The Virginia Muscle Car

Sherman's D and E Altered from the 60s/ 70's

(D and E Altered Record Holder)
(Image provided by Photographer Tim Beard)

Bill's Uncle Sherman raced an E Altered (Drag Racing Class) and had the National record for this Class. Sherman also had the record for D altered until the Altered classes were reorganized. Andy and I tagged along Bill and Sherman to the 69 Drag Nationals in Indianapolis Indiana where Sherman had to spot (give a head start to) the above two "faster" classes because he had buried his own class record so low (that was how good they were). Sherman took his class but blew a clutch in the eliminations. Sherman used a 300 CI Ford truck engine (steel crank) with 327 Chevy pistons and a unique head and transmission. The head was actually a couple of BOSS 302 V8 Ford heads cut up into eight separate sections. He used six of these sections which were welded together to make a new six cylinder head. This welding took place in a very hot foundry furnace. (He actually made his own foundary behind his garage!!!) After the head cooled, it was then drilled and milled for the 300 CI block. He also cut up a V8's Hillborn injection system to fit to his taylored head. Sherman also used a transmission called a Clutchflight which was a Chrysler Torqueflight with the torque converter cut out and a clutch unit installed. With the Clutchflight you could get the high rpms off the line due to the clutch and after coming out of the hole it would shift very quickly due to the automatic. This is why Sherman had the nickname of "slick."

When Sherman is in his lane, he is very competitive, in action and not words (not a braggart). In addition, I have seen him help even the people competing against him when they needed a helping hand in the pits. Even today he helps older races that are having a health problems. He'll even go to their home garages to help. I learned a lot from this real Southern gentleman and not only about racing and the culture of racing. More importantly, I learned a life lesson, how to be humble when winning, which I incorperated into my life and used with great success when dealing with all kinds of people. Sherman may contribute some more pictures at a later date.

Here is a great video by a current engine builder, Ken Ellison (and his crew at the teaching "Ellison's Machine Shop") who understands the impacts Sherman made on field of drag racing and the respect that Sherman is given (link provided by Bill). (see this informative and well done video)

The pictures of Sherman's race cars, above and below, were taken by Tim Beard. Tim gave us permission to use them. Tim also has many other car and other theme pictures he has taken over the years. Take a look at his Flickr library to see some of his other great photography. ~Bob.

(Sherman's Fiat)
(Image provided by Photographer Tim Beard)

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