"Strictly Stock"
The Champions of 1955 & 1956

by Dan Elliott

#1001 which meant model introduction must have been about a month before that, clearly in time for the 1956 Daytona within the 90 day NASCAR waiting period.
      Much has been written about another car that Carl used during the 1956 season, the Dodge D-500 and D-500-1. A central question has been: Why was the D-500 not a separate model, and why was it offered as an option on several Dodge models? One needs to look no further for a reason than the NASCAR rules above. Apparently the D-500 wasn't conceived until after it would have been too late to use as a separate model at Daytona under the 1956 rules; the D-500 concept and call for orders first was made to the public on December 22, 1955---as an option on several models. The D-500 turned 1956 Dodge models into "mini" Chrysler 300's, but with one carburetor. Each was equipped with a solid-lifter 315 cubic inch Hemi and heavy-duty suspension, chassis and big brakes. The D-500-1 dual 4 barrel carb setup and other equipment were announced January 12 and 13, 1956. Competitors at the 1956 Daytona apparently used the dual carb setup, but not the special up-swept exhaust manifolds. A D-500-1 was first in the Standing Start Flying Mile event at the 1956 Daytona at 81.786 MPH, .024 MPH faster than a 300B. Of interest is the part Carl played in the development of the -1 optional parts. According to Kiekhaefer team members: "We received an early D-500 or D-500 engine and immediately started dyno tests. Carl quickly realized that insufficient top-end carburetion starved the engine and complained to Dodge, who downplayed his observation. Within a few days afterward, we had designed and cast a dual quad intake manifold and sent it overnight to Dodge so it could be homologated for racing. After that, we built all the intake manifolds for the -1 engine, but they were distributed through Dodge." Apparently, Kiekhaefer Mercury Marine also designed and built the special racing exhaust manifolds for the engine. To date, only one car not involved in racing has surfaced with these exhaust manifolds, a 2-door hardtop. No race team cars have surfaced.

      By the time of the Daytona Beach and Road Course race on February 26th, Carl's team consisted of Tim, who finished 1st in Chrysler's 340 horsepower 300B #300-A; Fonty who was 10th in Dodge's new 260 horsepower D-500-1 #500-B; Charlie Scott, an African American driver, who was19th in1955 Chrysler 300 #300; Buck Baker, who was 20th in1955 Chrysler 300 #301; Frank Mundy, who was 43rd in 300B #300-B; and Speedy Thompson, who was 71st in D-500-1 #500-B. Obviously, Fonty and Speedy shared a car in this race. Also of interest during Speed Weeks was Tim's new Flying Start Flying Mile two-way record for "strictly stock" sedans, set at 139.373 in a red 300B; this record would never be broken by a stock sedan model produced in the 1950's, according to Forward magazine. Vicki Wood, a top female NASCAR driver drove to a one-way speed of 143.827 MPH in the same car and on the same day. Interestingly, during the actual Beach and Road Course race, Tim's top speed in 300B #300-A was clocked at over 147 MPH! Note: Carl's two 1955 champions were the only drivers to be placed in the new 300B models at the race, perhaps as a reward for their 1955 successes.

      The large multi-car and driver strategy started by Carl in late 1955 was in high gear at Daytona. To support this approach during the season, he would open a facility at Charlotte, NC to geographically expand the reach of his car preparation capabilities from those he'd been using at Mercury Marine's Oshkosh and Fonddulac, Wisconsin facilities. A True magazine article printed in 1957 explained the scope of Carl's 1956 racing operations: "If Kiekhaefer's methods are exhaustive, his expenditures on his racing stable are also grandiose. At one time he was maintaining 10 race cars, six vans to haul them about the landscape, at least 30 crew members, four drivers, a big parts

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