Photos: In the Lanes with Pro Stock in 1972

The very cool thing about folks who took photos back before the digital era is that most of them have stacks of glorious prints that capture moments of time that will live as long as the paper on which they were printed.

If you’re lucky, the photographers will let you ever-so-gently paw through those stacks, and Arlene Johnson (yes, that Arlene Johnson) so graciously allowed us to peruse a pile of pics she took in the lanes at a Pro Stock meet in 1972 at a dragstrip in Toronto, Canada. These images are not included in the recently released book about her husband’s extraordinary career in drag racing, but she provided many more for that project, which you can get here: Drag Racing’s Warren “The Professor” Johnson: The Cars, People, and Wins Behind His Pro Stock Success.

And now we present…. THE PRO STOCKS.

Warren Johnson checking out Dick Landy’s Dodge

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“Billy the Kid” Stepp’s Dodge, the year after it was driven by Stu McDade to a runner-up at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
Don Carlton and the 1972 Plymouth Barracuda Motown Missile — his second in the Motown Missile series — in the lanes.
Don Grotheer’s Plymouth. What a stance.

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Bruce Walker was the driver of this Barry Setzer Camaro, which was a Super Stocker built for match races before it went Pro Stock. Ed Pink built an all-aluminum engine for this car, hence his name on the side of the engine compartment. (Note: this cool bit of info came from a story Phil Burgess wrote for NHRA.com in 2016).
Legend has it (or, more accurately, we read it in “The History of NHRA Pro Stock“) that Wally Booth planned to campaign a Chevy Vega in 1972 before he was signed by American Motors to wheel this AMC-powered Gremlin X.
Bobby Yowell’s Duster with one of its more tame paint schemes

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The Gapp & Roush “Shotgun Express” Maverick
“Dyno Don” Nicholson’s Ford Maverick is said to have won 45 consecutive rounds of match racing. It earned Ford’s first NHRA Pro Stock win at the Summernationals in 1971.
Does this really need a caption? REALLY? Two words: Grumpy. Jenkins.
In the day of open trailers. You can just imagine seeing one of these babies going down the road!
Cleveland’s Ron Hutter in the Carver – Hutter – Novak entry (shout out to National Dragster’s Kevin McKenna for passing along this info)

If you enjoyed this photo feature and would like to see more vintage and current-era drag racing photos, be sure to follow @winlightnews on Instagram.

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