Pre-production photos of the Don Cook Damn Yankee model.

The drag racing scene around Southern California in the mid-1950s was that of a vibrant and growing spectacle of post-war motorsports. It was also the foundation for Long Beach native, Don Cook, whose career lasted as long as the track which first gained - and for the next 18 years held his full attention, Lions Drag Strip. Prior to the Mickey Thompson-managed facility's opening in October of 1955, Cook was already hooked on things mechanical, having overhauled his first engine out of a Model-T Ford at just nine years of age and without any outside help. His first real ride in a racecar came behind the wheel of a '52 Chevrolet Bel Air hardtop that ran in the ¼-mile asphalt track's bracket action, but was soon replaced by a '49 Chevy, then a '40 Ford Coupe fitted with a 327 cubic-inch Corvette engine between the framerails. Several progressively faster cars were next, followed by his owner/driving duties in a supercharged and nitromethane-powered 1969 Corvette bearing his name in the new and wildly popular Funny Car division. During the late-1960s, Cook had several drivers take over the wheel, including Frank Rupert, Dick Burgeois, Mert Littlefield, Ron O'Donnell and Mike Chysyk. It was perhaps the up-and-coming Pat Foster who gained the most notoriety for himself, and Cook, with the immaculate "Don Cook's Damn Yankee" machine, created by Woody Gilmore and fabricating assistance by Foster. Draped with a spectacular red, white and blue paint scheme, this patriotic creation ran as good as it looked - which was indeed spectacular with its metallic blue-painted, anodized and chrome plated internals and framework.

Bob Frey Remembers... "There are very few people in the sport of drag racing who can honestly say that they have "done it all." Well, Pat Foster is such a guy. Most widely known for his tour of duty as the driver of the legendary "Barry Setzer Vega," Pat also built and drove dozens of other Top Fuel and Funny Cars in the early days of the sport, and as you would expect, he had varying degrees of success in each of them. The "Damn Yankee" entry was one of the many Funny Cars that came out of the Chicago area and, like a lot of the windy-city machines, it toured primarily at local tracks around the country and on the match race circuit. But, perhaps, the wildest moment for the Pat Foster and the "Damn Yankee" came at the 1971 NHRA Nationals when Pat blew the engine and almost hit the driver in the other lane, Dale Pulde, who was driving for Mickey Thompson. Pat's vacated the seat shortly after that, so his stint as driver of the famed "Damn Yankee" car was brief, but it was spectacular. Today, you may be able to catch Pat on the television show "Junkyard War," Where he's still building some of the wildest contraptions you've ever seen. Even after thirty years, some things never change!! " - Bob Frey .

Limited edition of 3500 pieces. £66-99