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CHUCK FINDERS MEMORIAL AT GASSER Reunion

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GASSERGUY, May 26, 2009.

  1. GASSERGUY
    Joined: Oct 23, 2004
    Posts: 165

    GASSERGUY
    Member

    Legendary Drag Racer and Race Car Builder Chuck Finders passed away on Sunday 5-17-09. Chuck’s career spanned a total of six Decades; he started drag racing in 1958 and did his last full run in the 90’s. Chuck was not only known for his driving skills but was also recognized as one of the industries legendary builders. In 2002 he completed a replica of a car remembered by most Gasser enthusiasts, the SWC & Chuck Finders “Dark Horse.” This car was not an exact replica, the painter didn’t verify the color and only after the car was finished being painted did Chuck find out it was the wrong shade of blue.

    Chuck in the 33 Willys “Dark Horse” had one of many “15 seconds of fame moments” as it was quicker than the SWC “A” car. This was Chuck’s car with a Tim Woods engine that was painted to match the team’s colors. It was basically added to the SWC team to help meet booking commitments. The “Dark Horse” was later converted to another car, the “Traveler” partnered with Bill Altizer & Neal Kibler. This car set and held both speed and low et. in B/GS (146.57 MPH in 9.76 E.T.) in Nov. 1964. Many of Chuck’s cars were a partnership of this type.

    Chuck successfully campaigned in the professional ranks as well. In the seventies he moved into the Funny Car class. Partnerships and cars built abound here too. During this period Chuck was in contention for the top spot in Division 3 but full sponsorship and success were always a dream and never within his grasp. In the late seventies Chuck lost a leg to a drag racing accident. Don Garlits was at the track that day, ran down to the accident, ran back to the tower and asked everyone to pray for Chuck or he wouldn’t make it. Chuck survived and eventually went back to the cars he loved, the Willys.

    Chuck ended up winning his class and competing at the level he had always wanted. He was a champion to those he raced with and at the same time racers always said he was a racer's racer. He just wanted to race “Balls Out” and he did. Chuck leaves 21 entries in Draglist.com and has touched the lives of racers and hot rodders around the world. If you see a 33 Willys, say Hi to Chuck, because he probably had a part in it.

    A tribute to Chuck Finders will be held at the 8th Annual Gasser Reunion, June 5-7, at Thompson Raceway Park. Chuck loved being at the event and hanging with old drag racing buddies and making new friends. At noon on Saturday, June 6, 2009, we'll honor Gasser Legend Chuck Finders. The Legends of drag racing will honor him and then one or more of his cars will make a pass down the track. GASSER Magazine will host a special article on Chuck in the next issue of the magazine.

    A memorial organized by Chuck’s family will be held in his Honor at the NHRA Museum in Pomona Sunday June 7th bring your Street Rod or Race car that Chuck Built or Drove and share it with us. Words of remembrance will be at 2:00pm this is a casual street rodder style gathering ‘Nothing Sad” at this final Meet for Chuck.
    ------
    Chuck is survived by Mother Josephine Harkins of Bellflower Ca., two sisters Gloria Clemson of Wildomar Ca. and Dona Lively of Lakewood Ca. Chuck was also survived by two sons one step-daughter, and three grand daughters, Chuck Finders Jr. 49 of Tucson Az. Bob Finders 48 of Anaheim Ca. and Carol Johnson-Smith 51 of San Antonio Texas, three grand daughters, Ashley Finders of Tucson Jamie Johnson of San Antonio and Adrienne Bovee of Waco, and Cars too many to number.

    The next issue of the magazine will have a feature article on Chuck. If you have any photos, stories or comments that might interest others, email me or mail them to me.

    Ernest McIntyre, editor
     

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  2. thanks for the info. Chuck was an influence on the guys who did the steering on my Anglia, and he was very helpful to me chasing down some history. Godspeed Chcuk.
     
  3. I,m a bit late with this but Chuck.s gassers have always had the look for me,really just wanted to add my respect,LEGEND.
     

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