Limited-Edition Print o f 350 (13x19) prints
Signed and numbered by the Artist.
Another example of a beautiful yet uneventful attempt at streamlining was the “Jungle 4” car of Mooneyham, Ferguson, Jackson and Faust. This is the same car as seen in my “Bakersfield Blues” painting, now draped in a sleek streamlined body.
In early 1965, the team of Frank Cannon and the Chrisman Brothers worked with "Streamlining Extraordinaire" Robert “Jocko” Johnson, to build a streamliner body for their Woody Chassis dubbed the “Hustler VI,” it would début at the “March Meet” in Bakersfield that year. After making only one sluggish pass, the team thought the body was be too heavy, so they stripped it off the car and ran without it enabling them to qualify for the race. However, the follow day while making checkout pass with the bodiless chassis, due to oil on the track the car got out of shape and rolled over which quickly killed their chances at the race…After the event, the Cannon & Chrisman team still licking their wounds, didn’t want to have anything to do with the streamliner body, so Jocko talked the “Jungle 4” gang into giving it a try.
Jocko produced this body in fiberglass, and it certainly looked stunning when fitted onto the “Jungle 4s” similar Woody chassis. Adding some Silver scallops and the “Jungle 4” insignia shield on the front cowling also touched up the paint job. When the body was finished and mounted, the team did a photo shoot for a magazine article, and then took the car to “Lions Drag Strip” for some test runs.
In a conversation I had with “Jungle Larry,” he filled me in on what happened during the initial test session. “The car made a good move off the line and was pullin hard, we were in the right lane and as soon as I passed the grandstands on the right, I was hit by a gust of wind that pushed the car right into the lights!” Larry continued, “ I tried to steer the car, I had it cranked over to the right but the car just kept goin left.” The car hit the finish-lights and busted a hole in the front end. That night Jocko patched the hole up, and wrote the word “Ouch” on the primered patch
The next day (Sunday,) the crew took the car to San Fernando Drag Strip to try it again. Once again, on the first pass crosswinds hit the car this time driving it completely off the right side of the track into the weeds, and again Larry could do nothing to correct its course.
The team got a NASA aerodynamicist to come out a take a look at the car, hoping maybe he could shed some light on the car’s handling problems. It didn’t take him long to come to the conclusion that the front of the body was causing hundreds of pounds of down-force on the front end, simply over powering the steering linkage. Even when Larry tried to make a correction in steering, the down-force was so great that it overpowered the narrow front tires causing them to just slide across the track. The aerodynamicist suggested they could put some big front tires on the car and beef-up the steering link, but adding that much more weight to the car just seemed counter productive. That's all it took to realize yet another failed, but beautiful looking attempt at streamlining.
When I was painting the images for this book, one subject always came up. Do I illustrate scenes the way they actually were, or do I dress-up the image by adding larger crowds, or banners and flags to make the scene look more festive? I decided I wanted my paintings to be as accurate as possible, so I choose not romanticize the scenes by adding anything to the images. So it goes with this painting, as we see the sparsely populated grandstands.
I have always been surprised when people recall the “Glory Days” of the sport, because it seems not a lot of people were actually there at the time. The Drag Magazines and Newspapers went a long way in increasing peoples’ perceptions of Drag Racing, such as the magazine article written about this car. By the time the article was published, the Streamliner was long gone, yet the story and images live on in people’s memories expanding the reality of the situation.
Fortunately for our sake, my late buddy Bob Wagner was on hand that quiet Saturday afternoon at Lions to capture this ever-fleeting image in time, one of just a couple known action shots ever taken of this beautiful yet dysfunctional car