Mondello “Vintage Rat” PROJECT 1320 Raffle Engine Update

project 1320
The PROJECT 1320 Raffle Engine will continue, despite the passing of drag-racing legend Joe Mondello, who was involved in this joint venture with the Quarter Mile Foundation to support the Foundation’s PROJECT 1320 documentary film program.
The Quarter Mile Foundation Chairman Traci Hrudka has received assurances from Mary Mondello that the engine for the PROJECT 1320 Raffle Engine is continuing forward, despite drag-racing legend Joe Mondello’s untimely passing.

“Mary and I discussed the Project 1320 Raffle Engine and with Joe’s crew at the Mondello Technical Center,” said Hrudka. “Everyone at the Technical Center is fully committed to completing the engine well in advance of the drawing. Mary told me, ‘Joe would want this engine finished. It will be a wonderful tribute and a great honor for Joe to memorialize this engine in his name. Joe never left anything unfinished.’”

She continued, “Joe had completed much of the initial machine work and had begun the assembly process. Nearly every component needed to complete the engine is in the Technical Center, with only a very few items left to come.”

Highly respected manufacturers from across the industry have donated all of the components for the engine.

“The loss of Joe has stunned us all,” said Hrudka. “The engine now has a different light cast upon it, as Joe’s last engine. We want to reassure everyone, from the generous suppliers to those who have purchased or intend to purchase tickets, the Mondello ‘Vintage Rat’ will be completed.”

Official Suppliers:
  • World Products: block, heads, intake manifold, valve covers
  • Moroso Performance Products: oil pan, water pump, oil pump, windage tray
  • Mr. Gasket: gaskets, seals
  • Federal Mogul/Speed Pro: pistons
  • Dura-Bond/Melling: camshaft bearings
  • MAHLE-Clevite: main/rod bearings
  • Total Seal: rings
  • Pertronix Performance Products: distributor, coil, plug wires
  • Manley Performance Products: springs, valves, retainers, guide plates
  • Scat Enterprises: crankshaft, connecting rods
  • Comp Cams: camshaft, rocker arms, lifters, push rods
  • Quick Fuel Technology: carburetor
  • A.R.P.: fasteners
The following suppliers will provide product to the winner, based upon the vehicle:
  • Doug's Headers: headers
  • Be Cool Inc.: radiator
The Quarter Mile Foundation also has announced that the PROJECT 1320 documentary series interview process of pioneers of drag racing and the performance aftermarket from the late ’40s through the ’80s has gained more than 60 hours of footage from 35 legends.

“To put it in drag-racing terms, we had some engine problems to start, but the determination of the board’s crew to keep the throttle open has remained very focused,” said Hrudka. “Hey, we all came from this industry and we carry the same passion, determination, family unity and the will to see this through.

“The overwhelming support we have received from the drag-racing and performance aftermarket communities has put us where we are today with 35 interviews in the can. Support from Moroso, Mr. Gasket Co., Mallory, Express Parts, Mondello Technologies, Quick Fuel Technologies, World Products, SEMA, NHRA, Joe Amato, Lori Johns as well as more than 500 members that are part of the “Project 1320 Friends” group has provided the opportunity to get this much accomplished. Additionally, the thousands of Facebook fans that have donated money, film, photos, memories and have kept following the progress, has also been a critical factor.”

These are the individuals interviewed to date:
  • Joe Amato
  • Linda Vaughn
  • Harry Hibler
  • Carroll Shelby
  • Louie Senter
  • Bill (“Speedy Bill”) Smith
  • Ed Iskenderian
  • Joe Schubeck
  • “Doc” Watson
  • Don Smith
  • Alex Xydias
  • Bob Airheart
  • Robin Millar (Pete Millar)
  • Joe Mondello
Rich Guasco
Roger Gustin

  • T.C. Lemon

  • Herm Petersen
Eileen Daniels
Marvin Graham
Don Hampton

  • Jimmy King

  • Bob Stange

  • Jerry Gwynn

  • Dale Funk
Barbara Hamilton
Dick LaHaie
Darrell Gwynn
Dale Emery

  • Jim Read

  • Jim Head

  • Jim Walther

  • Jon Lundberg
  • Dave McClelland
“To be able to listen in on some of the interviews as they were being filmed has brought a whole new meaning to me about ‘going through the emotions,’” said Hrudka. “What I have seen and heard has been a roller coaster of blockbuster proportions about what these pioneers have to share with the audience. You laugh, cry, gasp, hold your breath, grimace and go through many other emotions as they recount their life experiences. Yes, I even had to sit on my hands to hold back from clapping. To say we are able to capture their life adventure recollections on film is a miracle, and to know we will be able to provide a means for these stories to tell the story of how our sport and industry was built on the determination and exploits of these men and women and their contemporaries is a very satisfying, yet humbling, feeling.

“However, we must understand death has taken several of these pioneering legends from us in just the past month. Additionally, others have fallen into ill health. It is at a point where you’re afraid to open your e-mails or answer your phone for fear of learning more unpleasant news. But, it is a fact we have to deal with and continue to forge ahead.”

The Quarter Mile Foundation will continue interviewing at the upcoming NHRA Heritage Series Holley Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky June 14–16.

For more information, contact Traci Hrudka at 440/888-0088 or, or visit PROJECT 1320.