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Elaine were treated like celebrities,

and no wonder: he has been racing the

car for 34 straight years. Along the

way Nagamatsu also purchased Bal-

chowsky’s original 1959 “Old Yeller II”

racer, powered by a Buick nailhead V8.

He added it to his racing team and

brought both cars with him on his

travels. Since it raced in a separate

class, Nagamatsu was able to get a

two-fer at the races he drove in.

The latest race was an invitation-

only event at the prestigious Chateau

Impney Hill Climb. Nagamatsu also

ran Old Yeller at the event. The car

had previously been driven by Carroll

Shelby, Dan Gurney, Bob Bondurant,

Billy Krause and, of course, Max Bal-


A British television media com-

pany was interested in getting live, in-

car race footage, shown in real-time on

a giant screen. Nagamatsu and his

cars were very popular and he was

asked to do nine separate interviews,

including three live “on the air” spots

with BBC stations

The Cobra was promoted by the

Chateau Impney Media Company on

radio and TV spots as “Hollywood

Stars Coming to Chateau Impney.”

The film company pros installed the

necessary hardware in the car and it

was remotely activated. Footage was

subsequently aired on a BBC program

called, “Hollywood Stars.” When word

got out that the Cobra had appeared

in the Elvis Presley movie, “Spin Out”

and Disney’s “The Love Bug” and Old

Yeller was featured in “Viva Las

Vegas” the cars were treated like the

Hollywood stars that they were.


Fall 2016 63