Here are the last ten of my favorite funny car picks from 1965-1970. I would like to know whether or not you found any of your favorites among these fifty that I have portrayed. As you can tell my list was chosen from when A/FX, S/XS were turning into true funny cars. If you weren't around in those early years, you did miss a lot of changes and great racing in those wild and crazy days. It was a learning process shared by the car owners, drivers and fans alike that developed the funny car into the most popular sport of drag racing then and now.
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His Blue Hell Corvair was a fan favorite wherever it raced. Ronnie and brother Mike
were one of the first of the California funny cars to tour nationwide. When Ronnie was
feeling bad or tired from touring, brother Mike donned Ronnie's fire suit and drove.
In fact Mike was asked by Harry Schmidt to drive his new (not yet) Blue Max Ford Mustang.
However, Mike had promised his dad he would return from touring and finish school.
a car with so much awesome raw horsepower. I had only seen top fuel dragsters smoke the
tires and carry the front wheels. Here was a full size funny car doing that and wow, was that very cool.
Schartman was a true showman in the funny car class and had a huge fan base nationwide.
Hammons, Williamson and Hammons Hairy Canary. The car debuted in early 1967
with Rich Hammons trying to get down the quarter-mile in the ill-handling Valiant.
It was a Kodak moment every pass it made.
Colorado team of Kenz and Leslie. The mild-mannered, Clark Kent look-a-like, Ron Leslie,
was at the controls of the mighty High Country Cougar. The team raced at Fremont, California,
many a time in the late 1960s and did very well.
He and his crew chief/wife Ann toured their Firebird throughout California and across the USA.
Mineo had fires, blew bodies off and hit guardrails. Nothing seemed to get this tough little guy down.
The Mineo's always had their funny car ready for the next race date no matter what.
You have to admire a racer like Mineo.
privateer Randy Walls. He and wife Cheri were regular racers at funny car events with
their Super Nova funny car. In 1969, Walls had one of the most popular cars in Southern California.
I guess it helped that his lovely wife Cheri helped back up the Super Nova after every burn out.
This would have been her second Funny Honey. Her first was a stock looking
Dodge Coronet with a blown nitro burning Hemi. Della and her brother Bernie raced
across the USA with her 1969 Charger S/XS
with Frankie Pisano attempting to drive. Yes, Frankie was fun to watch anytime
the Corvair went down the track. Randy Walls wasn't a big fan of Frankie's driving
when he (Frankie) drove the Pisano funny car into the side of Walls' original Super Nova
at the finish line in Irwindale, California. Both cars tangled up, went over the guard rail
and were destroyed. Both drivers were uninjured. Walls went and bought Hayden Proffit's Corvair
to finish the season and the Pisano Brothers rebuilt their funny car.
came west in 1970. He raced in Scottsdale, Arizona, at an AHRA event; at Pomona, California,
at a NHRA event; and then did open shows at Fremont and OCIR. Federici was well received by
West Coast funny car fans. Here is a little secret about the Shark's tour; Federici had to return home
for business and Clare Sanders filled the driver's seat at Pomona and OCIR (pictured).
that burned to the ground; Junior Brogden's Phony Pony (two injected Ford engines in line) that
was only around for a few races; and then there was Donnie Hampton's Too Bad twin engine
(side by side) Corvette. The Too Bad Corvette wasn't going to set records because of its weight
but it sure sounded cool. Alas, it only ran a handful of times before burning to the ground.
Hampton did not rebuild.
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