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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Super Camaro and Son

1976, 1977: Farewell to Indy; The Son Begins Racing

By Perry S. Wyatt, Jr.

Perry Wyatt, Sr., and the Super Camaro. Photo thanks to Perry Wyatt, Jr.
Perry Wyatt, Sr., and the Super Camaro. Photo thanks to Perry Wyatt, Jr.

Perry S. Wyatt, Jr., has put together a great story for his dad, Perry Wyatt, Sr., who owned and tuned the Super Camaro funny car. He kindly consented to share his story with Draglist.com readers. As it spans 40 years, we are running it in installments. Check out the links at the bottom to navigate the entire story. Perry is looking for any info on his dad's old funny car, the Super Camaro. If you know of any info or photos, please drop him a line. bp

1976. More changes. My dad bought a house in Lincoln Park and we moved back. Had to leave all the new friends I had made, but returned to see the old friends I had before. Plus I could now ride my bike to the Trans. shop again.

Don't remember going to Detroit Dragway this year either, but my dad was definitely planning on going to "Indy." This time it would be very special. Not only were we going with our dad, but Ray was going with us also. Ray had business arrangements with Raymond Beadle and that Summer I had meet Raymond Beadle at Ray's shop.

Anyway, we were all going to "Indy" and Raymond Beadle had invited us to be his guests at the track. I remember being at Ray's house the night before we left and Ray getting a call from Raymond Beadle informing him that he was #2 qualifier @ 6:07 and "Snake" was #1 @ 6:03, incredible!

We left for "Indy" on Saturday, so we would be there for Sunday and Monday. I remember we stayed in a very fancy hotel and had dinner Saturday night on the top floor, where they had a rotating floor. We left for the track, very early Sunday morning and went directly to Raymond Beadle's pit.

Raymond gave us all T-shirts and a bunch of halter-tops and told my brother and me to find "good looking girls" to give them to, but tell them they could only have them if they put them on! We roamed the pits all day, getting goodies, taking pictures, and passing out halter-tops. Again only running to the stands when the fuel cars ran. My dad and Ray pretty much stayed with Raymond all day. At the end of the day, we went to another nice restaurant to eat.

Monday morning we headed back out to the track and entered the pit area as the parade was going on. We parked in Raymond's pit area and made our way to our seats to watch first round, obviously we were really "rooting" for the "Blue Max," could he do it two years in a row?

I have a Drag News that featured the "Snake" and the "Blue Max"; there was so much hype for a rematch of the year before.

Unlike the first two years I had been there, where we sat in our seats all day on Monday, this time we would head back into the pits, between rounds, but still, I spent most of the day in the stands.

It just wasn't meant to be for Raymond to make the final, there was this guy named Gary Burgin in the "Orange Baron" Mustang (Orange Baron, Blue Max do you see a pattern there) that kind of stole the show!

What a job he did, "Snake" and the "Orange Baron" in the final, "Snake" hazed the tires, just a little and Burgin was gone, two years in a row and the "Snake" is upset in the final!

The crowd went nuts! We jumped in the car and headed home. I started tenth grade when we returned and I still had halter-tops left from Raymond, so I did what we did at "Indy," I gave them to girls in high school, but dress code would not allow for them to be worn in school. Oh well, I made allot of "good looking" friends!

(I didn't know it then, but this would be my last trip to the US Nationals, until 1994)

1977. Went to Detroit Dragway this year and watched funny cars. It had a different feeling though! I got my driver's license that summer and Life, as I knew it completely changed!

I had a Gran Torino Elite to drive and I had put some ET Blackspoke wheels, with White Letter Radial TA's on it. Plus it had a killer stereo with Jensen speakers and a 100-watt power amp. I was "styling," listening to Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Kansas, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, the Eagles, and others. I even had tickets and went to see Peter Frampton at the Pontiac Silverdome. Quite a summer!

For whatever reason, Labor Day came and "Indy" wasn't even a thought. I started eleventh grade and I was able to drive to school.

I met Lora (now my wife) that fall and messing with cars was not really on my mind. We spent all of our time together and she slowly began to learn my Love affair with cars.

In the spring, I helped a buddy of mine swap out an engine in his Chevelle. He gave me the old engine and I discovered that it was a 327 from a 1968 Camaro. It was the only year that the 327 had a large journal crank! I didn't know what I was going to do with the engine at the time, but I would soon figure that out!

Up Next: 1978-1979
Previous: 1974-1975

Perry S. Wyatt, Jr.
perryswyattjr@aol.com

 

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