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History NHRA Junior Stock

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

  1. WGuy
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 387

    WGuy
    Member
    from Central NJ

    Due to deadlines, the full coverage was in the Dec issue. Here's a pic of the SR that won the Street Eliminator. There were a lot of national records set at that meet.
    Verne
    Street Eliminator.jpg national records.jpg
     
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  2. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,763

    jimdillon
    Member

    Thanks Verne. Hot Rod earlier in the year had said that Don Gist would compete with his 59 Corvette in D/SP at the Nationals. Not sure if I will get my answer but will keep my eyes open. After reading the Hot Rod account of the weather I wonder if that had an affect. The year 1960 was good for Corvette in that they won class at Lemans but drag racing was not quite so successful. Just wanted to be more sure of what happened at the U.S. Nationals to put a better spin on the year.Thanks.
     
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  3. WerbyFord
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 86

    WerbyFord
    Member

    Attached is what I have on the 1960 Detroit Nationals, Jim probably has this already, from Dec 1960 Hot Rod. They only give results from stock classes, the rest is just pictures. Also attached is my usual interpretation, with car models and engine and W/P=Weight / Rated Power ratio. With a few guesses as usual.

    Note that a Lincoln Flathead v8 won its class! My dad probably built that car, he worked at Lincoln assembly back then. 6009dtw-6012hr.JPG 6009dtw-6012hr-results.JPG 6009dtw-engines.JPG
     
  4. jimdillon
    Joined: Dec 6, 2005
    Posts: 2,763

    jimdillon
    Member

    Thanks Werby Ford. If you like Lincolns then you are probably familiar with the U.S. Nationals the year before (59) when Jack Horsley won class in A/SP in his Lincoln powered Devin. I have the ad when he was selling the car in 1960 for $2500 (including a four wheel enclosed trailer-fancy that). They referenced that the car was featured in the January 1960 issue if you are interested. I looked and do not have that issue though. Thanks.
     
  5. WerbyFord
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 86

    WerbyFord
    Member

    That 1962-64 Chevy II / Nova picture is a mystery for me at least.
    It pretty much HAS to be a v8-nova, G/S was always too fast a class for a 6-cyl.
    The nova v8 wasn't factory until 1964, so that should make it a 1964 car.
    (Actually the 283 and 327 were dealer nova options in 1962-63 so IMHO it should have been legal, given that the 389 SuperDuty cars and 265/220 and 265/240 Chevs were allowed in Stock until 1970 anyway).

    G/S was W/P=12.50 in 1966, and W/P=14.00 in 1967, and W/P=11.00 in 1968 (too fast for the 283/220).
    Given the 1966 Gal and 1966-67 Fairlane in the picture, I figure the picture has to be 1966-67.
    Of the 1964 Novas, all the 283/220 cars are too light for G/S=12.50 in 1966.
    So I have to bet it's a 283/195hp car running in G/S=14.00 in 1967.

    The 1964 Nova 2dr-sedan has W/P=14.04 which is almost a perfect fit to G/S=14.00 in 1967.
    BUT, the car is trimmed as a Chevy II 200 2dr-sedan which at W/P=13.95 would be too light.
    Would NHRA nit-pick the stainless trim on the car????

    Then again, seeing all the F-1 and F-6 numbering, I wonder if this is an AHRA meet, so all my fancy math here might be wasted.
    Anybody know what meet this was, and the year?
     
  6. wuga
    Joined: Sep 21, 2008
    Posts: 296

    wuga
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is that a 327 symbol on the left front fender of that Chevy II?

    Warren
     
  7. 64 Chevy II’s were only available with the 195 hp 283 no 220hp until 65.

