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With the introduction of Chevy's OHV V-8 in 1955, the brand's domination on the drag strip immediately snowballed. Drag racers loved the compact V-8. It was lightweight, revved high, and responded like no other engine previously produced. Chevy saw a record year in sales in 1955, thanks to a combination of a restyled body and the new mill. It was the age of ingenuity, and those who could get their hands on the new engine were swapping it into engine bays that once housed other weaker mills. Ford's flathead, one that had dominated for so long, was rendered obsolete almost overnight.
Chevy had a winner and dominated the sales charts for years to come. Aftermarket manufacturers got on board and offered all the go-fast goodies needed to make Chevy a winner, no matter what category they ran. From Dragsters to Stock, Chevy's success was immediate. And it was a long-term success, thanks to a combination of years of great styling and a vast array of driveline combinations.
Accomplished racing author Doug Boyce takes a celebratory look at those years of success, with a focus on the first 25 years (1955 through 1980). Chevrolets gave rise to such stars as Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins, "Jungle Jim" Liberman, "Sneaky Pete" Robinson, "Dyno Don" Nicholson, Sox & Martin, Dick Harrell, Dave Strickler, and many more. World champs and fan favorites all drove Chevys. The success showed in the record books. No brand has won more races and events or has set more national records than Chevrolet. And unlike the other manufacturers, Ford and Chrysler, it was done with little to no factory support.
Whether you are a hardcore Chevy fan or just love catching up on the history of drag racing during the golden age, this nostalgic look at Chevy racing history is sure to entertain for hours on end.
Relive the roar of 'Dyno Don' Nicholson's iconic drag racing cars from Chevrolet, Mercury, and Ford and dive into at his legendary career with the detailed accounts in this book.
Nicholson's first wins on a national level were actually in the early 1960s in Chevrolet products. He became extremely successful on the match-race circuit. Then, in 1964, he switched over to Mercury with the new Comet after General Motors enacted a factory ban on racing activities. He won 90 percent of his match races that year. He stuck with Ford and Mercury products and won throughout the 1960s and 1970s, even after Ford also pulled the plug on factory team sponsorship. He made it to the final rounds in nearly 50 national events during that period, in addition to winning championships, awards, and match races along the way.
Drivers often became associated with a particular manufacturer, such as Chevy, Ford, or Chrysler through sponsorship, factory team rides, or sometimes simply their own preference. The more successful drivers became household names in the drag racing community. Chevy had Grumpy Jenkins, Pontiac had Arnie 'the Farmer' Beswick, Mopar had Sox & Martin and Dandy Dick Landy, and Ford's most successful driver of the era was the legendary 'Dyno Don' Nicholson.
If you are a fan of a certain era of racing, a Ford fan, or certainly a 'Dyno Don' fan, this book will be a welcome addition to your library.
Relive or discover the exciting history of match racing through the cars, drivers, rivalries, events, and everything that was fun about match racing in drag racing's golden era.
This volume by veteran drag race author Doug Boyce is enhanced with wonderful vintage photography provided by fans and professionals in attendance.
Drag racing is a very regulated sport. In the history of the NHRA, IHRA, and other sanctioning bodies, many classes exist in an effort to make sure the cars racing against each other are as equal as possible. It is a noble, if not futile, pursuit. Two cars face off that have very similar statistics in terms of weight, transmission type, fuel type, estimated horsepower, and all other sorts of measurables. The byproduct is that often the races that were 'fair' were not the races that the fans wanted to see.
During the golden age of drag racing, fans didn't care as much about class racing as much as they wanted to see scores settled, rivalries battled, and interesting matchups. There were the manufacturer rivalries, Ford versus Chevy, Chevy versus Mopar, Mopar versus Ford, as well as numerous driver rivalries. Match races were also a great way to feature wildly popular cars that no longer had a class in which to compete, yet the fans still wanted to see them. So popular and intense were these races that many track promoters didn't bother to promote class racing at all. Instead, they used the match races as headliners, similar to the marquee at your local arena or a billboard in Las Vegas, all resulting in putting more fans in the stands. And the drivers loved it too. Although the prize money for national events was fairly average for the day, the extra appearance fees and prize money to lure the most popular match racers to events increased the driver's take exponentially. Many of the most popular pro drivers quit class racing altogether just to go match racing.
If you are a fan of any class of drag racing from any era, Match Race Mayhem: Drag Racing's Grudges, Rivalries and Big-Money Showdowns is a fun addition to your racing library.