just got this E-Mail:
This is Frank Russo’s car as it stands today in ENGLAND—(ACROSS THE POND)
I found the photo at this website a few years back . At this website—–> http://www.andyrem.com The website has some print about the car. Frank was a regular at Dover in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Rich F.
HERE”S WHAT THE SITE SAYS:
A car with a long history, we originally put this ’69 Chevelle in the Street Machines gallery. However, although photographed at the Surrey Street Rodders’ Wheels Day in 2000, it was originally built and raced in the US back in the Seventies. After being imported into the UK it was initially raced here too – we have a picture of it racing a ‘Cuda, in a 1973 Drag Racing Pictorial, so decided it really belongs here.
The name should give a clue to its powerplant, ‘rat’ being the nickname for the venerable Mk.IV Chevrolet engine: a big-block 427 being installed by it’s builder, Frank Russo. We know it was around as a street car in the Eighties, but hadn’t seen it for years. The only obvious difference between 1973 and now, is the rolling stock – we are sure it originally ran slot mags (just about everything did in the Seventies!) – although we don’t know what the current engine is. The bonnet scoop wasn’t there before and the paint appears to have been re-done, but staying pretty faithful to the original scheme. It is always good to see nice cars that have been kept ‘as they were’ – new owners often try to make a car their own by changing things, losing a lot of character in the process. The longer they remain unchanged, the more it seems they should remain that way.
Lets Hear it For Our Own court Jester and ‘Keeper of the Attic Archives !!!!——> Video Bob !…..He was Busy Tonight ! look all over the site for his latest…er… greatest….. ya gotta hand it to the guy ….gives us all a lift when we need it 😀
Pictures I took of Russo’s rat at Santa Pod Raceway ,England UK yesterday. 17th Oct. 2009
40 years on & still pounding the strip !
Unfortunately my camera packed up after these three, so no more for the moment.
The car is all black at the moment ,but her owner Chris is looking to put her back to her original Russo’s Rat paint when time & money are available.
Chris would also be interested if anybody could provide any history & pictures of the car up to when it was sold/exported in ’73 to the UK along with Super Pumpkin .
The car was originally blue, was it ever raced like this ? raced from new ? Its not a CoPo 427 car, so when did it get a 427 ?
I’ve just found a picture of her , about two years ago.
Martin …welcome aboard! and charge your 😀 camera …Tell ol’ Chris to First …Check out that little Vidoe clip on our Home Page…We have more of that in our “Big Video” Documentary “stockpile” …Then ,second ..get him on here . He’ll then be accessable -e-mail & Private Message ..with everone else. I’ll Check with Frank Bondatti …who Russo partnered with, and we know the rest of the Danbury,Ct guys will hop in here.
Hi everyone .. Billy here
this car and my 57 were both bought at the same time and also buy the same person , a broker that had them sold to other persons in the UK… this was in sept.of 73 , they both went on the same ship in containers , I remember a article in the U K racing mag. with pics of them coming off the ship , I gess this was big news back then … Billy
Ol Action Rat sent this ..too funny not to share:
couple of things came back to me after sticking my finger in the light socket…
Louie Sauli and Frank Russo were close friends…Louie would be your best bet…Paulie might have some answers…I haven’t seen Frank since about 1980…the pic of speed freak and Mr Z28 under the topic Steve Kauika Speed Shop…Mr Z28 was owned by Frank and Louie…
rear fender shows R+S…Russo+Sauli…the 427 in Russo’s Rat came from Truppi+Kling in New Jersey…that’s about all I got for now…I’ll try the socket thing again later after my hair comes back down…Tommy
Chris has already seen the video clip after I posted a link on a UK forum & he was blown away that it exists . I will contact him & suggest he gets on here.
Hi Billy, it was following a link on a UK forum about your ’57 that brought me to this forum & then seeing the Russso’s rat video clip !
Just Got Of Phone With Frank Bondatti…Back In Ct. For a while AND partner With Frank Russo with the Former Sox & Martin Pro Duster, they ran at Dover Russo drove -Bondatti maintained.. He Gave Me Frank Russo’s Contact info and Told Me some stuff about the’ Rat’. Bondatti had the Motor rebuilt By Truppi prior to it getting Exported…Also: Herb Mcandless HAS FOUND the Russo & Bondatti Pro car and is Restoring it -Probably to S & M configuration.It had one owner after S&M ,before They got it. It was sold to someone in Chicago But Found now. Frank B. has tons of photos he’s getting together for us ….So stand By.! You guys Over in Europe -More To Come on the ‘RAT”!
I’m Chris, i have had the Russos Rat Chevelle since 2001, i have been looking for information about this car in the States since i got it and when my friend told me that there was a piece of old video on the homepage of this website i raced to the computer and could not believe my eyes !, i have a lot of old pictures of the car here in England over the last 35+years and also when it was on the front cover of a magazine in sweden. so i will post some of these in the next few days.
ukdrn! E-mail me an address …that Bad-bay NEEDS a Dover Racing Team Decal !