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Street Racing, your best waxing....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 2many projects, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. This is a thread I put sometime ago on the Archive of Street Racing group. It's about a friend from my misspent youth:

    One of the more colourful characters from my street racing times was a guy named Bob, who I knew from junior high school days. His first car, if I recall correctly, was a ’65 Malibu SS with a nicely warmed over 327, a very typical ride for a high school student back in late-1960s California.

    Around 1970, Bob bought himself a ’67 Camaro SS 350, a four-speed model with a 3.55 Positraction rear end. Apparently he got it pretty cheap as it had a cracked cylinder head, and he replaced both with the trick Valley Head Service units he had originally put on the Chevelle. These were early 461 castings (small chambers, with 2.02 intakes, porting, CCing, etc.

    Along with the heads were added an Edelbrock Tarantula intake manifold, Holley 3310 (780 CFM) carb, and short, glasspack mufflers. In spite of being basically a stock engine with bolt-ons, it sounded pretty hairy, even with the original ram’s horns exhaust manifolds still attached – yup, this beast had no headers at this stage.

    Those of you of a certain age will remember how some guys used to do badge-engineered soup-ups, making 283s into 396s, standard models into SS, R/T or Boss versions, etc. Well, Bob went the other way, he stripped off the SS and 350 badging, added a fibreglass hood on which he’d hand-written ‘327 Baby Rat’ on the sides of the twin hood scoops.

    With a set of wide Ansen slot-mags on the back, shod with what we used to call ‘wet ‘n’ dry Indy take-offs’ – second-hand racing tyres that were about as sticky a treaded tyre one could buy that that time, totally illegal but they worked pretty well, and a set of skinny Ansens up front, the white Camaro had the typical look of a modified pony car of the era.

    How it went was another story. There were a bunch of us that would regularly go down to Lions Drag Strip for the weekly, Wednesday night ‘Grudge Night’ races. This ‘run-what’cha-brung’ event was a way to try to get boy-racers off the street and into a controlled motorsports environment. Unfortunately, there were six other days in each week at that time, and I doubt that Grudge Night had much of an effect on the amount of street racing that was happening in SoCal back then… but I digress…

    One night I watched The Baby Rat (as everyone was calling the car’s owner) and his friend, Shock (because of the way he looked when he rode is Ducati) take the Camaro through the traps at 13.05 – really – THIRTEEN-OHS, two-up through the mufflers with a streetable, daily driven, smallblock! That was flying back then. I remember the other guys we raced with (and against) thinking the Rat's ET claims were the usual street-racer BS, but I was a witness to the car turning those times.

    The Baby Rat and his Camaro were regular winners in the late-night drags around the San Fernando Valley and elsewhere. This combination would usually blow the doors off anything that would arrive under its own power, along with a few machines that were brought in on trailers.

    There was one night, fairly close to where we all lived in the Fairfax District, where The Baby Rat lost a race to another Camaro, a ’69 SS 350 with an automatic, driven by a former schoolmate, which is the subject of this tale.

    This particular guy was a bit of a loudmouth and was always challenging The Baby Rat to race him, and claiming his green Camaro would blow the Rat’s ride “into the weeds”. One night, when the two met up, the guy finally got his chance to prove he was right. The Baby Rat had been drinking rather heavily and I think the mix of alcohol and testosterone got the better of him.

    The race itself went something like this:

    When the traffic light turned green, The Baby Rat holeshot the green Camaro by a couple of car lengths. Then Bob missed second – anyone who has ever tried to power shift one of those dumn-ass-angled-from-first-to-second Saginaw shifters knows that they tended to lock-up if moved too quickly – and the green car passed as the drunken Rat tried to find the gear…

    …Into second and The Baby Rat flies past the loudmouth. Then he missed third and the ’69 SS inched past. Finding third gear, the white Camaro easily overtakes the green car…

    …well, until its driver missed fourth! Again, the later-model car inched past to barely beat The Baby Rat at the finish.

