Class rules were stringent, and "stock" was taken literally by tech inspectors. To get the most horsepower out of a stock engine meant careful "blueprinting" of every component, micro-checking each dimension, opening clearances, and making sure piston ring seal and fine-tuning was close to perfect. Tough to imagine with today's wide array of high-quality aftermarket "stock" parts, but the best motors back in the day saw a fair share of handwork and massaging to make sure the factory components were at their very best. Well-known engine builder Bob Fulp built the car's original 270hp 283, using the best blueprinting techniques possible to squeeze every possible horsepower from the factory combination. Part of this involvedmaking sure all tolerances were as close to perfect as possible, internal parts matched and balanced, everything maximized for performance. Well-known engine builder Bob Fulp built the car's original 270hp 283, using the best blue Pontiac made musclecar history with the 1964 GTO, but Bob Gittleman's seriously prepared, '57 Chevy 210 wagon and its270hp 283 was more than a match for ...Three deuces and a four-speed, and a 389. Gittleman's two-door '57 wagon ruled Florida Junior Stock racing. Photo By Bill Bussart. - From The Jim Hill Collection Pontiac made musclecar history with the 1964 GTO, but Bob Gittleman's seriously prepared, In its day the Xcellerator was a terror on the South Florida dragstrips, including two titles in 1964. While a lot of focus is usually given to the West Coast drag racing scene, there was just as much racing going on in the south, with a multitude of WWII airstrips being converted intodragstrips, and new facilities like Miami Dragway being built to handlethe public's insatiable lust for drag racing. In its day the Xcellerator was a terror on the South Florida dragstrips, including two tit The car began turning low 14s on South Florida's typically sandy, ex-airfield strips, and when traction was available, high 13s at 105-plus mph. By 1964, the two-door grocery-hauler was the car to beat in South and Central Florida. Joe and Bob notched wins at tracks such as Amelia Earhart in Hialeah; Masters Field, Miami; Ft. Meyers Dragstrip; Valkaria Dragstrip; Palm Beach International Raceway; SpruceCreek Dragstrip, (outside Daytona Beach); Deland Dragstrip; OrlandoDragway; Miami-Hollywood Dragway; and plenty of others. The car also scored wins at the Big Go East Winter Nationals in Miami, the FloridaState Championships, and at the Dixie Drag Festival in Valkaria, Florida. Ultimately, the demands of life replaced drag racing as No. 1. BobGittleman took over operation of the family's construction and propertydevelopment companies, effectively halting Joe and Bob's racing activities. Over the years after Bob let the car go, The Xcellerator wassold and re-sold, finally ending up in Orlando, Florida. Now grown up, Bob's sons Keith and Gary wanted to find a similar 210 two-door wagon to build a replica of their dad's car as a present and a way to honor his life. They contacted nationally known Tri-5 expert and restoration guru Wendell Snowden to find the appropriate car. Bob's father Joe raced a '60 Impala with a 348 tri-power combo while Bob ran the wagon. F/Stock rules mandated nothing wider than a 7-inch tire tread, so racers had to balance their power output with what their car's tires could handle on the track surface. F/Stock rules mandated nothing wider than a 7-inch tire tread, so racers had to balance th Before Bob passed away in 2000, sons Keith and Gary Gittleman were ableto present him with his old race car, restored to immaculate condition and looking just as it did when Bob raced it, thanks to the craftsmanship and expertise of Tri-5 guru Wendell Snowden. Wendell practically wrote the judging book on Tri-5 Chevys, so you'd be hard pressed to find someone who knows the ins and outs, and every nut and bolt of a Tri-5 Chevy. Before Bob passed away in 2000, sons Keith and Gary Gittleman were ableto present him with Originally Keith and Gary wanted to build an authentic 270hp 283 to gowith the restored car, but then decided to use a 383 built by South Florida performance expert Dave Walters. Cranking out almost 500 hp, themotor is connected to a Richmond 5-speed that puts power through a Currie 9-inch rear. Originally Keith and Gary wanted to build an authentic 270hp 283 to gowith the restored ca Another nod to modern performance (and safety) was the installation of manual disc brakes to make sure the car's go power was matched by whoa power. Another nod to modern performance (and safety) was the installation of manual disc brakes « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By Jim Hill, Patrick Hill Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!