Auto World 1972 Chevrolet Vega “Grumpy’s Toy IX”

Aug 25, 2012 No Comments by

In 1972, the late Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins traded his 1970 Camaro for a ’72 Vega. Substantial chassis work was done to modify the new Vega for drag racing; subframes were added to the unibody Vega to support the front and rear suspension, the car was “tubbed” to accommodate the huge rear slicks, and a complete roll cage was installed. The radical, but fully-NHRA-approved “Grumpy’s Toy IX” was introduced at the 1972 NHRA Winternationals, toting a 331 small block Chevy and a Borg-Warner T-10 transmission. Jenkins won the event, clocking in the 9.6’s and taking home his first Pro Stock Championship. Auto World’s model of the mini-monster is nicely turned out with a red and white paint scheme, a simulated gold-leaf “Grumpy’s Toy” side deco and all of the appropriate sponsorship decorations. The chassis features a tubbed pan, wheelie bars, Centerline wheels and the biggest set of slicks seen on a stock-bodied racer; under the “Grump Hump” sits two monstrous four-barrels feeding the small block Chevy. True, there were compromises made to the roll cage and headers – necessary to accommodate the dog-leg door hinges of the original Ertl Vega tool – but this model represents a very important step in the evolution of Pro Stock, and does so well. Recommended.  – Bill Bennett

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I have been a car guy since my early teens. From managing a performance center on Long Island NY to being a partner of the world’s largest traveling global car show series; my career path has taken me on an exciting journey. I have consulted for MTV, McDonalds, Turtle Wax, Dodge and other high profile companies and have been published in multiple automotive journals. Alpha Penguin Publishing recruited me to co-author “The Complete Idiots Guide to Customizing Your Ride” for which one of my cars graces the cover. My diecast addiction began about 12 years back. My girlfriend at the time knew I was saving for a Mustang Cobra. She thought it would be humorous and purchased a diecast version to hold me over for a while. What was an initial joke struck a chord because I was fascinated with how Hot Wheels could make such a cool replica for a buck. The next time we went shopping I stopped in the toy aisle and ended up purchasing additional Hot Wheels and a few Jada vehicles. Well you all know the story from here; one shelf led to a book case. The book case quickly became an apartment filled with hundreds of HotWheels, Jada and other 1:64th scale replicas. Next came my introduction to 1:24th and 1:18th scale die cast and twelve years later I am the proud owner of a collection that is displayed in a 2000sq foot facility with a current count of over 12 thousand unique pieces. My then girlfriend, now wife, has a lot of patience for my hobby and my two little girls enjoy it with us too. Today I find myself fascinated with all scales and all models of customized vehicles. From tuners to rat rods, lead sleds to pro street drag. I do have an appreciation for the well delivered OEM vehicles as well. Most of all I enjoy the hunt to complete a set or series of vehicles. I look forward to being a part of DieCast X Magazine and helping to strengthen, grow and deliver our hobby to people who do not know how rewarding it is to an individual and a family.
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