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Nascar photos from the 1960's

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We used to go every year to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, just 45 minutes from Palm Springs, for NASCAR, and to cheer on Kevin Harvick when he was sponsored by Budweiser (our benefactors).  One year they gave us a wonderful promo of a box in pit row.  Crew chief Richard Childress joined us which was a real treat!  Then, amongst much cheering and toasting with ice cold Buds and general bonhomie, it became the real  party box as Harvick took the checkered flag!  What a day!

 This last season with all the China-virus shut downs, they also cancelled the NASCAR races here.  Now they are tearing the track apart, from a 2 mile track to make a half mile, high banked oval short track.  Many fans seem to want this but I will miss the big D-shaped super speedway feel.  Hopefully back on line for the 2022 season.




Edited by GregLaR (see edit history)
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Four fastest cars on the poll for 1960;

Daytona 500 Pictures and Photos - Getty Imagesthree 1960, and one 59. 
#6 Cotton Owens, #47 Jack Smith, #22 Fireball Roberts and #3 Bobby Johns

1961 Daytona winner Marvin Panch with owner/builder Smokey Yunick, was Fireballs ride in the 60 Daytona 500 above as #22



USAC winner Paul Goldsmiths 1961--image.jpeg.2a0ba4c0bb1e1723aeb5338ba6469057.jpegMidwest Racing Archives: April 2018


1962 Daytona winner Fireball Roberts / Smokey Yunick #22




My all time favorite the 1963 Daytona Challenge cup. Open to U.S. cars plus foreign cars like Porsches and Ferrari's.

The race was won by a 1963 Pontiac Super Duty 421 Pontiac Tempest prepped by Pontiac engineering and Ray Nichols engineering driven by Paul Goldsmith. It's nearest competitor was A.J. Foyt driving a 1963, 427 Corvette. When the checkered flag went down Goldsmith and his 421 Pontiac beat Foyt by FIVE miles!

image.jpeg.1df0006c5f3cfcea25bbcbce269b288b.jpegimage.jpeg.295148fdfc4e7138d2dc50ba11381005.jpegimage.jpeg.794e94a43f92858c4cf8856bd9971065.jpegimage.jpeg.f4ad16b96f9a000bff2e7291f3affc2c.jpegimage.jpeg.e3ba77856e1dba1100cec0382412b389.jpegFerrari 250 GTO (3223GT) driven by Fireball Roberts and John Cannon passes  the Pontiac Tempest of Paul Goldsmith (photo: Ferrari) - Sports Car Digest  - The Sports, Racing and Vintage Car JournalFerrari 250 GTO

All factory supplied parts obtainable by anyone over the counter at participating Pontiac dealerships.

Engine Month: Today is 421 Day! Celebrate Pontiac's 421 Super Duty!


After Jan 1963 G.M. bans all Chevrolet and Pontiac racing development and support to slow sales of G.M. cars for fear the government would break off Chevrolet from G.M.. Feared G.M. was taking too much of the automotive market share, and one of the first things to go was the racing programs. Unfortunately for G.M. it forced divisions like Pontiac to take performance off the track and put it on the streets so that they could maintain #3 in sales. This car below is the first car to do just that...and something G.M. was very upset about.

Pontiac made it a option on a Pontiac LeMans so it wouldn't have to have 14th floor approval.





Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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Amazing thing was that they could claim 333hp with a straight face. Did think the dual quads was for drag racing and a single carb (trap door 3636 - Jon ?) was used for NASCAR.

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1 hour ago, padgett said:

Amazing thing was that they could claim 333hp with a straight face. Did think the dual quads was for drag racing and a single carb (trap door 3636 - Jon ?) was used for NASCAR.

Padgett - I am not positive.


The early 1963 engines were rated 390 HP with single 4-barrel, and 405 HP with the dual 4-barrel.


The most reliable source shows the 390 HP engines supplied on cars for NASCAR, and dual quads for drag racing.


Carter released the "trap-door" 3-barrel 3636s on 6 December 1962 (I have a factory copy of the original drawing). I have not seen a power rating for the 421 with the 3-barrel. Pontiac authorized its use in December 1962, but I do not have the exact date.


