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FINALLY! The First Night!




Nanook, Part 2

It's 1973, the tall car has been sold to Larry Christopherson of Arizona,
who will run it as the "Arizona Wildcat", and Dave Hough needs a new ride.

So, the call goes out to the chassis shop of Dennis Watson.
The first low riding Nanook is to be constructed.
And a beauty it is...Featured here on the cover of Drag Racing USA, April 1973.
Steve Reyes took Dave out to where it was REALLY cold,
a fitting backdrop for the car called "Nanook".

Photo by Steve Reyes

There are 4 pages in this issue featuring Nanook, the third car run by Hough.
Although the article refers to this being Hough's "fifth" AA/FA,
numbers 2-4 were the same car with different paint jobs,
referred to on Page One of the Nanook story.

Tom West photo

Great head-on shot of Nanook, by Tom West, I'll let Tom's words describe the action...
"Another Nanook photo ... this one was a setup shot that we did as part of a complete shoot on the car. Shot it in a gravel quarry where Dave was the foreman or something along that line. We wanted to do some special action shots (Bob McClurg was also shooting the car).

We went over to the parking lot at the Hough's company to do a couple of burnouts, this being the first. I decided that I wanted to get a true head-on shot of the car (as if that was real unusual with the Nanook). We discussed the way we would be doing this thing and Hough agreed.

I would stand out front with my 6X7 and the trusty 400mm lens and wait for him to hit a particular line on the pavement (a parking lot remember). He would carry a bit past that and shut it off. I was going to follow through with the camera and move a couple of steps to my right so he could go by ... sort of like a pass in a bull ring.

Everything was set for the run. The car fired, pulled into the water, and started the burnout ... fortunately going straight at least. I took my shot, as you see, held for a split second so that I didn't move the camera, and took my couple of steps. Dave, however, left out one little detail and never lifted, carrying the burnout past me about 18-inches to my backside and about another 100 feet or so down the parking lot. The header blast almost pushed me into a car, as this thing was really crackling.

To say that it got my attention would be an understatement. I sort of turned to look down at Hough and he could hardly get out of the car from laughing. McClurg, who would not get anywhere near the car in the first place, was going nuts.

I now know what it feels like to play bullfighter to a fuel altered."


A handout from one of Dave Hough's sponsors, Hedman Hedders.

Bob Thompson Photo

More from Dave Hough's garage. That's Dave behind the car with the sideburns.

Bob Thompson Photo

This new car was a success right of the trailer...6.92 seconds at 214 mph at Lions Drag Strip.

Along with the new Dennis Watson frame, Dave had a new partner, Bill Swoger.

This with a 396 (with overbore) iron Hemi, of course with all the trick stuff inside. Although the famous Donovan tunnel port heads were gone, Mondello made Dave's breathing easier.

And again, the Fishbeck twins painted the car green. Bob Thompson was responsible for the lettering.

PHR Cover

Sometimes you just can't get any respect...Popular Hot Rodding had a penchant for these "hot car pulled over by the fuzz" photos, this one from the cover of the September 1973 issue.

Steve Reyes photo

photographer unknown

Nanook at the 1974 Winternationals

Nanook Quarry

Nice posed shot in the quarry that Dave Hough worked at...

Bob McClurg Photo

watson Nanook

The Watson built Nanook heating up the tires...

Photo © Steve Reyes

Photographer unknown

Now here's the same car, different paint, different year. One of the things with the fuel altereds, same as the funny cars, is they had the same problems with fire. And unlike the funnys, the outside of cars usually got burned. So It was just as easy to repaint the whole thing than try to touch 'em up. Fastest time I can find on this car was a 6.54 at 216 MPH.

Yep, it's a Larry Pfister photo. God love Horsepower Heaven 3!

Here's a color shot of the bicentennial paint job of 1976, which was after the car had been sold to Joe Antonelli, but still driven by Dave Hough.

This car was sold at the end of the 1975 season to Joe Antonelli

photographer unknown

You can't see it in this photo, but the name on the side now reads "Dave Hough's Nanook"

And Dave's in the seat in this photo. But on the cowl it reads "Blessing & Antonelli". The paint has changed again, too.

This car is currently owned by Richard Reavis of Arizona...and it's for sale. Not cheap, though.


The Super Shops "Win This Car'

In 1976, Dave got sponsorship from the Super Shops, a national chain of speed shops. This car was to be given away to a lucky winner at the 1977 Supernationals, which was the last race of the season.

Photographer Unknown

This car originally ran a Donovan engine, but after an engine explosion, changed over to a Milodon.


The quickest Fuel Altered time to date...at least in 1977. At a Funny Car Meet at OCIR...
low qualifier was Don Prudhomme with a 6.17...funny car guys, not happy.

Rick Shute Photo

6.18 run

Super Nanook on that 6.18 run...

Rick Shute Photo

6.18 day

Dave smoking the hides, getting ready to set the lowest Fuel Altered ET to date-1977
Head engine guy Mike Demarest watching...

Rick Shute Photo

Paul Sadler photo

Nanook at the Fuel Altered Nationals in Tucson, 1976

Bob Thompson photo

Dave Hough always had the coolest graphics on his altereds, and Bob Thompson was responsible for most of 'em.

super shops nanook

Bob Thompson photo

Here's the Super Shops "Win This Car" Nanook, probably at OCIR in 1976...


Somewhere between Arizona in the mid-70's, and the Seattle area at the turn of the 20th Century,Nanook found its way up to the Great White North of Minnesota in the late 80's. Owned at this time by Michael Karels. This is the original Green/Striped car. It was purchased in Texas.

Jim Kampmann photo


Click on any of the logos to go to that page...

Any info I missed? Have anything to add? Any questions, comments, large sums of money?

Send me an e-mail

Jim Sorenson


(206) 632-4969

Awful Awful Fuel Altereds © 1999-2001 Jim Sorenson
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All text is either copyright 1999-2001, Jim Sorenson or used by permission.