1971 Super Car Clinic – A Rewarding Year

MyCars-71SuperCarClinicLogoThe 1971 Super Car Clinic program consisted of 24 Clinics coast to coast in Canada during a three month period. I piloted two Pro/Stocks for the ’71 campaign: a ’71 Demon for Dodge and a ’71 Baracuda for Plymouth. The car clinics boasted well known brand names (listed on My Sponsor segment of my website) each with a display board of their products exhibited. My corporate Sponsor, Chrysler Canada, also supplied displays for MOPAR and Chryco Hustle Stuff products. The photos listed showing the Car Clinics display boards and two towers were all part of my Dodge and Plymouth dealership Clinic program. All the displays shown in these photos traveled coast to coast with me during my Clinic and racing schedule. With only 24 Car Clinics for 1971. I had a perfect opportunity to race a lot more. My racing schedule was full for the season all over North America. My ’69 C-600 Dodge Hauler was modified to a T-box design so I could have a traveling workshop for the two Pro/Stocks. My reasoning for running two Pro/Stocks was the overwhelming success of this class of race car along with my commitment to running both Dodge and Plymouth race cars as part of my Chrysler contract. The purses offered were also very generous. I started racing in this class in 1970 with my ’70 Duster when the class was first introduced. This class of racing was very competitive and I was totally committed to it.

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1971 DODGE DEMON PRO/S 118
MyCars-71DemonMy 1971 Dodge Demon Pro/Stock 118 was completed first at my Bay Ridges workshop during the late Fall of 1970. The Dodge Demon was a “body in white” which was not acid dipped. The Demon was completed in about 4 weeks. We removed most of the parts from the 1970 Pro/Stock Duster in order to complete the car in a short period of time. During the Fall of 1970 I saw a preview of the new Dodge Demon. I felt this car would be a perfect fit for the new Pro/Stock Category. Both ’71 Pro/Stock were painted a Centennial College at the Scarborough Campus. John Cook, a friend of mine was a teacher at Centennial College at that time and did the front end alignments on both the Demon and the ‘Cuda.

1971 PLYMOUTH BARRACUDA PRO/S 144
MyCars-71CudaThe story behind this car had surprising results for me. It all started when I took possession of the body in white from Chrysler Canada in Windsor. Some PRO/Stock racing cars during ’70 and ’71 were being acid dipped for body weight reduction. At that time I thought that to be a good idea considering I had the ’71 Demon almost completely built for the 1971 racing season, that left me with just one race car to complete. This allowed me to focus more on my new ’71 ‘Cuda during its construction with some new ideas I had about weight ratios and suspension. The ‘Cuda body in white was sent to Ed Miller’s shop in Rochester, New York, for acid dipping to reduce some unnecessary body weight. When we came to pickup the ‘Cuda body, after being acid dipped, I was told by my crew that the chain holding the car in the acid dipping tank had slipped off the holding fixture. The normal time required to acid dip the new body in white was approximately 45 to 75 minutes depending on the strength of the acid used. It took about 30 minutes longer to recover the hook on the holding fixture before the car body was removed from the tank. The body had been reduced in weight to the point of seeing holes eaten through the unit body floor construction affecting the integral strength of the car. When the car body was returned to Canada, four members of my team could easily lift and remove the car body off the truck. What to do??? Because of my time frame in trying to acquire a new ‘Cuda body in white for the 1971 season, I decided to bandage and repair this car for my ’71 campaign. I was at first reluctant to complete the car, however, I along with my crew decided to work with it to the best of our ability.

CALIFORNIA BOUND
MyCars-71SuperCarStateSideTestingFor my 1971 racing campaign I left for California just after New Year’s to test the new Pro/Stocks. When in California I would test the new cars at several drag strips. I used Orange County drag strips a lot and also tested my Dodge Demon and Plymouth Barracuda at Irwindale and Lions drag strips in the greater Los Angeles area. The advantage for me testing in California was the availability of good mechanical shops to work out of and performance parts for the new cars. California racing was similar to early summer racing in the East. MyCars-71SuperCarStateSideTesting2Each year from 1970 to 1972 I would travel south to have the cars ready for early NHRA National Events, points meets and match races. The early testing made all the difference in maintaining a competitive racing team. If I had not started testing my new cars early in the year it would have delayed my cars being dialed in for qualifying at drag racing events. I wanted to be running just as fast as every southern U.S. racer during the early months of the racing season.

