Saturday, May 2, 2009

Destroying Pontiacs





Yes, we always blamed the jalopy jockeys for destroying all those 32-34 Fords, but in the late '60's we destroyed many 50's Chevys and Pontiacs. One of the ways to win hobby stock races in the 60's was to find an old car that had more cubic inches than the other. The rules were that you had to run a 6 cylinder engine. '55 and '56 Pontiacs had 261 cubic in engines factory stock and Chevrolets of the same years had 235 cubic inches. Another little trick was to add solid lifters that were factory stock in '49 and '50 Chevrolets....which would also give you another little edge. Consequently, when my first car was built, it had to be a Pontiac, and I also had a set of solid lifters on my dad's work bench from my first car, the '49 Chevy. In the first year(1967) we destroyed 2 '56 Pontiacs both 2-door cars and in 1968 with a fresh engine our team did fantastic, with quite a few wins in the early part of the season and were actually leading in points with almost 200 cars racing. Ending up 3rd overall in points for 1968 one more old Pontiac bit the dust when I got T-boned only 3 races before the end of the season. This last car we did was in incredible condition and actually drove it home before we started ripping it apart and adding a roll cage etc.
The first picture was taken in 1968 with myself in the drivers seat with my pit crew, welders and builders, George Tergie and Clay Macgowan leaning on the fender. I have been life long friends with these great guys who helped me a ton on these cars. We sure had great fun in those days. We were all only married about a year with our wives up in the grandstand at Riverview Raceways cheering us on. The second picture is of yours truly after the first race I ever raced in 1967. The b&w picture proves that were did collect the checkered flag occasionally and the last one was taking our car to the first race of 1968. Another super guy Dave Lovis who was also on our pit crew went on to try racing himself later on. These really weren't considered jalopies in 1967, but inspired as we were by those great guys that raced at the CLE locally back in the '50's, I knew we had to try it ourselves.....It was very exciting!! Click pics to enlarge

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

in the first picture it was taken on Vickers street with Mckellar park school in the back ground. Did anyone else notice the CNR tracks next to the car which is on the 2 lane dirt road (west side of tracks) and paved 2 lane on east side of tracks John K

Dave said...

Oh yes, I remember the tracks well , that's me in the Stock Car and the picture was taken at a friends house on Vickers St.

Ron Pearce said...

Hard to believe I used to scrape the mud off and wash those cars almost 50 years ago. Sure brought back memories when I stumbled onto your blog Dave. Great job !!!

Dave Cano said...

Thanks Ron.....