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Chrysler in the USAC stock car series

Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Beentherebefore

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    Providing a pace car isn't really a big deal nowadays but the Pikes Peak Hillclimb ("The Race to the Clouds") was a much more prestigious event back in the 50s and early 60s than it is now. Chrysler marketing took advantage of association with the event for it's Dodge and DeSoto divisions in 1955 and 56 (Chrysler 300s were already dominating in Nascar and USAC events at that time) to try to push performance images for their lower divisions. Having a pace car for the PPHC seems like an oxymoron for a race where contestants are flagged off at timed intervals but it looks like from these cool photos (shared from Pinterest) that the pace cars were employed to at least check out the course at speed.

    Dodge pace car for 1955 PPHC.jpg


    Dodge pace car in action @ PPHC 1955.jpg

    DeSoto ad for PPHC pace car 1956 I.jpg

    DeSoto PPHC pace car cruising course.jpg

    DeSoto PPHC pace car in action 1956.jpg
     

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    #141 Beentherebefore, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  2. Beentherebefore

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    DeSoto ad for PPHC car 1956 II.jpg

    The ad implies that the pace car actually raced but it didn't- talk about taking liberties with your marketing ;). In the 50's most all of the PPHC race cars were modified Indy car types. In the 1960s USAC took over the management of the PPHC and established a separate stock car division and Mopars had some successes there (see post #21).
     
    #142 Beentherebefore, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  3. Beentherebefore

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    Nice shot of Roger McClusky's Superbird (shared from Pinterest).

    McClusky's Superbird.jpg
     
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  4. Beentherebefore

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    1956 Kiekhaffer team Dodge convertible publicity card announcing their participation in the Nascar convertible series with driver Frank Mundy who had won the AAA championship the year before. AAA later evolved into the USAC series.

    Frank Mundy publicity card 1956.jpg
     
  5. Beentherebefore

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    Nice shot (shared from the Peterson photo archive Facebook page) of Paul Goldsmith driving his Ray Nichels' Plymouth in the 1965 USAC "Yankee 300" road race.

    Goldsmith @ '65 Yankee 300 road race.jpg

    Goldsmith finished 2nd. He was part of a 1 - 3 Plymouth sweep with Norm Nelson winning and Jim Hurtubise finishing 3rd.
     
  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  7. Beentherebefore

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    An earlier ('64) version of a Norm Nelson Plymouth, and looks to be in pristine condition for a dirt track race car. Photo (shared from the USAC Facebook page) was shot at the Langhorne, PA triangular shaped race track before it was paved. I have often heard that Langhorne was used as the model for nearby Pocono Intl raceway.

    Norm Nelson's '64 Plym @ Langhorne.jpg
     
  8. Beentherebefore

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    Winged cars of Don White and Roger McClusky side by side (shared from the USAC Facebook page). What's interesting is that both cars show 429" painted on their hoods.

    McClusky & Don White winged cars together.jpg
     
  9. DC-93

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    Rule was 430, so some guys ran a slight overbore of the 426.
     
  10. Beentherebefore

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    Ray Nichels had it painted on the hood of his #99 Roadrunner that Freddie Lorenzen drove @ Ontario in 1971. There was a story (unsubstantiated) that Nichels did that to take a slap @ Chrysler for pulling their support of his operation. 429 was what was painted on all the hoods of Ford products at that time.
     
  11. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    Maybe he did. Sour grapes... :confused:
     
  12. Beentherebefore

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    How'd that Camaro get in there? :D

    Usac race results  1974.jpg
     
  13. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    That's my car in 2nd. place....
    And my other car in 5th.
     
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  14. Beentherebefore

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    Cool :cool:.................as long as you don't tell us that you own the 4th place car. I might come looking for you when I need my next restroom break ;).
     
  15. Beentherebefore

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    10 out of the first 11 finishers were Mopars. Plenty of parts & pieces to go around ;).
     
  16. DC-93

    DC-93 Active Member

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    HA! Nope. never owned a GM. Or Ford. Or anything but a Mopar my entire life...
     
  17. Beentherebefore

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    Early Butch Hartman car (shared from Pinterest). Not sure what track, but he started in ARCA in 1966. He ran 3 races there in this '65 Dodge (won one of them) and then switched to running in USAC. He ran the '65 Dodge through the 1967 USAC season with a best finish of 2nd (to Norm Nelson).


    Butch Hartman's first car.jpg

    His later Mopars brought him a lot more success - USAC Championships in 1971 -'74 and another in 1976.
     
  18. Beentherebefore

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    Bobby Unser win @ Kaukauna, Wisc in 1971 shared from Facebook (appears to be linked from Midwest Racing Archives).

    Bobby Unser 1971 USAC win.jpg
     
  19. Beentherebefore

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    Full race results to go with the above pictured race. It was a 1 - 5 Mopar sweep.

    USAC Wisc race results, 1971.jpg
     
  20. page2171

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    That track is still in regular use. It is just a few miles from where I live. I lived closer to it when I was a kid, and remember there were summer nights when the weather was just right that I could hear the races from our house.
     

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