This interesting piston came from the Blue Max AA/Funny Car record run. It has a date stamp for 11/4/79. The time of the record run was 6.02 seconds. This piston was made by Venolia with Alcoa aluminum cast inside. It has two piston rings. 

The piston was rescued from a trash can in the pits at Orange County Raceway. The now defunct strip was located near the split of Interstate 5 and 405 in south Orange County. A nighttime event at the raceway on November 4, 1979 was billed as featuring “100 funny cars,” with no other classes represented. They came up a little short of 100, but it was still quite a gathering of fast cars. After the record-breaking run of 6.02 seconds, the Raymond Beadle Blue Max funny car crew changed out all the Venolia aluminum pistons, which were probably only used for a few seconds on that single run. They were then dumped into a trash can in the pits, where spectators hastily reached in to grab them as souvenirs. Later on, crews found they could sell used components to the crowd in the pits, with used pistons making nice ashtrays. 

Exhibit added: November 3, 2014 - Last modified: January 29, 2024

Presented by The Joe Martin Foundation for Exceptional Craftsmanship