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.
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
to see some of his other great photography. ~Bob.