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Racing History - Mopars in NHRA

Discussion in 'Historical' started by Beentherebefore, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. Beentherebefore

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    West Coast Mopar racer, Steve Wann, ran this 440" powered car in B/SA and C/SA for over 20 years. He won the NHRA National event in Las Vegas in 2005 with it. The car held the B/SA national record for awhile and also won the Pacific Division Stock Championship in 2000 and several divisional points meets over the years. (Photo shared from Pinterest)

    Steve Wann's B-SA '70 Plym.jpg

    A few years ago, Steve had to sell the car for financial reasons. He now drives this A/SA Max-wedge '62 Plymouth (actually belonging to John Shaul) which made it to the semi-finals @ the US Nationals at Indy last month. ND photos below are from the 2015 JEG'S Pacific Sportsnationals which Steve Wann also won in this car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Beentherebefore

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    Some early Hemi shots.......

    Here's one in what was called a "Competition Coupe". You used to see a fair number of these on the dragstrips (here at Fremont) in the early 60s and I actually preferred them to Dragsters. The Dragsters eventually won out due to their faster speeds and the Competition Coupes were made to run as Altereds and eventually faded from the scene.

    Competition Coupe @ Fremont.jpg

    In case anyone is thinking of building a Hemi-Fiat, it's been done before - about 55 years ago ;).

    Hemi Fiat IV.jpg

    Photos shared from the HAMB board
     
  3. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  4. Beentherebefore

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    #364 Beentherebefore, Oct 26, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  5. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  6. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  7. Beentherebefore

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    Gas Ronda was a regular @ Half Moon Bay dragstrip when I first started attending drag races there. Somewhere I have a photo of his fastest Ford sedan running out of Broadway Motors in Oakland but won't post it here on a board for Mopar fans. When I saw him race his '62 Ford, the car had a 406" with 3 carbs (not a 352") and, yes he pretty consistently beat the "Brand C" stuff, but once the "Melrose Missile" and other Max-wedge Mopars started to show up, Ol' Gas wasn't taking home many more trophies. There once was an argument (picked up by the track PA system) where he was refusing to race against Tommy Grove and the "Missile" claiming that the dual carb cross -ram manifold setup on Grove's car was not a factory option and therefore not legal for SS and he would only race against Mopars with a "legal" single 4bbl 413" motor. Grove actually offered to change his Max-wedge over to a single 4bbl setup but said that he would have to go back to the shop and work on it for a week to get it ready to race. Gas wasn't seen racing a HMB much after that till he got a Thunderbolt in '64. Those things were wicked fast and more than a match for the Max-wedges. Unfortunately for Gas and the other T-Bolt drivers, the Hemi Mopars showed up a few months later and the tables turned again. The story going around then was that Gas carried a valve around in his pocket and everytime that he got beat by a Mopar, he would pull out that valve and wave it as the excuse for why he got beat.

    Ah, the good old (early) days.
     
  8. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  9. Beentherebefore

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    Some more photos of early Hemi powered "Competition Coupes". I realize that they probably look like jalopies to you younger guys but I always thought that they were too cool :cool:. They also helped add to the Hemi legend in the late 50s and early 60's.

    Competition Coupe IV.jpg



    Competition Coupe V.jpg

    (photos shared from Pinterest)
     
  10. Beentherebefore

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    If one Hemi is good for powering an early dragster, then two has to be better, right?

    These things were actually engineering marvels (think driveline) but they really were way too powerful for the tires of those days, so mostly ended up smoking the tires the whole way down the dragstrip and getting outrun by a good single engine dragster. They got quicker and better as the drag tires improved but NHRA got concerned about safety (mainly getting them slowed down at the end of a run - weight!) and eventually limited Top Fuel to one engine only. A few of these ran successfully in "Top Gas Eliminator" but that class was discontinued in the late 60s.

    upload_2017-11-9_5-38-46.png

    (Photo shared from Pinterest)
     
    #370 Beentherebefore, Nov 9, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  11. Beentherebefore

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    Photo (shared from Pinterest) of a Max-wedge '63 Dodge B/SA wagon that says "NHRA National Record Holder" on the rear qp. I can't make out the driver's name on the door. I don't know whether or not this was one of the 3 original Max-wedge wagons built (2 Plymouths, 1 Dodge) in 1963. In those days, as long as the manufacturer offered the motor on the assembly line for any of a car's model line, you could then put that same motor in any other version of that model and still run as "Stock". More on those original Max-wedge wagons in post #135 on P7 of this thread.

    Max-wedge wagon - '63 Dodge.jpg
     
  12. Beentherebefore

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  13. Beentherebefore

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    Another famous early Funny Car - Bobby Harrop's "Flying Carpet". I never saw this car race because it ran mainly on the East Coast but it sure got plenty of coverage in the drag racing mags back in the mid 60s.

    Harrop.jpg

    (photo shared from Pinterest)
     
  14. Beentherebefore

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    Photo of Don McElroy's 'Cuda (shared from Facebook) which won the 1975 US Nationals @ Indy and also the 1977 Fallnationals @ Seattle. In addition, McElroy was runner-up at the '77 World Finals @ Ontario, CA. The win there would have given him the Stock National Championship that year. IIRC, this 'Cuda was powered by a 340" motor.

    Don McElroy's 'Cuda.jpg
     
    #374 Beentherebefore, Nov 28, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  15. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
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  16. Beentherebefore

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    I caught that very car at the old Fremont raceway in the Spring of 1965.

    [​IMG]

    IIRC, Landy was just beginning his national tour mentioned in the Hemmings article (sorry for the blurry photo guys - the camera system I was using back then was pressed to catch action @ 150mph).

    BTW, Hemmings...........the early Plymouth AWB race cars were Belvederes, not Furys or Satellites. For a specialist publication, they probably should have done a little better job in their researching.
     
  17. Beentherebefore

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    Same car wheels up at the old Lions Dragstrip in Long Beach, CA.

    Dick Landy wheels-up @ Lions.jpg

    (photo shared from Pinterest)
     
    Mopar Jerry likes this.
  18. Beentherebefore

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    Same car racing Butch Leal's early Plymouth F/C @ Lions. Looks like Leal was spotted a head start since he was still sporting carbs while Landy had the stack injectors.

    Landy vs Leal @ Lions.jpg

    (photo shrared from HAMB board)
     
  19. Beentherebefore

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    Photo of 17 of "Dodge's finest" Super Stockers at the U.S. 30 dragstrip in Gary Ind., in 1964 - most of them with at least some factory support. There were way more of them that did not attend this event. Plymouth could have made a similar photo that year.

    Dodge super stockers (17) photo shoot @ US 30 in 1964.jpg
     

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