Altered Wheelbase Buffet

More than One Way to Shift the Weight


Regular readers may notice I’ve been on an altered wheelbase kick for the past several months – my entire adult life, actually. The thing I love about writing this column for MoparMax is the freedom I have to explore any topic without oversight from a nervous editor worrying about alienating news stand buyers with less-than-mainstream subject matter. This is the internet baby!

And so this month we continue our coverage of vintage altered wheelbase match bash Mopars with a look at the various methods employed by racers to re-distribute static and dynamic load from the front to the rear of the car. When it comes to altered wheelbase funny cars, most Mopar fans conjure images of Dick Landy’s silver ’65 Dodge or the patriotic red, white and blue “Paper Tiger” ’65 Belvedere of Sox & Martin.

While these cars (all part of the factory built 1965 A/FX fleet) established the basic altered wheelbase formula, competing racers knew there was more than one way to shift the weight. Let’s take  a look at some of alternate configurations seen back in the day. –Steve Magnante

Click to enlarge »The Speedwin Automotive ’65 Plymouth A990 of Joe Jill and Bob Rosalie retains its stock engine position and 115-inch wheelbase and was likely not fully competitive with its 55/45 front/rear static weight distribution. Later photos exist showing the car with severe rear axle relocation. No doubt the Hilborn injected Hemi was overpowering the slicks and losing races – so the guys reacted. Though the painted lettering on the C-pillar reads B/XS (Experimental Stock; class B), the shoe polish marking on the door window tells us it was running B/US on this day. That translates to Ultra Stock; class B – a NASCAR classification. Today Joe Jill runs Superior Automotive in Anaheim, CA and has built several Hemi and Max Wedge engines for this author.