Their first outing of
the 1969 season was the AHRA Winternationals - Bee Line Dragway,
Phoenix, AZ. Here is a rare shot of the car without its nose
piece. It's possible the body was damaged at this event which
facilitated a new paint job before the NHRA Winternationals.
However, this story really
begins at the 1969 NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA. This is
the car's configuration that was chosen by Dave West for the
reproduction. Although the car was raced at least four times
prior to the Winternationals, significant changes were made between
the AHRA race in Phoenix (in January of 1969) and the February
race Pomona. During this event the front axle wings were added
and the aluminum windscreen was made by Tom Hanna after tech
decided that all top fuel cars had to duct tape their plexiglass
windscreens or replace them with aluminum. Big fire deal (as
if the duct tape would prevent the Plexiglas from burning).
A couple of other things that changed
from the World Finals and the Winters: The blower idler bracket
was changed from a blower mount to a block mount. The car was
repainted and no one can explain why but if you look closely
at the photos before the Winternationals and after, you can see
a slightly different paint and lettering. The first paint was
slightly darker than the later.
Notice the rear wheels...
different wheels on different runs - sometimes polished, sometimes
not. The B&M car was a test car for M&H tires and Tim
said they just swapped wheels with new (or different) tires mounted
on them every few runs and didn't know who's wheels belonged
to who. M&H would own some of the wheels - Tim would own
some of the wheels and the rest belonged to other teams. A practice
you would NEVER see today.
In the finals!
Moe examines the engine on the top end
after his semi-final win.
Before the final round,
Tim decided to pull the engine and check the clutch. They lost
the World Finals to Bennie Osborn a few months earlier because
of a clutch failure in the final so that was one mistake Tim
didn't want to make again.
Chuck Ridgely came over
to help from the Nelson Carter "Super Chief" funny
car that Dave Beebe was driving.
That's Tim's Dad, Merrill
in the Pennzoil hat.
Dig those Hush Puppies!
In the final Moe was
way out on The Snake and never looked back. The BIG win, finally!
After the final round
Moe and Chops were feeling plenty good!
After beating Don Prudhomme
in the final, Beebe & Mulligan were no longer bridesmaids
- they were the 1969 Winternationals Top Fuel Champions. It was
one of the most popular wins in drag racing history.
The top AHRA dogs in
mid 1969 were, from L to R top: Connie Kalitta, Mike Snively,
Steve Carbone, John Mulligan - bottom - Don Garlits, Tommy Ivo,
Chris Karamesines and Bub Reese.
1969 March Meet
The 1969 March Meet
was the only event where Tim and John came home with three trophies.
One fore low ET, one for Top Speed and the third for Hard Luck.
As can be seen here, Moe lifted the blower big time and got his
eyelashes singed. They put McEwen's engine in the car and prepared
it for The Goose to drive since Millie was unable but the powers
to be decided otherwise and that ended their day.
The photo was probably
April or May of '69 and John is still showing the effects of
the burns he received at the March Meet blower explosion (his
Racoon look). He started to let his hair grow longer again when
they went on tour.
Note the smaller eye holes in John's Simpson mask
after the Bakersfield fire.
On the roller starters
in the pits at OCIR.
Here is a good shot
of the S&S oil pan that Butch replicated for the Foster reproduction.
McEwen's car in the
background. Tom always kept pretty close to Tim as Beebe helped
him with this tune-ups as well as the B&M car. The T-shirts
in this shot are the only ones that B&M ever had. They were
provided by Automotive Specialties out or Maryland who sponsored
them while on tour.
PDA Meet - Orange
County International Raceway - 1969
by Mel Wysock
Great shot of The Zookeeper.
Note the tin valve covers in this photo.
OCIR in the spring of 1969
Note the longer axle
wings in this shot (longer than the first installed at Pomona).
Warming up in the pits
at OCIR in the spring of 1969.
Getting ready to push
start at OCIR
By the time the green
car got to OCIR there were a few changes since the Winternationals.
Note the tin valve covers and the braided fuel lines that replaced
the black neoprene hose.
Great night shot at
the OCIR PDA Meet in the summer of '69. This was the only west
coast appearance with the new Ramchargers 426 engine and they
Hot Rod Championships
- Riverside, 1969
Great candid shot of
John - you've gotta love the green socks.
The Zook drops the laundry
Bristol 1969 - one of the last races with the 392?
Related Story: Always a Bridesmaid
& Mulligan 1969 Page 2
& Mulligan 1968 Page 1
& Mulligan 1968 Page 2
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