If you scan the staging lanes at an NHRA event where Super Gas is being contested you’ll see a lot of roadsters and full body cars with a wide field of view. Randy Deluca missed the memo on what’s needed to compete in Super Gas, and that’s just fine — his 1950 Chevy Fleetline is one of the most unique cars you’ll see in the class.
A Chevy Fleetline is something you’d expect to see at a car show sitting low to the ground and looking super sleek — not what you’d typically see in the pits at a drag strip, let alone running in the 9-second range with a small-block providing the power. That’s right, Deluca uses a small-block Chevy in a class that’s filled with big blocks…and it’s not even an exotic engine. The 421 cubic-inch mill was built by Kenny Mathews and uses a basic GM Performance block, GM Vortech Heads, and a GM Performance intake.
Deluca originally had no plans to go drag racing with his Fleetline. After some garage talk with his buddies, the project took a sharp right turn and he was headed to the track.
“My friends and I built the chassis and body for this car. Jim Promizoc built the chassis — his family helped out so much with this build. My friends are Competition Eliminator racers, so I’ve been crewing for them over the years, that’s how I got into NHRA class racing. The car itself started out as a street rod, for about an hour, when we were getting ready to chop the body. Jim asked me if I really wanted to go to car shows and hang out — my response was ‘no,’ so he suggested we turn it into a drag car,” Deluca says.
After making the decision to turn the Fleetline into a race car it was time to get to work on the body. From the doors forward the body is fiberglass and the rest has been heavily massaged. It has a total of 6-inches chopped off the top and the deck lid has been laid down over the stock dimensions. To get the deck lid to fit, Deluca had to cut the entire rear portion of the car off and stretch it.
Racing such a big car in Super Gas really presents some unique challenges to Deluca, especially when he has to race those pesky roadsters. Since Deluca’s Chevy is powered by a small-block it doesn’t generate the massive top-end speed the big-block cars do, so he doesn’t see them until it’s time to play the stripe. He also has a hard time seeing the front end of the car because of how high the hood is.
Even with those issues, Deluca loves his Fleetline and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I actually had a guy offer to buy the car from me before I ran it. After my first pass in the car, I was totally in love with it and told him I wasn’t interested in selling it. Someone could walk up right now and offer me $100,000 for this car and I wouldn’t take it…I just love driving it that much. A lot of people like the car so I get to interact with racing fans. I had a guy drive out to Chicago to see the car. He saw it on TV and drove six hours just to come see it in person…that was pretty cool,” Deluca says.
Randy Deluca’s 1950 Fleetline shows you don’t need to build a Camaro or Mustang or even a roadster to go racing. With a little bit of creativity and help form your friends it’s possible to turn anything into a race car and have fun doing it.