Pat Franco’s 64 Road Racer
Sometimes simpler is faster
Often we do featured cars that show the shine and restored original nature of our Chevelles and El Caminos. From time to time, though, it's good to take a step back and look at the other aspects of our hobby. I happen to be an NHRA Drag Racing junkie. Others, like Chevelle Club member Patrick Franco are road racing fans.
Pat is a real hands on guy. I know this because I have crawled under a car or two with him. When someone says "I need some help with my car" Pat is the first to put his hand up to volunteer. He knows what he's doing and you can see it in his '64 Malibu as it comes screaming out of a turn on a "down hill" at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Ca.
He takes the number off the side of the car for cruises and car shows.... you know, to "just be one of the guys", but don't be messing with him when you two are side by side at the next traffic light.
Pat took the simple approach. Make it simple, light and fast, but he didn't skimp on the interior. Simple, yes. Plain, NO. The picture doesn't show it well, but Pat has full racing gauges and built in illuminated rocker switches to keep it simple, but tell him everything he needs to know. The seats are good looking and comfortable and hold him in tight during those tight, fast turns. Even the shifter is understated, attaching to a Richmond 5 speed tranny.
This car bring new meaning to the old adage:
"get in, sit down and shut up".
Having worked side by side with Pat on Steve Blum's new '69 Super Sport I'd have to say this picture says it all. There is Pat, an unassuming "mild mannered reported from a large metropolitan daily newspaper". He's the picture of low key, but Clark Kent he's not. Pat loves to race. He loves to build, and he loves to cruise with the Chevelle Club gang.
Be sure to say hi to Pat when you see him at a Club event. It's really hard to miss him when he drives up and he can talk for hours about road racing. If you're lucky he might even know what that "clunk" in your car is, that you've been unable to find.
Checking out all those cars was exhausting work.
But we were soon treated to a speculator BBQ with all the fix'ins. Phil and Linda graciously open their home to us for this event every year and we are honored to have them as members of our club.
Many thanks to Phil and Linda from all your buddies in the Nor-Cal ChevelleCamino Club!!!
See ya next year!