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Hot Rods Altered Hilborn Injected 426 Hemi Kellison funny car "Abra Cadaver" found

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kyle ray rice, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    Hey guys, I'd first like to introduce myself as I'm new here, but a long time reader of the forums. Anyhow I really wanted to start a thread on this car (currently in my father's possession) and possibly see what information I can find, I'll do my best to list as much info as I can.
    The story starts out in 2009, my dad was in the Florida keys for work. A local noticed that he always wore car and more specifically Mopar shirts and asked him if he could help him go check out a 66 Polara, he agreed and they went on their way. On the way there the guy mentions "Oh they also have an old race car their dad used to race". Assuming it was probably just another dirt track car (that's pretty much all you'll find here in Florida) my dad shrugged didn't think much of it. They arrive to the house and enter the garage and that's where he sees it, a wild orange funny car, 2 Hemis (one in the car) and a stroker 400. Skip forward a few months he manages to make a deal for basically the entire contents of the garage, knowing full well that it is something special.
    IMG_20170716_093513.jpg IMG_20170715_170410.jpg IMG_20170715_170329.jpg IMG_20170715_170321.jpg
    Now over the years we've done quite a bit of research trying to find some history on the car, finding a photo of this car has honestly been like trying to find a needle on another planet. We have discovered quite a few things mostly though the paperwork in their garage.
    What we do know is that it was Campaigned by a "John Russ Branyan" (deceased) nhra #1304 b/a. He was from Springfield PA and ran a/a up till 75 then switched to b/a after (according to the address on the fliers he received). He ran in the Northeast division, according to the trophies mostly - Atco, Maple Grove, and Cecil County. We believe he may have run on the westcoast as well, his kids say he was originally from California, he has ties with Henry's Machine in CA and it sits like a westcoast car of the time (the thing basically points at the ground!) IMG_20170715_065204.jpg IMG_20170715_200712.jpg
    The car has a 1966 426 Hemi with a matching 66 torqueflight and an olds rearend. The engine from what we know from a letter he wrote is 30 over at 12.5:1 compression. It has a 605 imperial Crower cam and it is Hilborn Injected (the other hemi were not entirely sure about it's internals yet as it seems like he was working on building that one but it does have aluminum dualplug heads) . It runs on Gas, but judging by the size of the fuel tank it probably ran alcohol at some point. The fuel system is actually pretty cool, because the body is so low the bottom of the fuel tank actually hangs below the fuel pump, to offset this he cut the tank off from the atmosphere and has a pressure tank connected with a throw off switch in the cockpit to basically force fuel through the system. And so he can start it himself without a prime. We believe because of this and many other clues he was probably a one man team. IMG_20170715_170404.jpg 29304155874_37b096fb83_h.jpg IMG_20170424_210606.jpg
    The frame we know nothing about, it is incredibly well built for the era though. We do find it very similar to Larry Stewart's "Loco", another Kellison funny car.
    The body is a 58/59 Kellison j4/j4r with quite a few modifications.. the only funny car we've come across with a j4 is the original Stinger (destroyed?)
    FB_IMG_1472333911352.jpg FB_IMG_1472333919039.jpg
    As other projects took up our time finally last November we finally decided to tear it down and get it running for Don Garlits Mopar show, and it was successful (I'll post the video later on). Just this weekend we displayed it in Carlisle it's homestate

    20161106_083931.jpg 20161106_083858.jpg
    Beyond this we don't know much history wise. The car is shrouded by mystery as we are yet to find someone who recognizes it. We don't know who exactly built it, though Russ Branyan seems like he could have, but the car is incredibly well built and engineered for one man to do, especially a privateer weekend racer. Where did it run? Was there any key builders involved? Do any photos still exist of this car in it's heyday? All this we are looking to discover. 29304152874_fdea6730c2_h.jpg 29848161491_c9ce95276e_h.jpg 29637536840_7df9fae0e4_h.jpg IMG_20160925_222755.jpg
     
    els, Fitty Toomuch, Tudor and 20 others like this.
  2. Looks a lot like an early funny car chassis. Very cool in any case....
     
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  3. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    Very early, it has no markings on it and it's really unique, but it looks professionally build. Straight and square, there's a cut out up front and you can see the tubing is like .049 thick though, and judging by the oxy welds it is probably Chromoly. The curator for Don Garlits museum kept telling us how well built the chassis was considering the era.

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  4. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice


    Here it is the first time it's probably made any noise in 40 years. We tore apart the engine in the frame rails and went through everything. The giant rust cloud is from the zoomies we were unable to pull... We actually vacuumed most of it out lol. We were real luck, he winterized the fuel system so the lines actually survived.
     
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  5. That is cool as hell! I'm betting it was a handful on the track.
     
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  6. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice


    Last November at Don Garlits. Kind of a poor quality video, but one of it actually idling and running. Does no justice to how this thing sounds in person.
     
