Category Archives: Racing

Wayne Gapp and the Stars of the East Coast funny car circuit

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There are a couple of interesting things here: 

1. Drake Viscome. I’ve emailed a little bit with him. Cool guy!

2. This line: 

Viscome’s cars always were Ford-powered, initially with engines from Wayne Gapp, then Gapp & Roush, and finally Ed Pink.

Most people don’t know that my Dad started a engine building business in the late 1960’s called ‘Performance Engineering’ and was one of the few people who built Ford engines for Drag Racers across the country. The building for that business was located south of Michigan Ave around Outer Drive and Park in Dearborn, MI.

The picture below was taken there. That’s also why when you see pictures of this car the back has ‘Performance Engineering’ on it.

Boss429Mustang

Later, when he was promoted within Ford Motor Company, he brought Jack Roush into the the business and changed the name to ‘Gapp & Roush Performance Engineering’.

Gapp & Roush – NHRA competition numbers

I had a staff member of the Roush museum contact me regarding the NHRA competition numbers used by Gapp & Roush vehicles.

I called NHRA to see if they had a record of these numbers and they do not. I then asked around and found a couple of people that have knowledge on the topic to confirm information (thanks to Angel Ariel Cordero and Dan Williams on the Facebook Nostalgia Pro Stock page).

There are four competition numbers related to Gapp & Roush vehicles in NHRA competition. Those numbers, in order of appearance, are ‘356’, ‘1’, ’51’ and ‘358’.

Number ‘356’ was the original number assigned to Wayne Gapp by the NHRA. ‘356’ was used exclusively on the G&R cars up until the start of the 1974 NHRA season.

The number ‘1’ was used in 1974 NHRA competition to indicate the 1973 NHRA season championship.

In 1975 the number ’51’ was used to reflect winning the title in NHRA’s Division 5. So, Division ‘5’, number ‘1’.

There can be some confusion however. At the 1974 NHRA Gatornationals ‘Gapp & Roush’ had two entries into the field.

Competition number ‘1’ was used by Wayne Gapp for the 1973 Pinto. Competition Number ‘356’ was used by Jack Roush for the 1974 Mustang II.

It is my understanding from my father that Mr. Roush entered, as a driver, into one national event (Gatornationals 1974 – Mustang II) a divisional points race and 2 match races (Mustang II and ex-Barrie Poole Wolverine Pinto that Gapp and Roush had purchased. The number ‘356’ was probably used by Mr. Roush to accrue points. On this point I cannot be sure.

See here for a picture of Jack Roush and the ex-Barrie Poole Pinto (Wolverine Chassis).

Note the above excludes his driving of the Super Stock Mustang to a class win @ Indy. See here for some pics of the Super Stock Mustang.

In 1976 the number ‘358’ was in use. This number was originally assigned to ‘Lee Smith’ but was re-assigned to Wayne Gapp. The post below shows the first use of the number in competition at the 1976 NHRA Winternationals. See here for a pic of the last entry of the ‘Taxi’.

I do not know know the reason of the reassignment or who got ‘356’ after that.

I do not know the IHRA numbering scheme. It is my understanding that you could show up with any number and they would accept it.

I do not know the numbering scheme for the AHRA but I do know that no overall Championship was earned in that sanctioning body.

Wayne Gapp and the Taxi – Tom Nagy photo

This image was posted to the Facebook ‘Nostalgia Pro Stock’ group. It was taken in 1974 by Tom Nagy and it was taken at the Popular Hot Rodding Meeting at Martin, MI (US 131 Dragway).

The reason that I’m posting it is because I found the compelling because:

1. It’s a good looking race car
2. The car is being driven down a return road

I can’t imagine today’s $250k Pro Stock vehicles being seen doing this…that is driving back to the pits…over a dirt road no less.

Then again, today’s cars barely look like a ‘stock’ car, the vehicles have carbon fiber bodies, have incredibly high tech engines running…carburetors and are about as far from the origins of the class as they can be.

19744Door TomNagyPHRMarting

Wayne Gapp and the Taxi – 76 Winternationals

This picture was taken at the 76 AHRA Winternationals at Beeline (Thanks Cary!). The Cragar Super Tricks are the give away that this was 1976.

What’s interesting is that most people think the ‘Taxi’ ran in one season: 1975. Nope.

Introduced mid-season 1974 and final NHRA race was 1976 NHRA Winternationals.

Anyone know who took this picture?

Taxi76Winternationals