Drag Racing of Yesteryear: Mickey Thompson’s Pontiac Lemans A/FX
Quite often here at Dragzine we like to venture back to a time when life was simpler and cars were full bodied Detroit iron. All through the 1960’s auto manufacturers battled on the dragstrip to reign supreme over one another, mostly based off of the Super Stock and A/FX platforms. Just about every company was involved and it eventually has brought us the Pro Stock that we know today. Pontiac may have been the one to start it all with their Lemans, that was evolved from the Tempest line and has brought us to this point in racing history.
We often look to YellowBullet for inspiration and this is one of those times we found something useful.
Mickey Thompson was at the forefront of everything automotive and especially the high performance marketplace. In 1962 he had a Lemans built by Hayden Proffit and it received an engine transplant from one of Thompson’s Super Duty cars. The rear end was replaced with a narrowed Pontiac rear and then driven by Proffit. This is the single car that is responsible for the 1963 A/FX cars being built by the factory.
In 1963 Pontiac built the full bodied Lemans along with a few wagons for Super Stock and Factory Experimental racing with a 421 cubic inch Super Duty engine. It was rated at 405 horsepower but the critics say that the rating was way under the actual power that the 421 produced. The internals of the engine were comprised of a true alloy aluminum pistons that were available in 12:1 or 13:1 compression ratios. Helping pump all that air through the streamline cylinder heads was a Mckellar #10 mechanical camshaft which was rated at 308/320 duration and .445 of lift. Topping it all off was a very unique bathtub two piece tunnel ram intake that has been noted as the best factory designed intake to ever cross the assembly line.