Colt 45 Ford Mustang Funny Car Found!

If you came home with a vintage Mustang, the little woman might say something like, “oh no, not another one!” But if you came home with a vintage Mustang funny car, would you find your stuff out on the front lawn? Well, here’s your chance to test those waters. An NHRA-sanctioned funny car with a modified 1969 Mustang fiberglass body. It’s rough from years in retirement and has no motor. It’s being peddled by a classic car dealership in Sherman, Texas and available here on craigslist (and other places as well) for $19,500. Thanks to Ricky Matthews for the tip!

For those not in the know, a Funny Car is a drag racing vehicle used in a specific class of racing. They have tilt-up fiberglass or carbon fiber bodies hung over a custom-fabricated chassis, and they roughly look like the production models they’re based on. The engine is placed in front of the driver and the Big 3 automakers are currently involved in the sport presented by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Funny Car Division. Besides their resemblance to certain models, the funny car body shells serve in an aerodynamic capacity, as well. The winningest drivers in the division are John Force, Ron Capps, and Robert Hight, with 50 or more wins each.

So, now for the background on this car. Its first owners were the Ingram and Davis Team out of California who built the first Colt 45 in 1966 to race in the NHRA AA/A class. They sold the car to Frank Reinauer, who bought it to match race in Oklahoma. Reinauer extended the front end by two feet and put a Chevy 396 V8 in it. Not satisfied with the result, Reinauer had funny car racers Gitthens and Allen build a new chassis and a 1969 Mustang body was ordered from Fiberglass, Ltd. This transformation is what the car is based on today. Reinauer, who passed away in 2009, then sold it to fellow Oklahomans, Don and Jack Martin, and funny car racer Ezra Boggs was asked to then drive the car. Now powered by a 480 cube V8, Boggs drove the Mustang for two years, scoring a best of 7.70 at 198 mph back in 1970. Boggs himself died in 2019. The use and whereabouts of the car for the past 50 years are not noted.

Clearly the car has seen better days and it does not come with an engine or a title. We’re told that the car still wears its original paint. It carries slicks in the back and 12-spoke spindle mounts in the front (with flat tires). I’m not sure what the interior should look like, but all I see is half a seat, a steering wheel, and a tank. I have no idea whether this car is structurally capable of being a racer again or if it should just be restored as a showpiece. Regarding the latter, the buyer will receive a full, vintage race suit and helmet; we don’t know if it was worn by Boggs or someone else.

Besides the photos supplied, there is a video on the car available as well. But it’s nothing more than a walk-around of the vehicle in the seller’s shop. What’s the going rate for a well-used funny car? I have to say I don’t know, but the seller believes it will be worth nearly $20,000 to someone.

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Comments

  1. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    It’s a shame to see less than a shell of any historical racing machine, but it seems this is another sad example of the adage “History is written by the victors”..and every kind of old race car is rarely the victor for any length of time.
    Doesn’t look like there’s much of any value here outside of the sentimental value or limited historical significance.
    Makes a gearhead all the more appreciate the folks that keep old racing machines alive for vintage racing!

    Like 12
    • 8thNote 8thNote Member

      So some guy built the car, then sold it to some other guys who then replaced the engine, frame, and body? Reminds me of the old joke about George Washington’s ax.

      Like 14
    • RayT Member

      Just take this piece to Beverly Hills Car Club and see what happens!

      Like 6
      • stillrunners stillrunners Member

        These guys are the BHCC of Texas……..

        Like 4
    • Bill McCoskey

      About 20 years ago I had a similar age Dodge Charger fiberglass funny car body, in really nice condition, wasn’t able to give it away, no one wanted the body, so I ended up breaking it apart with my WW2 era 2 cylinder John Deere tracked dozer. [Wish I still had that dozer today!]

      Like 3
  2. Steve R

    It’s destined to a life of exhibitions and cackle fests. This will never see action beyond a possible part throttle pass at a nostalgia race. None of the “nostalgia” funny cars racing tofday are actually old.

