STRAIGHT LINE SPOT­LIGHT

The bad­dest drag rac­ing Chevys

Chevy High Performance - - Contents - TEXT & PHO­TOS: Bruce Biegler

The Lat­est on a Long List!

To say that Ne­braska’s Gene Bichlmeier is a pro­po­nent for the Chevro­let brand in drag rac­ing would be an un­der­state­ment. Since first be­com­ing in­volved in the sport in the mid-1960s, Gene, who is a very suc­cess­ful con­struc­tion com­pany owner (based out of Nor­folk, Ne­braska), has owned and raced no less than nine dif­fer­ent Chevro­let Sports­man cars. That all started with a four-speed 1965 Mal­ibu back in 1965 and moved for­ward with a se­ries of Chevy IIs, Ca­maros, and 1955 Chevy cars. Fast for­ward to the present day, Gene con­tin­ues that pas­sion­ate pur­suit with a pair of im­pres­sive and com­pet­i­tive Su­per Stock-classed cars: a 1966 Chevy II Nova (which he drives) and a 1955 Chevy wagon raced by his friend Wayne Den­klau.

Gene’s 1966 Nova was built by C.T. Chas­sis and it has a high-wind­ing 283ci (NHRA 220hp rated) en­gine that fea­tures ma­chine work by Monty Jones and cylin­der heads by Gary Het­tler. With the Nova, which races as a GT/M and uses a Lib­erty clutch­less four-speed trans­mis­sion, Gene has recorded nu­mer­ous na­tional records through­out his ca­reer—most re­cently set at 9.92 e.t. and 132.67 mph.

Wayne, who is the crew chief for the Bichlmeier Rac­ing team is also tasked with driv­ing the team’s SS/P-classed 1955 Chevy. That ex­tremely rare two-door wagon fea­tures a 265ci (NHRA 180hp rated) en­gine and em­ploys a G-Force brand clutch­less four-speed. This car is a na­tional record holder, too, hav­ing set that of­fi­cial mark at 11.30 e.t. at 116.21 mph.

Both Gene and Wayne have been fre­quent win­ners within NHRA’s Su­per Stock class. Bichlmeier’s team in­cludes an im­pres­sive and tal­ented sup­port­ing staff with credit go­ing to Steve Di­etz (Cus­tom Ma­chine & Tool); Bob Sher­wood (dyno work); and his crew, in­clud­ing Tom Meyer and Mom Lavone Bichlmeier.

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