" Snoopy XKE"
Limited-Edition Print of 350 (13x19)
signed and numbered by the Artist.
When Sheldon Konblett's XKE Jaguar Funny Car graced the cover of Car Craft magazine in November of 1967, little did we realize we were looking at a beautiful death trap.
Sheldon first came to our attention in 1966 when he campaigned a Ford LTD 4/door Funny Car named "Peanuts" out of his "Service Center" store in Compton Ca. Although the bright Red LTD was an attention getter, as a performer it left much to be desired, the car was just to big and heavy to be competitive.
In 1967 Konblett decided to build a performer, and what car was more aero-dynamic than Jaguar's new XKE? When the car was completed, with it's beautiful Pearl Pink and Rose Lace paint job, it was a real show-stopper, and considered one of the prettiest Funny Cars ever...
The car was built in Sheldon's shop, and while the Jag may have looked sleek and fast, it was an ill handling car. No matter what was tried the car just wouldn't run straight.. When the body was removed and they ran just the chassis ,the car would perform just fine, so they knew the trouble lie within the body itself.
The car was built featuring full Plexiglas tinted red windows all around, giving it a showcar type quality. The best results came when the windows were removed altogether, but the car still had the habit of getting squirrelly at high speed.
On March 30th 1968 with driver Johnny "Mack" Hoffman behind the wheel the car suffered a fatal crash causing Hoffman to lose his life. Conjecture has it that the long fiberglass nose of the car would collapse down at high speed interfering with the steering. The car went sideways at 170mph and barrel rolled several times, causing the car to disintegrate.
There were also stories that Konblett was killed driving the car, but that is untrue as Sheldon would drown in 1986 in a boating accident off of Catalina Island.
Sheldon's foray into Drag Racing left an indelible mark, as his LTD and XKE were two of the most memorable Funny Cars in the sport.