Reynolds-Alberta Museum welcomes Canadian racing classic
The iconic 1975 Top Fuel Dragster known as “Wheeler Dealer” has come home to Alberta to permanently join the fleet of historic vehicles at Reynolds-Alberta Museum.
The Government of Alberta is proud to accept the donation of “Wheeler Dealer” to its collection as a significant piece of national heritage. The dragster and its operators put Canada on the map as a force to be reckoned with on the international race circuit during the 1970s.
“Wheeler Dealer” joins the Reynolds-Alberta Museum as the only vehicle of its kind in the provincial collection. The vehicle is being donated to the Alberta Government by owner Dr. Brian Friesen of Winnipeg, Man.
“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. This vehicle is a desirable addition to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum and will greatly enhance our provincial automotive racing collection.”
Built in 1973 and operated by Terry Capp (St. Albert) and Bernie Fedderly (Edmonton), the dragster competed directly against some of the biggest names in international drag racing history and went on to establish the careers of these two future Canadian Motorsports and Canadian Drag Racing Hall of Fame members.
Due to its significant value in national drag racing history and its excellent physical condition, “Wheeler Dealer” recently received Canadian Cultural Property Certification from Canadian Heritage with a value of $285,000.
Stats and Facts
- Top Fuel drag racing vehicles are designed to be the fastest accelerating racing vehicles in the world and can reach speeds of more than 500 km/h in under four seconds.
- It is rare to find vintage Top Fuel Dragsters that have survived relatively intact. They are normally one-off machines that are rigorously raced until either they are replaced by newer technology or destroyed in an accident.
- “Wheeler Dealer” was originally owned and operated by Albertan Terry Capp and his team from 1973 to 1979.
- It was sold by Team Capp in 1979 to acquire another dragster.
- Over the next three decades, the vehicle was raced and modified by three subsequent owners.
- Dr. Brian Friesen, of Winnipeg, Man., acquired the car in 2007 and did a full restoration of the vehicle that was finished in October 2012.
- The completed dragster was unveiled in Bakersfield, Calif., in October 2012 where it was started for the first time since restoration with Terry Capp in the cockpit.
The Reynolds-Alberta Museum, located in Wetaskiwin, interprets the impact of technological change in transportation, aviation, agriculture and industry from the 1890s to the present.
The museum features a wide variety of vintage automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, aircraft, tractors, agricultural implements and industrial equipment.
Reynolds-Alberta Museum is one of 20 provincially owned and operated historic sites and museums across Alberta.
In 2016, Reynolds-Alberta Museum welcomed almost 39,000 visitors from around the world.