In 1967, many drag racing followers had been shocked to be taught that the crew of Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner had been swapping their in style AA/Gasoline Willys coupe for a Mustang humorous automotive. The crew dominated the A/GS ranks with the Swindler A Willys, and many individuals anticipated them to proceed competing within the gasser ranks.
Humorous automotive match racing was the place all the cash was, nonetheless, and the “Pebble, Pulp and Chef” gang was prepared for a brand new problem. In order that they put aside the Willys in favor of a blown Mustang they christened Darkish Horse 2.
Though the fiberglass flip-top model humorous automobiles had been beginning to come into their very own, the SWC Mustang was not a flopper. As an alternative the crew mounted a metal Mustang physique shell on a light-weight weight tubular chassis, with a protracted fiberglass entrance clip. Driver Doug Prepare dinner entered the automotive by opening doorways, whereas the clip might be eliminated to work on the engine.
Following the identical sample as their well-known gassers, the SWC crew chosen a blown early Chrysler hemi for energy. As a result of Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner had been so profitable within the gasoline lessons, some folks mistakenly check with the Mustang as a gasser. At first the automotive ran alcohol, with a splash of nitro. As time wore on, the crew tipped-the-can and used an ever better percentages of nitromethane.
The Mustang humorous automotive instantly adopted within the footsteps of the Willys gassers, successful the 2400 pound class on the famed Bakersfield March meet two days in a row. From there, the crew set off on a blistering barnstorming tour that has seldom been equaled.
It appeared that each drag racing fan wished to see the Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner Mustang in motion, and each monitor proprietor wished to fill the stands by reserving the match racer. Choose up any copy of Drag Information from 1967, and you’ll doubtless discover quite a few tales recounting the exploits Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner at completely different tracks.
Along with racing at a lot of the five-star tracks, Darkish Horse 2 additionally confirmed up at small hole-in-the-wall venues; dragstrips with ragged asphalt, dim night-lighting and insufficient shut down areas. The followers wished to see Doug Prepare dinner in motion, and the crew was greater than keen to grant their want.
Racing a number of occasions every week, SWC ran in opposition to a lot of the well-known humorous automobiles of the period, taking over the lighter weight, injected flip-top automobiles in addition to different steel-bodied blown entries. Prepare dinner wasn’t at all times victorious, however he racked up a powerful win/loss tally.
Simply when the Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner crew gave the impression to be on prime of their sport, tragedy intervened. A crash destroyed Darkish Horse 2 at Alton, Illinois. Doug Prepare dinner, probably the most in style and revered drag racers of all time, sustained again accidents that ended his racing profession.
Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner weren’t completed, nonetheless. They constructed a brand new Mustang that was a close to copy of the unique. The Ghost of Darkish Horse 2 continued the torrid match-race tempo, with various employed drivers changing Prepare dinner behind the wheel.
By 1969, even the SWC crew couldn’t stay aggressive with a metal bodied automotive, they usually constructed a Mustang flopper, assigning the driving chores to Dee Keaton. Within the early ’70s, Tim Woods constructed the primary Pinto humorous automotive and ran it below the Stone, Woods and Prepare dinner banner with Mike VanSant because the pilot. Nonetheless later a Chrysler powered Corvette gasser toured below the Stone, Woods and Cooke banner. That isn’t a typo; on the ‘Vette the identify Prepare dinner was spelled with an e on the tip. Reportedly, not one of the authentic trio was actively concerned with the Corvette.
Ultimately, all three members of the colourful crew retired from racing. Doug Prepare dinner handed away in 1999.
The Darkish Horse 2 legacy continues, nonetheless. Mike Prepare dinner, son of the well-known driver, is reconstructing Darkish Horse 2. Footage of the automotive’s building might be seen on Prepare dinner’s web site, in addition to images of the totally restored Swindler A and Swindler B Willys coupes.
4 many years have handed for the reason that Darkish Horse 2 Mustang barnstormed its method into drag racing historical past. It’s good to know that Mike Prepare dinner would not intend to let the well-known humorous automotive be forgotten.