Thursday Trivia

Thirsday Trivia Welcome to Thursday Trivia where we offer up a historical automotive trivia question and you try and solve it before seeing the answer after the jump. It’s like a history test, with cars! This Week’s Question: Did Smokey Yunick really build a 7/8ths scale Chevelle? If you think you know the answer, make the jump and see if you’re right. Smokey Yunick has long been held in the pantheon of top NASCAR builders. He’s also long been known as perhaps NASCAR’s greatest bender of the rules. There are tons of stories about Yunick’s efforts to eke out a little edge over the competition, some of which are even true. One story that seems to have grown bigger over the years is the one about Yunick building a smaller Chevelle. Some say it was ⅞s the factory size, while others claim that it was 15/16ths. Whatever the dress-size difference, it would have been tough for Yunick to have actually raced such a car as the difference would have been obvious when the NASCAR tech inspectors put it under the template. What he did do was almost as diabolical. From Mac’s Motor City Garage:

Nice try, but such a mini-Chevelle would still be blatantly bogus, with its full-size wheels, lamps, and accoutrements sticking out on the shrunken body like swollen thumbs. So what was the real deal on Smokey’s Chevelle? The sheet metal was stock. The serious aero mods were under the car, where he attempted to smooth the floor pan—with debatable results. However, there is one interesting alteration visible in the photo above: The body has been moved back on the chassis approximately two inches, improving weight distribution and moving the aerodynamic center of pressure a bit to the rear. This was one of the modifications that caused NASCAR to call shenanigans.  Smokey himself wrote a tell-all on the Chevelle in the October 1987 issue of Circle Track magazine, where he was a regular columnist. In this piece, he says the scale-model tales began when NASCAR officials attempted to construct a Chevelle body template, but used the wrecked-and-rebuilt racer of Bobby Johns as the pattern. The template wouldn’t fit the Yunick Chevelle (or any Chevelle they tried it on, apparently) and the rumor mill went to max revs. Two-1966-Chevelles Image: Mac’s Motor City Garage

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