Friday, November 28, 2008

The Chevrolet Stock Car Competiton Guide - Part 5

This page gives you the 'recommended basic options' for your to order in your 'stock car'.

In brief these are;

1) Body Model; with the 1512 being the favourite. Any body colour will do but 'green is considered taboo in most American racing circles' and 'lighter tones reduce interior temps on hot sunny days'.

2) Engine; with the Corvette V8 with Ramjet fuel-injection (RPO 578) being favoured.

3) Transmission; with either the Standard 3-Speed Synchro-Mesh or the Close-Ratio 3-Speed Synchro-Mesh (RPO 303) as an option.

4) Electric Wipers (RPO 320); as the standard vacuum-style wipers did not work at high speeds due to little vacuum pressure produced to operate it. They also recommend a foot-operated windshield washer too for the same vacuum related reasons.

Next Up - Part 6, where we look at more of the 'heavy duty' options needed to make a 1957 Chevy stock car.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Chevrolet Stock Car Competiton Guide - Part 4

We are now starting to get to the 'meat and potatoes' here where the definition of a stock car is clearly stated followed by choosing the proper model for stock car competition - the 150 models (the 1512 or 1502) unless you were on a speedway then the 210 models would do (2154) for aerodynamic purposes and then there is the convertible class (2434) - and finally we are introduced to the most important section: "Choosing the Right Equipment".

We will start getting into the R.P.O.'s (Regular Production Options) next time in Part 5.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Chevrolet Stock Car Competiton Guide - Part 3

The next page in the Guide is pretty much an introduction to the Guide itself along with Chevrolet's reason(s) for creating it in the first place.

In it Chevrolet states that the Guide is simply 'advisory' in its premise in order to help Chevrolet dealers cope with the growing demand for '57 Chevy stock cars. The guide was not intended to 'encourage' people to race but rather to 'inform' them 'of the techniques that promote greater safety and higher entertainment value for all who enjoy stock car competition in the highest traditions of the sport.' See picture below.

End of Part 3 ... Part 4 is in the works and will be out soon!

The Chevrolet Stock Car Competition Guide - Part 2

The next page in the Guide is s supplemental page that was stuck in the inside cover along with the letter to the dealers.

This supplemental page was put into the Guide after the '57 Chevys dominated the 1957 Daytona Beach race while using their fuel injection units. Although it wasn't a 'fuelie' that won the race - it was Cotton Owens in a Pontiac (see picture below and note the 57 Chevy behind him) - NASCAR still banned the use of fuel injection on any of their race cars, a ban that continues even today. This supplement clearly lists what parts (with part #'s) that were needed to convert the 'fuelie' engine into a single 4-barrel carburetor one that would meet the rules requirements of various racing governing bodies such as NASCAR.
End of Part 2 ... look for Part 3 soon!

The Chevrolet Stock Car Competition Guide - Part 1

When Chevrolet first came out with its Stock Car Competition Guide it included with it a letter to all of its car dealers to acquaint them with the sport of Stock Car Racing in which millions of fans watch. The letter reads as follows;

Essentially, the Chevrolet Stock Car Competition Guide was an instruction manual for dealerships on how to put together a 1957 Chevy stock car for those individuals in the dealership's area participating in stock car racing.

End of Part 1. More later ...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Diamond In The Rough Turned Out To Be Rough - Much Too Rough!

I went to go look at that car (see previous post) and it would be better off if someone just put it out of its misery and crushed what little there was of it. Let me tell you, if that heap was half as good as the old dirt tracker in this picture I would have bought it, but it wasn't even close.

Good thing my hopes weren't set too high or I would have had a hard crash back down to reality.

Sorry I haven't been around here in a while, but things just got a little to out of hand this summer. I honestly can't remember ever being so busy during the summer months as I was this year and September was no better.

But I'm back and I'll be posting here a little more frequently as I have to finish what I started - I hate leaving things incomplete.

Look for my next Black Widow installment soon!

