After President Ronald Reagan chided Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev…tear down this wall,” the climate for all things western became popular in the eastern block countries. With the social reform of the former Soviet Union, out went the black box KGB cars and in came the stylish capitalist cars. The best that the world had to offer.
Once the former “Evil Empire” had cars that would perform well and look good doing it, owners of these hot rods began sizing each other up. Pitting your performance car against the other guy’s performance car began as soon as the second western car was unloaded from the cargo plane and rolled across the tarmac.
We found a video of a recent drag race from Moscow, where local car enthusiasts take their pride and joy out to race against their comrade’s pride and joy. To be honest, this video showed us what racing is really all about.
It’s not a prepped drag strip so traction is similar to what you would see on the streets. Some of the cars still had their rev limiters in place, the cars don’t have drag slicks and the cars are set up in 5 basic classes. These racers aren’t professional drivers. They are simply two drivers running against each other and having fun. There’s no politics, no country patriotism and no prejudice, only two people that want to race each other.
This particular event was held on a one mile course with a blend of different cars. The video that caught our attention was in the “sports car” class where a Chevy C10, 10 liter V8 truck, lined up against two of Europe’s super cars. Despite being several years older, and not designed aerodynamically well compared to the sports cars, the C10 does well for itself. The heavy metal body and light rear end make it difficult for the truck to get off the line, and the first run against the Porsche caught the truck’s driver asleep at the light, but end the end it did alright.
Under the hood of the "Yellow Duck"
Ironically, when this C10 rolled off the assembly line, the Soviet Union would have never allowed Chevrolet’s in the country. Decades later, this Detroit iron is welcomed and respected by the other car owners. According to the truck’s owner, Sergey, the C10 was found in Moscow. As soon as he purchased the truck and started rebuilding it, his daughter gave him a plastic yellow duck as a mascot. The duck is now mounted on the C10’s cab just above the windshield.
For some unknown reason, the truck sports Oregon license plates.
Sergey doesn’t go too in depth on the details of his “Yellow Duck” C10 except to say that it’s a 1968 model year body and has the American classic Weiand supercharger and dual Holley 4 barrel carbs. “What more could you want,” he says.
According to Sergey, when he got the truck the horsepower was near 300. He’s spent 6-months working on the truck and engine combination and it makes around 850 horsepower to rear wheels. We couldn’t find specific specs on the truck, even after translating and checking Moscow Unlimited 500+ website, the group that holds the drag racing events.
Pictures of the ’68 Chevrolet C10 appear to show a big-block Chevy topped with the Weiand roots-type blower, long tube headers, and two monster 4150 Holley four barrels. We swear we see the Blower Shop’s air fed carburetor scoop kit topping off the carbs.
It may not have your typical drag radials but the super sized Hoosiers on the back don’t look like they would have too much problem grabbing the asphalt. The Yellow Duck’s ride height has been substantially dropped, but we’re not sure by how much.
The video shows that the heavy iron truck is definitely slower coming off the line, partly because the weight of the beast and partly because of driver’s reaction time. Not that it matters, the European super cars have 50-years of technical advantage in aerodynamics.
The telling part of that statement is best viewed at the end of the video when both cars pass the orange cone that signals the end of the race. The sports cars passed the cone, which barely acknowledged their presence. When the “Yellow Duck” flew by, the orange cone jumped a foot in the direction that the truck was going. There’s no arguing that Sergey’s ’68 C10 moves a lot of air, makes a lot of noise and is one of the crowd favorites.