SEMA News - June 2010 

By Drew Hardin

Photo Courtesy Source Interlink Media Archives


  SEMA News-June 2010-SEMA Heritage 
  In this photo, at the dawn of the ’60s, Brock had a lot to look forward to. No wonder he was a happy guy.   
Why is Ray Brock smiling? It could be because he’s just stepped out of a 300F, the wide, low-slung, 375hp flagship of Chrysler’s ’60 lineup. In his review for the April ’60 issue of Hot Rod magazine, Brock called the limited-edition letter car “an extra-special hot sedan for the man who wants style, luxury and performance in one package.”

It could also be because Brock just plain loved his job. He joined Hot Rod in 1953 as an associate editor and soon grew to wear many hats—research editor, technical editor and, eventually, publisher, a position he held for many years. When the magazine saw performance potential in the cars coming from Detroit in the mid ’50s, Brock became its emissary to Motown, where he used his charisma and thorough technological insight to forge relationships with key players among the Big Three. The results were several-fold: a slew of memorable road tests, project vehicles and cover subjects, plus advertising contracts to support the growing magazine. SEMA recognized Brock’s pioneering work with technical articles and new-car road tests by inducting him into the association’s Hall of Fame in 1994.

Brock was Hot Rod’s man in Detroit, but he was far more. He was with Wally Parks on Daytona Beach in 1957 when Parks drove the “Suddenly” Plymouth project car into the record books. He took hot laps around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the ’67 Camaro that paced the Indy 500. He helped Mickey Thompson set speed records at Bonneville in a modified ’69 Mustang Mach 1. He covered the Pikes Peak hill climb more times than we can count. 


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