As a famous, and now permanent, resident of Tennessee used to refer to in initials only, TCB (Taking Care of Business) was all that mattered. Well, Elvis, the Super Chevy Shows feel the same way. We were able to wrap up two drag racing finals in one weekend and squeeze in a great car show before the weather chased us out of Thunder Valley. From what we saw at the show and from what others told us, pound-for-pound the Bristol, Tennessee, Super Chevy Show had some of the finest examples of Bow-Tie machinery anywhere on the tour. There are bigger shows to be sure, but the level of workmanship and attention to detail on the cars we saw would be hard to match anywhere.
Maybe the Friday rains cleaned the dragstrip enough to make it ultra sticky, or just maybe the Nitro Coupe racers are at that part of the season where they've got the cars and drivers working perfectly together, but there were some great races and awesome times. Saturday we completed the Atlanta Nitro Coupe finals, delayed because of rain at that event. When the smoke cleared, Doug Winters in his '58 Corvette had run a 6.537 at 212.09 mph to defeat Gary Irving who had to pedal his '52 Chevy. The rest of the Nitro Coupe races were all Jim Nordhougen. Running consistently in the 6.20s, Jim waded through the field to take the final run in his '41 Chevy with a 6.271 at 216.90 mph over Gary Irving. Irving was in his second finals of the weekend but, unfortunately, broke. Leaving Bristol, Doug Winters solidified his long-standing hold on First Place with 160 points compared to Second Place racer John Reynolds, who has scored 135 points.
We had the pleasure of meeting the first family to appear in a new feature of the Star, which is the Super Chevy Show Association news, distributed to all Super Chevy Association members. Ron Kissinger, a highly regarded builder of Gold Class restorations, is now looking for Super Chevy Show entrants with show-quality stock cars to exemplify how Chevy fans can have an excellent car for an affordable amount of dollars. Look for our photo of Mike, Katrina, baby Nathaniel Aberdeen, and their Camaro, from Maryville, Tennessee, in the pages that follow in this magazine, and check out the story in the Star's next issue. Kissinger expects to select a car to write about at most Super Chevy Shows-another good reason to join the Super Chevy Show Association, and be at a Super Chevy Show with your car.
So, you're 11 years old, and you have an absolutely box-stock original '51 Chevy. What is Ricky Southerland of Boone, NC, thinking of? He'd better not have ideas of lowering, chopping, or swapping that straight-six for a small-block, or dad will replace this stovebolt with a Matchbox racer.
Aaron Roberts, Bluff City, TN, gets to pit alongside his dad, Bill, even when there isn't a Junior Dragster program. The Jr. rail is done up in the '55 Chevy colors and even has a '55 taillight under the wing. Along with the racers is brother Austin (crew chief) and best friend Clinton Snead.
We interrupted Jim Gilbert of Dublin, VA, in his drying procedures after a quick shower on Saturday morning, long enough to get this photo of his beautiful '67 Nova convertible, and to award it an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car.
We kept seeing yellow Novas and kept giving them Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car awards. Freddie King from Troutville, VA, features a late-model Camaro dash in his bright '66 hardtop.
Larry Robert's '54 half-ton from Kinsport, TN, was just too classy to ignore. He hauled home an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.
You have a beautiful car and have even received car show awards, so why isn't it in SUPER CHEVY?
Two versions of "cool."
Cranking out tons of horses and making the tires stick, Dan Nickelson carries the front tires off the line and takes the win with a 6.561 at 214.11 against Mike Swinarski.
What are the chances of finding two of these cars at the same show? Are these the legendary phantom "Short Shoebox Chevys" we've heard about? If so, where's the '55?
If you open up the SUPER CHEVY dictionary (we have the only copy) to where it says "sits right," you'll see this picture. Gary Ingle of Abingdon, VA, knows how to adjust a suspension, as can be seen on his '66 Nova.
Here's the best-looking bunch of winners in Tennessee. Only things better looking are their Chevys!
If Bracket Two Winner Mickey Atkins of Newport, TN, ever decides to quit racing and show his '67 Nova, he'll make the competition tough in the show ranks, too.
Ray Banks of Tullahoma, TN, treated us to getting a look at his splendidly done '69 Z/28. We gave this car an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.
Scottie Bentley, Staffordsville, KY, is the proud owner of this '67 Camaro. He took his cue on color and paint from perennial Gold Class Winner Jennings White's '55 Bel Air. Good enough for us to award him an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.
John Reynolds and Mel Eaves square off in a race that couldn't have got much closer, Reynolds taking the win light by an eyelash.
We just have to stop and check out straight-sixes with dual manifolds.
Gold Class Winners display their well-deserved awards.
If you're going to have a flameout in a jet, do it at the altitude Jessica Willard did at Bristol.
Gary Irving travels from Canada to compete in Super Chevy Show races. He didn't take home the top prize, but he was in the finals of the Atlanta race, held on Saturday, and also in the finals of the Bristol race on Sunday. That's consistent.
Two "409" Impalas blast off with impressive wheel stands. Shades of glory days!
Charles Burgess and his wife from Beaver, WV, accept the Trim Parts and Vette Magazine Award from Trim Parts Marketing Manager Jim Pennekamp. Behind, in case you're wondering, is the famed Bristol half-mile oval.
Claude Hall and his family, from Mt. Carmel, TN, campaign this wild '66 Nova. We couldn't pass up the chance to award the Halls a Top Ten Editor's Choice Drag Car.
Eventual winner of the Bristol event, Jim Nordhougen, lights 'em up while getting ready for a 220.80 mph run in 6.297 secs. The Nitro Fish car was in that time zone all weekend.
Red '57 Bel Air hardtops have to be outstanding at Super Chevy Shows, and Charles Samples' car was just that. He took home an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Car award.
John Glover of Hampton, TN, puts some stress on his '72 Vega. He races in Bracket One. John was an Editor's Choice Top Ten Drag Car winner.
Dean Durham, from Christianburg, VA, attracted lots of attention with his 502ci-equipped '69 Camaro. Our attention was focused on awarding the car an Editor's Choice Top Ten Show Cars.
Racing for the rain-delayed Atlanta Nitro Coupe final, Doug Winters runs 212.09 mph in 6.537 to take the crown against Gary Irving who had to back out.
Nitro Coupe Winner Jim Nordhougen (right center) takes his trophy from Phil Gustin, while Gary Irving (left center) is able to display two Runner-Up trophies he earned on the same weekend.