57 Chevy Truck – Just how can I perhaps begin discussing this drag auto racing prize, an unmolested time passage to the prime time of the straight-axle gasser battles?
Possibly I could begin by informing you it has actually endured 55 years with mostly all of its initial components. That the components alone are a digital shopping list of period-correct determined drag auto racing parts of the very early ’60s and also ’70s. Or perhaps we need to simply begin with a boy by the name of Charlie Proite.
In 1957, Charlie tweezed a low-mile ’57 Chevy Bel Air two-door hardtop from a regional Milwaukee, Wisconsin, dealer as well as placed just 3,000 miles on the clock prior to avoiding for an excursion of obligation in Korea. After returning house, he changed the auto right into a 10-second, A/GS fight axe that kept up the similarity Stone Woods and also Cook, as well as Arnie “the Farmer” Beswick.
57 Chevy Truck
The Bel Air saw its very first activity in 1960 at Great Lakes Dragaway in Wisconsin. Charlie established the auto with a lot of the durable components offered in 1960. He picked a sturdy three-quarter-ton six-lug back axle from a ’57 Chevy vehicle and also installed to it a collection of (currently ultra-rare) magnesium small-window Halibrand kidney beans.
The cars and truck was totally gutted. A lot of the firewall software was gotten rid of for the 25 percent engine trouble, the front suspension was torched off, and also a completely boxed as well as reduced subframe was developed to house among the trickest attributes on the automobile: a greatly changed as well as went down ’32 Ford straight axle with pierced support plates as well as reduced barrettes placing a set of Mickey Thompson Raders.
Back in 1960, Pontiac was generating really effective manufacturing V-8 torque beasts. Normally, Charlie went down in a 389 Pontiac fitted with a GMC blower as well as Hilborn two-port shot, backed by a four-speed BorgWarner transmission. The windscreen was radius-cut for the blower inside story, as well as the ’57 was going down right into the 10s at 125 miles per hour.
After grenading the 389, Charlie exchanged in a 421 Super Duty with the very same supercharger configuration as well as competed it once more for many years prior to it was marketed as a roller at some time in the ’60s. Charlie Proite after that took place to project the initial beer-sponsored drag automobile, the Pabst Charger nitro Funny Car.
As the tale goes, Duane Hanson acquired the automobile from Charlie in around 1969, fitted it with a ’67 Pontiac GTO 400, and also covered it off with a dual-quad Offenhauser consumption as well as 2 AFB Carter carburetors. He after that offered the cars and truck the name “Superstition,” repainted it on the automobile’s doors in typical silver fallen leave, connected in a B&M Hydro-Stick from a ’56 Olds, and also went auto racing.
The auto terrified numerous Midwest tracks as well as constantly ran in the 10s prior to it was offered in the mid-1970s to a male called Ken Richter. Ken rapidly wet-sanded off the name “Duane,” changed out the old chauffeur seat with a made use of container from a ’66 Volkswagen fastback as well as, like Duane, was on his means to the track.
For many years, Ken and also his bro shared owning obligations up until the Hydro-Stick established an issue in 1978. That’s when Ken made a decision the vehicle as well as auto racing occupied excessive of his cash and also time. The ’57 rested outside at Ken’s residence in Milwaukee for several years and also ultimately made its means approximately Green Bay, where it was saved behind a shed in a collection agency’s area of classic cars.
The following phase of the cars and truck’s tale transpired via my very own possibility experience.
My ’63 Cadillac was in demand of components, so I looked up an enthusiast I would certainly satisfied at a cars and truck program. After asking consent to search, I began down the initial row, took a right, and also there it was: “Powered by Pontiac” jazzed up in vibrant letters on the front fender of a ’57 Chevy.
I recognized instantaneously that this was an uncommon pet. Strolling better, taking a look around it as well as below, I grinned to see all the markings of a classic gasser: straight axle, radiused wheelwells, fiberglass front nose, and also traditional stickers. The exploration appeared nearly unique.
The whole lot proprietor informed me the cars and truck was being kept for Ken Richter, and also I really did not throw away any type of time finding him. A bargain was made; the auto was bought.
Once it was back in my store, I was happily shocked to locate nearly all the initial components stuffed inside the body, in addition to a raccoon’s nest as well as 36 years of dust as well as dirt. My enjoyment expanded each time a component was taken out that aided complete the jigsaw challenge.
frantically intended to obtain ahold of Charlie Proite, that can address many even more of my inquiries. After weeks of research study and also a great deal of decision, I ultimately obtained a telephone call to the guy, that was after that in his eighties, and also he exposed to me that the cars and truck was an initial, A/GS drag auto.
Wishing to place the auto back in its appropriate historic kind, I sourced an early-period GMC blower device to return on the auto, refreshed the Pontiac 400, as well as reincarnated among the baddest making it through initial drag cars and trucks in the nation today.
Charlie established up the automobile with many of the sturdy components readily available in 1960. The auto terrified numerous Midwest tracks and also constantly ran in the 10s prior to it was marketed in the mid-1970s to a guy called Ken Richter. That’s when Ken determined the automobile as well as auto racing took up as well a lot of his cash and also time. The ’57 rested outside at Ken’s home in Milwaukee for years and also ultimately made its method up to Green Bay, where it was saved behind a shed in an enthusiast’s area of classic automobiles.
The whole lot proprietor informed me the auto was being saved for Ken Richter, and also I really did not lose any type of time situating him.
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