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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

How The Surfers Got "Started"

By Tom Jobe

How the Surfers Got 'Started.' Pencil art by Chris Stinson
How the Surfers Got "Started." Pencil art by Chris Stinson

How the Surfers got "started." Photo by Paul Hutchins
How the Surfers got "Started." Photo by Paul Hutchins

Recent online discussions about starting fuel cars made me think back about how we did it in the '60s. OK, I don't know if what we did was right or wrong or whatever, but this is the way it happened and it was good enough for our deal all of the way up to and including straight 100% nitro. Remember we only push started our car and never had any experience with rollers or starters of any kind. 

When it was time to push off, the fuel would be turned ON and the mag would be OFF. Mike would wait until our anemic six cylinder '55 Chevy was just about wound out in second gear before he would let the clutch out (otherwise the '55 Chevy might just stop!) Once the motor was turning over, he would open the throttle until raw fuel came out of the pipes, wiping out the windshield of the Chevy for a moment. Then he would shut the throttle and lift the knife switch on the mag and the thing would stumble to life. He would not touch the throttle until the motor stabilized and was "cacking" nicely. 

We would then make a "U" turn and head for the other end, leaving Mike on his own at the starting line, which he preferred. He didn't like people wiping his tires or messing with his barrel valve; he just wanted to race somebody, anybody! Didn't matter who...

Tom Jobe

Drawing by Chris Stinson from a Paul Hutchins Photo -- Bakersfield 03/05/66

 

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