Here are a couple of shots
from a photo shoot Tom McEwen did with his Hot Wheels dragster
at Lion County Safari that was located close to OCIR. Here is
the Readers Digest version in his own words.
The keeper, who was standing
at my side, told me to start walking to the car slowly, which
I did just like I had good sense.
The cheetahs were all around
me, and one snarled low in his throat as I inched by. Getting
to the car, I leaned against the slick. One of the cats just
sat there, slowly tilting his head from side to side, sizing
me up. It wasn't a real comfortable feeling.
Alan Earman, (the photographer)
also surrounded by cats, kept his cool, firing off several rolls
of film. Fast wearing out our welcome, the keepers circled behind
us throwing out more meat. The beasts quickly lost interest in
our scrawny butts and headed for the newly laid out buffet. With
our hearts finally returning to a fairly normal rhythm, we set
the Olympic speed record for loading a race car!
It was pretty damned amazing
stuff; I can't believe that it's never been duplicated. With
the new car completed, now came the true test. Would it perform
to the same level as its twin, the ride that had accomplished
so much for Garlits?
Hirata and Hobbs with
Phil Hobbs in the seat in 1971.
Rick Ramsey in the original
Keeling & Clayton RED during the 1972 NHRA Winternationals.
Dave Uyehara a bit over
center during the 1971 Supernationals at OMS.
Terry Capp getting ready to fire
up at Edmonton in 1975. Bernie Fedderly over the engine with
clutch guy Ron Baxter to his right.
Howard Haight in Ron Cochram's
short lived 426 hemi car. Known for their strong running BBC
powered TF cars the hemi switch became necessary if they wanted
to stay competitive. I believe this car only ran a few races