Pat Foster Tributes
By the Standard 1320 Group
On August 20, Mike Berry wrote an article on legendary drag racing
driver and fabricator Pat Foster for the Wichita Eagle. We
reprinted the story with Mikeís and the Eagleís permission on 8/23.
Mike said he had never had such an outpouring of positive letters after
writing an article. Many, if not most, came from the Standard 1320 Group
Internet email list. Mike agreed to let The Drag Racing List share these
tributes with our readers. Pat Foster has been out of the country for a
week. This should be a nice reception! Welcome home, Patty!
Pat Foster, Bob Brandt, and Don Prudhomme confer about the Army Arrow. Photo by Robbie Robertson
Mike: I just wanted to say "thank you" for the writing that
you did on Pat Foster! I've been a fan of his for years, and thanks to the
Internet, Iím able to enjoy your article in San Jose Ca., which I would
have never been able to do otherwise. Hereís Foster talking to the Snake
in 1977. Pat built the car for him. Robbie Robertson
Mr. Berry, Thank you doing such a great job on the Pat
Foster story. Pat is truly a hero for both what he has accomplished in the
past, and what he is doing to preserve it.
About a year ago, I began restoration on a 40-year-old twin engine
dragster. Through the internet I made contact with Pat Foster and Tom
Hanna. Both have been instrumental in helping to restore the car.
Pat is very generous in sharing his knowledge with someone willing to
learn. He is helping me with the restoration "on-line" with
welding and fabrication tips, plus his invaluable knowledge on how things
Thanks again for such a well-written piece. As "Patty" would
say..."Sit Low" Chris Stinson -- Winslow, Arizona
Mr. Berry: What an outstanding article on my old pal pat foster. I was
one of those young dragster drivers in southern California back in the
50's 60's and 70's. Raced against pat many times. Pat is a very humble
guy. He was one of a very few that could drive those fire breathers and
build the cars. He was one of the best dragster and funny car drivers and
builders ever. Not B.S. but fact. If you ever wanted to do a book, that
would be a real part of history of drag racing. Then write one about pat's
experiences. They are unbelievable. Wayne King, a.k.a. "The
Mike: I just read your article on Pat Foster, on line. That's a very
good article on a very talented individual. Thanks for writing it! Brent
Cannon, 783 AA/FD, 1972 Vintage
What a story...Thank You! After a weekend of "Celebrating Living
Legends" at Thunder Valley, this was a perfect topper. Your Brother
and his family are special to me, and it looks like it runs in the family!
Sunny Harmon, Gearheader Magazine -- http://gearheader.com
Mike, Thank for you penning a wonderful article on Patrick. As long
time acquaintance and one of his pals on the internet, I know what a
talented man he is. His abilities and current projects are the talk of the
nostalgia racing world. We all know they will be perfect, when finished.
Thanks again, Pat (Ma) Green, Medford, Oregon
Pat Foster in the Dusty Rhodes dragster. Photo by Paul Hutchens
Mike -- Let me add my appreciation to that expressed by others in the
Standard 1320 Group for the article you wrote on Pat Foster. I've never
met Pat, but I hope to fix that at the California Hot Rod Reunion in
October. We've exchanged some e-mails, and I sent him an 11 x 14
enlargement of a photo I'd taken in 1966 and posted to the 1320 group,
This is one of the many dragsters Pat had driven in the 60s, the Dusty
Rhodes car. Thanks again for the great article. Paul Hutchins, Front
Mike: Great article on Foster ... Patty's one of the for-real Heroes! Fred
Thanx for the great article on Pat Foster. He has been
a hero of mine for many years and continues to show why.
Not only was he a superb driver throughout his career and one of the
finest designer and builders of dragster and funny car chassis, he has
always had fun doing it all.
Thanx again. Phil R. Elliott, Somewhere near Seattle
Mr. Berry, Thanks to the Internet, your fine story about
Pat Foster in yesterday's paper is achieving wide circulation among an
audience that really appreciates it. Some of us remember Pat as the
skillful and meticulous designer/fabricator that he still is. Others
remember his colorful driving career, particularly in the Mickey Thompson
and Barry Setzer drag racing "Funny Cars." But what Foster is
doing right now is of equal interest and no less importance. For all of us
that still keep a "flame" alive for an earlier era in the sport
of drag racing, and recognize Pat Foster's past and present contributions,
I thank you.
I am sure that others will also suggest a companion article on Tom
Hanna, who is also mentioned in your story. You are fortunate to have two
"living legends" in town, each of whom continue in creative
roles with great passion, skill and enthusiasm.
I also hope you follow up with Pat Foster upon conclusion of his current
restoration / reconstruction projects to fully appreciate what an artist
is in your midst! Victor B. Cooke
Dear Mike, I just read your article on Pat Foster. Wonderful article.
My husband is Kent Fuller, builder of Dragster Chassis since the late
50's. We have known Pat for most of that time. He is well known over the
years as one of the best. Thank you for letting the World know there are
real masters still going and creating works of art. Evelyn Fuller
Nicely done. You seem to have grasped the facts better than most
writers who have written similar articles, even for specialty magazines
have. In fact, you may want to consider expanding the article and adding
more pictures and selling it to Drag Racing magazine or one of the other
special interest magazines like Hot Rod. Ron Johnson
Mike, Thanks for the story on Pat Foster. Extremely well written,
concise and right to the point. Having had the pleasure of meeting Mr.
Foster made the story all the more interesting. Pat's skills as both a
racecar builder and driver were legendary 'back then'. And, no mention of
a tragic crash on the streets mistakenly being referred to as a 'Drag
Race' made the story all the more refreshing. Thanks again. More old B.S.
later. Bill 'Badco' Ott
Thanks for creating the article about Pat Foster. Pat's building
dragsters the way the nostalgia races should be, original, not
(new)stalgia. Now if you could write an article about Tom Hanna too, that
would be great. Sincerely. Lee Schelin, Host, Standard 1320 eGroup, www.Standard1320.com
Mike, LOVED the article. Patty's one of the good guys.
It looks like you even got the facts right...not something often seen in
journalistic efforts about drag racing! Byron Stack, Byron's Gasser
Mike, you are one of "these guys" aren't you? Very nice
story on Pat, and you have Hanna and Wiebe to go. Looking forward to your
stories and the Motorsports section. Gordie (not quite that old) Bonin
And finally, thanks for the outstanding story, Mike. Itís great to
see our legendary drag racers getting their due in the traditional press.
You've made a lot of people happy! Bill Pratt, www.draglist.com