    Steve R

    Like 9
  3. AMCFAN

    Not sure what the issue is here. These were built for competition and within a year or two they were sold off by the teams that built them and used by lesser teams either to be used up/wrecked or used for parts. Find an old issue of AHRA Dragworld or National Dragster and see what was for sale. Those were the go to rags for race junk. It was their common cycle. New was better.

    50 years we can cry why did this happen? No one had a use for outdated equipment. Someone took the engine and out of this and ran. This was parked outdoors out of harms way and left. At the least it is here to marvel at today. I vote it should be left as is. It has zero other purpose. A huge waste of money to look just to at. Unless you are the guy that likes taking the same car to shows over and over.

    Interesting Haydon Proffit’s Grant Rambler (Chevy Ford and Dodge eater) 67 Rebel funny car was found in as found condition. I believe someone has the Javelin 1 funny car body.

    Like 11
  4. jerry z

    We all like to keep things original but like the others have said, you have to change to keep up, especially racing. I would like to see the original Colt 45 Mustang but it will live in memories.

    Like 1
    • jerry z

      I wonder if the original 1965 Mustang body is still around.

      Like 1
  5. Kralik

    I’m no chassis engineer, but that just looks like a scaled-up go-kart chassis. Can’t imnagine it would pass any current tech scrutineering rules. As a history piece, though, it’s interesting.

    Like 5
  6. Howard A Member

    This, to any drag race fan, is pretty cool, but total death traps. They moved on from these for a reason, but you had to start somewhere. “Floppers” have come a long way, but the guys that drove these had doo-dads of steel. Fire was the biggest hazard, and I think it was Don Schumacher that invented the top roof hatch, so drivers could get out. These were wild machines for the time, but pale in comparison to the cars of today. With 10,000+ hp and runs ( in the lame 1,000 feet) are in the high 3’s, were numbers these guys could only dream of, but they put on a heck of a show. 6’s and 7’s, at the time, were stellar runs. Like Steve says, be an expensive toy for just “cacklefests”, ( in case you don’t know, a cacklefest is, it’s a bunch of vintage dragsters at meets today, that usually only start up and idle down the track) but with the seemingly bottomless pockets of today, why not?
    Btw, in case you’re interested in funny cars, today it takes a MINIMUM of $7-$8 MILLION dollars to run a funny car for a season, usually 24 races. With sponsors hard to find, drag racing is clearly in peril. Who knows, maybe we’ll come back to these. Now, where’s my old “Beatle Boots”?

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      Cackle fest cars aren’t exo naive to run. You don’t need to spend a lot of money building an exotic engine on something that is just going to idle for a few minutes. A large part of the “cackle” is produced by the fuel itself, nitro methane is an oxygen bearing fuel, when it combusts it releases more oxygen and helps create the sound they are known for. The biggest expense for the guys that bring their cars to cackle fests outside of a fancy paint job, is beer and BBQ for their weekend outing.

      As for the 1000 ft racing, grandstands end well before the finish line. A majorly of fans of fans wouldn’t be able to tell the difference unless someone told them. It’s obvious when you see a national event in person and walk around at track level when the fuel cars are running. That doesn’t even address the safety issues with fuel cars running to the 1/4 mile. It had become too dangerous for drivers and had contributed to the death of a couple of well known professional. I spent a lot of time talking to our track manager, they ran tracks which hosted annual national events from the early-80’s until their retirement at the end of 2018. Anyone who listened to their explanation would not consider the shortened distance a sacrafice.

      Steve R

      Like 8
      • Steve R

        The first sentence should read. “Cackle fest cars aren’t expensive to run.”

        Steve R

        Like 4
      • Howard A Member

        Well, yes and no. I feel drag racing is not just for the fans, the 1/4 mile is what the founder intended, and other measures should have been implemented, such as limiting fuel or longer shut down areas, and if the surroundings no longer permit that, close it down, like Englishtown. I’ve seen a lot of races either won or lost in that extra 320 feet. Doesn’t matter, drag racing, as we know it today, is history anyway. Probably just as well. Like all auto racing, it’s drifted so far away from it’s original days, they struggle to get 16 entries as it is. Look at that “V racer” a while back. That was cheap racing. And who knows what happened to John Force. Pretty quiet over there, and I don’t buy the “waiting it out because of the virus” schtick either. I’m sure his sponsors gave him the boot, contract or not. It’s all about sponsors today. Like the old car hobby, us old timers had our time, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything today.

