Most Dangerous Funny Cars? (1 Viewer)

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What is your view on the most dangerous Funny Cars?

Are today's beasts with all that horsepower despite all the safety features the most dangerous ever? Maybe the cars of the 90's? Eighties? Remember the Jim White rule? Could it have been in the 70's as so many guys got torched and hurt, crashed and such? Or was it in the formative years?

My top 3 dangerous Funny Cars of all time in absolute order.

1. Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick's" Tameless Tiger, that 63 Tempest was a nitemare of a rattle trap. Held together by spit, bubble gum, bailing wire and help from the lord above. Saw this ride in So Cal many a time, it was crazy light and drilled out. Only by Arnie's good fortune and God did he not hurt himself. That car was fast but a handfull, at the big show at Lions in 66 it was ultra scary. That Pontiac engine took some abuse.

2. Don Burn's" Durachrome Bug" was a very close second as that Fuel Altered with that VW body, you just held your breath every time that thing ran. Warren Gunter must of had a sack the size of Texas to drive that ultra ill-handling thing. I think Bernie Mather at Lions said that Gunter turned the straight line track into a figure 8.

3. Dave Zachary's Eldorado heap. With a 500ci. stump puller on juice, a super heavy 1-piece all steel body, square tubing of dubious quality, this good looking but boat slow ride was a concern down the track. The poor construction cost Dave his life when it turned over and the junk construction of the roll cage collapsed and killed Dave.


How about your choices?

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Cliff

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All of them, from Jack Chrisman's '64 Comet to today. The cars that run today are probably the safest ever, but..... anything that can go 0-339 MPH in 3 seconds is going to have a time when even the best driver can't control it. Still have engine explosions, blower explosions, fire, bodies coming apart, loss of control. I'm not saying this to be negative, but it's the "nature of the beast".
 

4onthefl4

Staff member
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All of them, from Jack Chrisman's '64 Comet to today.
Chrisman's '64 Comet was the first funny car I ever saw and when he hit the throttle it scared the beejeebees out of me. God, I loved it! Been hooked on drag racing ever since.
I once saw Shirl Greer's funny car do a burn out and as he slowed the car down, the front end shook so hard it cracked the body and that was a steel body, not fiberglass. I'm sure any fillings in his teeth felt it.
 

ol21stud

Nitro Member
Fearless Fred Goeske's Monza and Chicago Patrol Mustang hydrogen peroxide fueled rocket cars.
Fearless Fred passed away in 2014 but I would have placed money on him not making it past 1980 after we booked him in for a show in 1978 or 79..
 

Gone Dead Train

Nitro Member
The year is 1980 or 81 "Nasty" Dave Benjamin moves from New Mexico to Washington State.
I lost count how many times I saw Dave try to turn himself into a crispy critter in his AA/FC
Dave still lives up the street from me, about a 1 hour drive and still races his AA/FA saw him at
Pacific back in July. And I believe Dave is 78 years young.
 
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Cliff

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Gone Dead Train

Nitro Member
Bob Pickett's "Mr. Pickett" Javelin.
who-ocir-(Large).jpg

AA/FC Learning to fly at OCIR. Bob Pickett in the seat "Mr Pickett" Javelin body
flopper. (what's left of the body)
 

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Another one that I would rate as number 4 on the scarry AA/FC's was the John Hoffman driven "Snoopy" Jaguar. That was a handling mess as Lions starter Larry Sutton told me in a phone call a few years ago about the front wheels hitting the body. Saw John lose his life right in front of dad and myself sitting in the top end seats. It was horrible.



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Dragracer

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Another one that I would rate as number 4 on the scarry AA/FC's was the John Hoffman driven "Snoopy" Jaguar. That was a handling mess as Lions starter Larry Sutton told me in a phone call a few years ago about the front wheels hitting the body. Saw John lose his life right in front of dad and myself sitting in the top end seats. It was horrible.



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Johnny was told by numerous people to not drive Snoopy that it was dangerous and a piece of crap. He wanted to drive a car real bad so he got in Snoopy. The rest is history.
RIP Johnny, a friend of mine.
 

Al

Nitro Member
The year is 1980 or 81 "Nasty" Dave Benjamin moves from New Mexico to Washington State.
I lost count how many times I saw Dave try to turn himself into a crispy critter in his AA/FC
Dave still lives up the street from me, about a 1 hour drive and still races his AA/FA saw him at
Pacific back in July. And I believe Dave is 78 years young.

Yeah, Benjamin got burnt on more than one occasion. Then in 1989, he had Gary Ritter drive his funny car and it burned-up in Sonoma ! But I could not help but admire this guy's determination. Back in January of this year, I nominated him for Phil Burgess's "Random Racer" list on ND Insider. Not only for his determination, but for his innovations. He was the first to run dual fuel pumps way back in 1980, built the first 8 stand, 5 disc clutch, and built 3 valve heads. A pretty amazing resume', despite his fires.
 
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