Wow, these are great photos. 120" wheelbase, steel frame, cast iron Poncho motor..... How many remember calling the Pontiac engine a Poncho? How many remember the A/FX class, 1962, Pontiac Tempest (the "compact" car) with a 421" Pontiac big block? I think A/FX could be called the ancestor of F/C. Below is a link to what the 62 looked like.
REAL Pontiac engine. Those engines & the Olds engines actually could run quick on nitro, espcially in the late '50's & early 60's. I still remember Ernies Camera Pontiac dragster. Ran on gas or fuel & it was a player. Safford-Gaide-Ratican Olds T/F could run with the best; was one of the 1st cars to run in the 7's I think. Even Garlits was amazed that an Olds could run so quick. Ya know, looking at the above photo, it was kinda sorta a forerunner of todays' chassis, ie: driver sits in front of rear end & sits high.
Cliff, this is my favorite Drag Cartoons issue, March '64, the 3rd issue ever. The SWC Willys is shown as a jack rabbit w/ Pete's drag monster doing the driving. He holds a carrot on a stick which to get the "Willys Rabbit" to race down the track. Meanwhile, in the background the Grist Bros. Willys driver is complaining to the official who frantically flips through the rule book. Of course, Pete also did the Isky ads that called SWC "Pebble, Pulp & Chef" and Mazmanian "Big June."
In the late '90s I got to know Pete at the CHRR and NHRA Museum gatherings. He was hilarious! Pete signed the copy of the same Drag issue. But even funnier was the following. Pete took the old ads from the 1960's comic books that offered a small overhead projector for young artists. Then he changed the copy to read something like "You Too Can Become A Famous Drag Racing Artist!" Best of all was the ad copy quoting Kenny Youngblood, myself and a few other hot rod artists making like comments like, "The Easy Projector is great, it made me rich and famous!" or "I wouldn't be the successful artist I am today without my Easy Projector!"
That is a funny story. I never met Pete in person, but did have a chance to e mail him a few times. His character Temple McFlathead was based on a real racer; saw a photo of him once. Pete was really into flatheads & did a lot of funny stories about that.