A fair dinkum, old timey drag meet hosted by the team from John’s Rod and Kustom was the catalyst for bringing the Mooneyes dragster to Australia for a whirlwind tour. Driven by Mooneyes corporation owner Shige Suganuma, the historic digger did turn a tyre at Bairnsdale dragstrip in Victoria before developing some clutch problems which sadly put it back on the trailer. After a good once over however, it was ready for display at the Sydney show eight weeks later, where fans enjoyed the opportunity to get up close with both the car and the crew.
The dragster is a replica of the original car built in 1959, raced by Dean Moon and used as a showcase for Mooneyes products. The bright yellow colour and traditional ‘Mooneyes’ graphics made it a standout visually among competitors in its day, and it even achieved some race success in 1962 by winning Middle Eliminator at Pomona with a 9.52 ET at 153mph. The original Mooneyes dragster currently resides in the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Florida.
Pictured below are Mooneyes royalty and genuine nice guys, Shige Suganuma (left) and Chico Kodama. (Photos – Dale Haberfield)