Harold L. Vignery
1952 Ford Customline
This '52 Customline was Harold Vignery's first car. That's him in 1962 at 18 years old. He bought the car in pieces, with no engine, installing a '53 Mercury lump with "shaved" heads, a three-quarter race cam, and a four-barrel Holley from a '54 Merc in a fabricated inlet manifold. A stock overdrive trans and dual exhausts completed the drivetrain.
Nosed and decked, with a modified grille and homemade custom taillights, fender skirts, and flipper hubcaps, it made a great cruiser once he'd removed some side trim and the bumper guards and painted it metallic lavender. Harold drove the Ford to high school during his senior year, then to school in Kansas City, Missouri, for another two years. He reminisced that "This car was a blast and a bunch of us had a lot of fun cruising around in it listening to KOMA and WHB."
Craig Edgar was also 18-though a little earlier in 1956-when he owned this '50 Mercury Monterey. He performed what he refers to as the "usual" modifications, such as nosing and decking it, using lead, as well as cutting the front coils and installing lowering blocks in the rear.
The engine was bored 0.060 with silvolite pistons and Grant rings. Edgar installed a three-quarter race cam that was purchased from Honest Charley, along with Johnson adjustable lifters. The stock heads were also milled "just a tad." According to Craig, "The engine emitted wonderful sounds through Belond headers and Smithy mufflers, and it was a real fun car, but in 1959 I sold it and bought a '56 Ford Victoria."
1941 Willys pickup
In the late '60s and early '70s, Ray Simpson grew up within a mile of a dragstrip in Portland, Oregon, where he and his best friend would spend all their time. His friend's family were all drag racers and when they'd visit from out of town, they'd park their race cars at his house, so it wasn't too hard for Ray to work out what he wanted to do when he grew up!
Years later, as a teenager, he had a job at a repair shop, which always seemed to have a race car sitting around, a '41 Willys pickup particularly sticking in Ray's mind. Some 25 years later Ray went back to that shop and discovered the Willys still sitting there. It had been torn apart and the chassis, straight axle, and other good parts were long gone. Work had been started with a Nova front clip but hadn't gotten any further. Ray told his old boss if it ever came up for sale to call him. Two days later Ray had it loaded on his trailer!
The cab had no firewall or floor, and the old 'glass flip front end had seen better days. Ray ended up using just the cab, doors, bed stake pockets, and rear fenders, but two years later the Willys was back to its Gasser roots, sitting on a 2x3-inch chassis with 60-inch ladder bars, a new straight axle, and reversed Corvair steering box. Ray found a steel front clip and made new bed sides, and with the help of good friends, chassis builder Jerry Hill and Super Stock engine builder Robin Whitcomb, the Willys was done. It now runs a 650hp small-block Chevy with Dart heads and a 6-71 blower, backed by a TH350 with 400 internals, a 3,500 Hughes converter and a Winters quick-change rearend. And the best part? Ray now owns property almost across the street from a dragstrip again!
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