New England Racing Fuel To Have Commemorative Funny Car Display At NHRA National Event In Epping

(Press Release from New England Racing Fuel)

New England Racing Fuel Ad Blue BlockEPPING, N.H. — History and entertainment will collide this weekend at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway and Motorsports Park in Epping, N.H.

In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Funny Car, the feature attraction at the New England Race Fuels booth on the midway will be a replica of one of the first Funny Cars ever built in 1966.

A 1963 Dodge Dart that was known as The Rampage and was driven by Jack Sharkey at drag strips all across the country will be on display Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In addition, the car’s owner and builder, TV host and author Steve Magnante will be on hand in the New England Race Fuels booth during the show Saturday to talk about his car.

“The car really speaks for itself,” Magnante said. “This will give fans a good idea of what the first Funny Cars looked like.”

Magnante says that when the Funny Cars originated, it was the first time American production cars ran as quickly as Fuel Dragsters.

“In 1966, it was unheard of,” Magnante said. “The original was lost in the ‘70s, so I built this car about 10 years ago. It has an altered wheelbase, and people just love altered wheelbase cars.”

During The Rampage’s prime years in the ‘60s and ‘70s, it competed on the Exhibition Match Race Circuit, providing excitement all over the country.

“This car is radically altered, right on the edge,” Magnante said. “To be honest, the car is raw, kind of raunchy. It’s not shiny or polished. But that’s the way they were. They don’t have to be pretty. This car might look old, but it really isn’t.”

Magnante is an expert on the subject. For the past 11 years, he has been one of the commentators of the Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auctions televised by the Velocity Channel.

“I do it four times a year, but I really don’t consider it to be a job,” Magnante said. You’re around all kinds of cars, from Ferraris to Lamborghinis. I’m only around them for four minutes and I don’t get to drive them home. But it’s still a great job.”

Magnante has also been an editor at Hot Rod Magazine from 1997-2004 and has written four books — “How to Build Altered Wheelbase Cars,” “Rusted Muscle: A Collection of Derelict Dream Machines,” “Steve Magnante’s 1001 Muscle Car Facts” and Steve Magnante’s 1001 Mustang Facts.”

On Saturday, however, he will be ready to talk about cars, including a Funny Car that made history 50 years ago.

“It’s a rolling classroom,” Magnante said. “And it’s a very popular car. “I’ll also be talking a lot about Sunoco and racing fuels. It should be a lot of fun.”

After all, it will be a rare appearance for an original funny car that will provide nostalgia, entertainment and information all at the same time

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