Old Photo Thread

BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:18 pm

Thought I'd try to provoke some activity with a photo and story sharing thread related to our automotive hobby...:-)

Here are some pictures I recently scanned along with the story behind one of my early hot rod projects ('63 corvette roadster). I graduated from High school in 1973 and worked a summer construction job for a family friend on Long Island, NY. My boss was a former dirt track racer and he had been trying to talk me out of my plan to build a V8 Vega drag car. The second half of the summer we were renovating a warehouse he and some partners owned out in Patchogue, L.I.

My boss went out one day to pick up materials and spotted the car parked on the side of Sunrise Hwy not far from the construction site. It was parked right next to a race shop (Fast Freddy's Performance Cars). The owner (Fast Freddy) campaigned a dedicated track only '65 corvette 427 drag car and was selling the '63 for I think $1200.

It had a dead, non-corvette motor, T-10 trans, factory side pipes, horrid purple paint, hideous body mods and nothing worked electronically. I was 17 at the time and didn't have much money, but my boss talked the owner down to $950 cash, so I bought the car and sold my '68 327 Camaro.

I bought a professionally prepped and unassembled 350 short block with 12.5:1 CR forged pistons, steel crank, etc. Paid another guy to build me a set of hipo heads with big valves and some exhaust porting, installed an off-road Z-28 cam, Edelbrock Tarantula single plane mani, headers with straight through Thrush mufflers (ditched the side pipes), Holley 780 and put Goodyear Bluestreak slicks on deep dish steel rims in the back. The car was loud and ugly, and the motor only made serious power in a very high and very narrow rpm band, but it screamed and it was faster than any of my buddies' hot rods...:-)

Like I said, it was ugly and pretty much illegal for the street...but it was fun until the gas crunch hit...:-)
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Last edited by BlackSnake on Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:29 pm

Wouldn't allow me to add more than two photos in the first post, now it will only let me post one at a time...grrr
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BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:33 pm

Here's another one with my ex sitting on the car...we had just met and were only dating at the time. Whenever I went to pick her up, she'd be waiting outside...she said she could hear me coming from two blocks away...we were never able to have a conversation in the car with the motor running...:-)
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BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:37 pm

Last one...btw, it wasn't much of a drag car from a dead stop due to the weak 7.5" ring gear and independent half shafts (snapped one at the outboard yoke at one point), but out of a roll it was wicked...:-)
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Tom Wells
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Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by Tom Wells » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:22 pm

BS,

Well....

No comments about the ex :-$

I know I'm colorblind, but is that close to the color of the GT40?

Tom

BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:46 pm

No Tom, not remotely...

BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:52 pm

Okay, round two...today I'll add a few pictures of a top fuel car I pit crewed for in the early 70's. If I remember correctly, the pictures were taken at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, which was a common venue for the car. The track is still in operation, but no drag racing anymore.

It wasn't uncommon to see the likes of Garlits, Ivo or Prudhomme lined up near us in the staging lanes at big races. The name of the car was Traveler. It ran a Donovan 417 hemi, which was high end at that time. Estimated HP at the time was in the 3,300 range, roughly a third of what today's monsters are capable of.

The owner of the car lived in my neighborhood in Bronx, NY where I grew up. He lived on the same block as a buddy of mine (shown in a few of the pictures), that's how I got on the crew. I remember he had a front engine dragster with a BBC before he jumped to TF. He also had a really badass BBC '68 Camaro that would lift the wheels on the street and someone said he occasionally towed the dragster with it. He also owned a repair shop that I think he bought with inherited money, which I believe is also how he paid for the TF car. He also taught HS auto shop for a time after he sold the shop, to pay the bills I'd guess. He was a real character, lots of funny stories to tell, another time perhaps.

The car was run on a shoe-string budget with the only sponsor being a local speed shop in the Bronx that provided nitro-methane fuel and tires, and little else. It was never competitive, but fun to be part of the action.

Anyway, here's me standing next to the car.
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BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:54 pm

Me and my buddy Andy on either side of the car...
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BlackSnake
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:57 pm

Andy and Al (another guy on the crew), he usually drove the van to push start the car. There was a remote starter, but it rarely worked well enough to start the car.
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BlackSnake
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:09 am

Re: Old Photo Thread

Post by BlackSnake » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:02 pm

Last one, I don't remember the young kid's name who's bending over the car, but we called him Stick because he was so skinny...I think he was one of Tony's (the owner) HS auto shop student's...:-)
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