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The Ramchargers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 6t5frlane, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    So I'm going to finish my Ramchargers story here... this maroon XKE coupe was in the back of the shop and I walked over to look at it. It looked slightly out of place, but I couldn't figure what was wrong with it. When I bent down to look inside, I saw it had a B&M 60 series shifter. For those who don't know, that was a Dodge A-100 van shifter in a fancy chrome box with a B&M decal on it. XKE's didn't have automatics back then. As I glanced at the dashboard and through the windshield towards the front of the car I saw what it was that made the car look funny. The long hood bulge that runs length wise on the XKE was about 2 inches higher than normal. This was to clear the carbs on a 426 street hemi! How cool was that? That's how Ramchargers did a sleeper. I can just imagine how many humiliated Corvette owners there were running around Detroit!
     
  2. BillyShope
    Joined: Nov 15, 2007
    Posts: 131

    BillyShope
    Member

    Just thought I'd add a few words describing the dragstrip situation in the fifties. Suppose you had a '55 Chevy with a two barrel and you'd been running in stock class and having a lot of fun. Then, you decided to go to dual exhausts. Next time you showed up at the strip, they'd throw you into one of the gas classes.

    Nowadays, when gassers are mentioned, people commonly think of the "gasser wars" and of Fiats and Willies with superchargers sticking up through their hoods. But, the vast majority of cars running in the gas classes were street rods. If you modified your car at all, you had to run in a gas class. It was an "either/or" situation. (And, if you were running a 2 speed Powerglide, you certainly didn't want to run against the stick cars, hence the introduction of the automatic gas classes.)

    When the Christmas tree came along and bracket racing started, the common thought was that the "confusion" caused by all those gas classes would be eliminated. Well, has it happened? I would say the situation has become far more confusing.

    And, storm king, your mentioning of a shifter brought to mind the shifter that was used in the Ramchargers' C/A. The transmission was a Borg Warner 3 speed, but the shifter was taken from the side of a Chrysler manual transmission. If you've ever driven an old Mopar with "3 on the tree," you'll recall that, after placing it in first gear, the shift lever would flop down into the 2nd and 3rd side of the "H." In other words, the 1-2 shift was in a straight line. Worked very well!
     
  3. FunnyCar65
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,075

    FunnyCar65
    Member
    from Colorado

    This has to be the best thread on the H.A.M.B!Mr. Shope feel free to stop by and share your storys any time!
     
  4. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Were you there during the late '60's Billy; when Dan Knapp was running the show?
    And I'd also like to thank you for dropping by. Old stroies are best; 'cause there's nothing good happening in modern racing.
    I've just found this site recently and it is the best, most civil, fun car site I've ever seen. I wish some guys wouldn't feel the need for some of the language; but in general it's a good place. I hope you pop in frequently.
    I've often thought how these days you'd think that the only cars that ran in gas class were Willys, Anglias, and Austins. Cetainly they were the top cars. But as you said, gas class was where any modded car had to run. Scores of early fifties Olds,Ponchos,Fords, and of course the obiqutous tri year Chevies, burped, popped, and sputtered their way down the tracks in abismal states of tune, stopping the clocks in the low 14's, if they were lucky. You'd also find a bunch of mild customs of that era running in the C,D,and E gas classes.
     
  5. BillyShope
    Joined: Nov 15, 2007
    Posts: 131

    BillyShope
    Member

    No, storm king, I returned to school for some more graduate work. My friends saw to it that I was informed of most of what was happening, however.

    I don't recall them mentioning a Dan Knapp, however. When I saw that name in an earlier post, I thought the reference was to Ike Knupp.

    Yes, there was a lot of stumbling around when it came to "tuning" in the fifties. I remember hemi powered dragsters that would have run faster with a stock Stovebolt.

    I had a friend who dominated B/G at Cordova with an 4X4 Olds (for you youngsters, that's a 4 inch bore and 4 inch stroke, not a 4 wheel drive) with 4 two barrels. Then, some fellow bought a crate 283, put it into his street rod, and blew his doors off.

    And, we knew next to nothing about proper gearing. In '56, Arnie Beswick was running a D-501 (stripped Dodge with a 354 hemi, available only to racers). When we saw that he was wound out in first within spitting distance of the flagman, we began to see the light. Arnie was getting factory support on such matters, of course.

