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The All-time Dodge/Plymouth NASCAR Racing history thread


245 replies to this topic

#41 JavelinAMX

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Posted October 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm

 I never heard that one. After he ran the AMC's, Penske switched to Ford products for a few years, then dropped out of Nascar entirely for 3 or 4 years, then came back with Rusty Wallace and GM products. AMC dropped out of factory support for Nascar circa 1977 which caused Penske to switch, if I'm remembering correctly. Chrysler lost all interest in doing any development on the Gen II Hemi after it was handicapped to the point of no longer being really competitive in NHRA Pro Stock. circa 1974 or 75. There were no Chrysler race teams to do any development with after the Pettys and Harry Hyde (#71) were left out in the cold by the withdrawal of all Chrysler factory support and switched to other brands. In addition, anyone developing hemi heads for Nascar racing was wasting their time as for many years, the Nascar rulebook specifically stated "Hemispherical type combustion chambers" are not allowed. I haven't seen one of their rulebooks in over 25 years (Norm might have access to one), but I'll wager that they still contain related phrasing - probably something to the effect that no cylinder heads can be run that are not specifically approved by Nascar and that certainly means NO HEMIS!

 

I definitely remember the Charger 500 very well. I was just relating some of this Charger 500 detail to my son. You have excellent timing  :) 

 

I also appreciate the picture of #71, though, thanks for posting.

 

I wonder if there's a way I could pose the question about the AMC NASCAR engine development effort direct to Penske - I wouldn't know how to get the question to him, since I'm a nobody and have never been in the Biz. He'd be the only one to confirm and flesh out the detail, or deny the story.



#42 moparbob

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Posted October 13, 2013 at 04:23 pm

Since this thread has gotten away from the original topic of Bill France's dislike for Chrysler & more & more Allpar members are really pushing for a nostigalia thread & section to talk about NASCAR's good ol' days, the title of this thread has changed to allow all MOPAR NASCAR fans to have their say here on Allpar & add what posts they wish. 

 

 

Unfortunately because of this thread has been opened to allow a more broad range of discussion, I as moderator, have to follow the design of the current Allpar board system, therefore this thread will need to be moved to the Chrysler Chat forum as this is more appropriate of a discussion since it relates to nostigalia & not actual & current Chrysler Motorsports News. The Motorsports News Section on Allpar is intended & designed for current Chrysler Motorsports News only! 

 

Any new or repeating motorsports threads (NASCAR or otherwise) that deal with nostigilia that are found in the Motorsports News Section will either be moved or deleted at the discretion of the moderators here on Allpar. 

 

Unfortunately until the website design of the News & Rumors section changes here on Allpar.com (via Dave Zatz) to allow for more nostigilia based material, this is the best I can offer & will be allowed to do under the current format! 

 

For all other inquiries for changes to this section & website, please speak to Dave as he is the owner of Allpar.com. 

 

Thank you. 



#43 dartndodge

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Posted October 13, 2013 at 06:49 pm

Keith Black built the destroked 340 (to 305") for the 1970 Trans Am Challenger, driven by Sam Posey.

The engine was ultra reliable and made lots of power, but the Challenger was too big and heavy and made flimsy by too much acid dipping (it was just too big to compete...sound familiar..new Dart??)

 

The 1971 NASCAR Dodge 305" was probably the same engine as the 1970 T/A race engine.

 

I always wondered what ChryCo's thought were about the Kekhiafer (sp) 300's, with MERCURY Splashed across the sides.

 

I wonder how many 1000s of average NASCAR Fans in the mid '50s, went out the next day and bought one of them "300 Mercurys" from their Ford dealer... :).

 

Nascar Fan...I'll have on of them there 300 Mercurys, likes I watched win on Sunday...

 

Ford Salesman... "Oh you mean the Chry..ah...Mercury 300, yes..we got one of them, over here sure..look at that big race winning V8....."

 

;).


Edited by dartndodge, October 13, 2013 at 06:50 pm.


#44 dyslexic teddybear

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Posted October 13, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Since this thread has gotten away from the original topic of Bill France's dislike for Chrysler & more & more Allpar members are really pushing for a nostigalia thread & section to talk about NASCAR's good ol' days, the title of this thread has changed to allow all MOPAR NASCAR fans to have their say here on Allpar & add what posts they wish. 

