Corvette Funny Car: Cameo Chassis

Corvette Funny Car

I don’t know how much you get into a vehicle’s fame and connections to Hollywood, but I’ve always liked the idea of owning a car immortalized in film. That’s the story with this engine-less Corvette here on eBay, a former drag-racing funny car that appeared in the 1970s flick Hot Rod. While not exactly a box office smash, it does add to the vehicle’s history and could be a fantastic prop in a restoration or race shop. 

Hot Rod Funny Car

I’d imagine this car at one time had an actual history on the drag strip, not just one that was made-for-TV. As this vintage photo shows, the Corvette was trailered to and from events and wore massive drag slicks in the rear. The seller makes no mention of the original engine and transmission configuration, but I suspect the secret lies with the company name on the fender. The owner of PDG Auto Parts, Paul Del Grande, passed away two years ago. My guess is Herb Del Grande is a sibling who did the driving.

funny4

The seller includes this photo of the chassis sporting one mother of a motor. That is not included in the sale – you’re getting the rolling chassis and body but not much else. The chassis was last certified in 2009 but the helmet bars are currently not, so you’ll also have some safety improvements to make if you wish to convert this  Corvette back to a full-time drag car.

funny3

No matter what happens with this drag-ready Corvette, there is a ton of history that will come along for the ride. If anyone knows whether this car was campaigned as a successful drag racer, let us know. And if you watched the original Hot Rod movie and can recall the scene when this Corvette screamed down the quarter mile – well, if nostalgia takes over and you bring this one home, I hope you’ve got space for a paperweight.

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Comments

  1. JW

    The paint job tells the tale, it has 70’s painted all over it. I have no where to store it so I’m out.

  2. jim s

    seller has 2 very interesting model A’s for sale on Ebay also. the movie is for sale on ebay and can be viewed on youtube ( i think ). i really like the car hauler. the car is a good starting point but not sure what it would take in time/money to make a raceable car out of it. nice find.

    • Debra Del Grande

      Yes, the movie can be viewed on YouTube. My brother Herb makes his run with the funny car at about the 36-38 minute mark in the movie.

      Like 3
  3. Bobsmyuncle

    I’d buy it with one condition, I get to reinstall the drive train for one short trip.

    This summer I want to pull out front of the streetside patio of my local watering hole patio, car burbling and spitting, swing up that shell and climb out as nonchalant as I can muster LOL.

    Like 1
    • Debra Del Grande

      :)

      Like 2
  4. Dominic

    The fender louvers(?) show a 1968 or 1969.

  5. Jason Houston

    I lived in Hollywood long enough to get burned out on movie stars and their silly ego-cars. The place is littered with garbage like this…

    • Debra Del Grande

      Are you thinking the driver of the funny car, my brother, Herb, was a movie star and the car was an “ego-car” just for the movie? Wow! Amazing. Just so you know, all the cars and drivers in the movie Hot Rod were regular racers at Fremont Drag Strip. Not ONE of them featured in the film were paid even a penny for their “part” in the movie. The film makers showed up on a race day and filmed which cars and drivers they picked out of the racing crowd. My brother can give more detail.

      Like 3
  6. erikj

    How can u call that garbage???????????????????? That’s Americana. That’s speaks a time that I miss, If you know of more litter like this let me know

    Like 2
    • Debra Del Grande

      :)

      Like 2
  7. Doug Towsley

    Super cool car, I dont have the room to store this but great piece of history and great posting. Way out of the ordinary and I enjoyed it.
    When i was a youngster I talked my dad into taking me to the local funny car shows when they came to town. Never really understood the point of it like the old Trans Am races or SCCA, but loads of fun watching them race. Fond memories. Mickey Thompson back in the 70s was epic. I remember one race, TV Tommy Ivo from the Mickey Mouse show was running a funny car, and he ran over his crew chief while staging at the lights. Probably around 1975? The car took off and the crew chief flew up on top of the car, and then slid off the windshield and back onto the track. Tommy backed up, Crew chief was a trooper, got back up, and did his job. Cant remember who won that race but ill never forget it. For some real fun, read up on Jungle Jim Lieberman, and who can forget Jungle Pam???? See: http://www.junglepam.com/
    See :http://dragracecentral.com/DRCStory.asp?ID=281199&Filter=Year2013

    Like 1
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Thanks Doug for the Pam link! Hard to beat the burn the bra, hippie chicks! Now I am going back to look at the cars, take care, Mike.

  8. Debra Del Grande

    The above-described/photos of the funny car belonged to my brother, Paul (Herb) Del Grande, Jr.. Our father was a “sponsor” of course, along with others. If you want the entire history of the car (besides being in the movie Hot Rod), feel free to send an email to my brother and his wife. He would LOVE to reminisce about it. Who all the sponsors were, who painted it – everything. Please get in touch with him!

    Like 3
    • Don Moyer

      How do I get his email address? Thanks Debra!

      • Debra Del Grande

        Herb can be contacted through his wife’s email ldg2014@yahoo.com. He’d probably love to talk on the phone too. He even trailered the funny car to one of my son’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby races and stated it up and gave the kids a speech. :)

        Like 1
  9. Linda Del Grande

    The funny car was my husbands car Herb Del Grande. we did actually race the car then sold it. if anyone has questions send an email. we also at one time had the Jungle Jim body Blue Monza body but would not fit on the frame. the Corvette belonged to Lou Gasparelli before Herb purchased it. Lou ran it in 1964 as an Alcohol Funny Car the name of the car was Classical Gas. Blown Big Block Chevy direct drive.

