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Wouldn&rsquo;t you really rather drive a Buick? They are fast and funny cars. <p>A survivor Funny Car froWouldn&amp;rsquo;t you really rather drive a Buick? They are fast and funny cars. &lt;p&gt;A survivor Funny Car from the sports golden era. &lt;p&gt;Around 1966 there was a lot about Funny Cars, or Floppers as that were also called, going on in the American drag racing world. Manny drivers went from driving slingshot to wheel fibreglass covered steel tube chassis. Funny Cars were the shit and very crowd pleasing. It was a very innovative period and of course many mistakes were made before the stuff came together. You should also have in mind that until the mid 60&amp;rsquo;s drag racing was still a hobby for most of the drivers. Before 1965 there were only two NHRA races each year, Winternationals in Pomona and U.S Nationals in Indianapolis. It was very expensive just to get back and forth to the races and the prize sums was minimal. &lt;p&gt;But thing should soon change. Both the money and the brutality of the sport. &lt;p&gt;The year was 1966 and the summer was heading to its end. In Brooklyn Jerry Lipori and Steve Malise was running the Brooklyn Speed &amp;amp; Machine shop. There they built everything from chassis to complete race cars. Jerry himself had a badass Hemi powered slingshot that he competed with success in the AA/GD class around the country. But this summer the young guys had something else in mind. &lt;p&gt;Steve was a driven businessman and succeeded in persuade nineteen different Buick dealerships to sponsor him with $1000 each. That sum should become the start of the NY Buick Dealers Group and make all nineteen partners and head sponsors in this unique Funny Car project. &lt;p&gt;Jerry began working on the chassis that became a copy of the popular Logghe-chassis that most people used at this time. During the build Steve contacted Ron Pelligrini that was head of the company Fibreglass Ltd in Chicago. Ron himself was an experienced drag racer and had competed in slingshots since the early 50&amp;rsquo;s. In the early 60&amp;rsquo;s he became the driver of TV Tommy Ivos brutal Showboat, a dragster motorised by four Buick Nailhead engines that together was 1856 cui! He even bought Ivos dragster with dual Nailheads. The very first slingshot to ever produce an eighth second run. &lt;p&gt;Well, now back to our main story again. Ron Pelligrini quickly manufactured two fibreglass body&amp;rsquo;s based on the completely new and very beautiful 1967 Buick GS400. The whole thing was made when he went down to Palmer Buick in Chicago and borrowed a completely new car. He then took it with him back to the garage, molded it, then washed it and put it back in the showroom! It feels like that is something that should be hard to get away with in modern time, I would assume. &lt;p&gt;The bodies became pretty steady pieces, weighing about 6-800 pounds each, which is heavy if you take in mind that the cars total weight is about 2000 pounds. &lt;p&gt;The simples and fastest engine alternative had of course been to get a turbocharged Hemi, which most did. But with Buick as a sponsor that was not an option so they were forced to use Buick components. &lt;p&gt;In 1967 there were no performance parts to the completely new 430 cui engine so Jerry Lipori manufactured everything himself in his own shop. The lathe had to work overtime, no question about that. CNC machines were not yet invented so it was good old fashion hand cranking that was the only option. He built his own intake, a dry sump, which no one else used back then, oil and fuel pump and an adapter to a Vertex magnetic that was driven by the forward part of the camshaft. On top of all this he installed an 8-71 compressor. A solid piece that Jerry was the only one using it in the entire USA in 1967! He had one on the Buick and one on his one hell of a slingshot. Jerry was in many ways very early with all of his products and solutions. When we are talking with him at the photo sessions he is holding a very low profile. It was more or less just a job he means and doesn&amp;rsquo;t fully understand why a dude from Sweden wants to shoot his old car. &lt;p&gt;The whole car held a tremendous class, and most of the parts was chromed, even the Buick rear end and driveshaft. A show car without a question! &lt;p&gt;The funny thing about the Buick was and is of course that it looks like an ordinary car. It is not stretched or modified. The fact is that when we first saw it on Hot Rod Reunion we almost didn&amp;rsquo;t react. &lt;p&gt;The build was done at the beginning of the 1967 season and the fun could now begin. &lt;p&gt;A seven second run &lt;p&gt;The first one to drive the car was the legendary driver Ralph &amp;ldquo;Coney Island&amp;rdquo; Landolphini.He has a long career behind him where he had been driving several gassers with great success. However he only drove the car during one race before he left. &lt;p&gt;After him it was time for &amp;ldquo;Rapid Red&amp;rdquo; Lang to wheel the ship. He pulled the Buick engine and instead used a Hemi that hade before that served in &amp;ldquo;Dead End Kid&amp;rsquo;s&amp;rdquo; Top Fuel dragster. But the joy was short lived and also he only drove the car for one race. &lt;p&gt;The Buick became sitting in the shop and everyone involved in it was thinking about what they should do with it. The shop manager Bruce Bohen then finally said that he wanted to start driving the Buick. After a long discussion it was decided that he got the responsibility. By his own story Bruce invested $8000 from his own pocket into the car. He worked hard with all the adjustments and finally he got the 430 engine to run as it should, one thing he did was to lower the nitro supply that from the beginning was a little to much. Bruce raced the car and simultaneous had it on several car shows. After a couple of races he got a very good time at 7.79 seconds with 191 Mph. &lt;p&gt;He made this possible by borrowing wider slicks from Freddie &amp;ldquo;Broadway&amp;rdquo; DeNanes car. &lt;p&gt;Unfortunately the Buick never meets any great success and eventually it disappeared like aging race cars often does. About 25 years later it was found sitting on a trailer in a garage in New Jersey. The engine was missing and the beautiful candy red paint was a thing of the past. Nick Hardie from Holland, Michigan is the name of the guys who bought the car. Nick is an amazing painter, artist and sign maker and he immediately decided to restore the Buick cosmetically to the look it had back in 1967. Though, he wanted it to look like he just found it in a barn. He painted it once again red but he used a flattener in the paint. Very professionally he recreated all the decals and texture on the body before he finally abuses the body with a drill and a screwdriver to get a &amp;ldquo;patinated&amp;rdquo; look! &lt;p&gt;The following years the car sits at the Gilmore Automotive Museum in Michigan. &lt;p&gt;In the search for parts Nick gets in contact with the builders son John Lipori to see if he have any parts on the shelf&amp;rsquo;s in his garage that belong to the car. John gets happily surprised and when the worst chock have subsides he manage to persuade Nick to sell the car. You can imagine Jerrys surprise when his son John drags home his old Funny Car to Marin, just outside Monterey in California, where the whole family is living since many years. &lt;p&gt;This happened only a few years ago and John is now working with his father to build yet another 430 cui Buick motor with all the old performance parts they have succeeded to locate. Ingénue will probably never race again but it is guaranteed to make a success on different cacklefests all over the USA. &lt;p&gt;Jerry that built it will yet again experience the Buicks golden days and all of the attention the car still brings. Back home in his garage the slingshot he raced during the late 60&amp;rsquo;s is hanging on the wall. &amp;ldquo;It&amp;rsquo;s just like a picture on a wall&amp;rdquo; he says but confess at the same time that the cacklefest down at Hot Rod Reunion would be a blast! &lt;p&gt;&amp;nbsp; <br />
&lt;p&gt;1. Chuck Payne was the crewcheif for Bruce Bohen and is here doing his best to promote the beautiful Buick. <br />
&lt;p&gt;2. A moderate advanced roll cage and a very beautiful unchanged body profile. In a near future the Buick will become a die cast. Check it out on www.speedcityresin.com <br />
&lt;p&gt;3. The Buick on its very first race, in the early part of 1967. A very well built car with car show quality. <br />
&lt;p&gt;4. To tune a 430 cui Buick engine to a high performance specs is not a walk in the part. Home built is just the first name. <br />
&lt;p&gt;5. John still cherishes the Buick in all ways. Check out what he is up to on &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.buickfunnycar.com/&quot;&gt;www.buickfunnycar.com&lt;/a&gt; <br />
&lt;p&gt;6. Wonderful! One meter and one &amp;ldquo;speed pedal&amp;rdquo;. Not much to distract you then! <br />
&lt;p&gt;7. With the body in its upper position you can see the pretty simple chassis. A chassis that despite that was good for 200 Mph! A new engine will be built in a near future. A Buick 430 cui of course with all the old performance parts that have now been localised. <br />
&lt;p&gt;8. The detail work on the body is very impressive. It is easy to believe that it&amp;rsquo;s real tail lights and a real bumper, but that is not the case.m the sports golden era.
