Russell James Liberman, a.k.a Jungle Jim Hardy was a popular American funny car drag racer. The racer was also listed number 17 on the list of ‘Top 50 NHRA drivers’. Sadly, Russell lost his life in a car accident on 9 September 1977 at the age of 31.
Moreover, during his career time, he wouldn’t attend any event without a certain persona beside. So, a beautiful lady named Pamela Hardy aka Jungle Pam seen beside him during the year 1972 who rose quickly gathering attention. Soon after that, the career of the duo hit the peak, further, Pam became cool sidekick and ultimate girlfriend of the driver. Stay tuned to know more.
Jungle Jim Hardy: Bio, Family, Education
It’s been over two decades that he left the world, however, the driver was born on 12 September 1945 as Russell James Liberman. He was born in Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania to supportive parents. But no information available on his parents or siblings in the media.
For his education, to pursue a career in racing, he dropped out of high school in junior years. No information on his high school, he had attended. Moreover, he moved to Northern California where he began drag racing.
Jungle Jim Hardy: Career & Life Achievements
He started his racing career in 1964 in the stock division at Foreman Raceway. Following that he jumped to funny cars driving an injected Nova on nitromethane. In the same year, he started to race on the national as the driver of Lew Arrington’s supercharged GTO Funny Car, Brutus. Next year in 1966, he went on his first supercharged Chevy II and nicknamed as ‘Jungle Jim’ in the same year.
Then he went on a tour in 1967 which made him the well-known of every household within the drag race. His success prompted him to run two cars in 1968. Later, he along with his sidekick Pam Hardy gained huge popularity. Also, they were featured in several auto magazines including Hot Rod Magazines in February cover in 1973.
Even though he distrusted the NHRA, he had one national event win in NHRA competition at the 1975 Summernationals. During 1972 and 1972, he attended 100 race meeting the record matched by ‘TV Tommy’ Ivo and ED ‘The Ace’ McCulloch. He also drove first Vega funny car painted candy blue appeared in August 1972 together with Pam. The second Vega was driven by Roy Harris.
Jungle Jim Hardy: Death
The funny racer, Liberman lost his life when he was driving his 1972 Corvette streetcar in West Goshen Township near West Chester, Pennsylvania. The incident happened when he rounded a corner on the West Chester Pike at excessive speed, it collided with a SEPTA transit bus head-on 9 September 1977.
The bus killed him on the spot after his car wedged under the bumper and under-chassis of the bus. Further, to extricate his body from the wreckage took more than 45 minutes.
Jungle Jim Hardy: Personal Life & Girlfriend
The successful racer had never married and also didn’t got a chance to tie a knot with his girlfriend Pam. Because before that he died in a car accident at the age of 31. Further, after appointing the beautiful girl Pamela Hardy as his sidekick, both had to stay together for a long time. The duo also toured for four years which began to emit to have feelings for each other. Therefore, they started dating each other.
After his death, Pam moved on and married Fred Frey, owner of Funny Car. However, their relationship didn’t go well and divorced after some years. Since then she seems to be single and not in the relationship with anybody. Additionally, she is living a low-key life away from the media.
Jungle Jim Hardy: Net Worth & Social Media Profiles
During his lifetime, the racer had gathered huge fan followers and would become the first choice of certain car companies to advertise their cars. Further, he had posed for several covers of auto magazines with his girlfriend as well. Therefore, it’s been a long time and he had his successful career in the 70s and ended after his death in 1977. At that period, his net worth must have estimated above $1 million.
Coming to social media sites, if I am correct then it was first recognized in the year 1997. After twenty years later of Russell’s death, so it’s impossible for him to use today’s social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.