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1957 DIRT TRACK RACE

Posted By Lord Gaga 6 Years Ago
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Lord Gaga
Posted 6 Years Ago
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Good little film.
Blown Fords vs injected Shevies. Back when men were men and before things became too damn safe!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qmzjCboZxE


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PF Arcand
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While 2 Fords were on the front row that day, I believe driven by Fireball Roberts & Marvin Panch, it ended up not being their day. As we saw, both Fords led the race at times, but it ended with Buck Baker winning. In late 1956 it appeared that Baker would be driving a factory backed Ford for 1957, but apparently he got a better offer from a G.M backed team. Buck was a very savy driver & had won the Nascar driver's championship in 1956, driving for Kiekhaufer's Chrysler/Dodge team. Apparently, he was also a very tough dude, and other drivers didn't mess with him. While Ford ended up being the championship make in 1957 ( I believe calculated on the most Grand National wins & top 10 finishes) Baker again won the driver's championship. As you can imagine, the scrubrolet division's advertising made sure the public knew about it, one way or the other. In the meantime, Ford's General Mgr. Robert Mc Namara, ( not really a car guy) part way thru the 1957season, bought into the no racing or advertising of performance ban, hook line & sinker!  Just another faux-pas by Ford management, that in the long run, hurt the reputation of our favorite engine...          


Paul
Lord Gaga
Posted 6 Years Ago
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Thanks for the history, P. F.
Do you know if those Mercs in the race are running the dual quad 368 engines?
How about Petty's Olds, 3 carbed 371 J2 engine?


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PF Arcand
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Sorry, no definite info on the  Merc's. Probably were running the 368 Dual 4s engines initially, (there were rule changes part way into the season) but unfortunately, the 1957 Merc's were just to big & unweildy to be really competitive. Lee Petty was a good driver & was usually  fairly competitive, but I don't have any info on the Old's engines.


Paul
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This race was in March and may have been near the end of the "carburator" wars. As you see the scrubs advertised fuel injection on the fenders which meant the Fords probably had super chargers, Olds 3-2's, etc. All this changed near the begining of April as NASCAR outlawed every thing but a single 4 barrel. I found this info when researching the use of dual quads in 1956. Chrysler won in 56 and gone in 57. Ford won the convertable class in 56 but I'm not sure in 57. Imagine racing today with a car sitting in turn 3-4 parked.....

56 Vic, B'Ville 200 MPH Club Member, So Cal.
PF Arcand
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The convertible division in 1956 was dominated by Fords with Curtis Turner winning a then record 22 races!  He was also the top money winner. However, due to Nascar's convoluted points system, the top points driver in a Scrub, won 3 races.. Go figure!.. Turner would also win 11 convertible division races in 1957... I should mention that I'm indebted to the late Richard Gaston, a contributor to Y-Block Magazine & a former Nascar crewman in the mid 1950s, for some of these statistics.  


Paul


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