1961 Pontiac SD Ronnie sox

Discussion in 'General car talk' started by real61ss, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. real61ss
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    real61ss Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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  2. oldskydog
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    oldskydog Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    Dang, that's almost as nice as yours.:cheers
  3. Blk61409
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    Blk61409 Active Member Supporting Member 3

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    Tommy, great story. Thanks for,sharing. Amazing how advanced Pontiac was back then.
    A quick,Sox and Martin story. In 1969 I was racing for a Chev dealership, we had a ZL-1, a funny car, etc. I ran the top stock 68 Nova, 327, ran 11.80's, anyway the day of the nationals over Labor Day weekend I had won the class and came time for Top Stock eliminator. When they called the cars up away I went....29 cars lined up!!! I made it through a bunch of the cars and drew Sox & Martin!!! What in the hell was I going to do now. The first thing came to mind was go home before I was embarrassed. Instead away we went....because Sox had that big ole Hemi he had to spot the little Nova a whole bunch. What Ronnie did not expect was that the Nova launched extremely hard pulling both wheels and that startled him. He took off early and the big old red light came on. He knew what he had done....blown a National win, as if he needed another one.

    The real story is that even though we won, Ronnie was so mad that the big old nasty Hemi came past that Nova in the traps and almost turned it around!!! I ultimately got beat in the last race by a 57 Chevy out of Missouri or Kansas, but that was the short lived claim to fame.
    Sorry to waste space rambling. Thanks for sharing the 61 Pontiac Ventura story.
  4. oldskydog
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    oldskydog Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    My swap meet buddy here went to school with his little brother in NC. I sent the link to him.
  5. Blk61409
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    Blk61409 Active Member Supporting Member 3

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    He should get a good laugh, I know I did until I cried getting beat by a 57 Chevy!!
  6. DonSSDD
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    DonSSDD Well-Known Member Supporting Member 1

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    Nice car, I would have thought that car would go for more than that, given the condition and history. Those tire wells in the trunk are a work of art.

    Who bought it Tommy?

    Don
  7. real61ss
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    real61ss Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    I was told that it was bought by the guy that you see on Barrett Jackson with the grey pony tail. I would assume he was buying it for BJ. I think they were expecting the car to go over 200k. I think there is a skeleton in the closet concerning the car and the word had got out. I don't think the car was rebodied but it was very close to it.
  8. Tom Kochtanek
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    Tom Kochtanek Well-Known Member Supporting Member 5

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    Great story, Pat! And what a great vehicle. Assuming it is as described, that's quite a rare beast. Would a SD from 1961 house a 389 or a 421? And that intake looks pretty rare.

    Any aluminum on that car besides the bumpers? I remember when I removed the bumpers from my '61 Bonneville, they weigh a ton!

    Thanks for the link, and the stories that surround the car :).

    Cheers!
    TomK
  9. real61ss
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    real61ss Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    Tom,
    I couldn't quite figure the car out, the motor had no numbers on it but it wasn't a 421 so I asume it was a 389. Actually there were no Super Duty cars built at the factory in 1961 but the parts were available over the counter. A true '61 SD motor would have been a 389 with 3x2's, solid lifter cam, big valve heads, exhaust headers and a big round breather just like the street version except it didn't have the snorkles, it had square holes around the rear of the breather. This car was supposed to have been ordered from a dealer in Burlington, NC. It was suposely sent by Pontiac to Ray Nichols for him to convert. In the sixties Ray Nichols was to Pontiac what Holman-Moody was to Ford. Nichols converted the car to a drag car and it is supposed to be restored to the way it received from Nichols. The car originally had a heater but it was removed by Nichols, there was also no exhaust on the car, the hangers were all there but no pipes. Had the car been a late car it might have had a 421 installed by Nichols but the car had a cowl tag that showed a build date of 10B so this was an early car. One thing that I think hurt the value of the car is the fact that who knew that Ronnie Sox drove a Pontiac?? not me, the first I ever heard of Sox was when he had the Z-11. But I was never a drag racing fan, however the locals at the auction remembered him driving the Pontiac, one guy even had a picture of the car from back in the day. And, no, there was no aluminum except for the bumper and I'm not sure about that, some said they didn't think it was aluminum but I think it was. The lines in the bumper didn't look as crisp as the bumper on my car and it wasn't as shinny Nobody seemed to know who owned the car or who restored it, I beleive they choose the Greensboro auction because it is close to where Sox grew up and got his start in racing. At the time I didn't know it but when he died he lived about 10 miles from me. He had married a lady who lived just outside Richmond, Va.
  10. Barry Taylor
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    Barry Taylor   Supporting Member 1

