1970 My John Petrie Super Car Clinic

MyCars-70SuperCarClinicLogo2For the 1970 Super Car Clinic campaign I ran 66 Super Car Clinics along with a full North American racing schedule. I hired Paul Eyman from the Toronto Telegram who had covered my earlier career by writing articles about me in his “Behind the Wheel” weekly drag racing news. Paul handled the public relations duties along with photo ops, written media articles and scheduling for the Car Clinics across Canada. Also joining me on the road, Jim Grie, a MOPAR performance racer and mechanic, worked with me preparing the cars for the 1970 racing schedule.

In 1970 Chrysler Canada renewed my racing campaign with three new cars. MyCars-70SuperCarClinicShowAfter running two cars in 1969 I felt that I could be more competitive running three different class cars. With the introduction of the new pro stock class Duster along with the new Challenger SS/DA and a new Cuda for the C/altered class I felt that I would be more competitive and gain more exposure for Chrysler by running these new 1970 vehicles. With the 1970 season approaching, it was time for me to build my new pro stock Duster. It would take 8 to 10 weeks to have the car ready for painting. I also started building my new 426 Hemi engines during the month of November 1969. With the input of Dennis Warner and John Osbourne, I was able to build four high compression Hemi’s in a short period of time.

Dennis Warner                                        John Osbourne
MyCars-70SuperCarClinicDennisWarner2    MyCars-70SuperCarClinicJohnOsbourne

The RT Challenger being a stock street car did not take as long to build as the Pro Stock. The Challenger was built to run in the SS/DA class. The car was equipped with a 3 speed automatic transmission and a 8 3/4 Dana rear end. I build this car ready for racing in 6 weeks.

When I started building the 1970 Cuda for the C/altered class, Dennis and I would collaborate on design changes. it took about 8 weeks to build the car ready for painting. All three cars were built between October 1969 and January 1970 ready for racing and attending my Super Car Clinic shows.

1970 Plymouth Duster PRO/S 426 Hemi (new Car – new class)

MyCars-70SuperCarClinicDusterWhen Chrylser introduced a new Plymouth mid sized car called The Duster for 1970, I was glad to be able to work with this new car. The Duster offered a brand new design with its narrow shape and long wheel base. From the factory the Duster could be ordered with a slant 6, 318 V8, or a performance Duster 340 package. I liked the body style and size of this car. The Duster was a potent pro stock for this new class of racing. THe pro stock class was created by NHRA to replicate a factory performance street car. I believe the pro stock class car contributed greatly to a major increase in performance car sales for young racers. From 1963 to present I have seen a big change in performance vehicles not only in body design and size but in availability of some new mid sized and big block engines. During this time in my career the performance car era has taken hold of young people when buying American muscle cars. Drag racing has now turned into a major motor sporting business with only good things to come from the future developments.

1970 Dodge Challenger SS/DA 426 Hemi

MyCars-70SuperCarClinicChallenger1970 was a very good year for new car introductions. With a new Duster for 1970, the Dodge Challenger was also a brand new car for 1970 consisting of a wider stance and a long wheel base. Chrysler had designed and built a great looking production performance car. I selected the RT Challenger for the SS/DA class of racing for its overall sleek look and stance. When I selected the Challenger for the SS/DA class, I felt the car would do very well in its class. Little did I know back then that this car would become a record setting vehicle. That was a surprise considering the small amount of time I devoted to its cause.

The stock street Challengers were available with 225 slant 6, 318 V8, 340 V8, 383 V8, 426 Hemi V8, and the 440 V8. Other options were also available at that time. You will need to refer to Chrysler’s website for those specs.

1970 Plymouth Barracuda C/Altered B/Gas 426 Hemi Injected.

MyCars-1970SuperCarClinicCudaThe Plymouth Division of Chrysler has also introduced a new generation of Baracuda heritage. The 1970 Cuda is the twin sister of the new Dodge Challenger in body and style. MyCars-70SuperCarClinicDennisWarner1The difference being the front fender and grill design, and the tail light configuration along with some cowling changes. The old Cuda of the past was a perfect fit for the Super Stock eliminator class of racing. The new Cuda however was an eye opener for the new pro stock class, C/Altered and B/Gas classes along with the SS/DA class. Over the years the Plymouth Barracuda became the mainstay vehicle for the pro stock MOPAR drivers from 1970 till the change to smaller pro stock starting in 1972 – 1974 when a new generation of small block engines appeared with new pro stock class rules. I ran three new Plymouth Cuda’s from 1970 to 1972 with good results.

