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302 Hi Pro

Boss 302 - Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
2,009
439
Southeast
In the early days NASCAR, better known as Stock Car races began with "stock" cars of the day as offered by American car manufacturers. These cars were not sponsored and were selected, modified and raced by the drivers. Safety equipment was not their first concern, but horsepower was. Hudson Hornets were favored by many from the late 40's to early 50's.

As the NASCAR Stock Car series gained in popularity in the mid to late 1950's, Drivers selected American full size sedans as only the full size sedans offered big engines with the most horsepower. By 1955 the horse power wars began and engine displacement began to grow, 260, 262, 283, 289 small blocks to the into of the big blocks that became famous in the 1960's thru early 1970's.

An early examples is the 392 CID Hemi engines offered by Chrysler but only in their full-size cars. Circa 1958-59. And the intro of the Ford FE Engine Family in 1958 or so, 390's and later the 427 CID engines.

You could actually buy a car off the showroom floor, and be competitive in Stock Car racing, and many NASCAR Drivers would drive their completion cars to the track. The field grew by leaps and bounds, and individual Makes were competing, Ford Galaxy 390's and 427's Pontiac SD 428 Catalina's, Chevrolet Impala 409's, Plymouth Belvideers and Dodge Coronets with Max Wedge 418's, etc., just to name a few. Note: Some models even had 6, 8 or even a dozen or so engine options to choose from when ordering your new car. Imagin that!

As NASCAR grew under Dick France, Sr., the mold was set for the full size model cars used by each car Make. I think even more so was the "mind set" to race or feature your best model cars, which back in the day were Full Sized cars.

Everything changed in the early 1970's after Manufactures ceased Big Block high performance engines to meet the new emissions standards and the conversion to lead free gasoline requirements. By the mid 1970's NASCAR changed everything and the cars were no-longer based on stock cars by the Makes. They evolved to the first generation of "Built" Race Cars that we see today. So don't look in the Toyota showrooms for a V8 powered - rear drive - 4/5 MT Camry hahaha.

This is just a small info-bit on NASCAR, which addresses why they raced full-sized cars vs the Mid-Sized cars of today. (It is not an all inclusive commentary.)

Enjoy,
302 Hi Pro
 
5,629
6,709
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
302 Hi Pro said:
In the early days NASCAR, better known as Stock Car races began with "stock" cars of the day as offered by American car manufacturers. These cars were not sponsored and were selected, modified and raced by the drivers. Safety equipment was not their first concern, but horsepower was. Hudson Hornets were favored by many from the late 40's to early 50's.

As the NASCAR Stock Car series gained in popularity in the mid to late 1950's, Drivers selected American full size sedans as only the full size sedans offered big engines with the most horsepower. By 1955 the horse power wars began and engine displacement began to grow, 260, 262, 283, 289 small blocks to the into of the big blocks that became famous in the 1960's thru early 1970's.

An early examples is the 392 CID Hemi engines offered by Chrysler but only in their full-size cars. Circa 1958-59. And the intro of the Ford FE Engine Family in 1958 or so, 390's and later the 427 CID engines.

You could actually buy a car off the showroom floor, and be competitive in Stock Car racing, and many NASCAR Drivers would drive their completion cars to the track. The field grew by leaps and bounds, and individual Makes were competing, Ford Galaxy 390's and 427's Pontiac SD 428 Catalina's, Chevrolet Impala 409's, Plymouth Belvideers and Dodge Coronets with Max Wedge 418's, etc., just to name a few. Note: Some models even had 6, 8 or even a dozen or so engine options to choose from when ordering your new car. Imagin that!

As NASCAR grew under Dick France, Sr., the mold was set for the full size model cars used by each car Make. I think even more so was the "mind set" to race or feature your best model cars, which back in the day were Full Sized cars.

Everything changed in the early 1970's after Manufactures ceased Big Block high performance engines to meet the new emissions standards and the conversion to lead free gasoline requirements. By the mid 1970's NASCAR changed everything and the cars were no-longer based on stock cars by the Makes. They evolved to the first generation of "Built" Race Cars that we see today. So don't look in the Toyota showrooms for a V8 powered - rear drive - 4/5 MT Camry hahaha.

This is just a small info-bit on NASCAR, which addresses why they raced full-sized cars vs the Mid-Sized cars of today. (It is not an all inclusive commentary.)

Enjoy,
302 Hi Pro
The rules stated "full size American made car".


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302 Hi Pro

Boss 302 - Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car
2,009
439
Southeast
Yes, the rules did come in time to state full size American sedans, but in the early days, Manufacturers didn't really have those classifications kinds of classifications. Pretty much everything was full size. Not withstanding specialty cars that were manufactured, like the Nash Metropolitan, Chevy Corvette etc. car classifications like Mid-Size, Compact and Sub Compact came later.

But 1955 was a pivotal year for the NASCAR Grand Nationals. The Big Three automakers pulled out all the stops to design more powerful cars, and used NASCAR Grand National races as a backdrop for their advertising. These cars were of course all full size sedans as you couldn't get a manufacturer's most powerful engines in anything but full size sedans.

In this year, the Manufacturers built the cars they wanted to run in the Grand National series.

It kinda evolved that way to to larger cars.
302 Hi Pro.
 
5,629
6,709
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Pleasanton: 1/2 way between Sonoma and Laguna Seca
302 Hi Pro said:
Yes, the rules did come in time to state full size American sedans, but in the early days, Manufacturers didn't really have those classifications kinds of classifications. Pretty much everything was full size. Not withstanding specialty cars that were manufactured, like the Nash Metropolitan, Chevy Corvette etc. car classifications like Mid-Size, Compact and Sub Compact came later.

But 1955 was a pivotal year for the NASCAR Grand Nationals. The Big Three automakers pulled out all the stops to design more powerful cars, and used NASCAR Grand National races as a backdrop for their advertising. These cars were of course all full size sedans as you couldn't get a manufacturer's most powerful engines in anything but full size sedans.

In this year, the Manufacturers built the cars they wanted to run in the Grand National series.

It kinda evolved that way to to larger cars.
302 Hi Pro.
That's where the phrase "Win on Sunday/sell on Monday" was coined.


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