Monday, December 23, 2013
I've posted pix of the '62 Chevy bubble top before, but this one gives me a major case of nostalgia: My favorite Chev, after the '55. Ugly, round-edged, painted, gas pumps with no canopy. Soft drinks in returnable glass bottles (2 cent deposit). Where was the closest pay phone if you needed one? Usually at the corner gas station.
I watched cars like this compete at the local drag strip for a couple of summers before making my first trip to Mid-Ohio for the sporty car races. Fond memories of the fine 409, the Pontiac 421, the Ford 406, and the Dodge "max wedge" 413. At first glance, I thought this car was Bill Jenkins's Super Stock, but closer inspection shows that it's an A/Stock driven by Dave Strickler and tuned by Jenkins. This must have been just before Jenkins got a national reputation as a driver (and his "Grumpy" nickname), and the NHRA had to come up with a class higher than A/S.
And this era--the early '60's--was just before drag racing (and sports car racing) turned pro. It was still possible for a good mechanic/driver to win, even a national championship, in a truly stock car. Quarter mile passes in the 13-second range were fast. Not long after this picture was taken, you needed factory support (selectively supplied--Grumpy got it) to mount a national championship effort in Super Stock. And not long after that, Super Stock morphed into Factory Experimental, which morphed into Funny Cars.
Watchtower: before you ask, the blue one is a '58 Ford and the red one is a '58 Buick. ;-)