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Jade Grenade AA/FD

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History

 

From the mid 60s to the early 70s the New England based Jimmy King and Don Marshall fielded some of the most recognized and competitive fuel cars on the East Coast. Among them was their 1969-1971 Top Fuel car that not only survived one of the sports first "blowovers" but set several track records up and down the right coast. Against all odds, after its Top Fuel retirement in 1971, although being raced in lower classes, the car remained basically in tact until its rebirth in 2002.

 

This is Jimmy King in the brand new Don Long car (1969), doing a show for the kids at a training school. Don Marshall is in the suit. The "weedburner" headers are a mystery as they were not used on fuel dragsters since mid 1964. There are no other photos of this car with these headers.
Photo by Jeff Howe

 

 

Jimmy King in the lights at Norwood, MA in 1969
Photo by Jeff Howe

 

The K&M car showed up at the 1970 NHRA Winternationals with a new paint scheme.

 

A rare West Coast appearance, after the Winternationals, at Lions Drag Strip in 1970.

 

In spring of 1970 Detroit Dragway hosted the AHRA Grand American Series event, attracting a strong field of cars from across the nation. Here's Rhode Island's Jimmy King in the King & Marshall car, beginning to smoke the left rear tire while the right tire bites... very strange.
Jim Hill Photo

 

King & Marshall fueler at a Connecticut Dragway in 1970. We believe they had the very first blower restraints.
Dennis Doubleday photo

 

Near the end of its career, the car saw other drivers than Jimmy King, among them hired-shoe Don Roberts (below) at Epping Dragway in 1971. You can't see it clearly, but there is a castor welded to the top of the roll cage. This was installed as a joke (or reminder) after King nearly destroyed the car at the 1970 US Nationals at Indy when it turned "turtle" after a giant wheel stand.

 

 

No matter how big or small the show was, New England Dragway always paraded the cars down the track before first round. What made it great was the announcing staff knew what they were talking about and the crowd loved it. Here is Don Roberts and his pals from Warren, Rhode Island on the parade lap at the 1971 Grande American race August 8, 1971.

 

Orangeline

 

Restoration

 

In 2001 Sy Sidebotham of Bedford, New Hampshire got a call from a friend telling him that someone had the car in Delaware. He got the contact information and called him. He made arrangement for original owner Don Marshall to stop by on his way to Florida to look at it. Sidebotham had given Marshall the money to buy the car if he thought it was the real deal. It was and he bought it.

Soon after the restoration started with the removal of the upgraded five point cage and replacing some bent up frame rails. This was done by vet Mark Rowe in Sea Brook, New Hampshire who is on the NHRA Chassis Engineering Committee. Since the original Hanna body was all missing or ruined, new skin was added to the repaired chassis. From there the car was restored and finished to its 1969 paint scheme.

However, Sidebotham went a step further than other cacklecars in that he did what it took to get the car certified by NHRA for 1/8 mile passes. These safety features are not visible from the outside of the car but include a fire bottle, kidney bars and a Nostalgia Top Fuel type clutch and can. His goal was, as still is, to have his driver (Tom Steed) to make exhibition runs at Cacklefest and other appropriate events.

 

Sidebotham's restored "King & Marshall" made a grand debut at the 2002 CHRR with Tom Steed making a short run.

 

 

Tom Steed in the 2002 Cacklefest Parade.

 

CHRR Cacklefest 2002

 

CHRR 2003

 

 

Tom "Tuna" Steed has ignition in the King & Marshall AA/FD at Cacklefest IV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50th U.S. Nationals Cacklefest at Indianapolis Raceway Park.

 

NHRR II in Bowling Green, KY.

 

 

 

Bowling Green 2004

 

 

National Hot Rod Reunion Cacklefest Parade in 2005.

 

Bowling Green, KY 2005

 

 

Sy Sidebotham, Tom Steed and the King & Marshall crew. The average age is obvious.

 

At the 2005 CHRR a Friday exhibition run didn't go as planned when the car lifted the front wheels and took a hard right turn. Sidebotham, tired of cracking early hemi blocks, installed a Donovan 417 and is still getting used to the power curve.

 

 

Sidebotham whacks the throttle for Tom "Tuna" Steed - NHRR 2005.

 

Tom Steed in the 2005 Cacklefest Parade.

 

 

 

 

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