Roland Leong Reunited With His 1969 “Mini” Charger Funny Car Shortly Before His Passing

February 22nd, 2024
Roland Leong Reunited With His 1969 “Mini” Charger Funny Car Shortly Before His Passing
Shortly before his passing on December 29, 2023, drag racing legend Roland Leong was recently reunited with his iconic 1969 “Mini-Charger” Funny Car, marking a historic moment in the world of drag racing. The long-lost gem was purchased sight unseen from Hawaii, and its restoration journey led to an emotional reunion at Keith Black's shop in South Gate.

For those unfamiliar with the significance of this particular Funny Car, a swift collaboration between car owner Roland Leong, chassis builders Gene and Ron Logghe, and Keith Black (after the crash of a different Dodge Charger) resulted in a revised replacement car that would become the beloved “Mini Charger.”

The meticulously restored “Mini Charger” made its way from its native Minnesota to California, under the ownership of Ted Guth. The restoration process was not only a labor of love but also a meticulous recreation of the car's glory days. The effort to bring this historic Funny Car back to life was documented by a fortunate media enthusiast who received a call from Roland Leong himself.

The day of the reunion was filled with excitement and unexpected turns. The author of this piece found himself intricately involved in the restoration process, from obtaining a crucial pulley to being the one to assist Roland in firing up the HEMI engine for the first time. The images captured during this event provide a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes action of restoring a legendary drag racing machine.

Every detail, from the era-correct rolling stock to the exceptional graphics and distinctive bamboo lettering, reflects the commitment to authenticity in restoring this iconic piece of drag racing history.

One particularly thrilling moment captured in the blog is Roland Leong explaining the starting process for nitro to the owner Ted Guth and a volunteer crewmember. The carefully recreated 426 HEMI engine roared to life with a 92-percent load of nitro, reminiscent of the glory days of match racing.

The blog also pays homage to the legendary shop where it all unfolded – Keith Black Racing Engines. Despite Keith Black's passing, the shop remains a symbol of drag racing history, and the reunion of the “Mini Charger” on its grounds was a trip down memory lane for everyone involved.

Today, the restored Funny Car is part of the Mosley car collection and makes appearances at selected nostalgia events. The story of Roland Leong's 1969 “Mini Charger” is not just a tale of a car's restoration but a journey back in time, celebrating the golden era of drag racing and the passion that keeps these legends alive.