Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Drag Racing Memories

I remember that we used to race some pretty cool cars back in the day BEFORE the Musclecars of the late 60's. Probably the quickest of them all was Dickey Anderton's Factory super stock Plymouth (62 or 63, I believe) 426 Ram Inducted Wedge Head (before the Hemi's). When he pulled in at the Chuck Wagon or the 28th street Clover Drive-in with the headers uncapped the entire metal awning system would rattle. No one would take him on.

Doug Moore might have been the closest competitor with his ‘32 Coupe or his later ‘55 Chevy 2-door post. I believe his ‘55 had a full race 377-inch Chevy small block. Then came Roger Enderbrock in a Black ‘64 Impala, 409-425 Horse. These three guys were two or three years older than most of us.

Big (literally) Joe Kennedy always had a fast car, too. His full size ‘64 Ford Galaxy convertible was supposed to have a 390, but I'm almost sure it was a 427 side oiler. It was VERY quick for a full size heavy convertible and a real girl getter also. Joe was a Great guy.

Wendell Jordan ran around with Joe and had a nice yellow Corvette. I'm not sure of the engine as he did not race it with us too often. I bought my ‘63 Dodge 440 2-door from Doug Moore. It was a 383 four-speed. It was one of the top two drag cars from our class of 63. I won many races out on loop 820 before and after school or on a convoy from the Chuck Wagon.

Terry Fricks had a nice, fairly quick ‘60 Impala convertible. It was silver and probably had a 409. Terry never told me. I remember also a close race I had with Jimmy Bilderback in his ‘62 Corvette 327-365 horse. Close by about 6 feet. I jumped him 5 or 6 car lengths off the line but he came on like rocket sled on the big end and almost won.

Benny Thompson, a good friend of mine, had a quick MOPAR, a ‘63 Plymouth 383. We sort of teamed up and used his car to tow mine to Kennedale a few times. I eventually modified my Dodge to B/modified production class and was able to post an 11:20 E.T. at 112 M.P.H. at Green Valley Raceway. Benny went on to work as a Police Officer in Ft.. Worth where he eventually retired I believe.

Johnny Gearhart had a VERY NICE Black ‘57 Chevy Bel-air. It was quick for what it was, and a real collector car too. As I recall some of these guys were Juniors but were still good friends and racers. Most all of the guys went to (the yet unopened) loop 820 and Randol Mill road. We used the North bound access road to race.

Races were either before school, at lunch period or right after school. The important top dog races were later on in the evening after a quick meet up at the Chuck Wagon, very seldom for money, as we spent it all on our cars. The notoriety for having the winning car was enough. Strangely enough I NEVER received a contest of speed ticket....thank goodness, because my father was the Ft. Worth Corporation Court Judge.

I hope this brings back some memories for some........James G.

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