In the late 50s
and early 60s one of the more popular classes in drag racing
were the Competition Coupes, that were nothing more than Dragsters
with chopped coupe or sedan bodies. Leading the list of the Right
Coast heavy hitters was the Bantam entry of John Loukas, who
was first partnered with Neil Leffler and later with Bob Preising.
The car campaigned from coast to coast developing long time rivalries
with the likes of the Speed Sport Roadsters, Frank Pedregon,
Dick Laie and The Animal.
In the summer
of 1962, after several successful seasons with Leffler, Loukas
teamed up with Bob Preising from Cleveland. The new team based
themselves in Chicago at the Engine Specialsts Speed Shop of
Chris Karamesines and Don Maynard where the cars wheelbase was
lengthened from 81 to 120 inches. They also got a huge horsepower
jump when their hemi went from a stock stroke 392 to a whopping
460 cubic inches. It was at this time that the new AA/Fuel Coupe
class was established where the car campaigned for nearly a decade
under the Engine Specialists banner.