Those first steps of the funny car pioneers...from the early A/FX "let's slide the body back, they'll never notice it" years,
pretty much up to when the names changed from the "Blue Max"and such, to "Big Beer Company Here"!

I tell ya, the stuff flying in over the wires is amazing! Everything shows up from professional photographer stuff to kids with Instamatics...and you know, the quality of the photo really doesn't matter. It's the subject, and the time...we'll never get back to this magic time again, so we just may as well enjoy what we can see. It's all good.

We continue adding photos and info as they come in, and as we find it. Again, we're striving to identify as much about these photos as we can, such as the tracks, the drivers, the dates, the photographers, and any clever anecdotes about the particular racers. If you've got pictures and/or information, hey, don't be shy. Send it on over!

One thing we don't have, though, is photos for sale.
Most the photos on this site are unpublished, and are the copyrighted property of the individual photographers.

Check the Links page for photographers, and their contact information...

If there's something you don't see here, and you've got pictures of it, either scan 'em and send 'em in, or e-mail me and we'll work out something.

These pages are rather large, with lots of pictures, and it might load a little slow. Sorry.

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Blown Hell

A true Funny Car in every sense of the words, Ron Rineiro's "Blown Hell" 55 Chev.

The return of the Bird...Motta & Williamson Challenger. Mid-engined, car never really did much of anything...

Williamson, from the old "Hairy Canary" team.

Charlie Allen, in his Challenger...Charlie went on to run Firebird Raceway in Arizona.

Larry Coleman's Super Torino at one of the Indy DragFest memoribilia shows, restored.

Jim Kampmann Photo

Big Jim Dunn and the Dunn & Reath mid-engined Cuda. One of the successful mid-engined cars, this is the car featured in the movie "Funny Car Summer".

Tom West photo

Pure Hell Demon, now shoed by Dave Beebe.

AutoImagery Photo

Well, these aren't quite funny cars yet, but soon they will be...

Supernationals time, and Rich Siroonian in the Big John Mazmanian 'Cuda lights 'em up. Check out the Blue Max lurking in the background...

Photo provided by Jim Kampmann

The 1974 version of the Chi-Town Hustler. Can't tell who's driving here...

photo provided by Jim Kampmann

This has got to be towards the end of this Challenger's lifespan...I show it as a 73 car, and this photo was taken in 1975. Fred Castronovo's Custom Body Challenger with Tom Prock driving...remember the pre-transporter era? Ramp trucks ruled!

Mark Hovesepian photo © 1998

Hey, Foster! What the heck you tryin' to do here? Set the track on fire? Don Cook's Damn Yankee, Pat Foster blazin' away.

Oooh! Wrong info! This is actually Ron O'Donnell driving! I've been a BAD webmonkey!

Matter of fact, here's what Ron had to say about this photo..."That was me, we did it for the front cover of a magazine, we had our signals set up with the photographer and Don Cook, Don was supposed to signal the photographer who was in front of the car, and he was going to signal me once the fire got going good,and typical Cook he stood in the wrong place where the photographer could not see him and as my ass started getting very very hot I thought it was time to go signal or not. If you look at the picture good you see a lot of smoke and fire which means I was sitting there to long. The ass of my fire suit burnt, thanks to Simpson my ass was fine. Ron O'D"

Mickey Thompson's 1973 Grand Am. This thing went like stink for being such a herkin' big car.

Ran a best of 6.54 at 231.95 in 1974.

Photo provided by Jim Kampmann

That Pure Hell Demon again...Elwyn "Honker" Carlson driving, with a 354 Chrysler doing the burnin'. Elwyn cranked this beast to a 6.96 clocking in 1972.

Steve Reyes photo

"Rapid" Ronnie Runyon in the Blue Hell Corvair, and Fred Goeske in his first front-engined funny, going at it, 1968 style.

Ron O'Donnell in Don Schumacher's Stardust 'Cuda, and Arnie Beswick...where, I don't know...when, 1969?

quarter duster

Fred Bickford's Quarter Duster. Fred drove this most of the time, but Kosty Ivanof managed to jump in a couple of times and wail down the quarter...best time for the Duster was a 6.42.

Pic provided by Fred Bickford Jr.

Quarter Duster Wheelstand

Looks like ol' Fred's hooked up this time, maybe just a little too much...the Quarter Duster again...

Fred Bickford Jr. Collection

Bickford body toss1

Fred Bickford sheds his skin at the lights...

Mark Hovsepian photo © 1999

Bickford Body Toss 2

Fred heads through the lights making "dragster" noises...

