THE AERO­DY­NAM­ICS OF A BARN DOOR

ROGER JOHNS’ 1947 FARM TRUCK DOES SOME SE­RI­OUS HAULIN’

Drag Racer - - Contents - Text and Photos by Bob McClurg

Roger Johns’ 1947 Farm Truck Does Some Se­ri­ous Haulin’

THE ONLY HAUL­ING ROGER JOHNS’ CHOPPED ’47 3100 SE­RIES CHEVRO­LET ½-TON DOES TH­ESE DAYS IS THROUGH THE QUAR­TER-MILE, AND HE DOES IT TO THE TUNE OF 9.34-148. NAMED HOOD­LUM, THIS SLIME GREEN (IN THE OWNER’S WORDS) ’47 HAS THE AERO­DY­NAM­ICS OF A BARN DOOR, BUT IT HURTS FEEL­INGS ON A REG­U­LAR BA­SIS.

Built almost en­tirely by Johns’ com­pany, RJ Mo­tor­sports, Hood­lum fea­tures a dou­ble-rail DOM round tube 115-inch wheel­base chas­sis. The rear sus­pen­sion con­sists of an RJ Mo­tor­sports 4-link setup work­ing in con­junc­tion with a pair of Al­dan QA1 dou­ble-ad­justable #150 coil-over rear shocks. A 4.57:1 spool (with MW alu­minum cen­ter sec­tion and REM pol­ished MW gears) spins in­side an MW 9-inch Ford hous­ing and fea­tures MW gun-drilled 33-spline axles. The truck stops via a pair of four-pis­ton Wil­wood rear disc brakes. Up front you’ll find Art Mor­ri­son up­per and lower tubu­lar A-arm sus­pen­sion de­ploy­ing AM Mus­tang II front spin­dles, QA1 coilover front shocks, Wil­wood four-pis­ton front disc brakes, a 1 ½-inch AE anti-sway bar and AM Mus­tang-II-type rack-and-pin­ion steer­ing gear. Wheels and tires con­sist of a set of black PlastiDipped 15x3.5-inch Weld Pro Star II front, and 15x12-inch Weld Pro Star II mo­du­lar rear wheels rolling on Goodyear rac­ing rub­ber.

Power is pro­vided by a Brand Rac­ing En­gines (Mus­tang, Ok­la­homa) 413-ci World Prod­ucts Mo­town II small-block Chevy sport­ing a 3.75-inch Calles crank, 6-inch GRP alu­minum con­nect­ing rods and a set of To­tal-Seal-equipped 16:1com­pres­sion Di­a­mond Rac­ing com­bus­tion-cham­ber-matched pis­tons. Power doesn’t stop there, though, a pro­pri­etary grind big inch BRE solid roller cam, Cloyes dou­ble roller tim­ing chain, King en­gine bear­ings, ARP fas­ten­ers, CVR bil­let oil pump and 7-quart Milodon oil pan cir­cu­lat­ing Royal Pur­ple XPR 5W/30 oil round things out.

The en­gine is cooled via CSR elec­tric wa­ter pump and a Grif­fin four-core alu­minum ra­di­a­tor.

A set of RFD cus­tom-ported alu­minum al­loy 15-de­gree cylin­der heads fea­ture a 2.223inch-di­am­e­ter in­take and 1.6-inch-di­am­e­ter Man­ley ti­ta­nium valves. PAC cus­tom springs with Man­ley re­tain­ers, a set of 1.6/1.7-ra­tio T&D cus­tom off­set rocker arms, Man­ley push rods and .903 Crower ex­treme duty lifters are pro­tected by a set of tall deck Johnson Fab­ri­ca­tion sheet-metal valve cov­ers. In­duc­tion is han­dled by a Self Rac­ing En­gines cus­tom­fab­ri­cated sheet-metal ram in­take sport­ing a Ron’s Fuel In­jec­tion Ter­mi­na­tor throttle body with air in­take tubes set into the head­light buck­ets and a set of #35 Ron’s Ter­mi­na­tor me­chan­i­cal fuel in­jec­tors.

