Hangin' Out with King & Marshall
By David Macdonald
In the late summer of 1978, I was working on a college video project for my final year. I had attended
many races at new England Dragway and was a self described "Funny Car
Zealot." I was seeking a subject for my video project and decided to produce a funny car epic. Who wouldn't want to know about the experience of
hurtling through a quarter mile in six seconds in a fire breathing fiberglass monster?
Now, back in' 78, getting your mitts on a portable color video camera was a project in
itself. I managed to score a black and white Sony from a friend who worked at a local High School. I picked up the phone and called King's Garage in Warren,
RI, and asked to speak with Jimmy King. I requested a video interview and he graciously accepted. I was
The day came and I drove to Warren with a friend. Mr. King was all business, he hadn't finished his work day yet.
We were led back to a garage where the King and Marshall AA/FC Monza was parked.
What a beauty! Sitting on a table was a brand new Ed Pink blower. Along the walls were trophies and pictures of races past. My favorite was a large black and white photo of the infamous "Locktite
Tug of War" featuring the King and Marshall El Diablo Duster and their top fuel digger both boiling the tires in opposite directions with a cable linking the
two. Holy smokes!
Mr. King appeared about an hour later. He sat down on a stool and I proceeded with the interview. I asked a ton of questions, mostly geared towards the experience of a 200 MPH+ shot down the 1320. I do recall him saying that "When the body is lowered, it's like being closed in a
coffin." Haunting words considering his experience in 1980 at the New England Dragway Funny Car Nats. His favorite car was the Duster, which in 1978 was no longer in his possession. "That car went straighter than any fuel car I've ever
driven," he said. I'm considering buying it back."
Well, he did and the rest is history.
After the interview, Mr. King offered us a beer and we all sat around and chatted. At one point,
offered to mount my super 8mm film camera on the Monza for an upcoming event at New England for a first hand look at a blast down the strip.
Unfortunately, he called me a week or two later and said the race was off.
I know, where the heck is this tape I shot? It was stored in a box with all my other projects at my parents house. One day they unmercifully cleaned the basement and I think I lost a lot of classic drag footage. I still look when I go down there and if I ever find that box you'll be the first to know.