Mark Hovsepian photo © 1999

Al Segrini

This is what it looked like before TNN, Diamond P, and NHRA Today...not your typical corporate shill here...

Al Segrini, before the finals at the Summernationals, 1975, at New England Dragway, where he met Fred Bickford's Quarter Duster in the finals, with Fed Getting crossed up at around 500' out, giving the win to Segrini.

Fred Bickford Jr. Collection

Buce Larson's 1970 USA-1 Camaro, and the cover of the program for the Super Stock Nationals.

Only a buck? Somebody got an extra one of these?

Photographer unknown

A car that made Lions starter Larry Sutton veerryy nervous...Warren Gunter's Durachrome Bug, shwn here before lettering was applied. This thing thought it really should have been a Fuel Altered, by the way it handled. Blown Rat motor, nitro, short wheelbase, and adventure waiting to happen. But it went 209 MPH!

J & M Racing photo
Photo by John Ewald

Another VW Funny! Geez, I only thought these was one!

Bob Conners and Dave Crocker put together this wild thing to go match racing with. 84 inch wheelbase, injected small block Chev (well, 377 cubic inches isn't that small), weighed in at 1175 pounds. Turned on the low 9's at 145 MPH. This was all in 1966.

Tom West Photo

You all remember Don Kirby, don't ya? Meet his brother Bud.While Don did the painting of all those funny car bodies, Bud actually made the bodies.

And drove this Camaro. Big Block Chevy, on nitro.

Bob Plumer Collection

And here's Bud launching, and lunching at OCIR...see that little thing just to the left of the slick?

Connecting rod cap on the loose...smacked one of the fotogs on the line right in the butt...

J& M Racing photo
Photo by John Ewald

And Bud Kirby getting his game face on...OCIR again.

Bob Plumer Collection

And here's the Ongais half of the Mickey Thompson Mach 1 team...Danny Ongais won just about everything in sight in funny car racing the first year out with this car. Pat Foster chassis, 427 Ford SOHC motor, it was virtually unbeatable.

Randy Bradford Collection

Managed to talk one of my pals into digging into his photo archives...man, NOBODY was very photo conscious back in the mid-'60's. Seemed like cameras, film and developing were so DAMN expensive then...so the regular folks didn't take as many pictures, cause they kinda looked like these... 1966-67, Green Valley, Texas.

Interesting photo here, Kelly Chadwick's "Wild Thang" Camaro, but with Dick Harrell's name duct-taped onto the side.

I understand that Harrell's car was out of commision for this match race, so to fill his obligation, he borrowed Chadwick's Camaro.

Green Valley, Texas

larry g smith photo

Same race, same place. the "Harrell"/Chadwick Camaro.

larry g smith photo

Now this pretty much embodies the term "Funny Car". Jackie Peebles "Embryo" 1964 Plymouth.

Check out those finely modified front wheel wells!

Green Valley, Texas

larry g. smith photo

Kelly "the Professor" Chadwick at Green Valley, Texas.

larry g. smith photo

Green Valley, Texas, 1966

Match race between Phil Bonner in his "Daddy Warbucks" Falcon, and Gene Snow and his "Rambunctious" Dart.

larry g. smith photo

Tom McEwen

Tom McEwen in the ex-Candies and Hughes 'Cuda at Lions...

J & M Racing Photo

Arne Swenson

A short series of shots from the camera of Bill Schaible, all from Raceway Park in New Jersey.

First, Arne Swenson in the Swenson and Lani 1976 Vega.This ran a 6.5 at 222 MPH.

Bill Schaible photo

Next, the Cassidy Brothers, Les Cassidy handling the driving chores.

Bill Schaible photo

This looks like Phil Castronovo in the Custom Body Challenger. Or might it be Tom Prock? I'm not sure, but it looks like it might say "Tom Prock" just in front of the canard wing. Remember those?

1972-3 Challenger (u-gly grille) at Raceway Park in '73

Bill Schaible photo

Paul Radici in the Radici & Wise 1973 Vega, getting ready for his burnout. From what I can find, they managed a best of 6.75 at 210 MPH out of this ride.

Bill Schaible photo

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Know something I don't about any of these pictures?

Shoot me an e-mail!

Jim Sorenson

(206) 632-4969

The Funny Car Pages are copyright Jim Sorenson © 1999-2001 all rights reserved.
All copyrighted material herein is used with the permission of the copyright holder, and may not be used in any way or in any form without express written permission.