Rich Fox’s Record Setting Four-Cylinder Plymouth and Other Cars

record setting Plymouth four cylinder engines

Rich Fox set records with these four-cylinder 1932 Plymouth engines in a 1932 Plymouth PB at El Mirage. One is an overhead-valve conversion, the other remains a flathead; heads are twin-plug with dual distributors. The engines are now at the Speedway Museum of American Speed in Lincoln.

four cylinders

Rich wrote:

I often used to run against Dave Dozire in the mid-1960s. He was running an altered roadster with a Chrysler straight eight in it and I had an Austin with a 1953 Dodge Hemi. Dave went to Bonneville and ran 250 with the Chrysler straight eight, now blown, and ran the MoPar streamliner at Bonneville — with the first crate motor over 300mph when the new 426 type hemis were made available again.

1932 Plymouth Bonneville record setter

Dave told me that, in the 1950s, that he had run in X/D with a 1932 Plymouth engine; he found that a Y block Ford head was a near bolt on, and tried it, but it didn't work. In the 1990s, I found a Plymouth four and a Y block head, and tried it myself. It went 135 in my roadster, setting the V4/GR record at Muroc.

racing engine

After a few years I got tired of the OHV engine and made the flathead and twin distributor deal, and put the rotating parts in the flathead motor. It ran 113.75 at El Mirage and was the V4F/FMR record car for a while. Then, after a while, I sold the whole mess to Speedy Bill and that is where it is now.

Rich Fox engine

The 1932 Plymouth was a old drag car I bought in 1965 for $75 to put a 354 engine into. It was meant as a replacement for my Bantam. Had a Packard transmission and a 1949 Olds rear end. Then I met Dave and Jim who were building the Studebaker Lark, and we decided to try the 354 in the Lark, still with the Packard trans and Olds rear; Algon injected, Merryman pistons, don't remember what cam. Jim had money troubles and after a few runs with the car it got repossed. I took my motor and went home.

Studebaker Lark

bantam hemiIn 1978 I put a 270 GMC in the 1932 to run at Bonneville. The rules were changed to allow later bodies so in 1980 I built the Vega.

Some time in the 1990s, I thought nostalgia racing would be cool, so I built an injected 392 with a Crane roller cam and JE pistons with 1954 heads and a Ford toploader transmission and put that in the 1932. I took it to Sacramento and found out that the nostalgia drags were nothing like the ’60s had been, so I put it in the Vega to run it a little. The Vega has a full frame dropped tube front axle, the top loader trans, and a narrowed 9 inch. Best speed I ever got out of it was 208 in 1992.

Vega

This is my '32 as it appears today. I sold it in 1998 when I retired. You can see the cutouts in the hood for the 392 valve covers. This picture was taken last summer. The new owner hasn't done much with it. The story board has magazine pictures from when it was mine. He has an SBC in it but not running.

1932 Plymouth racer at Bonnevillee

I sold all my Chrysler stuff to Jason Sharp grandson, of the Sharp in Moodyham and Sharp 554 Fuel Coupe. I put a 1955 Packard V8 in the Vega, since I have never seen a Packard powered car at Bonneville. I have had some health issues and so sent the car out with some guys who had not been to the salt before but wanted to go. It went 155 with the Packard and they had fun.

Bonneville Plymouth

roadster in 1990

Rich is now working on a 1926 Dodge Brothers engine with a Morton & Brett head, still under construction.

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