Monday, December 23, 2013

Nostalgia (Again)

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.  ;-)


Watchtower said...

I think it's funny that the guy is underneath fixing something and on the car's side it says "Old Reliable".

Watchtower said...

And what's with the guy wearing the Pith hat, was that a style back then?

Pilote Ancien said...

No idea about the "why" for the pith helmet. NHRA officials sometimes used to wear them, but this is at the gas station. Hadn't even THOUGHT about the irony of somebody working on "Old Reliable." That IS funny. Car WAS reliable--Grumpy's cars won lots of championships--so I didn't give that part of the picture a second thought.

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