Louie Longhi is the Program Director and Lead Instructor for the Mechanic’s Local No. 701 Education & Training Program. Local 701 is a branch of the International Assoc. of Mechinists & Aerospace Workers. The local is based in Carol Stream, Ill. For some reason, there are a lot of car enthusiasts in that area of Illinois and Louie finds that a ’37 Chevy coupe that does the quarter mile in under nine seconds is a great tool to interest kids in his program.
Louie brought the 150-mph drag car to the Race & Performance Expo (www.raceperformanceexpo.com) in St. Charles, Ill. We don’t know how many young enthusiasts at the show were awed by the white big-block coupe, but this over-aged kid certainly was! The “Bow Tie Bomb” was constructed by Bill Luckey and runs a supercharged, alcohol-burning 427-cid V-8 built by Ray Romito. The monster motor is attached to a sure-shifting automatic transmission.
“Mullin Motorsports” is lettered on the door and that’s the team that races the car in Nostalgia Drag Racing League Championship racing in the Midwest and other venues like the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green, Ky. The coupe blew the doors off its competition at Great Lakes Dragaway in Wisconsin.
The car was a barn find that turned up in storage in 2000. The original, effort to turn the steel-bodied five window into a racer had been stillborn back in the '70s. When found 14 years ago, the car was a rolling chassis that never had a racing engine, transmission, wiring harness, fuel system and so on installed in its solid chassis and body. As you can see, that shortcoming has been rectified.
The old racing car is, of course, secondary to the goal of educating and training the young mechanics who will maintain the cars of tomorrow. As mentioned, this particular big kid fell in love with the Chevy and with the whole idea of using it to reach young people interested in fixing cars.
To learn more about how to get young car enthusiasts involved in the Mechanics’ Local No. 701 Education and Training Program visit www.local701training.com or contact Louie Longhi by phone at 708-533-4147 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.