The chopped coupe began life as Ronson Body fiberglass piece in Florida. Saturated in Viper Red and accented with orange and yellow flames, the car can be dropped to the pavement thanks to Air Ride suspension at all four corners.
Mike Buchanan's automotive interests run the gamut from performance to beauty. His 1968-vintage junior fuel dragster takes care of the go-fast end of the equation, while his beautiful flamed 1933 Ford 3-window coupe fills in the street cruiser function.
Upholstery isn't much of a consideration for trips down the strip in Buchanan's junior fuel dragster. The 1968-vintage chassis was brought up to current specifications and is certified for passes as quick as 7.50 seconds in the quarter-mile.
A traditional butterfly-style steering wheel is used to point the dragster down the track; the driver's legs are draped over the axle tubes of the 9-inch Ford rear end, which houses a 4:56 racing spool.
Don't look for these wheels or tires on this car the next time you see it. The Hoosier slicks and Pro Center Line wheels will give way to a set of Halibrand-style ET racing wheels and new 12-inch rubber, probably a set of Goodyears.
Another clue that this dragster was built by Jim Davis in northern California is the single quarter-elliptic spring mounted to the front axle. The shock absorber was added after an especially tall wheelstand broke the front wheels.
The dragster, originally powered by a nitro-gulping 392 Chrysler Hemi, is a Jim Davis-built 175-inch wheelbase car that was campaigned in California in the late 1960s. It now is outfitted with a 377-cubic-inch fuel-injected small-block V-8 running on methanol, but will eventually be restored to AA/FD status with a supercharged Hemi.
A 4-spoke Speedway steering wheel tops the brushed metal tilt steering column; a billet aluminum panel houses Auto Meter gauges. Shifting is done by means of a tall Lokar unit, while air conditioning is handled by Vintage Air and road tunes by Secret Audio.
Buchanan opted to keep the 350 Chevy V-8 that was in the car when he bought it. It transmits 390 horsepower to a 700R4 automatic overdrive transmission. Rear drive is accomplished via an 8-inch Ford differential and a set of 3.0 highway gears.