Flamin Frank Pedregon, AA/Fuel Coupe, Fiat Topolino

Come See (and Hear) Flamin’ Frank Pedregon’s AA/Fuel Coupe at the Goodguys Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale!

The Pedregon family has been a staple in NHRA drag racing since the 1960’s, and it all started with Flamin’ Frank Pedregon and his wildly popular AA/Fuel Coupe. Frank earned the “Flamin’” nickname as his Fiat Topolino-bodied dragster would mysteriously ignite the rear slicks with fire when he left the starting line. To this day no one is quite sure how or why it would happen, but it was a spectacle to witness, and the car quickly became a fan-favorite!

In the early 2000’s Flamin’ Frank Pedregon’s sons Frank Jr., Cruz (current NHRA Funny Car driver), and Tony (Fox Sports analyst for NHRA TV broadcasts) searched for the original Flamin’ Frank Topolino dragster to no avail and enlisted the help of engine builder Dale Armstrong and fabricator Pat Foster to re-create the popular race car. The finished project was unveiled at the 2004 NHRA World Finals in Pomona, CA.

Flamin Frank Pedregon, AA/Fuel Coupe, Fiat Topolino
Flamin Frank Pedregon, AA/Fuel Coupe, Fiat Topolino

With limited public appearances since its 2004 unveiling, the opportunity to see and hear this piece of drag racing history is rare! Current owner’s Mike & Irene Elsbery have worked closely with Goodguys’ VP of Event Operations, Harry Daviess, to bring the “Worlds Fastest Coupe” to the 24th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals presented by Barrett-Jackson happening November 19-21, 2021, at WestWorld Scottsdale in Arizona.

Flamin Frank Pedregon, AA/Fuel Coupe, Fiat Topolino

The Flamin’ Frank AA/Fuel Coupe will headline the Nitro Thunderfest exhibition which takes place Friday at 1pm, and twice on Saturday at Noon and 2pm. Visit www.Good-Guys.com/swn for event information and to purchase tickets.

Photos courtesy Mike Elsbery

Associate Editor

A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.