Funny Cars 1965-1979

Page 153



This page features shots of some of the cars that were at ground zero of what became the funny car phenomenon of the late 60's. Some were very cool, some very crude, all innovative and all pre 1969. Some are already on WDIFL but not in this quality.


This may be stretching it but Bill Thomas's altered wheel base "Retribution II" 1965 Nova with Dick Harrell driving was a clear sign of things to come.



On the cutting edge of what would later be tagged "funny cars" was Jack Chrisman seen here testing a new chassis at Irwindale in 1966.



Another ground zero car was Don Kirby's Corvette Auto Parts BB/A in 1965. Kirby on the left watches as Pat Foster gets strapped in. It was Foster's first "door car" ride.

"When Scrima and I had Exhibition Engineering in the mid to late sixties, Don Kirby and I became good friends because he painted some of our clients stuff. Don had the Corvette Auto Parts coupe that I think his brother Bud drove some. Don contracted John Garrison to build a stroked 427 BB Chev. engine for that car. The car was horrid, short, high, rectangular tube frame, straight front axle, much like the 'Gassers' of the day. I loved Garrison and agreed to drive it when they got the new engine in it. It was a genuine 'Kill yer' self kit' as Olin would say! I made about five attempts to get her down through there with very scary results. I told Kirby, no more, that's it."  Pat Foster



Dick Harrell really hit the big time in this super clean 1966 Chevy II.



Maynard Rupp in the Detroit based "Chevoom" rear engine Malibu SS at Pomona in 1966. Just one of the many odd aka funny cars during the classes genesis.



Joining "Chevoom" in the odd department was the Plymouth Dealers mid-engine 1966 Barracuda driven by Tom McEwen. It had become the "Flying Fish" soon after the in 1965 when it took flight on the top end of Lions and rolled nearly another 1/4 mile.



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Over 470,000 photos on entire site!



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