There are very few drag racers
that have earned the name, "Legend," but Chris Karamesines
is certainly one of them. The man they call "The Greek"
has been actively in drag racing for over forty years. He has
campaigned everything from several traditional front-engine Top
Fuel cars to the latest in rear-engine technology... all dubbed
"ChiZler". Chris is and always will be a dragster guy
at heart, and some of the cars that he raced can be counted among
the finest in the history of the sport. This particular car was
built in 1969 by Kent Fuller and it was his last front engine
dragster. The car's highlight was nailing the runner-up spot
against Jim Nicoll, in September 1969 at the AHRA U.S. Open at
Rockingham, N.C.. Karamesines best performance in this fueler
was a 6.51 e.t. and 231.50 mph. Karamesines raced this car until
early 1972 when he made the unavoidable switch to the rear engine
pits - 1969
Karamesines after a run
at during the 1970 AHRA Winternationals at Phoenix, AZ.
Greek" was always a favorite with the ladies as seen here
In 1972, in a last ditch
attempt to be competitive with the rear engine cars Karamesines
installed a wing over the engine. It wasn't nearly enough and
the car went into retirement.
When Don Garlits opened his Museum
of Drag Racing in 1984 he made arrangements to procure the car
from Karamesines. Once in his hands, Garlits' staff restored
the last of a long string of "Chizler" front engine
The car sat on display in Garlits
Museum until 2000 when a loan/trade agreement was made with the
Steve Gibbs and the NHRA Motorsports Museum. Garlits got the
"Chi-Town Hustler" Rislone Funny Car and Gibbs got
the Chris Karamesines dragster. In 2002, with the help of numerous
racers, the car was made "cackle ready" and made its
debut at Cacklefest III.
The car made its Cacklefest
debut at the 2002 CHRR with no other than Karamesines in the
On Friday The Greek hopped in
his old friend and did a burnout. Note he is not wearing any
safety equipment other than a helmet. This was before the current
safety rules were established which now require nothing less
than a period correct fire suit and mask.
Karamesines in the Cacklefest
For Cacklefest Chris
didn't even wear a helmet. Something you'll never see again.
Since its debut, the
Chris Karamesines car has had a different "driver"
at nearly every appearance. At the 2003 CHRR Garth Hogan from
New Zealand got the honors.
Hogan going to his spot
At Cacklefest V in 2004
veteran Top Fuel driver Herm Petersen got to feel the power once
again. As is a rule now, first time drivers in a Cacklefest car
must do a test push start prior to the Saturday night event.
Petersen had no problems.
Petersen in the Cacklefest
Push start for Cacklefest
Petersen had so much fun that he went back to Washington
to find his old car. He did, he restored it and made his own
At the 2005 edition of
Cacklefest another vet got the call in Butch Maas.
Rumor has it this may
have been the last Cacklefest appearance of this car as its due
to be returned to the Garlits Museum in the near future.
is currently owned by the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in
Ocala, Florida and is currently on loan and on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum
located at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, CA.
1:24 scale diecast