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Old 02-09-2015, 09:33 AM   #11
Travis Miller
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Speaking of the maroon Chevy, here's a color photo from Indy at the '61 Nationals taken in the pits.

Last edited by Travis Miller; 02-10-2015 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:15 AM   #12
Billy Nees
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that Don Fezell owns that car and has restored it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Don owns the clone of the OR1, the original car has never been found. Don does own the original OR4.

Here is a shot of the clone.

The Pontiac pictured was owned by Mickey Thompson and driven by Hayden Proffit. It set low et. in O/SS at Indy with a 12.55. Some feel this time was bogus and that the car tripped the staging beams with it's rear tires.
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Jody Aberts
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Old 02-20-2018, 07:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Originally Posted by Carguy49 View Post
, ...there is a very good book available. The title is - Super Stock - Drag Racing the Family Sedan, by Larry Davis...

Gentlemen, please forgive me for hijacking this 3 year old thread. I found it doing a search and signed up so I could ask you a question about the subject at hand (3 years ago).

I was given a copy of Davis's book and it was life changing. I decided then and there I would have a Superstock, but one I could use on the street, and it had to be interesting. I didn't want to be driving yet another 62-64 Max Wedge B Body. I found a 61 Plymouth Savoy & built it to resemble what a purpose built ram inducted 61 Savoy would be if so ordered. You can read about it if you are interested at a Hemming's Muscle Car Magazine feature from 2007 here:


Back to my question: What did guys who ran 61 Dodge & Plymouth cars typically have for a power plant? Was it a 383 4 barrel, or the 383 Ram Induction? Did anyone lay hands on a 413? There was a 61 Savoy like mine called Rambunctious (See photo) and I would love to know what is under that hood. AMA specs listed a 413 but I cannot confirm any wound up in a 61 Plymouth.

Any info would be sincerely appreciated.

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Old 03-06-2018, 02:18 PM   #15
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Originally Posted by Carguy49 View Post
I'd really like to learn more about that event but photos and detailed coverage is hard to find. Any help you guys may offer is appreciated.

Jody, If you really want to learn more about this era, there is a very good book available. The title is - Super Stock - Drag Racing the Family Sedan, by Larry Davis. The book was printed in 2010 and is very good reading with lots of photos. It should still be available from Amazon or through your local book store (Barnes and Noble) or such. I don't believe the book covers the event in question with much detail but covers the era (55-68) very well and can answer many questions you might have.

NHRA has always been careful about insuring that the factories did not alter or change components after they were initially listed as "permitted" for the S/S class. 1961 was a strange year for S/S, for a couple of reasons. First, they permitted cars to compete in S/S even if they did not originally have the legal engine for S/S. For instance, although the Chevy 409 engine was legal in '61, it did not need to be a factory produced vehicle. In effect, if you had a '61 Chevy with a 6-cylinder engine or a 283 or 348 engine, you could purchase a 409 engine from your dealer and install it in the car yourself or have it installed by the dealer. By 1962, if I remember correctly, it clearly stated that the "legal" engine had to be "factory installed". And NHRA did not know what to do about the parts that came out during the year, that had not been available at the beginning of the year. In the 409 case, Chevy offered a different cam, heads and intake manifold prior to the NHRA Nationals in 1961. Had that been done prior to the Winternationals, it would not have been an issue, but it was offered in mid year, as "optional parts", and not "available as factory installed".

Pontiac, Ford, and Dodge / Plymouth followed suit with mid year non-factory installed optional parts. NHRA created the "Optional S/S class", for that one event only, and it was never done again.

I seemed to recall a similar problem at the '62 NHRA Nationals, with the Chevy guys running "optional" engine equipment, but it's a little hazy now as to how that got handled. Maybe they ran in F/X, I can't remember.

An interesting situation happened at the NHRA Winternationals in 1963. Several Chevy racers arrived with Z-11 cars, Pontiac racers with the Swiss Cheese Panchos, Ford guys with plastic hoods, etc., etc. All Factory backed cars, but those components had never been presented to NHRA for classification. These racers expected to run in the S/S class, but NHRA said no. NHRA created the "Limited Production class" (L/P) for that one event only, and it was never done again. As it turned out, neither Chevy or Pontiac had produced enough vehicles to even qualify as "stock", and these cars were eventually classified as "Factory Experimental" at later NHRA events. Both Chevy and Pontiac built the full size cars to run in S/S, not in F/X (Pontiac already had the 421 Tempest for F/X), plus the anti-racing ban hit the GM Divisions.

Ford went ahead and did build enough '63's with light weight hoods and doors to qualify for S/S, but that did not happen in time prior to the Winternats. I never did follow up on the Mopar guys and their issues.

NHRA cleaned up their S/S rules after '63, added clarifications where needed, and created good connections with the factories, and the issues of '61, '62 and '63 did not come up again, as far as I know...

Last edited by geoklass; 03-06-2018 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

I was looking at my old NHRA Rulebooks this morning and found the wording used in 1961 that led to the O/SS class at the NHRA Nationals that year. In the '61 Rulebook for Stock Class (under ENGINE) it states as follows: "Engine in each car must be of the specific type, year and make as the car in in which it is being run." This line is how some racers were able to install a 409 engine in a Chevy that was not factory installed when the car was first produced. It goes on to say, "Engine equipment other than that regularly produced for assembly line installation by the manufacturer will not be permitted." That line is why NHRA did not let special over the counter factory parts run in S/S, and created the Optional S/S class for the Nationals.

This was rectified in the 1962 NHRA Rulebook. In the Stock Class section in bold print: "All cars in stock class manufactured after June 1, 1961, must be factory assembly-line produced and generally show-room sales available."

In 1962, the FX (Factory Experimental) class was introduced. It read as follows: "The Factory Experimental class is for stock automobiles that use manufacturers' optional equipment announced on or after June 1, 1961; optional equipment that is not necessarily factory assembly-line installed show-room sales available."

This same sentence was also used in the '63 NHRA Rulebook. What the factories did (especially GM with the Z-11 Chevy and Swiss-cheese Pontiacs) was to produce a few cars that had this "optional equipment" but WERE factory assembly line installed, hoping to be able to get them into Super Stock instead of Factory Experimental. Had they continued to produce those cars in quantity, NHRA would have most likely declared them to be S/S legal, but there so few made (57 Chevy Z-11 Impalas and 14 Swiss Cheese Pontiacs), it did not happen. When they showed up at Pomona in February '63, the so-called factory cars were all lettered with S/S. but NHRA declared them to be ineligible for S/S, and created the Limited Production (L/P) class for them instead. I was there and remember quite well the meeting between the factory reps and NHRA (it was NOT a quite meeting). Ford eventually did produce enough cars and NHRA did permit them to run in S/S class later in the year.

These were great times, the "Super Stock Years", when it was factory vs. factory. It's long gone now, and will never return like it once was.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961


You might like this thread on the Hagerty site, 7 Muscle Cars before the GTO LOL. See the commenter @sonoramic, he used to run a 383/330 sonoramic car back in 1960-61


Weertman's book is also excellent - I was at SAE Detroit when he presented his history of Mopar engines in ~2004 or so. It was standing room only into the hallway.
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