    Like 3
    • Shane Saylor

      I have been researching Jungle Jim’s cars for many years and would love to talk to you about that body if I could, thanks

      Like 1
      • Debra Del Grande

        Send them an email ldg2014@yahoo.com. Herb would love it! :)

        Like 1
    • Chris Nemeth

      Hi Linda. I just bought this car from Don. Is there a way I can contact you? I really would like to get more detailed history on the car if possible.
      Chris

      Like 1
      • Debra

        Hi Chris – send them an email @ ldg2014@yahoo.com.My brother Herb was the owner.

        Like 1
  10. Doug Towsley

    Dont recall if this sold or not or the details but i remember the posting. Maybe Im weird, but even as Yard art, this would be so cool.
    Im voting that Barnfinds SHOULD do a feature on pictures and the history if you care to share Linda. Thank you for the update and history lesson.
    In my area we have a number of museums that would love to have this on display or shows. The LeMay museum up in Tacoma Washington, MaryMount museum (Same people, the Lemay family) World of Speed in Wilsonville Oregon, and my guys where i am a volunteer. The NW Vintage Car and Motorcycle museum. One of 12 museums at the Antique Powerland facility just north of Salem Oregon. many more as well, Vancouver Washington, Hood river, central Oregon also have museums. We are gearheads in the NW.

  11. Debra Del Grande

    One of the stories my brother told was when they were filming the movie Hot Rod at Fremont Drag Strip, everyone there to race wanted the filming to hurry up and get over so they could get back to their race. :-) lol

    Like 2
  12. Randy howe

    This car is what I grew up on, it was my grandfathers,uncle,aunt, mothers life back then !
    Grandfather Paul delgrande
    Uncle herb delgrande
    Aunt Linda delgrande
    Mother debra delgrande
    I have too many memories with that car and the jungle Jim car sitting at the shop and us kids acting like we were drag racers
    Too bad the car now doesn’t boast the original sponsors like the og pic with the kaedings and pdg auto and even the “lovin by linda” above the door
    It should be in the dragster museum like the jungle Jim body we let go of

    Like 1
    • Debra Del Grande

      So true son. Those days were the best ! Many great memories! Yes, the first photo have all the sponsors removed, like Kaeding Performance-Howard Kaeding-owner, infamous in Sprint Car racing arena, and how his sons. We’ll have to get the list from Herb & Linda Del Grande.

      Like 1
  13. Linda Del Grande

    History of the Classical Gas Funny Car: 1964 originaly owned by Lou Gasparelli (not sure when he parked it) I bought it from a local guy in San Jose Ca. an Alchol Funny Car racer named Donny. It was stored for years in a Huge storage yard off Hwy.101 in San Jose. The sun had baked the body, it was bad. I bought Jungle Jims Blue Monza body shortly after he was killed back east, the width was to short to fit the front tires. I did all the glass work and flares. Mark Young painted it Porsche Gold Base. Davie Uyehara and Max Williams AKA Damax mounted the body and did the tin. I ran it as a A/EA in Division 7. in later years I switched the body to an Austin Bantam. When I sold the car to Ted Boren he was to big to fit so he had to change the roll cage to what it has now. He sold to George Lewellyn the President N.C.D.R.A. he traded it to Cliff Loomis. last i saw of the car was a picture in the National Dragster for sale until your posting on it.

    Like 1
    • Chris Nemeth

      Hi Linda/Herb. I’m the guy who bought the car from Don and I’m happy to tell you its resting comfortably in my shop. I plan to get this old girl back on the track, even if only for exhibition passes. I would really like to get some more detailed history on its early life. Any pictures, timing slips, stories etc. would be fantastic.
      I will be fixing the worst parts of the body but it is my goal to leave as much of the 70’s paint work as possible, including the “Loving by Linda” on the roof!
      I can be contacted by email csn58@bell.net if you’d care to help me preserve some very cool history.
      Thanks.

      Like 2
  14. Don Moyer

    Wow just saw all the comments! Thanks so much. I really hate to sell it but I have too many projects myself!

    Like 1
  15. D. Leblanc

    Hi; I worked with an Ed Del Grande, owner of Rust Check
    and his Son Paul Del Grande here in Ontario.
    Is this the same car collector I knew ?
    Thanks.
    Donnie

    • Debra Del Grande

      GET OUT! There’s another Paul Del Grande out there!?! My father and brother both Paul Del Grande. Wow!

      Like 1
      • Chris Nemeth

        Hi Debra. I have sent several emails to Linda and Herb but no reply. I really would like to get the history on the Corvette that is now sitting in my garage. Is there another email address or phone number I can use to contact them?
        Or maybe you can pass my email to Herb? csn58@bell.net
        Thanks.

  16. Debra Del Grande

    Hi Chris. Herb doesn’t do email or text, but Linda does. lol I will let Herb know you’re trying to get a hold of him for more info. I will email you too. I do have photos and some of the history, but Herb telling you would mean more. :)

    Like 2
  17. Chris Nemeth

    That would be fantastic. Thanks for your help.

    Like 1
  18. mark maire

    hi deb ,mark maire jr I had herbies number but lost it, haven’t talk to him for a while like to see what hes been up lately

    Like 1
    • Debra Del Grande

      OMG! Hi Mark! Blast from the past! :-) Email me.

      Like 1
    • Debra

      Hey Mark! I guess my email address might help! lol debradelgrande@sbcglobal.net. Herb doesn’t want me to post his phone number on a public forum.

      Like 1
  19. David

    I love the Vette, loved the movie, totally dug the black Plymouth, but am loving the reply thread on this even more!

    Like 1
  20. Chris

    Slowly but surely I am bringing this old girl back to life.
    Built 1969 427 with a pro built Powerglide and hand fabbed zoomies.
    I’m still poking at it but I am pleased to let you know it will keep this same look as long as I own it, warts and all!

    Like 1
    • Debra Del Grande

      :-)

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