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Danny's Corner
Apr 24, 2005

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One of Kind Rides: The Oakey Goggomobile

By Danny White
Photos by David Cook

There are many words to describe this one of a kind ride: unique, different, scary, wild, etc… There has never been another drag racing machine like the Norm Oakey "American Auto Parts" Goggomobile. The homely Goggomobile was an economy compact vehicle that was never meant to drag race. Somebody forgot to tell the Oakeys. The Australian based Oakey family and owners of American Auto Parts built the chassis to the awkward looking machine. The car was placed in the funny car class to give it a place to race. The frame was originally built out of square tubing that was later enforced with round tubing. The front end was stretched, giving the car the "Pinocchio" nickname.

The car had a Chrysler Hemi, so power was not lacking. When the Oakeys first raced the car, the engine was in front. They decided to later move the engine to the back of the car. They also added a second supercharger. The "American Auto Parts" team made history in Australia by becoming the first funny car to break the eight-second barrier. Norm Oakey ran an 8.90, 157.89 at Sydney’s Castlereagh Dragway on May 27, 1973. The record was short lived as Rick Jones broke into the sevens within six weeks.

1973 was the final year Oakey raced the car with the "Goggo" body. A new Holden Torana body replaced it. The Oakeys also found the old chassis to be somewhat lacking. They built the trickest funny car built in Australia at that time – a rear engine machine that was last new rear engine funny car built anywhere. It was successful. The Oakeys moved to dragsters by the late ‘70s. Dean Oakey races a T/AD dragster today in the Australian Pro Comp class.

Danny White
Photos by David Cook


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