REVIVAL OF THE FITTEST! The Rebirth of Kenny Hedman’s Hedman Husler Maverick.

Published September 7, 2018 by hedmanperformancegroup
Hot Rod magazine photo of Hedman Husler Maverick

Cover photo from Hot Rod Magazine’s February 1972 article covering the Maverick [photo courtesy Peterson Archives]

“If you’re a header manufacturer, what better way to test and publicize your products than to run them on your own out of sight Pro Stocker,” read an article published in the February 1972 issue of HOT ROD Magazine.

The first Hedman Hedders Pro Stock Ford Maverick, campaigned by Kenny & Dick Hedman, was stolen the night of a big magazine awards banquet held at the end of the 1970 Indy Nationals. The motor was eventually found in a haystack in Greenfield, Indiana, but the body and chassis vanished into thin air, never to be seen again. Kenny Hedman, who is the son of Hedman Hedders founder Bob Hedman, would not let this setback end the team’s racing story, or hamper Hedman’s real-world product development. Kenny, Dick (Kenny’s brother), and the rest of the guys got to work on their next-generation race car— And the new “Hedman Husler” Maverick was reborn into Pro Stock competition.

Hedman Husler Maverick Launch

The Hedman Husler Maverick hooks up perfectly [photo courtesy Peterson Archives]

Starting from the ground up, the Hedman brothers saw this as an opportunity to integrate what they learned from the first car into the new build. Underneath the hood was a rare 427 Ford Cammer built by Earl Wade and “Dyno” Don Nicholson. The new Hedman Husler Maverick had all the right stuff– in all the right places:

  • Dual 4500 Holley Carburetors
  • Custom Edelbrock manifold featuring individual aluminum runners
  • Crank by Hank “The Crank” Bechtloff
  • Howard Cams and aluminum rods
  • Arias pistons
  • Schiefer Clutch
  • Dana 9 3/4″ rear end with 5:38:1 ratio gears

After the power was pumped up to 11, Kenny put the car on a diet by installing a J&E fiberglass hood and front fenders. A custom fiberglass hood scoop was built into the hood, furthering the quest for “light.”  The Hedman Husler Maverick rolled on Rocket Racing Wheels, and tipped the scales at 2,989 pounds.

Hedman Husler Maverick burnout

Dick Hedman (foreground) wets down the tires, while Ron Funfar (passenger rear) pushes against the rear quarter panel to keep the car in the burnout box.

Kenny, Dick, and Ronald Funfar [future SEMA Hall of Famer and current President of Hedman Hedders] enjoyed running the Maverick in the NHRA, but the program ran its course and the Maverick was eventually put to pasture.

Since its retirement back in the early 70’s, the Hedman Husler Maverick has simply become a part of Hedman’s historic past, but we are extremely excited to announce that we have begun work on a new Hedman Husler Maverick. This project seeks to recapture the look, performance and mystique of the original Husler maverick. Like the original, the Hedman Husler Maverick 3.0 will participate in 1/8 and 1/4 mile drag events, and even be displayed at a number of car shows throughout the year.

We will be posting updates of the build throughout the entire process, highlighting  products installed, history surrounding the Husler Maverick, and conversations with some of the people who were involved with the original car & team. Stay tuned for more…

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