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AMC racing legend loses battle with cancer

by Bill Cawthon on

Dave Kanners, who partnered with Richard Maskin in campaigning AMC Hornets on the Pro Stock tour in the 1970s, passed away on Friday, March 27, after a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Kanners died just days before celebrating his April 1st wedding anniversary with his wife Sue.

Maskin & Kanners took an AMC Hornet X Hatchback all the way to the 1976 NHRA World Finals where Kanners qualified No. 1 and ran well, recording low e.t. in the first three rounds. In the final run, Kanners lost to Wally Booth in the other factory AMC. Kanners outran Booth in the final, 8.76 to 8.78, but Booth’s quicker reaction time gave him the victory. In 2004, fans voted the race one of the NHRA’s top 20 moments.

In 2003, Kanners became one of the first eleven people to run a 26-mile marathon at the North Pole.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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