Damn! Has it really been 27 years? I had to do the math on my 25 year old Sharp calculator. I have a dozen of them, all sizes and ages, bells and whistles, but this old Sharp is my favorite. It is so old it doesn’t shut off by itself, hard on AA batteries but easy to use.
Let's see. . .yep 2016 minus 1989 is 27.
1989. . .what a year in my life and drag racing career. By this time I was drag racing full time. We were at the edge of the formative days, of what was in 1990 to become a new IHRA professional category named Pro Modified.
From 1987 Darlington when my good friend, Wild Bill Kuhlmann, kicked the 200 mile per hour 'door car’ barrier wide open. Door slammer racing would never be the same again, at least for the more adventuresome wild individuals.
Wild Bill Kuhlmann--Mr 200
Several of us followed Bill's lead and modified our cars with bigger engines, nitrous or blowers and most important, dual disc clutches huge rear wings or spoilers. The clutch and wing/spoiler management was key to get those wild-ass over-powered, tire smoking, shaking, bent-out-of-shape cars down that quarter mile.
From 1987 until 1990, the fans, media, sponsors and promoters did not know what to call us, the quickest and fastest door cars on earth. Hell we didn’t know what to call ourselves! LOL!
Some called us Pro Slammers, Pro Stocks with attitude, Pro Stocks on steroids, Outlaw Pro Stocks. We were like All Star Wrestlers, the good the bad and the insane. In 1989, Neil Van Oppere wrote a magazine story about us using that as a title, "The Good-The Bad-and the INSANE!!!
The truth of the matter was very few of the early nitrous/blower outlaw cars evolved from Pro Stock. I was one of the few in the group that was a licensed Pro Stock racer with a certified PS car that had actually raced and achieved a bit in Pro Stock. Later, in 1990 PS legend Ronnie Sox joined us with his Pro Mod replica ‘64 Comet. That was a huge shot in the arm to promote Pro Modified and the later formed USSC Circuit in 1989.
Animal Jim vs Ronnie Sox 64 Comet Pro Mod
I had left local bracket racing and started racing in AHRA and UDRA national Pro Stock with a used small block Pinto PS in fall of 1975 and got a NHRA PS License in April 1976. In 1980 we built a new ‘79 Mercury Zephyr Pro Stock car we nicknamed Zeke. I campaigned the full-fledged 1979 Pro Stock Mercury Zephyr in Pro Stock till 1987. Then added nitrous to my Monolith 672 Boss Hemi, and thanks to Rick Jones, added a huge adjustable rear spoiler to Zeke and became an "Outlaw Slammer"! I was known as the "Insane!"
Remember now!!!! Zeke is a "Merc You Jerk!" Not a Fairmont! "LOL!!
See! It is a Merc!