Every so often, you run into a book that captures its subject matter with uncommon focus and tribal knowledge. A special measure of enthusiasm is essential when you’re dealing with a subject like the rise of the Funny Car, an upheaval that rocked drag racing to its very roots in the 1960s and still reverberates today, with Funny Car arguably the most consistently popular of the National Hot Rod Association’s professional categories. The story of the Funny Car has been told piecemeal in the past but now, a dedicated volume, just released by CarTech, tells the tale of the Funnies’ crucial first decade with a mixture of detail and delight.
Early Funny Cars 1964-1975 lives up to the promise of its tagline, standing as a technical study on the evolution of drag racing’s most popular class from its earliest days as a thoroughly tricked-up outgrowth of Super Stock. The story is told by drag historian Lou Hart, who lived this entire era from childhood, leaving him uniquely qualified to tell its story in these solidly illustrated pages. What comes across here most forcefully is how much fun, and how wildly individualist, the world of Funny Cars was in the early days – rear-engine cars, wheelstanding Jeeps, topless Chevy IIs, and a very strong helping of floppers that imitated American Motors products, including the old Ramber Rebel. There’s enough knowledge and entertainment contained herein to keep you glued to the pages for hours. A great accomplishment at an entirely reasonable price of $42.95.