The Impala SS Nationals started off on a good note with the City of Indianapolis's proclamation making July 3 ISSCA Day. Local ISSCA chapter, IndipalaSS, President Chino Barreto presented the commemorative plaque to ISSCA President Rick Matthews. This took place on the evening of Monday, July 3, during the members meeting. (Photo by Terri Clark)
On Day One during registration, talk of the town was the Hendrick Motorsports Impala SS displayed in the ballroom of the Adams Mark Hotel (the host hotel). This two-owner Impy had 62,000 miles on it when Rick Hendrick began the process of creating a tubbed B-body race and show car. Monster 13-inch wide rear wheels and 9.5-inch wide front wheels show this bad boy means business. Rick got the idea to build this car from a 502 big-block Impala (owned by Chevrolet) that he once drove, so it's no surprise that a 503 big-block is found under the hood of this Impy. It also sports a crossover fuel injection system controlled by a Motec computer. A Strange 9-inch rear can also be found under the reinforced chassis, and flawless PPG Mercedes European Black paint adorns the body.
The 81 Car Show and 37 Sound Off participants had a full day on July 3 and the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, July 4, to prep their cars before the festivities kicked off promptly at 9 a.m. HOSS member Dave Schmitz had his better half, Kim, giving him a hand in making sure everything was polished up and ready to go on his '96 DGGM Impy before the judges started making their rounds. Awards were given in 20 different classes based on year, level of mods, and mileage.
Indy local Ashley Jones's affection for SSOBAD President David "ROKTMAN" Breiner's '96 SS show us size really does matter.
The Repops Car Show and Pyramid Audio/360 Automotive Design Sound Off wrapped up at 3 p.m., and following drivers' meetings for drag racing and autocrossing the next day, the crew proceeded to downtown Indianapolis for a cookout and prime viewing of the city's Fourth of July fireworks show. Throughout the event, rides were available to take in the city's cultural sites, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Children's Museum, the Circle Centre Mall, and more.
John Rafteseth is one of several die-hard ISSCA faithful that has been to every national event and most regional events nearest his Georgia home. He is a member of GASSIT, and owner of this custom-painted '96 SS. He made a few passes at Indianapolis Raceway Park (now known as O'Reilly Raceway Park) during the Clear Image Automotive Drag Racing competition.
Chris Mallory's '95 DCM SS managed an 11.36 at 119 mph with a nitrous-sniffing Golen 383. Unfortunately, this wasn't quite enough to surpass eventual winner Karl Ellwein's 10.38 at 132 mph in the quarterfinals.
Tom Adams bolts up the drag radials prior to taking Second Place in the Super Sport category running a 14.45 against a 14.38 dial-in with a respectable .149 reaction time. Thomas Bauman was not to be bested with a 14.93 run on a 14.79 dial-in. His near perfect .013 reaction time helped Bauman claim First Place.
Glen Koenig's 355-powered '96 SS surpassed Mike Harris for the win in Super Natural, running 12.00 at 114 to Harris's 12.37 at 109.
Dave Horn took Second Place in Super Pro running 10.32 at 125 in the finals against Karl Ellwein, though Horn had managed the fastest ET on the day previously with a 9.67. Ellwein had the fastest mph of the day at 133, but in the finals he was a touch slower running 10.36 at 132.
SSOAR (SS of Arkansas) shoved Steve Iseler's '95 SS across the 60-ft in record time to take First Place in the push drags. HOSS (Home of the SS-Texas) was hot on their heels in Second Place with Tom Adams' '96 SS in tow.
The ample space and cool windy conditions made the course in O'Reilly Raceway Park's parking lot quite fast as Justin Kruer found out in his '96 SS. When hauling such a huge rear-wheel-drive vehicle around courses like this, it's a wonder why more spinouts don't happen.
The Hotchkis Performance-sponsored road race took place on the final day of competition, July 6, at Putnam Park. Thankfully, this course is both plenty fast and very forgiving with ample run-off. Several people including Michelle Mallory in the '96 Caprice 9C1 (shown here) spun out and did a little offroading in this very spot. This event saw a total of 65 participants.