Anatomy Of A Legend
The complete story, direct from Bob Bunker himself how he used his amazing cat-like reflexes to trailer hundreds of competitors for 47 years, to become a legend.
The legend of The Folsom Flash
It will be an inauspicious start if not innocuous for a legend to be.
Notice the Hurst 4 speed. The shifter was hooked up to an M-21 with a 2.56 first gear ration. The radio was removed and look at that racing seat. It can only get better, look carefully at that pump on the tunnel. Yep, Bob was pressurizing that fuel tank with a Moon pump for more fuel flow. This will be only the beginning of his development of advanced cutting edge fuel systems. Fuel systems that are still closely guarded secrets to this day will give him ‘the Unfair Advantage’.
Bob will one-day crew chief a top fuel world champion [Gary Ormsby], and trailer many touring big guns before he retires with one of the highest winning percentages in drag racing history.
The re-powering will take place almost immediately in the Bunker’s racing stall.
This set up of 3/2s will be great for more torque, acceleration. and top end but it will still not be enough for the master.
There will be many street racers wondering what was in that 55 and left with a bad taste about racing the next green 55.
At this point, Bob is really gathering ideas about combinations that will propel his career. Bob especially enjoyed smashing those vettes too!
There were cops that heard about the nasty green 55 but like Bonnie and Clyde, they were a unicorn, heard of but never seen.
Dixie and Bob would leave’m all in the dust, in a ‘Flash’.
This pic is ’65 at Sacramento Raceway at the time owned by Betty and Cary Clark. They will give Bob the moniker, Folsom Flash. The two-tone lite green and dark green 55 will suffer its first bruise but not under the driving of the master but by a friend. After repairs, it’s on the track where this 55 will make its name. Notice the round timing light.
More power will be the only satisfaction for the master. Refining and developing this hot rod to be a controlled beast.
The next evolution for the power plant a favorite of the master. In ’63 Bob drops a 409 in and later he will add this Mickey Thompson cross ram.
Bob lamented that the car performed exceptionally well with this cross-ram manifold. He liked the power curve an ultimately the level of power and performance by this upgraded induction system.
Sweet to the eye too!
No stone left unturned. Bob is turning low 11.30s at this time.
Notice the fuel tank offset for a shorter fuel line.
This is an effort for the efficiency of fuel flow.
It mitigates the problem of the engine starving from running injection.
Bob and Dixie Bunker want this 55 to be the fastest 55 in the state. But will that be enough….. Not!
Algon injection just another test of power and performance. He will also experiment with Hilborn Injection on his big block too.
The legend begins.
Notice the weight lighting wheels and the rear fenders. The rear is starting to see treatments to deliver the power to the ground. This will turn out to be a hallmark of the Bunker’s 55
Bob has a 454 big block and later a 467 with the Hilborn Injectors loaded on that beast. Bob will retain the front suspension avoiding the straight axle gasser evolution.
Bob felt that the hot rod was much more controllable with the independent front suspension.
The 467 was a blown gasser with Dart aluminum heads re-worked by Sanchez at Dart. The engine was also testing the Webster Girdle. These were sponsors that recognized the exceptional performance level the master was obtaining. If his accomplishments were a metal it would’ve been called, ‘Un-obtainium’.
DA Master working the supercharger
Bob’s knowledge as a top fuel crew chief and family dedication will coalesce with a staggering and growing list of wins. He mastered the art of building racing engines that outperform the competition and gave him the ‘Unfair Advantage’ all racers want. He will also use his acquired expertise of fuel systems to proliferate the Legendary Folsom Flash.
Bob and Dixie’s, Folsom Flash will become iconic on the west coast and known throughout the country as the Worlds Fastest All Steel All Real 55 Chevy.
Bob also was a man who not only thought out of the box but even experimented using aircraft parts like the fuel pumps.
The legend continues by welding his opponents to the starting line.
The competition is seeing the legendary 55 at work. The competitors will earn the mark of the beast, being stamped by the beastly 55 that trailers the bigs.
The Flash hammers down !
The media swarms the new Worlds Fastest 55.
Sponsors flock to the new King.
….Ahhhh…. it’s nice to be King
Notice the 4″ chop and the wheel well in the rear and the lack of rockers. Yeah, this is a 47-year project finally done.
Bob and Dixie’s 55 have climbed the mountain together.
The Family Car is Finished with a House Burgeoning of Trophies!
It’s 1998 and the World’s Fastest 55, with the iconic Bob Bunker Shoeing the renowned Folsom Flash, will trailer all the legendary touring pros, Foust, Carpenter, and both Petersons. The Flash will eventually rocket a 6 blast cementing the Legend of the World’s Fastest 55′