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Pixs from 1967 or so. Posted before but here they are again, just for kicks.
Very Cool Mike ! How did you like using the PB's for shifting at the track, and how did they hold up ? My '63 is nearing completion, and I kept the stock set up, as I wanted it to be "Era" correct. Thanks for posting !
Having done some reading up on the era (I have a '63 Plymouth typewriter drive) a couple of legendary racers preferred the buttons and when they were discontinued in '64 some took out the '64 setups and put them in the '65's as it looks was done here being a '65 Plymouth. I remember my cousin having a midnight blue '64 Sport Fury in '64 as a youngster and took me for a ride. He came to red light, shifted to 1st and laid on the throttle shifting to 2nd and 3rd with the tires burning between the shifts. I was forever impressed with the button drive despite how much I always liked a 4 speed saying one day I gotta have one. The itch remained despite having some cars I wish I still had. 30 years later I bought a CA '63 restoed it and still have it.
Don't post things on the www that you don't want to get out! Any info on the engine?
Well, there were NO aftermarket Torqueflite shifters on the market in 1967/68 so I fabricated this shifter tower for shifting. Used the stock pushbuttons and park lever. It worked flawlessly for 2 years of Match Racing.
NOTE: my funny car was actually my 1963 Max Wedge car that I converted just to LOOK LIKE a 65 Plymouth by bolting on 1965 Fiberglass front Fenders, Hood, Bumper and Grille. I also utilized 1965 Fiberglass doors and deck lid that bolted right onto my 1963 Plymouth Belvedere.
The motor in the car was the original 1963 Max Wedge Motor. It was a stage III motor with the big (3705) carbs, 13.5-1 CR, Max Wedge heads of course. When I went funny car racing beginning in 1967 I upgraded the motor with a CRANE Roller Cam, Hilborn Fuel Injection running typically 50% methanol and 50% Nitromethane. I also had a VERTEX MAG, Home made fabricated Zoomy Headers. The tranny was a standard Torqueflite with a reverse pattern valve body. We had NO such things as Super Sprag, Billet Drums, etc. My converter was a HEMI converter with 1800 rpm flash. 8 3/4 rear end with 4.56 gears (I put in a 5.13 gear for 1/8 mile match races) I ran 6lbs of air in my slicks mounted on 15x6" wide American Racing Mags. The rear suspension was a one off setup that I fabricated. It was kind of a semi-ladder bar setup with leaf springs and air shocks with a little more air in the passenger side shock. I only ran a small motorcycle battery in the car to power the gauges, didn't need a regular battery with the Vertex Mag. We had 2 12volt batteries wired in parallel (to create 24volts) on a push cart that we plugged into the rear of the car to power up the starter on the motor. The starter motor was a 6 volt motor so the starter motor spun about 4x faster than normal...probably about 2500rpm or so to start the car. We rebuilt the motor in the starter every other race...lol. I was only 25 years old, really had no idea what I was doing. I did all the fabrication on the car in the back room of my speed shop. Built the motor, Altered the Wheebase, installed the front tube axle, set the engine and tranny back 26", did all the interior aluminum work, wiring, plumbing,etc. The car only weighed about 2500lbs on the start line. I ran the heck out of for 2 summers having 2-3 match races per month. I never broke anything on the car and the motor never gave up the ghost...just kept running and running...amazing now that I think about it.
Thanks Mike for the history, ingenuity at it's finest! Racers from that era are the pioneers. Love hearing from someone who lived it.
Great story Mike. I wonder where that car is today? I'm surprised that the 8 3/4 held up, but at 2500 pounds, I'm sure that helped. What ET's was the car running in '67? I'm guessing mid-to-low 10's.
Yup, never had a problem with the 8 3/4, but remember, I only had 10" wide M&H slicks leaving at about 1800rpm off the footbrake. Sold the car in 1969 (the year I moved from Illinois to California) to a guy from Burlington Vermont. I had placed an ad in National Dragster. He drove from Vermont with his pickup truck and hooked up my car and trailer and left. I had sold the Hilborn Fuel Injection Unit off the car and put the cross ram with the 3705 Carters back on the motor. I also sold the max Wedge heads off the car and put on a set of standard port heads. Don't think that worked very well but the guy knew what he was getting for the $1500 price tag for the car and the trailer. Never saw or heard about the car ever again. With a big load of Nitromethane the car ran high 9's and low 140's. In my Match Races I could never outrun a HEMI car because they were running mid nines. I held my own against 427 Chev Funny Cars and 421 Pontiac Funny Cars. For some reason there were very few Ford Funny Cars on the Match Race Circuit in Southern Illinois, Indiana and Missouri which is where I raced all the time.
Well you were useing one of the 10" M&H slicks anyway! I'm thinking it would have been a 742 rear.
I don't really remember what rear end housing it was....but what I know for sure is that the rear end housing was what came standard equipment on a 1963 Max Wedge Lightweight car with the Stage III motor with the big 3705 Carter Carbs.
$1500 sounded like a better than sweet deal even back then. In today's numbers it would equate to around $10,500. Let's not get into what it would be worth today...how about a '70 Cuda convert BB 4-speed for $600? That's what I got for it when trading in for a demo '73 Challenger in '74...we oldsters all have some sad memories to recollect of our old rides.