This month Reyes on Tour will bring you some photo features of some of the best known drag racing personalities of all time. This month we will start off with a late Funny Car driver that was a close friend of Steve Reyes, and they traveled to many races together over the years.
This months personality subject is to this day one of the best known Funny Car drivers of all time. He was one of the most colorful and entertaining personalities in drag racing from the mid 1960's until his death in a traffic accident in 1978. He was Jim Liberman, A.K.A. "Jungle Jim". Liberman started his racing career in Northern California driving a Stock Eliminator Pontiac. His Stocker days were short lived though, as he met Lou Arrington of "Brutus" Funny Car fame, and then he was on his way to becoming "Jungle Jim". Arrington gave Liberman his first "fast" ride in a Chevy II Funny Car called "Hercules".
"Jungle" thrilled race fans with his seemingly fearless driving style, and long wild burnouts, and his sidekick "Jungle Pam" thrilled the guys in the stands too, although in a different way. "Jungle's" association with Revell models really helped make him famous, as young race fans around the country built models of his race cars. Even though he only won a single NHRA National Event as a driver, the 1975 Summernationals at Englishtown, New Jersey, "Jungle" was still thought by many to be one of the best Funny Car drivers of his era. He was one of the first drivers to field a multi-car team with drivers like Clare Sanders and Russell Long driving "Jungle Jim" team cars to help fulfill all the match race dates that "Jungle" was generating in the late 1960's and early 1970's. As a matter of fact "Jungle's" team driver Clare Sanders even won Funny Car at the NHRA Winternationals in 1969 in one of the "Jungle Jim" team cars. That was over six years before "Jungle" won his one and only NHRA National Event as a driver.
Hope you enjoy the trip down "memory lane" with Steve Reyes as we remember the incredible "Jungle Jim". CN
Looking for a classic drag racing photo of your favorite car or star? Chances are Steve Reyes has it. Or if you would like a professional photo shoot with your car, you can contact Steve Reyes via e-mail at email@example.com