September 15, 2021

Vintage-Nitro

Still car-crazy after all these years

Dick Mack's Chevelle defeats Bob DuBrock's Mustang

Dick Mack's ultra-short wheelbase Mash Basher takes on Bob DuBrock at Detroit Dragway

Dick Mack’s Satisfaction Chevelle versus Bob DuBrock’s Mustang

Dick Mack ran a full bodied Chevelle funny car with a shortened wheelbase approaching that of a fuel altered. The Satisfaction, running out of Ohio, garnered runner-up honors in the fuel category.
Dick Mack's Chevelle defeats Bob DuBrock's Mustang
Dick Mack's ultra-short wheelbase Mash Basher takes on Bob DuBrock at Detroit Dragway

Yet another less than stellar photo from Detroit Dragway’s Midwest Championships. Hey what can I say, I was only a kid with an Instamatic back in 1967.

I wanted to include this photo, because it is the only one I have of fuel runner-up Dick Mack and his Satisfaction Chevelle. Take a minute to look at the wheelbase on the Chevelle (far lane.) It appears that Mack pushed the rear wheels forward nearly as much as Larry Swiatek’s Gray Ghost GTO. Unlike Swiatek, who also shifted the front wheels forward, Mack left the front axle in the stock location. Do the math. A 1965 Chevelle coupe had a wheelbase of 115 inches. It appears Mack reduced that number by at least 20 inches.

The result is a full bodied, A/FX funny car with a wheelbase approaching that of a fuel altered. Despite the truncated wheelbase, Mack managed to get down the track without incident, eventually claiming the runner-up slot to Steve McKesson’s Mustang flopper.

I don’t know much about Mack, but Draglist indicates he hailed from Ohio. Draglist features a photo of Mack cribbed from the November 1966 issue of Super Stock and Drag Illustrated. The car in SSDI photo is a stock wheelbase ’65 Chevelle. I’m not sure if it this is the same car, but it was also called Satisfaction. I’m guessing that sometime after the tame wheelbase car was photographed in 1966, Mack hauled the car into the garage and performed major surgery on the chassis and rear fenders.

Moving the front wheels forward would have helped weight transfer and probably would have made the car more stable at high-speed. For whatever reason, Mack left the front wheels alone, creating an extreme altered wheelbase match-racer. Draglist also indicates Mack campaigned a 1966 Chevelle in the ’67 season. If so, he must have swapped this match-batch racer for a newer model shortly after this event

Mack’s first round victim was none other than Bob DuBrock, whose Mustang fastback was featured in an earlier Vintage-Nitro post.

Once again, I can’t say if DuBrock repainted the car he ran in 1966, or if this Mustang is a brand new entry. One thing is certain, Dubrock was running gasoline in 1966, but he was competing in the nitro category in ’67.

I think the man standing next to Mack’s car is Detroit Dragway’s long time starter, known as Heavy Duty. I’m not sure what his real name was. He proudly wore the title “Heavy Duty” stitched on the pocket of his track uniform. I’m not sure when Heavy began at Detroit Dragway, but I believe he was still active as a starter at both Detroit and Motorcity Dragway a decade after this photo was taken.