TerryB

King of the 1/4 Mile

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A long time ago, actually 47 years to be exact, me and my best friend Gene were a pair of typical young car guys.  We had gone to high school together and then we both enrolled in the local Penn State campus to study Electrical engineering.  Gene dropped out during the beginning of first year but I made it through.  Gene had a 1956 Chevy 2 door hardtop with a 327 and 4 speed and I had a 1955 Chevy four door with a 265 and 3 speed on the floor via a used Foxcraft floor shift that Gene and I put in it as the column shifter gates were shot.  My 55 also had a pair of Corvair bucket seats in place of the front bench seat.  It was hard to be cool with a four door but I tried.  Gene sold the 56 and bought a 1966 Chevelle with 327 and factory four speed, bucket seats and so forth and began to take it to the Dragways Inc drag strip at Newmedia PA on Sunday afternoons just like we used to talk about doing all through high school.  Gene was doing ok with the Chevelle and won a trophy or two.

 

One Friday night over an adult beverage he persuaded me to bring my 55 along and give the drag racing a try with him that coming Sunday.  We quickly installed a lap seatbelt in my car on Saturday so it would pass tech inspection and went over it to make sure it was running as best as we could get it to be before Sunday arrived.  On Sunday morning I followed him the 35 miles or so to the drag strip to see if I had any chance of competing.  I passed tech and was put in the R/S class.  He did well that day and then later it was my turn, the novice guy.  Well, for some reason the planets were aligned for me and I did real good, so good in fact I won the R Stock class trophy!  Ok, I only had to race one other car but hey he lost and I won and I had (and still have) the trophy to prove it.  That day in July I was indeed the king of the 1/4 mile.  The attached photos tell the story.  The big T on the windshield shows I won!  I was 19 at the time and it shows that fact in the picture.  The year was 1971.  That was the only time I ever did a drag race on a track. Later I switched to off road motorcycle competition as it was a lot easier on the wallet.  

 

If if you have any pictures and/or stories about your adventures to add to this thread please do.  Gene and I are still friends.  He still has the 1966 Chevelle and has added a 1967 Corvette  427 fastback and a 1970 Chevelle SS 396 to his stable.  My 55 is long gone.

Terry

 

 

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Edited by TerryB (see edit history)
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Tried a 1/4 mile myself night before last. A different kind however.

Unfortunately was NOT the King.

 

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Currently, the new Dodge Demon holds the record for the fastest 1/4 mile time at 9.65 seconds @ 140 mph as certified by the NHRA.

 

Craig

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Last year friend and 1989 NHRA funny car champion Bruce Larson let me sit in his Corvette funny car and was going to start it (drive shaft was off). Hard to get in and out but I finally did it but unfortunately when trying to start it the batteries weren't up to it. I believe these start with 24-volts. Unfortunately I had to leave by the time they were charged up and he fired it. Still kicking myself for not being able to stay. Hoping I didn't miss the chance of a lifetime and get to do it some day. 

Bruce's Corvette Funny Car.jpg

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I had a deputy sherrif for an uncle in Illinois in the 60's and he said some kids tried to sneak into the drag strip without paying so he locked them up in the trunk of the car on a hot afternoon. I don't think The cops would get away with that now or should.

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2 hours ago, Buick35 said:

I had a deputy sherrif for an uncle in Illinois in the 60's and he said some kids tried to sneak into the drag strip without paying so he locked them up in the trunk of the car on a hot afternoon. I don't think The cops would get away with that now or should.

This is what can happen when someone 'sneaks into a drag strip' https://globalnews.ca/news/2562953/no-charges-to-be-laid-in-teen-bobsled-crash-at-canada-olympic-park-police/ 

 

Not an automotive high-speed track, but a high speed track just the same.   

 

Craig

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