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Bill Johnson Chevy 6 big car


zerohunger

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Hello to all from Winfield Illinois!

I'm a big fan of unusual race cars & motors. In a reprint copy of "California Bill's Chevrolet, GMC, & Buick Speed Manual" [original copyright 1954] there is a photo of Bill Johnson's Chevrolet 6 powered race car. The caption says it qualified 2nd against a field of Offies at the 1950 AAA big car race at Arlington Texas. Elsewhere on this site was a thread on that race being staged to get footage for "To Please a Lady."

Anybody know anything more about this car? I'm curious at where else it might have raced.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Chuck Schultz

gearmanx@aol.com

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No Jeff Schultz on our family tree.

My brother John & I ran an old Hamburger-Chevy II in the Badger Midget group in the mid-1970s. Vintage Oval Racing published my article about it earlier this year. I'm currently restoring two old VW powered midgets & crew on a car in the Illini Sportsman midget series.

Thanks for asking.

Chuck Schultz

Winfield, Illinos

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It's possible that was one of the sprint cars they allowed to run in that "special" show at Arlington. It doesn't show up anywhere else in the 1950 box scores. However, in 1951, a Silnes chassis with a Chevy tried at Indy with ill-fated Gordon Reid driving...DNQ. The entrant is listed as Johnson/Herbert. It doesn't resurface again until Sept 8 of that year, at Syracuse with Potsy Goacher driving....DNQ, this time with an Offy under the hood. At Denver on Sept 23 Pete Woods had the ride and the engine is listed as a Wayne. DNQ. At Phoenix, it was the slowest in the field with Woods again driving. DNQ. The engine is again listed as a Chevy at Bay Meadows Nov 11, with Joe Garson DNQ as the Streamline "O" Guage Spl. Can't find any other attempts with that chassis or owner in later years.

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Found some good info on the engine....apparently the Chevy six was also called a Wayne, a 274 ci GMC with a 12 port head designed by Wayne Horning. You can read about it at www.waynemfgco.com in the HISTORY section, but it was first used at Bonneville, where the car it was in was destroyed, then made an attempt at Indy. The builders sort of lost interest when Chevy started bringing out the V-8.

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Found some good info on the engine....apparently the Chevy six was also called a Wayne, a 274 ci GMC with a 12 port head designed by Wayne Horning. You can read about it at www.waynemfgco.com in the HISTORY section, but it was first used at Bonneville, where the car it was in was destroyed, then made an attempt at Indy. The builders sort of lost interest when Chevy started bringing out the V-8.

There was also a 12 port head for the 270/302 GMC made by Fisher. Johnny Reiff and Billy Griswold used one of these successfully in Houston. That particular car had a 302 Jimmy with tons of low end torque.

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Found some good info on the engine....apparently the Chevy six was also called a Wayne, a 274 ci GMC with a 12 port head designed by Wayne Horning. You can read about it at www.waynemfgco.com in the HISTORY section, but it was first used at Bonneville, where the car it was in was destroyed, then made an attempt at Indy.

 

There is a reference in a story on the Inliners site to a Bill Johnson at Indy in 1951. Johnson's car was running the Wayne 12 Port head, but did not qualify.

 

 

The story--

 

Inliners

 

On the left index, click "history" and the reference is in part # 3.

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You guys are awesome. Thanks for the info. The "Speed Manual" I have is full of interesting stuff on Chevy 6 & GMC 6 race motors. You might be surprised -I know I was- to learn a GMC 6 powered sprint car won the season championship around Kansas City in 1965, long after the SBC came to dominate sprint car racing. This month's Hot Rod has several photos of current Bonneville cars runing old GMC 6's. My own interest was renewed last week by seeing a hopped up Wayne equipped GMC motor on display at the Peterson Museum in LA. Six in a row does go, IF the wrench is smart enough!

 

As far as the Illini Sportsman midgets go, they are regular midgets with restrictor tubes in the injectors and Mickey Thompson Sportsman drag racing tires. We ran a USAC legal Buzzard-Focus to 4th in the points with a rookie driver and spent a season total of $690 on tires. Same tires on dirt & pavement with no grooving, soaking, or shaving. After a practice day & 8 asphalt shows plus 2 on dirt only the right rear needs replacing. That was not a misprint: $690 for (7) tires & (6) of them can be used to start the 2008 season.

The champ drove a 15 year old Stapp chassis with an AutoCraft VW in it. He beat a 12 year old Buzzard with an Olds Quad 4 and another Buzzard-Quad 4. Check out the club's website at www.illiniracing.com. The club has been running for 20 years. This year the Ozark club in MO/Ark started using the same rules.

 

We couldn't run a midget without these rules. $30,000 motors & $500 a nite in tires aren't in the cards for working class guys like us. We averaged 15 cars and put on a nice show. Great sportmanship in action too; check out the photos I posted on Midget Madness of the two championship contenders neglecting their own cars to thrash on the car of a first time visitor. They didn't want him to miss the feature after towing so far.

 

Chuck Schultz

Winfiels, Illinos

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Found some good info on the engine....apparently the Chevy six was also called a Wayne, a 274 ci GMC with a 12 port head designed by Wayne Horning. You can read about it at www.waynemfgco.com in the HISTORY section, but it was first used at Bonneville, where the car it was in was destroyed, then made an attempt at Indy. The builders sort of lost interest when Chevy started bringing out the V-8.

There was also a 12 port head for the 270/302 GMC made by Fisher. Johnny Reiff and Billy Griswald used one of these successfully in Houston. That particular car had a 302 Jimmy with tons of low end torque.

 

When I was a kid up north, there was a driver named Billy Tanzosh who ran a Jimmy 6 at Nazareth, Reading, and a few other tracks. He'd beat the flathead Fords consistently, and even had some success after the OHV Chevies came in. Never knew what exactly he was running, but he got some serious RPMS out of that thing, and of course the exhaust note was VERY different. Wonder if he had a Wayne head or something similar.

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