The drivetrain had been pirated from the soon-to-be famous A990 cars. According to research by Jim Schild, author of Authenticity Guide 1965 Dodge and Plymouth Hemi Super Stock, the A990 donor for the Smith A/FX car was VIN RO51188807. The heads on the engine were aluminum, the intake manifold was magnesium, and the headers were all new S & S tubing items. The cam had been reground, but most outwardly noticeable was the 15-inch forward set of the rear wheels and the 10-inch forward movement of the front wheels. The fenders, doors, hood, hoodscoop, bumpers, decklid, and the dashboard were all fiberglass. the factory claimed the total weight of the parts was a scant 80 pounds, netting a 200-pound savings. The windshield was Lexan and the remaining windows were plexiglas; the frames around them were either constructed of aluminum or stainless steel. The interior, like the drivetrain, came right out of the A990 cars, as did the aluminum door hinges and whatever other specialty parts could be scavenged. Specialty items specific to the A/FX cars included a high-strength stainless-steel K-member that reduced the weight by almost 40 pounds, and an unitbody in white that had been acid dipped to reduce its weight by roughly 200 pounds. The finished product weighed around 2,800 pounds, really light for a midsize '60s hardtop.
When Lee picked this car up in Detroit, it was pure white with a tan metallic vinyl interior just like the ten other A/FX hardtop cars that went to factory-backed teams. The AHRA Winternationals at Bee Line Dragway in Phoenix, Arizona, would be the first outing, and, during that appearance, it would be lettered with its first short-lived graphics scheme. Bee Line would be the first time the altered cars (seven would be in attendance) would appear, and the place where Lee Smith heard one of the Ford engineers exclaim as they looked at the new Chrysler creations, "man, those are funny looking cars." from there it was a short step to simply funny cars. So there you have it, another story about how the name came to be.
During the '65-'66 seasons, Lee's car would see five different stages of development (one and two are listed above). During this period, Chrysler kept the mule (purported to be the sixth Plymouth) and the dyno busy in Detroit, so there were constant updates passed along to the eleven guys that had the cars.
The third stage in the evolution came just prior to the Chicago Auto in 1965. In preparation for this exhibit, Lee had the familiar blue-over-white paint scheme with gold-leaf lettering applied to the body. This is also the point where the Satellite stainless trim was added to the body for that bit of additional flash that separated it from the rest of its Belvedere brethren. At this stage, the car was so fresh that the mechanicals were still as delivered by the factory. The real change was under the car where Lee had tied the front and rear subframes together with some 11/48-inch-thick wall 2x4 tubing in an effort to keep it from twisting itself into a knot. Then to further stabilize the structure, he tied the four-point rollbar to the new subframe connectors. he also welded brackets to the subframe that secured the seat because the acid-dipped floor just didn't seem substantial enough for the task.
Then came the fourth stage, and some of the major mechanical changes that would be made to the car. During this stage, the Chrysler-engineered 426-CH-8 Hilborn injection and the parachute were added, and the front brakes were removed. Naturally, along with the Hilborn injection came a new hood, sans the large scoop that had originally been in place. you'll notice when comparing the various A/FX cars that the parachute that Chrysler issued was mounted in a manner determined by the team-that could mean anything from a flat mounting plate at the back of the car to neatly set into the trunk area. To Lee's credit, he and his team chose to build it into the trunk area so the installation did not compete with the lines of the car.