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Anyone have a a history lesson on Keith Black?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by f1 fred, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. f1 fred
    Joined: Apr 29, 2005
    Posts: 514

    f1 fred
    from mn

    For as many cool things as he was involved in, I have never heard much about the man. I searched the hamb and even checked wikipedia just not much there.
  2. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,555

    from Garner, NC

    Joined: Apr 17, 2001
    Posts: 6,177


  4. VonWegener
    Joined: Nov 19, 2009
    Posts: 785


    I spent a few dollars with "Uncle Keith" as many called him. He had a book on his desk that had the title " what I know about racing engines by keith black"
    One day when he left the room I sneaked a peek and it was all blank pages:)
    He was quite a gentleman and let racers live in their rigs on his premises.
    Can only say good things about him and his shop's quality.

  5. speedtool
    Joined: Oct 15, 2005
    Posts: 2,541


    When I was a teenager I wanted to BE Keith Black. (didn't work out)
  6. His son still runs the company (well, as of 2006...). Great guys to deal with. When I needed a block to build a second engine for the Can-Am car, Ken called around and found us the LAST new block they had cast, bought it back, and sold it to us.
  7. Here's Keith's top fuel dyno muffler


    Attached Files:

    Deuces and kidcampbell71 like this.
  8. stan292
    Joined: Dec 6, 2002
    Posts: 857


    Black was nicknamed "The Preacher", because of his quiet, upright demeanor. He was a master for sure. VERY smart. Well liked and well respected.
  9. Not history leson but a story.
    Went to school in LA after discharge from army in 63.
    Cousin had a trailer in court that was beside Kieth's shop.
    He was a car guy and hung at shop a bit.
    One day we went over and Kieth fired up an engine that was in drag boat.
    After short warm up he bliped the engine a couple of times.
    Thing that impressed me is it didnt accelerate rather it exploded to max
    rpms. Sounded like 40 shotguns going off.
    Later he helped cousin blueprint the 283 in his early corvette and even though it was stock there wasn't many daily drivers that could take it.

    Disclaimer: the preceedimg is true to the best of my memory but sometimes the oldtimers kicks in.

    Seems like shop was in or near Bellflower?:confused:

  10. robber
    Joined: Nov 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,841

    from Colorado

    Keith Black is a hero of mine and I thought it might be a good idea to bump this thread and bring his name up again. I first became aware of Keith when I saw the infamous Greer-Black-Prudhomme AA/Fuel Dragster run at Lions in the early 60's. This car had a 93% win record!
    Keith started out as a teenager in post war southern California, seeking performance advice from people like Vic Edelbrock Sr., Roy Richter, Art Sparks and Dick Jones, to name just a few. A lot of people don't know that Keith was a boat racer and won the A.P.B.A. National Championship in 1954! I doubt if anyone ever knew more about getting performance from a HEMI than Keith Black. He used his knowledge to make a business out of building racing engines. It got to a point, that if you wanted to win a Top Fuel drag race on water or land, you used a Keith Black HEMI, period, end of story! All of my heroes have used KB engines... just wanted to say thanks Keith :)
  11. Yep, no doubt about it KB was an icon. I once heard that he was Uncle to Jeb Allen, and the older Les and Eddie Allen jr/fuel brothers ... anyone confirm?
  12. robber
    Joined: Nov 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,841

    from Colorado

    Can't confirm, but I would be interested in knowing. The Allen family was big in to racing their front engine fuelers at Lions too! They had wicked quick cars with names like "Praying Mantis" and "Wasp". Keith Blacks shop was just down the road from Lions back in the day. Do any of you guys in PA know Jeb Allen. I heard he might be in the Redding area. Are the Allens related to Kieth Black?
  13. Randy in Oklahoma
    Joined: Sep 18, 2008
    Posts: 301

    Randy in Oklahoma
    from Oklahoma

    Had a friend in central texas that bought a 62 Impala Super Stock that had of all things a Keith Black 409 Chevy.
  14. wolfie1961
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 78

    from Utah

    Met him a couple of times at my father-in-laws shop a long time ago. His shop wasn't very far from my father-in-laws shop in Bell Gardens. I didn't say much. I just sat there and listened. What could you say. Very nice person.
  15. We used many of KB's engines during our TA/Hydro and TA/FC escapades. A true legend of drag racing.
  16. rainhater1
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 1,147

    from az

    As I remember ed pink tried to compete but gave up and went to boats later on.
    Joined: Mar 20, 2008
    Posts: 295


    Where I live, here on the eastern shore of Maryland. Hydroplane racing is a big deal. I was reading a book about local boat racing that a local racer named Woody Pliescott Sr. was the champion in the 225 c.i.class in 1957 with a Keith Black engine purchased in California. He also set the kilo record @ 69.761 mph His boat was called My Boy Woody
  18. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,793


    Didn't R&C just do a bit on him? Or was it Ed Pink?
  19. The Face#63
    Joined: Oct 6, 2020
    Posts: 1

    The Face#63

    To all those interested in Keith Black. Here's an interesting fact of his life not likely to come out in typical biographies. I had the good fortune to have had Mr. Black as one of my P.E. teachers while I attended Willard Junior High School in Santa Ana. He was there in my 7th and 8th grade years. That would have been 1963-64 and 1964-65. He was a no-nonsense fellow who was always fair. He knew how to keep the tough young guys in line who--at that age--always wanted to challenge authority to see what happened. He let them know what would happen, then made it happen when they crossed his line. At that time, we knew he was involved in motor sports and drag racing, but since we were a few years away from driver's licenses, no one in my circle knew the details of his shop and his other work. That was a time when drag strips existed everywhere in the Los Angeles Basin and Orange County and the radio stations KFWB and KRLA constantly ran ads for the weekend drag races. He left the school before my 9th grade year and in the years to come, we learned about his skills in building racing engines. His photo in his wikipedia listing is just as I remember him in those years. One never knows when greatness passes across the course of one's life.
  20. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,150

    Marty Strode

    The first thing I read about him, was his involvement in the Drag Boat "Golden Thing", in the early 60's. 25 years later, me and a friend bought a Dragster with Keith Black, injected Nitro 331 Chrysler, and went Nostalgia Racing. It had some nice pieces in it. He only lived 65 years, but left quite a legacy. 2012-09-14 163930.jpg 2012-11-24 211622.jpg
    loudbang, Fordors and FinnishFireball like this.
  21. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,635

    Kan Kustom

    Thanks for sharing this.
    loudbang likes this.

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