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I have become the proud owner of Gas Ronda's last funny car body. It is the same body in which he had his career-ending fire at the AHRA Winter Nationals in January 1970 at Beeline Dragway. Here is the story of how I came across the body.

Gas Ronda's Mustang appeared on the cover of the August 1969 issue of Car Craft magazine. {Photo by Ed Green)

I work at Chassis Engineering as a welder/fabricator and build the race car chassis at their shop. I figured if I was ever going to build a car for myself that now was the time. So I began to search the classified ads in National Dragster as well as some of the drag racing sites online.

I was interested in building a nostalgia Funny Car. I grew up watching these cars run in the late '60s and early '70s. There were plenty of late model bodies available and a few early '70s cars for sale. Usually a Vega or Monza was offered, but I was looking for something different. I preferred a Chrysler or Ford body, but it just depended on what was out there.

One night on Header Flames I spotted it: '69-'70 Mustang FC body for sale - $800. So I sent an e-mail and received word that the body was a little rough, but otherwise it was in good shape. But there was one problem. A previous owner had cut the body in half, right in front of the windshield. Bummer, I thought.

Well, the guy e-mailed me some photos and I couldn't tell much except that the cut-off nose was butted up against the back of the car, so it really didn't look right. I couldn't see the lower portion of the body, only the upper sides and roof. I couldn't see the grill area very well because it was up against the back of the body. Plus, there was stuff packed up all around it as it was sitting in a fenced area behind a shop.

I thought about it for a while and talked with Greg Anderson of Racing Developments in Tucson, which is where the body was. I was always a Ford fan and thought that since you don't see many of these bodies for sale, I might as well take a gamble.

I have many magazines from the 1960s and '70s, so I began to look through them to see who manufactured Mustang bodies at that time. I found that Fiberglass Trends, Fiberglass LTD, and Shedlik all made versions of the '69-'70 Mustang. Each was different from the other, from wheel openings to spoiler configurations.(next page)


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