Keeling & Clayton's California Charger. Here are some
pre-production shots showning the streamlined fairing of this beautiful
Called by many, the best looking dragster in the history of drag racing, John Keeling and Jerry Clayton's "California Charger" was also a threat to whoever sat in the other lane at the starting line. Piloted by Rick Ramsey, the "California Charger" team was one of the most professional of the time, as well as one of the best performing. Keeling, a TWA mechanic, and Clayton, a United Airlines pilot, started with a 210-inch Don Long chassis. Tom Hanna fabricated the custom nose and injector scoop and Ken Ellis built the streamliner tailpiece. With Cerney paint and Nancy upholstery, the digger became a work of art. After winning the inaugural Supernationals at the Ontario Motor Speedway in November of 1970 against one of the toughest Top Fuel fields ever assembled on the West Coast, Ramsey went on to capture the Top Fuel title at the Orange County Professional Dragster Championship in 1971. The "California Charger" team thundered past Don Prudhomme's 6.41 e.t. in the final round with a 6.41 of their own; beating Prudhomme on a hole-shot. At the time, it was the quickest, side-by-side Top Fuel race in history. This team also posted the low e.t. at fourteen consecutive races. The team of Keeling & Clayton continued through the rear engine Top Fuel ranks and eventually went on to Funny Car racing before retiring from the sport in the late '70's.
"When was the last time that you can remember a car that won the "Best Appearing Car" award at a drag race also winning Top Fuel Eliminator at the same event? It's been a long while, hasn't it? But Rick Ramsey did just that in 1970 when he drove the spectacular "California Charger" car to the win over Gerry "The Hunter" Glenn at Ontario Motor Speedway. For years, the team of John Keeling and Jerry Clayton has fielded immaculate automobiles in NHRA's fastest class, Top Fuel. While they had met with modest success before 1970, it was the 26-year old Ramsey who took them to the promised land. He followed that Ontario win with stellar outings at the U.S. Fuel and Gas Championships at Bakersfield in '71 and at the Orange County Professional Dragster Championships two years later. But, despite all of their wins, and the fact that they had one of the most competitive cars in the country, this team will always be remembered, first and foremost, for the beautiful workmanship and lavish paint jobs that they had on their race cars. Just ask any drag racing fan today if they remember the "California Charger," and they'll probably say, "Yeah, that was the beautiful blue car, wasn't it?" Yes it was!" - Bob Frey
Now in stock. This particular model, perhaps the most elegant of all of 1320's planned production, is limited to only 5000 pieces. £49-99 Home