie Schacker. (Photo and information courtesy of Tom West) 

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Here is a first for this website, a funny car from the fiftieth state of Hawaii. The Sunsation Mustang was owned by Al Kubo and driven by Stu Kopp. The team had raced a fuel altered and top fuelers in the open Top Eliminator class in Hawaii for almost a decade before building this funny car. The beautiful Sunsation Mustang II was raced only on the islands of Hawaii. One cannot deny that Stu Kopp could do a burnout! Kubo returned in the nineties to field a TA/FC called the Hawaiian Avenger. (Photo and Information courtesy of Paul Maddox and www.hawaiimotorbeat.com)  



Before he achieved fame as a premier chassis builder, Murf McKinney was a journeyman funny car racer. One of the cars he drove was his own machine, the Kentuckiana Monza. McKinney began racing the Monza in 1976 and ran it over the next couple of years. Murf ran the car mostly in match racing and local divisional racing. Though not a big winner, the Kentuckiana Monza was good for solid six second runs and that is what track operators liked. McKinney went back to being a hired driver after the stint in this car and he continued driving into the early eighties. Murf retired from driving and turned his chassis business into one of the top nitro car builders in the country.



The Super Chief of Nelson Carter was one of the best known early funny cars. The series ended in 1973 when Stephen Bernd stuffed the Super Chief into the Orange County International Raceway guardrail. In 1978, Henry Harrison brought the Super Chief name back on his Camaro funny car (forsaking the Vulture name he had used with his previous partners). Harrison won the tough Division Seven championship in the newly renamed Camaro, running into the six-teens. In 1979, Henry and famed tuner Amos Saterlee built this new Plymouth Arrow with the famed Super Chief name. The Arrow ran low sixes but was retired at the end of the year. Harrison would go back to being a hired gun until the mid-eighties. (Photo courtesy of Big Bob Snyder)

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