Flashback Friday: David Zachary’s Worlds Fastest Eldorado

“Hey man, you’re gonna get yourself killed in that danged thing.” Who amongst us that has ever built a race car or even go-kart for that matter, has not heard those very words at least once. We’re gonna go out on a limb here, and assume that the late David Zachary heard it every time somebody, even casual spectators and gas station attendants, took a good hard look at his truly unique, home built creation, simply known as the Worlds Fastest Eldorado.

Y’know, in hindsight it probably would not have been all that difficult to make the claim of Worlds Fastest Eldorado way back in 1968. Pump some extra air in the tires, leave the jack, spare and ice chest in the pits, and have at it. There wasn’t exactly a throng of people vying for those honors. But Zachary was not going to take the chance of anybody even coming close. Nope, his plan was to take an all steel Eldorado body…huge by large and thick thick thick…weld it all together into one flip-top piece ala Funny Car, and turn the world of Hot Rod Caddies on its ear.

Ya gotta build a race car light and since the body alone weighted nearly as much as any complete conventional Flopper out there, Zachary decided to go way minimalist on the chassis.

The word simple can’t even begin to describe the framework nestled under the flawless, gold hued behemoth. Straight tube front axle, 2×3 mild steel box tubing, and a lightweight muffler-moly roll cage that offered about as much coverage (and protection) as a small tent.

Powering this epic assortment of common metals was a stack injected, nitro gulping, 1000 plus horsepower Chevy Rat motor backed by a TH400, and the combination was good enough to haul the Evansville Indiana racers butt through the quarter in the 9.70 range (!), fully eclipsing any possible contender to the Worlds Fastest Eldorado claim by six or seven full seconds! Ok, mission accomplished, right? Wrong.

Ah, the lust for speed can make a grown man do some pretty irrational things…and in this case, irrational meant a full tilt 2000 horsepower blown fuel Chrysler Hemi was stuffed in place, and Zachary set his sights on the big guns of the Funny Car world at the time. (Could nobody talk him out of this? Did anybody even try?)

Tragically, and unfortunately, predictability, the car went shiny side down on its first outing with the fuel fed Elephant, and Zachary departed this realm on the ambulance ride from the Kentucky track at which it happened.

Balls, brains and more balls – David Zachary had everything it took to be a star in the world of Fuel Funny Car racing. Everything but a roll cage.

About the author

Tony DeFeo

Tony DeFeo was thrown out of school at 16 for stealing a bus. He went on to start a career as an auto mechanic and, on a whim, entered the field of automotive journalism, writing for Cars Illustrated magazine. Tony founded High Performance Mopar, and then launched Mopar Action a year later just to compete with his first book. He is currently building a twin-engined Fuel Altered, and in his spare time studies economics and abstract psychology.
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