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Title: History Thread
Description: Where is it?

imaracingmom - August 18, 2007 08:29 PM (GMT)
Hey E,
I'm trying to find the thread with the historical research on mini dragsters and funnies. It used to be in this forum, I think you moved it to Skip's world, but we don't have Skip's world anymore, so now I can't find it. I have something to add to it. Can you please help me find the thread?


imaracingmom - August 18, 2007 08:40 PM (GMT)
From Motor Trend December 1970 (cover price was 50 cents!) Page 88 - Product Trends....

Speedy Mini-Dragsters....

imaracingmom - August 18, 2007 08:47 PM (GMT)
From Snotrack magazine January 1976 (cover price $1) I have finally found something for the sled powered bike guys...... page 14 in the sno*pourri section....

Snowmobile engine powers unbeaten motorcycle dragster......... - August 19, 2007 04:12 AM (GMT)
I have looked for it and didn't find it.
I didn't delete any topics every thing was moved to pit talk.
I belive skips world was set to auto delete any post over 6 months old.
I still have the pics on file just the topic is lost.
There is nothen I can do.
I did not delete it myself.
I'm sorry its gone.
I can send you the pics to start a new one?
This time I will pin it.

I thought that and Q&A, Skips world falls under Pit talk just like in the real pits.
Agian i'm sorry for the auto delete

Nice find with the snow drag bike thats great!
let me know about the old pics?

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 01:21 PM (GMT)
Oh Well, nothing we can do then.

HEY, do you know how to find one of those cached thingies? Like sometimes you can see old web pages that no longer exist? Somebody's search engine shows those. Maybe google? HMMMM I'll go see if I can stumble across it somehow.


imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 03:39 PM (GMT)
NO Luck,
I couldn't find the thread cached on the net. Bummer.

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:26 PM (GMT)
Next time you're home, and have some down time, maybe you can add the pictures to this thread. IF we jog my memory well enough, maybe I can figure out what I had and go find it again. I know there were umbro cars, and mickey thompson mini's, and something from eon's ago that was a moto powered car from way back........

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:33 PM (GMT)
Hey, I found a file of pictures on my puter! I usually delete stuff once I'm done with it, but the older I get, the more I forget, so look what I forgot to delete!

I think this picture was sent to me by LarryT. I think this is the prototype 3 wheeled motorcycle powered dragster that was built by Kosman. Larry, correct me if I'm wrong. Seems to me this picture was also found on a website with some historical stuff about a bike racer, who drove this dragster?


P.S. - going back now and trying to find some of the info to go with the pictures...
user posted image

The 80's.......

Dale Drives Kosman's Experimental Dragster
Peter and Dennis from Kosman Racing designed the car

In 1986 Kosman experimented with this 3 wheeled digger. Who drove it? Dale figured he'd driven a rear engine 8.90 sec comp car and a sand dragster--so it shouldn't be a problem. He went a 9.00 ET @ 155 mph with the Pro Street bike motor for the power plant. These cars were way to expensive and the class never caught on.

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:38 PM (GMT)
This is the first production m/c powered dragster I found info on. It was from the 70's and was honda powered. This might have been the one that was sold on ebay, that I do not remember for sure. I have somewhere in my bizillion's of e-mails, an e-mail from the guy who owns this car or one like it, with info on these cars.

To be sure it is the first production one, I need to find out when Dave Tuttle started making m/c powered dragsters.


P.S. found more info on this car in our unknown racers thread...

I'll have to post the other picture in another post...

And here was the e-mail from the owner...