    You can imagine the taunts The Baby Rat received from the victor, not that any of us were convinced of the green car’s superiority. Unfortunately, I don’t recall the two ever having a rematch, which I know would have proven otherwise.
  2. Bring on more please!!!!!!!!!!
  3. 1gearhead
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 465


    In 1964 my little brother suckered me into a race that i will never forget. I was 18 just graduated high school. My brother was three years younger than me. I was driving a 55 chevy 2 dr. hardtop with a built 301' sbc and manual trans. I thought it was pretty quick. It would run consistant high 13's. Well my brother wanted me to race this guy he knew that had a model A coupe with 283" and three speed. He is telling how the motor is a stock four barrel and not that fast. So we arrange to go at it. We line them up and get flagged off. We both come out of the hole about even, but the Model A starts to pull me. By the time we shift to second he has me by half a car length. Through second gear he pulls me by another half a car length. What to hell is going on here, I'm supposed to beat him, not the other way around. By the time we reach our measured quarter mile he has me by one open and is still pulling away. Cost me $50 cash. Learned that weight is just as good as Horsepower if you don't have it.
  4. jjrodder
    Joined: Dec 16, 2006
    Posts: 75


    Back in the mid-sixties I belonged to a car club in Minneapolis that had some awesome drag cars in it. One of the fellows had a penchant for fixing up old beaters with big engines and having fun with them. One of the cars was a '54 Pontiac 4-door with a big Caddie engine. The thing ran like a raped ape... anyway, we were cruising out on Lake Street, four of us in the 4-door, when this hot shot in a newer Corvette comes whipping by, showing off to everyone. My buddy pulled up along side of him at the next light and totally waxed him. The guy turned off at the next light and disappeared. The only thing that gave away the Pontiac was the eight straight pipes under the car. Those were the days.
  5. 69f100
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 734

    from So-Cal

    sitting at a light the other day infront of the tyler mall and kept hearing revving. looked around, and there was a mid 80's camaro sitting a lane over from a 69 f250. young kid sitting in the camaro keeps looking that truck and revving. i honestly didnt think much was going to happen, then i heard the truck shift into gear and the camaro sqeaul.punk in the camaro didnt even hit second and the truck was gone. could hear him grinding gears all the way into 3rd and then he stalled. just drove by really slowly and smirked. still dont know what happened to the truck, it was a beat up looking work truck. just makes you wonder.
  6. 69f100
    Joined: Dec 3, 2009
    Posts: 734

    from So-Cal

    im laughing pretty hard here. my grandma won a 71 gremlin off "the price is right" her when they went to fill out the paperwork they asked what all they wanted on it. so of course they checked off every box, and asked for the biggest motor possible. apparently it wasnt big enough, because two weeks after getting it,, it blown a head while pulling a boat trailor (yeah, my grandpa for you) so what do we put in there? why a blown and bored y block ford of course! i dont know much about the car, but apparently it could make a clean sweep of the street, but it could also haul a trailor up the cahone pass.

    god i wish i knew my grandpa.
  7. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,098


    Back in the day, around 1960 -1961, a friend of mine had his mothers 1955 Ford black and white Fairlane four door sedan that was a little on the ratty side, completely stock bodied including black wall tires. The original 272 motor and automatic transmission was replaced with a 312 Merc motor with a Sears Wolverine cam, 57 Ford NASCAR dual quads and a three speed open drive floor shift from a Ford truck. One night I remember we were as usual out cruising looking for street races and came upon a nice neat dark green 54 Ford coupe that was nosed, decked, duals, and a three speed with probably the original 239 V8 motor. As we stopped at a light, I asked the driver if he'd race us. He replied no we'd beat you. I told him we know that but we never raced a real hot rod before and would like to know how much they would beat us by. At the next light we blew the doors off the 54 and pulled over to the side of the road and popped the hood on the 55. I can still see those kids faces as they shouted holy shit! Its got two four barrels and a floor shift. Those were the days. Street racing, cruising and looking for chicks. Too bad too bad those days are gone forever.

