Searching for the “Malfunction”

Searching for the “Malfunction”

The hobby of hot rodding gives us the opportunity to assume the role of detective, archaeologist and preservationist. Often times we search towers of tattered titles while the unmistakable film of dust embeds into our fingertips. Perhaps the soft glow of the computer screen illuminates bedrooms, offices or garages deep into the morning hours, while stacks of digital folders are filled with saturated Kodachrome slides and blurry Brownie exposures of history in the making. Some of these photos have information attached, perhaps scribbled on the back with an eraser-less bowling alley pencil or splotchy ink pen and forever embedded into their now pixilated identities. More often than not, the photo contains no information at all.

And that’s the case with this one here, almost.

It’s clear that the shot was taken by well known drag racing photographer Pete Gemar, and the subject is the C/Altered Chrysler dubbed “Flintstone’s Malfunction? sitting in the pits of the 1967 N.H.R.A. Nationals at Indianapolis. Judging from the unique split windshield, I believe it to be a late 1931 or early 1932 model channeled over the stock frame. Radical weight distribution can be accredited to the drastically re-arched parallel leafs and heavily setback small block Chevy. With flat-spoke Americans, Cal-Custom scoops and ear-splitting straight pipes, this candy tangerine machine has the show-and-go appeal that became ubiquitous during this Meguiar’s Mirror-Glaze’d timeframe.

In the quest to learn more about this A-shelled machine, I scoured the depths of the Internet and Edgerton, Ohio white pages for anyone with the surname Flintstone. Much to my dismay, the trail quickly went cold. How could such a unique competition machine, based on such an obscure body style, not find its way into the annals of history? Is this the only photo in existence of this coupe? I have my doubts.

So now I’m posing the question here to all you detectives, archeologists and preservationists – Do you know the story of “Flintstone’s Malfunction??

-Joey Ukrop 

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