The amazing story of Bill Thomas’ Race Cars badass (pre-Charger) Chevy II / Nova Fastback, bought by CKC Racing Team back in 1964 for $2500! Supposedly it has survived and resides somewhere in PA after changing hands–
“Up until that time, the fastest car I had ever driven was a Corvette. That Chevy II used to do some incredible wheelstands, which made it a handful to drive. There was no way you could get off the throttle and get back on it again once it stood up on the back bumper, and it used to do that a lot! I remember one time at Houston Raceway during a match race with Dickie [Harrell], we both stood our cars up on the back bumpers, and the crowd went absolutely wild. Another time, I bent the front axle so badly on re-entry that J.E. had to use a floor jack and a torch to straighten it out just so we could load the car back on the trailer.” –Driver, Cal Callier via
1964, Callier and Kristek posing with the “orange car,” the team’s Chevrolet small-block-powered AA/FD that ran consistently at 190.00, and the team’s new Bill Thomas Race Cars ’64 A/FX Chevy II powered by a 427 Z11 carbureted big-block. Photo by Peter Peters via
One of the greatest rivalries in all of Drag Racing history has to be the classic Wildlife Racing matchup– Don “Snake” Prudhomme vs. Tom “Mongoose” McEwen. Any red-blooded boy born of that era remembers their famous Funny Cars decked-out in bright Hot Wheels badges screaming down the 1/4 mile in a furious blur that lasted all of 5 sweet seconds. The two faced-off in match races that raged over a period of about 3 years. Don Prudhomme, being the stronger competitor, usually came out on top. Their epic West Coast battles, fueled by huge sponsorship deals (Mattel, Coca-Cola, Plymouth, and Goodyear) were a major draw, and their loyal fans never tired of seeing them go head to head.
The Petersen Automotive Museum is celebrating the opening of their new exhibit, NHRA: Sixty Years of Thunder by paying tribute to – Don “The Snake” Prudhomme – during their annual Tribute Night on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2010. Honored guests include– Roland Leong, Tommy Ivo, Carroll Shelby, Ed Pink and many others. Special guest Dave McClelland, the Voice of the NHRA and longtime friend of Don Prudhomme, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Their will be a film featuring The Snake’s epic history, and several other drag racing icons will share their stories of the legend. A live auction of amazing racing memorabilia will follow with proceeds going to the Petersen’s educational programs.
If you’re a Drag Racing fan of any age– this is an epic event not to be missed.
Racing rivals- the Snake and the Mongoose at Dallas International Motor Speedway (1969-1973). Continue reading
1973 — “Jungle Pam” Hardy and “Jungle Jim” Liberman with his Chevy Vega Funny Car.
You’d be hard-pressed to say who was hotter back in the ’70s– “Jungle Pam” in her go-go boots, short-shorts, and titillating tops… or “Jungle Jim” Liberman’s rubber-melting burnouts, wheelstands, and screaming up and down the length of the dragstrip backwards. Liberman was arguably one of the most flamboyant and memorable showmen on the funny car circuit, who knew better than anyone what the crowd wanted– and hiring the 18 yr old tall, dark and sexy “Jungle Pam” Hardy as his sassy staging sidekick was a calculated stroke of marketing genius. But she was no lightweight– she quickly learned to turn a wrench, know here way around cars, the crowds, and the scene– the fans loved her.
“Jungle Pam” is still a legend to this day, and a true original. Sadly, Jim Liberman left us back in ’77 when his Corvette hit a bus head-on in a tragic road accident. His spirit lives through all the drivers he’s inspired, and the countless memories of his “Jungle Jim” antics and achievements during Liberman’s legendary racing career.
Drag racing legends “Jungle Pam” Hardy and “Jungle Jim” Liberman doing what they do best.
“Jungle Pam” gets down.