Steve Reasbeck on Drag Racing 1962 to 1965 Mopars
It has been an interesting year, as of this date, and also a fairly successful one. Weve run three large Nostalgia Super Stock events, and the cars in our little group, Ron McClellands Hemi Dodge, my son Kyles wedge 1964 Polara, and my own well seasoned 1965 Hemi Dodge have more than held their own. Mine took a little tweaking to get the way we wanted, and, to be frank, I had made some stupid little errors upon re-assembling it back in June, but weve gotten it to the point where we are probably making as much power as we ever have, this with what is basically a 1968 era Super Stock motor. Among the changes were a set of original Hemi type 770 Holley carburetors, and the installation of a Racer Brown R140 roller, a vintage grind that Ive used off and on for many years.
The first event we attended, at Pittsburgh Raceway Park in June, was one we had a hand in hosting. The Curt George Memorial has become one of the largest independent Mopar events on the east coast, and Ron and Buddy McClellands Buds Auto Sales was privileged to host the first annual Buds Hemi Showdown in conjunction with it. Everyone loves the big time SS/AH series competed each year at Indianapolis, the Westcotts, the Bartons, the Raybournes et al, but we wanted to open a similar event up to the many Hemi powered Nostalgia Super Stock and MoPar event racers that compete in various venues.
So, Buds Auto Sales posted a decent purse, waived the entry fee, Reasbeck Racing held a little feed, and we were anxious to see what would happen. What happened exceeded all of our expectations, as 22 Hemi cars showed up to race, and a considerable number of spectators showed, as well. The field consisted of some of the heaviest hitters on the Nostalgia Super Stock circuit...B bodies, E bodies, and a couple of A bodies. Matt Welker showed up from Maryland with his gorgeous NHRA SS/AH 1968 Cuda, Gary Murphy showed up from Ohio with his Chrysler Classic Series Championship winning Challenger. The winner, though, was Joe Rondes with his very clean looking 1965 Dodge, cruising to 10.40 e.t.s all day. Consistent as a clock, and very sharp on the tree, Joe included among his victims another 1965 Dodge, the one of yours truly who fell to him in the second round.
The second event of the summer was also a two sided affair, this one at Beaver Springs Dragway in Pennsylvania, the absolute home of nostalgia racing. The biggest Nostalgia event on the east coast, the York US30 Reunion / Nostalgia Nationals draws luminaries and nostalgia cars of all types from everywhere...Canada, the Southwest part of the US, and all over the northeast and the south. Nostalgia Super Stock is the big draw, and this year an additional draw was featured: a second Pennsylvania Hemi Showdown, this one sponsored by Tim Bannings For Hemis Only shop out of Bewdley, Ontario, Canada.
Again, over twenty cars made the first round, and put on a very good show. The next day, the Nostalgia Super Stock program featured 57 cars of all makes putting on a top shelf show in front of a packed house.
The year is winding down, with only a few races remaining. One of the big changes were anxious to try is to take some converter out of it. Were currently using an ATI 4200, but it is apparent that it is too loose, and that were driving through the converter at higher rpm. We have here one of the coveted Turbo Action J converters from the old days, which was THE hot setup back in the day. They stalled somewhere around 3700-3800 rpm, which is more in the power band of a small inch, cross ram Hemi. We’ll see what happens.
Personally, I had a decent weekend, going rounds both days but failing to last to the later rounds. But, I had fun. Over the years, weve won our share, lost our share, gone through the "intense" hyper competitive years when losing a race was like having your heart cut out. Now, at this stage of the game, with the Social Security days approaching fast, Im just grateful to still be here, and still doing this wonderful endeavor.
Till Next time....
September 6, 2012