We’re proud to say we’ve partnered with the Frantic Ford Nostalgia Funny Car for several years now. But what you may not realize is, the Frantic Ford name goes back an incredible 50 years to the glory days of ’60’s and ’70’s drag racing.
The Frantic Ford name began life in late 1968 with original owner Jim Fox and driver Ron Rivero as they crisscrossed the country running match races from coast to coast. Notable drivers that have piloted the car throughout the years include Sarge Arciero, “Rapid” Roy Harris and the late Dodger Glenn. Upon losing Dodger in 1978, Jim Fox and partner Freddy Frey decided to step away from the sport and the Frantic Ford name went into a decade’s long hibernation period.
Fast forward to today, the Sweetman Brothers will join the 50th Anniversary of the Frantic Ford Funny Car. Drew will be behind the wheel with the 1977 version of the Frantic Ford Mustang II with his dad Henry and brother Dannie turning the wrenches in memory of Dodger Glen.
Henry Sweetman Sr.
Henry attended his first drag race in 1964 but not before street racing a 1949 Chevy during the 1960’s. Henry and his brother, John, bought their first car, a front engine dragster and raced on the east coast junior fuel circuit.
Henry and John continued racing their dragster until 1968 when the growing cost of nitro gave them the idea to switch to gas dragster. Henry’s two sons, Drew and Dannie, joined the team, making it a family affair. Henry was very successful with the dragster, winning two Cecil County Dragway top eliminator championships in the early 1970’s. Henry fell in love with Funny Cars and that meant it was time to acquire one. Henry and his sons raced the funny car on 2 circuits, Nick Boninfonte and Tom & Sally Evers, up and down the east coast. Henry never had the best parts or a bunch of money but just loved competing and following his dream of racing with his sons.
Henry and the family stopped racing funny cars in 1986 due to increasing costs. This gave Henry the chance to help his sons race their own cars.
During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, they raced super comp dragsters, super comp altered and an injected alcohol funny car, with Henry as crew and occasionally driving. Henry quickly realized he enjoyed helping his sons race and it became his new passion.
From the mid 1990’s to 2005, Henry and the boys crewed on several teams until they put the Funny Car back together to compete in the newly formed Nostalgia Funny Car class. With Drew driving and Dannie as crew chief, Henry assumed the adviser role.
They currently run the Great Lakes Nostalgia Funny Car Circuit as well as The Earth Shaking Entertainment circuit. Henry is also building a Nostalgia Nitro Funny car.
Henry has dedicated most of his life to drag racing and his love and passion has been instilled in his sons, truly making the Sweetman Bros. Racing team a family affair.
Piloting the ’77 Mustang bodied Frantic Ford will be Henry’s son Drew, who has an impressive 40 year history of drag racing under his belt.
- 1978 – Attained an NHRA BB/FC license. Dodger Glenn and Ernie McClain signed the license papers.
- 1980 – Started driving a Front Engine dragster in the super comp class.
- 1984 – Built an injected alcohol funny car and raced in brackets and super comp as well as NCS events.
- 1987 – Built a rear engine dragster to bracket and super comp race.
- 2006 – Started racing on the Great Lakes National Funny Car Circuit (GLNFCC) and Earth Shaking Entertainment circuit and open races with brother and father.
- 2019 – Will be racing a 1977 Mustang bodied funny car under the name Frantic Ford to honor longtime friend, Dodger Glenn, who unfortunately passed away in 1978 doing what he loved – Drag Racing.
Team Frantic Ford is ready to run and have some fun! This 50th year anniversary season they are proud to carry ahead a legacy that is far more than just a race car going down the track. It’s about preserving and sharing the past. And being able to work throughout the year with their charities just makes it that much more worthwhile for the team.
Thanks to Bobby Frey and Al Liebmann keeping the Frantic Memories to live on.
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