60s Funny Cars

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Round 10: Chevy II Match Bashers

Story by Danny White


Randy Walls had one of the fastest match bash Chevy IIs ever to run a drag strip. The Super Nova was gutted and stripped to a bare minimum to run the early Southern California funny car wars. The scary high riding yellow Chevy II ran a known best of 8.41 at 165.13 mph, although National Dragster reported times in the 8-teens. Walls replaced this car with Hayden Profitts's Corvair, which Randy later crashed. (Photo by L&M Photos, courtesy of Bob Plumer/Drag Memories; info from Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Draglist files)

Richard Schroeder’s match bash 66 Chevy II was one the first in the Northwest. The Emerald Chevrolet Bad Bossa Nova was big block Chevy powered. A large dose of nitro filled the injectors of this green car. The Bad Bossa Nova ran a 9.43, 150 known best at Lions according to Dennis Doubleday. The plus size Schroeder did not race this car for very long; he soon replaced it with a new Camaro. Schroeder was known also for practical jokes. He left the funny car wars to become a wheelstander driver and race promoter. (Photo by L&M Photos, courtesy of Bob Plumer/Drag Memories; info from Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Draglist files)

Alan Greene's rare fastback Chevy II was one of only three built by Bill Thomas. The fastbacks were meant for road racing but were quickly outlawed and found their way to the drag strips. A Chevrolet dealer bought one and took it to the Northwest. The mean green Chevy II was one of toughest cars to race in Washington. It first ran as an A/FX with a 327 Chevrolet small block on gas, which was replaced by big block on nitro. Dick Milner took the Chevy II to a best of 9.93, 144 at Bremerton. Green sold the rare Chevy II to another racer, and then built a new Camaro. (Photo by John Leppard; info from Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Draglist files)

Ken Hare proclaimed this Chevy II, called Tuffy 2 ½, to be the world's fastest 409. The W block was pretty much forsaken after Chevy stopped official backing of drag racers, and the 396 Chevy was supposed to be the engine that replaced it. The 396 had many problems in the beginning, however, and some racers like Hare stuck with the 409, backed by a Rafael Shields built automatic transmission. Ken lived very close to Green Valley Race City in Euless, Texas, so testing time was not a problem.  Hare wrung a best of 10.25, 142 out of the machine at Oklahoma City. He was a regular in the early Texas funny car wars, racing until the early seventies in the Ramblin’ Rose machine. (Photo by Wade Owens, courtesy of Wade Oldies; info from Dennis Doubleday and Draglist files)

Sam Harris and Jack Robbins made a memorable team with the Texas Bandit Chevy II match basher. Robbins owned the car, while Harris and Dave Robinson did the driving. This was one of toughest cars in Texas. Also known as the Texas Twister, the big nitro powered big block Chevy was feared. The famed Texas chassis building company T-Bar built the car along with many other match bash cars of the era. Sam Harris ran 9.67 at 149.38 in the car, while Robinson ran a 9.70 best. (Photo by L&M Photos, courtesy of Bob Plumer/Drag Memories; info from Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Draglist files)

Rafael Shields was a well-known Texas mechanic of his day. Shields also was an early funny car star, driving his own and other people’s cars. The Mesquite-based Flyin' Texas Chevy II was his own machine. The little Chevy II ran 10.36 at 137.51 in Texas match bash action in early 1966. Like many cars of this era, it was quickly outdated. Shields crashed it and instead of rebuilding the Chevy II, built a new Corvair funny car. (Photo by L&M Photos, courtesy of Wade Owens /Wade Oldies; info from Dennis Doubleday and Draglist files)

Randy Blackwell is now known as the Yo-Yo Man who races in the Super Gas class. In the sixties, Blackwell raced in the early funny car wars and was based out of Texas’ Golden Triangle, which includes Beaumont, Orange, and Port Aransas. Blackwell raced this rare 66 Chevy II Post called the Rogue. Randy had several sponsors, including Kent's Speed Shop, owned by Kent Chatagnier, who raced fuelers and funny cars himself. Blackwell later raced a Camaro and a Jeep, and then retired from racing. He came back years later to run the Super Gas car. (Photo by Wade Owens, courtesy of Wade Oldies; info from Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Draglist files)

Richard Scott raced this beautiful little Chevy II in Southern California. The Malfunction was a good name for an early match basher, because these cars tended to break a lot. The Malfunction was owned by partners Scott & Hunter from Glendale, California. Unlike most match bashers, the car was built on another frame. The team took their street roadster chassis, and added a stripped and acid-dipped body. Scott ran times of 9.62 at 149.10 at Lions. The team later got a flip top Camaro. (Photo from Draglist files; info from Dennis Doubleday, Bill Duke, and Draglist files)

Roy Doyan bought one of only three Bill Thomas-built fastbacks from the fellow San Antonio-based CKC team. The car was long in the tooth when Doyan bought it and had been updated several times by the CKC team. J.E. Kristek radically stretched the car's wheelbase to 120" for Doyan, who continued to race the car from 1968 to 1970 in early Texas funny car races. The car’s wild paint job along with its rare fastback design made this machine stand out. Roy ran a best of 8.56 in Abilene, and went as fast as 168 in Amarillo. Doyan also ran a 5.38 at 157 on the short San Antonio track before replacing the outdated car with a Camaro. It is said that this car will be restored to the CKC setup in the future. (Photo by Wade Owens, courtesy of Wade Oldies; info from Dennis Doubleday and Draglist files)

Bad News was another great name for a match basher. This little Texas-based Chevy II looks to be homebuilt. There can be little doubt that nitro flowing through those injectors made this little car a handful. The Bad News Chevy II went 10.97, 131.87 at Green Valley Race City in 1966. (Photo by Wade Owens, courtesy of Wade Owens; info from Dennis Doubleday and Draglist files)

 

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