1973 Woody Gilmore Candies & Hughes TF41

4th Annual Salt Lake City Classic Car Auction | Mar 30, 2019

498 ci Keith Black Hemi Manual

4th Annual Salt Lake City Classic Car Auction
Woody Gilmore
Candies & Hughes TF41
Rear Engine Dragster
498 ci Keith Black Hemi

1973 Candies & Hughes TF 41 Top Fuel Dragster

Presented 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 round.
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 round. 
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 Championship

The Chassis:
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.    

The Build:
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.