  7. Fantastic car for sure. I will ask around and see if anyone remembers seeing it run here in PA.
     
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  8. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 2,946

    slowmotion
    Member

    Man that's cool as hell. Shear luck it was found. Hope you have success finding more history on it. Might be worth a shot to check out the PID site. Bill Truby documented the hayday of that dragstrip, thankfully. Tons of photo's and well organized. Good luck.
     
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  9. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    I'll check that out for sure, and thank you, all help is good help!

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  10. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,613

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    There is a Logghe group on facebook (which the chassis appears to be) and that should be your very next stop to inquire
     
  11. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    Will do. They do share some resemblance

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  12. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,298

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    Damn that's cool. Hope you find what you're after. And please keep us all updated.
     
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  13. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,434

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Good god man... I love that thing.
     
  14. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,613

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

    There are some simularities, But---- to be more effective in your search and bypassing missleading info, you need to remove the body and start taking detail pics all over the car. You might have a copy of a Logghe as people did that sort of thing when nothing else worked or fit their wallet--Pictures-Pictures- Pictures, and we already have enough body pictures
     
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  15. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 9,298

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

    I keep coming back to look some more. This thing looks like it's ready to fight...and win. BAd ass!
     
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  16. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    Yeah absolutely I have better photos of the frame etc they're just not on my phone. I will post more detailed shots as soon as I can.

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  17. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 3,965

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    Awesome car, this one was at the Meltdown Drags this last weekend too. IMO one of the coolest cars there. They were running it too! IMG_2611.JPG
     
  18. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    The rake on the body is intense, looks fast sitting still! haha. It's kind of a give away that it's different when comparing it to the few other Kellison funnycars. From what I've been told was a lot of westcoast cars where like that at the time because their strips were better maintained/prepped, I have no idea on the validity on that to be honest, but we know he originated in Cali but all the documents we have are Northeast PA area. I'd also like to add the car is unchanged from the way we found it aside cleaning the engine to fire.

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  19. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    Yeah I remember HotRod did a feature on that a few years ago! I heard he rips that thing too. Badass

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  20. Wow, love the early funny cars, so cool, and welcome to the HAMB!
     
  21. TR Waters
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,439

    TR Waters
    Member
    from Vermont
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    I was able to look it over this past weekend at Carlisle. Very cool.
     
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  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 21,163

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    Wild - shows that there still are rare rides hidden away that are still waiting to be discovered
     
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  23. woodbutcher
    Joined: Apr 25, 2012
    Posts: 2,960

    woodbutcher
    Member

    :D Nice find.Sounds great.Please keep the updates coming as you can.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
     
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  24. This is a cool thread, Rusco beat me to posting about the one at the Meltdown this weekend, it ran a 10.50
    [​IMG]
     
  25. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 2,906

    jnaki

    We believe he may have run on the westcoast as well, his kids say he was originally from California, he has ties with Henry's Machine in CA and it sits like a westcoast car of the time (the thing basically points at the ground!)

    Hey KRR,
    Sometimes searching is part of the fun of discovery. I did a search for our old 40 Willys and turned up some random items. No one actually had photos of it racing or in the pits. But, as far as Henry's Axles from the old Long Beach Machine Works address, they have been gone for years.
    In a google search, there is a upload_2017-7-17_16-39-28.png
    in a small town in Running Springs, CA, up in the local mountains. but, it is a new owner.

    Henry's was quite popular. Many racers stand by their products back in those days. They did our axles for the 40 Willys and when I needed a conversion for my 58 Chevy Impala to run Buick Skylark wheels, Henry's did the conversion to the Buick bolt pattern.
    Check out Robert Trautloff on line...
    Good luck on your search...
    Jnaki
     
  26. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,613

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

  27. dreracecar
    Joined: Aug 27, 2009
    Posts: 2,613

    dreracecar
    Member
    from so-cal

  28. Insanely cool
     
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  29. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    Here's a couple cool things from a Hotrod article a couple years ago, I mentioned Larry Stewart's Kellison in my original post. Here it says he actually built the chassis based on a logghe. Honestly Abra Cadaver's looks a whole lot like it aside the roll cage and his ladder bars are square tubing.
    [​IMG]
    The next cool bit of info is that it says he built 3 Kellison drag cars, but no mention of where they are. [​IMG]
    The body is different, his is a j6 and ours is a j4 but the overall design is very similar, they even ran the same class in the same era.
    It is a cool idea, but obviously there is no evidence it is. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    He also changed the paint job every year, that is all the same car, now know as "Loco" ^

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  30. kyle ray rice
    Joined: Jul 16, 2017
    Posts: 22

    kyle ray rice

    And thanks guys for the info and support I'll check out Robert trautoff. This site is kickass

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    kidcampbell71 likes this.

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