AUSSIE PRO STOCK
LAUNCHED at the beginning of 1974, Pro Stock was intended to find a place for the hard-headed old Super Stock racers who didn’t want to switch to handicaps. The rules were fairly restrictive, simply allowing existing racers in Modified Production classes to add a fibreglass bonnet, boot lid and guards for a simple swap across. Bodies had to be Australian-manufactured from 1967-on using engines originally available for that vehicle.
The rules appeared to provide options for Holden, Ford and Chrysler cars and by rights should have brought out a bunch of competitors, but after a small flurry of initial activity the numbers began to drop away. When Noel Ward debuted his XA Falcon in May 1975 and went 10.37@131mph at a time when the national records stood at 11.25 and 120mph, the bottom fell out of the bracket.
While US Pro Stock racers had options with big-block engines, the local authorities stuck firmly with small-block power, which made for a great disparity in performance. Under pressure from racers, they did gradually release the reins on structural limitations, and by the 1990s these vehicles were quick enough for the NHRA to use them as a model to establish its Pro Truck class.
These days the vast majority of Aussie Pro Stock vehicles use the swoopier two-door body shapes from the USA, but the small-block format remains firmly in place.