The Fighting Irish

 


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

 


Painting 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 kicked butt.

 


 


Hot Rod Championships - Riverside, 1969

 


Great candid shot of John - you've gotta love the green socks.

 

 

 


The Zook drops the laundry at Riverside.

 


 


Bristol 1969 - one of the last races with the 392?

 


 


The Final Chapter


Related Story: Always a Bridesmaid


Beebe & Mulligan 1969 Page 2

Beebe & Mulligan 1968 Page 1

Beebe & Mulligan 1968 Page 2


Always a Bridesmaid  ||  AA Fabulous  || The Fleeting Irish 
 Salute to the Top Rail  ||  Baddest of the Bad  ||  Wounded Elephant 
Beebe & Mulligan 1968  ||  Beebe & Mulligan 1969 
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