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History NHRA Junior Stock

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

  1. WerbyFord
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 124

    WerbyFord
    Member

    Chuck,
    Logical assumption, the aluminum, scoop, and 425hp all going together.

    The T-M car ran up thru 1967 in W/P=8.70 class, steel-flat hood, 415hp (as I ASSUMED all the wagons were built).
    I was then surprised to see the T-M car with the scoop starting in 1969 running W/P=8.50 class
    Trouble is, I cant find a 425hp aluminum&scoop wagon heavy enough to FIT that class.

    Here’s the 63 Wagons as I have them in the current NHRA files (unless the weights changed!)
    ST=Steel, flat hood
    AL=Aluminum, scoop hood
    2S=2 seat
    3S=3-seat

    Wt/HP HP ST/AL car

    7.70 (SS 67-68) or 8.00 (stock 68-up) class
    8.18 425 AL Savoy2s Lowest W/P for wagon
    8.20 425 AL Belv2s
    8.28 425 AL Fury2s
    8.35 425 AL Belv3s
    8.43 425 AL Fury3s Heaviest 425-AL wagon
    As you can see, no 425hp AL wagon fits the W/P=8.50 class so that’s why I figured the T-M scoop wagon had to have 415hp. Or a steel front end but scoop hood which isn’t in the guide & as you said makes no sense.

    8.50 (Stock 68-up)
    8.53 415 AL Savoy3s Good Combo
    8.55 415 AL Belv3s Good Combo (suspect T-M 1969-70)
    8.63 415 AL Fury3s
    8.69 415 ST Savoy2s

    8.70 (Stock 63-67, SS 67-68)
    8.70 415 ST Belv2s Most common combo
    8.78 415 ST Fury2s
    8.84 415 ST Savoy3s
    Probably the Belvedere 2-seat steel was the only wagon factory built?

    That Golden Commando car looks like an old pic, maybe even Detroit Dragway (the ditch?)
    I haven’t been there in 40+ years though. It’s gone now.

    So what class were they aiming that Golden Commando car at, if it was a 425hp or even 415hp aluminum wagon?

    The only classes back then were S/S, then AA/S=7.00 (the sedans fit there), or A/S=8.70 but a scoop wagon doesn’t fit there. Curious picture unless it’s circa 1968 or later.

    We talked about this a couple years ago too, here:

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/nhra-junior-stock.201085/page-516

    Same Golden Commando car w scoop. Cant read the hood letters, 415 or 425 HP.
    Is that at Milan with all the trees? I always preferred rolling around in the Milan grass vs the sharp Detroit gravel.
    Again all the cars look “old” so cant tell the year of the picture for sure.

    I wonder, if the Mandella car came as a steel-flat-415hp, then was converted to aluminum-scoop later – maybe a change NHRA made to accept that combo? Or maybe it was legal all along, but no point doing it until 1968 because alum+scoop made the wagon too light for the W/P=8.70 class, but was a good fit to the new W/P=8.50 class of 1968-up?

    That might fit the story of the T-M car as well, steel-flat then converted to Alum-scoop, but same 415hp engine all along?

    Looks like only 12 wagons built, about as rare as the 421SD Tempest!
     
    loudbang, chryslerfan55 and 1934coupe like this.
  2. Kentuckian
    Joined: Nov 26, 2008
    Posts: 814

    Kentuckian
    Member

    The 1960 Chevrolet 348/305 was and still is for automatic transmission only. The 348/320 was and still is for manual transmission only. Back in 1961 Mike Schmitt won the C/SA class at the Nationals in Indianapolis racing his 1960 El Camino. In those earlier years there were racers who raced what they drove on the street. Just because a car did not fall at the top of the class it was still possible to win with what you had. Mike was one of those who raced what he could afford.
     