1971 – A REWARDING YEAR
MyCars-71SuperCarClinicJPCudaEngineI was really looking forward to the 1971 racing season. I had a lot of new ideas for both of my Pro/Stocks after competing during the 1970 NHRA racing schedule. I could see that this new class of PRO/Stock racing car was going to be around for a long time. This class of racing car was identifiable to all race fans in the stands. The cars retained the look of a street performance car making the Pro/Stock class very popular. The Pro/Stock specification book in 1971 was 7 lbs of weight per cubic inch of engine size. I liked the odds. The weight of the car (2989 lbs.) was ideal for my 5 over 426 Hemi high compression engines. I knew that I could squeeze enough HP from this big block to run competitively.

In order for me to maintain my edge in this class of racing I could not afford to take any time off. Being a semi-independent racer, I knew that any down time away from racing would set me back weeks of preparation for the next national event or divisional points meet. Let me describe a typical work week during the season.

My weekly maintenance schedule was broken down into 3 categories. Please note the maintenance schedule shown did not include new engine builds for the PRO/S Demon or Barracuda. This was done during my work week schedules as required.

PRO STOCK MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE – Monday – Thursday
DRIVING SCHEDULE – Thursday – Friday
RACING SCHEDULE – Saturday (qualifying) – Sunday (eliminator rounds)

MY WEEKLY MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

The following schedule was used for when competing in Division I (Land of NED) events for the North East Division:

Monday:
12:00 – Arrival at Bay Ridges after driving home for 10 hours to unload both Pro/Stocks.
13:00 – Meeting with team members to work out schedule for tear downs of both cars.
14:30 – Members sent home

Tuesday:
06:00 – Engine Tear Downs to short block
          – Replace crank shaft main bearings and connecting rod bearings
          – Check pistons for combustion flame travel and piston dome damage
          – Inspect timing gear drive for fatigue
          – Inspect spark plugs for cylinder leaness
          – Inspect Heads and valves for bent valve stems/damaged springs/valve seating issues
          – Tranny Tear Down: Inspect all gears and bearings in transmission body.
          – Clutch Tear Down: Replace clutch & clutch disc if necessary, inspect throw out bearing,
             and check flywheel
          – Driveshaft: Inspect universal bearing sets both ends of driveshaft and balancing weights
          – Rear End: Drain rear end and inspect pinion and gear for broken teeth
          – Pinion Snubber: Inspect pionion snubber bolted on top of rear end, inspect rubber
             snubber and plate mounted on unit body for contact point
22:00 – Crew clock out

Wednesday:
06:00 – Inspect fuel lines and 3 electronic fuel pumps mounted in trunk
          – Check all tires for possible damage
          – Check mags for cracks in castings
          – Check all brakes, ball joints, and brake lines
          – Charge batteries
          – Check all glass windows for fracture cracks or chips
22:00 – Crew clock out

Thursday:
06:00 – Reassemble engines or replace with new engine
          – Install new clutch if needed
          – Install new rebuilt tranny if needed
          – Add new oil to rear end assembly and check for clearances
          – Check linkage on tranny’s in both cars
          – Check unit body construction of cars for damage or fatigue
          – Inspect base of driver’s seat for cracks
          – Inspect 3 way seat belt harness
          – Complete reassembly of race cars
22:00 – Crew clock out or work all night depending on maintenance schedule

Friday:
07:00 – Refuel hauler and inspect truck and trailer and restock truck with parts
          – Load race cars on hauler
10:00 – Leave for Canadian or U.S. destination
11:00 – Purchase Sunoco 260 High Test Fuel from Sunoco gas station at bottom of HWY 427 and
             Brown’s Line

Saturday:
10:00 – Tech inspection for both vehicles
12:00 – Qualifying passes

Sunday:
12:00 – Racing eliminator rounds to reach finals

Note: This schedule did not include any Super Car Clinic shows for my ’71 Campaign. The long haul schedule to National Events did not follow the above format for my weekly maintenance schedule.



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