“Big John” Mazmanian and “Junior” Thompson Opel-Kaddet 1968-69 AA/GS FOR SALE Authentication: This is the original car. Big John Mazmanian and Junior Thompson originally built and raced this ¼ mile gasser in 1968-1970. Recently the car resurfaced for sale and Junior and his son Tommy reacquired the vehicle and restored it. Junior was the car’s original builder and driver. He and Tommy have recreated this unique piece of drag racing history! If this is not enough to verify the car’s authenticity then listen to this story by Tommy Thompson (race car driver/owner) regarding taillight damage that still exists, Tommy says, “In September 1970 at Ontario Dragway after getting an engine back that he had loaned to K.S. Pittman, the engine blew on the 1st run, oiling the tires. Junior almost lost control, but saved the car after impacting the guard rail with the left rear corner, busting the taillight. To this day that same taillight lens is on the car, broken in its original state.” See photo. Interview with “Junior” April 19, 2008: When did you start building the Opel gasser? “We built the car in 1968 and then ran the car over 300 times at different drag strips across the country for 2 years with no sponsors.” How did the project get started? “Big John and I purchased a fiberglass replica of an Opel Cadet by Ron Palagrini. We had Chuck Finders from Cleveland Ohio build the chassis. I stroked and bored a 392 Hemi to 450, added an early Chrysler rear end and Torque Flight transmission.” What else did you do to the engine? “Iske cam, Mondelo polished and ported the heads, a Hampton blower, Hilborn injection, Doug’s headers and a Vortex magneto.” What was it that made this car such a winner? “It is all in the tuning and driving. A big Motor Company backed George Montgomery to build a Mustang gasser and the Opel beat him.” Did you win every week? “No. We won some and he won some.” History: A 1969 write-up from Thompson Ohio entitled “Big John’s Opel & Jr. Thomson – All The Marbles” stated, “For the first time in T.D.R.’s racing history, Ohio George Montgomery did not, repeat Did Not win the AS/Gas Super Meet! It was Junior Thompson-“Big John” Mazmanian’s Candy Red hemi-powered Opel, putting on an awesome display for the 6000 standing drag fans, winning all the of his rounds. Staging next to the Opel in the second round, was ‘hisself’ “Ohio George” and the big Ford Cammer Gasser. The tree came down, and “Junior” pulled a super “2” holeshot on the big blue bomb. Could he hold it? Indeed!! To the time of 8.80/159.29, as “Ohio George” clocked the best of the day, trying to catch the flying Opel, of 8.78/153.40, but it was “Junior’s” day.” Another article entitled “AA/GS Shine at Irwindale” on November 8, 1969 shows how sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, “Jr. Thompson let the fans know he was back and runnin’ hard as he laid down a beautiful 8.64, to set low E.T. of the meet and 164.23 mph as he cut the feared team of Herrera & Lombardo who ran a very close 8.67. (See photograph.) It looked like Jr. Thompson & “Big John” all the way until the Opel made a 90 degree right turn for the guard-rail forcing Jr. to back out of it, so Steve Korney breezed to an 8.82 -159.57 mph and the win.” Original owner/builders: Junior Thompson and Big John Mazmanian. Description: As reported in a full-color magazine article entitled “Super Mini-Brute”: “Built on a Chuck Finders chassis, the car’s 95-inch wheelbase retains the Opel stock tread front and rear. Opel’s economy image was completely destroyed with the installation of a 449-cubic inch ’57 Chrysler. The MoPar Hemi is filled with all the good things that make for a strong power structure. Jahns pistons are held to the stock crank by a set of Mickey Thompson rods. Diamond-Elkins, Detroit, Mich., did all of the head work. The heads feature Donovan rockers, dual valve springs, Isky pushrods and Manley valves, all of which help boost the basic compression ratio to 8.0-1. For turning on the power curve, Junior chose an Isky cam with a .590-inch lift and 320 degrees of duration. All of the above goodies are topped by a Mickey Thompson blower drive and manifold with a Don Hampton 6-71 GMC puffer. The remainder of the gasser’s rugged running gear is comprised of Henry’s axles, a 4:56 rear end gear. American racing mags, M & H licks and Hurst Airheart brakes with a Simpson chute for stopping.” About the owner: Junior will be displaying the car May 3 and 4 at Famoso Dragway. The car is scheduled to do burnouts in October at the 50th National Hot Rod Reunion in Famoso where Junior Thompson has been invited to be the Grand Marshall this year. After you purchase the car perhaps you’d like to request Junior to do a few burn outs at the 50th…we’re sure he’d consider it! Sale terms: The car is now for sale to the highest bidder. The starting bid must be $225,000 or $99,000. The car is currently located in Norwalk, CA in the same garage that it was originally built in, 40 historic years ago.