Hi Skip,
Thanks for the heads up! I had no idea there were many cars with MC engines like this out there. (at least talking with NHRA people here in Vegas, who look at you like you have 2 heads)

I wanted one of these when they were going to produce them in the early 70's. I was racing B/Mod back then on a 750 Honda out of our shop in Illinois and Triple A was supposed to make 25 of the to get them homologated, but only made 3, too expensive. So turning up this now was quite a find. We were dealing with Russ (Collins) back then so when I found this earlier this year I got back with him and he told me how to get with Jr. Penfold who built these cars in his fathers R&D shop. A friend of mine, Tom Abcower, had been around there in the shop when these were being built and knew all about it and most of the people involved. It was kind of a who's who of the industry at the time. I talked to Jr. for about an hour not long ago, they actually had this car NHRA certified at the time as a full on real "Top Fuel" dragster, completely legal to compete against "whatever." They ran 5 different engines in it while they had it, the most potent being an 836 motor with a GMG 356 blower, running 45 pounds of boost on alky and running in the 9's. (in the early 70's!) This car has been through a few hands but is remarkably intact, still in the original paint Mike Tedder did in 73. The story s that the last owner was a Nam Vet who had lost his legs, so all the controls had been converted over to hand controls, which I have to convert back. The cage will probably have to be modified, to bring it up to specs, but nobody seems to be sure what those specs might be. It had real Halabrand wheels out back but I've turned up nothing on the 12" slicks it needs. Years ago I built so many of these engines I could almost build them blindfolded, and I had lots of hot rod parts for them, but I gave it all away after one of my "shop moves" in the late 80's when they was no interest in them anymore. Now I've been looking for more! I could put a "Busa" motor or something in this for simple dependable horsepower, but I want to preserve it pretty much like it was. So far I've had no time and to play with it and only removed the stupid looking header and stuck the rest of the sheet metal on it. I'll send you a photo. Look forward to hearing from you,

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:39 PM (GMT)
And here's the front engined harley dragster. I remember finding this on the net somewhere, and it seems to me that MAC knew they guy or knew something about this car????


imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:45 PM (GMT)
OK, this was the ad we hunted for for the Mickey Thompson Mini Dragster. I think it was a 3hp briggs in it, and so proves that modern day Jr. Dragsters weren't actually the first. I can't remember what magazine, year, month etc. that this was in. Seems to me the chain for that went right between your legs!

I also remember reading somewhere that Jerry Gwynn had built Darrell Gwynn a mini dragster when Darrell was a boy. That was probably also in the 70's.

Although these are not snow or moto powered, they are a predicessor to scaled down dragsters...........

More MT dragster pictures to follow......

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:46 PM (GMT)

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:48 PM (GMT)

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:52 PM (GMT)

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:53 PM (GMT)

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 05:55 PM (GMT)
Last of the M/T pictures. Now I'm going to see if I still have the umbro cars on my computer........


imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 06:10 PM (GMT)
OK, here is the UMBRO ad, which was found in Car Craft magazine in several different months in 1976. (cover price $1). Someone said that the man in the picture is Don Prudohmme (spelling?). Did we ever verify that it is the Snake in that picture?

I have 2 copies of this ad. Let me know if any funny car racers are going to the meet and greet........... I have a little something brewing in the back of my mind...


imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 06:58 PM (GMT)
And here's the other picture on the 70's Honda Powered dragster...

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 10:47 PM (GMT)
OK, from this thread:
We can collect info on the Mini Vette Funny Car from Australia... To quote David Murray...

"the funny car has a bit of a ugly dragster body for it and the funny car is a full Alloy hand formed body but has gone a bit brittle with age and sun..
the funny car was made by a old fuel bike racer down under Hurk
I was the 5th owner (I know all of them) and done mid 10,s for the 1/4 (1200cc)

I think the body of the funny car is one of the best iv seen (anyware full stop) it realy needs a glass plug made from it to make more

the wheel base is approx 98 inches (told the same as the real vette) and thats 15 by 9 on the back by 26 tall (I think) running 30 with the dragser body (no photo here of that)"

"It was built in the early 80's
two guys made two and match raced a bit or came out in time trails together at bigger meeting. you can just see the other car in the photo. (Arrow body I think)
the father of the owner of the yellow rail had made about 5 of the funny cars or Altereds
one of the cars still hold's the nat record. but driven by Mark Geddy.

Bob (the dad) comes up for meetings here and will try and get some photos from him to scan for you of the diffrent cars they have had"

"The Corvette body is a ONE off hand made in alloy not fiberglass.
Bob made a few diffrent ones , dragster, funny car ,altereds, ect will have a good talk to him the next time he comes to town. will find out how many and what he made
the guy that made mine raced a fuel bike in the early days then made mine
then he made a v6 buick rail and used a mini VW with a hole in the roof that he sat through powered by a 250cc bike engine to tow the dragster back down the return road.
he put a top hat and tails on to come back down the return road.