 

 

Unfortunately because of this thread has been opened to allow a more broad range of discussion, I as moderator, have to follow the design of the current Allpar board system, therefore this thread will need to be moved to the Chrysler Chat forum as this is more appropriate of a discussion since it relates to nostigalia & not actual & current Chrysler Motorsports News. The Motorsports News Section on Allpar is intended & designed for current Chrysler Motorsports News only! 

 

Any new or repeating motorsports threads (NASCAR or otherwise) that deal with nostigilia that are found in the Motorsports News Section will either be moved or deleted at the discretion of the moderators here on Allpar. 

 

Unfortunately until the website design of the News & Rumors section changes here on Allpar.com (via Dave Zatz) to allow for more nostigilia based material, this is the best I can offer & will be allowed to do under the current format! 

 

For all other inquiries for changes to this section & website, please speak to Dave as he is the owner of Allpar.com. 

 

Thank you. 

Thanks for this Moparbob.
 
Think this a great opportunity for those that do not know Mopars rich racing history, can pick up some cool stuff and maybe a better understanding of why some of us are as passionate as we are.
 
Certainly been a fascinating discussion so far, here's to more of the same! Very much hope this works out and grows to encompass all forms of motorsports where Mopars competed.
 
Add a thanks for your efforts in the motorsports section, and to all that help keep us up to date......it's appreciated.

Edited by dyslexic teddybear, October 13, 2013 at 11:47 pm.


#45 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 05:59 am

I definitely remember the Charger 500 very well. I was just relating some of this Charger 500 detail to my son. You have excellent timing   :)

 

I also appreciate the picture of #71, though, thanks for posting.

 

I wonder if there's a way I could pose the question about the AMC NASCAR engine development effort direct to Penske - I wouldn't know how to get the question to him, since I'm a nobody and have never been in the Biz. He'd be the only one to confirm and flesh out the detail, or deny the story.

 

You can try. My guess is that there are few left at Penske that remember those days and, if there are, they'd probably just as well forget about it. Look at how quickly they "forgot" about their Dodge affiliation - even took a Ford to the White House as if they had won the championship with it.

 

If you have the time, you might want to research TRACO which was the company that built the AMC motors for Penske, including the Trans AM motors, if I'm remembering correctly. I don't know what a web search might turn up for you. They were located in SoCal, I believe. Don't know if they are even still around. Norm might know something about them.



#46 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 06:25 am

Here is a picture of the FULL SIZED Plymouth Fury with a Hemi in it that Mr Maclaughlin mentions in the link in post #1. It was built and driven by Buck Baker.Chrysler maintained that their full sized cars would never be competitive but the article says that this car finished 2nd in a major Nascar race.

 

baker65plymouth-vi.jpg


Another shot of the same car.

 

rearbaker65plymouth-vi.jpg


Edited by Beentherebefore, October 14, 2013 at 06:24 am.


#47 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 07:22 am


 

I always wondered what ChryCo's thought were about the Kekhiafer (sp) 300's, with MERCURY Splashed across the sides.

 

I wonder how many 1000s of average NASCAR Fans in the mid '50s, went out the next day and bought one of them "300 Mercurys" from their Ford dealer... :).

 

Nascar Fan...I'll have on of them there 300 Mercurys, likes I watched win on Sunday...

 

Ford Salesman... "Oh you mean the Chry..ah...Mercury 300, yes..we got one of them, over here sure..look at that big race winning V8....."

 

;).

 

Well, it does read "Mercury Outboards" if you read it straight across. Call it a bad painting job, :lol:



#48 Dave

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 08:06 am

I do need to ask Beentherebefore if he can send me (email or Dropbox or whatever) some of the photos that he himself took (that you yourself took) back in the day for use on Allpar, to illustrate Curtis' NASCAR coverage. 

 

I can't use photos from other photographers, magazines, or the Internet in general. Allpar respects copyrights pretty rigidly. But if you have photos you yourself took, I would be very happy to use them with credit to you and some compensation for your time.



#49 MoparNorm

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 08:56 am

You can try. My guess is that there are few left at Penske that remember those days and, if there are, they'd probably just as well forget about it. Look at how quickly they "forgot" about their Dodge affiliation - even took a Ford to the White House as if they had won the championship with it.
 
If you have the time, you might want to research TRACO which was the company that built the AMC motors for Penske, including the Trans AM motors, if I'm remembering correctly. I don't know what a web search might turn up for you. They were located in SoCal, I believe. Don't know if they are even still around. Norm might know something about them.

