Legend Lives On
John Gunnell - April 12, 2014 07:07 AM
The Chi-Town Hustler put in an appearance at the 2013 PRI Show.John Gunnell
The Chi-Town Hustler funny car back in the eyes of the public again. Bar’s Products recently used the iconic Mopar as a booth display in trade shows.
The Chi-Town Hustler car was made famous by the track-long burnouts it made on the Midwest match-racing circuit in the 1970s. It was built by Chicago-area racers John Farkonas, Austin Coil (now John Force’s crew chief) and Pat Minick. The car has been restored by a collector as a tribute to these three men and the spirit of the years when funny cars ruled the drag strips.
The Chi-Town Hustler is still on its original Romeo & Palamides Racing chassis. It carries a 426 nitro-burning Hemi built with the outlines of yesterday, but the safety guidelines of today. The current Chi-Town Hustler is owned and driven by Troy Martin.
The original Hustler was a ’67 Barracuda. In June 1967, it ran an 8.17 quarter mile at the Super Stock Nationals at U.S. 30 Drag-O-Way in York, Pennsylvania. Late in May 1969, a switch was made to a new Dodge Charger built P & D Race Cars that featured a chassis designed by Farkonas, who had a degree in mechanical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He felt an upright driver position worked best and the Charger backed his thinking.
After a brief run with a Mustang II body, the Hustler picked up a Challenger body that was 100 pounds lighter. The car raced until 1984.