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To those interested in Bonneville and four bangers

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bobby Green, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Bobby Green
    Joined: Jun 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,319

    Bobby Green

    Every 2 years the SCTA rules committee is open to submissions for rule change/modifications as well as proposals for NEW classes. I have submitted for a new "Historic" vintage four cylinder class.
    I would like to get your feedback on a new V4F class I am proposing to the SCTA rules committee this Saturday. Please read below and let me know what you think.

    Hello racers,

    If you are reading this it is because you have been participating in or are interested in participating in Land Speed Racing and the SCTA, particularly in the vintage four cylinder class. Some of you may know me, but for those that don't, my name is Bobby Green and for the last 8 years, I have been running my Bellytank "The Old Crow" in the V4 class. In that time I have broken six V4 records in both blown, un-blown, flathead and overhead classes. I have a real passion for the V4 and it's racing history.
    When I started I was in my early 30's and was considered one of the younger guys getting involved in this sport. I chose the V4 class because it was historic but also because it was an entry level class with many open or achievable records. In the time I've been racing, I have inspired many other new racers to get involved and the V4 class has grown exponentially. However, every year I see more and more vintage engine records becoming unreachable due to high dollar modern technology that is limiting many vintage minded newcomers from getting involved. I have always felt that vintage or historic racing should have stricter rules concerning what can be done or added to a motor to truly be considered "vintage". This is why I am proposing a new "Historic" V4 class that can act as a true entry level class for many upstart and vintage minded racers. Here is what I have submitted to the SCTA rules committee :

    When the V4F (Vintage 4 Flathead) engine class was created it was intended to be a vintage entry level class. Further more, it was designed to promote the original intent and history of the V4F engines. But since many modern technologies were allowed and not restricted, it has very much taken away from the original intent and become a much harder class to enter due to the technical know how and financial cost of such items as EFI, Computer data control, and modern electronic ignitions.

    Desired outcome:
    Create a new entry level engine class that can be run in many Lakesters that are currently running today. The class will only be allowed in the Lakester class.(for now).
    We propose a Single Class Only! The class would be called HV4F/GL (Historic Vintage 4 Flathead / Gas Lakester). No Fuel. No Blowers.

    Reason change is necessary:
    There is a lot of interest in an entry level Historic V4F class and the achievable speeds and lower costs will attract more newcomers to the sport.

    What are the side effects:
    I do not foresee any side affects. Since this will be a new engine class, it will not effect any current records. No records will have to be moved or modified.
    And since it's only one engine class in an existing body class it will require little addition to the rule book.

    Desired rule book wording:
    In Section 2.A.1, after paragraph # 12 (V4F section)
    Engine class: HV4F (Historic Vintage 4 cylinder Flathead) Only Permitted in /GL (Gas Lakester Class)
    As described in V4F section above, but with fewer Permitted Modifications. For detailed explanation on Permitted and Prohibited Modifications in this class, please consult the V4/V4F Guide. The Guide is available from the
    Committee Chair (section 16), the SCTA office (page 3) or on the SCTA-BNI website (

    An addendum can be added to the existing V4/V4F Guide.
    No modifications to stock blocks other than porting of stock ports, addition of insert bearings, and modification for oil seals. Crankshaft or camshaft main journal girdles are prohibited. Permitted to reverse intake and exhaust ports. Permitted to install port dividers. Permitted to perform repairs on damaged blocks. Permitted to fill water jackets and water ports on block. Additional head studs can be added but not outside of the block. No computers of any kind, even for data acquisition. Magneto or points distributor only. No crank trigger or computer controlled electronic ignition. Carburetor or mechanical fuel injection only, no electric fuel injection. Transmissions: Automatic or manual, but must be manually shifted.

    This is obviously a rough draft and many small details can be discussed and ironed out, but it's a good starting point to creating a truly vintage/historic class of racing to not only attract new interested start ups, but also to honor the history and tradition of this beloved sport.

    I would love to hear from you on your thoughts and your level of support for such a new class. The SCTA rules committee meeting is less than a week away and I would love to get an idea of how many of you are in favor of this class as I will be presenting it at the meeting.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to racing with you all for many years to come.
  2. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,405


    I think this is a great idea, Bobby. I have a tank and a few model B engines and a bunch of parts squirreled away, but am on an extremely limited budget. This would certainly interest me.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
  3. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,849


    I agree Bobby. After playing around with Max on yours with and without the "accessories", it was fun experimenting, but kinda lost the old timely feel. I'm not saying pushing the limits are bad, more that the restrictions should be period if that is what is represented.

