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RAMCHARGERS 65th Reunion Woodward Cruise M1 Concourse August 2023


If you had the good fortune of being at the RAMCHARGERS Reunion event held last August in Pontiac Michigan, then you got to see a lot of history! The original ’64 RAMCHARGERS altered wheelbase car was there, the recreation of the “High and Mighty” Plymouth, and nine of the ten surviving original RAMCHARGERS team members were there to tell stories of the glory days and sign autographs for the fans. One of the most amazing things was this nose off one of the 1971 RAMCHARGERS Challenger funny cars, shown to the public for the first time ever. Gary Kozlowski being an active part of the Ramchargers revival talked enthusiast Kevin Masters into showing off this unique bit of Mopar history.

1971 was a bad year for The RAMCHARGERS, and particularly for their top driver, Leroy Goldstein (aka The Israeli Rocket). They had two Challenger funny cars to start off that year, one suffered a catastrophic crash down in Texas, then they suffered an engine explosion which destroyed the entire car, and before the season was done, they crashed again at Michigan’s U.S. 131 Dragway, where the whole body flew off the car, hit the guardrail, and knocked its nose off and bent up a lot of tinwork.  The front of the nose neatly broke off, and Kevin Masters, who was just a kid then, was right there where it happened with his dad. The nose landed nearby them, his dad grabbed it, and back then, nobody cared if you brought broken or burned up parts home with you. His dad put the nose of the RAMCHARGERS funny car in their truck, they watched the rest of the races, then his dad hung it on their garage wall later that week, and it has been hanging there ever since, until just before the Pontiac, Michigan show! So, dirt and all, just as it was when it settled from the crash in 1971, the last remaining piece of a RAMCHARGERS Challenger funny car was back for the world to see, like some kind of holy relic. That Challenger was rebuilt by the RAMCHARGERS after the crash and sold to Arnie Beswick, but he crashed with it in 1972, the car burned, and that was the end of the first generation RAMCHARGERS funny cars. So, this is the only piece of the 1970/1971 funny cars that still survives, and it exists just because Kevin Masters and his dad happened to be there that day when the big hunk of fiberglass flew across in front of them and landed in the grass! His father is gone now, but this is a remarkable family heirloom to Kevin, as he will never forget the day, they witnessed that crash, and how many of us can say they brought a piece of such a famous funny car home with their father.


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© Copyright Ramchargers 2024 - Powered by Abadata Computer Corp.