We reported this morning via Twitter & Facebook that Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins passed away. Rest in peace Grumpy.
Wikipedia Info on Grumpy:
William Tyler “Grumpy” Jenkins (1930 – 29 March 2012) was an engine builder and drag racer. Between 1965 and 1975 he won a total of thirteen NHRA drag races. Jenkins raced in the clutchless planetary gear transmission era. Most of these wins were won with a manually shifted four speed transmission. In 1972 he recorded 250 straight runs without missing a gear shift.
He was formally trained as a mechanical engineer at Cornell University, and he used his training and skills to build engines. He has been inducted in numerous motorsports halls of fame for his engine building skills in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock division. His innovations include drag racing’s first kickout oil pans, Pro Stock strut-style front suspension, and dry sump oiling system, and cool cans, electric water pump fan, gas port pistons, and slick-shift manual transmissions. Considered the “Father of Pro Stock”, Jenkins-built engines were used to win five NHRA Pro Stock championships and three American Hot Rod Association (AHRA) championships.
He was nicknamed “Grumpy” for having a no-nonsense attitude at races. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America said: “his continual search for improved performance left little time for idle chatter with his racing colleagues.”
* We were the first news agency to report Grumpy’s passing at 11:20 am, a full hour before any other news release. However, no other agency gave us credit for breaking the story. Thanks to Jeff from South Jersey Camaro Club for letting us know Grumpy passed.