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History NHRA Junior Stock

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by colesy, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. noisyboyz
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 27

    noisyboyz
    BANNED

    The trick was to shut off the car as soon as possible while negotiating the race spot.....It was a common trick to "adust" the hydraulics with special lock nuts using the Royal Pontiac tune up kit to get full travel on the cam...This would make the lifters"tick"..or at least, that's what I would tell people LOL !!!
    Remember, almost nobody even heard of a 421 Pontiac in 1961 much less saw one in person...The engine was only available over the counter and was VERY expensive !!!
     
  2. SD engines would have been rarely seen in any case. I imagine that it would have been the same for any street-driven 427 HR or SOHC Ford back in '64. Apparently, Max Wedges seemed to be everywhere...
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  3. noisyboyz
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 27

    noisyboyz
    BANNED

    You are right...Chrysler made it easy to get a Max Wedge car in 1962..ANYBODY could walk in the showroom and order a 425 H.P. 12.5 Compression Ratio car and basically drive it to the strip, open the factory headers and have a blast !!!
    409 Chevys and 406 Fords were the same way, but their cars weren't as race ready as Dodge and Plymouth.
    In 1962 Pontiac finally made the 421SD a production line option, but it didn't appear in any factory literature and you really had to know someone to get one....they only made about 200 and they were prohibitively expensive...about $5,000...the price of a Fuelie 'Vette in '62!!!
    I bought my '61 Catalina as a 389/348 car then purchased all the "good" stuff over the counter and had a professional engine builder assemble it (Simonek at Gasoline Alley in Passaic N.J.). It was competitive in S/S for a short time, but I had more fun street racing .
    As you say, not many people knew about Pontiac's SD program until Arlen Vanke (Tin IndianII), Hayden Proffitt( Mickey Thompson Racing) and Jim Wangers (Royal Pontiac) showed up at the Winternationals in February 1962 . Proffitt won SS/S at Pomona with an unheard of time of 12.75... Vanke, in the Anderson Pontiac Tin IndianII, had actually gone quicker in time trials (12.68)!!!! The Pontiac "secret" was out !!!!
    With the giant strides in S/S by all the manufacturers, my '61 was soon not competitive so I was relegated to street racing. I eventually replaced the 2-4's with a factory Tri-Power set up and painted the aluminum SD intake blue to match the engine and pass it off as a cast iron stock piece which led most to believe it was a 389/348 street engine... even with the lumpy solid lifter cam and 13.1 Compression !!!! I seldom lost !!!
     
  4. Correction! I said in post #9565, that HRM’s first complete coverage of all of the stock classes came in 1961. Actually, I pulled the December, 1960 issue out, and to my surprise, I had forgotton that they had extensive coverage for the '60 Nationals. Tomorrow, I will post the article in it's entirety.

    In the same December issue is the new for '61 Ford High Performance 390 Thunderbird Special V-8 with the 375 horsepower rating.

    Ford fans should rejoice. It was a complete package that was much needed on the street. If there is an interest in the latest performance offerings from that period, I will be happy to post them. Let me know...
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  5. noisyboyz quote post #9570

    So you obviously were in the ''loop'' in order to purchase an SD 421 engine early on, before word was out on the street. I assume that you read all of the latest performance magazines like Hot Rod, Car Craft, etc., and gleened anything that you could looking for an advantage to further your street racing credentials.

    Aside from having your engine professionally built, did you engineer and tune the car yourself for the track? What about hidden or trick suspension aids and weight reducing modifications if any? Did you ever top end the car? What was it's capabilities stock and later modified? Just curious!
     
  6. Ok, old timers and fellow street racers this is the deal. You had to start street racing and drag racing somewhere in your career.

    Where did you learn learn the speed secrets to your success?

    Was it through friends, hanging out on the street, reading car mags, going to the track, or a combination thereof?

    Did you copy the mods that you picked up and try them out on the street first or strictly at the track?

    I am always interested in learning and hearing from those that were ''there'' in the day. Tell us about your feats and defeats; the highs and lows of owning, building, and racing your ride(s) at a time when muscle counted and nothing else mattered.
     
  7. For those who like to read about the past, I will be posting several different articles on the (then) new machinery that kept the automotive subculture buzzing in the golden age of drag racing.

    I will limit the scope of these articles to musclecars, road tests, and engine building - tuning stories as they were printed by various iconic car mags of the day.

    I will do this in order to spark new interest and hopefully elicit old memories and stories that will re-kindle newfound life into this dying thread. I anticipate new pics, postings, and like-minded articles on the cars that made your passion a reality.