  3. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,113

    loudbang
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  4. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 712

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

    Your analysis combined with the observation presented by Kentuckian in the next post stirred my memory cells to some degree. One factor about the popularity of station wagons, especially in the upper classes during the early '60s that we may forget, is that of the traction advantage. A case in point is the fact that, on some occasions, especially when we ran the car at San Gabriel Drag Strip, the wagon qualified fast enough to run in the Super/Stock class (for money, not just a trophy). On a snotty track, running 7" recaps, a lightweight '63 427 Galaxy, a Stage III Mopar coupe, a Swiss Cheese Catalina, or an aluminum-nosed Z11 Impala could be a handful to hook up but the wagon was seldom known to spin and that circumstance would off-set some of the weight disadvantage It didn't hurt that Ron was a very capable driver. We never won that class (Gas Ronda, Bill Hanyon, Dick Landy, Bill "Maverick" Golden and a few others were out of reach but the wagon surprised some of the other "hotshots" on more than one occasion. We didn't do that every week because it really paid off in support when Ron was able to easily win A/SA and take home a trophy for the shelf at Reynolds Auto Supply in Temple City. (Joe Reynolds was a crusty old-timer who discovered that the locals paid attention to what went on at San Gabriel on Saturday night. Having the store name on the side of a class winner, especially in A/SA, was good for business.)

    As I have previously posted, Ron's wagon was sold to another local in about 1966. He ran it for a few months and sold it to someone in the Northwest where it was apparently treated to an aluminum clip and was campaigned under the name "War Axe." I have no information on it's classification during that era but when it turned up inside a shipping container a few years ago, it was minus a front clip altogether.

    While I have been on the lookout for authenticated Plymouth/Dodge wagons for over forty years and collected a bunch of pictures of wagons on the track I have been unable to find any that were claimed to have been showroom delivered other than the one that came from Milne Brothers in Pasadena. I guess that I'll just keep on watching.

    c
     
    Lyn Smith, Gary Glover, egads and 5 others like this.
  5. Offset
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
    Posts: 1,734

    Offset
    Member
    from Canada

    You folks are so knowledgeable and I appreciate you sharing your stories. Great Stuff!!
     
  6. WerbyFord
    Joined: Nov 4, 2011
    Posts: 124

    WerbyFord
    Member

    Right on!
    I was too young, missed the 1960s, but have studied enough of the era to put some numbers out there & get some of these guys talking. This thread is a great mix of pictures and stories.

    I just realized from Chuck's reply, sure there was AA/S=7.00 Wt/HP for 1964, but actually in 1963 the wagons stood an even better chance:
    The hottest automatic car out there was the Max Wedge sedan at W/P=7.58. The 63 LWG Gal and 63 Swiss Cat were both W/P=8.0+, getting right in there with an aluminum-scoop 425hp 2-seat wagon at W/P=8.20.

    So with the traction advantage, I can see where it could get competitive especially on a slick track, and even can see the logic of factory-backed experimenting with the wagon.

    As Kentuckian pointed out re the 60 El Camino 348/305, a combo didnt HAVE to be at the top of its class to win now and then.
     
  7. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,113

    loudbang
    Member

  8. Shain
    Joined: Jun 2, 2016
    Posts: 50

    Shain
    Member
    from Omaha

    Trivia:
    The Neja & Dissette red 55 Chevy pix, shows some of the "science" that went into Jr stockers. The front end is raised high (off the line to get weight transfer to the rear slicks)... just by weight transfer.
    Weak front shocks, ball joint extension blocks, front weak springs, and what else other things (and/or other ways) were done to get the front to freely move under acceleration.
    Some even used different model A arms, and/or modified (lengthened) them, to allow for more body travel.

    NHRA ruled in the mid 1960's that all stock class cars, had to sit level at a stand still (with race tires on, as was raced) (I think about 1964... ? )

    In some of the early 60's Pontiac stocker pix's above, you see the car sitting real low in the rear. The early 60's Chevys, Fords, (and others) did the same thing.
    Like wise some these pix of later, in the 60's, early 70's cars ....they sit level.

    Anyway, I just remember the body height rule implemented at that time.

