Designer, builder, driver
“For many NHRA fans,” wrote Phil Burgess, “Jay Howell may be among the most unsung drag racing heroes they never knew about.” Howell built some of the 60s’ most successful Funny Cars for Branstner Enterprises, his own Automotive Engineering (AE), and finally the Logghe Stamping Company, where the Logghe brothers bought AE for Howell to run the combined operation. His first Funny Car design, which he also raced, was the mid-engine Dart Charger. Other famous Howell designs included the Cotton Picker, Yankee Peddler, LA Dart, Color Me Gone, the Ramchargers’ Skinny Dart, Seaton’s Shaker Corvair and Warhorse. As a driver, Howell captured match race wins in 1969 in the Prock & Howell F Troop Willys AA/Gasser and won all three days of the 1970 AHRA Grand Nationals aboard Warhorse. That same year, Don Prudhomme hired him to wheel the Hot Wheels ‘Cuda at the U.S. Nationals. Howell retired from driving thereafter and left Logghe to run the Ramchargers’ new speed shop.
Frank Costin & Keith Duckworth (Cosworth)