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    Someone stated that it was fully documented, original window sticker, and PHS documentation from new. Wouldn't that have shed some light on what motor the car came with, and what motor it has now.
  11. real61ss
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    real61ss Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    Barry,
    Yes, this would have documented what the car was originally and I guess that information was there but I didn't see it. I have learned the name of someone who is supposed to be very familair with the car and hope to speak with him. I would assume the car was originally had a 425A motor, that was the only '61 Pontiac motor that had 4 bolt mains. Of course Nichols could have replaced the entire motor. :dunno
  12. 62BillT
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    62BillT Member

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    Nice car as well as interesting info and interesting stories.

    Bill
  13. Mr.4 Speed
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    Mr.4 Speed New Member

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    I owned the 61 SD Pontiac that sold in NC. last week..The car was bought new by Jack Ashley..He was partners with Ronnie for two years.This was the only 61 SD that was a race ready when it was sent to the dealer..
    it was the first of 11 built..In 60 they won 39 of 40 races.. that was how they got the 1st car.
  14. Dick MacKenzie
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    Dick MacKenzie Well-Known Member Supporting Member 9

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    Welcome to the forum!! Tell us more about yourself and the car. Did it still have the original engine?
  15. Mr.4 Speed
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    Mr.4 Speed New Member

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    The car came from pontiac with the hi-po 389 then went to Ray Nichel's shop in IN. he did the intake,cam,heads and aluminum. bumpers ect. then shipped the car to Hughes Motors the Pontiac dealer in Burlington NC. the car was built in oct.of 60 the car was showing 14,000 miles and had a 1960 389 in it..not shure if it was the orig. motor.. the motor was built by Penske Racing in NC and had around 470hp.
  16. Mr.4 Speed
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    Mr.4 Speed New Member

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    I have a 1958 Impala Conv. 315 hp. stick with 30,000 orig. miles that I have owned for over 20 years with the orig. motor,paint top ect. the car is like new! I have owned 3 orig. Z-11s and many 348 and 409 cars. I have been so blessed that the Lord has let me have such a wonderful daughter,family and friends and let me have some great toys thru the years!
    Dick MacKenzie likes this.
  17. real61ss
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    real61ss Well-Known Member Supporting Member 6

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    Mr. 4 Speed,
    Like Dick said, welcome, glad you joined our group. I'm a Pontiac fan so out of curiosity I drove down to Greensboro last Friday to look at your car. Beautiful car!! I do have some questions though.
    First, I was told the car was purchased thru Hughes Motor Car Co. in Burlington, did the car come to Hughes first and then go to Nichols or did Pontiac send the car to Nichols?
    Was the car originally a 425A car?
    Did Nichols convert the original motor to a SD or did they swap the motor out completely?
    Did Nichols remove the heater and radio from the car or was it originally a heater/radio delete car?
    Seems strange that they chose a Ventura instead of a Catalina, any ideas on why they did that?
    Was the car originally equipped with 8 lugs or did they get added somewhere along the line? If the car originally came with 8 lugs do you know if the ones on the car are the original ones?
    Sorry to be so full of questions but the car is really intriguing. Who did the restoration?

    I guess some of my curiosity is generated because I presently own a Bristol blue '61 Ventura 425A / 4 speed car that was also sold new by Hughes Motor Car Co. in Burlington.

    Thanks, I look forward to your response (I type slow, I see you've already answered some of my questions) :)
  18. Mr.4 Speed
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    Mr.4 Speed New Member

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    Thanks..I have always been a car guy..I'm broke most of the time when I get some $ i'm looking for something with wheels. The car was shipped from pontiac to Nichel's to Hughes and that was on the build sheet..the car came from the factory with the 8 lugs but the radio and heater was taken out by Nichel's
  19. mark johnson
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    mark johnson Member Supporting Member 2

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    Which Z-11 cars did you own if you don't mind sharing? Thanks.
  20. chevy man
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    chevy man Active Member Supporting Member 7

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    Very interesting !! Love those Pontiacs.
    Ken