Pete Robinson, Report to the Tower!
By Jim Hill
Pete Robinson's infamous jack start car. Photo from the Crane Cams catalog
Pete Robinson ran his unique chassis jack set-up at Indy 1962 during time trials, and for just one run.
He pulled up to the line, set the jack lifts, revved up the little gas small-block 352" Chevy, and let out the clutch. When the tires started to "grow," they began grazing the track, smoking as the car SAT THERE without moving! Pete dropped the car off the stands and the car shot forward like the proverbial "bat outta hell."
Of course, no times were announced, but the speakers went crazy with announcements of: "Pete Robinson, report to Ed Eaton in the tower immediately!"
Pete's jacks were immediately disqualified as the rulebook was "amended" on the spot.
As the cliché goes: "People are always afraid of what they don't understand."
The photo above (scanned from one of my old Crane Cams catalogs) was shot at Covington, Georgia, and was a run with the jack system in use. Ever seen a small-block, gas-burning Chevy lay down that much tire smoke?
P.S. - Spoke with Ed Eaton at his home in Boca Raton, FL, recently. He is working on a book that covers his lengthy career in drag racing, both with NHRA (early years), and with Gil Kohn. It will have a definite "East Coast" slant and should be interesting when it's published.