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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Ezra Boggs, Fuel Match Racer

by Danny White

Ezra Boggs had the most success with the Moby Dick Corvette AA/FC. Photo by Dennis Roetman
Ezra Boggs had the most success with the Moby Dick Corvette AA/FC.
Photo by Dennis Roetman

Ezra Boggs was a match racer hailing from Norman, Oklahoma, the hometown of the University of Oklahoma. He raced funny cars from 1969 to 1985, from coast to coast. The first funny car he raced was for the Martin Brothers. It was called the Colt 45. The story behind the Colt 45 line was that the Martin Brothers was the third owner in the line of the Colt 45 name. The first owners were the Ingram and Davis team out of California who built the first Colt 45 in '66 to race in the AA/A NHRA class. The Joe Davis driven car replaced a highly successful 23T. The team raced early funny cars also on the west coast with the blown steel body car. 

The team of Davis and Ingram sold the car to Oklahoman Frank Reinauer who was a Division 4 Competition Eliminator heavyweight with his A/C 23T. Reinauer bought the car to match race in the Oklahoma area. He extended the front end 24 inches and replaced the small block with a 396 Chevy. The car never handed well so Reinauer had local funny car racers Githens and Allen build a new chassis built from 2 by 4" square tubing. A new '69 Mustang body was ordered from Ron Pellegrini's Fiberglass, Ltd. shop outside Chicago. Frank drove the new car a couple of times and still did not like the feel of it. He sold the car to fellow Oklahomans Don and Jack Martin and Reinauer asked Ezra to drive the car for the new owners. Ezra Boggs drove the 480 cubic inch Chevy powered Mustang for two years with best times of 7.70 at 198.

Boggs went on his own in 1971 and built a new 1971 Maverick funny car. Ezra would never race this car and sold it to a guy in Michigan. In 1972, he built the first of two different Chevy powered funny cars he raced from '72 to '74. The best times for the pure Chevy combo were 7.20 at 220. He took a change of pace the next couple of years when he went to work for Bob Pickett who raced the Mickey Thompson U.S. Marines Grand Am. He was tuning for Pickett when won the 1977 NHRA Springnationals and defeated the Army car Don Prudhomme in a heavy upset. The driving bug got Boggs again by the end of the year and he bought the infamous Moby Dick '75 Corvette from Minnesota nightclub owner Steve Gold. The Moby Dick, when driven by Jerry Boldenow, was famous for helping breaking the so-called "Corvette Curse" by running a 6.15 at 230 at Indy in '76 and was runner-up in an IHRA race that year. 

Driving the Moby Dick, Boggs made his claim to fame in drag racing history. He raced the car from late 1977 to 1985. He raced the car in all three sanctioning bodies but was most famous for match racing the beautiful Corvette. Boggs told Jeff Thomas of '70s Funny Cars.com that match racing and selling of T-shirts paid to keep the funny car on the road during this time. The best times for the Sarte chassis car were 6.10 at 250. This was run at the Orange County International Raceway Manufacturers Meet with Henry Velasco's engine from the Good, Bad & Ugly Top Fuel dragster. 

Ezra Boggs notes that racing the Corvette would have been impossible without the help of Dr. Tom Garrett. He said Dr. Garrett had sponsored the Pro Stock cars of Jim Hayter along with several sprint cars and other drag cars, often without the proper thanks he and his family deserved. A interesting fact Ezra told me about the Corvette was that he got a new body each year for five years from G&K Fiberglass owners, George & Kathleen Goudy. Ezra also told me that decals to make a model of the Moby Dick are available form Slixx Decals. 

Ezra told Jeff Thomas that he retired when it was time to update the car and he did not have the money to do that. The car was sold to a fellow Oklahoma funny car racer who later replaced the Corvette body with a Trans Am body. Boggs has what is left of the original chassis without the rear end while Rick "The Surfer" Stambaugh in Virginia now owns the first Moby Dick Corvette body. Boggs works on old coin operated machines still today like he did while match raced and still hails from Oklahoma. 

Danny White
ddgw@valornet.com

 

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