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Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick

Reviewed by:   Richard Sufficool
     
  Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie
 
 
 

Arnie "the Farmer" Beswick was indeed born on an Illinois farm, yet was obviously born to be a drag racer. He began drag racing in the mid fifties using Oldsmobiles and Dodges. His reign as "Mr Pontiac" began with the purchase of a '58 Chieftain and his relationship with Pontiac ensured that he stayed on the cutting edge of factory racing technology. By 1961, he was at the top of the SuperStock class with the potent SD 421, first in Catalinas and later in lightweight Tempests.

Arnie and Pontiac then went beyond the S/S class and into the factory cars that were unhomolgated dedicated drag cars that progressed from Factory Experimental to the full blown Funny Cars. He managed to grab the only '64 GTO to leave the factory with an aluminum front end and no sound deadeners and proceded to replace the 389 with his beloved SD 421. When Mopar began to use altered wheelbase F/X cars, Arnie did the same with Tempest bodied cars. In 1966, he created this beautiful fiberglass GTO in full funny car format with tubular frame, flip up front end, lift off body and a monster blown powerplant set back to the driver's seat.

It would appear Highway 61 replicated this one-of-a-kind funnycar virtually as a labor of love. There's an awful lot of content here for a model that does not lend itself to a series of repaints and minor modifications. The graphics are crisp, clear and on register within an absolute flawless finish. The body panels operate flawlessly with proper hinging and can be removed and replaced precisely and with ease.

Shift lever and spring loaded pedals operate as does the steering and suspension. The driveshaft rotates with the rear wheels. The rear Crager mags and the front steelies sport valve stems with nicely made slicks and skinnies. You can really appreciate the fully plumbed and wired drive train with steel linkage and brake line; and a nifty feature you rarely see... real steel hand welded headers. The chassis is simplicity itself consisting solely of tubular frame and aluminum panels. The spartan interior consists of a single seat with cloth 4-point restraints with metal hardware. The simple dash is actually the firewall and has only a two gauge cluster and blower actuator that is cable connected. The plug wires insert into copper tubing simulating the plugs, and the fuel lines use similar connectors to the injectors.

This is just a beautifully done model that gives you a look at a key junction in funny car evolution. This is as far as an individual racer could develop a machine without serious sponsorship. It's a great addition to anyone's collection if only to admire the design, craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into both the car and this fine model.

The pictures here are the signed model with figure that was an edition of 300.

(05/23/2006)
 
 
  Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie

 
 
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Highway 61 | 1:18
Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick

Highway 61 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO Drag Car- Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick

 
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