Bob made the Arrow body not the Vette body "

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 10:51 PM (GMT)
Can we do something with this to keep from losing it......... I'm on a roll..... a trip down memory lane of months worth of surfing......... finding all kinds of things I forgot about!


imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 11:00 PM (GMT)
Another treasure from across the pond in Australia........ This M/C powered 32 Altered Funny Car............
To quote from their site...
"The Altered 32 funny car in the picture above was the first Junior funny car to race in Australia.
It was designed by Hans Kreuzen, Paul Freyer, John Harris and took 12 months to Build.
It was originally designed for Junior Drag Racing, but it can also run in the adult class in Modified Eliminator, using an motorbike engine.
The body is a One piece fiberglass shell with an escape hatch and opening boot.
The wheelbase is 90""

More pictures are on their website.........

imaracingmom - August 19, 2007 11:13 PM (GMT)
OK, I know there's still another Aussie funny to find. Was it Chad's car? Maybe Thunder Road? I think it was pink at one time, and then black? I'll have to get back to that one.

For now, I'll move on to the Umbro, etc., cars here in the states........

OK, from DragRacingOnline...

The Agent received a photo of a mini Vega Funny Car built in the mid-1970s. This one runs on a 750 cc Kawasaki engine. The NHRA’s George Phillips tells us that NHRA does not have any rules or offer any classes for Funny Cars for kids. These “mini-Funny Cars” are for adults to drive. IHRA does allow Jr. Funny cars, though. We find them way-cool. Anyone got a photo of one of these burning rubber? (Tom Gambardella photo) [10-12-2006]


imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 12:28 AM (GMT)
There was mention of the Umbro cars in Remember When? On the classic funny's of the 70's website...

"in the mid-70s Umbro Machine & Tool from NY tried to introduce mini Vega funny cars? The UMT sales brochure claimed "The nitro burning funny cars... were always the deepest dream of the drag racer. Due to the vast amounts of work, design, and the money involved, the majority of drag racers could do nothing else but dream. With all this in mind, the Engineers and craftsmen at UMT combined their skills and brought about the birth of this exciting mini FUNNY CAR. WHEELIES - BURNOUTS - and FIRE belching headers along with a sling shot takeoff from the starting line is getting a tremendous response from crowds of racing fans all over the country and is becoming the wildest new trend in drag racing history." Based on a Vega body, the sales brochure claimed a weight of 500 lbs on a 75 1/2" chassis. Body color was optional, as was choice of engines. Car could be bought complete or as blueprints. Car even came with a parachute! (From Umbro Sales Brochure, courtesy of the Greenberg Collection)

imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 01:11 AM (GMT)
OK, here is a blue Umbro Mini Funny...

It is owned by a guy named John who has had the car for over 20 years. It has a Kawasaki 1015cc in it. It was in Super Chevy Magazine back in '92 (anybody have a copy?). A couple of more pictures will follow. I found them saved in my e-mail, and have to download them to my computer first.


imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 01:15 AM (GMT)
Second of 3 pictures of the blue mini funny.........

imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 01:21 AM (GMT)
Last picture of the blue car......

imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 01:42 AM (GMT)
This picture was from "Steve" I do not know if he was the owner, or just took the picture. I do not know where he's located or if he still has the car.

1 of 2 Bouncin Ounce mini funny.........


Handicappedracer - August 20, 2007 01:44 AM (GMT)
The owner of the blue car lives here in Columbia, SC and workds for my wife's printing company. He's been on the site as a visitor. Hoping to get him to dust off the car for 2008.


imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 01:48 AM (GMT)
Have you been keeping secrets????????? Or did I forget this very interesting tid-bit of info?????

Throw that boy in your truck and bring him and his wife on up with you! I think the Umbro cars had like a 70+" wheelbase, so heck, just throw the car in the back of the truck and bring it with you!!!!!!!!!!!

See what he knows about them, as I'm not sure I remember everything I've learned about these Umbro cars.

