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It was starting to look like we might actually get a spring. The winter had seemed never ending. Someone told me that we'd only seen four clear days since Christmas and it had yet to go above 55 degrees. At least we didn't have tornados or tsunamis! I'd been passing the time by getting in trouble on Classracer.com and fixing all the little details on Brutus for his first full season in Stock Eliminator. I decided not to make an official schedule this year because it was truly horrendous luck last year. I still planned on fielding three cars, Josephine, Brutus, and the Savoy as much as possible. Josephine in the points program at Bremerton Raceway. Brutus and the Savoy in the NHRA Division 6 Lucas Oil Drag Racing series plus the O'Reilly Auto Parts NW Nationals in Seattle and the Fram Autolite Nationals in Sonoma. That was the unwritten plan... we would open the Wagons of Steel racing season with The Mighty Josephine at the Bremerton Raceway Easter Bunny Drags then make the long trip to Boise, Idaho for the Division 6 season opener with Brutus.
We made it a little complicated for ourselves by bringing the big Town & Country wagon to the first annual Vashon Pinewood Derby to fire it up for the party. All went well until it came time to load it onto the trailer in the dark in driving rain. I was almost into position when it slid backwards and stopped itself on the driver's side header. When we brought it home and inspected in daylight we found that the header was basically destroyed. It's a Hooker Super Competition for a C body Mopar. I bought it sixteen years ago! It was the only off the shelf piece available for the big boats. They cost almost five hundred bucks, which was a fortune to me at the time but they lasted a very long time in several different cars. They are 1 3/4" long tube headers that make a couple of compromises to fit in a street car, not exactly what we would choose for the current version of Josephine but we decided to buy a new set anyways because they will be useful for some other C body project(s). They now cost six hundred and fifty bucks. Ouch! They dropped right in.
We had a list of things accomplish before loading up Brutus for the Division 6 event at Firebird Raceway in Boise. First we had to prepare and install a legal NHRA approved 1966 style 525 cfm Carter carburetor. We had a really pretty one already that didn't work. We collected a couple of fusty old ones and shipped them off to Dean Oliver, who is the guy to rebuild one of these dinky relics. He was a very nice gentleman on the phone, saying, "I love working on those things; they're great carburetors!" For a reasonable price he turned two pieces of obsolete junk into one race carburetor. He said it didn't look good enough for a show car, but he lied: it was just as pretty as the other carb that we had restored. Hopefully this one would haul ass. It certainly sounded better. The one that we had tried unsuccessfully at Medford last year ran and idled fine, it just wasn't up to the the task at hand. Just think about that task, making a 3500 pound car with a stock 383 run low elevens in the quarter mile with a 525 cfm carburetor manufactured in 1966! This stupid Stock Eliminator thing that we've gotten ourselves hooked on is one tough nut.