Dean Tait

'68 Dart Pro Stock

Bill Pratt
@bill-pratt   7 years ago
Dean, i loved how you guys stayed with the old style Dart into the Pro Stock 70s!
Dean Tait
@dean-tait   7 years ago
Bill, thanks for your comment. Getting out of P/S was a $ thing. I was able to stay, 'competitive' on the West Coast for a couple of years. Went to final round at The "Last Race" @ Lions drag Strip, was out 2 cars on the other finalist, but we left the Towel/foam in the hood scoop. All was going great until 4th gear and no air was no HP. Caught me by a nose. That was before 'reaction times' weremeasuredand my old bracket racing days gave me an edge. The car went into M/P and or B/Gas when the Lencotransmissionscame out. What??? $2,750 for atransmission. This was an original factory SS/B car (50 made by Dodge and Hurst) 'for Dick Landy"! Might have made a big mistake selling it. Ya think! Dean
Bill Pratt
@bill-pratt   7 years ago
That's so great, Dean. I remember when everybody freaked out on the 2700 dollar Lencos... We track all the Pro Stock cars across time on our drag racing lists... would love you to have a look to fill us in on any wrong or missing info: http://tinyurl.com/DeanTait You can edit any of the entries yourself by clicking EDIT or you can email me the updates to bilden@draglist.com... don't need it to be perfect, but what you remember... we eventually will get to all the old mags, but for now, we need some approximate best ETs for you... all the best! Bill
Dean Tait
@dean-tait   7 years ago
Hi Bill, I can update a couple of things for you. First there's always been confusion between me and my younger brother, Brian. I drove the Tait and Laughton front engine dragster. It was the 1st A/ED and had a 482 cu in big block (out of Kenny's famous '56 T-Bird) with a clutch Turbo. Best ET with me in it was 7.72 and 172.60. not the best motor/trans combo, but it's what we had. Kenny Laughton then put the engine and trans into his new A/Gas Vega with me behind the wheel for a while. I think I was a 'test-dummy' as once I got it to go straight, Kenny took over driving. We ran the dragster at OCIR, Irwindale and Bakersfield. I drove the Vega at OCIR a couple of times but can't recall et's or MPH. Both cars took a little nerve to get into. At Bakersfield, of course the famous photog Reaese (SP?) was at the top end but had put his camera down. Bakersfield had a dip at the finish line in the left lane. On the 169.9 mph run, I got out of the gas, hit the dip perfectly and the rear tires where 30"s+ off the ground. Eye holes in the gas mask were at my forehead and to this day I don't know if I hit the parachute lever or the car 'bouncing' on the rear tires brought out the chute, but I was still in my lane and made the last turn out. The best ET with the Dart was 9.43 @ 147.5 at both Lions and OCIR. The car never hooked, as I couldn't afford new tires. It ran in the 9.60's at Bakersfield in a runner-up finish to Bill Bagshaw. I think I was the only 4 speed in the 8 car field. Let me know if there's anything else. Oops, just saw your email address. Hope this helps as I don't want to re-type everything. I'll create an account on Drag list foradditionalcorrections or missing info. That was a fun time in Drag Racing. The Hemi in the Dart was a bunch of hand me down parts from the Factory guys, Butch Leal, Bagshaw and an old set of Sox and Martin aluminum heads. I blew up the original motor at the old Beeline drags strip in Phoenix on the second pass. I was running AHRA GT/1 at 8lbs per inch with 426 extra lbs in the trunk. Car went straight up, way up and I pulled it intoneutraland overrevvedit. I forgot 'we' (Pro Stock drivers) never missed a shift, only broke transmissions??? Dean Tait
Bill Pratt
@bill-pratt   7 years ago
Thanks, Dean. Great stuff!
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