Take Care.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Crossing My Fingers On This One

I was out with a few friends the other night, both of whom I've known since High School, so they know about my love affair with the 1957 Chevrolet. Well, wouldn't you know, one of them came across this motor-less but otherwise complete '57 sitting behind a barn and told me about it. The current owner is looking to sell it, but he isn't advertising it either.

I'm going to look at this week, I hope it isn't a rotted mess held together by 50 year old paint.

I'll let you know.

Let's hope it is better than the one pictured here.

Photo Credit: wilkeoldsmobile

Monday, May 12, 2008

Here Is a Black Widow We All Would Like To Have Seen

My blogging friend, Charlie, over at sent me this picture of his friend Ron's 1957 Chevy Dale Earnhardt tribute car. Imagine having Dale Earnhardt in that car in the late '50's? That would have been cool to watch.

Actually, I've got to send a shout out to Charlie and Ron because they are the ones who got me a copy of the '1957 Chevrolet Stock Car Competition Guide' so I could do this. Thanks guys.

I've gotten a little behind here due to some unforeseen circumstances last week. Sorry. My next post will be an introduction to the Guide itself.

Take Care.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Little Personal History First

Before I move on, let me tell you a bit about my fascination with the 'Black Widow'.

I've always been a fan the 1955-57 Chevys. My dad owned a series of them when I was a kid, he was particularly fond of the 1956 Chevy, and I guess that is what got me hooked on them. But I liked the '57 Chevy more, probably because of the rear fins and the 'rockets' on the hood.

When I was a teenager and had a part-time job, all my money went into cars and girls (not necessarily in that order), and I owned a series of pretty cool cars, 1973 Monte Carlo, 1969 Chevelle, and a 1957 Chevy 2-door hardtop.

My '57 originally started life as a 210 model with a 235 'Blue Flame' block. When I got it, it had been chromed up in Bel-Air trim, had been filled with bondo, and been butchered in other areas. I eventually got a Chevy 350 4-bolt main in it with heads off a 327 on it, along with headers, low flow exhaust, 650 cfm Holley carb, a muncie 4-speed, and a 10-bolt posi out back. I also rewired the whole thing, fixed the body (better than it was anyway) and painted it 'Tweety' yellow. Man, that car was Outsider 'tuff' - see the picture.

Anyway, at that time I also bought and read every single Hot Rod-style magazine there was out there. In an edition of Chevrolet High Performance I came across this article about a certain black and white '57 Chevy 150 sedan. I wasn't really into sedans, let alone 150's, so I skipped the article at first. It wasn't until I was completely done all of my magazines for that month and was waiting for the new issues to arrive on newsstands that I went back and read the 150 article.

Man I was blown away! It was about the 'Black Widow' stock car. I never heard of them until that very moment. I read that article probably a thousand times. I was hooked. I wanted a 'Black Widow' even though I knew it would be next to impossible to get an original one.

So here I am 20 yrs later still wanting an original 'Black Widow'. I've thought about building a clone several times over the years, but I haven't. I would know it was not an original one. I think if I were going to build a clone car I would do a 1966 Shelby Cobra instead.

You see, the 'Black Widow' isn't just a stock car, part of its allure is the story behind it. If you own a 'Black Widow' you not only own an antique stock car, but also own a piece of automotive history and it all started with the '1957 Chevrolet Stock Car Competition Guide'.

Next Post: "The 'Competition Guide' Story"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Welcome To The 1957 Chevy 'Black Widow' Stock Car Blog

O.K., I have to admit, this whole site started because I was writing a 'little' piece for my other blog 'NASCAR Ranting and Raving' and what I wrote became more than a 'little something', it became 'a whole lot of something'. In fact, I'm still writing it but I have enough to start posting here - which I will start doing soon.

I hope that this site will eventually serve as an information and link hub for fans of the 1957 Chevy 'Black Widow' stock car.

Check back soon for more. Here is a hint as to where I'm going next: