The "Poison Ivy" AA/FD
was one of the many "local" project dragsters built
in the 1960's. In 1964 San Diego native Robert Robbie
Martinez built the body and Ted Miller did the paint and lettering.
The jury is still out on the chassis builder. Aside from being
a drag racer, Martinez was a talented auto body guy and custom
car enthusiast. He wanted to test his talents and fabricate a
dragster body like no other... and he did a fine job. Poison
Ivy was/is one of those cars you either like a lot or wonder
what he was thinking. To put icing on the cake, Martinez had
Miller do a wild green paint job - beautiful but at the time
a racing no-no. Green paint - unusual body = Poison Ivy.
Also, like so many teams with
limited budgets, the car was lightly raced and not competitive.
It only ran a limited schedule (when money allowed) during 1965
and part of 1966. Martinez parked it in favor of business interests
and it sat dormant until it was purchased in 2002 for a new life
as a cackle/show car.
Robert Martinez, Ted
Miller and helper with the car before paint.
Carlsbad in 1965. The car wasn't
much in the performance department but it sure was pretty. However,
he did get a lot of flak for having a green car.
- AA/FD - 1966
Photo by Bill Pitts
Bob Martinez owner/builder/driver and Ted Miller, the painter.
owned and driven by Bob Martinez, Poison Ivy was purchased and
restored by Bob Deburn from San Diego in 2002. It made its Cacklefest
debut in 2003.
In the pits 2003 CHRR.
As is mandatory now, the Poison
Ivy crew did a test push start prior to Cacklefest IV with Don
Irvin, who heads up a NHRA Safety Safari crew at nostalgia drag
racing events, in the seat.
The nifty 57 Ford F-100 pushing
Poison Ivy belongs to San Diegan Ray Lake. It has full front
and rear Jaguar suspension and a Ford motor. Ray makes his truck
available for push start duties at a number of Southern California
venues! Thanks Ray.
fired and on his way to the track during Cacklefest IV.
Irvin in his spot for
The cars next outing was the
2004 NHRA Winternationals at Pomona. Again, Don Irvin was in
Back for Cacklefest V
with Don Irvin at the controls.
Like many of the cacklecars,
Poison Ivy spends most of its CHRR weekend in "The Grove"
behind the grandstands at Bakersfield. These photo is from 2004.
In the summer of 2005 Poison
Ivy was a featured car at the second annual Big Rail Review in
Escondidio, CA. Big Rail Review is a result of Bill Pitts fertile
imagination. Bill, who also owns the Magicar, arranged with the
promoters of the Escondido once a month summertime "Cruisin'
on Grand" to provide Nitro burners to cackle for the enjoyment
of the participants and onlookers as well. The third such event
will feature about 20 cars and will be held August 18th.
Poison Ivy was back for its third
Cacklefest appearance in 2005 with a new owner, Ken Blackmore.
Blackmore, who is a highly successful building contractor from
Temecula, has engaged the services of former Junior Fuel standout,
Jay Carpenter, to maintain and present the car at the various
New owner - same
driver... Don Irvin stayed in the seat as seen here in the Cacklefest
Unfortunately there are no shots
of the car after it headed up track for Cacklefest. Someone said
it lost fire and went off to the side. But you can bet it will
be back this year.