Words from Mr. Dicksa round2 and a SURPRISE for us!

In came the email from Mr. John Dicksa telling me to give him a call, so i got my thoughts together and gave the man a ring.

We had such a great conversation about what it was like for him and others back in the day on Van Nuys Avenue.
I didn’t have a voice recorder so most of my notes are pretty choppy, but you can get some of the gist of it all.

I got to find out that the car had MUCH more done to it than i think most folks knew about.
Much of what was done to the car was out of necessity, and there just wasn’t anywhere you could just pull off the shelf
for those parts.. unlike we can now.
Many of his ideas spawned from his time at Willow Springs hanging out with the racers there and getting interesting
ideas on what to do with his Camaro.. which he brought to the street scene soon after.

The body was done by his good friend named Raymond.. he couldn’t remember his last name but back then Raymond was a
serious player in the Van Nuys body game.. He did the fender flares and cleaned up the body real well and molded in the rear spoiler.
If you noticed there are black rockguard-like protectant which was black vynil contact paper(used in kitchen applications)
that he got the look from a turbo Porsche and brought it to his car.

Probably the first to do this modification (which you probably wouldn’t notice right away) was the 2 inch
1st gen Camaro cowl mated to the hood of the 2nd gen, think that it was in the late 70s early 80s when that was done!

John also worked the lights on the Camaro, he liked the look of the red and yellow like a ferrari so he cracked open the lights
and tinted them himself. John also hated the egg crate grille so he replaced it with black honeycomb mesh.
The headlight covers were actually made because of a accident on the track which costed him precious money that at his age
that time he didn’t have too much of. He was chasing another car and a rock kicked up and destroyed the light, then they
fined him for trash on the track.. oh well.. answer solved.
The covers are snap on custom pieces which he took flat gauge steel and covered the inside with soft flocking.
they pop in and out with ease when he wants to roll at night.

The wild LT1 he had running in the car was by no stretch a stock engine.
It was fully built by TRAKO in Van Nuys a notable shop of engine builders responsible for badass IROC race cars.
As John stated he could rev the engine to 8 grand all day long and tear it out on the streets of Mullholland.
If you look closely there are tubes coming off of the valve covers they were tubes for blowby that went into a catchcan
in the firewall. John had steel ball bearings inside the tubes that blocks off on acceleration.
not to mention EVERY BOLT was safety wired in the whole engine!

Another wild move was the bodydrop of the car he did by cutting the body mounts in half
then made them out of aluminum.
Then he decided to work out some suspension goodies and put in a swaybar.. but the ones he worked just
didnt do what he expected so he fabbed up his own.. but this one had adjustable ends with rod bearings
and neoprene mounts!
John also noticed that some of the guys on the boulevard running duals
but could tell that the escaped fumes weren’t equal.. so he put in an H pipe in his exhaust.
The brakes on his camaro he could only do just so much to, being that he had to fit them behind the 15s of the time.
so instead he kept them fresh and stout by running braided steel lines the whole length of the system, which wasn’t common
at all at the time.

But John stated his favorite modification of the time was pretty his gas tank!
John took his stock gas tank and chopped it in half (hamburger style)
then he fabbed and welded in a metal mouse maze inside and a gap with cross flow tubes!
then welded all together with a 2 inch strip of metal to make it an overall bigger tank.. miles of fun!
and he needed it because the snarly engine took a bath in the petrol.

so that pretty much was the bulk of the talk.. but he did leave me with this story..
which i thought was pretty cool!

John said he was taking the Camaro out at a windy pass near where he lives.
This was before the LT1 engine was put in the car..
It was late in the evening and he was looking for a bit of fun.. then up in his mirror he sees a set of headlights
in the dark. Quickly as he saw them they come DASHING by him.. it was a red 66 Corvette, he decided to chase it down.
As he was trying to catch up to it it was slowly getting farther and farther away.
he thought to himself, damn that sucker really moves!
later on he caught up with the car at a redlight.. and to his surprise.. it was an OLD LADY!
she turned to him and said “pretty spunky, huh?… My son Vic built this car for me”
he said “oh yea?”
she said.. “you might know him.. Vic Edelbrock.”


But the real surprise came when after we talked i got about 5 or 6 emails from Mr. Dicksa..

and what surprised me was this.. CAR CRAFT September Issue 1977!!

What you know about this?… i guess im not the only one who thinks his car is a Streetfighter!

This was before its super wide red brawler incantation.

Cant be denied… Streetfighter.

Thank you Mr.Dicksa!

Posted by Mr. Vengeance on December 14, 2010 under Events,Interviews