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.

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Most the photos on this site are unpublished, and are the copyrighted property of the individual photographers.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.

If you've got any info, please e-mail me. Link is at the bottom of each page. Thanks.

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Mike Burkhart's Doran Chevrolet Nova. Mike was one of the more "sizable" funny car drivers...
but he was from Texas, and they grow 'em big there. Also a longtime die-hard Chevy guy.

Ramchargers Challenger

Leroy Goldstein in the Ramchargers Challenger. Leroy was usually good for Top Speed of the meet in this car.

Tom West photo © 1999

Gas Ronda

Gas Ronda and his injected Mustang funny. The early injected cars could run with the blown cars, but that time frame was very short, as tire, transmission and clutch technologies were improving by leaps and bounds...

Tom West Photo © 1999


The Roy Steffey/Maynard Rupp STP Cougar.
Another of the injected Cammer cars, this with a Logghe chassis, a successor to the the Mercury Comets of 1966-1967.

" Stone Woods and Bones

Not really even a funny car, this is an A/Gas Supercharged car with a late model Mustang body.
Stone and Woods did field both, first the Gassers, with the 41 Willys which brought them a great deal of fame/notoriety,
then with a fuel Funny Mustang, driven by Doug Cook, which crashed heavily, bringing an end
to Cook's driving career. This car fits in between the last Cook driven Mustang, and later fuel funnies, driven by
David Ray, Dale Pulde, and Mike Van Sant.

Photo provided by Bob Plumer

White Fireball Vega

The Fireball Vega, campaigned by Jim Shores of Shores and Hess gasser fame.
This particular car was destroyed in a spectacular top end crash, when "Machine Gun" Kelly's Corvair collided with the the Fireball Vega.

Steve Reyes Photo

Red Fireball

The rebuilt Fireball, new paint, Amalie Handout.

Black Fireball

The end of the line for the Fireball's. The Fireball Monza

Steve Reyes photo

70 442

From Canada's "Wheelspin" magazine, comes this photo of the only 68-72 442 Funny that I've ever seen. Herman Leminster ran this car, which was designed and built by John Farkonas of Chi-Town Hustler notoriety...the chassis was VERY similar to the 1969 Chi Town Charger, with the offset engine and drivers compartment, but this car died in 1970 at the Popular Hot Rodding Championship race at Martin, Michigan...nasty crash at the top end, Herm was okay, but the car was a complete write-off...

Photo provided by Rob Potter

Custom Body Charger

The Castronovo Brothers, and a very early edition of the "Custom Body" funny car line.
Appears to be a 70 Charger at Cayuga Dragway in Canada

We have a correction (or confirmation)...1969 Charger.
thanks Duane Cooley, "Eagle Eye" for May 13, 1999
He made the call for the 69 on the small bit of visible front bumper, not on the 70 body style...

Rob Potter Photo (or at least it came from him!)

Eliminator 1

The first all-fiberglass, flip-top, tube frame Funny Car. Lincoln-Mercury came out with the most advanced concept in drag racing at the time, coupling a full tube frame with coil-over shock suspension at all four corners, the Ford SOHC 427 with fuel injection, on nitro, with a full-size fiberglass reproduction of a 1966 Mercury Comet. Quite a sales tool, huh?

" Photo by either Bob Plumer or Marvin T. Smith

Don Roberts/King & Marshall

Here's a happy guy! Don Roberts, and King and Marshall's "El Diablo" Duster.
At 60 inches wide, the body on this car wasn't legal for NHRA competition, so King and Marshall
went match racing. Did quite well, too.

Here's what Don had to say about it..."King England Dragway Epping, New Hampshire. Ran 6.96 at 210 mph to beat Mart Higginbottom in the Drag On Vega. My first weekend in this car. This car was match race only, and had a Don Long 125 wheelbase with narrow and very low body. Direct drive 392 in a lay down type car. I liked this car but I didn't love it as it was too small for me. I drove this car a few more times in 1972, but my primary job with K & M was dragster driver."

Photo by Paul Wasilewski Jr.

King Cuda

Don Roberts sez...

"This is the first funny car I drove, May 1971. The King Cuda was owned by Jeff Gordon from Newton, Mass. It was state of the art Logghe chassis, 426 power with Lenco transmission. It ran out of A & J Speed Center and at the time I was driving the A & J AA/FD. Gordon was not in love with driving, he was a better tinkerer, so he asked if I would fill in for a date in Oxford, Maine 1/8th mile on a Friday night. No problem. First run in the car do the burnout, reach down for the reverser lever, nowhere to be found. Vibrated off, fell on the floor. Could not reach down and get it so I motored down the track, drove off on the return road, put a chute out and drove back up the return road at about 70 with chute in full bloom. People went nuts, never saw that before. Made two more runs and ran 4.90 163 and 4.70 166. Got paid for all three and a bonus for the return road/chute out deal. Pictured here at Epping, NH that Sunday. Low 7 second car at 190-200 mph. May 1971."

