For the second year in a row the Super Chevy series made its way back to Bako. Bako is the nickname we have dubbed a small town of Bakersfield, California. The Super Chevy Show, presented by Chevrolet Performance and Original Parts Group (OPGI), made its stop at the Auto Club Famoso Raceway, just a few miles north of Bako, on the first weekend in June 2014. The show was right at home at this historic track.
Famoso has been around since the early ’50s, but gained notoriety in 1959 with the first March Meet. The track is now run by locals Blake Bowser and his dad, John, who worked at the track in late ’50s. These two pulled out all the stops and had the facility ready for all the Chevys to either park and show off or roast the tires and race. Test and tune started up on Friday night and come Saturday morning the show cars started filing in.
Not too long after the gates opened the West Coast Outlaw Pro Mods lined up in the staging lanes ready to annihilate the track and shake a few eyeballs. If aggression and raw power got together and had a kid its name would be Pro Mod. These gas-powered rocket ships never disappoint, and this year was no exception. Luckily you don’t have to have a Pro Mod car to run at a Super Chevy event, all you need is a Chevy-powered vehicle that passes tech inspection and the need to go fast.
There were multiple classes you could race in from DOT, CamaroGuys.com Gen 5 Challenge presented by S&W Race Cars, or the Driveduracell.com Brackets. Sunday saw the second day of the show with awards and prizes being presented for the show and shine and racers. For a complete list of winners and information on future Super Chevy events check out www.superchevyshow.com.
There were cars with some history here at Famoso, like this red ’72 Nova. Tom Barger (with the help of his son Chris) built the car into the machine it is now, but this was the car Tom took his wife to the hospital in to deliver Chris. Fast forward to now and Chris is driving the car on the track. It’s got a 355 with Brodix heads, 850 Quick Fuel carb, TH400 with 5,500-stall converter, 9-inch with 4.56 gears, and a spool.
Jim Black was performing tech inspections all weekend. How stringent your car is looked at is all determined by the e.t. you run. Famoso goes by the NHRA Sportsman Summit Series rules. He looks at the entire vehicle to make sure things look safe and all the SFI tags have not expired. Jim pointed out that for 9.99 e.t./135-mph or quicker/faster will require an NHRA license.
Vic Hudson, a Bako native, had his ’74 Luv truck tuned and ready. The mini hauler is packing a 427ci small-block with a ’Glide fitted with a whopping 5,700-stall converter. The truck has been in the family for years and once was powered by a turbo V-6. Vic is ready to retire the pickup and move into an Outlaw Camaro. By the way, this is the only time we recommend running away from the cops.
Sam Trout kept the straight-six in his ’77 truck. The truck was tastefully done with tan exterior and black interior.
We would like to give you a bit more info but Sam was sitting in the stands watching the races all day so we never crossed paths to ask him.
Now we know this is not a Chevy but it does have a Chevy heartbeat. Randy Winkle’s Lil’ Mee-Hoe is a ’67 Opel that Randy watched race back in the ’70s. He liked the car so much he tracked it down and bought it. He made it his own by installing a 420 small-block with a 177 Weiand supercharger, Racer Brown TH400 with a brake, and 5000 PTP stall. The car is good for mid 9-second runs.
Check out the widebody kit on Anita Fromm’s ’14 Vette. Topo from TS Designs crafted the widebody kit. Talk about taking something mean and making it meaner…
Nacho Bernal is a power hungry type of guy.
He has fully modded his ’12 45th anniversary Camaro with an LSX 427 with CNC heads, 4-inch stroke, 5mm cam bearings, and a twin-turbo setup by Deed’s Performance. The stock trans or rear would not stand up to the 1,300-rear-wheel hp, so a Tranzilla unit now shifts the car and a ZL1 rearend splits it in two and sends it to the M&H slicks. We gave Nacho a Drag award for his trophy case.
Here we have a father and son duo that came to enjoy the track. We have the father Clyde Alexander on the left with son James on the right. After talking to them and checking out their cars, we decided they both deserved Editor’s Choice drag awards.
Here we have James Alexander’s ’70 Chevelle that he and a crew of his friends built with a 468 Rat coupled to a TH350. That sends the power back to a 4.56-geared 12-bolt with a spool.
