The history of this car begins in 1990. First, some background information.
The Chartreuse car as it was known, although was later described by some, as the Neon Car, was built by Bruce in Bloomington Minnesota. This was almost an exact copy of Tom Hoovers Mckinney car that was eventually sold to Rune Field, which became the Mobil 1 car and later with Gary Page at the wheel, the Motorola car. Its name as the Chartreuse car, came about because that was the neon yellow color on the side and front of the body.
It all started back in November 1990. John was to take over from where Gary Page had left off. I had already been talking to Hoov about a replacement for the Silver Car and in January of ’91 I made the “North Pole” trip to Toms house in Maple Grove Minnesota. The first time I laid eyes on the car I had to have it. The body was brand new and it was beautiful. We agreed on a price but there was a clause in the deal. Tom needed to race the car at Pomona and in Phoenix with his original chartreuse body, before I could have it. So, money changed hands again, this time in my direction and that’s what happened. Tom brought the new body to California and I collected it at the Winternationals and bought it home to where I was living at that time in Thousand Oaks.
Two weeks later, there I was with a U Haul truck in Phoenix, waiting for the car. Ever heard of a phrase “I love it when a plan comes together”? Well this time it didn’t. The race got put back until the following week because the track surface was lifting up and a few cars actually crashed. So be it, sh*t happens I suppose. Anyway the following week all went well, not for Tom though, he lost in the first round.
I kept the car at my house all that year. Santa Pods new owners, National Dragways, had loaned me the Silver car back, so I intended saving the new car until ’92.
The car, as most loyal followers of the team know, ran in ’92 with John and Hoov driving. We had it painted by…. (sorry can’t tell you who, not if I want to get fed at the trailer) the same as the body on Tom’s current Mckinney car of that time and we were all happy with it’s performance.
The following year John fitted a new style Trans-am body to the chassis in a total of only 7 days and soon ran Europe’s quickest run, a 5.46 @ 276. The chassis still lives on however and since ’98 is known as “Shockwave”. Some of you may have heard of it.’93 came and we had just come off of a win at the Cannonball, when disaster stuck at the Summernationals in August. John had just completed his quickest run ever at 5.63 when the motor let go and kicked the rods out at the finish line. That was bad enough but then the right rear tire blew (probably from engine debris) which in turn transformed the body mostly into confetti. John luckily sustained only a broken finger and spent the night in Hospital for observation. So that was the end of the Neon Car for a while and we went back to the Silver Car for a few races
Next. A trip to see Dean Skuza, to buy a Dodge no less. Stay tuned.