Photo by Paul Wasilewski.

Lawton Pinto

Bill Lawton's Pinto funny car. A pretty rare funny, didn't last long on the scene, as you'll find out below.

I love it when folks send stuff, and actually send info with it...Don Roberts again...

"Well I drove that one a couple of times for Lawton in 1973. This was at the time when he was still driving the Tasca Ford doorslammer car. Although Lawton never said it to me, I don't think he liked the funny car at all. He had races booked for it all over, but between me and a few other drivers, we were the only ones to get that car down the track. The car is shown here at New England Dragway Epping, New Hampshire May 5, 1973. At the time I was not a great note kind of guy. I didn' t write down that I was supposed to be at Epping with this car on that date. I DID write down King & Marshall dragster for this race though. But it had a happy ending and the announcers had a melodrama of sorts when I drove both cars that day..." Will he make it back down the return road in time to get in the other car????? " . It was fun. Typical performance for the times, 6.90's at 205 mph. This car disappeared from the scene as quickly as it appeared."

Photo by Henry Witham.

Original Red Turkey

"The car is the late 1972 Challenger Funny car of Jim Boyd, of Red Turkey dragster fame. This was shot at The Last Drag Race, and from what I have been told, was the only run on the car. It was a direct-drive car that had just been prepped to run down there for the first time after Boyd brought it out here from back East. I have an obscure impression of the car leaving rather sluggishly, as was typical for the direct drivers of that time. It made it past half track and blew the body off the car ... and that was the short career of the Original Red Turkey. I don't think it made many of the mags. :)"

Tom West Photo © 1999 and commentary


World Finals at Ontario Motor Speedway 1975?

Pat Foster in the Chicago Patrol against Don "The Snake " Prudhomme.

Dave Esqueda photo

F & N Charger

Fontannini and Nannini Charger...injected Hemi, ran on the UDRA circuit.

Bob Plumer Photo

mark III Funny

Bad photo, but when you get one of a Lincoln Mark III Funny, it really doesn't matter what condition the photo's in...
it's gotta be shown. I have no idea who, or where. Anybody have any info on this car?

Seems like a lot of folks remember this car...I get regular e-mails from all over the country!

Originally Godwin-Capps, it was later re-lettered J & J Fiberglass. And, it's still running today on the Nostalgia Funny Car circuit.

Bob Plumer photo


Another fine Tom West photo...Don Schumacher at OCIR. By the paint scheme, it looks in between the Superior Sizzler cars, and the later Stardust team Cuda's .

Tom West Photo © 1999

1st Mr. Norms

A stellar ride, but not a very good picture.

Mr. Norm's Dodge Coronet, first shoed by Ron "Snag" O'Donnell, due to his fuel altered experience, then later driven by Gary Dyer.
Made a believer out of those West Coast nay-sayers...

Photo provided by Jim Kampmann

66GTO Don Gay

In my opinion, the nicest looking GTO Funny ever. Don Gay's Infinity GTO out of Texas.

West VA Hemi-Charger

Now, if this is an actual S/SA car, I'll eat my hat. Seems to look a little "funny" to me, don't you think?

Banning Dodge

Bob Banning Dodge Challenger, one of the few strong running Midwest, I mean Maryland, yep, that's right, Maryland! funnies.

Photo provided by Rob Potter

Ontario World Finals

Harry Schmidt's Blue Max, up against Jungle Jim Liberman at the NHRA World Finals at Ontario Motor Speedway, CA

Dave Esqueda photo

Drag-On Vega

Mart Higginbotham's Drag-On Vega funny, not sure who's in the drivers seat here. It's kinda dark!

Bob (I need a bigger flash) Plumer photo

Fever Vette

Seems like an odd sequence...Handicap start?

Rob Potter photo

Fever Vette

Ed O'Brien, in the "Fever" Corvette, at Cayuga Dragway, smokin' the hides...

Rob Potter Photo

Conway Roadster

Man, that's gotta smart!

Bob Plumer Photo

Conwat Roadster

Note the sophisticated trailer...

Bob Plumer Photo

Conway hardtop

The Hardtop version of Gene Conway's Corvette funny.

Bob Plumer photo

Custom Body

Tom Prock in the Custom Body Duster at Ontario...

Dave Esqueda Photo

Shirl Greer

This is why they called 'em Funny. Shirl Greer's "Tension" A/FX Dodge, although I think he's gone a little
past A/FX, here.

Photo credit, victim of 150 e-mails per day...


Another early one, Al Joniec's "Batcar", being towed back to the pits.
This car had the wildest "paint job", actually being covered completely in an acrylic fuzz finish.

Another lost photo credit...

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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.