    True story! I was driving in Estes Park, Colorado one summer day in 1979 with my family in a brand new 1979 International Scout II 4X4 with a 345 cid V-8 and an automatic transmission. I hppened to be sitting at a stoplight in the left lane and wanted to make a right turn at the next intersection a block up the street. A big Stanley Steamer Touring Car pulled up next to me in the right lane. (The Stanley Hotel is in Estes Park and sometimes takes one of their Stanley Steamer cars out and drives it around town.)

    I figured I could easily beat this old car and make the upcoming right turn a block away, so I floored it when the light turned green. The guy in the Stanley must have sensed what I was trying to pull.... All I heard was 'WHOOSH, WHOOSH, WHOOSH! and by the time we crossed the street he was already 2-car lengths ahead of me!!! Absolutely AMAZING!! I sheepishly pulled in behind him and made my right turn. We were both way ahead of the cars behind us!

  9. subdajj
    Joined: Jul 18, 2009
    Posts: 174


    I built a V8 pinto while in high school in the mid 70s. Great car and a lot of fun. Waxed many unsuspecting people. The car was a real sleeper. From the side it looked almost stock. But from the rear you could see the wide tires and 2 1/2 inch exhaust.
  10. dirtracer
    Joined: Sep 3, 2008
    Posts: 174


    I was in my mid 20's and thought I had a fairly good running car. It was a '67 Nova strong 350 w/ automatic. One night while riding around town a purple carmen ghia VW pulled up beside me and said "lets get after it!" The last thing I saw was on the deck lid it had painted "Hitlers Revenge".:eek:
  11. fleetwood39
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 23


    I put a misc. import looking street car to shame a few nights ago with my 66 Chevy II wagon. I took him by several car lengths happily. A couple of days later, I spotted the same car with my brother. He informed me that the import was some big dollar experiment with a bunch of modern Vette mechanicals stuffed in. It was supposed to be real fast. My 283 with fuelie heads and a four speed didn't seem to notice.
    I have also had my ass handed to me by some huge Dodge diesel truck with stacks sticking out of the bed. That thing was stupid fast! Oh well...

  12. I use to have an O/T car, a Lincoln Mark VIII LSC with the 4 cam, 4.6L-V8.

    I had a lot of fun with that car.

    I beat a guy in, what he thought was cool, a newer Corvette convertible and really pissed off a guy in his Mercedes Benz cause he couldn't keep up with me. :D

    But then there was that 1 time that I had my ASS handed to me by some sort of BMW. Till today I don't know what it was but the front looked like the convertible they have but it was a camback kinda wagon style.

    At about 128 mph he got into the left lane and passed me like I turned the freakin' key off. :mad:

    Alas it was still fun... the modern day Hot Rod Lincoln. :cool:
  13. Steves32
    Joined: Aug 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,280

    from So Cal

    In late 60's- I had a 64 Chevelle, built gasser style. Econoline straight front axle, 396 BBC, tunnel ram w/ 2- 660 center squirters, M22 trans, Olds rear, M&H Racemaster drag slicks. It was the baddest in the land.
    Or so I thought.

    On my way to Whittier blvd for friday night cruising & some little sports car pulls up next to me. My buddy is egging me on to race the guy- I don't know what that little car is- but it does sound healthy. As we both approach a signal- rolling at about 20mph - the light goes green & I nail it. 2nd gear, 3rd gear- no little sports car. When I hit 4th, that sports car blew by me like I was parked. Obvious he was playing with me. We roll into a gas station & I got my 1st introduction to a real race ready 427 Cobra.
  14. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729


    Back in the '70's, I had a '65 Malibu SS with a 396, 4 speed and 4:88 gears. I raced a '67 Camaro with a sbc. Then race was so close, the winner couldn't be called. So another race was set and my buddies are telling me to quit sandbagging. I told them somethings wrong with the car, the motor gonna go. Sure enough, I spin a bearing on the second race and the Camaro wins.

    A couple of weeks later, I swap the 396 for a 454 and head out to the races. The guy with the Camaro is there with his buddies. One of his buddies wants to race. He has a '67 Chevelle with a bbc. Turns out, the guy works at Ed Pinks shop. The race is set up, heads up on slicks. We lay down some VHT and do a couple of burn outs. We line up and the hands drop, the Chevelle beats me out of the gates but 1 1/2 cars. Bang 2nd and I'm on his bumper, hit 3rd and now I'm passing him, hit 4th and glance in my rearview mirror. I can see him and I'm still motoring away from him so I feather the gas.

