Take a trip back to the 70′s when Grumpy’s Toys ruled the roost. Before the death of disco, the Vega was feared in Pro Stok, and when hood scoops that were higher than the roof, wings, and wheelie bars, can all be found back in the day in these photos. There are some shots of Dave Strickler’s Old Reliable II tuned by Bill Jenkins and other cars prepared by Jenkins Competition. If your a fan of Grumpy’s Toys you will love these pictures. Warning the music may make you want to buy a ticket for the Love Boat and a polka dot shirt with a huge collar.
Some of the younger crowd may not know that much about this drag racing legend. Jenkins started drag racing in his 1955 Chevy convertible and he became very well known after he help with the building of 30 cars that set national records. He raced for Chrysler in the early 60′s and then left them and started racing independently – this is where the legendary “Grumpy’s Toy” began. Jenkins thought the lighter Chevy II with it’s 327 cubic inch 350 horsepower engine would be a good match for the Heavy 426 cubic inch 425 horsepower Hemi cars in Super Stock. He was correct and became know at the premier naturally aspirated engine builder.
In 1970, NHRA created the Pro Stock class and Jenkins started running that with his 1968 Camaro. In 1972, NHRA allowed the small block wedge engine combination to be run in a lighter car and Jenkins took advantage of that. He put his 331 cubic inch engine is a Chevy Vega with a new tube chassis design. He was very successful and became known all over mainstream society for his victories. Besides having the first tube chassis car he was the first to use a dry sump oiling system and a strut front end.
Jenkins Competition Engines have powered many winners in drag racing and even in circle track racing. He has done a lot of research and development. Some of that r&d has lead to the splayed valve cylinder head for small block Chevy that Jenkins designed.