Roger has a photographic memory, so he would remember...and you never know, he might just reply to an inquiry.
FYI, they didn't "forget" about the Dodge... that was a purposeful snub of Marchionne.

The Penske motors that came from a Penske, would have been from Penske South, but Im not aware if the AMC motors came from Penske or Egge.
Bob Sheaves may know as he was a bit involved in AMC Jeep racing.

#50 Danno

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 04:03 pm

Also an odd bit in that the Keith Black 305 engine was offered to the Petty outfit, still in charge of all Chrysler racing distribution in 1971. Maurice, Richard and Lee decided NOT to use it, and rejected it because they had also elected to not run an "aero" package car in 1971. As told by Richard, we looked at the 305 and the 426 Hemi, then compared horsepower. On that basis, we rejected the 305, feeling that it could never overcome the raw horsepower factor of the output of the Hemi 426. (Richard Petty won the 1971 NASCAR championship, for which, Chrysler promptly rewarded him by pulling out all factory sponsorship in NASCAR!) In the Daytona 500 Richard won the race, with his driver, Buddy Baker in a Petty built and owned Dodge, placing second.

 

Of a V-8 engine in that era, ANY V-8 being able to turn up quickly, safely, and consistently into the 10K + range was just UNHEARD of! No one really took that into account. Dick Brooks AND Mario Rossi being the MOST surprised of all when the "lunch box" ran so well without any maintenance or engine issues! In the qualifying run that Brooks made, he was really, REALLY shaken in his belief about V-8 power in that were the big Hemi was done pulling, the lunch box had just begun to run. He liked it to an electric sewing machine that just keep on humming, higher, and higher.

 

Unfortunately, not much is known of the engine itself, nor where it went. Mario Rossi headed up DiGard racing for awhile, but Darrell Waltrip got him fired. He disappeared without a trace in the early 1980s and no one has seen or heard from or about Rossi since.

 

  Curtis,

 

   Quite a bit can actually be inferred about what was in that engine. Most of the development for that engine came out of the AAR/TA series that used the same CID restrictions, 5.0 Liter.

 

   The "514" Hemi footprint small block rod was a direct result of this from what I have been told ( 7/16" Rod bolts in a smallblock forged rod ) , and it makes sense that the TA/AAR head/block program morphed into the NASCAR head/block setup for the 355" cars as well. I believe this is where the origin of the Diamond and W1 heads were, and the original "X" block. Although for the Rossi motor I am sure that they used a TA casting block for its thicker main webbing. and probably the TA/AAR heads, although heavily modified.

 

   The pieces used in these combos were VERY heavy ( 800+ grams on the rods, pistons were in the 700-800 gram range + about 150 for the pin ), so seeing them spinning at 10k was nothing short of miraculous... but I personally know people who were spinning 340 based motors up into the mid 9's in circle track racing with these rods and the old style heavy parts, so an even shorter stroke would make higher RPM's even more attainable.

 

   FWIW, up until recently, I had a set of the 514 rods, and a couple of the Kit Car oil pans and oiling systems setups. I also know where there is a 305 crank *cough*. It would be really neat to be able to build a period correct 305. For what reason I dont know, but for posterity's sake at least :)



#51 MoparNorm

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Posted October 14, 2013 at 07:15 pm

There you go, TRACO, out of SoCal.
Thanks Bob!

#52 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 15, 2013 at 05:57 am

There you go, TRACO, out of SoCal.
Thanks Bob!

 

 Guess my tired ol' memory still works. :lol:



#53 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 15, 2013 at 06:59 am

The window "plugs" are now available in fiberglass. I think someone is also working on a stamped version. You can get repop steel and fiberglass nose cones too. Because people couldn't see how far the nose stuck out, the cones tended to get pretty beat up.

Mike

 

You wouldn't think that there would be enough demand for these parts for anyone to bother manufacturing them. There were originally only about 550 of the winged Daytona Chargers built and about 2,000 of the Plym Superbirds. About half of them were destroyed in Nascar wrecks so there's really only the potential to sell parts for about 1200 restorations, plus a few "clones".

 

You are spot on about the noses getting beat up. Below, is a photo of Ray Elder's car being serviced in the pits @ Riverside in 1970. With all his history of good finishes @ Riverside, Ray only finished 24th in this race after the nose got bashed in while he was racing in a "freight train" through Riverside's "esses". Add a few off track excursions and the damaged nose for these cars usually resulted in the car overheating and the motor going south.

