FEEDBACK ARTICLE - LEGEND OF THE TRIPLE NICKEL
I read with enjoyment your story of the Triple Nickel Mopar but I feel obliged
to let you know that the legend of the Triple Nickel goes back another decade
prior to the one you have featured.
The "Original" Triple Nickel drag car
debuted in the mid-50's. If you take a quick review of the December, 1956 issue
of Rod and Custom you will find the cover car and feature article concerns the
Walters and Murray 1929 Ford Roadster, 555.
(Bottom left magazine in this
picture http://i10.ebayimg.com/07/i/000/80/3c/7ae2_1_b.JPG )
and Sharp's coupe was 554, this roadster was next in the Southern California dry
lake numbering scheme...555.
After a short stay in Wichita, Kansas the
Triple Nickel moved to Amarillo, Texas.
Under the ownership of Don
Morgan and Bob Johnson The 555 roadster won Middle Eliminator at the very first
race contested at Amarillo Dragway.
The Triple Nickel roadster was the
cover car on the 1961 NHRA South Central Division Drag Strip Guide.
The January, 1963
issue of Hot Rod magazine carried a multi-page article titled "Triple Nickel"
with photos by Dale Ham (yes, the NHRA Division Director who was best man at the
Triple Nickel's owner's wedding).
Fast foward a year or so and the
Triple Nickel had moved to Kansas City, Missouri and became the AHRA A/Altered
National Record Holder while being campaigned by Arrow Speed Shop.
there the vehicle moved into the hands of my father. For the past 40+ years the
Triple Nickel has sat in his garage with a 409 Chevrolet and B&M Hydrostick
between the frame rails.
In the early 1990's Rod and Custom covered the
car again as part of a pair of "where are they now?" type articles.
slightly cartoonish version of the car (complete with the 555 numbering)
appeared as the t-shirt design of a late 1990's Goodguys race event shirt held
With all that said, yes, the Mopar from your article was
numbered 555 but the "Original" Triple Nickel had a decade long championship
drag racing history before your featured cars ever rolled down the race track.
- Wayne Darlington, Akron, Ohio