Driving a Funny Car, whether it is powered by a blown alky engine, a nitro mill, or even a gas motor takes real courage. This video is proof in living color. My pal Jon Wall owns and drives the Fireball Monza nostalgia funny car. It is powered by an alky drinking blown big block Chevy backed by a Powerglide transmission. With a fresh Dave Sano paint job that restored the Monza body to its original 1970s appearance, it is one of the coolest of the breed in the country. Jon was at a nostalgia drag race at Oxford Pains Dragway in Maine last weekend with the car and had one hell of a ride on this particular run.
As you’ll see, Jon launches the car down the track and it acts like a typical funny car, meaning that he’s manhandling the butterfly steering wheel like an expert when smoke starts to fill the cabin. Seconds later, molten transmission fluid begins to pump into the cockpit of the speeding flopper, covering Jon’s legs and everything else in sight, like the tires. As a veteran driver, he gets on the brakes, hauls the car down and then makes for the escape hatch. In talking to Jon, he was super concerned that his beautifully restored body was about to go down in well fed flames. Mike Williams, the track announcer told the crowd that Jon was his own first responder. I’ve never seen in car video of a Funny Car driver making the hatch escape in an emergency situation and it is amazing what the human body can do when it senses danger.
Jon’s fine, his fire suit protected him, but if this transmission fluid had ignited in a flash fire it would have been a living nightmare for him. He’s not pulled the car apart yet, so he’s not 100% sure what failed and caused this near disaster. Dawn Mazi-Hovsepian and her husband Mark were on hand shooting photos and video. This is their amazing footage!
Press play and thank the heavens that you’re not where Jon is!