by Jim Amos

1972 - 1976
DVD #029

This two hour and thirteen minute original video production takes an in-depth look at the period of 1972 through 1976 for the Pro Stock eliminator. The video includes Pro/Stock racing at seventeen NHRA National events, three NHRA Divisional races, one AHRA race and an independent race at 131 Dragway in Michigan. You get to see over 275 different Pro Stockers with some shown multiple times. We also give the name of the driver, car owner and build information for most of the cars. We did extensive research on the cars and drivers and share that information in our narration which runs on top of the film footage.

We have included an 1972 NHRA Division 4 WCS meet from Albuquerque NM. Back in the 1970's Pro Stockers also ran divisional meets and their performance earned points toward their final total for the season. We explain how the points system worked back when there was no countdown to the Championship playoff system in place. Very interesting in how Champions were crowned back in the day.  

Next we show you some great shots of the Pro Stockers at Milan Dragway in Michigan. In the footage you get to see Canadian racer Barry Poole in a 1972 Mercury Comet that carried the Sandy Elliot sponsorship. Very rare car and the sounds it makes when launching are great.

We also show you some Pro Stock action North of the border. The cars are a mix of Canadian and US. The Canadian tracks include Cayuga Raceway Park, Toronto International Raceway and Sanair Dragway.

Another segment takes us to the 1972 NHRA Springnationals in Columbus Ohio. It was interesting that three AMC Gremlins were entered in the race.  Wally Booth had the Booth/Arons Gremlin X, Maskin and Gilbert had a second Gremlin and Rich Lamont had the WIBG Radio 99 Gremlin. The little cars were different looking and were far out numbered by the Fords, Chevy's and Chrysler's but they gave hope to the number 4 US Automaker that they could become competitive in the performance market. To learn more about one of the cars I include an interview with Rich Lamont where he gives us some insight into the AMC program. Rich also shares a story of how the Booth/Arons car developed a performance advantage that brought AMC their first NHRA National event win. Very interesting story. 

We make a stop at Tulsa International Raceway and get to see a great bunch of Pro Stockers. Front and center is Royce Freeman and his small block powered Vega. Royce is the father of the brothers Richard, Robert and Royce Lee and together they formed Elite Motorsports. Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders is a member and driver for Elite Motorsports.

In our coverage of the 1973 NHRA Summernationals you get to travel around the pit area and check out some of the great cars. When we get to the Grumpy’s Toy Vega we stop and bring you a special story about the Grump. I happened on to the story at a drag race at Orlando Speed World Dragway in Orlando, Fl. I will let Ron Dickerson tell you the story and I bet you will get a big kick out of it.

We have a great segment covering the 1973 US Nationals at Indy. We show you a large group of Pro Stockers and a special story about the Canadian Pontiac Astre. Interesting story of how the Astre was able to race as a Pro Stocker in the U.S. Bob Glidden won the race and we have him racing and showing off in the winners circle.

NHRA used to hold a National event at Sanair dragway in Quebec, Canada. In our 1973 coverage of the Molson Nationals we check out the cars in the program but we also noticed the absence of Bill Jenkins at the race. Our story tells you why Grump did not make the show and what happened to his giant killer Chevy Vega.  

The Pro Stockers also showed up at Maple Grove Drag-O-Way in Pennsylvania during 1973. We have some neat pit shots and an interview with former Funny Car World Champion Bruce Larson. Bruce was driving his Pro Stock Chevy Vega at Maple Grove and he discusses the differences between a fuel funny car and a Pro Stocker. Can you guess which is more difficult to operate and drive? Bruce will tell you what he learned from the experience.

While at Maple Grove we tell the story of a new way to transport Race Cars. For years race cars were towed on open trailers and open ramp trucks but Pro Stock racer Lou Oleynik changed all of that. I talked with an owner of one of the Oleynik transporters and it is a fascinating story.

We have also included some bonus footage that helps us tell the story of the progression of Pro Stock racing.. This footage is added at no cost to our customers. 

Within the Bonus footage we also include a special story about the Booth/Arons AMC cars. Rich Lamont gives us some insight on how the AMC cars began to run as quick as the established teams that were running Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler combinations. Very interesting story.

In 1975 things got a little crazy when some racers began to work the rules and come up with strange race car combinations. For instance, Bob Glidden and Dyno Don Nicholson built 1970 Mustangs while the Gapp and Roush team put together a four door Maverick that was called the Tijuana Taxi. We show you some footage of these cars racing and also explain how and why they were built within the 1975 rules package.  

In 1975 there was no playoff system to determine a Pro Stock World Champion. To be the Champ it took an entire season of racing in not only National Events but also Divisional Events. Anyway, it was the driver with the most points after the running of the World Nationals event that became the World Champion. If that sounds complicated don’t worry as we will take you through the process as we work to crown the 1975 Pro Stock World Champion. In order to do this we will use some bonus footage to help with the explanation. Again no cost for that footage.

We begin our 1976 segment with some footage from the 1976 Popular Hot Rodding Championship Races at 131 Dragway in Martin, Mi. They had a Pro Stock eliminator and there were several cars that were not regulars on the NHRA trail. It is really cool seeing some of these lesser known Pro Stockers in action. I hope you will agree.

1976 turned out to be the year for Pro Stock driver Larry Lombardo. Larry got his ride in the Bill Jenkins Chevy Monza and as you will see he accumulated enough points to win the World Championship.

We show you Larry competing at the 1976 Summernationals at Englishtown, NJ and he turned out to be the winner of that event. Larry did not back into the win there were numerous hard hitters in the field but Larry was able to overcome the competition and take the Pro Stock win.  

The 1976 Championship was decided at the very last race of the year at Ontario Motor Speedway in California. We have included some bonus footage to show you the result.

As we close out the video we give you a brief introduction to our final installment of the Pro Stock Story documentary. The final episode will take a look at Pro Stock racing from 1977 through 1984.  That episode will be available later in 2024.

As always we have taken the time to dub real car sounds on to the movie footage in order to give you the most realistic sights and sounds available of the golden era of Pro Stock drag racing. We have also included relative narration in the video so you can follow all the action that takes place. 

This video is being offered at a Special Holiday Shopping Price, however, that offer will expire on January 20, 2024.  Get your copy now.