Nostalgia Drag Racing
In the '80's, I was racing my '56 Ford F-100 every weekend, and loving every second of it...but I wanted to go faster! What I really wanted was a "classic" drag racing machine. I started searching for a cool old gasser, altered, or dragster. While I was away on a fishing trip, a friend spotted a small ad in the classifieds....."60's drag race Fiat". After calling on the ad, I wasn't expecting much....it sounded like it was going to be rough...but the price was right, so we went to look at it. What we found was quite the opposite! It was almost complete....add engine, belts, and a couple odds and ends, and go racing! I had to have it! My friends and family helped me come up with the cash, and I robbed the motor out of my '56.
The first time out with my new ride was interesting, to say the least! I had been warned about the nasty habits a short car like mine could have many times...but I had no idea just how nasty it could be! It was scary! More than once, I considered selling the car...it was that bad! But I'm not one to give up easily, so I kept trying. After about a dozen attempts, I finally got the car down the track. I remember it well!....11.17 seconds. That was so much faster than I had ever been, and it was awesome! But of course....I wanted more!
I raced the car for around 6 years, making small changes and improvements, and eventually put a "nice" 327 in it. At least I thought it was nice......I spent every penny I had on the motor, and it only lasted a few weeks before a wristpin failed, and ruined the motor.....I was done......the car would sit idle for several years.
While my car was out of commission, I did some growing up.....got married, bought a house, had a kid.......You're probably thinking "Uh-oh!.....no more racing!" That wasn't the case. My wife Jenny, and I had still been going to races as spectators, and to help my dad with his hot rods. We had just spent a great weekend at Firebird Raceway in Boise, Idaho, and had met some truly great people including Mike Boyd, and Mousie Marcellus who inspired us to drag the racecar out, and get it going again! We bought a trailer, asked Boyd Abercrombie to help us build an engine that would hold up, and starting racing again!
The injected 355 that we built served me well. It ran 9.30's @ 135 mph. The car was never very consistent, but it was fun.....and it became very well known! We were having as much fun making friends as we were racing! We enjoyed racing at Drag City, in Pocatello Idaho, and at Firebird Raceway, in Boise Idaho. But.....as I got more comfortable in the car.....I wanted more!
We took a couple years off......saved some money....and returned with a vengeance!
Bad Manners was fitted with an all new supercharged motor! Boyd put together a package that is capable of 1100+ horsepower! The car was DEFINITELY exciting to drive again! After killing 3 powerglides, and a set of wheelie bars, I got a couple good runs with the new combination....I ran 7.71 @ 177 mph!...What a rush! The last run of 2004 ended the life of the old GM block, cracking a cylinder......
We purchased a new Motown block from World Products, and made a few small changes to the motor. Everything appears to be holding up....so Bad Manners lives on!