Father Clyde’s little yellow Deuce has a blown small-block tucked between the fenderwells. Clyde said “I didn’t want a car I couldn’t cruise with my wife, Diana, so I kept it kind of mild.”
This more-door ’62 Nova belongs to Thomas Stancil of Bakersfield. He purchased the car four years ago as a stocker. Now it has a 434 Shafiroff engine pushing 700 hp, Jim Brower ’Glide, Moser 9-inch with 4.56s, and a spool.
Brett Shoffner, with the help of Brian McDermott, built this LS-powered Nova. Brett’s wife, Jaclyn, handles the driving duties and had a best pass of 11.98, but dialed in at 12.42 for some wiggle room.
Karen Sue Williams scored this one-of-one ’89 RS convertible. She claims it was built for an executive at the Van Nuys plant. The car title has the “No sale, return to Detroit” stamped on it but in a stroke of luck she picked it up at an auction. Karen says, “It’s my baby and I will keep it just like this forever.”
| Results |
| Editor’s Choice Top 5 – Show Cars |
| Mike & Barbara Reeves, San Diego CA || 1955 210 |
| John Swartsfager, Bakersfield CA || 1967 Camaro |
| Kay Bile, Riverside CA || 1967 Camaro Convertible |
| Sam Trout, Whittier CA || 1977 Pickup |
| Larry Boord, Saugus CA || 1966 Nova |
| Editor’s Choice Top 5 – Race Cars |
| Nacho Bernal, San Fernando CA || 2012 Camaro |
| James Alexander, Santa Maria CA || 1970 Chevelle |
| Clyde Alexander, Santa Maria CA || 1962 Nova |
| Thomas Stancil, Bakersfield CA || 1966 Nova |
| David Vigil, Fresno CA || 1969 Chevelle |
| Camaroguys Gen 5 Challenge Presented By S&W Race Cars |
| Winner: Carlos Peña, Arleta CA || |
| DriveDuracell.com |
| Bracket 1 |
| Winner: Dustin Lee, Palmdale CA || |
| Runner-Up: Bill Woodard, Bakersfield CA || |
| Bracket 2 |
| Winner: Steve Bunch, Littlerock CA || |
| Runner-Up: Dean Kirkman, Madera CA || |
| DOT |
| Winner: David Dowdell, Lancaster CA || |
| Runner-Up: Roger Phillips, Modesto CA || |
This ’55 210 has been to Michigan and back in the six years Mike and Barbara Reeves have owned it. Mike installed a 350/four-speed combo with a 3.08 rear gear.
John Swartsfager brought out his ’67 for the second year, this time sporting a fresh paintjob. The Axalta Guards Red was sprayed by Lee Patterson and was then cut and buffed by Gary Redfern. John and his brother Trevor did all the prep work. For power, its got a 350 small-block backed by a TH350 and a Gear Vendors giving him a six-speed automatic.
Larry Bourd’s White ’66 Nova was restored to factory fresh. Larry did such an excellent job with the restoration we just had to give him an Editor’s Choice award.
Coming out in force was the SoCal Camaro Invasion car club. Mostly a fifth-gen club, these guys and gals were awesome. Every time we passed their camp it was smiles and good times.
Not only did they come to show off their Camaros, but a bunch of them also ripped down the track. They ended up taking home the Club Participation award and we think it was well deserved.
Another second timer was Leroy Painter and his Elco. He has customized it with parts from a GTO, a Trans Am, and a Grand Prix. This year he, too, had a new paintjob that he hoped would highlight his mods.
Kay Bice had the nicest drop-top on the grounds, and it happens to be a killer ’67 Camaro. The car has a laundry list of killer components, but the Currant Red mica paintjob by Speedway Customs really stands out.
David Vigil from Fresno has a blown 383 stroker under that cowl hood. He was just here to run the car on the strip but we had to compliment him on how straight the body and paint was on his race car. That’s when he told us “That was sprayed 15 years ago.” Good job keeping the car clean, David!
Barry Dooley from Bellflower, California, was also pulling double duty with his mean green ’64 Nova. Running it on the track and putting it in the show. Barry has a soft spot for these cars as he had one in high school. He sold that car when he got married to his wife, Cathy, to purchase a refrigerator. This is one of the numerous replacements and this car is running a blown 355 small-block that pushed the car to 12-second e.t.’s.