Fickle fortune has played tricks on the young Irish pilot. He enjoyed Fontana Top Elim in 1964 "Longshot" performance (top, left) and two short years later lost AHRA title in freak upset prior to final. New car and new team of Adams-Wayre-Mulligan ruled Long Beach in '67; John was permanently known by then as "Zookeeper" (below).    The "Longshot" won its share of laurels, but early in 1965, the magic man of the injector set, Gene Adams, came on the scene with a new engine for the new Wayre-Woody Gilmore chassis. Gene stretched 354 inches of Chrysler into 420 inches, and at Pomona the car ran 7.42-219, one of the first ever to break 7.50. This was just the beginning. Mulligan ran 7.24 at Riverside and set a record of 221 mph at Carlsbad in the summer of 1966. The first six-second run ever on dual Chrondeks resulted at Carlsbad in the fall of 1966 when John shoed a 6.95-221 out of this same car. Red hot, Mulligan and the car made the cover of Drag News five out of six weeks running.
   Just as he was reaching the top piloting the Adams, Wayre, Mulligan car, it seems that he met his jinx of runnerup finishes in the 1966 AHRA Winter Championships at Irwindale, John made (he final round versus Bob High-lower, but the engine of the Adams-Wayrc entry had seen its final moments in Ihc run before. Jimmy Nix offered his engine, and the wrenches started flying, in an effort to beat the clock. Mulligan could hardly lose if they made the deadline, for his car, engine, and experience had produced much better previous e.t.s than Hightower. Time only to fire up and clean the tires remained after button-up, and the brief blast of power in the Irwindale pit region is a sad account. The pieces all worked, but it was cold and late in the day, and there wasn't much room for maneuvering there on the return road. When it lit, John ran up onto one of the many small hills along the end of the track and went upside down! So near to a final round, so much work by so many, and all gone as the car lay helplessly at trackside. Hightower made a single for the money.

Bridesmaid - Page 1

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Bridesmaid - Page 4


Always a Bridesmaid  ||  AA Fabulous  || The Fleeting Irish 
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