    Well I stand corrected either I have been misinformed or NHRA now allows the 220hp in the Chevy II.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  8. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 545

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

    Werby, I can't quite isolate that track but there are a few clues, some of which you have already pointed out. I can see the following:
    1. The Nova appears to have a California black license plate. The Country Squire wagon by the trailer appears to be a '65-'67 model year. That narrows the time-period probability somewhat.
    2. The rock quarry in the background. (That clue really suggests Irwindale or possibly Los Angeles County Raceway located in Palmdale, both of which were adjacent to quarry areas. The green growth in the area is very reminiscent of the Sante Fe dam area of Irwindale but not so much of Palmdale. About the only "green" growth around Palmdale would have been yucca cacti.) Irwindale opened for the AHRA Winter Nationals of 1966. There was no adjacent I210 freeway at that time so the juxtaposition of the gravel conveyor would not coincide with the current topography.
    3. The "F-?" numbers relate nicely with AHRA sanction and most of those tracks in Southern California were AHRA at one time or another. The numbers within circles on the windows would have been the handicapping system that AHRA used in those days before handicapping christmas trees. (The difference between your handicap number and your opponent's handicap was calculated in car lengths of head start. The flag starter would pull the slower car forward of the starting line by a loosely-defined formula of "x feet equaled a car length", the starter would move down track far enough to be in front of the slower car while the faster car staged on the starting line, the flag was lifted and both cars ran to the finish line, winner-take-all. The slower car got no ET and there were no breakouts.)
    The "formula" system was based on a combination of carburetion:camshaft, i.e. multiple carburetors:solid lifters or 2-barrel:hydraulic lifters. The higher the "formula" designation, the more unusual the combination and the higher the circled number, the slower the handicap number that was assigned to the class. I knew a cop from Temple City who was dominant in "Little Stock Eliminator in a Triumph TR3. Factory horsepower of any combination was irrelevant so cubic inches and transmission type were used to further delineate between combinations. As I recall, a car equipped with multiple carburetors:solid lifters was Formula 1. A car equipped with a single four-barrel, hydraulic cam might have been Formula 4. I don't remember all the rest but someone with an AHRA rule book could round out the combinations. There were, literally, dozens of classes and each class winner was presented with an impressive trophy (I still have one that measures about 46" in height), multiple T-shirts, a jacket or two, a stack of caps, and all the STP you could carry.)
    4. I see what looks like an orange '50 Ford staging lanes and, believe it or not, Carl Swift ran such a car at Irwindale with good success. It was flathead equipped but I'm not sure what the carburetion might have been.
    That's all I can see at a glance, there may be more information in the picture.

    And, NO, I am not older than dirt although I do admit to teaching Santa Claus when he was in seventh grade!

    c
     
  9. Actually, they have for a long time, JS. I raced two different 1964 220 combos in the 70's.;)
     
  10. rooman
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,688

    rooman
    Member

    In 1984 during my first visit to the US I toured with Gary Densham's funny car on the west coast. We were at the Nightfire Nationals at Boise and the announcer (one of the New family, obviously) was all excited about a run where someone set a new record and I commented on it to Densham. His reply was that it was probably a 67 Camaro, 327, dual quads with green paint and black wheels (as opposed to a red one with Americans or a blue one with Cragars). It seemed that there was a separate class for just about every combination possible.

    Roo
     
  11. WerbyFord
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 86

    WerbyFord
    Member

    upload_2019-9-3_10-54-41.png

    Well if you can read it, this is a page from the only AHRA rule book I have, 1966 lucky enough.
    Given that the Nova (Chevy II) says G/S F-6, I get that it would be a 283-4bbl in there (the parts were all in the 1962 assembly book so an easy swap even for 1962 or 1963 cars.
    Apparently AHRA didn't even use Weight in these classes, it was all just based on cam (solid or hyd), carbs, and cubic inches for the classes A,B,C,D etc. Weird system but in a way it makes more "street sense" than NHRA - you wanted to pick the lightest car (Chevy II) for a given cubic inches, but from there, less cubes put you in a better class so a 283 might win more than a 327 in a tougher class.
    F1= multi-carb solid cam
    F2= multi-carb hyd cam
    F3= blower & fuel inj solid cam
    F4= blower & fuel inj hyd cam
    F5= 4bbl solid cam
    F6= 4bbl hyd cam (the Chevy II in the picture in G/S)
    (Within F6, G/S was 280cid-299cid so a bored out 283 was perfect)
    F7= all 2bbl OHV v8s
    F8= flatheads and straight 8s
    F9= 4cyl 6cyl 2bbl
    F10= 4cyl 6cyl 1bbl
    I can cynically see why AHRA wasn't as popular, as factory (money) couldn't manipulate the system as easily as NHRA.

