SEMA News - December 2009

By Drew Hardin

Photo Courtesy Source Interlink Media Archives

In August of 1969, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins and his Grumpy’s Toy IV Camaro walked all over the competition at the Super Stock Nationals held at the York U.S. 30 Dragway in Pennsylvania. This Camaro was the latest in a string of Chevy dragsters Jenkins built and named his Toys, though anyone who lined up next to him at the strip knew he wasn’t playing around.

John Dianna, covering the Nationals in Hot Rod magazine’s October 1969 issue, said Jenkins’ driving that weekend caused “more spectator excitement than we’ve seen in years” with “wheel-standin’ 9-second runs” that were a “sight to behold.”

Not long after that event, the NHRA adopted some of Super Stock’s match-race attitude for its new Pro Stock classes, and the Grump had a new sandbox for his Toys to play in. Jenkins would lay down the first 9-second pass in the new class at the 1970 Winternationals, and he went on to revolutionize Pro Stock chassis design when he adapted a MacPherson strut front suspension to the ’74 Vega that was Grumpy’s Toy XI.



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