Jim Miles built the car and acquired sponsorship from the Magic Muffler Shops in Southern California.
In August 1965 at the Lions Drag Strip, as driver Gary Essman hit the throttle, the bottom end of the engine exploded all over the track.
At that moment of obliteration, the driver raised his right hand like he is letting go of a radioactive burrito. Through the carnage, the Genie beamed beatific, never breaking character.
Contrary to myth, a Genie doesn’t always do one’s bidding. He can be good, evil or indifferent.
In this case, the Genie was a vicious, smiling sadist.
So how, exactly, did the bottom come out?
“It was because (Gary) Essman didn’t torque the bottom end,” said AA/FA scenester, racer and authority Rod Hynes. “Brain fade had set in after putting in so many hours to get it together.”
About that infamous night in August of 1965, Miles said: “The driver was a fellow named Gary Essman. He helped me on the car quite a bit.”
Until the deconstruction… which was not as catastrophic as it appeared in the pictures.
“It spit the entire assembly out which was not hurt,” Hynes said.