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Bar(n) find!

Published in blog.hemmings.com

One of our favorite features of the Muscle Machines weekly is this historic photo thing we’ve been doing for awhile now. And, by the number of responses, we think you all agree! Couldn’t be happier about that, really.

But this week, we’re shaking it up a little bit: not so much an old photo, as much as it is a photo of an old car with a mysterious past. And a weird path to the location it’s been stored in for the past 40-plus years…

A great little fendered, Bantam-bodied fuel-altered dragster has been hanging above a bar near the Hemmings West offices in San Francisco, CA since the Seventies. And that’s about as much as anyone knows about it. It’s a fuel-injected Chevy small-block car and the paint positively screams period-correct, so we think it’s fairly intact since its last trip to the track. But when was that last race? And who owned it? Who drove it? Did it ever win?

And then, there’s the one question on everyone’s mind: how in God’s Green Earth did this nasty lil’ altered get hung above the liquor shelves, behind the bar, at a random little dive in a neighborhood in San Francisco that’s hard to get to by car, much less noticed from the street among all the liquor stores and Chinese restaurants and Irish bars surrounding it?

The funniest part of this snapshot is that when we took it, it was only after sitting among all the bros playing pool and watching games on the flatscreen and wholly not giving one single rip about the coolest thing in the bar. Frankly, we were just in everyone’s way and the bartender (who knew nothing about the car or how it got there…or even that there was a car hanging above the bar, till we asked about it, actually) was just slightly annoyed that we weren’t high-fiving all the bros and buying shots for them when that guy on the TV did the thing with the ball. Or whatever.

Do you recognize the little Bantam? Know its story? We think we figured out how to extract this gem from above the bar, but we’d have to figure out how to disrupt Bro Sunday to do it. And that doesn’t seem like a possibility, anytime soon.