Willy’s Gasser “HEMI Hurricane” – 1940
Stock Number – 1800922
Year / Make / Model – 1940 Willy’s Gasser “HEMI Hurricane”
Exterior Color – Red/Gold
Interior Color – Black
Manufacture – Acme
Estimated Release Date – January 2023
Production Number – 750
Scale – 1:18
Moonshine and racing. They went hand-in-hand in the early days of motorsports, with Junior Johnson being perhaps one of the more famous moonshiners, thanks to the numerous NASCAR publications that make mention of his storied past.
However, not all retired bootleggers turned to ovals for a speed fix when their whisky hauling days came to a close.
Among them is Lamar “Bunky” Bobo. His choice of a side occupation was shut down thanks to Georgia’s State Revenuers’ laws. In the meantime, a 1940 Willy’s coupe had been purchased by Frank Groves, a local drag racer, in 1964, for $225. The goal was to turn the Willys into an A/gasser for use at the local quarter-mile. Low on funds, the project stalled with no running gear for the coupe. It wasn’t long before a deal was struck between the two men, and they resumed the drag project as partners.
By the time the Hemi Hurricane Willys was completed, NASCAR Drag Racing was big in the South, the biggest event being the Winter Nationals at Daytona: NASCAR did sanction drag racing in the mid to late 1960s, along with other organizations such as Standard 1320, NADS, UDRA, and IHRA–all of which ran under the same rules as NHRA or AHRA, or a combination of the two. During the 1966 Winter Nationals, Bunky won his class in the Willys, but blew the engine during the final run. The team low on funds, Frank left the team and the car behind. Bunky returned for the 1967 running, surpassing the A/G class by winning the competition eliminator in a single run.
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