 

129442-500-0.jpg

 

 Exactly one year later, Ray brought this same car back to Riverside sans the wing and with a stock '70 Dodge grille & front clip and won the race.

 

 The same thing applied to short track racing and most of the Mopar teams just brought stock bodied cars to those tracks, or, barring their having a dedicated short track car, just removed the nose and rear wing and replaced the front clip. I recall watching Dick Bown at a W.West race (I think it was @ Ascot Park, CA) with his '70 Plymouth with the stock front clip but with the wing still mounted on the back of the car.


Edited by Beentherebefore, October 15, 2013 at 07:08 am.


#54 valiant67

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Posted October 15, 2013 at 07:15 am

My uninformed guess is that with enough reproduction parts, clones will easily outnumber restorations (if they don't already), especially for those who want to even attempt to drive the cars anywhere other than on and off the show field.

Of course, even then it's still a small market, and the repop parts price will reflect the limited market.



#55 MoparNorm

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Posted October 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm

You wouldn't think that there would be enough demand for these parts for anyone to bother manufacturing them. There were originally only about 550 of the winged Daytona Chargers built and about 2,000 of the Plym Superbirds. About half of them were destroyed in Nascar wrecks so there's really only the potential to sell parts for about 1200 restorations, plus a few "clones".
 
You are spot on about the noses getting beat up. Below, is a photo of Ray Elder's car being serviced in the pits @ Riverside in 1970. With all his history of good finishes @ Riverside, Ray only finished 24th in this race after the nose got bashed in while he was racing in a "freight train" through Riverside's "esses". Add a few off track excursions and the damaged nose for these cars usually resulted in the car overheating and the motor going south.
 
129442-500-0.jpg
 
 Exactly one year later, Ray brought this same car back to Riverside sans the wing and with a stock '70 Dodge grille & front clip and won the race.
 
 The same thing applied to short track racing and most of the Mopar teams just brought stock bodied cars to those tracks, or, barring their having a dedicated short track car, just removed the nose and rear wing and replaced the front clip. I recall watching Dick Bown at a W.West race (I think it was @ Ascot Park, CA) with his '70 Plymouth with the stock front clip but with the wing still mounted on the back of the car.

Looking at that picture...
Now folks can see why we loved Riverside!
It is however a shame that the fans had to sit so far from the action. ;) lawyers would have a field day with that proximity nowadays.

#56 JavelinAMX

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Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:18 pm

 

Wow! 

 

Many, many thanks ... I spent a bit over two hours reading and re-reading last night to catch up.

 

Deeply appreciate it  :)



#57 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 16, 2013 at 06:32 am

A poster on another board sent me this not too long ago - a picture of the Chrysler short track "kit-car" that Danno mentions in post #50.

 

 

 CHRYSLER KIT CARS IN 1974
KITCAR.jpg

 



#58 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 16, 2013 at 06:41 am

My uninformed guess is that with enough reproduction parts, clones will easily outnumber restorations (if they don't already), especially for those who want to even attempt to drive the cars anywhere other than on and off the show field.

Of course, even then it's still a small market, and the repop parts price will reflect the limited market.

 

How's this for a gorgeous restoration? This is 2 X Winston West champion Jack McCoy's winged Mopar. As far as I know, this is a restoration, not a clone. If I'm remembering correctly what I heard (maybe at the last Mopar gathering I attended a few years ago {??}), the car was restored by and belongs to the family of Ernie Conn, who was Jack's car owner when he raced this car.

 

 

Dodge7-3.jpg


Edited by Beentherebefore, October 16, 2013 at 06:55 am.


#59 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 16, 2013 at 06:53 am

Looking at that picture...
Now folks can see why we loved Riverside!
It is however a shame that the fans had to sit so far from the action. ;) lawyers would have a field day with that proximity nowadays.

 

 I've got a shot from the 1966 race where's there is nothing between me and the 150mph+ stockers in turn #1 but a couple of hay bales!

 

 I'm hopin' to be able to get it posted on this thread one of these days.



#60 Beentherebefore

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Posted October 17, 2013 at 07:03 am

 
 
 
6 X Winston West Champion Ray Elder.
 
This picture was taken at Daytona in 1970. As defending W. West champion, Elder got an automatic provisional into the race. He didn't need it. He qualified well and finished 11th in the Daytona 500 race.
 
 
 
Wingcars18-vi.jpg

Edited by Beentherebefore, October 17, 2013 at 07:04 am.



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