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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Pete Robinson & the Automatic Cammer

By Jim Hill

Pete Robinson in his Ford powered Woody dragster. Photo by Jim Hill
Pete Robinson in his Ford powered Woody dragster. Photo by Jim Hill

Pete' Robinson's 'Cammer escapades led him to step up to a brand new Woody Gilmore car, the latest "Tinker Toy." With this, Pete had the latest in state-of-the-art chassis to drop his 427 Ford SOHC motors into, and with oiling woes finally conquered, he enjoyed some successful years.

During that time he experimented with many different concepts, not the least of which was a Ford C-6 automatic trans and torque converter behind the 'Cammer 427! This was the driveline of choice for the wildly popular blown nitro Funny Cars of the day (Nicholson, Chrisman, Schartman, etc.), and Ford convinced Pete to try such a set-up in his digger.

Pete tested at the then-unopened Miami-Hollywood Dragway, along with Conrad Kalitta, test driver for Ford's radical new "Super Mustang," an unblown SOHC 427 in a shorty Logghe FE dragster chassis, clothed in streamlined panels. Kalitta's ride was sans the slick body it would display in its debut at the '66 Winternationals for driver Tom "Mongoose" McEwen, and he was responsible for shakedown runs before the body was fitted.

Pete's C-6 tests were unsuccessful. The upshifts were too violent and resulted in erratic handling. Pete was also somewhat wary of the violent trans explosions and scorching oil fires the FC guys were having when they put too much power to the overtaxed passenger car transmissions. End of story for Pete and the C-6.

His Woody car was right-on for its day. Note the tape applied in a weave between the front wheel spokes, to provide a little more "in the lights" roll-out for the 'Tree.

This shot was taken down by the scales in the shut-off area at Indy, 1966 Nationals. I've still got a brand-new '66 Nationals Crane Cams T-shirt like Pete's wearing stuck in my dresser at home. Tried to put it on the other day, but surprise, the damn shirt must have shrunk! Must be Florida's humidity.

Jim Hill
www.cranecams.com

 

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