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History

 

Few would disagree that the most famous of all restorations is the Greer-Black-Prudhomme 1962 car. It was one of the most beautiful dragsters ever built was also one of the most successful. In an era when function took precedence over form, the legendary Greer, Black & Prudhomme dragster combined the best of both worlds, that is, it looked great and ran even better. With a combination of the money from Tommy Greer, the engine and clutch science of Keith Black and the raw driving skills of a young car painter by the name of Don Prudhomme, the GB&P car literally struck fear in the hearts of its competitors.

Here in his own words Kent Fuller tells how it all began:

Owning to the fact that Stuckey had a sign on the car that said "Chassis by Fuller" and talked me up pretty good. He was a hell of a salesman. Car was sold to Cash Auto Parts to help pay hospital bills. Bay area guys had a benefit race for him. He went home to recoup for awhile. By the time he came out again, Louie Senter had the car. Stuckey planned on running the car with Louie and I didn't hear any of that story except Stuckey said, those guys down there didn't know what they were doing. By this time ZPF has won Bakersfield and I had quite a few fuel cars running. Stuckey was still going being my best salesman and I was planning on building him another car to be my representative. Prudhomme and I were having trouble with Zueschel's ego and had broken up the ZPF partnership. I was going to put 2 unblown fuel Chevys side by side in the car and had figured out a really slick driveline where I wouldn't have to alter the looks of the car. Chet Herbert said he would sponsor the engines so I bought 2 sets of heads and started on the driveline. Sent the heads over to Dick Harryman to get ported. He got them all done very quickly and sold them to someone when he ran short of money. Hardly pissed me off at all. By this time Louie Senter had sold the car to Greer and Stuckey was going to run it for them. Back under the heading of "loose lips sink ships."

Stuckey was still out at the shop telling me all his plans. Keith (Black) and (I think) Dan Broussard came and took me to lunch, said they were leary of Stuckey and what could I tell them about him. What I said was "I thought he was my factory rep" Keith said if he was, he wasn't a good one and told me a few disparaging things Stuckey had said. Keith didn't want to do any chassis work and still thought chassis were some mysterious thing. I was looking for a place to park Prudhomme so I could get him back after I got my car done. He was back hanging around with Ivo and that was not to my advantage at the time. Stuckey had told me he was going to let Keith build the engine but was going to slip in his own cam, time it and not let Keith know what it was. He thought he was the only one in the country that could make the chassis work by changing the timing, in this case it was 8 degrees retarded.
When I mentioned this to Keith, he got as pissed off as I had ever seen him so we made a deal to do the chassis work for nothing if he would give Prudhomme a ride. I was sharing a shop with Wayne Ewing when they brought the car out. I started on the chassis work and they made a deal with Wayne for the body.

What was different about my car was the mid section and motor mounts. Keith wanted a standard Donovan rear end so he could use the billet axels. I cut the top rail out from the front motor mount to the rear end upright. The original way was the Donovan engine plate with the ears out the side so to pull the engine, you had to take off the clutch can, clutch flywheel, enging plate, then you could remove the motor. My way was to make an aluminum engine plate that was a body former-firewall and rear engine mount. It hung over the top framerails and was easy to take out with 4 small bolts. I put a new toprail engine plate upright, rearend mounts, and motormounts. The chassis went next door to Wayne.

By this time, Ansen and Pink decided to buy the ZPF car and I decided to move North because of a lot of promises from Jim McClennan. Just eat a piece of pie in the sky and things will be wonderful. This is the time for the story of Stuckey tracing my flamecut patterns and going into business with Ivo happened that I've told too many times and I'm not going to do it here. I had moved North by the time Wayne got the body done. I drove down to help put the car together and we took it out to Pomona for the first time.

The only two parts left on the car that Stuckey had anything to do with were the streamline tubing draglink and steering wheel. The draglink broke first time out because Stuckey had made it out of two short pieces of tubing welded in the middle and you will notice in the picture of the first time out the black tape on the draglink where it broke. Made him a new round tubing draglink but I could never get him to take the ugly steering wheel off as that was Pruhommes favorite thing in dragracing. Probably still is. Stuckeys last comment to Black as he is driving out of town was "you have really screwed up and nobody will ever hear of this car again".

 

 

Tommy Greer - Don Prudhomme - Keith Black
As far as anyone knows, this is the very first shot taken of the new car/team that took drag racing by storm starting in 1962.

 

With its yellow body (the car also ran with a red/orange paint scheme), chassis by Kent Fuller and a 392 Chrysler engine from the mind of Keith Black, the Greer, Black & Prudhomme dragster cranked out some of the best times of the era, including an unbelievable 7.77 second elapsed time at over 191 miles per hour in 1964. Then, at the end of their remarkable two year run, the team basically disbanded, with Tommy Greer going into drag boats, while Keith Black became “just an engine builder” and not a car owner and Prudhomme, well, he went on to have a moderately successful career in the sport of drag racing as both a driver and a car owner and that’s not too bad for a kid who started out as a car painter in Southern California. And, coincidentally, one of the first cars that he painted just happened to be this Greer, Black and Prudhomme yellow dragster.

 

"Greer, Black & Prudhomme" - AA/FD - Fontana, 1963. This shot of the car gives a true aspect of just how short it was.

 

 

Keith Black runs behind the car as Prudhomme moves up to stage at Lions, 1964.

 

 

 

 


If this car looks strangely familiar its because it used to belong to the lesser known team of Tommy Greer, Keith Black and Don Prudhomme. Somehow the "magic" didn't get sold with the car. "Reno Auto Wrecking" - AA/FD - Lions, 1967 - after this the car went into "the rafters" until Davis restored in in 1968.

 

Orangeline

 

Restoration

 

The restoration of this incredible piece of drag racing history was left in the hands of Steve Davis - who was not new at this game and remains to this day as one of the premier car restorers on the planet. Steve's attention to detail is only rivaled by Bruce Dyda and Pat Foster.

 

Needless to say, a popular stop in the CHRR pits is Steve Davis' restored "Greer-Black-Prudhomme" Fuller car along with the recreated Keith Black 1958 Ranchero for a push car. Class act all the way.
"Pete" Garramone Photo

 

Early Saturday morning of the 2000 CHRR the crown jewels of the restored "Fuller Fleet" were rolled out to the track for a photo shoot. Photos don't do this scene justice at all! "The Magicar" -- "The Vagabond" -- "Greer-Black-Prudhomme" -- "Western Mfg. Special".

 

 

 

Steve Davis in the car for Cacklefest One

 

 

 

Cacklefest One - Davis takes his spot on the fabled 1/4 mile at Fomosa Dragway (more commonly known as Bakersfield). Although the car was officially retired after the 2005 Cacklefest, it will forever remain a champion then and a champion now. It will be on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum for years to come... hopefully.

 

Davis going to and in his spot at the 2001 Cacklefest.

 

 

 

 

Steve Davis in the Pre 2004 Cacklefest parade.

 

 

Final appearance for the GBP car for a while was the 2004 Cacklefest. It was, until 2007, retired by its owner. It's now back in action at selected events.

 

 

 

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