    And....a few carried it even further, by literally moving the stock body back on the frame a few inches. :)
    ...and some may have set back the engines slightly in the frame :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
  9. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 712

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

    This car, or another one like it, originally sponsored by "Pate's Tapes", created something of a stir amongst the old-timers around here a few years ago when it was discovered sitting intact in a garage in the San Gabriel Valley, east of L.A. I recall that it may have been campaigned at first in Junior Stock and perhaps even later in Super Stock by one of the Foley brothers during the late '60s or early '70s during the heyday of Irwindale. Logic suggests that it would have been powered by the 343 horsepower, 383 cubic inch engine that has been discussed at length on this forum although there is a possibility that it might have been competitive with one or another of the 413 cubic inch combinations. Note the "T" sticker on the windshield. It may show up in the NHRA results database if it ran in the finals for the class trophy at the Winternationals.

    c
     
  10. alphabet soup
    Joined: Jan 8, 2011
    Posts: 1,728

    alphabet soup
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^ Cool Info ^^^
     
    egads and loudbang like this.
  11. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,113

    loudbang
    Member

  12. doug schriener
    Joined: Oct 12, 2008
    Posts: 53

    doug schriener
    Member

  13. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,113

    loudbang
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  14. Lyn Smith
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 127

    Lyn Smith
    Member

    Great picture of Larry Nelsons 55 Super Stocker. Being restored right now. Will be running in NHRA legal Stock stick shift. Larry won the Summernationals in 72 with this car, and was runner up in World SS Championship. He beat Bob Glidden' 27654767_1859006467456274_2436593785736887025_n.jpg s Ford a couple of time that summer. It was the last year Bob raced in SS.
     
  15. Yes, I remember having a good view of the rear bumper of this car in the 72 Summers, semi-final :oops:
     
  16. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,214

    mtkawboy
    Member

    When we built our P/S 59 Biscayne 283/185 4 speed back in 66 I accidently built a couple of an inch engine setback by putting the engine in it on the 6 cyl frame mounts. We built our own headers for it & I didnt figure this out until years later when we put it on the street with factory exhaust manifolds and the exhaust exited right into the crossmember. An engine setback was the last thing we needed at the time anyway as you had to leave wide open to turn the 7 inch tires
     
  17. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,113

    loudbang
    Member

  18. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,568

    Torkwrench
    Member

    I read somewhere, (perhaps in the Car Craft "How To Build The Ultimate Jr. Stock"), that the serrations on the A-Arm bushing sleeves would be ground off so they would be smooth and flat. This would definitely make the front suspension move much more freely.

    How To Build The Ultimate Jr. Stock.jpg
     
  19. Torkwrench
    Joined: Jan 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,568

    Torkwrench
    Member

    Since this 57 was running the 63 - 65 style of Rochester F.I. it probably wouldn't have been legal to run in a Jr. Stock class back in the 60's, but it's just a really cool looking Chevy. It was running in the "Stock Class" at the Byron ILL. Glory Days Drag Meet in 2020.

    Glory Days 2020 Red 57.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2022
  20. Stock Racer
    Joined: Feb 28, 2010
    Posts: 804

    Stock Racer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That trick is still relevant today if you want to save a few bucks. There are alternatives but they are expensive.
     
  21. Lyn Smith
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 127

    Lyn Smith
    Member

    Moroso and others sold the modified control arm bushings. Youcan modify your stock bushings by pressing the center tube out a little, then grind the serrations down. Repete for the other end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2022
  22. f.i.57chevynut
    Joined: Jul 21, 2011
    Posts: 60

    f.i.57chevynut
    Member

    They should have also added that you use small washers under the big washer to keep the big washer from pushing against the rubber on the bushing to make the control arm free moving for quick rise of the front end off the line.
     
    Baron, 31hotrodguy, Mark Yac and 11 others like this.
  23. kjcroker
    Joined: Apr 29, 2010
    Posts: 40

    kjcroker
    Member
    from Pittsburgh

     
  24. Chuck Norton
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 712

    Chuck Norton
    Member
    from Division 7

  25. JollyGreenGiant
    Joined: Mar 7, 2009
    Posts: 94

    JollyGreenGiant
    Member

    Very true but you now have metal to metal contact with any movement of the front end with the serrations gone. The contact is between the shaft and the bushing sleeve that was normally fixed before the serrations were removed. Not a good idea for the street but for limited movement when drag racing a small amount of grease when assembling and a drop of oil occasionally would be a good idea and also prevent rust.
     

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