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History

 

On January 21st, 1963, four Southern California kids -- Ron Rivero and Norm Weekly of La Verne, and Jim Fox and Dennis Holding from Pomona joined forces. The team soon became known as "The Frantic Four". A name that was derived from the team's incredible performances with a small block Chrysler engine (354 cu.in.) and their "never say die" attitude in the pits and on the track. In 1963 alone the team established track records from Arlington, WA, throughout California to Henderson, NV. Before they were done the 'Frantic Four' moniker was a catch phrase throughout the United States.

 

Team "Frantic 4" pose behind their most famous A/FD at San Gabriel in 1963. Dennis Holding, Jim Fox, Ron Rivero and Norm Weekly.

 

Team "Frantic 4" pose behind their most famous A/FD at Bowling Green, KY in 2004. Dennis Holding, Jim Fox, Ron Rivero and Norm Weekly.

 

Without question, one of the wildest and most photographed wheelie shots in history was of Norm Weekly in the "Frantic 4" A/FD against Don Moody in the "Golden Thing" AA/FD at the 1963 Winternationals.

 

Norm Weekly put the Frantic 4 A/FD out in front to stay when he captured the #1 Fuel Ranking from Chicago invader, Chris Karamesines at Pomona in 1963.

 

This classic leave shot is from the pages of Popular Hot Rodding in 1963.

 

From the pages of Popular Hot Rodding, another incredible overhead shot from Fontana in 1964.

 

 

Orangeline

 

 

Over the years the guys went their own ways but all held on to one common bond - that little 1962 Peppmuller car that put them on the map and established their nitch in drag racing history. That's where this story begins.

Fast forward to 2000. After several years of searching, it was determined that the original 1962 car was, like so many dragsters of the 60s, lost forever - probably cut up for scrap or used for dune buggy parts. So Dennis Holding decided to replicate the car and with the input and help of the other team members (Jim Fox engine) - he did a fine job. From start to finish the project took a year. Their target date was to make the 2001 California Hot Rod Reunion in Bakersfield and in their typical "frantic" way, they did.

 

All the finish work on the reproduced Peppmuller chassis was done by Dave Tuttle at California Chassis Engineering.

 

 

After lining up the engine to the rear end Tuttle fabricated the new (old) body. Working off of 40 year old photos, he duplicated the original tin perfectly ... including the unique chute-pack tail section (below).

 

 

Once the car was finished at Tuttle's. Lettering was by Bob Thompson and paint was by Carter. And when it came time to install the Jim Fox built 354 between the frame rails, what better engine hoist than a forklift.

 

 

 

Orangeline

 

With much fanfare and anticipation the Frantic 4 fueler made its debut in 2001 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum just prior to the California Hot Rod Reunion.

 

When most of these cars are spending their time in the Wally Parks NHRA Museum or in the owner's garage, the Frantic 4 is on the road as much as possible. Norm Weekly would be quite happy to have this be a full time "job". That could only come from a guy who's retired.

 

First time out of the box at the 2001 CHRR Dennis Holding, Ty Norton and Ron Rivero look things over with Weekly in the seat.

 

Static starts on display are one thing, but THE thing is a good old push start. These are only done at race tracks on approved fire-up roads ... like the one at Bakersfield, CA. Here, during its 2001 debut at the CHRR, the Frantic 4 with Norm Weekly in the seat makes his first push start in over 3 decades.

 

By the 2001 CHRR Cacklefest already had a life of its own. There were 24 cars ready to cackle, including the brand new Frantic 4 fueler.

 

 

Talk about prime time - during the finals (Sunday) of both the 2002 and 2003 NHRA Winternationals 16 of the best "Cacklecars" around push started down the track and then parked side by side in front of the spectator grandstands. The 30,000 plus fans were on their feet applauding these warriors of old. Since they last ran in 1972, thousands of these folks had never even seen a front engine fueler before.

 

2004 National Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, KY

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orangeline

 

Over the weekend of June 27-29, 2003 the Frantic 4 Racing road show knocked 'em dead at the Goodguys 6th West Coast Hot Rod Happinin' at the Pomona Fairplex. Talk about a photo op money can't buy! Without a doubt the most talked about fire-up of the event was when talk show host Mike Reagan (son of Ronald) jumped in the FF fueler. Reagan, and ex-boat racer and diehard race fan was more than willing to experience the thrill of sitting behind the nitro breathing 354 hemi.

 

 

Friday night of the 2005 CHRR one of the Cacklefest founders, Steve Gibbs, got a fire-up in the Frantic 4 car at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Bakersfield.

 

If you plan on attending a 2006 nostalgia event be sure to drop by the Frantic 4 Racing display that includes some really cool merchandise including T-shirts, photos and the world famous Stormin' Normin' Nitro Pickles and other Nitro veggies. It is also the only cacklecar that offers fire-ups to any fan who wants one.

 

 

 

 

 

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