June 22, 2023


Still car-crazy after all these years

Dick Smith defeats the Ross Brothers for the gas funny car win.

Dick Smith defeats the Ross Brothers for the gas funny car win.

Dick Smith defeats Ron Ross for gasoline Funny Car Honors

Dick Smith's Firebrewed Dodge Coronet defeated Ron Ross for the gas funny car crown at Detroit Dragway's Midwest Championships.
Dick Smith's Firebrewed Dodge defeats Ron Ross
Dick Smith's Firebrewed Dodge defeats Ron Ross at the Detroit Dragway Midwest Championships

This is the final for the Gas funny cars at Detroit Dragway’s Midwest Championships. I’ll be the first to admit this isn’t a very great photo. The cars are blurred, there is a big sedan taking up much of the foreground, and there is a photographer in the way.

So the photo won’t win any prizes, but I wanted to include it for several reasons.

Here you see Dick Smith’s [intlink id=”428″ type=”post”]Firebrewed Dodge Coronet[/intlink] facing off with Ron Ross in an altered wheelbase Mustang.

I wrote about Smith before, when he drove the big Coronet to victory at a Detroit Dragway event year earlier. In 1967, the results were the same as Smith handled all comers and went home undefeated.

This is the only image I found of the Ron Ross Mustang. I can’t say much about the car, but it appears it was given the full funny car treatment. The front wheels appear have been moved forward somewhat, and judging by the injector tubes, the engine is now almost to the firewall. The front end is riding quite high, although some of that height could be caused by the car launching off the line.

I can find no information about Ron Ross as a driver. There was nothing on , and none of my usual sources provided any information on Ross.

I did find some references to a n engine builder and tuner named Ron Ross who was active a decade or more after this photo was taken, It isn’t uncommon for a driver to move from being a wheelman to a tuner, so it could be the same Ron Ross. On the other hand, Ross is a fairly common name, so the engine builder might have had nothing to do with the funny car driver.

I saw Smith’s Firebrewed Dodge run at two different events, and Smith dominated both of them.

Tom Bonner