    I pass the finish line 2 or 3 cars ahead. These guys are pissed. They figured it was the same car that raced the Camaro. They don't wanna pay, claiming I was on Nitrous. Since they were relatively new to the street race scene, my buddies out numbered their buddies and they paid.

    A week later, a friend of mine is at Service Center (speed shop) and those guys are asking him if he knows me. They want to know if I'm on nitrous. He tells them no. Turns out the Chevelle is at Ed Pinks Shop getting 12:1 pistons for a re-match. I tell my buddy, if he sees those guys again, it's heads up, hoods close, slicks and uncorked. I never saw that Chevelle again............
  15. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,247


    I have a problem with this and similiar threads that glamorize street racing. This is a traditional hot rod site and as hot rodders we need to hold the bar a little higher. There are plenty of sites that the 5.0 crowd and those imports with tail pipes bigger than thier pistons hang out and swap street race stories and actually believe the scenes in The Fast and Furious. Go to one of them for about 30seconds and you will realise how stupid that crowd is.
    Now, if you want to talk about and actually want to race, bring up a thread - i am a racer first and a hot rodder second.
  16. outlaw256
    Joined: Jun 26, 2008
    Posts: 2,023


    oj, i understand how and maybe why you feel that way. the fast and stupid crowd is a awhole different ball game. at least it is around here. ive been rolling down the interstate and have 5 or 6 tuners fly by me and thats in alot of traffic.thats whAt they are calling drag racing in the papers and on tv when one of these eggheads fuck up and kill someone.i have never seen 5 or 6 old american iron go flying past me at the same time.i dont think anyone is trying to glamorze street racing, just telling stories of days gone by, when you could race on the street and the odds were low that someone would get hurt.the roads were not as crowded as they are now days.and nobody raced 5 or 6 cars at the same time down a road with traffic and no peticular place to call the finish line. id bet most people on this board have run on the street and liked it(at one time or another).it was and still is exciting.even thou we dont do it anymore its still fun to talk happened back in the day.and we all love back in the day or we wouldnt build and drive the cars we do.or the music. clothes hell even the movies. we all love back in the day.i still talk about smokin pot back in the day, even now that i dont do it , it still brings back fond memories.and im not trying to glamorize it, it was just what was happening at the time, back in the day.i too raced at the track for many yrs, but i still, till this day run some one when they come hunting for me!
  17. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,019

    Rich Rogers

    I think it was 1973 and I had a pretty good running 68 Firebird, 350 4 bbl 4 speed car with 3:55 gears and the 350 had alittle work done. Back then it was common to street race as long as you did it where you knew it would be the most safe. Anyhow I'm runnin late for work one morning and not wasting any time when this raggy looking 69 Mustang catches me and I'm already doing about 75 on a 2 lane kinda curvy road, we came to a straight and I nailed it and with about 10 seconds that Mustang was far enough ahead of me that I could barely see it. Turned out the Ford had a built 351C with a taller gear. Man that thing smoked by butt hard and I won't even go into the times I had to outrun the NY State police..........but I got away with it
  18. bakes
    Joined: Feb 17, 2009
    Posts: 136

    from albany NY

    My slightly O/T 1968 Fairlane got embarassed by a Sunbeam Alpine once. Didn't realize until he was in front of me that an Alpine doesn't make that noise but a Tiger sure as hell does.