<p>Around 1966 there was a lot about Funny Cars, or Floppers as that were also called, going on in the American drag racing world. Manny drivers went from driving slingshot to wheel fibreglass covered steel tube chassis. Funny Cars were the shit and very crowd pleasing. It was a very innovative period and of course many mistakes were made before the stuff came together. You should also have in mind that until the mid 60&rsquo;s drag racing was still a hobby for most of the drivers. Before 1965 there were only two NHRA races each year, Winternationals in Pomona and U.S Nationals in Indianapolis. It was very expensive just to get back and forth to the races and the prize sums was minimal. <p>But thing should soon change. Both the money and the brutality of the sport. <p>The year was 1966 and the summer was heading to its end. In Brooklyn Jerry Lipori and Steve Malise was running the Brooklyn Speed &amp; Machine shop. There they built everything from chassis to complete race cars. Jerry himself had a badass Hemi powered slingshot that he competed with success in the AA/GD class around the country. But this summer the young guys had something else in mind. <p>Steve was a driven businessman and succeeded in persuade nineteen different Buick dealerships to sponsor him with $1000 each. That sum should become the start of the NY Buick Dealers Group and make all nineteen partners and head sponsors in this unique Funny Car project. <p>Jerry began working on the chassis that became a copy of the popular Logghe-chassis that most people used at this time. During the build Steve contacted Ron Pelligrini that was head of the company Fibreglass Ltd in Chicago. Ron himself was an experienced drag racer and had competed in slingshots since the early 50&rsquo;s. In the early 60&rsquo;s he became the driver of TV Tommy Ivos brutal Showboat, a dragster motorised by four Buick Nailhead engines that together was 1856 cui! He even bought Ivos dragster with dual Nailheads. The very first slingshot to ever produce an eighth second run. <p>Well, now back to our main story again. Ron Pelligrini quickly manufactured two fibreglass body&rsquo;s based on the completely new and very beautiful 1967 Buick GS400. The whole thing was made when he went down to Palmer Buick in Chicago and borrowed a completely new car. He then took it with him back to the garage, molded it, then washed it and put it back in the showroom! It feels like that is something that should be hard to get away with in modern time, I would assume. <p>The bodies became pretty steady pieces, weighing about 6-800 pounds each, which is heavy if you take in mind that the cars total weight is about 2000 pounds. <p>The simples and fastest engine alternative had of course been to get a turbocharged Hemi, which most did. But with Buick as a sponsor that was not an option so they were forced to use Buick components. <p>In 1967 there were no performance parts to the completely new 430 cui engine so Jerry Lipori manufactured everything himself in his own shop. The lathe had to work overtime, no question about that. CNC machines were not yet invented so it was good old fashion hand cranking that was the only option. He built his own intake, a dry sump, which no one else used back then, oil and fuel pump and an adapter to a Vertex magnetic that was driven by the forward part of the camshaft. On top of all this he installed an 8-71 compressor. A solid piece that Jerry was the only one using it in the entire USA in 1967! He had one on the Buick and one on his one hell of a slingshot. Jerry was in many ways very early with all of his products and solutions. When we are talking with him at the photo sessions he is holding a very low profile. It was more or less just a job he means and doesn&rsquo;t fully understand why a dude from Sweden wants to shoot his old car. <p>The whole car held a tremendous class, and most of the parts was chromed, even the Buick rear end and driveshaft. A show car without a question! <p>The funny thing about the Buick was and is of course that it looks like an ordinary car. It is not stretched or modified. The fact is that when we first saw it on Hot Rod Reunion we almost didn&rsquo;t react. <p>The build was done at the beginning of the 1967 season and the fun could now begin. <p>A seven second run <p>The first one to drive the car was the legendary driver Ralph &ldquo;Coney Island&rdquo; Landolphini.He has a long career