Next Saturday, one of the most impressive arrays of historical drag racing machines in the sport’s history will roll across the auction block in one fell swoop at Mecum’s annual Kissimmee, Florida auction.
The lineup is spearheaded by many of the machines that cemented “TV” Tommy Ivo’s legend, most notably, his absolutely timeless, one-of-a-kind “Showboat” Buick Wagonmaster, which features four Buick nailhead engines driving all four wheels and tires. This car was originally built in 1961 as a slingshot dragster, and was converted to the Wagonmaster in 1981; it made its last competitive run a year later, and was retired to display duty from there on. Its owners, Jackie and Gary Runyon, are also selling the matching and likewise iconic see-through enclosed trailer in a separate auction lot.
In addition, Ivo’s 1970 front-engine Top Fueler will go on the blocks; this car was built by Don Long and features bodywork hand-hammered by Tom Hanna. The car has been meticulously restored and is every bit as majestic as it was new. Ivo’s 1974 dragster, built by Larry Sikora and sporting a streamliner body fabricated by Nye Frank, and his 1976 Dodge Charger “Rod Shop” Funny Car, are also up for grabs.
Also in the Runyons’ collection and up for bid will be Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen’s real-deal 1968 front-engine Top Fuel dragster built by the legendary Woody Gilmore, as well as one of Bill “Maverick” Golden’s later Dodge A100 “Little Red Wagon” wheelstanders. One of the coolest drag cars to never make a competitive pass (but one of the most famous cars in television history), also being sold is one of the five “Dragula” dragsters designed and built by George Barris for the “Munsters” television show that aired in May of 1965. This particular car was the last of the five built, and is considered the most authentic of the group remaining that rolled out of the Barris Kustoms shop.