SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 13, March 29, 2012

NHRA Legend Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins Passes Away

 

  aftermarket news, automotive news
  NHRA Pro Stock legend Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins passed away March 29. Here's Jenkins and his Grumpy’s Toy IV Camaro making a run at the Super Stock Nationals held at the York U.S. 30 Dragway in Pennsylvania in 1969. Photo courtesy of the Petersen Archives.

NHRA Pro Stock legend Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins passed away March 29. He was 81.

Jenkins was voted No. 8 among NHRA Drag Racing's greatest racers in a 2001 experts poll because of his contributions to drag racing's advancement of normally aspirated engines.

In August 1969, Jenkins and his Grumpy’s Toy IV Camaro dominated the competition at the Super Stock Nationals held at the York U.S. 30 Dragway in Pennsylvania. 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. 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.  

Read more about NHRA icon Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet