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Old 02-04-2015, 08:43 AM   #1
troublemaker427
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Default Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

I have a question I hope some of you folks on this site can help me with. I've been researching the 1961 Indy Nationals and specifically Super Stock.. I have obtained a 1961 program that contains the entries but is not broken down into classes. I know they ran a class called Optional Super Stock which basically was the forerunner to AFX. Did they also run SS and the cars with the latest updated engine "packages" run O/SS or did O/SS cover all of the cars eligible for SS? Is a breakdown available of eliminations in O/SS anywhere? I've been trying to find a 1961 National Dragster with the event coverage but I haven't found one yet. The Hot Rod/Car Craft coverage of the event only hits the highlights and only mentions both Dyno and Beswick were DQ for unapproved parts.
I feel in many ways the O/SS class at Indy in 1961 was a very historical event. It basically opened NHRA's eyes to how popular SS racing was to become. It also was the "breakout" event for Chryslers drag racing program with the success of the Ramchargers there.

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.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

O/SS is not mentioned in the 1961 NHRA rulebook while Factory Experimental does show up in the 1962 NHRA rulebook. There are photos of cars at Indy with class designation of O/SS and O/SA. Since Stock classes in 1961 went from Super/Stock on top and continued with A/S down through K/S, the designations of O/SS was for Optional Stock Stick and O/SA for Optional Stock Automatic.

Here is the class winner in Optional/Stock Automatic....

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Old 02-05-2015, 06:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Travis, thanks for posting. Everything I've been able to find regarding O/SS including period coverage calls it Optional Super Stock or Optional Super Stock Automatic. It appears NHRA created the class on the fly for Indy because of all of the "service packages" that the manufacturers were cranking out at the time.


From what I can tell Strickler & Nicholson were basically running the '62 409-409 engine and the Thompson/Profitt Pontiac was using the 421SD. I also believe the stick Fords had 4-speeds in them. This also explains the Fords winning O/SA with an automatic transmission when they were never factory available behind a 390-401.


NHRA went on to finally recognize "Stock" car records in October 1961 at York. Dave Strickler set the first ever "Super Stock" record at 13.24 @ 106.64. I've actually held this record in my hand as Mike Strickler still has it.
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

O/SS allowed a hood scoop and some look homemade.


Last edited by Travis Miller; 02-05-2015 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

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.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:10 PM   #6
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Exclamation Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

look at this website ---"MRE Books" under 1961 Super stock--- it explains in quite a bit of detail the difference in the classes then --- it goes on to explain 1961 rules-- then on to 1962--- then on to 1963 --lists weight breaks allowable equipment ---equipment that was NOT allowed etc. on a year by year basis.. Might answer all your ???? FED 387
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

I have the book, the details/photos are limited. I thought someone on here may have more to offer. MRE Books and Larry Davis' book are the same...
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

I used to have a 61 Dodge Phoenix 2dr hardtop.

Big memories triggered by this one.
(mine was a red 318) :

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Old 02-08-2015, 10:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

61 Ford vs 61 Chevy in O/SS.

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Old 02-09-2015, 08:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Optional Super Stock Indy 1961

Has that maroon car with the white hood ever been found????? Former Yorker would like to know.
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