At “Best of Times” NATIONALS event…
Jim & Alison Lee’s “Great Expectations II” dragster
headlines PROJECT 1320 booth
Parma Heights, Ohio – Called by Jon Lundberg the “most correct dragster restoration done to date,” the “Great Expectations II” front-engine dragster campaigned by Jim and Alison Lee from 1969 to 1973 will be a part of the PROJECT 1320 booth at the Best of Times NATIONALS Hot Rod Reunion, May 14-16, 2010 at Virginia Motorsports Park, Petersburg, Virginia.
Powered by a blown 392 Hemi by Ed Pink, the 185-inch Don Long built car was one of the most feared dragsters on the East Coast, and was in one of the quickest side-by-side pairings at the time, when driver Tom Raley bested Steve Carbone at the U.S. Nationals in 1969 with a 6.51 to 6.54 pass. The Lees also set the NHRA E.T. records for top fuel three times over the next two years with their best being a 6.54 in 1970 at Dallas, TX. In addition, they won NHRA Division 1 championships in 1969 and 1970 and scored wins in WCS meets at Atco, Englishtown, and York during 1970. It represented drag racing at then President Richard Nixon’s “Salute to Motorsports” at the White House in 1971.
In 1973, the Lees joined the rear-engined dragster brigade, and the car was sold to the Top Alcohol team of Cottrell & Speelman.
However, East Coast drag race photographer Brian Beattie never forgot the car. In 2004, happenstance put Beattie in a position to find the car in a garage 20 minutes from his home in New Jersey. When the owner realized Beattie’s passion for the car, the deal was made to purchase it.
After a long five-year restoration process, which entailed reconfiguring the frame to original specifications, and replacing the Tom Hanna tinwork with a replica created by Bruce Dyda in Gardena, Calif., the car debuted to critical acclaim at the California Hot Rod Reunion last year.
“Great Expectations II” will be on static display at the PROJECT 1320 booth, it will be accompanied by its owner, Brian Beattie and his son Rob, plus the historic car’s wheel man, Tom Raley. On Saturday, May 15, Jim & Alison Lee will be on hand. At times to be announced, Jon Lundberg and drag racing historian Bill Pratt will be holding a seminar each day describing why this car is so noteworthy and what makes its restoration so unique.