Story continues below this advertisement
To un-confuse anyone as to the Pacers Tasmanian Devil AA/FA and correct some of the info, here you go: George Snizek started the Valley Stream Pacers Hot Rod Club in 1955. After George Snizek and late great partner "Charlie Dodge" Hagenmayer joined forces at Westhampton, LI, and began to race a B dragster and a '30 Ford Roadster, they evolved the V.S. Pacers into The Snizek & Dodge Racing Team aka "The Pacers". Building upon their success, they incorporated Pacers Auto and ran automotive shops in Hewlett & later in Oceanside, NY. The team from Pacers Auto became one of the best known self-sponsored, racing teams on the East Coast for their tire-smoking performances, consistency, ingenuity, ability and professionalism.
The Pacers ran their popular "Tasmanian Devil" first with a AA/A Bantam body, and later with the better known 23T body which ran in AA/A, A/FD, CC/FD, and AA/FA classes. They also ran as The Pacers and CARS Magazine Racing Teams with their AA Fuel Dragsters. In addition, they were the road test consultants for both CARS and Speed & Custom Magazines and could be seen in numerous auto related articles in the 60's. The Pacers set the NHRA National AA/A record in 1963 and again in 1964 when they set both ends of the National record at the US Nationals. They were North East Division I points leader in Supercharged Eliminator with the altered and were always among the leaders in Top Fuel Eliminator with their dragsters. In 1966, they also set the NHRA National CC/FD class record plus took home a "double up" title for sweeping both Super Eliminator and Top Eliminator classes on the same day at York US-30 Dragway. When they retired from competition in 1968, they went on to operate Pacers Automotive, Inc. for another 20 years. In 2008, Pacers Auto’s George Snizek, “Charlie Dodge” Hagenmayer (posthumous), Otto Qualliotine and “K.B” Braun were inducted as a team into the East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame. In 2009, George and Charlie also received a Legion of Honor award from the National Nostalgia Drag Racing Association for their many contributions to the automotive performance industry.
To clarify further, the original does exist-albeit many changes were made to it many years ago by the current owner so he could continue racing it. So while it was the original, it is technically debatable that it still can be called as such because has been modified. While it is understood that those changes were necessary for passing tech in the 70's, i.e. chassis mods, new fuel tank, etc., the modifications cause the car to be put into a "once was such and such racecar" category. The body, seat, engine and rims basically remain the same and it retains the general appearance, but it is not what it once was. It is like having a painting that once was painted by Picasso but the new owner who knew Picasso painted on top of and it still calling it a Picasso. It simply is not. The owner does make rare car show appearances with it, but has stated he will never run it again. It sits tucked away in an old garage, his own personal reminder of his memories of The Pacers. Last year, it was supposed to make an appearance at the Long Island Hot Rods & Racecars car show which would have been the Long Island homecoming of both cars. They were set to be side-by-side (indoors) as the advertised main attraction. Instead, the owner backed out after advertising was out which caused much disappointment to the show's organizers and the hundreds of people who attended the show. While the owner is the car's 2nd owner and has kept the car "that once was" in relatively decent shape over the years, he unfortunately chose to not have any active part with the original Pacers.
Taz II, the tribute car, was recreated by Arizona's Jerry Joaquin in order to bring back memories of the original Pacers team of George Snizek and "Charlie Dodge" Hagenmayer and to remind hot rodders and racers to NEVER FORGET the many Firefighters, Policemen, EMS, & Civilians who we tragically lost on September 11, 2001. Being a high school friend and fan of The Pacers as well as being both a retired cop and retired firefighter, the only thing that came to mind when he wanted to build something that would respectfully honor both his fallen brothers killed in action and The Pacers team was a racecar. That is why the car was chosen and why it wears both The Pacers signature markings as well as 343 and Maltese cross logos. The Taz II recreation idea was fully backed by George Snizek and then the project was painstakingly built under his guidance to the specs of the original Pacers car, while also adhering to NHRA's 6.0 tech certification specs. It was built so that it could pass tech and run on ANY drag strip today while keeping the same nostalgia look which required a special fabrication skill set that Jerry Joaquin found at Southwest Custom Trucks in Apache Junction, AZ. After a long fabrication period, Taz II was finally debuted during the 2007 East Coast Drag Times Hall of Fame Weekend in Henderson, North Carolina and was featured on Inside Drag Racing with Bret Kepner. The following year, Taz II's inaugural runs were made at the 2008 NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green with Jerry at the wheel. He has since passed on driving duties to his nephew, Ken Rooney. The Taz II project has been an overwhelming success and has renewed the involvement and racing friendships of the original Pacers. It continues to create many others.
While I am clarifying, my father and I also recreated the popular Pacers '57 Chevy Pickup /Push truck. It was created by one of the original Pacers as a recreation and a tribute to the original tuck. Got it? Pacers Auto, Inc., is currently owned by George Snizek and Scott Snizek and Pacers Auto, Inc.® is a registered trademark of theirs. We actively serve as crew with the Taz II team whenever it is possible due to the distances involved.
While much confusion was caused by the Kingman Street Drags crash publicity, and many mistakenly thought it was the original car or team, Taz II, has always has been known as a tribute car since its creation and was never passed as the original-by anyone. Neither my family, Charlie's family, or people who knew the original Pacers would allow that. There might have been confusion because the cars look similar and because there is a blend of both the old members and new members surrounding the car, but the teams were never confused. People just remember what they choose to remember.
Taz II, is, and has always been an active racecar of the Pacers Tasmanian Devil Racing Team. As such, it will be rebuilt to race again. Please support the Taz II Team as they are doing their best to always keep The Pacers remembered. If anyone has questions in regard to anything regarding Pacers Auto, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for writing in with your comments and concern.
Pacers Auto, Inc.
Standard1320, NNDRA, NHRA Member