Early '60s Fuel Racing and Heat Treating
By Harold Bettes
Harold Bettes hits the strip in 1961 in his first digger. Photo thanks to Harold Bettes
This picture was taken at Hobbs, NM in 1961, I think. We had a
flat motor (only 265 C.I.) on 50 to 70% nitro (depending on how many passes we had to make). This car was a blast. I originally built the car for a 303" Olds on fuel, but my budget was way short and I teamed up with the big guy in the photo (6'4", 280 lbs.). Never had any problems about him driving because he couldn't fit in the car. While we ran the
flat motor for the next couple of years, it was not necessary to outrun the OHVs every time, just every once in a while was enough to get on their nerves.
Ran a $5 two-speed in the thing (side shift Ford box with "heat treated" gears from my Mom's oven when she was gone shopping). After an hour at 450 degrees and cooling off in there for another hour, the gears worked nicely. But was she po'd! She made me hand clean the oven several times to rid it of the 90-wt aroma. My Dad thought it was somewhat creative and explained some of the more fine points of consideration of other's possessions! Notice the sophisticated starting system.