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Chrysler in ARCA 1950's - Present

Discussion in 'Historical' started by hemi_magnum, May 27, 2013.

  1. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    beentherebefore,

    When you present photos, can you provide some sort of rationale of fair use, or just point us to the URLs where they may be find?
     
  2. Beentherebefore

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    I think that nowadays "Super Late Model' would qualify as a modified series.
     
  3. Beentherebefore

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    I just read over on Jayski's that former ARCA "Dodge Development Driver" Dakoda Armstrong will drive for the Petty team in NWS next year...................in a Ford.
     
  4. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    Not quite sure I understand all of what you are saying there, but if literally, then yes, there is still a Modified Series.
    If rhetorical, then yes, the Super Late Models have evolved quite a bit in the last 40 years.
     
  5. Beentherebefore

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    Cool color photo of ARCA action @ Dayton track in 1968.

    Mopar drivers Les Snow in the #6, Andy Hampton in the #58, and Bobby Watson in the #8 racing with Ford driver Benny Parsons in the #98.

    Photo posted by "Indybigjohn" on another discussion board and reposted here with his permission.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Beentherebefore

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    Winning Dodge ARCA, USAC, and IMCA drivers all in one ad from Champion;

    [​IMG]
     
  7. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    It's interesting how associate sponsors placed so much emphasis on the teams in those days.
    Except for companies like Lowe's, which is a primary sponsor, I can't remember a similar effort done today. I guess young marketeers missed that part of Advertising 101?

    In fact, back in the day of the tire wars Goodyear and Firesrone were always touting their accomplishments in racing. What has changed?
    Has racing become a victim of political correctness?
     
  8. Beentherebefore

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    I think that racing and HP parts are so specialized now that there's not enough market for manufacturers to come out with those widespread & generalized ads. Performance parts ads are still out there, but are limited to more specialized publications/media- for instance, there have been more ads (w/pictures) in "National Dragster" celebrating Allen Johnson's PS championship last year from the HP parts companies than there were from Mopar. Likewise, true racing tires have little resemblance to their street cousins and the tire companies assume that most purchasers know that.

    Nevertheless, these old ads from when the parts suppliers thrived on performance publicity make great additions to these historical threads. Heck, their photos/articles are often better summaries than what you can find anywhere else, especially since Mopars were often their featured brands.
     
  9. Beentherebefore

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    I believe (not 100% sure) that this is the car that Bob Keselowski drove to several victories in the ARCA series circa 1989. I will gladly stand corrected if anybody has something else to add.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. dyslexic teddybear

    dyslexic teddybear Active Member

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    Great pic!

    IIRC......Stock Car Racing did an article on Bobs Lebaron......detailing a lot of changes necessary to make it fit the size needed to race. Again, from memory, different paint......the article was on Mopars return to competition, so no wins yet.

    Didn't follow ARCA that close.......and this is just a vague recollection......maybe the first win for a Lebaron wasn't Bob, but Jerry Churchill? Seems Jerry "moved" someone out the way on the [or close to] last lap.....and the other driver took offence and pinned Jerry to the outside wall on the cool down lap. Jerry was not a small guy and couldn't get out of the car.....so the victory lane ceremony had to wait for things to get sorted out.

    No time right now to research this.....
     
  11. Beentherebefore

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    I also wasn't following ARCA that closely anymore in the 80s after "Competition Press" disappeared and the smaller circuits became harder to follow (no TV coverage of ARCA in those days). Bob Keselowski won the ARCA championship in 1989, but I seem to recall that he only used a Mopar for part of that season and a GM based car for the rest. It probably can be easily researched if someone wants to spend the time. There was some stuff on Jerry Churchill written up in the historical section of the main Allpar page, along with a picture of his LeBaron race car.

    Here's an interesting twist on those ARCA LeBaron race cars. According to a small blurb in "Autoweek" around that time, Bob Keselowski's success with that LeBaron caused Chrysler racing officials to inquire of Nascar whether they would accept that package in the Cup series since the Nascar wheelbase requirements were pretty close to ARCAs. Chrysler was told that a FWD conversion package would not be allowed in the Nascar Cup series. Just a few years later, "Brand C" wanted permission to enter their FWD converted "Lumina" in the Cup series. Nascar couldn't crawl over itself fast enough to approve that package.
     
  12. dyslexic teddybear

    dyslexic teddybear Active Member

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    Also remember reading there was some interest in getting a Lebaron into Nascar.

    Also remember reading from somewhere that Nascars attitude at the time was "Chevy in 1st, Ford in 2nd, and Mopars in a different series.

