In 1967, a lot of drag racing lovers have been shocked to discover that the group of Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner have been swapping their preferred AA/Gasoline Willys coupe for a Mustang humorous car. The team dominated the A/GS ranks with the Swindler A Willys, and numerous men and women envisioned them to go on competing in the gasser ranks.
Funny car or truck match racing was the place all the cash was, however, and the “Pebble, Pulp and Chef” gang was completely ready for a new challenge. So they set aside the Willys in favor of a blown Mustang they christened Dark Horse 2.
Though the fiberglass flip-top fashion funny cars had been starting to arrive into their possess, the SWC Mustang was not a flopper. Alternatively the team mounted a metal Mustang body shell on a light body weight tubular chassis, with a extensive fiberglass front clip. Driver Doug Cook dinner entered the automobile as a result of opening doors, while the clip could be taken out to function on the engine.
Subsequent the exact same pattern as their well known gassers, the SWC crew chosen a blown early Chrysler hemi for energy. For the reason that Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner were being so successful in the gas courses, some individuals mistakenly refer to the Mustang as a gasser. At 1st the car or truck ran liquor, with a splash of nitro. As time wore on, the team tipped-the-can and applied an ever increased percentages of nitromethane.
The Mustang humorous auto immediately adopted in the footsteps of the Willys gassers, winning the 2400 pound class at the famed Bakersfield March meet up with two times in a row. From there, the group set off on a blistering barnstorming tour that has seldom been equaled.
It seemed that just about every drag racing admirer desired to see the Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner Mustang in motion, and every single monitor owner needed to fill the stands by scheduling the match racer. Decide up any duplicate of Drag Information from 1967, and you will very likely come across many stories recounting the exploits Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner at different tracks.
In addition to racing at most of the five-star tracks, Dark Horse 2 also showed up at little hole-in-the-wall venues dragstrips with ragged asphalt, dim evening-lighting and inadequate shut down locations. The fans desired to see Doug Cook dinner in motion, and the team was additional than willing to grant their want.
Racing several instances a week, SWC ran versus most of the famous humorous cars of the era, having on the lighter weight, injected flip-top rated cars and trucks as nicely as other steel-bodied blown entries. Cook wasn’t always victorious, but he racked up an extraordinary gain/loss tally.
Just when the Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner crew appeared to be on top rated of their sport, tragedy intervened. A crash ruined Darkish Horse 2 at Alton, Illinois. Doug Cook, one particular of the most preferred and revered drag racers of all time, sustained back injuries that ended his racing profession.
Stone, Woods and Cook dinner had been not concluded, nonetheless. They designed a new Mustang that was a near duplicate of the initial. The Ghost of Dark Horse 2 continued the torrid match-race tempo, with a amount of hired motorists replacing Prepare dinner powering the wheel.
By 1969, even the SWC workforce could not continue to be aggressive with a steel bodied motor vehicle, and they crafted a Mustang flopper, assigning the driving chores to Dee Keaton. In the early ’70s, Tim Woods developed the to start with Pinto amusing car or truck and ran it underneath the Stone, Woods and Cook dinner banner with Mike VanSant as the pilot. Even now later on a Chrysler driven Corvette gasser toured below the Stone, Woods and Cooke banner. That is not a typo on the ‘Vette the title Cook dinner was spelled with an e on the conclude. Reportedly, none of the authentic trio was actively associated with the Corvette.
Inevitably, all 3 members of the colourful team retired from racing. Doug Prepare dinner passed absent in 1999.
The Dark Horse 2 legacy proceeds, nonetheless. Mike Prepare dinner, son of the renowned driver, is reconstructing Dark Horse 2. Photographs of the car’s construction can be seen on Cook’s internet site, as properly as images of the absolutely restored Swindler A and Swindler B Willys coupes.
4 decades have passed considering that the Dark Horse 2 Mustang barnstormed its way into drag racing history. It is awesome to know that Mike Cook doesn’t intend to permit the famed funny auto be neglected.