    A twin turbo EFI B motor would be badass...but not dare I even say " traditional"

  4. One of the nice things about the SCTA is that they DO listen to the people that actualy run. Nice dissertation Bobby, looking forward to seeing you all again, soon ! good Luck ! Crow LFFL
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  5. Bobby, I too think this is a great idea. A lot closer mechanically to what was ran in the 1930s-50s can only be a good thing, also a great incentive for newcomers. I am in no doubt if implemented it will be a success. Personally I would love to see a similar class for V4 roadster or lakester as I want to run a Chev banger in the future. At this time it is not viable to run a 183" Chev 4.

    Good luck!
  6. Carter
    Joined: Mar 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,405


    I agree Jimmy.

    I've always thought a true vintage class would be awesome.

    Sent from my DROID device using the TJJ mobile app
  7. Great idea, Bobby! If only I were about 1000 miles closer! Not very cost-effective for me....I'd spend half my race budget on gas, room, and food! (That ought to give you an idea of what my budget would be!) :D
  8. A Rodder
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 2,477

    A Rodder

    Coming from someones who has never raced, what you wrote was very clear and concise.

    It gives a clear picture of what the problem is, what can be done to help it, and what the possible effects of it are.

    VERY well written and should be heavily considered.

    I hope it goes well for you and the other racers that would fill that class!
  9. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,639


    That looks like the makings of a fun, not all that expensive and extremely competitive class. One where bumping the record by 1.6 mph is really doing something.
  10. hummm....think that 40/41 four banger truck motor might have something to do....instead of just taking up space....
  11. 64crump
    Joined: Oct 17, 2011
    Posts: 397

    from Alta Loma

    I like the idea to keep it simple and attainable to entry level runners. I would like to have more than just lakesters running though. Well, you will have another one reading the rule book to try it out.

    Attached Files:

  12. flatnasty
    Joined: Apr 16, 2010
    Posts: 304

    from Vancouver

    I'm in sounds great!
  13. I like your plan, Bobby.


    (former V4F Bonneville record holder)
  14. SakowskiMotors
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,237


    Sounds good to me.
  15. Sounds great, Bobby- and here's another vote for a true vintage V4 class (gotta love those early Chevy 4's)!!!
  16. Babyearl
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 610


    I agree that a true vintage class would be great,, but,,, not for flatheads only. I have planned a salt flat run for years,, but lack of funds has derailed my plans. I would rather run a Chev, so here starts the rub. Great idea,, but allow all V4's to run.
  17. MrModelT
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 2,652


    First off, it was a real pleasure meeting you at Bonneville this year for Speed Week.

    I agree as well. Being that this year was my first time at Bonneville, I did quite a bit of reading on my rule book and, of course, cruising the pits. I did notice allot of entries in the V4F class were employing allot of modern tech...for a class designated as "Vintage".

    While I have no problem what so ever with the modern tech on an early 4-banger, I like the idea of a truly "Historic" V4 class.

    You also mentioned it would be limited to just Lakesters, at least for now. What are your ideas for opening up this class to say "Historic" V4 roadster and coupes?
  18. 4-port Riley
    Joined: Oct 20, 2005
    Posts: 303

    4-port Riley

    Bobby, I agree with you to a point, more on this later. I was involved with the original V4 class designation, and it was meant to be an economy class, thus the reason for the 220 cubic inch limit. An A or B block can reach that limit with just an over-bore. The rule then stated "Any pre-1935 American automotive production engine up to 220 cubic inches". We foolishly thought "production" meant what it said. So much for that thought.

    I disagree on using any of the V4F engine "guide". That whole guide is a bunch of malarkey thankfully it is (now) only a guide. I do agree with your proposed rules although I would allow extra cam supports. That is the only change I would make to your rules. I at first thought it would be OK to allow 4-port intakes as that was done many years ago, although not commonly. I would still be open to this modification if others agree, up to you. I would not have included automatic transmissions but there is no advantage to running one, speed-wise, so that is OK by me too.
    Good luck!
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 1,245


    I'm in

    Posted from the TJJ App for iPhone & iPad
  20. Bobby Green
    Joined: Jun 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,319

    Bobby Green

    Thanks for the feedback gang. I'm not sure if the SCTA will recognize this new class or not, but at least it opens a conversation into what is truly "vintage" or "historic" and what isn't, as well as where people's interest lie.
    Keep the feedback coming !
  21. 52pig
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 436


    I like it, because that is pretty much the class I aim to run, and my dollars are minimal.
  22. Bobby Green
    Joined: Jun 9, 2001
    Posts: 1,319

    Bobby Green

    Here's my update.....

    So I went to the rules committee meeting on Saturday, and I'm really glad I did, it was very interesting and enlightening to see the process by which rules clarification and new classes are presented and voted on. Even though my new V4F class proposal was voted down, It was really worth trying because it opened up a dialog about the "vintage historic" side of racing and I was able to express the frustrations of many, like myself, that want to race in vintage classes but don't want to have to compete against extremely modern technologies. But after the meeting, I have a new outlook, the board brought up a really great point, most of the rule restrictions that I was proposing in my V4F class already exist in cars running V4F in "Vintage body classes"! AHAA! That's what I'm missing, if I was running in a Vintage body class, instead of the "unlimited" Lakester class I wouldn't even be having this discussion.

