Racecar names are no longer the norm on modern nitro-burning Funny Cars, which sucks. Cars with names are good for promoters to put in their advertisements, good for racers who can cash in on merchandise, and good for fans who can clearly point to and remember a car and driver.
All of that stuff has been thrown out the window for corporate sponsorships, which we think is for the worse. That being said, there have been some great names on Funny Cars over the years. Here’s our list of the best 11 ever. Debate is not requested…it’s required.
11) Joe Jacono, Rollin’ Stoned. Could have the funniest paint job ever featuring a caveman with a club in one hand and a, umm, “hand rolled cigarette” in the other. Image NHRA brass taking a gander at that these days!
10) Raymond Beadle, The Blue Max. Bonus points if you know where the name came from.
9.) Don Schumacher, The Wonderwagon. Brilliant use of a sponsor name (Wonder bread) and logo to connect with fans.
8.) Gene Beaver, The LA Hooker. Gene Beaver is John Force’s uncle, and he named this car to be the foil for the Chi-Town Hustler.
7) Roger Lindamood, Color Me Gone. That name stuck with Lindamood from his days in Stockers and Super Stockers all the way up to the nitro floppers.
6) Gene Ciambella, The Destroyer. This was a Jeep Funny Car that was not only scary to watch, but actually successful as a match racer in the hey day of ’60s open match racing out West.
5) Gary Hazen, Panic! There were a bunch of Funny Cars with this name, both in and out of the US, but we still think it rules.
4) Roger Guzman, Assassination. Admit it, that word just sends shivers down your spine.
3) Richard Schroeder, Bad Bossa Nova. Every variant of using the word Nova on a race car has been beaten to death. Knowing that, we need to pay homage to the guy who started the trend. Schroeder also had the awesome Emergency West Chevy dually truck wheelstander that his son Chris has revived.
2) Pat Minick, The Chi-Town Hustler. Austin Coil tuned it, John Farkonas worked primarily behind the scenes in an engineering capacity and a couple of legendary men shoed it. The car was one of the great country wide match racers of all time. When Frank Hawley later became the driver it was a national championship winning car.
1) Lew Arrington, Brutus. Grunt it, say it, scream it. Sounds bad ass any way you choose doesn’t it? Lew Arrington established the name and then some wild kid from back east named Jim Liberman took the reigns and started his climb to super stardom.