Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

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Thread: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 Hunid Racks's Avatar
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    Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    http://www.nationalspeedsportnews.co...ns-dead-at-81/

    Chevy man for sure. One of the greatest characters in motorsports.

    >>>NHRA Pro Stock icon Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, a master of the internal combustion engine and a legend among the Chevrolet faithful, died March 29. He was 81.

    Jenkins, voted No. 8 among NHRA Drag Racing’s greatest racers in a 2001 experts poll, scored just 13 NHRA national event wins but earned his well-deserved spot in drag racing’s top 10 because no other individual has contributed more to the advancement of normally aspirated engines for drag racing competition than the legendary “Grump.”

    “Everyone at NHRA is saddened by the passing of Bill ‘Grumpy’ Jenkins, not only a pioneer in the sport, but also an iconic figure in NHRA Pro Stock racing,” said Tom Compton, president, NHRA. “He was there from the beginning, playing an integral role in the formation of Pro Stock and remained involved in NHRA for decades. His presence and trademark gruff exterior and cigar will be missed but never forgotten at the starting line at NHRA Full Throttle events.”

    Jenkins always took greater pride in his mechanical achievements than in his driving. Among his innovations are drag racing’s first dry-sump oiling system, the first kickout oil pans and Pro Stock strut-style front suspension, and gas port pistons, slick-shift manual transmissions, cool cans, and the electric water-pump fan.

    Jenkins earned many honors, including induction into the Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 1993, the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Novi, Mich., in 1996, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2008. He was one of the more prolific honorees in Car Craft Magazine All-star Drag Racing Team balloting since winning three individual titles at the inaugural banquet in 1967.

    On making NHRA’s top 10, Jenkins briefly shed his gruff exterior in 2001 to say, “Since it seemed that the balloting was heavily weighted toward the more contemporary drivers and I haven’t driven in 20 years, I was gratified to make it high on the list. Having so many of the people I’ve worked with show up at my [70th birthday] party in January meant a lot to me. I’ve always had a lot of personal satisfaction from the mechanical end of the sport.”<<<

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    When I had just left school in the 70's I used to buy Car Craft magazine and always admired the cars Bill made. Was he really Grumpy or just gruff?

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    RIP "GRUMP JENKINS'' My all time hero in pro stock driving the grumpy's toys camaro's and vegas.

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    RIP Grumpy. He was my hero and "Mr Chevrolet" Last met him at All GM car show in Carlisle Pa and he was just as "grumpy" as ever!!!

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    RIP Grumpy. He was my hero too. I got to see him in his Camaro at the Houston raceway in Dickinson, Tx. back in med 60s. He was a true Chevy man.

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    Quote Originally Posted by chinamonty View Post
    When I had just left school in the 70's I used to buy Car Craft magazine and always admired the cars Bill made. Was he really Grumpy or just gruff?

    - you could look at well over a couple of thousand pictures ....... with nary a smile.

    Here is one of the very, very, few exceptions..... and before someone says something silly..... he had just won big.



    Also, a good but far too short video that includes just about every other time he smiled - and got caught by a camera.




    Here is something pretty typical -


    - and then some of the 'why'......


    One of drag racing’s legends, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins, who was known just as much for his innovations and mechanical ability as for his infamous demeanor, died Thursday at the age of 81.

    Anybody who’s ever spoken with Jenkins knows exactly how he got his nickname. On first impression a surly and gruff man, Jenkins revealed himself to those who cared to dig a little more as a no-nonsense gearhead driven by a tough work ethic who maintained his famous appearance so he could spend less time chitchatting and more time digging into serious engine builds and mechanical problems.

    Born in 1930 in Philadelphia, Jenkins studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University, but began drag racing in the mid-1950s at several East Coast dragstrips, building a name for himself as both a driver – he was highly regarded for his ability to shift a manual transmission – and as an engine builder and tuner.

    He eventually hooked up with Dave Strickler in the early 1960s to campaign the series of “Old Reliable” Chevrolets – including the very first 1963 Impala Z11 lightweight car – before switching to Dodge in 1964.

    Though he and Strickler saw plenty of success together, Jenkins struck out on his own in 1966, the year he switched back to Chevrolets – without any factory backing – and started campaigning an L79 Chevy II in Super Stock.

    Four years later, he became one of the inaugural Pro Stock racers, converting his 1968 Camaro to the new rules and trouncing all other comers in the Pro Stock debut at the 1970 Winternationals. While running Pro Stock over the next several years, Jenkins introduced a number of innovations, including full tube chassis, MacPherson strut-type suspensions, and dry-sump oiling systems, setting numerous records in the process.

    He also in 1972 earned more than a quarter-million dollars racing, a feat that tied him with Wilt Chamberlain for the highest-paid professional athlete and put him in front of America through the pages of Time magazine.

    While he continued to shoe his own cars through 1975, he had started to phase himself out of the driver’s seat a couple of years prior, preferring instead to build and tune cars and engines. His famous series of Grumpy’s Toys cars, which he campaigned through the early 1980s, numbered 17, only a few of which survive today. Yet he continued to build engines and make appearances for years afterward, keeping his shop in Malvern, Pennsylvania, open through the mid-2000s.

    Though he’s only credited with winning 13 NHRA national events, his accomplishments were enough to get him voted No. 8 on the NHRA’s list of the 50 all-time best drivers.

    He has also been selected to several halls of fame, including the Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame, the Motorsports Hall of Fame, and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

    Source: NHRA

    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...-jenkins-dies/
    Last edited by AMERICA 123; 04-02-2012 at 05:26 PM.
    "From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they're about to do it again."
    "The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
    "If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — " Matt Taibbi

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    The true Chevy hero.
    Rj Arizona
    Shut up and drive.

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    Thanks, America 123


    The lady looks a lot like Jungle Jim Lieberman's wife.

    Back when Chevrolet ruled the Earth....



    and one more....

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj_5A-O-rzI
    Last edited by SBC; 04-13-2012 at 07:58 PM.

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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP

    Yep......... to all that........ except Pam was never his wife...... that is a longer, and well, shorter...... and more complicated story than many assume.

    Formally, occasionally, in photographs wife #2 sometimes appears somewhat similar to Pam's appearance.

    ***********


    Anyway, Grumpy was truly one of the greats, period.

    ...... and separately, 'same' for Pam........... in her own way.


    And Jungle Jim......



    *********


    I cannot believe the Chevrolet community here at GMI cannot do better with this.

    Shows perhaps what some of them are really all about .......... which has more to do with anything and everything but Chevrolet.

    If they don't.... I will add some stuff later - it ain't right.


    ( I am not a Chevrolet guy, although with some significant exceptions..... but I always respected them and much of what they did in this kind of arena especially. And yes, I realize how the rule change game was always played ...... at Mopar's expense. Ford cried a lot as well as some others. )


    Anyway, you 'get it' - so thank you back to you - for that.

    And Hunid Racks for startin' the thread........ and some of the others.
    Last edited by AMERICA 123; 04-13-2012 at 10:59 PM.
    "From tech stocks to high gas prices, Goldman Sachs has engineered every major market manipulation since the Great Depression — and they're about to do it again."
    "The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."
    "If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — " Matt Taibbi

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    SBC
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    Re: Grumpy Jenkins, RIP



    Here's a clip with at least 4 of Grumpy's cars in it.

    .....and as a bonus, there's sum Sox & Martin, just in case there's a Mopar fan lurking.

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