Recently we were given a cool gift by a local friend of BangShift.com in the form of his vintage magazine collection. It came home in crate and boxes, neatly bundled in packs with string. There are several titles represented, but the real gold was a nearly complete set of Sports Car Graphic. That magazine ran from 1961 to 1971 and was a clean handed buff book that fawned over foreign sporty cars and generally dumped on domestic cars for being too heavy, sloppy, and unrefined. Leafing through the 1970 year mags we found this awesome set of ads for Coke that mainly feature Funny Cars and dragster racers from the era. The irony is that Sports Car Graphic, in the mag’s entire history that we can tell, never went to a drag race, or mentioned anything much about it.
In this era, Coke sponsored a group called the “Coca-Cola Cavalcade of Funny Car Stars.” The group was essentially a match racing dream team that track promoters could book into their track for a show. It consisted of 8-10 cars, and the lineup changed yearly. It was a cash bonanza for the racers who got in. They’d run up to 25 dates a year with a guaranteed $1,000 to show up and the potential for up to $1,400 more for winning the race. The series is still spoken about with reverance among vintage drag-o-philes today.
These ads are the tip of the iceberg as we plan on delving into our fairly substantial archive of good stuff on a frequent basis.