WETASKIWIN, Alta. — A Canadian drag racer that was one of the fastest vehicles on four wheels has returned home to Alberta for a spot in a provincial museum.
Wheeler Dealer, a top fuel dragster that roared to victories on the international circuit in the 1970s, has been donated to Alberta's fleet of historic vehicles at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin.
Built in 1973 and operated by Terry Capp of St. Albert, Alta., and Bernie Fedderly of Edmonton, the car competed directly against some of the biggest names in international drag racing.
Wheeler Dealer also helped establish the careers of Capp and Fedderly, who are now members of the Canadian Motorsports and Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Team Capp sold Wheeler Dealer in 1979 to get another dragster, and subsequent owners raced and modified it over the next three decades.
Brian Friesen of Winnipeg acquired the car in 2007, did a full restoration, and has now donated the dragster to the museum.
"I am thrilled to see such a significant piece of Canadian history reside within one of our provincial museums. 'Wheeler Dealer' is an example of how Albertans and Canadians push the envelope to excel," Ricardo Miranda, Alberta's culture and tourism minister, said in a news release.
According to the U.S. National Hot Rod Association, top fuel drag racers are among the fastest accelerating racing vehicles in the world. With their long, thin bodies, giant rear wheels and relatively tiny front wheels, they can reach speeds of more than 500 km/h in under four seconds.
The Reynolds-Alberta Museum is provincially owned and features a wide variety of vintage automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, aircraft, tractors, agricultural implements and industrial equipment.
According to the Alberta government, top fuel dragsters that are mostly intact are rare, since they are typically built as one-off machines that are raced until they're replaced by newer technology or destroyed in an accident.
"This vehicle is a desirable addition to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum and will greatly enhance our provincial automotive racing collection," Miranda said.