    Cordova was Arnie's home strip. A few years later, I was in graduate school in Iowa City when I heard that he was going to race the Royal Pontiac team. So, I drove over to watch. By that time, Arnie had switched to Pontiac. If you were aware of Arnie's tricks, you knew what was coming. The flagman would always point to Arnie last, then lift his flag when Arnie left. Makes for an unbeatable reaction time!
     
  6. Steve DeTar
    Joined: Nov 13, 2006
    Posts: 92

    Steve DeTar
    Member


    I know Dave Rupp very well, do you want me to pass a messege to him? How do you know Dave, the rachet-jaw, Rupp? Steve DeTar
    you can send me a message.....sdetar@cox.net
     
  7. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    Ramchargers has been a trademarked name and logo for a very long times, since before the '90's anyway. Probably long before that. I know this because I talked to a very nice gentleman who owned one of the original '63 team cars at the Mopar's in'92, and he pointed that out to me on his car. Although at first glance you would swear it said "Ramchargers" on the door; it actually said "Ramchaagers" with some clever font work. He couldn't use the name back then; Ramchargers sold the name to that (mostly Chevy) speed shop up in Michigan at some point. I don't know if this guy who posted here bought that shop, or just the name if they went out of business.
     
  8. From what I understand, the original "Ramchargers" shop name was a holding company that went under. They held onto the real estate, and that "property" has now become "Detroit Speed Shops." I must say, I don't know if it's the passage of time, I'm older, whatever, but I defininately like Detroit Speed better than what was the Ramchargers shops. And as for the gentleman who bought the name, well, he hasn't chimed back in so I think he's out of the picture.

    My two cents.

    Jay
     
  9. Big Dad
    Joined: Dec 20, 2005
    Posts: 4,589

    Big Dad
    Member

  10. brandon
    Joined: Jul 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,340

    brandon
    Member

    they had him on the barrett jackson show last night....and he came across just like you'd figure.....:rolleyes: he must have been thinking 7 figures....:eek: brandon:D
     
  11. Tony Goulet
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Tony Goulet
    Member
    from Michigan

    Take good care of that name, so much more went into that than most people know. Phil Goulet was my dad, and he did so much for racing.
     
  12. Tony Goulet
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Tony Goulet
    Member
    from Michigan

    Phil Goulet was my dad, and he put so much into Ramchargers and racing, so much more than most people know. It is good to see people still speaking about what he dedicated his entire life too, and to know that people are interested in the history of what he was part of.
     
  13. Tony,

    I worked for your dad during 1978-1983. Good memories. I was sorry to hear of his passing years later, and then to finally see the Ramchargers business fade away.

    I liked that baby blue Chevy stepside he drove to work then. He built it with a Martin turbo kit, then redid it with some Edelbrock high compression / high MPG package.

    Steve
     
  14. I love this pic of the "High and Mighty" headers and tachometer:[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. BillyShope
    Joined: Nov 15, 2007
    Posts: 131

    BillyShope
    Member

    That's Maurie Leising holding the headers and...I'm pretty certain...Dan Mancini in the background.
     
  16. StewartP
    Joined: Jan 17, 2008
    Posts: 2

    StewartP
    Member

    Recent partial RamCharger poster

    StewartP
     

    Attached Files:

  17. stinsonart
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 359

    stinsonart
    Member

    Thought you Ramchargers fans might like to see the colored pencil piece I did a few years back of a pic I took at Detroit Dragway in '64.

    Bill Stinson
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Awesome picture Bill, I had to look twice to see if it was a photo!

    Say hi to my Uncle for me. ;)

    What was that X ray drawing in? I'd like to get a copy of that!

    Thanks,

    Jay
     
  19. storm king
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,991

    storm king
    Member

    I think that X-ray drawing is available through Hot Rod Nostalgia; if I'm not mistaken.
     
  20. fuelXinjected
    Joined: Oct 7, 2006
    Posts: 11

    fuelXinjected
    Member
    from Ohio

  21. stinsonart
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 359

    stinsonart
    Member

    Thanks, Jay. I'll say hi to Brian. Stay in touch. Got giclee prints of that piece of art for sale if anyone is interested. If so please PM me.