MyCars-70SuperCarClinicCudaStThomas1    MyCars-70SuperCarClinicCudaWindsor

MyCars-70SuperCarClinicJPShirley    MyCars-70SuperCarClinicJPShirley1

The stock street Barracuda’s were available with 225 slant 6, 318 V8, 340 V8, 360 V8, 383 V8, 426 Hemi V8, and the 440 V8. Other options were also available at that time. You will need to refer to Chrysler’s website for those specs.

8 MM film clips courtesy of Bob and Shannon Rozniak


My memory of some of the Race Tracks I drove at in the east.

ONTARIO

61-65 Desoronto
61-72 Cayuga (Super Boss), Cayuga 1320 Dragway, Cayuga Dragway Park
61-70 St. Thomas
69-70 Windsor
67-68 Grand Bend
71-72 Golden Horseshoe Dragway/Toronto International Dragway

QUEBEC

70-72 Sanair
65-71 Napierville
71 Three Rivers

EASTERN CANADA

70 Pennfield Dragway, New Brunswick
70 Dartmouth International, Nova Scotia

NEW YORK STATE

65-72 Niagara Dragway
70-71 Lancaster
67-68 Lebenon Valley
71 IHRA Lester NewYork

PENNSYLVANIA

70-72 Maplegrove
72 Pittsburg International
65-70 York US 30
71 New Media

NEW JERSEY

71 Great Meadows
70-72 Atco
70-72 Englishtown

OHIO

70 Columbus

71 BudsCreek Maryland
71 NorthFolk/Suffolk Virginia
70-72 Gainsville Florida (Gator Nationals)



Comments

9 Responses to 1970 My John Petrie Super Car Clinic

  • Ron Bouffard wrote on March 22, 2014 at 1:31 // Reply

    First time I went to a drag race was in Napierville and you were there….I was hooked right then and there. I remeber the Demon and Cuda especially. (Pro Stockers)

  • Mike Lacelle wrote on March 28, 2014 at 8:06 // Reply

    We saw you in Ottawa with your cars, I was 16 and will always remember also the BP Funny car. To me you were the first canadian FC hero. I used to write for Wheelspin News.Still have decals of John Petrie racing.Whats old is new again.

  • Mike Lacelle wrote on March 28, 2014 at 8:09 // Reply

    BP ex fc was awesome.Saw your cars in Ottawa. George Petric says hello.

  • Mike Pedersen wrote on April 14, 2014 at 8:29 // Reply

    You’re awesome John, this site was long overdue! I miss you and hope we meet again. Mike Pedersen.

  • american muscle cars wrote on April 16, 2014 at 3:05 // Reply

    Marvelous, what a web site it is! This website provides valuable
    facts to us, keep it up.

  • RUSSELL ROOTS wrote on January 16, 2015 at 2:20 // Reply

    HEY JOHN, SAM`S SON RUSS. GOOD TO HEAR THAT A WEB SITE HAS FORMED AROUND YOUR DAYS AS A RACER. MISS THE DAYS AND GET TOGETHERS AT THE BREEZY HOUSE IN PICKERING, ONT. MOM SAYS HELLO ! WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU, TAKE CARE!

  • Jungle Jimmy browne wrote on March 6, 2015 at 3:09 // Reply

    What a great website. It’s like I just went back too the spring of ’71. John you had just destroyed the rad in the Demon, you jump in the Cuda and pull out this monster wheelstand. The Cuda comes crashing down crushing the oilpan. With your eye on the oil psi and 9 1/2 sec later the Gapp and Roush car are trailing behind you. It is really hard too get people too understand that 2/3 of these cars were hand crafted unlike the mail order race car of today. This is one day of a lifetime of memories you and the team gave me. I thank you miss all of you and hope too see you soon

    P.S. To the Elliott and Warner family’s. Sandy and Dennis will be truly missed, they have left us a great history to Canada both from a business and in play for all us Canadians to enjoy and your were a great mentor.
    James

  • Gary wrote on March 20, 2015 at 2:54 // Reply

    If that last message was from the original Jimmy Browne that was with us on Poprad ave in Bay Ridge.You need to get intouch with us lol.We have stuff to talk about.John,Danny,Gary,Paul

  • jay wrote on August 14, 2016 at 11:40 // Reply

    as a young boy iwas awe struck by your prescence with your cuda. it was at my fathers dealership in Kamloops bc. always wondered how to get the full story of your illustrious career.recent magazine articles filled in my cloudy memories. all the best…jay

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