Early Funny Cars: A History of Tech Evolution from Gas Altereds to Match Race Flip Tops 1964-1975
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Blast through the evolving early years of Funny Car drag racing when door slammers morphed into flip-top rail monsters. The era features historic mounts from Arnie "the Farmer" Beswick, Al “the Flying Dutchman” Vanderwoude, "Jungle" Jim Liberman, Don “the Snake” Prudhomme, and many more!
The metamorphosis from door slammers to fiberglass flip-top dragsters wasn’t ever a cut and dry plan. As drag racers pushed the envelope for more speed, a series of innovations quickly evolved and refined the genre.
Funny Cars cut their teeth in the A/Factory Experimental (A/FX) and Experimental Stock (X/S) classes in 1964 with the 2-percent Mopars that looked funny with their axles moved forward. However, it was Jack Chrisman’s supercharged, nitro-fueled 427 Supercharged Factory Experimental (S/FX) Comet Caliente that trail-blazed the class on which the NHRA turned its back and the AHRA fully accepted. Showmanship became the draw in the dawn of Funny Car with half-track burnouts and flame-throwing headers that packed fans five deep at the fence.
By 1969, the NHRA had no choice but to create a class for these nitro-breathing, flip-top-sporting rail bruisers, indoctrinating the Funny Car (F/C) class at the Winternationals with 40 cars vying for 16 places in the field. The rest, as they say, is history!