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Msg ID: 2555273 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
2/10/2019 8:15:27 PM

I'm not sure if anyone can answer this, but if anyone can it will be someone on here. 

What kind of internal engine components were available and used by Nascar teams when the switch to small blocks happened, and were those componets available to local teams when the switch happened? 

Basically, here is my angle. In looking at Kromer's pic of Earnhardt's Monte one can assume that anyone could have gone and built a car from scratch since they used stock bodies and correct me if I am wrong, used stock frames until a few years later. Granted, cutting up a brand new car wasn't cheap, but it could be done. That said, I'm wondering if the motor components contained items that local builders could buy with enough money or were they still specialty pieces that weren't available to the masses.  

Seems like today one cannot buy those components unless you have a boat ton of cash and even then, may not be able to buy at any price. 

Was building a cup car in the late 70's and early 80's in the cards for well funded local teams? 

Msg ID: 2555284 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
Author:Kevin Mc
2/10/2019 9:24:28 PM

Reply to: 2555273

Stock frames were already long gone by the time Earnhardt posed for that photo.  There were chassis builders back then who most of the Cup teams relied on for bare frames or rollers.  Laughlin  was one of them I believe. Hutchison-Pagan was another.   I think Petty Enterprises were building their own cars.  The Super teams of that era were already building engines that were light years ahead of the back half of the field but I believe you could get the guy who built your modified or late model engine to put a Cup engine together for you if you wanted to race when NASCAR was at Pocono or Dover (or Trenton) if you had bought a used Cup car from a team who had unloaded last years rolling stock.  Its been a long time but I remember reading that as recently as the early 80s one of the top Ford teams was scavenging junk yards for blocks because Ford was so disinterested in spending money in NASCAR.    So yeah the engines back then were much closer to stock but still very much a racing engine.

Msg ID: 2555285 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
Author:md racer
2/10/2019 9:35:28 PM

Reply to: 2555273

Back then the manufacturers had to sell so many engines in street cars to qualify them to race. Hence Ford sold over 1,000 Mustangs with the Blue Crescent Boss 429 engine. Chevy sold lots of 427’s and Mopar 426 hemis.

i don’t recall what year they went to race only engines. It may have something to do with Toyota. Since they had to create a NASCAR engine. They didn’t and still dont build a production push rod engine. Chrysler had to create an engine too. Then Chevy created a new small block. Ford was the last to build their NASCAR specific engine. As far as I know you cannot go to a car dealer and buy a NASCAR engine in the parts Dept. From what I read race engines are leased from Roush-Yates, Hendrick and Childress and TRD. If you could buy one take it to the bank you will not get it with the camshaft they race. 

As far as the cars go Ford wanted to race the Taurus. It was only made as a front wheel drive four door sedan. The rules only permitted two door cars. This is what started the made for racing stock cars from the ground up. In addition the rear wheel drive car had become passé in Detroit.

I know this simplifies the story but a book could easily be written about the evolution of the modern stock car. In 1949 it started as strictly stock but they soon found out production suspension parts couldn’t withstand the beating racing on dirt tracks around the country. Durability was a problem which in turn created safety concerns.  heavy duty parts made the cars safer which also made them faster and the rest is history. 


Msg ID: 2555288 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
Author:Kevin Mc
2/10/2019 9:44:12 PM

Reply to: 2555285

I think the Chevy Cup block still had a GM part # that you could order and pick up at your local dealer in the 80s or maybe even the 1990s.   Of course it still needed lots and lots of work back in the machine shop once you picked it up but it was still a "stock" block.

Msg ID: 2555323 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
2/11/2019 10:14:47 AM

Reply to: 2555273

There's nothing stock about a stock car. (Days of thunder)



Msg ID: 2555327 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
Author:Rich Guy
2/11/2019 10:28:34 AM

Reply to: 2555323

Banjo Mathews built a lot of the winning NASCAR chassisin the 70s and on.

Maurice Petty told me since the parts were not supposed to go directly to the race teams from the factory, everything was shipped to the local dealer, (Southern Chrysler Plymouth), and then they ran it over to the  Level Cross shop.

When they switched to Ford, same scenario.

Msg ID: 2555335 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
2/11/2019 11:13:12 AM

Reply to: 2555327

A local team could race NASCAR for sure in the 70's at least. Go to Coastal 181 and buy Dave Dion's book if you want to read a tell-all on what really went on in NASCAR in that time other words, you could build a car and go down, but you better not run good.

Msg ID: 2555425 Ok...odd question... +0/-0     
2/11/2019 10:40:53 PM

Reply to: 2555273
my dad was good friends with Dave George, who sponsored a few cup cars back in late 70's and early 80's,,primarily Dave Marcus, and he was always asking my dad, to keep his eyes out for dodge 340 t/a engine blocks, that was the block the dodge guys used when the 426 got outlawed, but they were scarce, so cup teams had people constantly scouring the wrecking yards in all 48 states looking for them.

Msg ID: 2555426 stock engine blocks into late 70s +0/-0     
2/11/2019 10:50:43 PM

Reply to: 2555273
Back then, the engine block of choice was the 340 6-barrel block. However, by the late 1970s, 6-barrel blocks were hard to come by and we were scrounging the local junk yards. It was the same thing for the Pettys. We were using standard 340 blocks for dyno development and saving the six-barrel blocks for the race cars. We wanted to use the 6-barrel block was because we had added material to the bulkheads for strength, so we could use 4 bolt main caps. Otherwise, the only difference between the engines was carburetion, camshaft, cylinder heads and headers. The NASCAR engine could only use a flat tappet cam (we used a mushroom tappet) and a single 4 bbl carb. The NHRA drag engines could use roller cams and multiple carburetion intake manifolds depending on the class.

Msg ID: 2555443 stock engine blocks into late 70s +0/-0     
Author:Kevin Mc
2/12/2019 8:39:29 AM

Reply to: 2555426

I dont think the current GM Cup block has any direct lineage to the 350 small block which even in the recent past could still have  been claimed. Pretty sure it was a clean sheet of paper engine.   Can anyone verify or correct me?

Msg ID: 2555474 stock engine blocks into late 70s +0/-0     
Author:Rick Shive
2/12/2019 10:10:57 AM

Reply to: 2555443

Correct Kev, totally different.

Msg ID: 2555483 stock engine blocks into late 70s +0/-0     
Author:Kevin Mc
2/12/2019 11:41:23 AM

Reply to: 2555474

I have my moments of brilliance.  LOL

Msg ID: 2556090 stock engine blocks into late 70s +0/-0     
2/16/2019 7:54:29 AM

Reply to: 2555483
Good info. Thanks.