Mecum Auctioning Off Top Fuel Dragsters

Mecum Arizona

Photos Courtesy of Mecum Auctions

Have you ever dreamed of owning your own Top Fuel dragster that could burn up the drag strip at over 100 MPH in less than 10 seconds? Well, your dreams are about to become a reality. On March 16-19, 2022, the world leader of collector and vintage car auctions, The Mecum Auction Company, is holding one of its coolest car auctions of the year. This auction that will take place at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ will feature some of the most powerful sports machines, including Ferrari’s, Corvette’s, Porsche’s, Lamborghini’s, Mustangs, and even three of the most historically restored Top Fuel dragsters available.

e 1962 Tommy Ivo Barnstormer Top Fuel

1962-1965 Top Fuel Dragster Replica

Beginning with the 1962 Tommy Ivo Barnstormer Top Fuel Dragster built by Ron “Big Yohns” Johnson with blessings, advice, and guidance from Ivo. The name TV Tommy Ivo has been part of drag racing since the 1950s, but when it came to classic “rail jobs,” the car depicted here may have been among his best known. Raced for three seasons between 1962 and 1965, Ivo’s first nitro-burner superseded even the legendary four-engine Buick Show Boat, because, for competitor Ivo, winning races was more attractive than simply taking cash for exhibition passes. This restored machine was first exhibited at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis upon completion in 2007. Restored with a hand-fabricated aluminum body, a 1958 Chrysler 392 Hemi V-8 built sleeved down to 377 CI, run on a Nitromethane fuel mixture. This powerful dragster also includes a 1962 Donovan aluminum bellhousing and scattershield, JE pistons and forged Miller connecting rods, a Chet Herbert/Isky camshaft, Weiand intake, a Swedberg special competition 671 supercharger, Donovan rocker arms, ‘Weedburner’ style custom headers, Mickey Thompson aluminum rocker arm covers, a 1962 Donovan aluminum bellhousing and scattershield, and a narrowed 1958 Oldsmobile rear end with 3.23 gears. Click here to find out more about Lot F220.

V Top Fuel Dragster Replica

The next 1962 Top Fuel replicated dragster featured in Glendale, AZ is the 1962 Chris Karamesine Chizler V Top Fuel Dragster Replica. This nitro-burning tribute to the legendary Chizler V fuel dragster of Chris “The Golden Greek” Karamesines was constructed by Ron “Big Yohns” Johnson with the Greek’s advice and blessing, and the legendary driver even made a pass with it at the 2010 Winternationals at Pomona. The recreation uses a three-point tube chassis built by Bobby Hansen and is powered by a blown 392 CI Hemi V-8 engine with ported heads built by Jim Swedberg. Constructed to burn cackle-level nitromethane fuel mixtures, the mill uses a Weiand blower intake and 6-71 supercharger and a 1964 Hillborn four-port fuel-injection unit. Inside are Ross pistons, Howard connecting rods, an Isky valvetrain, modern billet aluminum adjustable rocker arms made by Dave Dewars and the Chrysler wet-sump oiling design capped by a Milodon pan. Custom headers make it roar. A Crower chromoly billet flywheel with 10-inch, double-disc clutch fabricated Donovan-style by Fred Hayhurst links this to a Lenco “In & Out” coupler, while a set of 31-spline racing axles made by Strange Engineering are in the differential. A Simpson harness is in the cockpit, while the car rides on 17-inch Borrani front wheels with Creitz hubs and 17×2.25 Avon Speedmaster tires up front and 15-inch Halibrand true magnesium rear wheels with 10×15 Hurst/M&H Racemaster tires. Click here to find out more about Lot F221.

1965 Shubert & Herbert Shoobie Top Fuel Dragster Replica.

The final historic Top Fuel dragster replica that you could get your hands on is the 1965 Shubert & Herbert Shoobie Top Fuel Dragster Replica. The original Shoobie rail was a home-built machine of Zane Shubert and Chet Herbert, gaining notoriety as the very first Chevrolet-powered dragster to achieve a 200 MPH clocking. This exacting replica built by Ron “Big Yohns” Johnson was completed with guidance from Shubert and Herbert themselves, and it accurately depicts the ongoing evolution of the slingshot-design, circa 1965. While it was frequently piloted by original driver Zane Shubert, the cockpit here was constructed larger than the original to accomodate Johnson’s 6-foot, 4-inch stature.

Currently, this Shubert & Herbert tribute is presented in period-correct, as-raced aesthetic using a chromoly steel-tube chassis built by Bob Meyer. Featured in Drag Racer Magazine in 2005, the car’s Cacklefest provenance includes California Hot Rod Reunion at Bakersfield, NHRA Hot Rod Reunion at Bowling Green, the Big Rail Review at Escondido and the Standard 1320 Invitational Drag Race at Inyokern.

Mounted in the car’s frame is a fuel-burning, blown 410 CI Chevrolet small-block rated at 1,500 HP on 40% nitromethane and currently tuned for 35% nitromethane. This car has the original, Chevrolet-specific Donovan clutch can and unique live axle, “legs-under” Champ rear end removed from the original car, and engine internals include a Herbert camshaft and lifters, Weiand intake and 6-71 supercharger, Hilborn fuel injection, a set of cast iron Pro Stock cylinder heads, NOS finned aluminum valve covers and a set of Bob Meyer custom-fabricated zoomie headers. A Crower flywheel with Powermaster starter motor and ring gear join this to a Lenco “In & Out” coupler. Click here to find out more about Lot F222.

To get your hands on one of these pieces of drag racing history or another powerful piece of automotive history check out more about the Glendale 2022 Mecum Auction today. Stay tuned to for more about this and other future automotive news.

About Ellen Richardson 491 Articles
Ellen Richardson is the author of Behind The Wheel for This automotive sports junkie has a passion for telling an athlete's story while also covering various racing activities. Find out more about her at or follow Ellen on Twitter at @ellennrich or Instagram at elnrich33.

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