    Factory Sandbagging, which probably started with the Pontiac 389 SuperDuty cars, and reached its climax with the Chevy Z28 and Ford Cobra Jets, led to NHRA factoring. Naturally most of the winning engines were factory underrated, and therefore ended up getting factored to some arbitrary number, so the winningest combos were kinda arbitrary in that sense.

    The AHRA system of classes seems more like what you'd do as a home hot-rodder, whereas the NHRA system was meant to reflect how honest the factory ratings were (or re-factoring by NHRA). So if an AHRA engine was a "winner", it reflected that a particular engine responded well to hot-rodding. If an NHRA engine was a 'winner", it meant that when you bought that car, you got more power than you paid for. I guess.
     
  12. 1934coupe
    Joined: Feb 22, 2007
    Posts: 3,368

    1934coupe
    Member

    Man alive you guys are good, I feel like a 5th grade student in a 12th grade Jr. stock school. And Chuck just remember, age is just a number!

    Pat
     
  13. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 545

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

     
  14. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 774

    buffaloracer
    Member
    from kansas

    The "go to" machine shop in California in the sixties was?
    Seemed like it was a short name and they did far better machine work than most machine shops.
    Might have been the machinist's name.
    Pete
     
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  15. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 545

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7


    I'm not sure which shop you have in mind or who everyone else used but, "back in the day" many of us on the east side of downtown Los Angeles favored Evans Speed Equipment (Gene Ohly) in South El Monte. I'm sure that there were others because California is a BIG state and there were many people in the game.

    c
     
  16. KickinAsphalt
    Joined: Jul 1, 2011
    Posts: 131

    KickinAsphalt
    Member
    from Pa

    You are not kidding! ME TOO!!!!
     
  17. buffaloracer
    Joined: Aug 22, 2004
    Posts: 774

    buffaloracer
    Member
    from kansas

    Thanks Chuck. That's exactly the shop and machinist that I was trying to remember.
    Pete
     
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  18. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 262

    Unique Rustorations
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chuck,

    When you went racing with this ‘57, did you look for a car engine / trans combo for a certain class that you knew it would run well or did you have the car already and decide to go racing then look at the classes? And did you setup or prep the car 100% first before it hit the track or did you make a succession of changes after you new it would be competitive? (Obviously I understand changes would always be made but it seems risky to me to go all out up front without even knowing if this type of car or this particular car would run well).

    Since there are a lot of racers that ran in those days here on this thread this question isn’t just for Chuck as I’m sure those of us fans would love to hear your answers and stories too.

    Thanks in advance, Randy


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  19. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 545

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

    Randy, formulating responses to those questions is like prying the lid off a jar of mayonnaise that’s been hanging out on the back shelf of the refrigerator for a little too long. The things that you find inside may not be especially pleasant to look at, it should probably have been discarded a long time ago, and there is the distinct risk of exposure to a disease for which there is no proven cure.
    Q: ... did you look for a car engine / trans combo for a certain class that you knew it would run well...?
    A: We looked at the Class Guide while sitting on the tailgate of the friendly tech inspector’s station wagon at San Gabriel Raceway in 1963. After considering a ’61 Plymouth (long ram), a ’61 Pontiac Ventura, and a couple of others, I picked the ’57 Corvette because I’d had a 245 horsepower ’58 that I liked, almost all Chevys seemed to have adequate potential, and the 250 horsepower version fit nicely into C/S. The 4-speed transmission was a given at that point because aftermarket torque converters were unheard of and a Powerglide wouldn’t have been “cool.” I took some time searching but ran across the car on a used car lot on Crenshaw Boulevard in L.A. It wasn’t exactly right (245 horsepower, 3-speed) but it was close enough and I bought the car for $1100.

    Q: ... did you setup or prep the car 100% first before it hit the track?
    A: That period coincided with the arrival of AHRA in Southern California. The first track to switch was Fontana, about 40 miles east of L.A. but fairly accessible to me. I took the car to Fontana just the way it was and succeeded in winning a few trophies in the Stock Sports Car class. It would have been eaten alive in C/S (or any other NHRA Stock class) at Lions or Pomona. San Gabriel had permanently ceased operation, OCIR and Irwindale did not yet exist. At that point, the only things that had been changed were exhaust cut-outs and recap cheater slicks. It ran high 14’s but that was enough to win a trophy in 1964.

