November 16, 2021

Vintage-Nitro

Still car-crazy after all these years

Antieau's Ace Cougar on it's trailer

Clyde Detrick drove the Antieau's Ace Cougar

Clyde Detrick and Antieau’s Ace

There were at least two different versions of Antieau's Ace, both driven by Clyde Detrick. Antieau's Welding sponsored the flip-top Cougar.

Clyde Detrick and Antieau’s Ace

This time around I’m looking for some help from Vintage-Nitro readers. The subject is the Antieau’s Ace Cougar funny car from around 1970. I only saw the car once, at a Spitler-Demmer Ford Drag Clinic. Driver Clyde Detrick brought along the Cougar and parked it outside.

Clyde Detrick, well known Ford racer

Of course, I knew Detrick. He was a fixture on the Detroit racing scene and lived in my old hometown of Garden City. He’s probably best known for the canary yellow F-100 pickup he bracket raced in the ’80s. But he raced a succession of cars prior to that. There were at least two different versions of Antieau’s Ace. The name relates to sponsor Antieau’s Welding. But that is all I really can say about them.

I believe this Cougar was preceded by a ’63 Fairlane which was also dubbed Antieau’s Ace. I found an article in the Jalopy Journal which contained a photo of the Fairlane, but little other information.

UPDATE: Funny Car historian Dennis Doubleday helped set the record straight.

According to Dennis: “He ran a Dave Lyall-built 427 with a custom built manifold to mount the Hilborns. The chassis was built at Antineau’s, obviously. 118″ rectangular tube. Had opening doors, steel body. He ran it in the mid-America circuit in ’69, which was a fuel circuit.”

That answers most of my questions.

Back to the Cougar, I believe it relied on a one-piece fiberglass body, which probably flipped up at the rear.

Chassis and engine are a mystery to me

(See update above) I can’t say what the car used for a chassis. Since it carried sponsorship from a welding shop, I assume it used a scratch-built welded tube frame. I am fairly confident it was powered by a Ford V-8, as Detrick always drove Fords. Big block or small block, I can’t say. I doubt it ran a Cammer. Too expensive and too hard to find in that time frame. It is possible the car relied on a Ford small-block, but I think a 427 wedge is most likely.

I also have no clue as to the induction system. I am reasonably sure it was unblown, but I gave no idea whether it ran injectors or carburetors.

What class would Antieau’s Ace race in?

Finally, I am unsure what class this car would fit in 1970. It couldn’t run with the fuel cars. Pro Comp wasn’t yet a thing. There was a gas funny car circuit in the Midwest in the late sixties. It attracted cars like Wayne Gapp’s Supercat. But I am uncertain the circuit was still around by 1970. Pro Stock was the new rage. The category was enticing most of the racers who wanted to move up from the modified and comp ranks but didn’t want to run nitro

So unless this became a high-end bracket car, I am not sure where Detrick could compete with the Cougar.

Does anyone remember Antieau’s Ace? Know what chassis and engine it ran? What class did it compete in? If anyone has any more information, I’d appreciate it if they would let us know in the comments below.

 

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