The 1961 Ernie's Camera
"Shudder Bug", a rare Pontiac Top Fueler (originally
built to be a gas dragster), is famous for its extremely short
wheelbase (92 inches) and Kent Fuller full-bodied chassis. It
was also the first dragster to have the "hooped" or
rounded roll cage opposed to the square designs that were the
Lions, 1961 with Bill
Alexander driving on it's very first first outing running a the
Pontiac on gas.
Tommy Ivo and the Ernie's
crew in 1961 with its short lived black paint scheme.
This is a very rare shot
of "TV Tommy" Ivo in the car in 1961.
Taken in May of 1961,
this was the cars first outing with the full body and on nitro
when Tommy Ivo was driving.
Photo by Rick McElrea
A rare color shot of
the car at Bakersfield, March, 1963.
Although Ivo did the
shake down runs on the car, Bill Alexander took over in 1962
until its demise in a crash in late 1963.
Photo by Doyle Hatfield
Arguably the best color
shot in existence of the car taken at Bakersfield in 1963.
Long Beach in 1962. "Wild
Bill" Alexander is out first on Don Prudhomme, and that
is how he won. This was the final round of a 32 car show. What
makes it a piece of history is that it was the first win for
Ernie's Camera, on fuel. It was also one of the seven times that
the Greer, Black, and Prudhomme, was ever beaten.
Photo & Commentary by
Alexander in (red trim) in 1963.
A very rare shot from
the files of the LA Times newspaper using the Ernies Camera car
for an ad for San Fernando Raceway circa 1962.
The car ready to load
up for the long trip to the US Nationals at Indy in 1963.
(far side) paired off with original driver "TV" Tommy
Ivo at Pomona in 1963. Alexander won.
Photo from Ronnie Rapp
Taken shortly before
the car was destroyed in a crash in late 1963 landing Alexander
in the hospital for seven months.
Original driver Bill
Alexander in the seat at the Double Tree Hotel.
The next night the car
does what it was born to do... push start and cackle.
In 2002 Cacklefest officially
kicked off Friday night at the Double Tree Hotel with the debut
of the recreated Ernie's Camera 1961 "Shudder Bug"
fueler. Rod and dad Bill Alexander (the original driver) did
an incredible job of bringing this car back to life. Although
the original car was completely destroyed in the 1963 crash,
the Pontiac engine survived and sat in Alexander's garage for
almost 40 years only to be freshened up an installed in the reproduction.
At the 2003 NHRA Winternationals
at Pomona the car was featured in a Big Show Cacklefest.