behind him where he had been driving several gassers with great success. However he only drove the car during one race before he left. <p>After him it was time for &ldquo;Rapid Red&rdquo; Lang to wheel the ship. He pulled the Buick engine and instead used a Hemi that hade before that served in &ldquo;Dead End Kid&rsquo;s&rdquo; Top Fuel dragster. But the joy was short lived and also he only drove the car for one race. <p>The Buick became sitting in the shop and everyone involved in it was thinking about what they should do with it. The shop manager Bruce Bohen then finally said that he wanted to start driving the Buick. After a long discussion it was decided that he got the responsibility. By his own story Bruce invested $8000 from his own pocket into the car. He worked hard with all the adjustments and finally he got the 430 engine to run as it should, one thing he did was to lower the nitro supply that from the beginning was a little to much. Bruce raced the car and simultaneous had it on several car shows. After a couple of races he got a very good time at 7.79 seconds with 191 Mph. <p>He made this possible by borrowing wider slicks from Freddie &ldquo;Broadway&rdquo; DeNanes car. <p>Unfortunately the Buick never meets any great success and eventually it disappeared like aging race cars often does. About 25 years later it was found sitting on a trailer in a garage in New Jersey. The engine was missing and the beautiful candy red paint was a thing of the past. Nick Hardie from Holland, Michigan is the name of the guys who bought the car. Nick is an amazing painter, artist and sign maker and he immediately decided to restore the Buick cosmetically to the look it had back in 1967. Though, he wanted it to look like he just found it in a barn. He painted it once again red but he used a flattener in the paint. Very professionally he recreated all the decals and texture on the body before he finally abuses the body with a drill and a screwdriver to get a &ldquo;patinated&rdquo; look! <p>The following years the car sits at the Gilmore Automotive Museum in Michigan. <p>In the search for parts Nick gets in contact with the builders son John Lipori to see if he have any parts on the shelf&rsquo;s in his garage that belong to the car. John gets happily surprised and when the worst chock have subsides he manage to persuade Nick to sell the car. You can imagine Jerrys surprise when his son John drags home his old Funny Car to Marin, just outside Monterey in California, where the whole family is living since many years. <p>This happened only a few years ago and John is now working with his father to build yet another 430 cui Buick motor with all the old performance parts they have succeeded to locate. Ingénue will probably never race again but it is guaranteed to make a success on different cacklefests all over the USA. <p>Jerry that built it will yet again experience the Buicks golden days and all of the attention the car still brings. Back home in his garage the slingshot he raced during the late 60&rsquo;s is hanging on the wall. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just like a picture on a wall&rdquo; he says but confess at the same time that the cacklefest down at Hot Rod Reunion would be a blast! <p>&nbsp;
<p>1. Chuck Payne was the crewcheif for Bruce Bohen and is here doing his best to promote the beautiful Buick.
<p>2. A moderate advanced roll cage and a very beautiful unchanged body profile. In a near future the Buick will become a die cast. Check it out on www.speedcityresin.com
<p>3. The Buick on its very first race, in the early part of 1967. A very well built car with car show quality.
<p>4. To tune a 430 cui Buick engine to a high performance specs is not a walk in the part. Home built is just the first name.
<p>5. John still cherishes the Buick in all ways. Check out what he is up to on <a href="http://www.buickfunnycar.com/">www.buickfunnycar.com</a>
<p>6. Wonderful! One meter and one &ldquo;speed pedal&rdquo;. Not much to distract you then!
<p>7. With the body in its upper position you can see the pretty simple chassis. A chassis that despite that was good for 200 Mph! A new engine will be built in a near future. A Buick 430 cui of course with all the old performance parts that have now been localised.
<p>8. The detail work on the body is very impressive. It is easy to believe that it&rsquo;s real tail lights and a real bumper, but that is not the case.