Page 65 - NM Spring 2018
P. 65

Story and photographs by Connell R. Miller

          Most of our readers are familiar   edge over their competition.  These  part purveyor where they would
        with the old saying that once the    tinkerers (most of whom were         find all their desired items waiting
        second car was made, there was       located in southern California in    for them on shelves – aluminum
        a desire on the part of the owners   the beginning) soon morphed          multi-carb manifolds, cams,
        to see which one was faster.  This   their fledgling enterprises into     headers and a better ignition for
        was when the word “racing” –         companies that became what we        their Chevy, Ford or Dodge.  All
        previously used after bicycle, horse,  now recognize as the huge speed,   from one source and for a fairly
        sailboat and foot was soon added     or specialty equipment industry.     small hit to their paycheck, the
        to the word “automobile,” thus                                            result often meant a hot but reliable
        creating the roots of our sport.       Following close on the heels of    street vehicle that might also bring
                                             this explosion of new products from  home a trophy from the local drag
          The next development came          these manufacturers came the         strip on the weekend.
        quickly – the search for ways to     creation of retail outlets with which
        improve the performance of one’s     to peddle these new performance-       The rodder’s world began
        car.  With this goal of achieving    enhancing parts directly to the      changing though, with the
        more horsepower, a small             customer – the “speed shop.”         1970’s introduction of unleaded
        cottage industry was created as                                           gas and catalytic converters,
        mechanically-minded folks in small     The ‘50s and ‘60s were halcyon     reduced compression ratios and
        shops and backyard garages began     years for the industry, as a car     stringent emission controls.  The
        casting, grinding, machining and     enthusiast could now stop sending    performance industry was hit hard
        modifying the parts that would       off for each manufacturer’s catalog   but strived to find solutions that
        give the early-day hot rodder an     and simply visit their local speed                   Continued on page 67

        Spring 2018                               Nitro Madness Magazine                                          65
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