The War Wagon: Vega Funny Car

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Although I can’t see much use for them beyond as a showpiece or actually going to the drag strip, old funny cars are endlessly entertaining – even if not particularly practical. This Chevy Vega bears the nickname of “War Wagon” and is said to have a colorful history of that involved touring the show car circuit. You can find it here on eBay where bidding is active and the reserve remains unmet. 

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The paint job alone could get you to take notice, but this Vega also wears fat slicks and has a parachute tucked beneath the rear bumper. That should provide some clues that this car is more than just a pretty face. The seller references its “blown and injected” Chevy 327 motor as reason enough why this Vega isn’t for wallflowers or families looking to cruise daintily down to the car show. Put simply, it sounds like a handful.

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It’s all business on the inside, but it’s still surprisingly lush considering its drag-car intentions. The seller doesn’t know much about the War Wagon or why it left the show circuit for the quiet confines of an Indiana barn, where it was discovered. The seller cites the highly original lacquer paint job as an example of its period-correct authenticity, and plexiglass widows for an idea of just how serious the original builder was at creating a showstopper drag car.

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Here’s a shot of what the War Wagon looked like when it was closer to new and on the ISCA car show tour. Not much has changed, aside from the more plain-jane body seen here and the different wheels. The seller notes that this interesting Vega has been sitting front and center in his showroom but he needs the space more than he needs another project. Hopefully, this unusual drag-car survivor will continue to be preserved and maybe even raced!

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Comments

  1. Rock On

    Far from being a funny car, more like pro street. I would bet that this car has never been down a race track. I would change that in a hurry!

    • RichS

      I was about to agree but look at the seating position. In the center of the car, between the rear wheels and the drivers head is behind the B-pillar. This would never be a street car.

  2. joeinthousandoaks

    With the center steering and the wild engine set back but functioning doors its kind of a strange mix of pro street and funny car. I would agree it’s a show car not a race car. Nice work though.

    • Lewis Jones

      maybe a look reminiscing of the early funnys, when they had doors that opened and looked much more ‘real’?

  3. SSPBill

    Maybe he meant funny – peculiar. With that chassis I don’t know if anyone would let this down a track. In my mind this is strictly a static show car with no test and tune time. If it were me I wouldn’t be straddling an unknown turbo350 between a blown 327 and those big slicks. Something has to break.

  4. bob

    Vegas were funny ,in a weird way , when new. My neighbor had one with a 4 speed . It was actually hilarious watching his wife try to drive it .

  5. gbvette62

    It looks like that Vega was built to NHRA Gas Altered class rules, in particular BB/Altered, from the markings on the rear quarters. It was definitely not a funny car. The cage, engine set back etc, are typical of the Altered class cars of the 70’s and 80’s. I remember a blown small block powered Opel GT, that dominated the BB/A class, back in the 80’s.

    Odds are that car has never seen a track though. I’m guessing the only competition it’s ever seen was on the ISCA show circuit.

  6. JW

    Pretty cool for nostalgia purpose and a sign of times gone by, show circuit only IMHO.

  7. michael streuly

    I agree with gbvett62 not a funny car but a B ALTERED car. To run the car today on the track it would need to be upgraded to pass tech. Very cool car.

  8. CowboyChris

    I love it

  9. Lawrence Wright

    I saw the split grille and immediately thought “Astre”, not Vega… but not quite.

  10. Busyditch

    Definitely a gasser or altered. I had one similar to this and I couldn’t give it away! I tried selling it to a buddy to decorate his bar. No way we could get it inside the buildng

  11. Howard A Member

    The Vega panel wagon was very popular in drag racing in the ’70’s. Some big names ran them. The original “War Wagon” Vega panel was a top alcohol rear engined funny car. I agree, this is more of a toy, but I bet it set’s you back. http://www.nhra.com/blog/dragster-insider/2014/04/18/more-vega-panels/

  12. Doug Towsley

    Just needs Diamond Tuck & Roll

  13. Alan Stroh

    This beast was painted in Ft. Wayne Indiana by Jack Shifflett. The graphics layout, color scheme and lettering was done by Jim Studinski of Advance Sign Company. Jim and Jack were heros back in the day, painting Connie Kalitta’s stuff (remember the Hot Rod two car cover. Look at the A on the front fender) as well as a ton of other fuelers, funny cars and pro stockers. This thing weighs a ton. It has loads and loads of bondo to smooth it out. I spent a ton of time sanding the body to get it smooth. I can’t remember who owned it, but if I remember correctly he wasn’t particularly thrilled with the heather pearl paint. As he said ” You painted it pink!!!!!” Fun flashback from the old days…

  14. erikj

    That name “War Wagon” rings a bell for some reason.GB2vette mention a opel gt from “The Day” and I knew of one in the seattle,wa. area. Saw it race at SIR, and years later it was for sale at a car swap meet in Monroe,wa. for 19k. Almost bought it. Talked to the owner and he confirmed it was the one I saw race. At the swap meet it was painted bright yellow . It still was a gasser setup and really cool looking.
    Does anybody remember a 70s ish red nova ss that was called novacane? It was a NW car and revelle or some model co. made a model of it. I still have the built model and box.

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