    Let's kick back and have some fun and re-live the past as it were only yesterday. It's time to 'fess up about the escapades that helped mold you into the person that you are today. Tell us about the joys, hardships, triumphs and disappointments that went along with the sixties, as they pertained to the junior stock theme presented here on this thread.
    Terry
     
  8. It' always interesting to hear about the effects new technology and thus faster vehicles had on our pysches, and how it changed our perspective and agendas in light of just becoming an also-ran, in the stop-light derbys and drag strips across the country. LOL!
     
  9. noisyboyz
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 27

    noisyboyz
    BANNED

    I wasn't so much "in the loop" but my father was a corporate attorney for GM and Pontiac in particular. I hooked up with a local Pontiac dealer (Arrowhead Pontiac in Belleville N.J.) and got my parts thru them after obtaining correct part numbers from Pontiac guru Nunzi Romano in Brooklyn N.Y. Nunzi taught me all the tricks of the trade ( a polite way to say cheating!! ). I had aluminum bumpers and body parts, but also lightened the car by removing window mechanisms (except drivers), rear seat springs, all sound insulation, windshield wiper/washer, horns, etc. Back in those days they went by horsepower to ADVERTISED shipping weight, but they never ACTUALLY weighed the car!!!! Unless you were making a record run they really didn't inspect the car to closely or tear the motor down, so I had ported and polished the heads, enlarged the ports and installed larger than stock valves. If I got protested, I would forgo the trophy rather than tear the motor down so nobody really knew if I was cheating. But for match and street racing it was run-what-you brung, so there were no hassles!!!
    The truth be said, ALL the big names were cheating in those days!!!
    The mantra was, if the rule book didn't say you couldn't do it, that means you can !!!!
     
  10. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 615

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

     
  11. noisyboyz
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 27

    noisyboyz
    BANNED

    I wasn't much of a mechanic and concentrated on driving....Remember, we had a 4-speed manual and a clutch and NO electronics...Shifting was EVERYTHING especially the dreaded 2nd to 3rd ...I trashed many a T-10 perfecting that!!!!!
    I was fortunate to live in Super Stock country in the Northeast and visited every "expert" I could to pick up tips. I remember visiting Bill Jenkins in Berwyn ,Pa. and looking over his '62 409 B/FX Impala. The front wheel looked AWFULLY close to the front bumper....yes, 'da grump was ahead of the Chrysler engineers in moving the wheels forward on the body for better weight distribution!!!
     
  12. noisyboyz
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 27

    noisyboyz
    BANNED

    It was always amazing to me back in the early 60's how little attention racers paid to weight. They were so intent on finding horsepower they neglected the fact that every 100lbs out of the car is good for about 1/10th in the 1/4 mile!!! I can remember seeing guys run with spare tire, jack and even tool kits in the trunk!!!
    Of course as the cars got more powerful and overpowered the skinny tires of the day, weight in the rear wasn't always a bad idea...I remember the Ramchargers being accused of running with a spare tire filled with water adding about 200lbs to the rear of the car!!! Others welded lead inside the rear bumper, usually in classes where they actually weighed the car and this way they had the weight in a desirable spot. Other teams were accused of running sheet metal so thin you could virtually see through it. I remember seeing Phil Bonner's 1964 Thunderbolt at Cecil County ,Md. had to run with a full tank of fuel to make weight of 3200 lbs required by NHRA !!!! The car supposedly had a shipping weight of 3275lbs. so he took weight from somewhere !!!!
    I guess you could call this cheating, but it made the racing INTERESTING because you never knew what you would see from week to week....A far cry from the "cookie-cutter" Pro Stocks they run today !!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. I never realized that the rocker arm ratio on the early Olds changed at all from year, to year. Do you happen to remember what the OEM theoretical ratios were? Was this the same for other GM divisions?

    Carburetor throttle bore and the venturi size was checked, but, what about other less obvious internal mods like booster rings, jet size, air horns, etc.? There must have been some early carburetor gurus around. Who were they?

    Without looking up actual data for comparsion I am guessing that the difference between Oldsmobile and Cadillac carburetion was in rated cfm, throttle bore and venturi size. I know cadillac also used the dual-fours and trips for several years. Was there a preference between the two setups?

    What about the difference in duration at .050'' lift between the Max Wedge 300 and 308 grinds. How much difference in E.T. and speed?

    I enjoy learning about the technical aspects of these junior stockers, so I will have alot of questions.
     


