Pioneer, innovator, driver, organizer, manufacturer
“From competing in some of the sport’s most famous cars to becoming one of the most important aftermarket manufacturers in the history of Funny Cars, to running actual races,” writes historian Jon Asher, “Pellegrini has done it all.” One of the true pioneers, in 1964, Pellegrini created the first modern Funny Car by mounting a fiberglass body he built himself on a tube-frame AA/Fuel Altered chassis: the legendary “Super Mustang.” Pellegrini made the body at his own Fiberglass Ltd., which quickly became the premier supplier of Funny Car glass. A few years later, Pellegrini teamed with Dennis Rollain and inductee John Buttera’s R&B Automotive to offer complete cars. Their Automotive Research & Engineering became a go-to resource for many top names. Pellegrini was also one of the sport’s key organizers. In the ‘50s, he helped develop the Midwest-centric Automotive Timing Association of America (ATAA), which later merged with the NHRA. Next, he helped lead the Midwest UDRA, and from 1975 to 1980, created and ran the International Funny Car Association.