    Way OT but funny as hell - was driving in my Volvo 850 T5 when a Saturn sedan pulled up next to me at a traffic light, three college kids in it and a coffee can exhaust under it, and wanted to drag. I looked over at them, said "Seriously?" and the driver revved the motor, the telltale snotrocket "all HP no torque" zizz coming out the exhaust. Did the old "stoplight to the speed limit" rip and by the time they caught up we were about at the next light. Same thing again, but the driver was looking *pissed* after the second time. I looked over at him, said "Try outdragging a shopping cart next time" and drove off. They followed me for a mile or so, looking like they wanted to try something but couldn't figure out how. :D
  19. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,657

    from California

    in spite of the fact that Fremont Drag strip was open every Wednesday for regular guys to go racing street racing was alive and well around 1978-79.

    went out to "little Fremont" where there was a marked quarter mile on a side street about 1/2 mile from the drag strip to see who was racing. I was in my mostly stock 1969 GTO Judge. headers, Holley and a Torker intake. 3.90 Posi with a 4 speed. there was a guy in a black 55 Chevy with a big block and slicks with "Frantic Rat" painted on the side waiting for someone who didn't show up. I tried to get a guy in his 1971 442 to go but he didn't want to, so just for shits and giggles my and the 55 guy decided to go. this was an 11 second car. he told me just to go and he'd wait a couple seconds and follow. I'd guess he was going 20 miles an hour faster than me when he passed.

    man I had a lot of fun with that car.:D in 1978 the strip was full of young guys like me driving 10 year old used Muscle cars. I won a lot more than I lost racing other basically stock cars. that 55 cleaned my clock for sure.
  20. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,098


    Regarding the post about healthy 5.0's, they are no slouch. I've messed with a few of them and they'll give you all you can handle.

    Street racing may not be the smart thing to do, but back in the day it was everything. Cruising, looking for chicks and street racing every night. Drag strip on the weekends. To me street racing is the essence of hot rodding. We always worked on our cars in my grandfathers garage. I still remember him saying you kids are crazy. You spend hundreds of dollars to make your cars go faster so you can win a 59 cent trophy. He was right. RIP Pop.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  21. Do I condone "street racing", absolutely not!

    However, like others have said, 30+ years ago we ALL did it.

    Hell I can remember Friday nights at Pat's Hot Dogs, guys would pull in looking to run for 200 bucks a race.

    Those were the days my friend.... we thought they'd never end!
  22. If there's one shred of truth to this, she threw that race.
  23. JeffreyPhipps
    Joined: Jul 25, 2005
    Posts: 33


    Around 1974 when I was about 16, my crazy buddy Raymond, that I grew up with, had this bad ass late 60s Mustang with a built big ass engine. Can't remember what engine now because i'm old. We used to run around Ft. Lauderdale beach and terrorize the girls and piss off the cops and racing anyone we could find. We used to head way out west in those days to the deserted areas. Nobody lived out west in Ft. Laud. Everbody raced out there. One night we were crusing around in a not so great area and this old black guy pulls up next to us in a 60s chevy van. It was rusted out in areas, had greasy hand prints on the sides and all over the doors and it had a terrible and loud ticking coming from the engine. You could barely even hear the exhaust. This guy pulls up next to us and revs up the engine and gives us a big smile. Toothless of course. Ray and I look at each other and he says, man this is going to be easy. So Ray revs up his engine and its on. We cruise to a deserted road and pull up to the light. The road is empty in front of us. We are ready. The light changes green and Ray hits the gas. Let me tell ya, we couldn't belive it. That POS chevy van just about pulled the front wheels and friggen smoked us.
    Holy cow, that thing was crazy. We weren't even close.
  24. Iceberg460
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 880


    I was about 17, cruising around in my OT Trans Am. Mildly built SBC with a 125 shot, ran 13's at elevation. Pulled up at the light next to a s%$t brown 80's chevy station wagon with an older dude behind the wheel. He started reving and I reved back, trying not to laugh too much. Light turned green and he smoked me in half a block. Couldn't beleve it. Saw him at the local speed shop a few weeks later and started talkin. Turns out that shit brown chevy wagon had a built 350 with a 2 stage nitrous system..
  25. Long, long ago I was driving on US Hwy 50 outside a little town called Holly, Colorado...great soda-fountain milkshakes there at the local drugstore, BTW!...on my way through to Oklahoma. I was driving alone in my '66 Coronet 500 which had a 361 B-block with a Holley 600 vacuum secondary and 383 cast intake, and with an automatic. Top end was great, but the 3.23 gears were a good middle of the road gearset.