        Like 3
      • Steve R

        There are only two NHRA classes that run 1,000 feet. Many tracks don’t have the luxury of adding extra length to the shutdown area. Even if they could why should they for one race a year. As for shutting down tracks, why throw in the towel so easily? I’ve heard the same argument many times before, usually comes from people that aren’t going to buy a ticket regardless of the distance they run.

        When it comes to the health of the sport, it’s actually doing well. There are hundreds of tracks across the country, yet only a handful that host national events. They survive on the “little guy” racers that come out on Wednesday and Friday nights or weekends. Even the big tracks need them to keep the gates open. Unfortunately, nobody but the true enthusiasts ever think about them.

        Steve R

        Like 2
      • Howard A Member

        Looks like it’s you and me Steve, a common resonance of the sport today, and I couldn’t disagree more. The smaller classes are fun but are peanuts when it comes to attracting fans and keeping these tracks open. Environmental concerns alone will take it down soon. It’s a fact, most people go to see the fuel cars. Look at when the fuel classes are done qualifying, the stands are empty. Drag racing is NOT doing well and greed and advertising have taken over, and yes, many ARE throwing in the towel. Here’s what long time racer Doug Foley has to say,,
        https://www.autoweek.com/racing/nhra/a33957591/all-is-not-well-nhra-top-fuel-racer-issue-dire-warning-about-series-future/

        Like 1
    • Steve R

      Howard, you don’t get it. National events are not the bread and butter that keeps 90% of the tracks open, they are the icing on the cake of a select few, but attract all of the attention. It like live music, stadium and arena concerts get all of the attention, but it’s the dedication of the music lovers that keep all of the small venues alive. Tracks know the small events, which pay the bills, don’t attract fans. They rely on the real racers, they guys that have a car 10 second or slower street or race car than runs 30 or 40 times a year paying for a tech card each week to keep the gates open. From your responses, it’s obvious you’ve never spent much time at a track and gotten to know the operator/manager. Your knowledge is that of a casual fan with a basic misconception of how things really work.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • Howard A Member

        Yep,, casual fan for 40 years. Where were you when this car ran? I was at Great Lakes Dragaway. And in true American fashion, where nobody is wrong, I do so know what I’m talking about.

        Like 3
  7. Stangalang

    Not much of a frame..looks like they just needed something to sit the body on

    Like 1
  8. Jay E. Member

    For more years than I can say, my Saturdays revolved around drag racing. And in one rule change, that disappeared. I hate the 1000′ rule. It became a holeshot contest, with virtually no chance of a top end run. I found that 3-4 seconds did not give me enough time to take interest in a run.
    Apparently many others feel the same way, attendance and sponsors fled. What they NEED TO DO is have 1/4 mile races at the tracks that support them and 1000′ races at those that cant. Much like adding L/R turns to nascar, it brings different skills to the table, keeps the races interesting for more viewers, and keeps the real 1/4 mile races alive.
    Unfortunately I think it will be too late to save drag racing though, even if they did that.

    Like 5
  9. martinsane

    Neat. But i spent a good amount of time at the raceways in my youth and theae were it.
    Cars like Tom the Mongoose McEwen and Don the Snake Prudhomme amongst a thousand others, i may have seen this one?
    As mentioned, this car will or should sit with its body fully lifted in somebody’s mancave for the remainder of its existence.

    Like 2
  10. bobhess bobhess Member

    If you want to get a good look at ’50s through ’70s drag cars go to Don Garlits’ museum in Ocala, FL. What you see is a bunch of early cars with no more frames than this car has. Don’s first race car is there and it’s a rail frame with enough room for the engine, transmission, seat, fuel tank and the rear axle. Period. No roll bar, no nothing. Scary. As for race tracks, we do most of our racing at Sebring along with IMSA and several track day groups. They also host concerts, weddings, autocrosses, drifting, and lots of testing by all the major race groups in the US. That keeps the track going for all of us.

    Like 1
  11. john gousse

    It is a 68 not a 69

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