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There are very few drag racers that have earned the name, "Legend," but Chris Karamesines is certainly one of them. The man they call "The Greek" has been actively in drag racing for over forty years. He has campaigned everything from several traditional front-engine Top Fuel cars to the latest in rear-engine technology... all dubbed "ChiZler". Chris is and always will be a dragster guy at heart, and some of the cars that he raced can be counted among the finest in the history of the sport. This particular car was built in 1969 by Kent Fuller and it was his last front engine dragster. The car's highlight was nailing the runner-up spot against Jim Nicoll, in September 1969 at the AHRA U.S. Open at Rockingham, N.C.. Karamesines best performance in this fueler was a 6.51 e.t. and 231.50 mph. Karamesines raced this car until early 1972 when he made the unavoidable switch to the rear engine ranks.


In the pits - 1969



Karamesines after a run at during the 1970 AHRA Winternationals at Phoenix, AZ.


"The Greek" was always a favorite with the ladies as seen here in 1970.


1971 NHRA Winternationals


In 1972, in a last ditch attempt to be competitive with the rear engine cars Karamesines installed a wing over the engine. It wasn't nearly enough and the car went into retirement.







When Don Garlits opened his Museum of Drag Racing in 1984 he made arrangements to procure the car from Karamesines. Once in his hands, Garlits' staff restored the last of a long string of "Chizler" front engine fuelers.

The car sat on display in Garlits Museum until 2000 when a loan/trade agreement was made with the Steve Gibbs and the NHRA Motorsports Museum. Garlits got the "Chi-Town Hustler" Rislone Funny Car and Gibbs got the Chris Karamesines dragster. In 2002, with the help of numerous racers, the car was made "cackle ready" and made its debut at Cacklefest III.


The car made its Cacklefest debut at the 2002 CHRR with no other than Karamesines in the seat.



On Friday The Greek hopped in his old friend and did a burnout. Note he is not wearing any safety equipment other than a helmet. This was before the current safety rules were established which now require nothing less than a period correct fire suit and mask.




Karamesines in the Cacklefest Parade.



For Cacklefest Chris didn't even wear a helmet. Something you'll never see again.




Since its debut, the Chris Karamesines car has had a different "driver" at nearly every appearance. At the 2003 CHRR Garth Hogan from New Zealand got the honors.



Hogan going to his spot in line.



Cacklefest 2003




At Cacklefest V in 2004 veteran Top Fuel driver Herm Petersen got to feel the power once again. As is a rule now, first time drivers in a Cacklefest car must do a test push start prior to the Saturday night event. Petersen had no problems.



Petersen in the Cacklefest Parade.



Push start for Cacklefest V



Petersen had so much fun that he went back to Washington to find his old car. He did, he restored it and made his own Cacklefest debut in 2005.


At the 2005 edition of Cacklefest another vet got the call in Butch Maas.




Rumor has it this may have been the last Cacklefest appearance of this car as its due to be returned to the Garlits Museum in the near future.


The car is currently owned by the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing in Ocala, Florida and is currently on loan and on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum located at the Pomona Fairplex in Pomona, CA.


Chris Karamesines 1:24 scale diecast


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