    Sooo,... can you guess where I'm going with this?

    There's a vintage coupe class, a vintage roadster class, and even a vintage oval track and midget class,.. And if you run a "vintage" engine in any of these "vintage" body classes, you can't run EFI and computer controlled ignition and such.
    But I ask you this.... What's more historically iconic to LSR than a bellytank? It's the quintessential post war, hot rod, back yard ingenuity, single purpose vehicle to ever materialize from the roots of the SCTA.
    So why isn't there a "vintage bellytank class"? There's at least 2-4 new bellytanks showing up at Bonneville every year.

    At the meeting Steve Davis (Chief inspector) brought up a great point, even if the SCTA elected a new "historic" V4F class, what's to stop a Costello nebulous style lakester or a "car from the future" as I like to call them from putting in such motor and becoming untouchable from sheer aerodynamics. And he's absolutely right, it would leave all of us vintage minded racers as equally as frustrated as we were to start with. So, the real solution is to start a vintage bellytank or lakester class that can run all the vintage motors classes already in existence in the other vintage body classes. Brilliant!

    So, that's where I'm at. Unfortunately I have to wait another 2 years before making it happen since new class petitions are voted on every other year, but I agree it's the best solution in the long run, and one that I am now even more excited and passionate about.

    Anybody building tanks right now? If so, speak up.
  23. Sounds awesome! Does it allow block to be bored out? I didn't see anything about that, just wondering. I really want to run a racecar someday!

  24. 4-port Riley
    Joined: Oct 20, 2005
    Posts: 303

    4-port Riley

    Thanks for doing the work Bobby, maybe it will come to pass someday???
    Joe, V4 engines are presently allowed a 220 cubic inch limit. This can be done on an A or B block by boring to 4.060", that's 3/16" over stock, and doable.
  25. edfueler
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 102


    Hi Bob, I am a fan of four bangers, the history of racing and a fellow on an extremely small budget. I really like your notion of both a HistoricV4 or V4F class and also of applying historic limits on a lakester class in V4 or V4F . This ticks a lot of boxes for keeping racing fun.

    I am sorry the HV4F class idea was voted down.

    I think that having a historic V4 /V4F lakester class would be great and easy to implement by, as you said, simply having the same restrictions to engine development as the corresponding roadster classes.
    You raised the point that a "Nebulous" styled future-car might be the predictable result of limiting engine development : ie, a car that uses contemporary, cutting edge aerodynamics and ground effects to overcome the power limitations without being sympathetic to the historic aesthetic of the class.

    I would imagine that producing a tight set of specifications for belly tank boddies (similar to the tight limitations on street roadster classes) might be a way to get the desired historic look and budget class without so much of the upward budget and rule-creep that makes these classes stray from the original intent.

    Perhaps HSV4F/GL might have limitations to the body shell along the lines of: The body shell will be comprised of a belly or wing tank or exact replica there-of that was available prior to and including 1949. Tanks may not be extended by more than 25% of the original design length of the tank as it was fitted to the aircraft

    (this would be to try to capture the spirit of the Bill Burke era tanks that were WWII surplus.) While this would exclude the more streamlined sabre jet tanks of the 50s and the large and even more streamlined B52, maybe allowance could be made for original surplus aluminum jet tanks with no modification to length allowed.

    Anywheeze, I didn't mean to ramble..You just got me thinking and I'd figure I'd chuck around some ideas.

    Cheers -Ed
  26. notrod13
    Joined: Dec 13, 2005
    Posts: 984

    from long beach

    bobby , I am building a tank with Kyle and dode at dragmaster in fall brook. I am way into the new class. It is our plan to run what we have to scare the living crap out of us then have the option to change motors. presently we are mocked up with a 700 hp sbc , yeah i know , but it was what dode had sitting on the table and is all vintage. no electronics. I have a B block waiting its turn for motor mounts and mock up .... hoping to have her out for b ville next year and maybe a streach in el mirage to shake her down....

    keep up the good work my friend. and ill see you soon
    Tim Sutton
  27. So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 463

    So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Alliance Vendor
    from Sacramento

    :confused: what am i supposed to do with the supercharger i just built for my banger?!
  28. Supercharages Yes
    Turbochargers No
  29. So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Joined: Sep 6, 2008
    Posts: 463

    So-Cal Speed Sacramento
    Alliance Vendor
    from Sacramento

    I have always really liked the idea of a vintage belly tank class, separate from the streamliners. the fact is, aerodynamically, they just can't compete. people will still build them and have a blast with them- but it's tough to be competitive with them.
    with that, i still think they need a separate class for the V8-60's because it's not even close to fair that they compete against the regular flatheads.

    just my opinion ...

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