  14. As Chuck stated, the duration @.050 was not a spec. that was used back then.
    Neither as a tech issue or for comparison purposes.
    It wasn't until I think the mid 80's when the cam manufacturers got together on this.
    I believe it was primarily the guys at Comp Cams.
    The lobe shapes and ramps had gotten so radical that the duration @ .050 spec became a valid way to compare lobes for the different applications.
     
  15. GM Hydro fans; here is the B&M Hydro Installation Instructions and the Street & Strip Diagnonis Guide, circa 1963.

    I cannot remember where I downloaded this manual from, but, I believe that it might have been from Colesy's Junior Stock site. I noticed that there are a few missing pages. It appears that a couple is missing from the Street & Strip Diagnonis Guide section. I will certainly post any missing items that I locate. Enjoy!

    B&M Street & Strip Diagnonis Guide will be in part II & III in the following posts.
     

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    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  16. B&M Street & Strip Diagnonis Guide pt II
     

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  17. B&M Street & Strip Diagnonis Guide pt III
     
  18. B&M Hydro ad from 1963 and a couple of accessories.
     

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  19. Here is an article on close ratio gearing mods from the August, 1969 issue of Hot Rod Magazine.
     

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  20. Thank you, I realize that, but, I was asking from the advantage of today's perspective, and not from back in the day. However, the question on the difference in performance between the two Max Wedge cams is valid.

    I could be wrong, but, I thought that Harvey Crane was the first to use the .004'', and .050'' net lift figures for yardstick comparsion purposes between cam manufacturers back in the late sixties, early seventies. I do remember Comp Cams using these figures in their mid to late 80's ads for comparsion, between competitve manufacturers and their own cam line, complete with gross and net specs. Other manufacturers soon followed.

    I did not realize that Comp Cams was an early advocate in the use of the .050'' net duration spec in organized drag racing endeavors.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  21. Obviously a select few knew about these SD parts well in advance and were able to take advantage of them prior to general availablity on the street. Being in the right place at the right time, and knowing people with the necessry connections to obtain hard parts was key to early and timely success.

    Apparently, Ford was never able to understand this lesson throughout most of the sixties, and often lost valuable time on the street and on the track, due to their inability, or rather their reluctance to make their best equipment readily available to the general public. I remember the Ford Drag Council holding seminars at a now defunct Mainway Ford dealership in Toronto, Ontario, in the very early seventies.

    In the preceding weeks after the show, a few guys were understandably confused and upset when they couldn't purchase certain parts that were supposedly being used in open competition. It was learned that ''secret'' items were labelled ''experimental'' and not for sale, or for general use, even though the top dogs had them installed on their cars at the track. Unless you knew guys like Barrie Poole, John Petrie, or others of their ilk, you were most likely given an indulgent smile, and shrugged shoulders at most parts houses. By the time, many of these parts became well knowm, Ford was getting out of racing altogether.
     
  22.  
  23. I remember looking at various Ford brochures and roadtests on their products and always wondered at the ''low'' advertised weights, compared to actual street oriented versions off the dealership lot. I assume that it never parlayed into any track advantage because of their ''high'' advertised horsepower figures. Another lesson only learned in 1968, with their vaunted Cobra Jet. They finally got the message and tried to rate it too low, onlt to get themselves ''factored'' by the NHRA.

    In the case of the T-Bolt, Ford cut it pretty close with that one. You bet that racers knew that and relocatd the ''added'' baggage advantiously in the rear. LOL!
     
  24. As promised, the '60 NHRA Nationals in Detroit, from the December, 1960 issue of Hot Rod. Pt I.
     

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  25. '60 NHRA Nationals in Detroit, from the December, 1960 issue of Hot Rod. Pt II
     

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  26. '60 NHRA Nationals in Detroit, from the December, 1960 issue of Hot Rod. Pt III.
     

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  27. Many of those low-buck tricks were also commonly used on the street. I have Colesy's Jr. Stock Low-Buck thread intact. Thing is, most of those posts were from other members including their ideas, and personal pics, so I do refer to them in reference only. Many of those same contributors in Colesy's thread are members here, and I hope that we can keep this thread exciting with new insight and inspiration.
     
  28. Stayed tuned to this thread and make it happen...chip in and post some pics, stories, articles, and just tell it like it was...and you will be rewarded.
     
  29. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 615

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

    Reply to #9580:


     
  30. We've sold 2 or 3 sets of 265 stocker pistons @ CP since releasing them last year. I recently heard that a 55 Chevy has been finished and running, and has gone .58 under so far. Anyone know the owner, or have any photos? Thanks , Ric.
     

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