Remembering Leo Dunn – dragster update last one for 2017

Hi all, Gosh I don’t even know where to start. We received the dragster from Mr. B in October of 2016. It was an incredible undertaking for Quinn Penning of Central Towing a long-time friend, and business associate of Mr. B’s to put the dragster and the dragster trailer on a flatbed to haul it back home. From there we took the dragster out of the trailer, and put it in my cousin’s trailer, after more than 20 years the dragster was amazingly cooperative. We took the dragster to my cousin’s friend’s shop and restored it there. The dragster was finished in July of 2017. My husband then started the long and tedious restoration of the dragster trailer. Both the dragster and the dragster trailer are superstars. Everyone involved in the restoration are superstars. The passion for my dad, his dragster and trailer, and the preservation of the history of drag racing was the motivation for all involved. We have had tons of support, and encouragement along the way. I have posted all of it on Facebook to the tribute page I started for my dad named, Leo Dunn Memorial. The truly amazing accomplishment of this entire process was that Mr. B. (Rich Brunelli) kept the dragster, trailer, and all the parts for over twenty years. Except for a few aluminum blocks that went MIA prior to my dad taking everything to Mr. B, we used all usable original parts from the dragster. Lots and lots of background to the restoration projects. What we have now is a show car and trailer!

This year we took the dragster to the Sonoma NHRA Nationals and to the Lakeside Car & Boat Show in Lakeport and had a blast. This dragster was built in 1971, 46 years ago, and we all talked about it like it was yesterday.

This year we reached one “hitch in our giddyup,” as my dad used to say when our absolute ultimate goal was to take my dad’s racecar to the 2017 CHRR. I had t-shirts made, and we were ready months in advance. My cousin had a motorhome rented/borrowed, and Chris and I were planning our hotel reservations. I had gone online a couple of times to fill out the entry form and pay the money, but I couldn’t figure it out. I phoned the museum, ready to get the form done, and was told we were not welcome. I kept my composure, and then cried a lot when I got off the phone. Then, about a week before CHRR I received a phone call from the museum inviting us back. At that point, we found that we didn’t have an available trailer to use, and our community was in the midst of a firestorm. We missed CHRR.

I want to bring this up because I think it’s important to remember where we came from, and why we are involved. “Not all that glitters is gold.” I learned a good lesson. I also learned how disappointed so many racers are about the process of entering some events. My dad is my guiding light in these situations. I’m not my dad, but I will absolutely treat everyone with respect. My husband and I, and others are not just recreating/restoring racecars. We are recreating the feelings, the comradery, and the simpler time for drag racing. The lives we had with the drag racers, fans, photographers, vendors, and hours and hours on the road to get to the drag strips we loved. It was a magical time. Each and everyone’s nostalgia racecar from back in the day is a representation of that time. Next year we will put CHRR on our list, and I hope, I hope we and many others are welcome.

Next year Chris and I will do our best to attend as many car shows as we can. We are both RN’s and weekends are a challenge to get time off of work.

Here is our current list in no particular order:

March Meet – Famoso

Good Guys – Pleasanton

Kingdon – Lodi

Eagle Field – Fresno

Sonoma NHRA Nationals

Lakeport Car & Boat Show

Nitro Revival – Barona


Please, please join us. We are having a blast. Wear your t-shirt! I also have two videos. The first was done by Jaimie Jackson of the Jackson Bros Drag Race Videos named, Remembering Leo Dunn. The second video was done by Mark Johnson of SkidMark Productions Drag Race Videos named, Rich & Joe Remember Leo. The t-shirts and videos are all created and done by racers and drag racing nostalgia enthusiasts. I am very proud of them.

We are currently working on an article about my dad’s racecars, and planning to take the dragster and trailer to one of the local wineries for a photo shoot.

I hope you all have wonderful holidays and a happy new year. I hope to see you next year. Thank you again for all your support. We have arrived, Vickie

2017 Dragster Restoration on YouTube:

Vickie Dunn Larrow



Leo Dunn Memorial

Remembering Ray & Shirley Strasser’s, “Insanity” AA Funny Car

Drag Races, Car Shows, and Events

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