SCENES FROM SUPER CAR REUNION
Ford Beats GM-Saturated Race Entry List
Ford beats GM-saturated race entry list
For years the Super Car Reunion, which is largely supported by members of the Yenko Sportscar Club and its various satellite organizations, has stressed the fact that SCR openly welcomes any and all types of supercars (GM or otherwise). Well, hold on to your fanny packs, GM fans, because the drag racing segment of the 21st SCR was won by a Ford, with a Pontiac taking the runner-up spot and an Oldsmobile advancing to the semifinals!
SCR 21’s final-round finish underscores the fact that this particular event offers mass appeal not only to your higher-profile GM loyalists but also to supercar fans as a whole. And the word seems to be getting around. Unlike last year’s rain-delayed event, SCR 21—held at Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Beech Bend Raceway Park and the nearby Corvette Museum—experienced picture-perfect weather, just right for some good old-fashioned Friday afternoon dial-in handicap drag racing. The ratio of factory supercars to muscle cars at SCR 21 turned out to be three to one this year, and it was anybody’s guess who would be in the winner’s circle at day’s end. Now let’s take a look at some of the behind-the-scenes stories that unfolded at SCR 21.
The Girl’s All Right!
University of Kentucky marketing major Kennedy Patrick, 21, graduated from spectator to competitor at SCR 21, driving her 1969 Chevelle 454 big-block in competition. She recorded a best of 15.99/98.99 prior to being put on the trailer by her father, Todd, in his own ’69 Chevelle. She said, “This is awesome.” Look out, dad, because it looks like you’ve got two racers in the family.
Reliving the Good Old Days
Original owner David Griffith took a ride or two in the 427 COPO Camaro that used to be his, now owned by supercar enthusiast Kasey Alford. Griffith bought the COPO, Hugger Orange with black vinyl top, new from Valdosta, Georgia’s Roger Budd Chevrolet. He hadn’t seen the Camaro for 40 years. He said being reunited with his old hot rod was “an emotional experience that cannot be described.”
Unofficial Hard Luck Award of the Event
In spite of ideal weather, Super Car Reunion cofounders Tom and Rob Clary experienced a weekend they would rather forget. It all started when the lower radiator tank of their Daytona Yellow/ white stripe 1969 Yenko Camaro puked its guts out while they were loading the car into the hauler. Tom immediately got on the horn and called Doug Perry, who was en route to Bowling Green, and advised him of the situation. Perry and his Girl Friday, Amy Dailey, flooded the airwaves. Within minutes Perry’s cellphone was buzzing with offers of radiators from sYc members from all over the country. As it turned out, event cosponsor Shawn Green from Richmond, Kentucky’s Camaro Central happened to have the correct radiator in stock.
With half the battle won, the next step was finding a club member who could pick it up in Richmond on his or her way to SCR
21. One member who knew someone high up in the Kentucky Highway Patrol jokingly offered to have the radiator personally delivered to Beech Bend Park, although we’re not too sure if that included sirens and blazing gumball machines! However, sanity prevailed, and Jeffersonville, Kentucky, sYc member Van Hurst came to the rescue. Talk about a club that interacts with each other! However, after installing the new radiator in the Camaro, the Clarys proceeded to unload their 1970 Yenko Deuce race car, only to discover a cracked fuel line fitting exiting the Deuce’s high-volume electric fuel pump, forcing Tom to leave the car in the box. Some days!
Man of the Year
Ames, Iowa’s Kim Howie has been a fixture at the Super Car Reunions since inception. There isn’t a soul in the supercar collector car hobby who doesn’t know him or at least hasn’t heard a Kim Howie story. You just can’t help but like the guy, and that’s the reason why the SCR voted Howie 2018’s Man of the Year. It was this writer’s honor to roast him with all four burners fully lit. Howie took it all in good stride and gave a heartfelt acceptance speech. The audience responded with a standing ovation.
