With the passing of Steve Kanuika last month. I received a email with a little history of him and his Speed Shop and Drag Racing history with some of best. Steve Kanuika, who died last month. Steve's son (also Steve) had former Funny Car ace Clare Sanders put together the following info forall. It began early. At 17 years of age Steve and his brother opened a small shop in the basement of their folks home, a small Pennsylvania cattle ranch. Street racing was big at the time; real American Graffiti-type stuff. Steve did the work on the cars and engines he had that magic touch -- as older brother Bill talked up the business. Steve would build the motor in the basement, then use his dads tractor to hoist it out and into the customers car. One of his early efforts was to hop up friend Buddy Corletos Buick Century it was fast, and word of mouth brought customers. His first dragstrip race car was a 54 Chevy p/u truck running a 283-inch mouse motor also their daily driver parts truck. It proceeded to set the D/Gas record in Vineland, N.J., Langhorne Speedway, York, and Lancaster, where Bill Jenkins was the tech inspector. Other Kanuika cars included a B/Dragster powered by a 327 Chevy with a 4-71 GMC blower (in a Lynnwood Welding frame), a C/Gas Henry J, and the most famous, his C/Gas Willys pickup with a 301-inch injected mouse motor. It set the record at 10.80, 127mph and even made the cover of Drag Times. In the early 60s, business was getting to be too much, so Mom finally threw em out of the driveway. Steve immediately opened his first shop in Upper Darby, named Kanuika Bros. Automotive (in an old gas station). Steves talents continued to earn him a dedicated following in drag racing circles, and his business boomed - at one time he was operating four Steve Kanuika Speed Shops! Then came the "Jungle Jim" sponsorship, and the shop in Concordville, Pa. (with six employees) became the place where you could find the two "Jungle Jim" Chevy II Novas; it wasnt far from Jungles pad in West Chester. Those were glory days - Kanuika and K&G were THE speed shops in the Philly area no one else was even close. Steve built his last racer; the 69 Jungle Jim Camaro Super Stocker, with acid-dipped doors and frame, blueprinted 427-inch rat motor and all of the go-fast stuff. It was a 9.80s match racer, very popular, and another rolling billboard for his speed shops. This car still holds a class record! It was driven by Steve, and eventually sold to Dick Collins. Speed parts were selling, the Jungle cars were winning, and it was all good. . During this time Steve had the success of having both his motors in the '69 Funny Car finals in both of "Jungle's" cars as well as sponsoring some of the greatest cars and drivers of the time. These included no less than Lew Arrington's Brutus, Roland Leong's Hawaiian, Mickey Thompson , Jade Grenade, Neil Mahr's Superpress as well as many other famous names like Dickie Harell , Goeske, and Lewis to name a few. He also was one of the first to offer chassis-dyno tuning and many innovative engine building techniques. Focusing on all aspects of the build and machine work totally in house. He was a true pioneer and a class act for the sport of drag racing. He never gave up the love even in his retirement, he would build motors by appointment, and had been working on several engine design patents. He is survived by his wife Delores, son Stephen, and daughter Heather. At the time of his death, Steve was in the process of building a blown alcohol Funny Car with his son. That car is expected to be running In the spring of 2010 painted like the Super Stocker as tribute to Steve and driven by Steve Jr. "It is worth noting," said Sanders, "that I can never recall him having a bad word to say about anyone, ever. Steve Kanuika was a true racers racer, husband, a father, a gentleman and one of the really good guys. I sure do miss him."