    After that experience, we pulled the motor out of the car and started accumulating parts to put it on the track under AHRA rules. AHRA was spreading across the area. Lions switched to AHRA, Irwindale opened with AHRA, and within a few months, only Pomona was sticking to the NHRA rules structure. The motor was rebuilt with forged pistons, a hydraulic flat tappet cam, headers, FI heads, 4-speed, scatter shield, Hurst shifter, positraction w/gears. Not having a trailer, we flat-towed everywhere (sounds easy but it was a challenge on the freeways). Long distance travel was expensive when I could race locally at three or four tracks, compete for trophies and cases of oil, and have a good time without missing days of work. Over the span of a couple of years, that led to the car as previously pictured at Irwindale. The NHRA conversion did not occur begin until 1970.
     
  20. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 262

    Unique Rustorations
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Chuck,

    Thanks for the great info and insight into that time and era (and in your case location). I always wondered how some cars were chosen and assumed that a lot of it was simply by chance and what was available.

    So did the conversion to NHRA rules in 1970 begin a better (maybe better is a poor word) time during your racing career? Asked better: since you raced for 40 years what era provided the most enjoyment?

    Thanks as usual, Randy



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  21. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 22,180

    loudbang
    Member

  22. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 849

    31hotrodguy
    Member

  23. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 545

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

    Q: ... since you raced for 40 years what era provided the most enjoyment?

    A: That’s a difficult question to answer. Since the total span of time between the first pass down the track until the most recent, was nearer to 50 years than 40, there were several “eras” in between and each contained its own set of satisfactions and disappointments.

    In terms of on-track success, without question, the most rewarding time was between about 1990 and 2001 in “modern” Stock Eliminator. During that “era” I had the time to travel when I felt the urge, I had reliable equipment, and racing more frequently always seemed to bring more driving consistency and competitive success. However, to say that those experiences were more enjoyable in the moment than just winning a local class trophy (the first one is still on the window ledge in my office), or winning the first NHRA class trophy (it’s on the mantle above the fireplace), or pulling out the gate after the first time that I “went rounds” at a national event, or setting a national record with a backyard-built motor would be to discount some pretty rewarding moments from other “eras.”

    I suppose that having always approached the sport with the conviction that I would “race as long as I was having a good time,” and “walk away when it stopped being fun,” has led to this point at which it’s practically impossible for me to answer your question definitively. Perhaps the answer is partially contained within the things that I do at this stage of life. When this paragraph is sent off to H.A.M.B., I’ll put the computer to sleep, put on my shoes, and head to the shop to work on a race car. It’s not my car and I won’t be paid for what I do but I’ll keep on doing it for as long as I can or until it stops being fun.

    c
     
  24. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 22,180

    loudbang
    Member

  25. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 262

    Unique Rustorations
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As always thanks for your time and effort in answering my questions. I enjoy your writing and learning. Regards, Randy


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
  26. Terry Bell
    Joined: Apr 21, 2016
    Posts: 110

    Terry Bell

    Good for you Chuck ! Great post.
     
  27. Terry Bell
    Joined: Apr 21, 2016
    Posts: 110

    Terry Bell

    Safe and Dry Chuck. I never used that part of HAMB before and just noticed your note on my email. The storm completely missed me. No wind and not a drop of rain. Just about 4 cloudy days and a lot of work getting ready for it to hit. I'm about 10 miles south of Sebring Race way in the middle of the state. I was worried when it hit Bermuda. I feel sorry for those people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  28. tmwracing
    Joined: Nov 23, 2011
    Posts: 113

    tmwracing
    Member

    Chuck, didn't this corvette have a confederate flag painted on the top? Just wondering if there is a story behind that?
     
  29. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,536

    Jimbo17
    Member

    This thread is the most interesting reading on the HAMB and while I always knew there were a lot to tricks and other techniques used to make one car much quicker and faster then another I never realized there was so much going on under the body of the car.

    What an education you can get just my reading and learning from the people who were there and running Junior Stock who worked their magic on these cars for years.

    I still believe in my heart that the NHRA lost their minds when they ended this class and for me that changed my interest in the NHRA for ever.
    Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this tread so very informative and interesting.

    Jimbo
     
  30. Unique Rustorations
    Joined: Nov 15, 2018
    Posts: 262

    Unique Rustorations
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    X2


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     

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