April Fools Follies, 2002
By Phil R. Elliott
Today is April Fools Day and the following, which I
noticed on another website a couple weeks ago, gave me a real chuckle. It
was in the classified section:
"A while back my father passed away. He was a major
pack rat. A big barn full of car stuff. Lots of Hemi motors (so far have
found nine), some with blowers. One very odd, full bodied, looking
dragster. Have no clue if it ever ran. It has two blown hemis sitting
side-by-side, tilted with a transfer case and complete. It looks like it
had just made a run, but full of dust and cobwebs. I have no idea what
chassis it is; there are no numbers, but sure looks awesome. There is
another dragster that has a full body and plastic canopy with an Olds
motor in it. The exhaust sticks out of the body panels.
There are some all-steel roadster and coupe bodies (17
total), frames, parts for what I think are street rods. I had no idea he
even had this stuff and have no clue what this stuff is worth. My interest
is elsewhere. What is this stuff worth and is anyone interested in buying
The ad was signed "Nimbles" and the Email was
(I'm leaving the provider off – the Eddress didn't
This wonderful ad caused a fervor of response! Most were
duped, and begged for the proper Eddress. A day or two later, more
observant folk were pointing out the errors of the others' ways. All
were wishing such a find could be made.
I wish I'd thought of doing it. It points out just how
much we all want to walk into a bargain, and how much we desire to find
that always-garaged '32 Dusenberg that only needs the battery charged
and air in the tires and the little lady in the house says "Oh, it's
an old car – sure kid, $200 and you can haul it off." I know I'll
never find that deal. People seem to see me coming, if you know what I
News that you may or may not have heard:
George Marnell just signed Matco Tools to his Pro
Stocker. The happy Marnell stated simply, "We've started the year
extremely well and the guys at Matco Tools have taken notice." It's
good somebody noticed that after starting with a Pomona win, and running
good at both Phoenix and Gainesville, the points leader deserves a little
help. The Matco Tools logo will reside on the GM Motorsports Pontiac Grand
Am through Englishtown. Though Marnell has won several rounds on
holeshots, he was quick to credit his team's success to Swedish-born crew
chief Marcus Svensson, who is in charge of the Reher-Morrison powerplant.
Marnell leads WJ by one point going into race four.
So after two events, NHRA will institute alcohol oildown
penalties. In my race coverage, I've briefly put out a warning that this
eventuality was on the horizon. That horizon is nigh… TAD and TAFC
entries pretty well lubricated the Winters and Gators where the NHRA
Competition Department monitored what went down, literally. In a press
release issued post Gainesville, NHRA Senior Vice President-Racing
Operations Graham Light stated, "It was extremely disappointing to
discover that we experienced a significant increase in downtime this year
over last year." The release further stated that NHRA will now
"implement penalties for flagrant offenders at national events."
What has taken so much energy is the difference in
points structures between Pros and the alcohol racers. It has been
difficult from a philosophy standpoint to place monetary and points
impositions on supposedly sportsman drag racers. In a nutshell (and please
check National Dragster or NHRA class rule updates for the exact wording),
a verbal warning will be issued for the first oildown. A second oildown
(at the same event) will result in a $250 fine and that run will NOT count
toward qualifying or lane choice during eliminations. A third oildown will
lead to disqualification from that event.
This may sound harsh but I think everyone has seen that
something needed to be done. It is certainly better than deleting the
eliminators completely! Parameters have done wonders to speed up the nitro
show and maybe this will do the same for the alcohol teams.
I'm kind of excited to see Scott Geoffrion return to
the quarter-mile later this year. He was extremely good as the #2 driver
for Warren Johnson, and also with other teams over his career. He won nine
NHRA national events in Pro Stock. He'll be joining Hurley Blakeney in a
Ford Mustang with engines by Panella Racing. The only other Ford currently
on the circuit is the Patrick Family Mustang with Sonny's power.
Geoffrion spoke to that by saying, "the Ford fans need something to
cheer about, so we're going to try and give them something to be proud
of." He also suggested that the team "has every chance to
succeed very quickly." They may not show up until the western swing
but I suspect that Scott and Hurley will do their best to get their act
together before that.
Flyin' Phil Elliott
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