THE LAST DRAG RACE CAR PILOTED BY "THE FASTEST WOMAN ON WHEELS"
by Randy Paddock with ClassicMusclecars.com
DRAG RACING FAREWELL TOUR
Unhappy on the sidelines, and fully recovered from injuries, Paula made a decision to take another crack at the 1320. Before the 1975 race season, Nissan Motors LTD. approached her with an offer to compete in the only factory backed Datsun built for drag racing. With the assistance of Mac Tilton and Starkey's Porting Service, sponsored as always by STP, the 1971 Datsun 1200 Coupe was prepared to campaign in the 1975 NHRA B/Modified Compact class. This little hand grenade appeared non-stop at NHRA tracks all over the country in 1975. At the end of the schedule, the car was sold. As the 1975 season came to a close, so did the accomplished drag race career of an icon.
Miss STP back on the track
DATSUN MOTORSPORT SUCCESS IN 1976
At approximately the same time frame as the glory run of Paula Murphy, Datsun was also experiencing the most successful racing season in the brand's history. In 1976, Datsun dominated many forms of auto racing. Datsun won a total of 455 races and rallies, seven national championships, and three manufacturer championships. Z cars won 79% of the National C Production races, the crown going to Elliot Forbes Robinson. Brad Frisselle won the IMSA GTU championship in a 280Z. The 510, 610, and 710 sedans won 80% of the B Sedan races. B 210's won 60% of the C Sedan races. At Bonneville, a Z car set a new production speed record. Also, Jim Conner outlasted the competition in the Baja 1000 in a Datsun Mini Truck.
The 1971 Miss STP Datsun today!
THE 1971 MISS STP DATSUN
The Miss STP Datsun is still in race trim, along with original colors and sponsor markings. Fully functional. Starts, stops, shifts, drives. The heart of this mini beast is the 1800CC overhead cam four cylinder high compression engine. Head has been ported and polished. Holley 500CFM two barrel carburetor mounted atop a Clifford Research intake manifold. Electro-Motive HPV-1 crank trigger with two coil packs. Single tube header. Holley Blue electric fuel pump. Four gallon fuel cell. Top loader four speed. Hurst shifter with line-loc. Back half consists of Ford nine inch differential with 6.37 gears. Henry's axles. Koni adjustable coil over shocks with ladder bars. Airheart disc brakes.
This piece of drag racing history ran consistent mid 12 second passes in the NHRA B/Modified Compact class.
As a tribute to Paula Murphy and the Miss STP Datsun, Classic Muscle Cars Inc. has launched a tribute website. For more information, go to www.missstp.com. Also visit www.classicmusclecars.com for an additional inventory of unique vehicles, and also to view over 500 videos.
Nostalgia Drag World - by Randy Paddock, ClassicMusclecars.com; photos courtesy of ClassicMusclecars.com
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