Food for Thought
Former Car Craft magazine and NHRA staffer, and automotive cable TV personality Chuck Hanson gave a moving speech about growing up with cars as a kid and the positive direction in which it took him. He proceed to appeal to SCR attendees, stressing that if the sport is to survive, “we” must engage the up-and-coming generation of hands-on car enthusiasts and get them involved in the sport. Hanson then pointed out that if we don’t, all those beautiful
“The lower radiator tank of their Yenko Camaro puked its guts out”
muscle cars we so greatly admire are destined to become little more than museum pieces.
I Got Your Back, Jack!
You never know who you’re going to run across at the Super Car Reunion. Original ZL1 Camaro owner Ken Barnhart and friends were sitting at a table during Saturday’s car show reminiscing about the good old days, when he was asked who was the toughest racer he ever competed against.
“Around here it would have been Dickie Ogle,” Barnhart answered. “I wonder whatever happened to that guy.”
At that time Barnhart had been sitting back-to-back with another man about his own age for hours. Someone told him, “If you want to say hello to Dickie Ogle, just turn around.” The look on Barnhart’s face was priceless!
Retired NHRA Stock and Super Stock Eliminator racer Ogle
(who has 75 wins to his credit) stopped by the Corvette Museum with scrapbook in hand. He wanted to see if anyone at SCR 21 might know the whereabouts of his 1968 Camaro Z/28 race car, which the late Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins arranged for him to buy directly through GM (for $1,800), and the winner of most of those trophies. Once the two joined up, the tall tales began to fly. As the conversation progressed, the crowd of onlookers got bigger and bigger.
From Out of the Shadows
Parked amongst all the glitz and glamour at SCR 21 was YS 760, the very last Yenko-converted 1967 427 Super Camaro built that year and sold new through Yenko Chevrolet. Second owner Doug Perry found the Camaro in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and purchased the 7,257-mile supercar from original owner John Weaver. Garaged since 1973, YS 760 is the most documented and highly optioned 427 Super Camaro known to exist, says Perry.
“We call this the Superman Car because the [original] exterior color is Nantucket Blue with a red interior, just like Superman. And like Superman, it’s a true survivor!” (See “The Leftover,” Oct. 2018, for the full story on Perry’s find.)
This year’s Super Car Reunion was made possible by title sponsor MASCAR Classics along with Allied Roofing, Deuce Heaven-Schoenthaler Restorations, Camaro Central, Kelsey Tire, Arone Restorations, O’Reilly Auto Parts, NAPA, JMB Barbecue, Pic Sweet, Monster Energy, Rusted Tires, Ken Tibor, and Bennie Pfeiffer. Check out the photos for a closer look at some of the awesome vintage GM (and other) supercar iron that made SCR 21 such a success.
1 SCR 21 was 21-year-old Kennedy Patrick’s first drag race as a participant, but it definitely won’t be her last. She has been watching her father, Tom, race since she was a pup, but it wasn’t until good ol’ dad swapped a 454 into her 1969 Chevelle (a 16th birthday present) that she experienced the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat when put on the trailer by—you guessed it—her dad.2 The show car lineup on Saturday included (left to right) Tom Clary’s 1969 427 Yenko/SC, Jamie Jarvis’ 1970 Yenko Deuce, Dennis Cumby’s 1970 Chevelle LS6, and Ken Barnhart’s 1969 ZL1 Camaro.3 Andy Snetselaar drew oohs and aahs when he rolled out boss Dennis Albaugh’s very beautiful Rally Green 1969 Yenko SC/427 fourspeed Chevy Nova, one of nine known survivors out of 38 built.4 Super Car Reunion 21 Man of the Year Kim Howie, whose 1970 Dick Harrell Camaro was featured on the event T-shirt, gave a great acceptance speech and did an excellent job of reigning in his emotions, although you could see that he was moved.
5 NHRA Stock and Super Stock legend Dickie Ogle (sitting far right) showed up at SCR 21 with scrapbook in hand in hopes that someone might know the whereabouts of his 1968 Camaro Z/28 race car.