    Too bad, a Lebaron would have made a slick racecar. Maybe the areo would not have been as good as it looked......but it would have been interesting to see. Looking at the nose, I see a vague resemblance to the Superbird/Daytona snout. That alone, could have given Nascar nightmares.
     
  13. Beentherebefore

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    That model LeBaron would have made a VERY slick racecar in Nascar and they knew it. A rapidly growing Nascar had 4 boxy GM brands racing in their Cup series ( a fraud, since they were basically "Brand C" racecars with different grilles on them), plus the Fords, so Nascar saw no need at that time to upset the apple cart by allowing a slick new Mopar into the series. The fact that Chrysler had all but eliminated their RWD lineup ( only still making a few 4Dr "Diplomats" and Chrysler "5th Avenues") gave Nascar a convenient excuse to reject their Lebaron inquiries.
     
  14. dyslexic teddybear

    dyslexic teddybear Active Member

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    It's easy to bash Nascar.......but to be totally honest, fair, and balanced.....[if only Nascar WAS that way] it is a very difficult job to get right.

    Could be wrong......by looking where Nascar evolved to, right up to the COT......the Lebaron nose was......maybe 15 years ahead?

    I can understand the fear Nascar had......can almost hear this......"Oh [insert term of choice].....they are gonna do it to us again"
     
  15. Beentherebefore

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    The irony was that Le Baron nose was never designed specifically for Nascar racing, unlike the '76 Brand C "Laguna" nose which GM openly admitted was designed mainly for oval track racing. The Laguna was allowed to race in Nascar despite their ruling a few years earlier that "special for racing" designed bodies (i.e., Plym Superbirds, Ford Torino Talladegas) would no longer be allowed. It would have been hard for Nascar to deny a showroom stock appearing Mopar as legitimate (the required wheelbase stretch might have been an issue, though). The no RWD conversion rule gave them an easy excuse.
     
  16. MoparNorm

    MoparNorm Active Jeeper
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    ...right up until the moment that GM, Ford and Toyota realized...DOH! We no longer make a V8 powered, RWD, two door.
    I'd love to see just Challenger, Mustang and Camaro*, out there... ;)

    * the real ones, not the sticker packages...
     
  17. Beentherebefore

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    Allowing the "Lumina" to race in Cup opened the door. What frosted me was that Nascar approved it to race only a few years after they had told Chrysler that RWD conversions like Keselowski's ARCA racer would not be allowed. Eventually, yes, FWD conversions would have had to have been allowed because none of the US manufacturers made RWD cars for a while after about 1998 (?), or so, but at the time the Lumina was approved, both GM and Ford still made RWD models ( and could have run race cars up to 3 model years old in Cup, as per Nascar rules).
     
  18. dyslexic teddybear

    dyslexic teddybear Active Member

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    Another way to look at it.......Chrysler unintentionally designed a nose better suited for racing then brand C intentionally did.

    Seriously, a Lebaron may not have been as good as it looked in ARCA trim.....would have been interesting to find out.

    Your "Laguna" reference triggered a memory......something about the first gen Monte Carlos. Seems all the teams modified the nose, narrowing it by sectioning about an 1-1/2" on each side, and modify the "headlight" opening, to center it, hiding the mod. Good for 3-4 mph.

    Worked until a team showed up with a nose that didn't look quite right......they'd just sectioned out of the middle.....making the headlight opening noticeably smaller and kinda oval looking. Nascar couldn't look the other way......made all those poor Chevy teams fix the cars.....
     
  19. Beentherebefore

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    I don't recall that particular modification, but if Nascar did get on the "Brand C" teams to restore something back to closer to stock, it was a rare occurrence. IIRC, the big controversy over the 1st gen Monte Carlo was the engine location. Since the car was basically a stretched Chevelle, the engine location rules (then based on location from the firewall, IIRC) gave that race car much more of a mid-engine racing configuration. In one of the few rulings that I can recall from those days that went against "Brand C" racers, Nascar changed the engine location rules to be based off the front axle centerline.
     
  20. Mike V.

    Mike V. Mopar-nac The Moderator
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    In the Americarna TV show where Evernham bought the Vandiver Charger he also bought a Ford Torino that raced from '70-'74 and was also in as raced condition from 1974. He showed how the front filler panel between the radiator and the grille shell had a trap door designed into it to change airflow thru the engine compartment. They showed how it was connected to the hood pin laniard so when the crew went to open the hood, they would pull the pin and cable to pop the door back closed before the hood was opened.

    Evernham laughed and talked about how he did something similar at one time and it cost him $50,000 after he was caught by NASCAR.

    Mike
     

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