In 1967, many drag racing followers have been surprised to study that the workforce of Stone, Woods and Cook dinner have been swapping their widespread AA/Fuel Willys coupe for a Mustang humorous automotive. The workforce dominated the A/GS ranks with the Swindler A Willys, and many individuals anticipated them to proceed competing within the gasser ranks.
Humorous automotive match racing was the place all the cash was, nevertheless, and the “Pebble, Pulp and Chef” gang was prepared for a brand new problem. So that they put aside the Willys in favor of a blown Mustang they christened Darkish Horse 2.
Though the fiberglass flip-top type humorous automobiles have been beginning to come into their very own, the SWC Mustang was not a flopper. As a substitute the workforce mounted a metal Mustang physique shell on a lightweight weight tubular chassis, with a protracted fiberglass entrance clip. Driver Doug Cook dinner entered the automotive by opening doorways, whereas the clip may very well be eliminated to work on the engine.
Following the identical sample as their well-known gassers, the SWC workforce chosen a blown early Chrysler hemi for energy. As a result of Stone, Woods and Cook dinner have been so profitable within the gasoline courses, some individuals mistakenly discuss with the Mustang as a gasser. At first the automotive ran alcohol, with a splash of nitro. As time wore on, the workforce tipped-the-can and used an ever better percentages of nitromethane.
The Mustang humorous automotive instantly adopted within the footsteps of the Willys gassers, successful the 2400 pound class on the famed Bakersfield March meet two days in a row. From there, the workforce set off on a blistering barnstorming tour that has seldom been equaled.
It appeared that each drag racing fan needed to see the Stone, Woods and Cook dinner Mustang in motion, and each observe proprietor needed to fill the stands by reserving the match racer. Decide up any copy of Drag Information from 1967, and you’ll possible discover quite a few tales recounting the exploits Stone, Woods and Cook dinner at completely different tracks.
Along with racing at many of the five-star tracks, Darkish Horse 2 additionally confirmed up at small hole-in-the-wall venues; dragstrips with ragged asphalt, dim night-lighting and insufficient shut down areas. The followers needed to see Doug Cook dinner in motion, and the workforce was greater than keen to grant their want.
Racing a number of instances per week, SWC ran towards many of the well-known humorous automobiles of the period, taking up the lighter weight, injected flip-top automobiles in addition to different steel-bodied blown entries. Cook dinner wasn’t at all times victorious, however he racked up a powerful win/loss tally.
Simply when the Stone, Woods and Cook dinner workforce seemed to be on high of their recreation, tragedy intervened. A crash destroyed Darkish Horse 2 at Alton, Illinois. Doug Cook dinner, one of the vital widespread and revered drag racers of all time, sustained again accidents that ended his racing profession.
Stone, Woods and Cook dinner weren’t completed, nevertheless. They constructed a brand new Mustang that was a close to copy of the unique. The Ghost of Darkish Horse 2 continued the torrid match-race tempo, with quite a lot of employed drivers changing Cook dinner behind the wheel.
By 1969, even the SWC workforce couldn’t stay aggressive with a metal bodied automotive, they usually constructed a Mustang flopper, assigning the driving chores to Dee Keaton. Within the early ’70s, Tim Woods constructed the primary Pinto humorous automotive and ran it beneath the Stone, Woods and Cook dinner banner with Mike VanSant because the pilot. Nonetheless later a Chrysler powered Corvette gasser toured beneath the Stone, Woods and Cooke banner. That’s not a typo; on the ‘Vette the title Cook dinner was spelled with an e on the tip. Reportedly, not one of the authentic trio was actively concerned with the Corvette.
Finally, all three members of the colourful workforce retired from racing. Doug Cook dinner handed away in 1999.
The Darkish Horse 2 legacy continues, nevertheless. Mike Cook dinner, son of the well-known driver, is reconstructing Darkish Horse 2. Photos of the automotive’s building could be seen on Cook dinner’s web site, in addition to photographs of the totally restored Swindler A and Swindler B Willys coupes.
4 many years have handed for the reason that Darkish Horse 2 Mustang barnstormed its approach into drag racing historical past. It’s good to know that Mike Cook dinner would not intend to let the well-known humorous automotive be forgotten.