Chevy Drag Racing: 1955-1980

Chevy Drag Racing 1955-1980: A Celebration of Bowtie's Success at the Drag Strip

“Chevy Drag Racing: 1955-1980” Author: Doug Boyce

by Paul Gohde

If you know a Chevrolet fan who often wears a blue Bowtie wherever they go, it’s likely that racing author Doug Boyce’s new 8.5 x 11-size Car Tech book, “Chevy Drag Racing: 1955-1980” is aimed at them and could become a welcome holiday gift.

Car Tech has produced a long line of automobile-related books over the years, many leaning heavily on photos from certain eras of motorsports.

This time Boyce has gathered 176 pages of what some would call the “Golden Era” of Chevy’s success on the nation’s drag strips. The newly published book combines an interesting blend of nostalgic racing images with well-researched, detailed biographies on the drivers who became household names in the drag racing world.

From Chevy’s 1955 introduction of its revolutionary compact overhead-valve 327 V-8 engine, restyled body design and an array of drivetrain combinations, GM began to dominate at drag strips and dealer’s sales charts as well. Boyce follows with looks at the ensuing 25-years when Chevy’s stars like “Grumpy” Jenkins, “Jungle Jim” Liberman, “Dyno Don” Nicholson, and many others, set records in various classes of competition from coast-to-coast. Much of that early success was accomplished with little or no factory support, to the amazement of rivals Ford and Chrysler.

The book’s seven chapters cover the 327’s path (and its predecessors) from Shirley Muldowney’s twin-engine dragster to competition in Super Stock, Sportsmen, Pro Stock and Funny Car classes. Corvettes, Camaros and even 1940 Gassers have benefitted from the magic of the innovative power plants; often causing other makes of racing engines to become obsolete overnight.

Hardcore Chevrolet fans and drag racing regulars will enjoy the history of this era in the book’s over 300 photos, detailed racing results, and interesting driver histories.

The book, as well as others by Boyce, is available through Car Tech at: Phone: 1-800-551-4754.

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