Aiming to inject a bit of long-lost character back into a category once defined by it, the National Hot Rod Association released a number of amendments to the Pro Mod ruleset for 2024, which includes an escalating scale of weight breaks for nostalgia body styles.
Under the new rules, 1959 and older body styles will be permitted to deduct 75 pounds from their given combinations’ minimum weight, and those from 1960 to 2000 50 pounds. Singling out a couple of specific bodies, the 1968-72 Chevelle is limited to 30 pounds, and the 1968-69 Camaro 15 pounds.
Twenty nine drivers started a FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod event in 2023, and just seven were driving a vehicle representing a vehicle make and model other than a Camaro of either the first or sixth generation — that’s 76 percent all carrying the same badge. Not even in the heyday of the 1963 Corvette body was the lineup so lopsided.
A qualifying sheet within the IHRA at the turn of the century will reveal several 1957 Chevrolets, a couple of Dodge Vipers, a few 1941 Willys, some 1953 Studebakers and Corvettes, C5 Corvettes, a Pontiac Grand Am, a 1951 Mercury, a Dodge Avenger, and even a 1955 Thunderbird. Step back another year or two and you’ll find a Ford Ranger pickup, a Cadillac Coupe DeVille, a 1968 Barracuda, a 1970 Superbird, a 1937 Chevrolet, a Chevy Lumina, and some fourth-gen Pontiac Firebirds.
In 2023, the only deviation from the Camaro was a trio of S550 Ford Mustangs, a C7 Corvette, and a lone 1963 Corvette.
An odd note, the 1967 Camaro is allowed the full 50 pound weight break, rather than the 15 pounds given to the 1968-69, despite it being the very same body and nose save for the airbrushed parking and side lamps. Look for a number of teams with 1968-69 bodies to rework their cars and enter them as 1967’s when the season opener rolls around next March.
Other adjustments relate to parity, and have likewise raised some eyebrows. The centrifugal supercharger combination is permitted to reduce 35 pounds from its 2,775 pound minimum in 2023, and the roots supercharger combination must add 15, up to 2,635. The nitrous combo holds steady at a hefty 2,565 pounds, and the once-heralded turbocharger combination, which has been ripe for the picking for years with no takers, holds at 2,590 pounds.