The Very First Manufacturers Funny Car Championship In OCIR

Only a hazy 1967 Thanksgiving holiday evening of Funny Cars at the packed, million-dollar Orange County International Raceway (OCIR) in Irvine, California, for its first- ever Manufacturers Funny Car Championship. Called the “Supertrack,” OCIR was only a month or two old. Together with its magnificent, weatherproof tower and real landscaping, it seemed like culture would never encroach out way from south Orange County, guaranteeing a gorgeous racing venue indefinitely–or so everybody believed.

Gaining popularity by the day, Funny Cars nevertheless had no class of their own in the NHRA hierarchy, but this could soon change with events like this. Forty-five Funny Automobiles showed up for a round robin with a guaranteed $22,000 money purse. Espresso just shy of the Chrondek “eyes” are the Samson Dodge Dart from San Jose and the SoCal Keaton’s Komet. Rick Abate’s Dart ran an injected Hemi and was pushed by “Jungle” Jim Liberman for a moment, although not here. Keaton’s Komet was the former Jack Chrisman door car before he switched into the flip-top Logghe architype. Now hurried by Dee Keaton and still running a 427 SOHC, it was a familiar sight in Southern California paths during 1967. Chevy scored the main points for this premiere event which past Fords, Chevys, and Dodges watched Pontiacs, Plymouths, and Mercurys.

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