Chris Unger takes the Mike Bamber ’40 Ford Dragster out for a warm up in the alley. The local police thought it was cool alright with a big thumbs up.


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In the early 1950’s Southern California was a hub for drag racing. From San Diego to the Central Valley, the air was filled with loud headers and tire smoke. Mike Bamber was one of those young local racers who would drive from the high school parking lot to campaign his 1940 Ford in the quarter mile. Son of a rancher in Escondido, Mike soon transformed his stocker to a full competition drag car. He continued to campaign the car throughout the 1950’s ending its reign in 1959. At that time, he was also racing his 1941 Willys Gasser truck “Silver Dollar” until he hung up his race suit in 1969.

The Bamber 40 features a bored and stroked 283 SBC with Hillborn injection, LaSalle transmission and Chevy posi-rear. The car is maintained as original and still has an old Orange County Drag Strip time slip in the driver’s side visor showing a 13.24 quarter mile time in 1959. Take a closer look.

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