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Strega at Chino Air Show
Strega at Chino Air Show, 1985
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close up of Strega wheelflap
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Tiger Destefani autograph
Signed by Pilot -
Tiger Destefani

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Strega by Denver Kissinger
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  Aviation Art P-51 "Strega" by Denver Kissinger  
24 x 36 in. Open edition, .......................................................................................$75.00
Signed by Pilot - Tiger Destefani

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Aviation Art P51 #7 "Strega"


Number 7, Strega - In 1982, the highly modified P51, Dago Red, wins the Gold at Reno in its initial debut. Co-owner, and farmer by trade, Bill “Tiger” Destefani, elects to sell his share of the plane to partner Frank Taylor. Infused with additional prize money earned from the winnings, Destefani proceeds to build his own racer, basically an improved version of Dago Red, that he will name Strega (the word for Witch in Italian). Borrowing from the Dago Red stable, which in turn had copied the design from the Red Baron team, the Strega crew fashions a low profile canopy and fairing that extends back to the vertical stabilizer. The only difference being that a sliding canopy is used, such as the one that was on the Red Baron, as opposed to a hinged upward opening type that was employed on Dago Red. The modification was made to allow for easier exit during any in-flight emergency. Other changes to the aircraft include a smaller, streamlined air scoop, clipped wings to help in the turns, the smoothing and filling of the plane’s seams to improve airflow over the wings and fuselage, and the standard weight reduction modifications used commonly by those in the upper echelon of the Unlimited Class. Additionally, and as is the case with most of the top teams in the Class, Lockheed engineers Bruce Boland and Pete Law are consulted to help with the project.

1983: In the racer’s first taste of competition, former Dago Red pilot, Ron Hevle, qualifies Strega in the third position at Reno, but completes less than one lap in the Gold Final.
1984: Qualifying in third again, Hevle and Strega drop out on lap seven of the Championship Race.
1985: In March, at the Unlimited Race held at the old Minter Field, north of Bakersfield, California, Hevle and Strega win the Gold Final after opponent Skip Holm and Stiletto drop out with overheating problems. The team fairs worse at Reno as mechanical problems keep Strega from starting in the Gold Final.
1986: Destefani takes the reins from Hevle and finishes third in the Championship Race.




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