    As I was driving East towards the Kansas line, a guy in a '67 Cougar pulls alongside like he was going to simply pass and go on, but he slows up alongside and motions to race. I'm looking down the road and see not one single car for at least two miles or more, and figure "why not?" from a 55 mph rolling start, it was off to the races for us; he in the oncoming lane and me in the right (two-lane blacktop, indeed!).

    I'm showing a bit over a hundred and he is right alongside all the way. Suddenly, his hood lifted and came clean off the car, hinges and all! He immediately slows up and pulls in behind me! I slow up and as he pulls over, I do the same. I ran back to his car. He is still in the driver's seat, clutching the wheel for dear life, eyes big as saucers and sweating up a storm! As I looked at the now-exposed 390, I was pretty impressed that my heavier Mopar with a big block that had 29 fewer inches, stayed right along with the Cougar! Of course, his hood was along the shoulder about a half-mile back, and two pretty sizable holes where the hinges used to mount on his car. He asked me what engine I had, and I told him it was a 361, of which he'd never of, except the Ford 361 in Edsels! He was not real happy that his lighter car with a bigger engine couldn't outrun me, but that's life, I guess!
  26. hotrodsnguns
    Joined: Apr 3, 2004
    Posts: 545

    from Fresno, CA

    1969 just graduated from college in June. Went to the local Plymouth dealership and ordered an 1970 hemi cuda, close ratio four speed 355 posi rear. Oct 1 car arrived, drove off the show room floor and down to Butler ave, Mopar warehouse. Bought 340 four barrel emblems and a 410 ring and pinion. Changed emblems in the parking lot. WEnt out on 99 and cruised to Bakerspath and back around 110 miles one way. Felt it was broke in to race. Next morning took it to eddies speed shop and had the rear end changed. Was the terror of Fresno, bakerspatch and medesto for a while. Long story longer at Sunnyside Drive in one night with the lady who was my first wife. Boring movie so was going to park and do what we did back then (she still lived at home as did I) Pulled out onto Clovis ave turned around and pulled up to the light at Olive. Beat up 55 chevy 2 door primer grey pulled along side, reving his motor. Light changed we both got on it hard, all i saw was tail lights. He was so far gone i could not get close enought to find out what he was running.
  27. 1gearhead
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 465


    In 1963 I was driving a 55 Chev 2dr Htp. It was powered by a 301 with Mondello heads and a Mickey Thompson cross ram manifold and headers, with T10 4-speed and 4.11 gears. Car was pretty quick, 13.08 running C/MP. I raced it on the street and NHRA. My little brother sucked me into racing one of his friends who had a 1930 Model A Ford with a dual quad 283" SBC and Vette close ratio 3-speed. We drove out to the Crain-Wabash road to run them off. I put up $100 to race the guy, Did he beat my ass or what! It was dead even coming out of the hole, but as we accelerated through the gears he just kept opening the gap between us. At the end he had me by at least an open car length. Boy was I embarrassed. Was more than a little pissed at my younger brother. Lesson learned, less weight equals same as more HP.
  28. 48FordFanatic
    Joined: Feb 26, 2011
    Posts: 1,336

    from Maine

    Yep, I got a waxing once I never forgot. When I was going to college in Boston I had a 69 SS Chevelle with a 350 hp 396. Back then street racing in the city was tolerated. One Sunday afternoon on my way back from the weekend I pulled up beside a Ford Torreano ( sorry bout the spelling on that). We both launched on the light and were even for about 2 seconds , after which he was gone...and I mean GONE. I never saw the car again and never knew what had waxed me so badly.
  29. 4b316
    Joined: Oct 8, 2011
    Posts: 53

    from ny

    We was cruisn thur town one fri nite in our 71 ss 454 chevelle,pretty quick in its own,torker intake,full solid cam,headers,double pumper etc, and had a Grand national pull up behind and pull out to pass me so I touched it off and was pulling away nicely and he must of got the turbo spooled up cause he just started pulling away and was gone.Always hoped he had more work done to it.20 years ago but still have the Chevelle

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