My understanding was that the 390 HP engine came with Carter 4-barrel 3596s, rated at 750 CFM. I was also under the understanding that by the early 1960's, NASCAR would allow only a single carburetor, which created the "need" for the 3-barrel.


The trap-door 3-barrel was flowed at 939 CFM on the 4-barrel test, and 1128 CFM on a 2-barrel test. I have a copy of the test.


And of course, Pontiac performance is responsible for Chevrolet engines being painted "blushing red"; they knew they were not good enough to be painted Pontiac Blue! ;)


Pete McCarthy would be the individual to answer the question about dual quads on NASCAR engines.


EDIT: please note I am positive of the information on Carter listed in this post. The other information is what I believe to be true, but I do not have proof. A grain of salt is advised.



Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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" 939 CFM on the 4-barrel test, and 1128 CFM on a 2-barrel test. "


AFAIR the original test (2bbl test) was flow at a back pressure of 3 in/hg. However in the 50s four barrel carbs flow could no longer reach 3" on a standard test bench so for 4 bbls they started using half that: flow at 1.5 in/hg  and while the numbers were lower (about 70%) the same test benches could be used.


So the 3636 could flow A Lot (and predated the Holley 3 barrel) but was the same carb just the rating varied with the test (like PON gas and net vs gross HP) and required an open plenum manifold.

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I don't recall a 3 barrel ever being used in NASCAR, at least not during the Pontiac hey days. They did allow the use of dual 4 barrel carbs on the Fords, I believe in 1965 to offset the Chrysler hemi. 

I also wonder why the 62 Pontiac 421 with single 4 barrel was rated at 390 horse power yet the NASCAR GN cars had 405 horse power on the hood.

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Padgett - correct, the 3636s was flowed at both figures, and did predate the Holley 3-barrel, but the Stromberg 3-barrel predated them both, by a couple of decades! ;)




Tommy - the 3-barrel Carter was only available to those Pontiac drivers with the proper name. ;) I have a letter from Carter stating they only built between 15 and 20, which is incorrect. Some 30 or so years ago, when studying the Super Duty Pontiacs, I located 24. I doubt that I found them all, but pretty close. I currently have only two. The Pontiac part number for the carburetor is 9772389. It was not available to Carter distributors, only to Pontiac.


I was told they were only used on the super speedways, never on the short tracks (again, hearsay, I have no proof).


The Carter 3-barrel was not overly street-friendly, as the primary and secondary throttles, after only a few degrees, opened 1 to 1.


I do have a few NASCAR rule books, but none in this era.


But back to the original topic: A gentleman by the name of Ray Mann did some absolutely fabulous photography, much of it color, on virtually all U.S. racing series during this time period. He was instrumental in the publishing of a magazine called "Racing Pictorial". Wonderful pictures. There are 1000's of photographs in these magazines.



Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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I believe in 1958 NASCAR banned multi carbs.

 In 1957 Cotton Owens won the grand national in a 57 Chieftain, 347" Tri-Power # 886 cam 317HP. In 1958 the Yunick/Paul Goldsmiths 1958 Chieftain won the Grand National ( the last cars to run Daytona on the beach ) The Chieftain like all 58 Pontiac's had the 370" engine with the 886 cam and a 4bbl carb. for NASCAR,  on the hood the 285HP script. I believe the HP to be 315. 

Fireball Roberts / Yunick 1959 Pontiac with the new 389" engine # 886 cam was rated at 330HP single 4bbl for NASCAR. This particular car was 10MPH faster than any car on the track for the Daytona 500. Unfortunately coming in for a fuel stop after leading the race Roberts starts to accelerate from the pits and the engine noses over.  The fuel pump arm had broken off and sidelined the car.

At the start of the 1963 season and before G.M.'s ban on racing Pontiac had introduced the big valve tall port 980 cylinder head with 13 to 1 compression to go along with the new 3bbl. aluminum manifold- cast # 9772390 ( very similar to the RA4 intake) to go along with the 3bbl trap door carburetor ( 3636S ). Back in the early 90's  I had a chance to buy one of the 3BBLs and the aluminum intake, and also a complete aluminum 1961 ( block and heads ) 389 Pontiac engineering did for Mickey Thompson  and I balked on it. That was a mistake.

Edited by Pfeil (see edit history)
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