1973 Candies & Hughes TF 41 Top Fuel DragsterPresented at auction is the restored original Candies &
Hughes #41 Top Fuels Dragster that established national racing provenance in
1974. The car has a storied history
including racing success in 1974, disassembly in 1975, then sold at some point
thereafter. The Engine and Chassis surface
in Salt Lake City having followed an unknown route over 25 years.
Though the car was campaigned in the South East and nationally,
at some point in its history, this famed Woody Gilmore chassis and highly esteemed
Kieth Black Racing Aluminum Racing Engine (Serial #002!) ended up in the rafter
of a garage in Salt Lake City. Upon
discovery and acquisition, the current owner undertook a meticulous professional
restoration project drawing upon the knowledge of the original racing team
including the owner, Paul Candies and the driver, Dave Settles as well as the
Crew Chief of the race team. The dragster
was restored to its original 1974 Candies & Hughes racing conformation and fitment.
This historic dragster is the restored example from the winning
combination of the final Woody Gilmore Race Engineered Chassis and the newly
developed Keith Black Racing aluminum hemi racing engine. Drag Racing team owner Paul Candies put these
two rare components together in 1974 to create the Candies & Hughes #41 top
Fuels Dragster. This winning formula produced
excellent results in the following:
1974 – March - NHRA Gator Nationals, Gainseville, FL - Top
Fuels Eliminator win with driver Dave Settles beating Gary Beck in the final
1974 – October – NHRA Supernationals, Ontario, CA – Top
Fuels Eliminator Runner-up status in at the NHRA Supernationals in Ontarrio, CA
with driver Dave Settles narrowly losing to Don Garlits in the final
1974 – November – NHRA World Championship - Dave Settles,
driver of the Candies & Hughes #41 Car, completes the season at #2 in points
behind world Champion Gary Beck
1974 – November – NHRA South Central Division – the Candies
& Hughes #41 wins the actively contested Top Fuel Eliminator Season
In 1973, Woody Gilmore Racing of Long Beach, CA decides to
abandon building dragster chassis and focus on chassis to undergird the growing
“funny car” class. He makes just 4 final
dragster chassis, two of which had rack and pinion steering. Through research, it is determined that the
chassis in the drag car presented auction is the rack and pinion cars chassis
used in the Candies & Hughes #41 car.
Following additional research, the other chassis has not surfaced and is
assumed to have been destroyed.
When assembling the #41 car, Candies and Hughes agreed to
act as a test vehicle for the newly-developed Keith Black Aluminum Hemi (KBAH) race
engine. The team acquired the 2nd
block produced, with the first block retained by Keith Black Racing. The engine on this car, through research, is
determined to the be the original #002 aluminum cylinder block, internals and
twin-spark plug heads. This engine
produced the 1st Top Fuel race wins for the KBAH engine! The engine was professionally prepped and did
run on an engine stand prior to installation.
Following extensive research and a long search for original
or era-correct parts, the car was assembled using original pictures and publications
featuring the car in 1974 as well as interviews with Paul Candies and Leonard
Hughes. Of added provenance, original-to-the-car
body panels and components were discovered, refinished and used in the extensive
restoration project. The car was
completed in 2013 with the body panels sporting fresh paint per later Candies
& Hughes race car hues and – as the original – Gold Leaf Lettering.
This is a chance to see and own a true, storied, NHRA Top Fuel Dragster with a noteworthy chassis, the documented first winning Keith Black Race Hemi restored to original.