So cool, you live by a piece of history!

Here's the second picture of the bouncin ounce car....

imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 02:03 AM (GMT)
And by the way........

HOWDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to the racers and fans of Full size nostalgia funnies, who are stopping by to take a peek at the mini's. We appreciate you stopping by, and you are welcome anytime you'd like to be here!


imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 02:29 AM (GMT)
Then there was the Superbird JR mini funny. We all thought maybe it was a m/c powered Umbro. Well, I never did learn if it was an Umbro or not, but did find an owner or former owner (I'll have to find that yet), and they said that the Superbird JR car was VW powered. Interesting side note...... I was told the full size Superbird car was formerly owned by Arnie Beswick, a well known funny car driver. You can see in one of the pictures, the mini funny was run at Byron. Somewhere around here, I have a picture and short sentence in a magazine about the car running at Byron. I'll post it if I find it. (Boxes of old magazines around here!)


P.S. found the info on the big one belonging to Arnie...;t=2662;st=20

The Superbird Firebird was the original "Hemi Boss Bird" which Arnie Beswick owned . We had the car, Arnie verified it.
There were 3 bodies, 1 was the pontiac powered car, 1 was the Hemi boss bird, and the last one, is the red firebird, that Rob owns. The one Rob has, was suppose to go on Arnies challenger, back in the day.

Debby "ZOMBIE" Bruce

imaracingmom - August 20, 2007 02:30 AM (GMT)
Magazine info.........
Hot Rod magazine Nov. 1978 page 88
(Thank-goodness this car was discussed on the classic funny car boards! I'm finding what I forgot about the car!)

Here's the other superbird mini picture.....

imaracingmom - August 27, 2007 01:27 AM (GMT)
Here's a picture of a California Mini Dragster, built in Dave Tuttle's shop. Last time the car was seen, it was for sale at Park Place LTD in Bellevue, WA. The for sale ad is here:

And the ad said:
2000 California Mini Dragster
Price : $6,995

This mini dragster is a great way to get into the drag racing sport. It is powered by a 1300cc in-line 4 out of a Suzuki Hayabusa. These are well-known for their reliability as well as their ability to take extreme levels of modification. This engine is currently tuned to roughly 190hp, but it’s not unheard of for people to get well over 500hp by the use of forced induction – either turbo or supercharging. This dragster is in very nice condition overall and is ready to go.

Body: Dragster
Color: Blue / White
Int. Color: Gray
Stock: 6241J
Engine: 1300cc Inline 4
Transmission: Manual

Equipment: Hayabusa Engine, Roll Cage, Racing Slicks, Custom Paint, Alloy Wheels.

Dave mentions the car here:

And here is the history he gave us on the car...
I just had a look at the Mini Dragster thats for sale and was surprised at how often this car pops up. Although it IS one that I built, I didn't build and in 2000. If the seller would take the time to read the ID tag, he'd find out It was built in 1990.

That one is actually the first Mini Dragster I built.......the prototype. We just refer to it as "The Little Car" cause its only 145" wheelbase. I never put any photo's of it on the net because of the elaborate body work I did on it and the many differences it had over the production model. Originally I didn't want anyone to know it had a motorcycle engine in it, thats why the rear body shell.

It looks the same as when I sold it in 1995 except they rubbed all the lettering off it. The engine appears to be the same 1326cc GS-1100 Suzuki. I did update the chassis before I sole it so I'm sure it will pass SFI /NHRA Certification.

Somewhere along the road, they lost the one off aluminum nose piece for it. The bad thing is, it's not something that could be replaced without having the car here to do it.

That car is also tiny inside! It was built around the 5'6"-135lb. kid that was working for me, so its only 17" wide in the shoulders. The windshield cowl tilts open to make it easier to get in and out. Believe it or not, dispite this, I managed to fit my 6'1"-220lb frame in it and win some rounds before I sold it.