    Bill
     
  22. fanspete
    Joined: Oct 22, 2006
    Posts: 686

    fanspete
    Member

    Funnycar65... any pics of Farkonas' car from the rear? Anymore of it at all? I've been told that's my car...Oh yeah, KILLER thread !
     
  23. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,235

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    I know this was mostly A/FX related, but who knows about the digger that Duane Ong ended up with?
     
  24. Tony Goulet
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Tony Goulet
    Member
    from Michigan

  25. Tony Goulet
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 5

    Tony Goulet
    Member
    from Michigan

    Wow you remember that step side, I was just telling a buddy of mine about that truck the other day, it was nice. I'm glad you were able to spend and enjoy that time with him.
     
  26. David L. Clabuesch
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5

    David L. Clabuesch
    Member
    from Michigan

    Man, some of you guys have been really hard on me.
    I was the owner of the RAMCHARGERS Hemi Cuda that sold last January. I have now settled, so I can talk about it.......but only a little.

    The important thing is, I still own the Trademark name RAMCHARGERS and am going to see that it gets perpetuated. I am working with Jim Thornton, Tom Hoover, Tom Coddington, Barnes Daniels, Dean Nicopolis and Leroy Palarchio, all real racers.

    I am developing a team roster, and going to use the RAMCHARGERS.com website to keep the misinformation that gets generated by the bloggers who don't seem to have their facts correct........at a minimum.

    Getting ready to start a 64 post car.......the first car to race a Hemi with the Trademark proudly displayed. Looking at a 65 also, since that was the first readily apparent "funny car" (yes, I know that the 64 was a 2% car), also looking for a good Cuda shell to recreate the "Last Ramcharger" the car that Dean Nicopolis won 12 out of 13 times at Indy with.

    For those who don't know it: The RAMCHARGERS were the first racers to run a stock bodied car in the 9's, the 8's the 7's and 6's.

    Will post additional information on the website.
    Nice to be able to talk in public about their legacy.
    I was just a fan......
    ........and still am.........
    Just lucky enough to have been in the right place at the right time a couple of times in my life.

    Remember, when you post statements about what a jerk someone is...
    .......they may be reading and unable to respond.
    Thanks.
    David
     
  27. David L. Clabuesch
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5

    David L. Clabuesch
    Member
    from Michigan

    By the way,
    I have wanted to respond to the "only surviving" quote for over a year.

    The car I sold is the only known survivor. I am working with the original team memebers and would love to authenticate others.

    The only known survivor quote.......came from the Walter P. Chrysler Musuem when they borrowed it from me to display along with Richard Pettys car (photo of that display is on Ramchargers.com website) They also borrowed it again when they hosted the RAMCHARGERS reunion at the Museum.

    If others exist, lets get them back into the candy apple stripes and display the name.

    I am also starting a clone or tribute program for those who can't spend the big bucks for the authentic deal but want to relive the glory days.
     
  28. FunnyCar65
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 2,075

    FunnyCar65
    Member
    from Colorado

    How would the clone/tribute program work?I've thought the 65 A/FX needed to be recreated for years. I have access too 2 65 Dodge hardtops.
     
  29. David L. Clabuesch
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5

    David L. Clabuesch
    Member
    from Michigan

    The tribute program is not fully worked out.

    There will be a charge, one for a registration that is non-transferrable (meaning the name must be removed prior to sale or transfer of the car) and a second that will be transferrable with the car.

    In either case I intend to list them on the website as cars legally authorized to use the Trademark name.

    The catagories will be
    Authenticated
    Tribute
    One of none cars (i.e. Cars that will display the trademark name and candy apple stripes, but were never really raced by the Ramchargers.......for example a 69 six pack or hemi B body.)

    Automatics get to use Candymatic
    The four speeds use Candystick (yes, there really was one.)
     
  30. straightaxle65
    Joined: Oct 13, 2007
    Posts: 532

    straightaxle65
    Member

    The X-ray drawing of the Ramchargers 67 Dart was in the July,1967 issue of Super Stock & Drag Illustrated.
     

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