Fearless Fred Forkner
By Bill Ott
Photos by Bob Monitzor
Fred Forkner in Joe Phipps' '55 Chevy Doorslammer. Photo by Bob Monitzor
Fred was one of my favorite racers when I was hanging out at Atco. I have some fond memories of watching him whip up on the "name" guys when they came around. The first photo is of
Joe Phipps' '55 Chevy called "Mr. C," taken in '60 or '61.
Fred built the motors and drove. This one held the NHRA C/Gas National Record at 110.70 mph set at York on Nov. of '61. "Mr. C" was a giant killer! And Fred was a savvy racer.
Fred Forkner's digger. Photo by Bob Monitzor
Sometime in '62, Fred pulled the engine out of the '55, dropped it into this TE-440 (second photo), and set both ends of the AHRA B/Gas Dragster record. By the way, the dapper looking young man standing behind the left header pipes is a teen-aged "yours truly" explaining the finer points of Drag Racing to a totally disinterested friend. This guy couldn't wait to go home the minute we got there... go figure.
In the background on the right is Charlie Seabrook's record holding C/Roadster Altered. We had a lot of bad-assed sportsman racers in the Philadelphia, South Jersey area back then. Sadly, Fred passed away about three years ago. Photos courtesy Bob Monitzor from the Trash Barrel Archives.
More old B.S. later.