There's also some engines the seller has collected that go with it and hike the price up I'm sure. He's had it for sale for over a year and I'd bet if soemone out there offered him $7500 or $8000 for everything, he'd take it. For that price, I'd say its a good deal.
~Dave Tuttle~ "

imaracingmom - August 27, 2007 01:29 AM (GMT)
Another shot of the Tuttle car...

imaracingmom - August 27, 2007 01:43 AM (GMT)
Wonder if Buck knows we're talking about Busa's way down here at the bottom of the forums?

A final picture of the Tuttle car...

imaracingmom - August 27, 2007 03:17 AM (GMT)
Far as I can tell, prototype cars for the Jr. Comp class came around in about 2000. Seems to me I remember hearing of a couple being tested in California. A Carney Kids car was for sale on racingjunk, and there were pictures of 2 versions. The black one pictured here, and a red one with a yellow roll cage. Here is what the ad on racingjunk said about the car...

180" Chrome Moley JR COMP
Built for Jr Comp Class in 2000.
Only ran test passes at LVMS
Chipped for 6.90 1/8 mile
Probably low 10's in Quarter mile without chip. Engine fresh by EVANS, certified NHRA to 7.50 ET.

imaracingmom - August 27, 2007 04:40 AM (GMT)
OK, finally found the mini dragster stuff on Jerry and Darrell Gwynn. It is believed that it was the first "Jr. Dragster".

Darrell wrote about it in his book. You can also find a page of interesting history on Darrell on the NHRA website...

A quote from the website above...

"In 1968, when Darrell was just six, Jerry started toying with the idea of building his first-grader a "junior dragster." A scaled down front-motor machine, it was a project that took nearly a year to complete, as Jerry tinkered with it in his spare time. With no plans or drawings to work from, the entire car was built from scratch.

"I thought it would be cool if Darrell had his own little dragster," Jerry recalls. "I made the frame by braising half-inch electrical metallic tubing (EMT) together. It had a live-axle rear end, a slipper clutch that was activated when he pushed the pedal down. Even if he messed up, the car would stop if he took his foot off the pedal. We put in a hand brake and the front wheels were 20-inch bicycle tires."

Complete with a 2.5 horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine, Jerry hand-finished the aluminum body and painted it at his Standard Oil shop. For looks, he added a double set of headers to both sides of the retired lawnmower powerplant, "making it look bigger than it really was."

A family friend added the finishing touch to the red machine. With a smiling Devil's face and the words "Red Devil," the first junior dragster was ready to race.

Jerry blocked off the street in front of the house, while Darrell and neighborhood buddy Mark Robinstraw took turns behind the wheel. But it was taking the pint-sized hot rod to Miami-Hollywood Speedway Park and making a few runs down a real drag strip that made it special.

The first quarter-mile pass took 43.11 seconds at a top speed of 23 mph. The second pass was a little better, finishing in 42.43 seconds at 25.02 mph.

"Here we are going down the track at 25 or 30 mph," Darrell says. "Talk about something cool that no other kid in the world got to experience at that time – no other kid had a car like that." The seed was planted.

"I remember living on a corner lot with cars slowly driving by at all hours to see what was going on," Darrell says. "Our house had all the action – lots of cars in the driveway. Every once in awhile, people might get to see a racecar fired up in the front yard. Everyone knew where the Gwynns lived." "

Caption to go with the picture....

"Darrell's "Red Devil" Junior Dragster, complete with header pipes for "making it look bigger."
Darrell Gwynn collection"

imaracingmom - September 30, 2007 03:14 PM (GMT)
Just found another site that shows an UMBRO car...

Looks like it is page 9, of the program guide from Santa Pod Raceway, Aug '76.


imaracingmom - November 28, 2007 10:36 PM (GMT)
Got a wonderful surpirse in my e-mail last night. Some great pictures sent to me by David Murray (tadphotos), one of our wonderful members from Australia. I'll be posting the pictures he sent to me here in the history thread, so preserve them for your future enjoyment. David's e-mail said...

"I think two of the car are Bob Blackley and the other is my Corvette
funny that I have but with other owners. Not much is writen on the cars in the story not even times the cars were doing.

1986 to 1990 are the years from all the storys (club history books)

David Murray"

Thanks David!

imaracingmom - November 28, 2007 10:43 PM (GMT)
Picture #2 from David......

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