Ig­ni­tion du­ties have been al­lo­cated to an MSD Pro Bil­let dis­trib­u­tor and crank trig­ger fir­ing a set of NGK spark plugs.

Ex­haust is ex­pelled by a set of HPC ther­mal-coated Lemons

1 7⁄8- to 1 5⁄8-inch-di­am­e­ter stepped head­ers with ad­justable 4-inch col­lec­tors.

Back­ing it all up is a Wil­son Rac­ing Trans­mis­sions

(Ok­la­homa City, Ok­la­homa) two-speed Pow­er­glide sport­ing a REID ex­plo­sion-proof case and Wil­son 1.98:1 first gear. Hood­lum also fea­tures a 168-tooth flex plate, Greg Porter En­ter­prises GPE starter and 8-inch­di­am­e­ter 6900-stall-speed COAN bil­let-alu­minum con­verter. The fi­nal link in the truck’s power train is a 65-inch-alu­minum Denny’s drive­shaft.

Johns took 4 inches out of his truck’s roof to help it slip through the air a lit­tle eas­ier. He also cus­tom-fab­ri­cated the car­bon­fiber one-piece hood and light­weight pickup bed (no­tice the lack of a bulk­head and tail­gate) and widened the rear fend­ers to keep those 31.5x15 Goodyears tucked in­side the fen­der wells. Lastly, he sprayed the truck in a cus­tom mix of lime green, which, un­der the lights at tracks like Tulsa Race­way Park (thanks Cliff Parvin and TRP), con­trasts with the black to be­come slime green. Lastly, Mik’s Artwerks from Ok­la­homa City is re­spon­si­ble for the graph­ics.

In­side, Johns’ truck fea­tures an NHRA-le­gal S/G/S/C roll cage, a sin­gle Kirkey race seat, Auto Me­ter in­stru­men­ta­tion, Stroud safety equip­ment, a TCI shifter and wire­less RPM Per­for­mance data col­lec­tion sys­tem.

ON THE COVER:

Ron Capps cap­tures the crown! In­side Pomona Fi­nals ac­tion and new champs.

/Credit for build­ing the Hood­lum’s 413-inch World Prod­ucts Mo­town II Chevy small-block goes to Mus­tang, Ok­la­homa’s Brand Rac­ing En­gines.

/The three­quar­ter rear shot is an an­gle many com­peti­tors get to see. As early Chevro­let race trucks go, this is one of the coolest.

/The in­te­rior is strictly busi­ness. There’s the NHRA-cer­ti­fied roll cage, Kirkey race seat, Stroud safety har­nesses, Auto Me­ter in­stru­men­ta­tion, TCI shifter and stand-alone RPM Per­for­mance data col­lec­tion sys­tem.

/With the ex­cep­tion of the driv­e­train, the 62-year-old Johns, a suc­cess­ful in­ter­na­tional sales ex­ec­u­tive and owner of RJ Mo­tor­sports (and mem­ber of WFO Drag Trucks), vir­tu­ally built the Hood­lum from the ground up, in­clud­ing the 115-inch wheel­base mild steel (DOM) dual-rail chas­sis, pre­par­ing the ’47 Chevro­let body right down to paint and fi­nal assem­bly.

/Rear sus­pen­sion con­sists of an RJM 4-link and QA1 coil-over-sus­pended MW En­ter­prises’ 4.57:1-geared Ford spool. Rear brakes are four-pis­ton Wil­wood En­gi­neer­ing units. Wheels and tires are black-painted Weld Pro Star IIs rolling on Goodyear Eagles.

/Out back is a highly mod­i­fied Chevro­let 3100 se­ries pickup bed sans tail­gate and rear bulk­head. The fuel tank is a moon 20-gal­lon model. A set of late-model Chevy pickup in­ner wheel wells were moved in­board to house the slicks.

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