Updated Jan. 7, 2010

SUPER 4-4-2

1970 4-4-2 Funny Car

As far as I know, this was the only 1970 4-4-2 Funny Car ever built (or for that matter, the only fiberglass flip body 4-4-2 funny car ever built).  The Super 4-4-2 was campaigned out of the Chicago area by Herman Lesmeister and featured a one-off body mounted to a Farkonas chassis (This was not one of the offset chassis Farkonas built for the Chi Town Hustler) and was powered by a 392 Hemi.  Speaking of Chi Town Hustler partners, Herman received some help on the car from Austin Coil. 

While I am still researching more information on the car, unfortunately, like so many funny cars of the era, the Super 4-4-2 met an early demise.

From the November 1971 edition of Popular Hot Rod magazine comes the following:

"One of the most spectacular accidents in funny car racing occurred in the first round when Herm Lesmeister's Super442 went into a series of wild gyrations near the finish line, went off the track, climbed a telephone pole, flipped and came to rest right side up. Thanks to the Farkonas chassis, Herm received only minor injuries, but his $14,000 race car was completely destroyed."

This happened at the 1971 Popular Hot Rod meet at US 131 Dragway in Martin, MI.

Although the car was never rebuilt, parts of its remains were used along with parts from the original Chi Town Hustler to build the “Flite Master” Barracuda funny car.  The one off 1970 4-4-2 body was completely destroyed, and Herman never drove a race car again.

 

From Randy Nicholson comes the following:

“I snapped the enclosed picture at Martin, Michigan’s US 131 Dragway, in the very early 1970’s. I wish that the photo had the date on the edge border as some do because this is the day that it crashed.

 

This photo is quite special because it is probably one of the last times that the Super 442 was photographed in this nice condition because later that Saturday evening is when I witnessed the accident.

 

I was 15 or 16 at the time and all I can remember about the crash is that I think it happened near the finish line on the spectator side (west side) of the track. We usually sat on the spectator side near the starting line so I couldn’t see too much of what was happening as everyone was standing in their bleacher seats straining to see. All I could see down there was the Funny Car going sideways and some sparks or fire. It was good to hear the announcer say that the driver was ok. I don’t remember seeing the car after the crash.

 

I probably snapped the picture of the Super 442 because it was the first Oldsmobile Funny Car I had ever seen, I always liked the color orange and my Dad drove my friends and I to the Drags in his 1967 Olds Cutlass. He drove Oldsmobile’s for a lot of years. The photo was taken with my little 126 camera and is the only picture I have of the Super 442.”

 

Randy Nicholson

 

Thanks so very much for the picture and story Randy!  If anybody else has any further information, photos, recollections, etc. regarding this car, I will gladly post anything you have to share about the Super442.

PLEASE contact Greg Rollin at Supercars Unlimited (days) or

503-452-0478 (eve).

E-mail greg@supercarsunlimited.com

ANY information would be greatly appreciated and as always, credit will be given for all photos and information.

THANKS!!

 

 

 

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