- Written by webmin
I’m eagerly awaiting a copy of Grumpy’s Toys The Authorized History of Grumpy Jenkins’ Cars, by Doug Boyce due out next month from Car Tech.
I first heard about the book not from the publisher but from a Facebook fan page set up by the book’s author, Boyce. For a few months he’s been posting historic photos from Jenkins’ storied career on FB and providing some background information. I imagine the effort will sell him a few books as the page currently has 1,571 Facebook users who “like” it.
Jenkins, 80, in September underwent surgery to correct a subdural hematoma. He has reportedly recovered and is doing well. As a driver The Grump has 13 NHRA national wins to his credit, which isn’t all that noteworthy. But as an engineer and engine builder, his influence on drag racing is immeasurable. Among the drag racing firsts credited to the Grump: dry-sump oiling, strut-type front suspension on a Pro Stock car, cool cans, electric fans, kickout oil pans, and gasport pistons.
Be forewarned that as you get poking around on the FB page checking out the photos and links time will disappear like water in the burnout box. Be sure to check this ad for Grumpy’s Toy VI, the ’69 Camaro, which could’ve been yours as a roller back in the day for (gulp) $3,000.
While the ’69′s whereabouts are, to my knowledge, unknown, Grumpy’s Toy VII, Jenkins 1970-1/2 Camaro Pro Stock car, restored to holeshot-winning condition, sold in 2007 for an impressive $504,000.
And while you’re clicking on links and thinking about The Grump’s Chevrolet tuning wizardry, check out this Hemmings Muscle Machines feature, a personal favorite of mine, by our own Daniel Strohl, about Grumpy’s Toy XI, the car that used the aforementioned strut-type suspension and a complete tube chassis.
In addition for some historical perspective here’s a link to a story about Jenkins from a 1973 issue of Time magazine.