8 funny cars that stole the show at Concours of America


Seventies flip-top funny cars are a nauseating array of metal-flake colors splashed over a tremoring, fiberglass shell. They are a purpose-built steel tube chassis gingerly cradling a nitro-fueled engine like a hot potato. These cackling beasts are the last thing you would expect perched on the lawn of a concours d’elegance. But there they at the 2018 Concours of America at the St. John’s Inn in Plymouth, Michigan.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/08/03/funny-cars-stole-the-show-at-concours-of-america


Sorry Cameron but the 1970 camaro King Rat is not powered by a small block. That is in fact a big block Rat motor hence the name King Rat. I don’t remember anyone having a 427 small block back then and I was really into Chevrolets back then.


I forgot to explain the obvious clue to being a big block. Look at the valve covers. Four bolts on the bottom and the width are a dead give away it’s a big block.


I restored the KING RAT last year. First time out at St. Johns. And yes, it IS in fact a BBC…


Correction to the Doug’s Headers Corvair:
Back in 1967, when the funny car eliminator class was just begun, Doug Thorley took the country by storm, eventually winning the first nationally recognized event that the class was recognized, The 1967 US Nationals. 7.69 ET @ 197. The original car was steel bodied with doors and a fiberglass front end. Power came from a 427CI Chevy iron block/heads motor. Incorporating a Chrysler torque-flite transmission, the car was Blown and Injected, and ran on 95% nitro methane. The first funny car to reach 200 mph (unofficially at Lions Dragstrip), one of the first to hit the 7 second mark.

After the success with this car, Doug decided to build a second Corvair. This car was to incorporate a Logghe stage 2 chassis, Fiberglass Trends complete flip-top body, and an identical drivetrain as the first car. This car was not as fast as the original, so it was campaigned and eventually sold to the team of Dick Bourgeois and Earl Wade.

The tribute:
Features of both cars were incorporated into the tribute car. Logghe stage 2 chassis, original Fiberglass Trends Corvair body, 427 CI all iron motor, 671 GMC style blower, Enderle fuel injection, Chrysler torque-flite trans. The original paint scheme was meticulously duplicated, with all lettering and lace effect scaled to as exact as possible.
The ultimate confirmation came, when Doug Thorley saw the car for the first time. His initial comment,; “Wow!, that looks just like my old car! How did you duplicate the lace paint?”, was the ultimate compliment that the build team could have heard.